The Instigator
debate250
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
Stimple
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points

People should be allowed to commit suicide

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,647 times Debate No: 18160
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

debate250

Pro

People should be allowed to commit suicide if everything else hasn't worked. I'd agree that before anybody does that they should have therapy, counseling, and take medication (if the problem is depression). However in the end it's their own life, and I believe that they should be allowed to do what they want with it. If they are living every day in constant misery, and nothing else has worked they should in the end be allowed to take their own life. Nobody should have to go through that amount of pain and suffering. They should give therapy and medication at least a couple of years and really think about if that is the definite decision that they want to make. However if all of that is done, and none of it has worked then people have to right to commit suicide.
My opponent could argue that it would be traumatic for the family and because of that people shouldn't commit suicide. However, if the family really does care about that person, they should be able to realize the amount of suffering and not want the person to go through that. It may be hard for the family, but the amount of pain that the person is going through matters more. The family will eventually recover whereas the person who is going to commit suicide could never recover. Overall the family should not prevent the person from committing suicide as the person should have a right to take their own life and the family needs to understand what that person is going through.
Overall if nothing else works people should be allowed to commit suicide as it is their own life. Nobody should go through that amount of suffering each day. Therefore, people have a right to take their own lives if there is no other solution.
Stimple

Con

My opponent has stated that people have a right to take their own lives if there are no other solutions. I would have to

agree that people do have a "right" to take their lives, but this "right" is given to us by nature just as people have the

right to breathe, to live, to kill and etc. For in a completely free world there would be no laws and we would be free to

act however we choose. I will refer to these rights as the rights of a free world. These differ from the rights one has

from laws because some laws are set up to make us responsible (-morally accountable for one's behavior). The act of

taking one's own life can be seen as irresponsible because the actions performed by these individuals can affect

others and can't be held accountable for their actions since they are dead.

My opponent has also stated that one should be free to take their own lives if there are no other solutions. It would

seem difficult to come up with a scenario in which there are no other solutions (example one could one could go to

therapy for the rest of their lives as opposed to a year if they don't go for the rest of their lives they don't utilize that

as a possible solution). With alternatives to committing suicide being nearly infinite one would die before they used it

all up. So why would my opponent feel that they should look at alternatives at all why not just commit suicide

whenever they feel like it? I believe my opponent realizes that it would be irresponsible to do so that is he has included

such a statement.

If individuals do wish to commit suicide why should we change our laws to make it legal? If people wish to do it could

they not find a way? I think they can and if they really want to it doesn't matter what our laws say. My opponent may

counter argue that if we can't stop them why not make it legal. To which I would reply you can't stop someone from

murdering someone if they had the will and the means to do so. Yet we still have laws to prevent them from doing so

because it is not responsible to kill someone. People who commit suicide are irresponsible because they don't

contribute to the community, they harm individuals close to them, and they waste the gift of life.

"We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value; and (3) by suffering. "- Viktor E. Frankl

My opponent has also mentioned suffering as a justification for committing suicide. However one way to find meaning

in one's life is through unavoidable suffering. For if one has can find one reason to live through the suffering they are

in that will give them purpose, and for that individual the meaning to their life. If the person choose to end the

suffering they may never get to the point to where they can find one reason to live and never learn their meaning to

life. Suffering is found through out life and it is very common for people to try and avoid it through escapism. Those

who commit suicide struggle to overcome their own mindset that they have no purpose. Yet I believe those who have

a choice have a purpose though it is not always clear. As a person living with other people I have a responsibility to

not only ourselves but our fellow man, and to let him forgo the discovery of his purpose by a severe form of escapism

is not responsible.

I will end this segment of my debate with a few question that I feel need to be addressed by my opponent. 1. Should a pregnant women be allowed to commit suicide? 2. Should caretakers of individuals be able to commit suicide? 3. Should they be able to commit suicide when ever they want?

I would like to thank my opponent for the debate and intend to give him a worthy opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
debate250

