The Instigator
berthajohnson00179
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Is Euthanasia Morally Acceptable?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,520 times Debate No: 82670
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

berthajohnson00179

Con

Euthanasia is not morally permissible because the dignity of a human person does not depend on the amount on suffering that someone goes through. Their dignity is inherent, being a human person. If someone complies with the idea of euthanasia, then they equate dignity with intellectual and physical capabilities, which is wrong. True compassion demands that we love and support one another regardless of our function or appearance and prepare someone for their ultimate purpose which is fulfilling their humanity, not ending it prematurely as they could be enlightened and fulfill their humanity through their suffering.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

First and foremost, I'd like to thank my opponent for allowing me the opportunity to partake in this debate. I've yet to debate a euthanasia topic, so I'm pleasantly anticipating where this will go.

I will start with defining the key terms within the resolution, followed by minor clarifications. I will then introduce my base arguments and conclude the round withholding my rebuttals until R2. With that said, I wish my opponent the best of luck!

Definitions and Clarifications

Euthanasia: The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries. [1]

Morally Acceptable/Permissible: behavior that is within the bounds of the moral system. Example - It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms. [2]

Acts of euthanasia are categorized as active and passive. Active euthanasia refers to the deliberate act, usually through the intentional administration of lethal drugs, to end a patient’s life. Passive euthanasia is used to describe the deliberate withholding or withdrawal of life prolonging medical treatment resulting in the patient’s death. [3] Passive euthanasia has become an established part of medical practice and is relatively uncontroversial. [3] Critics argue that active euthanasia is not ethical because a doctor directly participates in the patient’s death. Considering that passive euthanasia is legal and is not seen as unethical, I will take the more radical argument in favor of the moral acceptability/permissibility of active euthanasia due to it being the most controversial issue within the public sphere.

Arguments

...in favor of Euthanasia being morally acceptable

A. Models of Correct Use

Although Euthanasia remains illegal in all states, physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and California. In those states, laws require that a physician diagnose a terminally ill patient as having a life expectancy of six months or less and a second doctor then must concur with the diagnosis. Patients must request the lethal prescription twice verbally and once in written form with a waiting period of at least two weeks between the first and last request. Lastly the doctor who writes the prescription must believe the patient is mentally competent to make the decision. The law also requires that patients be able to take the pills on their own. [4] The trends occurring in these states can project what could transpire if physician-assisted suicide were legalized elsewhere, as well as allow a glimpse into what could happen if euthanasia was legalized.

The number of Oregonians who choose physician-assisted suicide has been climbing; 859 cases were recorded between 1998 and 2015 and in 2014, the 155 cases reported to the Public Health Division amounted to about 0.2 percent of the total deaths recorded in the state. [5] In Washington, where the law was established in 2009, 179 people took lethal doses of prescription medicine in 2014. Assisted-suicide laws merely illuminate what has been going on in the shadows for years, and in the cases of these states seem to be both growing and being conducted successfully with the support of the citizens who voted the laws into action.

B. Quality of Life

Medical professionals generally agree that a person is "alive" if there is brain activity. However, I firmly believe there is a difference between being "alive" and "living". Many would agree that autonomy is essential for living a full life. A persons ability to control their own body and do what they like, as long as it doesn't harm others, is crucial for the human experience. So what happens when a person has a loss of autonomy so extreme that they are unable to clean themselves or breathe without a machine? It's this loss of autonomy that directly impacts the human sense of dignity.

Critics argue that embarrassing matters such as this are simply a part of aging, however, terminally ill patients do not feel this way. According to statistics from the Public Health Division of Oregon, terminally ill patients who went through with physician-assisted suicide were asked what their end of life concerns were: 93% reported loss of autonomy, 93% reported that activities were no longer enjoyable, and 82% felt a loss of dignity. [6] Providing dignity, control and peace of mind during a patient’s final days with family and loved ones places much greater focus on the gift of life than on the often painful and agonizing process of dying. The whole purpose is to provide dying patients with the control, predictability and peace of mind that comes with knowing the how and when of death.

