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Suicide is a Rational Decision

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2018 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,115 times Debate No: 118767
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
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I honestly don't know where I stand on this issue, But I want to hear the multiple sides of the arguments.

The argument against euthanasia or assisted suicide is that in order to assist someone in suicide, You first require their consent. In order for a person to give their consent, They must be of sane mind. The problem then manifests when the argument is made that a person with suicidal thoughts or desires is not of sane mind, And therefore cannot given consent. Interested to hear whether other people believe that a person with suicidal thoughts can come to that conclusion rationally or not.


Well, I guess this isn't a debate, Since you don't know where you stand. I do, However think it's great that you are trying to hear from multiple sides. I'm also not sure if you're talking about assisted suicide, Or just regular suicide. I'll just assume it's assisted suicide since that's what you touched on in your initial piece. So allow me to try and convince you.

I do not think that assisted suicide should be allowed. While, Yes the person in question would take up hospital space, There are solutions to that. You can bring hospital beds to homes, So that would solve the problem of taking up hospital space. If the person is in extreme agony, Then there are drugs like morphine that can help take care of it. A lot of times, Just the presence of the person is comforting to the family. Just knowing they are still alive can have tremendous effect. Plus, The longer they stay alive, The longer a family will have to sort out finances and funeral expenses for when they do pass away. Going back to that point you made, Where you need consent to carry it out, The person may change their mind. Maybe they are going through a phase of depression at the moment, And they may change their mind later, And spend more time enjoying the time spent with their families, Which would not be able to happen if they had died. Plus, Whoever carries out the act will have an enormous emotional burden, Knowing that they killed someone. Even though the person wanted them to do it, They may overthink it and wonder, As I said above, If that was actually what they wanted or if they were just having a temporary phase of depression. The point still stands, Though, How would you feel if you knew that you were responsible for the death of a loved one? Pain medication isn't perfect of course, And going back to my morphine piece, Pain medicines don't work in 1-4% of cases, But in those, Sedation can work. As I said before, Even if they are sedated, Their presence is still comforting. Also, Good medical practitioners aim to fix or heal the pain by treating it, Not by killing the person, With or without their permission. Also, In Belgium, Assisted suicide was legalized, And it is a slippery slope, And now children can be euthanized if they want to. Another reason to not allow it is because medical technology changes rapidly, And in the case of Magic Johnson, He thought he was going to die, But a treatment for AIDS came around before that happened, And he was cured. So, I'm not really sure what the second round will be, But I hope this helped you decide which side you will take. Thank you for letting me take part in this debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your response! Allow me to clarify the point of my posting this debate topic.

The ultimate point that I'm making is that Suicide is a rational decision. This is to say that adults, Free of mental illnesses and insanity are able to give reasonable consent and have agency over their own deaths. To my understanding, Arguments against this line of thinking stem from the point that suicidal thoughts can not and do not manifest in people of sane minds, Therefore suicidal thoughts are only ever thoughts of insanity. Thus on the basis of this claim of insanity, A person cannot give consent for assisted suicide. Although I don't know where I personally stand on the issue, In terms of my own morality, I do believe that suicide is a decision one can come to rational and with a clear mind.

To offer rebuttals of your arguments:

1) Hospital Bed Space - opportunity cost comes to mind here. If a person who desires suicide is forced to occupy bed space, That is a bed that could be used to help another person who wants to live. Even if you bring the bed into a house, The resources utilized for the person could be used for another who has a desire to live.

2) Extreme Pain - Prescription painkillers to deal with extreme pain symptoms are meant to be used for discrete medical events (wisdom tooth removal, Birth/Delivery, Etc. ) They are not intended to be long term solutions to pain and thus are priced incredibly high. In addition to the financial cost, The physical toll of painkillers and the buildup of tolerance can be more detrimental as it simply prolongs inevitable death and the possibility of overdose is high. Quality of life is also sacrificed as painkillers such as morphine and oxycodone place the patient in a euphoric state of mind. That state is akin to getting high and I can't see that, Or worse complete sedation, As being a sustainable or beneficial lifestyle for someone who wants to die since they lose their autonomy and control of their thoughts or decisions.

3) Family Sensitivity - This point holds no weight in this argument, As an individual's personal choices can be made with or without regard for family.

4) Change of heart - People are capable of changing their mind and I won't try to argue that point; however, That's a huge what-if and suicide is typically not an impulsive decision but rather the last resort. I don't consider this point valid due to speculation on the thoughts of a person choosing suicide. Neither of us know whether or not a person would change their mind and therefore we should not speculate on those thoughts.

5) Assisting in suicide - For the same reason as point 3, I do not believe this is a valid point. The point of the debate topic is the general moral assertion that suicide is a rational decision, Not the feelings of third party entities.

6) Medical Practitioners - Irrelevant as in points 3 and 5.

7) Belgium - While I'm aware of the existence of the legality of assisted suicide in Belgium, I'm not familiar with the actual policy and whether or not they consider suicide and suicidal thoughts to be rational thoughts. If they do, Then the country is in agreement with my argument.

Let me know what your thoughts are on the actual argument that Suicide is a rational decision and is something a perfectly clear-minded individual is capable of having.


Ok, Thank you for the clarification, That helps a lot.

I do believe that rational people would not even consider suicide, But there may be an exception with terminal illness as you have mentioned. However, With a terminal illness, The pain and suffering may cloud their judgement and I would disagree that suicide is a last resort. As we have seen, People can suffer bouts of depression and then come out of it. Suicide can absolutely be an impulsive decision. I do understand that what I'm talking about here is different than assisted suicide, But I believe the point carries over, As in that it can be brought on and leave in an instant. So, That's my point on the morals of it again.

But if we are arguing solely on the logical side of it, Then yes you would be correct, A person can make a rational decision to end their lives.

I don't agree that it is a correct choice under any circumstances, Or that the morals of it are correct, But, Again, Logically you would be correct. This is my first debate, And thank you for the experience, You made some really, Really good points. I'll use some of this experience to become more involved in the community of this website. Unless you have something else to post for round three, I'll concede this argument
Debate Round No. 2


joostinchang forfeited this round.


hhhweras forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Unstobbaple 2 years ago
The best discussion I've hear on this is over here: https://samharris. Org/podcasts/the-lessons-of-death/

Just my thought here. It's not relevant if it makes sense imo. We are bioengineered to not \be able to do it. That's the rub so it's not really worth thinking on.
Posted by Charlatte 2 years ago
Suicide is not a rational decision. Often they will have depression making it making it more difficult to deal with anything, Even if it is something simple that can be solved. If they are in actual pain that cannot be stopped then it would be rational. Pain such as mental illness with no cure/expensive treatment, Or physical disability.
Posted by Bobadilla430 3 years ago
Suicide is never the answer. Suicidal thoughts come to those who have an error in the thought process, And can be treated if they get the right therapy. Another thing, At the risk of sounding super insensitive, Is that it's also a bit selfish. You're taking away the potential that you could've contributed to the world.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
In some circumstances there is nothing left worth living for. A perfectly rational individual can come to this conclusion. Sanity is not well defined.
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
Not that i really thought this through. .
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
I think assisted suicide should only be for people in unbarable permanent pain
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