euthanasia should be banned
Debate Rounds (3)
I'll be challenging my opponent and proving that Euthanasia should indeed be considered for ban.
Euthanasia is a touchy subject. When we look at it objectively and across the board, i can understand the necessity for it in certain circumstances. Particularly in animal shelters to regulate the number of domestic animals without a home, or feral pets that have harmed others and may continue to do harm do to poor training. And, perhaps when used as a means of capital punishment. But, my opponent has laid out a specific instance that is up for debate, which is the euthanasia of consenting patients in a medical setting. While allowing a patient to lay in pain appears cruel and morally unjust, euthanasia provides a few arguably larger moral dilemmas.
Assisted Suicide is Murder
1. Whether you are religious or not, taking another human life is murder and would make most normal people very uncomfortable. We often apply a lot of pressure on doctors and hold them in very high regards in terms of professionalism. It's hard to forget that they are human beings just like they rest of us.. they get sick and experience pain just as we all do. Behind closed doors, there may be many doctors that actually go under extremely psychological duress when losing patients. This would logically be more likely, particularly the ones they have to euthanize. As it turns out, doctors aren't made of special stuff that the rest of us aren't. A little research will show that there are a very large amount of assistance articles, techniques, and therapy specifically for doctors in dealing with death. one example being : (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...) thankfully a lot of them manage. But some can't handle it as well as they thought they would. Pushing down psychological stress and resisting the need to grieve. I'm sure i don't need to clarify that a stressed out/depressed doctor would most likely do more harm than good. Then there are those that eventually cope a bit too well and become desensitized. These unscrupulous doctors are also dangerous because then they will see your dying grandma as just another number. Quick to "pull the plug" and will be more impersonal in terms of helping you deal with the situation.
2. Doctors take a Hippocratic oath. it is their responsibility to best help and save lives and taking them directly contradicts that. This in turn degrades the entire integrity of the practice.
3. Euthanasia is a slippery slope. With it, it's only a matter of time before we may not even need consent and the line becomes blurred in who qualifies for euthanasia and who doesn't. It would not be irrational to in vision a near future where we may skip some steps and euthanize people who may have been able to at least received "tolerable" levels of treatment.
1. While it is a nice fantasy that people are mostly good and selfless, we are often hit with the reality that this is not the case. Especially when it comes to people with the most power. With for example the 'Baby Doe Laws of 1984,'it was decreed that a terminally ill,disabled, or predicted handicapped child shall not be ignored or refused the best possible treatment for their conditions. In this case, the physicians requested that the parents withhold maximum treatment (surgery) because even if the surgery were to be a success, the child would still be severely mentally challenged. (http://embryo.asu.edu...)
This is just 1 example of how much we need some restrictions in place to stop some hospitals from killing off people just to save a few bucks.
2. Speaking of saving a few bucks, this also translates to the quality of palliative care. It's hypothesized that with euthanasia in practice, the quality of life care would see a major decrease. Which seems economically practical, but ethically unattractive.
3. in regards to Living Wills: "Not only are we awash in evidence that the prerequisites for a successful living wills policy are unachievable, but there is direct evidence that living wills regularly fail to have their intended effect...
When we reviewed the five conditions for a successful program of living wills, we encountered evidence that not one condition has been achieved or, we think, can be. First, despite the millions of dollars lavished on propaganda, most people do not have living wills... Second, people who sign living wills have generally not thought through its instructions in a way we should want for life-and-death decisions... Third, drafters of living wills have failed to offer people the means to articulate their preferences accurately... Fourth, living wills too often do not reach the people actually making decisions for incompetent patients... Fifth, living wills seem not to increase the accuracy with which surrogates identify patients' preferences."
( Angela Fagerlin, PhD - Core Faculty Member, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program, University of Michigan Medical School) (Carl E. Schneider, JD - Chauncey Stillman Professor for Ethics, Morality, and the Practice of Law, University of Michigan Law School"Enough: The Failure of the Living Will," Hastings Center Report
Finally, in the U.S., nearly 80% of the people whom identify themselves with a religious affiliation are some denomination of christian. nearly 5% are Jewish (which is virtually identical in terms of general messages and affiliated opinion. While atheism is growing, this country is still largely dominated by Christianity and as such, uphold some of it's views on morality. Therefore, Euthanasia on a religious perspective is frowned upon. So weather you are religious or not, at least in this country, to not have it banned is likely to inspire active protest and the like against it. Simply put, it wouldn't be popular enough to be legalized throughout the entire country.
