Debate Rounds (4)
The first round is for acceptance, rules and definition. The last round will be a closing statement where no new arguments will be started.
1) No swearing directed at someone
3) Always conduct yourself politely
I believe euthanasia should be legalized in the UK.
Active euthanasia " where a person deliberately intervenes to end someone"s life, for example, by injecting them with sedatives.
Passive euthanasia " where a person causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life, such as withholding antibiotics in someone with pneumonia
Euthanasia can also be classified as:
Voluntary euthanasia " where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks for
help to do this.
Non-voluntary euthanasia " where a person is unable to give their consent (for example, because they are in a coma or are severely brain damaged) and another person takes the decision on their behalf, often because the ill person previously expressed a wish for their life to be ended in such circumstances.
Involuntary euthanasia " where a person is killed against their expressed wishes
Rules: I agree to the three rules that you set out about remaining civil within the round. I also agree to refrain from new arguments in Round 4. I think we should also refrain from offering new evidence in Round 4 as well.
Burden: I think burden of proof should be shared. Pro shows legalization should occur; Con shows it should not.
Definitions: I agree with your definitions of euthanasia--I think we should consider the term "euthanasia" as encompassing all of the various sub-categories of it that you mention. I also think we should define "should" as "indicating that something is the right thing to do." I hope all of my suggestions are okay, and that we can begin the debate.
I look forward to a promising debate!
I like your suggestions as well, yes.
I think euthanasia should be legalized for many reasons. In fact, don't understand why euthanasia is a controversial debate in the first place. What is so immoral with ending someones life if they are in insufferable pain and who want to die? I would say it is more cruel to keep someone alive against their wishes. You put animals to sleep and put them out of their misery, why not human beings?
If you want to look at euthanasia from a liberal point of view, people have an explicit right to die and I don't think that someone should take that option away from them. Most people agree with human rights e.g. right to life, right to liberty and life to a fair trial etc. Why not right to die?
Also, this could lead us to another point, we shouldn't even need a separate right allowing us to die as I think 'right to liberty' gives us the right to euthanasia, and euthanasia being illegal is in a sense, prevents our right to liberty.
You can also look at euthanasia on an emotional level. If you allow people the right to die it can give the family of the deceased some comfort that they did not suffer anymore than they needed to, and that they were in the comfort of their family, you would also be able to say a final goodbye to your loved ones.
Euthanasia also allows the deceased to retain their dignity, so they don't have to be seen helpless, suffering and in chronic pain.
I think one of the most important points when fighting for euthanasia is why should someone be kept alive, especially when they know they do not want to live. A perfect example of this is the case of Tony Nicklisnson:
He had to starve himself in the end has his appeal was rejected and he could not end his life any other way without the help of his family (active euthanasia), which is murder or manslaughter. In fact, Britons have had to go over to Switzerland to have the legal right to die. One important sentence in the article is "For those who traveled with them, there was always the fear of prosecution but, to date, no-one who accompanied any of the 182 Britons has been prosecuted." Although no one has actually been prosecuted, there has always been a fear. Which I think is bad enough!
To look at the argument from a philosophical point of view, is death actually a bad thing? In some cases people prefer death over life, that's why people commit suicide. Why should death be regarded as such a bad thing? If you are going to die anyway, an example of this could be a cancer patient who has discovered the cancer in too late a stage to act on it, and who is going to die anyway.
Euthanasia isn't the act of killing someone healthy, it is the act of giving someone a dignified end to their life, who is going die anyway.
PRESENTING THE CON'S CASE
It is my core stance that euthanasia, as it is defined within this round, is too broad and open to abuse, and should therefore not be legalized.
Just a quick observation: Euthanasia has many subsets, as noted in Round One. We agreed that the term "euthanasia" applied to all of those subsets, and consequently, if euthanasia is made legal, than so are all of those subsets.
Contention One: Involuntary euthanasia should not be legalized.
Involuntary euthanasia was defined as "where a person is killed against their expressed wishes." I see very little than distinguishes this from murder. In fact, this could become an excuse for murderers who wish to escape their crimes. If I kill a cancer patient for their money, I could very easily say I was engaging in involuntary euthanasia, and escape my prison sentence. It creates a slippery slope that ought to be avoided.
