The Instigator
shawnburton
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
burningpuppies101
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Euthanasia in a medical setting is moral

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
burningpuppies101
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,072 times Debate No: 6189
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

shawnburton

Pro

I think that euthanasia in a medical setting can be morally justified. I'll let you start the debate.
burningpuppies101

Con

Before I begin, I would like to extend a welcome to my opponent, for this is his first debate. However, I'm not going to cut him any slack because of it.

My opponent has graciously allowed my to take the stage first, so I will comly with his request and do so. Here I go:

Basic Background on the Topic:

Euthenasia is one of the most contested topics in all ethics. Euthanasia is, as defined by Merriam Webster: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.

So basically, euthanasia is, in layman's terms, the killing of a hopelessly sick or injured person or animal in a painless(so we believe) way because we want to be merciful.

Burdens: This is an aspect of any debate that is always contested, so I will take care of it now. Because the topic asks of us a moral question, my opponent and I must be arguing to our best ability that euthanasia in a medical setting is a morally good act. My opponent will argue that it is a morally good act, and I will argue that it is a morally bad act. Whoever is better at showing it is either good or bad wins the debate. As simple as that. So if I am successful in proving that euthanasia in a medical setting is not moral, then I win the debate. If I show that it is wrong in even just one instance, I win, since I have shown that euthanasia in a medical setting is not moraly. My opponent must show how euthanasia is always moral, since not doing so would be like admitting that euthanasia might not be moral, in which case I win.

To my points:
1. Euthanasia is killing, no matter how you make it sound. Killing is always bad. We might kill because we might think we have to, but that doesn't make it right. Because killing is always immoral, euthanasia is always immoral. How do we know killing is immoral? We know killing is immoral because: a. We feel it is. Our feelings and conciensce are guides to morality. If we were to ask ourself why something is wrong, most of us would say, 'Because it feels wrong.' This of course, is assuming you don't know any moral theories to explain it. b. We are given no right to do so. If you cannot justify killing in any sense. c. Justifying killing would lead us on a path to destruction because we would be able to justify all sorts of other atrocities, due to the fact that we might think we are helping the victim.This argument is an argument that applies to all parts of this debate. However, later in this speech, I will be branching the debate into more specific areas.

2. Here is where I branch off. I'm running out of characters, so I'll be brief:
a. With consent. Euthanasia is still not moral, because we are killing. Look above for justification.
b. Without consent. Euthanasia is especially not moral, because nothing has given the killer permission to do the act. Just because he/she believes he is acting out of mercy, the victim might desir
Debate Round No. 1
shawnburton

Pro

To make this debate realistic, we should take a look at the medical settings in which such practices occur. I will speak mainly from a Canadian perspective and with reference to the laws in Canada. There are two types of euthanasia, passive and active. Passive euthanasia is legal in Canada. The common example of passive euthanasia is when someone that requires life support to survive, gets the life sustaining equipment taken away from them so that they are left to suffer until the underlying causes of their disease manages to take away their life. Active euthanasia is illegal in Canada. The most common example of this is when a terminally ill patient, such as a cancer patient asks for a lethal dose of morphine to end their suffering.

My opponent objects to any form of euthanasia, claiming that euthanasia is immoral. I believe that passive euthanasia is an immoral practice - letting someone suffer until their disease manages to take their life, when we have the option of terminating this persons suffering more quickly through the means of lethal injection. Thus, I am a proponent of active euthanasia, which is currently illegal in Canada.

Since my opponent is against euthanasia, he is saying that someone lying on their deathbed with terminal cancer should suffer out their disease until cancer cells have managed to spread its way into the vital organs to cease their function. Patients may gradually lose their ability to eat and breathe as the disease penetrates the lungs and digestive organs. Spreading of the disease to the brain may also result in cerebral damage resulting in complete mental break down and more suffrage. When chemotherapy treatments and organic diets have failed to work, and doctors have given up on the patient, and when this dying patient decides that he/she would rather take a lethal injection of morphine to end the suffering, rather than spend the following days or weeks waiting for death, my opponent says 'no you can't'. My opponent would prefer that this suffering individual remain in their deathbed for the days or weeks, however long it will take for the disease to work its way through the patients system, causing more distress and pain with each day, until finally the patient breathes their last breathe.

I think this position is completely barbaric, primitive, unjust and immoral. Certainly if one consents to the lethal injection, is destined to die in the coming weeks, and is suffering dramatically, they should have the right to opt for a route of less suffrage.

My opponent may think that it feels wrong to go through with the lethal injection process. I believe it would feel even more wrong to just leave them there to suffer when they have made it explicit that they would prefer the lethal injection to end their suffering.

In most cases killing is wrong. But euthanasia is not an act of murder. It is an altruistic act in compliance with the best wishes of the patient.
burningpuppies101

Con

So I'll just parapharase my opponent's points and post my responses.

