The Instigator
headphonegut
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

That allowing terminally ill patients to die when and how they choose is justified

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheSkeptic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,867 times Debate No: 16733
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

headphonegut

Con

For Merda's Tournament

The first round is for acceptance simply to get this debate going If my opponent wishes he can make definitions and present a case.

Rules:
1 no semantics
2 if you want you can present a philosophy or simply use philosophical logic (whatever that means).
3 each one of us has to present a case and rebut/refute the others.
4 have fun (or not)
TheSkeptic

Pro

Terms sound good, let's have a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
headphonegut

Con

Clarification: this debate is for OreEle's tournament and my opponent can use his own definitions for his case
they are not debatable only what they entail is debatable.

My position in this debate is that the right to commit suicide is not protected by the social contract because when life ends, all values aspirations, and moral duties; therefore, we should hold life sacred and condemn suicide.

Hobbes and Locke tell us that all the rights of man, given by nature, presuppose our self interested attachment to our own lives. All natural rights trace home to the primary right to life.

To analyze the resolution it is important to make definitions

Terminaly ill - they are those who suffer from a life threatening disease, regardless of whether their death is near-term or long-term.

so Pro must prove that patients who suffer from a terminal illness should be allowed to commit suicide, eve if they have potentially long lives with little pain and suffering ahead of them.

The right to bodily integrity is that individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions about how to protect their health and well being. Committing suicide destroys bodily integrity. First, the right to bodily integrity does not guarantee the right to die. As leon Kass said none of the geat philosophers envisioned a right to die. though this is a state of libery, it is not a state of license. A man does not have the liberty to destroy himself. Since the right to self-determination meas the right to self-preservation, it does not include a right to die.

The right to die does not expressly a anywhere in the constitution. Nor can it be implied from the fourteenth amendments due process clause. As justice Scalia wrote in Cruzan v Missouri: "there is no significant support for the claim that a right of suicide is so rooted in our tradition that it may be deemed 'fundamental' or 'implicit' in the concept of ordered liberty."

Consider Netherlands a county that recognized the right to die, however is individual liberty in that society greater than in ours; in order for individual liberty to exist individuals must exist when a terminally ill patient commits suicide they end their individual liberties. If giving terminally ill patients have the right to die when and how they choose it would be redundant. You can have many rights and individual liberties but just throw them all away you can effectively end all of them. Neither self-determination and human liberty are greater in that society than in ours.

Not only is there no right to commit suicide, but also the state has a strong interest in preventing this act. it is false to say that the state's interest in protecting life do not apply to those who are terminally ill because we do not know what the states interest are. I will demonstrate that the primary state interest is preserving the sanctity of life. This interest is substantial regardless of the health of the individual. consider, first that the state has a substantial interest in protecting the sanctity of life. Human values can be enjoyed only by the living. when the end of life comes, so comes the end of all of the individual's goals, aspirations, and values. Since life is the key to all that we cherish, it is the ultimate value. As Hobbes observed: " every man is desirous of what is good for him, and shuns what is evil. The chiefest of natural evils is death." A Michigan professor said " Life is sacred not because it is a manifestation of a transcendent creator but because it is life. The idea of sacredness is generated by the primordial experience of being alive, of experiencing the elemental sensation of vitality and the elemental fear of its extinction.

Preventing terminally ill patients from killing themselves is important to protect the sanctity of life. Permitting or condoning any death undermines the sanctity of life. As just said , life is the foundation of all values without life there is nothing. Therefore, it is morally wrong for any individual to end his life. Suicide obliterates all values and degrades humanity, since it eliminates the subject and morality. individuals cannot live up to their moral obligations when they terminate their lives. since good can only happen to those who live suicide is never just.

consider peoples psychological states when somebody who is terminally ill commits suicide they directly influence the people they have interactions or exchanges or relationships with. That means that the persons death directly impacts his family and friends, which might cause them to be depressed and they might attempt suicide or they might act out because they feel guilty and cause other people pain when they engage in a row. Dying of a terminal disease and intentionally killing yourself are two different actions in one you cause others around you to feel upset and worthless because they couldn't help youand you are forever remembered as the guy who killed himself but when you die people might still be sad but they don't blame themselves for your death nor do they feel guilty and so they don't infringe on others right to feel as little pain as possible

Society can provide other options to individuals to lessen their pain and suffering without ending their lives. Medical science has produced a number of drug regimens that can substantially reduce pain. Also hospice programs offer high quality medical care and counseling for the terminally ill. Providing these avenues to the terminally ill can protect their bodily integrity without permitting them to die.

