The Instigator
Cooldudebro
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
bsh1
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points

Governments should only test drugs for safety, not effectiveness, before approving them for public

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,576 times Debate No: 59982
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (29)
Votes (4)

 

Cooldudebro

Con

This is for the WODC debate tournament.

Bsh1 resolution: Drugs should be tested for safety only.

Cooldudebro resolution: Drugs should be tested for both safety and effectiveness.

These definitions must not be changed and no new ones shall be added.

Drug: a substance that is used as a medicine (1)

Public: of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc. (2)

Effectivness: producing a result that is wanted : having an intended effect (3)

Forfeit equals seven point drop.

BoP is shared

Good luck!




1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

3. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
bsh1

Pro

I assume that first round, as per DDO SOP, is for acceptance. I accept, but would like to note two things before we continue:

1. I would like to register a formal objection to this topic. CDB and I failed to agree on any topic, and after a lengthy discussion turned to Larz to provide a topic for us. This topic, in my opinion, is INCREDIBLY biased against Pro, and--when most people look at this on face value--they will want to cast a Con ballot. I feel as if Larz has done a poor job in ensuring the topics he selects are well-balanced and fair. Thus, I would ask judges to be extra vigilant when evaluating this round to ensure their personal feelings are set aside. Thank you.

2. The actor in the resolution is a "Government." No specific government (e.g. the United States's government) has been identified, but rather we are debating about what a generic government should do. I will define a government as follows, since Pro has failed to do so: a government is 'an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area'...A proper government is 'the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined law.'" [1]

Thanks to CDB for this debate. Thanks to anyone who reads this debate and votes; I appreciate it. I look forward to an interesting discussion.

[1] http://aynrandlexicon.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Cooldudebro

Con

Hello, and thank you for continuing to read this debate I would like to refute my opponent's statements.

Rebuttal 1:

Larz is an un-biased judge that just assigned a topic he would like to see debated.

Rebuttal 2:

You broke the acceptance rule. You added a definition. Conduct goes to me.


Case 1: The downsides to testing just for safety


If the governments test just for safety, then they have no idea if the drugs work. This puts millions upon millions of people at risk. Let's say that the a new heart pill is being released that is supposed to stop the heart attack. The FDA or the drug administration in another country tests the drug for safety and it passes, so it is released to the public. Doctors start prescribing it to his patients who have heart problems and have a history or risk for having heart attacks. The people actually have heart attacks, and the first couple million people take it and it doesn't work. They explain it off as a defective pill, and they pull it. Now, millions of people are dead, and the governments are being sued. This drives the nation in debt.

If the pills don't work, then why even make medicine? For all you know, you could be taking a pill that doesn't work for a stroke or cancer!

Case 2: Why test for both


Here you may see how the FDA approves drugs. (1) If you look at all the phases, the FDA focuses more on than safety. This must mean effectiveness is important. If you test for both, you make sure the drugs are both safe and effective for your family. This makes sure you aren't taking a placebo for an illness and thinking it's actually medicine.

When we test for both, we make sure that the drug is not only safe, but is effective, and will actually work if needed.

When we test for only safety, we only know if it's safe. We have no idea if it is going to work!


As any person can see, it is more logical to test for both. Thank you for your time!


1. http://www.fda.gov...
bsh1

Pro

Thanks t CDB for this debate. I will address some of the opening issues and then move into presenting my case. I shall reserve rebuttals for next round.

HOUSEKEEPING

1. Larz is not unbiased in the sense that he has a vested interest in ensuring the success of Edeb8's entries. The resolution is certainly skewed, and I will be discussing this more with Larz later. However, I am unsure why Con felt the need to address this point, or rather, to not address this point since Con said nothing about the substance of my objection. Ultimately, this was just something I wanted to make clear before the debate began; it is not an argument inside the debate, and so if we wish to discuss this further, it should be in the comments, not the text of the round.

2. Conduct may go to Con; however, I will stand by my definition. We need to know what the actor of the resolution is, and therefore it required defining. Con raises no other objections to my definition except to say that it is against the rules, so presumably he finds it an okay definition in itself. Please refer back to my definition of government as the definition of government within the round. Even if you believe it is in violation of the rule, we still need to be able to interpret the topic, which includes a need to understand what the actor is.

PRO's CASE

The resolution is questioning what "governments should" do. This raises questions about the legitimate scope of government: is drug effectiveness testing something that should fall under government purview, for example. It is my contention that such testing is not something that a government should do because it is outside of a just governments legitimate scope of authority.

