Do You Agree or Disagree With Euthanasia or Mercy Killing?
Euthanasia is the deliberate advancement of a person's death for the benefit of that person. In most cases euthanasia is carried out because the person asks to die, but there are cases where a person can't make such a request.
A person who undergoes euthanasia is usually terminally ill. Euthanasia can be carried out either by doing something, such as administering a lethal injection, or by not doing something necessary to keep the person alive (for example failing to keep their feeding tube going).
In my opinion it's not moral to kill a person even if they are terminally ill because this person need a chance to live along and see his life, but there are people that disagree.
I have a debate in my college about this topic and I'd like to hear if you agree or disagree with euthanasia.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
It frees up hospital beds and resources
Long term palliative care for the terminally ill is a huge and ultimately wasteful drain on medical resources. Why waste these precious resources on someone who has expressed a desire to die, when they could be improving the life of someone who wants to live?
In addition, these resources could be re-allocated to further the research of the specific disease the patient is suffering in order to allow future generations to either not have the disease or increase the quality level of care for future patients of this disease by alleviating the symptoms of the disease at the very least.
In addition, if the patient is an organ donator and the organs are healthy, it may save up several lives which are ultimately invaluable.
working in the care system with people with dementia i have to say in many cases its cruel to keep them alive, we are kinder to our pets when so ill. This is an awful disease which takes any quality of life away, One lady i know has been bed ridden for 5 years unable to communicate , move her limbs or anything if the nazis had done this to people it would be a war crime. This is not about god or any other belief its about common sense. Everyone should have the right to say while they are still of good mind if they get this or another illness at a certain stage they have their life ended,
What i see every day is slow often distressing painful deaths which is no more than cruelty,we really have to change the way we think
It ends the patient life because he/she is already terminally ill
The rebuttal presupposes that an individual needs to wait for a hypothetical existence of a treatment being developed on an assumption that decisions that are finalized is not a justification for terminating a patient's life at one's explicit consent. If decisions made in your life were to be stagnated each and every time in order for an opportunity to arise everytime, the basis for this principle would not be a good one at the very least.
Wait one day, wait one week, wait one month, we'll stay back and see. An indecisiveness for something which might not exist within one's lifetime would make a claim for which things ought to be reversible or decisions ought to be remade in order for things to be "controlled" in a manner. In this respect, of the practice of "Euthanasia", death is the ultimate goal of avoidance and thus a finalized decision of upholding pain until the very last minute of life in respect to waiting for a treatment outweighs the ultimate outcome of death. The opposition makes a claim that reversibility of a decision that may be regretted later due to it being finalized is better on these grounds, however, if life was controllable in all aspects and under all possible circumstances, we were able to scroll back on our decisions, what meaningful would arise out of the circumstances for which our decisions are made on? What would the product of our actions, time and energy be? Aren't these decisions philosophically what identify us as who we are even to the extent of a life or death situation? Also, even if a cure was possible, what complications will arise thereafter? What if the patient is of old age and will die anyways but has already lived a long healthy life? It cannot be justified to deem that waiting for something which might or might not exist in a future to occur outweighs the prospect of pain. Wait for a miracle "cure", wait for a revolutionary science "discovery" to solve our problems, wait for a technological "innovation"...this line of thought may be wise in some situations but not necessarily in the case of Euthanasia.
It relieves suffering
Appeal to "naturalism" is a very bad argument. We take medical pills, we put up an umbrella to avoid having rain fall on us, we try to not live in a tribal manner like our ancestors where we deem ourselves to live a civilized life where we do not simply kill eachother and rape eachother because its the "natural conclusion" of our actions. Suffering may a part of the human condition and it can be argued to be useful in preventing us from self-destructive habits, physical dismemberment or physiological damage due to negligence of the body, etc. However, does that justify that we ought to endure a pointless pain just because it must be part of life's experience? Just because life is unfair doesn't mean we should start treating others unfairly, or just because sex is a part of the human experience, that we have an obligation to perform intercourse. Also, if an argument of biological existence is made, then why is it limited to humans in the treatment of this manner? What is the difference between existence and living? Do people want to live in a state where they cannot progress, breathe, talk, hear, see, suffer from paralysis and slowly die? People do want to live, and merely existing is not enough. If we just had to exist, then why do we need a spectrum of other human experiences? Why do not we just limit ourselves to sleep, eat, reproduce, etc? There is more to life than existing in such a state.
i think that it is our fate and nothing happens in theis world just like that for no reason. Everything in this world happen for a reason that could be beneficial for that person but he or she may not realise it.
