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HANDICAP DEBATE: Mandatory vaccinations.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,589 times Debate No: 82268
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
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I would like to thank Colbalt ahead of time for accepting this debate.

This debate's resolution is as follows: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should enforce mandatory vaccinations.

First Round is terms and definitions by Pro and acceptance by Con.
Second Round is for Opening arguments, NO rebuttals.
Third Round is for Rebuttals.Forth Round is for Rebuttals and conclusion.
No semantics, the definitions provided are the ones to be used.
No trolling.
BOP is shared.
Sources may be placed in the comments section if needed.Minimum ELO is 2000.
No Profanity.

Handicap Rules

This is a handicap debate, so unlike a regular debate this one will be different.
Pro- Pro's arguments in every round, except Round 1 must be over 8,000 character and no less.
Con- Con's argument in every round must be under 3,000 characters and no more.
The only exception, for both debaters, will be of that when the opponent forfeits their round of the debate in general. If violation of Handicap rules occurs then the debate is declared over and the one who violates the rules automatically forfeits the debate.

The United States Federal Government is established by the US Constitution. The Federal Government shares sovereignty over the United Sates with the individual governments of the States of US. The Federal government has three branches: i) the legislature, which is the US Congress, ii) Executive, comprised of the President and Vice president of the US and iii) Judiciary. The US Constitution prescribes a system of separation of powers and ‘checks and balances’ for the smooth functioning of all the three branches of the Federal Government. The US Constitution limits the powers of the Federal Government to the powers assigned to it; all powers not expressly assigned to the Federal Government are reserved to the States or to the people. (

Should-must; ought(used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency): (

Mandatory- permitting no option; not to be disregarded or modified (

Vaccine-any preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease, usually employing aninnocuous form of the diseaseagent, as killed or weakened bacteria or viruses, to stimulate antibody production. (


I accept Pro's terms and I accept the debate. I look forward to it!
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and for humor I have left you a humrous video from the Magic School Bus on the subject. ;

Contention 1: Utilitarianism and the Ethic of Care

This contentions will be devided into two seperate sections and I shall choose to over over Utilitarianism first.


For this case of Utilitarianism I will be focusing on John Stuart Mill's case of Utility here. We have to look at the Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number of Sentient Beings. This means that we have to look at the needs of the whole vs. a few individuals. Another key thing we have to look at from Mill is Net Pleasure. If the vaccinations create a greater net pleasure than pain then it must be implamented for the betterment of soceity. [1] Before my opponent comes in and argues that shots hurt, Mill goes and argues that short term pain and pleasure are irrelevant and long term pleasure and pain is what should be looked at in general.

Throughout history the human race has been ravaged by illnesses. After the beginning of the Age of Reason science advancement has launched into the field of medical science and illnesses have begun to be cured. Under the status quo they have found that these children vaccinations have cured 90-99% of these diseases. [2] This is something that is already pushing towards the betterment of soceity and is something that will factor in to the over all status of the soceity as a whole. The United Nations have found that these vaccinations save 2.5 million children a year and over 285 children are saved every hour. [3] Another key thing is that the CDC estimates that 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented throughout the United States as 732,000 children were saved, which once again helps our soceity by increasing future developement. [12]

The next key area of analysis is that of Herd immunity. This is the method of greater amounts of immunization reduces the possibilites of a disease. With the infection rate be driven down this, once again, moves the disease to a possible erradication. [4] This has been shown time and time again that when this threshold for this level of Herd immunity is not met then the likelihood of a break out increases. The greatest example of this occured in 2011, when 49 states failed to meet the Herd immunity level and the greatest outbreak of Whooping Cough had broken out since 1955. [5] This outright shows that there is a gargantuan demand to meet this level of Herd Immunity or we will begin massive breakouts of diseases again. The same occured in 2009, when the people who had failed to have their children vacinated had to have their children quarentined due to the lack of vaccinations had caused the 48 children to contract the measles. [6] Thus right off the bat we can see that there's a dire need for the manditory vaccinations in order to protect the soceity from disease and death.

