This House Would Offer Terminally Ill Patients the Option of a Cash Grant If They Forgo Treatment and Consent to Early Euthanasia

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From the motion above, we could concur that there are several keywords/variables we could explore, which are: ‘offer an option’, ‘terminally ill patients’, ‘cash grant’, and ‘giving up life”. The room of the debate is clear enough to not to be misinterpreted. There will be some arguments revolving around rights vs utilitarian approach, comparison between money and life, and whether what government is trying to achieve by this proposal is morally correct or not.

By definition/characterization, we could define terminally ill patients as sick people with very low chance of surviving. Also not to mention that they (including but not limited to their family/relatives/people who love them) are suffering psychologically and financially. Put it simple, they have to rely on miracles to get back in life. We will just assume that medically speaking, the doctors have tried and done their best to figure out the best treatment and medication, yet the universe is being hostile.

Guess that definition will do. Without further ado, let’s proceed to Team Affirmative’s belief.

Team Affirmative

Through the non-arguably given definition, we could present a scenario where the patients are suffering from a potentially incurable disease and currently live in an unproductive state (e.g. coma/bed-rest/you-name-it), with never-ending medical bills (which is very depleting), and draining the life of their surroundings. It is indeed a dilemma for any of the stakeholders whether to end or prolong the patients’ suffering. But, nevertheless, the cash grant option should remain available for any of the struggling patients when they are no longer able to bear the endless pain.

Argument #1: We have to promote the sense of rationality.

Though it is very encouraged for people to have hope in everything, there are just time when people are being forced to accept the bitter reality and moving on. Hope is indeed powerful, yet also destructive. At one point, hope does give us the power to endure pain, yet it also creates a deeper attachment, which lead us to suffer more when the hope is not on our side. We have to realize that not everyone gets to taste miracles. There are just time when we should give up. For instance, when one gets terribly sick, one is unable to work. Thus, one is not being productive. And one will remain unproductive for an uncertainly long period of time. Worse, when one is sick, one needs medication and medication ain’t cheap.

In this moment, the Opposition side might argue that government subsidy/insurance exist to pay the bills. Here’s the time to tell them a preventive analysis. Yes one may or may not have insurance or enjoyed the subsidy. For sure, the scenario does applicable in the possibility of not having the aid. However, even if one has the aid to overcome their medical bills, there are still other constraints, which are the medical resources (e.g. drugs, doctors’ attention), along with the productivity of people surrounds you (will talk about this on later point). In short, the resources are better to be allocated to save patients with higher chance of surviving rate. For, once the patients recovered, the patients could return being productive for the nation, which is the interest of government.

Argument #2: Why should we prolong a suffering?

Again, following the characterization of a terminally ill patient, we could have easily predicted the undesired outcome. Let’s involve more stakeholders: the nuclear family members. When a part of the family gets sick, generally the people within the family would share or exercise their sympathy toward the sick member (everyone at least have people who love and care for them, right?). If previously, we have already addressed a financial issue on the medical bills. Now, let us explore the possibility of false hope.

Team Affirmative would stand on the side of being calculative. First of all, the amount of time spent by the family members to care for the gravely ill patient are tremendous. The love of a family would lead one to be irrational. To be willing to sacrifice everything necessary just to save one. In this case, what are being sacrificed, are none other than the attention, the time, the well-being and also the sense of being worried/insecure. Psychologically speaking, terminally ill patient does occupy the life of the family, which would later cause them to work less productive. It is undeniable that if we remain working while our family member gets terribly ill, our concentrations are easily distracted by our own worries. Though the being-unproductive state only lasts temporarily, we think it is significant enough to get someone stop working. The same thing will also happen for their children, which later would hamper their academic performance. The worse thing has yet to happen on the patients. Initially, they have suffered physically from their own illness. Then, the feeling of guilt would appear for they will eventually realize that they have been draining the life of the other people who love them. Such phenomenon will contribute to give additional harm on the patients, and also on the people whose lives revolve around them.

Argument #3: This subtle permission option needs to be visible.

For a long time, humans have been imprisoned with the concept of moral responsibility. It becomes more devastating when it is involved in a family. Combining both argument #1 and argument #2, there are also moments when both parties (the patients and people close to them) are already aware of the gravity of the situation. Yet, because of the social construct that has existed for centuries long, the belief to always pro life has eventually caused more sufferings. This proposal in a solution to finally end the never-ending misery. An external entity is needed to exercise this taboo deal.

