The Instigator
bd428
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Legalization of Euthanasia

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,677 times Debate No: 17280
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

bd428

Pro

To start out I am not a good debater but I just had this idea and want to see both sides of the argument.

Euthanasia should be legalized in the United States. Euthanasia would help the US and its citizens in many ways.

As defined by Merriam-Webster
Euthanasia- the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy:

1. People who live in great pain and suffering would have a way to get out of their pain and misery and die with dignity. Instead of becoming vegetables in their old age and wearing adult diapers or suffering throught a terrible disease they could have a way out.
2. I don't remember where I got this fact but I believe about 60% of medicare is spent in the last 2 weeks of a patients life. With Euthanasia hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars could be saved and spent on things such as education or simply reducing the multi trillion dollar deficit.

Euthanasia could be set up rather easily. There could be government run centers where people of sane mind could come and provide in writing and in video something showing they wanted to die.
thett3

Con

First I would like to say that I'm kinda playing devil's advocate here. I actually don't fully know my view on Euthanasia yet, so hopefully this will help me figure it out.

=Rebuttal=

"People who live in great pain and suffering would have a way to get out of their pain and misery and die with dignity"- While this would seem to be a good thing, (and it would be) however it is not-feasible. I will elaborate more in my case and my Cross Examination.

"I believe about 60% of medicare is spent in the last 2 weeks of a patients life."-try to find a source for this, it has the potential to become an extremely compelling argument, however with no evidence it is invalid.

=Cross Examination=

1. You state that people of sane mind would choose this, how can you deduce who is sane and who isn't?
2. In the situation of an incapacitated person, who gets to decide if they die then?
3. Who pays for this Euthanasia?
4. Under what conditions or situations is Euthanasia acceptable under your system, and who mandates it?
5. If I can prove that legalizing Euthanasia undermines the value of life, do I win this round?
6. Who performs these operations?
7. Is it ever justified to kill an innocent person outside of self defense? (even if they wish for it)
8. While mercy killing those who are "hopelessly sick or injured" sounds compelling, who decides if they are that sick/injured?
9. Isn't it the job of a doctor to do all they can to help save life, not end it?

=Case=

C1. Euthanasia violates the Hippocratic Oath.

The Hippocratic Oath is the code that lays out the ethical boundaries of the Medical Profession. In one of its lines it states: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." and it also states: "Above all, I must not play at God."[1] Euthanasia violates this. To change this oath is foolish.

C2. Euthanasia is not the right choice for terminally ill patients.

We should not try to kill the terminally ill, we should do all we can to help them. As Margaret Somerville (professor of Medicine) states: "How a society treats its weakest, most in need, most vulnerable memebers best tests its moral and ethical code."[2] By not helping these people, we are abusing the gift of life. One of the main problems with my Opponents plan is that he mentions Euthanasia as solely the choice of the individual involved. Initially this seems to be a good plan, but it ignores the fact that suicide is usually made as a hot-headed, emotion based decision. Somerville tells us that under Oregon's legal Euthanasia "46% percent changed their minds after intervention, only 15% did without intervention." This shows that often people do not think of the consequences of their actions, and so Euthanasia should not be legal, and certainly not legal in my Opponent scenario where "people of sane mind could come and provide in writing and in video something showing they wanted to die.".

That's all I have to say for now. Good luck to my Opponent.

=Sources=

1. http://www.pbs.org...
2. http://nusser.files.wordpress.com...
Debate Round No. 1
bd428

Pro

First I would like to say that I'm glad my opponent accepted this debate

REBUTTAL
C1. Euthanasia violates the Hippocratic Oath.
The Hippocratic Oath is the code that lays out the ethical boundaries of the Medical Profession. In one of its lines it states: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." and it also states: "Above all, I must not play at God."[1] Euthanasia violates this. To change this oath is foolish.

I see no reason why government run euthanasia centers would have to take this oath.

C2. Euthanasia is not the right choice for terminally ill patients.
We should not try to kill the terminally ill, we should do all we can to help them. As Margaret Somerville (professor of Medicine) states: "How a society treats its weakest, most in need, most vulnerable memebers best tests its moral and ethical code."[2]

In a way euthanasia is in fact helping the terminally ill. Instead of refusing them their wish to die we are allowing them to choose for themselves. Instead of saying no we are giving a choice.