C. Individual Rights

In the eyes of Oregon’s ex-governor, former emergency room physician John Kitzhaber, the answer to the euthanasia controversy is simple: “I believe an individual should have control, should be able to make choices about the end of their life... As a physician, I can tell you that there's a clear difference between prolonging someone's life and prolonging their death." [7]

Most would agree that each person has the right to control what happens to his or her body and his or her life. Following this logic, why doesn’t this right carry over to the right to control how one dies when applied to the terminally ill? Values such as privacy, freedom, and autonomy are highly regarded in our society and are frequently protected and yet these rights are not applied to one of the most personal moments of a person’s life - death. There is no moral dilemma when the individual chooses to follow what he or she believes to be the best path towards achieving the good life, even if that involves ending their life when burdened with a terminal illness.

D. Less Suffering

This argument is rooted in Utilitarianism, which focuses on increasing happiness and decreasing suffering as much as possible. In this approach, I would argue that euthanasia is morally acceptable because it decreases the misery of everyone involved: the patient, the caretakers, and the family and friends of the patient.

In the case of physician-assisted suicide, the utilitarian approach would state that when a terminally ill patient is kept alive only to die slowly and painfully, suffering is greatly increased for everyone involved. Rather than taking the radical utilitarian approach and killing anybody who is in pain or suffering, I argue for the more moderate utilitarian approach in which the physician-assisted suicide is conducted justly (at the wishes of the patient whose rights are not violated and by a doctor whose moral convictions do not go against the act), then the act alleviates unnecessary suffering and only the suffering of losing a loved one (that will occur no matter the circumstance of death since the patient is terminal) will occur for the family and friends of the patient. By successfully alleviating the prolonged suffering of the terminally ill through assisted-suicide we can see that no moral dilemmas would arise with the accepted use of voluntary euthanasia, but rather we would be doing the utilitarian-thing-to-do; acting for the sake of increasing happiness and decreasing suffering.

E. Animal Euthanasia as a Case for Human Euthanasia: A Thought Experiment

*This was an interesting thought experiement I stumbled upon and found worthy to utilize.* Think about why we euthanize animals: we euthanize them because we feel remorse for their pain and suffering. Furthermore, we are aware that with old age or terminal illnesses, matters will only worsen. We might feel conflicted when euthanizing our pets because we cannot explain to them why we are going to kill them. We love these animals and we don’t want to kill them, but we know it is in their best interest.

Now what if the animal could give consent or could beg you for death? You would still be sad because you are losing a loved one, as is natural, but the responsibility of the decision would be lifted and you would feel less conflicted about the issue. Now if this logic can be applied to animals, why not humans? One may state that this thought experiment is disanalogous. Some argue that human beings are superior to animals because of their mental capacity, morality, or simply by virtue of being human and thus cannot be paralleled to animals. I will not argue that animals and human beings are equal in all aspects but both are sentient beings and thus should be regarded equally in respects to suffering and the relief of this suffering. On the basis that voluntary euthanasia is completely at the request of the patient because of intractable pain they are experiencing, if we can show animals mercy, then why can’t we show fellow humans mercy?

In Closing,

I have presented five arguments in support of euthanasia being morally acceptable/permissible. I will hold off until R2 for rebuttals, in the spirit of fairness and due to me being in the affirmative position. I thank my opponent once more for this fun opportunity and now return the floor to him.

Sources

1) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2) http://decorabilia.blogspot.com...
3) http://www.amsj.org...
4) http://euthanasia.procon.org...
5) http://public.health.oregon.gov...
6) https://public.health.oregon.gov...
7) http://articles.latimes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
berthajohnson00179

