The Instigator
nisha
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points

"Mercy killing should be legalized."

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Started: 7/20/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 26,363 times Debate No: 4741
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (15)

 

nisha

Con

euthanasia or mercy killing refers to the practise of painlessly ending a life. i am strongly against the legalization of mercy killing due to numerous reasons:first,it is very traumatizing for a family memeber to decide whether a person should live or not, i mean imagine a daughter whose father is in a critical condition and his chances of survival are bleak.Now the doctor comes over and tells the girl that there are two options;either they continue the treatment in which case the man will have to suffer more or they simply stop and let him go in peace - now a daughter has to decide if she should let her father live and suffer or let him die.Often, people are able to reconcile to this fact but somewhere down,an element of guilt always exists, what if i had given it a chance?It may have been a one in a million case but miracles happen.Second, i believe that the right to take lives lies solely with the one who gave us the life in the first place-God.
Moreover,in today's materialistic and greed driven world, the question of killing a family member for the sake of inheritance also arises.Thus, by legalizing mercy killing we will be giving a weapon that can be used as a cover-up for cold blooded murder.
One may argue that voluntary euthanasia could be legalized but for that a patient has to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that his life will be terminated.Thus,the level of competence comes in, and competence cannot be defined or determined.also,sometimes a patient can be put under psychological pressure or brainwashed to believe that there is no chance left and thus forced to consent to voluntary euthanasia, to fulfil the ulterior motives of accomplices, family members or any person involved.
Though stances on euthanasia vary greatly and its considered murderous by some,merciful by others, i strongly oppose, due to the above-stated reasons,the legalization of mercy killing.
Danielle

Pro

I must disagree with my opponent's simple definition of euthanasia. In fact, the true (more elaborate and pertinent) definition reads:

[1] Also called mercy killing. The act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, esp. a painful, disease or condition.

This definition is more appropriate for several reasons. First, it establishes the link between euthanasia and the specific wording of 'mercy killing' in the resolution; they are in fact one in the same. Second, it proves that euthanasia can be accomplished through medical means, i.e. doctors and other medical professionals. Third, euthanasia regarding animals is mentioned -- neither the definition nor my opponent in her opening argument excluded animals from the argument. And finally, the definition takes notice of the fact that the actual terms euthanasia and mercy killing specifically deal with INCURABLE ailments, one that cause a particular amount of discomfort or pain.

--

As for my opponent's contentions, she mentions 4:

1. Traumatic family decision
2. Only God has the right to take lives
3. People will choose this route for the wrong reasons
4. One's competence cannot be defined or determined

REBUTTAL:

1. The idea of euthanasia being a traumatic decision for a family can be successfully argued two different ways. One, often euthanasia is decided by the individual - not a family member, thus negating your point. Two, as likely as this decision can be painfully traumatic for a family member, it can also be a deed that promotes closure and making peace with a particular situation. It some cases, it has the potential to reestablish one's relationship with spirituality, soul searching, etc. In any case, it can be equally as healing as it can destructive, thus negating this argument.

2. I noticed that my opponent is from India. Well then, where would she be had not the Indians enacted the Sepoy Rebellion against England in 1857? Enslaved, perhaps. Ahh my point here is that in some cases - for instance, war - killing is not only justified, but perhaps even beneficial (as it freed India from British control). In addition to war, there are other cases that even humanists would agree that a taking of one's life is justified. Self-defense, perhaps? Thus the notion that "only God should take lives" is speculative, at best, and therefore is debatable in particular situations -- it's not an absolute. This argument is negated.

3. The fact that people will choose certain actions for the wrong reasons does not mean that those actions should be criminalized. People have children for the wrong reasons all the time -- does that mean that having kids should be illegal? If not, then again you are agreeing that this vague reasoning is faulty and flawed, and again this point is negated.

4. Finally my opponent suggests that competence cannot be defined or determined. I disagree. In fact, I found several definitions of the word, one of which reads:

[2] sufficiency; a sufficient quantity.

This definition suggests that who/what is competent is deemed sufficient, and since humans use their mental sense to determine sufficiency... which is subject to change, but nevertheless requires a minimum of standards at any given point in time... then obviously people both can and do define/manage competence based on their particular inclinations at any given time. This competence is usually established by a minimum of standards. For instance, competence to practice law has been determined (via the governing bodies) that one must have completed an acknowledged law school. Now if Con's argument is that no one is competent enough to take a human life in general, please refer back to my rebuttal of point 2 which reminds us that people kill others all the time (i.e. war). If we can kill others for what we feel is a 'good' reason, than why not ourselves? And who says you are competent enough to answer that question? Either way, this argument is negated.

