Right To Die Debate Essay Rubric

"Is after-class homework harmful or useful?" That is how a good argumentative paper topic may sound.

Argumentative essay is one more type of college paper. Students might be assigned it as part of their homework or even in-class activity. Argumentative papers exist to check student's English and ability to think critically. Another reason is to see how well students argue on different views and demonstrate knowledge of the studied subject.

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Have a look at this article to understand teacher's grading rubric better. Find a list of debatable essay topics divided into several different categories below.

Ways to Choose Argumentative Essay Topics

There are a lot of argumentative topics to come up with in the age of political debates, economical movements, and technological progress. Picking the subject is one of the most responsible stages (unless your teacher assigns his own subject to cover). Deciding on your topic is not that easy.

It is recommended to choose rather contradictive topics when writing a critical paper. The reader should be impressed by the way you defend your ideas. It is recommended to avoid argument essay topics on moral issues because they do not support logical discussion. Recent argumentative essay topics which are relevant to society will do.

A debatable paper must contain both analysis and fair criticism of various problems. Make sure each time you want to say something against one's claim, you need solid arguments. Otherwise, your paper won't persuade your teacher. The lack of good support sources will result in a lower grade.

Those who try to obtain their business administration degrees (BBA or MBA) must evaluate and analyze the efficiency of some marketing or HRM tools to discover the most effective approaches. Potential nurses and healthcare experts must check and discuss the efficiency of treatment.

The second thing you should take care of once you decide on the title is to keep in mind five types of argument claims.

Once you select the main subject, start working on the action plan known as academic paper outline. Keep an eye on academic paper formatting while writing.

Follow this link to find out 101 argumentative essay topics or just continue reading.


The Principles of Formatting Academic Papers

While working, mention all applied sources separately. Take notes each time you decide to add a new quote: later, this information will help to create Bibliography list much faster. Keep in mind that proper formatting is 1/3 of your grade! Thus, it is important to read corresponding formatting guide.

In contrast to middle and high school students, college students apply a greater variety of academic writings styles.

  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • APA (American Psychologic Association)
  • Harvard
  • Chicago
  • Harvard
  • Oxford
  • Vancouver
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
  • ACS (American Chemical Society)

APA is often applied to format the argumentative essay. It also depends on the particular college subject. APA is applied in Psychology, Philosophy, and Social Sciences while History students must be well-aware of Harvard format. Theology, Anthropology, and Religious Studies classes involve Turabian/Chicago style. Computer Science researchers apply IEEE referencing style while Chemistry students are into ACS. Teachers assign the necessary format, but keep in mind these tips if they don't.

Before writing your piece, conduct additional research on academic paper formatting. It is better to use templates as they include all necessary formatting elements. Control the margins, font, font's size, indents, and other features in your Word document. Each style is different in two ways. First, in-text citations may be either numerical or author-date style. Second, every style has a unique approach to referencing.

Young writers may try simple online citation generators which are usually free of charge. Add the details on your selected sources to get automatically generated references.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics & Ideas

Have a look at how to come up with an essay topic! It is important to focus only on one subject instead of involving several ideas and make readers confused. Read the advice from educational expert carefully.

"A clear, firm, and debatable thesis is the goal of an argumentative paper. It is impossible to cover several issues at a time as your audience may get lost and lose interest in reading. Besides, any academic paper is limited in length: the more issues your try to cover, the more extra information comes up. I would recommend avoiding argumentative essay topic ideas associated with national/global problems. They usually require more than a few pages. If you choose a broad issue, narrow it down by tossing away details such as descriptions and useless examples.

There are four main characteristics of good argumentative essay topics. They are always CDRM.

C - current

D - debatable

R - researchable

M - manageable

Finally, great argument essay topics are always passionate!"

Tara Christianson, Yale's Literature and Arts Professor

Get acquainted with the list of persuasive paper ideas! Take a look at the list of critical thinking essay topics for students from different areas of expertise. These are the most popular paper titles. Change them according to your requirements.

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Argumentative Essay Topics for College

  1. What should be changed about current taxation system?
  2. Shakespeare: Was he real?
  3. Are Project Managers and CEOs paid too much?
  4. Is college admission getting too sharp?
  5. Are test scores the most accurate indication of individual competency?
  6. Military service and the role of gender
  7. Why are left-handed guitar players more gifted?
  8. Do all religions have a right to exist?
  9. What are the causes of the increased number of teenage mothers?
  10. What happens once we die?

