The Instigator
Bonifatus
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Romanii
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Euthanasia should be legalised

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Romanii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,771 times Debate No: 42482
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Bonifatus

Con

Format
Round 1- Acceptance of position
Round 2- Opening arguments
Round 3 & 4- Arguments and rebuttals
Round 5- Closing statements

Con opposes the resolution to legalise Euthanasia
Romanii

Pro

I am going to take the Pro side on this and argue that Euthanasia SHOULD be legalized.

I look forward to your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Bonifatus

Con

For the purposes of the debate con defines euthanasia using the same definition as the American Medical Association which is "the administration of a lethal agent by another person to a patient for the purpose of relieving the patient's intolerable and incurable suffering."
Con acknowledges that the proponents of euthanasia are only trying to help ease people's suffering. However, euthanasia is NOT acceptable as there are both better alternatives and moral objections to it. Euthanasia, firstly violates the principle that life lasts from conception to natural life as proposed by the theologies of several major world religions. Secondly, the AMA , the body that represents American medical professionals has come out staunchly against euthanasia in several reports (here: http://www.ama-assn.org..., and here: https://ssl3.ama-assn.org... and others) furthermore several surveys have been conducted saying that most doctors in the US oppose euthanasia so how can you force them to provide the service when they see it as murder.
Romanii

Pro

Thank you for your argument.

My arguments are going to come in the form of rebuttals to each of your major points.

"Euthanasia, firstly violates the principle that life lasts from conception to natural life as proposed by the theologies of several major world religions."
In case you haven't noticed, our government is secular. Its laws are not based on religious values. According to our Constitution, each of us has the basic human right to life. It logically follows, then, that we also have the right to end our lives prematurely if we wish. You can't force someone to keep living if they don't want to.

"...several surveys have been conducted saying that most doctors in the US oppose euthanasia so how can you force them to provide the service when they see it as murder."
Legalizing euthanasia isn't going to FORCE them to provide such services. It is just going to ALLOW them to provide them.
An added benefit of euthanasia is that is a suicide person goes to the doctor's office for assisted suicide rather than committing suicide privately, then the doctor could possibly try to help them through suicide prevention therapy. In other words, the legalization of euthanasia could possibly (and ironically) make suicide rates drop.
Debate Round No. 2
Bonifatus

Con

Firstly, pro argues that you have the right to stop living if you so desire. However, this stands in direct contridiction of the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Washington V. Glucksberg where the majority opinion read "The history of the law's treatment of assisted suicide in this country has been and continues to be one of the rejection of nearly all efforts to permit it. That being the case, our decisions lead us to conclude that the asserted 'right' to assistance in committing suicide is not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause." Therefore under American Law there is absolutely no right to die.

Pro also argues that they would only have the option and not be forced to administer it. Perhaps this is true, but any doctor who administers it violates the medical profession. They go against the body that forms the policy for medical treatment as well as the Hippocratic oath which states "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan;" The job of the doctor and physician is to preserve and give comfort to human life, never to end it.
Romanii

Pro

"...pro argues that you have the right to stop living if you so desire. However, this stands in direct contridiction of the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Washington V. Glucksberg..."
Yes, legalizing Euthanasia would go against an old law... that is the whole point... we are trying to make a new law. Referencing an old law doesn't count as "proof" when the whole purpose of the debate is to create a new law.

"...doctor who administers it violates the medical profession...the Hippocratic oath which states 'I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan;' The job of the doctor and physician is to preserve and give comfort to human life, never to end it."
I'm pretty sure I pointed out that doctors wouldn't be ADVISING suicide if a patient came in requesting it. The doctor would then have an opportunity to help the patient through suicide prevention therapy. That opportunity would not have been available if the patient tried comitting suicide privately. If even suicide prevention therapy doesn't work then the patient's death is inevitable, and there is no problem with a doctor taking the patient's life painlessly, rather than the patient taking his own life in more painful methods like hanging or shooting.
Debate Round No. 3
Bonifatus

