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9
9
Yes No
Debate Score:18
Arguments:16
Total Votes:21
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 Yes (8)
 
 No (8)

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Kuklapolitan(4312) pic



Is assisted suicide an option you would take advantage of?

Recently I came across a news bit that had a woman fighting for her life because of cancer.  Her insurance company would not pay for the necessary medications for her because they were palliative and not curative but they would pay for assisted suicide!  Is assisted suicide something you would avail yourself of if and when the time came or is suicide in any form abhorrent to you?  Undecided

Yes

Side Score: 9
VS.

No

Side Score: 9
2 points

Of course!

The entire debate is ridiculous anyway, because it doesn't matter what I would do, or even what I want someone else to do, this is an individual's choice, it's no one else's business.

But that said,

I want the following:

1. In a comma for more than 6 mo. and doctors say even if I wake up my brain won't be right UNPLUG ME GODDAMNIT! The whole Terri Shivo thing was retarded, and all those religious nuts ought to feel ashamed of themselves.

2.If I'm in constant pain, there's no cure, there's no relief IT'S NO ONE'S BUSINESS IF I WANT TO END IT. No one else's business, that's it, end of story. I don't care what someone else thinks their invisible friend in the sky is saying to them. I am not them,

this is a concept religious lunatics have a problem with for some reason OTHER PEOPLE AREN'T YOU, you understand that?

Assisted suicide is safe, it's painless, it's inexpensive, and it's a very humane option in many cases. If someone doesn't it like it FINE! No one is making anyone participate if they don't want to.

Side: yes

I would love it if there was assisted suicide. I would be dropping people off at that clinic like crazy ;)

Side: yes
1 point

When we talk about whether there is or should be a "right to die" in any sense it usually encompasses two things. One is a right to refuse treatment (e.g., "unplug me"), and the other is an affirmative act (doctor prescribes a lethal overdose). One can argue that they are perhaps different, since the first involves refusing "lifesaving" or life-maintaining treatments whereas the second involves the deliberate ingestion of a lethal drug by the dying person him- or herself. I have often seen "assisted suicide" used to distinguish the latter from the former (euthanasia), but many of the same arguments could be made in either case.

All the states have authorized individuals to make "living wills" with directives to continue or withdraw care in the event of terminal illness/persistent vegetative state. I'm pretty sure that the only state that has authorized a physician to make that decision regardless of the wishes of the patient is Texas. The only states that have legalized assisted suicide by means of lethal prescription are Oregon, Washington, and Montana.

I agree that personal autonomy and decisionmaking over lifesaving treatment should be honored by the law, so I agree with the use of living wills to determine, and follow, the wishes of the patient. I am a little more cautious about assisted suicide, but agree that the principle of individual autonomy and the goal of alleviating suffering each offer strong arguments in favor of allowing it. While I also recognize the value of the argument that there may be coercion of vulnerable people by family members, whether subtle or overt, my criticism of the coercion argument is that it fails to address the misery of the dying.

I think that in both cases, the choice to refuse treatment and the choice to end suffering by means of assisted suicide should rest with the individual as much as possible, provided that 1) these procedures are to be invoked only in cases where the person suffers from an incurable and terminal disease with a limited life expectancy and suffers from significant pain and misery as a consequence; and 2) there are procedural safeguards to ensure that the wishes of the patient are fully understood and followed.

With that in mind, the Texas law strikes me as a crappy law because it allows the hospital to override the wishes of patients and family (such as in cases where the insurance has run out), and because it has no reporting provisions so there's no requirement of openness about how it's used. And, as perhaps a side note, I find it more than a bit hypocritical that G.W. Bush flew all over the country to make a fuss over Terri Schiavo and went to SCOTUS trying to have Oregon’s assisted suicide laws repealed, but he didn't have a damn thing to say about it when Texas doctors allowed Tirhas Habtegiris – a legal African immigrant who did NOT want to be removed from life support – to slowly asphyxiate over 15 minutes while still conscious and asking for her mother, under the provisions of a Texas law that was enacted while Bush was the state’s governor. (But Habtegiris didn't have insurance, and keeping her on that ventilator was costing the hospital a bundle.)

I am supportive of assisted suicide laws such as the ones Oregon and Washington have, because they have clear strictures on when and how the law can be invoked (at patient’s request if patient has less than 6 months to live) and physician-reporting provisions so there is public transparency about their use. Physician participation is voluntary so individual doctors can decide, as a blanket rule or on a case-by-case basis, that they are not going to dispense a lethal dose to a patient; it's not as if the patient says "give me phenobarbitol" and the doctor has to do it. The Journal of Medical Ethics reported on the impact of the Oregon law and said there was "no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured, people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations." If JME’s analysis is correct, the coercion arguments that have been made against assisted suicide may be overblown. Still, I think there should be careful scrutiny of the application of assisted suicide laws to make sure that they are taking appropriate steps to honor patient needs and wishes, and to ensure that the patient is competent to make the decision.

Would I choose euthanasia or assisted suicide myself, if I were vegetative or terminally ill? Possibly. If I were braindead and/or vegetative with no hope of recovery, I would probably not want to be kept “alive” in that condition. If I were terminally ill and suffering, I might wish to have some control over the means and time of my dying. I think that is a decision that would be nearly impossible to make unless faced with it – but if I were faced with it, then I would want to have the option of making my own choice.