Somerville tells us that under Oregon's legal Euthanasia "46% percent changed their minds after intervention, only 15% did without intervention." This shows that often people do not think of the consequences of their actions, and so Euthanasia should not be legal, and certainly not legal in my Opponent scenario where "people of sane mind could come and provide in writing and in video something showing they wanted to die.".

Than make the process a multiple appointment process. There is probably a reason those who didn't get an intervention went through with it more. Perhaps they don't have anyone to hold an intervention for them.

=Cross Examination=

You state that people of sane mind would choose this, how can you deduce who is sane and who isn't?
Look at their medical files and criminal record. If there is anything that shows possible insanity deny them.
In the situation of an incapacitated person, who gets to decide if they die then?
The direct family.
Who pays for this Euthanasia?
Medicare, or part medicare/medicaid part patient.
Under what conditions or situations is Euthanasia acceptable under your system, and who mandates it?
Under the conditions that the person is of sane mind and that they are terminally ill or near the end of their life.
If I can prove that legalizing Euthanasia undermines the value of life, do I win this round?
No
Who performs these operations?
Government run euthanasia centers.
Is it ever justified to kill an innocent person outside of self defense? (even if they wish for it)
Yes, if they wish for it
While mercy killing those who are "hopelessly sick or injured" sounds compelling, who decides if they are that sick/injured?
The government run centers.
Isn't it the job of a doctor to do all they can to help save life, not end it?
Not necessarily, it is to help the patient however they can. And if this is what the patient wishes this is how they can help them.

=Case=

C1. Alleviates patients from their pain

People who live in great pain and suffering would have a way to get out of their pain and misery and die with dignity. If one visits any kind of hospital and goes to the area of the terminally and severely ill or an old folks home they will hear the cries for the death. Patients literally scream down the halls their desire for death.

C2. Euthanasia would save the federal government millions

"Last year (2009), Medicare paid $50 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives - that's more than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Education."

Potentially billions could be saved through my plan.

Source
C2. http://www.cbsnews.com...

Good luck to my opponent
thett3

Con

=Rebuttal=

"I see no reason why government run euthanasia centers would have to take this oath." - Euthanasia is also known as "Physician-assisted suicide" because doctors are the ones doing the killing. Since doctors are the ones performing Euthanasia, a violation of the Hippocratic Oath is very important. Unless my Opponent is advocating someone other than doctors doing the killing, which carries extreme implications.


"In a way euthanasia is in fact helping the terminally ill. Instead of refusing them their wish to die we are allowing them to choose for themselves. Instead of saying no we are giving a choice."- using that logic we would also be helping depressed people by killing them. Furthermore, Euthanasia gets abused, as the doctor Herbert Hend tells us (speaking of Euthanasia in the Netherlands):

"Concern over charges of abuse led the Dutch government to undertake studies of the practice in 1990 and 1995. Many violations of the guidelines were evident from these two studies. For example, 60% of Dutch cases of assisted suicide and euthanasia are not reported, which by itself makes regulation impossible.

The most alarming concern to arise from the Dutch studies has been the documentation of several thousand cases a year in which patients who have not given their consent have their lives ended by physicians. About a quarter of physicians stated that they had "terminated the lives of patients without an explicit request" from the patient to do so, and a third more of the physicians could conceive of doing so."[1]

Euthanasia empowers doctors, not patients.

"Than make the process a multiple appointment process. There is probably a reason those who didn't get an intervention went through with it more. Perhaps they don't have anyone to hold an intervention for them." - Guidelines such as these could not be enforced, again take the Netherlands as an example according to BBC: "The reality is that a clear majority of cases of euthanasia, both with and without request, go unreported and unchecked."[2]

Since Holland is the only country to legalize Euthanasia, this sets a historical precednt of abuse. My Opponent must show how this will not happen in the United States.

