The Instigator
DetectableNinja
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
000ike
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Physician-Assisted-Suicide Should Be Legalized (2)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 19,570 times Debate No: 17747
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

DetectableNinja

Pro

Full Resolution: Physician-Assisted-Suicide should be universally legalized in the United States.

Definition
Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS): The voluntary termination of one's own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician. Physician-assisted suicide is the practice of providing a competent patient with a prescription for medication for the patient to use with the primary intention of ending his or her own life. [1]

[1] http://www.medterms.com...

"Rules"
First round is for acceptance only.
Last round is for rebuttals/cloing statements only.
Obvious other things (no ad hom, etc)

If you have any questions or clarifications or whatever, please say so in the comments. Thanks!
000ike

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
DetectableNinja

Pro

I thank 000ike for accepting this debate. It will be a pleasure to debate him once again. I'm sure he will be a most formidable opponent. Good luck.

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 [1].

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 [2]. 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 [3]. 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 [4]), 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.


Summary

So, my opening argument can be summarized with a simple contention.

(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) Therefore, a patient should be allowed to legally request, and eventually have, a PAS.

Thank you, and I await Con's response.

References

[1] http://endoflife.northwestern.edu...
[2] http://www.usatoday.com...
[3] http://www.nejm.org...
[4] http://www.funeralswithlove.com...
000ike

Con

I return the thanks to DetectableNinja for creating this debate.

I will begin by refuting pro's arguments and then providing my own proof as to why PAS should be illegal.


*****REFUTATIONS*****


1. "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 [1].

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."


While derived from a source, I respectfully disagree with my opponent's interpretation of a physicians duty. A physician's duty is neither to relieve as much suffering as possible or preserve the dignity of the patient. A physician's ultimate duty is to prevent death through curing or retarding the progression of ailments. That is the first and foremost reason for the medical system.

WHY?:

1. This is the historical and universal hippocratic oath of all medical professionals:

a. derived from the classical hipporatic oath "...I will neither give a deadly drug to anyone if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect..." [1]

b. derived from the modern hippocratic oath "I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism." [2] Therapeutic nihilism is the belief that an ailment cannot be cured. Hence, it is implied that the oath taken by all physicians and the duty to that effect is to always try to cure one's patient. The option of killing the patient is contrary to this sworn oath.

Hence, I would like the readers to extract from these excerpts the point:
A physician's ultimate duty is to prevent death through curing or retarding the progression of ailments. They must always try and try again to cure the ailment. Assisting the death of a patient would infringe upon that duty and obligation.

2. "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 point does not have much relevance or merit in this particular debate. Pro can use this contention in a debate regarding suicide legality. However, this debate is about physicians, the one's we trust most to help us live, assisting suicide. Since the patients are not making the absolute individual desicion and execution of ending their own life, it is done by someone else, pro's point that is quoted above has no relevance. It only applies to those who kill themselves independently. It is a different atmosphere when a physician helps this act.


3. "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 [2]. 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 [3]. 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 [4]), 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."


My opponent is basically saying that physician assisted suicide should be legal because it saves the families' money. I will not argue against the fact that PAS could save families money on funerals, but I will point out that this is only one practical benefit. I will prove in the following contentions that the moral and practical drawbacks heavily outweigh this one practical benefit. It will hence become my proof that if it is, on the grand scale, both impractical and immoral to legalize PAS, then it should not be legal.


*****PROOF OF MY POSITION*****

Physician Assisted Suicide is Immoral and Impractical

1. It demeans the value of a human life. Death, in this modern age, is sometimes taken lightly by those who do not fully understand its impact on their beings, life, and the people around them. It is the ultimate duty of a physician to protect and defend life. Death cannot be used as a means of escape or an easier option for a physician than working vigorously to cure and help the patient.

