The Instigator
smile4chaz
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
SnaxAttack
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

We should help those who want to commit suicide

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 605 times Debate No: 80013
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

smile4chaz

Pro

I think that everyone should be given a choice, especially when it comes to their death. Suicide should be more socially accepted and we should help those who want to commit suicide so they can end their lives in a safe and mannered way (or however they wish if otherwise). This concept is similar to euthanasia, but I don't believe that a person needs to be suffering physically to be allowed to end their life. People should be allowed a good death.
SnaxAttack

Con

I will both agree and disagree with this debate. I am on the opposite spectrum compared to my opponent, where I believe we should not help those who want to commit suicide freely; but help those who are in physical pain.

To argue my position, I like to take a common quote used when being against suicide. The quote states: "It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Rather than preventing life from getting worse, it eradicates the possibility of it ever getting better"(1). Suicide happens because of feeling "drpressed in society, which I agree is sad; but why put more focus on trying to kill the person, instead of putting more focus on trying to help the person? There are multiple programs to help individuals, like phone lines, and psychological treatment that can be used. As well as the fact that there is medication that can be used to support a depressed individual, and the best part is that the cost is not to much. The reason why the cost is cheap enough is because of the percentage of depressed people within the United States being 10%. That is pretty low, and can resolve that issue with a heavy focus on helping the individual.

I will agree that Euthanasia should be used to people who are in physical pain, and are stated to die soon. But also I wish to ask my opponent a question before I end this round, what about victims of school bullies? Should they get help to die because of a bully?

Sources:
1. http://elitedaily.com...
2. http://www.goodrx.com...
Debate Round No. 1
smile4chaz

Pro

I agree that there are multiple programs and different forms of treatment that could help a depressed individual, and that before being allowed to be put to death, a person should take psychological tests to ensure their decision is a proper one. But in the end, everyone is entitled to human rights.
This includes 'dominion' [1] which states perfect control in the right of ownership; "including the power to alienate [2] and to do anything one wants with one's self" [3]. This means that your body belongs to you and that a person has the right to do as they wish with their body/person.

Therefore, regardless of mental or emotional condition, a person has a right to themselves and their body in the law. I believe it should be the same with their death. So why condemn and reject a person who has every right to make that kind of decision?
Instead, we should help them carry out their death in a safe way, rather than denying a person of basic rights that the law says they should have. Without the proper guidance, a person may decide to commit suicide in a way that could cause unnecessary damage to themselves and those around them.

I would like to address my opponent's questions, "What about victims of school bullies? Should they get help to die because of a bully?"
As I stated above, dominion gives a person perfect control in the right of ownership. And as my opponent refers to the bullies in her question as "school bullies", my rebuttal is that in most first world countries, children [4] are joint property of the community and their parent(s)/guardian(s). And therefore would not be allowed to independently make that decision.

Thank you

1. found in - Human Laws, Human Lives, Department for Constitutional Affairs (2006)
2. Alienate
(in terms of) LAW
- transfer ownership of (property rights) to another person or group.
3. http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu...
4. anyone under the age of 18
http://www.nspcc.org.uk...
SnaxAttack

Con

To begin my argument, I like to rebuttal against my opponents statements that he brought within the debate. Quoted by my opponent: "But in the end, everyone is entitled to human rights. This includes 'dominion'". It is agreed that allowing the person themselves to commit suicide is a right, but have someone else do the suicide upon the individual is not really a human right. My opponent uses the term "dominion", which is defined as: "Ownership, or right to property"(1). Following the definition, even used by my opponent, the person themselves have the right to commit suicide, but is not a right to force someone else to help them cause suicide.

To further this argument, stated from "Is there a Constitutional Right to Physician Suicide"(2), it says: "However, the U.S. Constitution does not provide any right to assisted suicide". This disproves my opponents argument about assisted suicide not being a right. Other rules like Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Due Process Rights are there, but nothing about allowing someone to commit suicide. This flaws my opponents argument about, and it even states it within the Bill of Rights. Under Section 1 of Amendment 14 (3), it states: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property". Stated within the bold text that I placed, it says we cannot take a persons life; so assisted suicide cannot be used.

Then my opponent quotes this: Instead, we should help them carry out their death in a safe way, rather than denying a person of basic rights that the law says they should have. Without the proper guidance, a person may decide to commit suicide in a way that could cause unnecessary damage to themselves and those around them". First off, I laugh at my opponents wording about this sentence because he says there should be a "safe" way of commiting suicide. Don't you know what suicide is? The person kills themselves, and that is it. There is nothing safe about that, when one kills themselves; they do any means of measure to get the job done. Then my opponent continues further, with the quote, about "unnecessary damage". What damage will occur if the person is dead? He or she will have no life, and wouldn't suffer any damage except taking his or her own life.

Also, near the end of the previous quote, my opponent said "A person may decide to commit suicide in a way that could cause unnecessary damage to themselves and those around them". If my opponent is worried about the damage to the people around the suicidal victim, why do we want to discuss about assisted suicide? If the "uneccesary damage" occurs towards those around them, why are we putting the people who help cause suicide at risk?

In the previous round, I brought up a question to my opponent about victims of school bullies, one of the highest causes of suicide. I asked "Should they be able to commit suicide themselves"? My opponent replied with: "As I stated above, dominion gives a person perfect control in the right of ownership. And as my opponent refers to the bullies in her question as "school bullies", my rebuttal is that in most first world countries, children [4] are joint property of the community and their parent(s)/guardian(s). And therefore would not be allowed to independently make that decision". To rebuttal against my opponent, I will break this quote down in multiple stages.

"As I stated above, dominion gives a person perfect control in the right of ownership".
This argument has already been disproven, and will still argue it. Like I stated above, I will agree that the individual, him or herself, has a right to themselves for causing suicide; but does not have a right to force others to cause suicide for them. Following the topic about assisted suicide, my opponents argument mainly consists of a personal human right and fails to bring up why its a right for others to help with the suicidal action. Yes, the person has ownership to their body but why should others be forced to help that person to cause suicide?

"And as my opponent refers to the bullies in her question as "school bullies", my rebuttal is that in most first world countries, children [4] are joint property of the community and their parent(s)/guardian(s). And therefore would not be allowed to independently make that decision".
This statement, brought upon my opponent, can easily be said as "loaded". It will be agreed that the mother and father of the child has ownership, but do they really control their kids actions? No, they do not because a kid will listen 75% of the time but will not listen to all their parents rules. Stated under "Youth Suicide Statistics"(4), it states: "
Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2013 CDC WISQARS)". This is, obviously, sad about how many youth cause suicide because of bullying. Continuing on with my opponents statement about parents, there are studies that prove that teenagers do not listen to their parents. One example is from "Study Dissects why Teenagers Don’t Listen to Parents,where it states: "Not surprisingly, the scans showed increased activity in areas of the brain involved with negative emotions. The researchers also found reduced activity in
parts of the brain that help teenagers understand their guardian’s point of view". Teens don't always follow their parents ruling, and because of this makes my opponents argument flawed about school bullying.

If a victim of a school bully is suffering, why should we end their life when there can be a potential future for them. Imagine how much distress would occur from family, friends, and others if we allowed assisted suicide to the victim just because of having a "bumpy" start in school. Suicide is and isn't a choice. It is on making a decision about ending your life, but it isn't if being influenced by negative emotions (Like with a school bully). Why should we end their life? I still stand upon the position that we should help these people, instead of just helping end their life. And my opponent even agrees with the following quote: "I agree that there are multiple programs and different forms of treatment that could help a depressed individual, and that before being allowed to be put to death, a person should take psychological tests to ensure their decision is a proper one".

Before concluding this round with my argument, I wish to bring up one more factor about allowing the person with assisted suicide. Who i the one who helps with assisted suicide? The physician of course, where he or she does the action of helping cause assisted suicide. Unfortunately, having this innocent bistandual do the action actually causes more harm, than the suicidal victim. Stated under "Emotional and Psychological Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia on Participating Physicians" (6), it states: "Many doctors who have participated in assisted suicide are affected emotionally and psychologically from their experience". The article goes further by stating that just a regular assisted suicide, not Euthanasia, actually puts more harm upon the physician because of Euthanasia at least having a legitamate reason; examples being the patient being terminally ill and won't survive, but ending their suffering. The article even goes further by stating the fact that at least 30% of physicians who participate in assisting suicide, kill themselves in a year or so because of grief. How is this any better, when its actually causing more harm than just letting the individual him or herself do the action to themselves?

Sources:
1. http://thelawdictionary.org...
2. http://healthcare.findlaw.com...
3. http://www.ushistory.org...
4. http://jasonfoundation.com...
5. http://wtop.com...
6. http://www.pccef.org...
Debate Round No. 2
smile4chaz

Pro

My opponent seems to have constantly misunderstood me throughout this whole debate, therefore I would like to unravel their (quite immensely) flawed argument.

