Definition of Euthanasia:
"Painless killing of a person who has a painful incurable disease or incapacitating disorder" 
It should be noted that in this debate I'm advocating for voluntary euthanasia:
" When the person who is killed has requested to be killed" 
(4) Rebuttals/Closing Statements
(3) Rebuttals/Closing statements
(4) Shall type only "no round as agreed upon" and nothing else
(1) If my opponent fails to type "No round as agreed upon" in the last round will lead to a full 7 point FF. If my opponent types any other words besides "No round as agreed upon" in the last round, he or she will FF the entire debate with a 7 point loss.
(2) 10k character limits.
(3) No semantics or trolling/ this will result in a ff.
(4) Plagiarizing results in a FF.
(5) The rules, structure, and definitions of the debate cannot be negotiated or changed once the debate has started unless both debaters have reached an agreement on something to change or add.
(6) The BOP in this debate is shared.
In this first round I will merely construe the basic case against euthanasia, as my empirical and other arguments of interest serve a better purpose in the rebuttals sections when my opponent presents his case.
Euthanasia is a very intense topic, as one can imagine. Similar to abortion, questions of life and the worthiness of life exist, however, in this case, it is presumably voluntary (I will respond to this in a later round, as we see that in practice this is often not the case). The issue of euthanasia can be compared to the issue of racial equality when it comes to life. Pro-assisted suicide arguments generally rely upon the premise that some lives aren’t worth living. That if the pain is too severe, if the person feels worthless, or if the fix is too costly for a patient that death is a preferable option to life. In other words, certain lives aren't worth living. However, to argue that some lives are not worth living is in direct opposition to the laws which prohibit and struck down racial prejudice laws. The inviolability of human life is the principle which ‘equal and inalienable’ rights rests upon. It is the failure to understand the intrinsic value of life which leads to a person supporting pro-euthanasia arguments. To respond to this basic premise--of human life--proponents of assisted suicide often use the autonomy argument, but then comes the question: what should the physician do when the patient is incapable of making a decision. Generally, they say it is logical to defer the decision to family members and friends. But as we can see, this is in direct conflict with the autonomy principle which they base their original moral case upon. They are forced to contradict themselves! The simple fact is, if you support physician assisted suicide, you are forced to concede that lives have differing moral values, which is in direct opposition to the foundations of current legal institutions .
Doctors certainly agree with the position I am espousing. The Massachusetts Medical Society has voted to reaffirm its opposition to physician assisted suicide. Doctors argue that killing their patients is not their role as a healthcare provider. Deliberate destruction of human life is not acceptable according to their principles--and it should be for any decent human being. To clarify, I am not saying people for euthanasia are evil, I am saying that they need to reevaluate their position in order to support human dignity. Instead, the doctors assert that doctors’ goal should be to alleviate pain and instead make the final days much more pleasant rather than end the life altogether. Let me explain the position a bit more. A physician who helps a patient, even if it means speeding up the time before the patient dies, is not in a morally problematic situation. Death is a foreseeable likelihood but not intended. However if the purpose is to cause death, the doctor is in a precarious situation. The former doctor attempted to help the person--even if it accidentally led to a premature death (or, in many cases, a bearable life, or even recovery), however this doctor is one who chooses death over life. Adam Macleod, Associate Professor at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, argues “A person who purposely chooses to cause death, who makes death a reason for his actions, is not oriented toward the good. … By choosing life, one becomes a person oriented toward life. By choosing death, one becomes a person oriented toward death.” The World Medical Association also agrees with this testament, stating “The World Medical Association reaffirms its strong belief that euthanasia is in conflict with basic ethical principles of medical practice, and The World Medical Association strongly encourages all National Medical Associations and physicians to refrain from participating in euthanasia, even if national law allows it or decriminalizes it under certain conditions.”
To conclude my basic point, the basic foundations of our society--the equality of human life--as well as principles which doctors abide by are in direct opposition to physician assisted suicide. To support assisted suicide is to favor death over life, and admit that under some conditions lives of people are worth less than others, which demonizes the weak patients who would ask for such a terrible thing. Euthanasia should remain prohibited and seen as a wrong in society.
In this round I only make contentions, then next round I present rebuttals and counter rebuttals.
You'll remember that I said in the beginning debate that I'm advocating for voluntary euthanasia. I'll quote an article on euthanasia in the Netherlands to show you how the process of determining whether to end the patients life or not would occur:
"A doctor must diagnose the illness as incurable and the patient must have full control of his or her mental faculties. The patient must voluntarily and repeatedly request the procedure, and another doctor must provide a written opinion agreeing with the diagnosis. After the death, a commission made up of a doctor, a jurist and an ethical expert also are required to verify that the requirements for euthanasia have been met" 
This seems like the most rational way to deal with patients who are suffering from incurable diseases. I'll show why now:
Euthanasia reduces pointless pain and suffering
This is a pretty simple contention that should be obvious to everyone. I'll put some premises up to prove this:
P1: Not giving severely ill patients the choice of euthanasia forces them to live until the disease kills them off, unless an unexpected event occurs.
P2: Many of the diseases that qualify a patient for Euthanasia are painful.
C1: Many severely ill patients will suffer if they are forced to live until they die.
P3: Legalizing euthanasia would allow patients to decide if they'd like to die early or live until they die of natural causes.
C2: Legalizing Euthanasia reduces pain and suffering.
It's a pretty simple argument. Many patients who are denied the right to euthanasia suffer from a variety of desperate attempts to get out of an agonizing life. Take Tony Nicklinson for example. He ended up starving himself for about a week in order to achieve death.  This is an example of people who suffer from not being able to kill themselves quickly and painlessly. This isn't to say that all patients will starve themselves to death, but they will still suffer from the disease they face.
The economic impact of not legalizing euthanasia
According to an article published by Time, the costs of keeping the terribly ill or crippled alive is extremely high:
For more than 40% of these households, the bills exceeded their financial assets. Says study co-author Amy Kelley, an assistant professor of geriatrics: “Many people are shocked by the high out-of-pocket health care costs near the end of life.”" 
Non voluntary deaths will happen anyway
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that: "0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without the patient’s explicit permission".  This shows that Euthanasia is mostly voluntary. People might point out that there's still deaths that happen without the patients permission, but this doesn't matter. A study done in 1991, about decade before Euthanasia was legalized in the , found that around 0.08% of all deaths were non voluntary acts of euthanasia.  This shows that there's going to be people who get away with killing patients without their permission regardless of whether we make it legal or not.
We can conclude that it would be best for euthanasia to be legalized in the United States. It ends pointless suffering, and has an economic benefit In the next round I'll erect my rebuttals. (As the debate structure demands)
Thanks for reading. Make good choices.
My opponent’s syllogism’s conclusions are flawed. If you assume the points, it may seem like a humane conclusion, however, the assumption that the points are correct--and then the conclusion--is inaccurate.
My opponent’s whole arguments rests on a few things: the patients choose death, and that euthanasia will reduce their pain in the long run. Both of these assumptions are debatable.
Patients who ‘choose’ death generally do so with bad reasoning. In fact, a significant amount of people who choose death are mentally ill. Research argues that if you are depressed, you are at least 4.1 times more likely to request for euthanasia, according to research of cancer patients with 3 months to live . Further, in nearly every country where a form of physician assisted suicide is legal, the vast majority allow the killing of people with mental illness. In the Netherlands--which my opponent cites directly--the mentally ill are often euthanized. In Belgium, the mentally ill are euthanized in order to take their organs. The fact is, whenever you legalize physician assisted suicide, the law eventually evolves into a death-on-demand structure which leads to many people not capable of making these decisions wisely being killed . Further, there is an issue of people in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada being murdered, as they are killed without explicit request. Obviously this is not legal, but the fact is that if it is legal to kill someone intentionally if they ask, it is easy just to put in your records ‘asked for death’ with minimal questioning from the law. In Oregon, the law began fairly successful. For 1/4 of patients asking for death, they received psychiatric care before their decision. They were walked through the process. However, by 2010, this has disintegrated. None of the people killed were told to seek mental care first .
Recent pieces by doctors bring excellent points to my opponents argument. When death becomes the answer, doctors see their patients have less faith in medical care. It is well established that people in the medical profession are a source of hope for their patients. To allow death leads to less hope, and it makes them feel unwanted--that at a certain point, life is not worth living. This is, as doctors argue, is one of the largest blows to human dignity. Further, this has led to a decrease in palliative care. Instead of easing pain and making the life worth living, physicians often choose death as a mean to end the pain, instead of attempting to help the patient .
