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Resolved: The United States Federal Government should legalize Euthanasia.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,351 times Debate No: 75669
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)




I'd like to thank my opponent ahead of time for accepting this debate challenge and by accepting he agrees to the following rules and definitions.


Round 1 is for terms and definitions by Con and acceptance by Pro.
Round 2 is for opening arguments only, no rebuttals.
Round 3 is for rebuttals.
Round 4 is for rebuttals and conclusions.
No semantics.
No trolling.
No profanity.

USFG- The government of the United States ofAmerica is the federal government of theconstitutional republic of fifty states thatconstitute the United States, as well as onecapital district, and several other territories.The federal government is composed of threedistinct branches: legislative, executive andjudicial, which powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President,and the federal courts, including the SupremeCourt, respectively; the powers and duties ofthese branches are further defined by acts ofCongress, including the creation of executivedepartments and courts inferior to the SupremeCourt. (

Should- Used to express obligation or duty (

Legalize- to make lawful or legal (

Euthanasia- Also called mercy killing. the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medicalmeasures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. (


Thank you Con for this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Contention 1: Unreported Euthanasia and Euthanasia without consent.

I shall begin by giving you the horrible statistics of Euthanasia. [1]) Approximately 900 euthanasia's a year are done without the consent of the one being euthanized and 50% of euthanasizations are done unreported. In 2005, it was reported that 1.7% of the nation's deaths were caused by Euthanasia, a total of 2,410 people. 1 out of every 5 people who receive euthanasia are done without consent. [2] A study in Belgium reported that 32% were without consent.


Contention 2: The Slippery Slope Argument

Keown gives in his slippery slope argument of 2002, that once one form of euthanasia is accepted that other forms, like involuntary euthanasia, to become legal. For my number one example I present the Dutch. In 1987, the Royal Dutch Medical Association had written into law, “If there is no request from the patient, then proceeding with the termination of his life is [juristically] a matter of murder or killing, and not of euthanasia.” However, in 2001 they supported a new law that completely supported a law that would legalize non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. [3] .) There 2001 law also permitted children from age 12-16 to be euthanized with parental concent! Though the nation does not consider the child at liberty to make the call. [4]

The euthanasia’s in Belgium have doubled since 1998. The involuntary and non-voluntary euthanasia rates have slightly increased from 1.5% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2007. In Flanders the euthanasia numbers have increased from 0.3% in 2001 to 1.9% in 2007. In the graph bellow we can see that the number of euthanasia’s have doubled since 2007 as well.

The definition of Euthanasia has actually changed over the years from it being killing in 1950 to a quick and easy death in 1981. In the bellow quote we can see that our perspective has changed to the point that we almost do not even associate death with euthanasia in the definition.

""Have we really forgotten that euthanasia is killing?"

From a pre-1950 dictionary: "Mode or act of inducing death painlessly or as a relief from pain."

From Webster's Third International Unabridged Dictionary (1968): "1. An easy death or means of inducing one. 2. The act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or diseases."

From Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (1981): "1. Dying easily, quietly and painlessly. 2. The act of willfully ending life in individuals with an incurable disease" [5]

You are also given the healing doctor a killing roll. This can have a huge effect on doctors as it was proved that it has an effect on doctors who are supposed to heal their patients and are now asked to kill. This also gives off a fear of the doctor as in Holland, the elderly are scared of the doctor, because they are scared that the doctor will euthanize them. [6] We can also see that doctors themselves oppose euthanasia.

Physician-Assisted Suicide [euthanasia]:
  • 42% Had both a "religious and nonreligious objection" to physician-assisted suicide
  • 31% Had "no objection" to physician-assisted suicide
  • 21% Had a "nonreligious objection" to physician-assisted suicide
  • 5% Had a "religious objection" to physician-assisted suicide

Physician Characteristics:

  • 79% of Asian doctors in the US object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 71% of Hispanic doctors in the US object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 67% of White doctors in the US object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 65% of Black doctors in the US object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 79% of Catholic doctors object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 79% of Muslim doctors object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 75% of Protestant doctors object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 74% of Hindu doctors object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 54% of Jewish doctors object to physician-assisted suicide
  • 39% of doctors with no religious affiliation object to physician-assisted suicide
  • Physicians from the US Midwest are more likely to object to physician-assisted suicide than those from the US South

[7] and [8]

Contention 3: Self Ownership and Sickness

Consent from a palliative specialist is also very important, but recent euthanasia’s have not been doing so and consenting them. In Belgium, before 2002, all euthanasia cases without concent of a palliative specialist were denied, but from 2002-2007, that number declined from 100% to only 9% as only 19% of all euthanasia cases was a palliative contacted for their opinion. (Same source as the first one used in this round)

Now I know that my opponent is against some of these, but this plays a key factor in my slippery slope argument that I will get into next. In 2003, Terri Schiavo recovered from a vegetative state that she had been in for 13 years. She had been dubbed dying, but she began to recover and eventually died on TV. They had removed her feeding tube and she had been without food and water for a few days even when she began to show signs of recovery. This is an event that occurred in the United States and we can see how this can easily go wrong when we try to give someone a peaceful end. In New York, Dr. Dimancescu's program has increased the ability for patients to get out of comas by a total of 91% compared to regular machines which have only 11%. [9]

