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Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 499 times Debate No: 84327
Debate Rounds (4)
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Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

First round acceptance.


I thank my opponent for beginning this debate. I would like to accept this debate.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't this debate the same topic as the NJFL Lincoln-Douglas type debate? Could you please address this in your following speech? Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


I am not certain what the NJFL is, but this was a topic used by the NSDA or NFL.

O1. For medical choices that do no prolong life or improve health, such as aesthetic procedures – if the parent does not want to pay for the procedure, then the adolescent will have to pay for it themselves. Otherwise, for procedures that prolong life or improve health, the parent will have to pay for them.

The highest value in today’s round is Ethical Egoism. (Definition here: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 02 “Egoism”,

This value must be upheld as it is the only way to ensure a proper departure of adolescents from paternal control. They do not reject paternalism due to selfishness but for moral reasons. (Same source as above to see what this means)

My criterion is therefore to advocate
Heckman, 02

  • Nomadism ... exists outside of the ... State ... characterised by movement across space ... in sharp contrast to the rigid boundaries of the State. The nomad has ... territory, ... follows customary paths ... is not ignorant of points ... the points determine paths, they are strictly subordinated to the paths they determine, the reverse happens with the sedentary. The ... point is reached only ... to be left behind ... The life of the nomad is the intermezzo. (380)¶ The nomad, is thus, a way of being in the middle or between points. It is characterized by movement and change, and is unfettered by systems of organization. The goal of the nomad is only to continue to move within the "intermezzo."

My criterion best upholds my value of Ethical Egoism because it allows free action. The individual is not controlled by the state and he or she can exist in a smooth plane, outside of control. They are allowed to develop in a self-interest that is morally right to society.

C1. Oedipus

The triangle of the family promotes a social unity – each member of the family has a specific role to which they must conform – if they do not conform, society will view these individuals as deviants – the forced cooperation of the family is the psychoanalytic colonization of Oedipus.
Deleuze and Guattari further elaborate in 1972, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Immature have liberty while they are immature and as part of the process of becoming mature citizens
Hamilton 2010 explains,;

When the adolescent makes his own autonomous decision, he or she is breaking the dominant authority of mommy and daddy – this breaks the Oedipal triangle – no longer is the child scared of mommy and daddy power, as it defies the norms of society.

Society wants adolescents to stay in the vice of the parents – if the adolescent chooses freedom over mommy-daddy, society will begin to punish – it will blame the adolescent’s rebellious nature on the Oedipus complex – it will say that the boy will want to rebel against the father because he is jealous of the father’s relation toward the mother – this is vice versa with a girl.

Of course, it is obviously not saying the child wants to sleep with its opposite sex parent and kill its same sex parent – but society is saying that your little rebellious nature is bad – it is saying that the only reason for this rebellion is because you want to defy your parents – Oedipus is designed to make the rebel child feel guilty – so society will do this by labeling he or she as rebellious.
Deleuze and Guattari further elaborate on this point in 1972.

If the child is forced to submit to society, it enters into the Nuclear Family, a perfect family – society’s grand design for conformity and control – if everyone is the perfect family then no one will question society at all and the hierarchies and exploitation can continue.
D&G elaborate in their book.

When the state uses excuses such as Oedipus to stop the rebellion – this leads the child to desire their own repression, fascism – they question the hierarchies of society and the state punishes the child by making them feel like they hate their parents and want to rebel – the child will desire their own repression by wanting the hierarchies of society to control them so that they do not seem like they are hurting their parents – we must not let this exploitation happen – an adolescent can have their own autonomy and they can question the hierarchies of the state.
D&G elaborate in their book.

Fascism is the path to pure destruction, as D&G explain in 1980 in A Thousand Plateus

The Nomad is a way out of Oedipus – it frees them from the territorialization of the psychoanalytic family and allows them to resist the dangers of fascism.
Seem 72 explains



I thank my opponent for continuing this debate on such short notice. I would also like to point out that NFL and NJFL are similar, and only differentiated by age group. However, I ask you not to copy and paste your next argument, as you have already done with your first speech.

