Arguments in favour of euthanasia can be broken down into a few main categories:
Arguments based on rights
* People have an explicit right to die
* Aseparate right to die is not necessary, because our other human rights imply the right to die
* Death is a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no rightto interfere (a libertarian argument)
People have an explicit right to die: Other human rights imply a right to die
* The right to life is not a right simply to exist. Human beings have the rightto die when and how they want to
* If the dying process is unpleasant, people should have the right to shorten it, and thus reduce the unpleasantness
* This is the idea that the rights toprivacy and freedom of belief give a person the right to decide how and when to die.
* It is possible to regulate euthanasia
* Death is a private matter and if there is noharm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere (a libertarian argument)
* Allowing people to die may free up scarce health resources (this is a possible argument, but noauthority has seriously proposed it)
Euthanasia happens anyway (a utilitarian or consequentiality argument) Euthanasia happens - better to make it legal and regulate it properly. Sounds a bit like "murderhappens - better to make it legal and regulate it properly". When you put it like that, the argument sounds very feeble indeed. But it is one that is used a lot in discussion, and particularly inpolitics or round the table in the pub or the canteen. People say things like "we can't control drugs so we'd better legalize them", or "if we don't make abortion legal so that people can have it donein hospital, people will die from backstreet abortions". What lies behind it is Utilitarianism: the belief that moral rules should be designed to produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number...