The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,407 times Debate No: 62761
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)




Resolved: A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased.

This is an LD debate. All LD cases are acceptable.

The round structure will go like this:

First Round: Acceptance.

Second Round: Aff Case, Neg case and rebuttals

Third Round: Aff rebuttals, neg rebuttals.

Fourth Round: Aff rebuttals, Neg passes round.

Anything typed in the final round for the neg will be considered as passing.

GL to my opponent!


I accept this debate. I should note that the burden of proof is on my opponent, and completely so.
Debate Round No. 1


I affirm and value Morality. I advocate the metaethical theory of naturalism which says that moral facts are empirical facts and ethics must be grounded in the laws of nature. This is justified because:

First: basic laws of physic confirm that only ethics cannot arise out of intuition or abstract principles. Naturalism is the only coherent metaethic. Papineau:

David Papineau, “Naturalism,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007.

the conservation of energy does imply that if mental or vital forces arose spontaneously, then there would be nothing to ensure that they never led to energy increases. Detailed physiological research, especially into nerve cells, gave no indication of any physical effects that cannot be explained in terms of basic physical forces that also occur outside living bodies. … we should identify mental states with brain states, for otherwise those mental states would be "nomological danglers" which play no role in the explanation of behaviour. … since the only laws governing behaviour are those connecting behaviour with physical antecedents, mental events can only be causes of behaviour if they are identical with those physical antecedents.”

Second: Naturalism best accounts for moral motivation and supervenience. Papineau 2:

“first … non-natural moral facts could [not] have any motivating force: after all, if such facts are incapable of having effects of any kind, they will a fortiori be incapable of motivating human beings. … [second,] intuition … demand[s] that two situations that are identical with respect to physical properties will also be morally identical. … this will follow from … naturalist principles. Non-naturalists, by contrast, … lack any … explanation of why moral facts should so supervene on physical facts … “

If naturalism is true then that leads to the normative conclusion that ethics must be grounded in empathy and being consistent with empathic responses. Thus the standard is engaging empathically with people because:

First: Every neural perception and empirical claim is based on being consistent with empathy. Mirror neurons and multiple neuroscientific studies proves. Preston and Waal:

Stephanie D. Prestonand Frans B. M. de Waal. Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases. BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2002) 25, 1–72.

“mirror neurons” … represent goal-directed actions, allowing individuals to understand and imitate the actions of others …. In a brain-imaging study using … (PET), observing an action with the intent to imitate it activated the areas used in planning and performing the actions … In an fMRI study, the left inferior frontal cortex and the rostral-most part of the right superior parietal lobule were activated when subjects observed a finger movement and when initiating the same movement under different conditions. … The results … support … “direct matching” hypotheses of perception and action. … These shared representations for perception and action are also activated when a movement is imagined … evidence supports a common representation for mental and manual rotation. RTs for imagining and performing a rotation movement are virtually identical “

Second: Other theories of the brain miss the crucial point. Literally every neuro function is based on empathy. If we reject empathy or don’t engage in empathic engagement every other sense of perception is flawed and negative. Preston and Waal 2:

Stephanie D. Prestonand Frans B. M. de Waal. Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases. BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2002) 25, 1–72.

“makes empathy a … category that includes all subclasses of phenomena that share the same mechanism. This includes emotional contagion, sympathy, cognitive empathy, helping behavior, … This process model also links empathy to all facilitation behaviors that rely on perception- action … A Perception-Action Model of empathy specifically states that attended perception of the object’s state automatically activates the subject’s representations of the state, situation, and object, and that activation of these representations automatically primes or generates the associated autonomic on their interdependence or interrelationship. Interdependence can be temporary and superficial, like when the subject and object must cooperate for a local goal or when the object’s distress blocks the goal of the subject.”

I contend that under the ethics of care we are morally obligated to presume consent.

First, Empathy is the basis of self-sacrifice. We are 100% obligated based on our empathic nature. Olson:

Gary Olson. From Mirror Neurons to Moral Neuropolitics. PDF is online.

“empathy contribute robust empirical evidence … for organizing … societies. … consistent with … care, effort, responsibility, courage and respect. … reciprocity mandates equality and an end to exploitation and oppression, it follows that “a just, compassionate treatment of other people is on the grand scale of things one of the conditions for one’s own thriving.” … human nature … has the capacity to lead to … sacrifice, and support, and solidarity, and tremendous courage, … The critical question is … to realize a form of global environment that enhances the opportunity for the empathic aspect of our nature to flourish.”

