Euthanasia should be legalized
I argue that Euthanasia (or assisted suicide) should be legalized. As a Christian, I do believe that Euthanasia is wrong, but I still believe that it should be legal.
Euthanasia - The painless killing of a patient (at their request) suffering from an incurable and painful disease.
Rules for this debate:
1. No forfeits
2. BoP shared
3. No trolling or disrespect
4. Con must start his or her opening argument in first round.
5. To maintain the same number of rebuttals for both parties, Con must agree not to make any arguments in the final round.
6. Pro will provide a closing statement in the final round and not present any new arguments.
I look forward for an exciting debate.
Thanks for the debate, Salam. Unlike you, I'm an atheist, but I think euthanasia should be illegal. This should be an interesting debate.
== Equality ==
The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection of the law to all people. This guarantee is replicated in Article 14 of the European Convention and in the constitutions and declarations of many other countries. We treat people with equal respect because of their status as human beings, without regard to their looks, gender, race, creed, or any other incidental trait. This commitment to human equality is grounded on the belief that all human beings innately have dignity and are worthy of respect.
Legalizing euthanasia undermines human equality in two ways. First, limiting euthanasia to the terminallly ill sends a message that certain people are expendable and others aren't. In effect, allowing euthanasia for some people in certain conditions cheapens the existence of all under those conditions. This is especially worrisome as we expand the categories of people who can request euthanasia (e.g. saying the disabled should have the right to euthanasia implies that the disabled live an inferior and expendable life).
Second, legalizing euthanasia suggests that human life only has instrumental value. But the only way to justify equal protection is by recognizing the inherent value of human life. If human life only has value based on its instrumental worth to society, a critical rationale for equal protection drops away. Why treat people with equal respect if we don't really believe that they're equal? If humans only have value based on their instrumental worth to society, why extend equal protection to those with low IQs? the mentally disabled? the autistic? infants with Down's syndrome? Alzheimer's patients?
== Unintended Consequences ==
First, if human life only has instrumental value (which it must to justify euthanasia), what's to stop non-consensual euthanasia? This is precisely what happened in the Netherlands: after legalizing euthanasia for the terminally ill, the Netherlands legalized non-consensual euthanasia a few years later. This is one of those things where a slippery slope has been proven by the evidence (e.g. the Netherlands). Allowing consensual euthanasia quickly leads to non-consensual euthanasia, because both are grounded on the same justification (i.e. the instrumental value of life). Under that logic, if the value of a life is less than the costs of medical care, then physicians arguably would have a moral obligation to kill patients without their consent.
Second, there's a real danger of abuse. And there's also the risk of doctors mistakenly killing persons without their consent, as well as the risk that the patient is being coerced by others (e.g. family members).
Third, there's a danger about the message that euthanasia sends. Once early death becomes a medical option for some people (e.g. the terminally ill), it sends a message that early death is respectable for others too (e.g. the disabled, depressed, or those merely tired of life). The fear lies in extending the categories of people for whom euthanasia is available. If euthanasia is available to everyone, it cheapens the value of human life.
== Corruption ==
Euthanasia corrupts the medical profession. First, it invalidates the Hippocratic Oath, the standard principle for medical ethics. Euthanasia doesn't heal; it intentionally does harm. This completely violates the oath.
Second, euthanasia transforms the role of doctors. Doctors don't actually perform anything remotely medical; they certainly don't heal. Instead, in euthanasia, doctors kill their patients, and in doing so, doctors santify (1) suicide, and (2) intentional killing. In effect, doctors become priests, granting absolution for a patient's suicide. Meanwhile, the state santifies the intentional killing of another human being. This isn't a role that doctors or the state should have; the medical profession shouldn't be in the business of santifying suicides and the state shouldn't be in the business of santifying intentional killings. That's something better left to religious or moral institutions.
Third, allowing euthanasia could disincentivize the research and development of better medical care (i.e. why improve painkillers for those suffering if euthanasia is a cheaper option?). This slope could even disincentivize cures for diseases, since it'll be cheaper to simply kill people off.
