Euthanasia: Should the right to die be granted?
I reckon there have been many debates about this topic. So it should be easier to get free arguments.
1) Semantics allowed
2) Pro advocates euthanasia should be granted, Con stand against granting
3) 5 rounds
2. each debater presents his arguments
4)72 hours time to argue
5) 8000 characters
6)Winner is determined by quality, development, forming of arguments; semantics etc.
Good luck and I am looking forward to thrilling debate
I accept and look forward to an extremely interesting debate.
I'd like to thank my opponent for devil's advocating this debate for my sake.
I await his opening argument...
At the beginning, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting. I wanted to be Pro but purpose why I debate here is to obtain some experience in English language. I will endeavour to not give any chance for my opponent.
I'll start with defining term "Euthanasia" to ward off any semantics.
(Euthanasia) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
I hope I've defined the term correctly and now we can move on my arguments:
1.) There is always a hope
It sounds weird but every time even in our darkest hours we have still some hope and there is some possibility for recovery. Many patients are kept in coma without any chance to recovery. However, medicine is still developing and as times go on and on we can reach point where those patients depending on machines will get therapy enough to cure them. In general, people shouldn't give up their life by no means despite gloomy insoluble situations.
2.) Doctors swear a oath
Before a student of medicine become a physician, he swears a Hippocratic oath. They are swearing "to practice medicine ethically and honestly". In case, you are curious what exactly this oath includes, I refer you to wikipedia or other sites which you can Google. This oath confronts problem of Euthanasia. As I said at the beginning, "Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering". Despite there are words like relieving from suffering, it's deliberate action. And doctors sworn against doing this. Hence, it's action which are they not obliged to do. From that we can deduce that doctors are here to enhance level of health care and to give hopes to people suffering serious illnesses.
The most grieving cases of health problems are people who are utterly cut off reality. They are in coma and can't communicate with world by no way. The Relatives are those who decide to go under Euthanasia. Therefore there is no opportunity for patients to express their opinions on that case. This leaves doubts on this case. Do they really want to die? Or do they want to strive for every chance offered? This interventions are being done without permission of patients thus Euthanasia shouldn't be allowed.
4.) It does not guarantee a "good death"
Some researches in Holland showed that "approximately 10% of the former and 30% of the latter forms of attempted ?mercy killings' investigated by the authors were complicated by untoward problems". The author of mentioned source goes on about symptoms that they vomit and fits. This gives more complications and it includes risks and nice and smooth progress for patients. In the end, they might rather prefer to stay in "unknown world".
5.) Euthanasia restrain further development of health care
As wars showed us, killing people is much easier than upbringing of children, than nursing people. Euthanasia is another step toward death. This shouldn't be conceded. Euthanasia reduce potential interest in donating into this field of health care. Keeping people alive on machines require money for nurses and machine maintenance. Is it expensive deal to keep people alive, and is understandable that people want to spare money. On the other hand, science is still going forward and forward and once people will be able to solve this problem. It is matter of money and once Euthanasia is granted, there won't be any interest into donating into it because case is solved.
I've written down all my arguments which came to my mind. Euthanasia is really hard question and it is hard to determinate whether to kill or struggle for one's life. I stand for keeping them alive. I hope there will be some cure which will move Euthanasia away and safe and improve life of many people waiting and hoping for normal life.
Thank you Con for leaving religion out of the debate, I hope it stays that way.
>> Rebuttals <<
→ 1) Con's initial point can be summarised as miracle cures are possible and therefore killing yourself is hasty. This is obviously a fair comment but if we really consider the likelihood of this happening in the very short remainder of the patients life then it is essentially redundant. The most commonly accepted definition of “terminal” when used in the context of an illness is six months (1), however doctors usually overestimate the time a patient has left (2) so really a figure like four months would be more accurate. Now let's consider miracle cures, and I mean real miracles cures, as they would have to be to push the disease back from a terminal level. I think we can both agree that such cures appearing on the market are astronomically rare, then apply the chances of such a cure appearing in the last few months of a patients life and being readily available to him. A hope of such an occurrence really is a little far-fetched, but still, I'm sure it is possible and I accept that it may be a reason for a patient to choose holding out until the very end. This is fine as it is their choice, but it would be incredibly unfair to restrict absolutely everyone from euthanasia simply because a few wish to hold out on an event that has only a minuscule chance of happening. This is an argument that may be valid to someone who's considering euthanasia but it certainly is not an argument adequate for making the entire process illegal.
