The Instigator
schachdame
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
Zenriax
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

People suffering from dementia should be forbidden to drive

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
schachdame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,112 times Debate No: 59932
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

schachdame

Pro

So this is going to determine, whether people, diagnosed with some sort of dementia, should legally be prevented from driving a car or heavier vehicles such as motor bikes or agricultural tractors.

We are having a first acceptance-only and last rebuttal-only round. I am Pro for this matter. As the legal status quo is pretty mixed within the different western countries, there is a shared BOP.
Debate Round No. 1
schachdame

Pro

I want to start the debate with greeting my opponent and to wish him (?) good luck. I hope we will have two enjoyable and informative rounds.


Overview

1. People suffering from dementia are not fit to drive

1.1 coordination

1.2 memory

1.3 judgment

2. Society needs a law background to have better control

2.1 reduce pressure for relatives

2.2 legalize actions if there are no relatives


1. People suffering from dementia are not fit to drive

There are different forms of dementia. Some are caused by stroke (such as the Vascular dementia), some by progressive illness (Alzheimer) [1] but they all tackle the brain and lower the patients physical and mental abilities. In some cases is this getting steadily worse in some cases are the abilities more unstable and sometimes there and sometimes not. The following are examples in what way dementia is causing problems on the road.

1.1 coordination

As a driver, fast and precise action can be very important to secure the own life and that of others (in the car and bystanders). Already the ability to fully grab and move the wheel is a central part of driving. With cars that can still smoothly drive at 200km/h (~125mph) the ability to see and react accordingly is this more important than ever and continues to gain importance. Driving fast and then losing the ability to hold the wheel steady is an easy way to kill yourself and cause an accident involving many innocent people and causing major property damage.

An Australian survey reported about 100,000 accidents per year to be caused by people suffering from even mild forms of dementia [2]

1.2 memory

I am going to keep that short. You need know the rules on the street. Not only in the Manhattan Ghettos but also when you are driving a car. Who goes first, how fast can you go in cities, where are you allowed to park your vehicle?

And you should not stand at crossroad and have to remember which way you are allowed to drive, because that’s how you promote accidents. The one thing road safety relies on is that everyone has a good overview over what goes what goes not and although you have to be aware of your fellow drivers you need to be able to rely on their ability to certain degree.

1.3 judgment

Many forms of dementia also result in aggression and a lacking ability to judge situations [3]. If the patient is unable to understand what is going on he/she might decide very wrongly to pull out of a corner while someone is heading over from a difficult angle or just plain misjudge speed entirely.

There is no doubt that progressed stages are a serious thread on the roads [3] and I am personally going so far to underline that even in early stages (or especially there) the moments when abilities are missing or fading are more unpredictable and less foreseeable making it difficult for the caretakers and the patients to judge “today’s abilities” of the patient, making it even more important to have not only a personal judge but legal background.

1.4 no sufficient cure

Stem cell research does its best. However do we not yet have a cure that can defeat or effectively prevent dementia, nor do we have medicaments that can give back the physical and mental abilities sufficiently. Drugs like Donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®) or galantamine (Razadyne®) can help to bring back some but neither can we make sure that one only operates the vehicle after taking the drugs, because police men are not equipped to test it, nor can we ensure that the drugs work effectively in the specific patient. Especially as they usually are a short term solution and not a long term answer [4]

2. Society needs a law background to have better control

One might say that once you are demented, you don’t care if you are not allowed to do something, because you can’t remember it anyway. Which is true. In late stages demented patients might not be able to understand the concept of being “forbidden”. But we still need the law to make this clear. Not for the patients but for those who take care of them.

2.1 reduce pressure for relatives

If you are taking care of a person diagnosed with dementia, you face the difficult responsibility to decide with them whether they should drive or not. Making you directly or indirectly part of the results.

Allowing a patient in the later stages of Alzheimer to drive is plain irresponsible and immoral, while even those who supervise mild stages might feel subjectively responsible if an accident happens under their watch. If the law clearly states that they have to take the drivers license away and install certain security against the use of the car by the demented person, relatives and caretakers don’t have to question their actions, because they know they are either just or unjust.

2.2 legalize actions if there are no relatives

In some cases, where there are no relatives or proper caretakers (because the mild stage patient might see no need for it himself) this law would enable the government to take actions if accident happens. With a legal background assigning a caretaker or supervisor is much easier. This means that the government gets an increased ability to protect its citizens from themselves and to ensure road safety.


Sources

[1] http://alzheimers.org.uk...

[2] http://www.abc.net.au...

[3] http://www.nia.nih.gov...

[4] http://www.nia.nih.gov...

Zenriax

Con

Salutations opposition,judges and members of the floor I wish you all a good day and wish both sides to have 2 enjoyable and resolving rounds.

Overview
1. Different stages of dementia.

