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Euthanasia (assisted suicide) should be legalised.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 752 times Debate No: 36887
Debate Rounds (4)
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First round 'initiation'.
This debate is on the topic of euthanasia, also called 'assisted suicide'. It is the killing of someone with their permission, usually due to pain or distress the person committing suicide has to undergo daily.
I wish for a good and enjoyable debate!


The legalization of euthanasia would be the first step to legalizing homicide. There is no pain great enough to allow for euthanasia. Obviously if someone is in pain or depression they will not think clearly about the value of life. Several icons in America such as Oprah, Matthew McConaughey, and John Adams all went through a period in their life where they had a major depression disorder up to the point of wanting death. If euthanasia was legal, we would of never had these great men/women. Also, from the perspective of the person who helps kill his friend. That could easily be a traumatic experience for them to endure for the rest of their life. The death of their friend, in their hands.
Debate Round No. 1


We aren't legalising homicide, we are letting people choose to die when they are unable to. Oprah (and most likely the other two, I don't know who they are) would have been able to commit suicide whether or not euthanasia was legal, she could have easily thrown herself in front of a train, jumped off a bridge or taken an overdose. Euthanasia needs to be there for people who are unable to commit suicide. So, even if euthanasia was legal, we would still have Oprah and other icons.

In 2005, Tony Nicklinson from Wiltshire suffered a stroke at the age of 51. Consequently, he suffered from locked-in syndrome and was unable to talk, walk, move his arms and he had absolutely no independence. He lived a life of absolute misery. His wife would have done anything to help him painlessly put an end to his misery but because of laws banning assisted suicide in the United Kingdom, she could do nothing. Mr Nicklinson's only choice was to starve himself. After refusing food for one week, Tony passed away; but this week of intense pain he endured could have been stopped if euthanasia was legal. Tony would have committed suicide either way, the British government forced him to do it in a most painful and horrible way.

People who want to commit suicide will usually find a way to do it; by legalising euthanasia we can make it a better path for them all.

I understand what you're saying about potential trauma for the person who assisted with the suicide but we can take measures to ensure they are not pushed into it and are perfectly comfortable with doing it. But imagine how traumatic it must have been for Tony's wife, having to watch her husband endure the worst pain every day of his life and watch him waste away as he took a difficult but the only path to an end to misery.


I'm not going to argue that point, though I could, I actually meant to argue attempting suicide, which we can both agree on.

The case of Tony Nicklinson is definitely a sad one, however, it was not a necessity for him to die. Stephen Hawking, like Tony Nicklinson is confined to wheelchair, however he overcomes it, and continues to be one of the greatest scientists of the era. Obviously Mr. Nicklinson would have to of been struggling from some sort of depression after the traumatic event, it is only natural. Killing him would end his potential. Also, new therapies, medicines, and techniques are being invented everyday which could of helped him greatly. He did not need death, he wanted it. He FELT as if it was impossible; he FELT as if it was unbearable; he FELT as if there was no hope, but there was, and it was ended. Those who overcome are always happy they did.

Euthanasia and Suicide are closely related topics. You can have suicide without help, but in order for assisted suicide to occur, you have to allow them to kill you, which is ultimately just another form of suicide. However, in cases where they cannot communicate with you in anyway: let's say a family decides it's time for a rich family member who's been in a coma to die in order to inherit money for their own benefit. - Very Flawed.

In cases where it is their choice to allow someone to kill them (practical suicide): definitely opens the door to suicide. Mass Euthanasia and Attempted Suicide would occur, because it is now legal. The law makes people think about suicide before it occurs, removing it would make suicide easier. Not only that, but faked suicides would be easier to make. Murders would obviously be easier to make if they claim it was an "assisted suicide". Perfect opportunity for criminals.

Suicide has devastating effects on family members, can tear them apart, and they will never be the same. It can be a very selfish act.

