A Liberal Case Against Assisted Suicide


Over at First Things, Wesley J. Smith summarizes the liberal case against assisted suicide contained in Liberalism’s Troubled Search for Equality by Robert P. Jones:

Jones contends that assisted suicide, whatever its liberty claim, profoundly violates the superseding liberal principle that all lives are to be equally protected, since some suicidal persons will receive facilitation,and others prevention, some better care than others, some could be coerced through economic circumstances into not being a “burden,” etc. This being so, and since equality trumps liberty whenever they conflict, Jones argues that assisted suicide should not be legalized—much less made a constitutional right—particularly given the profound social inequalities faced by the seriously ill, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Moreover, their exclusion of religious voices in the public square, rather than helping society determine the right, actually renders egalitarian liberals unable to “hear the real voices of the disadvantaged it promises to champion.”

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