Contention Two: Non-voluntary euthanasia should not be legalized.
If a patient is unable to give their consent, they should not be killed; namely, because it enables others to exploit their inability to speak for themselves. A relative could easily kill their comatose family member in order to inherit the money. By no means can we be sure that an individual is not making the call to euthanize someone out of self-interest. The welfare and desires of the patient should be considered paramount, and we can hardly claim that killing someone for their money is an act done out of empathetic concern for a patient"s wellbeing. To avoid such instances as this, or at least to minimize them, consent must be obtained. Furthermore, there have been cases wherein people suddenly awake from comas; if they had been euthanized, this new chance at life would have been lost.
Lastly, it seems to me that patient"s near the end of their lives or severely afflicted by illness oftentimes do not make decisions in their right mind. So even if consent were obtained, it could still be insufficient. Consent should, with an issue of this magnitude, be informed and made in a rational, calm state. Permitting anything else would be too risky. Thus, non-voluntary euthanasia (as well as voluntary euthanasia when consent is questionable) should be prohibited.
Analysis: Contentions One and Two illustrate how legalizing such a broad idea of euthanasia sets us on a slippery slope that could easily open Pandora"s Box. It could, at worst, permit murder and even enable people to make life-or-death calls out of self-interest or spite, rather than concern for the afflicted individual.
Contention Three: Life is too important to throw away.
Existentialist Albert Camus argued that life is a search for meaning, and the moment we decide to end that search, our live become meaningless. I cannot help but agree with this approach. All humans aspire to be greater, to self-actualize, and to grow/evolve. We, as people, are constantly looking for purpose and meaning in our lives, but when we surrender to death, we seem to say "I can no longer grow as an individual." I don"t believe that"s true; even with only a few days left, there are always things we can do, be they talking with family or reflecting on our own lives.
Contention Four: Euthanasia shouldn"t be legalized because a government"s job is to protect its people from death.
This goes through a standard social contract analysis. A government"s job is to prevent you from coming to harm. Death is a harm, and the moment we deny that it is a harm is the beginning of yet another slippery slope. Thus, a government should not let you die, and should not permit euthanasia to be legalized.
Analysis: it would be both immoral and irresponsible of a government to legalize euthanasia, particularly from a philosophical perspective. Thus, I rest my case.
REFUTING PRO"S CASE
I think my contentions three and four rebut this whole notion of a "right to die." Also, think of what types of problems that could create"if, one night, someone got drunk and started to feel depressed, should they be allowed to kill themselves? Do they have a right to die, even if they might feel completely different tomorrow? I don"t think it"s safe to just let people start killing themselves. Furthermore, you must be conscious to exercise a right; this would seem to mean that non-voluntary euthanasia would be illegal, as it does not allow people to choose to employ that right. The same can be said of involuntary euthanasia.
Euthanasia may create the illusion that dignity is preserved, and it might be a nice euphemism for the family to hide behind, but ultimately, someone has died, and a life has been lost. If we truly accord human life dignity, we would not take the step of violating it, especially when there are ways to cope with pain.
The case of the man starving himself is only one instance, and cannot obfuscate the fact that euthanasia is problematic. Finally, my third contention addresses the importance of life.
PRIMA FACIE REASONS TO REJECT PRO"S CASE
(1) Miracle Cures or surprise remissions are known to cure. We should not allow people to take their own lives if there is a chance, however slight, that they may recover.
(2) Pro"s case would let loose Pandora"s Box, and therefore, because of the risks posed by some forms of euthanasia, the practice as a whole should not be legalized.
(3) Medical technologies are always advancing. Who knows, in 10 years there may be a cure for a coma patient"s condition. Again, if there is a chance of improving, we should not take a life.
(4) Pro"s arguments are predicated on the idea that victims are suffering, yet a comatose individual is not necessarily suffering, and there are ways of moderating the pain. Furthermore, where do we draw the line"how much pain is enough to euthanize someone? If I break a kneecap, can I be euthanized? How do we draw a non-arbitrary line that allows us to determine how much pain is too much? If we cannot do that, then euthanasia cannot be justified because there would be little to no reason for it.
Thus, I negate that euthanasia should be legalized, and I look forward to the next round of debate!
