The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Should euthanasia be legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 520 times Debate No: 89254
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Euthanasia should be legalized, because it is the morally correct way, and no human should have to suffer. To deny a means of ending suffering and pain is inhumane, and is denying a basic human right. A suffering person should have the right to end it, no matter what others think, and for a family member or relative to think he shouldn't because of their love for them is selfish, in the way that they still want to have them in their lives, despite that person suffering every day.

Before Con responds, I would like to say that I do not view religion-based arguments as very valid, with religion having no evidence to back it. Good luck.


Thank you for the opportunity to debate!

I will be opposing euthenasia. While the pursuit of happiness, is the ideal goal in pro-euthenasia arguments, I think that there is a massive gray area that is not being addressed. Due to the fact that the Pro has not defined which type of euthenasia we will be addressing I will lay out the definitions and use each in the following arguments.

"Passive Euthanasia

Hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course is known as passiveeuthanasia. Examples include such things as turning off respirators, halting medications, discontinuing food and water so asto allowing a person to dehydrate or starve to death, or failure to resuscitate. Passive euthanasia also includes giving a patient large doses of morphine to control pain, in spite of the likelihood that thepainkiller will suppress respiration and cause death earlier than it otherwise would have happened. Such doses of painkillershave a dual effect of relieving pain and hastening death. Administering such medication is regarded as ethical in mostpolitical jurisdictions and by most medical societies. These procedures are performed on terminally ill, suffering persons so that natural death will occur sooner. They are alsocommonly performed on persons in a persistent vegetative state; for example, individuals with massive brain damage or in acoma from which they likely will not regain consciousness." [1]

"Active Euthanasia

Far more controversial, active euthanasia involves causing the death of a person through a direct action, in response to arequest from that person. A well-known example of active euthanasia was the death of a terminally ill Michigan patient onSeptember 17, 1998. On that date, Dr. Jack Kevorkian videotaped himself administering a lethal medication to ThomasYouk, a 52-year old Michigan man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. CBS broadcast the videotape on 60 Minutes less thana week later. Authorities subsequently charged Kevorkian with first-degree premeditated murder, criminal assistance of asuicide, and delivery of a controlled substance for administering lethal medication to a terminally ill man. There was nodispute that the dose was administered at the request of Mr. Youk, nor any dispute that Mr. Youk was terminally ill. A juryfound Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder in 1999. He was sent to prison." [1]

"Physician-Assisted Suicide

Somewhat of a hybrid between passive and active euthanasia is physician-assisted suicide (PAS), also known as voluntarypassive euthanasia. In this situation, a physician supplies information and/or the means of committing suicide (e.g., aprescription for lethal dose of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide gas) to a person, so that that individual cansuccessfully terminate his or her own life. Physician-assisted suicide received greater public attention after Dr. Kevorkian, a retired pathologist from Michigan,participated in his first such procedure in 1990. Kevorkian set up a machine that allowed a 54-year-old woman suffering fromAlzheimer's disease (a degenerative neurological condition) to press a button that delivered a lethal poison into her veins.Kevorkian went on to assist in the suicides of dozens of individuals suffering from terminal, debilitating, or chronic illnesses.In 1992, Michigan passed an assisted-suicide bill (Mich. Comp. Laws § 752.1021) that was specifically designed to stopKevorkian's activities, but technicalities and questions as to its constitutionality delayed its implementation, thus allowingKevorkian to continue assisting suicides—often in direct opposition to court injunctions.

Kevorkian was charged with murder several times but was not initially found guilty. When murder charges were broughtagainst him for his first three assisted suicides, for example, they were dismissed because Michigan, at that time, had nolaw against assisted suicide. In 1994, Kevorkian was tried and found not guilty of assisting in the August 1993 suicide ofThomas W. Hyde Jr. In December 1994, however, Michigan's supreme court ruled in People v. Kevorkian, 447 Mich. 436,527 N.W. 2d 714, that there is no constitutional right to commit suicide, with or without assistance, and upheld the Michiganstatute that made assisted suicide a crime. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Kevorkian's appealfrom the state supreme court's ruling.

Observers disagree about the humanity of Kevorkian's activities. Some see him as a hero who sought to give sufferingpeople greater choice and dignity in dying. Others point to his lack of procedural precautions and fear that the widespreadpractice of assisted suicide will lead to the unnecessary death of people who could have been helped by other means,including treatment for depression. Many opponents of assisted suicide find the same faults in the practice that they see inother forms of euthanasia. They envision its leading to a devaluation of human life and even to a genocidal killing ofvulnerable or so-called undesirable individuals." [1]

"Involuntary Euthanasia

The term involuntary euthanasia is used to describe the killing of a person who has not explicitly requested aid in dying.This term is most often used with respect to patients who are in a persistent vegetative state and who probably will neverrecover consciousness." [1]

The gray areas:

To address the first case of euthenasia being problematic is the vegetative case: A family member is incapacitated and unable of cognitive thought, the family is less than amiable, so the executor of the incapacitated members living will decides that it is time for them to pass on. For a number of reasons there is a massive conflict of interest, the first of those being the person who is incapacitated could wish still to live however they are not given that choice. Nullifying their pursuit of happiness. Please see involuntary euthenasia as a reference to this.

I look forward to the Pros rebuttal!


Debate Round No. 1


ilyas4156 forfeited this round.


I believe the Pro meant to make the time to debate longer. I move to start the debate over, and keep the initial arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


ilyas4156 forfeited this round.


Mfuss forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Mfuss 2 years ago
Pro I believe you did not mean for such a flash round?
Posted by DiegoJuan403 2 years ago
Why are religion based argument nots valid doesn't it make the debate more interesting?
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