The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Mandatory Organ & Tissue Donations

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,094 times Debate No: 32003
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)




1. Con must not only negate the topic but also successfully defend the pro-life position (I will also be taking a pro-life position) on abortion and defend why such a position is consistent with opposition to mandated organ donations.
2. Con must hold that abortion is wrong because it kills life as at least one of the reasons for opposing abortion.
3. You must hold that abortion should at least result in a jail sentence.

Round 1:

There is no higher value than life. Even liberty must be put below it because liberty is dependent on life. If you are not alive you can not enjoy liberty. Political communities form to create a collective guarantee of various rights and as the right to life is the most important then the political community should guarantee this right to people waiting for organs and other tissues (blood, spinal fluid, anything a patient needs to stay alive) to be donated by mandating that people donate their organs to people in need. When it is possible for people to save lives and we don't we are effectively choosing that some people die, and that is murder.

This would apply in cases where someone has died and their organs need to be harvested. Everyone who dies should have their organs removed and used for donation. They are dead and do not need them anymore, so their organs should be used to save lives. It would also apply to living people who can part with organs or tissues without it causing death or any serious health problems other than possibly some temporary minor problems similar in severity to those a pregnant woman goes through during 9 months of pregnancy and these problems last that long or less. This would include for example, kidney donation because people can live and function fine with just one kidney, and kidney failure almost always involves both kidneys at once so it's not like you need your spare just in case you get kidney failure. By not doing this we are all effectively collectively complicit in the murder of people dying waiting for a kidney.

Some exceptions may be made if there are serious health consequences that have a significant enough chance of happening (let's put the bar at the sort of health problems and amount of risk a woman may face if she continues through a pregnancy, assuming she has access to at least basic medical care), but otherwise you should have to donate. If there are any special circumstances that give an individual a higher risk than normal they should be granted an exception only if that amount of individual variation in risk factors would also be held to give a woman an exception to laws against abortion.

We should also ban abortion because abortion violates the right to life of certain persons. One can not be consistent and say we should ban abortion but not implement my suggested mandatory organ donation policy.


This would not involve actually physically forcing people on to the operating table. Refusal would send you to jail. The extent of sentencing would not be within the scope of this debate.


The difference between organ donation and abortion is rather simple.

1. Abortion is the active taking of a life

2. Not donating organs/tissue is the passive taking of a life

Abortion is the active taking of a life (i.e. murder, genocide, war), while not donating organs is the passive not saving of a life (i.e. not saving someone in a burning building, not giving CPR, etc.) Those things are totally different, so they cannot by equated. One is action, while one is inaction. One is kinetic, while the other is potential. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

Now to my contentions:

1. Freedom of Religion
There are several religious factions in Judaism that forbid organ donation. Those that follow Shinto and the traditions of the Gypsies forbid it as well. Jehovah's Witnesses forbid blood transfusions. It would go against their rights as citizens to force them to go against their religion, both in death and in life.

2. Medical Research

The bodies of many people are donated to medical colleges to be dissected by students. Organs, blood, eyes, and all. If all those bodies had the organs taken out of them, students could not learn properly.

3. Big Brother owns your body

By making the donation of blood, skin, organs, or any other body part compulsory, it would no longer be a donation. When the government mandates what you must do with your body, they own you. At that point the government would be completely totalitarian.


Debate Round No. 1


1. Active v. Passive Taking of Life is a false distinction

Active v. passive taking of life in either case knowingly results in someone's death. If a parent purposefully denied their child food and water for several days knowing they would die it would be considered murder. If the fact that children need to eat and drink had somehow slipped their mind it would be manslaughter.

Furthermore if the argument is that abortion is the active taking of life and that's wrong but passively taking life is OK then that would mean abortion would be OK as long as the fetus was merely removed from the body and then left alive knowing that since it is not developed enough it will not survive outside of the womb just like you know that left without an organ donation a lot of people will die.

Contention Rebuttals:

1. Freedom of religion is not an excuse for breaking the law. A person can not sacrifice their child to Gods they believe in just because their religion tells them to. Rastafarians are not legally allowed to smoke marijuana because their religion tells them to. Similarly just because your religion says you can't donate organs doesn't mean you should get to do that especially considering that by not donating you are effectively responsible for another person's death. Not donating organs is murder.

2. Obviously for the sake of science a number of bodies could be saved for the sake of medical research by students, especially in cases where a body is not fit for donation then it could be used for medical students and researchers.

3. The government already mandates what we must do with our bodies. It tells us what substances we are permitted to put in our bodies. It tells us that we must take our bodies to jury duty or war if there's a draft for the sake of the public good. It tells students they must be in school which means their body must be in school. It subjects our bodies to be searched at the airport.

Mandatory organ donation would not be completely totalitarian. It doesn't mean we wouldn't have liberty in most areas of life. What about the person who needs an organ? What about their liberty to live?


