BioEdge has a little article on how the very existence of euthanasia for those who want it, in the end, pressures people to want it.
And it is true. Where euthanasia is not tolerated, people find another way to deal with their situations. I do not say that it is easy. I do not say it is not costly. But I do say, if killing the old/sick/depressed person is not an option, then people find other options. They find a way.
Where euthanasia is accepted, on the other hand, it looms as an option. It looms as an option for the caregivers who are burdened with an old/sick/depressed relative. It looms as an option for the old/sick/depressed relative as a way to relieve the burden on the caregiver. It looms. Large. You can't say, "Well, those who do not want to choose euthanasia do not have to." Of course they have to. It's an option, isn't it? They have to consider it because it is available. And if they choose against it, they do so not by default because it is not an option, but by conscious, explicit, determined choice. In choosing against it, they thereby choose to continue the burden. There are many pressures in favor of killing, many benefits that could be gained. They have to choose against all of them. It is not an easy choice.
How can you quantify, "But we love you and want you around"? You can easily quantify the medical bills as they pile up. The hours that are lost helping someone use the bathroom and eat. The resources used. The days with pain and suffering. All those numbers loom larger and larger, gaining strength and weight with each passing day.
Let's not forget who's paying the brunt of those medical bills: Health insurance, both private and government. They don't want to keep paying for health services for someone who cannot hope to benefit from them. Euthanasia becomes part of patient and caregiver counseling.
But how do you quantify "we love you" to withstand the pressure? You can't.
The very existence of euthanasia means that it will become a duty, not a choice. A duty.
So much for autonomy. So much for the rallying cry of the euthanasia movement.
I wonder... are they really striving to protect autonomy, after all? Is it really about the right to die?
I don't think so.