Easy Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. My favorite music
  2. Burton's "Ed Wood": Was Depp the best choice?
  3. Is particular fashion important today?
  4. Are girls too mean?
  5. Do human beings cause global climate change?
  6. Polygamy is natural, so it's not evil
  7. Can you succeed in life being a philosopher?
  8. Is art a profession?
  9. How long a modern film usually takes?
  10. What is the true meaning of "love"?

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Is US election process fair?
  2. Should animals be used in experiments/testing?
  3. Is the death penalty effective?
  4. Do religious movements cause war?
  5. The politics of British government
  6. Celebrities tend to fail their political careers
  7. The system is too much corrupted today
  8. Politics is everywhere and always a "dirty" game
  9. Clinton could be a better US President
  10. Positive and negative outcomes of feminism

Social Media Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Critical factors of quickly modifying consumer behavior
  2. Can girls ask boys out first?
  3. Should cigarettes be sold?
  4. Is our society a throw-away?
  5. Should nation market to children?
  6. What is the best alternative to Twitter?
  7. Do people really find a job through effective LinkedIn Profile?
  8. Does government have a right to view private profiles?
  9. Are popular online activists too shy in real life?
  10. Is it possible earn good money on YouTube?

Argumentative Essay Topics Technology Students May Choose

  1. Are cell phones too harmful?
  2. Are spy applications for mobile phones an invasion of privacy?
  3. Are modern young people too dependent on computers?
  4. Is any online lottery fair?
  5. Is TypeScript a future of front-end development?
  6. Are modern teens too much reliant on Information Technologies?
  7. Do we still need cell phones?
  8. How do people survive in the age of technological explosion?
  9. Can corporations create chips to control their employees' minds?
  10. What will our world look like in technological sense in the next century?

Argumentative Essay Topics about Sports

  1. Are violent video games that dangerous?
  2. Does participation in sports keep teens out of trouble?
  3. Is competition the best way to prove your competence?
  4. Are children changing positively when doing sports?
  5. Is cheating in sports games out of control?
  6. What is the most dangerous type of sports?
  7. Is swimming the only activity which trains every group of muscles?
  8. Are there any legal alternatives to steroids?
  9. Does cheerleading fit in games?
  10. Which type of sports is meant only for the wealthiest?

Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School

  1. Should metal music be banned due to the violent lyrics?
  2. How can children be effectively punished?
  3. What age is appropriate to start dating?
  4. Can students evaluate and critique their teachers?
  5. Should public schools add creationism to their programs?
  6. Which genre of music may help to study?
  7. Females prefer romantic movies.
  8. Is it possible to trace someone online?
  9. Is it possible to make friends virtually?
  10. The role of school uniform.

Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

  1. The educational system in China
  2. Is homeschooling effective?
  3. Is the cost of university too high?
  4. Should the government have a say in our nutrition?
  5. What are the advantages of attending a single-sex school?
  6. Can graffiti be viewed as art?
  7. What type of social activity should be legally punished?
  8. Is the United States too lenient on Israel?
  9. Is India a genuine superpower?
  10. Pros and cons of globalization.

Health Related Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Should alcohol usage be restricted legally?
  2. Government has to provide premium health care?
  3. Do curfews really keep adolescents out of trouble?
  4. Supplements used to cure cancer
  5. Are gay couples under the threat of HIV more than straight pairs?
  6. Can technological devices cause cancer?
  7. How much water should we drink per day?
  8. How do vegetarians survive?
  9. The risks coming from fast food.
  10. Going to the hospital versus self-treatment.

Social Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Is torture or rape ever acceptable?
  2. Should sexual maniacs be sentenced to death?
  3. Can male employees get paternity leave from work?
  4. Does age matter in relationships?
  5. Do low prices on condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  6. Ways to handle naughty teens
  7. What is the right punishment for the failed parenting?
  8. What are the causes of Down's syndrome?
  9. Is black PR acceptable?
  10. Can we treat abortion as a crime?

Are you ready to discover one more extra topic? Let it be something universal like "What are the best methods to control modern generation?"

Tips on Writing Powerful Argumentative Essay

Make a candy out of your paper by following expert recommendations!