By the way, I would love to hear, what method would make killing your grandfather (or some other relative) "PERFECTLY comfortable" for you? Assuming you would never feel any remorse.
Debate Round No. 2


You talk about Tony reaching his potential, but what potential has he got?! I mean no offence, but he is not a scientist, he cannot be an office worker or a doctor. He can do nothing for the rest of his life but feel guilty for sponging off his wife. And yes, of course Tony would suffer depression after his event, but the stroke occurred in 2005 and he waited 7 years with still no hope and no chance of doing anything more with his life; he was a businessman, he couldn't have continued with his profession whilst suffering from locked in syndrome. You say Tony didn't have to die, but he didn't have to live either. It should be up to him to choose whether or not he lives or dies, to go through that misery or to put a stop to it.
His message to us was: 'Goodbye world, the time has come, I had some fun.' He had obviously thought long and hard before going through with what he did, but having to endure even more pain for 1 week whilst suffering from pneumonia dent my pride in being British, to know that my government did that to one of our own and stripped him of his dignity. It is truly disgusting.

Bringing up the problem of disguised murder, you continue to oppose euthanasia. But euthanasia is not one family member killing another. If you were to legalise it, a similar system would be used as in Switzerland. You take your family member to the clinic, they make 100% sure this is what they want and then either an injection is administered or a drink is taken and then they slowly and painlessly pass away. The family member does not actually perform the suicide. Murder would be practically impossible, there isn't a DIY option, only clinics to do the service for you.

My method to help my grandfather? Taking him to Switzerland, paying for the taxi to the clinic and comforting him during his last moments. Surely THAT is more peaceful, more dignified and more desirable than watching him waste away as he refuses food or medical treatment.


He has the potential hope for an advance in science. Stephen Hawking continues to learn new things to make his career successful, not everything he talks about he knew before he was diagnosed with ASL. Obviously Tony has the ability to learn, or to at least write a book. He could of began to take a more positive perspective on life instead of looking at his life cynically. There are those who sympathize with him who have turned it around.

The family however, are knowingly taking him to the place where he WILL die. They have to live with that.

Honestly, the tragedy of Tony is one of the more extreme cases. However, the legalization of Euthanasia is a LOT broader than that.

If you were to have a baby, and then as it grows up, you learn it is a special needs child, and IF euthanasia were legal, then you would be able to kill that child so that it wouldn't have to "endure" such a life. They would have that choice taken from them, and special needs children are no less of people than we are. You have to understand that euthanasia gives the family members and doctors more power over the life of someone who hasn't the ability to choose.

There is also no proper way to perform Euthanasia.

Perhaps there may be a way to help only those with the most abnormally extreme cases in the future (such as Tony), since he was beginning to be in pain, but the legalization of Euthanasia as a whole is an absolutely horrible idea.
Debate Round No. 3


ASL and locked-in syndrome are very different. Hawking was able to prepare himself before the more severe symptoms of motor neurone disease kicked in. Tony had a stroke and was incapacitated immediately afterwards. He couldn't write a book on his own, he would constantly need someone there to write it for him, all of his independence, what it means to be a human was just taken away from him so violently, he had every single right to die.

The family are now having to live with the fact that Tony starved himself to death whilst suffering from pneumonia and locked-in-syndrome. Imagine your mother, father, brother or sister doing that. Imagine what it must be like going to bed at night knowing that when you wake up they will have had 12 hours of loneliness on top of all that pain they endured through the night. It would be absolutely awful. You would much rather they were taken to a clinic and had a painless, dignified, gentle death. Isn't that so much nicer?

Not even the Republicans would be stupid enough to legalise euthanasia of children because they have special needs. Euthanasia will be HEAVILY regulated, it works in Switzerland. And children under the age of 15 wouldn't be allowed to be euthanised, as in Switzerland. We're not allowing doctors and parents, husbands, wives, sons and daughters to just go an pull the plug on their rich relatives. We are giving people in pain, both physically and mentally, the chance to end their ordeal.

If you award some people the right to die, you have to award it to everyone else, too.

It isn't fair to say that families will euthanise rich grandparents to get their inheritance, what kind of people do you think we are? Usually, when they get married, men and women will choose when they want life support equipment to be turned off. Most people don't want to live through locked-in-syndrome, so will choose to die if that is an option. The system works in Switzerland, there is no reason why it can't work in the UK and (by the looks of how you spell 'legalise') in North America.

Thank you very much for an enjoyable debate!


PessimisticallyOptimistic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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