2. Governments should not forbid all dementia patients from driving.

2.1 Mild cases of dementia should be allowed to drive under supervision

2.2 Human rights

1. Different stages of dementia.

As opposition has stated dementia comes in stages/periods and progressively worsen. In the earlier stages of dementia patients suffer from protein build up around the base of the skull inhibiting short term memories from forming. Although short term memories are not formed long term memories (Long-term memory refers to the continuing storage of information. In Freudian psychology, long-term memory would be call the preconscious and unconscious. This information is largely outside of our awareness, but can be called into working memory to be used when needed. Some of this information is fairly easy to recall, while other memories are much more difficult to access.) are the basis and needed skills of driving.

2. Governments should not forbid all dementia patients from driving

From the arguments above we can naturally draw reason that government should not forbid all dementia patients from driving as my opposition believes. I however believe that the government should asses different cases and legalise all necessary actions such as forbidding them from driving. Mild cases of dementia when forbidden causes stress and anger at being treated wrongly, freedom is a major concept in modern society and you are allowed to do whatever you please unless it interferes with the freedom of others, If mild cases can and want to drive are you taking away the core of our very society we live in.

2.1 Mild cases of dementia should be allowed to drive under supervision
Mild cases of dementia may experience mild strokes when startled but with supervision on the car dementia patients are safe and families are relieved of the prospect of their members being safe. A driver who has learnt driving for 3-4 years can easily handle a situation. Even if there are no helper dementia patients store driving skills in the long term memory preventing sudden loss of driving skill unlike opposition side believes.

2.2 Human rights
The basic human right in near all countries in the world is freedom, the basic idea of freedom is for one to do as one pleases without interfering with others freedom. What opposition side is trying to prove is that all dementia patients should be banned from driving yet mild cases can and want to drive albeit under supervision. Is that not interfering with the patients free will for their "safety" when they obviously have the capabilities and the will to drive.

And to conclude these arguments I believe and demonstrated that governments should not ban all dementia patients from driving and rather should evaluate each case and take useful actions.

Thank you

Sources
http://www.healthline.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://psychology.about.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
schachdame

Pro

I thank my opponent for that thoughtfully written answer, I am sorry that my own reply took so much time, as I was partly occupied during the last days and could not that easily make two hours totally free for writing. I expect this to be better in the upcoming days. Anyway I’ll deal with the given arguments in the following rebuttal.

Sourcing
On a side note: I can’t avoid to critique that my opponents sourcing lacks in-text-references, as it made it difficult for me to differ between facts and assumptions sometimes. I will point out in the following rebuttal were this specifically caused problems for me. I know that can happen, as I forgot to place a second [4]-reference correctly in the last round, but it would be helpful, if my opponent can adopt the usual souring methods for convenience and reliability.

Rebuttal order
1. Different stages of dementia: Driving requires more than a functioning long term memory
2. Governments should not forbid all dementia patients from driving: Individual disease-progress can only be respected as far as we can cover it
2.1 mild cases of dementia should be allowed to drive under supervision: effective supervision can’t be equally granted nor demanded
2.2 Human rights: Social privileges

1. Driving requires more than a functioning long term memory
In his argument, my opponent shows detailed how long term memory is hardly effected during early stages of dementia. However does he underestimate the importance of short term memory and motoric. Both are required for safe driving and a functioning long term memory cannot overcome that dementia effects these two even in early stages in a way, that makes it doubtable whether demented patients are fit to drive.

Short term memory for example is crucial in city traffic to memorize which turn we took and if there was a warning sign about hundred meters ago. If I can’t remember the “Attention School District” sign I drive differently and may become a threat to children. If I get lost and confused due to my lack of short term memory I am much more likely to cause an accident. On the road, confusion easily can get you scared and lower your judgment and a sudden lack of short term memory can be very confusing, as many of us might have experienced in minor forms at one or two occasions.

Motoric degeneration, meaning the physical ability to grab and react is also something that people show even in earlier stages of dementia. Clumsy reactions are often listed as common indicators for relatives [5][6]. It doesn’t help if the demented person can remember how to react in a situation if that reaction comes too late or not precise enough to prevent the accident.

2. Individual disease-progress can only be respected as far as we can cover it
As in my opponents conclusion stated would it be much more ideal if we could make perfectly reasonable decisions for each individual perfectly. However, this is not possible. We can’t expect the demented person to go to regular check-up’s if every check-up will cost them another thing they are used to. If we let them drive till a doctor decides individually that it’s time to stop driving, then we forget, that the doctor diagnoses this probably some significant time after the patients abilities faded. This means between the last check-up and the most recent said patient was an active threat for road safety, and the only excuse we have, if he causes harm, is that we wanted to make him happy.

Generally late or missing diagnoses of dementia (less than 50% of all demented in the UK are diagnosed [7]) already means that many minor stages are overlooked, meaning that we usually don’t have to worry, that we take something away from a basically healthy person. People are more likely to be diagnosed in their late to middle stages, when the nature of the illness becomes obvious, and these people are, for all the reasons given, definitely not fit to drive anymore
.
One should also not overlook, that dementia is, though often progressive, not predictable progressive in terms of time [1]. We can’t know when a patient will get worse and to let them drive based on the diagnoses, that they are a minor cases, just means we have a possible time bomb on the road.