Second, people are dying from not having any organs to transplant to save them. With absolutely anyone having the ability to donate, everyone has the obligation to donate, which means presumed consent makes the most sense. Delmonico:

Delmonico, Francis L. "Ethical Incentive -- Not Payment -- For Organ Donation." Sounding Board (n.d.): n. pag. 20 June 2002. Web. 3 Sept. 2014.

“the demand for cadaveric organs has far exceeded the supply. … in 2000, nearly 5000 patients were removed from the list because of death. … patients with end-stage organ failure are no longer relying solely on the waiting list. Instead, they are turning to … strangers as possible donors … advances in immunosuppression have eliminated the requirement of a genetic match for successful organ transplantation. …”

Third, presumed consent solves the problems of death from not getting the organs people need. Presumed consent has significantly higher donation rates, even after accounting for other variables. Abadie and Gay

Abadie, Alberto, and Sebastien Gay. “The Impact of Presumed Consent Legislation on Cadaveric Organ Donation: A Cross-country Sudy.” Journal of Health Economics 25.4 (2006): 599-620. Web.

“the coefficient on the presumed consent variable indicates roughly 26% higher donation rates in presumed consent countries. This difference is significant at conventional test levels. … we report the results for … additional variables that measure potentially relevant … characteristics: religious beliefs, whether the country has a … civil law system, and the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and cerebro-vascular diseases. In all cases, … the regression does not change substantially the value of the coefficient on the presumed consent indicator. … when other determinants of cadaveric donation rates are accounted for, the coefficient on the presumed consent variable is still large and significant …”



"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve, nor shall receive either" -Benjamin Franklin

With these words in mind, I strongly oppose the resolution put forward that: 'A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased'.

For the sake of clarification I shall define the following terms in this debate:
1. a just society shall from now be known as a society where the rights, and liberties of all persons are ensured, and appropriate punishment/rehabilitation may be done by a competent court against those who would breach other's rights.
2. presumed consent shall refer to an official consent for organ procurement, and this consent shall be assumed within the law.
3. deceased shall refer to anyone who is declared dead by a competent person (a person with such an authority).

My value for this debate is "inherent freedom" because legally each person is born with the freedom which allows them to make decisions so long as these decisions do not infringe on another's rights, and vice versa.

My value criterion is "universal law" for it is the best tool with which to measure if my value is being upheld in this debate. I have the following positive contentions:
1. Inherent Freedom
2. Impracticality Within Application
3. One Owns Oneself
4. Unneeded Legislation
Where there is a lack of anything I give the following negative contentions:
1. General Incoherency, Lack of Model, Breach of format
2. Lack of Evidence
3. Naturalism, Empathy, and Justness
I reserve the right to add, and subtract as so required before the last round. I shall furthermore possible break these contentions and may choose to discuss only certain in this round.

Positive Contention 1: Inherent Freedom
a. Any legislation that breaches fundamental human rights is unjust;
b. The legislation of this resolution breaches fundamental human rights.
c. Ergo: The legislation of this resolution is unjust

The major premise is chairpersons self evident. We have declared that each person has been endowed with certain rights which must not be breached, these are the universal human right laws. Ex ve termini of "just society" this premise is self-evident beyond doubt.

Chairpersons let us begin with the freedom of religion. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights assures each person of freely choosing a religion, and practicing it. Furthermore Article 3 of this Declaration assures each person of the freedom of security of one's self. August chairpersons in many religions such as Judaism, and Islam the deceased body has spiritual worth.[1] In these religions the burial of the deceased body is thought eminent for the person dead. Not only does the state have the responsibility to comply with the deceased's will, but by applying this law you would also cause punitive damage to the family. No just society can breach these fundamental human rights, and therefore the right of organ procurement is draconian no matter the apparent need. This concludes our minor premise and therefore defeats the resolution in terms of justness.