There have been many instances when people plea to euthanize their own children who may be in an incurable stage of life such as coma state. Mothers and the dear ones of the one who is in coma or such a state wont be able to watch them 'living death' each and every morning.
An individual should have the liberty to choose induced death if he is suffering from an incurable disease where even the best treatment wont improve the quality of his life. Legalizing euthanasia would help to alleviate their pain.
While killing someone in an attempt to defend SELF is acceptable by law, mercy killing can be considered as an act that is highly moral in nature.
Health care expenditure is and will always be a concern for the family irrespective of the euthanasia laws and only those who can afford a prolonged unproductive treatment can continue to do so. My question is, "Isn't the pain of waiting for death more traumatic?"
Allowing someone their final moments may give people that time to reconcile and make peace with loved ones. Suffering is subjective... there are those whom may not realize that sticking around a little longer, may be worth while in terms of providing the people close to them time to properly grieve and say their peace. Many of us, religious or not, believe that life is sacred. We aren't like robots that you can just switch to "off" and it's not our place to say when someone's time is up. The religious sort may hold faith that perhaps even in the worst situations, there is still a chance that said loved one may pull through and make a tolerable recovery. There are the scientific individuals that hold a lot of faith in modern medicine and technology and know that there is always something else we might be able to do. (but choose not to in order to save, time, money, etc.)
Again, this allows for a wide margin for slippery slope argument. When euthanasia exists, why bother having any reasonable care for those whom appear to be pretty much done? The value of life decreases, and who's to say that somewhere down the road we won't start euthanizing people with down syndrome or mild retardation? All people should have equal rights and opportunities to live but euthanasia may blurry that statement and shape us into being selective.
Finally, it gives doctors too much power. It's a massive cop-out. What if the diagnosis is incorrect? what if the prognosis is incorrect? Many of us fail to realize that although doctors are trained professionals, they too are often wrong. What if you're particular doctor is simply unaware of non-fatal alternatives for the patient's particular case? Euthanasia is easier, quicker, and cheaper than putting in effort, so the likelihood of it becoming an abused solution seems probable. Yes, awaiting death is probably very traumatic. However; human life is valuable. The everyone always appreciates more time. And in many cases, there is more that can be done...
Suicide is commonly seen as a selfish act. Majority of the time people that "opt out" don't realize that they have loved ones that appreciate and care for them, and would have preferred more time with them. So when someone commits suicide often leaves a wave of misery that impacts of those around them. But with euthanasia, along with that misery there also may be a bit of resentment towards the medical professional that assisted. There will always be a tiny bit of skepticism that wonders if more could be done.
The problem with Euthanasia is that many times families are persuaded into that option before given other alternatives or being allowed the time to properly grieve. As i stated before euthanasia is cheaper, and easier than effort. So it is likely that with it as an available option, end of life care will stagnate and the line of when it is acceptable will become more and more blurred. Yes, there are cases where perhaps there's nothing left they can do, but there could be just as many cases where there was more that could be done but it would just be too expensive. Or maybe that particular medical staff simply was not aware of another treatment that may have been effective.
Again, suicide is a personal choice, however the problem is that Euthanasia is assisted suicide by a medical professional and a licensed "healer." The chance still remains that said MD may undergo psychological duress. This will alter the doctor's attitude, and behavior toward his practice and ultimately cause more harm than good. "taking human life should be a last resort, and until our society has given appropriate attention to pain control, hospice care, and advance directive, we will not have met the criteria of last resort with respect to legalized euthanasia. " (http://euthanasia.procon.org...)
In closing, while Euthanasia appears like a practical solution, it directly contradicts the Hippocratic oath, the basic human value that life is sacred, and many religious views that hold the same belief. We still do not exhaust our options well enough, provide care that is exceptional enough, or respect each-other enough to legally grant the power over life and death. Studies have shown that human kind is growing and steadily becoming less violent. (https://www.ted.com...)
Advances in medicine are accelerating just barely behind technology. So one day, we may be mature enough as a species to properly implement Euthanasia responsibly. Hopefully by then we won't even see a need for it as an option. But, as it stands currently, we are not ready to completely legalize euthanasia across the nation.
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