Semi Finals: Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalized for the suffering
|Voting Style:||Open with Elo Restrictions||Point System:||Select Winner|
|Updated:||11 months ago||Status:||Post Voting Period|
|Viewed:||737 times||Debate No:||81576|
Resolution: Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalized for those that are mentally stable and suffering from a terminal illness
== Rules ==
1. No forfeits
2. Sources may be provided in the comments
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution)
7. No semantics; debaters will adhere to the common/average understanding of the topic
8. The burden of proof is shared
9. First round is for acceptance only
10. Violation of any rules is an automatic loss
== Definitions ==
Assisted Suicide is the act of a medically trained professional deliberately providing assistance to help somebody to willingly kill themselves (commit suicide).
Legalized is to make (something that was previously illegal) permissible by law (1).
Mentally stable is when you are able to make a justified and in formed decision without any problems that are affecting your thought processing and frame of mind.
Suffering is when you are in unbearable pain.
Terminally ill is when a person who is sick is diagnosed with a disease that will take their life in a few months or years (2).
This is for the Beginner's tournament semi finals and I wish zeromeansnothing the best of luck in this debate.
I accept the Debate Rules and Definitions as presented by (Pro), and I thank him for his efforts to date, regarding the formulation of same.
Death is a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere. Death is one of the few serious situations in which it is okay to view things subjectively. The family and friends will be mourning and if they believe that their loved one is in extreme pain and is suffering then the person clearly has the right to an assisted suicide, the state cannot and should not intervene on such personal matters. If they have successfully completed all the required mental health checks and they are clearly sane then they have the right to choose. People that choose to kill themselves because they are in pain and will die very soon can arguably be considered insane however this debate is about whether or not they are mentally capable of making a decision. If this person has decided to allow themselves to die, due to immense suffering and terminal illness then what is the argument to stop them? These are unique circumstances. The person will die and this is inevitable, they are in extreme pain.If you believe that suicide is the alternative then you are mistaken. Assisted suicide is painless, you have a higher chance of success and that it is a decision that your family must agree upon. Suicide is not always painless, it can be a slow death and sometimes you fail to commit suicide and end up increasing your current pain. The issue with preventing them from having an assisted suicide is that you are sentencing them to a life of torture and agony which nobody should deserve to live with.We have the option to put down pets both in the UK and US. Why should pets have greater privileges than humans? Pets get to die painless and peaceful death, on the other hand, we must die painful deaths when we know that death is inevitable. Both of these options are by far better choices than for a person to have to die slowly and painfully due to terminal illness. Essentially, you are the person indirectly sentencing an innocent person (in most cases) to a life of torture and misery. You may claim that the disease is the cause of their torture, which is true. However, you are an indirect cause and therefore you are the murderer. The torturer.
Contention 1 - The Right To Die
In...cases where there are no dependants who might exert pressure one way or the other, the right of the individual to choose should be paramount. So long as the patient is lucid, and his or her intent is clear beyond doubt, there need be no further questions.
The Independent, March 2002
We clearly have the right to die (as stated clearly above). We are individuals that should have control over our own lives rather than letting the government to govern them. Rights works should work both ways. If we have the right to live then surely we should have the right to die. Do you wish to prevent an individual from possessing their basic human rights?
“The human right to die with dignity. The human right to spare yourself – and those you love – months and years of nothing but misery and pain. We watch our parents get old, and then we see them become ill, and then we watch them die. This is the everyday tragedy that touches all of our lives. But it is grotesque, inhuman and unnecessary that the dying should have to be humiliated and tortured by whatever is killing them.200 courageous Brits have ended their lives in Dignitas over the last ten years. They have been both young and old.There was Daniel James, 23, who was paralysed playing rugby.There was Sir Edward Downes, 85, and his 74-year-old wife Joan, who died within months of each other at Dignitas. Sir Edward was nearly blind and increasingly deaf. Lady Downes had terminal cancer. By ending their lives at Dignitas, they spared themselves needless misery – and they also spared their families needless misery, too.”