This is however not the only reason. In modern days, honorable chairpersons, the act of cryogenicizing a person is becoming common. Cryogenics has worked on mice, and scientists assume that in another hundred or so years it can work of humans as well.[2] For all intents and purposes these people are pronounced dead, however with they have paid great amounts of money to be preserved at low tempreatures. Will such persons be exempt from this law? They are after all deceased. However that would cause an unfairness, and further problems. Again it would be a breach of a person's fundamental right given here by Article 3.

Positive Contention 2: Impracticability Within Application
a. Any just legislation necessarily has a practical application
b. This legislation does not have a practical application
c. Ergo: This legislation is not just

The resolution hath demanded a modal, a framework from my worthy opponent. However he has besides copying his argument, and making little to no sense done nothing more. I therefore raise these questions which must be adequately addressed.

Who, pray tell, shall monitor which corpse should be mutilated? If one corpse is chosen instead of the other would it not be unfair for the corpse chosen, assuming both did not want to give consent? What if one wished to donate an organ to a particular person, how would that fit in with the framework that my opponent have in mind? Will these organs be for sale? Who will get the money? Are these organs now the property of the state?

All of these questions need answers or the chairpersons must at once dismiss the legislation brought up by my opponent on the charge that it seeks to lay out a principle which is in practice unfair. The first premise is clear: if the application would cause harm to the populous, then the legislation need be unjust. Such a legislation (unless my opponent provides a framework) will marginalize people in cases, and is therefore unjust.

Positive Contention 3: One Owns Oneself
"...every man has a Property in his own Person...the individual has a right to decide what would become of himself and what he would do, and as having a right to reap the benefits of what he did." -John Locke
a. The organ, as the body is under the ownership of the individual, and no just legislation would breach this ownership.
b. The current legislation breaches this ownership.
c. Ergo: This current legislation is unjust.

The thirteenth amendment of the United States of America is the best proof of the application of this argument. The argument is actually quite similar. While it is always nice to have blacks as slaves to do manual labor, and I am sure with them as slaves costs would be lesser, we gave them a right. For they are born with the right to self. Today my opponent would bring forth the same oppressive, perverse, disgusting regime where he is once more trying to make the blacks slaves for some form of utility.

The major premise is self evident. Each person is endowed with certain rights, and the Human Declaration in Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, and Article 4 guarantees this universal right. The minor premise is also self evident that it would breach these fundamental rights, it would try and take the ownership of one's body away from oneself. This is the height of immorality, and unjustness. No amount of utility in one form can over rule the fundamental ownership of one's body. If my opponent contends this then let him openly admit that this world would be better by keeping blacks as slaves, for it would reduce costs.

4. Positive Contention 4: Unneeded Legislation
a. Any legislation which is unneeded is unjust
b. The current legislation is unneeded
c. Ergo: The current legislation is unjust.

The first premise may be defended by the fact that any legislation uses capital to ensure, and useless legislation wastes time, and money which could be used in more ethical means, and such legislation is therefore unjust. The second can be shown by the fact that day by day the number of people dying are decreasing going from 32 in 1990 to only 18 in 2000. Also as research is improving more and more artificial organs, dead fetus organs, animal organs, and stem cells are being used. Within the next five years (to apply such a legislation would take longer) the need for human organs would decrease even more. It is then pointless, and foolish to endorse such a legislation.[3] In fact Harvard University published today viz. 11.10.14 the first successful process where an organ was brought back to life using stem cells.[4] There is therefore no need for such a policy.

I shall give my negative material in my next round (something the Lincoln-Doughlas format recommends). My summary however will consist of much what needed to be said in my positive case.

I summarize the current by stating that my opponent had a duty to provide an explanation with his copied work. He does not do so, even the copied work (which covers 80% of all written) is an appeal to authority for while the law of thermodynamics may have been stated there is no explanation why it affirms naturalism, nor is the philosophical/scientific community of this view. It is also sad that my opponent does not provide a modal, something which this format makes binding on him, he also does not argue the resolution but rather besides the point. His entire case is based on the belief that we as human beings "should" or "ought" to donate our organs, he in no way shows why these organs should be donated even if the respective people are against it. His argument therefore do nothing for his case.

In effect while he may attempt to show (incorrectly as I hope to show) that we "ought" to give our organs or donate our organs my worthy opponent does not give any reasoning why this out ways the freedom, and the rights of the people involved. I on the other hand provided arguments with syllogisms (another thing required but not provided by Zaradi), for negating the resolution.

