The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Jerry947
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

People have the right to be euthanized.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 560 times Debate No: 91678
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Danielle

Pro

Jerry947 has claimed that "people have no right to get themselves killed [by euthanasia]."

In this debate, I hope to convince him and the audience that he is incorrect.

Should he accept this debate, I will begin my arguments in Round 2. Thanks.
Jerry947

Con

Thanks for the challenge Danielle. I accept this debate and I look forward to what you have to say.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

Many thanks again to my opponent.

I look forward to an interesting discussion!

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 means one's life ought to be dictated by other people. That is an inherent violation of one's freedom and bodily autonomy. Bodily integrity is the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies [1]. The violation of bodily integrity is an unethical infringement.

The only exception to this standard 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 therefore their legal right to life is no longer recognized.

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 personal 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.

In cases where people could not put an immediate end to their long, drawn out, insufferable 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 0.000001% 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. A medical power of attorney is a document that lets you appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your medical care if you cannot make them yourself [2].

Euthanasia objectors push fear mongering, such as the myth that allowing euthanasia will suddenly make the world murder-hungry, greedy, evil and death crazed -- a complete exaggeration with no substantiated proof whatsoever. After all we only give power of attorney rights to those we trust, such as our spouse or children.

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 [3]. 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 be 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 [4]. 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 [5]. 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 [6]. 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 [7]. 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, and that each person has the right to govern their own bodies -- including giving other people the authority to do so when they no longer have the ability.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.rirtl.org...
[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com...
[4] http://www.cnn.com...
[5] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[6] http://listverse.com...
[7] http://www.eutanasia.ws...
Jerry947

Con

My opponent starts off their argument with a bare assertion. They state that "one's life belongs to one's own person." While this line sounds good it is unsupported. It is not like humans my opponent created their own life. Then they again assert that "people must be free to live (and die) as they please. To suggest otherwise means one's own life ought to be dictated by other people." Before I go on, I am going to establish something my opponent didn't do. I am going to establish where rights come from.

The founding fathers of the United States believed in a God. Many of them were Christian and some were deists. For example:

The founding fathers of the United States believe that rights were endowed by a God. It was Thomas Jefferson that wrote that rights were endowed by God in his Declaration of Independence.

a. In a 1794 letter to the Massachusetts Legislature, Samuel Adams wrote, "In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator"
b. John Adams said "Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be."
c. John Hancock said "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
d. Benjamin Franklin said "Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshiped."

Thomas Jefferson represented these men well when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He wrote that rights were endowed by a creator. And that is where rights come from.

From a constitutional standpoint, euthanasia is not directly supported, but the right to life is. Since they didn't include the supposed "right to kill yourself," and there is the fact that the included the "right to life", we can conclude that they did not believe that the right to be killed was endowed by God. And the same is pretty much true today. Euthanasia is still not legal in the United States (https://en.wikipedia.org...) except for in four states.

Now, my opponent then asserts that there are exceptions to the rule about dictating other peoples lives. And it is incredibly ironic. Apparently, we can't tell people that they can't kill themselves due to the fact that we would be violating their bodily autonomy. But according to my opponent, the exception to violating someones bodily autonomy "includes fetuses before a certain stage of development, living persons in a vegetative state, and people so terminally ill that they will assuredly die."

What a blatant double standard. My opponent is allowed to determine the lives of fetuses and ill people but I cannot tell a person that they cannot kill themselves because it would somehow violate their supposed right to kill themselves (which my opponent has not yet objectively established as an actual right).

So now I ask my opponent, "Can they objectively establish that humans have a right to be euthanized or did they just make it up?"

And now I also ask my opponent, "What makes a human life meaningful?" They claim that "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 therefore their legal right to life is no longer recognized."

But they haven't explained why the people who lack consciousness are no longer persons/humans. I disagree with them. A person is not valuable because of their thoughts, feelings, or etc. A person could be brain dead and people would still treat the person as a person. So the personhood is not dependent on the things that a person can do, it is actually based on ontology. I don't see how a person very ill would be considered a non-human. My opponent has to start explaining...

My opponent then asks "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."

