Under such circumstances, if euthanasia were to be introduced, it would not be logical to continue to make funding available for research and service provision in terminal care. Not only that, but it would also be inevitable that some people - especially older people - with life-restricting disabilities who have been shunted off waiting lists with no assurance of future reinstatement, would seriously consider requesting euthanasia. It would be great for the health budget. Funds could then be channelled into research into the science of killing.
This debate revolves around numerous questions: Is euthanasia an appropriate response to the excruciating pain of terminally ill patients who desire to die? Or, is euthanasia never justified? Is it appropriate for governments to effectively force people to live through their pain by denying them the right to euthanasia? Are there sufficient pain medications in existence to override concerns surrounding pain? Is this an insufficient solution because it simply puts people in a "drugged state"? Do people general have a right to die or to commit suicide? Does the government have a compelling interest to stop them? Is the "sanctity of life" a sufficient reason to stop them? Does euthanasia violate the "sanctity of life"? Do exceptions exist to the "sanctity of life" in which it is acceptable to end life prematurely? Does the government have the right to define the "sanctity of life" or should individuals and families be able to make their own determination about when life is "sacred" and when it may cease to be? Does criminalizing euthanasia violate the notion of "equal protection" by enabling those on life-support to withdraw support and effectively commit suicide, while denying persons with terminal illnesses, but whom aren't on life support, an opportunity to die quickly? Are non-treatment approaches to speeding death, such as "pulling the tubes", justified? Or, do they needlessly subject patients to pain that could otherwise be prevented through euthanasia? Is euthanasia "unnatural" or not "how God intended" death to occur? Do doctors have a right to assist in euthanasia (assisted suicide)? Or does this give them too much power? Are doctors sufficiently trained in administering euthanasia? Is it their place to do so? Or, does the Hippocratic Oath restrict them from this practice? What is the role of physicians? Are they healers only ? Or can they participate in decisions regarding ending a life? Is it reasonable to place these burdens on doctors? Does it traumatize them? Do the families of terminally-ill loved ones have an interest in euthanasia? Do they appear to support it? Would the legalization of euthanasia allow greater family awareness and involvement in any choice? Will families abuse euthanasia, possibly pressuring their loved ones to pursue the option out of a selfish desire to avoid the burden of caring for him or her until death. Can third-party regulators help reduce the risk of these abuses occurring? Are wider abuses a significant concern surrounding euthanasia? Would the legalization of the practice open a slippery slope to abuses? Will doctors begin pressuring individuals to commit suicide (euthanasia)? Will doctors make moves to euthanise the disabled? Will doctors aggressively implement involuntary euthanasia? Will regulations be capable of constraining a slippery slope from developing? Can appropriate criteria be created for eligibility for euthanasia, and can those criteria be regulated and enforced? Are the poor at risk simply because they are less able to afford health care, which may give an incentive to health care providers to euthanize an individual in order to cut costs? Will euthanasia become a cynical option for insurance companies to cut costs? Or, is it a legitimate consideration that euthanasia may reduce health care costs? Will it reduce the incentive of doctors to provide strong palliative care , causing them to ask, "what's the point if we have euthanasia"?
This was the last obstacle to my case for euthanasia. I have argued that the popular argument from autonomy is weaker than that from beneficence. This frees us from accepting any request for death, but it forces us to consider euthanasia in all its varieties, not just the voluntary and generally passive form embraced in polite society. This is not a drawback; it is a duty. Just as the current unjustified restriction to passive euthanasia condemns those in appalling pain to slow rather than quick deaths, so our refusal to consider all forms of euthanasia means ignoring a great deal of suffering.