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Should physician assisted suicide be legalized?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,332 times Debate No: 15375
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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The structure of the debate shall be as follows:
1.presenting arguments

This will not be an evidence heavy debate, as this is intended to be quick and thought provoking.
" Physician Assisted Suicide-Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used for this purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is called "physician assisted suicide."

1. Everyone has a right to choice

The most basic and fundamental of all of our rights is the right to life. However, with every right comes a choice. For example, the right to free speech does not mean you cannot be silent, the right to vote does not mean you cannot abstain, as with the right of life you have the choice to live or die.

2. In some cases, death is better than the patients future.

For patients with terminal diseases, the future looks bleak. The patients will see decline of their bodies, and even sometimes their minds will go as well. It is necessary to see from a human perspective that some people would be happier without their suffering.

3. From a societal sense, it is cruel to remain illegal.

Many people see suicide as a solitary, lonely act, sometimes seen as a cry for help. People who commit suicide are not seen as evil, nor is it illegal to attempt suicide. Therefore it is cruel to allow people to live without dignity when they have lost the will to because of their debilitating disease.

for those 3 reasons, I believe that physician assisted suicide should be legalized.


Thank you for this debate, I am looking forward to it.

1.Physician assisted suicide is technically killing.

If a physician assisted suicide is when a doctor administers drugs or factual information that leads to a death, then it is killing. Since the definition of killing is an event that causes someone to die, then that is what is happening with a physician assisted suicide.

2.It is immoral.

Their are in fact some cases where a patient is suffering and wants to die, but that doesn't mean we can just kill them. In fact, sometimes these patients are so highly medicated they don't even know what they are thinking. Leading someone to their death is wrong, even if they want it. We have a right to life, not a right to go to our death. When you think of a doctor, someone who is suppose to help you, you don't think of them as leading patients to their deaths.

3.We need to help the people who can not help themselves

As sad as it is their are people in this world who want to kill themselves. Some of them being patients, who as I previously stated are highly medicated. A lot of these patients have been on a long struggle and feel there is no other way out, but doctors should be the one giving them hopeful opportunities. These patients can't help themselves, so we should do everything we can to help them, make them feel comfortable, to give them hope.

These are three reasons shy I oppose physician assisted suicide.
Debate Round No. 1


I will talk about my opponents case in this rebuttal.

1. Physician assisted suicide is practically killing.
in a sense you are right, but just because we have to put dogs to sleep when they are sick or suffering, should we then be accused of animal cruelty? I think not. While cold blooded murder is terrible, giving someone the option to end their suffering with a doctors help is just, because it truly sends the individual to a better place, whether you believe in the afterlife or not.

2.It is immoral.
As I have stated, the patient will only undergo the procedure if they ask for it themselves. We won't just go around killing people. That is immoral. The morality in this is allowing the patient a choice of their right to life.

3. We need to help the people who cannot help themselves.

While I agree with my opponent, it is common sense that technology and science is not yet advanced enough to save everyone. In the case of non physician suicide, yes, the person should be helped. But, when a terminally ill patient who is destined to die miserably anyway agrees to a procedure such as this to occur, it is the right thing to do. I know itis controversial, but overall, the patient is the deciding factor. Also, if the patients family feels that a drug induced stupor is what is causing these wishes, then that is an entirely different matter.

Now on to my case.

1. Right to choice.
As I stated earlier, the basic and fundamental human right is right to life. Also, every right has a choice. When an illness completely ravages a person, and they feel that to enhance the right to a pursuit of happiness, they should relinquish the right to life, then why deny it?

2. In some cases, death better than patients future.

This is a very self explanatory point. Basically, with some diseases, such as cancer or Parkinson's disease, death is a natural alternative. Also, it is indeed the patient's and the patient's families choice in the matter. Physician assisted suicide is protecting people's rights more than criminalizing it and allowing them to die without dignity.

3. From a societal sense, cruel to remain illegal.
It is hypocritical to allow people to remain living, when they dont wish to, because their bodies and sometimes minds are fading. Everyone wants to die with some shred of dignity, so why not allow them the chance?

I hope I have convinced voters to see that physician assisted suicide should be legalized.