" ...human life means something...To stomp out a life because it's not convenient or it's expensive demeans that value." [3]


2. Physicians are not always correct and can make mistakes or simply do immoral things. In such events, a life can be lost through PAS when such was unnecessary. Legalizing PAS opens the door to such accidents. At an unfortunately consistent rate, doctors misdiagnose their patients. Who's to say that a man or woman won't kill themselves once they mistakenly hear they have cancer? We cannot allow such accidents to even have this slim gateway of possibility. A human life is too dear to risk the possibility of such tragic occurrences ESPECIALLY since that risk isn't critically necessary. Physicians can also be immoral, they may tell their patients that they will die painfully and prompt them to accept PAS when that is not necessary. We cannot allow these possibilities to come to fruition. The best way to ensure this is to keep PAS illegal.


3. The government and ensurance companies could also use PAS for immoral purposes. They could pressure physicians to suggest PAS because it would be less expensive and more efficient, when there other are options for the patient. My opponent himself made it a point to outline the financial benefit of suicide. It is a dangerous possibility that companies and the government could manipulate this financial gain for themselves. Keeping PAS illegal would, for the most part, nullify this threat.

4. My opponent said, "provided that his/her decision hasn’t been influenced by anything other than his/her own personal judgment"

Pain is a form of influence. Pain and pressure can influence people to do things that they may not really want. When a patient is under the influence of suffering and pain, his mind becomes fixated on alleviating that pain at all costs. It is not fair to the patient to readily accept his decisions while under such pressure. It is only the decisions made under more placid conditions that truly reflect the genuine desires of people.

Hypothetical situation: A man/woman with cancer will probably experience tremendous pain. He/she may also have a family to take care of. With PAS as an open option, while the patient is not thinking clearly and just wants to feel at ease, he may abandon whatever children or family he/she has waiting at home and choose suicide. The man/woman will have died in vain, because had that pain not clouded his/her judgement, he/she may have chosen to live. Now you have an unnecessary death, and a heartbroken family.

Now my opponent could ammend his resolution to say that PAS should be legal when the patient is not influenced by pain, but that would not make sense either. If a patient is not experiencing pain, then out of respect for the value of a human life, and a physician's oath, there would be no justification for administering PAS.

SOURCES
*read comments
Debate Round No. 2
DetectableNinja

Pro

Again, I extend my gratitude for 00ike's response.


Defense Against Con's Refutations


1. The Physician's Duty


1. The Hippocratic Oath.


1a.
In both parts A and B, Con makes the assertion that because the Hippocratic Oath is contrary to the practice of PAS, the practice would be contrary to physicians' duty, and thus should not be legalized. However, while the quote Con used in part A ("I will neither give a deadly 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 original Oath, abortion is prohibited for doctors, as well as surgery (“I will not cut persons laboring under the stone.”) [1]. However, nowadays, there are physicians that perform abortions, and even more physicians are surgeons. Using this logic, why should PAS be any exception?


1b.
Con here makes the point that the modern Hippocratic Oath states that a physician must avoid therapeutic nihilism, meaning the idea that a physician abandons the hop of an illness being cured. The sad truth is though, that by Con's definition of therapeutic nihilism, physicians are therapeutically nihilistic already in some cases. To find an example, one need only to look at a terminal illness. A terminal illness is defined by the medical dictionary as "an advanced stage of a disease with an unfavorable prognosis and no known cure," [2]. In other words, a disease which will most likely, if not certainly, end the life of a patient, even with treatment of symptoms. The very fact that diseases are considered terminal by physicians indicates that there already is therapeutic nihilism. So, the argument that PAS creates therapeutic nihilism and thus shouldn't be legalized is negated, as therapeutic nihilism is already accepted in the medical community.


1c.
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 [3]. 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?


1d.
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,” [4]. 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.

And so, my argument still stands.


2. The Patient's Rights

Whether this is a mistake on my part or not, I believe Con doesn't understand the actual universal modern process of PAS. Con contends that patients are not making the individual decision and execution, and that the physician literally does the deed. What Con is speaking of is euthanasia, and, while very close to PAS, it is different in that a patient makes the decision and, when physically able, the actual execution of the suicide with PAS, while euthanasia is more similar to mercy killing, based on the judgement of the person killing the patient [5]. Thus, I feel that this point is extremely relevant to my case and therefore still stands.