Because there is no fundamental right to die, and because the state has a strong interest in protecting the sanctity of life, permitting terminally I'll patients to end their lives would violate the social contract.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I'm fond of concise arguments that hopefully encapsulate the primary points - hopefully I succeed in doing so with this round. Thanks to my opponent and this tournament, hope it goes well. Furthermore, Ii accept the definitions my opponent has used, and the burden he has placed upon me: to demonstrate that people ought to have the liberty of deciding to end their own life.

First and foremost, there is the gaping issue of a meta-ethical justification for our approaches towards euthanasia - after all, if I hold a Kantian position in contrast to a rule-utilitarian approach, my answers to the resolution will vary considerably. For the sake of convenience, I will for the sake of argument subscribe to my opponent's value of personal liberty, right of bodily integrity, etc. If he were to reject these principles, he is implicitly rejecting his own position thus dooming his own position. Let's have a standard to work on, as I want to focus on an ethical discussion of euthanasia in the context of accepted moral principles rather than having a tangent about meta-ethics/justification for ethical theories. There are going to be 3 primary sections of my round:
  1. Primary flaw of my opponent's argument
  2. No substantial justification for life being a "higher-order" value than the right to die
  3. Response to several other objections

The primary flaw in my opponent's argument is that he has an incomplete picture of the pinnacle right to bodily integrity/personal liberty. He doesn't take into account that these rights-oriented principles are primarily concerned with the expression, practice, and respect of such rights IRRESPECTIVE of how people may do to themselves. The concept of personal liberty doesn't preclude people foolishly damaging their own bodies/wellbeing. My point can be summarized in the following:

"Since the right to self-determination meas the right to self-preservation, it does not include a right to die."
--> A right of self-preservation does not mean an obligation to self-preservation.

Another curious point my opponent brings up is this emphasized value of life. Being seen as the "foundation" of all other values, he claims that it somehow has a higher-order value than right to liberty, self-deliberation, etc. What he needs to do is to justify this - simply because life is a biological necessary step to having other values, doesn't mean it has a higher metaphysical status than other values.

The point about finding no clear implication in the Constitution does not fade me at all - I don't care for any existing laws in support of my position, as something being legal does not necessarily mean it is morally permissible. Neither is the issue of patients having a potentially pain-free life (due to some unforseen medical reason) have an impact - if the patient is rational and lucid and make a decision, it is their right and responsibility to handle any consequences as a result of this, even if such deliberation was irrational. There is the practical issue of patient's state of mind when considering euthanasia, and that is a noteworthy remark, but ultimately it focuses ont he pragmatic issues surrounding euthanasia and not the purely ethical dimensions of the issue itself. It shouldn't be seen necessary that problematic rational deliberation is intertwined with euthansia - it's easily conceivable that we can achieve methods of securing a patients rational deliberation irrespective of their condition hindering such judgement. In other words, this point is valid when considering how to legislate euthanasia but not so much when considering the ethical status of euthanasia.
Debate Round No. 2
headphonegut

Con

Thank you for your timely response.My opponent has repeatedly said euthanasia but the resolution is a bit different it's whether terminally I'll patients have the right to kill themselves when and how they choose so I will assume when my opponent said euthanasia he meant that terminally I'll patients that attempt to kill themselves when and how they choose.

the right to self preservation does not mean an obligation towards it; However, when people deliberately choose to give up this right they are also choosing to say the hell with the value of life (sanctity of life ) which is the foundation of all other values and should be held at value above all others because without life all tings that we value would be non-existent. Furthermore the burden of my opponent is to rebut/refute all of my points.

"The primary flaw in my opponent's argument is that he has an incomplete picture of the pinnacle right to bodily integrity/personal liberty. He doesn't take into account that these rights-oriented principles are primarily concerned with the expression, practice, and respect of such rights IRRESPECTIVE of how people may do to themselves. The concept of personal liberty doesn't preclude people foolishly damaging their own bodies/wellbeing."

