The Instigator
klm10
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
CandiceM
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Justification of Euthanasia

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
klm10
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,179 times Debate No: 28053
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

klm10

Pro

While it may seem inhumane to many, there are many benefits and justifications to euthanasia and one wanting to end suffering. A few philosophers offer their means of justification, one such philosopher is James Rachels. In Rachels' article described is the difference between active and passive euthanasia. He states "Part of my point is that the process of being "allowed to die" can be relatively slow and painful, whereas being given lethal injection is relatively quick and painless." There is a consensus among both moral people as well as philosophers, that the more humane thing to do with a person in a situation in which there is little chance of full recovery, is to terminate the person's suffering before they are allowed to suffer any further. Every human being is entitled to basic human rights, one of these rights is to be able to do what they wish with their life, even if this means voluntary execution, of course the person must also be of mental mind and be able to distinguish what the difference between life and death are at the time of this determination. In the documentary the Suicide Tourist Craig Ewert was an American suffering with ALS, because of this terminal disease he concluded that he wanted to end his life by means of assisted suicide compared to getting to the point where he "couldn't talk walk or move". He said "how would one know if I was suffering? It would be utter hell." Meaning if he deteriorated so long he wouldn't be able to physically or verbally express how he was feeling, and no one could help him. He would also become a burden on others. If you were put into a similar situation, would you want to become a burden to those you care about?
CandiceM

Con

Suicide is wrong no matter what means one goes about ending their life. If someone is suffering, you can't guarantee that their mental clarity is as efficient as someone who is in a healthier state of mind. They should not be in charge of such a finite judgment since it would be expected that they would want to end the suffering, because they are in the state of illness. In one of Rachel's arguments, he also mentions that "If a doctor let's a patient die, for humane reasons, he is in the same moral position, as if he had given the patient a lethal injection for humane reasons." What the quote describes is, that killing is killing, even if the person who conducting the killing had a morally justifiable reason to do so. In the instance of the doctor with a patient, if a patient was in fact curable then the doctor clearly made the wrong decision. When someone is dead, there is no bringing them back. That would be the worst kind of mistake one could make. Life should run its nature course. Your body should determine when it is your time to pass. A doctor should not play God.
Debate Round No. 1
klm10

Pro

A doctors job is to minimize suffering. To deny euthanasia is to deny an end to suffering. If it weren't for doctors not having the drive to help others, we would not be able to cure anyone of anything. Craig Ewert once mentioned "Suicide is a marvelous possibility for a human being to restore themselves from a situation that is unbearable". What this is saying is not that the person is a coward for wanting to end their suffering. But rather, they are actually maintaining their dignity and ability to make decisions as a human being. Speaking of maintaining dignity, or even the potential for dignity. When it comes to making a decision for a child born with a terminal illness. It is morally justifiable to make the decision to end the child's suffering. The child is not yet at an age, where they can make a moral decision about themselves, they can't comprehend any of these things. As a parent, you would hopefully be horrified to see your child suffer even a minor injury. While it would be incredibly difficult to deny the child the life it has not yet been able to have, in a situation like this, it would be better to end the only feeling they have ever felt, in this case pain. Once again, Rachels argues that "A number of points need to be made here. The first is that it is not exactly correct to say that in passive euthanasia the doctor does nothing, for he does do one thing that is very important: he lets the patient die". There are many benefits that modern medicine has given us. To deny euthanasia is to deny modern medicine, are you against modern treatments?
CandiceM

Con

There is nothing in modern medicine that mentions that euthanasia is the best means of treatment. A pledge from the Hippocratic oath states "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion". Even the oath mentions that a doctor is not supposed to end a life. A doctors job is to be able to keep the person alive as much as possible. Once again Rachel's mentions "If a doctor deliberately let a patient die who was suffering from a routine curable illness, the doctor would certainly be to blame for what he had done....". Imagine the scenario of two men that wanted a boy killed. The first man goes into the bathroom with the boy and drowns him in the bath tube, while the second man walks into the bathroom, and sees the boy slip out and crack his head. In both scenarios, both men would be guilty of letting the boy die, since they both had intentions of the boy being dead as the end result. Both men are still guilty for taking a life, whether or not they physically did it.
Debate Round No. 2
klm10

Pro

First of all you did not finish off Rachel's' quote, "If a doctor deliberately let a patient die who was suffering from a routinely curable illness, the doctor would certainty be to blame for what he had done,.." the quote goes onto say that "just as he would be to blame if he had needlessly killed the patient." Letting on that charges against the doctor would in fact be appropriate because the doctor made the decision of "letting" his patient die. In your example of the two men that wanted the boy die. The second man who saw the boy would in fact not be guilty, since he did not psychically make contact with the boy. Sometimes, everyone wants to see harm done to others, this does not mean that we literally want to see them harmed, we are but merely agitated with them.

Richard Brandt mentions that "Persons who say suicide is morally wrong must be asked which of two positions they are affirming. Are they saying that every act of suicide is wrong, everything considered? Or are they merely saying that there is always some moral obligations, doubtless of serious weight, to commit suicide, so that very often suicide is wrong". What Brandt is affirming, is that there are different ways in which one can interpret whether or not suicide is justifiable.
CandiceM

Con

No matter what argument you give me, euthanasia is not justifiable. Richard Brandt states, "It is altogether unlawful to kill oneself, for three reasons. First, because everything naturally loves itself, the result being that everything naturally keeps itself in being, and resists corruption so far as it can."" That alone shows that people want to thrive in their lives. Euthanasia is wrong because people are meant to have a change and see what they become as potential beings. In reference to Craig Ewert, if there was a cure for his disease, he surely would have chosen life over death. His act of euthanasia goes against his potential for a cure. He decision to end his life was solely based on the fact that he did not want to be a burden to others. "It is then seen at once that a system of nature by whose law the very same feeling whose function is to stimulate the furtherance of life should actually destroy life would contradict itself and consequently could not subsist as a system of nature."
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Both debaters seem allergic to paragraphs. Paragraphs help show you are constructing your argument logically by making separate points and progressing the argument. They make it a lot easier for the reader to digest the arguments.

Partly as the result of the lack of clear progression of thought, it's difficult to pick a winner. I think Pro edged it, as Con didn't counter his first round point about suffering. Con made more assertions without justifying them. For example, he did not say *why* doctors must not "play God".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
klm10CandiceMTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: See Comments