The Instigator
bluecookie
Con (against)
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The Contender
bsh1
Pro (for)
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13 Points

Should Euthanasia be legal?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,913 times Debate No: 52051
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)

 

bluecookie

Con

Speaking as a person that has dealt with suicide, the only posssible reason to choose to end your own life has to be severe depression. A person that is depressed cannot make clear judgement, and almost all persons that have_suffered from MI have been suicidal at some point. Dignitas is purely an organization that makes money off of murdering people. If your loved one wanted to die (regardless. of illness or what not) would you happily send them off? Normally I am for liberation of personal choices.. but this "choice" is too far for me
bsh1

Pro

I thank Con for this debate!

Ultimately, the question of whether euthanasia should be permitted is one of human dignity. Does an individual have the right to terminate their own life in pursuit or maintenance of this dignity? This is the essential premise I will endeavor to address.

DIGNITY and SELF-ACTUALIZATION

But what is human dignity? Prof. Martha Nussbam expostulates: "At the heart of [human dignity] is a twofold intuition about human beings: namely, that all, just by being human, are of equal dignity and worth, no matter where they are situated in society, and that the primary source of this worth is a power of moral choice within them, a power that consists in the ability to plan a life in accordance with one's own evaluation of ends." It is this latter portion I wish to emphasize. The ability to for and engage in a life plan of meaning to you as a person--to self-actualize--is clearly a key component of what gives humanity dignity. To cite another renowned philosopher, Robert Nozick ""I conjecture that the answer [to the question as to what grounds rights] is connected with that elusive and difficult notion: the meaning of life." Nozick went on to say that the ability of one to shape his life in accordance with some sort of life plan is the very way one brings meaning to his life. This offers another perspective from which we can understand why human life is uniquely valuable." [1]

But why is this so? Why is self-actualization so critical to human dignity? I think the answer to this is somewhat intuitive. Humans have worth in that they are non-objects. For example, humans, unlike tables, can be blamed for moral failings because humans, unlike tables, can make choices. At the point where a human can no longer "formulate a life plan," i.e. decide how they want to go about their lives and what goals and pursuits they wish to participate in, they are robbed of a fundamental ability of choice, and are made more like objects. They are objectified, but not in the fashion that the term is normally used for.

An ill cancer patient who is confined to a hospital bed clearly has been robbed of the right to self-actualize, unacceptably diminishing his/her dignity. Therefore, I propose that in cases of severe, terminal illnesses, patients reserve the right to choose to be euthanized.

SUFFERING

Prof. Jeremy Waldron writes, "Law is not brutal in its operation...[people] will not be herded like cattle or broken like horses...the rule against torture functions as an archetype of this very general policy. It's vividly emblematic of our determination to sever the link...between law and the enterprise of breaking a person's will." This comparison is not wildly out of proportion to the case at hand. Pain and degradation are both tools of torture, and patients can feel both, often at excruciatingly high intensities. Therefore, it would seem that if we also hold torture to be a fundamental violation of human dignity, we must also classify the pain of a euthanasia candidate similarly. For the torture victim, it is simple enough to end his pain; but for the patient, it requires more. In both cases though, the pain and humiliation are seen as wrong, and thus, should be halted. Euthanasia is the only way to do this for the patient, but it seems worth it in light of the pain they are undergoing.

ETHICS PREEMPT

The AMA permits doctors to withhold treatment from afflicted individuals, allowing them to die. James Rachels posits that there is no real difference between passive and active forms. [2] In both cases, one is knowingly allowing another to die, and by one's actions or omissions, is consciously permitting the patient to die. Hence, if one type is allowed, both ought to be. Additionally, doctors are instructed to act in the interests of the patients, and life is clearly not in every patient's interest.

SOURCES

1 - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
2 - http://books.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
bluecookie

Con

bluecookie forfeited this round.
bsh1

Pro

Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
bluecookie

Con

bluecookie forfeited this round.
bsh1

Pro

A full forfeit. #Sadness

Please vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
bluecookiebsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had arguments, sources and con forfeited.
Vote Placed by CJKAllstar 2 years ago
CJKAllstar
bluecookiebsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF