Why Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Legalized: Part 1

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The opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide is often mischaracterized as driven exclusively by religious conservatives, but most current opposition coalitions include many persons and organizations whose opposition is based on their progressive politics. Among those are disability rights groups; many nationally prominent disability rights organizations oppose the legalization of assisted suicide.

Other key opponents include the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and its state affiliates, the American College of Physicians, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the American Cancer Society, many other medical organizations, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Many prominent Democrats and liberals also oppose legalization, including Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, and noted civil liberties journalist Nat Hentoff.

Assisted suicide strikes many people, when they first hear about it, as a cause to support. But upon closer inspection, there are many reasons why legalization is a serious mistake. Supporters focus on superficial issues of choice and self-determination. It is crucial to look deeper. Legalizing assisted suicide would not increase choice and self-determination, despite the assertions of its proponents. It would actually augment real dangers that negate genuine choice and control.

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