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Suffering justifies euthanasia.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 655 times Debate No: 63463
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
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Euthanasia is the medical term for an action that intentionally causes death to a patient. It differs from physician assisted suicide because euthanasia is performed by a medical professional, not the patient. This "medical procedure" is often justified by a person's suffering, usually because of an illness or condition. However this argument is purely based in emotion not logic, since people do not like to watch others suffer.

In our culture, suffering is something to be eliminated, but often people don't see suffering for what it truly is. Suffering is something that all people experience. It is the opposite of pleasure, and can come in varying degrees, like receiving a burn while cooking, or it could be great, like a terminal illness. But the point that people often miss is that suffering has meaning and objective goods. These objective goods are enlightenment, detachment, compassion, the drawing out of love, the building of character, humility, and reparation.

Because suffering has objective goods, logic dictates that it should not be eliminated.


Suffering justifies euthanasia, because :

1- Everyone is accountable for their own actions

If someone requests to end their life, then there should be no objection.

2. It relives pain

3. The money used to keep an "almost dead" person alive can be used to sustain a homeless and/or the most in need of it.
Debate Round No. 1


Hi Cassandra!

You are correct in the fact that everyone is accountable for their own actions, but we also don't get everything that we want. In the case of those who wish to be euthanized because they are suffering, we must help them find meaning in their suffering. Did you know that people are 4 times more likely to request euthanasia when they are depressed? We need to help these people end their depression. As I said in my introduction, suffering has objective goods, and we need to help people realize what they are. (Source for the statistic:

We actually do not know whether euthanasia is painful or not, because the patient does not survive the process to tell us. The only time we know that pain is relieved is when the patient is dead. There is also the chance of a patient having an adverse reaction to the medication used to euthanasia, causing more pain and suffering.

Finally, if we let a person die naturally, it is cheaper. You aren't paying for the euthanasia drugs or the life support. If a person is surviving only on life support, and they are already dying, they aren't entitled to the life support. They are however entitled to the basic needs like food, water, and shelter.



1. Whether they are depressed or not, it is their choice to make the decision. We cannot decide who should live and who not.
Also let's not forget that hey are terminally ill , they know they will die and that the chances of recovery are minuscule. How can you not expect them to be depressed?


2. A doctor duty is to save a patient's life but at the same time to free him/her from pain. By keeping someone, who requests euthanasia, alive you are prolonging their suffering and "torturing" them whereas the solution is far more preferable. The pain that is felt during the procedure is temporary whereas the one the patient feels during those weeks is far more agonizing, added to the fact that there's no chance of recovery at all.

I'm not sure where you got the information that Euthanasia is expensive, if you provide links, then I might believe you.


Debate Round No. 2


Hi Cassandra,

Being in a depressed mood can also mean that a person has clinical depression. Since depression is a medical condition, I believe that it is a factor in the decision to euthanize because euthanasia is often in response to medical conditions or diseases. Depression causes changes in a person's moods and thoughts. If a person is faced with the decision to euthanize in this compromised state, they may end up making decision they will regret. Depression is a treatable condition, so at the very least we should try and treat it before giving them the option of euthanasia. It is perfectly normal to be a sad in the last stages of life, especially if the person in question has had great suffering. However, we must remember that suffering has objective goods that come from it. There are seven that I know of, and some don't appear in every situation.

Enlightenment: This is an objective good because it allows people to know the universal truth, and ultimately be happy because they know truly what is right and what is wrong (If you have more questions about this, please look at my comments on the debate). A person suffering will know more about the cause of their suffering, and related issues. This knowledge can be transmitted to others. For example, a person who has cancer, and their family, will know more about cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. The doctors treating the person will know how their treatments affect them and will be able to make adjustments in the future. This would ultimately contribute to society.

Detachment: Suffering will allow people to see what is truly important in our lives, and who are true friends are.

Drawing out of true love: Love is something that is an objective need for humans. There are subjective elements (meaning people love different things and in different ways), and different types (parental, friendship, etc.), but they are all love. True love is something that leads us to the universal truth, and eventually happiness.

Reparation: This is usually connected to economic suffering and not very applicable in our case. For example a person may have to pay for something they have broken or lost. Justice dictates that they have to pay, however the person may be suffering from a lack of money.

Compassion: A person will become more compassionate towards other people in the same suffering and will hope to support them. Compassion is objectively good, but it has subjective elements similarly to love.

Humility: We must recognize that humans have equal dignity and rights, so therefore we cannot become prideful. A person who is suffering could let go of their pride, and see that they are just like everyone else.

Building of character/virtue: A person who has suffered may become more patient, or courageous, thinking "I have gotten through X, so I can definitely do Y".