We can see that this argument has a massive impact in todays debat to the point of if this plan isn't implamented by the US Federal Government then we will see a detteroation of the very fabric of soceity that we have fought so hard to defend and build up in order to create a stable soceity. With the detteroation of the soceity then there will be a massive break down to the microlevel, which I'll get into next, and it will break the very foundations of soceity.

Ethic of Care

The Ethic of Care, or also known as the feminism argument, revolves around the protection of special relationships. The Utilitarian argument reguards the improtance of the protection of the soceity and this argument will get down to the individual level. The Ethic of Care values special relationships like that of family, but as well as the relationships between generations as the Eco-feminism argument pushes for the preservation of future genreations. [7] In order to win this argument I must show that the manditory protects and preserves future generations.

Doctors today even recommend pregnant women to get vaccinations again in order to protect their children from pre-mature deaths. This is a key issue that is needed to protec the unborn as they are an immidate generation that is being saved from death. In the 1960's before the vaccination for ruebella, also known as Germany Measles, there was 20,000 child premature deaths which was and increase from the previous 11,000. [8] Mothers who get these vaccinations not only save their children, but have a higher chance of preventing birth defects. This again is a key argument here as we can see that the saving of future generations have helped saved people and a long chain of further generations. If this plan isn't implamented then we will see the breakdown of the family unit and a cause of harm at a microlevel which will harm soceity as a whole at the macrolevel. This will have a ripple affect with a great deal of ramifications and if this plan isn't passed.

Contention 2: Economic Impact

Now that I have already shown that doing this is ethically justifiable, I will now move to why this is economically sound and is benefitical for the United States Federal Government to implament this plan.

The CDC has shown that in the past 20 years the US has saved $1.38 Trillion in costs that would have occured each year. This means that the savings would have been well over $20 Trillion! [9] Though this maybe true another key factor that we would have to look at is how effective is the industry itself. They have found that for every $1 we have put into the DTaP vaccination we $27 and as for the MMR vaccination, though it may be smaller, for every dollar that we put into the vaccination we save $13 in total costs. This is already showing that we can save economic strength and increase the American powerhouse economy if this plan is implamented. In the case in California that I had described earlier it had major costs. Over $120,000 out of the economy due to the lack of working from the parents and other issues that arrose out of the issue. [6]

When it comes to simple illensses like the flu the CDC states that it does it's toll on the parental units is that of it costing anywhere from $222 to $1,456 which is extremely harmful in today's economy for the average family and this even isn't accounting for the additional $300 to $4,000 in medical expsenses which just continue to destroy the family unit by digging them deeper and deeper into debt. [10] Under the current Affordable Care Act it is possible to get vaccinations even without copay as those poor families who didn't have the ability to get these vaccinations before will have a greater amount of vaccinations which would not only increase the amount of economic effiecentcy, but will also lead to an increase and betterment of the individual as they will save a massive amount of money from getting these vaccinations. [11]

1. (
2. American Academy of Pediatrics, "Vaccine Safety: The Facts,", 2008
3. Shot@Life, "The Solution: Vaccines," (accessed June 4, 2014)
4. US Department of Health and Human Services, "Community Immunity ('Herd Immunity')," (accessed June 5, 2014)
5. Mark Fishetti, "Too Many Children Go Unvaccinated,", May 14, 2013
6. David E. Sugerman, et al., "Measles Outbreak in a Highly Vaccinated Population, San Diego, 2008: Role of the Intentionally Undervaccinated," Pediatrics, Apr. 1, 2010
7. MacGregor, Sherilyn (2006). Beyond mothering earth: ecological citizenship and the politics of care. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 286
8. CDC, "About Rubella,", Apr. 29, 2011
9. Bahar Gholipour, "Vaccination Has Saved 732,000 Children's Lives Since 1994, Says Report,", Apr. 25, 2014
10. CDC, "CDC Study: Treating Children's Flu Illness Costly,", May 21, 2012
11. US Department of Health and Human Services, "The Affordable Care Act and Immunization,", Jan. 20, 2012
12. Bahar Gholipour, "Vaccination Has Saved 732,000 Children's Lives Since 1994, Says Report,", Apr. 25, 2014


Reminder to voters -- I'm limited to 3,000 characters.