→ 2) Con's second point is that euthanasia is a violation of the Hippocratic oath of the doctor who performs it. The part he is referring to, “do no harm,” has a very subjective meaning. For example, does “do no harm” literally mean do not hurt somebody? Doctors perform many operations which technically “do harm,” any form of surgery involves cutting the skin, inserting objects, stitching the patient back etc. If a doctor did these things when the patient was awake and not under anaesthetic, he would've caused the patient intense pain. But the definition of harm obviously doesn't extend to things which are done for the greater good of the patient. This example of doing something for the greater good can similarly be applied to euthanasia when the patient is under intense pain and putting him out of this pain certainly couldn't be filed under “harm.” In fact, in such hopeless circumstances it could be argued that harm is being done by passively watching someone suffer. I won't argue for this perspective but you can see what I mean.
→ 3) Con argues that some may not know what they're doing when euthanasia is applied or may be in a coma. This is a fairly common and easily refutable argument. Locations which allow euthanasia always have laws in place, which only when met, may euthanasia be granted. An example of this is the state of Oregon in the US:
Such laws are put in place precisely to prevent unaware people from entering into euthanasia. Pulling the plug on a coma patient is an irrelevant subject for another debate as a coma patient could never meet the rules associated with euthanasia, such as those above.
→ 4) These statistics are unsurprising, there will always be unforeseen problems which will arise but this is certainly not grounds for making euthanasia illegal. Patients undergo euthanasia to relieve themselves of intense pain and if they encounter a little discomfort on the way then it would surely be a fair trade off. People may experience side effects from surgery but it's seen as a small price to pay in comparison, the same logic works with euthanasia. A responsible adult will give their consent to something which may have minor side effects according to their own judgement, if the risk of vomiting is too much then they will not agree to euthanasia.
→ 5) I don't really understand Con's bizarre point here. I'm going to leave it and hopefully he can present it a little more clearly next round.
>> My Case <<
→ 1) People Have a Right To Die
Everyone has a right to do with their body what they wish, it is your body and therefore it should be your prerogative. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes how “Everyone has the right to life (4),” dying is of course an inescapable and inevitable part of life as it happens to everybody. People have to go through it whether they like it or not so surely they have a right to go through it their way. People lengthen their lives in order to have an enjoyable future, why shouldn't people be able to shorten theirs to avoid a painful future, they should be able to die when they wish to die in the way they want to die. It is legal to commit conventional suicide and the only difference between that and euthanasia is that euthanasia helps the patient to die in a pleasant and dignified way, with as little pain as possible.
→ 2) Death Isn't Necessarily A Bad Thing
Many people make a comparison between death and the time before you were born, the time before you were born doesn't scare you so why should death? The primary reason people do not want to die is so they can continue living their lives and having experiences. Terminally ill patients are dying anyway and all you'd be doing is speeding up an inevitable process to lessen pain. If the patient wants this then who has the right to deny him it? It is his life to lose after all.
I am happy I didn't put religion into this. I hope I won't break it. Thing, I want to point out is that Con didn't follow rules. Rule 3) says that debaters bring own arguments. However, I will react on both his rebuttals and his arguments.
1)I disagree I stated that there is any miracle cure which prevents from euthanasia. I said, "medicine is still developing and as times go on and on we can reach point where those patients depending on machines will get therapy". That means in far or early future there is possibility for recovery. Nevertheless, I believe there will be some cure to avoid this infinite deadlock of patients. Logically, we can infer that granting Euthanasia is temporary action. As we both agreed on that holding out Euthanasia until the very end. I understand "very end" as death. Then we both agreed on not granting Euthanasia on the point that cure will be invented in future and Euthanasia is just temporary action. As for the last sentence, making it granted depends mainly on the needs of patients and that's the reason for making it either illegal or legal.
