The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
lannan13
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Euthanasia

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
lannan13
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,096 times Debate No: 61189
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

Danielle

Pro

Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. While it is an issue of law for certain, I labeled this debate into the Philosophical category. Euthanasia, sometimes called "mercy killing" or referred to as assisted suicide has both ethical and legal ramifications. I will be arguing on behalf of the law embracing euthanasia as a viable legal option for willing patients and/or their care takers.

To be clear, I support voluntary and most non-voluntary euthanasia. I do NOT support involuntary euthanasia (killing against one's will) or passive euthanasia, where a treatment or cure is withheld from the patient unless they agree to that voluntarily. I will not be arguing in favor of involuntary euthanasia in this debate. My opponent is free to make any key points or a brief summary of his position in Round 1, but I will start the debate as Pro in Round 2. Thank you and happy reading.

lannan13

Con

I accept this debate and thank my opponent for taking me up on this debate.

In this debate I will be arguing against both voluntary and the non voluntary euthnasia that my opponent supports and brings up.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

First and foremost, one's life belongs to one's own person. People must be free to live (and die) as they please. To suggest otherwise essentially qualifies one as a slave whose life ought to be dictated by other people. The only exception to this supposition regards a human being whose life is not self-realized. This includes fetuses before a certain state of development, living persons in a vegetative state and people so terminally ill that they will assuredly die. Those people's lives can be ended through non-voluntary euthanasia in good conscience, as their 'personhood' status would be challenged given certain criteria of personhood (they lack consciousness) and are therefore no longer eligible for the legal right to life.

Voluntary euthanasia gives people the option of dying with dignity on their own terms. It allows them to die peacefully and eases their pain and suffering. Exercising the right to personal autonomy is an inherent component of liberty. The state or interpersonal interference of voluntary euthanasia inhibits freedom. It might also qualify as unnecessary torture. If we logically "put down" animals to ease their pain and soften transition to death, why exclude human beings from the same consideration? It is selfish to dictate how another person lives or dies if they are not harming anyone but themselves by choice.

Not allowing people in tremendous pain to opt out is cruel. It presumes that an outsider understands what the patient is feeling and undermines their desires out of selfish and culturally biased values. The patient is entitled to their own values and choices which might be different from other people's. Again, if they are not overtly harming another person, then they have the moral right to end their life or ease their pain on their own terms. Their life belongs to them and them alone. This is why involuntary euthanasia is morally abhorent, but voluntary euthanasia is just. In cases where people could not put an immediate end to their long, drawn out, insuffrable agony (most people do NOT die quickly and painlessly in their sleep) then many choose to kill themselves through other means such as starvation or refusal of treatment. If people want to die they will find a way to die. It's morally sound to make their death as painless as possible.

Non-voluntary euthanasia ought to be reserved only for those who are terminally ill and at the very end of their expected life. It would be pointless to argue that a very rare miracle with 0.0000001% chance of probability ought to dictate our legal parameters. Those who have power-of-attorney rights over someone should be able to "pull the plug" at their discretion. Objections to this include fear mongering, such as the ridiculous myth that allowing euthanasia will suddenly make the world murder-hungry and death crazed -- a complete exaggeration with no substantiated proof whatsoever.

In countries that have legalized euthanasia such as the Netherlands, euthanasia itself remains a criminal act unless carried out by a qualified doctor with the consent of a legal and ethics expert. This means that mercy killing does not have to be and should not be a frivolous endeavor to be taken lightly. Instead standards would be imposed to ensure the patient is either fully conscious and voluntarily ending their life, or investigating the circumstances surrounding a power-of-attorney or next of kin to make that decision in the case of non-voluntary euthanasia. In other words the process would not target the vulnerable (the old, disabled and wary) and pressure them to end their lives, or leave their lives in the hands of a stranger or one with ulterior motives. It should simply an option in particular circumstances that warrant it.

Many people who choose or plan on choosing euthanasia insist that the optional choice enhances the quality of their own lives. They know to make each day count and feel totally in control of how the rest of their life will proceed. This is an invaluable emotional and spiritual gift that almost rivals the gift of physical health. After all, most of us probably hope to die peacefully and painlessly one day since death is inevitable for us all.

Finally, I can't ignore the financial and economic analysis surrounding assisted suicide. While you cannot put a price on life, the cost of end-of-life care is objectively not worth the money when you factor inevitability and the state of the prolonged life. It could cost tens of thousands of dollars to keep someone alive for even just a few days while they are not even aware they are alive. Considering many of these people don't want to be alive (and will waste money living in agony instead of making better use of that money for the living whose lives are valued and actually improved by that money), then you have to consider who really benefits from forced survival - especially if the cost is being passed on to others.

There's no legitimately good reason to mandate that another person live against their will, especially if they are suffering. Fear mongering won't work when scrutinizing statistics. For example in 2005, a study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that only 0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without the patient’s explicit permission. This among other facts would immediately rule out the notion that permissible euthanasia would compel a death frenzy. This process is typically reserved for those who want to die with dignity - not those with a presumed incentive to kill others.

A Dutch report found that in 86 percent of cases, euthanasia shortened life by a maximum of a week and usually only a few hours. In other words, it was a last resort - an escape used by patients in unbearable agony who would rather that agony be ended now than in two days time. We have no reason to believe that the option would be abused. Even if it were a possibility, the fact that almost every single aspect of our lives is subjected to possible corruption, abuse or misuse would likely significantly undermine those arguments in comparison to the reality of forced life which is essentially torture for many terminally ill euthanasia recipients.

