Debate Rounds (3)
Well, currently there is simply no case to answer. Please state your case.
Secondly, legalising euthanasia seems like the top of a slippery slope to me. In other words, if we allow certain "mercy killings," where do we stop? Should we, for example, legalise assisting suicide? Or involuntary euthanasia, where in the opinion of a qualified medical professional, someone would benefit from euthanasia, whereas that someone is unable to give his / her consent?
There are also numerous practical concerns with regards to euthanasia. How do we enforce it in such a way, so that only those, who genuinely wish to die, have their lives taken? How can we know for sure that the person is making a well-informed decision, and that he will not wish to withdraw it, after the act of euthanasia is carried out? After all, euthanasia is irreversible. And how is that person supposed to make a well-informed decision anyway, when he has no knowledge whatsoever about what's expecting him after death. You simply can't weigh the benefits and disadvantages of leading a maimed and handicapped existence against leading no existence whatsoever. As Lord Stephenson had once put it in his judgment in the case of McKay v Essex Area Health Authority, a case concerning abortion, "Even if a court were competent to decide between the conflicting views of theologians and philosophers and to assume an " after life" or non-existence as the basis for the comparison, how can a judge put a value on the one or the other, compare either alternative with the injured child's life in this world and determine that the child has lost anything, without the means of knowing what, if anything, it has gained?" I think that there is no reason for you to plead that death may be preferable to whatever kind of existence, without knowing first, what being dead involves.
Finally, I was going to offer some kind of a consolation to you, since you obviously seem concerned about the suffering many people undergo, which is a laudable thing, overall. In many countries, like the UK, for example, palliative care is available for free on the NHS and helps substantially alleviate the suffering of many patients. May be we should think of making healthcare universally accessible, rather than legalising euthanasia? The first option looks a lot more attractive to me.
Astroboy forfeited this round.
On the balance of probabilities, my opponent has failed to prove that legalising euthanasia is a sound measure. There are important practical considerations, that he failed to address. How is euthanasia supposed to be enforced? What aspects of it should remain illegal? Countries, like the UK, provide palliative care free of charge that already alleviate substantial amount of suffering and let the patients enjoy longer and happier lives? How is euthanasia a better alternative to providing free palliative care?
Given that these important questions simply weren't addressed, the burden of proof was not discharged, and the opponent should be deemed to have lost the debate.
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