Firstly, my opponent rebuts with the quote, "The person themselves have the right to commit suicide, but is not a right to force someone else to help them cause suicide".
Not once in my argument have I said anything about the "forced" assist of suicide but still my opponent seems to decide that this is an adequate contradiction to the documented human right "dominion" [1]. This fact alone leaves my opponent's argument almost completely flawed.
The title of this debate is 'We should help those who want to commit suicide' not 'We should force doctors into helping those who want to commit suicide'. It's seems my opponent has failed to grasp the concept of this; the idea is choice - people are given a choice in the way they want to live their life [2] and I believe that they should be given a choice in the way they would like to end it too. If a doctor is willing to assist in a patient's suicide then they should. There is no referral to forcing an individual into assisted suicide in my argument, so I would like to ask my opponent where they developed this argument.

Con's next shaky argument quotes the Bill of Rights and states that "We cannot take a persons life; so assisted suicide cannot be used." It seems my opponent doesn't know what assisted suicide actually is, which may be why we are on such opposite sides of the suicide spectrum. Assisted suicide is 'The act of deliberately assisting another person to kill themselves' [3]
This exact definition or slight variations of it can be found on the NHS website, the Equality and Human Rights Commission website and the US Constitution Rights, which my opponent even quotes from.
I agree we cannot take another person's life as this is known as murder [4] (see synonyms below) but there is no claim in the Bill of Rights that assisted suicide is illegal therefore this rebuttal, like the previous, can be swept aside.

My opponent then goes on to attempt to disprove my evidently sustained argument. They claim that there is no a safe way to commit suicide and that "There is nothing safe about that [suicide], when one kills themselves; they do any means of measure to get the job done." But where is a source that proves this?
There are many sources that show that the most commonly chosen suicide methods are hanging/suffocation and poisoning [5] which disproves my opponent's argument that "they do any means to get the job done."and shows a selective correlation in the ways people commit suicide.
As well as this, there are quite obviously more safe ways to commit suicide. Is Con saying that jumping off a bridge onto a busy road is safer than physician-assisted suicide in a controlled area?

Con continues with "What damage will occur if the person is dead? He or she will have no life, and wouldn't suffer any damage except taking his or her own life."
I can quickly push this argument aside with the quite blatant fact that damage is extremely likely to occur in a suicidal incident. [6] Does a person who jumps off a cliff receive no bodily damage?
I would like to answer their question "What damage will occur?"
Injuries could be sustained to the person taking their own life, e.g. bullet holes, wounds, organ damage, dismemberment etc. as well as those around them who could be similarly injured not to mention damaged mentally or emotionally. Why hurt others in the process rather than keeping it in a conditioned area?

As we carry on down my opponent's argument we see the rebuttal, "a kid will listen 75% of the time but will not listen to all their parents rules." Like the previous statement, I see no sources to prove this apparent statistic so we can therefore regard it as Con's opinion.
There are no sources that support the argument that a child would not listen to their parents in the situation of suicide and my opponent tries to hide this fact with 'youth suicide statistics' and 'negative emotions in teens when listening to parent'. Evidence of this is when my opponent states that 'a kid' will not listen to their parents rules then supports it with 'teen' statistics.
The fact still remains that anyone under 18 does not have independent ownership over themselves [7] and therefore would not be accepted to be assisted in their death. So there is no way that a child could "get help to die because of a bully".

Con then attempts to counter me with my own opinion, "I agree that there are multiple programs and different forms of treatment that could help a depressed individual, and that before being allowed to be put to death, a person should take psychological tests to ensure their decision is a proper one".
Yes, I agree that a person should be thoroughly assessed so they don't regret the decision (if it's even possible to regret something once dead) and to make sure that committing suicide is really the final and only solution.

In conjunction to this, I would like to address my opponent's earlier quote, "We should not help those who want to commit suicide freely; but help those who are in physical pain." and ask, what is so different about physical and mental pain? In fact, there are several sources which support the opposite view and say that mental/emotional pain is worse than physical pain [8]. Shouldn't a person be given the choice to end their pain?

Before concluding, Con states that "assisted suicide ... causes more harm to the physician than the suicidal victim" and gives the seemingly legitimate statistic (though when I accessed the source attached there was no evidence of this) that "30% of physicians kill themselves in a year or so because of grief".
Now, these statistics may seem quite large but in conjunction with other facts, the amount of physicians that die after assisted suicide is minuscule.

