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~LiL*PrInCeZ~

IF-Sizzlerz

~LiL*PrInCeZ~

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Joined: 20 October 2004

Posts: 11310

Posted: 16 August 2007 at 11:28pm | IP Logged

The Topic is Euthanasia/Mercy Killing

(in the case of a person with an interminable illness)

The 'for' participants (Yes, Mercy Killing is justified) are:

    Meena1 
  • souro  

The 'against' participants (No, Mercy Killing is not justified) are:

    UDman
  • Guardian Angel

Before we begin, let me reiterate the rules for this debate. Contestants are advised to make themselves familiar with the rules:


Rules for the Debating Championship

1. The debate starts today and will remain open for 48 hours. Afterwards it will be locked.

2. Except for this opening post, the thread is only for the four contestants. All other posts, comments, or statements of any kind will be trashed (With the exception of dev. team intervention, only if the situation arises).

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4. Everyone, please use size 3 Arial font in bold.

5. When quoting your opponent or your team mate, please write outside the quote box. Judges will only read the material outside the box –in grey background as yours.

6. If the quote already has a quote, please delete all previous quotes other than what you are referring to. Box within box within box is too much to keep track of.

7. You will all of course be civil and courteous to each other.

8. When possible, please give reference and web site as foot note with markers in the text, like you have in any standard textbook. This is a must if you post an article or someone else's work that supports your debate.

9. Use proper English. 

10. When possible, please proof-read in a word program before posting. Editing already posted posts is not allowed.

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12. Use pictures to demonstrate something and not as ornamental value. What we want is your eloquence not photo-editorial skills. 

13. There is no limit in the word count or number of posts any given side can make. Feel free to post as many arguments/rebuttals needed to prove your and your partner's point.


Other pointers:

  • The point of debate is express your point of view precisely and yet thoroughly – not proving other POV wrong or make other party admit they were wrong or having the last word. If at any point, in any part of the agreement, you realize that you have said all you could say…it is perfectly alright to move on to the next part of the topic. Do not take matters round and round just because you want to have the last word.
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  • Above all, have fun! Smile



Competition starts on August 17, 2007 at 1:30AM EST and will end 48 hours after that.

Good Luck and Enjoy,

DM Dev. Team ( ~LiL*PrInCeZ~ , MNMS , Raj5000 , Tisha_G )


The following 3 member(s) liked the above post:

raj5000souroMeena1

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UDman

Goldie

UDman

Joined: 18 June 2006

Posts: 1468

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 12:04am | IP Logged
My worthy opponents, Meena1 and souro, honorable judge(s), and all the members on the forum who are giving their time to listen to me: euthanasia, also known as mercy-killing, is supposed to mean "good death" in Greek, however, is actually used for the good in today's society? I believe not! In fact, I can say with no doubt that I know euthanasia should not be performed by anyone; not even with doctors, where it is known as physician-assisted suicide. I am here to offer three arguments: Firstly, emotions or depression gets in the way when someone asks for their death; secondly, doctors cannot perform euthanasia, for both personal and legal reasons; and thirdly, physician- assisted suicide could become involuntary (involuntary meaning that a patient has not requested to die), mainly for economical advantage.
   Let me substantiate my first argument, that emotions or depression gets in the way during the request for suicide. A poll from the Oregon Health Division, found on www.euthanasia.com, found that the percent of patients who believed they were a burden to their family, as a result of physician- assisted suicide, was twenty- six in 1999. However, this amount changed to sixty-three percent in 2000. In the future, terminally ill patients should be counseled by professionals so that they can live a better life rather than taking it away. This leads to my second piece of evidence; another study, done by the same web page, found that out of eight hundred eighty- six patients, only four percent of them asked for their death even after counseling. The rest of the ninety six percent were still alive five years later. Finally, a book called Euthanasia is Not the Answer by David Cundiff, who is a doctor, writes, "Loss of control or feelings of helplessness are mentioned frequently… No one wants to be a burden on family and friends at the end of life"(p.27)
     Moving on to my next contention, that doctors cannot and will not assist their patient in suicide. Firstly, it is illegal for a doctor to assist in their patients' death, for the Hippocratic Oath (an oath taken by physician's in the medical career) clearly states, and I quote from Wikimedia Foundation's web site, "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and do no harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death." Second, the Right to Life organization's web site had a poll. The result of it was that seventy four percent of doctors would refuse to perform euthanasia on their patient. Another poll, done by the American Society of Clinical Oncology from www.euthanasia.com found that forty five percent of doctors supported physician- assisted suicide in 1995. However, in 1998, support went all the way down to twenty-two percent. Here is the chart explaining the data:




     My final argument is that physician- assisted suicide could become involuntary, especially because of high cost for hospital care. Firstly, Rita L. Marker and Kathi Hamlon's web page at http://www.iaetf.org/faq.htm states that, "…euthanasia or assisted suicide certainly could become a means of cost containment." Second, the book Physician- Assisted Suicide, edited by Gail N. Hawkins, talks about an eighty five year old lady by the name of Kate Cheney; she suffered from dementia. A section of the book, written by Wesley J. Smith, says, "The poison that killed Cheney cost Kaiser approximately forty dollars. It could have cost the HMO forty thousand dollars to care for her properly until her natural death. The potential for economically driven death decisions is too obvious to be denied…"(p.43-44).
     In conclusion, this resolution cannot stand, for the arguments I have presented are not only highly effective, but factual. We cannot let patients to die just because of depression; we cannot let patients die when doctors have no right to assist in the process and they are not willing to perform it anyway; and finally, we cannot let patients die for a hospital's economical advantage! Though death is a truth we must all face at one point, we should live life to its fullest, not end it in the middle with physician- assisted suicide.

     Thank You.
            Some Key Terms:

regimen- "a regular course of action and especially of strenuous training"

containment- "the policy, process, or result of preventing the expansion of a hostile power or ideology." "the act, process, or means of containing"   

HMO- Health Maintenance Organization. It is a place that gives health insurance, and is used by hospitals and/or doctors.   

dementia- a disease in the brain, where one has poor memory, attention, and more.   


I will analyze other members' counterarguments and rebut them in a while… If you want to see my arguments, I can give you the exact URL…

UDman

Goldie

UDman

Joined: 18 June 2006

Posts: 1468

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 12:10am | IP Logged
In addition to saying that the Hippocratic Oath does not permit doctors to perform assisted-suicide, let me present this article from http://www.nationalreview.com/smithw/smith200603090830.asp.



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March 09, 2006, 8:30 a.m.
Harm Done
Codifying the decline of the medical profession.

By Wesley J. Smith

In 2000, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that patients being euthanized in the Netherlands sometimes experienced significant side effects (apart from death, that is), such as nausea, convulsions, or coma. This belied the assertion oft made by euthanasia proponents that being killed by a doctor necessarily provides the euphemistic "gentle landing" of euthanasia lore.



    
Responding to the Netherlands report, the NEJM published an editorial authored by Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author of the bestselling book How We Die and an internationally prominent physician and bioethicist from Yale University. Nuland, a supporter of euthanasia in limited cases, proposed a remedy: that doctors be provided "thorough training in [euthanasia> techniques." Yes, you read right: One of the country's most celebrated doctors urged that continuing medical education classes teach doctors how to kill.

Such "how to kill your patients" classes would clearly violate the famous Hippocratic Oath under which doctors have for some 2,500 years pledged, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect."

Nuland knew that, of course. But he dismissed the relevance of the Oath, writing:

[T>hose who turn to the oath in an effort to shape or legitimize their ethical viewpoints [against euthanasia>, must realize that the statement has been embraced over approximately the past 200 years far more as a symbol of professional cohesion than for its content. Its pithy sentences cannot be used as all-encompassing maxims to avoid the personal responsibility inherent in the practice of medicine. Ultimately, a physician's conduct at the bedside is a matter of individual conscience.
For most people, this is a very radical idea. When I read this quote in my lectures, audiences invariably gasp in surprise and shocked concern. You see, real people — that is, patients — don't blithely dismiss the Hippocratic Oath as if it were merely akin to a secret handshake. In their commonsense understanding, the Oath protects their welfare by making doctors honor-bound to always "do no harm" (a catchphrase that succinctly summarizes the moral thrust of the Oath, although it does not appear in the document itself).