== Suicide ==
Most suicides are hurtful to those left behind. But sometimes, suicide is inspirational, transcendent, and the most beautiful and awe-inspiring act. For instance, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire in protest after local officials humiliated him and confiscated his wares. He became the "Hero of Tunisia" and "Person of the Year" in Time magazine. His suicide led to riots and protests just hours after, and it culminated in the "Arab Spring," which ultimately led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.  A bad suicide makes the world worse; a good one makes it better.
A medical treatment isn't good or bad; it's neutral. And that is what legalizing voluntary euthanasia does: it reduces suicide to a medical choice. The question "to be or not to be" becomes a medical rather than moral question. Legalization thus removes suicide from our scope of judgment, and in doing so, it deprives suicide of its dramatic power and meaning.
Speaking about the Eichmann trial, Hannah Arendt famously said that it's the refusal to judge that creates evil. Judgment gives suicide its social power, its ability to make the world a better place. Suicide shouldn't be a neutral act. If we don't judge suicide -- as either good or bad -- then the non-existence of another human being means nothing at all. If suicide is just a medical treatment, there's no room for forgiveness, because there's no room to judge the suicide as good or bad. And if suicide is just a medical treatment, then how can we convince the lovelorn twenty-year old that life is worth it? Or encourage the disabled to continue living?
== Unnecessary ==
First, euthanasia is unnecessary because patients have the right to refuse medical care. The right to refuse medical care is a better alternative than euthanasia because patients -- rather than doctors -- take all moral responsibility for what happens to them.
Second, euthanasia is unnecessary because patients can commit suicide on their own. There's no need for euthanasia if patients can kill themselves.
Third, as an alternative to euthanasia, I'd recommend legalizing assisted suicide instead, which has all the benefits of euthanasia, but with one key distinction: doctors don't kill the patient. This is important because it ensures that patients retain moral responsibility instead of shifting moral responsibility for their own deads to the doctors.
Finally, as an alternative to both euthanasia and assisted suicide, I recommend making deadly drugs freely available to the public. This would remove the need for euthanasia or assisted suicide, as patients could simply buy some deadly drugs and kill themsevles without any problem. The few who take deadly drugs wouldn't need the blessing of a doctor, and for those anxious about how they'll die, a vial sitting on a shelf might reassure and quell their anxiety. There'd be no risk of abuse. And there'd be no intent by doctors to cause death. This is the best result and should be preferred to legalizing euthanasia.
I want to thank my opponent for challenging me for this debate, and for providing an impressive opening argument.
There are other arguments, but I believe the following arguments should satisfy the reader to conclude that Euthanasia (or assisted suicide) should be legal.
1. The right to die and self determination
This argument is similar to saying that designating parking spots for the disabled sends a message that disabled people are inferior. But this is simply not true… disabled people are the ones who requested to be accommodated; they in fact feel insulted when their voices are not heard. The same goes with the terminally ill requesting the right to euthanasia. They argue that the value of human life is not determined by the government, but by the individuals themselves. They can judge for themselves if their life is expendable or not, not the government.
I disagree. I argue that my opponent is confusing the objective human worth and subjective self worth. Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that we must view all humans as equals in dignity and rights . This is the objective view of human worth. A terminally ill person is just as valuable as a healthy person. However, we have no jurisdiction to define the subjective self worth (or instrumental value) of any individual… that would be determined by the individuals themselves.
I challenge my opponent to state which parts of the oath euthanasia allegedly invalidates. There are several parts of the oath that actually supports euthanasia :
My opponent mentioned that patients have the right to refuse treatment. In light of the two examples before, and the amount of suffering it takes until someone finally dies, you couldn't possibly agree that this is a viable option!
== Rebuttal ==
First, pain isn't the reason people seek euthanasia. The reason people seek euthanasia over 93% of the time is loss of autonomy. Pain is rarely (if ever) cited as a reason people seek euthanasia. 
Second, the answer to pain isn't euthanasia. The way to deal with pain is through pain control (which is getting better each year) or through "terminal sedation." In "terminal sedation" patients in pain are put into a deep sleep until they die naturally; this is an acceptable practice that doesn't require intentional killing.
Third, we shouldn't change the law based on emotions such as pity (which is effectively what Pro's appeals to pain are). An emotional response to a situation isn't inherently the correct response. Just as acts inspired by anger or jealousy are often wrong in the eyes of the law, so acts inspired by pity and compassion aren't necessarily just. Proponents of euthanasia usually bring up as many tragic cases as they possibly can because they know the immediate gut reaction benefits them. But laws shouldn't be determined by immediate gut reactions to a single case. Laws are general and need to be forward-looking; they're designed to produce the best outcomes overall. No law produces the best outcome in every case, and we have to be careful about letting our emotions play a role in determining the law.