To understand a governments boundaries, we first need to lay down the framework in an understanding of human dignity. I will show an important link between autonomy and human dignity that links the concept of freedom to our self-worth. According to G.W.F. Hegel, autonomy separates us from all other things. A table cannot be blamed for a moral failing because it cannot choose to do something wrong. A human, on the other hand, is morally relevant insofar as we have this autonomy. This moral worth grants every person an inherent dignity that should be respected. "At the heart of [human dignity] is a twofold intuition about human beings: namely, that all, just by being human, are of equal dignity and worth, no matter where they are situated in society, and that the primary source of this worth is a power of moral choice within them, a power that consists in the ability to plan a life in accordance with one's own evaluation of ends." [1] From this analysis, we can conclude that it is a human's rational autonomy that gives rise to human dignity. Autonomy is the brightline that separates personhood from other conditions, and that marks out human beings as worthy of moral consideration. "The idea here is that a human being, as a rational agent endowed with self-awareness, free will, and the possibility of formulating a plan of life, has an inherent dignity and cannot properly be treated as a mere thing, or used against his will as an instrument or resource in the way an inanimate object might be. In line with this, Nozick also describes individual human beings as self-owners. The thesis of self-ownership, a notion that goes back in political philosophy at least to John Locke, is just the claim that individuals own themselves--their bodies, talents and abilities, labor, and by extension the fruits or products of their exercise of their talents, abilities and labor." [2]

The moral force that is human dignity thus constrains government action and sets limits on what a government should be able to do. It must respect self-ownership, or it has overstepped its bounds. And what are those bounds? "Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection. All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it." [3] Individual rights stemming from self-ownership puts severe limitations on the type of government that can be constructed. "The only sort of state that can be morally justified is what Nozick calls a minimal state or ‘night-watchman’ state, a government which protects individuals, via police and military forces, from force...and administers courts of law, but does nothing else. In particular, such a state cannot regulate what citizens eat, drink, or smoke (since this would interfere with their right to use their self-owned bodies as they see fit), cannot control what they publish or read (since this would interfere with their right to use the property they've acquired with their self-owned labor--e.g. printing presses and paper), cannot administer mandatory social insurance schemes...(since this would interfere with citizens’ rights to use the fruits of their labor as they desire, in that some citizens might decide that they would rather put their money into...private retirement plans), and cannot regulate economic life in general via wage laws and the like.” [2]

The connection to the resolution from here on out is very simple. The government cannot interfere in economic life, including the manufacture, sale, and use of drugs. I can prevent direct harm (for example, it can prevent you from unwittingly taking something that will kill you), but it cannot protect your from indirect harm or harm that you choose to bring upon you. The government should therefore test for safety but it should not test for effectiveness, which could hinder a companies' ability to sell products, allows the government to meddle in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. setting arbitrary levels for what constitutes effectiveness), and interferes with a person's right to spend their money on any product of their choosing--including one that is potentially ineffective. This may go against the grain of accepted logic, but it is a conclusion that stems from a logical premise. As long as companies acknowledge that their products were not tested for their efficacy, only for their safety, there is no need for government to take any further action. And surely, corporations could make money from running drug testing services, thereby giving people the same effectiveness testing without expanding the role of government unduly. Thus, effectiveness testing is not exclusive to the Con world.

So, the resolution was fundamentally asking what a government should, and should be empowered, to do. I have demonstrated that it is beyond a government's legitimate authority (as restrained by the thesis of self-ownership) to test for anything but safety. The resolution is affirmed.

SOURCES

1 - http://tibormachan.rationalreview.com...
2 - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
3 - http://aynrandlexicon.com...

Over to Con...
Debate Round No. 2
Cooldudebro

Con

Rebuttals:


"The resolution is questioning what "governments should" do. This raises questions about the legitimate scope of government: is drug effectiveness testing something that should fall under government purview, for example. It is my contention that such testing is not something that a government should do because it is outside of a just governments legitimate scope of authority."

You avoid the fact that the FDA is a branch of government that test for both safety and effectiveness. (1)


A quote from the article:

"The FDA falls within the executive branch of the US government, under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). FDA is headed by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, who is appointed by the President of the United States, confirmed by the US Senate, and serves at the President’s discretion. The Office of the Commissioner (OC) oversees all the Agency’s components and is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of FDA’s mission."

End quote.

If it really is outside " governments legitimate scope of authority.", then why is it already here and testing drugs for both safety and effectiveness. You want to change the system for no good reason.


"To understand a governments boundaries, we first need to lay down the framework in an understanding of human dignity. I will show an important link between autonomy and human dignity that links the concept of freedom to our self-worth. According to G.W.F. Hegel, autonomy separates us from all other things. A table cannot be blamed for a moral failing because it cannot choose to do something wrong. A human, on the other hand, is morally relevant insofar as we have this autonomy. This moral worth grants every person an inherent dignity that should be respected. "At the heart of [human dignity] is a twofold intuition about human beings: namely, that all, just by being human, are of equal dignity and worth, no matter where they are situated in society, and that the primary source of this worth is a power of moral choice within them, a power that consists in the ability to plan a life in accordance with one's own evaluation of ends." [1] From this analysis, we can conclude that it is a human's rational autonomy that gives rise to human dignity. Autonomy is the brightline that separates personhood from other conditions, and that marks out human beings as worthy of moral consideration. "The idea here is that a human being, as a rational agent endowed with self-awareness, free will, and the possibility of formulating a plan of life, has an inherent dignity and cannot properly be treated as a mere thing, or used against his will as an instrument or resource in the way an inanimate object might be. In line with this, Nozick also describes individual human beings as self-owners. The thesis of self-ownership, a notion that goes back in political philosophy at least to John Locke, is just the claim that individuals own themselves--their bodies, talents and abilities, labor, and by extension the fruits or products of their exercise of their talents, abilities and labor." [2]"


Okay. What does this have to do with drug testing?


See paragraph 3 in "Pro's case"




First off, I see a major problem with this paragraph specifically with this sentence.