Unfortunately, we live in an age when pledges of duty and fidelity of the kind found in the Oath are fast becoming pass. Indeed, there is little doubt that the medical profession generally sides with Nuland: Very few doctors take the actual Oath anymore. But there remains the pull of tradition. So, many medical schools and professional associations have instituted various watery pledges or declarations that are mere shadows of the great document itself.

Most recently, for example, Cornell Medical School published a rewritten oath for its graduating doctors to take. Gone, of course, is the proscription against performing abortions. No surprise there: Doctors ceased foreswearing that particular procedure decades ago (although it is interesting to note that recent newspaper stories complain that very few doctors are willing to perform abortions).

But now, Cornell has cast aside two other crucial affirmations of the Oath: First, the prohibition against euthanasia has been erased ("I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect), and second, Cornell's oath does not require its graduates to avoid sexual relations with their patients.

This is most unfortunate. The author of the Oath (whether or not it was actually Hippocrates) understood that killing is not a medical act. Moreover, the requirement that doctors pledge (on all they hold most sacred) to refrain from either killing or having sex with patients reflects the wisdom that doctors should refrain from taking too much (potentially corrupting) power over their patients into their own hands.

Illustrating the dramatic difference between the rich patient-protecting impetus of the original and the mostly non-specific generalities of the Cornell version, compare these similar provisions in the two oaths:

Hippocrates: "Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves." The clear call here is active, requiring doctors never to take advantage of patients in any way, with the specific example of engaging in sexual relations included to emphasize the point.

Cornell: "That into whatever house I shall enter, it shall be for the good of the sick. That I will maintain this sacred trust, holding myself far aloof from wrong, from corrupting, from the tempting of others to vice." This is a far more passive and vague approach. If Nuland is right, and a doctor's own conscience is his only guide, what is deemed to constitute the "good of the patient" will vary from doctor to doctor. Indeed, if a physician believes that a patient's ill health or serious disability makes his or her life not worth living, it would permit killing as the prescribed remedy — even if the patient never asked to be killed (a common practice, not by mere coincidence, in the Netherlands nowadays). Besides: What does "tempting others to vice" mean in the context of today's anything goes morality?

Another poor substitute for the traditional Oath is the "Christian" physician's pledge taken by graduates of Loma Linda University. Unfortunately, LLU has also emasculated the robustness of the original. Thus, LLU's pledge states: "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life. I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. I will respect the rights and decision of my patients." Why edit out the explicit promise not to kill, if respecting human life is a priority? And if respecting patient decisions is paramount, that would permit voluntary euthanasia among other potentially harmful "treatments," such as amputating the healthy limbs of mentally disturbed patients known as "amputee wannabes."

Of perhaps even greater concern, LLU's oath adds a clause that could interpose a conflict of interest between doctors and certain of their individual patients. "Acting as a good steward of the resources of society and of the talents granted me, I will endeavor to reflect God's mercy and compassion by caring for the lonely, the poor, the suffering, and those who are dying."

Under the Hippocratic medical principles, the doctor's sole loyalty was owed to each and every patient as individuals. That is, the doctor is not free to give optimal care to one patient but provide a lower standard to another. In contrast, LLU's version now requires physicians to treat individual patients in the context of a potentially superseding duty to broader society to steward resources — which, in some hands, could be exercised at the direct expense of patients who are the most expensive to care for. Indeed, a fair reading of the LLU's oath would justify bedside health-care rationing.

This is not to say, of course, that physicians shouldn't make proper use of resources. But, to prevent discrimination and abuse, a doctor's first duty must be to the individual patient, not to society as a whole. Placing a dual mandate on the doctor, as LLU's oath appears to do, is dangerous precisely because resource management could trump the health, welfare, and even the lives of the sickest patients.

As the Christian bioethicist Gilbert Meilaender has written, the Hippocratic Oath commits doctors to "to the bodily life of their patients." In an era when the economics of managed care and the growing utilitarian sway of contemporary bioethics increasingly endanger the weakest and most vulnerable among us, substituting the Oath's venerable maxims with tepid generalities and the vagaries of individual consciences is precisely the wrong approach. Rather than being an archaic relic, the Oath's "do no harm" approach to medical practice is more important than ever.