I agree with Pro that people should have the freedom to refuse medical treatment and the freedom to commit suicide. We only disagree about the freedom to be euthanized (which I argue isn't a basic right). Pro argues that euthanasia is a basic right as a matter of autonomy (i.e. self-determination). But under an autonomy principle, we'd have to honor requests to be euthanized from all competent individuals. Either we approve all acts of self-destruction on the basis of the who-are-we-to-judge principle, or we don't allow euthanasia at all. Pro's halfway euthanasia -- allowing it for the terminally ill but nobody else -- simply cannot be justified by an autonomy principle. To approve of euthanasia on the basis of autonomy necessarily extends euthanasia to all autonomosly arrived-at decisions. Thus, Pro can't justify euthanasia through autonomy, since his advocacy restricts the availability of euthanasia.
Pro says euthanasia would "reduce waiting times and improve the overall quality of care." First, apply this against Pro: with escalating medical costs, states acting as guardians of financially-burdensome persons would have incentives to euthanize. Pro says the state shouldn't encourage euthanasia, but that's precisely what it'll do, at least in effect, because of escalating medical costs. Second, justifying euthanasia on the basis of medical costs turns a moral question -- whether doctors can kill their patients? -- into an economic question. That's simply ignoring the real issue at stake in the euthanasia debate. The reality is that economic matters don't -- or at least shouldn't -- factor into moral decisions.
(4) Affect on Innocents
Pro says "innocents" are harmed by making euthansia illegal. But this is simply untrue. First, in the Mancini case, the Pennsylvania woman wasn't convicted of anything. Her case was actually dismissed by a judge because the prosection's case was based entirely on "speculation and guesswork."  Second, in the Marie Fleming case, nobody innocent was ever prosecuted. Third, there's little indication that anyone is ever prosecuted for assisted suicide or euthanasia, so Pro's fears are simply unfounded.
== Equality ==
(1) Death is not the same as a parking spot. Giving the disabled parking spots doesn't send a message that disabled people are expendable. It says nothing about the value of a disabled person's life. Parking spots just send a message that disabled people are disabled. That doesn't mean their life is any less valuable. By contrast, telling disabled people that doctors are legally allowed to kill them but not allowed to kill others clearly sends a message that they're expendable. And sending a message that the disabled are expendable while others aren't sends a clear message that the disabled person's life is less valuable.
(2) I'm not confusing anything objective or subjective. I'm distinguishing between intrinsic value and instrumental value. I argue that equal protection of the law only applies if human life is valuable in and of itself (i.e. if human life has intrinsic value). If human life isn't valuable in and of itself, if human life is just a means for acquiring something else, then there's no reason to treat all human beings with equal respect (i.e. if human life only has instrumental value). Pro doesn't seem to understand the distinction between intrinsic value and instrumental value. It's a pretty standard distinction in moral philosophy. 
== Unintended Consequences ==
(1) Pro doesn't address the "slippery slope" arguments at all. Legalizing voluntary euthanasia leads to the legalization of non-voluntary euthanasia. The slippery slope is not just a theoretical probability -- the slippery slope is an empircal reality, proven by the Dutch experiment. Pro doesn't dispute that at all. He just says that non-voluntary euthanasia is different and therefore irrelevant. But it's not irrelevant, because it's the direct result of legalizing voluntary euthanasia, as both a theoretical and empirical matter.
(2) Pro misrepresents Dutch law. In the Netherlands, doctors can kill patients without their consent. [Pro's 3]   The conditions Pro cites are actually just the conditions necessary to avoid prosecution, even if there was an error or abuse. Furthermore, there's tons of evidence of euthanasia performed incorrectly in the Netherlands. [Pro's 3] Official Dutch surveys show a high incidence of clandestine euthanasia, suggesting that half of all killings go unreported to authorities as required by law. And in these unreported incidents, most doctors admit to not following any required protocols. 