" In particular, such a state cannot regulate what citizens eat, drink, or smoke (since this would interfere with their right to use their self-owned bodies as they see fit)"

First off, in prohibition, people weren't allowed to drink alcohol. So that contradicts what it supposedly says you can and can not do with government. We have a law against marijuana in many states. That contradicts with that too!





See paragraph 4 in "Pro's case"



I see many problems with this.

First off, the government right now regulates the testing and approval of drugs. This goes against your human rights argument. I want the physical law that states that the governments can't interfere with what the government is already doing.

Second off, the government can supposedly only prevent to direct harm. I want the physical law that states that the government can only fix that.


" The government should therefore test for safety but it should not test for effectiveness, which could hinder a companies' ability to sell products, allows the government to meddle in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. setting arbitrary levels for what constitutes effectiveness), and interferes with a person's right to spend their money on any product of their choosing--including one that is potentially ineffective"




This is illogical in so many ways. One, it can kill people if the pill is not effective. Two, I don't get how it interferes with a person's right to spend their money. Last, I can turn the question back around and ask this. Wouldn't it interfere with a persons right to spend their money on a product of their choosing, even if it isn't safe?


" This may go against the grain of accepted logic, but it is a conclusion that stems from a logical premise."

It does go against logic entirely.



"And surely, corporations could make money from running drug testing services, thereby giving people the same effectiveness testing without expanding the role of government unduly."



Again, I may turn the question back on you.


And surely, corporations could make money from running drug testing services, thereby giving people the same safety testing without expanding the role of government unduly.

Also, if the government test it, then there is little to no chance of false safety tests that passed, when they are not effective.

This would mean the government is more trustworthy to see if a drug is effective than a company that is releasing the drug.




"So, the resolution was fundamentally asking what a government should, and should be empowered, to do. I have demonstrated that it is beyond a government's legitimate authority (as restrained by the thesis of self-ownership) to test for anything but safety."

You haven't proved a thing. The government has a legitimate authority now, and it is working. Why would we change that?


My opponent is trying to mis-lead you and here is why.

1. There is no law that states the government can't interfere with testing drugs, let alone for effectiveness.

2. The government has been testing drugs for years for both safety and effectiveness. If it goes against human rights, why are the governments doing it?


3. My opponent has used some links that are not needed, and he has used some in the wrong way.

Link 1: Philosophy

Link 2: Remember paragraph 4 in "Pro's Case" You think that those are literal human right put forth by the government. It isn't. If you scroll up you will see the title: Robert Nozick: Political Philosophy. This isn't set laws. I have also pointed out flaws in his philosophy.

Link 3: Outdated. The article was made in 1963


As you can see, virtually all of my opponent's case is based off of mainly one man's philosophy. This is how he thinks it should be.

However, we look at my side and see proven history that shows the FDA works. Why should we change it.

Ladies and gentleman, be wary of my opponent's next argument

On to Pro.




1. http://www.uleduneering.com...
bsh1

Pro

Thanks again to CDB ! I will defend my case, and then address Con's case.

PRO's CASE

Overview 1

This is a debate about what SHOULD be, not what IS. Therefore, just because something is happening in the status quo does not mean it should continue to happen.

In fact, Con is essentially saying with his FD example that because something is happening in the status quo, it should continue to happen. Con writes: "If it really is outside 'governments legitimate scope of authority,' then why is it already here and testing drugs for both safety and effectiveness."

This is HIGHLY CIRCULAR logic. He is saying that the status quo is justified because it is the status quo.

Remember that Con, in the OP, says that the Burden of Proof is SHARED. This means he must justify that validity of the status quo just as much as I must show reasons to change the status quo. We cannot simply accept that the status quo is good.

Overview 2

This is not a U.S.-specific debate. The resolution refers to "governments" not to the "U.S. government." Therefore, we are discussing governments as a whole or as an abstract concept. All the U.S.-specific evidence is thus largely invalid because it does not apply to the other 190+ nations on the planet.

Rebuttals

Just for ease of reference, P1 stands for paragraph one, P2 for paragraph 2, etc. The "Housekeeping" section is not included in the paragraph count.

P1: Scope of Government

I argue that effectiveness testing is beyond the legitimate scope of a government's authority. Con's response is to provide the example of the FDA, which is empowered to test for effectiveness. There are three problems with this: (1) Con is employing circular reasoning as noted in OV1, (2) this is U.S.-specific as noted in OV2, and (3) just because something is happening in the status quo does not mean it is justified.

Con then accuses me of wanting to change the system for "no good reason." In fact, I did provide a good reason, which I shall review later.

P2: Human Dignity and Self-Ownership

I explain how humans have dignity and how this dignity involves the notion of self-ownership. Con's response is, "Okay. What does this have to do with drug testing?" I would point out that at this point he has, through his failure to rebut anything, conceded that human have dignity and that this makes them self-owners. The relevance of these arguments will become clear shortly.

P3: Impact of Self-Ownership

Con fails to respond to this following: "The moral force that is human dignity thus constrains government action and sets limits on what a government should be able to do. It must respect self-ownership, or it has overstepped its bounds." Thus, Con concedes that self-ownership constrains government.

