The Instigator
DebatingPerson911
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
whiteflame
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Antibiotics should be heavily restricted.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
whiteflame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,253 times Debate No: 45679
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

DebatingPerson911

Pro

First round is acceptance.
GOOD LUCK!
whiteflame

Con

Alright, I'll bite. I'm a microbiologist, so I know quite a bit about antibiotics and their importance. I'll be interested to see how you plan to restrict their usage without putting many patients at grave risk. I'll let you explain your case before I make my arguments, and just use this round as acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
DebatingPerson911

Pro

First of all, here is a personal example.
A man named Mark Ledenberg, friend of mine, died from an infection in his arm. He took antibiotics about every day for about a week and a half and died because of overuse of antibiotics.

Antibiotics overuse is a huge problem around the world. According to the CDC, the Central Disease Prevention and Control, 2 million people become sick due to antibiotic overuse and about 200, 000 die. This is a number that is only increasing. An antibiotic bacterial infection is when you take so many antibiotics that the bacteria becomes resistant to the antibiotics. Antibiotic bacterial infections are almost impossible to cure and the US spends around 10 - 40%, in some extreme cases, to cure these infections. Once something is resistant and doesn't react to external stimuli, it is very hard to cure. This is why viruses can't be easily cured. Back to the point.

Dr. Margaret Chan , the Director-General of the World Health Organization, said , "The world is entering into a post-antibiotic zone, where even the most common illnesses will no longer be able to be healed." She means that people take so many antibiotics that soon, all bacteria will become resistant to the antibiotics.

If antibiotics were restricted, there would be less of these infections and less money would be spent to cure them.
Get ready, because I can't wait for my other argument.
GOOD LUCK!
whiteflame

Con

Well, I'm still lost on the parameters, so I guess I'll have to set them.

"Antibiotics should be heavily restricted."

We don't know who is going to be doing the restricting here, and we don't know what "heavily" means in this context. I'll try to be fair about this. Health organizations would probably be the ones to implement this, restricting doctors to using a limited amount of antibiotics per patient, since the concern seems to be overuse rather than use. As for heavily, this means doctors could only provide short doses of antibiotics to patients, restricting duration to the minimum time required to kill the bacteria.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll start with rebuttal.

Pro starts with an anecdote. While I'm sure Mark's death was painful, I feel you've pegged the problem that led to it wrongly. In fact, as you get into statistics, it becomes quite clear that you have. The problem isn't that antibiotics are overused for bacterial pathogens - it's that they're prescribed incorrectly and misused by the patients.

It's interesting that Pro talks about viruses, because you know what can't be cured by antibiotics? Viruses! And yet, doctors prescribe for them all the time, normally as a method to make patients feel like they're getting care for diseases that will go away on their own. This isn't about overuse by any single patient, it's about doctors prescribing to patients who overtly don't need them.[1] These patients are more likely to have disrupted gut flora and get dangerous infections like Clostridium difficile. Pro's mentality wouldn't prevent these.[2]

Also, patients partially cause this. Not taking the medication as prescribed (i.e. stopping early) often leads to drug resistance.[3] And since Pro is likely going to stop them as early as possible, he's creating more, not less, resistance.

Back to Pro.

1. http://www.cdc.gov...
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
3. www.mayoclinic.org/antibiotics/art-2004572
Debate Round No. 2
DebatingPerson911

Pro

Good argument, but firstly, antibiotics should only be taken when prescribed by doctors. Plus, the local authorities shouldn't let anybody (farmers, ranchers, etc.) use the antibiotics. That is what I mean by restricted. This is because people take the antibiotics for minor pains and think that the antibiotics will just save them. Plus, antibiotics for animals is also a huge problem which I will clarify later.

