The Instigator
c4444
Pro (for)
The Contender
AllieTheKat
Con (against)

Euthanasia

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 106 times Debate No: 96266
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

c4444

Pro

Thousands of people die each year in the United States due to terminal illness. Often times patients are suffering in the final months of their lives, whether that be from the disease itself or harmful side effects from the amount of medication they must take to relive their pain. A patient that has a sound mind is capable of refusing treatment if they so choose, because they have the right over their own body. For the reason of personal autonomy and to end chronic suffering a patient should have the right to choose to end his life through euthanasia or physician assisted suicide.
AllieTheKat

Con

Who would be allowed to pursue euthanasia? Would you say only terminal patients would be allowed access? from there which terminal patients would be allowed? What if the 5 year old cancer patient decided he would rather speed up his death than wait it out. Would parents be allowed to choose to end their children"s lives? You used the term sound mind, what exactly does that mean to you just so we are both on the same page? My issue with using "sound mind" as your reference point for who is allowed to opt for assisted suicide it may unfairly include/disclude certain persons. What if the illness is something that effects mental competency? How far into that illness would the patient be able to make the decision? As you can see my first issue with allowing euthanasia is it is so vague a claim to make, when the policies would need to be so specific for it to be put into practice.

Another issue is there are other possibilities such as palliative care. Palliative care is for those who no longer want to treat the illness. All care instead is aimed at relieving the symptoms to allow for as normal a life as possible with little to no pain. With just palliative care you are not extending life but you are also not choosing to give up. The three months more of life for these terminal patients could be huge. 3 months is enough time for a new treatment to become available. This means someone being told they were terminal and would not survive could have the chance to live if a cure was found, they would just have to be around to see it happen. Allowing doctor assisted suicide would take away that chance to be around for the cure.

The last big issue that jumps out to me is the fact it is doctor assisted. The Hippocratic oath swears to do no harm, which any doctor performing euthanasia would be going against. How many doctors would be willing to perform the deed. I beleive it would turn into a joke much like the doctors one goes to to get a medical marijuana card. Doctors unable to perform well enough to make big money would see this as a niche to make a lot of money. Then they would be giving out diagnoses to allow to option more than necessary, just as happened with medical cards, because of the increase in money.
Debate Round No. 1
c4444

Pro

As to who would be allowed to pursue euthanasia,hypothetically anyone who has a terminal illness that will die within the next year with or without treatment. As for any legal decision, a 5 year old can not decide that on his own, if after talking to his legal guardian's possibly they reach that decision. Again to the point of sound mind, if they aren't capable of making any other legal or binding agreement there is no reason they should be able to make this decision which is then, again, referred to his or her legal guardian. As for palliative care, of course it's an option, and just like anything else it has to be presented to the patient. However the patient still has the right to refuse that as they do any other treatment. For someone that is going to die there is no such thing as living a normal life. Often times the amount of medication needed to relieve the pain their in is toxic to the body. Now not only are they dying of whatever disease but renal and liver failure. So if some miracle cure was found their is still irreversible damage done to the patient's system. Then again if there isn't cure found, they more than likely spent the last weeks of their life lying in a bed, so medicated that it's arguable how aware they are at times.More to the point the patient has control over his or her body and euthanasia provides what some might see as a more dignified way to go. As for over prescribing euthanasia that won't be an issue for several reasons, one you stated yourself. No doctor, nor any sane human being wants to take a life. No doctor that took that oath would prescribe this until he presented all other options. There would also of course be the legal side to things, how laws are written to define who would be eligible as previously mentioned. On top of that your money argument is ridiculous, after a theoretical patient dies, so does all of his spending. They can no longer charge thousands of dollars a day for a hospital stay, hundreds for the medication keeping him alive, the weekly doctors visits, daily treatments perhaps, no keeping him alive is how they are going to get there money, not by letting someone make a choice that should be theirs to make.
AllieTheKat