Side: yes
1 point

I've faced a similar situation before. When I was 18 I discovered a tumor in my breast and for a while it was looking a lot like cancer. My insurance left a lot to be desired.

As a young adult, I would have had nothing to mortgage, nothing to sell, and not enough income to support my needs...

Had it been cancer, I would have rather died peacfully than suffered. So as I've always said:

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

Side: yes
1 point

Everyone has the right to die, just as much as they have the right to die.

I think that it's a viable option for those who are in pain, have terminal illnesses, or who are extremely unhappy with their lives, even after therapy.

However, no one should be forced into assisted suicide, by financial means or otherwise. That's wrong; it should only be for those who truly want it.

Side: yes
JohnDoe(9) Disputed
1 point

When you talk about Assisted Suicide for depressed people, you are going down a slippery slope. The only way that should be allowed is that if all the drugs and all other therapies don't work (Including Shock Therapy). Then and only then should it be allowed for mental illness.

Side: No
1 point

It is our alienable right by our constitution and by God to choose how we live our lives PERIOD. No government, religion, organization or person should ever control your life.

Side: yes
1 point

1) Have a D.N.R. on file

2) Speak to your family and see what they feel about the possible choices that you can make.

3) Have at least 2 doctors officially diagnose you with a terminal illness that will lead to pain, undue suffering, and the complete loss of the quality of your life.

Personally, I have the second stage of renal failure and I have complications from Diabetes. Its terrifying to know that it will eventually turn into a terminal illness. My kidney doctor calls it "Creeping Death", because it takes so long. If the suffering is bad enough, then I would request it.

Side: Yes

I say no now that I'm sitting here healthy but I really don't know what I would do when the time came for that decision to be made. In general I don't believe suicide is an answer to one's ailments but I truly think one doesn't know until faced with it.

Side: No
1 point

First of all if you are talking about the woman from Oregon, she did not have insurance she was using Oregon's medicaid. And they declined to pay for her chemotherapy because she had less than 5% chance of survival over 5 years which is the minimum rate for treatment. The manufacturer of the drug gave it to her for free and she died 6 months later.

But anyway that's largely irrelevant. I can completely understand why people who have terminal illness that would be very painful would want to end their lives with dignity in the manner they choose. It's hard to say unless you are in that situation, but I think I would want to fight to live as long as I possibly could. But by no means do I judge people who would rather not live.

Side: No
1 point

suicide should be a choice and a human right. i hate insurance companys anyway. there is a thing called saving!

Side: No

It's a difficult question to answer without being ill, but I feel that I'd like to live my life out and experience all there is to experience, as unsure as I am of an afterlife. Perhaps my opinion would change if I was confronted with the situation, but, right now, I don't imagine I could.

Side: No
1 point

I don't need someone to hold my hand while I kill myself, goddamnit. Besides, if I were old, had cancer, and no chance of living, hell would take its' place on earth for a day. If only a day.

Side: No
1 point

Assisted suicide is considered homicide. Homicide is the killing of one human being by another which also means murder. If you help assist someone to suicide you will not be a hero or a saint, you'll be a murderer. Dr. Kevorkian's feels that it was his duty to help ill patients commit suicide. He created a machine that assist patients to their deaths by putting them a in a deep coma and killing them slowly in their sleep. Suicide is never the answer to anything. Taking your own life is not dying with dignity because all you are doing is giving up. When has giving up become something to be proud of. People say they have nothing to live for but they so they have to live to fight to see another day. People say they have no life and not happy but they are not the only ones. There are millions of people out there fighting for their life and making it through. Not all do but they live this world with dignity because they fight and don’t give up. I can never understand the pain people feel when they have a painful illness but I do understand when they fight for their life. When you feel like you can’t fight anymore, the doctors are still there to help you live even if there is nothing they could do. They'll do everything they can to keep ill patients alive. Therefore, NO! I would not assist suicide because these people have much as a life as I do and I believe that they could fight and make it. You have to find it within you and stand up for your life and not give up!

Side: No
JohnDoe(9) Disputed
1 point

Really? What if you have stage four cancer and the most powerful pain killers known to man doesn't work? Are you supposed to sit on your laurels and hope that you die soon enough? Even if that means spending the last 6 months of your life in brutal agony. By the way, Jack Kevorkian's machine was a very similar system used by the states to executes murderers. It would dispense a very powerful sedative and then a paralytic and finally Potassium Chloride to stop your heart. It actually worked faster than the states systems.

Do a little more research into Jack Kevorkian before you bring him up

Side: Yes
1 point

i'm just wondering, if the doctor said your going to die in two days, and you are going to suffer alot, would you think about your family for a minute? wouldn't you want to spend and do everything you can with your friend, have the time of your life. try to forget about the pan and suffer. im wondering how are you dieing with dignity when you are going to give up? did your role models do that. a great role model terry fox, did he do that??? no, he didn't. he didn't have asingle chance of surviving however he still lived. hey also don't forget about miracles, miracles do happen, not to everyone but it does, as long as you beleive.

Side: No