  • Write about different aspects of contemporary life. Do not cover fantastic issues in an argumentative essay as you must sound realistic by providing real-life examples. That's why choosing social media, sports, politics, gender issues, and school/college themes would work.
  • Start with a great hook to capture attention. It can be a rhetorical question, literary quote, or else, but it is important not to use more than one hook in your paper. Mind this professional advice when choosing the best hooking sentence.
  • There is no need to include a first-person ("I," "we") unless required by instructions. Still, students are encouraged to share their own opinions.
  • It is important to read all relevant literature to add ideas that oppose personal opinion. To debate fairly, the evidence must be taken from the credible sources only! Exclude topics that do not have opposing opinions.
  • Feel free to create an original topic, but you may also use numerous lists of prepared themes.
  • Try to sound unbiased when protecting your point of view. The following elements will support your research:
    • clear criteria
    • judgments
    • expert feedback
    • supportive arguments
  • End up your text with a strong call-to-action (CTA). Unlike in marketing, your goal is to sell your article. In other words, make the reader want to discuss the problem even once he's done with reading. Motivate your audience to continue the research.
  • Don't forget to refer to this article to recall the best argumentative essay ideas chosen by many successful students throughout the world!

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The word euthanasia, originated in Greece means a good death1. Euthanasia encompasses various dimensions, from active (introducing something to cause death) to passive (withholding treatment or supportive measures); voluntary (consent) to involuntary (consent from guardian) and physician assisted (where physician's prescribe the medicine and patient or the third party administers the medication to cause death)2,3. Request for premature ending of life has contributed to the debate about the role of such practices in contemporary health care. This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects such as, legal, ethical, human rights, health, religious, economic, spiritual, social and cultural aspects of the civilised society. Here we argue this complex issue from both the supporters and opponents’ perspectives, and also attempts to present the plight of the sufferers and their caregivers. The objective is to discuss the subject of euthanasia from the medical and human rights perspective given the background of the recent Supreme Court judgement3 in this context.

In India abetment of suicide and attempt to suicide are both criminal offences. In 1994, constitutional validity of Indian Penal Code Section (IPC Sec) 309 was challenged in the Supreme Court4. The Supreme Court declared that IPC Sec 309 is unconstitutional, under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the constitution in a landmark judgement4. In 1996, an interesting case of abetment of commission of suicide (IPC Sec 306) came to Supreme Court5. The accused were convicted in the trial court and later the conviction was upheld by the High Court. They appealed to the Supreme Court and contended that ‘right to die’ be included in Article 21 of the Constitution and any person abetting the commission of suicide by anyone is merely assisting in the enforcement of the fundamental right under Article 21; hence their punishment is violation of Article 21. This made the Supreme Court to rethink and to reconsider the decision of right to die. Immediately the matter was referred to a Constitution Bench of the Indian Supreme Court. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die5.

Regarding suicide, the Supreme Court reconsidered its decision on suicide. Abetment of suicide (IPC Sec 306) and attempt to suicide (IPC Sec 309) are two distinct offences, hence Section 306 can survive independent of Section 309. It has also clearly stated that a person attempts suicide in a depression, and hence he needs help, rather than punishment. Therefore, the Supreme Court has recommended to Parliament to consider the feasibility of deleting Section 309 from the Indian Penal Code3.

Arguments against euthanasia

Eliminating the invalid: Euthanasia opposers argue that if we embrace ‘the right to death with dignity’, people with incurable and debilitating illnesses will be disposed from our civilised society. The practice of palliative care counters this view, as palliative care would provide relief from distressing symptoms and pain, and support to the patient as well as the care giver. Palliative care is an active, compassionate and creative care for the dying6.

Constitution of India: ‘Right to life’ is a natural right embodied in Article 21 but suicide is an unnatural termination or extinction of life and, therefore, incompatible and inconsistent with the concept of ‘right to life’. It is the duty of the State to protect life and the physician's duty to provide care and not to harm patients. If euthanasia is legalised, then there is a grave apprehension that the State may refuse to invest in health (working towards Right to life). Legalised euthanasia has led to a severe decline in the quality of care for terminally-ill patients in Holland7. Hence, in a welfare state there should not be any role of euthanasia in any form.

Symptom of mental illness: Attempts to suicide or completed suicide are commonly seen in patients suffering from depression8, schizophrenia9 and substance users10. It is also documented in patients suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder11. Hence, it is essential to assess the mental status of the individual seeking for euthanasia. In classical teaching, attempt to suicide is a psychiatric emergency and it is considered as a desperate call for help or assistance. Several guidelines have been formulated for management of suicidal patients in psychiatry12. Hence, attempted suicide is considered as a sign of mental illness13.