Contention 2 - Hippocratic Oath
Over time the Hippocratic Oath has been modified on a number of occasions as some of its tenets became less and less acceptable. References to women not studying medicine and doctors not breaking the skin have been deleted. The quoted reference to 'do no harm' is also in need of explanation. Does not doing harm mean that we should prolong a life that the patient sees as a painful burden? Surely, the 'harm' in this instance is done when we prolong the life, and 'doing no harm' means that we should help the patient die. Killing the patient--technically, yes. Is it a good thing--sometimes, yes. Is it consistent with good medical end-of-life care: yes.
"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepios and Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses"
This is the opening statement of the original Hippocratic Oath. This is already unconvincing since sticking to this would require all doctors to follow the same religion and believe in the same Gods. However this is a minor issue compared to the absurdity of some of the promises that must be made. The Hippocratic Oath is sexist and here is an example of sexism within the original Oath:
- "What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men..."
The absurdity of the original Hippocratic Oath is evident and that is why modifications were essential in order for us to expand and progress in society. The modern Hippocratic Oath implies that we have the right to assisted suicide and euthanasia because, as I have said previously, prolonging inevitable death is causing pain. This is a clear violation of the rules within this modified document. The oath is extremely important and cannot be disregarded. The oath binds many doctors to use their ethical conscience and do what is morally right. This moral conscience is the essence of the original oath.
Contention 3 - Religious Concerns
“Guided by our belief as Unitarian Universalists that human life has inherent dignity, which may be compromised when life is extended beyond the will or ability of a person to sustain that dignity; and believing that it is every person's inviolable right to determine in advance the course of action to be taken in the event that there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from extreme physical or mental disability…”
Be it further resolved: That Unitarian Universalists advocate the right to self-determination in dying, and the release from civil or criminal penalties of those who, under proper safeguards, act to honor the right of terminally ill patients to select the time of their own deaths.
Be it further resolved: That Unitarian Universalists, acting through their congregations, memorial societies, and appropriate organizations, inform and petition legislators to support legislation that will create legal protection for the right to die with dignity, in accordance with one's own choice.
Contention 4 - Living wills
Living wills can be used to refuse extraordinary, life-prolonging care and are effective in providing clear and convincing evidence that may be necessary under state statutes to refuse care after one becomes terminally ill. The right to refuse care is insufficient not only because it puts the patients under even more pain but because there is clearly a much stronger, safer and painless option that could easily be used - assisted suicide.
A recent Pennsylvania case shows the power a living will can have. In that case, a Bucks County man was not given a feeding tube, even though his wife requested he receive one, because his living will, executed seven years prior, clearly stated that he did 'not want tube feeding or any other artificial invasive form of nutrition'...
A living will provides clear and convincing evidence of one's wishes regarding end-of-life care.
Contention 5 - Social Groups at risk of abuse
One concern has been that disadvantaged populations would be disproportionately represented among patients who chose assisted suicide. Experience in Oregon suggests this has not been the case. In the United States, socially disadvantaged groups have variably included ethnic minorities, the poor, women, and the elderly. Compared with all Oregon residents who died between January 1998 and December 2002, those who died by physician-assisted suicide were more likely to be college graduates, more likely to be Asian, somewhat younger, more likely to be divorced, and more likely to have cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis... Moreover, although 2.6 percent of Oregonians are African American, non African American patients have chosen assisted suicide.
I have clearly demonstrated that Assisted Suicide should be legalized and it should not remain illegal. I have done this using facts and reliable university studies and sources. I wish my opponent good luck for the following round and am looking forward to an interesting debate.
Resolution: Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalized for those that are mentally stable and suffering from a terminal illness.
A:The Resolution as written is fundamentally flawed.
(i) Lack of clarity with regard to jurisdiction. Where is this to be done? Is it to be global? If so how? (Pro's) position is predicated on the declaration of people having rights. I could only find this aspirational right from the UN that might apply here. Article 5. U.N. : Universal Declaration of Human Rights Source (1)
' No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.'
Many governments display an a la carte attitude to these aspirational ideals so that they rarely influence law within their individual jurisdictions for purely 'local reasons', ie the death penalty, etc. Where are we to 'legalize'?
(ii) What does 'should' mean? Is this assertion , Utilitarian, Kantian, Ethical, Moral or Religious in it's nature?