I can understand why you think involuntary euthanasia should not be legalized, as that is a form of murder, your viewpoint is totally understandable. However, what about voluntary euthanasia? Where a person "makes a conscious decision to die and asks for help to do this". As the person has actually made the decision themselves, but just need help in doing this. They have requested it themselves, so what do you do? Tell them no? That is taking away their rights.
However non- voluntary euthanasia is very controversial and more of a slippery slope. What do you do is a patient is brain dead and their chances of waking up are very limited (for arguments sake lets say 3% chance of waking up), the chances of that are so slim. I think of this on more of a practical level. It can maybe save scarce medical resources that could go towards a coma patient who have a 90% chance of waking up. Also, comas are unique to different people, and it depends on their type of situation.
Also, on your point on contention 2, you said "it seems to me that patient"s near the end of their lives or severely afflicted by illness oftentimes do not make decisions in their right mind.". What if it was made legal that consent for euthanasia must be obtained before they end up in a state where they are not in their right mind? Then that decision would be made in the right mind, so before they get to that state, they have already given their consent. Then your point wouldn't be a problem.
Your third point as well, life is too precious. Yes, life is important and precious, I think all life is important, and not just human life, but we lay animals to rest. But, is human life that important it should be strung out right to the very bitter end? I don't think so. I think life is important, and anybody who has got a life, shouldn't be made to suffer whilst living it. This brings me back to my first point as well, is death such a bad thing? Why is it regarded as such a bad thing? Without death, their would be no life. People don't know what death is, so I think that is why people think that death is a bad thing, scared of it and try to delay it.
I agree with your point as well, it is the governments job to look after people, but, it is also the governments job to grant people their rights. That's why the Human Rights Act 1998 was passed.
When you say as well "Also, think of what types of problems that could create"if, one night, someone got drunk and started to feel depressed, should they be allowed to kill themselves? " Well, if they kill themselves, so what? That is suicide, not euthanasia, and suicide is not illegal, so that is fairly irrelevant as suicide and euthanasia or two separate issues (how I regard them anyway).
Here are some more points as well, why it should be legalized.
You said that people would use euthanasia to their advantage, by pressuring, or making the decision on behalf of them. Yes, that can happen, but can't it also be regulated? Yes, it can. Murder, theft, armed robbery, rape and assault are all prohibited by the law, but people still do it. The same with euthanasia, not all people are going to use it for the worst, in most cases, for the best. But it can be regulated, but that doesn't mean people are never going to use it to their advantage.
As I stated briefly earlier as well, thinking on it on a practical level, it can free up maybe scarce medial resources or medicines that could maybe go to a younger patient, or a patient with more of a chance of success.
Also, their is no harm to the state, like you said, you may view human life as precious, but I don't feel like I should be able to force someone to stay alive against their wishes. By not legalizing euthanasia, you are not giving the patient any choice at all, but by legalized, you at least give the person the choice.
Here are some other right to die cases:
- Diane Pretty was terminally ill with motor neuron disease. She wanted the courts to give her husband immunity from prosecution if he was to help her to die. In Nov. 2001 the House of Lords Refused her application. I doubt her husband would have pressured her to the point of taking her case to the House of Lords and I would assume she would be in her right mind to carry as legal case like that. So why was her application refused?
- Ms. B was left tetraplegic by a brain condition. She went to court because doctors refused to stop her artificial ventilation
- Mrs. Z who had an incurable degenerative disease, wanted to go to Switzerland to die and Mr.Z to arrange it. An injunction to prevent the travel was granted to the local authority. It was overturned in 2004.
- MS sufferer Debbie Purdy challenged the lack of clarity on the law on assisted suicide. She wanted to understand how prosecutors would make a decision on whether or not to prosecute her husband, if he was to assist her to get to Switzerland to be helped to die. Ms Purdy won her case and guidance was issued.
Reasons to reject con's case summed up:
- Euthanasia can be regulated
- Euthanasia can be useful for coma patients as it can free up health resources
- It is the governments job to look after people, but to also grant them their rights
- Life is precious, but death shouldn't always be regarded as a bad thing. If there was no death, there would be no life
- There is noting wrong with voluntary euthanasia, especially euthanasia is given consent before they lose their right mind. Or non-voluntary euthanasia to a certain extent and in some circumstances
Here are plenty of reasons why euthanasia should be make legal.