Malafide intention: In the era of declining morality and justice, there is a possibility of misusing euthanasia by family members or relatives for inheriting the property of the patient. The Supreme Court has also raised this issue in the recent judgement3. ‘Mercy killing’ should not lead to ‘killing mercy’ in the hands of the noble medical professionals. Hence, to keep control over the medical professionals, the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 discusses euthanasia briefly in Chapter 6, Section 6.7 and it is in accordance with the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 199414. There is an urgent need to protect patients and also medical practitioners caring the terminally ill patients from unnecessary lawsuit. Law commission had submitted a report (no-196) to the government on this issue15.

Emphasis on care: Earlier majority of them died before they reached the hospital but now it is converse. Now sciences had advanced to the extent, life can be prolonged but not to that extent of bringing back the dead one. This phenomenon has raised a complex situation. Earlier diseases outcome was discussed in terms of ‘CURE’ but in the contemporary world of diseases such as cancer, Aids, diabetes, hypertension and mental illness are debated in terms best ‘CARE’, since cure is distant. The principle is to add life to years rather than years to life with a good quality palliative care. The intention is to provide care when cure is not possible by low cost methods. The expectation of society is, ‘cure’ from the health professionals, but the role of medical professionals is to provide ‘care’. Hence, euthanasia for no cure illness does not have a logical argument. Whenever, there is no cure, the society and medical professionals become frustrated and the fellow citizen take extreme measures such as suicide, euthanasia or substance use. In such situations, palliative and rehabilitative care comes to the rescue of the patient and the family. At times, doctors do suggest to the family members to have the patient discharged from the hospital wait for death to come, if the family or patient so desires. Various reasons are quoted for such decisions, such as poverty, non-availability of bed, futile intervention, resources can be utilised for other patients where cure is possible and unfortunately majority of our patient's family do accordingly. Many of the terminally ill patients prefer to die at home, with or without any proper terminal health care. The societal perception needs to be altered and also the medical professionals need to focus on care rather in addition to just cure. The motive for many euthanasia requests is unawareness of alternatives. Patients hear from their doctors that ‘nothing can be done anymore’. However, when patients hear that a lot can be done through palliative care, that the symptoms can be controlled, now and in the future, many do not want euthanasia anymore16.

Commercialisation of health care: Passive euthanasia occurs in majority of the hospitals across the county, where poor patients and their family members refuse or withdraw treatment because of the huge cost involved in keeping them alive. If euthanasia is legalised, then commercial health sector will serve death sentence to many disabled and elderly citizens of India for meagre amount of money. This has been highlighted in the Supreme Court Judgement3,17.

Research has revealed that many terminally ill patients requesting euthanasia, have major depression, and that the desire for death in terminal patients is correlated with the depression18. In Indian setting also, strong desire for death was reported by 3 of the 191 advanced cancer patients, and these had severe depression19. They need palliative and rehabilitative care. They want to be looked after by enthusiastic, compassionate and humanistic team of health professionals and the complete expenses need to be borne by the State so that ‘Right to life’ becomes a reality and succeeds before ‘Right to death with dignity’. Palliative care actually provides death with dignity and a death considered good by the patient and the care givers.

Counterargument of euthanasia supporters

Caregivers burden: ‘Right-to-die’ supporters argue that people who have an incurable, degenerative, disabling or debilitating condition should be allowed to die in dignity. This argument is further defended for those, who have chronic debilitating illness even though it is not terminal such as severe mental illness. Majority of such petitions are filed by the sufferers or family members or their caretakers. The caregiver's burden is huge and cuts across various domains such as financial, emotional, time, physical, mental and social. Hence, it is uncommon to hear requests from the family members of the person with psychiatric illness to give some poison either to patient or else to them. Coupled with the States inefficiency, apathy and no investment on health is mockery of the ‘Right to life’.

Refusing care: Right to refuse medical treatment is well recognised in law, including medical treatment that sustains or prolongs life. For example, a patient suffering from blood cancer can refuse treatment or deny feeds through nasogastric tube. Recognition of right to refuse treatment gives a way for passive euthanasia. Many do argue that allowing medical termination of pregnancy before 16 wk is also a form of active involuntary euthanasia. This issue of mercy killing of deformed babies has already been in discussion in Holland20.

Right to die: Many patients in a persistent vegetative state or else in chronic illness, do not want to be a burden on their family members. Euthanasia can be considered as a way to upheld the ‘Right to life’ by honouring ‘Right to die’ with dignity.

Encouraging the organ transplantation: Euthanasia in terminally ill patients provides an opportunity to advocate for organ donation. This in turn will help many patients with organ failure waiting for transplantation. Not only euthanasia gives ‘Right to die’ for the terminally ill, but also ‘Right to life’ for the organ needy patients.