3. Cost of Dying

Here, Con agrees to this point alone and by itself. So this point still stands.



Refutations of Con's Contentions


PAS is Immoral and Impractical


1. Here, Con's biggest contention is that Death shouldn't be an escape or easy option for a physician to not treat his patient. Again, I feel with this contention clarification is in order. In Oregon, (the only US state with PAS) the law requires doctors to inform the requestee of other options, such as a hospice, or palliative care, and that they are in fact possible alternatives [6]. So, I therefore say that the argument of a physician taking an easy way out is thus negated.


2. I agree in that it is true that doctors do make mistakes, and that people's emotions get out of hand. However, I feel I must, again, clarify, using the same source. Not only does the law require properly given alternatives, but also the certainty that the patient is in fact mentally competent of making such a decision, as well as a 15 day waiting period after the request for a PAS is accepted, to ensure that a patient's decision was not made in haste, nor was it pressured by a physician [6]. On top of this, patients certainly can get second opinions from other physicians if theirs feels incompetent or not as reputable. Thus again, I feel this point has been proved moot.


3. Here, Con asserts that government or insurance companies would pressure physicians to suggest PAS. However, the fact remains that a PAS is requested, not suggested. And even when it is requested, a physician must, as I pointed out earlier, present alternatives and make it clear that they are feasible. So, the danger that Con has presented is not as dangerous as he would make it out to be.


4. Here, Pro does raise a point about pain being an influence. And I agree that it can be an influence in the decision. But I will yet again point out that requesting, and having, a PAS is a fairly long process of at least 15 days, minus the actual requesting and acceptance, which could take just as long as well. On top of this, this is why so many "roadblocks," are put in place (mental competence, waiting period, alternatives, etc). Even more so than that, even when the drug is acquired, and the suicide is scheduled to be placed, a patient never reaches a point where the PAS must be carried out. The only time it happens is when the patient ingests the drug. Thus this should be ample time for consideration, including the time it took for a patient to even decide to request a PAS.


Thank you so much, and I hand it over to Con.


References

[1] http://nktiuro.tripod.com...

[2] http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

[3] http://scienceweek.com...

[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...

[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[6] https://www.msu.edu...

000ike

Con

The Hippocratic Oath

1. "The sad truth is though, that by Con's definition of therapeutic nihilism, physicians are therapeutically nihilistic already in some cases To find an example, one need only to look at a terminal illness. A terminal illness is defined by the medical dictionary as "an advanced stage of a disease with an unfavorable prognosis and no known cure," [2]. In other words, a disease which will most likely, if not certainly, end the life of a patient, even with treatment of symptoms. The very fact that diseases are considered terminal by physicians indicates that there already is therapeutic nihilism"

My opponent attempts to use the concept of a terminal illness to show the presence of therapeutic nihilism, but he does so under false pretenses. A terminal illness being described as such does not imply that the physician will not attempt to cure or retard the ailment. For example. Cancer is a terminal illness. However, processes such as Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, and immunotherapy are used constantly, Over and over again to cure or help the patient. Never is it accepted for the physician to give up. Therefore, my opponent's assertion that therapeutic nihilism is already accepted in the medical community is factually unsound. What does this all mean?

a. Well, I proved earlier that PAS implies therapeutic nihilism

b. and the modern oath is against therapeutic nihilism

c. What better describes a physician's duty than the oath he takes upon entering his profession?

d. Therefore, PAS is against the duty of a physician....and so we have arrived at my first contention.

2. "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 [3]. 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?"

I guess the hippocrates were hypocrites, but that does not nullify the validity of the oath still used and honored by doctors worldwide to this day. I will also use this as an opportunity to negate. Pro stated that the oaths have been tweaked. That is false, people have developed opinions for or against the oaths, but they still stand absolutely unchanged.