I apologize for writing so much as well, I do get caught up in these debates and I do end up writing mini essays. I'll keep it shorter in the next round. I also look forward to the next round as well. Good luck.
We agreed that the term "euthanasia" applied to all the various subsets thereof. The topic, which reads: "euthanasia should be legalized in the UK" consequently indicates that the Pro side must advocate for all forms of euthanasia included under than umbrella term. In other words, in the Pro world, euthanasia and all of the different types of it that it implies, must be made legal, including involuntary euthanasia. This is what I stated in my first observation: "Euthanasia has many subsets, as noted in Round One. We agreed that the term 'euthanasia' applied to all of those subsets, and consequently, if euthanasia is made legal, than so are all of those subsets." This was never contested. Therefore, my argument is that because many of the various forms of euthanasia pose serious problems, "euthanasia" as a whole should not be legalized, because the term is too broad. This also means that I'm not saying specific types of euthanasia shouldn't be legal or decriminalized, merely that "euthanasia" as a whole is wrong, which is what this debate is about. However, many of my point, including my contentions three and four, do pertain to all forms of euthanasia, but are not necessary, as a result, to meet my burden.
DEFENSE OF THE CON
One: The first thing to state is that the Pro, in the first line of round three, essentially concedes my first contention. This means, that under the burden I established in my overview, we should automatically vote Con, because voting Pro would legalize murder, essentially opening up Pandora's Box. The harms posed by the legalization of murder far outweigh the benefits the Pro claims it derives from euthanasia, because the Pro would be allowing healthy, possibly happy people to be wantonly slain.
Two: Your argument about justifying euthanizing a patient less likely to reawaken in order to help someone more likely to do so strikes me as very antithetical to the notion of human dignity you espouse. Let's say Person A has a 3% chance of reawakening, while Person B has a 90% chance of so doing. Euthanizing Person A would be treating them as a means to an end, the end being Person B's better care. At that point, we stop seeing Person A as a human deserving of respect and dignity, but more so a burden preventing Person B's care. Person A becomes nothing more than a tool to help out Person B. Central to your argument is the idea that euthanasia accords dying people dignity; yet, in the very scenario you posit, Person A is dehumanized, reduced to little more than an encumbrance on Person B's treatment. This seems to fly in the face of human dignity. Furthermore, Pro fails to fully address my notion that non-voluntary euthanasia enables the exploitation of the comatose individual, which also runs contrary to morality and human dignity.
Analysis: I think either of these two points on their own is sufficient to vote Con, as they illustrate how (1) Pro leads to a slippery slope, and how (2) Pro's core premise of "euthanasia respects human dignity" is false.
Three: Even if consent were obtained beforehand, a person could change their mind but be unable to record that change prior to the event that would cause them to be euthanized. Additionally, how can any consent to euthanasia really be informed, especially when you are unaware of the circumstances that may precipitate a need for it? For instance, what if I only wished to be euthanized if it can be show I am in severe pain, but not if I'm just comatose? What then? Who's to make the call as to whether I'm in "severe pain," enough that I would've wanted to die? Can anyone accurately predict or take into account all the variables that could come into play?
Four: Pro asserts, "anybody who has got a life, shouldn't be made to suffer whilst living it." So, if I have chronic back pain or fibromyalgia or some other condition that will leave me in pain the rest of my life, I can be euthanized? That seems to be a very risky position to take, especially since many conditions that cause long-term of life-long suffering are not fatal. That goes back to my argument about, where do we draw the line--how much pain, and what type of pain (emotional, physical, terminal, non-terminal, etc.) is enough to justify euthanasia? How do we arrive at that conclusion fairly? People can, even with the conditions I named, engage in happy and rewarding lives. I don't think it's right to deprive them of that opportunity; even if the illness is terminal, there are always things you can do to add meaning to your life.
Analysis: "Four" is another great way to vote Con; if life has value such that it shouldn't be abridged, than euthanasia ought not to be legalized.
