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

Euthanasia should be legalised

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,229 times Debate No: 58859
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




First round is for acceptance. Second round are the opening statements with no rebuttals. Third round is for further arguments and rebuttals. Fourth round will then be rebuttals of the previous round while the final round is for closing statements.


I accept this debate. I will be arguing that euthanasia (I am assuming of humans) should not be legal.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I will address some of the key points against the legalisation of Euthanasia.
A common misconception of assisted suicide is that it drastically shortens the life span of the person and that recovery was going to occur in the very near future. However, in a Dutch report about Euthanasia, it was found that the procedure actually only shortened the lifespan of the patients. This proves that Euthanasia is not an easy way out but more of a quicker exit with less pain.
Another point against euthanasia is that it goes against having a good quality of life. Actually it does the exact opposite. It often improves the quality of life. For instance, if you have terminal illness you can die at any time and will spend the majority of your remaining life span being scared of death and therefore would not enjoy your life to the extent that you normally would. However, if you knew exactly when you were going to die then that fear would be removed and therefore you are free to enjoy your life to its fullest extent. A quote from a person diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer"s, who became an avid campaigner of assisted dying, was that As I have said, I would like to die peacefully with Thomas Tallis on my iPod before the disease takes me over and I hope that will not be for quite some time to come, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice."
One of the biggest myths of assisted dying is that assisted suicide will lead to pressure for old people to die, but in fact, Oregon, the first state to legalise euthanasia after the law taking effect have had just 341, up until 2008. And the groups mainly labelled as the weaker part of society, the poor, the minority and the elderly are actually the least common group to request assisted suicide. In fact, it"s often the group that are labeled as the least vulnerable members of society, young white men that past often request aid with suicide.
Euthanasia rejection is often based on the opinion that it is the "lesser of two evils" in fact, the alternatives to euthanasia are horrific. The case of Kelly Taylor, a young lady who was denied euthanasia, and so starved herself for 19 days. Furthermore, Tony Nicklinson, a white British Male, was denied Euthanasia in both 2010 and 2012, despite being unable to move a single muscle in his body as a sufferer of "locked in" syndrome, a condition often described as "a fate worse than death". Unable to do the job himself or to ask anyone else to do it for him, he died in "indignity and misery" from pneumonia after starving himself for a week.
Another myth to do with Euthanasia is that it will open the flood gates for deaths. In the Netherlands, where Euthanasia is legal, there are about 3000 requests to die. That may seem like a considerable amount, but in fact it accounts for just 1.7% of deaths. And that isn't the ones who are accepted. The Netherlands system has made it complex and very difficult to achieve and so just 1/3 of those who apply actually achieve it.
Finally, I will address the Hippocratic Oath, which is "do no harm" (a rough summation). This is an ancient guide for doctor"s actions. This is often falsely misinterpreted as "do nothing to harm the patient"s chances of survival but, in fact could quite easily been seen as "don"t artificially keep someone alive when death is preferable". When a patient is in intense pain or several metal anguish, we do, in fact, harm them more by sustaining their survival then by killing them.
In conclusion, it is all about whether we decide to sustain an inevitable and more painful death, or to not sit back and watch someone suffer but to choose to do something about it. Until we stop sitting of the fence and decide to help those in need, the suffering will continue for a long time.

Keep calm and vote Pro!!
My source:



As Con in this debate, I will be primarily concerned with where the burden of proof lies. It is a common fallacy to shift the burden of proof onto your opponent without justification. My goal is to show that there is an entirely legitimate reason to think the Pro should have to meet a very hefty burden - namely, that the killing of a human being is an act of enormous moral consequence. Because this is the only original argument that I have to defend, I will be primarily focused on rebuttals. If I can knock down Pro's arguments low enough that they cannot pass over the bar set by this consideration, then I will have won the debate.


Killing a human being is an act of enormous moral significance.

This statement is not a claim about whether it is right or wrong to kill a human being in general - although it is usually wrong, there are some situations where it may be right. What is important is that it is an act of great moral magnitude - the unjust killing of a human being is an act of great evil, and the just killing of a human being must be carried out in the service of a great good.