Con

I apologize. This is my first debate so I'm not entirely familiar with this process. I was under the impression that there would be a different point expressed for each round. I will continue with the rest of my points if that's okay. I would like to thank my opponent for giving his position and for providing their argument. I will proceed with my argument.
"Everyone has the right to decide how they should die." The right to kill someone (what is termed the "right to die" is not a right, "it is a forfeiture of all possible rights."
The Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident [meaning we don't even have to prove them], that all mean are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
The government is formed to uphold these rights.
Deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
So if the government prevents these rights the people have the right and obligation to protect themselves from it. In other words, it is our right as Americans to rebel against "this right to die" and our right as being children of God to not support something that goes against our natures.
Rights are given for the good of not simply the individual, but society.
To make murder (the killing of an innocent person) a right not only can cause a scandal, but will leave to absolute anarchy in society. It communicates that murder is okay and a "good value" in society which it is not.
"How is it wrong if the person wants to die?"
It is wrong because we do not have the obligation to do something evil even if someone desires it.
If we are going to uphold people's dignity and "pursuit of happiness" we have to do those things that will truly make them happy and free.
The choice for happiness is a result in choosing what is best for you and for others. True freedom must be based on the objective good and murder is never an objective good.
You can't be biologically happy if you are dead and that death is caused by "putting you out of your misery." This is a lie however because what you are actually doing is prolonging their misery for eternity (remember death is not annihilation).
"Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering-this would be regarded as kindness. Why can't the same kindness be given to humans?"
Humans have a higher dignity than the animals.
We see this theologically through the creation accounts with man having dominion over them. We see this naturally through our rational vs sensational souls. This is the entire point of the Nihilism as Compassion, an interview with Wesley Smith. Animals don't have right because they can't accept responsibility.
"Illness can take away autonomy (the ability to make choices) and dignity, leaving you with no quality of life; euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die."
So making a bad decision helps you to take back control of your life. By your choice, you once again lose control of your life because it is no longer there! Irony.
We don't choose lots of things: we don't choose when we're born, who our parents are, what we may get to eat for dinner that night if someone else cooks it; also we don't "choose" to have bad days, they happen. This doesn't mean we don't have dignity. There are some things we don't have absolute control over and death is one of them...from the simple fact that we are not God.
"Keeping people alive costs a lot of money, which could be used to save other people's lives."
So then why not let them die naturally, nobody says you have to go through extraordinary means. This way they die with dignity. If money should be the sole basis for life, then we should end the life of people before every major financial purchase, buying a car, a house, sending children to college, and marriage receptions. Nobody lives by this "monetary basis" so why make someone die by it."
"Jesus came so that people could have life "in all its fullness" John 10:10; this means quality of life. If someone has no quality of life, then euthanasia could be good."
God also said, "thou shall not take innocent life" (Ex. 20:13) and in the context he is talking about supernatural life as God is what completes our humanity. He was not talking about we should never suffer. On the contrary, look at Luke 9:23 which teaches if we wish to obtain this fullness of life, we must take up our cross daily and St. Paul says it is the power of God in 1 Cor 1:18.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I thank you for posting your additional arguments, and will focus this round on rebutting both these and the argument from round one.

Rebuttals

I. "Euthanasia is not morally permissible because the dignity of a human person does not depend on the amount on suffering that someone goes through. Their dignity is inherent, being a human person."

This claim from Con, while partially true, is ultimately false. Con is saying that being human comes with an inherent dignity, which is a term used in moral, ethical, and political discussions to signify that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment. [1] While I agree that humans do have an inherent dignity, I believe it is for this very reason that euthanasia is morally permissible.

The issue here is that Con is saying dignity doesn't depend on the suffering that someone is going through. I've already provided empirical proof showing that the suffering someone is going through has a major impact on their sense of dignity. To reiterate the facts from the last round: According to statistics from the Public Health Division of Oregon, terminally ill patients who went through with physician-assisted suicide were asked what their end of life concerns were: 93% reported loss of autonomy, 93% reported that activities were no longer enjoyable, and 82% felt a loss of dignity. [2]

We can see that, for 82% of the patients in the program, a loss of dignity was a major issue in their life. Clearly the suffering that comes with being terminally ill caused a negative impact in their sense of dignity. Thus we can see Con is misguided here.

"If someone complies with the idea of euthanasia, then they equate dignity with intellectual and physical capabilities."

Con provides no substantial proof supporting this claim. His only support is an emotional appeal regarding compassion, yet compassion is defined as "sympathetic pity and concern." [3] There is no form of compassion that involves denying someone who is terminally ill their own choice of treatment, which is exactly what Con is attempting to say compassion is.

II. "The right to die"

Con started this line of argumentation by stating that the right to kill someone isn't a right at all, but rather a forfeiture of all possible rights. After a lengthy quoting of the Constitution, Con finished by arguing that "if we make murder a right it will not only cause scandal but will also leave our society in absolute anarchy. It would give a false impression that murder is okay and a good value."