Rebuttal for O1:
First of all, you are not making an argument, but only providing an alternative. Is this statement to resolve, or is it just a suggestion? Please address this in your following speech.

FW: First of all, you are stating that egoism is self-preservation, or self-love, right? Why must this be upheld? Egoism is to ensure the best for themselves, but their self-preservation is only based upon what they believe is good for them, although their choices are not always the best choice. Most of the time, what an adolescent believes to be good for them is not always agreed on by their parents or guardians. Pretend that a child wants to get braces, because they are afraid that their teeth will turn out ugly. However, the family is a lower class family, and constantly in need of money. The kid wants to get braces, but braces are a want, not a necessity. If it's not a necessity, then the family can't afford to buy it. What is the kid supposed to do, get braces without the parent's permission? If the child makes their own autonomous choice, it could potentially place their family's financial status in danger. You might be thinking that the child is already an adolescent now, and they are capable of making wise choices. But is that so? After all, adolescents are known to have mood swings and easily have the act of defying their parents.

First of all, I would like to state that the "book" that you mention is nothing but a book that is based upon the mindset of an adolescent youth and philosophy, and it was not based upon the autonomous decisions of adolescents. Who cares about the book? What does it even have to do with this? Besides, the adolescent doesn't want to rebel against their parents, but they are making their own choice. As I have said, though, their choice is not the right one all the time. Guilt is not a variable in the choices that are made by adolescents.
No offense, but I couldn't understand 90% of your C1. Could you please explain it in your own words? Sorry, I am just a little boy that can't understand anything. Now I need to go cry to my "mommy" and daddy."

Thanks for your time and consideration, judges and debater.
Debate Round No. 2


Sure thing, thanks for accepting.

O1: My point here is just an observation of the burdens of the round. To give me the burden that any cosmetic surgery (e.g. breast implants or the like) is due payment from the parents would be unfair, this is just me setting up my burdens for the round: if the adolescent can provide for themselves, they can get non life-threatening things, whilst if they need something life-threatening (heart surgery, etc.) the parents should pay. There's nothing deeper than that, I just want to set up the burdens.

FW: Yeah, ethical egoism is the self-centered belief -- you can say that this is self-preservation or self-love, going to whatever end you wish to the comparisons, these are all valid. But, ethical egoism is a priority-based set of moral thought; it has the highest-yielding first, and so on and so on. It weighs the outcomes of everything, not just the personal beliefs - there is a sharp contrast and a fine line between the two.
As for your braces example, they are not an adolescent to start. A child does not have close to the mindset of an adolescent, and even further from an adult; but on the other hand, an adolescent is closer to an adult mindset. Further, it is only the burden of the parent to provide money for the braces (as per my O1, meaning observation one) if the adolescent's life is in danger. Anything else, they have to pay for it for themselves; there exists no conflict within your scenario.

C1: We care about the book because it talks about ethical egoism and nomadism. Further, we care because it talks about social hierarchies; my case specifically critiques these things, and so on and so on.

To explain my case in my own words further.
Basically, the triangle of the family as it exists in the status quo (2 parents, no child) is social unity according to society; any deviation from it (one mother and one child only, for example) is nonconformism and is the colonisation (the creation) of Oedipus (please read Oedipus Rex by Sophocles if you do not understand this metaphor). We need to consider the rights of the immature (the adolescent), since they are in the process of becoming full citizens and because they are due certain rights. When the child makes an autonomous choice, I claim, he changes the triangle as it exists. From a large top and small bottom (2 parents at the top, 1 child at the bottom) to a small top and large bottom (1 child at the top, 2 at the bottom). Society will not respond well - it will call this new structure a rebellion, as we see in Oedipus where he kills his father and sleeps with his mother.