Next, Con talks about prohibition and marijuana restrictions. These examples invoke the exact same circular logic of the FDA example. The exact same triad of objections can therefore be applied here: (1) Con is employing circular reasoning as noted in OV1, (2) this is U.S.-specific as noted in OV2, and (3) just because something is happening in the status quo or transpired in the past does not mean it is justified, should have occurred, or should be occurring.

P4: Resolutional Connection

Again Con employs circular logic, discussing what the U.S. government is doing right now. Con is assuming erroneously that this debate is rooted in law is right now, when in fact this debate is questioning what the law should be. So, I don't need to point to a "physical law that states the government can only" prevent direct harm, because I am showing that that is all a government should be able to do.

Recall the resolution: "Governments SHOULD only test drugs for safety, not effectiveness, before approving them for public."

Con then claims that I am being illogical, that if the pill is ineffective people could die. Yes, that is true, but it is a risk that a libertarian state would have to permit. Just as it would be unjust to force a cyclist to wear a helmet because they have a right to choose not to (as self-owners), companies and people can manufacture drugs that are potentially ineffective, so long as they make no claims regarding the drugs efficacy. When people buy those drugs then, they know that they may not work, and are thus taking on a risk that they are aware of; as long as people choose to incur the risk, it is acceptable. Also, keep in mind that third-party corporations might form to take advantage of the commercial gap, and could be hired to test drugs for effectiveness themselves.

Ultimately, Con has lost at this point. If (a) Self-Ownership exists--conceded by Con in P2--and (b) Self-ownership constrains governments--conceded by Con in P3--then all I need to show is (c) that Self-ownership prevents governments from testing for effectiveness.

I achieve (c) in three different, separate ways: (1) preventing government interference in the pharmaceutical industry, (2) allowing companies and their owners to exercise their property rights to sell what they make sans government interference, and (3) ensuring average people's property rights are respected by not denying them the right to buy certain products even if they may be ineffective.

Con offers absolutely no reason why the government would be more trustworthy than a company. In fact, a company's profit-motivation would seem to make it more reliable, since if it was wrong about a test, it would receive bad press and not be hired as frequently to do testing jobs.

Links

L1: Why is philosophy invalid in a debate about what a government should do? Surely, political theory is always relevant in questions of that nature. Con just assumes, without reason, that philosophy is invalid, even if it raises a valid point in the debate.

L2: Con hasn't pointed out any flaws in Nozick's philosophy that I am aware of. Merely, Con has engaged in a string on logical fallacies.

L3: Just because something is old does not mean it is invalid. Newton lived hundreds of years ago yet he is still widely cited. Since the information this link is giving is not time-sensitive, it does not need to be recent to be worthwhile.

Final note: I mention several philosophers in this debate. It is hardly the philosophy of one man as Con misrepresents it to be. But even if it were, why would that be a reason to reject it? Wouldn't that be an ad populum fallacy?

CON's CASE

Counterplan/Permutation

Turn Con's entire case. Corporations can solve for all of the problems and reap all of the benefits that Con mentions in his case, and they can do it better that a government because they have a profit-motive. Companies want to be as efficient and accurate as possible because when they are in efficient or inaccurate, they lose customers. These same incentives are not shared by governments. Thus, companies can likely do effectiveness testing better than governments. [1]

Turn

Turn Con's entire case. We can actually get more research into drug effectiveness and use by affirming. Deregulation will lead to increased research on new drugs because, if drugs don't have to go through lengthy government certifications regarding effectiveness prior to being sourced on pharmacy shelves, products will get to the marketplace with greater alacrity. As it is easier to get drugs to market, it's more likely that investors would finance pharmaceutical research.

Other

Con makes use of fallacious, circular logic. He offers no warrants for how effective governments are in effectiveness testing and he does not argue for anything that cannot be done by a non-government entity in my world. Also, no new arguments should be given in the last round as this would be unfair.

SOURCE

James Taylor [Associate Professor, College of New Jersey], “Market-Based Reforms in Health Care Are Both Practical and Morally Sound,” Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM 1: Conflicts of Interest in the Practice of Medicine, Volume 40, Issue 3, (Fall 2012), pp. 537–546
Debate Round No. 3
Cooldudebro

Con

Very interesting rebuttals! Sorry I was so short and didn't address many arguments. I was busy and running out of time, and the character limit was killing me, so I will know take the time to address every single argument. Good luck.

Rebuttal 1:

This whole overview is trying to attack me and say I have committed circular logic. What I meant to put across was that the FDA's way of doing things is working right now. So, why should we fix it? We hear the famous saying "If it and broken, don't fix it." and we think this is a literal object that is running in perfect order. This may also count for he FDA, as it has been working to help keep us safe. Look at everything they kept us safe from ingesting into our body. (1) I didn't mean to apply circular logic, as I did to bring into attention that the FDA's way of doing things is working. So, why should we fix something that isn't broken.

Rebuttal 2:

I get that. However, I feel the way the FDA is monitoring the drugs in the USA is excellent. So, I feel that the safety policies should apply to the rest of the world.

Rebuttal 3:

Let me just highlight what I said last round that the FDA is in a branch of government. So, if it is beyond the government legitimate scope of authority, then why are they doing it now? That was the case I wanted to highlight.