== Corruption ==
(1) Pro suggests that euthanasia doesn't violate the Hippocratic Oath. This is what the Hippocratic Oath says: "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I give advice which may cause death." If doctors can't give advice that causes death, they certainly can't euthanize their patients. The Hippocratic Oath requires that doctors heal, and it prohibits them from killing their patients.
(2) Pro misunderstands my absolution point. If a patient can commit suicide, but chooses instead to have a doctor euthanize him or her, then that patient is absolved of any moral responsibility that comes from committing suicide. The doctor thus functions as a priest, taking moral responsibility for his patient's death instead of his patient. Euthanasia places doctors in a moral rather than medical role. That euthanasia requires no medical monitoring only serves to emphasize this point.
(3) Pro doesn't against my point that euthanasia could disincentivize the development of better medical care. Instead, Pro challenges me to provide empirical evidence, but that mistakes the nature of my argument. I was making an analytic argument based on the laws of economics. To adequately respond, my opponent must explain why my analysis is wrong, not simply request empirical evidence. The logic for my argument is straightforward -- euthanasia is a cheap means of responding to patients suffering grave pain, so why research better medical care if euthanasia is a cheaper option? Thus, legalization disincentivizes research of better pain medicines.
== Suicide ==
(1) Assisted Suicide
I didn't realize my opponent was arguing for assisted suicide -- the resolution said euthanasia specifically -- so I'll drop this point.
Even those with "locked-in" syndrome, paralyzed entirely except for eye movements, have an option of refusing food and water as long as they can communicate their wishes. The reality is that anyone can kill themselves with a little forward planning and determination. That fact makes euthanasia unnecessary. Nicklinson's case shows that there's escape from life for anyone who wants it. Furthermore, there may be a technological fix to locked-in syndrome in the future; it's important to incentivize technological advancement over euthanasia.
(3) Make Deadly Drugs Available
First, Pro's autonomy, compassion, and who-are-we-to-judge principles support making deadly drugs available to everyone. If someone wants to kill themselves, who are we to judge?
Second, the point of making deadly drugs available is to provide a quick and painless death. That's also the point of assisted suicide, except my version is better because suicides are morally responsible for their deaths instead of doctors. There's no corruption of the medical profession, and there's no risk of abuse or mistake (i.e. involuntary euthanasia).
Third, anyone can commit murder or suicide already, so there's no reason murder or suicide rates would increase. Murder is already illegal; that's enough disincentive for murder. Access to lethal drugs doesn't incentivize murder more than all the other means for murder. And access to lethal drugs also doesn't incentivize suicide; there's already ways to kill yourself available. In fact, available drugs can already be used to kill yourself. These drugs are simply more efficient at it, but that doesn't mean suicides would increase.
However, I want to emphasize that my advocacy doesn't depend on making deadly drugs available. I'm simply offering two better options: (1) the status quo (where euthanasia is simply illegal), or (2) making deadly drugs available. I argue that each of these options is better than legalizing euthanasia, but I don't need to prove both to win this debate. As long as one of these options is better than euthanasia, I win the debate.
 Neil Gorsuch, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
I want to thank my opponent for a very impressive rebuttal.
I made three arguments to support my contention:
1. The right to die and self determination
My opponent and I both support assisted suicide, and the right to commit suicide. But as he mentioned in round 2, we disagree whether euthanasia is a basic right. He argued that "under an autonomy principle, we'd have to honor requests to be euthanized from all competent individuals".
I want to explain to my opponent that he appears to be misunderstanding what euthanasia is. Euthanasia only applies to those who don't have the means to commit suicide otherwise . Euthanasia is less about the method (how it's done)… but more about the purpose (the right to die). The dying person couldn't care less about who would euthanatize them or how. They just want to die peacefully.
By denying them the right to euthanasia, they are essentially being denied the right to die… they are denied the right to self determination… they are denied the right to autonomy.
My opponent argues that "Pro can't justify euthanasia through autonomy, since his advocacy restricts the availability of euthanasia."
The reason that euthanasia shouldn't be allowed to everyone else is because most people have the ability to commit suicide. As I mentioned earlier, euthanasia is about the purpose (dying) not the method. There's no need for euthanasia for the average joe since they can commit suicide. For example, a Winnipeg woman travelled to Switzerland to take lethal pills and die . There was no justification for euthanasia for her; however I hoped that Canada would have allowed her to receive the lethal drugs.