If the child submits to this power hierarchy, he submits to society in the status quo - and further, I claim, he is the poster child of conformity and control. Exploitation and hierarchies will continue - only by rebellion can we solve for all of these inherently bad things (slavery, as an example of a hierarchy, but my case specifically talks of the exploitation of adolescents). When an adolescent doesn't have this right of autonomy, they continue this power hierarchy -- Deleuze and Guattari call this the 'fascism' of the future -- and this fascism will cause extinction unless we check this power as it exists ('check' as in the term 'checks and balances'). The Nomadism of my criterion is the only way out of this fascism, Seem 72 claims.

No need to cry to your parents, for that is entrenching their power and making the state of repression and oppression - simply cry to yourself and your deserved right to rebel in autonomy, then you will no longer need to cry. Thanks ~


I would like to thank my opponent for continuing this debate. I apologize for creating this speech at the last moment; I shouldn't make my opponent wait for me.

First of all, I would like to address a statement from your second speech. " It weighs the outcomes of everything, not just the personal beliefs," which sort of helps me, in my opinion. Since this example that I gave also has a bad outcome if the child decides to make their own autonomous choice. If they decide that they want braces, it will set their family's financial status in danger, even if the child is paying (addressing your burdens). Also, I would like to state that the example that I gave could be referring to anybody. I just chose 'child' over 'adolescent' because 'child' was easier to type.

Also, I would like to say that Oedipus is a very messed up book, you know what I mean? What kind of sick child would kill his dad to sleep with his mother? But sick children/adolescents aside, I would like to make several rebuttals to your Oedipus. Since you have already made an argument about this book in your first speech, and you are addressing it in this speech (for explanation), then I will make a rebuttal to it. I would like to ask if you are saying this: The adolescent (or child) will feel guilty if his society begins to make him feel that he shouldn't do that. If the society begins to pressure him to think differently, then he/she will begin to think differently. Address this if it is correct in your next speech. Thanks.
While the book's philosophy is mainly correct, the situation that it is being applied to is not. First of all, does the society really pressure the adolescent to feel this way? Does the society really show their opinion as to pressure the adolescent? After all, one is not 'forced' to do something by their society, they are merely being influenced.

Thanks for your time and consideration, judges and debater.
Debate Round No. 3


I don't believe that you have read Oedipus Rex by Sophocles ... the story of Oedipus by Deleuze and Guattari isn't meant to be taken exactly as that story (and you do not understand the fundamental story, it seems, though this isn't a big deal. Oedipus didn't knowingly sleep with his mother or kill his father, this was just fate and he didn't know better!).

Yes, if society starts to pressure an adolescent into becoming a societal norm, then the child will change and accept whatever hierarchies exist. Yes, society does pressure adolescents - they show their opinion. While you are correct in saying that they are not 'forced' per se into doing something, when you are facing being expelled from society for not giving up Oedipal desires (broad, Lacanian Oedipal ones, not just Deleuzian ones), then I would call that being forced.

I don't think that this debate was extremely productive (nothing against you, just the way that the debate ended up) so I don't think that any votes would really be beneficial. If you agree just put "don't vote, but we'd appreciate feedback" in the next round, or not, it's up to you :)

Thanks for all, good luck in the future.


Thanks for starting the challenge and continuing the debate. While this debate was not particularly productive (I take the blame for not understanding), I still appreciate it. I also appreciate your learned debating and other skills. I hope that you have a Happy New Year and make lots of resolutions. I know I will make a ton of resolutions, and not one that I can successfully keep.

Your book Oedipus seems like a really nice one. I might give it a try. I've never read one, and welcome the opportunity to find a good read. It was a lot of fun debating against you. I also agree with the fact that votes wouldn't be beneficial.

Thank you, opponent. If you ever feel like you need to make a much more productive debate, feel free to challenge me. Thanks.

P.S: If one of you spectators decides to be all like, "Troll" and decides to vote, I will hire an actual "troll" (from the fairy tales) to come and smash your head in. Then maybe you can make your own autonomous medical decision in which you decide to get a facial surgery or get a new face. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
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