Instigator / Pro
1
1300
rating
220
debates
44.77%
won
Topic
#4825

Euthanasia in case of terminally-ill adults should be legal

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Winner
1
0

After 1 vote and with 1 point ahead, the winner is...

Best.Korea
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
8,500
Voting period
One month
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
0
1500
rating
1
debates
0.0%
won
Description

Definitions
Euthanasia - Killing of an adult human because he desires to die

Round 1
Pro
#1
Topic
Euthanasia in case of terminally-ill adults should be legal

Introduction
Euthanasia is crucial to uphold human rights for those who suffer. In this debate, I will cover this important issue and provide reasons why euthanasia must be allowed.

Definitions
Euthanasia - Killing of an adult human because he desires to die

Arguments
1. Respect for autonomy
Adult individuals have a right to do whatever they want with their lives. This includes the right to stop living if they want to, as opposed to being forced to endure unnecessary suffering against their will. No one has a right to tell an adult how to live his life. Adult's body belongs to adult and only to adult.

2. Alleviation of suffering
Euthanasia provides a humane option to remove suffering, unbearable pain or to deal with terminal illnesses. It allows people to die with some dignity, as opposed to wondering why their entire life led to the point of them slowly dying in horrible pain. It makes horrible experience much less horrible.

3. Saving resources
By legalizing euthanasia, medical resources can be saved by avoiding long, futile treatments. Instead of using many medications to reduce pain, instead of trying to extend life and suffering of a person, euthanasia offers simple, effective and cheap way of not only helping a person, but saving resources.

4. Preventing self-harm
Legalizing euthanasia offers a safe option for terminally ill patients who might, without it, resort to dangerous self-harm in an attempt to die. Nobody wants to die in pain. People will try to find ways to die. Euthanasia prevents harm by preventing suicide attempts and failed suicides.

5. Emotional relief for families
Euthanasia provides emotional relief for families who would, without it, have to witness their loved ones suffering and they would not be able to do anything to help them. It is horrible when loved ones die. It is worse when they die in pain. When you see loved ones in pain, it is not same.

6. Respect for a person's values
Euthanasia allows individuals to uphold their personal values and beliefs by choosing when and how they want to die. It spreads a wide message that this society respects person's choice and respects individuality of every single individual. It upholds values and defends them from violation.

7. Reduction of guilt and burden for loved ones
Euthanasia lessens the burden and guilt felt by family members who might have to make the euthanasia decision illegally, without proper support or guidance. Illegal euthanasia is common when families can no longer handle the pain. No family wants for their loved one to suffer for years.

8. Improved end-of-life care
Legalizing euthanasia encourages the development and improvement of such care. People can die more easily. It is no longer illegal, so discussions about it can be more open. More resources can be devoted to it. Serious research and statistics can be created to have good results.

9. Improved care for patients who need it more
Legalizing euthanasia can reduce the strain on healthcare systems by freeing up beds, resources, and staff for patients who genuinely require care and who will live and who can be saved. It helps with overcrowded hospitals. It is harmful to prioritize terminally ill over those who are not.

10. Improved life before death
Legalizing euthanasia promotes an open conversation about death, allowing individuals to plan their final wishes. Individuals are no longer relying on blind hope that they might live. They are no longer occupied by suffering. They do few last things they want, then they die in painless peace.

11. Equal access to euthanasia
It ensures that euthanasia becomes an option available to all individuals, regardless of their location or status. It prevents people from being denied of euthanasia just because of their poverty or birth place. Euthanasia is always available to the rich. The rich just go to a country where its legal.

12. Facilitating organ donation
Voluntary euthanasia may enable patients to donate their organs, potentially saving the lives of people awaiting transplants. This proves that in the end, euthanasia has health benefits not just for terminally ill person and his family, but to many others who are helped indirectly by euthanasia.

13. Compassionate society
Euthanasia was always about compassion. It was never about promoting selfishness or making money. It was all about caring for other person's pain enough to understand that some people have to go. We can no longer keep them here, and to try to keep them only tortures them and all others.