Pro

My opponent's first argument was that people have a right to commit suicide simply because they are able to. However, I would not agree. I would say there are several things that you are able to do that are not morally acceptable such as killing another person. However committing suicide is morally right, and you are able to do it. This is because as I said in my first argument people shouldn't go through that amount of suffering each day and if nothing else works they should have the right to kill themselves morally.
My opponent's second argument that there are an infinite number of solutions is also false and that these solutions can last a lifetime before you know if they work. I'd like to use studying for a test as an analogy for my opponent's argument regarding therapy. Let's say you use flash cards to study for your tests and you fail 5 tests. You are unlikely to use flash cards on the next test after that experience. With therapy if you try for a year, and it doesn't work; it's not worth going for the rest of your life hoping for a different solution. If one solution doesn't work over and over again, it is very unlikely that all of a sudden everything will change and that solution will work. Also the number of good solutions that could work for a specific person is limited. After having tried a few solutions and if they all fail, there probably is no good solution. Overall it is not irresponsible to commit suicide; it is simply getting yourself out of the pain and suffering and misery which nobody should have to go through.
Killing yourself is different to killing others. If you were to kill someone else, you are destroying someone else's life and getting rid of their life and their contribution to society. You shouldn't have the choice to get rid of somebody else's life, and that's why it's illegal. However people do have a choice to get rid of their own lives. This is different because with ending your own life it gets rid of pain. Even though someone who kills someone else may think that it will get rid of personal pain it really won't, and many people will regret their decision later. The problem with my opponent's argument that someone who kills themselves doesn't contribute to the community doesn't make sense. If someone is that depressed, they won't be able to contribute anything to the community. They'll resent living every day and suffer. Is that contributing to the community? Someone going through that process isn't able to contribute to the community at all. If someone stays alive just to contribute to the community, they would end up being completely depressed and not adding to community at all. As to harming individuals close to them, the person should still be able to commit suicide. If the people close to them really understand, they should be able to see that no matter how much they love the person that killing themselves is the best thing for them. It may harm the individuals close to them for a while, but in the end it probably harms the person who doesn't kill themselves a lot more to go through the pain every day. I'd agree that life is a gift, but for someone in this situation life is not a gift but something terrible. Life is a pain for them, and it is awful. Overall I believe there are flaws in my opponent's argument there, and we should make committing suicide legal.
My opponent's final argument was that suffering isn't a justifiable reason for committing suicide. I would agree with my opponent that mild suffering can help us. For instance if someone gets bullied all throughout their childhood yet works through it and copes then that will help them become a stronger person. However, when the suffering is severe, and when it happens every single day, and there is no way to stop it; then the suffering is too much. There a limit to how much suffering a person can go through before it becomes too much. If the suffering is the only thing that the person can see, and no matter what they do they can't see past it then the suffering has become too much. As to a responsibility to others, it will hurt you more not to kill yourself than them if you do kill yourself. Overall suffering if it is to the right extent is a just reason for killing yourself.
As to my opponent's questions, they should if at all possible hold off until they can find the person they are looking after another place to go. A pregnant women should put her child up for adoption. A caretaker should find the person they're looking after a home. After they have given the responsibility to somebody else, then it is okay for that person to commit suicide.
Overall committing suicide is right morally, and nobody should have to go through that amount of suffering. My opponents argument had many flaws as I pointed out above, and I still believe that committing suicide is right. It's like an extreme illness would you rather have a doctor cure the illness, or would you rather suffer with it every day? Now the operation may have some side effects, and suicide has some side effects. However with suicide and the illness the positives far outweigh the negatives. Overall I believe that committing suicide is morally right if there are no alternative solutions.
Stimple

Con

My opponent states that suicide is morally right. My opponent supports this argument by stating that "people shouldn't go through that amount of suffering each day and if nothing else works they should have the right to kill themselves morally". I would like to note a vast majority of religions have negative views toward suicide and it would be seen as not moral. However since my opponent doesn't seem to take that in consideration I will explain why it would not be moral for an evolutionist. This is because one of our jobs as a living being is to survive as well as spread one's genes. Those who commit suicide do not. However humans do think at a higher level than other living beings so one may suggest that we can live by a different standard. To this I will agree, but I believe this holds us to a higher more responsible standard. Suicide can be seen as a selfish act because it is taking only ones suffering into consideration.

Humans as a social species look out for one another it is the responsible thing to do. Individuals who commit suicide don't care for the community and those who let them don't care for the individual. Suicide therefore has no place in a responsible community and therefore should not be allowed. My opponent acts like there is no expense to other individuals but there is even if the person has no one they still have potential to do something positive rather than end there life. This wasted potential is a waste and wasting is not responsible and not moral.

My opponent uses the analogy of studying for a test. If one doesn't succeed at a test after trying 5 times using the same method one tries a different approach. The individual that keeps trying a different approach may eventually succeed or they may not, but they will never know unless they continue to try. Suicide would be like quitting the test, and I feel the more noble action would be the person who tries and fails rather than quitting. My opponent argues that after a year of therapy one simply knows if it is going to work. My opponent doesn't seem to understand one of the greatest challenges in therapy is breaking past the mental barriers created by the human mind. These barriers have been created and have existed in the suffering individuals mind for a long time. Getting past these can take years at the very least. Yes it will be unsuccessful for a while but one who enters a therapy success typical is like a person studying while intoxicated. If the person has studied intoxicated all their lives they don't know any different and typically when people find something that they believe works they stick to it. The therapist job is to try to get them to try and show them the alternatives but it is up to the individual to take that path. It takes a long time to learn to think a different way and to let go of old ways of thinking to except new ways of thinking. There are also many forms of therapy which each take years before a breakthrough can occur. There are also medications one must take. Another alternative one who is suffering can partake in rather than suicide is partaking in a high risk charity. For example they can go to Africa and try to improve the lives of the individuals there that way they can improve the lives of others and possibly end their lives in the risky environment. This may be therapeutic as well because they can see the suffering of others and it may change their perspective of live. It is possible that seeing these starving people who have nothing striving to stay alive may put some perspective on things. How long would such a trip take? Quite a long time I would assume put that on top of multiple forms of therapy and medication trails and time just flies by.

