In Today's National Post, Margaret Somerville argues against legalizing euthanasia.
Dr. Somerville gives fundamental reasons why we should be against it.
"...Legalization gives individual autonomy priority over respect for human life. Its message is that personal control is the primary human good; loss of control is equated to loss of dignity. This is especially dangerous for old or disabled people. If euthanasia is an option, they are likely to perceive themselves as a burden on their families and on society, which they could relieve through euthanasia. They could even feel they have a duty to die...
...If, as I do, we believe legalizing euthanasia is a bad idea, it is not enough simply to argue that the pro-euthanasia advocates are wrong on the facts regarding potential abuses, which is where the debate has been focused so far. We must face the basic question that euthanasia raises: Is it inherently wrong for one person intentionally to kill another?
If something is inherently wrong, the issue of how best to manage it does not arise. We only manage activities that are ethically acceptable; we prohibit those that are not. As writer Peter Stockland says, the central question in the euthanasia debate is not whether the system will work as designed to prevent abuses, as pro-euthanasia activists argue it will, but what the system is designed to do. And that requires us to address geriatrician Dr. Catherine Ferrier’s challenging question: “If it’s not killing, what is it?”..."