Statement of Fact

As my opponent has demonstrated, there is no doubt that vaccines are a boon to society. The advantages of vaccines far outweigh the disadvantages. However, I will be demonstrating that mandatory vaccinations are inconsistent with the Constitution and the American value of "freedom".

The Constitution

The Bill of Rights, added to the Constitution in 1789, describe certain rights that all citizens of the U.S. shall have. The relevant amendment to my argument is the First, which concerns the right to religious freedom. [1] Specifically, "the government shall impose no law ... prohibiting the exercise [of religion]. To some citizens of the U.S., vaccinations are a violation of their religious faith. Such a violation is prohibited in the First Amendment.

While vaccinations may be beneficial to the whole, they discount the freedom of the individual. The Constitution, the document that provides the framework for how our country operates, explicitly holds individual freedoms above utilitarianism. So long as person A's decisions don't directly impact person B's freedoms, then person A's actions are both legal and consistent with the American ideal of freedom. In the case that A's decisions indirectly impact B's health, such actions are not considered illegal or against the Constitutions framework.

It is clear that the First Amendment, and by extension the Constitution, is not consistent with the opponent's claim that vaccinations should be mandatory.

The Necessity of Mandatory Vaccines

My second point details why mandatory vaccinations are not necessary in the status quo. It might be understandable to curb freedom when the well being of the whole is drastically at stake, however current vaccinations trends demonstrate that the lack of mandatory vaccinations does not present a significant public threat.

Vaccination rates worldwide have been on the increase over the past few years. [2] In the U.S., the trend of vaccinations is much higher than the world average. [3] It is clear that despite the lack of mandatory vaccination laws, the U.S. continues to see increased vaccination consumption (approximately 90% of newborn vaccinations.) While the U.S. might technically be better of with mandatory vaccines, the current "lack" of vaccine usage does not pose any significant threat to the well being of the U.S. or its average citizen, therefore radical "Constitution breaking" legislation is not necessary.


I have demonstrated that the opponent's stance is inconsistent with the Constitution, which is the foundation for American ideals. I have additionally shown that the lack of mandatory vaccinations does not put our country in a dire position, invalidating the idea that the oppponent's stance is important enough to break the ideals of the Constitution.


(1) -
(2) -
(3) -

Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for such a speedy response as this round I am to focus on refuting my opponenent's arguments.

Contention 1: The Constitution

My opponent brings up that the Federal Government issuing the Manditory Vaccinations is unconstitutional due to the grounds that it violates the freedom of religion. Though this may infringe on some of the religions in the US it's not outside of what's not already being done. It is also still well within the bounds of the Constitution. There are many instances of where the Constitution allows for a great deal of leverage throughout. There are multiple places and areas in the Constitution that actually limits much of the freedoms that it gives. For this first piece of evidence I would like to quote Supreme Court Justice Oliver Holmes's statement in the ruling on a Supreme Court Case over the limitations of free speech.

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. […] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." [1]

In the classic case about the Freedom of Speach we can still actually see that this very Ruling from a Supreme Court Case in 1919, can actually affect the debate here today in 2015. The key part of this is that when there is a clear danger then Congress must step in. In this debate I have already shown the severe issues that have occured in if the proper precautions are not taken by the public. We can see that since the public has been unable to fulfill their duty then it is the Government's job to step in. For this I bring in Philosopher John Locke. One of John Locke's greatest ideas was that of the Social Contract. The Social Contract is an argument for the establishment and a purpose for government. John Locke argues that the people must come to an agreeance to give up some of their rights to their government and in exchange the government must protect it's citizens. [2] Under this system the government has the right to protect their citizens and John Locke had a huge influence on the Founding Fathers. Much of the ideals of Locke are ingraved in our Constitution and one can see that with our government having the right to protect our citizens it is already justified and Constitutional to actually go through with this plan as outlined by the Supreme Court.