Above, my opponent states that withholding food from a child is manslaughter or murder. That is correct. However, the difference between withholding food and withholding an organ is that it is not the parent's responsibility to donate blood or organs to their children. The law says so. A parent should donate a kidney or blood to their child, but that doesn't mean that they have to. The state does not tell them what to do with their bodies. However, food is a necessary substance of life. A parent should donate an organ, but a parent must give their children food. Parents are required to share some of their possessions, but not their body. Breast milk vs formula is an example. That is the law. Possessions vs. your body.

Since I obviously must have not clearly stated the difference between active and passive to my opponent earlier, I will clarify:

Active (Adj.): Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits.

Passive (Adj.): Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.

Abortion, by any means, is actively doing something. Whether you simply detach the baby from the mother, decapitate it, or chemically burn it. Someone put that process in motion.

Not donating organs is passive. If you don't save someone in a burning building, you won't go to jail, even though you could have saved them. For one reason or another, you decided not to save that person. That is inaction. You may feel guilty for not doing it, but you should not be forced to do it.

Active and passive are two very different kinds of things. One always merits responsibility while the other rarely does.

I want to ask my opponent a question, have you donated your extra kidney? Have you donated as much blood as is in the legal limit? Have you put on your driver's license that you want all your organs donated? I am 15, and so I am too young to donate blood by my state's rules, but as soon as I turn 16, I will donate. I have also added that I want all my organs to be donated on my driver's permit. I also plan on donating whatever is left to scientific research or medical colleges. I care about people, so I have done what I can under the circumstances, but I wonder if my opponent has.

Now on to my contentions:

1. Religious Freedom: Again, active vs passive. My opponent says "A person can not sacrifice their child to Gods they believe in just because their religion tells them to. Rastafarians are not legally allowed to smoke marijuana because their religion tells them to." Both of those actions are active and therefore are not accurate comparisons to the passivity of not doing something in the name of religion. In WWI, soldiers in the USA could opt out of fighting if their religion was pacifist. They wanted to not have to fight. They wanted to do something passive. The same goes for organ donation.

2. Medical Research:

And I quote "Everyone who dies should have their organs removed and used for donation." and again "Obviously for the sake of science a number of bodies could be saved for the sake of medical research by students" So apparently my opponent has accepted this and changed his position on this point...

3. Big Brother Owns Your Body:

When the government tells you that your kidneys and blood belong to your neighbor, it is too powerful. Period. As for drugs... active vs passive again. They are telling you not to do something. And the draft, oh please, a US citizen gets protection from the government in exchange for giving protection to the government.



Debate Round No. 2


The Law Says So Is A Circular Argument

What if the law said it wasn't a parent's responsibility to provide for their children?

Saying the law says so is using the is-ought fallacy. No the law doesn't hold parents responsible for donating blood or organs to their children or to other people in need, but this debate is about whether or not it should. There is really no difference. The parents must use their bodies to go to work and earn money and then take their bodies to the grocery store and buy food for their children, so either way the government is telling them what to do with their own bodies.
Food is a necessary substance of life, yes and vital organs are also necessary for life.

Saving Someone From a Burning Building Is Dangerous

The difference between mandatory organ donation and laws that would make being a hero in a disaster situation a legal requirement is that if the building is on fire there is an inherent risk to your own life. Taking that risk is noble but should not be required. An organ donation may take some of your time but it's not particularly dangerous in most cases and I said in Round 1 I'd support exceptions if it was too dangerous. The exception level should be the same as for abortion exceptions.

Personal Arguments Are Irrelevant

For all you know I'm playing devil's advocate and don't even believe in the position I'm advocating. In either case the rightness/wrongness of my proposal and hence whether I deserve to win this debate does not rest on my own personal actions. There are pro-life women who have abortions but nobody would suggest that proves the pro-choice position must automatically be correct. If I can show that we should have mandatory organ donation I win the debate.

Religious Freedom

The law and not the first amendment determined that soldiers of "conscience" at first just religious but later on philosophical could avoid being drafted. But in this case the citizen desires not to kill, this is a virtuous temperament and so granting the exception is good and promotes the value of life in society. But letting people opt out of saving people's lives with no significant risk to their own life or health is not the same and promotes callous indifference to death and suffering as social norms.

A better example is payment of taxes. If religious freedom grants people to avoid having to do anything that goes against their religious beliefs then by that logic I should have the right to avoid paying any taxes if my religion is against it. This of course would not hold up in court and for good reason. The test is compelling state interest not active v. passive. The life of citizens for whom the state is to serve and protect is always a compelling state interest.

No Change in Stance

I'm arguing that the government should require all people to be subject to mandatory organ donation but I've made it clear I'm saying this in general. Health concerns are taken into account. As research and education are both good for society it wouldn't be out of line with my proposal that the government could decide that some people when they die have their organs donated to science or education instead of medicine, although organs that simply can't be used in medicine, for example if an organ turns out to be defective should be prioritized for that purpose. As to everyone who dies, it naturally follows if we require people who are alive to donate their own organs as long as it doesn't pose a serious risk of health problems or death then when they are dead the government should take what ever organs we can and transplant those to donors.

