Euthanasia is Ethical
Debate Rounds (5)
Although today's main argument will be about " Voluntary Euthanasia"
Euthanasia- (from the Greek: εὐθανασία meaning "good death", eu (well or good), thanatos (death)) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
Ethicality- in accordance with principles of conduct that are considered correct, esp those of a given profession or group.
Voluntary- proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent
Like other terms borrowed from history, "euthanasia" has had different meanings depending on usage. The first apparent usage of the term "euthanasia" belongs to the historian Suetonius who described how the Emperor Augustus, "dying quickly and without suffering in the arms of his wife, Livia, experienced the 'euthanasia' he had wished for. "The word "euthanasia" was first used in a medical context by Francis Bacon in the 17th century, to refer to an easy, painless, happy death, during which it was a "physician's responsibility to alleviate the 'physical sufferings' of the body." Bacon referred to an "outward euthanasia""the term "outward" he used to distinguish from a spiritual concept"the euthanasia "which regards the preparation of the soul."
Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S. per Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana
Premises of Debate:
Round 1- Acceptance
Round 2- Presentation of Main Argument
Round 3 & 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusions
"Let the games begin!" ;D
I will be utilizing the definitions offered by Pro, and I will be supplying some additional definitions as I see fit.
Besides, given the gravity of the situations and the seriousness of the topic, I am apt to discuss this ethical problem under the general circumstances. (i.e., by introducing quintessential cases to defend my positions)
May both of us enjoy this debate, and let us begin.
Living wills can be used to refuse extraordinary, life-prolonging care and are effective in providing clear and convincing evidence that may be necessary under state statutes to refuse care after one becomes terminally ill.
A recent Pennsylvania case shows the power a living will can have. In that case, a Bucks County man was not given a feeding tube, even though his wife requested he receive one, because his living will, executed seven years prior, clearly stated that he did 'not want tube feeding or any other artificial invasive form of nutrition.
The Right to Die-
The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. In particular, this Court's recent decisions concerning the right to refuse medical treatment and the right to abortion instruct that a mentally competent, terminally ill person has a protected liberty interest in choosing to end intolerable suffering by bringing about his or her own death.
Patient Suffering at End-of-Life-
At the Hemlock Society calls are received daily from desperate people who are looking for someone like Jack Kevorkian to end their lives which have lost all quality... Americans should enjoy a right guaranteed in the European Declaration of Human Rights -- the right not to be forced to suffer. It should be considered as much of a crime to make someone live who with justification does not wish to continue as it is to take life without consent.
Government Involvement in End-of-Life Decisions-
We'll all die. But in an age of increased longevity and medical advances, death can be suspended, sometimes indefinitely, and no longer slips in according to its own immutable timetable.
So, for both patients and their loved ones, real decisions are demanded: When do we stop doing all that we can do? When do we withhold which therapies and allow nature to take its course? When are we, through our own indecision and fears of mortality, allowing wondrous medical methods to perversely prolong the dying rather than the living?
These intensely personal and socially expensive decisions should not be left to governments, judges or legislators better attuned to highway funding.
Euthanasia is defined by Webster" Dictionary as the killing of a person with the intent to end suffering. It encompasses two categories, active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is when doctors and family members decide to actively kill to end suffering whereas Passive euthanasia allows the suffering person die by withholding extraordinary medical care allowing the disease kill instead of a person. The following article will primarily focus on the active euthanasia.
Ethics or Ethicality is an elusive and broad term which, in general, involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right or wrong behavior. Although what constitutes right or wrong may subject to personal experiences, social cultures, and some other factors pertain to the developments of a particular individual, murder, however, is generally considered an immoral practice. Committing murder requires an action to end another human"s life, which subsequently renders a person or persons responsible for the death of others. Euthanasia is considered an immoral practice largely on the basis of that there is no clear distinction between murder and euthanasia. An intention to kill or maim can be easily disguised by an outward appearance of care. Even though people who are genuine in seeking to alleviate the pain suffered by whom they love, their judgements can be easily clouded by their emotional responses to the suffering thereby leading to some unwise conclusions. Philosopher Thomas Sullivan, who expressed his concern about the practice of euthanasia in his essay, stated that there are times when those who have the noble duty to tend the sick and the dying are deeply moved by the suffering of their patients, especially of the very young and the very old, and desperately wish they could do more than comfort and companion them. Then, perhaps, it seems that universal moral principles are merely abstractions having little to do with the agony of the dying. But of course we do not see best when our eyes are filled with tears.
Religious people are, in general, against euthanasia. As an argument offered by Gerald D.Coleman stated: "...suffering is not an absolute human evil. Although suffering is truly an ontological evil to be alleviated whenever possible, it is not of itself a moral evil or without supernatural and human benefits. Some will certainly scoff at this view, but the Christian tradition holds that great good can come out of suffering when this is joined to the suffering of Jesus."
Regardless of the circumstances that any particular individual involves in, it is an irresponsible and therefore deeply troubled behavior that asks for someone to share the burden of death. In some cases, it is not implausible to assume that people whose behaviors lead to the eventual death of others would forever seek the redemptions from the dead. Families and/or physicians who are empathetic about the suffering patients have no moral rights nor moral responsibilities to terminate a person"s life with or without consent of that patients. It is deniable that a person should not be denied the right to die voluntarily, but dying at someone"s hand or with the assistance of others is completely different matter.
Euthanasia is unethical owing to the fact that it not only constitutes murder, but also unduly asks someone else to share the burden of death.
My opponent seems to think that human suffering is ethical because Jesus Christ before his death and we are repaying him because he died for our sins, this is not correct, the ethicality of euthanasia is justifiable by self autonomy or the ability of a person to make an informed, un-coerced desicion. Euthanasia is not justifiable by other actions or experiences but by one's choices.
"Regardless of the circumstances that any particular individual involves in, it is an irresponsible and therefore deeply troubled behavior that asks for someone to share the burden of death. In some cases, it is not implausible to assume that people whose behaviors lead to the eventual death of others would forever seek the redemptions from the dead. Families and/or physicians who are empathetic about the suffering patients have no moral rights nor moral responsibilities to terminate a person"s life with or without consent of that patients. It is deniable that a person should not be denied the right to die voluntarily, but dying at someone"s hand or with the assistance of others is completely different matter."
Active euthanasia is based around the principle of self autonomy or the ability of a person to make an informed, un-coerced decision. In the Swiss program Dignitas, which is an assisted suicide program, patients who chooses to go through with this program undergo a series of steps to make sure they want to follow through with it:
The person who wishes to die meets several Dignitas personnel, in addition to an independent doctor, for a private consultation. The independent doctor assesses the evidence provided by the patient and is met on two separate occasions, with a time gap between each of the consultations. Legally admissible proof that the person wishes to die is also created, i.e. a signed affidavit, countersigned by independent witnesses. In cases where a person is physically unable to sign a document, a short video film of the person is made in which they are asked to confirm their identity, that they wish to die, and that their decision is made of their own free will, without any form of coercion. This evidence of informed consent remains private and is preserved only for use in any possible legal dispute.
As you can see here, assisted suicide programs are extremely careful in the matter of "Does this person want to die?"
They do not meet this with force, and these programs show an unjustifiable principle of making sure this person has a well rounded self autonomy and want to follow through with this decision.
In conclusion, active euthanasia is not a matter asking someone else to share the burden of death but is heavily a matter of self autonomy.
As mentioned in Pro"s statement, a living will is a written expression of how patients want to be treated in certain medical conditions. Depending on the state law, this document may permit patients to express whether or not they wish to be given life-sustaining treatments in the event that they are terminally ill or injured. It is not unreasonable for someone to argue that if living wills are legally permissible, then euthanasia, in theory, should find its strongest legal ground, and subsequently, there is nothing unethical about it. But something that is legally permissible is not always morally acceptable, and vice versa. For instances, The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one women, was censured on both legal and moral grounds. Obama administration even instructed the Department of Justice not to defend the statute in the Court. There are many other controversial regulations and/or legislations, which are not entirely appropriate for this debate, existing in both States and Federal levels; collectively, they can be used to show that legitimacy is not the same as morality. No matter what patients have decided to include in their living wills, the very fact that euthanasia demands the involvement of the third party has remained. A murder is no less a murder just because he or she has some quasi-justifiable reasons for the killing. Moreover, the unnecessary involvement of the physicians inevitably exposes them to some very distributing conditions. Externally, strong social condemnations from those who vehemently fight against the practice of euthanasia would effectively compromise some of the routine activities conducted by the physicians; Internally, the burden of death would severely damage their sprits and corrupt their souls. Therefore, even if living wills can be viewed as an legitimate exercise of one"s right, euthanasia would still be considered morally unacceptable.
The Right to Die
The "refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment" is not the same as "intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering." The refusal of treatments is an activity initiated by the dying patients, "intentionally ending a life"is, however, an action usually taken by physicians in this case. A physician ends a life-saving medical treatment may not out of intention of reliving pain and suffering. I have no objection that "a mentally competent, terminally ill person has protected liberty interest in choosing to end intolerable suffering by bring about his or her own death", but such death does not have to involve medical procedures. And even though the death does require the assistance of physicians, as I have addressed in the above reasonings, it cannot be justified on the moral grounds. Therefore, even though a terminally ill person should enjoy the right to die, euthanasia may still be morally deplored.
Patient Suffering at End-of-Life-
Even though I voice no objections regarding the contention that Americans should enjoy a right guaranteed in the European Declaration of Human Rights (although the cultural differences may effectively bar this from happening), it is still not clear how granting such rights to the americans can be related to euthanasia. As suggested by Pro in his definitions, euthanasia is a practice of "intentionally ending a life," no where in the contention has he suggested that patients cannot commit suicide in order to relive the pains and therefore effectively remove himself or herself from this world. Even though they cannot do without the involvement of euthanasia, as mentioned in the proceeding arguments, the practice is still unethical.
Government Involvement in End-of-Life Decisions
The argument does not explicitly state what kind of role that euthanasia would play in here, let alone the ethical issue. Family, for examples, could act on behalf of patients to make informative decisions. Appealing to communities opinions would be another option. Religious involvement is another choice. None of the above choices even remotely suggest that euthanasia is necessary. Merely because the government and judges should not be asked to get involved in the decisions, consequently, we must accept the practice of Euthanasia as a moral practice? It is not entirely clear to me what this "Government involvement" has anything to do with statement "Euthanasia is Ethical."
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ObiWan 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded