Everyday Attitudes About Euthanasia and the Slippery Slope Argument

In Jukka Varelius & Michael Cholbi (eds.), New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. Springer Verlag (1st ed. 2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This chapter provides empirical evidence about everyday attitudes concerning euthanasia. These attitudes have important implications for some ethical arguments about euthanasia. Two experiments suggested that some different descriptions of euthanasia have modest effects on people’s moral permissibility judgments regarding euthanasia. Experiment 1 (N = 422) used two different types of materials (scenarios and scales) and found that describing euthanasia differently (‘euthanasia’, ‘aid in dying’, and ‘physician assisted suicide’) had modest effects (≈3 % of the total variance) on permissibility judgments. These effects were largely replicated in Experiment 2 (N = 409). However, in Experiment 2, judgments about euthanasia’s moral permissibility were best predicted by the voluntariness of the treatment. Voluntariness was a stronger predictor than some demographic factors and some domain general elements of moral judgments. These results help inform some debates about the moral permissibility of euthanasia (e.g., the slippery slope argument) suggesting that some of the key premises of those arguments are unwarranted.
No keywords specified (fix it)
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-12-29
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
869 ( #6,242 of 65,593 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
80 ( #8,897 of 65,593 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.