Con

First of all, I encourage pro to reread the quote from the Supreme Court, pro asserted in round 1 that there was a right to end your life prematurely. This quote explicitly rejects that on a legal basis. Furthermore, it has been referenced as if it was found in violation of a law. The Due Process Clause is not just a law, it is a part of the Constitution, wherein all the rights of American citizens are outlined. The Supreme Court, who has the duty of interpreting the Constitution, says that the right to die, as asserted by many supporters of euthanasia, has no Constitutional basis as a right.
Returning to another argument pro made in round 1, you seem to suggest that the legalisation of euthanasia would reduce suicide rates. What is your source for this? Otherwise it is a presumption that is irrelevant.
Pro also focus on only the back half of my quote from the Hippocratic Oath. I do believe that the first half is "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked..." This EXPLICITLY bans euthanasia. Not just advising it, but the actual act.
Euthanasia also is a decision that would be made when a person is in extreme distress. It would be making, literally, one of the last decisions of your life under the influence of extreme pain and when you are desperate for relief.
To continue, there is no clear line of where to stop euthanasia. Euthanasia is supposed to be given to the suffering right? But what do we define as suffering? A person with a terminal illness under horrible pain, a mentally ill person who will never to live out their life to the fullest, an infant with a horrible birth defect, or even a perfectly healthy newborn? The answer may appear clear us, especially when it's the last example that is in question. However, according to the National Review, even in the United Kingdom, where euthanasia is extremely restricted, some hospitals have resorted to killing perfectly healthy newborns in order to meet their quotas and receive the government funding associated with it.
Finally, this "Slippery Slope" is compounded by the financial implications of legalised euthanasia. Studies show that euthanasia will save the government and hospitals money. While some might see this as positive, it could mean that people are pressured into suicide by hospitals and the Government looking to save money.
Romanii

Pro

"The Supreme Court, who has the duty of interpreting the Constitution, says that the right to die, as asserted by many supporters of euthanasia, has no Constitutional basis as a right."
I would like to point out that the Supreme Court has been wrong before. Take the Dred Scott Decision. The Supreme Court ruled that slaves are property according to its interpretation of the Constitution. Yet just decades later, we amended the Constitution to say that slavery is illegal. In the same sense (though this issue is not as extreme as slavery), we can just as easily make a law that contradicts a former Supreme Court ruling.
It is only logical that the right to death comes with teh right to life.

"Returning to another argument pro made in round 1, you seem to suggest that the legalisation of euthanasia would reduce suicide rates. What is your source for this?"
I do not have a source for this, unfortunately. However, to make sure that it WOULD reduce suicide rates, the US Government could add a clause onto the law passing Euthanasia that requires doctors to make an effort at suicide prevention therapy before administering the euthanasia.

"...quote from the Hippocratic Oath. I do believe that the first half is "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked..." This EXPLICITLY bans euthanasia. Not just advising it, but the actual act."
In addition, looking through the actual text of the modern Hippocratic Oath, I did not find the quote you have given (1).
The oath DOES however have a lot of stuff about easing the suffering of fellow man, and sometimes Euthanasia helps with that, leading me into my next rebuttal.

"But what do we define as suffering? A person with a terminal illness under horrible pain, a mentally ill person who will never to live out their life to the fullest, an infant with a horrible birth defect..."
You seem to have defined some instances where euthanasia would be an acceptable solution with the consent of the patient and/or family members. I don't understand who's argument you are trying to contribute to with this point...

"...some hospitals have resorted to killing perfectly healthy newborns in order to meet their quotas and receive the government funding associated with it."
That problem has an easy solution: don't offer government funding for euthanasia...