The cash grant would serve as a compensation for the brave and hard decision that they have took. The cash grant will also act as an incentive to redefine the social construct by acknowledging the heroic and selfless decision-making with a reward. That way, our society could be more aware toward the life of a terminally ill patient and be less demanding or judgmental toward their decision.

Team Negative

Unlike Team Affirmative that would simply trade life for money, Team Negative is going to defend the status quo and prove that the cash grant will later hurt the people more, especially with regrets and also remorse. Moreover, hope has always been the source of power for the people, which have helped humanity to reach a better civilization. Without hope, people would never have the determination to free themselves from slavery, oppression, and any misfortunes that fall upon them. Hope is a fundamental aspect of life that will lead us to the better days.

There is a catch to this, though. There are two different possible stances for Team Negative to take:

(1) Go by this guide, and be humanitarian-deontologist, providing Marxist arguments and the likes of it, arguing that human lives shouldn’t be measured by the economical benefits it possess and poses towards the society. Saying that labeling and price-tagging these lives in danger “machinizes” men, and that’s a bad thing.

OR

(2) Go in line with your Team Affirmative, and embracing the evil side of Euthanasia. At one point of the debate, your Team Affirmative will just have to have a goal of having more consented-Euthanasia cases, either active or passive. That is just their goal, that has to be it, there is no other way around it. So, adopt the same goal, say that you also want these “already-hopeless” patients to commit suicide already, that you don’t want resources to be wasted on these useless cases as well. But the fact that this is a cash grant model from the Team Affirmative would likely make people go against the values and ideals of the government, revolting, opposing, and making matters worse than they could be otherwise in the current status quo.

BUT

beware of contradicting arguments. Choose your stance carefully and accordingly. Pay attention to the tones of your arguments, too — are they utilitarian or humanitarian?

Argument #1: It diminishes hope.

It is true that hope does not always give us the result that we want. However, hope encourages us to pursue a future that we want to live in. The result may not always answer our expectation, but an element of process should not be dismissed. Through the process of struggling for a desired future, strength and particular lessons are earned and learned. It is indeed true that the patients may constantly cause worries to their peers/family/relatives. However, the worry caused, will eventually lead to another act of caring, exercising empathy, and other humanity act. To experience the kindness and love from one’s environment surely gives the motivation to live. For one will realize that one’s existence is appreciated and will be missed when one’s gone. Even if, if one’s gone, for the very least, nobody is feeling guilty/remorse for everyone have tried their best to sustain one’s life. The memories, which are the most valuable things left behind by a deceased one, shall be cherished. Hope destroys regrets.

Furthermore, supported with the theory of Placebo Effect, to just simply believe is already a halfway toward being cured.

Argument #2: It discredits medical efforts.

In the medical world, in order to achieve the healing, it requires a collaboration act from both patient and the medics. Both of them played important roles. For the patients, their role is to crave for the healing by obeying what is medically suggested. And on the other hand, the medics’ role is to ensure that the patients received the best treatment possible to cure them. One way of treating a patient is not to reveal the option of giving up life.

The moment when patients found out that they were not going to make it, is a moving-backward moment. Everything that has been done by the medics will get wasted, for the patients themselves begin to lose faith in curing themselves. It will backlash the value practiced by the doctors and nurses, which is to sustain one’s life. With Team Affirmative’s proposal, now the medics are being burdened with an unnecessary challenge, which is to convince the patients that they’re curable while the patients have been exposed with a really bad deal. Such phenomenon has the tendency to create a negative stigma in society that the medics are not capable of curing patients, and worse, the medics are trying to appeal their incapability with money, which later would lead to a condition people not trusting the medics.

Argument #3: Status quo is enough.

The cash grant which claimed by Team Affirmative as an appreciation, is simply a distraction from a selfish offer to dismiss one’s rights to live. Team Negative believe that no matter how consumptive a patient is on the medical resources, everyone still deserve the hope to striving for cure. For the patients themselves were once a productive man contributing to their nation. They were also taxpayers. And they deserve to be treated with maximum efforts of getting healed.

Even though, the medical resources spent on an almost-impossible healing mission could be better addressed for others with a higher chance of healing, to trade one’s life for money is just morally inappropriate. For it will devalue life, particularly the lives of the financially poor people.

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