My opponent seems to put humans as being morally equal with animals. Animals do not have morals; humans do. I can;t even imagine why my opponent would make such a comparison. My opponent also seems to think that a person murdering themselves doesn't harm anyone which is just completely false. It hurts family members, it harms themselves, and it is all pointless since an eternity awaits them. Whether you believe in a God or not, an eternity still awaits those who die. So why kill yourselves when you have an infinite amount of time to "rest?"

My opponent then asserts that "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." Murder is also cruel I might add. It doesn't solve anything except help people get rid of decaying life that they don't want to look at anymore.

My opponent says that "If people want to die they will find a way to die. It's morally sound to make their death as painless as possible." The logic here is not sound. Just because people are going to do something anyway, that doesn't mean we should legalize the action. Just because people will rape each other anyway do to our evil nature, that doesn't mean we should legalize rape.

My opponent argues that "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."

Nobody will ever feel totally in control of their lives. You can't control what happened in the job market, you can't control terrorists and etc...And the fact that death is certain to happen is all the more reason to not kill yourselves and to use all the time you have to do good.

The final argument my opponent made was about the costs. While it is true that it can be expensive to keep a person alive, I think my opponent said it well when they said that "you cannot put a price on life." Although, they ironically went against their own statement. I however am going to stick with it.

In conclusion, my opponent has not established where rights come from and I am of the opinion that this is extremely important. That is what the whole debate comes to. If my opponent cannot objectively establish the right to die, then they loose. Their opinion on this matter is not a good enough reason to legalize euthanasia.

I thank my opponent for a good round and I can't wait to hear back from them.
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Con begins by challenging the notion that one's life belongs to one's own person. Thomas Bowden explains, "The Declaration of Independence proclaimed, for the first time in the history of nations, that each person exists as an end in himself. This basic truth -- which finds political expression in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- means, in practical terms, that you need no one's permission to live, and that no one may forcibly obstruct your efforts to achieve your own personal happiness" [1].

"I would argue that the right to die is a corollary of the right to life. A free person does not belong to God, to the State, to the medical establishment or to anyone else. If a rational, competent person decides that life is not worth living because of illness, suffering, loss of a loved one, untreatable hopelessness, or whatever reason, then that person has the right to end his or her life. Just as one should be left free to pursue rational values that do not violate others' rights, one should be free to terminate their life on their terms" [1].

Con then claims that rights come from God. This is problematic for two reasons. First, not everyone believes in God, let alone the Christian God that Con refers to. Even Christians cannot agree with each other, which is why there are thousands of denominations of Christianity alone. If Christians cannot even agree amongst themselves, we have no reason to believe the entire human race's rights are dictated by the "Christian" God. Indeed billions of people (and millions of Americans) do not believe in or accept this version of God that Con describes.

And secondly, the United States government does not base its concept of rights on religion. Ergo, this religious argument is useless at establishing the basis for legal rights. If this argument were to prevail legally, it would be a horrific violation of the separation of church and state. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," meaning the tenants of Christianity nor any other religion is to be established as the basis of our law [2].

Con quotes the founding father's supposition that rights are established by a "Creator," which by the way is not necessarily the Christian God. The founding father's also believed that black people and women had little to no rights -- should their moral standards be the basis of rights for now and always? Con would have to defend this fallacious appeal to tradition and appeal to authority. The founding father's ideas were not always just or relevant.

The Supreme Court has ruled that euthanasia is not necessarily a Constitutional right; however, it should be left up to the states to decide. That does not mean that it is not a right - it simply means the federal government has chosen to regulate something that IS a fundamental right. This is not uncommon. For example some states seek to ban gun rights, sex for money, gay marriage, marijuana consumption, or they exercise eminent domain over property rights, etc.

My opponent goes on to suggest that the right to life is protected by the Constitution which is patently false. Indeed the right to choose is the federal law of the land; the right to abortion (choose) was valued by the Supreme Court over the right to life in 1963's Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade [3]. Therefore we can see that the government basis the right to life on a level of sentience and not the value of being alive in and of itself.

