The Instigator
JacobAnderson
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
RossM
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Attempted Suicide Should Be A Criminal Offense.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
JacobAnderson
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,071 times Debate No: 49559
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

JacobAnderson

Pro

Round Layouts
Round 1- Opening Arguments
Rounds 1-4 Rebuttals
Round 5- Conclusion, no new arguments.

Definition of Terms (to be accepted throughout the debate unaltered)
Suicide-
The action of killing oneself intentionally.
Criminal Offense- A violation of the law
Attempted Murder- In order for a person to be guilty of attempted murder, that person should have deliberately, intentionally or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life, attempted to kill someone

RossM

Con

I accept the debate.

One question though. You gave the definition for attempted murder, so is that implying that those who try to commit suicide will be charged with attempted murder?
Debate Round No. 1
JacobAnderson

Pro

Oops 2 is Opening Arguments and 3-4 are Rebuttals.

Attempted suicide is the same concept as attempted murder.
I mentioned the definition of attempted murder not because they would be tried under attempted murder necessarily, but to prove that attempted suicide is, in term, attempted murder. By the definitions I have provided, in order for someone to be guilty of attempted murder, the murder should have been intentional. in short, suicide is intentional and is the ending of one life, and under those terms, it is murder. Thus, attempted suicide is ttempted murder.

Do I believe that the punishments should be the same as those of attempted murder? No. I say this simply because suicide is an action one does to oneself and is evidence that the individual is willing to take their life. Murder does not show that the individual is any danger to themselves, but to other people. A possible punishment would be time in a mental institution, perhaps for the same time an individual would be in jail for murder.

Attempted murder is an offense, so therefore attempted suicide should be as well.
RossM

Con

Suicide is not choosing between life and death
Suicide is not the choice between life and death, but rather the choice of the time and manner of death. If one has a right to life then they also have a right to death. A terminally ill person who is in huge amounts of pain should be able to decide whether they succumb to the illness (cancer for example), or go peacefully through the use of drugs, knowing that they have lived their lives well. In the end, it is their life and it is not the job of the government to condemn them, rather allow them to live their lives autonomously without fear of external interferences like theft causing them harm. The individual should make their final farewells to their friends and family when they decide, not the illness. These cases are different to the "normal" types, when one could be considered emotionally or mentally unstable, and it would wrong to generalise each and every case in the same way.


Society can spread the message that suicide is unacceptable without criminalising the individual
The world can spread the message that suicide is bad without actually criminalising those who attempt it. In the end, you will only be punishing the people who actually fail the act. The legislation will not deter those who wish to go through with it, and the people who aren't successful (who have already decided that the world is bad enough) aren't likely to change their opinion if they would be branded a criminal and punished (even admittance to a mental institute would be considered a bad punishment).

The law would be impractical and would not be enforcable in any world
One of the main reasons why attempted suicide was decriminalised in 1961 in the UK was because it wasn't being enforced to a sufficient extent. Around 1 million people each year die because of suicide, and many more attempt it. The amount of resources needed to enforce the law would be ridiculous, and the amount of actual cases where people would be found and sent to these mental institutes would be tiny.

Attempted suicide should not be an offence, as it is the individuals autonomous choice and is perfectly justifiable in certain situations
Debate Round No. 2
JacobAnderson

Pro

First, before anything, I would like to point out that I may have been using the wrong offense as I am confused to which is correct. I will however remeain using the word offense, spelled as such, for consistency.

"Suicide is not choosing between life and death, but rather the choice of the time and manner of death."
Suicide is both the choice between life and death and the choice of the time and manner of death. When one chooses suicide, they are choosing death over life, which is "the choice between life and death." Also, we can generalize premeditated murder as a whole as both "choosing between life and death [(of another human being)]," and "the choice of the time and manner of death," further proving that by these definitions that suicide is very similar to murder. Premeditated murder is the planning of a murder- the time is planned, the place is planned, everything is planned.

"If one has the right of life, then they also have a right to death."
This is a general statement for everyone, so I may be taking it out of context as I am only quoting a single line. But, I repeat, this is a general statement for everyone.

"The individual should make their final farewells to their friends and family when they decide, not the illness."
This statement is true for some and not true for others, though I don't see why this proves that attempted suicide should not be a criminal offense.

"Society can spread the message that suicide is unacceptable without criminalising the individual
The world can spread the message that suicide is bad without actually criminalising those who attempt it. In the end, you will only be punishing the people who actually fail the act. The legislation will not deter those who wish to go through with it, and the people who aren't successful (who have already decided that the world is bad enough) aren't likely to change their opinion if they would be branded a criminal and punished (even admittance to a mental institute would be considered a bad punishment)."
(Sorry for quoting the whole thing, but it is all necessary for my argument.) Basically, this is true, but in order for people to feel the seriousness of a situation, it is necessary for someone to become an example. This tactic is used by people like teachers who have a rambunctious class and decides to send one to the office, thus changing the behavior of others from their fear of having the same punishment. Yes, the punishments could be detrimental, but the individual needs to feel the intensity of the action they are committing if stopped. I suppose that nothing will stop them from committing suicide when they leave the institution, but with many instances in which former criminals change their lives to avoid going back to prison, this type of punishment seems fit for a crime.

"The law would be impractical and would not be enforcable in any world"
There are many laws that some people feel are impractical such as laws against something so simple as littering. However, there are still these laws to keep society in check and to keep it running smoothly with as little trouble as possible. The law would be hard to enforce, yes, but there are cases in which it can be enforced (i.e if someone calls the local police after experiencing someone attempt suicide). The punishments don't have to be a few months in a highly sercured prison. The punishments can be as simple as volunteer hours, anger management classes, medication, a night in jail, etc.

"Attempted suicide should not be an offence, as it is the individuals autonomous choice and is perfectly justifiable in certain situations"
Honestly, this argument struck me the most. This further proves my point that attempted suicide is attempted murder thus attempted suicide is equivalent to attempted murder. The murderer has the choice to kill someone, and in some cases the killing is justifiable. If someone breaks into your house, you have the right to shoot them, that is justifiable. If someone kills a family member or is threatening to har you, killing them is legally justifiable. By ending your argument with this, I feel like my argument has been strengthened.
RossM

Con

RossM forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
JacobAnderson

Pro

Wittholding all arguments until opponent returns.
RossM

Con

RossM forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
RossM

Con

RossM forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TigerTime01 1 year ago
TigerTime01
The act of suicide is no where near 'attempted murder'. Murder is the act of one human being killing another, no where in the definition does it state one killing oneself. The definition of suicide is the act of taking one's life voluntarily. Maybe the person should seek medical help but charging them with attempted murder is no where near the same thing and would be immoral and taking their rights as an independent. If the person feels the longing to take away their life they have that right. If they do not succeed in a way, then making a law stating they are required to seek medical help then would be moral, but charging them with a crime that they committed against theirselves is wrong.
Posted by RossM 2 years ago
RossM
I am sorry Jacob for my appalling conduct. I was recently in a production and didn't have any time to submit my arguments. I would love to debate with you again at some point.
Posted by Jeanine 2 years ago
Jeanine
Suicide is a cry for help an giving them a criminal record and locking them up in jail with a bunch of no good rude and crude people is not really going to help. Might I suggest counseling and a hug. They are wanting a better life why give them more to hate?
Posted by alexmiller887 2 years ago
alexmiller887
Think about the difficulties of prosecuting this... giggle.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
JacobAndersonRossMTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct- FF. Convincing arguments- pro had better points
Vote Placed by Dennybug 2 years ago
Dennybug
JacobAndersonRossMTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF