The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Euthanasia is unethical

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,989 times Debate No: 46113
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Round 1 is acceptance. Rules are as follows and basically the same for all my debates:

1. I have a Zero-Tolerance for harsh language. However, euphemisms, (Dang, darn, heck, frick) have acceptance at a minimum. Excessive use is inappropriate in a debate setting.

2. Any tangible information used to prove the truth of the matter asserted must at least one (1) reliable source. A short description of the approximate location in the source would be helpful as well.

3. Wikipedia is NOT a source.

Special rules for this kind of debate (Category - Social Morality/ethics):

1. Unique hypothetical situations are usually not appropriate to the question and premises of the larger argument. Steer clear unless used as rebuttals for definitive statements.

2. Emotions and personal experience is a supplement, not a replacement, for logic.

3. Ethics, morality, and philosophy will play a large role, I suspect. If you know the thinker who came up with the argument, supply his or her name and work.


Euthanasia Merriam-Webster Medical definition:
": the act or practice of killing hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy; also : the act or practice of allowing a hopelessly sick or injured patient to die by taking less than complete medical measures to prolong life"called also mercy killing "

This debate will specifically relate to physician assisted euthanasia.

Unethical Merriam-Webster definition:
"not conforming to a high moral standard; morally unacceptable "

Again, round one is acceptance. God bless. Looking forward to a good debate. Good luck to my opponent.


I gladly accept this debate and look forward to seeing your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok so here's the gig, I have three logical moral arguments against euthanasia. This is my first time debating this subject while I know my opponent has ample knowledge of experience with it so bear with me here.

The contentions are as follows:

1. It denies the value of human life.

2. It plays God.

3. It is a slippery slope.

My arguments will be much more based on philosophy and logic than numbers and figures.

1. It denies the value of human life

The original Hippocratic Oath states in paragraph for that "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan;" (1) That directly speaks to euthanasia. The rest of the text makes this truth very obvious for any physician "First, do no harm."

In light of that, euthanasia undermines the value of human life, no matter the condition. This will be discussed more in argument three, which is the meat of my argument. I understand that their is much pain in the world through disease, my grandfather had a heart attack and his health in dwindling into dementia and a life of pain for which there is no remedy. There have been days I have not even been able to see him because he can't get out of bed, and others where I cannot give him a hug because he is in so much pain. However, he has made one thing clear: He values human life.

He values it to the point that he sat me down and said no matter how much it hurts, a person should fight through the pain to make the most of life, because you only get one shot.

This is the fundamental truth of the matter: human life is the most valuable thing we have. We should never waste any of it.

2. It plays God

Coming from a person who has struggled with suicidal thoughts over the years, I found new life in Jesus. So I need to include this argument even if it is moot if my opponent is non-religious. If my opponent is religious, this needs to be answered.

George Whitefield has been famously paraphrased to say "We are immortal until God is done with us." I completely agree. We did not give ourselves our own human life. We do not own it. We had no right to say when, why, and how we were born into this world and we have no right to say when we can leave it.

Day someone gave a valuable gift, a Mustang GT. You drove it everywhere. It was the best thing ever. Sure it took some upkeep and gas, but it was nice. Then you crash into a telephone pole. Who tells you whether that car is totalled? You or the mechanic? If the mechanic says "even with it messed up you can still drive it. It's just not as nice." would you just blow out the engine? No, you'd work with it. It's still valuable and it still has worth, even if it's not as nice.

It is not a person's choice whether their life is over. A person should not commit suicide and play God like that. If your mind is active enough to make a decision like that, your life is still worth a lot.

3. Slippery Slope
In the early 1900's, acceptance of physician-assisted suicide was growing, but then something unexpected happened: The T4 Program. It was the Nazi forced euthanasia program. It started with severely retarded and handicapped children... then it was adults... then bombing victims... but by the end, foreign workers they did not need were being killed. This was a separate program from the Holocaust. (2)

Do you think this started on it's own? No, it started when people began to think life was not as valuable as once thought. It started when people started playing God. It started with physician assisted suicide. Once that first barrier that "Life is too valuable" was broken, it became a free-for-all. I once debate a girl on this site who actually said that she thought it was not just not immoral, but actually ethical to kill every child with Down Syndrome.

I do not believe it to be ethical or right to delve into a grey area that also gets bigger. Where children are now being aborted, just because they are handicapped. Where children are shot in their schools by their own classmates. Euthanasia is just part of a larger battle for the value of life.

Thank you and goodnight.




Note: I love music and include them in many of my debates to put things in more perspective. So, I included a music video for this one. I always appreciate life when I watch it. This is not part of my contentions only to further implicate my points.



I will not be posting any rebuttals in this round, only my beginning arguments.
I will be providing four arguments as to why euthanasia should be considered ethical.

Quality of Life
For the terminally ill, there is virtually no quality of life whatsoever. Not only is severe pain a large part of this, but also other physical ailments such as incontinence, nausea and vomiting, breathlessness, paralysis, and difficulty swallowing.[1] These issues will never go away for the terminally ill, and it makes them feel like a burden to their loved ones, thus making their quality of life even worse.

There is a reason that euthanasia is considered “mercy killing," and if I was ever put in the position of knowing that I wasn’t going to live, and I was completely dependant on the care of other people, I would be very grateful of having the choice to end it.

Impossibility of Survival
The definition of terminal is approaching or close to death: being in the final stages of a fatal disease.[2]

Euthanasia is only to be carried out when the patient in question has a terminal illness, so therefore, has no chance of survival. There is no point in prolonging the suffering of a fatally ill person when they are going to die anyways. It would be considered a kindness to give the choice of death.

In 2009, it cost between $50,000 and $100,000 to keep a terminally ill patient alive in their last days.[3] In 2013, a day in the intensive care unit of a hospital when the treatment was futile cost an average of $4,004 per patient.[4]

I understand that it seems wrong to put a monetary value on a human life, but when that life is going to end anyways, it would be less of a financial burden on the family for the person to be euthanized.

Dignity In Death
Euthanasia assures the patient that they will be able to die in dignity. Not everybody is given the choice as to how they will die, and it is a tremendous opportunity when that choice is given. Someone would feel a lot better in dying if they chose how it was done, rather than just waiting for a disease to end it for them.

Debate Round No. 2


I appreciate my opponent's interesting and logical arguments. However, I do have a rebuttal that I would now like to present.

Quality of Life

Pain is a terrible thing. Disability is too, but I challenge my opponent's position that "There is virtually no quality of life whatsoever." There are people around the world without a terminal illness, but still with severe pain and disabilities. Take Stephen Hawking. Early in his twenties, he was given 3-5 years to live because of ALS(1), which is USUALLY terminal. Now he's 70 and one of the world's greatest physicists. He cannot speak on his own and can barely move. He is surrounded by nurses 24/7. He has lived a full life with a terminal illness that causes great pain and disability. (2)

Even if people with terminal illnesses truly only have a short time on earth, they can accomplish great things and experience life. If the mind is still sharp enough to make the decision to die, their mind is sharp enough to do so much more in their final days.

Also, here's something interesting, 90% of patients with terminal illnesses try to commit suicide.(3) The cause is not the pain or a want for dignity of death, but depression. They want to die for the same reason I once did: we lost hope. Not the pain, not the horrors of suffering, but depression is the major cause of a terminally ill patient desiring death.

Impossibility of Survival

In a world where doctors were perfect and never made mistakes, this would make perfect sense, but people can and do recover from "terminal" diseases, or at the very least live longer than expected. A doctor's diagnosis and time frame is not always right.


My grandfather's heart surgery cost $250,000. The cost to keep him alive and healthy, as I was told by him this past visit, was beginning to border on $500,000. The odds of the surgery being successful had only been about 50%, but you cannot put a dollar increment on the cost on human life.

Also, a declaration of terminal is a life expectancy of 6 months. (4) Meaning that the cost of keeping someone alive in that period by my opponent's statistic would be ~$278-$556 a day. Much less than it seems in the statistic.

Dignity in Death

Again, this is playing God. Human birth can be one of the most undignified things in the world. We can't always choose when and where it will happen, It's part of life's cycle. Also, this is another part of my slippery slope argument. This delves too much into the grey area for too little reward.

I extend my thus far undisputed contentions.


Thank you and goodnight.



I welcome my opponent's opening contentions and provide the following rebuttals.

It denies the value of human life

I am aware that the value of human life is a very difficult thing to measure and the question, "Can you even put a value on human life?" is a popular question, but in the cases where someone is in a completely gone mentally and is only "alive" physically, can that really be called a life? It would be more morally correct to let them go, rather than to force them to stay in the immovable cage that their body would become.