Moreover, the Supreme Court decided in Cruzan v. Director that the due process clause protects a patient's liberty to refuse medical treatment, even if that refusal would ultimately lead to the patient's death [4]. As such, SCOTUS has ruled the Constitution recognizes one's right to bodily autonomy - to act in a way that kills one's self by not taking the medicine or treatment.

Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. It can also refer to the ability of any entity to have subjective perceptual experiences [5]. We use this as the basis to distinguish rights among living beings, which is why animals do not have the right to life and humans do -- humans are more sentient.

Con falsely accuses me of a hypocritical double standard, but indeed there is none. Neither fetuses nor people in comas, vegetative states, etc. have a level of sentience where they can consent or they are conscious, and therefore, they are not given the inherent right to life above their previous choice (or possibly another person's choice) for the aforementioned reasons. As such Con is incorrect in accusing me of a double standard here.

Con writes, "A person could be brain dead and people would still treat the person as a person... I don't see how a person very ill would be considered a non-human." First, let's recognize Con's straw man as I have never said that a very ill person was non-human. I said they were non-sentient which is entirely different.

Second, how other people feel is irrelevant to one's personal freedom and right to their own body. If my mother does not want me to get a tattoo, that is too bad, I can get one. If my mother does not want me to have a child, too bad, I can have one and that is true whether I am 12 or 42. We do, in fact, have the right to bodily autonomy and to control what happens to our own bodies. So if I choose to die, I have that right the way I have the right to control what medicines I take, how I eat, and how I live my life whether it makes me sick or not. If I have diabetes, I can choose to eat sugar until I die.

My opponent then fallaciously accuses me of equating a human being's life with an animal's life. This is another blatant straw man. First of all I've explained why humans should have more rights than animals based on their level of sentience. Next, I asked why we should show greater compassion to animals - meaning we show greater empathy for animals not suffering than we do regarding human suffering. If we do not want animals to suffer and therefore "put them down" to ease their unnecessary pain, we should extend the same care and consideration to humans who are more sentient than animals - especially because they can voluntarily choose to end their own lives, whereas animals cannot communicate that choice to you (if they are in fact sentient enough to choose that).

Con keeps equating euthanasia with murder which is false. Murder is the killing of another human being without justification or valid excuse, and it is especially the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought [6]. Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering [7].

My opponent compares euthanasia to rape which is absurd. The reason euthanasia should be legal and doesn't count as aggression is because 1) euthanasia may be entirely voluntary, 2) people may give their loved ones the right to choose euthanasia for them, 3) euthanasia is done on those who are not conscious and have little to no chance of surviving for long without great pain and needless suffering. Rape, murder, and all of Con's other dramatic analogies are not comparable.

In conclusion, please note that Con has dropped my points regarding this statistic: In 86% of cases, euthanasia shortened life by a maximum of a week - usually only a few hours. Con must prove that the exorbitant costs (which he does not deny exist) outweigh keeping this unconscious, barely living (or ever to be able to functionally or consciously ever live again) person alive on a cost/benefit analysis. Thus far, he has only repeated "you cannot put a price on a life" and yet I have argued in the last round why some people would prefer to not waste a lot of money suffering needlessly, while withering away in pain for a few more hours.

SOURCES: http://www.debate.org...
Jerry947

Con

My opponent starts off by trying to defend their statement that "one's life belongs to one's own person." They quote Thomas Bowdon to prove their point. The problem here is that Jefferson literally said that "all Men 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" (https://www.google.com...). In other words, the Declaration is quite clear that the right to life comes from a creator.

And the same source my opponent uses to show that one's life is their own says that "Assisted suicide in the U.S. and Europe, and euthanasia in Europe are not Constitutionally-protected. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 ruled unanimously that assisted suicide is not Constitutionally-protected, but up to the states to decide" (http://blog.seculargovernment.us...).

So my opponent's source recognizes that the right to die is not protected by the constitution.

My opponent says that the right to die is corollary of the right to life. Okay, my opponent can believe that but they can't argue it from a constitutional standpoint. There own source even acknowledges that the right to die isn't supported by the Constitution. So this opinion of my opponents is respected but it is ultimately meaningless in order to show that people have this right.

My opponent then mentions that not everyone believes in God. That is also fine but if there is no God, that would take away the existence of meaningful/objective rights. In other words, if there is no God, their would be no right to die or a right to life. Rights would be based on the preferences of people. So this would mean that there would be no real rights and my opponent's argument would fall apart since they are asserting that people have the right to be euthanized.

Also, I never mentioned that rights came from the Christian God specifically. I didn't even describe the God that supposedly gave humans rights. I just stated that the founding fathers believed in God-given rights and so did I. Though, it should be noted that Christians pretty much agree with each other on the basic Biblical principles (including rights). But that is sort of a red herring my opponent brought up so I will not go into it too deeply.

My opponent then states that the United States government does not base its concept of rights on religion. It just so happens that Thomas Jefferson and the majority of the founding fathers disagree with her. Jefferson said that rights were endowed by God and he wrote the Declaration of Independence. So my opponent is just completely wrong here. The rights our founding fathers believed in were ones they believed came from God.

My opponent states that my argument violates the "separation of church and state", but the "separation of church and state" is never mentioned in the constitution so my opponent doesn't have an argument here. My opponent also says that Congress can't make a law respecting the establishment of a religion. That is true. That said, the point is irrelevant to the conversation since this doesn't mean that rights didn't come from a God and this doesn't mean that the country can't be a Christian nation. Though again, I never really focused on Christianity in my original argument.

My opponent states that the founding fathers believed that black people and women had little to no rights so therefore their moral standards should maybe not be the ones we use now. While I don't think this is completely true, this is a really good point. In order to solve this issue, we would have to determine who the right God is. I would argue that it is the Christian God but that is another debate waiting to happen. You would have to prove that the Christian God exists in order to prove that rights come from that specific God. That said, my original point was not that rights came from the founding fathers, but that rights came from a creator. And that is what the founding fathers thought as well.

My opponent says that me claiming that the right to life is protected by the constitution is patently false. Okay...well the 14th amendment says that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" (http://americanrtl.org...). So my opponent is wrong about that.

My opponent tries to again to prove their point by bringing up a supreme court case about abortion...but this debate is about euthanasia. And my opponent has already admitted that "euthanasia is not necessarily a constitutional right." So they have no argument here as well.

The case about a patient being able to refuse medical treatment does not negate the fact that euthanasia is not a right given by the constitution.

My opponent then says that I wrongly accused them of using a double standard. I disagree. They originally said and I quote "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 therefore their legal right to life is no longer recognized."

A person and a human are the same thing (https://www.google.com...) and my opponent was clearly saying that their personhood is challenged when they lack consciousness. I accused her of using a double standard since she claimed that not allowing people to be killed is somehow violating their freedom and bodily rights (which they still have not yet objectively established as actual rights). But then they turn around and say that they can kill humans in certain cases since their personhood would be challenged. Sounds like a double standard to me.

That claim that they never said that "a very ill person was non-human." But actually they did say that the personhood would be challenged (since they are ill) making it alright to kill them. The statements are the same and my opponent has some explaining to do.

Then my opponent goes on saying that other peoples opinions are not relevant to a person's freedom and etc...They mention that people can get tattoos and have children without their parents permission. I never really argued that other peoples opinions should prevent people from having children or etc...So I have no idea where my opponent is going with this. That said, they did add that "I have that right the way I have the right to control what medicines I take, how I eat, and how I live my life whether it makes me sick or not. If I have diabetes, I can choose to eat sugar until I die."

These things aren't really rights (though the medicine thing is considered one in the United States). Sure, you have the ability to eat whatever you want, but this doesn't mean you have the right to. Although, that is kind of a silly example for obvious reasons. So lets discuss euthanasia again. Sure, people have the ability to kill themselves, but this doesn't mean they have the right to do that. And my opponent still hasn't given a good reason for euthanasia to be legalized. Nor have they objectively established a single right they keep mentioning.

Running out of characters...so quickly I'll add three points.

a. Animals get killed because they have no rights. They don't die at the hands of humans because they have the right to die.

b. Murder is unlawful killing. Euthanasia is basically banned in the United States. Therefore I can call it murder.

c. As for the money issue, the cost of a persons life is not good enough reason to kill them. I feel like I have addressed this enough though.