I do not believe this is a debate about giving someone the right to kill someone else, as that has already happened in multiple facets of our society such as the criminal justice system with executing prisoners, cases of self-defense, or even family members "pulling the plug" at the hospital for a relative on life-support. What this debate is truly about is giving people the right to die on their own terms. Con must keep in mind, in similar programs such as physician-assisted suicide, the patient is required by law to request the treatment themselves. No-one is being "murdered", and there is no evidence provided by Con that our society would collapse into anarchy. Con continues to make these outlandish claims with no supporting evidence.

III. "How is it wrong if the person wants to die?"

Con starts this line of argumentation by saying, "It is wrong because we do not have the obligation to do something evil even if someone desires it." Who is saying it is evil? Just because Con views it as "evil" doesn't mean the act is objectively "evil". Such an assumption warps the entire claim because it's built on a false assumption.

Con then claimed that "we have to do those things that will truly make them happy and free", implying that denying a patient the right to choose euthanasia is what will truly make them happy and free. This is an absurd assumption backed by no evidence. To quote directly from source [6] in my previous round: Physicians indicated that patient requests for lethal medications stemmed from multiple concerns related to autonomy and control at the end of life. The three most commonly mentioned end-of-life concerns during 2003 were: loss of autonomy, a decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, and a loss of dignity.

It's evident that what would truly make these patients happiest would be to receive some form of control at the end of their life. If Con really wants to do things that will make them happy and free, then ironically, he'd need to support their desire to be euthanized.

Con then ends this line of argumentation by saying, "You can't be biologically happy if you are dead and that death is caused by putting you out of your misery. This is a lie however because what you are actually doing is prolonging their misery for eternity (remember death is not annihilation)."

This entire argument is based on the false assumption that there is life after death, a belief common in major religions that has yet to be empirically proven and thus cannot be accepted as fact. Unless Con can provide factual evidence that the act of euthanasia would prolong misery for eternity, this argument can be tossed out.

IV. "Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering-this would be regarded as kindness. Why can't the same kindness be given to humans?"

Con attempts to negate this point by saying "humans have a higher dignity than animals." This doesn't negate my own argument that both humans and animals are sentient beings, thus should be regarded equally in respects to suffering and the relief of suffering. We put animals down even without them asking, all for the sake of sparing them from further suffering. Yet Con says we shouldn't do the same for our fellow man all because they have more dignity? If they themselves desire such a thing, and are truly in suffering (which would be required by law regardless) it would be even more undignifying to deny them that release.

V. "Illness can take away autonomy (the ability to make choices) and dignity, leaving you with no quality of life; euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die."

Con starts his rebuttal to this by stating, "So making a bad decision helps you to take back control of your life?" ONCE AGAIN, Con is allowing his personal bias to showcase here by stating, with no justification, that asking for euthanasia is a "bad decision". In the cases the comment referred to, the patients are terminally ill (that means no hope for recovery/guaranteed death from illness). The very fact that they had the freedom to opt for a death of their choice is what allows them to take back control of their life.

"By your choice, you once again lose control of your life because it is no longer there! Irony."

You can't lose control of a life that's already been claimed by a terminal illness, such as the cases I utilized in my examples, so this statement from Con is entirely misguided.

"There are some things we don't have absolute control over and death is one of them...from the simple fact that we are not God."

This is an equally silly statement from Con. By this logic, if someone dies from a heart attack, we shouldn't attempt to revive them because it's not our place to control death. Everything hospitals strive for in terms of trying to save lives and revive people, that would also go against God's "naturally timed death" for us. I ask Con to please consider his logic, because if dying with dignity = dying naturally, then everyone who's ever flat-lined/died and then been revived also went against his God's plan.

...

From this point on Con just relies on biblical scripture to justify his position on euthanasia. Perhaps Con should have titled this debate, "Is euthanasia morally permissible for Christians?"

This debate is not specific to Christians, so please stop debating as if it is. I do not believe in your God, I do not believe Jesus was real, thus I ask for the sake of those of us who aren't religious, that you tackle this subject logically to weigh the ethical implications rather than scripturally.