In conclusion having supported my value of "inherent freedom", and debased my opponent's case, I urge a negation of the resolution that states: a just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased.

Debate Round No. 2


Start on the NC. Start with his framework.

First, my value supercedes his value. Valuing "inherent freedom" only begs the question of why that's something we should strive to achieve, which rests on moral justification. The only way his value makes sense is if my value gives it justification.

Second, Even if we don't go with my value, I still link into his. I'm protecting everyone's inherent right to make autonomous decisions as well as preserving more lives which allows us to maintain our freedom to live. This means that not only can I achieve both frameworks while he can barely, if at all, achieve his own, but I achieve his framework better than he does. This means regardless of who's framework you look to in this debate, I'm winning it.

Third, his criterion has absolutely no link to his value. He justifies the link by saying "it's the best tool with which to measure his value" but provides no warrant for why this is so. I provide clear lines of reasoning for the justification of my framework through the Papineau cards as well as the Preston and Waal cards, none of which were contested.

Fourth, his criterion makes no sense for the resolution. It's impossible to universalize any kind of action in terms of organ procurement since each and every situation will be drastically different. Taking into account the deceased's wishes, their family's wishes, as well as the beliefs of different faiths will make creating a universalizable standard for organ procurement literally impossible. This means that regardless of what he's arguing on his contentions, they can't fulfill his standard, which means he's getting no offense off of his case.

Then, go to his contentions. Group all of his contentions:

I solve for this by not violating anyone's rights, but even if I violate some people's rights, a) I'm violating less people's autonomous rights than Neg is, and b) I present options for people who don't want to donate to state so.

First, Presumed Consent literally solves for 100% of his contentional arguments by having an opt-out option. This is where if people don't want to donate their organs, they can officially have it recorded that they do not wish to have their organs donated for whatever reason. Upon their death their wishes will be recalled and their organs will remain with their person.

This takes out literally every single problem my opponent has with presumed consent. It takes away his first contention because I don't violate anyone's rights since we give them the option to not donate if they don't want to, it takes away his second contention because I'm providing these specifics that I'm calling for (I'll address this more in detail later, though), I solve for contention three by giving ownership to people by allowing them to decide if they want to donate or not, and contention four just makes no sense to begin with: there are hundreds upon thousands of people dying from not having the organs they need to survive via transplantation. Presumed consent gets these organs better than the status quo. This means that presumed consent is 100% needed in order to save more lives.

But go to his second contention in particular:

First, I'm providing a lot of these specifics he's asking for via implimenting an opt-out policy for those who do not wish to donate, so I'm fulfilling his objection here.

Second, even if I'm not, he's not providing a reason for why I have to. He's just saying that these questions about who's running the show and what happens if people freeze themselves to preserve their bodies and all that needs to be answered and if I don't answer them then you can't accept presumed consent, but that doesn't actually explain why I need to provide those answers, or why without those answers you can't accept presumed consent.

Third, I really actually don't have to provide those answers. The resolution doesn't ask for a specific policy. All the resolution places on me to prove is that we ought to use some form of presumed consent system for organ procurement. The specifics are irrelevant.

And, go to his fourth contention:

His argument here literally makes no sense. He's conceded the Delmonico evidence which is showing you that in 2000 there were five THOUSAND people who were removed from the waiting list because they died. Saying that trying to save those lives is "unneeded" if anything is a far graver violation of our inherent freedoms than anything I could ever do on the aff.

But furthermore, his artifical organs argument makes no sense. Refer back to my Abadie and Gay evidence where it's talking about how they did a statistical survey on organ procurement rates and measured with variables it's effect and showed that presumed consent was what was making the different in organ donations across the world. This makes his artifical organ point a) wrong, and b) irrelevant, since it's not that which will be providing the bulk of the organs we transplant.

This takes out literally 100% of his case, meaning there's absolutely no offense for him to be gaining off of his case. This means you affirm right here right now because he's literally conceded 100% of my case and hasn't tried to respond to a single argument I make other than to say I don't make one (I'll go over his "responses" in a second). This means that at the end of the day when you're comparing the arguments, you're comparing arguments of his that have 3-4 responses per contention, plus a framework that a) I achieve better and b) he can't ever hope to achieve, against a case that's 100% dropped by the neg. Game over mistake from Ajabi.

But then let's go over to the AC to address his refutations.