2. Wasted health resources and public funds
My opponent challenges my claim that euthanasia would "reduce waiting times and improve the overall quality of care." My opponent didn't agree or disagree that waiting times will be reduced (which logically would improve the quality of care). But he argues that economic matters shouldn't factor into moral decisions.
This is a straw man argument. I agree with my opponent that economic matters shouldn't factor much into moral decisions. But what I argued was: "To spend these resources to forcefully preserve the lives of patients against their will is ridiculous." Health resources are scarce… By denying those patients euthanasia, you are hurting two birds at the same time… the patient that you are denying his or her dignity to die, and the patient that you are not providing a hospital bed. How moral is this?
3. Prohibition targets innocents
My opponent challenged my arguments with straw man arguments. He said for example that "in the Marie Fleming case, nobody innocent was ever prosecuted." I agree, but that's not the point. Marie Fleming's partner didn't kill Marie because he was threatened with 14 years in prison. There are numerous reports were innocents were charged for assisted dying  .
My opponent argued that pain alone is not the main reason for euthanasia. I don't argue that pain is the central argument of my claims. The three main reasons shown by my opponent are: loss of autonomy (93%), decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (89%), and loss of dignity (73%) . This doesn't change anything.
My opponent also claims that "we shouldn't change the law out of pity." This is a clever statement, but it's misleading. It's not out of pity that we give people human rights and the freedom of opinion. I personally, due to my religious beliefs, don't support euthanasia, assisted suicide or suicide in principal. It's not out of pity that I think euthanasia should be legalized. It's because I realize that I don't have any right to deny them their rights, even if I disagree with what they decide to do. This is not about pity.
(1) My opponent claims that "telling disabled people that doctors are legally allowed to kill them but not allowed to kill others clearly sends a message that they're expendable". This argument is invalid because disabled people have the ability to kill themselves (through assisted suicide which my opponent supports). Euthanasia only applies to those who don't have the means to end it on their own.
(2) My opponent argues that "equal protection of the law only applies if human life is valuable in and of itself". I don't disagree. However it doesn't follow that the protection of the law means the suppression of their right to end their lives.
c. Slippery Slope
My opponent argues that I "didn't address the slippery slope argument". He also doesn't agree that it's a red herring fallacy for this debate, which in fact it is the case. He claims that it’s an empirical reality that non-voluntary euthanasia will follow by citing one example. This is a fallacy. This is similar to saying that "All people will become gamblers after going to the casino because that's exactly what happened to my friend". I'm sorry con – I don't accept this argument at all. I can discuss it on a separate debate.
d. Hippocratic Oath
I was disappointed that my opponent brought the ancient Hippocratic Oath and not the modern one . That ancient oath, which no one follows, starts with this:
"I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius the surgeon, likewise Hygeia and Panacea, and call all the gods and goddesses to witness, that I will observe and keep this underwritten oath, to the utmost of my power and judgment."
You couldn't possibly believe that modern doctors follow this. The modern oath (shown in my source ) doesn't contradict euthanasia.
e. Refusal to commit suicide
My opponent states "If a patient can commit suicide, but chooses instead to have a doctor euthanize him or her…etc" I don't disagree with my opponent! For those cases, they should be subscribed lethal pills (as Con also suggests). We are not in disagreement.
f. Euthanasia discourages research?
My opponent argues analytically (not with empirical evidence) that euthanasia will discourage research. Without empirical evidence, you can only speculate. I argue that there should be no impact because the rate of euthanatized people is too small for this to have an impact on the research. There's no reason to believe that all, or most, terminally ill people will choose euthanasia (I certainly hope not!).
I also find it interesting that my opponent places moral decision above all when he says "economic matters shouldn't factor into moral decisions". I could also argue that "research shouldn't factor into moral decisions!"
But what disturbs me about the "analysis" is that you're denying people their rights out of fear of some hypothetical impacts. This is irresponsible. It's more responsible to study the impact first before justifying denying people their rights… not the other way around.
My opponent argued that terminally ill people "have an option of refusing food and water as long as they can communicate their wishes". This is horrific! To die out of voluntary hunger and thirst is the better option is shocking. In my earlier round, I showed a lady who starved herself for 17 days before quitting! I can't accept this argument.
h. Deadly drugs available to everyone
My opponent argues that "we should make deadly drugs available to everyone".