Rebuttal 4:

Now that you explain it a little bit better, I think I will refute this. Autonomy is to make an un-biased decision. So, your basically saying if a business makes an un-biased decision to release a sugar pill instead of a heart pill, it is okay. If someone kills someone, it is okay. This basically says anything is okay as long as it is an un-biased decision from an individual. Which means if a person decides to rob, kill, rape, do drugs, commit suicide, we shouldn't be mad, sad, or angry because they made an un-biased decision. You then connect this to their ideas and fruits of their labor. What you are basically saying that, if they invent a pill that harms humans, it is their idea and they should be free to do what they please with it. Then you connect it to drug testing, saying it doesn't matter if it's effective, but it does matter if the government tests if it's safe. First off, this would interfere with the idea of autonomy. If they decided to put harmful ingredients into the pill, then they made an un-biased decision. What I mean is, if we follow Pro's version of autonomy, then even if it isn't safe, the government can't interfere because it was an un-biased decision to put the ingredients into the pill. Second off, you stated that the corporations themselves should test for effectiveness, however, I may turn the question back on you. Why can't the corporations test for safety? The main point I'm trying to advocate is,

Who is really un-biased? The corporation putting out the pill for profit, or the government that isn't making a dime off of it. I think the decision is clear.

I want you to answer this question. What is the purpose of the FDA? Who is going to be testing these drugs? You? Me? The cooperation?

Rebuttal 5:

Sorry! Again, the character limit killed me!

First off, I want you to explain to me and everyone reading why it should restrain the government and drug testing. Second off, This is an idea. Explain to me why this is correct.

What I meant by my previous example, is that many things would be allowed that aren't know. For example, if we follow Pro's logic, prostitution and drugs would be allowed. Anything would go as long as the decision is un-biased.
You may be wondering why I keep repeating this. Basically, it is to show his reasoning to be faulty. Thus, the deas not rational to put into effect.

Rebuttal 6:

I get that, but this law that we have now has a proven track record that it works. Yours however I have shown to be faulty and un-reasonable.

Pro concedes one of my main points there. If the pill is in-effective, people could die. He simply just blows it off as a risk like it is nothing at all.

Pro states that as a "self owner", it should be their choice to test for efficacy. However, I may again turn this back on Pro and ask if it should be the corporation's choice to test for safety. We could go back and forth. However, I suggest that if this drug is going to effect the government and its people, then the government should test for both safety and effectiveness because they have no bias or vested interest.

Pro then concedes another point, that if the drugs don't work, then the public should just grin and bear it and wait for the next drug. All he has to say is that this is acceptable.


I didn't drop those points. I ran out of characters.

Here are some reasons.

1. The government can't be bribed.
2. The government has access to more materials because they are funded by the government.
3. You can be sure your drugs are safe and effective using the government's testing phase.

You offer no link backing you up.

Rebuttal 7:

You just said it there. Companies are profit motivated, so if they invest a lot of money into a pill, they may bribe the companies to give them a false test result. Oh, and your source is talking about free market health care. (2)Not drugs.

Here is the synopsis of your ONLY sources for this round.

"In this paper I argue that the free-market provision of health care is both practical and morally sound, and is superior in both respects to its provision by the State. The State provision of health care will be inefficient compared to its free-market alternative. It will thus provide less health care to persons for the same amount of expenditure, and so save fewer lives and alleviate less suffering for two reasons: state actors have no incentive to husband their resources effectively, and that in a non-market setting, special interest groups can capture resources through lobbying, perverting them away from their efficient allocation. Given these considerations of efficiency a utilitarian should morally prefer the free-market provision of health care to its State-based rival. Furthermore, even if one is not a utilitarian, the free-market provision of health care will be more morally sound than its State-based alternative because it will likely better respect the autonomy of persons, and will better refrain from imposing values upon persons. With these points in hand, I address two prominent objections to a free market system of health care."

Where does it say anything about drug testing? This is my opponent's link.

Rebuttal 8:

First off, there are no links that support your statement. The "lengthy process of government testing" makes sure we get it right the first time. Please start adding reliable links.


Ladies and gentleman, I proved:

1. The FDA has success the way it is run right now.
2. My opponent uses little links, and when he does, they are either philosophical, or not related to the subject.
3. My opponent NEVER backs up his cases with cold, hard facts.
4. I backed up my cases.
5. I proved the government is doing a great job testing drugs.
6. I proved that his form of drug testing will put people's lives in jeopardy, as conceded by Pro himself.


The question I want you readers to consider is,

Do you want a method that has a proven track record of it excelling in drug testing?

Or,

A method with no track record, no facts supporting it, faulty reasoning with autonomy, profit motivated, and causing people to die? (As conceded by Pro)

I think the answer is clear!

Vote Con!


















1. http://www.fda.gov...
2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
bsh1

Pro

Thanks to Con!

PRO's CASE

OV1

Con says that he was attempting to convey that "the FDA's way of doing things is working right now." Yet, he has utterly failed to prove this. In fact, his source and his arguments (in R2 and R3) only say WHAT the FDA is doing, these arguments don't tell us that what the FDA is doing is effective, efficient, or just. In other words, Con has done a splendid job of showing what is going on in the status quo, but he has not shown us that what is going on in the status quo should continue to occur.

So again, Con is simply asking us to accept the status quo at face value, without offering any evidence about how effective it is or how it could possibly be better than alternatives like privatizing drugs testing. It is still circular, it is still unsubstantiated, and it is still illogical.