Five: I don' t believe that death is a right. The basic tenet of every legitimate government is that it upholds its people's right to life. How can it fully do that, if it also accords people the right to death? Furthermore, you ask why death is such a bad thing. I argued: "death is a harm, and the moment we deny that it is a harm is the beginning of yet another slippery slope." One might even be able to construe a right to death as a legitimate defense for murder, returning to the harms I cited in my contention one. Government's ability to protect people from threats will be hampered, because it has to allow people to die. Finally, my contention three explains why death is a bad thing as well.
I think I can rephrase my example to better illustrate the crux of what I'm saying. If, one night, someone was fed up with chronic arthritis pain, or began to feel depressed, should they be permitted to demand that they be euthanized? Do they have a right to die, even if they might feel completely different tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, etc.? I still don't think it's safe to just let people start requesting euthanasia.
Analysis: "Five" is a clear way to vote Con, as it emphasizes the slippery slope argument.
RESPONSE TO THE PRO
One: Insofar as you assent to the fact that euthanasia could be abused, I would say that it is not worth the risk. We should not allow people"s lives to hang on someone else's greed or spite. Even with regulations, this can't be prevented. We cannot permit lives to be taken on the basis of such base motives, as that would be in clear contravention of the notion of human dignity.
Analysis: This is another reason why the Con actually respects human dignity more than the Pro.
Two: Pro asserts this is an issue of choice--I disagree. I think this is an issue of life. Should we permit choice, while at the same time risking the legalization of murder, or treading down some other slippery slope? I think the cost-benefit analysis of choice vs. life favors the Con here.
Three: Individual cases do not an argument make. For every case the Pro cites, I could cite other miracle cures or instances where euthanasia was a bad option. Instead, we should look to the totality of the evidence, and the likely and broader impacts of the policy of legalizing euthanasia, rather than putting forth specific cases as evidence.
DROPS BY PRO
One: My arguments about miracle cures and medical advancements were never addressed. As long as there is a chance, however slight, that someone could improve in the future, they should not be euthanized.
Two: Pro's case is predicated on individuals suffering. Yet there are medications to alleviate pain, and the comatose are not necessarily suffering. If the pain is controllable or nonexistent, euthanasia should not occur. As I stated earlier: "Euthanasia may create the illusion that dignity is preserved, and it might be a nice euphemism for the family to hide behind, but ultimately, someone has died, and a life has been lost. If we truly accord human life dignity, we would not take the step of violating it, especially when there are ways to cope with pain."
Three: Pro drops my point that there is no fair and just way of determining how much pain, and what type of pain, would justify euthanasia. Without being able to do this, how can we say when its justified? Yet, without doing this, we cannot know if euthanasia was right or proportional in any particular instance, or if it was used in a fair fashion.
There are, in sum, just as many, if not more, reasons why euthanasia should not be legal: (1) the term "euthanaisa" is too broad, (2) life is important, (3) voting Pro would let loose chaos/a slippery slope, (4) Con better respect human dignity, (5) Pro's drops of Con's case present reasons to vote Con, and (6) there is no non-arbitrary way to determine how much pain would justify euthanasia.
Thus, I thank my opponent for yet another enjoyable round, and I await the next.
Round 4 is summing up the points.
This will be addressing your points very quickly:
Yes, all type of euthanasia should be covered. I will cover all of them below.
Just because I want euthanasia legalized doesn't mean I want all types legalized.
-Involuntary euthanasia should not be legalized, but it is the only form that I do not agree with. Just because I don't agree with one sub-section of euthanasia out of the three, doesn't mean it should stay illegal.
- Non-voluntary euthanasia is a slippery slope, but if regulated, it is not as problematic as con says it is.
- Active euthanasia should be legalized, there is no good reason why it should not be legalized. Like con did, you could use the excuse that they may feel depressed, but how many people with arthritis take it to the extent they want death. Probably none. I have arthritis in my knees, and I know as I get older, it will get worse, but I don't want death. That is a poor defense why it should not be legalized. Also, if they had chronic arthritis, depending on where it is, they could do it themselves, which is suicide, which is totally irrelevant to this issue.
- I have presented cases, of right to die cases, whereas con has presented none. These cases back up what I am saying, and help support my argument.