Thanks for a good round and hope the last one is interesting.
Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

My opponent contests that people have the right to govern their own person. He notes Thomas Jefferson claimed the right to life comes from a creator. This commits the fallacies of both appealing to tradition and appealing to authority. Rights do not derive from the Founding Fathers just because the Founding Fathers described our rights in a legal document. Indeed the rights Thomas Jefferson have said come from our "creator" have been amended many times throughout history to accommodate different moral standards, i.e. expanding property, marriage and voting rights to name a few. Surely Thomas Jefferson cannot be considered an infallible source of outlining rights.

Moreover, it would breach the separation of church and state to suggest that an alleged creator's values ought to determine our legal standards. Please extend my arguments from the last round that have explicitly outlined why God is irrelevant to this debate.

The proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest. If someone is Christian, they might believe they should follow Christ and doing so makes them happy. That is in accordance with their own worldview; however, not everyone shares the same worldview. So long as we do not harm another or infringe on another person's rights, we do have the right to our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness regardless of other people's standards. So if Con does not believe in euthanasia, he should not make that choice. However his beliefs (and other's) should not dictate our legal standards for all.

My opponent claims that objective morality nor rights can exist without God. That is a fallacious bare assertion and I do not have time to argue that point, nor is it entirely relevant or important to this debate. Indeed many branches of philosophy accept the potential of objective morality and/or other moral standards to be valued without acknowledging God as the basis, such as Ayn Rand's Objectivism, Ethical Egoism, Utalitarianism, Secular Humanism, etc. [1, 2].

Furthermore, even if we accepted a "creator" as the basis of rights, people do not agree on any aspect of the alleged creator let alone be able to contend what said creator would feel about euthanasia. For example many Christians use scripture to support euthanasia. They note humans were given dominion over all living things by God (Genesis 1:28), so we should be able to choose for ourselves. They say Jesus came so that people could have life "in all its fullness" as explained in John 10:10, which means a good quality of life. If someone has no quality of life, then euthanasia could be valid.

Some Christians say the Bible is about "Do to others as you would have them do to you." If I would prefer euthanasia, does that give me the right to euthanize others? Some Christians say yes. Some others say God gave humans free will, so should be allowed to use free will to decide when our lives end. They note there are examples of euthanasia in the Bible - for instance in 2 Samuel 1:9-10 it says, "Then he begged me, 'Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.' So I killed him."

In short, there are conflicting views even amongst specific religious groups, so our individual rights and wishes should prevail.

Con points out that the Constitution does not observe the right to euthanasia. Please extend my arguments noting that this does not mean that it is not a right - it simply means the federal government has chosen to regulate something that IS a fundamental right. I gave other examples of the USFG doing this which Con dropped. There are many things that are only legally valid state by state; that doesn't mean they aren't fundamental rights.

My opponent continues to insist that rights came from a creator, and since the Founding Fathers (allegedly) believed that, the standard must be upheld. Once again "Separation of church and state" was also a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." [3]. Since nearly 1/4 of Americans are unaffiliated with religion, it doesn't make sense morally or legally to upheld the outdated and oversimplified standard of "God" in determining rights [4].

Con cites the 14th amendment as protecting the right to life. The 14th amendment protects citizen's rights under due process of law, however Con hasn't proven that citizens do not have the right to choose death. I have argued that we do have that right which means the 14th amendment would and should protect that right.

In Cruzan v. Missouri, which involved a patient in a persistent vegetative state, the Court upheld a state requirement that there must be "clear and convincing evidence" of a patient's previously manifested wishes before nutrition and hydration could be withdrawn - and then the Court ruled a patient could refuse medical treatment that would save their lives. SCOTUS ruled in favor of one's right to bodily autonomy - to act in a way that kills one's self by not taking the medicine or treatment. Con says this is irrelevant because of the Constitution, but I've already explained this fallacious appeal to authority and tradition. We aren't judging based on what the Constitution says but what it ought to say.

My opponent continues to accuse me of a "double standard" and saying that non-sentient people were not human. He uses the term human and person interchangeably which is not supported by philosophy; indeed there is a philosophical difference and standard for personhood that goes beyond simply being human [5]. I've explained this at length and why sentience is a valid criteria for establishing personhood.