A review of medical opinion shows that good pain medications can make life fairly painless, not the painful picture which my opponent construes. The vast majority of patients who suffer suffer because their doctor has not been properly instructed as to how to administer pain medication. Doctors fear to give too much pain medication as it may cause death, though this fear is often imagines. Doctors generally give medications PRN (per required need), but this leads to less satisfactory pain alleviation. Dosages vary based upon pain extent, and often underestimate the amount of medication needed, due to their lack of education on the issue. Undertreatment of pain is another leading cause for euthanasia requests. It may be thought that pain medications must be an expertise thing, this is not the case; most medicines capable of making the illness painless--therefore making euthanasia obsolete--are straightforward. Doctors need to understand that high dosages of opioids will cure the pain and are wholly safe when administered properly. Cancer patients often need 20-60mg of morphine every 4 hours. If palliative care is properly admitted, the need for pain relief through death minimizes . Therefore, education of doctors, not the legalization of physician assisted suicide, will be superior in extending the life spans of patients and reducing pain.
Calculations show the savings per euthanasia are about 10,000 per victim. When this is properly accounted for, we would save about $627 million each year. My opponents research uses numbers including the mentally ill, who should not be allowed to receive euthanasia in the first place. So, assuming we can properly bar these people from being euthanized, this is the proper savings amount. This number is less than 1/3 of one percent of the US’s health care costs. The economic savings is very limited, and surely not worth the lives lost . Other things would be far better at reducing healthcare costs: reducing regulations which amount to $169 billion of added cost to the industry each year , expand HSAs, push malpractice reform, privatize medicaid, and shrink the HHS would all be much better options to reducing the economic impacts of health care costs than killing patients .
Voluntary deaths will always occur
There is no doubt in my mind that there will be the occasional euthanized patient. My opponent’s study is flawed in the fact it doesnt account for patients with mental illness. As noted, mental illness is the main cause for the decision of death, which is technically ‘voluntary’, or would be in the study my opponent cited. However, if the request was made on their basis for wanting to die due to depression, we can see how this should not be considered a true case of voluntarism, as the decision was made outside of a solid state of mind. My opponent claims euthanasia was a cause for 0.8% of deaths in the Netherlands before legalization, whereas his study noted that after legalization it was 1.7% of deaths were caused by euthanasia and .1% physician assisted suicide, totalling 1.8%, a 1% increase. Further, the rate of euthanasia has steadily increased since legalization, meaning legalization has led to more acceptance of the idea of euthanasia . Further, a more recent study argues that now 2.8% of deaths are caused by euthanasia in the Netherlands .
Conclusion: Physician assisted suicide/euthanasia actually will harm palliative care, however, palliative care reduces, if not eliminates, the moral case my opponent construed: in fact, pain can be controlled without death and rather with proper education. The economic cost, enacting laws my opponent would pass if he was in control (has to be voluntary, not for mental illness unless treated) would actually lead to very minimal savings, and in fact, other methods that will increase quality of care--which don't involve killing patients--are superior in reducing healthcare costs. And finally, although even in areas where euthanasia is illegal euthanasia still occurs, the fact is, legalizing it leads to its practice being much more common. Even in the Netherlands where the laws prohibiting it were very unenforced, legalization led to a skyrocketing in its use. Imagine how rare it would be if the Netherlands kept their anti-euthanasia culture which they had in WW2. Euthanasia should remain illegal, resolution negated.
The doctors duty isn't to euthanize
Dcotors won't be forced to euthanize patients, similiar to how they aren't forced to perform surgeries. The docotors who do it would do it by choice.
Lives are still worth living
Even if I agree to this, I would say that people have the right to choose whether they live or die. As I've shown before, this is lifting the pain from their shoulders. The right to life is a negative right if we don't allow the right to death .
“Further, in nearly every country where a form of physician assisted suicide is legal, the vast majority allow the killing of people with mental illness. In the Netherlands--which my opponent cites directly--the mentally ill are often euthanized. In Belgium, the mentally ill are euthanized in order to take their organs. The fact is, whenever you legalize physician assisted suicide, the law eventually evolves into a death-on-demand structure which leads to many people not capable of making these decisions wisely being killed ”
This calls for the law being enforced more sternly, not the law being withdrawn. By withdrawing it, we force the patients who would have been euthanized to suffer until their death, unless an unexpected event occurs. While if we keep it up, we can help these people.