You may say know that how if a person is suffering severly from ilness would that be a good thing for him or her ?? Bu toyu never know. I mean that i take as murder. We all say and agree that murder is something really bad and is not allowed so how come killing a person is the right thing?? Even if that person is suffering.What would you call it? Wouldn't you call it killing.
I will say that life is something complicated. It is not something that we could ever realise and understand 100 percent but each and every single person lives for a reason and when someone would die i definitly don't have the choice to choose whether to kill that person or not even if he or she is suffering. Maybe yes a person would absolutely like to avoid suffering and have a relaxed life but sometimes and mostly always things don't always turn out to be exactly like what we want. So I think it depends on how a person believes in God if he or she have faith in God then they will know that this is the will of God and will take it. We can't say that there is a life with no suffering each and every person in his life have suffered in their life but it is how you deal with them that matters and not to run away because you're afraid to face them or afraid that you would suffer because they alwaus say that you will always face your biggest fears in your life. So i would never kill a person and take the blame for it my entire life as i might someday sit alone and ask myself a question, did i kill my mother??
Right to choose
Our legal system also recognises that assisting a suicide attempt is a crime.
Human beings are independent biological entities, and as an adult, have the right to take and carry out decisions about themselves. A human being decides who they spend their life with, their career path, where they live, whether to bear children. So what is the harm in allowing a terminally ill patient to decide for themselves whether they die in a hospital or in their own home? Surely a terminally ill sufferer is better qualified to decide for themselves whether they are better off dead or alive? Their disease makes them so crippled they cannot commit suicide alone. A quote from The Independent in March 2002 stated that “So long as the patient is lucid, and his or her intent is clear beyond doubt, there need be no further questions” [[ The Independent" Editiorial Make euthansia available for those who can choose it http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/make-euthanasia-available-for-those-who-can-choose-it-653034.html Accessed 03.09]]. Human beings should be as free as possible and unnecessary restraints on human rights are strongly discouraged.
The opposition makes an arguement of inclination. However, it ought to be rejected that people, intuitions or legal entities should advocate the death of an individual. The life an individual rests in the considerations of the consequences of an individual's actions. If we deny them this right, we make a claim that we own their life. We own the product of their time, energy and utility. This is something we must never fall into. Although it may be said from a financial sense, things aren't good; we do attempt to put human life in an invaluable scale. It may be said that human beings are precious for various reasons, but the value of an individual's life can never be determined by the state, another individual or entity. Even though life insurances are in place, the individual's self-assigned worth is what gives the individual its own worth for its very own existence.
Furthermore the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Diane Pretty that a person does not has a recognised right to die as stated in this quote: "No right to die, whether at the hands of a third person or with the assistance of a public authority could be derived." [[ BBC Online News "British woman denied right to die" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1957396.stm%5D%5D
Unfortunately giving any sort of ‘right to chose’ also denies a right to choose for others. If Euthanasia is allowed then people who are terminally ill, critically injured or simply old may well feel compelled to choose and option they don’t really want to take. If Euthanasia is allowed in some cases these people whose treatment may be costing relatives or the state a lot of money may well feel that they are not worth the cost of keeping them alive. This is not something we would want anyone to feel as in essence it takes away their freedom of choice on the matter.
Relatives spared the agony of watching their loved ones deteriorate beyond recognition
While it may be an 'agony to watch a loved one deteriorate' many will also want to spend as long as possible with their loved ones, and more than likely a family will be split on the matter meaning that the views of the family would have to have no impact on the matter.
It reduces the spread of diseases
The relationship between Law and Medical Ethics
The foundation of medical ethics relies upon the understanding of the consent (when applicable) of the patient to the procedure and the discretion, judgment, and experience of the medical profession to whom the patient has entrusted their care. The basis of good and ethical health and health systems relies upon the integrity of this.
Also, without the law then attempts to even test a society with PAS wouldn't exists anyway. Simply put, the law is what safeguards patients, doctors, and everyone else in the medical field, anywhere.
And still, any change in health care can directly affect not just what humans can do, but how humans think about being human (and, therefore, what rights and obligations humans should have). As issues of between medical ethics and the law come into play the importance of prudent use of law to protect health and safety becomes central. Finally, issues of social justice and resource allocation are presented more starkly in the medical care context than in any other context.