In conclusion,

I've now rebutted each and every counter-argument raised by Con. As well as further explained some of mine which Con failed to rebut accordingly. I now return the floor to Con.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://www.answers.com...
[2] https://public.health.oregon.gov...
[3] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
berthajohnson00179

Con

I thank my opponent for providing his rebuttals. I will attempt to make my rebuttals against his argument since I did not in the last round.
My opponent's definition for euthanasia is "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries."
"The painless killing:" Is this killing is really painless? The brain is the center of functionality. By injecting a fatal medicine or by taking a pill which purpose serves to end a life, the brain is being attacked. The purpose of the brain, which is to serve as the control center, is being violated. What's the point of having a brain if you're going to choose to end its functionality? The rest of the body's organs also start to fail as the pill's power takes over and starts to fight the body's immune system. Is it a truly peaceful death if there is a toxin in your body fighting against your body to end your life? Why not let someone die naturally if they deserve to die with dignity? Do they not get a chance to live out their life to the end?
"Suffering from an incurable and painful disease:" A person is not defined as the condition of their body or their suffering. That is dehumanizing, and trying to put a physical value on a person. A human being is priceless and can't be lowered down to society's standards of whether or not they're useful or if their lives worth trying to prolong. What if a cure is made in the future? By saying that there is no possibility of finding a cure, you are denying hope for that person. This is saying that the person that is suffering does not deserve a second chance at life but rather a death sentence.
"Morally acceptable/permissible: "behavior that is within the bounds of the moral system. Example- It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms."
"It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms." My opponent agrees that if a person is innocent, it is morally permissible that they should not receive an unjustifiable harm. But does death justify their suffering? Is a person's life be allowed to end because it is justified? If a person has done no such thing to receive any such cause of a loss, then why would you take their life from them? Because there's no chance for them to be cured? How would you know that there is or there isn't? The future is unpredictable so there is no way to be sure whether or not there will be hope.
Models of Correct Use: "The doctor who writes the prescription must believe that the patient is mentally competent to make the decision" How can someone be capable of choosing how they're going to die? Not everything in life is going to be able to be controlled or give us a choice. We cannot decide whether or not we are worthy enough to keep living. We did not give ourselves our own life. We were given life. We cannot take it away either. We would thus be trying to take a power that is not meant for human minds to make. We are trying to raise our level to God's and say that we determine our own fate for ourselves. But we would have no idea about the consequences or results that result from our death. How would we be able to know how our families feel about not being able to see us living anymore? They can seem to appear happy and comply with the decision but how would you truly know that they think you should end your life? How can someone ever agree with the idea of someone choosing to end their life? How can death be something that is considered a fair choice? Death is a tragedy no matter the circumstance. It's never merciful or fair.
The Quality of Life: "Medical professionals generally agree that a person is "alive" if there is brain activity. However, I firmly believe there is a difference between being "alive" and "living". Many would agree that autonomy is essential for living a full life. A person's ability to control their own body and do what they like, as long as it doesn't harm others, is crucial for the human experience. So what happens when a person has a loss of autonomy so extreme that they are unable to clean themselves or breathe without a machine? It's this loss of autonomy that directly impacts the human sense of dignity."
A person, no matter what the actions may be, should be condemned to die. A person is not to be compared to their actions. Actions do not define a person's worth. This is not to say that what people like Hitler or Stalin or ISIS or any terrorist groups or mass murderers were justified or okay. What they did was a terrible act and crime against humanity. However, their dignity as human beings were not taken from them. A human being can be redeemed, but they choose not to be redeemed. That is what makes a person seem to be viewed as evil. The soul of a human person was not made to be good or bad. It was neutral. God did not choose to make us automatically good or evil. He gave us a choice with what to make of ourselves. A soul does not transform and become good or evil. It is what we make of it. Truly, we can never limit our soul to either being right or wrong. By trying to define a human being by their abilities is trying to equate their worth to functionality. A person is not equal to what they can or can't do.