I agree people do have a choice to get rid of their own life however that is irresponsible because they are wasting the potential on quick fix and this quick fix affects other person's which is a selfish act because they are not considering their actions on other people and by no means can be deemed as moral. Many civilizations when telling moral stories talk about a hero who despite suffering tries to overcome it and tries to make the world a better place despite one's own needs. A person who does this is not a hero but instead a coward and people do not aspire to be a coward because it is the less moral thing. My opponent says they are not contributing to the community which I agree with it is hard to contribute to the community when you are planning to die in the near future. Why would they work? Maybe if they planned on living longer they would contribute more. To contribute they just have to work and pay taxes. If they really want to contribute they could give up everything and work for charities and try to improve the lives of other so they don't have to suffer. They could also create art to express their suffering that way they may be able to inspire others. Anything seems better than wasting away planning ones near future death. My opponent keeps mentioning how others should understand an individual committing suicide and if they care they will support them. Why shouldn't individual committing suicide try to understand those preventing him/her from doing so? Why shouldn't that individual think about the suffering they are going to cause in their selfish act? Yes the people "may" get over it but they will always wonder what they did wrong and why they could not save the person and this will scare them.

My opponent states "suffering if it is to the right extent is a just reason for killing yourself" yet he does not take into account what is mild to him may be severe to another. So would that person be entitled to causally end their life because someone hurt their feelings? That may be the worst suffering they have ever known. Suicide is not coping it is a form of escape rather than dealing and overcoming the struggles that life has tossed at you. My opponent seems to underestimate the human potential to overcome suffering I believe with the right mind set anyone can overcome it and those considering suicide don't have this mind set. However though difficult to change ones mindset it is not impossible.

My opponent ends his argument by saying that people should hold off to commit suicide if they are caring for another. So under these circumstances you are asking these individual to be responsible but then they are free of all responsibility after that. I fail to see how one can be both moral and irresponsible at the same time. My opponent seems to suggest that suicide is a cure yet to me it seems as though that individual has given up on the cure. The individual will never be able to take back their actions maybe in an alternate reality they could have found something to live for and to strive for but they have forgone that for quick fix. A cure that kills is no cure at all.
Debate Round No. 2
debate250

Pro

My opponent's first argument is about religion preventing suicide. This is the choice of the individual. The individual can chose which is more important to them the religion or the amount of suffering. A group of people believing in a certain religion should not try to stop an individual from committing suicide; however if the individual believes in a religion that prevents suicide, and chooses not to commit suicide because of it; then that is there choice. Overall, religion is the choice of the individual, but other religions should not try to intervene to stop someone from committing suicide.
I'd agree with my opponent that it is a waste of potential if there are any other options. However, sometimes the suffering can be so intense that it is no longer possible to contribute anything positive. In that case nothing is wasted and only a negative is gotten rid of by committing suicide. If a community member has such intense suffering and misery then it's too late for anything positive. Overall, there is a stage where it is too late to do anything positive, and in that case it is morally correct to commit suicide.
I'd agree that therapy does sometimes take a long time. However, I don't think with any therapy you could try it for a year and see absolutely no progression at all and for it to still work. I'm not saying they need to be cured within a year in order to not commit suicide. They just need to be going in the right direction. If over that period of time, there is no improvement at all then they should be able to commit suicide. Overall, there are signs of therapy working or not working, and if there is no progression, then people should be allowed to commit suicide.
My point with the suffering is if it is so intense, that they can no longer do anything. If the person, can't do anything positive or isn't able to work because the suffering is so bad, then they should be allowed to commit suicide. Even if they are able to work, if the suffering is so bad that they just feel miserable every day, then it is okay to commit suicide. They shouldn't not commit suicide just for others if they hate every day that much. It is more likely that the others will recover much more quickly than the suicide victim. Through therapy the family around the individual committing suicide may be able to understand that it's not their fault, but the individual committing suicide may never be able to stop the suffering that they're going through. Overall, with a lot of suffering a person should be able to commit suicide.
I disagree with my opponent about being able to overcome any suffering. I think the human mind is incredible, but I don't think it can overcome any amount of suffering. It depends on the person; one person may be able to overcome a lot of suffering and be fine. However, another person might never be able to get over their suffering. The person who isn't able to end their own suffering shouldn't have to live with that, and therefore, they have the right to commit suicide.
There are some situations which there is no fix to. The individual isn't being irresponsible by committing suicide they are simply getting rid of an incredible amount of pain. I don't believe that an individual who commits suicide is irresponsible as they are just helping themselves. I think that suicide is a cure in the most extreme circumstances where it is impossible that there could have been any other solution.
Overall suicide is morally right. People should be allowed to kill themselves in the most extreme situations. It's not an irresponsible act, but it is simply something that is necessary. Nobody should have to cope with the pain and suffering, and if this is the only way out of it, people should be entitled to kill themselves. Overall, suicide is morally correct in the most extreme of situations as it can help people get rid of personal pain and suffering when there is no alternative solution.
Stimple