The Ethical Safeguards of PAS
Many problems arise when physicians try to diagnose a disease that will be terminal or try to recognize the terminal phases of an illness. For example, a person who has recently been infected with HIV can be considered to have a condition that will be terminal, yet 10% to 17% of such persons are still without sequelae of immunodeficiency at 20 years. Cardiac disease is the leading cause of death in the United States , but persons with atherosclerotic disease are not considered to be terminally ill even though their deaths may occur at any moment.
This has much to do with why PAS is very hard to implement. These definitions will differ not just in the US, but in other nations around the world. At the point we recognize this to be true, proposition would be granting the right to PAS for some people, and yet not for others. This is why we look to palliative care, because, at the very least, the standards are clear.
Furthermore, we say that patients who are terminally ill may have a single disease process (such as a brain tumor) that will, in and of itself, cause death; they may have a disease (such as leukemia) that weakens them to the point where a second condition (such as pneumonia) may overwhelm and kill them; or they may have a combination of diseases, each of which makes the other incurable (for example, severe lung disease and cardiac disease). The prognosis will alter as the patient makes decisions about treatment of the primary disease or intercurrent illnesses.
But let's talk about Oregon: In the first year Oregon voters put PAS into law, 15 patients had undergone PAS. However, only four of the candidates had psychological or psychiatric consultations. Eleven others did not. Since the way in which PAS has been provided in a current system has not been shown to be systematic, it has shown to not be fair either. Surgeons don't operate without informing a patient of all their options, or doctors do not prescribe prescriptions without allowing for other options, yet PAS physicians have been able to let some patients undergo consulting while others don't have as much help. Because of this, PAS is inherently unfair on the basis that some patients will have access to more knowledge than others - this is important because all patients are attempting to make the same choice.
Discrimination in Palliative Care and how PAS can end it
Those in the third world are the most discriminated against in the area of palliative care. They are denied basic analgesics because of their economic situation. “Morphine is a cheap, safe analgesic, yet most patients in developing countries are denied access to this drug.” Palliative care is also weakened in the Third World by “the lack of effective models for…delivery.” The palliative care options are often limited to those available to the family. Though physicians may be available, long-term palliative care is often ineffective as the physicians must respond to a large area of need and the constant support is left up to the family of the patient, who are limited in resources and training.
Minority groups are less likely to be given palliative care. Dalits, African Americans, and other minority groups are systemically given poor health care coverage and treatment. The result is that they face more emergency care rather than preventative and more inpatient non-palliative deaths. Without the option for PAS, minority groups often face alienated deaths in the institutions that have alienated them.In the case of the Roma people, both an ethnic and a lifestyle minority are discriminated against without access to PAS. Because of their nomadic way of life, the European healthcare system allows them to fall through the many cracks. When they plead for the right to die, they are denied PAS on “ethical” grounds. The European healthcare system, like many worldwide, is inherently biased to those who have a lifestyle of the majority, i.e. with a permanent residence.
Legalizing physician-assisted suicide is merely a part of the debate about improving end-of-life care. It cannot be viewed as a quick and easy fix, or a way to protect patients from inadequate care arrangements. Too many people still suffer needlessly, often because doctors and families just do not know how to serve people who are dying. The main problem lies with a lack of knowledge. Many suffer because doctors fail to provide adequate medication for pain. To legalize physician-assisted suicide would make real reform, such as better pain control, less likely. And ultimately hurts the growth of the medical industry. Without the reform of pain medication, patients end up with no prospects to live well while dying. In this scenario, making suicide an option is not offering a genuine choice but instead forcing a decision on the patient who again loses rights under this plan the affirmative have presented.
How to Save a Life
We would also say that a push for organs would decrease the amount of care given even with a PAS. Because now the focus is not on the patient but on their organs.
In the status quo, people who are registered donors are at times kept on life support against (against their will, something we though, the proposition did not like) to determine the organs sustainability for transplant.
Finally, if patients who have been cleared for PAS under the guidelines set out by the proposition, then they are already terminally ill, and thus, have failing organs already, not in good enough condition for transplant.