The Assisted Suicide Bill [9] states that 'In practice, only a very small number of patients have an assisted death' and that 'an assisted dying law would not result in more people dying but fewer people suffering'. [10]
The same bill shows that only 0.2% of patients in countries where the Assisted Suicide Bill is legal actually choose to have an assisted death. This means that 30% of physicians out of this 0.2% kill themselves.
Which then comes out as 0.00666666666% (0.2 divided by 30) of 14% [11] (the approximate proportion of the world where assisted suicide/euthanasia is legal).
If we divide this by the number of people in the world, we find that the number of physicians who actually commit suicide over the assisted suicide of a patient is approximately 339,000 (rounded value). This may seem like a large number but compared to other statistics it isn't.

Katy Perry has 46,555,829 followers on Twitter. There are approximately 280,000 rubber duckies lost a year [12]. Approximately 1 million people die from suicide each year, which is one death every 40 seconds [13].

And with the data Con has given us, we see that the 0.00666666666% of physicians that kill themselves (though important) are an extremely minuscule amount and that it is very rare for a physician to commit suicide because of assisting someone else during their death.
So to answer my opponent's question "How is this any better, when its actually causing more harm than just letting the individual him or herself do the action to themselves?" The harm it is causing to the physicians is quite substantially less than the harm to actual suicide victim and the numbers above support this, therefore it is better.

Thank you. :)

1. http://thelawdictionary.org...
2. http://www.equalityhumanrights.com...
3. http://www.nhs.uk...
4. Defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another - synonyms: killing, taking of life , assassination
5. http://lostallhope.com...
6. https://www.afsp.org...
7. http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu...
8. https://www.psychologytoday.com...
9. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk...
10. http://www.dignityindying.org.uk...
11. https://en.wikipedia.org...
12. http://www.mnn.com...
13. http://www.befrienders.org...
SnaxAttack

Con

I would like to first Rebuttal my opponent's statements, and then provide a concise conclusion for this debate.

To begin, I would like to clarify to my opponent that I didn't misunderstood nothing. In fact, it was me mainly doing Rebuttals against my opponents statements, which I will do again in this round. To begin, in the previous round I stated "The person themselves have the right to commit suicide, but is not a right to force someone else to help them cause suicide". My opponent says that he or she did not state this, and I know they didn't but I would like to refer back to my previous argument. In my previous argument, I stated that the definition of "dominion" is: "Ownership, or right to property". It is the individuals body who can determine if they want to commit suicide or not, but saying that its the ownership of their body and should ask others to help them commit suicide is wrong. Why should others get involved in being forced to help that person commit suicide.

Also, voters, my opponent contradicts his own argument with the following quote in this round. He said: "Not once in my argument have I said anything about the "forced" assist of suicide". My opponent is making a false accusation because in the previous round, he said people should be required to help the person cause suicide. Given the quote: "Instead, we should help them carry out their death". That statement is more souding like a requirement, than a choice; which makes my opponents argument null.

Then my opponent attempts to Rebuttal against my Bill of Rights argument. In the previous round, I quoted, from the Bill of Rights: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property". No state shall take life away, so this flaws my opponents argument. My opponent argues back about that also applying to "murder", but the exact statement from the Bill of Rights does not specify murder either. It just specifies "Nor shall any State deprive any person of life". The taking of life, in this case, can be applied to many aspects that involve taking someones life; even assisted suicide. And with assisted suicide, breaks this idea of an amendement.

For my opponents next statement, let me please put this in italics to see the ridiculous content my opponent has stated which contradicts his own argument.

My opponent then goes on to attempt to disprove my evidently sustained argument. They claim that there is no a safe way to commit suicide and that "There is nothing safe about that [suicide], when one kills themselves; they do any means of measure to get the job done." But where is a source that proves this?
There are many sources that show that the most commonly chosen suicide methods are hanging/suffocation and poisoning [5] which disproves my opponent's argument that "they do any means to get the job done."and shows a selective correlation in the ways people commit suicide.
As well as this, there are quite obviously more safe ways to commit suicide. Is Con saying that jumping off a bridge onto a busy road is safer than physician-assisted suicide in a controlled area?