Moreover, Con is shifting the goal posts. First, he says "if it really is outside 'governments legitimate scope of authority,' then why is it already here." Then he says, "What I meant to put across was that the FDA's way of doing things is working right now." He is intentionally altering the trajectory of his argumentsafter the fact in orderto obviate the damage I inflicted on his case. To use the soccer metaphor, "after an attempt has been made to score a goal, the goalposts are moved to exclude the attempt;" that is precisely what Con is doing here and it should not be allowed. His initial argument was that what is occuring in the status quo is within a government's legitimate scope; it was not about the effectiveness of the FDA. He should be compelled to defend the former, not the latter.

OV2

Pro concedes that this resolution is not U.S.-specific.

Rebuttals

P1

Con states: "So, if it is beyond the government legitimate scope of authority, then why are they doing it now?" Again, Con is employing circular logic. He is essentially saying that the status quo is good, because it is the status quo. This line of reasoning can be dismissed as logically fallacious.

P2

I have several objections to this. Firstly, Con misunderstands the notion of autonomy. Autonomy is, in essence, moral freedom--the ability to do what you want so long as you do not directly harm others. So, Con is totally incorrect when he suggests the notion of autonomy permits rape, murder, robbery, and so forth--though drug use and suicide would be permitted as they do not harm others. People must be free, as self-owners, to exercise absolute property rights over themselves. This self-ownership thus allows them to make choices that would imperil themselves, so long as it did not harm others. I am not arguing for anarchy, just libertarianism.

Secondly, people can by lethal drugs, but they must be made aware that such drugs are lethal, as with cigarettes. It is perfectly fine for companies to sell lethal products so long as they are labeled as such and so long as people are aware of the dnager. Why is this? As I explained early, consuming a lethal substance is a DIRECT harm, and if a company sells such a product, claiming that it is not lethal,and you unknowingly consume it, your body and health have been jeopardized. This is a violation of your self-ownership, since your property (i.e. yourself) as been damaged by another actor. Consequently, safety tests must be performed to assess drugs safety levels, and if a drug is deemed unsafe, it should be clearly labeled as such if it goes to market.

Thirdly, why shouldn't corporations do this safety testing, as Con suggests? Because ultimately it is a government's job to protect people against direct harms to their property. That is why the government was formed, as per Nozick's theories. Certainly, companies could also test for safety, but the government should do testing as well because it falls within the scope of what government should be doing--as what a government is responsible for.

Fourthly, all of these are new arguments by Con. New arguments are unfair because they only give me 1 round to respond to everything else in the debate, PLUS the new arguments, which puts disproportionate pressure on me.
Therefore, all of these arguments by Con should be summarily dismissed and not evaluated.

P3

Again, Con is making new arguments. He DROPPED--I repeat: DROPPED--these points last round. It is not fair for him to address them this late in the debate. It is his job to respond to everything within the allotted 8,000 characters. We both have the same character limits, so he is at no disadvantage. It is not my fault that herationed his characters poorly. Please ignore all of Con's new arguments as they are abusive.

But even if you do want to evaluate Con's abusive new arguments (which merits a conduct violation, IMHO), they ae still faulty. Con asks why government should be restrained by human dignity and self-ownership. Con, it seems, has missed the point. Human dignity is the root of human moral worth, and to respect human dignity, we must extend each person self-ownership. Violations of self-ownership are thus immoral and should not occur; they are violations of rights, and thus legitimately constrain governments.

P4

Con says that the status quo has "a proven track record that works." Con has not presented any evidence as to the efficacy of the status quo, and therefore his claim is totally unproven and unsubstantiated within the context of this debate.

Con then strawmans my argument to claim that I am blowing off the lives of people. That is not what I am doing; merely, I am claiming that people are free to make informed choices. If a drug was not tested for effectiveness and they chose to take it, they can hardly complain when it fails to work. But, moreover, companies will want their drugs to be effective or they will garner bad reputations. It is unlikely that too many ineffective drugs will actually be sold.

I would now like to remind everyone of something Con has dropped:

"If (a) Self-Ownership exists--conceded by Con in P2--and (b) Self-ownership constrains governments--conceded by Con in P3--then all I need to show is (c) that Self-ownership prevents governments from testing for effectiveness.

I achieve (c) in three different, separate ways: (1) preventing government interference in the pharmaceutical industry, (2) allowing companies and their owners to exercise their property rights to sell what they make sans government interference, and (3) ensuring average people's property rights are respected by not denying them the right to buy certain products even if they may be ineffective."


I cannot seriously believe that Con has suggested that the government cannot be bribed. Certainly, government officials all around the world are bribed all the time. Here in the U.S. the Bob McDonald case is an instance of bribery. In India, several recent scandals have occurred regarding bribery. In China, the pharmaceutical giant GSK has been implicated in bribing government officials.

The government also doesn't halways ave access to more materials than a company. Poor or ineffective governments, like Uganda for instance, are going to have far fewer resources than many large companies the world over.
And, as I have already argued, companies are apt to be more effective and efficient due to profit motivations.
I don't need links to back up everything I say, CDB. Logic is a warrant unto itself.

Links

Con DROPS his objections to my links.

CON's CASE

CP/Perm

Bribery is non-unique. As for my source, yes, it is talking about health care, but I was referencing the market principle, which is the same. The source described how profit motives incentivize companies to be better that governments, and that same logic is applicable to this resolution.