For this next part I will argue that of self-determination. The reason I say that only those who are faced with death should be able to decide whether or not euthanasia is justifiable for them, but only when they are in the correct state of mind. Those who chose willingly can either be suffering from depression or from that of sickness and that sickness can impair the way they think by forcing an unbearable pain upon them. Under Self-Determination one must first mentally defeat the sickness and then when they are in the correct state of mind then they should be able to make any judgmental decision and it is likely under this case that they would choose life over death. [10]

Another anti-Euthanasia advocate is Jeremy Bethem who is quoted saying, " “it is the
greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and
wrong.” [11]

This means that we must observe the weight of the individual's value to the comunity verse the needs of that individual. Though the individual may be in pain they are still in the wrong state of mind as I brought up earlier meaning that the person cannot properly think for themselves and have lost the ability to choose between right and wrong as they are attempting to end their lives with no reguards to others. They belong to the collective comunity and because of that the value of them is together a great impact. For this we are reminded of the allusion of For Whom the Bell tolls meaning that we as a society are joined together as one and it's because of that one person missing from society the entire society will feel the loss in everything from emotionally to the person's productivity that the contribute to better the community would vanish and that one person's death and their suicide would harm the entire community. So it maters not the level of pain the person is expierencing as if they kill themselves they would be robbing the community and it in turn harms society.

Due to me running out of characters my sources will be presentedi n the comments section.



Why I believe Euthanasia should be legal

Argument 1: Personal Freedom and Liberty

An individual has their liberty, which includes the right of their life. Since that rights belongs to him, he can do whatever he wishes with his rights, such as discontinuing his life if the reasons were justifiable. Proof of this is documented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [1]

The following lines confirm this

Article 5 : No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 19 : Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression

In a typical situation, a person has been infected by a deadly disease. He is trapped in a hospital bed, with all sorts of medical equipment connected to him, unable to do anything. The only thing they can do is stay alive. They might be in terrible pain; he begs to have these machines disconnected so he can go home and live out whatever life he has left and die in peace. They does not want to endure the pain, but instead, . However, the doctors refuse because to turn off the machines would surely result in his death. According to a Statistic Brain Instistute [2], nearly 55% of terminally ill patients have died, because they were denied their rights of ending their own life.

If a person decides that he wants to die, and someone does not think that this is a good decision, what right does the opposing person have to tell him that he cannot do this? It is clear that a patient's decision to ask for a cessation in treatment, reflecting his own preference for death rather than for a continuation of discomfort or suffering, must be respected, barring exceptional circumstances .I believe the least you can give someone who has already experienced so much pain and suffering is a dignified exit from this world and euthanasia can give them exactly that. It’s the patient’s choice, just like we respect others’ decisions in life, when it comes to death the same applies.

Argument 2: Majority of doctors and the public are in favor of Euthanasia

According to the source I presented earlier, it states like 54% of medical practiioniers support Euthanasia. Also, public support is also very high. 86% support the terminally ill people. This also brings me to my other point, that well regulated Euthanasia has been proved to work, as it did in the state of Oregon.

Argument 3: It worked in Oregon

The US state of Oregon legalised physician-assisted suicide in 1998. During the first three years, only around 2 people a month used this to end their lives. This was partly because of the severe conditions that had to be satisfied before a request for euthanasia could be granted. Many rules have been put forth, to ensure the practice is tightly regulated to avoid mishaps. The following are the rules [3]

    • patient must be resident in Oregon

    • patient must be aged over 18

    • patient must make 2 oral and 1 written request for euthanasia

    • there must be at least 15 days between the first and the last request

    • patient must be terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 6 months

    • this prognosis must be confirmed by a second consultant physician

    • both doctors must confirm that the patient is capable of making this decision

    • both doctors must confirm that the patient does not have medical condition that impairs their judgement

    • patient must self-administer the lethal medication

Here is a source that provides some statistics. [4]

As you can see, here is proof that regulations have worked in Oregon. The important one is that 0 regained consciousness after ingesting medication died of underyining illness. So it is safe to say that Euthanisia has worked in Oregon.

Argument 5: Unnecessary Expense

Euthanasia would allow doctors to care for patients who need immidiate care, and resources can be used more effiently to save their life. It makes zero sense that we shoud spend money to care for somebody who is asking to die. [5]



Debate Round No. 2


Contention 1: Personal Freedom and Liberty

My opponent claims an incorrect fact that "the right to die" is Constitutional, but it is not. In the Supreme Court Case Vacco V. Quill in where Brittney Maryland planned to withdraw life support to cause her own death. In the case the Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decission that the Constitution did NOT include the right to die. Chief Justice Rehnquist was quoted in his ruling, "The distinction comports with fundamental legal principles of causation and intent. First, when a patient refuses life sustaining medical treatment, he dies from an underlying fatal disease or pathology; but if a patient ingests lethal medication prescribed by a physician, he is killed by that medication."[1] You see here that there is a legal difference between letting a patient die and killing a patient by leathally injecting them.