"Critics argue that embarrassing matters such as this are simply a part of aging, however, terminally ill patients do not feel this way. According to statistics from the Public Health Division of Oregon, terminally ill patients who went through with physician-assisted suicide were asked what their end of life concerns were: 93% reported the loss of autonomy, 93% reported that activities were no longer enjoyable, and 82% felt a loss of dignity. Providing dignity, control and peace of mind during a patient"s final days with family and loved ones places much greater focus on the gift of life than on the often painful and agonizing process of dying. The whole purpose is to provide dying patients with the control, predictability and peace of mind that comes with knowing the how and when of death."
To prove a point against this statement, I will take a passage from the book Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics by Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P.: "William L. Toffler means that in the state of Oregon, doctors believe that if a patient is suffering, the said patient should just ask for assistance in suicide rather than receiving help for their condition. In this scenario, this belief puts a person's life in a perspective that views death as a more preferable solution to a problem. Instead of trying to heal a person who is sick or disabled, the favored practice is just to end their suffering permanently. This promotes the utilitarian view since it focuses on a person's usefulness to society rather than on the person's dignity and right to live. Toffler also adds, "In my practice, more than two dozen patients have discussed assisted suicide with me. Most did not have a terminal diagnosis. The way that physicians respond to patients' requests for lethal drugs has a profound effect on their choices and their view of themselves and their inherent worth. Such patients deserve doctors who will support them through their illnesses, not offer them a quick exit (Toffler 33-34)".
Individual Rights: "Physician-assisted suicide is conducted justly (at the wishes of the patient whose rights are not violated and by a doctor whose moral convictions do not go against the act), then the act alleviates unnecessary suffering and only the suffering of losing a loved one (that will occur no matter the circumstance of death since the patient is terminal) will occur for the family and friends of the patient."
Is that person really dying with dignity by giving up? They're choosing an end for themselves and not considering to continue living for and loving others. We receive joy by being there for others when they need it. Removing our presence from someone that is comforted by our presence takes away that peace and happiness that they are given.
"By successfully alleviating the prolonged suffering of the terminally ill through assisted-suicide we can see that no moral dilemmas would arise with the accepted use of voluntary euthanasia, but rather we would be doing the utilitarian-thing-to-do; acting for the sake of increasing happiness and decreasing suffering."
This statement tries to promote that life is bad because it involves pain and suffering. Life was not meant to be good or bad. Suffering is not the equivalent of torture. Rather, it is from suffering that a human being grows stronger and their values become prioritized, allowing them to see the beauty of life and true happiness as it should be seen. If suffering was all for nothing, there would no purpose for trying to do anything in life because it involves self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice puts our needs second for a greater purpose. Life was not meant to fulfill our all wants. We make the best of our lives no matter what we are given.
Animal Euthanasia: "Some argue that human beings are superior to animals because of their mental capacity, morality, or simply by virtue of being human and thus cannot be paralleled to animals...both are sentient beings and thus should be regarded equally in respects to suffering and the relief of this suffering...if we can show animals mercy, then why can't we show fellow humans mercy?"
Mercy is not like love. You can be kind to someone without loving them. Love is doing what's best for someone else. It's not choosing the easy way out when times get tough. It is staying with the people you need for a lifetime. "Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right." -Albus Dumbledore
My opponent's argument cannot be justified as a person can not be defined by abilities, and killing someone is not loving them. Thank you, and I return the floor to him.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I thank my opponent for her last round. I will now provide my rebuttals to the points raised by Con in the previous round.

