Richard Doerflinger on Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?

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Richard Doerflinger
“Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?”

Richard Doerflinger, who is the associate director of the office for Pro-Life activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, claims that assisting in euthanasia is conflicting with respect for life. He furthermore argues that not only assisting euthanasia is wrong, but by doing so, many other things may follow from its assistance, he calls it the “slippery slope” effects. Doerflinger thinks that drawing the line at being seriously sick, when accepting euthanasia, is very hard to do. He says that some people will argue that if a person wants to die, we should give them the respect and let them carry out their “ultimate exercise of self-determination”. This decision should be respected because it is a decision a person makes about their future. Doerflinger than explains a different view, in his article “Life versus Freedom”. He states that Life is the most essential right of humans, because without it we couldn’t pursue any other rights, like freedom for example. Now freedom is needed to practice happiness. These three human rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are the most absolute rights proclaimed in the Declaration of Liberty. According to this view, deciding to end one’s life wouldn’t be the practice of freedom; it would actually contradict our freedom. Doerflinger than shows arguments against this view. One opposition would be that euthanasia is only obtainable if one cannot practice other freedoms due to illness. Doerflinger argues against that again by saying if a terminally ill person can make the decision of wanting to die, than they are obviously able to pursue freedom. Next, Doerflinger argues about what he calls the “loose canon”. It is, if we accept to allow the killing of innocent people by allowing euthanasia, than that might relate to other social factors that should be protected. One of those social factors are the elderly and disabled. If we accept...
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