The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Assisted Suicide

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 439 times Debate No: 94791
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)




Round 1-accepting
Round 2-debate
Round 3-rebuttal
Round 4-rebuttal

No new points in the last round.
No plagiarism.
Source your information if you can.

I am for assisted suicide. My opponent is against assisted suicide.



I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. Just a quick note to the readers and voters that this debate is for the DDO Olympics hosted by bsh1.

Full Resolution

Resolved: That physician assisted suicide should be legalized.

Good luck and may the best arguments win.
Debate Round No. 1


I am sorry. I cannot continue with the Olympics becuase of business. I automatically forfeit which is the equivalent of losing and therefore you shall go on. Please relay this message if my other opponent asks. Honestly though, there's no good arguments for assisted suicide other than the moral argument.


Thank you for your concession. I'm still going to present my opening arguments anyway, mostly to save them for another debate.

==Opening Arguments==

I would like to thank my opponent for providing his opening arguments. As a pre-med student, this is one issue that I care very deeply about. I am strongly opposed to any form of PAS or euthanasia. I’m looking forward to an excellent exchange.


This debate centers around PAS/Euthanasia. We need to understand that the two are not mutually exclusive and they are not synonyms for each other. Although the end goal is the same (death), the procedure is much different. Euthanasia is usually defined as an intentional act undertaken by the physician that intentionally ends the life of a person at his/her request. PAS, on the other hand, a person self-administers a lethal substance provided by the physician (1).

Although these differences appear to be moot and non-consequential, they both have a differing set of ethical questions. For purposes of this particular debate, however, it appears that both of them are being treated as synonyms. Therefore, pro will have to show that both PAS and euthanasia should be legalized. I will, however, attempt to negate the resolution by showing that both PAS and euthanasia should not be legalized under any circumstances.


My framework will be centered around medical ethics and the harms that legalizing PAS or euthanasia will cause to the medical profession. Legalizing PAS or euthanasia would greatly harm the medical profession and violates the rights and dignity of patients.

Corruption of Medicine

Legalized PAS would forever change the culture and purpose in which medicine is practiced. Legalization of PAS would corrupt medicine by permitting the tools of healing to be used for killing. Furthermore, it distorts the physician-patient relationship, and could eventually lead to forced euthanasia. Finally, the risks of misdiagnosis among terminally ill patients are far too great to allow a physician to determine who should live and who should die.

The bedrock to medical ethics is the Hippocratic Oath (more on this in the next round) which states: “I will keep [the sick] from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anyone who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” (2) This is the foundation of medicine. As doctors, we have the responsibility to treat our patients and stay on the side of life. Legalizing PAS would greatly undermine the first roll that a doctor has.


PAS is seen as a merciful way out for the terminally ill. Under current law in Oregon and other places, the terminally ill can request PAS if they have been given less than 6 months to live. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis among the terminally ill is not uncommon. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical errors, when added up, may be the third leading cause of death (3).

Joseph Perkins asks, “How many of those patients, depressed by the prospect of imminent death, might ask a doctor to prescribe them lethal medication so that they can end their lives, as euthanasia proponents euphemistically put it, ‘on their own terms’?” (4)

Distorting the Physician-Patient Relationship

As noted by Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, PhD.: “PAS changes the culture in which medicine is practiced. It corrupts the profession of medicine by permitting the tools of healing to be used as techniques for killing. By the same token, PAS threatens to fundamentally distort the doctor–patient relationship because it reduces patients’ trust of doctors and doctors’ undivided commitment to the life and health of their patients.” (5)

The Duty to Die

When does the right to die become the duty to die?

Although the laws put safeguards in place to prevent forced PAS, no guarantee is made that it won’t occur and the safeguards are woefully inefficient. Because it is cheaper to kill a patient rather than treat one, insurance companies will be incentivized to cover medication of PAS rather than keep them covered long-term. This happened in 2008 to Barbra Wagner as CNN reports:

“In 2008, came the story that Barbara Wagner, a Springfield, Oregon, woman diagnosed with lung cancer and prescribed a chemotherapy drug by her personal physician, had reportedly received a letter from the Oregon Health Plan stating that her chemotherapy treatment would not be covered. She said she was told that instead, they would pay for, among other things, her assisted suicide.” (7)

The slippery slope is real and quite alarming.

J. Pereria et al. noted that In Belgium, non-voluntary euthanasia (that is, without explicit consent of the patient) is 3 times higher than the Netherlands and accounts for more than 1% of all euthanasia. Their study concluded:

“In 30 years, the Netherlands has moved from euthanasia of people who are terminally ill, to euthanasia of those who are chronically ill; from euthanasia for physical illness, to euthanasia for mental illness; from euthanasia for mental illness, to euthanasia for psychological distress or mental suffering—and now to euthanasia simply if a person is over the age of 70 and “tired of living.” Dutch euthanasia protocols have also moved from conscious patients providing explicit consent, to unconscious patients unable to provide consent. Denying euthanasia or pas in the Netherlands is now considered a form of discrimination against people with chronic illness, whether the illness be physical or psychological, because those people will be forced to “suffer” longer than those who are terminally ill. Non-voluntary euthanasia is now being justified by appealing to the social duty of citizens and the ethical pillar of beneficence.” (7)

This is certainly undesirable and has no place in medicine.


The great harm that it would cause to the medical profession cannot be overstated. Doctors must remain on the side of life and actively work to preserve life, not take it away. Moreover, the risk of misdiagnosis is far too great to risk terminating life prematurely. Instead of encouraging death, we must work to improve end-of-life care.

The resolution is soundly negated.

7. Pereira, J. “Legalizing Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide: The Illusion of Safeguards and Controls.” Current Oncology 18.2 (2011): e38–e45. Print.

Debate Round No. 2


Good points. Here's one of mine even though I'm forfeiting. If the oath is to swearing to heal people, what if the only healing can be death? What if the person has the disease Stephen Hawking has? The definition of healing includes the word sound. Sound includes not damaged injured or diseased. Killing them makes them sound, therefore healing them. Doesn't that contradict the other part of the oath?


Extend. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by fire_wings 2 months ago
Panda's probably going to forfeit.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 months ago
Can we please get the debate done ASAP? I'd hate for one of us to forfeit and have the debate in limbo.
Posted by fire_wings 2 months ago
lame :(
Posted by ThinkBig 2 months ago
4 hours left
Posted by malalo75 2 months ago
I disagree. If the person committing suicide is participating in the act, it is still suicide.
Murder is actually done with malice and premeditation, and done without consent of the person whose life is terminatd.
However there would be a ton of grey areas. Like someone committing murder but saying the victim told him to shoot, so it would be assisted suicide.
I think assisted suicide should be legal but within very very strict circumstances.
Posted by TheBenC 2 months ago
The whole concept of assisted suicide is wrong. Suicide is when people kill themselves. That means there is no outside influence. If someone helps a man kill himself, that person is a murderer. Suicide is a one man operation. The moment a second man gets involved it is no longer suicide.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the debate, so Conduct to Con.