Hadley Arkes, Ney Professor of Jurisprudence at Amherst College and a contributor to The Meaning of Marriage, among other Spence books, responds to the recent Supreme Court decision on assisted suicide in Oregon:
The aversion to self-killing or self-murder, the enduring concern about doctors using their powers to end life—all of that is simply diminished now as “one reasonable understanding of medical practice,” no more right or wrong than anything else. To incorporate that understanding at the top of the State, in the national government, is to do nothing less than to erode the conviction that has firmed up the laws for the protection of life at the center and the periphery in this country. If the assistance of suicide is regarded as just another “reasonable understanding of medical practice,” why should that view of things not begin to seep into parts of the federal establishment? Why should it not come to affect the understandings that prevail in military hospitals or in divisions of the National Institutes of Health?
Read more (second item).