3. "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,” [4]. 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?"

That in and of itself is a distortion of the intention of the oaths. My opponent uses the word "forces" when nothing is forced. The patient is not forced to live with it, he can kill himself independently, again, suicide legality is a whole different debate. All that I urge and argue for is that a physician should not be involved in the act of ending his patient's life.


REFUTATIONS


1. " Here, Con's biggest contention is that Death shouldn't be an escape or easy option for a physician to not treat his patient. Again, I feel with this contention clarification is in order. In Oregon, (the only US state with PAS) the law requires doctors to inform the requestee of other options, such as a hospice, or palliative care, and that they are in fact possible alternatives [6]. So, I therefore say that the argument of a physician taking an easy way out is thus negated."

Who is to enforce this law, and who will know if the patient was properly informed of all possible alternatives? No one. Whether or not the law says so, the physician could neglect to mention options or make frivilous mistakes in information that could lead to disasterous results. Now I know my argument works on a "what if" basis, but when dealing with human lives we nust consider the worst and gauge the risk. Pro's contentions seem to hold value only under a perfect, strictly law abiding medical system, and that alone is unrealistic. It is the "what ifs", the tangent scenarios, and the variables that make PAS so risky and implausible. The matter of life and death is one without room for such uncertainty.

2. "Here, Con asserts that government or insurance companies would pressure physicians to suggest PAS. However, the fact remains that a PAS is requested, not suggested. And even when it is requested, a physician must, as I pointed out earlier, present alternatives and make it clear that they are feasible. So, the danger that Con has presented is not as dangerous as he would make it out to be."

Again I will point out the unfortunate naivety of Pro's logic. His points work only under a perfect, law abiding medical system, but such does not exist. Insurance companies and the government have much to gain from PAS. They save money, quite a lot of money. Regardless of law, legalization of PAS all over the country will open the doors to very disturbing scenarios and deviousness from the corporate world.



I will introduce one more final contention as to why PAS should be illegal:

1. It will deplete our faith and trust in modern medicine and medical knowledge. The effort and drive to keep people alive (AS IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROFESSION) will die as patients increasingly give up on the trustworthiness and reliability of our medicine and physicians' ability to discover, invent, and cure for the better of humanity. Once death becomes an option, people lose faith and hope. Dying becomes a fall-back. We won't have as many people crusading for solutions, for cures, the tunnel to peace (death) would become an inviting option for many. Once diagnosed with cancer, how many people would simply end their lives when, who knows, a cure could be the breaking news of the following day. I am well aware that my argument comes across as emotive and idealistic, but the topic of life and death is emotive by nature, so it cannot be met with strictly practical eyes.

I do not argue, saying that we must force patients to stay alive, I argue that the medical field must NEVER condone or support death, much less assist it. If we are to maintain the integrity of this field, the hope, the tenacity, and the public trust in medical professionals, the law must remain as it is. Let those who want to give up, give up by themselves, the medical field must not join in. The medical field must always have the attitude of ascension, and tirelessly aiming towards solutions, treatments, and cures. THIS was the real attitute of the modern hippocratic oath.
Debate Round No. 3
DetectableNinja

Pro

Before I present my closing rebuttal and argument, I'd just like to thank 000ike one final time for his prompt responses, as well as for being a very tough opponent in this debate.

Final Refutations

The Hippocratic Oath

1.Sadly, with this particular argument, I will concede that therapeutic nihilism is indeed not very present in today's medical community.

2. Here, Con contradicts himself in his thinking. While he does agree that "the hippocrates were hypocrites," he also states that this does not detract from the value of the modern Hippocratic Oath. The problem with this is that he immediately counters another argument of mine by saying that the Oath is unchanged. So, one could say that, by proxy, the modern Oath's value is detracted from, seeing as how the previous Oath was ignored, and the modern Oath is in effect, the original.