Life is defined as an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.[1] With that definition of life, it wouldn't really be denying the value of life to euthanize a completely unresponsive patient.

Also, people can decide what they want the value of their own life to be, for it is their life. When someone feels like they have nothing left to offer in the world, and they know that they have no capability of doing anything else, because of their medical issue, then they have the right to decide whether or not they should be euthanized.

It plays God
I have also had issues with suicidal thoughts in my life, so I completely understand why my opponent would have this sort of standpoint, and I am somewhat religious so I will provide instances that actually make euthanasia match up with Christianity reasonably well.

God gave humans free will, and in that he intended for us to make our own decisions with our life on Earth, and that is exactly what people do when they decide that they want to be euthanized.

The so called "golden rule" of the Bible would be Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."[2] If I was ever in the situation where I was terminally ill, I would be glad for someone to end my misery, and I wouldn"t deny that choice to anybody else either.

God gave humans free will over what they do. If he didn't everybody would just be a robot with no real thoughts or individuality. Since humans have free will, they should be able to decide when they want their life to end.

Slippery Slope
The people of this world do take things too far when certain restraints are taken away, this I can agree with, but the Nazi T4 program was in effect nearly one hundred years ago, and isn't particularly relevant in this more modern society. It is also a very unique and extreme example that is unlikely to take place again, for "forced euthanasia" seems like it should be considered murder, rather than physician assisted suicide.

In this day and age, it is significantly less likely that the availability of the choice to be euthanized will have a result even close to that of the T4 program.


I am looking forward to my opponent’s counter rebuttals

Debate Round No. 3


justin.graves forfeited this round.


I will not be posting any formal argument for this round. My opponent has explained to me that he has had technical difficulties with DDO and was not able to post his argument as a result. All voters can just pretend that there wasn't even going to be a fourth round.
Please do not penalize him, for it was out of his control.
I thank you on behalf of both of us.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
What's really weird to think about during a debate like this is this: We're all going to die. We all have the terminal illness of being mortal.
Posted by KaleBevilacqua 2 years ago
Whoa, awesome to see you back, Justin!

Anyway, my argument for euthanasia isn't really a positive affirmation of support so much as an "eh, why not?" stance. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right; voluntary euthanasia on oneself doesn't directly unconsensually infringe on others' rights; if there could've been a good life after the sadness, the sufferer won't be alive/conscious to care so it won't even matter.
Posted by justin.graves 2 years ago
If you notice and read the debate, we are discussing the active killing of a conscience individual, requested euthanasia. We are also discussing active euthanasia which is far removed from passive euthanasia.

Secondly, my illustration of Nazi Germany was not a straw man argument. I was using the slippery slope argument and giving an example of where attitude where euthanasia is an option can, and has, led.
Posted by KCParker 2 years ago
As for premise 3, you would serve your argument better by looking up the stats from modern states that have legalized euthanasia (Belgium, Oregon etc.). Appealing to Nazi practices circa 1940 is a strawman argument and not a serious one.
Posted by KCParker 2 years ago
As for premise 1 of your argument (pro), it really comes down to how you define human life. Personally, I see no reason to believe that a terminally brain dead patient lying on a hospital bed meets the requisites for human life. They have no experiences, no thoughts, no memories; there is no 'person' left. They are nothing more than a beating heart. As such, we are not as a society morally obligated to preserve their existence. Nor should the doctor, whose charge is to preserve human well-being. They should not be mandated to preserve mere bodies.

Now, I'm sure you would argue that the soul persists, as you approach the problem from a religious perspective. But for those of us who do not believe in the existence of souls or any other personal identity outside of the brain, the argument is not a compelling one.
Posted by justin.graves 2 years ago
It's good to be back, Crypto. It's been too long.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
Cool to see you back justin.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: All other categories besides arguments are a tie. Pro's arguments hinged substantially on opinion and the idea that there is still a chance someone can go on to be the next Stephen Hawking. I wish Con had refuted that particular part of Pro's argument, but in the end it doesn't matter, as I am unconvinced that Euthanasia is unethical because of extremely rare occurrences where you get a Stephen Hawking. Also, Pro, cars are not people. If my car was in unfixable pain and couldn't derive further enjoyment from life then I'd put it down. This is another thing I would've liked to see Con refute. Con still gets the point though because I disagreed less with her arguments, even though they lacked in some refutations I'd have liked to have seen, they were still more convincing.