-Con says false dignity is preserved. How? Let me take you back to what I said in round 2 "If you allow people the right to die it can give the family of the deceased some comfort that they did not suffer anymore than they needed to, and that they were in the comfort of their family, you would also be able to say a final goodbye to your loved ones.
Euthanasia also allows the deceased to retain their dignity, so they don't have to be seen helpless, suffering and in chronic pain."
I can't see how this is undignified.
-Con keeps on bringing up the issue of pain. What if people are paralyzed from the neck down, have been for 2 years to try and cope with it, but they can't. What do you do? Euthanasia wasn't their first option, but do you still tell them no?
-Yes, you can get drugs to help with the pain, but for the last few months of their life, who would want to be living on painkillers? They maybe living, but they have no life. There is a difference between living and having a life. Also, painkillers would eventually become ineffective towards the last few weeks virtually.
- Con also says that it is murder? What if it requested? Active euthanasia. What if they ask to die, how is it murder?
- Con also says it is the killing of healthy people. I don't quite understand this position. I have never heard of someone healthy wanting euthanasia. Even if this point were true, they wouldn't need euthanasia as they would be capable of doing it themselves.
- You measure the amount of pain they are in 1) when the strong painkillers become ineffective 2)They cry all the time they are in constant pain 3) They ask for death, not just once, but repeatedly. Can mentions risky again, but regulation is possible. This point covers your point 3 and 4. How pain should be measured. I have addressed the previously dropped point, cons argument is invalid. Apologizes for the drop.
-It is the governments job to grant people life, but what about rights. What's the point in living if you have no rights? Why shouldn't death be a right to people. If they want it, just because they are 'disabled' doesn't mean they shouldn't be ignored.
-The 'slippery slope' argument is invalid as you can have regulation. Which con failed to reply to. Most of your points I can use this argument for, when people request it, regulate how long they must live like it before they are granted it. Family use it to their advantage, this is rare cases, but you can regulate this too.
- Medical advances I will address now (sorry for the drop): Yes, but when will you be able to cure paralyzed people, totally eradicate cancer, cure people of a stroke that has totally made them helpless. This would take YEARS. So why not legalize it from now till then? This argument is also invalid.
-Only have euthanasia for certain illnesses, this will stop it being over used. Cons arthritis argument is invalid here too.
MAIN POINTS WHY IT SHOULD BE LEGALIZED:
1)Gives the patient their rights
2)Death shouldn't always be regarded as a bad thing
3)It can be regulated- (Con dropped this point)
4)It at least gives the patient a choice, whereas non legalization does not - (Con dropped this point)
5)Allowing euthanasia frees up scare medical resources - (Con dropped this point to a certain extent)
6)If there is no harm to others, why not legalize it - (Con dropped this point)
7)People have an explicit right to die - (Con dropped this point)
8) The state have no right to interfere - (Con dropped this point)
9)It does give the patient their dignity
10)Is death such a bad thing?
11) People shouldn't be forced to stay alive (the argument of life is precious is invalid to a point)
12) Gives the family of the deceased some comfort of the deceased knowing they didn't go through more pain than is necessary
13) We euthanize animals -why not humans? It isn't regarded as cruel when we put an animal to sleep. (Con dropped this point)
14) Why do we have the right to say whether someone should be forced to stay alive against their wishes? Why do we presume that we know what is better for them, and keep them alive? What if they know what is better for themselves? (Con dropped this point)
Con said in round 3 " just as many, if not more, reasons why euthanasia should not be legal". You put 6 summed up reasons why is should not be legalized. I have put 14 summed up reasons as well. I believe I have the most reasons in my favor for why it should be legalized.
Thank you for a very enjoyable debate, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
We agreed that the term "euthanasia" "encompassed all of the various sub-categories of it." Because the topic reads: "Euthanasia should be legalized in the UK," we are talking about euthanasia as a whole. This, as my earlier analysis implied, indicates that a vote for Pro is a vote for legalizing all forms of euthanasia. You should accept my interpretation of the burdens not only because it is logical given the agreed upon definitions, but also because my Round One Observation was dropped entirely. Therefore, Pro is making a new argument in the final round regarding this, and we agreed that new arguments in the final round were prohibited. The crux of this point is that a vote for Pro is a vote for involuntary euthanasia, meaning that a vote for Pro, by the Pro"s own concession, is a vote for the legalization of murder. This is a clear reason to vote con.
