The Instigator
JohnnyMaboy
Pro (for)
The Contender
George1984
Con (against)

Should the mentally ill have access to assisted suicide?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 217 times Debate No: 95910
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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JohnnyMaboy

Pro

Should the mentally ill have access to assisted suicide? Yes or no.

For the sake of this argument we'll keep mentally ill defined as either schizophrenic or bipolar. Depression, anxiety and personality disorders don't count.

Most people are in favour of assisted suicide for terminally ill patients who's only option are a quick, painless, doctor assisted death, or a slow horrible death. However, mentally ill patients don't have this option, and are often left in torment by their own inner demons often to the point of suicide.

In severe cases of schitzophrenia, patients face a life of medications, often with serious side effects, torment from their dilusions, and emotional pain for large portions of their lives. And schitzophrenia in its most advanced stages is rarely curable.

If a doctor can determine that a patient can't reasonably make a full recovery in 10 years time and faces the prospect of depression to the point of suicide ideation, they should have access to assisted suicide because their illness will not get better. The choice to end ones life is solely their own choice and if reasonable grounds exist, a doctor should be allowed to help in the process.
George1984

Con

First off, let me state I am joyous to debate you.

I will break up my arguments:

1) Schizophrenia has a devastating mental impact on the sufferer. However, about 20% of schizophrenics do well and a few recover completely. If the patient had chosen assisted suicide before recovery, they would have never seen progress. Now, bipolar disease is a mental disorder with periods of depression and periods of elevated mood. A bipolar patient could request death during a saddened mood swing. In the case of bipolar disorder; a study found that 50 percent achieved syndrome recovery (no longer meeting criteria for the diagnosis) within six weeks and 98 percent within two years. Therefore, it is absurd for someone with bipolar disorder to not undergo every possible method to recovery.
The affected could not sustain an appropriate mental state at any time to request death, and the doctor would have no authority to determine if his patient was making a legitimate request.

2) You state; '...(if) a patient can't reasonably make a full recovery in 10 years time...they should have access to assisted suicide...", unfortunately, medical abnormalities are unpredictable. The doctor's job is to track and predict the pace of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in no way could he be 100% correct calculating his patient's remaining life span. No study truly understands the outcome of a patient's abnormality, and recovery could be swifter than expected.

Sources: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing. pp. 101"05.

Tohen M, Zarate CA, Hennen J, Khalsa HM, Strakowski SM, Gebre-Medhin P, Salvatore P, Baldessarini RJ (2003). "The McLean-Harvard First-Episode Mania Study: Prediction of recovery and first recurrence". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 160 (12): 2099"2107.
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JohnnyMaboy 4 months ago
JohnnyMaboy
Cause they're more severe and for simplicity. Most people don't have a thorough understanding of personality disorders, and depression is fairly curable. Most people know what schitzophrenia and bipolar is and in it's most severe forms is very hard to treat. They have depression, hallucinations, insomnia, and can't perform basic functions on their own. Their lives are torment for decades at a time.
Posted by civiero 4 months ago
civiero
"For the sake of this argument we'll keep mentally ill defined as either schizophrenic or bipolar. Depression, anxiety and personality disorders don't count."

I'm curious as to why you defined "mentally ill" so specifically and narrowly. Bipolar people would most likely want to commit suicide during a depressive episode, which those with Major Depressive Disorder also suffer from.
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