UDman

Goldie

UDman

Joined: 18 June 2006

Posts: 1468

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 12:12am | IP Logged
I am sorry... if I did not make it clear, this is the article, not my wording... just wanted to make sure you understand that, so that the proper credit is given to the correct web source.

Guardian Angel

IF-Sizzlerz

Guardian Angel

Retro Podcast Team

Joined: 13 April 2006

Posts: 17062

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 7:40am | IP Logged

Ok.  I just came to Univ. and saw the topic open.  I will do further research from home but here are my thoughts.  Some of my observations are as a medical student working in hospital, not that I know much about it.

Why are we playing God here??  What next??

Euthanasia simply means "the act of causing death painlessly to end suffering".  Euthanasia is not legalized in most countries.  Even if the patient consents, it is still a murder it is still murder and a felony. According to the 1965 'Murder Act', a person can be convicted of murder only if it is proved that the accused had premeditated the crime. When a doctor assists a patient in dying and has the consent of the patient, the crime becomes premeditated. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is now in prison on charges of 2nd degree murder, for helping Tom Youk to terminate his existence. While it may be ones right to take his or her own life, it is only their right. Another reason why euthanasia should not be legalized is that children and adults who were unable to make their own choices could deliberately be killed. There have been cases indeed of patient backing off.  There is also at times pressure from the family who have had enough for the patient to sign the consent form.  This is a fact so noone can dely it.The Board of the Royal Dutch Medical Association, sanctioned euthanasia on babies and toddlers who had severe disabilities. In the Netherlands today, over 10,000 citizens, carry "Do Not Euthanize Me" cards in case they're unpredictably admitted to the hospital. In the United States, all patients, like Terri Schiavo who are brain-disabled, would be killed. Not too long ago, the American Journal of Medicine surveyed 1,664 critically ill patients, on how many of them would want CPR if their hearts stopped. 72 percent of the patients wanted to be brought back, 27 percent would rather be in a coma than have died, and 42 percent were willing to stay on respirators for the rest of their lives. If euthanasia were to become legalized, it would not only be legalized murder, but a form of genocide. This genocide would wipe out all human beings unable to make decisions for themselves, such as babies/infants, the mentally disabled, the mentally unstable, and patients in a coma or continual vegetable state.  

We have powerful drugs that heavily sedate a patient so the patient passes on painlessly.  This was indeed administered on my beloved momCry 

Also:
     Doctors are frequently wrong in judging that a patient will die. When the only living witnesses are those who wanted her dead and the doctor, who is to confirm that she really did ask to die?

    If society approves euthanasia, how many elders will ask for it so as to no longer burden their loved ones?

    How voluntary is "voluntary"? Doctors and family can pressure a vulnerable patient into requesting death.

    In Holland progress in providing palliative care has largely disappeared (there are only a few small hospices there). Whereas in nearby Britain where, euthanasia is forbidden, there are over 300.

  • Given the costs and increasing numbers of older people in the US, good palliative care will rapidly become unavailable if euthanasia is a legal option.

Working with hospitals I have found often families are unaware of the type and sort of home care and personal care that can be provided to a patient.  Indeed we were not aware of the many cares that my mom could have had at  home till it was her last days.  The most important person who can direct families to the right channels is their medical doctor.  This does take a l ot of pressure off families when, say a nurse comes home for 4 hours to bath, clean, administer medicine and feed the patient.

Thanks. I will return later tonight after school 

 

 

 

souro

Moderator

souro

Joined: 27 January 2007

Posts: 13885

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 9:19am | IP Logged

Hello UDman and GuardianAngel.

Here are some reasons why I believe in euthanasia:

1) We all know that terminally ill patients whose survival chances are nil does go through immense pain in the last few days and especially hours. Keeping aside Hippocratic oath and the idea of playing God for the moment, I'll just like to ask, which is more humane, asking the patient to go through all the pain and face it bravely or ending everything before that moment arrives.

2) Secondly, since we live in a free world certainly we have the right to refuse the use of ventilators or medicines. Similarly we can also demand for drugs which we know will end our life, whether the doctor will comply or not is obviously upto him.