Con

I brought up religion with the intention to point out common themes on morality. Typically most religions can agree that murder is not moral. My opponent would agree with this statement and say yes murder is not moral. Another common theme is stealing is considered immoral to which my opponent may also agree with. Yet a vast majority of religions also feel that suicide is immoral, but my opponent would not agree. To this he says religion must not intervene which I would say yes we should not base our laws off of one religion. If religion is fabricated WHICH WE ARE NOT HERE TO ARGUE than it would be logical for one to assume that in us is a common idea of what is right and wrong. Since suicide is also considered immoral in a numerous number of religions as well as civilizations it would be safe to assume that it is vastly believed to be immoral. Laws are based off of what the vast majority deems as acceptable and just, so it is logical for a nation to accept the idea that suicide is immoral.

My opponent has agreed with me stating "that it is a waste of potential if there are any other options". My opponent fails to see there are always options. It seems that my opponent is trying to paint this perfect scenario in which everything aligns to create the perfect situation where the only option is suicide. Yet in this imperfect it is rare for such circumstance to arise. It would seem if there is a choice there would be an option if you have no choice than there is not an option. And with suicide I would think my opponent would agree that there is a choice and therefore always an option. So if my opponent agrees with me that it is a waste of potential if there are any other options and my opponent can agree that if there is a choice there is always an option than my opponent it would agree that suicide is always a waste of potential. If something is a waste of potential than clearly it is the poorer choice. So by that logic suicide is always the poorer choice. This poor choice is also irresponsible and therefore immoral.

It seems that my opponent asks you as the reader to vote based on pity. I conclude this based on the repetitiveness of the perfect scenario in which the individual has the perfectly worst life one could possibly think of. Yet I ask is pity always justice? Not always. For example a serial killer is on trial we find out he had a very rough childhood and this may have lead him to killing women who looked like his mother. One with 100% pity could understand him and would not convict him because he would not be seen to deserve such punishment. For a person with 100% pity is a person that will forgive 100% of the time.

THIS relates to our topic because we don't live in a society that pities 100% of the time and we should not live in a society like that. My opponent is asking you to legalize suicide on the sole argument of pity and ignores responsibility. However I would find a society in which one is held responsible for their actions.

My opponent agrees with me stating that "therapy does sometimes take a long time." My opponent then states that you have to see progress in a year for it to work. My opponent doesn't seem to understand that there are various factors that come into play in therapy. My opponent also seems to not have the same concept of progress as me. This is because every day you don't kill yourself seems to be progressive. A person living to go to therapy another day is better than a person committing suicide because at least they have a reason to live. A person going to therapy obviously is searching for a reason to live and that my friend is hope. How can you say that is not progressive? Individuals in therapy are life infants some crawl and barely move very far and some learn how to walk and go great distances.

My opponent continues to make the statement "others will recover much more quickly than the suicide victim." I feel it is my right to ask where this data is coming from. Is there a survey that some spirit summoned has conducted to ask those individuals who committed suicide if they are overall satisfied with the choice they made? If the individual commits suicide they are gone into the great unknown leaving people behind to pick up the mess they have made. My opponent doesn't seem to think those who are responsible for the mess created by the suicidal individual should have a say.

My opponent states that the amount of suffering one could take depends on the person which I completely agree with. Some people struggle to get over their suffering and that is what therapy is for and group therapy to help those not strong enough to overcome the obstacles in life. My opponent states "The person who isn't able to end their own suffering shouldn't have to live with that, and therefore, they have the right to commit suicide." My opponent also states "suicide is morally correct in the most extreme of situations as it can help people get rid of personal pain and suffering when there is no alternative solution." I bring this up because one statement is very broad and the other is very specific. In one statement anyone who suffers has the right while in the other only extreme situations. Who are we to determine how extreme someone's suffering is? Do you get out a chart and say oh you suffer on a 99% scale of suffering according to this. Or do you do you leave it open to anyone (example sues boyfriend is going out with her best friend she is done living now let's get out the needle). Laws don't work very well if people are exempt from them there for either everyone should be allowed or no one. Since my opponent has devised this perfect situation which very few can abide by it would be logical not to legalize it.

My opponent last paragraph statement seems to suggest that people who look out for their own interests and ignore the impact on other is a responsible act. Suicide is an indirect harm to others so is drinking and driving. People who drink and drive don't think oh I am going to kill a mother and her four kids today. Yet I believe they should be held accountable for their actions if they drink and drive even if they don't hurt anybody in the process. Just like someone attempting to commit suicide should be treated and held accountable for their irresponsible actions. We can't hold people accountable if they are dead for the people they hurt. It would be irresponsible for us to legalize such a thing.

I have engaged my opponent not because I strongly oppose his idea but as a learning experience to understand the greater debate on whether suicide should be legal or not. My opponent has told me that suicide is moral based on the fact that it is one's life and they can do as they please with. I simply cannot take your word for it I require a little more than such a simple statement. I have explained the irresponsibleness of the action in hopes for a rebuttal to help me understand the other side.
Debate Round No. 3
debate250

Pro

Firstly, I would disagree that as a society people should just consider suicide moral or immoral. It is actually an issue that there are both sides too. 45% of Americans said that doctor assisted suicide was okay, and 48% of Americans said that doctor assisted suicide wasn't right. Since this is a close issue, it's not like murder or stealing where most people would agree that it is morally wrong in most circumstances. Since there is controversy, it's not logical that as a society we just ban suicide, and there are many more advantages than disadvantages. If it wasn't a controversial issue then we wouldn't even be debating it now. Therefore, my opponent's argument that we should just ban suicide doesn't make sense.
Secondly, I would not agree that there are always other options. There may be an infinite number of options in total, but there are only a certain number of options worth trying for the individual's situation. For example if the reason isn't for depression, it's not even worth trying depression medicine. If it's because the person was someone who dropped the bomb in the middle of a war, there may be no point in having a therapy where they just sit there and talk about it; maybe a more intensive form of therapy would be better. Depending on the individual's circumstances there are not an infinite number of options, and therefore, it is not a waste of potential if they are so upset that they can no longer function in today's society. Overall, there are a limited number of options for the individual, and if people are suffering enough, I still believe people have the right to commit suicide.
I don't believe that I'm basing my argument solely off of pity. In killing others the person is damaging other people's lives physically. In this situation it's only themselves and possibly their families that they're damaging. However, the families can get over the pain much more easily than the person can get over the suffering. It's not just pity that makes committing suicide morally right. It's the factual information of how much that person is suffering. I'd agree that the society shouldn't just base everything off of pity. However, there are some logical reasons why it makes sense for people to commit suicide such as everything else not working, and the person keeps on suffering. However I'd agree that a lot of this is linked to emotion as it's a very emotional topic. This is different to the scenario which my opponent describes someone who physically harms others and their lives. This is internal, and because of internal suffering, people do have the right to commit suicide and in this case even though it's not completely others pity, pity is justice. Overall, there is a lot of emotion in this topic, but there are also logical reasons why suicide is morally right.
I disagree to the argument that every day you don't kill yourself is progress. If you are still suffering exactly the same amount that you were when you started therapy, then there is a problem, and there is no progression. If you stay awake each night, and keep getting incredibly close to killing yourself then there is no progression in that circumstance. If there is no move towards not wanting to commit suicide, then the therapy isn't working. Therefore, if it seems to be getting worse, and you get closer and closer to committing suicide then the therapy definitely isn't working. Overall, if there is, the same amount of suffering each day or more, and it's incredibly painful to live every day then you do have the right to commit suicide.
It's the person who's going to commit suicides choice how much they involve their families. At the minimum they should leave a letter assuring the family that it wasn't their fault. Also, at the minimum they should get the care that family members need if they need any. However, it's up to the individual if they talk to the family beforehand and get their say before committing suicide, and that may even influence whether they do commit suicide. Even if they don't choose to alert the family, the family will probably get over it within a year. It will always be an upsetting memory for them, but they will probably be able to get over it. However, the victim could have an entire lifetime of therapy and not get over their pain and misery. Therefore, it is up to the suicide victim how much they involve their family, and even if they don't, the family will recover much more easily than the victim could have.
I believe it is up to the individual who is going to commit suicide to determine the amount of suffering and the decision that they make. If it was made into a law, everyone would have the right to commit suicide. Individuals could decide whether it's a good choice or not as they are the one's who know their personal situation and suffering best. Overall, for it to work it's got to be left up to the individual who can make their decision based on all of the factors of the situation that they're in.
Again committing suicide is different to situations like drinking and driving. With people committing suicide they will only hurt their own family's life, and the family will get over it. It is emotional harm which with a bit of effort can be gotten over through a few months of therapy and depression. However, the person who drinks and drives have harmed someone else's family which is not their place morally to do. Also, that would be classed as killing someone else. Whether directly or indirectly killing another person is irresponsible as it's not part of your own life or family. However, individual's committing suicide are harming themselves which they should be morally allowed to do. Overall, committing suicide is a very different act to drinking and driving.
Overall, I do believe that committing suicide is morally right. As my opponent said, I do believe that it is someone's life, and they have the right to do what they want with it. Individuals should be able to make decisions and get the positive or negative consequences as a result. That is what I personally believe. I also believe that nobody should have to go through an incredible amount of suffering, and they should have the right to end their own lives if nothing else works. Overall, committing suicide is morally right as nobody should have to suffer every single day of their lives.