I asserted that there is no fair way to determine how much pain, or what type of pain, was enough to justify death. Without establishing some sort of bright line for when euthanasia is acceptable, we cannot know whether euthanasia is being used appropriately. This is a reason to reject the legalization of euthanasia, because there is not legal or just means of deciding just when and how it should be used. It would be a completely arbitrary power. My arthritis example was merely meant to illustrate this"there is a woman I know who is completely immobile (and would need assistance to die) and in constant, but not unbearable, pain due to her condition. She is depressed and has asked to die. Is that sufficient to euthanize someone, or must they actually be at death"s door or in a living hell? As I pointed out earlier, "if I have chronic back pain or fibromyalgia or some other condition that will leave me in pain the rest of my life, I can be euthanized? That seems to be a very risky position to take, especially since many conditions that cause long-term of life-long suffering are not fatal." Many people can still live worthwhile lives with these types of conditions. So, what level of "constant pain" justifies killing someone? I think we must be absolutely sure about the answers to these questions before we take such an irrevocable step as to take a life. Pro has been unable to successfully answer these questions.
In fact, the Pro"s answers to those questions were new arguments made in the final round. New arguments were prohibited in Round Four. This is one reason to reject those arguments immediately. But, if you don"t accept that, the second reason is that the Pro"s answer itself is flaw. The Pro states euthanasia should be permitted if (1) you"re in constant pain, and (2) you repeatedly ask to die. I offered analysis illustrating how pain medications could be used to moderate pain (a point dropped by Pro), and how people nearing death or who are depressed are not in their right mind, and we should not construe their pleas for death as adequate consent.
The Con side actual respects human dignity better. The Pro challenges me to show how, but then utterly fails to address, and in fact whole drops, my warrants as to why the Con better respects human dignity. I will restate my dropped warrants, to reaffirm how the Con actually respects human dignity more.
Pro argues that we should euthanize a "patient less likely to reawaken in order to help someone more likely to do so." I countered with the following scenario: "Let's say Person A has a 3% chance of reawakening, while Person B has a 90% chance of so doing. Euthanizing Person A would be treating them as a means to an end, the end being Person B's better care. At that point, we stop seeing Person A as a human deserving of respect and dignity, but more so as a burden preventing Person B's care. Person A becomes nothing more than a tool to help out Person B. Central to your argument is the idea that euthanasia accords dying people dignity; yet, in the very scenario you posit, Person A is dehumanized, reduced to little more than an encumbrance on Person B's treatment. This seems to fly in the face of human dignity. Furthermore, Pro fails to fully address my notion that non-voluntary euthanasia enables the exploitation of the comatose individual [they could be killed out of greed or spite], which also runs contrary to morality and human dignity."
Pro makes additional new (and therefore illicit) arguments regarding medication in the final speech. Pro states that people don"t want to be on medication in their final moments, and that medications often fail as death approaches. This argument can be rejected out of hand because it is new. But, if you don"t reject it for that reason, here is another: (1) euthanasia is not solely for people on their deathbeds, which is all this analysis address, (2) I would think people would rather have some relief on medications than be in pain, (3) even if they chose do be in pain, that is no justification for euthanasia because there pain could easily be relieved (euthanasia is a "last resort," so as long as the medicines work, it cannot be permitted), and (4) Pro gives no warrant for the assertion that pain medications will invariably fails as death approaches.
GOVERNMENT, MURDER, RIGHTS, AND CONSENT
Pro states that I failed to reply to the "regulation" argument. I did, indeed, reply to this point. I stated that even if regulation were possible, it could not prevent all the harmful possible outcomes. When we are talking about directly taking someone"s life, I think regulation is an inadequate and incomplete protection; legalizing euthanasia is too great a risk. Furthermore, under the initial burden established in the round, legalizing euthanasia would pretty much legalize murder. How would we even proceed to regulate murder?