You mention how the problem isn't antibiotics overuse, but it is. People just take antibiotics thinking they will get better. Also if you take unnecessary antibiotics, some bacteria will get killed but the rest will just become resistant. (1) Plus, the resistant bacteria will form an infection that almost cannot be cured. (1)

(2) Back to the livestock. When farmers and ranchers saw that just a small dose of antibiotics could make their livestock grow faster, they started to increase the dosage. As time passed and the amount grew, farmers now used about 15 to 17 million pounds of antibiotics are used to make their animals grow. Infections form in the livestock and that infection could had been in the meat you just ate. Gross, right. Oh, but don't you worry vegetarians, the manure of the livestock is used to help the plants grow, which also affects the plants. Studies have shown that the antibiotics are still active in the manure (3).

Almost out of words so I can't go into more detail.
Sorry for the late answer.

1) http://www.mayoclinic.org...
2) http://www.pbs.org...
3) http://www.treehugger.com...

GOOD LUCK!
whiteflame

Con

Thanks to my opponent for clarifying his argument and providing the meat of his side in this debate, and now it's time to dig in!

I'd like to start by pointing out that both of my arguments go dropped in this round. I'll get into why they matter over the course of my responses.

Pro talks about how prescriptions should determine who gets to take antibiotics. I agree, and this is why most antibiotics are prescription only. A few "natural" antibiotics are over the counter,[1] but as they're not fungal-derived, the resistance they engender doesn't affect the majority of available antibiotics. More importantly, my argument about how doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat viral infections stands showcases the problem with letting doctors have free reign to decide what is prescribed. As Pro hasn't outlined any restrictions on their practices, the harms continue, but they even get worse since now everyone's going to rely on seeing a doctor about any infection instead of pursuing over the counter meds.

Pro talks about animals being given them. Again, I agree, though if you deny farmers access to them, they will simply pursue other methods, such as steroids and hormones, to beef up their herds. This will only make things worse. We know they're cancer threats, but it's also got a wide swath of uncertainties, with many possible deleterious health outcomes for humans and cattle.[2]

Lastly, overuse. Interesting that he cites mayoclinic.org, a link very close to the one I used, but doesn't appear to have read it thoroughly. There's no mention of overuse, just misuse, which often results when patients stop taking their meds early (or being prescribed them for viral infections). High concentrations of antibiotic are actually far more likely to kill even a resistant bacteria.[3]

1. http://medsnoprescriptiononline.com...
2. http://www.phschool.com...
3. http://www.pnas.org...

Good debate.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Same to you.
Posted by DebatingPerson911 3 years ago
DebatingPerson911
Good luck whiteflame!!!
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Ah, I see. Well, one of my main arguments will have to be modified, but I think that shouldn't be a problem.
Posted by DebatingPerson911 3 years ago
DebatingPerson911
Ok whiteflame. If this is too late, sorry.
I mean that is shouldn't be kept from being used at any time (example : headache)
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Alright, as I'm not going to be posting until tomorrow morning, I'll give you another opportunity to state what you mean by "heavily restricted." I'll accept what you say here in the comments as the context for the debate, otherwise I will have to use my own interpretation, and I'll tell you now, you're not going to like it.
Posted by IReason 3 years ago
IReason
f u
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
DebatingPerson911whiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, but pro does need to work on specifying *exactly* what he means in his plan. Because of this lack of specificity Con was able to move freely and represent Pro's case based on a guess. Con does an excellent redirecting the problem of antibiotics. Very nice debate.
Vote Placed by TheLastMan 3 years ago
TheLastMan
DebatingPerson911whiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't meet his BoP, and dropped Con's arguments from the second round. I think Con countered all of Pro's arguments. Pro misinterpreted his own source. As con pointed out, There's no mention of overuse, just misuse.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
DebatingPerson911whiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't meet his BoP, and ignored Con's arguments from the second round. I felt as though Con sufficiently undermined all of Pro's arguments, and the fact that Pro introduced new arguments in the last round didn't help, since all Con had to do was provide a rebuttal. Sources were close, but Pro used "treehugger.com" which is some organic/natural source, and I'm always a bit suspicious of organic/natural ideas. This was a very good debate to both though! S/G was tied, as well as conduct.