Actually I know these right quite well you said it your self they are concerned with "expression, practice, and respect." If people hurt themselves or kill themselves it is an act an expression. The word preclude means 1. To make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent. I'm not certain what my opponent meant but I agree with him that the concept of personal liberty does not preclude people foolish damaging their own body.

finally my opponent makes an argument of rationality and irrationality how if people want to kill themselves they should be able to no matter their state of mind and how we can reach deliberation irrespective of their condition; However, that is not true people with terminal diseases always take into account their suffering and pain because of the disease that has stricken them, and if people those who have incurable diseases are irrational how will they be able to understand the meaning of consequence if they don't understand or don't remember what to decide something and live with it's implications means. For those who are reasonable and do understand the implications that they are ending their lives they will hurt the people around them and destroy the sanctity of life the right to bodily integrity does as I have said before Since the right to self-determination meas the right to self-preservation, it does not include a right to die.

thank you.
TheSkeptic

Pro

Yes, I am using euthanasia in specific reference to terminally ill patients - they are the primary subject of discussion in these debates anyway.

"the right to self preservation does not mean an obligation towards it; However, when people deliberately choose to give up this right they are also choosing to say the hell with the value of life (sanctity of life ) which is the foundation of all other values and should be held at value above all others because without life all tings that we value would be non-existent."

Two problems: first, simply because people are willing to give up their life does not mean they are necessarily disregarding the value of life entirely (as you put it, saying to 'hell with the value of life'). People can be well-aware of the value of life, but end it in the face of a greater value (namely avoiding unbearable suffering). You could make an argument that commiting suicide in one way or another degrades the value of life to an extent (perhaps even entirely), but you would need to make a case as to why this would be. Secondly, and more importantly, you haven't even yet shown why the value of life is a 'higher-order' value than the values of personal liberty, avoiding suffering, etc. As I've stated in my previous round, simply because life is a biological necessity to having other values doesn't mean it's necessarily granted a higher metaphysical status.

"I'm not certain what my opponent meant but I agree with him that the concept of personal liberty does not preclude people foolish damaging their own body."

I'm confused, are you thus agreeing with me?

"finally my opponent makes an argument of rationality and irrationality how if people want to kill themselves they should be able to no matter their state of mind and how we can reach deliberation irrespective of their condition"

Absolutely incorrect, I advise you read my round again. I argued that while the issue of whether we can take a terminally ill patient's judgement as valid (given many are compromised to a certain extent due to their circumstances), this is a practical issue when legislating laws surrounding euthanasia. In other words, these are difficult, practical hurdles for practicing euthanasia but it isn't an inherent, ethical flaw with the concept itself.
Debate Round No. 3
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
TheSkeptic

Pro

Opponent forfeited the previous round, extend arguments to this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
I breezed over that. Ok.
Posted by TheSkeptic 5 years ago
TheSkeptic
"For the sake of convenience, I will for the sake of argument subscribe to my opponent's value of personal liberty, right of bodily integrity, etc. If he were to reject these principles, he is implicitly rejecting his own position thus dooming his own position."

I thought it was implicit in my argument that my objections it forms my argument - using principles of rights of liberty to justify euthanasia.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
Question on voting - the rules said that there is a reciprocal burden, but pro didnt present his own case, he only responded to objections. Should I keep this in my decision calculus?
Posted by headphonegut 5 years ago
headphonegut
Sorry for forfeiting
Posted by Merda 5 years ago
Merda
I wonder if Pro will use self ownership and personal autonomy.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
But we can't let people die, Cause God likes suffering, the more the better. God uses our suffering to make himself stronger.........I think thats what I read in the bible.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
w00t, Skeptic is debating again.
Posted by Merda 6 years ago
Merda
I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
Posted by headphonegut 6 years ago
headphonegut
So it's now yours? I suppose I should've called it oreEles tourney
Posted by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
FYI, Social's Tourny is still going on, please continue to give it your all in these debates.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
headphonegutTheSkepticTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunate, I was looking forward to a full debate.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
headphonegutTheSkepticTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeit. Arguments: I buy the comparative analysis Pro made in Rd. 3 which states that it is possible to value the sanctity of life but at the same time have it outweighed by unbearable suffering. Thus, Pro has shown he isnt violating the standard, it is just outweighed by a person evaluation of something else.