Source:

http://www.livescience.com...
Stimple

Con

My opponent disagrees that as a society people should just consider suicide moral or immoral. However, the premise of this argument is if people should be legally allowed to take their life. Since legality is suppose to in some ways reflect morality, it is very important that people consider the issue as moral or immoral. My opponent has pointed out that there are two sides to every issue to which I agree. Thee statistics my opponent presented were taken from a gall up pole which was designed to assess Americans belief on if people should be allowed to help a "terminally ill" patient commit "suicide" if the patient requests it, and if doctors should be allowed by law to "end" a "terminally ill" patient's life by some painless means if the patient and family request it (1). Terminally ill is the status of a person expected to die within 6 months from a specific condition(2). This is important to define because my opponent is arguing on behalf of the emotionally and mentally disturbed.

I feel it would be more of a challenge to argue the issue of the terminally ill and how active and passive methods for terminating a life compare morally to one another. My opponent however has argued that if an individual has any form of suffering they have the right to end their life. I would like to point out that there are advocates of assisted suicide that don't feel issues outside terminal illness give one the justification to commit suicide. For example Professor Lewis Wolpert states "I am totally for voluntary euthanasia for those with terminal illnesses…But depression is not a terminal illness."(3)

I fail to see how the fact that the issue being controversial makes it logical to legalize it. There are many people with deferent beliefs that contradict our laws causing controversy and by the logic presented we should just legalize it. This logic to me seems illogical. The only advantage I have heard from the opposing side is that it ends suffering early. When it comes to a permanent action like suicide one should try every option available. My opponent's example of a person dropping a bomb who has not point for therapy, would most likely be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (4). The most commonly prescribed class of medications for PTSD is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants (5). This added with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR and hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment. When it comes to such a permanent solution as death a person has nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying alternative methods.

Losing a parent to suicide makes children more likely to commit suicide and increases their risk of developing a range of major psychiatric disorders(6). Suicide can affect all those who have extended contact with the individual like neighbors, coworkers, classmates, friends, and etc. Suicides of entertainers, politicians, and other well know figures cause a spike in the suicide rate. Example after the suicide of Marilyn Monroe the nation's suicide rate rose by 12% (7). It is also found that the suicide of a co-worker or colleague increases the likely hood of individuals within that organization to attempt suicide (7). Media coverage of a suicide also increases the suicide rate (7). This is occurring with the attempt of suicide being illegal imagine if it was legal and more accepted in our society.
What about the parents of a child who commits suicide? They have put time, money, and care into raising a child who dies way before their parents. The parents may wonder what they did to cause this and what they could have done better. What about the parent who can't have any more kids and their only child decides life is too hard and decides to end his life.

Pity can only be a component of justice if responsibility is taken into account. My opponent disagrees every day an individual goes without killing himself is progression. Does that mean you should not exercise everyday because you still feel fat? No that is illogical and repairing mental health as easy as repairing physical health there are a lot more components to it, and also like building muscle the progress may not be quite as noticeable even though it is your mental health. I think that is absurd that my opponent thinks all the family deserves is a "it is not you it is me" letter.

My opponent suggest the individual should set up care for their family, which is the most responsible suggestion my opponent has made. My opponent's statement on how the family will easily get over it has evidence to support it and sounds absurd. My opponent seems to care welfare of none family members over family, I feel we should be concerned with both. If suicides can influence others to commit suicide is that not indirectly killing them which according to you is irresponsible.

Letting someone who is mentally ill commit suicide is as irresponsible as letting a child do whatever they want. Example little jimmy wants to juggle knives, let him it is body and I am sure his six year reflexes will be improved by this experience. I have trouble understanding my opponents end argument because there seems to be contradictions. It also seems that adding "if nothing else works " is my opponents way of making a irresponsible thing seem a little more responsible, but it is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing

Source:
(1)http://www.gallup.com...
(2)http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
(3)http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
(4)http://psychcentral.com...
(5)http://psychcentral.com...
(6)http://www.sciencedaily.com...
(7)Comer, Ronald J.. Abnormal psychology. 7th ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2010. Print.
Debate Round No. 4
debate250