SOURCES:
(1) http://www.pbs.org...;
Debate Round No. 4
Bonifatus

Con

Pro claims that the Supreme Court has been wrong before. This is simply not true at all. The Supreme Court interpreted the laws correctly per the time period given. While we did amend the constitution to ban slavery, but you are able to reference one circumstance, out of thousands of cases determined unconstitutional, in which we amended the law. Your presumption, and that's what it is, that the right to death goes along with the right to life, encourages, and makes acceptable all forms of suicide, not just euthanasia.
On the Hippocratic oath, the version you are quoting is one of many versions of the Hippocratic Oath that has been redone. I was working off the classical version (1)
What I'm saying is that where do you draw the line for consent. If a mentally ill patient enjoys life, but his family is embarrassed of him, they can LEGALLY have him killed if euthanasia was legalised. Even if a newborn has a defect there's a chance, albeit possibly small, that that child can live a fruitful life... Again, they're not having any say in their own life. The Constitution applies to all citizens including the aforementioned examples. This forfeits their right to life which even you agree that you have.
We've already established that medical professionals do not support euthanasia so Government funding is the only way to encourage it
In conclusion, there are many aspects of euthanasia that violate many aspects of society. Since Pro aims to change the current state of the law Con would like to emphasize that the burden of proof lies not with disproving euthanasia, but proving the benefits, or pros argument, However, insofar, pro has not offered an advantage other than it ends suffering. However, as hospice and many other many medical techniques can perform just as well this is also invalid. Therefore, as Pro has not fulfilled their burden of proof to modify the current laws, Con believes that it has the stronger argument.
(1) http://www.nlm.nih.gov...
Romanii

Pro

"Pro claims that the Supreme Court has been wrong before. This is simply not true at all. The Supreme Court interpreted the laws correctly per the time period given."
The validity of the Supreme Court's decisions is a totally separate matter and is irrelevant to the debate at hand. The point is, that we as Americans have the ability to change laws, even those in the Constitution.
It is simple logic that the right to death comes with the right to life. The Founding Fathers simply didn't write that because suicide was not a major crisis at the time.

"On the Hippocratic oath, the version you are quoting is one of many versions of the Hippocratic Oath that has been redone. I was working off the classical version"
The Classical Oath is not the one that doctors currently recite. They recite and are bound by the Modern Oath, so that is what is actually relevant to the debate, and the Modern Oath simply says to ease the patient's suffering. There is nothing specifically mentioning or pertaining to euthanasia.

"What I'm saying is that where do you draw the line for consent... The Constitution applies to all citizens including the aforementioned examples. This forfeits their right to life which even you agree that you have."
You are correct. You have convinced me through this particular argument that the family shouldn't have the right to decide whether or not the patient is euthanized. Thus, we can draw the "line for consent" to be that only the patient themself can give consent to be euthanized.

"We've already established that medical professionals do not support euthanasia so Government funding is the only way to encourage it."
Who says that the government has to encourage it? They are simply providing the option for the small population of medical professionals who ARE willing to do it. No encouragement is necessary; legalization does not imply promotion.

"...the burden of proof lies not with disproving euthanasia, but proving the benefits, or pros argument, However, insofar, pro has not offered an advantage other than it ends suffering."
First of all, that is not the only advantage I offered. I also mentioned the fact that it would decrease suicide rates, since doctors would have a last chance to get the patient some suicide prevention therapy. Since you have not addressed this point, you have automatically conceded it to me.
Second of all, sometimes, Euthanasia is the only thing which can truly eliminate someone's suffering. Consider incurable diseases like cancer. If an old man is racked with a horrible cancer that has spread all over their body, and and has been undergoing constant but unsuccessful treatment for over a year, they might just want to die so they can escape their suffering. What right does the government have to tell that man that "he's just going to have to go kill himself"? Especially if the doctor is perfectly willing to painlessly take him out of his suffering through euthanasia?

The right to death unquestionably comes with the right to life. If someone really wants to die, why not let them do it painlessly, in a setting where they can possibly even get help and avoid their death entirely?


Euthanasia would be totally harmless to legalize; probably beneficial, actually.
Thank you for an interesting debate.
You actually gave me quite a bit of insight on the issue!
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Yeah, it was interesting!
Posted by Bonifatus 3 years ago
Bonifatus
Good Debate, I enjoyed hearing an opposing side
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
BonifatusRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Romanii countered all of Con's arguments flawlessly.