The moral significance of this act is predicated on the enormous intrinsic value of human lives. A human life is filled with experiences, thoughts, relationships, perspectives, and emotions that greatly exceed those of any other living creature. Everything that we consider valuable in the world, such as scientific advances, cultural achievements, and economic wealth, is important only in relation to its ability to enrich human lives. To kill a human is to intentionally destroy what we consider to be the most intrinsically valuable thing in the universe.

It is true that humans are capable of experiencing great pain and sadness. Although I would not deny the right of individuals to end their lives if they believe their suffering is too great to endure, that does not mean that such choices are desirable. Pain and suffering are also part of the rich tapestry of human experience, and the desire to overcome them has fueled many of humanity's greatest advances. To take your own life is to give up on history's greatest struggle - for a third party to do so on your behalf should be unthinkable.

I do nonetheless agree that it is sometimes necessary to kill people. For example, it may be necessary to kill a person to prevent them from imminently causing great harm to others. The burden is on Pro to show that it is acceptable to kill a person simply to prevent them from suffering, even while suffering remains an important part of what the struggle to live is all about. As I suggested in the introduction, it will clearly not be sufficient for Pro to show that preventing suffering is merely a mildly good idea.


Because Pro has not organized his arguments in any particular way, I am going to organize them under headings to facilitate my own responses. I could also just use the organization from Listverse.... see below. Hopefully this will make it easier for readers to follow the debate. I will attempt to present Pro's arguments as charitably as possible - he is free to correct me. I also do not intend for my choice of organization to be binding on my opponent in any way.

(1) Euthanasia does not significantly shorten the lifespan of patients.

Pro actually says that "...It was found that the procedure actually only shortened the lifespan of the patients", but I assume that this was a mistake. Regardless, it carries no weight against my argument, which is concerned with the act of killing people rather than the shortening of their lives which inevitably results.

(2) Euthanasia does not reduce the patients quality of life.

Once again, I am concerned with the act of killing - I do not believe that euthanasia lowers a patients quality of life, and my argument does not require this claim to be true. Pro makes no progress toward meeting his burden of proof by trying to preemptively rebut arguments that were never made in this debate.

(3) Legalized euthanasia will not create pressure for old people to die.

Irrelevant for the same reason as the previous two arguments.

(4) Prohibiting euthanasia results in painful suicides.

This argument seems to assume that the best way to prevent a person from painfully killing themselves is to have them killed less painfully. Obviously suicide is not the only alternative to euthanasia. Because human lives are so valuable, people should be discouraged from killing themselves as much as possible. It is an unfortunate reality that some people will live unhappy lives - that does not justify killing them, even with their consent. People all around the world suffer due to poverty, war, famine, and other ills. It would be utterly wrong to assist such people in killing themselves just because their lives are unpleasant. Even when the odds are against it, we should also strive to improve human lives rather than ending them.

This is also where the burden of proof issue comes in. Does the goal of preventing preventing the suffering described by Pro pass muster? I would argue that it does not. Pro provides the example of a woman who starved for 19 days before her eventual death. Although I find this very sad, it is also true that thousands of people did of starvation every day. It would rightly be considered wrong to euthanize such people to prevent their suffering. The suffering that is alleviated by preventing three weeks of starvation is also far less than that alleviated by the archetypal example of a just killing - the killing of a terrorist who may cause dozens of people to die or suffer for decades from their injuries. Even typical street criminals can potentially cause much more harm than results from three weeks of starvation, and the use of lethal force against them is often considered unjust.

(5) Euthanasia will open the floodgates for more voluntary deaths.

Although I have suggested that the arguments in favor of euthanasia imply that suicide is a legitimate solution to life's problems is general, I am nonetheless not going to argue this point. My argument is concerned with the moral ramifications of killing people on an individual basis, not with the more widespread social consequences of legalizing euthanasia in general. This preemptive rebuttal is therefore irrelevant like arguments (1)-(3).

(6) Euthanasia is not a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Although this is another irrelevant preemptive objection, it is still worth pointing out that it is completely false. It is abundantly clear that neither Pro, nor for that matter the author of the source of his arguments, has ever actually read the Hippocratic Oath. It very plainly states, "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel..." [1]. The principle that a doctor should "first, do no harm" is only tangentially related to euthanasia. What it means is that doctors should favor no treatment at all over treatment that is potentially harmful.