Pro

Firstly, as to terminally ill patients, they definitely have the right to commit suicide. They will die within 6 months or less, and therefore, as they will die so soon anyway, they have the right to end their lives to stop that suffering. However, I do not simply believe that terminally ill patients are the only people who have the right to commit suicide. As I did originally intend to, I will go back to the argument of depression or other mental damage. Overall, terminally ill patients definitely have the right to commit suicide, but I believe that people who are mentally damaged have the same right.
We are not here to debate whether emotional or physical pain hurts more although that would be an interesting topic. However, since my opponent used that quote from Professor Lewis Wolpert, and terminally ill patients has naturally come as a topic; I'd just like to mention that a newspaper article did find that emotional pain did hurt more than physical pain. If people do have the right to commit suicide when they are terminally ill, then why should they not be able to commit suicide when they are emotionally disturbed even though the emotional pain can be worse. I just wanted to bring up that point as my opponent used that quote. Overall, if emotional pain can be worse than physical pain, people should have the right to commit suicide when experiencing emotional pain.
As to the fact of legalizing controversial issues, I'd agree that we shouldn't just change our laws if someone doesn't believe in them. However, the controversy should be considered. Also, through consideration people would see all of the positive benefits about how suffering can be ended and make for a happier society. Overall, people shouldn't legalize suicide just because there is controversy however it should be considered.
As to the dropping a bomb example, I'd just like to comment on how a person with strong morals might suffer and feel after this incident. There may be someone who really didn't want to do it, but they were forced into it. When they were flying over all it was was a button, they couldn't foresee all of the negative consequences that would come as a result of this. Then they press the button, and the bomb activates. Then on the news the next day that person might see all of the people that they've killed. They might see all of the families ripped apart and all of the building in flames that were once people's homes. Since they have strong morals, no matter how many times they're told it's not their fault they might not be able to get beyond the fact that they've caused all of these deaths. They may try all of the things my opponent said for a few years. After a few years if there is no progression, and the person can still not see beyond the fact that they killed all of these people; then they do have the right to commit suicide. Overall, in cases like someone dropping a bomb and destroying lives if nothing else works, that person does have the right to commit suicide.
As to others committing suicide because one person committed suicide, firstly Id say maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Maybe there were people suffering every day, and then they saw someone commit suicide, and that encouraged them to do what was best for them. Maybe in the end the rise in suicide rates could be a good thing as maybe they gained the confidence to do what was right for them. Also, secondly, I don't think people should not commit suicide just because others might. It's their own personal suffering, and they shouldn't have to live with that. The person who's going to commit suicide shouldn't be stopped by the fact that other people might commit suicide after them. It's not the person committing suicides fault for other people's decisions. The other people can make their own decisions. Something that other people might not even do should not stop someone from committing suicide. This possibility doesn't make sense as a reason for someone not to commit suicide. Also, if it was made into a law, it would be unfair for entertainers not to be able to commit suicide while regular people can just because they're entertainers. Overall, the possibility of others committing suicide should not prevent someone from committing suicide.
Parents who raised a child should be able to see that committing suicide is best for the child. It may be the hardest thing in the world for these parents, but if they truly love their child they have to see that it's what's best for the child. Anything else would be selfish on behalf of the parents. No matter how hard it is for the parents to let go of the child that they love they need to see that its for the good of the child. Overall, it would be selfish for parents to keep their children from committing suicide, and therefore, that is not a good reason for suicide to be banned.
The physical example that my opponent used I do not believe is a good metaphor for this situation. Not progressing with therapy to the point where you should be able to commit suicide is like exercising each day and then ruining the results by eating a sugary dessert right afterwards. If your weight goes down while exercising even if it's just a little at a time, and you still feel unhealthy, but you feel a little less then that's progress. Wanting to kill yourself a little less is progress. If there is progress, you should not commit suicide. However, it's in situations like if you exercise, and then eat a lot of sugary foods afterwards where there is no progress. Also, the letter is the most that the person can do. The family will get over the loss where the person may never get over their suffering. The letter might help the family grieve just a little less, and the person killing themselves cannot do any more than that. At least that way they've helped their family as much as they possibly can. Overall, people should be able to commit suicide if there is no progress at all.
No, I do not believe influencing others to commit suicide is indirectly killing them. This is the difference between the drunk driving. There is choice in the matter. Someone who gets hit by a drunk driver had no choice. However, someone has a choice whether to be influenced by someone else in this matter. Anything that the people have a choice in is not indirect killing. Therefore, I do not believe that that is indirectly killing them.
Overall, I do not believe that letting someone commit suicide is irresponsible. It is simple morally correct and helps to end suffering. People overall should be allowed to commit suicide to end their own suffering as they shouldn't have to cope with that. There were several flaws in my opponent's argument. Overall, committing suicide is right as there is suffering that nobody should have to deal with.