First off, there is truly no "safe" way of commiting suicide because it is death. When someone wants to kill themself, there is no safe way of doing it. My opponent asks for a source, and ironically enough; gave a source that I can use (1). The lists of ideas on how suicide can be done, without assistance mind you and stated by my opponent, include: "Hanging/Suffocation and Poisoning". Then my opponent continues on saying that my argument about "getting the job done" false, yet my opponent provided examples on how someone can get the job done. Go to Home Depot and you can get poison, rope, or even a garden hose. In reality, anything can be used to kill yourself if done right. If people have access to these type of utensils, why should we assist in helping with suicide? They are fine on their own, and referring back to my previous argument; if they do assist, that is actually putting harm on the person helping commit the suicide than victim. That is truly a more human right, than helping someone who just wants to end their life. Once more, who has more rights the potential victim, or someone who will be psychologically harmed for the rest of their life?

Continuing on with my opponents statement, he also brings up the point of is it safe for someone to jump off a bridge? I will agree its not safe, but you just admitted other alternatives on how the individual can cause suicide to themselves. In fact, those are more safer than having another individual do the action; causing psychological harm toweards them.

Con continues with "What damage will occur if the person is dead? He or she will have no life, and wouldn't suffer any damage except taking his or her own life."
I can quickly push this argument aside with the quite blatant fact that damage is extremely likely to occur in a suicidal incident. [6] Does a person who jumps off a cliff receive no bodily damage?

My opponent enlightens me because he claims that damage occurs to the individual. Really? Are you serious? When someone is trying to kill themselves, there will be damage and thats the persons decision, which Pro agrees about it being their decision with the term "Dominion". If its their decision, let them take the damage they are going to cause to themselves; but don't force others to do it for you. Then my opponent quotes, after this statement, "Why hurt others in the process rather than keeping it in a conditioned area". You are hurting others by causing psychological damage to the person helping commit suicide. That isn't safe, but more dangerous.

Then my opponent accuses me of not using a source. At this point voters, Pro has broken the ethics of debate by providing false accusations on my own sources just to try to win a debate. In fact, I actually posted the sources blantly in the simlar way as my opponent did in this round. And I'll post the source again (2), in which my opponent lies.

Finally, my opponent claims that there was no evidence about physicians suffering harm from assisting suicide. Once more, I did in the previous round and yet my opponent argues I didn't (3). Voters, check the last round and see my sources. They are legitimate, and do support my argument; my opponent is just breaking some ethics. Anyways, my opponent brings statistics saying that physicians don't have psychological pain, or if they do; its very minimal. I will conter argue my opponents claim by a few sources.

To begin, stated under "Most Doctors Oppose Physician-Assisted Suicide, Poll Finds" (4), it states: "Most readers of the journal are doctors. Some said assisting a suicide violates a physician's oath to do no harm". That breaks their oath, and the article even goes further by saying 67% dissapprove and the biggest concern were the psychological harm that can come from it. I agree with them completely, and it even goes further with another source. Stated under "The Dangers of Assisted Suicide" (5), it states what most physicians have to go through after killing the individual was: "The AMA advocates that multidisciplinary interventions be sought, including specialty consultation, hospice care, pastoral support, family counseling, emotional support, comfort care, and pain control". That is a ton of drastic events after the physician doing it, and even goes further by the cost done to that individual. That individual is estimated to be out of office for 3 weeks or even longer depending on the damage done.

To even further this argument, stated from author "Ryan T. Anderson" (6): "PAS would harm our entire culture, especially our family and intergenerational obligations. The temptation to view elderly or disabled family members as burdens will increase, as will the temptation for those family members to internalize this attitude and view themselves as burdens. Physician-assisted suicide undermines social solidarity and true compassion". Not only the physician, but those around him; and the article even goes further by stating that in 2012, at least 71% of physicians who helped with suicided fell into grief about breaking their own code. To being health and peace to the people, not harm them.

To conclude, this debate was really a difference in opinions clashing together. My opponent provided an alright argument, but has many flaws leading to him contradictoring to himself. While I, provided a well-balanced argument, and Rebuttaled successfully at my opponents statements. At times, my opponent did make false accusations and failed to even discuss both sides of our arguments. My opponent even dropped one argument about school bullied victims, and claiming that I had "no" source. That is wrong and unjust by my opponent, and broke the code of conduct within a debate. So voters, would you vote for a ethics breaker or someone who was looking more indepthly on this debate? Vote Con!

Sources:
1. http://lostallhope.com...
2. http://jasonfoundation.com...
3. http://wtop.com...
4. http://health.usnews.com...
5. http://www.aul.org...
6. http://www.heritage.org...
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by sparkemi000 1 year ago
sparkemi000
I think that help lines and physiatrists do not help people who have suicidal thoughts but in fact make it worse by making them feel different.
No votes have been placed for this debate.