Rebuttals

I. "The painless killing: Is this killing really painless?"

Yes, euthanasia is generally painless. We already see this in cases of animal euthanasia and physician-assisted suicides. Take the case of Brittany Maynard, 29, who was diagnosed with brain cancer on New Year's Day and was later given six months to live. In an article from the New Orleans Times, Sean Crowley, a spokesman for Compassion & Choices, said in a statement to the outlet that she died, "as she intended -- peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones." [1]

Additionally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Feb. 12, 2000 found that less than 18 percent of assisted suicides experienced problems severe enough to cause a doctor to step in and euthanize the patient. More so, only 7 percent of the study subjects experienced issues like vomiting or other minor complications. [2] That's a 93% success rate for oral ingestion methods.

From personal experiences and testimonies of family witnesses, to the most extensive study ever conducted showing a 93% success rate - it's clear that there is little to no complications that would cause pain in most cases.

II. "A person is not defined as the condition of their body or their suffering."

Con said this in response to my point that these patients suffer from incurable and painful diseases. The issue isn't about "how we define the person" it's about how we *minimize the suffering of that person*. Additionally, considering that it's the patients themselves who request the treatment, there is no justification behind the claim that "we are dehumanizing them".

Con then relies on questions like, "what if a cure is made in the future". We could apply that statement to anything that involves suffering or disease. Unfortunately, in the real world, these patients who qualify are already *terminally ill*, that means there is no chance for recovery - their death is guaranteed and inevitable. There are no cures for terminal illnesses, hence why they are terminal in the first place, this is what Con needs to understand here.

III. "It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms."

Con starts this line of argumentation by saying that, "Pro agrees that if a person is innocent, they should not receive an unjustifiable harm. But does death justify suffering?"

I'm not sure I follow Con, she's not making much sense here. If Con is asking: Does the suffering of the individual justify the practice of euthanasia? I say yes. I've shown recorded testimonies and statistics from these patients who all agree that their suffering justifies their death in previous rounds. So at this point, this question from Con is moot.

Con then states: "If a person has done no such thing to receive any such cause of a loss, then why would you take their life from them?" I think, at this point, Con is confused and doesn't realize what she's saying. She's approaching this as if euthanasia is some kind of punishment... which it clearly isn't. The patient requests the treatment, goes through an extensive admission process, and then is given the medication. Even after ALL OF THAT, the patient still has the choice to opt out by simply not taking the medication. There is no one forcing them to do this, this is not a punishment, and ultimately it's the person's own choice to go through with it or not. I believe that if Con came to understand this, she wouldn't think of this as some kind of punishment, but rather see it as the last chance for terminally ill patients to re-take control of their life.

IV. Models of Correct Use

In this line of argumentation, I shared the procedure of how the doctor who writes the prescription must believe the patient is mentally competent. Con responds to this by saying, "How can someone be capable of choosing how they're going to die?"

It's easy really, people have been doing it for thousands of years with the act of suicide. In fact, In 2013, there were 41,149 deaths by suicide in the United States. [3] So, clearly there were 41,149 people who were capable of choosing how they were going to die.

Con then relies on more questions such as, "How would we be able to know how our families feel about this?" These questions are annoying, as they do nothing to support her case or negate mine. Clearly the patients have the choice to inform their families of the decision or not. In the example I used at the beginning of the round, the woman was surrounded by her family who supported her throughout the ordeal - knowing that she was suffering from brain cancer. Clearly there are means available for knowing how the patients families feel about it.

Con finishes her questions with the absolute claim that death "is never merciful or fair", yet I've literally shown empirical evidence which clearly refutes her claim. Not only is death fair in the criminal justice system as well as when families "pull the plug" on loved ones in comas, but it's also a merciful act in numerous instances. Con continues to mention "God" yet fails to realize that her God carried out numerous "merciful" murders throughout the Old Testament. Clearly God viewed the deaths of the Egyptians who were chasing Moses through the desert as fair.

V. The Quality of Life

Con starts by claiming that, "a person should never be condemned to die." Con needs to understand - the person makes the choice themself - no-one is condemning them to death. The only thing that "condemned them to die" was their terminal illness.

And what does Con mean by, "a person can be redeemed, but they choose not to be." No "redeeming" will cure a terminal illness. This claim is clearly misplaced.

Lastly, Con states, "A person is not equal to what they can or can't do." I agree. However, these people are terminally ill and chose to opt for this treatment, no-one is viewing them as worthless. They merely wish to end the suffering they've been exposed to by their terminal illness.

VI. "The whole purpose is to provide dying patients with the control, predictability and peace of mind that comes with knowing the how and when of death."

I made this statement in the previous round, to which Con literally copy and pasted her entire response from a book passage. The passage itself shared the opinion of an Oregon doctor who ultimately said an issue is that some doctors recommend death rather than another form of treatment as a first option. I don't see how this refutes my above point though. Furthermore, it misses the point entirely - which was regarding the benefits of the program itself - whereas Con's response only discusses a potential harm of doctors preferring the program over other options, two completely different aspects of the issue as a whole. Thus I extend this argument as it still remains standing unchallenged.

VII. Individual Rights

Here, Con asks whether the person is really dying with dignity, and states that "they're choosing an end for themselves and not considering to continue living for and loving others."