1) Supporting PAS is not supporting the end of palliative care. The opposition has stated time and time again how palliative care can be a good thing but just needs reform. This offers no direct clash with our plan and our line of argumentation throughout the entire debate. We recognize that palliative care as a viable option for patients, but we also have pointed out some of the pitfalls of palliative care and how PAS can be a benefit to those who have to suffer in these pits in some countries currently. Reform can be achieved in both PAS and palliative care under our plan. Fundamentally, we respect the preference of the patient to choose whichever option. The proposition is on the side of options and a death with dignity for citizens. We denounce the self-proclaiming moral arbiters that would force citizens to die only on the terms that they deem “natural” and “right” in the face of intense suffering and unbearable pain being felt by the patient.
2) Supporting PAS is not supporting the disproportional killing of coerced poor people and stigmatized groups. While this concern is certainly respectable, it is based simply on predicative fears. These fears have been discredited with the empirical evidence that we have provided from countries and states in which PAS is already supported. While we support these groups getting access to PAS, we certainly aren’t forcing them and neither is any outside party, as the data shows.
3) Supporting PAS is not supporting new cultural norms or ideologies that declare some lives are ‘not worth living’. What PAS promotes is that citizen’s are in control of the choice of how they want to end their lives. This idea finds opposition not in the prevailing attitudes of the people, but in the ideologies that someone or something should be in control other than the actual individual, whether it be the government, religion or someone’s definition of nature. It is time to break free from the shackles of these ideals into a world where citizens are individually empowered by supporting the right-to-die. Day by day more and more governments and citizens are recognizing this right and are strongly disavowing the antiquated positions that our opposition has argued for.
Now that we have removed what supporting assisted suicide is not, let’s look at what it is:
1) Supporting PAS is supporting a system that addresses the highly personal and situational manner of this issue while enforcing ethical safeguards that protect against any form of abuse to the utmost degree possible. Both sides agree that laws can indeed change, but when should these laws should change is where the debate lies. We refuse to maintain archaic laws in which the consent of the patient and expertise of the doctor is largely ignored. We believe that to support PAS is supporting a flexible and ethical system that can address this complex situation with the patient and doctor in mind and at the forefront.
2) Supporting PAS is supporting the idea that it is the state’s role to create conditions where citizens can make optimal decisions for themselves amongst viable options. We do not support an atmosphere where the state destroys options and makes the decision for its citizens, especially on the most sacred thing a person has, life.
3) Supporting PAS is supporting a system that not only ends lives more humanely, but saves lives as well. We are not advocating a vast increase in quantity but rather a quality increase in organ donation. We have stated that if these terminally ill patients are forced to live prolonged lives, vital organs will become increasingly weaker even if the disease does not directly affect specific organs. The system allows organ donation to be completed more efficiently, effectively and even at all in some cases.
The proposition offers quality of life over just mere quantity, choice on how to preserve this quality, and a way to preserve life of many people on organ donation waiting lists. We strongly believe we offer a far better system for these very reasons, masterpiece or not.
It is not moral to end the patient's life because he has the right to live longer
This point should be erased.
The debate specifically says "Do you agree or disagree with euthanasia or mercy killing?".
What is being advocated is the right of an individual to make a decision, not to have a say or coerce an individual to make the decision to want to die. Although in some cases, involuntary euthanasia has a dark region (grey area).
This point should be erased. The debate specifically says "Do you agree or disagree with euthanasia or mercy killing?". What is being advocated is the right of an individual to make a decision, not to have a say or coerce an individual to make the decision to want to die. Although in some cases, involuntary euthanasia has a dark region (grey area).
It is murder
They consider euthanasia the equivalent of murder, which is against the law everywhere in civilized society.So, we sould maintain the respect for human life in a secular pluralistic society
Secondly for describing euthansia the Germans use the term Sterbehilfe which means "help to die" so while the person and maybe society may be complicit in the "killing of a person" they are accessories and not the actual agents of the killing as they are helping a person to die rather than determining that a person should die, something that would be viewed as murder [[Collins lanugage dictionary]] .
Sanctity of life
. This principle must be safeguarded by law, as moral absolutes of this kind are necessary for a functioning legal system.
Additionally if this arguement is extended, certain individuals pick and choose biblical scripture (not wiping out the land of a certainr ace) or selectively identify parts as something obselete (i.e. agricultural practices). If an individual does this, the individual believes that there is a morality outside of religious morality above the standard for which the biblical or context in which religion takes place and thus it is moot whether the bible says so or not.
Making the decision for yourself, or others?