“Further, there is an issue of people in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada being murdered, as they are killed without explicit request. Obviously this is not legal, but the fact is that if it is legal to kill someone intentionally if they ask, it is easy just to put in your records ‘asked for death’ with minimal questioning from the law. In Oregon, the law began fairly successful. For 1/4 of patients asking for death, they received psychiatric care before their decision. They were walked through the process. However, by 2010, this has disintegrated. None of the people killed were told to seek mental care first”
As I said before, this calls for a stricter enforcement of the law, as people should be checking with other doctors, which directly violates the procedure. Furthermore, as I had also said before non voluntary deaths occur regardless of whether we make it legal or not. In the study I had cited
“Recent pieces by doctors bring excellent points to my opponents argument. When death becomes the answer, doctors see their patients have less faith in medical care. It is well established that people in the medical profession are a source of hope for their patients. To allow death leads to less hope, and it makes them feel unwanted--that at a certain point, life is not worth living. This is, as doctors argue, is one of the largest blows to human dignity. Further, this has led to a decrease in palliative care. Instead of easing pain and making the life worth living, physicians often choose death as a mean to end the pain, instead of attempting to help the patient.”
The alternative wouldn’t be very different, as the patients who have pain that can’t be eased by a few pills are still suffering. They’re wondering why they don’t have a right to guide their own life. The patients should be able to choose between pills and death. They would know that their disease isn’t curable anyway, trying to hide it from them won’t help.
Here my opponent seems to agree that euthanasia would benefit the economy. He brings up that different cuts could be made, but this doesn’t matter. The point is that there’s a benefit to the economy, showing a better way doesn’t take that fact away. Why not impliment multiple cuts?
Non voluntary deaths will always occur
My opponent seems to mix “Voluntary” deaths with “non voluntary” deaths. Non voluntary acts of euthanasia will happen regardless of whether it’s legalized or not. It was just pointing out that deaths happening against the patients will are going to occur regardless of whether euthanasia is legalized or not.
Now he then shows how the number of deaths from euthanasia are rising. This doesn’t matter, however, as I’ve already shown how euthanasia helps the patients who are in pain.
My opponent hasn’t yet fully addressed the arguments given or misunderstands them. I’ve supported my arguments and rebutted his contentions. Good luck to Con, as next round is his final round for arguments.
Doctors and Euthanasia
My opponents rebuttal isn't convincing. I never said that doctors would be required to perform physician assisted suicide. I formed a moral argument as to why they should not, and if they did perform them, would do so at the expense of the patient. The fact that someone is taking a life by ‘choice’ is not a good argument in favor of euthanasia. In fact, it is the exact point which I was arguing. A doctor who chooses, by intent, to kill their patient is committing an atrocious action.
Lives worth living
My opponent has not presented an argument as to why patients need an option to choose death, he merely assumes that people agree on this premise. But, as I argued in round one, “[t]o support assisted suicide is to favor death over life, and admit that under some conditions lives of people are worth less than others, which demonizes the weak patients who would ask for such a terrible thing.” Further, as euthanasia becomes accepted (for reasons such as the patient is suffering), the patients begin to see their lives as worthless due to these notions of the possibility of euthanasia, and don't see a right to die, rather a duty to die .
My opponent claims that we should merely enforce the laws that have been passed on the books. But as stated, this is excruciatingly hard to accomplish. As the patient is dead, there is no proof that the patient didn’t ask for suicide. Further, according to current court rulings, it has been ruled that a doctor CAN kill his patients without consent, even when we assume all the terminally ill choose death, under good conscience. The court has generally argued a doctor can legally kill people who are competent… However, according to many legal opinions, this means that you can legally kill people--without consent--if they are deemed not competent . This means those terminally ill can be deemed not competent, and legally killed without consent. According to the law, even under full enforcement, this will be possible due to the precedent the courts have set down.
More on enforcement, the enforcement idea has been attempted in the Netherlands. However, as the law existed, and people became more accepting of the idea (as it’s existence led to the society accepting it morally) actually led to an evolution of enforcement. As people became pro-suicide, the amount of enforcement decreased. Parts of the law were changed, and it is no longer seen as taboo in that part of the world . The fact is, the ‘enforcement’ rebuttal does not stand up when the facts and examples of other countries are taken into account.