Turn

Con DROPS that more drug research will actually occur in my world.

REVIEW

Con's case is riddled with logical fallacies (circular logic, goalpost shifting, etc.) , illicit new arguments, and claims unsupported by logic or sources. Thus, I ask that you please VOTE PRO.
Debate Round No. 4
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
Round one is for acceptance AND definitions. Can someone explain to me why bsh should lose conduct? @CDB It's only fair that bsh add his own definitions to the debate.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Larz says: "You can try and do a rights-based analysis of why actively poisoning yourself is fundamentally more of a restriction on your rights than choosing to take a placebo."

As long as you CHOOSE to do it, it is not more or less of a restriction since no coercion was present (at least under a libertarian paradigm).

If you run the free market, you HAVE to go the whole hog because there is no brightline. It is impossible to say "don't test for effectiveness, but test for safety." If companies can do it better, then they should do both.

Larz says: "If they attack you on it then you can just show why safety testing is more necessary than effectiveness testing. That's how I would argue it anyway, based on what I've seen."

Proving that X is more important than Y does NOT prove that the government should only do X and not Y. So, you could not even affirm the topic the way you suggest.

CONCLUSION

If the topic had been: "Governments should not test drugs for safety or effectiveness," the topic would have been fair. As it stands, it is certainly not.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
RESPONSES 2.0

I would just like to address Larz' latest remarks here.

Larz says: "Pro would generally argue that consumers can make their own rational decision, while con would argue that governments know best when it comes to medicine."

If that is true, then why would government still test for safety. If consumers can make their own rational decisions, surely they can makes these decisions about product safety not just product effectiveness. Where is the brightline?

Larz says: "What was weird to me about bsh1's case was that he always assumed governments would make the right decisions about what drugs to approve."

I don't make this assumption--I avoided any discussion of it. Why? Because governments mistakes don't just apply to effectiveness, they can also apply to safety. It is a non-unique harm because it occurs in both worlds. If we want to take the decision out of governments' hands because they don't always make the right calls, then we would take away ALL testing from governments, including safety.

As for Larz's claim that Con faces unique challenges, that's simply not true. Consequentialist arguments, arguments about the lack of distinction between direct and indirect harms, arguments from different social contract POVs, arguments from human rights, arguments, and MORE can all be used to negate the resolution. Moreover, Con could always try to force the BOP on Pro and then simply counter Pro's arguments without defending a negative position.

As for the argument about needing time to adapt, as this is a normative claim, not a claim of policy, time does NOT matter. You, yourself, said this is a debate about the role of government. The libertarian position holds that the role of government is to not test drugs at all; you cannot, therefore, affirm this resolution using a libertarian position, even if you claim that an intermediary stage is necessary. Pro is required to uphold a principle in abstraction.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Well Larz, I'm not sure where this came up in a tournament, and I'd certainly be interested to see what some of those rounds look like, but from my perspective, it offers a lot more opportunities for victory to Con than it does Pro. I think the holes that bsh1 pointed out are big problems, and specifically establishing a dividing line for government intervention between safety and efficacy is a tricky prospect, but mainly I think it simply offers Con too many outs.

I suppose it would really depend on how Pro phrased their case, but if I saw this resolution and I didn't have a wealth of knowledge on drug regulatory policies, I'd probably prepare to either argue status quo and just focus heavily on safety impacts (it actually has little to do with government scientists, since the testing is most often done by the companies themselves and those tests are then evaluated by government regulators), or I could just go full on libertarian and say that the government should get out of the drug approval game altogether, garnering all the freedom, speed and efficiency impacts at higher levels and only having to argue back the point that not testing for safety could lead to harms (something Pro would already be partially biting).

Perhaps the biggest problem, as I see it, is that it's really hard to establish a case as Pro here. You've got to spend the time saying exactly how this system will be implemented, and specifically what measures will be used for efficacy in the absence of government regulation. As I pointed out in my RFD, there's really only two ways to take this, and neither is exceptionally good. Pretty much everything Pro could present is a theoretical benefit that's going to run into a lot of practical hurdles. Maybe it's just that I'm viewing this from the perspective of someone who knows quite a bit about clinical trials and how they work, but it just seems like Pro hits a wall no matter which way they turn.
Posted by larztheloser 2 years ago
larztheloser
From a free market standpoint, the very argument you make there is highly controversial. Against that you could run vested interests, perverse incentives to cut costs, economies of scale, and lots more. Again, not saying this is the strongest line either, but not impossible.

The debate does not require you to give a complete description of government. If you abstract it from those models and make it about choice, you don't limit yourself by having to provide a consistent justification for the government's actions. In this way you can parry the issue of testing for both entirely. If they attack you on it then you can just show why safety testing is more necessary than effectiveness testing. That's how I would argue it anyway, based on what I've seen.