Voluntary Euthanasia gives doctors too much power
In countries where euthanasia is currently legal, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, strict legal guidelines are in place to ensure that the process does not include such problems. All patients who request euthanasia require the diagnoses of at least two doctors to verify the terminal nature of their illness, and undergo psychological examination by these doctors and often other experts to examine the reasons for their choice. It is not a situation of "Surely it is wrong to give one or two individuals the right to decide whether a patient should live or die?"; it is one of two medical professionals deciding whether the legal parameters allow them to enact the patient’s wishes. [[ Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs"A Guide to the Dutch Termination of life on Request and Assisted Suicide (review procedures) Act – April 2002" p3 http://www.minbuza.nl/binaries/en-pdf/faq-2008/faq-euthanasie-2008-en.pdf%5D Accessed on 01.06.09]]
It is worth noting that, at the moment, doctors can effectively use euthanasia anyway. Firstly, under the "doctrine of double effect", a doctor is allowed to give a patient, upon their request, a dose of painkilling medication which as a secondary effect speeds up the death of the patient. [[ Alison McIntyre "Doctrine of Double Effect" Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/double-effect/ Accessed 01.06.09 ]]Secondly, all patients have both the right to refuse treatment, and the ability to make a "living will", which doctors are compelled to consider if the patient is unable to express their wishes during illness. [[ Direct gov "Government, citizens and rights- How to make a living will-http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/Preparation/DG_10029429 01.06.09]]
A Lack of Responsbility
The Price They Pay
whom had a swollen tumor in her sinuses that made her face severely disfigured. These people felt like prisoners to their own existence, their quality of life was in fact diminished not "perceived". We believe no person or government has a right to keep these people entangled in a web of suffering. We recognize that people can continue their lives even in dire situations, but we believe the government should not force them to continue a life of suffering.
2) The opposition says that a “violation of procedures” can occur, such as a failure to report. Unfortunately we do not live in a world where the medical practice can be absolutely infallible. This is more an argument against any sort of medical procedure, life saving or life ending because these problems are not unique to any medical procedure, whether it be perceived as simple or complex . Involuntary euthanasia is not a problem with our safeguards and able and competent doctors in place. Any doctor that would commit involuntary euthanasia with any form of consent from their patient would do so even without a legal PAS system because they have no regard for ethics.
3) Firstly, it seems the opposition is unclear as to why they object to the conditions that need to be fulfilled; because they are not stringent enough or because they are too stringent to be fulfilled by people who wish to exercise this right?
We are not exactly sure how our safeguards can be deemed “not possible” and “unrealistic” when they are the same safeguards put in place in the state of Oregon, which we have already stated in our opening arguments.[[http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/127.html]] This is not a chimerical proposition as the opposition has dismissed it as but in fact an actual and real life working system that has been around for 11 years.
This system, under which in fact the right to physician assisted suicide has been exercised by hundreds of patients since the law was passed in Oregon.
4) Rights do not demand to be exercised. We support the inalienable pursuit of Life but we do not support force-feeding life to citizens whom declare that they no longer want to participate in this pursuit for the ethically justifiable reasons stated in our case. We also grant citizen’s freedom of speech but does that mean they we should ban silence? Where governments allow dissent, it would be ludicrous to demand that all citizens must dissent in order to exercise their right. Instead, any theory of rights must protect the exercising of rights as well as the citizen’s choice to not participate, to not exercise their right. The right to life has to be forfeited at some point, and we support the right for our citizens to choose when they want to forfeit it. We see this in the status quo already - governments have ceased to consider suicide a crime. Why should assisted suicide for terminally ill patients be any different?
The Worst Evil
2) The only ideology that this supports is that a citizen's life and its value is actually in the hands of and defined by citizens instead of some separate entity. We don’t see any sort of logical connection with this slippery slope that they would like us to ride down.
3) We are not advocating an end to palliative care; we believe both systems can co-exist. What we recognize is that there are some huge pitfalls in palliative care (See: “Discrimination in Palliative Care and how PAS can end it” argument) and that PAS can fill these ethically and efficiently. Stating why palliative care may be a good thing doesn’t address why a PAS should not also be a viable option for patients.
4) We don’t believe that anything that is “natural” is always inherently good and anything that is unnatural is inherently bad, as it seems the opposition believes. If we are to agree with this line of argumentation then any sort of medication, treatment and surgery, such as chemotherapy, that can save lives should not be exist either because they also destroy this “natural life-cycle” that our opposition has defined for all of humanity. We don’t believe that they are as omniscient as they seem to think and feel that they are trespassing into very dangerous territory when they attempt to define just how people should die, and force conformation to that definition.
What do you think?