The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

we should allow euthanasia of those living tortured lives and a terminal illness

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 928 times Debate No: 59579
Debate Rounds (3)
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we should allow euthanasia of those living tortured lives and a terminal illness.

why euthanasia is the moral permissiveness in this situation:
-most people's biggest fear isn't death... it's pained living. that's why the "torture" debate is so gut wrenching and passion filled.
-we understand intuitively that we should put dog's "out of their misery", as the humane thing to do. why with people is it suddenly inhumane? there is some merit to claiming people aren't dogs and have a higher dignity... but this argument about dignity could even more easily be used the other way, it's all the more reason to be humane and "put them out of their misery", especially when we are thinking it's about humane activity etc to begin with in the one situation.
-liberty. at best this is a tough issue. why do we let the government decide who's right in a tough issue, when the person this is affecting most could be the decider? plus if you were real about it... probably a high percentage of those who might be against euthanasia would suddenly be for it if they found them self (or possibly a loved one) in a terrible situation.
-i do not pretend to offer easy answers. but we as a soeciety, or at least professional doctors, can demarcate when someone is in 'terminal and tortured pain'. this wouldnt allow for back pain. or slight pain at terminal stage. sure there might some be gray cases, but that's just life.


Stance: We should not support physician-assisted suicide for "those living tortured lives and a terminal illness".

First and foremost, it would be preferable for this debate if the Instigator to give a precise definition of what a "tortured life" and "terminal illness" is. Until then, it will not be possible to supply articulated arguments against euthanasia (which I define as physician-assisted suicide).

Since these vital definitions aren"t provided, this opening argument will instead criticize Pro"s opening arguments, which are flawed. The assertion that people"s greatest fear is suffering, not death, is insofar unsubstantiated. Also, our intuition of what to do to dogs and what to do with humans aren"t the same because humans are intrinsically more valuable than a dog (a dog, for example, cannot debate euthanasia on the Internet).

The Instigator"s argument that many of us would our loved ones to die than suffer is also unsubstantiated. Furthermore, being against state-sponsored physician-assisted suicide isn"t so much about thinking the State is right; it"s about not letting the State have the legal ability to allow one take another citizen"s life. Finally, since even medical professions do not have total precision and accuracy of measuring someone"s lifetime, euthanizing someone would have survived much longer otherwise will inevitably occur.
Debate Round No. 1


a precise definition of the terms con asks for would be mostly irrelvant. we can define something most people would be for, and the main point is there can be a couple doctors to verify that the criteria is met. the point isn't the precise definiitions, the point is whether or not euthanasia is immoral or not once definitions are chosen.

whether people's greatest fear is pain or death is a secondary point to this debate.... i could concede that perhaps that is mistake, i just assumed it was true. but that doesn't change whether euthanasia is moral or not.

con doesn't respond to the idea that if people are more sacred than dogs, shoudln't that be all the more reason we should treat them with the respect of "putting them out of their misery" epecially when it's the desire of the person? con just argues the argument i responded to right away in the debate, that some say people are worth more than dogs. yes, but i gave a response to that, and con hasn't addressed specifically teh response.

it's not "allowing the state to allow an individual to help take a life" it is mostly just the state saying "we do not make illegal euthanasia in the right situations". it is about letting people have freedom to choose themselves. it is just the state acknowledgeing that it shouldn't push murder charges on a doctor, or the person who took his own life.

lastly, there may be mistakes, but that's just life. most of the time it would work. and in any case, we can be sure that nntety nine percent of the time or more that the person who took their life was in a tortured state anyway, regardless of whether they would have lived longer than thought or not.


Requesting distinct definitions of the terms "tortured lives" and "terminal illness" are certainly relevant, and Pro should reconsider using terms he or she refuses to even articulately define. What exactly these words mean make a large impact on the debate.

Various issues in people's lives, such as depression, can make these people consider themselves to be in a torturous life. Yet depression is easily treatable with therapy, change of diet, or brief use of drug. What distinguishes a non-terminal illness from a terminable one? When a patient has a day, a month, a year, or a decade left to live? Human beings themselves are terminable. The fact that spontaneous remissions and regressions occur [1] illustrates that medical professionals cannot be certain how long someone has to live. It also completely ignores that a medical breakthrough could occur that gives the patient a much longer time to live.

This means that a doctor would be able to kill a human being over that person's desire to end their life instead of using their expertise to treat the patient. That's why being specific on defining a "tortured life" or "terminal illness" is so essential; being ambiguous on what these terms even are creates the ability and possibility for liberal applications of euthanasia as a means of treating a patient to lead to abuse of the system (or create an immoral system).

The objection with Pro's second round argument is how Pro appeals to the fact euthanizing dogs is commonplace, so doing so to humans should also be acceptable. As members of society, we should not consider having our physicians assist someone to fulfill their desire to die. The desire to end one's own life is not rational. Suicidal ideation is oftentimes a major sign of depression or psychiatric disorders that should be treated over terminated by allowing the suicide to succeed. One cannot consider their own death itself with a sound mind except not desiring it to happen.

So why exactly should we not allow physician-assisted suicide? Dozens of countries give their citizens a duty to rescue law, and failure to take any measures to rescue another stranger in peril can lead to civil or criminal penalties in most of Europe and Latin America. Further information on this subject can be found on Wikipedia. Other relationships exist, such as parents are obligated to protect their children from harm (even self-inflicted or masochistic harm) when the children are minors. This legal principle of trying to save each other from peril is generally based off of the Golden Rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

However, having one allows physicians to bypass these basic principles by letting them kill patients engages in special pleading by saying it is permissible for someone take their own life under certain circumstances. In this case, this certain circumstance is having a medical professional, who is likely sworn to do no harm to patients, be the one who kills you. Someone who hangs themselves in their closet killed themselves; a doctor who gives someone a lethal pill killed their patient.

This would, of course, contradict the patient's freedom of choosing to commit suicide with a physician's help. The issue, however, is more complex than that. Forcing a doctor to euthanize is against the doctor's freedom. As a libertarian and a classical liberal, I believe it isn't wrong to have freedom, and an individual has the right to life, liberty, and property. But allowing euthanasia makes doctors tacit killers, and killing human beings is an easy point to draw the line where it is right to reject one's freedom. That's what the existence of laws and the State attempt to do: prevent people from fully expressing their freedom when that choice it can come to harm others.

Also, as a libertarian, I do not want to give the State the ability to allow citizens to kill each other more than it already does (through murder, negligence, euthanasia, etc.). One misjudgment of a human life is unfortunate and tragic, but institutionalized ones are potentially catastrophic. Blackstone's formulation of letting ten guilty persons go is better than causing an innocent person to suffer shows that one misstep involving killing someone is too grave of a price. One involuntary physician-assisted suicide is too many to be dismissed as being "part of life".

Debate Round No. 2


linate forfeited this round.


Since Pro forfeited his ability to make a further argument for Round 3 of this debate, I will voluntarily do likewise.

Vote fairly, readers.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by NiamC 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Ok... I will award sources to con for presenting more sources (*cough cough one source)... I will reward a conduct point to con due to the other side's forfeit. Both arguments were strong but I feel that they werent strong enough to actually refute their opponents arguments