-- CONTENTIONS:

1. Rights of the individual
2. Pain & Suffering
3. Letting nature run its course
4. Quality of life; risks of criminalization
5. Animal rights

1A. Indeed I have established how in some cases, taking the life of another can be deemed either necessary or justified. Just as such a justification exists for ending another's life, so too a justification exists for taking one's own life.

1B. "The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights..." -- ACLU [3]

2. To deny a 'competent' individual the right to end their own pain and suffering is undignified and oppressive, not to mention tyrannical and condescending. Who are you to force someone to cope with unbearable, agonizing, excrutiating pain? Just because YOUR moral beliefs may point you in the direction of God does not mean that everyone elses does. In that case, you are forcing your own beliefs and religious observances onto others, which is not only abusive to their rights, but causes them extended pain and suffering (which could be a crime in itself).

3. Sometimes the opposite of mercy killing includes prolonging the inevitable -- doing everything one can in order to sustain life, which is not always the right thing to do. With all of our medical answers in this day and age, death can be prolonged for months or even years at the expense of the individual. We must ask ourselves: When do we stop doing all we can do and let nature run its course?

4A. At some point, one's medical condition and pain + state of mind no longer makes life enjoyable or even worth living. We cannot possibly determine whether that is the case for another -- only they can make that choice. In that instance, we must accept their wishes should life become more of a burden than a blessing. Of course this is not so with every condition, however, the definition specifically refers to causes in which one suffers from an extremely painful and incurable ailment for which there is miniscule hope for recovery. While that miniscule hope is enough for some and their faith, that is not the case for everyone. Again, we cannot impose our own values onto others regarding death anymore than we can with life and the way some choose to live it.

4B. By criminalizing euthanasia, two things can occur. One, the individual may be in so much agony that they go ahead and kill themselves anyway, whether it's legal or not (at least by legalizing it we can ensure the assistance of a medical professional). Two, we have the capacity to make one hate life so much, that they despise living and think horrible thoughts instead of peaceful ones remembering life's joys.

5. Mercy killing is already legal regarding animals -- many dogs are 'put to sleep' for instance each year in order to minimize suffering. Why then should human beings not be granted the same rights as animals? We are merciful to our pets but not with fellow man? What kind of backwards logic is that?! Granted in some cases dogs are more loyal than man; however, in that case you are asserting that they are worthy of mercy killing, proving that it is in fact often a good thing. Euthanasia of animals for the right reasons means that euthanasia of humans for the right reasons can also exist. And since in most cases people aren't "getting anything out of it" in terms of choosing to kill their pets, that means that people do have values and don't believe that selfish forced suffering should be one of them.

--

SOURCES:

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://euthanasia.procon.org...
Debate Round No. 1
nisha

Con

nisha forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Uh, extend all of my arguments, I guess, since my opponent has not refuted any of them. Cya in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
nisha

Con

nisha forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Well my opponent has seemingly forfeited this debate, considering that she hasn't been around to respond to the last 2 rounds. I guess there's not really much for me to say, since I have already opposed all of her arguments, and established some (unrefuted) ones of my own with my R1 post. With that, I guess you can vote based off a single round. Thanks everybody.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Niduki 5 years ago
Niduki
India's freedom from British rule did not come from the Sepoy Rebellion. It came nearly one hundred years after.
Posted by Puck 5 years ago
Puck
Maybe, Xera, or perhaps we unwittingly write peoples homework assignments. :D Quite a few recent debates seem to be one line statements asking for an indepth reply which consequently goes unanswered. Yes I'm looking at you Indian and Phillipine school systems. *narrows eyes*
Posted by Xera 5 years ago
Xera
I kind of wonder all these forfeits are just about people wanting to blow off steam about something they 'feel' strongly about, but can't defend once there is a GOOD argument against it?

You did a great job Lwerd, and you deserved to win on the grounds of your arguments. forfeitures just always feel hollow to me.
Posted by vaclav 5 years ago
vaclav
you have the wierdest things that you talk about stuff you and i hope they kill you in mercy have a good life
Posted by Puck 5 years ago
Puck
Nicely constructed, theLwerd. You have my vote, obviously.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Sym626 5 years ago
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