14. Reduced mental health burden
Person no longer has to worry about how much more he has to suffer, how much more he has to go through and when will he finally stop suffering. Instead, he finds peace in the fact that he can end his suffering when he wants. His suffering becomes less of a problem. He can control his life.

15. Consistency with animal rights
Legalizing euthanasia shows similar practice and compassion as that in veterinary medicine when euthanizing animals. We dont like watching animals suffer. Why watch humans suffer? Humans have greater value than animals. If animals deserve easy death, so do humans.

16. Reduction in moral conflict
Legalizing euthanasia provides clarity and a legal framework that allows medical workers to fulfill their duties while respecting patients' wishes. It removes moral conflict where medical workers must do that which obviously harms their patient and everyone around that patient witnessing pain.

17. Conservative principle of limited government interference
Legalizing euthanasia aligns with the conservative principle of limited government action in matters relating to individual autonomy. It aligns with many other moral principles, such as reducing pain, increasing happiness, increasing freedom, increasing justice, increasing human rights...

18. Protecting human rights
By allowing individuals to determine the manner and timing of their death, euthanasia upholds their fundamental human rights. If life no longer holds value for an individual, it is his right to abandon that life, going into a peaceful world as he wants, instead of being where he doesnt want to be.

19. Reduced emotional and financial burden on families
Euthanasia can remove the emotional and financial burden of families who pay for care of terminally ill loved ones. Experiences from countries where euthanasia is legal have shown positive outcomes for patients, families, and healthcare systems. So it is confirmed to work.

20. Medical consensus
Growing support among medical workers for euthanasia indicates that it is a viable and ethical choice in certain circumstances. This might sound  like an appeal to authority, but reality is that medical workers have most experience with this issue. They face it much more than we do.

21. Respect for personal values
Legalizing euthanasia respects individual values, allowing people to live according to their moral beliefs until the very end. It doesnt affect others badly. In fact, it helps others. We shouldnt deny the obvious benefit just because of some of our values dont align with the practice of humane euthanasia.

22. Reduction in "underground euthanasia"
Legalizing euthanasia stops underground, undetectable euthanasia, ensuring euthanasia is carried out openly, transparently, and with appropriate safety. We shouldnt assume that making euthanasia illegal will actually stop all euthanasia. No. It will just make it less safe.

23. Education and awareness
It promotes education about euthanasia, enabling individuals to make informed decisions about their life. When individuals are given safe option, with no judgment, it helps them talk about issues openly, get advice. It even prevents medical workers from lying or misguiding their patients.

24. Individual peace and closure
It offers individuals the chance to find peace and closure with their own mortality, allowing them to spend their final days focusing on emotional well-being rather than fear of suffering. It allows them to close the final page of their life without others telling them that what they do is wrong.

25. Reducing involuntary suffering
It prevents individuals from experiencing suffering against their will when they have expressed a clear desire for a peaceful death. To force someone to go through suffering is wrong when we know that it is unnecessary and wont change anything for them. We wouldnt want to to endure all that.

Conclusion
Euthanasia should be legal in case of terminally-ill people.
Con
#2
Responses to the Instigator’s Non-Repeated Arguments

1. Respect for autonomy
Contrary to the instigator’s claims, It is not true that adult individuals have the right to do whatever they want with their lives. Even those adults belonging to countries that value freedom the most face limitations to their rights. These limitations are necessary, partly in order to maintain freedom by avoiding anarchy. For example, no adult has the right to murder another adult at their will.

In order to maintain the freedoms of citizens, most countries (including the United States) allow citizens to do almost whatever they want, as long as it does not violate others’ rights. For example, you may consume as much alcohol as you want. However, certain actions are still illegal that do not violate others’ rights. For example, the state takes it upon itself to outlaw certain dangerous substances. Despite the fact that me consuming cocaine does not endanger anyone else’s rights, it is illegal for me to do so for my own good. Thus, it is evident the government does work to ensure some basic level of wellness for its citizens.