Con writes, "Sure, you have the ability to eat whatever you want, but this doesn't mean you have the right to." This ignores my point. I noted that if I have diabetes, I not only have the ability to eat sugar but the right to eat sugar -- in other words I have the right to do dangerous and unhealthy things even if I know they will probably kill me.

Con says that he can describe euthanasia as murder even though I specifically outlined the difference. Murder is killing with malicious intent without justification or excuse. Euthanasia is (often voluntary) death to end one's suffering. The two are not comparable by definition nor logic.

In conclusion, Con claims that I haven't given a good reason for euthanasia to be legalized. Please extend all of my arguments which explain exactly why euthanasia should be legalized:

1. People have the right to govern their own body/person
2. It can end someone's life quickly and without pain to stop needless suffering
3. Death is private; the state should not interfere in a personal matter
4. Illness can take away one's autonomy (ability to decide for themselves) while proactive euthanasia restores it

5. We "put down" animals to end their suffering. Con says this is okay because they have no rights. This completely ignores the point. If we extend compassion to animals to end their suffering, we should extend the same compassion and consideration to humans who should have more rights than animals. It doesn't mean we WILL kill humans, but give them the option to decide the best (most painless and preferable) option for themselves.

6. End of life care is very expensive. Con claims to have addressed this by saying you can't put a price on a life. However I've argued it's not worth it on a cost/benefit analysis due to how little time the person's life is actually extended and how little they are actually aware of that time (not at all - and if they are - they are suffering). My opponent has dropped all of these points

SOURCES: http://www.debate.org...
Jerry947

Con

I will start off by quoting my opponent and then I will respond to what they have to say.

"He notes Thomas Jefferson claimed the right to life comes from a creator. This commits the fallacies of both appealing to tradition and appealing to authority. Rights do not derive from the Founding Fathers just because the Founding Fathers described our rights in a legal document."

I started off the debate arguing that rights came from a creator and I used the founding fathers to merely show that they believed the same thing. And since they wrote the law of the land, it is clear that they did not believe that people have the right to kill themselves. This isn't to say that they were always right, but my argument does show that euthanasia wasn't a right they believed people had. Hence they also didn't believe that was a right endowed by a God. And by the way it should be noted that my opponent never actually gave an argument for where rights come from. I believe they lost the debate due to that fact alone.

"Moreover, it would breach the separation of church and state to suggest that an alleged creator's values ought to determine our legal standards. Please extend my arguments from the last round that have explicitly outlined why God is irrelevant to this debate."

Again, the separation of church and state isn't mentioned in the constitution so they don't have an argument here. And the founding fathers literally believed that rights (not all legal standards) came from a creator.

"The proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest."

Bare assertion. Besides that, if our only mission in life is to be selfish, then humanity is in trouble.

"So long as we do not harm another or infringe on another person's rights, we do have the right to our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness regardless of other people's standards."

The United States doesn't give people the right to pursue happiness! I have already said that and I don't know why my opponent keeps making the same arguments. It wasn't in the constitution and therefore isn't a right of ours. Besides that, the right to pursue happiness was referring to financial success. Not euthanasia. As for me dictating peoples rights, that is ironically what my opponent is doing. I am saying that due to the fact that our founding fathers saw rights as things endowed by a God, and due to the fact that euthanasia isn't one of them, then we don't have that right. My opponent is the one who thinks that people have this right merely because of her beliefs.

"My opponent claims that objective morality nor rights can exist without God. That is a fallacious bare assertion and I do not have time to argue that point, nor is it entirely relevant or important to this debate."

Wrong. My opponent is misrepresenting me. I never once mentioned objective morality in this debate. I did say that objective rights couldn't exist without a God and I did support that claim. If my opponent doesn't want to address that, then that is perfectly fine with me. But the voters should think about how little my opponent has actually addressed my arguments.

"They note there are examples of euthanasia in the Bible - for instance in 2 Samuel 1:9-10 it says, 'Then he begged me, 'Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.' So I killed him."