"I believe that passive euthanasia is an immoral practice"
Thank you. I win. You have just conceded the debate to me, since you agree that euthanasia is immoral. It doesn't matter that active might be moral. You have shown yourself that passive is immoral, so I win.

"I think this position is completely barbaric, primitive, unjust and immoral"
Ok, fine. Passive euthanasia is wrong and immoral. But, you forget, you have to show that it is moral, or else you lose the debate. The topic is; Euthanasia in a medical setting is moral. You have to defend the entire thing, not just part of it. The topic is not; Active Euthanasia in a medical setting is moral. So, by extension, you have to prove all of it, not just part of it. I have to prove the following: Euthanasia in a medical setting is not moral. So if I can show that euthanasia in some form is not moral, I win. If you want the full argument, look to my first speech. You forget about this argument, so by extension, you have tried to argue only part of the resolution, not the whole thing.

"My opponent may think that it feels wrong to go through with the lethal injection process. I believe it would feel even more wrong to just leave them there to suffer when they have made it explicit that they would prefer the lethal injection to end their suffering."
So either way, it is wrong, so I win, since you agree that it feels wrong to go through with lethal injection. So since you say it yourself, I can use it. Since you agree that it is wrong for lethal injection, it is wrong, and immoral. I win.

"In most cases killing is wrong. But euthanasia is not an act of murder. It is an altruistic act in compliance with the best wishes of the patient."
The problem with saying euthanasia is not killing is because that opens the door to a whole host of problems. If euthanasia is not killing, then what is it? The peaceful taking of ones life, sometimes without the victim's consent?

~~~

Conclusion: So my opponent forgets that he has to protect the whole resolution, and he valiantly tries to prove one part of it. However, he ignores my argument that directly counters his. He ignores the fact tha euthanasia is killing, and killing immoral, so euthanasia is immoral. He tries to respond to this by making the claim that euthanasia is not killing, but this is ridiculous. If its not killing, then what is it? The exiting of life from one body, aided by the medicine of another?

Also, my opponent forgets about the cases where people kill victims, without the victim's consent. In that case, my opponent completely ignores my argument.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
shawnburton

Pro

My opponent has contorted this debate in such a way that any form of euthanasia must be justified. This debate was initially about me arguing that active euthanasia was morally just compared to passive euthanasia. Since my opponent is opposed to all forms of euthanasia, I changed the debate so that it was pro-euthanasia vs anti-euthanasia. Also, in my first post i said, 'I think that euthanasia in a medical setting CAN be morally justified'. That is, there is circumstances upon which euthanasia in a medical setting can be morally justified. In the first phrased debate, I made it clear that I was not a proponent of passive euthanasia. Thus, I believe it is conniving for my opponent to ignore that. To have a legitimate debate, it should be about me arguing that euthanasia can be morally justified, and my opponent opposing any form of it. Instead, he keeps ranting that he has won because I said I was not a proponent of passive euthanasia, something he knew before the debate started. The reason I am not a proponent of passive euthanasia, is because I believe that active euthanasia is a better choice of action. So it is not that passive euthanasia is necessarily wrong, I just believe that there is a better choice of action.

My opponent's second posting is an act of contortion, and spinning, rather than debating in a logical, sophisticated manner. For instance, he says 'It doesn't matter that active might be moral. You have shown yourself that passive is immoral, so I win'. So he is saying that active might be moral, and all I am arguing is that euthanasia can be morally just. Thus he is admitting that this might actually be true, that active might be moral. Thus, it looks like I have won.

My opponent decided what he thought I was suppose to defend without reading the initial post by me which stated that I felt that euthanasia could be morally justified in a medical setting. This does not mean that I have to defend passive euthanasia. It means that I have to show that a case could be made in favor of euthanasia. Thus, my opponent should be trying to argue against my justification not hyperactively, and redundantly claiming that he has won.

My opponent claims that I have admitted that the injection process is wrong. The point I was making is that although no one likes to see someone die, the injection process is a more moral action than letting the patient suffer. We must keep in mind that actions pertaining to morality may differ by degree. Such issues are not black and white. We cannot always say things are either good or bad. But we can say whether something is better or worse than something else. My claim is that a lethal injection stands on higher ground than letting someone suffer, thus the injection process is a more moral act. My opponent has misrepresented the debate. He should keep in mind that my justification involved the consent of the patient. He should try prove that my justification is wrong, and that suffering is better.
burningpuppies101

Con

"My opponent has contorted this debate in such a way that any form of euthanasia must be justified. "
I'll just quote this to represent that entire paragraph. I have not contorted the debate in any way. The topic we are arguing is Euthanasia in a medical setting is moral. Due to the strict wording of the topic, I took that to mean that you are arguing that euthanasia in a medical setting is always moral. I must argue that it is never moral. You tried to change the debate to Active Euthanasia in a medical setting is moral. However, if you wanted to debate that, you would have had to tell me earlier, in your first speech, not in your second speech, after I have posted my arguments. You decided to not argue in favor of passive euthanasia, saying that it is not moral. Thank you. You have argued that euthanasia is not moral. Also, I did not know you were not a proponent of passive euthanasia, as you said nothing about it in your first speech. You mentioned it only in your second speech, where it was too late. In your third speech, you now say that you think that passive euthanasia is not immoral, just that active is a better choice. Here I have a quote from your first speech; "I believe that passive euthanasia is an immoral practice" Thank you.

My second posting paragraph: Ok, you have to look at the context in which that quote was pulled. I said that while I was arguing that passive is immoral. You forget that all of my arguments directly counter all forms of euthanaisa, including active. Even with that quote, I late go on to show how active is still wrong, so really, who has won is up to the voters.

"My opponent decided..." paragraph. I did not decide what you were supposed to defend. I inferred it from the topic. You initial post only said what you believe, not what the topic is. If you wanted to argue that euthanasia can be morally justified, you should have made it your topic, not your first argument. Since I am here to argue the topic, not your beliefs, you do have to defend passive euthanasaia.

"My opponent claims..." Ok, so here you are guilty of contorting the debate. So you argue that active euthanasia is on higher moral ground than passive. Ok, I agree. However, they are both immoral, so it doesn't matter whether or not active is better than passive. You have not shown why killing someone is moral. Just because active is on higher moral ground does not justify it as a moral action. You have not said anywhere that your justification involved the consent of the patient. Please don't make stuff up in your last speech.

Conclusion: My opponent again drops all of my arguments, deciding to spend his last speech arguing with me what he is supposed to argue. He forgets that I have shown that killing is always immoral. He argues throughout his entire speech that active is better than passive. But he never shows why active or passive is moral. So he does not morally justify active, and so my argument goes. Both are immoral.

I await th
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Albion103 5 years ago
Albion103
Did you copy someone elses argument, or vise versa?
Posted by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
Well, Mangani, that claim needs proof. I feel sorry for you, and in mercy, I decide to make your life miserable. According to you, because I am doing it out of mercy, it is a good thing to do.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
"Euthanasia is, as defined by Merriam Webster: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy."
-Passive euthanasia is "permitting the death of". Active euthanasia is "killing for reasons of mercy". Both definitions oppose your view that a. killing (in this case) is wrong, and b. permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way is wrong. The key to the definition is "for reasons of mercy". Mercy and morality cannot contradict each other as they are both benign virtues. Mercy is, by virtue, moral. Being merciful cannot be immoral.
Posted by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
Mangani,

My definition of Euthanasia is killing. Look at it. I don't quite understand what you are getting at.

Also, my opponent doesn't argue how euthanasia is not killing. Because euthanasia is killing, and killing is wrong, (Which my opponent doesn't argue) I believed I won the debate. Sorry if that came across as arrogant.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
As a person who works in the medical field, and on life support equipment, I must elaborate on passive euthanasia. The most detestable act mentioned in this debate is keeping a patient alive that will eventually die. Preserving life for the sake of delaying mourning is selfish, and goes directly against the laws of nature. Before life support equipment was invented, the only choices were passive and active euthanasia- in this case I believe active is MORE merciful (and therefore moral) than passive.

An act of mercy cannot be considered immoral.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Conduct: Pro
Con showed bad form in declaring himself the winner. I believe he did attempt to manipulate the debate to fit his beliefs, but did not base this manipulation on fact.

S&G: Pro
The only issues I noticed were the incomplete sentences posted by Con at the end of two of his rounds. I know this is due to character limit, but you are given opportunities to correct this.

Arguments: Pro
Con committed a causal fallacy in implying that killing = euthanasia. His own source defines it differently than he attempts to pass it off. His entire argument was based on this, and discredited by his own definition. Pro definitely stipulated that "euthanasia 'CAN' be morally justified", and though Con jumped on Pro's mention of "passive euthanasia", passive euthanasia is not inevitable without active euthanasia, and therefore cannot be labeled immoral- something Pro did as well. Con claimed he only had to show one instance in which euthanasia was immoral to win- not only was this requirement not true, he did NOT show an instance in which euthanasia was immoral. Simply stating so does not make it so. You must show cause. On the other hand, Pro needed only show one instance in which euthanasia IS moral, and he mentioned the case where a terminally ill patient who is suffering requests to be taken out of his/her misery.

Sources: Pro
Pro cited Canadian law (though not directly), and Con's source supported Pro, not Con.

All points Pro.
Posted by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
Thank you to my opponent for suggesting such a wonderful debate. Lets do it again sometime.
Posted by shawnburton 8 years ago
shawnburton
Okay, I'll rephrase the argument.
Posted by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
would you mind if i argued the con of the topic, but not in favor of passive euthanasia or active euthanasia? As long as I show its not moral, is that ok?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Cindela 8 years ago
Cindela
shawnburtonburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
shawnburtonburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
shawnburtonburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by crazypenguin 8 years ago
crazypenguin
shawnburtonburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
shawnburtonburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07