If it is to be taken as a purely secular rationale, then it probably attempts to mean this. 'used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness'. If it is this then it again becomes circular in nature in that it draws upon the previously alluded to
(iii) There is no mention within the Resolution, regarding the, 'how' and 'by whom', ie the actual cast by which 'Assisted Suicide' can occur. We are probably expected to assume that a physician is to be involved ie via models implemented in Oregon, Holland etc. Or do you want to consider the Swiss model where anyone without a vested interest in the event can in fact assist.
B: Hippocratic Oath
Once again we are plunged into a Kantian minefield of conflicting 'Categorical Imperatives'(4). This declaration of 'medical intent' is not predicated upon notions of moral conscience as cited by (Pro). It is a declaration by the new initiate regarding the fundamentals of their chosen profession, ie medicine. This is also part of the original oath, Source(3)
'Nor shall any man's entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do
so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child. '
This oath defines the commonly held perception of what a medic is. They are not perceived as facilitators in suicide within any aspect of the oath. Are you asking this profession to redefine itself for a new age?. They show little interest in doing this. The Oath is aspirational and idealistic by necessity and it is as non prescriptive as we wish to make it. However, it's subtext is a warning against the corruptive effects of a lack of professional conviction that it regards as 'medical nihilism'. The aspirant is requested to affirm their belief in their healing vocation.
C: Legalization = Facilitation
Legalized is to make (something that was previously illegal) permissible by law. (Law: The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties:)
What is actually happening in the global theatre of 'assisted suicide' is what might be referred to as 'field studies'. A variety of procedures are being field tested to check their relative tolerances. Obama said as much,(5)
In 2008, then candidate Barack Obama was asked what he thought of Oregon"s assisted-suicide law. He responded,
"I"m mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we"ve got to think about issues of end-of-life care."
The results of these global field studies have been mixed. Take Oregon for example. What do you think about this? I think that it presents a utilitarian outlook that points towards a 'cold' future that nobody wants. Make up your own mind on this.
The approach in Switzerland has created 'suicide tourism' which highlights the dangers inherent in having huge variations within legal responses to this issue that share close geographical proximity of each other. It would be ludicrous to suggest that enough clarity existed at the present time that would indicate the wisdom of legalizing the act of assisting suicide. To do this opens the door to an ever ending erosion of any solid ground that might presently exist . I found this sentence to be 'solid' in nature.
The State also urges this Court to decline to rule that Plaintiffs have a constitutional right to die with assistance of their physicians, asserting that the issue is properly determined by the legislature. Source 2 (14,15,16) page 24 (Baxter v Montana)
In short, our work continues here in an attempt to reach some sort of working solution that is in itself sensible. If you take the brake off the train it inevitably goes faster. You need to know where you are going before you act in such a fundamental manner.
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler. Friedrich Nietzsche
My opponent begins their round by attacking the resolution. May I remind my opponent that the resolution, definitions and rules were all agreed to in the first round.
It doesn’t really matter where the assisted suicide takes place. This debate is about societies having a moral obligation towards whether or not assisted suicide should or should not be legal. The location is irrelevant to actual purpose of the debate.
My opponent continues to question the resolution despite having accepted it previously. My opponent works out that it is about morality and I agree to his definition proposed. This debate is partly based on subjectivity as you can tell by my libertarian framework. I have chosen to be a libertarian because of my subjective beliefs however I justify them with objectivity which is what my opponent should be doing. According to my opponent, subjectivity somehow destroys the ability to decide. I have a few problems with this. Firstly, this is just an assertion backed up with no evidence. Secondly, subjectivity is not a sole factor involved. I have mentioned that they must have the correct mental health checks and they must be suffering. These are objective reasons. We must look at the facts as well as subjectivity. This example person (by definition), will die in x number of months. During this time period they will endure immense suffering and pain. Both objectivity and subjectivity point to the same conclusion. The person should have an assisted suicide. The assisted suicide will alleviate all pain and their death will only be shortened by a few months.
R3: Who is the performer?
My opponent attempts run a semantics argument which is clearly against the rules. They are questioning terminology of the debate that should be fairly simple. As a matter of fact, my opponent clearly hasn’t looked at the definition of assisted suicide because if they had look at this definition then they would have realized that they are in fact incorrect on making this assumption. The definition from R1 is as follows:
“Assisted Suicide is the act of a medically trained professional deliberately providing assistance to help somebody to willingly kill themselves (commit suicide).”