My opponent said earlier that they wanted to leave God out of the debate and now they bring up the Bible again. The Bible also mentions demonic possession and murder. Yet it doesn't actually support those things and it doesn't support euthanasia as well. The verses my opponent gave show people wanting to die but not God encouraging the practice.

"Con points out that the Constitution does not observe the right to euthanasia. Please extend my arguments noting that this does not mean that it is not a right - it simply means the federal government has chosen to regulate something that IS a fundamental right."

I didn't address the other issues (abortion) since this debate is about euthanasia. Euthanasia is basically banned all over the united states. The right has not been regulated due to the fact that the United States doesn't think it exists.

"Once again 'Separation of church and state' was also a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which reads: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...' Since nearly 1/4 of Americans are unaffiliated with religion, it doesn't make sense morally or legally to upheld the outdated and oversimplified standard of 'God' in determining rights."

First of all, Thomas Jefferson was writing the letter not to say that rights didn't come from a God. He wrote the letter for a church to prove to them that the government wouldn't violate their religious rights.

"Con cites the 14th amendment as protecting the right to life. The 14th amendment protects citizen's rights under due process of law, however Con hasn't proven that citizens do not have the right to choose death. I have argued that we do have that right which means the 14th amendment would and should protect that right."

I have proven that the constitution doesn't give people the right to choose death (which they conceded), I have proven that euthanasia is basically banned everywhere in the United States...what more do they want?

"Con says this is irrelevant because of the Constitution, but I've already explained this fallacious appeal to authority and tradition. We aren't judging based on what the Constitution says but what it ought to say."

I get accused of appealing to authority meanwhile my opponent appeals to what the supreme court said in a decision to prove their point. I think that is very ironic. But aside from that, the case didn't legalize euthanasia so my opponent has no argument here as well.

"He uses the term human and person interchangeably which is not supported by philosophy; indeed there is a philosophical difference and standard for personhood that goes beyond simply being human [5]. I've explained this at length and why sentience is a valid criteria for establishing personhood."

I gave a simple definition proving that a human and a person were the same thing. I also discussed than a persons worth is due to their existence. My opponent tries to refute these arguments by citing a Wikipedia article. But since they didn't actually refute my arguments or bring any up themselves, their point remains invalid.

"This ignores my point. I noted that if I have diabetes, I not only have the ability to eat sugar but the right to eat sugar -- in other words I have the right to do dangerous and unhealthy things even if I know they will probably kill me."

I don't remember seeing a law that gives people these rights. But I think it is more accurate to say that we have the ability to do these things.

"Con says that he can describe euthanasia as murder even though I specifically outlined the difference. Murder is killing with malicious intent without justification or excuse."

I define murder as unlawful killing so that is where we disagree.

In conclusion,

1. We do not have the right to govern our own body. My opponent's opinion on that right's existence does not mean it exists.
2. Ending someones life early is pointless since they have an eternity of peace awaiting them. This point was dropped in the debate.
3. The 14th amendment gives us the right to life. Not the right to choose death.
4. Illness and etc...does not make someone a non-human.
5. Animals are not valued like humans are which is why humans should not be ended like an animal would.
6. The cost of a persons life doesn't mean they don't have the right to live.
7. Rights do not come from me or my opponents opinions.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Jerry947 11 months ago
Jerry947
Ironically I have only ever seen one good vote from the voters union and that came from my opponent Danielle.

And that still remains true...
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
@tejretics

Fine with me if you want to vote.

@Biodome

I think she is speaking about moral rights and not legal rights. If she was speaking about a law, she would have specified the country.
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Is the resolution correct? Didn't you both mean to debate whether people *should* have the right to euthanasia? As it is worded right now, the it seems that the debate is about the present law, which woukd make for a rather short and simple debate.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
I'll read and vote on this, if that's fine with both of you.
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
Thanks again for the challenge. I appreciate it when people do these debates in order to change someones views. For the record, the amount of debates you take on at once is impressive.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 11 months ago
Udel
DanielleJerry947Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Greetings, I am part of DDOs voting union and have voted on this debate with an RFD to be seen here http://www.debate.org/forums/debate.org/topic/88549/