My opponent is highly flawed in his argument and we can see that he is refurring to Assisted Suicide, NOT Euthanasia. Assisted Suicide is the refusial of life support with euthanasia is the lethal injecting to end one's life. My opponent brings up an AngelFire gallop poll, but this poll is first flawed because if you follow the link provided by Pro you'll find that there is no background to who was survaded and their backgrounds etc... This is key in this debate, but we'll get more on that later. My opponent states that these people died anyways, but this is obvious as these people live weeks longer if they weren't euthanized as it is their life support. Remember that this debate is about euthanasia not assisted Suicide. Bellow I will clear up some of the confusion between the two.

"Physician-Assisted Suicide is where patients with a terminal diagnosis (life-limiting disease) formally request a prescription for a fatal dose of a drug which they can administer to themselves at a time of their choosing......It is a patient-initiated and controlled form of dying, to treat an unbearable situation, and is legal in two states in the U.S.A. [2] and in Europe and in the Neatherlands."

"Euthanasia is when a physician or other healthcare provider does something, such as administering a known lethal dose of a drug, to deliberately kill a patient, with or without the patient’s consent. It is not legal anywhere in the U.S.A."

"Physician-assisted suicide is often confused with euthanasia (sometimes called "mercy killing")." [3]

Here I also extend across my moral argument about the Whom the Bell tolls and the utiliarianist argument against euthanasia.

Contention 2: Doctors and Public Opinion

My opponent's sourcing is scewed in another way and that is it's wording bellow you'll find a chart showing the US's response to a poll question with this wording and you'll find that my opponent's high percentage is only for a more flowery wording of the poll question.

Support for Physician-Assisted Suicide -- Two Question Wordings, May 2013

As you see above you'll find that when asked due they support "Ending the patient's life by some painless means," does the poll reach that of 70% support, but when asked to "Assist the patient to commit suicide" does it plumet to 51%. You'll find that yes the public overall still barely supports it, but you'll see that the numbers aren't as high as my opponent is asking. [4] We can also see in a study done by the National Institute of Health that a large portion of American minority doctors and doctors tended to have a moral or religious objection to PAS and that's not even including Euthanasia. [5]

Contention 3: Oregon

Now my opponent brings up close regulation, but I have to once again cross apply my Constructive cass to this argument to once again show that Beligium has done this and regulated this greatly, however, there euthanasia abuse has grown and we have also seen legalization of involuntary and even nonvoluntary euthanasia in Beligium and that's something that my opponent has stated on his own profile that he is against and we can see by supporting said plan that this in turn would be doing something that my opponent doesn't agree with on the subject.

Contention 4: Expense

My opponent states that the doctors should care for other patients, but we need to remember that these are human beings too and that they also need caring for. They haven't died yet and they shouldn't be killed because their pain is scewing their line of thought which ends up harming the patient in the end. We can only see that we cannot legalize euthanasia for fear of neglecting of the elderly and even the fear of being "released to elsewhere."

1. (
2 (Oregon [Death with Dignity Act 1994] and Washington [2009]), and in Europe in The Netherlands."
3. (
4. (
5. (


Unfortunately, my school is in conflict with my debating time. I have talked to Lannan13, and he has graciously allowed me to have the same debate him after I finish my stuff for school.

I ask nobody vote on this debate, as this isn't concession. The debate will continue when I return, and both me and my opponent will be allowed to copy our arguments. So please vote on that instead.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Varrack 3 years ago
you should definitely continue this, I'd like to watch it progress.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Posted by tajshar2k 3 years ago
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Can you hold off posting until this weekend, because I'll be gone until Tuesday?
Posted by tajshar2k 3 years ago
Actually what I meant by "I want something to work with." Is I wanted to refute your case first.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Round 2 Sources
1. (
2. ( Smets T, Bilsen J, Cohen J, Rurup ML, De Keyser E, Deliens L. The medical practice of euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands: legal notification, control and evaluation procedures. Health Policy.2009;90:181"7. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.10.003.) )
3. (Medical end-of-life practices under the euthanasia law in Belgium. Bilsen J, Cohen J, Chambaere K, Pousset G, Onwuteaka-Philipsen BD, Mortier F, Deliens L N Engl J Med. 2009 Sep 10; 361(11):1119-21)
4. (The medical practice of euthanasia in Belgium and The Netherlands: legal notification, control and evaluation procedures. Smets T, Bilsen J, Cohen J, Rurup ML, De Keyser E, Deliens L Health Policy. 2009 May; 90(2-3):181-7)
5. (
6. (
7. (To Die, to Sleep: US Physicians' Religious and Other Objections to Physician-Assisted Suicide, Terminal Sedation, and Withdrawal of Life Support" (Source: Farr A. Curlin, MD)
8. (
9. (
10. (
11. (
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
1. On my profile.
2. LOL, thanks.
Posted by tajshar2k 3 years ago
Its okay though, I dont really care.
Posted by tajshar2k 3 years ago
I said that? Where?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Preston 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Waiting for the next round ;)