2)I agree that Hippocratic oath includes "do not harm" but my opponent skipped, intentionally, the most important passage "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked,". And this is undoubtedly the most important part of this oath in terms of Euthanasia. Physicians thus can't take any part in euthanasia process - they couldn't carry this out. Since facility and personnel belongs to hospital, it is impossible to do it here.
3)I have to say that this argument surprised me. But if they allowed it in the Netherlands and in Oregon it doesn't certainly means that it should be allowed in general. I must point out few things which includes source which Pro provided. I will bring each point and put some commentary to that, "One survey showed that 45% of patients who were given good palliative care changed their mind about euthanasia". Palliative cure is alternative for patients. In general, 45% is high number and it certainly proves that despite patients decide to go under euthanasia they still have doubts. Another point, "Another reason for the low take-up was the difficulty of finding a doctor who go along with the request: The Oregon Health Division reported that only a fifth of physicians of control patients dying of similar terminal illnesses would have prescribed a lethal medication if asked". This statement actually follows my argument number 2 that many Physicians decide not to breach "Hyppocratic oath". And this still proves that Physicians stand against Euthanasia.
4) There is big difference between "classical" surgery and Euthanasia. Euthanasia doesn't mean to heal oneself. Patients undergo surgery's to get rid of some diseases but in terms of euthanasia patients don't intend to aggravate their health. I am sure they all know that going to die is not nice choice as I brought above. Many patients changed their mind after they had been given palliative care. And they don't anticipate any painful death.
5)The thing which I want to point out is that Euthanasia brings particular condition under patient is into field of indifference toward donating money into cure . It reduce potential funds into palliative cure. I hope it is more clear. In general, Euthanasia simply diminish amount of many giving into cure because simply the problem is solved.
1)Yes, you are right that everybody has their right to do with they body whatever they want. But nobody can help them to death, neither Physicians. None can provide them pills to die, then it is breach of law. The article which Pro mentioned says only "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.". There is nothing mentioned about killing themselves. I'll refer what says Netherlands' law about Euthanasia:
"(Euthanasia's) termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient". And because none can help somebody to die. It is breaking a law to help somebody to die.
2) Pro gets deeper into Philosophy. First of all, how could somebody be scared of birth when birth is first thing they experienced before they could even talk. Everyone is scared of death in many ways. Because of the pain they experience when they die, because they won't longer meet their relatives and so on. The reason why not to do I presented above - because there is hope and also because none can help them to death. I am sure nobody wants to speed up being death, everyone wants to live forever. Even now there are some cures how to avoid pain like palliative care or painkillers.
I apologise if my first post was a little rushed, I had a lot of school work to do.
>> Rebuttals <<
>> My Case <<
I thank my opponent for answering and keeping this debate still active. It's pleasure for me to debate with him.
1. For this case, we don't understand each other. I reacted on Pro's assertion, "miracle cures are possible and therefore killing yourself is hasty". I haven't stated this utterance in my first argument. Main point I wanted to imply was that there is no reason to execute Euthanasia because there is always minuscule chance to get proper cure or there are alternative (palliative, in particular) cures which can help patients. I highly disagree that you rebutted this argument by stating that possibility of developing a cure is small, it depend on type of disease patient suffer. The way, Pro approach to this case is not objective. Saying that you can't imagine something happening is your view on this point. As times go on, many diseases will be less dangerous as they are now. On the beginning of 20th century none knew about Penicillin until Alexander Fleming came with it. This step changed a medicine completely. There is nothing impeding future development of curing people with terminal diseases. Since there is development of cures against terminal diseases, so certainly there will be medicine for each disease or process which will diminish the pain. Thus there will be no need to execute Euthanasia. In case there won't be any any need for Euthanasia, there is no need to sanction it now.