My opponent then goes and states how the Government cannot "impose" anything on religious groups. This is completely false in today's soceity. There are several places in the US that are open on Sunday, Serve meat during Lent, serve pork, allow women out in public unaccompanied by men, etc... The point here is that my opponent's contention is not true and really points the other way then what he is really wanting to argue. We can see that if my opponent's view of the Constitution is correct then every single Kentucky Fried Chicken in this nation would be sued for violating just about all of those points. A great deal of those religious beliefs that I have brought up are from completely different religions to show just how exactly the issue is. This would also lead to a Plurist problem as the Country would have no choice, but to end up siding with one religion over another if we were to actually follow the religious beliefs down to the wire in order to not "offend" nor impose on them. Some religious organizations believe that some women turn into adults at age 12 and they can be polygamy. Though the US law strikes this down as it still recognizes the age of 18 as a fully legal adult. Here we can see that if we are to actually follow Con's line of thinking then the US would instead have an official church and move towards a theocracy in order to attempt to follow the religion to not offend it down to the wire.

Thus Manditory Vaccinations are not only Constitutional, but are almost called for by the Constitution.

Contention 2: The Necessity of Mandatory Vaccines

Here my opponent does concede that vacinations are a good thing, but there is a massive issue that my opponent's stats happen to bring up. That is the 90% vaccination rate. In my last round I have shown the Herd protection rate to be between 92-94%. [3] This means that the my opponent, by the numbers themselves, show that the US is still not up to par in order to protect our citizens from death from these easibly preventable diseases that a simple vaccination could have prevented. I have shown in my last round the problems that this has caused as the massive outbreaks can still occur as we are under this thresh hold. There were tons of different situations that I have given much like the instance in San Deigo where there was a massive outbreak due to the lack of the Herd Threshold or like the Whooping Cough outbreak that occured since 49 states failed to meet these standards. This is something that is a HUGE issue in the modern day as a simple mishap can lead to an ultamate disaster in an area of the nation since we would be unprepared for an epicdemic that would break out. This is a key thing that the federal government must enforce or our nation will be held hostiage. The Manditory vaccinations would greatly reduce this risk and for this portion of the argument I would like to bring in the Harm Reduction Ethical Argument.

The Harm Reduction Ethical Argument is just as it sounds in that the company's number one priority is to mitigate any and all harm there is in order to help the customer and consumers. In this case we are taking this theory and applying it on the grand scale. As I have shown in my previous argument in the Social Contract argument that the government has the right to protect its citizens. This can be seen as a very paternalistic nature that the nation must have in this case as they have to protect their people. [4] This is important as if the government fails at this they would then begin to violate the ethical rights of individuals as the government would be failing to uphold it's end of the Social Contract and due to this failure the government would thus be jepordizing the very foundation that it was created on by failing it's duty to protect their citizens. In my last round I have shown that when this doesn't happen then we see a massive fall out when it comes to that of an economic factor where if this is failed then the economy suffers in a massive way wheather it is productivity or market participation. When it comes production we can see that it has a great deal of a positive effect amongst the community. Here I like to think of the allusion of, "For whoam the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." The allusion means that no matter who dies or how the death is still felt by the entire human population. Revealing that there is a clear issue at hand with my opponent's plan as if manditory vaccinations are not implamented then we will see a dramatic increase in the loss of life not to mention the great effects that it would have harming the US economy and individual family unit. It is not an issue to be dealt lightly with as this plan has serious implacations at steak. This is seen by the healthy individual being able to work and participate in the work force as well as each dollar put into vaccinations we can see that there is a dramatic hike in profits that occur back to the soceity through the savings that comes out of it.


