There's an elephant in the room we need to talk about. Because the Consistent Life Ethic started off in Catholicism (though you can believe in it no matter your religious or political identity), it is said to include not allowing people to have a right to assisted suicide/euthanasia. But here's the thing: The right to live and the right to die are the same right. They cannot be separated. They are two sides of the same coin. It's all about letting others control their own lives. For example, no one is against killing because they think the victim should be forced to live, it's because they understand that that is not anyone else's body or life to take. The reason we have empathy for others who are hurt or killed is because someone else decided to force death on them. So I wanted to quickly go through some reasons as to why I see not allowing people to have these basic rights is unethical and inconsistent with life issues.
Consent is key. Whenever people who are against assisted suicide argue against it, they focus on the people who were forced into it, but what they don't seem to realize is that everyone who supports it agrees with them. Everyone on each side of this issue is in agreement that it is wrong to force, pressure, and coerce people into it, or not give them compassion, support, and other options. Just as everyone is against pedophilia except pedophiles, the only people who support forcing people into it are those who are doing the forcing. People should be given all the love, compassion, support, and knowledge of options possible. But at the end of the day, if nothing is working for them, they should still have their rights.
It's torture. Assisted suicide is talked about in regards to when terminally ill patients have pain that is so extreme that hospice/palliative care and pain meds won't help them. There is a naivety with thinking, "Well you can just give them pain medication and they'll feel better, so they shouldn't have a right to assisted suicide" when the main point is that it is not possible for relieving pain, whether that be with medication or anything else, to work in 100% of cases. There are many times in which the only way pain meds will stop someone's pain is if they are in high enough doses to be lethal. And the ironic thing is that there are some people who argue against these rights but their argument will end with "it is acceptable to give them pain medication that will treat the pain even if it kills them"...but...that's assisted suicide. So sometimes they do agree with us after all, without realizing it. But anyone who says that someone shouldn't be allowed to utilize assisted suicide, therefore being forced to have to suffer extreme pain and agony as they slowly die instead of getting to choose to die quickly and painlessly, is supporting torture.
I don't think anyone except for the most evil unethical people could ever watch someone go through that torture and still say that they should not have a right to quick and painless dying. So my view has always been that those who are against these rights haven't thought about it enough to put themselves in the shoes of others. And when they argue that people shouldn't be forced to help if they don't want to, we again agree. But there are more than enough people who understand that it is literal torture to not allow people to have this right that we wouldn't need those who don't want to contribute, to contribute.
It's a form of slavery. By that I mean that it treats someone else's body and life as property to be forced to live as others see fit. It takes away someone's rights to their own self, and objectifies them. To get to make your own choices for your own life and how you will live it is the most basic of principles, but those who are against the right to consent to assisted suicide/euthanasia take a stand against this owning of your own life. It is so fundamentally against every other aspect of these people's beliefs that it's truly bizarre. This is something we would expect corrupt rogue military personnel who have caught prisoners of war and want to make them suffer to believe in, not those who believe in a consistent life ethic. To be stuck in a hospital bed in pain because everyone around you thinks that it is necessary for you to not get to choose how you will die can make someone feel hopeless and like a kidnap victim. People have cried out for mercy and their cries aren't listened to because society wants to act like somehow the pain meds they are already being given will help so they should just shut up and give up the will of their lives to others. But these are human beings, not objects.
It's inherently ableist. Those of us who have disabilities are often treated as second class citizens by those who are against these rights, by them advocating for our agency to be taken away. If your answer to the pain of those with disabilities is to say that we do not get to have the right to assisted suicide/euthanasia, all you're doing is dehumanizing us. It goes hand in hand with the ableist idea that anyone who has suicidal ideation must be "not of sound mind." Which is a really easy way to "other" people and not see us as full humans with our own thoughts and outlooks on life, as if everyone has to have the exact same view of their own life as them or else they are "defective" and shouldn't be listened to.
The idea that we shouldn't allow *those who consent* to something to have the right to consent to it because *others* are forced/coerced/pressured into it makes no sense. It would mean that we have to illegalize sex because people are often forced into it through rape. Opponents of these equal rights often use the slippery slope fallacy as a way to justify taking away rights to those who *do* consent to it. But we can never take away rights from others just because some are being forced into something. The solution to that is to get to the root problem and fight the forcing of it, not fight the consenting to it. If all of the people who were against others consenting to it spent all the energy they use to make sure no one gets to have that right, fighting to make sure no one is pressured into it instead, it wouldn't be an issue.