You are correct in saying that a doctor's duty is not to torture a patient by keeping him or her alive. A doctor's true duty is to resolve medical issues, and to assist in treatment. I'm not saying we keep a person on life support indefinitely, I'm saying to let them die a natural death. What I'm proposing is that we provide basic needs of food, water, shelter, and possibly pain medication if needed, but not things that replace life sustaining biological processes. This may not be as cheap as euthanasia, but it is cheaper than life support. Suffering cannot justify euthanasia instead of a natural death, not only because of the objective goods of suffering, but also suffering has no way of being measured. We cannot say how much suffering justifies an action, because it is immaterial (its not a physical object). If we say that an amount of suffering justifies an action, it could lead to a slippery slope. For example, people could be euthanized for treatable conditions, such as a cold, because it causes a great amount of suffering.

Thank you for debating with me, let the best argument win!


You keep forgetting and ignoring the fact that the patients we are talking about are terminally ill, that is they know they are going to die very soon.
Patients who live the last months or years of their life in a debilitating condition, should be given the choice of Euthanasia.
By justifying suffering, we are taking away their freedom of choice.

Depression is inevitable in a situation where you can't walk, move properly, eat properly, breath properly etc..
Yes it's curable, but not all of the time and also what changes could "not being depressed" produce to their physical condition?
If individuals have the right to live with dignity, they should also be given the choice to die with dignity.

The objective goods you are discussing about are irrelevant, because the patient's life is coming to an end , I doubt he/she would care about love, enlightenment, compassion when all they are asking for is relief from their agonizing condition.
By letting a person, who is requesting Euthanasia, die naturally, you are prolonging their suffering.
We certainly can't measure suffering, but at least we can say that each individual react to suffering in different ways. For some is unbearable and therefore by keeping them alive we are prolonging their torture.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Cassandra96 2 years ago
This is my first debate here, I just realized that I repeated some points over and over. I'll hope to improve.

It was nice debating with you.
Posted by LubricantSanta 2 years ago
The pro strikes me as a very thoughtful and intelligent person. However, I feel like this is a debate that could go much more in depth on the objectivity and even the overall value of morality. I would love to see future rounds have some more complex/in depth arguments.
Posted by teresalamont 2 years ago

I agree that love, compassion and virtue have subjective aspects. However, all of these things as a whole are objective goods. You are correct in the fact that there are different types of love, but I am talking about all of the types of true love (Parental, romantic, parental, friendship, etc.). If love was a subjective good, there would be people who wouldn't want to be loved. This is impossible because humans are naturally ordered to love and be loved.

Similarly with compassion, what you are compassionate about changes. But compassion itself (as long as it is true compassion, meaning ordered to the good) is not subjective.

We must remember the universal truth when talking about virtues. Virtues reflect only reflect the rue good.

Hope this helps!
Posted by Domr 2 years ago
The only definitions for Compassion I have found all revolve around pity or concern. Which is entirely subjective.

Everyone has their own definition of what they think and feel love is. I don't love my pets as much as i love my parents. Meaning its subjective.

The only definitions I found for Virtue revolve around one's actions, thoughts, or lifestyle based on a ethics and morals. Which, to each individual person, is subjective.

So I apologize non of those make any sense in an objective nature
Posted by teresalamont 2 years ago
I was hoping to provide more detail in the debate, but I can explain a little bit now.

Compassion- The literal meaning of compassion is "to suffer with" coming from the roots "cum" (to suffer with) and "patio" (to suffer). The literal meaning of compassion makes it objective, and the support coming from a person's compassion makes it a good. There can be subjective elements.

Drawing out of Love- Love is something to be desired by all (objective). And love is often considered a good because in its truest definition it encourages others to do good.

Building of character- Positive building of character can be called building of virtues. And a virtue by definition is a firm disposition to do the good. If something is a true (objective) virtue, it is objectively good.

I intend to go further with this in the debate, my statements in the first round outline my argument. I hope this cleared things up. If you would like to go further, please feel free to challenge me.

Posted by Domr 2 years ago
I am perfectly aware of objective vs. subjective. Which is why I am making the comment I did.

This is a quote from your first round:
""These objective goods are enlightenment, detachment, compassion, the drawing out of love, the building of character, humility, and reparation.""

You are calling enlightenment, compassion, love, etc. objective.

However, everything you listed is actually subjective. Based on personal opinions or feelings, not fact.

Love is not objective. Nor is compassion.

I don't understand that quote in your first round.
Posted by teresalamont 2 years ago
Hello Domr,

There are both objective goods and subjective goods. We can know that there are objective goods because there is one universal truth or reality. For example, the internet exists. Saying that that the internet does not exist would be absurd, because that is simply not the truth.

Because of the universal truth, we can determine what is good and what is evil. A universal (or objective) truth is that food nourishes us and fills a need and makes us more complete. Because of this food can be considered an objective good because it leads us to the state of completion (happiness).

Like you said, subjective goods can vary. For example Sally may see onions as an evil because they are her least favorite food, while Bill sees them as a good because they are his favorite food.

Sorry I didn't make that clear!
Posted by Domr 2 years ago
"These objective goods are enlightenment, detachment, compassion, the drawing out of love, the building of character, humility, and reparation."

How can it be considered an 'objective good' if every 'good' is a subjective emotion or state of being?
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