Fiction as Forecast: Euthanasia in Alzheimer’s Disease? (IN: The Least Worst Death: Essays in Bioethics on the end of Life, by Margaret Pabst Battin)
Battin M P
In this article, the author addresses the question of whether active euthanasia should be practiced for persons with advanced dementia, specifically those with Alzheimer’s disease. In attempting to show why the question of euthanasia in Alzheimer’s is so difficult to answer, the author surveys the three most prevalent arguments for euthansia in general (those from autonomy, mercy, & justice), & shows what is problematic about each. She then addresses the principle argument against euthanasia – the slippery slope argument. Finally, she looks briefly at the question of how one can formulate social policy in such a sensitive matter as this, when background philosophical considerations do not seem to prove much help.