We've already agreed that assisted suicide is the better option for those who can kill themselves. However, for those who wish to die but have no means to do so, this is not a solution and we're back to square one. Remember… euthanasia is about the purpose (which is the wish to die), not the method (how to peacefully die).
== Rebuttal ==
Pro's changing his advocacy. He was arguing that euthanasia as "the painless killing of a patient (at their request) suffering from an incurable and painful disease." This isn't limited to people unable to commit suicide on their own. This includes anyone with an incurable and painful disease. Don't let Pro change his advocacy now after he's argued the entire debate -- including his definitions in Round 1 -- that euthanasia is available to anyone with an incurable and painful disease.
Pro's case hinges on restricting euthanasia to people unable to commit suicide. I argue that anyone who can communicate has the ability to commit suicide. If you can communicate, then you can refuse medical treatment, and you can refuse food/water. That's enough to commit suicide. The only way that suicide isn't an option is if someone cannot communicate. But if someone cannot communicate, then they're not able to request euthanasia, meaning that euthanasia isn't available to them. Thus, Pro's position that euthanasia is only available to those who can't commit suicide is incoherent, since voluntary euthanasia simply cannot be available to those who can't communicate.
Pro's version of euthanasia is underinclusive. If euthanasia is justified on autonomy grounds (i.e. self-determination), then euthanasia should be extended to anyone who wants it. But in Pro's world, euthanasia is only extended to those who cannot communicate (i.e. those who cannot kill themselves). Thus, Pro's version of euthansia is underinclusive in that most people with an incurable and painful disease can't request euthanasia because they're able to kill themselves. I argue Pro's version of a euthanasia law is totally superfluous, since nobody qualifies for Pro's "euthanasia only for people who can't commit suicide" law.
(3) Health Resources
Pro seems to misunderstand my argument. I'm weighing "lower waiting times" against "increased suicides" (i.e. more people choosing euthanasia). In weighing these impacts, there's two things voters should consider: probability and magnitude. The probability for increased suicides (i.e. more euthanasia) is higher than for lower waiting times because lower waiting times are a result of more euthanasia. I win probability. Increased suicides is also of greater magnitude. Lower waiting times has a marginal effect on the quality of healthcare, while increased suicides means more people dead, earlier, when they still had things to live for. More suicides means families left behind hurt by the suicide. My argument is about weighing "lower waiting times" against its necessary cause -- increased suicides -- and arguing that increased suicides outweigh lower waiting times.
Pro also misunderstands my argument that economic matters shouldn't factor into moral decisions. The decision to request euthanasia should not turn on your feeling of being a financial burden. Pro's logic suggests that someone who's considering euthanasia should consider -- as part of their moral decision to commit suicide -- the resources they'll free up. That's extremely slippery logic that leads down a path to straight utilitarianism. In effect, it equates economic thinking with moral thinking. I'm arguing against utilitarianism, and I'm arguing that weighing goods like "life" against goods like "lower waiting times" simply shouldn't be part of a person's decision to commit suicide (i.e. to end their life).
First, innocents charged for "assisted dying" aren't committing euthanasia; they're "assisting dying." Second, these "innocents" aren't being convicted of anything, so there's no harm. Pro hasn't shown any harm to innocents, so there's no impact to this argument. Unless there's actual harm to innocents, Pro loses this argument.
Pro misunderstands the nature of euthanasia. The law isn't about granting or denying rights to patients. Euthanasia doesn't give patients a right to die -- patients are already free to die, by committing suicide, refusing medical treatment, and so on. What euthanasia laws do is empower doctors. I want to be clear about this. The right granted by euthanasia is the right to kill -- and it's a right given to doctors, not patients. I argue that the right to kill shouldn't be granted. I argue that, as a legal principle, there shouldn't be a right to kill (that's effectively murder), and that consent on the part of the victim shouldn't be a defense. Just as a contract regarding slavery isn't and shouldn't be recognized by the law, neither should the law recognize a contract where one person kills another who has agreed to be killed. That's simply not a right that the law should recognize. On the other hand, I agree with Pro that the law should recognize a right to commit suicide, and a right to refuse medical treatments. Those are valuable rights that preserve bodily integrity and freedom, and it's important to preserve those rights while keeping euthanasia illegal.
