Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS) should be Legalized
Full Resolution: Physician-Assisted Suicide (Hereafter reffered to as PAS) under lawful regulations, should be universally legalized.
Physician-Assisted Suicide: The practice of a liscensed physician willingly perscribing a lethal drug at a patient's request for said patient to ingest or otherwise take, effectively ending his/her own life.
There will be 4 rounds:
First: Acceptance/any clarifications or additional definitions.
Second: Opening arguments (with a rebuttal from Con)
Third: More arguments/rebuttals from both sides.
Fourth: No more arguments. Closing statements only (With the EXCEPTION of Pro being able to provide a rebuttal for Con's Round 3 argument)
To restate what I said, if the Contender has any questions, or wants to add any definitions, you can do that in your acceptance.
Thanks, and I'm looking forward to this debate!
Well, I'll try. I accept.
Before I begin, I’d like to thank Minuteman for accepting my challenge—good luck in the debate.
Now, when talking about the idea of Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS), there are some points I’d like to make in regards to PAS.
Duty of the Physician
A physician’s duty to his/her patients is simple: to relieve (as much as possible) his/her patient’s suffering, as well as preserve the dignity of said patient .
If a person with a terminal and painful illness is barely mobile, cannot feed his/herself, but can request to be assisted in suicide by a physician, and the physician refuses due to it being unlawful, then his/her duty isn’t being met. The patient is clearly suffering to some capacity (even with pain medication, psychological anguish is present), as well as being robbed of his/her dignity, having to lie in a bed, as others must do things for him/her.
Rights of the Patient
Any person, whether a medical patient or not, owns his/her body, as well as life. Therefore, he/she also has the right to do with his/her body and life as he/she fits. This is why people have the right to be taken off life support when in a vegetative state. And, when one requests a PAS, they are requesting something very similar. After all, what else is he/she doing besides making a firm decision having to do with his/her own life.Therefore, if his/her decision does not impact or violate the rights of another person, then he/she should be able to legally have that right.
Let’s go back to the analogy I used previously. This patient, (provided that his/her decision hasn’t been influenced by anything other than his/her own personal judgment), when requesting a PAS, should, naturally, be allowed to have his/her request be able to be accepted, without fear of legal consequences, because his/her own decision is not harming anyone else’s rights.
Cost of Dying
Whatever way one looks at it, dying costs money. In fact, a person in Miami will be spending around $23,000 on medical bills in the last six months of his/her life . This cost is for dying without the use of PAS. However, a person, using PAS, would only spend approximately $10,000 (in 1995 dollars) on medical bills . I’d like you to think about that. If a person chooses to have a PAS, this would mean that his/her surviving relatives would have about $13,000 that they didn’t before to put toward a funeral (a traditional funeral ranges from $7,000 to over $10,000 ), or other debts that may need to be paid.
Once more, I’d like to go back to my hypothetical. Let’s say that this patient who wishes to have a PAS, may have un-wealthy relatives, or he/she may be un-wealthy. Not only is he/she suffering, but he/she is also paying quite a bit of medical bills to be kept alive, especially when he/she doesn’t wish to be in the first place. So, given the opportunity to choose, not only would he/he be relieving his/herself of suffering, but also saving money for his/her relatives or beneficiaries as well.
So, to summarize my opening argument, here’s a simple wrap-up:
(P1) A physician’s duty is to relieve suffering and preserve dignity.
(P2) A patient has the right to do with his/her life and body as he/she sees fit.
(P3) The costs of a PAS are about half the costs of conventional treatment.
( C ) A patient should be allowed to legally request, and eventually have, a PAS.
Thank you, and I look forward to Con’s opening argument/rebuttal.
Thanks for the opening argument detectableninja.
Duty Of The Physician
What is the duty of a physician?
The Hippocratic Oath states this quite well, and is an oath doctors must swear.
Here is an excerpt:
"I will not prescribe a patient a lethal drug."
This states that physicians are not to kill their patients under any circumstances.
Harming other's rights?
Hypothetical situation- a girl has a PAS.
Her family grieves.
This is infringing upon the rights of others to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Cost Of Dying
5/6 of US adults have medical insurance, which largely pays for this for them. (1)
Sorry if my argument is a bit short, but this is my first debate :I
Thank you Minuteman, for your arguments/rebuttals. Now, for my rebuttal.
Duty of the Physician
Con argues that a physician should not be allowed to participate in a PAS because doing so would be a violation of the Hippocratic Oath. However, while the quote Con used ("I will not prescribe a patient a lethal drug,”) IS in the Hippocratic Oath, what Con fails to account for is the fact that the Oath has been tweaked, as well as some parts of the Oath have been effectively abandoned ever since it was first created. For example, in the Oath, abortion is prohibited for doctors, as well as surgery (“I will not cut persons laboring under the stone.”) . However, nowadays, there are physicians that perform abortions, and even more physicians are surgeons. Using this logic, why should PAS be any exception?
To even further dismantle Con’s argument of the Hippocratic Oath, sources indicate that, even during the days of Hippocrates, PAS’s, as well as euthanasia (but that’s a different matter), were actually quite commonly performed, as well as recommended, by physicians . So, again, I raise the question: if PAS’s were administered even when the Oath was created, then why should modern-day PAS’s, be any exception?
One final point I’d like to make involves the actual core value of the Hippocratic Oath. The main value that the Oath is trying to uphold is for physicians to not do any harm (hence the original prohibition of abortion/surgery.) The definition of harm as a noun is “physical injury or mental damage; hurt,” . But the big question is, isn’t forcing a person to live with a terminal illness against their wishes, and in physical and mental pain, the definition of harm, and thus doing harm? So, by that logic, not legalizing PAS is going against a value at the heart of the Hippocratic Oath. To defend this specific point; even though I dismantled actual pieces of the Oath, most, if not all doctors, would agree that the core value of the Hippocratic Oath is still relevant and should be followed.
Harming Others’ Rights?
Here, Con argues that by having a PAS, the patient is infringing on his/her relatives’ right to “the pursuit of Happiness,” as written in the U.S. Declaration of Independence . While this “unalienable right,” is a core value of the United States, the Declaration of Independence has very little, if any official legal weight . So, I could technically stop rebutting this argument here, as this debate is about the legalization of PAS, and is therefore about whether any rights are legally infringed upon.
But, I will rebut Con’s argument under the assumption that the right to “the pursuit of Happiness,” is a legal right. Now, here, I find that Con forgets what the right he used actually is: the pursuit of Happiness. Note that it isn’t the right happiness itself—simply the opportunity to obtain happiness. So, while a family grieves over a loved one, they still have the ability to pursue happiness.
Cost of Dying
Con points out here that 5/6ths of Americans have medical insurance that would pay for most, or all, medical bills. This may be true, but I feel that I must raise a contention against this argument. While it’s true that 5 out of 6 have insurance, I would like to ask what about the 1/6 that doesn’t have insurance? What Con seems to be arguing sounds a bit unfair, to say that because most people have insurance, the remaining few terminally ill should not be allowed to have a procedure that would curtail costs for relatives, among other benefits.
So, in short, I feel that Con’s arguments aren’t sufficient to justify not allowing anyone to have a PAS.
Thanks for reading, and I await Minuteman’s response. Also, it’s my first full debate too, Minuteman.
Minuteman forfeited this round.
Hmm. It seems my opponent has closed his account. Please extend my arguments.
Minuteman forfeited this round.