=His answers to Cross Examination=

1. However unless everyone was subjected to intense physcological analysis (not likely, especially considering how my Opponent spoke of saving money as part of his case) you can never truly know if they're insane. Example, the case that legalized Euthanasia in the Netherlands was a woman who wanted death because her family had died. If such a traumatic experience like that does NOT cause insanity I don't know what is. A want of death is a sign of insanity, an acceptance of death is a sign of wisdom. Let's not confuse this.

2. Now we have someone else deciding on a persons right to life. Even close family members should not have the right to terminate someones existence.

3. Ok, I thought that's how it would work, just clarifying.

4. Yes, but how are these deductions made? Who makes them and what qualifications do they need?

5. What do you mean no? The sanctity of life is a fundamental value in our society, indeed it is our most sacred value, how can this be outweighed by your impacts?

6. So just people hired by the government to perform these Euthanasias?

7. So basically it's also justified to kill a suicidal person evenb if they're perfectly healthy?

8. So we are trusting the government to decide who is or isn't fit for life? Look what happened last time a government ran Euthanasia, in Nazi Germany:

"The so-called "Euthanasia" program was National Socialist Germany's first program of mass murder, predating the genocide of European Jewry by approximately two years. The effort represented one of many radical eugenic measures which aimed to restore the racial "integrity" of the German nation. It endeavored to eliminate what eugenicists and their supporters considered "life unworthy of life"' [3]

Governments, all governments, cannot be trusted with this power.

9. The Hippocratic Oath which outlines what doctors are supposed to do is against Euthanasia, so are doctors supposed to disobey their code of ethics whenever it suits them?

=His case=

C1.

"People who live in great pain and suffering would have a way to get out of their pain and misery and die with dignity"
-you speak of dignity quite alot, so I really must ask, how exactly is Euthanasia "dignified"? To me it seems like the easy way out, not dignified at all.

"Patients literally scream down the halls their desire for death."-same with mental hospitals, should we kill them too?

C2.

1. No solvency, money would still be spent on Euthanasia in the "government run centers".
2. Valuing money over the sanctity of life, clear miscalculation in my opinion.
3. His plan is likely to be more expensive with his "multiple appointments" requiring Physciartrists, Doctors, ect.

Souces

1. Hendin, Herbert. "Legalizing Euthanasia Eliminates Patient Autonomy and Reduces Quality of Care."
Rest in comments.



Debate Round No. 2
bd428

Pro

Euthanasia is also known as "Physician-assisted suicide" because doctors are the ones doing the killing. Since doctors are the ones performing Euthanasia, a violation of the Hippocratic Oath is very important. Unless my Opponent is advocating someone other than doctors doing the killing, which carries extreme implications.
A violation of the Hippocratic Oath by doctors specializing in Euthanasia is not important.

using that logic we would also be helping depressed people by killing them. Furthermore, Euthanasia gets abused, as the doctor Herbert Hend tells us (speaking of Euthanasia in the Netherlands):
This is why centers would be government run, easier to make sure there is no abuse by doctors.

Guidelines such as these could not be enforced, again take the Netherlands as an example according to BBC: "The reality is that a clear majority of cases of euthanasia, both with and without request, go unreported and unchecked."[2]
Once again the centers would be government run, making it easier for the government to monitor and prevent abuse.

=Response to Cross Examination=

1. A simple check of medical history and their criminal record looking for signs of insanity would be required.

2. Today family members have the choice to the right to life for hundreds of "vegetable" patients.

4. You need to pass the qualifying test checking for insanity or have the family say yes.

5. If someone does not wish to live they should not be forced to live. No matter the value of their life.

6. Closely monitored, government run centers.

7. Yes because they wish to die.

8. I am trusting the government with the choice. A comparison to the Nazi government is a bit extreme.

9. No, only doctors in government run euthanasia centers can.

=Rebuttal=

C1.

you speak of dignity quite alot, so I really must ask, how exactly is Euthanasia "dignified"? To me it seems like the easy way out, not dignified at all.
It is dignified because it is helping a person out of their misery. Instead of forcing someone who wants to die to live, which is wrong, the person is given a way out and to carry out their wish to die.

same with mental hospitals, should we kill them too?
Not without the families consent.

C2.

No solvency, money would still be spent on Euthanasia in the "government run centers".
Yes but it would likely outweigh $50billion dollars spent over 2 months in a hospital.