I also noted, that consent to die will never be informed, and thus, valid. Pro never addresses this. I stated: "how can any consent to euthanasia really be informed, especially when you are unaware of the circumstances that may precipitate a need for it? For instance, what if I only wished to be euthanized if it can be show I am in severe pain, but not if I'm just comatose? What then? Who's to make the call as to whether I'm in "severe pain," enough that I would've wanted to die? Can anyone accurately predict or take into account all the variables that could come into play?" So, when Pro asks "what if they ask to die, how is it murder?" The answer is because they were never able to give valid consent. Pro drops this point in round four.
I made three arguments against the "right to die." (1) That a Government"s chief duty was to ensure a right to life (how could it effectively do that if it has to allow people to die); (2) That a right to die sets us on a slippery slope that could legalize murder (so, even if you don"t buy my argument about burdens, here is another way euthanasia could legalize murder); (3) That life is too valuable to allow a right to die. Pro"s only rebuttal to my three arguments is to say, "What's the point in living if you have no rights? Why shouldn't death be a right to people?" This statement neither address the warrants I provided in my earlier remarks, nor does it actually respond to any of the points individually. Therefore, my points are, in essence, dropped, and can be extended.
OTHER ISSUES AND DROPS
Pro"s argument regarding medical advances is a new point, and should be discounted because of this. Even so, not all medical advances are years off. Furthermore, my argument that people often experience miracle cures is dropped. This means that there is always a chance people could live full and happy lives. As long as that possibility exists, euthanasia is wrong.
Pro drops my point that "For every case the Pro cites, I could cite other miracle cures or instances where euthanasia was a bad option. Instead, we should look to"the likely and broader impacts of the policy of legalizing euthanasia, rather than putting forth specific cases as evidence." Therefore, we should analyze what would happen in general, that what might happen in specific cases.
PRO"s VOTING ISSUES
Pro says it offers more reasons to vote for Pro than Con does for Con. More does not mean better. Furthermore, Pro"s voting issues are strung out to appear to be more than what they are. For example, voters 1, 7, and 8 are all about the right to die. Voters, 2 and 10 are identical. 11 and 14 are the same. So, really, Pro only has 7 voting issues. On top of that, voters 3 and 8 contradict (voter 8 also seems to be new, as we never discussed noninterference), because Pro says state should regulate it, but then stay out of it. Finally, Pro accuses me of dropping many of these points; however, a review of these and my previous remarks will show I did not.
REASONS TO VOTE CON
(1) The Pro case would legalize murder in one of two ways, but primarily, by legalizing involuntary euthanasia. This is a prima facie reason to vote Con.
(2) There is no means of determining when euthanasia is appropriate"and if we can determine when it is permissible to use, we shouldn"t use it because there would be a risk that we would be illegally or unjustly ending a life. It is the Governments responsibility to uphold life (even the Pro agrees with this to an extent) and therefore, it should not legalize euthanasia if it cannot fairly, and with certainty, define a threshold for when it may be used.
(3) Government has a duty to uphold life. Granting a right to die severely compromises the government"s ability to fulfill this obligation. This was largely dropped by Pro.
(4) Valid consent is unobtainable. This was largely dropped by Pro.
(7) The existence of miracle cures (which was dropped) means that every person has chance at recovery. As long as such a chance exists, people are never without hope, and can therefore, not justifiably be euthanized. There are also means of controlling a reducing pain that mitigate many of the Pro"s core assertions.
(5) Pro makes an insane amount of new arguments, and predicates several of the key issues in the round on these new statements. New arguments were prohibited in round four. Therefore, much of the Pro"s final speech, and many of the Pro"s points that relied on these new statements, can be ignored.
(6) Con better respects human dignity. All of my arguments for this were dropped by Pro.
Thus, I thank MoonGazer for a nice debate, and I urge a Con ballot.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Mostly I vote Con because Pro never really established that a supposed right to die actually exists. Pro makes a lot of appeals to emotion, but I think Con does pretty well at maintaining a consistent logical advocacy which is far more important in a debate than appeals to emotion. Cons turn on the saving medical resources argument (that this is treating people as a means to an end) stands in the end, and this is very significant as it shows Con is upholding Pros value of dignity better than he is. This was a good debate, but there are a myriad of other reasons to vote Con from Cons C4 (Pro only responded that the gov needs to respect rights, and since Pro didn't establish a right to die at all the contention then stands) to miracle cures, but ultimately I just wasn't given nearly enough evidence to change the status quo.
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