== My Case ==
(1) Suicide is and should be legal. That is the only right to die that the law can enshrine. Empowering people to intentionally kill another isn't a right and it shouldn't be enshrined in the law.
(2) Pro's euthanasia law undermines equality by restricting euthanasia to certain people. The result is that euthanasia sends a message that some people's lives are expendable and other people's lives aren't expendable. In effect, some people are deemed inferior to others and therefore their life isn't give the full protection of the law. Pro doesn't dispute this. Instead, he just argues that the argument is invalid because of assisted suicide but that doesn't solve his problem. Assisted suicide -- at least as I propose it -- should be extended to all (plus I dropped assisted suicide, implying I'm not supporting it for this debate, and only supported it because of a misunderstanding). Pro also agrees that human life is valuable in and of itself, so any law that allows killing of someone people demeans the inherent value of human life, thereby demanding equality.
(3) Pro hasn't given any reason to believe the slippery slope won't happen. I've given both a theoretical and empirical reason to believe it will: (a) the logic used to justify euthanasia (easing someone's suffering; lower waiting times) seems to justify involuntary euthanasia, and (b) empirically, there's evidence the slippery slope is probable because it happened in the Netherlands. Pro gives no counters other than simply calling my argument a "fallacy" and a "red herring," but simply calling my argument a "fallacy" and "red herring" doesn't refute it. Pro needed to actually explain why my argument is theoretically and empirically wrong by giving analytic and empirical reasons of his own. Pro didn't do this, so I win this point.
(4) Pro says the "rate of euthananized people is too small for this to have an impact on the research." Pro also says the "impact" is too speculative. If that's true, then apply that logic to Pro's "lower waiting times" argument: euthanasia has no effect on waiting times because the effect of euthanasia on the economy is negligible, and moreover, the impacts are too speculative to have any relevance in this debate. Pro's argument about "research" not factoring into moral decisions simply isn't the reality of the world we live; I agree that'd be nice, but as things are, research and development is dictated by the economy, the flows of demand and supply.
== Conclusion ==
Euthanasia undermines equality, corrupts the medical profession, deprives suicide of meaning, and leads to a number of unintended consequences (including involuntary euthanasia). The alternatives are much better. The status quo, where euthanasia is simply illegal, is a much better option than euthanasia. On the other hand, making deadly drugs available to everyone is better than euthanasia as well, since it promotes Pro's value -- autonomy -- more than under my Pro's model. My proposal has all the benefits of euthanasia, but it also has other benefits, such as not undermining equality, not leading to involuntary euthanasia, and not corrupting the medical profession. The key problem with euthanasia is that it empowers doctors to intentionally kill patients. And just as contracts for slavery aren't allowed, contracts allowing murder shouldn't be allowed.
Again, thanks for the debate, Pro. I urge a strong vote for Con.
I agreed not to make arguments in this round, so I'm limiting myself to some summary and a couple clarifications.
Clarification: I argued "assisted suicide" because of a misunderstanding. I thought Pro was arguing only for euthanasia, because the title doesn't say anything about "assisted suicide." After I realized the mistake, I dropped "assisted suicide" entirely. I switched gears to arguing against it. There's ambiguity about what the resolution is -- is it solely about euthanasia or does it include assisted suicide? This was unclear so I dropped assisted suicide. For purposes of this debate, then, I argue against assisted suicide. All of my contentions apply both to euthanasia and assisted suicide. I want to clarify that my arguments are aimed at both, because Pro mistakenly thinks I support assisted suicide. Don't punish me for Pro's misunderstanding.
Summary: Euthanasia gives doctors the right to kill terminally ill patients. I argued based on that fact that euthanasia undermines equality, corrupts doctors, deprives suicide of meaning, and leads down a slope to involuntary euthanasia. I gave two alternatives: the status quo, where things remain as they are now, with euthanasia illegal, and my other option that we make deadly drugs available. Pro's arguments are that euthanasia improves autonomy and saves money. I argued that this isn't true, and I argued that my proposal for deadly drugs does those things better -- autonomy and costs -- while not falling prey to any of the harms of euthanasia.
Thanks for the debate. Vote Con.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|