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Debate: nixie_nox vs Druid42: ""Euthanasia is an act of compassion."

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posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 02:44 PM
I would like to say thank you to the judges, readers, web surfers, and anyone else who may glance at this debate. And thank you to ATS for providing the platform.

A big hearty thank you to Druid42, who has patiently waited for me to start this for weeks, between every hot virus running through my household, to deletions, to just a treacherous week. While Nixie debating while hopped up on Theraflu, would be entertaining; Druid graciously accepted to be my first, and I want it to be special.

This is a personal topic to me, which I will explain after the judging in the “calling all fighters” thread.
So here goes.

I am debating the pro standpoint of “Euthanasia is an act of compassion”. When someone is suffering from insurmountable pain or a loss of dignity due to a terminal illness, I believe they have the right to terminate their own lives. The reasons for this are many. But mainly, you have a right to die with dignity. It is the ultimate act of compassion and love, to let one go due to their suffering. Since it is highly illegal, it is my hope to persuade others to understand it, and understand or even assist the cause for those of us who support it. For it ever to be legally sanctioned, people need to be convinced that a personal has the personal right and freedom to a good death. That religious or political beliefs belonging to others, should not play a part in this very, very personal decision and have control over their death. That while hospitals and religious leaders may feel that a life should be sustained at all cost, the implications for delaying death with invasive techniques not only drains the bank, but can leave the patient in even more pain and discomfort, depression, and an emotional hardship for all.


Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide (dying) , doctor-assisted dying (suicide) , and more loosely termed mercy killing, basically means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering. Some interpret euthanasia as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Many disagree with this interpretation, because it needs to include a reference to intractable suffering.

medical news today

The word “euthanasia” itself comes from the Greek words “eu” (good) and “thanatos” (death). The idea is that instead of condemning someone to a slow, painful, or undignified death, euthanasia would allow the patient to experience a relatively “good death.”

Missouri ethics


Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism —foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.


Euthanasia is not simple for humans as it is for animals. There are many kinds of euthanasia for humans.

Active euthanasia: killing a patient by active means, for example, injecting a patient with a lethal dose of a drug. Sometimes called “aggressive” euthanasia.
Passive euthanasia: intentionally letting a patient die by withholding artificial life support such as a ventilator or feeding tube. Some ethicists distinguish between withholding life support and withdrawing life support (the patient is on life support but then removed from it).
Voluntary euthanasia: with the consent of the patient.
Involuntary euthanasia: without the consent of the patient, for example, if the patient is unconscious and his or her wishes are unknown.. Some ethicists distinguish between “involuntary” (against the patient’s wishes) and “nonvoluntary” (without the patient’s consent but wishes are unknown) forms.
Self-administered euthanasia: the patient administers the means of death.
Other-administered euthanasia: a person other than the patient administers the means of death.
Assisted: the patient administers the means of death but with the assistance of another person, such as a physician.

Missouri ethics

Euthanasia is a hotly debated topic all around the world. It is controversial, and divisive, though it has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is still debated among medical professionals, lawyers, bioethics experts, to the child who has to watch their parents die.

Euthanasia is generally illegal across the board. It is many shades of grey.

As of 2002, euthanasia is only legal in the three Benelux countries: the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and in the US states of Washington, Oregon and Montana.


Otherwise where it is illegal, it is classified as homicide, or suicide. The opponents fear abuse and grey areas. Or believe all life is sacred. Even then, these are gray areas. Because morally and even sometimes legally speaking, people are allowed to die in the world everyday without interference, in a much less dignified manner.

But mercy killing brings everyone’s moral judgment to the forefront. For it is making a conscious decision to let a family member, child, or loved one end their lives, rather than an unknown child starving in India.
I will address various views from the medical community, from a financial perspective, the politics and morals involved, etc.

Thank You.

edit on 2/15/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 11:23 PM
I would like to open my position with thanking nixie_nox for accepting my debate challenge. This is a very controversial topic, but she has had the courage to address the issue at hand. As her first debate, there's nothing better than taking the time to do things right. I encourage all fellow debaters to have the patience to endure new members to this forum, and to have the wherewithal to understand personal circumstances in real life. Accordingly, there's a certain intimidation factor involved that perhaps keeps only the bravest of people from posting here. It need not be so. I'd like to alleviate that fear during this opening, and state that everyone is yet but another person, and none is better than another. It's the person's mind that tells them they are limited, which need not be the case.

This Debate Forum is designed to hone your critical thinking skills, and when you enter into a debate, you are not only expressing your own thoughts, but are being required to counter your opponent's. A debate requires you to focus on a topic, intently, and to not be distracted from your position. By presenting your position, you need to incorporate your opponent's thoughts within your own, and lay out an argument that establishes that your view is correct. Whether win or lose, it's an exchange of words, and to walk away wiser is the goal of engaging in discourse. You shouldn't enter into a debate to win. This applies in real life as well. You should enter into discourse listening to your opponent's position, finding the flaws in it, and addressing those calmly while presenting your own. Anyone who understands this will excel in critical thinking.

The topic at hand is whether or not "Euthanasia is an act of compassion". My opponent has made their position clear, and has defined the premise upon which this debate is based.

I'll interject a quote:

brings everyone’s moral judgment to the forefront.

This debate is an argument of morality.

"I want to die."

Within the body of this debate I'll espouse the meaning of those words, and whether uttering those words justifies terminating the life of another individual. Are we honoring the request of a person in pain, or are we justifying what is right or wrong? This aspect will be brought up again.

I'll agree with my opponent on the definition of compassion:

Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism

Other definitions may be provided, but that one hits the essence. Understanding the suffering of others. When a person is suffering, we are empathic, and while not feeling their pain directly, we understand it. Comprehension is impossible without ourselves being terminally ill, but our empathy allows us to relate. We feel their pain indirectly.

Does that give us any right to make decisions on their behalf? Are we influenced by our own empathy? These are questions I will be addressing during this debate, and I will strive to show that our compassion is simply a feedback mechanism for those in pain, and our own emotions govern our morality.

I yield the floor. Back to you, nixie.

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