This statement couldn't be any more wrong. Not only is Con wrongly assuming these patients haven't considered staying alive until their terminal illness eventually kills them, but she's also assuming that it's more beneficial for the suffering person to remain suffering for the sake of their family and loved ones. The argument is easily refuted by any and all cases where the person has considered living, which every patient legally has to do - over a two week mandatory reflection period - as well as when the person's family supports their decision. I've already shown a case of the latter earlier in this round, thus this argument from Con is defeated.

In the previous round, I stated, "By successfully alleviating the prolonged suffering of the terminally ill through assisted-suicide we can see that no moral dilemmas would arise with the accepted use of voluntary euthanasia, but rather we would be doing the utilitarian-thing-to-do; acting for the sake of increasing happiness and decreasing suffering."

Con then responds by saying, "This statement tries to promote that life is bad because it involves pain and suffering."

However, Con is wrong, I never once promoted that life is bad because it involves pain and suffering. The claim itself does not promote that either. It's literally saying that by alleviating pain - we are doing the utilitarian thing - which is to increase happiness and decrease suffering. Clearly Con is misguided here.

Con does make a good point about how suffering makes people stronger. I do agree, but only to a certain extent. At some point, suffering becomes unbearable. There is also the fact that with terminal illnesses, the growth can only occur so much. Ultimately, I think it's important to make the distinction between regular-life suffering and terminal-illness suffering. With the latter, only so much good can come from the degree of suffering the patient is experiencing, again, as evidenced by their own testimonies.

VIII. Animal Euthanasia

Con tried to build a distinction between showing mercy towards animals and loving humans. She states, "Love is doing what's best for someone else." Clearly, there are cases where family members who loved their terminally ill relative supported her decision. This point from Con is moot.

In conclusion,

I've given rebuttals for each point raised by Con. I now return the floor to Con.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://www.nola.com...
[2] http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...
[3] http://www.save.org...
Debate Round No. 3
berthajohnson00179

Con

berthajohnson00179 forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

My opponent, Con, has forfeited round 4.

I, therefore, extend all my arguments as they currently remain standing unchallenged.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
berthajohnson00179

Con

berthajohnson00179 forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the final round.

This is now the second round my opponent has forfeited, and I take it as a clear indication of her conceding the debate.

I extend all arguments as they were left standing unchallenged by Con.

For these reasons, please vote Pro.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
moneystacker
7 point vote system (trying to get voting privileges back)

Who I believed in before CON simply because I am very Christian thus killing in general I am against

Who I believed after PRO He shows the quality of life is very low in the final stages, Pro also proves the restrictions that are evident in this practice. For example pro states this "Lastly the doctor who writes the prescription must believe the patient is mentally competent to make the decision. The law also requires that patients be able to take the pills on their own." A doctor can't just randomly administrate this if the person request like I thought they could at first.

FOr sources it's a tie because both sides presented good sources that supported there points.

Argumentation I selected pro partly because of the FF but also because I was confused by Con's argumentation. He made I almost like a philosophical debate attacking with questions instead of addressing pros points established such as the quality of life which was a huge argument.

Conduct I selected blade because of the FF but if it wasn't for that I would have selected both. Grammar as also good on both sides as well. Both debtors displayed good vocabulary and made there arguments easy to comprehend.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
Will post my argument tomorrow night. Best of luck to you within this debate, it'll be the first debate I've done in a few months so let's have some fun with this!
Posted by wipefeetnmat 1 year ago
wipefeetnmat
Are referring specifically to mercy killing or (essentially) suicide? Or in general the intentional death (by anyone's choosing) of someone deemed unfit?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by EverlastingMoment 1 year ago
EverlastingMoment
berthajohnson00179Blade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture loses con the conduct point. Con's arguments weren't convincing, he threw references and quotes that weren't sourced to back up any reliability. Pro furthermore, was the only one to present a clear structure in his debate following 5 main arguments which, without going too deeply into it, was properly backed up to affirm his case as it presented me with the most believable case. Con's rebuttals were very weird, decided to attack simply with questions rather than stating an argument against, furthermore, as pro negated con's arguments in round 3 and con proceeded to forfeit the remaining rounds con was unable to fulfill his BOP and ultimately pro won the debate.
Vote Placed by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
berthajohnson00179Blade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF