The empirical slippery slope from voluntary to non-voluntary euthanasia

J Law Med Ethics. 2007 Spring;35(1):197-210. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2007.00124.x.


This article examines the evidence for the empirical argument that there is a slippery slope between the legalization of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. The main source of evidence in relation to this argument comes from the Netherlands. The argument is only effective against legalization if it is legalization which causes the slippery slope. Moreover, it is only effective if it is used comparatively-to show that the slope is more slippery in jurisdictions which have legalized voluntary euthanasia than it is in jurisdictions which have not done so. Both of these elements are examined comparatively.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Confidence Intervals
  • Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary / ethics
  • Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Euthanasia, Passive / ethics
  • Euthanasia, Passive / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Euthanasia, Passive / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Wedge Argument*