Government Can Compell Drugs

At times crazy people have been court ordered to take drugs. Which in your terms is "active". As to the draft, the argument that it's justified because we get protection in exchange for giving protection is well thought but it's still "active". So as an analogy the government protects your right to be alive and healthy by providing you with organs when you need them in exchange you have to donate your organs if requested or face prison.


OK, let's get started:

First, since Pro did not specify who had the burden of proof, he has the burden of proof. However, he seems to have made the mistake of completely failing to even give, much less support, any of his contentions directly. He needs to at least make reference to his own contentions. If he supported them in rebuttals, he needs to reference that.

Anyways, on to the rebuttals and supports of my argument

The law says so?

"The law says so" was not actually the defense of my contention. Instead, I simply stated the fact that food being provided to the child was law, while giving your body is not. That is a "body vs possessions" argument. Giving something you own to your child is way different than being forced to give that child a part of your body. That is what I was stating.

Saving Someone From a Burning Building Is Dangerous

This was simply an illustration showing the difference between active and passive. That part was not a contention. I encourage my opponent to differentiate between illustrations and contentions and to discuss the contentions rather than the illustrations.

Personal Argument

You are taking an extremely radical approach to things. An extremely radical approach usually warrants the advocate of such an approach to actually follow his convictions. (i.e. Abraham Lincoln did not own slaves.) You have also not said that you are playing devils advocate. I figured that if you were going to argue for something you didn't believe in, you would make that clear. I have argued that Mormonism is true, but I am not Mormon. I made it very clear that I was not Mormon.

Religious Freedom

"The law and not the first amendment determined that soldiers of "conscience"... " Wait... the law says so? Eh? (Sorry, just my Canadian coming out.) Also, are you saying that present law is above the Constitution. That is a dangerous place to be.

Anyways, here is the vow a new US citizen must take in order to become a citizen:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

The ideas specified here are as follows:
  1. Support the Constitution;
  2. Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
  3. Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
  4. Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
  5. A. Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or
    B. Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or
    C. Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.
So, if you want to be part of the US of A, you must promise to protect the US by taking up arms. However, the US Constitution gives freedom of religion, so they made a clause letting some against religious people off the hook from fighting.

However, in regards to my opponent's taxes argument, the oath requires the support of the Constitution. The Constitution says " The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
Taxes are in the Constitution! However, because some people might claim that taxes are against their religion just to get out of paying taxes, the US decided that that amendment to the Constitution trumps the first amendment in that instance. I challenge my opponent to find a single organized religion that is against taxes.

Furthermore, this is not a religious debate. My opponent is not religious, so he automatically denies that any religion is true. However, who is to say they are wrong in this context? This is a debate on organ donation, not religion.

I do not think I have enough characters nor time to give a response to the last two rebuttals.

1. It is not about "the law says so," but "possessions vs. body."
2. Burning building was simply an illustration for my passive vs active contention.
3. Radical statements require radical allegiance or a statement that you do not actually agree with them.
4. Actual not imaginary religions and ideologies are being discussed here, so the "taxes" idea is debunked.
5. When the Constitution goes up against the Constitution, it is up to the courts to keep people from using that to manipulate the system.



And for the fun of it, who can forget poor John Locke on the TV show LOST. I know that is how I would feel if someone stole my kidney. (i.e. the government).
Debate Round No. 3


MasturDbtor forfeited this round.


After all that work...

Debate Round No. 4


MasturDbtor forfeited this round.


Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by rogueokie 2 years ago
The issues are directly related. A uterus is an organ. If abortion is illegal, that means a woman's uterus, (her body in fact) is effectively donated, by law, (that is, it may be against her will) to the fetus. If you are pro life, then you must, logically, be pro life for all people, not just unborn ones. This means organ donation must become mandatory as there can be no special claim made for a uterus that does not also follow for human organs in general. So holding the right to life as a standard moral position, means that the right of the person who will die otherwise, has a legal claim on any and all organs that can be used to save his or her life. The right to life supersedes the right of the organ owner and the organs can be harvested by legal force.
Posted by Noswad63 3 years ago
Nobody can make me donate my tissue/ organs while im alive. Trust me if they did this in real life there would be some sort of a rebellion and it would no go well for whoever is in charge.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
You haven't given any reason why they AREN'T compatible with each other.

Are you trying to say that the motion should actually be "If you are against mandatory Organ Tissue Donations, you cannot also be Pro-Life and retain consistency"? That's a different debate than "There should/should not be mandatory Organ/Tissue donations".
Posted by Controverter 3 years ago
Why the f*ck does abortion have to come into it?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by MasturDbtor 3 years ago
It's part of the challenge.
And I'm not debating on that one, in fact I'm agreeing, the challenge is for my opponent to uphold the pro-life position on abortion while arguing against mandatory organ tissue donations and explaining why these positions are consistent with each other.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
Wait, why does Con have to take on the "Pro-Life" position, in addition to the "No mandatory Organ/Tissue donation" position? Seems like you've jammed two debates into one...
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