Con

That time frame would bring about other issues. When doctors give a diagnosis they do not give a set date they give a range and depending on the illness the range can be rather large. What happens if someone is told it could be 6 months or 6 years. Although this range is rather large for most illnesses it is very possible for rare illnesses that their just isn't the information to give a more direct time. Does that mean they would fit into the group of people allowed. I also think it is not okay for a parent to be able to choose to euthanize their child. Even if they have the right to refuse treatments it is completely different to say I want you to overdose them to end their missery. It is not their life and they should not be able to choose to do it. Plus, not to mention, have you been around 13 year old girls? Any person would opt to euthanize their preteen daughter if given the choice. As for if you are letting anyone who has the ability to make medical decisions make the decision there is no way to factor for those who have depression and suicidal ideation. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has a piece discussing euthanasia for terminal patients which states "They found that 59% of the patients who expressed a desire for hastened death had clinical depression, while only 8% of patients without a desire for hastened death were depressed" Their statistics show a large amount of people who would be interested in euthanasia are clinically depressed and that it does have a significant impact. Since suicide is an illegal act why would it suddenly be okay if one were sick. that makes is unfair to those who are depressed without terminal illness. How would one know that they were making the choice for the illness and not just because of the treatable depression.

If cost is that big of an issue that is why hospice care is around. Hospice care is much cheaper, sometimes covered by insurance, and often has sliding scale care or "scholarships" to cover what is left of the costs.
Debate Round No. 2
c4444

Pro

They should have the right to choose if they are dying of an incurable disease regardless if there is a chance they are going to die in 6 months. Why is it a different thing to comprehend just because we change it to I child. If that child is in pain suffering every day, and says mommy I don't want it to hurt anymore, why is it not a merciful and loving act, or later you mention teenage girls, someone that age with more comprehension, why can't they choose for themselves, obviously after discussion which there would be in any hypothetical we discuss. As for your other point, joking as it may have been no sane person is going to kill their daughter, and no one is forcing the person to die, you seem to think that if the child says no they still can kill it? It's a scenario that would be discussed with that ill party. . "Physicians in Oregon who received requests for aid in dying from 143 patients after enactment of the Death with Dignity Act reported that 20% were depressed"a proportion comparable to what we found in this study. None of the depressed patients on whom they submitted information received a prescription for a lethal drug.34 Studies of healthcare providers, including hospice professionals, and family members in Oregon indicate that they believe that depression was rarely a factor influencing requests for a physician"s aid in dying." According to two other studies it's in the 20% range, rarely depression is a factor in asking for assistance, and none who were suffering from depression received that assistance. Suicide being illegal doesn't stop someone, they'll be dead after, if they stop themselves it's not because it's illegal and if they are motivated and get turned down for assistance, they will do it themselves. So not only are there measures preventing someone who is depressed from killing themselves in this way, but let's say there were not and someone did slip through those measures,why is that so terrible, medication will take weeks for their depression, therapy could take months or years. At the end of the day you have 6 months to work with, choosing this would still save them that painful death and choose something peaceful. Hospice can be so cheap for a very simple reason, the care is similarly cheap. Patient's in hospice have a 6 month prognosis, and also are not allowed to seek curative care. With everything but pain medication being cut and very basic care, on top of being government funded is why it can be so cheap. Its a place you go to die, some people might not want a slow 6 month ride to death and should have the right to choose otherwise if they;re going to die so soon anyway.
AllieTheKat

Con

Does that mean you are changing your point on the 1 year cut off? And once again you are changing what you said by saying the teen would be able to choose for themselves. Initially you stated those who could legally make medical decisions would be able to and minors are unable to make said decisions on their own. it is instead their legal guardians right to make medical decisions. no choosing to have your child murdered I do not believe is a loving act. Back to my point of the ability to have a cure found I believe it is much more loving to instill the hope in your child and love of life. Your point from earlier with that some palliative care methods do have adverse side effects does have some merit. Yes, high amounts of narcotics have negative effects that even if a cure was found might have lingering adverse side effects. Having to deal with those side effects I personally feel would be worth it to be alive. One of these adverse side effects that is extremely common in pro longed use is depression. (https://www.pbinstitute.com...) Since most people with terminal illness have been on opioids for extended periods their chance at depression is higher. This gives yet another reason as to why more questions should be answered before euthanasia is legalized. I concede to you that it is a good idea you have swayed me to thinking of it as an option. My issue still lies in that much has to be discussed and pin pointed before any laws could be passed to allow it.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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