Explore our summary of the euthanasia debate
The arguments for euthanasia:
We need it- 'the compassion argument'. Supporters of euthanasia believe that allowing people to ‘die with dignity’ is kinder than forcing them to continue their lives with suffering.
We want it - 'the autonomy argument'. Some believe that every patient has a right to choose when to die.
We can control it - 'the public policy argument'. Proponents believe that euthanasia can be safely regulated by government legislation.
The arguments against euthanasia:
- Alternative treatments are available, such as palliative care and hospices. We do not have to kill the patient to kill the symptoms. Nearly all pain can be relieved.
- There is no ‘right’ to be killed and there are real dangers of ‘slippery slopes’. Opening the doors to voluntary euthanasia could lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, by giving doctors the power to decide when a patient’s life is not worth living. In the Netherlands in 1990 around 1,000 patients were killed without their request.
- We could never truly control it. Reports from the Netherlands, where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are legal, reveal that doctors do not always report it.
- The assumption that patients should have a right to die would impose on doctors a duty to kill, thus restricting the autonomy of the doctor. Also, a ‘right to die’ for some people might well become a ‘duty to die’ by others, particularly those who are vulnerable or dependent upon others.
For further information on the arguments for and against euthanasia, download our briefing on the euthanasia debatehere. (PDF)
Debate Speech Opposing the That Euthanasia Should be Legalized
- Length: 844 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Debate Speech Opposing the That Euthanasia Should be Legalized
Madame chair, fellow members of the opposition, members of the
proposition and members of the house we are all here today to debate
the controversial topic of Euthanasia and whether or not it should be
legalized. Members of the house the opposition vehemently cannot
accept the legalization of Euthanasia.
The term Euthanasia has came to mean an easy death which is what we
all want ,but will legalizing euthanasia provide us with this? To
legalize Euthanasia is to regard the deliberate and barbaric act if
killing a fellow human being as acceptable.
Our lives are a gift from God and all life on our planet is given by
the divine power of our God. God has final authority over our lives
and we should not do anything which would interfere with this. Since
our very beginning God has been involved in our lives, so I ask you
all is it not wrong to try and shut God out from our deaths?
Furthermore as human beings we are made in the likeness and image of
God. This does not mean that we look like God but that human life
possesses an intrinsic dignity and value because it is created by God
in his own image for the distinctive destiny of sharing in his own
life. By legalizing Euthanasia we would be disrespecting the sanctity
and value of life.
On the other hand the proposition have previously argued that
Euthanasia spares a terminally ill person from suffering intolerable
pain and that it is cruel to deny a person’s right to die. We believe
it is not our choice when or how to conclude our lives as we owe our
lives to God. If it was God’s plan for us to suffer then we must obey
his orders. We believe that there may be value in a person’s
suffering. Pope John Paul II said:
‘ Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in
suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person
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interiorly close to Christ, a special grace.’
Suffering can have a place in God’s plan and it enables the sufferer
to share in Christ’s agony and his redeeming sacrifice. When we suffer
we will not be alone God will be with us to share in our suffering.
Members of the house we the opposition are deeply worried about the
severe consequences which will arise from the legalization of
euthanasia. If Euthanasia does become legal Dr K.F. Gunning believes
it will not be controlled properly
‘Once you accept killing as a solution for a single problem, you will
find tomorrow hundreds for which killing can be seen as a solution.’
If we as a nation allow Euthanasia to be legalized which we think will
be relatively harmless this may start a trend that will consequently
result in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted. The
proposal put forward today to legalize Euthanasia is wide open to
abuse, and would ultimately lead to involuntary Euthanasia because of
shortage of health resources. Doctors may pressure weak and vulnerable
patients into believing they should end their own lives just to save
money. In the long run we fear that if Euthanasia does become legal
people will be expected to commit Euthanasia as they become an
unreasonable burden on society.
To legalize euthanasia would put pressure on the elderly, poor,
terminally ill to end their lives. To legalize euthanasia we would be
killing off anyone who is seen as disadvantageous such as alcoholics,
drug addicts and the homeless. Isn’t this what Hitler carried out
during the second World War? Members of the house if this is what our
civilized society desires then we are ashamed to be part of it.
The proposition have argued that euthanasia would never be legalized
without proper regulation and control mechanisms in place. I believe
that if we do legalize the act of euthanasia it will be impossible to
keep it under control. follow on from this point I do not believe
doctors should be able to ‘play God.’
Since doctors give patients the information on which they will base
their decisions about euthanasia, any legalisation of euthanasia, no
matter how strictly regulated, puts doctors in an unacceptable
position of power.Doctors have been shown to take these decisions
improperly, defying the guidelines of the British Medical Association,
the Resuscitation Council (UK), and the Royal College of Nursing.An
Age Concern dossier in 2000 showed that doctors put 'Do Not
Resuscitate' orders in place on elderly patients without consulting
them or their families. Do Not Resuscitate orders are more commonly
used for older people and, in the United States, for black people,
alcohol misusers, non-English speakers, and people infected with Human
Immunodeficiency Virus. This suggests that doctors have stereotypes of
who is not worth saving. Should they have the ultimate power to decide
who should live and who should die - I think not.
I believe that if a person expresses a wish to die because they are in
pain that there is effective pain relief to free them from this pain.
Palliative care is physical, emotional and spiritual care for a dying
person when cure is not possible. It includes compassion and support
for family and friends.
Competent palliative care may well be enough to prevent a person
feeling any need to contemplate euthanasia. Dame Cicely Saunders
founder of the modern hospice movement believes;
‘You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your
life and we will do all we can to help you die peacefully, but also to
live until you die.’
Effective palliative care gives the patient and their loved ones a
chance to spend quality time together, with as much distress removed
as possible. They can (if they want to) use this time to bring any
unfinished business in their lives to a proper closure and to say
their last goodbyes. Good palliative care is the alternative to
euthanasia. If it was available to every patient, it would certainly
reduce the desire for death to be brought about sooner.
Euthanasia is wrong in so many ways: morally, religiously and
ethically. Do we as a civilised society wish to be part of a country
which pressurizes our weak and vulnerable people into an early grave?
If we do then legalizing euthanasia is the way forward but if you have
any shred of decency then you will realize that euthanasia is cold,
heartless, barbaric murder and no good can or ever will come of it.