Respect for autonomy cannot be used as a valid argument on its own because that would also imply the legality of suicide, self-endangerment, and outlawed substances, all of which the government maintains as illegal. The added circumstance of being in unbearable pain may attack this argument; however, the instigator does not include that as a part of this subsection of his argument. Solely based on argument 1 then, euthanasia should not necessarily be legal.

2. Alleviation of suffering
The alleviation of suffering argument is based on the premise that the patient can decide that death is better than living a painful life. This argument can be attacked on multiple fronts.

Firstly, how can we decide that death is worse than suffering? Is non-existence better than a troubled existence? Perhaps this question is a philosophical question that bears no firm answer. Still, euthanasia presupposes that non-existence is better than a troubled existence. This presupposition, actually, is one that the government itself tends to disagree with. For example, a murderer is treated with a more severe punishment than someone who severely injured someone but did not murder them. So is the government to claim that a suffering existence is better than death in some cases, but not better than death in others? The instigator claims that dying “makes horrible experience much less horrible.” However, as shown above, the US government might disagree with him, at least in some cases. 

The alleviation of suffering argument also presupposes that the patient themself is qualified to make the decision of whether death is better than suffering. If they were indeed qualified, should not suicidal people then also be qualified to commit suicide? However, the US government treats suicide as the universally wrong option. How can the instigator claim then that the suffering of patients qualified for euthanasia is in some way more meaningful than the suffering of common suicidal people, who are always told away from suicide and pointed towards better decisions.

The alleviation of suffering argument is, of course, the strongest argument for euthanasia. However, as shown above, this argument is very shaky and relies on too many uncertain premises. 

3. Saving resources
This is perhaps one of the most disturbing arguments for Euthanasia. By legalizing euthanasia, as the instigator outlines, less medical resources may be devoted to people close to their end of their life. What happens as a consequence is that insurance companies receive a financial incentive to promote euthanasia to their clients. Regardless of our practical beliefs on Euthanasia, giving insurance companies financial incentives to encourage people to die does not seem like the best idea. Is saving resources more valuable than securing human life, however troubled and painful it might be?

5. Emotional relief for families
It is certainly possible that euthanasia might provide relief for families. However, it is equally possible that euthanasia would increase the amount of suffering felt by families. If euthanasia is ensured to be done properly, the moral burden of considering a painful life or death is sure to crush generations of family members along with the patient. If there are mistakes with euthanasia, or if immoral incentives like finances are involved, euthanasia would lead to even greater amounts of misery.

8. Improved end-of-life care
This argument is a bit unclear. If the instigator claims that end of life care will be improved as a result of legalizing euthanasia, then one could propose the improvement of end of life care without legalizing euthanasia. If the instigator is arguing that legalizing euthanasia would make euthanasia practices more reliable than they currently are, that is undoubtedly true. However, the current state of black market euthanasia is not so prevalent that it mandates the legalization of euthanasia solely for the purpose of better regulation of the already existing practices.

11. Equal access to euthanasia
The access of euthanasia is what we are debating. Of course euthanasia’s illegitimacy causes it to be unequally accessible for people. However, that is not an argument for making it more accessible to everyone. For example, the instigator’s logic could be applied in a similar manner to child sex parties. It’s well known that some of the world’s elite have access to these illegal events. However, that is not grounds for arguing that everyone should have access to them.

12. Facilitating organ donation
Firstly, this could foster unethical motives for euthanasia as in argument 3. Secondly, this is only a small byproduct of euthanasia and in no way a solid proof that, as the instigator claims, “in the end, euthanasia has health benefits not just for terminally ill person and his family, but to many others who are helped indirectly by euthanasia.” We could go around killing random people to harvest their organs but the small byproduct of harvested organs does not justify the killing. Similarly, on a less extreme level, harvested organs do very little to justify euthanasia.