Facilitating death with dignity doesn't mean that a patient would be excluded from the best care or have other options ignored or dismissed preemptively. It simply ensures one's life is not valued by longevity but quality.

[ References ]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://www.washingtonpost.com...
lannan13

Con

Contention 1: Unreported Euthanasia and Euthanasia without consent.

My opponent has forgotten to give you some terrifying numbers when it comes to euthanasia and these numbers are also from Pro's first source's website (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...) Approximately 900 euthanasia's a year are done without the consent of the one being euthanised and 50% of euthanasizations are done unreported. In 2005, it was reported that 1.7% of the nation's deaths were caused by Euthanasia, a total of 2,410 people. 1 out of every 5 people who recieve euthanasia are done without consent. ( Smets T, Bilsen J, Cohen J, Rurup ML, De Keyser E, Deliens L. The medical practice of euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands: legal notification, control and evaluation procedures. Health Policy. 2009;90:181–7. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.10.003.) A study in Beliguim reported that 32% were without consent.



Consent from a palliative specialist is also very important, but recent euthanasias have not been doing so and consenting them. In Belguim, before 2002, all euthanasia cases without concent of a palliative specialist were denied, but from 2002-2007, that number declined from 100% to only 9% as only 19% of all euthanasia cases was a palliative contacted for their opinion.

Contention 2: The Slippery Slope Argument

Keown gives in his slippery slope argument of 2002, that once one form of euthanasia is accepted that other forms, like involuntary euthanasia, to become legal. For my number one example I present the Dutch. In 1987, the Royal Dutch Medical Association had written into law, “If there is no request from the patient, then proceeding with the termination of his life is [juristically] a matter of murder or killing, and not of euthanasia.” However, in 2001 they supported a new law that completely supported a law that would legalize non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. (Medical end-of-life practices under the euthanasia law in Belgium.
Bilsen J, Cohen J, Chambaere K, Pousset G, Onwuteaka-Philipsen BD, Mortier F, Deliens L
N Engl J Med. 2009 Sep 10; 361(11):1119-21.) There 2001 law also permitted children from age 12-16 to be euthanized with parental concent! Though the nation does not concider the child at liberty to make the call. (The medical practice of euthanasia in Belgium and The Netherlands: legal notification, control and evaluation procedures.
Smets T, Bilsen J, Cohen J, Rurup ML, De Keyser E, Deliens L
Health Policy. 2009 May; 90(2-3):181-7)

The euthanasias in Belgium have doubled since 1998. The involuntary and non-voluntary euthanasia rates have slightly increased from 1.5% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2007. In Flanders the euthanasia numbers have increased from 0.3% in 2001 to 1.9% in 2007. In the graph bellow we can see that the number of euthanasias have doubled since 2007 as well.

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The definition of Euthanasia has actually changed over the years from it being killing in 1950 to a quick and easy death in 1981. In the bellow quote we can see that our prespective has changed to the point that we almost do not even associate death with euthanasia in the definition.

""Have we really forgotten that euthanasia is killing?"

From a pre-1950 dictionary: "Mode or act of inducing death painlessly or as a relief from pain."

From Webster's Third International Unabridged Dictionary (1968): "1. An easy death or means of inducing one. 2. The act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or diseases."

From Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (1981): "1. Dying easily, quietly and painlessly. 2. The act of willfully ending life in individuals with an incurable disease" (http://www.all.org...)

You are also given the healing doctor a killing roll. This can have a huge effect on doctors as it was proved that it has an effect on doctors who are suppose to heal their patients and are now asked to kill. This also gives off a fear of the doctor as in Holland, the elderly are scared of the doctor, because they are scared that the doctor will euthanize them. (http://www.all.org...)

Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
lannan13

Con

All points extended.

I appologize as my second graph didn't seem to go through. Here it is again and if it doesn't post through then here is the link for the graph to show the validity of it's existance. (http://www.bbc.com...)

Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
lannan13

Con

All points extended.

Thank you and please vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by fire_wings 4 months ago
fire_wings
@9space, give me 1,000,000,000,000,000,000$ because you bet wrong
Posted by fire_wings 4 months ago
fire_wings
@9space, give me 1,000,000,000,000,000,000$ because you bet wrong
Posted by Danielle 2 years ago
Danielle
lol you're lucky I went on vacation and couldn't finish this.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
Aww. Dang it. Those forfeits...
Posted by SnowyOxygen 2 years ago
SnowyOxygen
I'll have to agree with Danielle.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
betting 1,000,000,000,000,000,000$ on Danielle
Posted by AnDoctuir 2 years ago
AnDoctuir
Crazy stuff to be getting all learned (and sh*t) on, Danielle.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
Daniellelannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro missed two rounds of debate. Seems a concession to me.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Daniellelannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Four round debate, pro missed two of them... If a vacation was the problem, I suggest requesting a rematch.
Vote Placed by Relativist 2 years ago
Relativist
Daniellelannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by dynamicduodebaters 2 years ago
dynamicduodebaters
Daniellelannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Daniellelannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff. I lose 1,000,000,000,000,000,000$