"Crossing the threshold to euthanasia is the ultimate step in medical, moral and social terms. A polity is never the same afterwards and a society is never the same. It changes forever the doctor-patient bond. In brutal but honest terms, more people will be put at risk by the legislation than will be granted relief as beneficiaries."
The question at stake here is, not whether in some individual circumstances there is something morally wrong, but whether the state should legalise and indeed can safely legalise such practices. Our view on euthanasia should not be determined by our own experiences of one or two personal tragedies. We must look beyond those experiences to the broader view of the interests of society at large and the interests of the individuals who make up society.
"Legalising assisted suicide immediately places the elderly sick, and the most vulnerable under intolerable pressures. Over time, despite its intent to assist a few rational people to die, the changes in attitude it signals will undermine society’s support for the lives of the voiceless and those most in need. It should be rejected.”
"The most serious case made by advocates for assisted suicide is autonomy. Yet what stands out for this most recent toleration of at least some suicides is the lack of autonomy; to be legitimate, it seems, suicide must be sanctioned by that new priesthood, medical authority."
“A culture of disdain for disabled and elderly persons is more likely to come about if we embrace a right to assisted suicide. Each endorsement of suicide endangers not only the lives but also the human dignity and quality of support relationships of persons with burdensome infirmities.”
"Some individuals might view themselves as unproductive or burdensome and, on that basis, as candidates for assisted suicide, especially if a physician raises it or validates a request"
"Social attitudes towards disabled people come from a medical profession that takes a deficit view of disability. This is my major concern with legalising assisted death; that it will give doctors more control over our lives."
"I would like to question if the possible consequent good of allowing a highly selected population of privileged people the ability to request and be administered medical assistance in dying is sufficient to overturn millennia of accepted medical practice."
"If we give one person the right to make that decision—that is, to assist in committing suicide—we as a whole are affected. If we give one family that right, we as a whole are affected. If we give one state or territory that right, we as a country are affected. If we give one nation the right to determine life, our common humanity is affected. I cannot support this legislation."
"Doctors will make mistakes. Victims will be pressured. Judgments will be clouded, and among all the arbitrary rules and safeguards, only one thing is absolutely certain: innocent people will die at the hands of these laws."
"I have received many euthanasia requests from patients and families over my 34 years in full-time oncology practice, some very passionate, but I have invariably found that they quickly disappear as reassurance and adequate medication doses provide the comfort that is desired"
"The culture of dying, despite certain and intense resistance, will gradually permeate into our medical, health, social and institutional arrangements. It stands for everything a truly civil society should stand against. A change of this kind will affect our entire community not just a small number of dying patients."
"We open this door at the peril of all future generations as we move one step closer to a heartless and expedient society where everything is expendable, including the lives of all those whom we, others, or even the state deem ‘unsatisfactory’”.
"The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide"
If the message conveyed is that 'your life is not worth living', ill people pick upon it very quickly.