The Instigator
zhibek
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
x2MuzioPlayer
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points

Euthanasia should be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
x2MuzioPlayer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,880 times Debate No: 29102
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

zhibek

Con

Euthanasia devalues human life
Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment
Physicians and other medical care people should not be involved in directly causing death
There is a "slippery slope" effect that has occurred where euthanasia has been first been legalized for only
the terminally ill and later laws are changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily.
x2MuzioPlayer

Pro

Thank you, Con, for posting this and I look forward to having my first debate on DDO with you.

Clarifications:

1. For scope, "legalized euthanasia" (henceforth PAS for physician-assisted suicide) should be defined in this debate. Since, as Pro, I will be defending it (and, since Con has not made any particular definition in round one) I find no harm in laying down specifics.

"Euthanasia (noun): the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma" [1] Pro will defend the verbal/written consent by the patient and written authorization of mental stability by an outside professional for the former, and prior written consent by the patient for the latter.

"Legalize (transitive verb): to make legal; to give legal validity or sanction to" [2] The only purpose in this definition is to make clear the physician never has the say in euthanizing patients. The decision will rest solely on the patient.

2. So as not to make the focus of the debate about semantics, it's probably a good idea to define the "value" of human life.

"Values (noun): principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what's important in life" [3] As Pro, I will defend an individually based utilitarian approach on "values" (i.e. maximizing happiness and minimizing suffering). If Con disagrees with this, I think it's fair game to debate how the "value of life" should be interpreted and its consequential ethics.

3. Both Pro and Con should share BoP when making positive claims. Pro should defend the benefits of legal PAS and Con should support claims otherwise. Without any reason to negate the resolution, the decision should default Pro.

4. Sources should be cited when giving data or an empiric (or copy-pasting text from a cite [4]). Personally, credit should be given where credit is due.

5. Any necessary clarifications between Pro and Con can be done in the comments, but the debate should remain in-round.

All things considered, I'll continue with the debate.
. . . . .

As Pro, I will argue only one contention needs to be won to win this debate, or sufficiently negate Con's counter-arguments.

Contention 1: The Value of Life

The values of life, and those contained within life, should be the exclusive right of the person interpreting those values. The formulation of this is based on the following theorem:

1. All that can be known exists in the physical world.
2. Humans exist in the physical world.
3. Humans are conscious beings.
4. Conscious beings, ipso facto, create values.
5. Genetic predispositions and experiences of conscious beings form values.
6. No human beings observe the world simultaneously through experience.
7. Therefore, humans create unique values separate from all others.

Values are constructs of the human conscience and can only be based off of genetic predisposition and/or experiences. The latter is the focus, since predisposed values, such as procreation and good will, are exclusively left to the realm of evolution. Since it is safe to assume each individual human being has a unique set of observations throughout life, a person should have the ability to determine values of the self. The definition listed above supports this as values are defined as "one's judgement of what's important in life." This leads into the second argument:

1. Life has value, if and only if, it functions as a medium for experience.
2. Life allows for observations and experience.

3. Therefore, life has value.

If a person is able to have the ability to gauge importance and observe the advantages/disadvantages to life (as a value), they should, when terminally ill, be given the right to choose between a peaceful end and suffering. From an individualistic utilitarian standpoint, a person is within reason to choose PAS when they have an excruciating terminal illness, as it avoids the inevitable pain in those last few moments of life.

Contention 2: The Right to Life and Death

In America, citizens have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as shown by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. [5] These rights are supported by the Government, "deriving their powers from the consent of the governed." If Pro can prove the right to life necessitates the right to death, the government is obligated to support PAS as they are fulfilling their duty to serve the people.

1. People have a right to life.
2. A world beyond life cannot be known.
3. If a world beyond life cannot be known, death is the end to values.
4. Terminal illness guarantees death.
4. Therefore, people have a right to death, if and only if, they are terminally ill.

This provides the parameters for how people should view life in relation to death. Since all we know and all we can observe/experience exists in the physical world, values (a construct thereof) should only be taken as an extension of physical property. Life is something a person owns at his/her own will, not as an obligation. Once it is medically established beyond reason a patient will die from an illness, values may be taken into perspective, since they know their clock is, essentially, running out.

Contention 3: Mercy

It is well established a patient has the right to refuse medical treatment according to the U.S. Constitution's fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court consistently defends the right to life and liberty would be violated if a hospital forced treatment for their patient. [6] This catch-22 leaves the doctor in a lose-lose scenario. Either, the doctor abridges the patient's constitutional rights, or s/he carries the burden of knowing an alternate solution would have produced less suffering. A common retort is the fallacious argument that PAS is murder. The false assumption is that it is the doctor's decision to assist in the process. Since, it is exclusively the patient's decision, the doctor is absolved of all responsibility. Evaluating a paradigm of values, the doctor would actually be doing the wrong thing by barring PAS as an option, since this would lead to more suffering.
. . . . .

Rebuttal:

"Euthanasia devalues human life"

1. Con has the BoP to show how a patient ending their own suffering devalues their life (which, my first contention refutes).

2. Arbitrarily deciding life itself has more worth than the values a patient follows, necessarily devalues that patients life.
3. A patient who believes their life will be devalued during/after PAS is free to not choose that route.

"Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment"

1. It is Con's BoP to show how it will be used as such when the decision rides solely on the patient.

"Physicians and other medical care people should not be involved in directly causing death"

1. Con should defend why PAS is worse than patient refusal of treatment to speed up the process.
2. This point was covered in contentions two and three.

"There is a 'slippery slope' effect that has occurred where euthanasia has been first been legalized for only the terminally ill and later the laws are changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily."

1. Empirical slippery slopes are difficult to defend because they assume same-case scenarios. Con's empiric cites no such data. BoP has not been met.
2. Even if there are empirical examples, to say one good law shouldn't be passed because another law might be passed without proving why is an argumentum ad ignorantiam at best.
3. Contention one indicates the value of individual life should outweigh this measure.

Back to you, Con :)

[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[4] http://www.euthanasia.com...
[5] http://www.archives.gov...
[6] http://law2.umkc.edu...
[7] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 1
zhibek

Con

zhibek forfeited this round.
x2MuzioPlayer

Pro

Con forfeits. Extend all my arguments, since they're conceded.
Debate Round No. 2
zhibek

Con

zhibek forfeited this round.
x2MuzioPlayer

Pro

This is a full concession by Con. Please vote Pro for the reasons stated in round one.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
zhibekx2MuzioPlayerTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F. A real shame. It looks like pro really put alot of effort in.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 3 years ago
DoctorDeku
zhibekx2MuzioPlayerTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by MochaShakaKhan 3 years ago
MochaShakaKhan
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Xerge 3 years ago
Xerge
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for the forfeits. Pro had a more substantial case which were dropped by Con because of the forfeits.
Vote Placed by Trinitrotoluene 3 years ago
Trinitrotoluene
zhibekx2MuzioPlayerTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: abc