As the slope of Dutch assisted suicide appears to indeed be getting slippery, Dalrymple addresses the arguments in favor of the practice, and finds them wanting:
…if one has a right to die by another’s hand, others must have a duty to kill one; otherwise the right is a dead letter, a mere phrase. It might be, for example, that a person who wished to die could not find someone willing to kill him. Would he then be able to complain to a court that his human rights had been violated, and would the court be able then to require someone to kill him? Could a professional body such as doctors be required, on pain of disciplinary action, to kill people who were in no sense ill but merely fed up? Or would we instead have to institute a new profession, that of thanatologists, whose job it would be to kill people in compliance with their wishes…
I fear you may be misrepresenting the Dr Dalrymple’s arguments. These are against euthanasia, but don’t really address Assisted Suicide.
Dear Dr. Dalrymple,
You are correct that a right to die implies an obligation to kill, but this way of conceiving of the claimed-for rights seems tendentious.
The defender of assisted suicide need not be claiming that we all have the right to die by another’s hands or, indeed, any positive right. They could merely be claiming the negative right that where a sufferer wants to die and another freely wants to help him die, no third party has the right to prevent them from doing so or to punish the helper afterwards for doing so. This more modest right does not imply any obligation on anyone’s part to kill.