I found the following remarks concerning the euthanasia movement.
Question. Why is there such concern about the euthanasia movement? If a sick, elderly person wants to die with dignity, why shouldn't we permit a quiet suicide when the quality of life is no longer there?
Answer. What a seductive argument that is, especially when we know older people who are suffering through slow, painful deaths. It does seem more humane to allow them to go to sleep quietly and escape all their misery. It is my firm conviction, however, that untold sorrow for millions of people lies down that road.
The problem, aside from the moral issues of taking human life, is that euthanasia is inevitably progressive in nature. Once you let that snake out of the basket, it will be impossible to control where it slithers! Suppose we legalize physician-assisted suicide for elderly people who are terminally ill. The question is, how would it be limited thereafter for those who were neither sick nor severly handicapped? How about an older but healthy man who is simply tired of living? Could we really require a note from his physician in order to permit his suicide?
Then if the old-but-healthy can choose to die, what about the not-so-old? Could a 50-year old person take the plunge? How about a 40-year woman in menopause or a man in midlife crisis? When you stop to think about it, actually age has nothing to do with the decision. A 20-year-old depressed homemaker could be as entitled to "death with dignity" as the terminally ill.
If euthanasia is legal for anyone, you see, it will soon become legal for everyone. Neither age, health factors, nor quality of life could be defended as qualifiers. The Hemlock Society, which actively promotes euthanaeia, ceratinly understands that fact.
Historically, nations that have opened the door to the monster of euthanasia have slid into a nightmare of murder. This is precisely what happened in Nazi Germany. They began by killing the sick and old; then they destroyed the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and infants born with deformities. From there, it was but a small step to begin exterminating the "undesirables"-Jews, Poles, Gypsies, political prisioners, and others. Euthanasia was the first small step down the road toward the extermination camps.
Even if this epidemic of murder did not occur, it is certain that "right to die" laws would result in a dramatic increase in the number of suicides occurring annually. Each death would represent incalculable grief, guilt, and sorrow for those left.
Suicide may look like and easy way out for the one who dies, but it is perhaps the most painful experience for loved one and relatives-many of whom are children. We draw the same conclusion from every angle. The curse of euthanasia must never be released upon our people!
Dr. James Dobson; Focus on the Family