The words: ‘medically trained professional’ are all that is needed to refute this argument presented by my opponent.
These are the words of my opponent:
“consider the Swiss model where anyone without a vested interest in the event can in fact assist.”
He has clearly not looked at the definition of assisted suicide in this debate and has attempted to prove an inconsistency in the resolution. Voters should take note of this whilst voting because my opponent has quite clearly broken the rule regarding semantics.
R4: Hippocratic Oath
My opponent has chosen to quote from the original oath and has not acknowledged the issues with the oath that I previously mentioned. I showed that updating the oath was necessary because without the updates from the original oath a doctor is not allowed to do many things. Firstly, the original oath does not allow doctors to pierce the skin (ie. surgery). This is problematic for when surgery is necessary and without it death will be the result (1). Since this clearly shows that the original hippocratic oath is not a document that should be considered voters should prefer the updated version provided by me over my opponent’s since they have provided no reason as to why it is preferable to the updated hippocratic oath. My opponent claims that we shouldn’t be changing the original oath. It is time for a change and statistics prove this:
“Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe that physicians should be allowed rights to assist terminally ill patients with end of life practices, according to a new poll conducted by Gallup.”
This is also supported by doctors.
‘For the first time, most U.S. doctors — 54 percent — favor aid in dying, backing the rights of patients with an incurable illness to seek "a dignified death,"’ (3)
R5: Legalization = Facilitation
My opponent hasn’t really introduced his point and it seems a bit unclear as to what the point he is trying to make is. Nevertheless, I will attempt to refute my opponent’s argument. My opponent has provided an example regarding Oregon's assisted suicide law. They haven’t really provided much for me to refute. They have provided a quote from Barack Obama when he is in fact in support of Oregon’s assisted suicide law. For those of you that don’t know what Oregon’s assisted suicide law is. I will now briefly explain.
“In Oregon USA it has been legal for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to have an assisted death for 18 years. In those 18 years there have been no cases of abuse and no calls to extend the law beyond terminally ill adults.” (2)
It seems to be working out pretty well. There have been no cases of abuse. The laws are extremely well monitored and it is working very well for them. I do not think that it is pointing towards: “ that points towards a 'cold' future that nobody wants.” I think that it shows that assisted suicide can be an option for the terminally ill and if it is properly monitored then it can be run successfully. My opponent has given me a rebuttal to his argument regarding suicide tourism. He claims that we are eroding any solid ground that currently exists. This is not true and this is where I can turn his Oregon example against his argument. Oregon (as explained in the quote) has never had one abusive situation and this is not a bias quote. It is directly off the dignity in dying website that provides exact facts and figures regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide. Moreover, suicide tourism wasn’t the best argument for my opponent to use. He’s not arguing that assisted suicide should be abolished from every legal system. Your burden requires you to stop me from wanting to spread it elsewhere. I am saying that it should be legalized in places where it is not legal currently. You are arguing that it should remain illegal in these places. Suicide tourism is only possible because some states have it and others don’t. I am eliminating suicide tourism. My opponent is arguing for my case!
In further regard to my opponent’s ‘solid ground’ argument. My opponent should be more specific on what solid ground he is referring to. You continue to use the word: ‘solid’ without examining what you mean or why it even matters.
Your next point regarding the Montana judiciary isn’t explained. My opponent’s response baffles me. It has no explanation with it, it has no weight upon the resolution and has been presented completely out of context
According to my opponent we don’t know where we are going yet. If my opponent read my first round he would have noticed that I was extremely clear that I did know where assisted suicide was going and I plotted it all out for you. Your assertions are not doing anything to change the facts presented in my arguments in the previous round. Since I have objectively proven that we know where we’re going with assisted suicide it only makes sense that we should seek going there faster rather than slower as my opponent appears to be suggesting.
This is a note to voters. If you look at my opponent’s 2nd source regarding the Montana judiciary. If you scroll down to the conclusion of the case, you’ll see that they recognise the patient’s right to die with dignity and protection of the patient’s physician from liability under the state’s homicide statutes. That means that his source agrees with my position in the debate (4).