13. Compassionate society
It is important to view realities as objectively as possible and through the lens of morality and freedom when making laws rather than through the lens of emotion. Murders done compassionately, for example, are treated almost the same to murders done in anger.
Further, the counterarguments in part 3 show that euthanasia can evolve out of compassion to a place of financial motivation and maybe even other forms of motivation that are currently unknown. The compassion involved with euthanasia does not prove its morality, just as the righteousness involved with seeking revenge through murder would never justify its morality.

15. Consistency with animal rights
I don’t think we can draw a correlation between animals and humans in this sense. We slaughter chickens and consume them daily. By your logic, if we can slaughter and consume chickens daily, we should be able to slaughter and consume humans daily too? (Because you are claiming human value is linked with animal value). Whether for good or for bad, human and animal life are treated very differently by virtually everyone on the planet.

16. Reduction in moral conflict
This is the weakest of the arguments in my opinion. If euthanasia was effective, it would be effective despite the moral conflict it caused, it would not reduce moral conflict. Through the history of medicine, doctors were concerned with one goal: healing patients. That is why the Hippocratic oath exists. To introduce euthanasia would be to contradict that oath for the first significant time in history. For the first time, doctors would have to question the morality of healing. The moral consequences are immensely magnified, not reduced. 

20. Medical consensus
The American Medical Association claims in chapter 5 of its code of ethics that “Euthanasia is fundamentally incompatible with the physician's role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” There might be an increasing number of physicians supporting euthanasia. However, “consensus” implies at least majority and there is absolutely no majority support for euthanasia. This argument is factually incorrect.

Conclusion
Euthanasia should NOT be legal in the case of terminally-ill people.













Round 2
Pro
#3
Rebuttals
Contrary to the instigator’s claims, It is not true that adult individuals have the right to do whatever they want with their lives. Even those adults belonging to countries that value freedom the most face limitations to their rights. These limitations are necessary, partly in order to maintain freedom by avoiding anarchy. For example, no adult has the right to murder another adult at their will.

In order to maintain the freedoms of citizens, most countries (including the United States) allow citizens to do almost whatever they want, as long as it does not violate others’ rights. For example, you may consume as much alcohol as you want. However, certain actions are still illegal that do not violate others’ rights. For example, the state takes it upon itself to outlaw certain dangerous substances. Despite the fact that me consuming cocaine does not endanger anyone else’s rights, it is illegal for me to do so for my own good. Thus, it is evident the government does work to ensure some basic level of wellness for its citizens.

Respect for autonomy cannot be used as a valid argument on its own because that would also imply the legality of suicide, self-endangerment, and outlawed substances, all of which the government maintains as illegal. The added circumstance of being in unbearable pain may attack this argument; however, the instigator does not include that as a part of this subsection of his argument. Solely based on argument 1 then, euthanasia should not necessarily be legal
My opponent makes invalid comparison, such as murder, cocaine, alcohol, dangerous substances, self-endangerment and suicide.
These things are not even similar to euthanasia, which is done to remove horrible pain of a person who would otherwise die in pain while regretting being alive.
My opponent commits "out of context" fallacy, where he admits of deliberately ignoring parts of my case which would refute his.

The alleviation of suffering argument is based on the premise that the patient can decide that death is better than living a painful life. This argument can be attacked on multiple fronts.
Everyone can decide that death is better than living a painful life.
If you had to spend eternity in greatest pain, but could stop suffering by pressing a button that kills you, you would press that button.

Firstly, how can we decide that death is worse than suffering? Is non-existence better than a troubled existence?
Dead people cant feel pain. When you scan their brains, there is no activity. Pain is the worst thing that can happen to a person. Terminally ill people are in great pain that makes life not worth living.

Perhaps this question is a philosophical question that bears no firm answer. Still, euthanasia presupposes that non-existence is better than a troubled existence. This presupposition, actually, is one that the government itself tends to disagree with. For example, a murderer is treated with a more severe punishment than someone who severely injured someone but did not murder them. So is the government to claim that a suffering existence is better than death in some cases, but not better than death in others? The instigator claims that dying “makes horrible experience much less horrible.” However, as shown above, the US government might disagree with him, at least in some cases.
My opponent bases his claim on what government says. This is an appeal to authority fallacy. Obviously, if someone tortures a person a lot without killing that person, he has committed horrible crime that should be punished to the greatest.