3) Thirdly, the economic angle. Those who have money and can support medication for any period of time has all the right to go on with their treatment. But those who don't have the means and knows all they're spending will ultimately be futile (in case of terminally ill patients) certainly should have the right to discontinue treatment. Because if the treatment continues then the patient will die in his own time but by that time the other family members will be so deep in debts that they'll either die of poverty or will be pushed into what is known as the vicious cycle of poverty. Is it worth it to prolong the life of a person who's anyway going to die after some days at the cost of others who're perfectly healthy but will be slowly pushed towards death because of him.

If the treatment is discontinued, then which one is the better option, to let the patient die even more painfully because there is nothing to ease his pain or to speed up his death and let him go.

4) Sometimes terminally ill patients try to commit suicide by hanging or jumping from hospital window, it's much safer and less painful to let them choose death through physician assisted suicide.

 

souro

Moderator

souro

Joined: 27 January 2007

Posts: 13885

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 10:04am | IP Logged

Originally posted by UDman

   Let me substantiate my first argument, that emotions or depression gets in the way during the request for suicide. A poll from the Oregon Health Division, found on www.euthanasia.com, found that the percent of patients who believed they were a burden to their family, as a result of physician- assisted suicide, was twenty- six in 1999. However, this amount changed to sixty-three percent in 2000. In the future, terminally ill patients should be counseled by professionals so that they can live a better life rather than taking it away.

If the studies varied so much within one year then they're not statistically significant, is all I can say.

Originally posted by UDman

This leads to my second piece of evidence; another study, done by the same web page, found that out of eight hundred eighty- six patients, only four percent of them asked for their death even after counseling. The rest of the ninety six percent were still alive five years later.

Still alive five years later, but in what state?? Noone is asking for the rights of euthanasia of a patient who can be perfectly healthy and live for another five years.

Originally posted by UDman

Second, the Right to Life organization's web site had a poll. The result of it was that seventy four percent of doctors would refuse to perform euthanasia on their patient.

So, what does this poll prove?? 74% of the doctor's included in that study were anti-euthanasia just like you are but that doesn't prove anything. Moreover, what was the total sample and how can we be sure that the study deliberately didn't include more doctors having anti-euthanasia feelings??

Originally posted by UDman

Another poll, done by the American Society of Clinical Oncology from www.euthanasia.com found that forty five percent of doctors supported physician- assisted suicide in 1995. However, in 1998, support went all the way down to twenty-two percent.

Another study and again the results vary wildly. This proves that the study is not statistically significant, confidence level is very low so nothing can be predicted based on this. If the results swing this much then who can say that after three years the percentage of people favouring euthanasia won't go up.

Originally posted by UDman

We cannot let patients to die just because of depression;

Just depression?? Did anyone talk about euthanasia of patients of 'just depression'?? How about adding unbearable pain, not being able to do anything on their own, economic burden in case of economically weak people, and you'll get a whole new equation.

Originally posted by UDman

we cannot let patients die when doctors have no right to assist in the process and they are not willing to perform it anyway;

Who're we to make choices for the patient if he himself wants to die?? And who're we to deny him his choice when even through treatment we can't give him any better option??

Originally posted by UDman

and finally, we cannot let patients die for a hospital's economical advantage! Though death is a truth we must all face at one point, we should live life to its fullest, not end it in the middle with physician- assisted suicide.

Why does it have to be only about hospital's economic advantage, how about the economic advantage of the patient's own family?? Sympathies for the patient is all fine but who's going to feed the family members??



Edited by souro - 17 August 2007 at 10:08am

souro

Moderator

souro

Joined: 27 January 2007

Posts: 13885

Posted: 17 August 2007 at 10:30am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Guardian Angel

This genocide would wipe out all human beings unable to make decisions for themselves, such as babies/infants, the mentally disabled, the mentally unstable, and patients in a coma or continual vegetable state.  

Will be really interested to know what made you think that all babies/infants will be wiped out. Moreover euthanasia in case of patients whose condition can be reversed. i.e., they can become normal again are not part of euthanasia debate. But patients who are in continual vegetable state or mentally disabled and have no chance of being normal again, as long as their family cares for them it's ok, but if they are to be cared for by the state then obviously it has to be seen that of what use are they to the society.

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