Sources:

http://goo.gl...
Stimple

Con

My opponent states, "that a newspaper article did find that emotional pain did hurt more than physical pain." I do not wish to state weather believe or deny this statement however would liked to note the lack of source. If my opponent is correct and believes this, which I believe based on his argument he does. Then he would have to agree that suicide is completely wrong. This is because suicide (based on the sources I presented) does inflict large amounts of emotional and mental pain to various individuals. So by that logic and my opponent's strong belief that suicide is a just act then it is safe to conclude that he would agree it would be just for someone to substitute emotional abuse to be physically abused for years. Suicide causes individuals such a great emotional pain for an LONG time and is VERY DIFFICULT to recover despite my opponent's belief. My opponent will probably contradict as he has been prone to do and say it is not the same one is person is directly hurting someone the other is indirectly. Yet it still hurts and still causes pain. Indirect actions can be just as harmful as direct actions. Example if the owner of a power plant decides I am going to burn it down when no one is here for the insurance money because he needs it, but he is ignorant of the life support systems utilizing that power at the local hospital across the street. He is not directly harming anyone it is his building and he has the right to do whatever he wants. Yet it still seems irresponsible and just wrong for him to satisfy his own needs at the expense of others.

If the pilot had such perfect and strong morals he would be responsible and would have considered the consequences of his actions beforehand. If he was such a moral person he would realize the importance of life and not tarnish it by causally throwing it away. He would not just give up and quite life he would more likely try to compensate by performing good deeds to redeem and to himself. That would be more noble and better than just throwing it all away. If he feels responsible he should try to fix what he has done the best he could. Even though he can never bring people back to life he could try to help the community by repairing it and helping the families. Suicide would be away to escape the pain of responsibility. Escaping responsibility is wrong an immoral.

My opponent said "others committing suicide because one person committed suicide, firstly Id say maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Maybe there were people suffering every day" or maybe they were following a trend. Let's think about those in cults who drink rat poison because they believe it will enlighten them is that good. What if a guy flying a plane decided oh man it think I am just going to kill myself right now it is in my right. If someone is on acid an thinks they can fly do they have the right to start jumping of buildings. No all these things are wrong and allowing suicide to be legal could make people not realize the severity of their actions. My opponent is an example of a population blissfully ignorant of the consequences of their actions.
People don't always due what is best for them. Do you think someone who is addicted to meth is doing what is best for them? Do you think it is far for a child to come home every day and see their parent on the couch high on meth. No it is wrong "but it is there body" but they are indirectly hurting others with their irresponsible actions "man responsibility sucks" yeah it does sometimes but if everyone was completely responsible then things would run a lot smoother. It is moral to be responsible and immoral to be irresponsible.

I am not even going to address any of the other issues I feel as though my opponent has severely disappointed me by only proposing one selfish benefit. He casually ignores all the negative aspects that I have presented. He has yet to present any evidence to support wild assumptions that he uses to counter the arguments he has acknowledged. I feel what I have said in the arguments will be sufficient enough and would like to thank my opponent for giving me the opportunity to debate.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Stimple 2 years ago
Stimple
http://www.debate.org... shows that a large number of individuals on this sight support euthanasia you have 65% to my 35% :D however this ill not sway me for trying to get individuals to question it.
Posted by Stimple 3 years ago
Stimple
I hope my argument was satisfactory. thanks Tim_Spin have you seen wilfred and your picture is pretty bad a**
Posted by debate250 3 years ago
debate250
Personally I would disagree with that. I don't think that debts matter as much as the agony they must be going through to be in that place. The property and debts of thatperson can be dealt with afterwards in a court,and they can manage that. Overall I don't think that the person should be required to pay off the debt as how the person eels is more important than the debt.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
They should only be allowed to commit suicide if they don't have any outstanding debts. If they do, then they must make sure that they are all paid before being able to commit suicide.
Posted by debate250 3 years ago
debate250
I look forward to hearing Cons argument. It should be an interesting debate, and I think it's an important topic.
Posted by Tim_Spin 3 years ago
Tim_Spin
Love your picture.
Posted by Stimple 3 years ago
Stimple
I feel fairly argumentative today, and this is the only thing up that seems worth discussing
Posted by Kinesis 3 years ago
Kinesis
The penalty for trying to commit suicide should be death - everybody wins!
Posted by LeoL 3 years ago
LeoL
I agree with you pro. It wasn't too long ago where commiting suicide, in Canada at least was considered a "criminal act", and people would have to go to jail for a few years if they didn't succeed.
Posted by Tim_Spin 3 years ago
Tim_Spin
You might want to skip lines in between paragraphs. It makes it a lot easier to read.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
debate250StimpleTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter-bombing massdebator255's votebomb.
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 2 years ago
MassDebator255
debate250StimpleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not argue persuasively. He avoided questions and points as if they were red herrings. Preservation of life is the most basic of instinct, to go against that indicates a mental disorder and mentally unstable people should not have the right to kill themselves.