As well, I'd also like to point out another flaw. One of Con's contentions is that PAS's should stay illegal because that would then allow a physician to break his/her Oath. This is why we've been debating this issue of the Oath in particular so heavily. However, if what Con has stated is true, and that the modern Oath remains effectively unchanged, then his overall contention that PAS violates the Oath is proved false. Abortion and surgery, two things which I argued earlier were directly not allowed according to the Oath, are both legal across the US. Of course, I'm not suggesting the two-wrongs-make-a-right argument, but what I am suggesting is that Con's argument using the Hippocratic Oath can be considered null and void.

3. Con declares that I am distorting the Oath here, as well as saying that "nothing is forced. The patient is not forced to live with it, he can kill himself independently, again, suicide legality is a whole different debate." This is not entirely true. People that generally request PAS's either aren't able to commit suicide in the conventional manners, being bedbound and terminally ill, or, to turn Con's source from round 2 into my own, they may commit suicide in much more grisly, painful, undignified, and traumatic ways [1]. To quote this source "if you were a family member, which would be more traumatic--saying goodbye to a loved one at the hospital or coming home to see his head and brains splattered against the wall from a bullet?" So, in actuality, the terminally ill, after coming to a conclusion that death is their option, are indeed being forced to turn to a much more horriying path of suicide, or even convince another person to kill them--neither of which, I think we can agree, are desirable. So, if a physician is willing to assist, and the patient is resolved to die, than it seems that a dignified and legal route is ideal.


Defense Against Con's Refutations


4 (part 1 of Con's refutations). With this, Con asserts the idea that it is impossible to make sure patients are informed by their doctors accurately, thus leading to unnecessary deaths--therefore, to avoid these deaths, PAS should remain illegal. However, while it is true that error can occur, I believe that the “what if,” situation Con has provided is not sufficient to stand against the legalization of PAS.

One of the reasons for this is that, while there are physicians that are incompetent or negligent, to say that because there are bad doctors, or doctors who can make mistakes, so PAS’s should be illegal is a stretch too far. A PAS is, in the end, a medical service and procedure, and is extremely close to taking a vegetative person off of life support. And, as with all medical procedures, a patient, even though they have the right to have it (provided said procedure is legal), the patient is also responsible for his/her life, which one contention as to why PAS’s should be legal. As such, he/she must be responsible for making sure that they are informed themselves, of both the law, as well as knowledge of being able to obtain a second opinion, among other precautions. So, while error can happen, I think that people can properly safeguard against such “disastrous results.”

5 (part 2 of Con’s refutations). Here, Con indicates that “Regardless of law, legalization of PAS all over the country will open the doors to very disturbing scenarios and deviousness from the corporate world.” He also raises a valid point that government and insurance can have gain from PAS. The only issue I take with this argument is that it’s a mere hypothetical—not in the sense of it being a “what if,” but this argument seems rather vague to be considered an argument without much support.

6 (Con’s final contention). With this final contention, Con for some reason makes the connection that legalizing physician-assisted-suicide will cause an almost apathetic view of medicine, with our trust in medicine and cures. I find this contention to be very sensationalist. The resolution is that it would be legal for the terminally ill to bring about their own death with dignity, after being informed of all other alternatives. I don’t understand where Con connects this to less people looking for cures. PAS is tragic whatever way one looks at it—making it legal won’t make it any more socially desirable. In fact, one could even make the argument that a legalization of PAS would make support for research stronger. When people suffer so much from a fatal disease that death becomes desirable, surely many would see that as a tragedy, and champion for further research. After all, I am not arguing for people to have PAS’s left and right—what the resolution is implying, on the other hand, is that people will have the right to have one.


Conclusion


My resolution is for it to be legal for a terminally ill patient of sound mind to apply for, and, assuming there is approval, eventually have, a physician-assisted-suicide. I have argued namely that a person has the right to dispose of his/her life with dignity when they’re in pain, and that it should be legal if a physician is willing to oversee the process. Not only this, but I continue to contend that a physician’s goal is to relieve people’s suffering in the most appropriate manner, even if that includes assisting in a patient’s suicide.