Constitution of India reads ‘right to life’ is in positive direction of protecting life. Hence, there is an urgent need to fulfil this obligation of ‘Right to life’ by providing ‘food, safe drinking water and health care’. On the contrary, the state does not own the responsibility of promoting, protecting and fulfilling the socio-economic rights such as right to food, right to water, right to education and right to health care, which are basic essential ingredients of right to life. Till date, most of the States has not done anything to support the terminally ill people by providing for hospice care.

If the State takes the responsibility of providing reasonable degree of health care, then majority of the euthanasia supporters will definitely reconsider their argument. We do endorse the Supreme Court Judgement that our contemporary society and public health system is not matured enough to handle this sensitive issue, hence it needs to be withheld. However, this issue needs to be re-examined again after few years depending upon the evolution of the society with regard to providing health care to the disabled and public health sector with regard to providing health care to poor people.

The Supreme Court judgement to withhold decision on this sensitive issue is a first step towards a new era of health care in terminally ill patients. The Judgment laid down is to preserve harmony within a society, when faced with a complex medical, social and legal dilemma. There is a need to enact a legislation to protect terminally ill patients and also medical practitioners caring for them as per the recommendation of Law Commission Report-19615. There is also an urgent need to invest in our health care system, so that poor people suffering from ill health can access free health care. Investment in health care is not a charity; ‘Right to Health’ is bestowed under ‘Right to Life’ of our constitution.

References

1. Lewy G. Assisted suicide in US and Europe. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc; 2011.

2. Dowbiggin I. A merciful end: The euthanasia movement in modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc; 2003.

3. Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug vs. Union of India & Ors. Writ Petition (Criminal) no. 115 of 2009, Decided on 7 March, 2011. [accessed on August 16, 2011]. Available from: http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/outtoday/wr1152009.pdf .

4. P. Rathinam vs. Union of India, 1994(3) SCC 394

5. Gian Kaur vs. State of Punjab, 1996(2) SCC 648

6. Saunders C. Terminal care in medical oncology. In: Begshawe KD, editor. Medical oncology. Oxford: Blackwell; 1975. pp. 563–76.

7. Caldwell S. Now the Dutch turn against legalised mercy killing. [accessed on August 15, 2011]. Available from: http://www.hospicevolunteerassociation.org/HVANewsletter/0120_Vol6No1_2009Dec9_Now The DutchTurn Against Legalised MercyKilling.pdf .

8. Brådvik L, Mattisson C, Bogren M, Nettelbladt P. Long term suicide risk of depression in the Lundby cohort 1947-1997-severity and gender. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2008;117:185–91.[PubMed]

9. Campbell C, Fahy T. Suicide and schizophrenia. Psychiatry. 2005;4:65–7.

10. Griffin BA, Harris KM, McCaffrey DF, Morral AR. A prospective investigation of suicide ideation, attempts, and use of mental health service among adolescents in substance abuse treatment. Psychol Addict Behav. 2008;22:524–32.[PMC free article][PubMed]

11. Alonso P. Suicide in patients treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A prospective follow-up study. J Affect Disorders. 2010;124:300–8.[PubMed]

12. Bongar BME. Suicide: Guidelines for assessment, management, and treatment. USA: Oxford University Press; 1992.

13. Lonnqvist J. The Oxford textbook of suicidology and suicide prevention. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009. Major psychiatric disorders in suicide and suicide attempters; pp. 275–86.

14. The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations. 2002. [accessed on August 19, 2011]. Available from: http://www.mciindia.org/RulesandRegulations/CodeofMedicalEthicsRegulations2002.aspx . [PubMed]

15. Law Commission report no.196 on medical treatment to terminally ill patients. [accessed on August 19, 2011]. Available from: http://lawcommissionofindia.nie.in/reports/rep196.pdf .

16. Zylicz Z, Finlay IG. Euthanasia and palliative care: reflections from The Netherlands and the UK. J R Soc Med. 1999;92:370–3.[PMC free article][PubMed]

17. Gursahani R. Life and death after Aruna Shanbaug. Indian J Med Ethics. 2011;8:68–9.[PubMed]

18. Chochinov HM, Wilson KG, Enns M. Desire for death in the terminally ill. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152:1185–91.[PubMed]

19. Gandhi A, Chaturvedi SK, Chandra P. Desire for death in cancer patients - an Indian Study. Presented at the International Congress of the International Psycho OncologySociety, Copenhagen 2004

20. Sheldon T. Dutch legal protection scheme for doctors involved in mercy killing of babies receives first report. BMJ. 2009:339.

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