In your response in comparing the death of dogs and humans, I feel like they can't be compared. First of all, dogs can not make decisions for themselves about anything. The reason we put dogs down is because we can not always tell what is wrong with them, we don't always know where their pain is or what is bothering them. Some times we can not even help these dogs at all. When it comes to humans we can communicate. We can tell where their pain is, and in most cases we can control and monitor their pain. For these reasons, assisting in a suicide when it is a human being is killing.

Additionally, the immorality does not exist in asking for the extra medication or information about a suicide, but the immorality lye's in the action of doing. People who want to die and ask for the help in doing so could be very sick, as in mentally, which would mean they should not even be making decisions for themselves. Healthy people do not want to know how they can die, it is the unhealthy ones who want to die.

As I agree with you that everyone has a right to choice, in this situation the right should be forfeited. As I stated previously, only unhealthy people ask how they can die. These people are not fit to making their own decisions. When it comes to life and death we shouldn't be fooling around.

Although we may feel death could be better for a patients future, its sad we think that way if you think about it. How could we think that death could ever be the better option. Their are people working on finding cures 24-7 on all diseases in the world. We are trying to cure these people who are suffering. How sad would it be if someone had help in killing themselves, and then the next day a cure was found. We have to think like this because if we don't we would be losing hope for patients everywhere.

When my opponent states that from a social sense it is cruel to remain illegal, I feel the exact opposite. By remaining illegal we are protecting these peoples right to life. We are allowing them to live, get better, and to have a life. This is not cruel. What is cruel is allowing it to be legal.

Physician assisted suicide is illegal now and should remain that way.
Debate Round No. 2


I will just sum up the main arguments and determine how the pro side is correct.
1. Morals
First I will explain my dog comparison. My opponent has stated that since dogs cannot make decisions, then we should do it for them. He also said that sometimes we cannot help these dogs. The same can be said for some diseases and cancer patients. There is such thing as a 100% terminal illness that cannot be cured. In this case, the right to allow the individual the choice of how his or her pursuit of happiness becomes. Simply put, it is more moral to allow people the rights to choice and pursuit of happiness.

Regarding the argument that sometimes the patients mental state could be in question, as I have stated before, the simple fact that a patients family can also be a deciding factor is enough to debunk this argument. In a lot of cases, people still have their minds intact, but their bodies are decaying and they want to die with some dignity. That is how is was in nearly all of the cases with Dr. Kevorkian a few years back.

While I don't want everyone with a disease to give up hope, as there are cures being worked on. As Pro, I am not advocating that Physician Assisted Suicide should be used in all cases, only that it should be legalized and available as an option. Simply put, technology is not where we want it to be in terms of finding cures.

We are negating the individuals right to choice with criminalization. Forcing people to live is not protecting right's to live, rather eliminating the joy of choice. It IS cruel to force someone to die without dignity. It IS cruel to say that we cannot give you your right to choose your fate and whatever makes you the happiest. That is what is cruel, and that is what we should be eliminating.

Thank you very much to my opponent and all viewers/voters.


Our society's medical technology is much more efficient with humans than with dogs. That is why I said sometimes we can not help the dogs. When it comes to humans, yes there are illnesses the 100% terminal, but we have the technology to make these patients feel comfortable. Even if the person wants to die, that does not gives us the right to just off them. As I do agree people should have a choice for their own pursuit of happiness, I do not believe that death is a pursuit of happiness. Death is a way out of life, and how is death happy in any sense. A person may be out of their misery, but death itself is not happy.

Secondly, A patients family should not be able to decide the life of another human being. When it comes to life a death decisions can not be taken back, and there should never even have to be a decision when it comes to life and death. Life should always be the answer.

And yes we have a right to life, not a right out of life. Terminally ill patients if course are very sick, but we can make things for them as comfortable as possible. When it comes to finding cures we are not where we want to be, but when it comes to making patients comfortable we can do a pretty good job.

It is cruel to kill these people, It is cruel to give up hope on them, and it is cruel to stop believing. What we should be doing is give hope, fight as hard as we can to keep these people alive and eventually find a cure, and to truly believe everything will be okay.

These are my reasons why physician assisted suicide should remain illegal.

Thank you to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Candunn 5 years ago
What does round 3 voters mean?
Posted by Jillianl 5 years ago
If I were pro, I would talk about the fact that the increase in medical technology has enabled people with an extremely low quality of life (or even no quality of life) to exist beyond what would have been a natural death anyway.

Good luck!
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