My opponent has failed to provide a valid argument that has not been refuted by me and my opponent has been attempting to shift their burden and alter the resolution throughout their round. My opponent cannot argue differently to what the resolution states. My opponent has also provided sources that are in favour of my position in the debate which shows that my opponent’s sources have little relevance to their position in the debate. My opponent has broken the semantics rule presented in R1 that he agreed to abide by (via acceptance). For these reasons, I urge voters to vote Pro!
(a) I added my name to remind my opponent that I agreed to oppose the resolution as stated in Round 1.
(b) I would also remind him that he referenced the 'Dignitas', (non physician), Swiss model of Assisted Suicide with his extensive seven line quote during his 'Right to Die' (Contention 1) in Round 2. Why would he then spend an inordinate amount of time during his last submission to chastise me for doing the same. 'I am truly puzzled.'
(c) Let us also put this to bed with a recent update update. Source (1)
'The American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States, writes to urge you to veto “The End of Life Option Act.” This is a physician-assisted suicide bill. ACP does not support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and does not support PAS as an appropriate action (see the ACP Ethics Manual and position paper).
(d) Where did you get this quote?
“In Oregon USA it has been legal for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to have an assisted death for 18 years. In those 18 years there have been no cases of abuse and no calls to extend the law beyond terminally ill adults.” (2)
They are in fact 'chipping away ' at this legislation, even as we speak. Here is a Bill attempt to move the 'terminal reference' from 6 mths to 1year. It will eventually be 'what?' Source (2)
(e) The Montana Judiciary conclusions are there for all to read. They agree with the Supreme Court ruling that there does not exist a constitutional right to have an assisted suicide facilitation. They also highlight clear distinctions between these two circumstances.
The Court found that one difference that justifies the distinction between the two groups of patients is that when a patient refuses life sustaining treatment, he dies from an underlying fatal disease, but if a patient ingests a lethal drug, he dies by that medication. Vacco, 521 U.S. at 801. Another distinction is that a physician who withdraws or honors a patient=s refusal to use life sustaining treatment purposely intends to respect his patient=s wishes and ceases doing useless or degrading things to the patient when the patient no longer can benefit from it. Even when a doctor gives such
aggressive pain killing medication that it hastens the patient=s death, the doctor=s intent is palliative only. However a doctor who assists a suicide purposely intends that the patient will die. Source(3) Page 13 (1-10)
This potentially leads towards a further erosion of laws regarding homicide.
Nobody is leaving people to die in agony and it would be disingenuous to paint this picture of our options here.
Pain management awareness and cancer treatments are advancing constantly. As you can see from the above depiction from Montana, there is often a very fine line between any of the medical intervention options that confront the physician who is actively treating the dying person. They are faced with professional decisions regarding the continuation or the suspension of these latest treatment options. They may have to administer potentially lethal amounts of pain relief medication. Some people would have physicians sit beside a dying person and observe their patient as he/she attempts to 'self administer' a vial when (by the fact of their own prescription), they are absolutely sure of it being a fatal poison.
Wouldn't Euthanasia be more humane where at least they could inject a quadriplegic cancer sufferer with this poison rather than watch them attempt to sip from a 'passed cup'. I encourage all readers of this thread to pursue further reading regarding 'Assisted Suicide' as it is an event that might have a direct relevance to all of us some day. Hopefully not.
Nobody is standing and watching people suffer and certainly,nobody is a torturer or a murderer.
From : (Pro's (famousdebater's) Libertarian Framework
'You may claim that the disease is the cause of their torture, which is true. However, you are an indirect cause and therefore you are the murderer. The torturer.'
R1: Swiss Model Of Assisted Suicide
My quote was to show that people have a right to die. It could have been about anywhere in the world - I wasn’t arguing about that specific place. You, however, have argued specifically off a point that has no impact upon the resolution. I extend out my rebuttal because it has not been counter - refuted.
R2: Oregon USA
My opponent has completely avoided my argument here and hasn’t even responded to the quote that I provided. They have asked where I have got the quote from when it is clearly labelled that I got the quote from my 2nd source which is directly off the official website regarding the right to die. It doesn’t matter if they are chipping away at the legislation or not. My point was that there have been no cases of abuse. The results have been successful and the restrictions in place have been working. If they are removing the legislation then I am sad to hear this however I do not see what that had to do with my point. I extend out this argument.
R3: Montana Judiciary
I will quote from my opponent’s source (that is actually bias in my favour, not his):
“The Montana constitutional rights of individual privacy and human dignity, taken together, encompass the right of a competent terminally patient to die with dignity. That is to say, the patient may use the assistance of his physician to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of medication that the patient may take on his own if and when he decides to terminate his life. The patient=s right to die with dignity includes protection of the patient=s physician from liability under the State=s homicide statutes. The Court recognizes compelling State interests in protecting patients and their loved ones from abuses, in protecting life in general, and in protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession. However, those interests can be protected while preserving a patient=s right to die with dignity”
This is quoted from the conclusion of my opponent’s source. My opponent may believe that the article that he was referring to could be used to benefit his case however if he had read the whole article he would have realized that the source did come to the conclusion that assisted suicide was good not bad, as my opponent may have originally thought.
I don’t usually make rebuttals to conclusions however I think that this rebuttal is necessary because my opponent has made many mistakes and accusations. My opponent begins by stating: “Nobody is leaving people to die in agony and it would be disingenuous to paint this picture of our options here.” My opponent states that they agreed to the resolution however, if they read the full resolution provided in R1, they would realize that we are only legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill, suffering and those that have had the correct mental checks. Therefore, the patient must be suffering and in pain. My opponent should be arguing that assisted suicide is not okay for these people, again this relates back to my argument regarding my opponent’s semantics. This point is left uncontested by my opponent.
My opponent continues, “As you can see from the above depiction from Montana,” Firstly, the Montana description is invalid because he has been quoting and referring to a source that actually agrees that assisted suicide is preferable and is should be used for the terminally ill and suffering (as demonstrated by my quote).
My opponent attempt to prove that euthanasia is a greater alternative by saying: “Wouldn't Euthanasia be more humane where at least they could inject a quadriplegic cancer sufferer with this poison rather than watch them attempt to sip from a 'passed cup'.” The problem that you have with euthanasia that you don’t get with assisted suicide is that in euthanasia transforms the roles of doctors into killers. With assisted suicide, the person kills themselves and is ultimately keeping the role of the doctors as to what it is supposed to be (1).
To conclude I believe that I have won this debate, my opponent has run a semantics argument that is clearly against the rules. This has not been contested with by my opponent and therefore it still stands. Since no new arguments are allowed in the final round a response to this point is also against the rules so this argument is extended. My opponent has also attempted to alter the resolution and the burden of proof throughout the debate which was accepted to in R1 therefore by arguing against it they are also breaking the rules. All of my argument are extended since none of them have been directly contested with. I clearly have clearly provided rebuttals that directly refute every point provided by my opponent and I have neatly organised them into contention headings in order for it to be easier to respond to by voters. All my contentions are extended and they cannot be contested within the final round. I thank my opponent for an enjoyable debate and I strongly urge voters to vote Pro!
Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.' Plato
Wik:Source (1) Verdict : Despite widespread public and media perception, the Montana Supreme Court verdict did not establish a law; Oregon, California, Washington, and Vermont remain the only four states in the U.S. to have Death with Dignity laws.
Pro's position is an example of a clamouring demand for something to be enshrined within law or, in other words, it is an effort to establish a 'legal right'. This is a legitimate component of law making. Pressure that proves irresistible eventually leads to a facilitation compromise. This is subsequently expanded to a point where it often becomes a Law that is unrecognizable even to its early supporters. Abortion law is a perfect example of this 'glacier effect' that transforms our intentions over time. (It just happens). We need to avoid making laws that will capitulate to become little more than a 'consensus of convenience' when exposed to attack.
I mentioned the U.N. Declaration of Universal Human Rights (2) and I explained that this was conceivably, a sound basis for Law. It is however, without a real jurisdiction in which to operate. It's idealism has been rejected It is therefore, not Law.
Legal considerations around P.A.S. overflow into all areas of actual Law in places like the U.S. both at State and Federal level. This suggests to me that P.A.S. is not that piece of the jigsaw requiring immediate attention. We need to establish our legal edges in the hope that they encapsulate generosity and compassionate. Within such a framework we might well be able to help the terminally ill and suffering patient to the best of our abilities as fellow human beings, be that in whatever manner that is agreed upon. Physician Assisted Suicide is not that way, IMHO
I thank all who have followed this debate to this end.