My opponent’s arguments have been that the system would be a fall-back, and that it could be easily abused. However, I feel that I have presented an adequate defense for these arguments—that people can effectively safeguard against many negative outcomes, and while error occurs, one cannot name with certainty enough flaws that can’t be countered with legislature.

So, I feel that I, as well as the readers, can conclude that in the end, the resolution stands.

Thank you.


Reference

[1] http://www.balancedpolitics.org...

000ike

Con

Closing Rebuttals

1. "Here, Con contradicts himself in his thinking. While he does agree that "the hippocrates were hypocrites,"he also states that this does not detract from the value of the modern Hippocratic Oath. The problem with this is that he immediately counters another argument of mine by saying that the Oath is unchanged. So, one could say that, by proxy, the modern Oath's value is detracted from, seeing as how the previous Oath was ignored, and the modern Oath is in effect, the original."

There seems to be a lack of connections in pro's rebuttal. What gives the oath it's value, as far as modern times are concerned, is whether or not it is acknowledged, followed, and respected by a decent amount of doctors today. I cited the classical hipporcatic oath because it is indeed respected and followed by many doctors today. So the classical hippocratic oath still stands as a credible source of evidense against PAS. The modern Hippocratic oath is what all physicians recite upon graduation, and that too, as I showed had implications against PAS such as the denouncement of therapeutic nihilism. I do not see the detraction in value of either oath that my opponent is imagining, nor do I see the contradiction he speaks of.

2. " As well, I'd also like to point out another flaw. One of Con's contentions is that PAS's should stay illegal because that would then allow a physician to break his/her Oath. This is why we've been debating this issue of the Oath in particular so heavily. However, if what Con has stated is true, and that the modern Oath remains effectively unchanged, then his overall contention that PAS violates the Oath is proved false. Abortion and surgery, two things which I argued earlier were directly not allowed according to the Oath, are both legal across the US. Of course, I'm not suggesting the two-wrongs-make-a-right argument, but what I am suggesting is that Con's argument using the Hippocratic Oath can be considered null and void."

It appears that my opponent is confused between the classical oath and the modern oath. Again, I cited the classical oath simply for additional support, it is the modern oath this is in full effect for all modern physicians. The modern oath does not go against abortion or surgery, only the classical does, so pro's claims are false. His whole point here was that the modern oath supposedly goes against two practices that are widely accepted, so that nullifies the credibility of the oath. This may be so for the classical oath which is not enforced, even though many doctors still adhere to it, but it is not so for the modern oath, where therapeutic nihilism, and transitively PAS is denounced. THEREFORE, without getting the readers into further semantics, the modern oath still stands, unnegated, unchanged, and just as credible as ever. So my point that the modern oath is credible evidence against PAS still stands as well.



4. "Con declares that I am distorting the Oath here, as well as saying that "nothing is forced. The patient is not forced to live with it, he can kill himself independently, again, suicide legality is a whole different debate."This is not entirely true. People that generally request PAS's either aren't able to commit suicide in the conventional manners, being bedbound and terminally ill, or, to turn Con's source from round 2 into my own, they may commit suicide in much more grisly, painful, undignified, and traumatic ways"

Pro asserts that just because patients may kill themselves in more painful and undignified ways, it becomes the obligation of the physician to provide a better method of death. This argument is logically unsound. It is like saying that just because a depressed individual experiencing mental and emotional pain wants to jump off a bridge, his doctor must give him lethal drugs to make the death less painful. The objective is to have patients live healthy, happy lives. If the patient wants to kill themselves, the physician has no obligation, and in fact has a duty AGAINST assisting that act. If the patient is bedridden and is hell-bent on killing him/herself, the hopsital can simply discharge him/her to his/her family. Physician help is so contradictory to the intents of this profession.