First, don't let him bring up new arguments against my case in his next speech. He had the chance to respond to my case, and delaying refutations that I need to respond to to the very last speech that I get is insanely abusive, it's like holding out on your game-winning argument until your opponent doesn't have enough time to respond to it. This is,

a) a completely unfair debate tactic to use, as it takes the goal of debate away from who's the better debater and puts it on who can use the most under-handed tactics, promoting unfairness. And fairness is important to debate because the role of the judges is to determine the better debating, which becomes next to impossible if one side starts to cheat.

and b) incredibly unhealthy for debate as an activity, because it encourages people to not make use of all of their rounds to create clash and promote discussion. If people start to see that they can win by just holding all their good arguments until the last round and win because their opponent doesn't get enough time to respond to them, then the first few rounds become pointless, which cripples actual educational discussion. And education is important to debate because it's the only thing that gives debate out-of-round value: once the actual in-round competition has ended the only thing left is what you learned from the debate, but if we harm the actual educational value of debate then it becomes pointless.

Second, his argument that I don't make the link between Papineau (laws of physics argument) and naturalism is 100% a lie and proof that Ajabi isn't reading my case very well. I'm clearly implicating that because the conservation of energy is saying that nothing abstract can spontaneously be created, the only thing that makes sense philosophically is something based within the existing, natural world, hence naturalism. The link is 100% explained and it's borderline offensive that he's saying I'm not explaining it.

Third, it's also borderline offensive that he claims I'm not providing a "modal" even though I'm giving you a much better warranted value-criterion framework with which to judge arguments under.

Fourth, his argument that I'm not showing how going from we 'ought' to donate affirms the resolution makes literally zero sense and literally ignores my second and third contentions, which are saying that people are dying without organs and that presumed consent solves for this loss of life. And because we have an obligation via empathy to help other people, presumed consent is the only viable option. It's as if he literally just did not read my case.

Fifth, I'm showing you from my first round and this round why a) I'm best protecting people's rights and freedoms, including life and autonomy, while he's actually doing a worse job of protecting the things his entire case revolves around protecting. I'm the one who's going to be saving more lives, which a) outweighs literally everything because nothing about our rights and religious freedoms will matter if we all die anyway, and b) allows for more autonomous decisions about our freedoms to be made in the future, since we can't make decisions if we're dead. Moreover, I'm also covering for autonomy in the present by allowing people who don't want to donate to opt-out and not donate, which preserves their freedoms. This means that affirming is literally giving you the best of both worlds, while negating literally doesn't get you anything other than more dead people from not getting organ transplantations.

Also, the argument that I need to provide syllogisms is stupid, there's no reason why I have to do this and there never has been.

With that, extend the naturalism framework that goes 100% conceded, and extend my standard of engaging empathetically with others, which goes conceded as well. This means you're evaluating the debate under an empathetic viewpoint.

Extend my contentions which show that we're obligated to help others, and that people are dying and that presumed consent solves for this death, all of which was conceded. This means you affirm because I'm showing through my contentions why we're obligated to presume consent.

And don't let him stand up and give new responses to my case in his next speech as that's unfair for me to have to respond to in my last speech where I'm not supposed to make new arguments.


Ajabi forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Well...that's quite the anticlimactic ending. Extend my arguments and vote pro.


I guess I cannot do anything now. Urgh! I hate policy debates. :P
I concede, if its any consolation. Congratulations Zaradi! I hope we can debate this again next month though.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
You got an hour and a half left ajab. Might wanna start thinking about replyin
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Haha I may not remember when it's about to end. Why am I babysitting you? XD

Nah I don't really remove debates, unless there's a good reason I should.
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
I don't usually forfeit, just post when there are a few minutes remaining. This is why I do not like fvckin policy debates...hai hai hai.
You would not be willing to remove this, would you? :P
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Oh ajab!!!!! Don't foreitttttttttt! I'm not too boring for you am I? ;)
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
nice. Ajabi vs Zaradi. Let's see who wins this one.
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Yeah...part of me is 100% sure you don't know what you're talking about...
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Lincoln-Douglas right?
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Ajabi do you even know how to do LD debate?
Posted by hatshepsut 2 years ago
Someone might take it if you restructure the terms, which are asymmetric.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: read the debate.
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Dance magic!