One can see that my opponent's point of view on the matter is incorrect as manditory vaccinations are very much Constitution as even the rights that he outlined are limited and the Congress has the right to step in when there is a presedent danger that faces the public. The government has a duty to protect it's people which is one of the key reasons why the government actually exists in the first place. In the end we can see that the current status quo is not enough to protect our nation from illnesses as it causes a massive harm on the American family and the American economy.

1. (
2. (
3. Mark Fishetti, "Too Many Children Go Unvaccinated,", May 14, 2013
4. (


I will be brief because I must. (3,000 character limit.) First I will defend, then rebut (space regarding.)

Contention 1: The Constitution

My opponent has multiple points here.

It may infringe, but it is not outside norms.

Here my opponent admits that mandatory vaccinations (MV) may infringe upon C. Rights, but claims that this already happens in the status quo. His particular example regards free speech, in which the court ruled that free speech which puts others in eminent danger is not allowed. I will be indirectly refuting this point in my second contention when I prove that we are currently not in clear and present danger from the lack of MV.

Next, he mentions social contract theory, but does not provide a substantive argument as to why this affirms the resolution. Yes, social contract theory was an influencing factor in the formation of the C. and it does involve Man giving up certain rights for community protection, but we must look to the Constitution to see the actual limits that must be applied to said government's powers.

Lastly, he confuses the First Amendment. Shortly put A1 states that "gov shall make no law respecting freedom of religion or abridging the free practice thereof." The examples he brings up are all examples of people or organizations acting upon their own accord, not laws the government has passed. For instance, there is a clear difference between:

1. The gov't allowing stores to be open on Sunday and,

2. The gov't forbidding stores from being open on Sunday.

In (1), the gov't makes no law abridging rights. In (2), it does. The difference is clear: (1) is constitutional, (2) is not. The only example not following this line of thought regards the legal age of adulthood, which is not based upon any religious ideal, but rather a biological ideal.

Thus, MV are not Constitutional if I can demonstrate that there is not a clear and present danger from the lack thereof.

Contention 2: The Necessity of MV

To preface, I am not arguing that the US would not be better of with MV. I am arguing that the lack of MV does not present a clear and present danger justifying the breaking of the First Amendment.

Regarding Herd protection, the lack of meeting this criteria is fine so long as there is not a significant danger.

Regarding the Harm Reduction Ethical Argument -- this may be a well and good idea, but if the gov't uses it to establish laws that violate C. Rights, then it is by definition Unconstitutional. I proved in C1 that it does violate, so it is Unconstitutional regardless of whether society would be better of with it in practice.

The government's job is not to protect us from all foreseeable dangers, but rather to provide for our defense and protect us so long as such protections are within the gov'ts rights.

Numbers: [1] 9,000 people have died from lack of V since 2007. (About 1,100 / year, or .00035% of the population.) This is clearly not significant, nor does it demonstrate a clear and present danger.


(1) -

Debate Round No. 3


lannan13 forfeited this round.


This debate is being extended. Please see comments.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Balacafa 2 years ago
This is a glitch. Airmax can either delete or reset the debate. I recommend that you copy and paste your rounds into separate word documents then get max to reset the debate.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
Updated 5 days ago....
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
I'm going to see if I can get my argument in tonight. If I can't then please forgive me.
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
Meh. Win/loss ratios don't necessarily measure your skill as a debater. My advice would be to not worry about it.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
It's not so much the fact that my opponent responded so quickly it's the Handicap on top of it. Though I find it annoying that I have 2 other opponent's who are doing the same thing, but the 8k on top of the response makes it harder for me to do.
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
He hates you. I told you you should've gotten rid of that mustache.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
REALLY!?!? I am slammed with things and... *sigh*
Posted by Cobalt 2 years ago
... I responded before reading the comments. I am so sorry. I'm not trying to screw you over.

However, I suppose you consider this *your* handicap. :P
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
1,658 character remaining.

Can you PLEASE hold off until Sunday until you respond?
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
Well they could be longer. I just posted them as I found them. IE there weren't all from the internet.
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