5. I mentioned the depletion of faith in the medical field that PAS would bring. On the practical level, this isn't much of an argument, but on the level of psychological implications, it is certainly something to consider. Modern medicine has been sort of a comforting hope that maybe all is not lost when diagnosed with rare or lethal diseases. Having death off the table as an option leaves the trust alive and faith a bit stronger, but when stared with such a simple (even though it is not easy) final option, the drive and the faith is weakened. Death may be a consideration for some patients, but should not be for the profession. PAS must not be granted U.S legality, lest the "there is always another way" attitude of the medical community die in the process.


I ask the readers to consider the effects of PAS.

1. Opens the gate to many unnecessary deaths

2. Opens the gate to tremendous corporate and governmental corruption

3. Contradicts both the sworn modern oath and the respected classical oath of Physicians

4. Weakens the drive and attitude of ascention in the medical field

5. Demeans the value of lives


I will let the voters judge for themselves whether these important side-effects outweigh the gain. I will, once again, thank DetectableNinja for creating and executing a very challenging and educational debate. Thank you all for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Really good debate from both sides. Here are my RFD.

1) Spelling and Grammar: Tied, no significant mistakes on either side.

2) Conduct: Tied, both sides were professional.

3) Sources: Pro, I disregarded Con's sources that were put in the comments. A part of the skill of debating is to stick to the character limit and if you exceed the limit, make your arguments more concise.

4) Arguments: Both sides were very convincing. I initially agreed with Con but Pro made me indecisive for a few rounds. He also had convincing arguments as to the patient being able to choose a comfortable way to die. But Con effectively refuted all of Pro's arguments. The point that clinched the deal for Con was that Physicians as well as the medical practice should do everything they can to save the patients life. It was a too strong a point to forget and Pro never truly addressed it.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
Thanks and same to you. at least I didn't concede this time lol
Posted by DetectableNinja 6 years ago
DetectableNinja
Thanks, 000ike for debating with me! You're a rather challenging opponent, at least from what I'VE experienced in this debate.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
Sorry, I can't believe I actually reached the 8,000 character limit. I couldn't fit my sources, so here they are.

[1] http://home.earthlink.net...
[2] http://www.pbs.org...
[3] http://www.balancedpolitics.org...
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Practicality is just a way to determine morality.
Posted by DetectableNinja 6 years ago
DetectableNinja
Hmmm. Interesting question. I'd say that the topic is really mostly being debated in general. HOWEVER, I personally tend to focus on the morality of it, as well as whether the practice itself should be used, regardless of practicality. Of course, I'm not saying that practicality isn't an issue, and I would rebut against a practicality argument, but I would personally prefer to stick to morality. That make any sense?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Interesting topic. Are you looking to debate the moral issues of it, or the practicality?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
DetectableNinja000ikeTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: See the comments section.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
DetectableNinja000ikeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's R2 sources were not the best. The balanced politics.org number 2 on the value of life was purely personal opinion. Going on to arguments, CON almost had it with the oath and that the legality of suicide wasn't the debate, but I felt that by not addressing claims that abortion and surgery were not allowed in the oath, and stating that the oath has not changed, he is allowing that the oath can be violated (since he gave no reason to not support surgery). Once he lost the oath, he had noth
Vote Placed by PARADIGM_L0ST 6 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
DetectableNinja000ikeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I thought both sides debated very well with a slight edge given to Pro. Pro tackled every contention Con threw at him and gave a sound refutation for it, backing it up with well-sourced and credible facts. Con argued very well, but his entire thesis relied on an is/ought moral principle that is subjective at best.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 6 years ago
larztheloser
DetectableNinja000ikeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro grounded this debate in a detailed rights-based analysis. Con should have told me not about physicians obligations but patient rights, so lost that point. Con came back with a practical argument. Pro said it might not work in a few cases, but that's not enough to justify banning. Con won that point, pro should have said exactly where and why we draw the line. Neg win as prima face we should not do something with "moot" consequences (pro's word). Con shouldn't source in comments. Good debate.