My opponent barely tries to refute my argument under palliative care. He merely claims that some of the patients will still be suffering. However, that begs the question: why is suffering a reason to kill the patient? If you see a homeless person, sick, suffering, and freezing on a rainy day, would you seem it moral to hit him with your car because you ended his suffering? If we were debating that, I would say ‘the homeless shelters and charities relieve much of their suffering’, and using the same logic, you would say ‘charities and shelters cannot house them all’. The suffering argument really isn’t logical when you look at it. Even if we assume it is, it ignores the fact that virtually all patients can be treated for pain, and recent medicinal advancements have made this possible (many of these advancements have improved since the data I cited last round).
Some of these include morphine patches. These patches deliver morphine through the skin, similar to nicotine patches, to make a comparison we are familiar with. These patches deliver morphine throughout the night so that patients do not need to be disturbed taking medicines at all hours of the night. In nearly every pain case, doctors refuse to prescribe--or refuse to prescribe enough--morphine in order to relieve pain due to fears of addiction. However, only 0.04% of patients become addicted to morphine when prescribed . A former euthanasia doctor was quoted saying in a recent interview, “And I do believe that real access to palliative care that is timely, that is high quality, would essentially eliminate the need for [euthanasia]” . Essentially, I am arguing for human virtue, “Human beings have value simply by virtue of their being alive”, whereas my opponent wishes to, when in doubt, pull the plug. However, as noted, I have provided a huge amount of evidence that palliative care (1) is harmed by euthanasia (instead of helping patients, doctors resort to killing them), and (2) good, proper, palliative care reduces significantly, if not eliminates, pain, and therefore euthanasia. Educating doctors to properly treat patients in pain is far superior to educating them on how to kill them.
My opponent essentially drops my argument. He claims I technically conceded the point, agreeing that it will help the economy, but this is untrue. I stated how minimal, how infinitesimally small, the economic benefits are to the economy by allowing euthanasia. Further, even if I did (which I dont) accepted by opponent’s argument, it again begs the question: is the destruction of human life worth the health of the economy?
-> The economic benefits are so small, they are unnoticeable, other policies which don't destroy life would help the economy much more
-> Even assuming the economic benefits were huge, would it be civilized to allow the destruction of human life in order to grow the economy?
Euthanasia happens anyway
See, my opponent agree on the basic premise: euthanasia will always exist in one form or another. The question is can we reduce its occurrence, and should we accept it as a society. The second question has been discussed at length in all my arguments. The first is also ‘yes’. Euthanasia increased 500% during the period that the government and society allowed physician assisted suicide . For anyone who accepts my arguments above--or, as a voter who may disagree with me, feels as though I proved them in the parameters of the debate--my rebuttal here flows perfectly. Euthanasia is bad, legalization dramatically increases its use, therefore to reduce euthanasias occurrence, banning it is the logical answer. Further, as laws shape how societies function and think, legalization will lead to increased acceptance which, as I have demonstrated, is a poor moral decision.
My opponent has failed to prove his arguments. When we look at the examples from other countries, or appeal to common sense, we see that the arguments for euthanasia fall like a house of cards in the wind. Euthanasia is…
2) Reduces palliative care
3) Leads to, based on logic and court rulings, the non-voluntary killing of those deemed ‘not competent’
4) Has minimal economic impact
5) Assumes that some lives have more worth than others based on the assumption that pain and terminal illness reduce human worth (my opponent has not refuted this--if he claims this is untrue, then here is a simple question: wouldn’t, if lives are all equal, killing patients with NO pain whatsoever be acceptable? The answer is yes, any denial of this is bound to be weak)
6) And finally, it breaks doctor-patient trust, another argument my opponent dropped
As of now, my opponent has been unable to respond to my moral argument with a strong case, or has ignored the most potent questions I pose to the practice of euthanasia. Further, my practical arguments demonstrate the failure of euthanasia legalization in other countries, and ‘enforcement’ is an impossible idea.
Or, to refer to my opponents picture, my argument is strong like Jeffrey's, his argument is more like God's. ;)
With that long conclusion… I urge a CON vote.
2. Herbert Hendin. "The Slippery Slope: The Dutch Example," Duquesne Law Review, (Fall 1996).
Fanath forfeited this round.
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