2. Every new government, every president gives a Oath as well as doctors do. It's not law, of course. This is moral problem; if you promise something, you usually try to keep it. If it was breached, why would this oath be given? That's the first point. Regarding your extract from the beginning of this oath "I swear by Appollo...", none doubts there will be something else, when it is called "Hippocratic oath". So this argument is completely invalid. It doesn't have any influence on the oath. Considering the second extract "I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy", it's true that abortions are allowed but they are restricted by many criteria. In general, abortion can't be carried out after 24 weeks of pregnancy or 2 doctors must agree that it is safe for the mother. After 24 weeks of pregnancy the abortion can be carried out only if under certain circumstances such as: "if it is necessary to save the woman's life" or "to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman", thus it can't be compare to Euthanasia because it prevents from potential problems.
3. Pro starts with completely erroneous argument. Pro brought incorrect arguments. Oregon doesn't allow Euthanasia - it's called assisted suicide, : "It differs to euthanasia where another person ends the life". Only countries which allowed Euthanasia are: The Netherlands, Belgium. Thus arguing that you "provided the Oregon euthanasia regulations" is pointless because Oregon hasn't allowed Euthanasia, it's called "assisted suicide.
For the rest of the arguments I am glad that we came to agreement. I am happy that Pro agrees on the point that Palliative care is better than Euthanasia. I hope it will develop and someday patients won't need to just consider the Euthanasia as the option. However there is still possibility to choose for euthanasia but only in Belgium and in Holland.
I approve that it's said that physicians have to under such as sorrowful action such as abortion and Euthanasia. However, abortion is allowed because of the potential problems when it comes to birth. Euthanasia, on the other hand, doesn't hide any detrimental problems for anyone, just for the patient. It's true, that abortion is included into Hippocratic oath but it's limited by the age of pregnancy.
4. I am going to maintain on my first argument. Euthanasia doesn't actually "relieve" from pain. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy promise a solution of problem. People undergo this process to get rid of crucial illness like cancer is. Many times the process of Euthanasia hurts more than the process of waiting for death. That's the reason why it shouldn't be granted because the process may have unpredictable results which cause might cause more pain than waiting for death.
5. I am talking about the palliative care and cure for terminal diseases as general. It's logical, that if 45% people decided for Euthanasia change their mind to go back to palliative care then is correct that money goes there. For the argument of premature death. It is always considered as problem. Hence there are money going into researches, new medical cures still developing and so on. Premature problems are bad and everyone deserves to live long and productive life.
1. I agree and approve that it is not breach of law to assist suicide in certain countries (Netherlands, Luxembourg, Albania etc.). However, in other countries it's even illegal! I'll cite wikipedia: "In many jurisdictions it is a crime to assist others, directly or indirectly, in taking their own lives. In some jurisdictions, it is also illegal to encourage them to do so. Sometimes an exception applies for physician assisted suicide (PAS), under strict conditions." Therefore, even physicians could be judged because they allowed someone to commit suicide. If patient wishes to commit suicide, physician is obliged to not allow it because law says even indirect assist. Only exception applies on countries where assisted suicide is allowed. We can infer, that if you want to apply your right to commit suicide, physicians can't take part in any action including this. From this reason Euthanasia as process involving physicians, can't be allowed.
2. As I said, we don't know what is life beyond. Personally, I think there is nothing - simply nothing; no emotions, no feelings. Thus dying is like ending in something where you doesn't feel anything, where you can find the rest from pain. But from this view of point we can't find anything to debate. It's not proved. Usually people don't want to die due to pain but because of the painkillers they have to take every day. This problem is controversial because we don't know what will happen after death. Will you born again? Then yes, I would agree to grant Euthanasia. However, there is nothing proved. It's question and hence Pro's argument is based on bad evidence.
You don't need to sorry for breaking the rules. Just we need to argument a little more and to work little more. If you didn't that, we would had more space for arguments in round 5, that's all:).
>> Rebuttals <<
>> My Case <<
Firstly, I choose this debate just to exercise my English. So I didn't care about position whether to be con or pro. However,I identified with Pro because I think Euthanasia should be allowed (I hope this text is beyond judging xD). Thus being Pro seemed to me easier. But on the other hand Con is more exciting of course:).
Thank you very much and see you:).
Ahh well thank you too Con, I enjoyed the debate.
Also, thanks for devils advocating for me, and good luck in all future endeavours.
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