The alleviation of suffering argument also presupposes that the patient themself is qualified to make the decision of whether death is better than suffering. If they were indeed qualified, should not suicidal people then also be qualified to commit suicide? However, the US government treats suicide as the universally wrong option. How can the instigator claim then that the suffering of patients qualified for euthanasia is in some way more meaningful than the suffering of common suicidal people, who are always told away from suicide and pointed towards better decisions.
The alleviation of suffering argument is, of course, the strongest argument for euthanasia. However, as shown above, this argument is very shaky and relies on too many uncertain premises
The difference between suicide and euthanasia is that suicidal people arent always in great pain. They often regret their suicide attempts and live life that is happy. Same cannot be said for terminally ill person. Not even close. Terminally ill person will not live a happy life if denied of euthanasia. He will suffer and die. He will spend the remaining days wishing to die as soon as possible. He will never be happy. With euthanasia, he will find peace.

It is certainly possible that euthanasia might provide relief for families. However, it is equally possible that euthanasia would increase the amount of suffering felt by families. If euthanasia is ensured to be done properly, the moral burden of considering a painful life or death is sure to crush generations of family members along with the patient. If there are mistakes with euthanasia, or if immoral incentives like finances are involved, euthanasia would lead to even greater amounts of misery
It was already explained that in countries where euthanasia is legal, families of terminally ill people have better mental health and less emotional problems.

We could go around killing random people to harvest their organs but the small byproduct of harvested organs does not justify the killing. Similarly, on a less extreme level, harvested organs do very little to justify euthanasia.
Another false comparison. Euthanasia has nothing to do with killing random people only for organ harvest. Euthanasia, as shown before, has plenty more benefits than just organ harvesting. Therefore, it is not comparable to non-euthanasia killing.

I don’t think we can draw a correlation between animals and humans in this sense. We slaughter chickens and consume them daily. By your logic, if we can slaughter and consume chickens daily, we should be able to slaughter and consume humans daily too? (Because you are claiming human value is linked with animal value). Whether for good or for bad, human and animal life are treated very differently by virtually everyone on the planet
The argument was about animal rights. Animals should not have rights that humans are denied of. Humans are more important than animals.

The access of euthanasia is what we are debating. Of course euthanasia’s illegitimacy causes it to be unequally accessible for people. However, that is not an argument for making it more accessible to everyone.
It is an argument to make it more accessible to everyone, as euthanasia is supported by many other arguments as well.

This is the weakest of the arguments in my opinion. If euthanasia was effective, it would be effective despite the moral conflict it caused, it would not reduce moral conflict. Through the history of medicine, doctors were concerned with one goal: healing patients. That is why the Hippocratic oath exists. To introduce euthanasia would be to contradict that oath for the first significant time in history. For the first time, doctors would have to question the morality of healing. The moral consequences are immensely magnified, not reduced
Hippocratic oath says to remove suffering where ever you find it. Pain is suffering. As explained, countries with legal euthanasia face much less moral and emotional problems. Its not just the suffering of a patient that is reduced greatly, but also the suffering of his family and the moral problems of medical staff.

Conclusion
My opponent conceded to arguments of organ harvesting, reducing waste of resources, reducing pain, respecting autonomy, improving care for patients who will actually live, reducing dangerous suicides, reducing inequality. He also conceded that terminally ill patients will die anyway, and have no chance of living a good happy life.
Since my case is supported by so many reasons that were not refuted, it follows that my case outweights my opponent's case. My opponent didnt even provide one reason why euthanasia shouldnt be legal. All he did was took my reasons out of context. My reasons, together, form a case which my opponent didnt challenge to the slightest.
Con
#4
Forfeited
Round 3
Pro
#5
Looks like I win.
Con
#6
Forfeited