It is bad conduct for Pro to introduce an argument without even bothering to check its accuracy. The fact that his source is completely wrong about this also points to its general unreliability - unsurprisingly, the quality of research on Listverse leaves much to be desired.

Commentary on Formatting:

Pro's failure to include spaces between paragraphs makes his arguments very unpleasant to read. This was clearly not a mistake, since his argument was copied verbatim from another one of his debates [2]. If this continues for four more rounds, I may have to be euthanized. Failure to correct this issue should result in the loss of the conduct point.

Commentary on Sources:

Pro's argument is taken from his one source [3] to an extent that occasionally borders on plagiarism. This source does not back up a particular fact or statistic - it is simply another person's arguments for this debate. What's more, the arguments in Pro's source are better than his own - I might as well just debate Morris M. from Listverse. This kind of low effort debating is insulting to me as an opponent. I propose that Pro should lose both the sources vote and the conduct vote if this does not improve in future rounds.

Finally, I would suggest that because my argument is philosophical in nature, it should be expected that my sources are limited in number and cite only specific facts. I would also suggest that Pro should not receive credit in this area for citing statistics that are not relevant to the outcome of the debate. I have no desire to bog voters down with tedious citations in order to pander for this point when Pro has put forth so little effort.


My argument is most centered around establishing a single disadvantage to the resolution that is so great that Pro's arguments cannot overcome it. So far all but one of Pro's arguments has not attempted to do so. On the issue that this the central focus of the debate - whether the suffering of medical patients is sufficiently to justify killing them - Pro has so far not had to opportunity to say much. In future rounds I am expecting we will debate this issue in more detail. I am also hoping that Pro will correct many of the deficiencies in his presentation and originality so that we can have a better debate.


[3] is obviously not original to me and is included only for reference.

Debate Round No. 2


I'm sorry that my arguments were "unpleasant to read" but if you did not understand the rules, I quite clearly stated that The second round was opening statements with NO REBUTTALS. I'm relaively new here but I unerstand that as you have broken the rules, you forfeit all seven points to me. Apologies for any confusion.


Pro is correct that he did state in Round 1 that the second round was to be used for opening arguments only. I simply forgot about the format. I apologize for this mistake. However, I consider it utterly unreasonable for Pro to call for an automatic forfeit for placing arguments in the wrong round. Because I am obviously not going to use this round to post even more rebuttals, my mistake was entirely to Pro's advantage. He got to read my rebuttals before making his own, and I had to fit two rounds worth of content into one.

Unfortunately, Pro did not actually post his rebuttals in Round 3 either, so we cannot move on smoothly. In order to facilitate this debate, I will offer to skip Round 4, and squeeze the rest of the debate into Round 5. This will give Pro two rounds in a row and an extra round in total. I consider this compensation more than fair, since the only disadvantage Pro suffered (skipping Round 3) was his own doing. Any further discussion about this should go on in the comments section, not in the debate itself.

If Pro continues to insist on calling for a forfeit, then I leave it to voters to decide whether that is reasonable. There is no precedent that I know for any minor deviation from the rules to constitute a forfeit, especially when there is no warning to this effect. At worst, it should constitute a loss of the conduct point. But since my mistake was beneficial to Pro and I have made ever attempt at restitution, I think that this hardly outweighs the deficiencies in Pro's conduct throughout the debate. Indeed, I can not help but see this as a further attempt to win without any real effort.
Debate Round No. 3


Kiluren2202 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the round. That is also technically a violation of the rules, but I do not ask for any penalty. I offered to cede this round to Pro as compensation for my earlier screw up, and I will follow through with that offer. I hope that Pro will choose continue the debate in Round 5.
Debate Round No. 4


Kiluren2202 forfeited this round.


It looks like Pro has decided to forfeit the debate.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by debatemaster3395 4 years ago
I understand that @Paradigm broke the rules, but please don't forfeit next time
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Romanii 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.... Pro, next time your opponent unintentionally breaks the rules, don't quit the debate; continue with it, and the voters will probably give you the conduct point to penalize your opponent for their mistake... quitting just ensures that you will lose.

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