==

Finally, just a reminder that topics from the tournament are drawn randomly from the list here:
http://www.edeb8.com...
... and all previous topics done so far in this tournament. I've frequently invited comment on the list and have always been very open to suggestions, revisions and ideas. The topics are largely drawn from major tournaments. If you feel strongly that a topic is biased or unfair, simply ask to change it and I probably will. In this case, I'll go looking for a good new topic since this one was evidently quite controversial.
Posted by larztheloser 2 years ago
larztheloser
Taking on the con side has lots of unique challenges. Notably, pro has a lot of scope to bring out several problems, and con needs more or less to justify them - this is particularly the case when many will have quite emotional appeals underpinning them, ex, much slower time to market. Then, because of the way the resolution is put, you pretty much are blocked from doing a straight negative, so you need to have a substantive argument for effectiveness testing. Usually something along the lines of "governments have access to the best scientists & resources" is run, but then that only justifies testing the drugs, not preventing the sale of untested or ineffective drugs. If necessary, pro can anticipate this and incorporate this into their model, ie "provide warning labels that tests have proven this drug ineffective" or "This drug has not yet been tested for effectiveness by the government" to ensure consumers remain informed.

To deal with bsh1's other objections. From a libertarian position (not saying this is necessarily a strong line on this topic but it's certainly viable), you'd probably run with a "it's a step in the right direction" approach. There's a nice trap in this line. If con counters with "you're not going far enough" then you just need to show why society will need time to adapt to this model before rolling out a "far enough" version, and then since con has accepted your model you've won the debate. You can try and do a rights-based analysis of why actively poisoning yourself is fundamentally more of a restriction on your rights than choosing to take a placebo, but it's a harder line to prove for exactly the reasons (A) and (B) you identified (point C is null because the resolution does not state that unsafe drugs would not be approved, only that they would be tested first). There are valid counter-arguments though.

To be continued...
Posted by larztheloser 2 years ago
larztheloser
Just thought I'd answer some of the complaints generally here, since the round is pretty much over.

This debate is about the role of government, and to what extent they should be making decisions for us. Pro would generally argue that consumers can make their own rational decision, while con would argue that governments know best when it comes to medicine. I don't believe it's the case that there are more arguments for governments forcing choices upon consumers than consumers making those choices on their own. There are a lot of ethical and pragmatic reasons to affirm the resolution that follow on from this.

What was weird to me about bsh1's case was that he always assumed governments would make the right decisions about what drugs to approve. This is an unusual line to take on this topic.

There is very little difference between this topic and the issue of euthanasia, which likewise concerns people's right to get treatment that the government may not approve of. There's also a lot of scope for strategy and narrative in this debate. In this it shares much with the involuntary vaccinations issue, where likewise a government restriction on choice has serious personal consequences.

To be continued...
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Ultimately, I think it is possible to affirm that Governments should not test drugs for effectiveness or safety; however, I don't think there are good arguments that can effectively draw a brightline between allowing the government to test for one, but not the other as I was required to do.

And even if there are one or two good arguments for this, that does not make the topic fair. Pro and Con should have roughly the same ground to make arguments (i.e. both should have roughly the same amount of options or strategies to affirm or negate the topic.) Clearly, there are more ways to negate this topic than to affirm it--that makes it biased.

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RESPONSES

Frankly, it does not matter whether the topic was created by some august body. That is an appeal to authority--which is a logical fallacy. Just because the topic was used at Worlds does not mean that it was a good, balanced, and fair topic. It isn't.

I sincerely hope other topics selected for this tournament are reviewed more thoroughly and with an eye towards fairness.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
INTRO

Alright, now that some votes have been placed on this debate, I feel more comfortable discussing the resolution itself. First, I would like to express my grievances with the topic and why I believe it to be unfair. Second, I will address Larz's earlier comments directly. I hope this conversation will be civil and productive.

I would like to clarify here and now that I am not saying Larz intentionally attempted to skew the debate. However, it is his responsibility as the moderator of this tournament to ensure that the topics he assigns are fair and balanced. It seems to me that he failed to properly screen this topic--and, whether intentionally or unintentionally--by failing to verify that this topic was fair, he failed to uphold his duty as a mod in this particular case.

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MY OBJECTIONS

To me, this topic seems incredibly skewed against Pro and in favor of Con. I feel this way because the range of arguments (as well as commonsense logic) seem to be greater on Con's side than on Pro's.

It is impossible, IMO, to argue successfully for a libertarian position, because it naturally would turn Con. Consider, if a government cannot test for effectiveness, why should it be able to test for safety? (A) Safe and effectiveness are essentially synonymous (as a drug can cause harm through failure to treat); (B) indirect and direct harms have no significant difference as long as causality can be traced to the same actor; and (C) if you buy a drug knowing it was not tested for safety, the onus is on you in a libertarian society--as long as the drug is labeled that it wasn't safety-tested, a libertarian state could not prohibit its sale.

It is also not feasible to argue for a free market position, because if a company can do it better than the government, why should the government do safety testing at all? Surely, we should allow the best actor to do the testing.
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
II.

This is one of the worst resolutions I have ever seen for any debate, and I am shocked and appalled at Larz's choice to assign it. The resolution is clearly biased against PRO because to win this debate, PRO had to argue against the government's being able to protect consumers from economic exploitation. As the debate was worded, CON had the far easier load to carry, and despite that he could not see it through to victory. Similarly, CDB is duly admonished to maintain professional decorum in round.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, grammar and arguments to PRO. Explained in comments.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Cooldudebrobsh1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: con's spelling was really weird, and pro made good cases while con only used circular logic and had loads of fallacies within his arguments
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by InnovativeEphemera 2 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.