2.1 effective supervision can’t be equally granted nor demanded

It’s not realistic to demand that every demented patient can afford to pay a trained supervisor or demand said supervisor being paid by the health insurance. There is neither enough actual staff available nor is the budget available to the patients or society. It is therefore rather problematic to bind the drivers licence to supervision. On an extended view is my opponents demand for supervised driving actually an argument in my favor because it underlines and bases on the assumption that demented people can’t be allowed to drive on their own.

So is the alternative supervision by relatives and non-diagnosed people? It isn't, to me. I highly doubt that someone who has been driving for around 3-4 years is as experienced as my opponent claims, to live up to the responsibility of supervising a person that can make unexpected and sudden reactions for no reason. But as I can’t check the source that lead to this claim, I won’t go too deep at this point.

Still, European standards for example don’t allow drivers to be trained by relatives at the beginning, but consider only driving teachers as sufficient and experienced enough. This idea can be transferred to supervising demented people, because the supervisor does not only need to know how to drive himself, but also how to deal with the driver not acting correctly or in panic. This can easily be more than an average driver can handle out of his own experience and it doesn't solve the legal problem, what happens if the demented patient causes an accident under supervision. Can we really blame the untrained relative who just tried his best? Can we blame the demented person who never intended to hurt somebody? Road accidents can ruin and take lives and we can’t expect the relatives to live with the guilt of something they could not have prevented. Supervision is not the answer.

2.2 Social privileges

It’s a common misunderstanding, that driving would be a human right. It is not. It is a social privilege and can therefore be suspended if the particular privilege holder can’t live up to the responsibilities that come with the privilege.

priv-i-lege (noun) : […] 3. A grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special right or immunity, under certain conditions. 4. The principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities. [8]

We are born holding all human rights, to the extent that we can only use some of them under parental guidance till we are of age. This applies for example Article 13 and 21 of the Declaration of Human Rights [9].

We are not generally born with the right to drive a car. This privilege is awarded to us by passing the test for a drivers licence after reaching the required age to take that test. The right we are born with is by equality, to be allowed to take this test.

This can be confusing. For example: The Problem of Saudi Arabian women being not allowed to drive doesn’t violates their right of freedom, it violates their right to be equal with men. If men of the same age and ability are allowed to drive, so should be women. This has nothing to do with driving being a human right, but is a question of equality.
In terms of dementia patients is it not a question of equality. Demented people are no longer able to live out their privilege to drive (and act equal to healthy drives) in a way that it still is safe for others. To suspend a license is a legal action if there is doubt that said person can handle the responsibility. That’s why we can suspend the license of those caught speeding or driving reckless.

The limits around social privileges are not always fair, if we measure them on the individual abilities of those they apply to. There are many 15-years-old teenagers that probably would be more responsible drivers that some 18-years-old. And there will be low stage demented people that will feel mistreated to ensure the overall safety in a hardly controllable risk group.

Relatives face the twilight years of their demented loved ones with the expectation to see anger, confusion and the illogical assumption to be mistreated in many ways. The rage of a dementia patient after taking their driver’s license will be just one out of many. Protecting lives should always be ranked higher than protecting one’s emotional happiness.

Sources - consecutively numbered

[5] http://www.helpguide.org...
[6] http://www.nhs.uk...
[7] http://www.alzheimers.org.uk...
[8] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[9] http://www.un.org...
Zenriax

Con

Zenriax forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
I just realised that the opening in round is confusing. I meant I am pro for that matter (given in the title). I really hope my opponent did not misread it and think I am PRO driving for demented. Sorry about that.
Posted by elixir 2 years ago
elixir
this is interesting.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
schachdameZenriaxTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Po never offered any rebuttals and due to the forfeited round, failed to provide any.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
schachdameZenriaxTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit when it was going so well gives Pro conduct points. Regarding arguments, Pro made clear rebuttals and showed that Dementia does not only affect long term memory as posited by Con. This effectively destroys Cons arguments, but then to dive home the point Pro explains the difference between human rights and social privilege. This social privilege argument is a very important argument in this debate as possibly the only contention that people may use to allow dementia patients to drive. So by pointing out this difference Pro puts that contention to sleep. Pro easily wins argument points. Regarding source points Pro created well cited arguments and so must be awarded theses points. I also agree with Pro, that Con needs to use in line citations in future debates. This makes it easier for your opponent and voters.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
schachdameZenriaxTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro. Con forfeited the last round which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. Arguments - Pro. Con did present a strong case for the possibility of supervision and the null-effects early cases of dementia would have on drivers. Unfortunately, Pro destroyed these contentions with her rebuttals which showed that short-term memory and the memory elements of driving do in fact suffer from differing stages of dementia. Pro also showed that supervision is not economically sound nor plausible. This seemed to be a clear win for Pro in regards to Arguments, and I therefore award Pro those points. Sources - Pro. While both opponents utilized sources throughout this debate, I found Pro's to be easier to recognize and marry to the points she was presenting. Con's weren't sourced in a manner which I could accurately associate the links with the cited or sourced points they were for. For this reason, I award Pro source points.
Vote Placed by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
schachdameZenriaxTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture, I will vote fully on content if requested.