Valuing money over the sanctity of life, clear miscalculation in my opinion.
This does not value money over life it simply helps people carry out their wish of death. It just happens to save moeny at the same time.

His plan is likely to be more expensive with his "multiple appointments" requiring Physciartrists, Doctors, ect.
It would not be nearly as expensive as sitting in a hospital for two months. After all According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the cost for the drugs used in lethal injection is $86.08. This is not to say lethal injection would necessarily be the way of death but this just shows how cheap it can be.

And to my opponent I ask, how can you justify forcing a person to live when they do not wish to?
thett3

Con

=Costs of Euthanasia=

In my Opponents plan we have "government run centers", we have "process a multiple appointment process.", and we have "doctors specializing in Euthanasia" Euthanasia is not a current specialization in the Medical field, meaning that these doctors would have to be trained by the Government. All this costs taxpayer money, and while I can understand my Opponents reasoning that this would be cheaper than the current system, I don't agree with it seeing how grossly our government overspends and how little fiscal responsibility they have.

Furthermore, the costs caused by Medicare and Medicaid is the money doing what it's supposed to do! The purpose of these programs is to provide medical care for people. My Opponent has not shown how many people would request Euthanasia, and thus these costs are still happening and this point has no solvency.

=Rebuttal=

C1.

" violation of the Hippocratic Oath by doctors specializing in Euthanasia is not important." - A) a violation of the Hippocratic oath IS important, for any doctor, and B) what my Opponent is suggesting here is doctors trained in how to kill using Euthanasia, nothing else, therefore they are useless save for one purpose.

"This is why centers would be government run, easier to make sure there is no abuse by doctors."- 1. This is placing too much faith in the Government, look at the Nazi evidence I linked. Government Euthanasia has historical precedent of abuse. 2. In the Netherlands, there are many government regulations, that I've already shown in the BBC and Hendlin evidence to be ignored.

Government abuse in the Medical industry

The infamous Tuskegee syphilis expirement can be used as a historical precedent of medical abuse, in our own country! The U.S. Department of Health and Human services purposely infected poor, uneducated, black men with syphilis in the name of science![1]. Clearly, the Government cannot be trusted with the power to mandate death over life.

C2.

"Once again the centers would be government run, making it easier for the government to monitor and prevent abuse." -but the government itself has a history of abuse.

=Cross examination responses=

1. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, "Nearly 95 percent of those who kill themselves have a psychiatric illness diagnosable in the months before suicide.....Like other suicidal individuals, patients who desire an early death during a serious or terminal medical illness usually suffer from a treatable depressive condition."[2].

2. A person in a vegetative state is not the same as a terminally ill patient, it's the difference between passive and active Euthanasia.

5. That would be a good point, if people did not already have the right to die. Again, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention patients already have the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment! Also, "A 1989 Swedish study showed that when chronically ill patients attempted suicide, their overburdened families often did not want them resuscitated. But when social services stepped in and relieved the family's burden by sending in home care helpers, most patients wanted to live and their families wanted them to live, too."

Again, suicide is not the right choice.

6. Government has a history of abuse, both here and abroad.

7. So you're affirming that you would assist a perfectly healthy suicidal person to die?

8. I've also shown our own government to have done horrible things like that.

=His case=

C1.
Is it wrong to keep a suicidal person from killing themselves?

"Not without the families consent." you're saying that just because someone has a mental problem, and their familiy doesn't care that you do not care for their life? That's a terrible thing to say.

C2.

I've already shown how in the vast majority of suicde cases, a mental condition exists, and you cannot convince me that killing someone just because they have a mental condition and want to die is anything less than murder.

=His Question=

It's justified because the majority suicide cases are from patients with mental conditions, who, after counseling, would no longer be suicidal. We must value the sanctity of life above all else.

=Sources=

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "Physician-Assisted Suicide Should Not Be Legalized." Opposing Viewpoints: Problems of Death. Ed. James D. Torr and Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000.
Debate Round No. 3
bd428

Pro

bd428 forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

*sigh* Extend all arguments, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
other sources: (ran out of charcters)

2. http://news.bbc.co.uk...
3. http://www.ushmm.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
bd428thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit