The Instigator
Otto_Hasenkamp
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
missbailey8
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

People with inheritable diseases shouldn't be allowed to have children.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 623 times Debate No: 93835
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)

 

Otto_Hasenkamp

Pro

Hey there, this is my first debate!
The topic is simple: Should people with serious genetic disorders (such as haemophillia, SCDs, etc.) be allowed to reproduce, thus risking passing down these diseases?
The first round can be for acceptance or to impose your initial standpoints, I don't mind either.
missbailey8

Con

I accept this debate. Good luck to my opponent. May the best man win.
Debate Round No. 1
Otto_Hasenkamp

Pro

So, why should people with inheritable diseases or deformities not be allowed to reproduce? These are my two main reasons:

Reason 1: It damages the genetics of the human species as a whole.
Pretty simple and short reason. By stopping an infected person's bloodline, you keep the disease from spreading at a minor grade, thus damaging the human species as a whole. Think of it as the butterfly effect; one person with one of these disorders could lead, in a few generations, to hundreds of people inheriting it.
Reason 2: Most of these diseases cut off quality and hope of life dramatically for innocent people.
Of course, genetic disorders can always happen at a random chance, and it never is anyone's fault. However, if you choose to bring a baby to the word with a high chance of it having a low quality of life, that is entirely the parent's fault and ignorance. And, as always, the effects of ignorance must always be prevented.

You are probably thinking, "It's just a small chance, let them have children if they want to".
First, I am not saying they should not be able to be parents. By "having children", I am referring to reproduction.
Second, this can also be applied to people with sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, Chlamydia, Hepatitis C, Syphillis, and many, many more. No one encourages these people to reproduce just because, like any normal person, they should be allowed to have sex and offspring of their own. People with STDs are encouraged to not reproduce, or to stay safe when having sexual intercourse (I am actually not sure what's the law's standpoint on people that are aware they have STDs having sexual intercourse. I looked it up for some time but never got anything), to keep these infections from spreading to the rest of the population. Why isn't this the same case with people with genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome, cystic fibrosis, etc.?
May it be a genetic disorder or an STD, the case is the same. You are, out of pure ignorance, spreading your infection to another unaware person. If this isn't discouraged, this will keep on to permanently damage the human DNA as a whole in a few thousand years.
The only exception would be people with genetic mental retardation that can't physically understand the concept of heredity. This is only yet another reason to discourage, and even outlaw, sexual intercourse between people with inheritable diseases.
missbailey8

Con

I. Unalienable Rights

To start off my arguments, I'd like to quote The Declaration of Independence in order to prove a point.


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." [1]

Now, let's look at the definitions of liberty and happiness, just to emphasise this more.

Liberty - the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views. [2]

In other words, forcing those with diseases to not procreate infringes on their liberty.

P1: The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, one of these being liberty.
P2: Forcing those with diseases to not procreate goes against the definition of liberty, as it's an oppressive restriction imposed by authority on one's life/behavior.
C1: Therefore, it infringes on their unalienable rights.
C2: Therefore, those with inheritable diseases should be allowed to have children.

Now let's look at happiness.

Happiness - the state of being happy. [3]

There is no doubt that children can bring immense amounts of happiness to a person. Even though people with inheritable diseases can adopt a child, why should be denied the right to go ahead with it biologically?

II. Human Rights

This does relate back to our unalienable rights, but this time, we're going to look at our 30 Basic Human Rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, this proposed ban goes against three of them. Here they are:

"1. We are all free and equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.

"2. Don’t discriminate. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.

"30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us." [4]

I've already touched on number 1 and 30 in the last point made, but I really want to talk about number 2. To understand what discrimination really is, I'll provide another one of those handy definitions.

Discrimination - the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people. [5]

Unsurprisingly, the proposed ban hits every part the definition describes. Not allowing people with inheritable diseases to reproduce is technically unfair treatment, so, in turn, they're treated differently than "able-bodied" people.

III. Enforcing The Ban

Let's just pretend right now that America passed a law saying that those who have inheritable diseases can't have biological children. However, I'd like to ask how you'd enforce this.

Now let's look at statistics. In terms of mental disorders, one in four people in the world will suffer from a mental illness in their life. [6] (Ex. Depression, Bipolar, OCD, Schizophrenia, etc.) In 2012, about half of adults suffered from a chronic disease, [7] and genes are proven to be a part of that. [8] Lastly, more than half of people will contract an STD/STI in their lifetime. [9] Now let me quote my opponent from his previous arguments.

"This is only yet another reason to discourage, and even outlaw, sexual intercourse between people with inheritable diseases."

So riddle me this; how would you make sure that all of these people would never have sex? For one, the government shouldn't enforce what two (or more) consenting adults do in the bedroom. That is incredibly invasive and can be uncomfortable for the parties involved. Secondly, how would one find proof that they were having sexual intercourse? What about gay people? Would they face this restriction too? What punishment would they face? What if they were undiagnosed/untreated for say mental, physical, or sexual illness? This raises too many complicated questions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sexual intercourse/procreation between people with inheritable diseases shouldn't be a punishable crime. After all, it violates human rights and it'd be much to difficult to enforce. Thank you. So long and goodnight!

Citations
[1]http://www.archives.gov...
[2]https://www.google.com...
[3]https://www.google.com...
[4]http://www.samaritanmag.com...
[5]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[6]http://www.who.int...
[7]http://www.cdc.gov...
[8]http://scopeblog.stanford.edu...
[9]http://www.ashasexualhealth.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Otto_Hasenkamp

Pro

First off, I'd like to mention that I appreciate you taking your time for refining your arguments and adding citations!
A healthy debate is the best kind of debate. Anyways, avanti to my response.

"P1: The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, one of these being liberty.
P2: Forcing those with diseases to not procreate goes against the definition of liberty, as it's an oppressive restriction imposed by authority on one's life/behavior.
C1: Therefore, it infringes on their unalienable rights.
C2: Therefore, those with inheritable diseases should be allowed to have children."
Please do know that the Declaration of Independence is not a global document, and I may not know or understand it as well as an american would do.
However, let's say this law ignores the constitution in its entirety. I'd like you to ignore it as you can be way more fluid with your arguments, and I'd really enjoy you being fluid as this is a debate where I'm expecting to learn more than to impose a viewpoint.
Besides, what about people that want to have sexual relations with animals? Or with people in their family? Why can't they do it but people with inheritable diseases that threaten their children's life can?
There are hundreds of ways the government influences and even intervenes in your life, and they're all made so you can preserve these rights, your life and the life of others.

"There is no doubt that children can bring immense amounts of happiness to a person. Even though people with inheritable diseases can adopt a child, why should be denied the right to go ahead with it biologically?"
My two initial reasons can be used on this. I'd feel sorry for the people with inheritable diseases that want to be parents, but in this theme, the term "greater good" comes to mind. I don't think we should put the happiness of a person over other's. If the child doesn't have the right for a normal life, the parents shouldn't be awarded the satisfaction of bringing that child into the world just for it to suffer. Even if the child did come out in perfect health, it's still a pretty big risk, and I think letting people take this risk is unethical and immoral.

"I've already touched on number 1 and 30 in the last point made, but I really want to talk about number 2. Unsurprisingly, the proposed ban hits every part the definition describes. Not allowing people with inheritable diseases to reproduce is technically unfair treatment, so, in turn, they're treated differently than "able-bodied" people.""
On the theme the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the third basic human right under the 30 declared human rights is the right to life. More specifically, "the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.".
Freedom is defined as "the power to determine action without restraint". I think we both agree that all genetic disorders impose some hinderance or restraint, may it be physical or psychological, to the child. Even one of the most harmless, like color blindness, can prevent the child from going down on different careers, such as graphic design, aviation, etc.
Safety is defined as "the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss. ". A child that is being subjected to a heightened chance of malformation is, by definition, not being given a life of safety. How is this not an unfair treatment to the children the couple might have?

"Let's just pretend right now that America passed a law saying that those who have inheritable diseases can't have biological children. However, I'd like to ask how you'd enforce this."
That'd be a piece of cake. Basically, if a person with an inheritable genetic disorder is suspected of having a child, the law should investigate the matter. If the person in question has a child in care, different documentation like adoption papers or birth certificates(in case the person might just be babysitting or momentarily taking care of the child) will be asked for. If the person has neither, they will be detained. This would be specially effective when the person with the disease is a woman, as a pregnancy is, most of the time, difficult to hide.
This small procedure, along with general discouragement of the activity, will most probably get rid of most of the practice, as small as it may be.

"So riddle me this; how would you make sure that all of these people would never have sex? For one, the government shouldn't enforce what two (or more) consenting adults do in the bedroom. Secondly, how would one find proof that they were having sexual intercourse?"
I never said I want these people to not have sex. I said that they couldn't have children.
I don't want to deprive these people from sexual pleasure. I just want to outlaw their reproduction (or more accurately, say why I think it should be outlawed).

"That is incredibly invasive and can be uncomfortable for the parties involved. "
If an officer feels uncomfortable enforcing policies that save children from potential serious diseases., they might of chosen the wrong job.

"What about gay people? Would they face this restriction too?"
Gay people cannot have children by any means other than adoption (unless you count that strange practice where one of the partners is impregnated or impregnates a third person which I've never actually see anyone do. This would be perfectly legal if both the biological parents are healthy.)

"What punishment would they face?"
It depends on the genetic disorder they might have. If they can, they will have to serve in prison, but some disorders require special needs which can't be fulfilled by prison staff. A fine would be more suitable in these cases, along with the child being taken to an orphanage for special care if he inherited the disease.
Their partner, might they have the disease or not, will also have to get the same punishment.

"What if they were undiagnosed/untreated for say mental, physical, or sexual illness?"
This law would mostly count for people who have been already diagnosed. Besides, most of these disorders are diagnosed at birth or at a young age.

As for new arguments, the ones I imposed in the second round still seem pretty strong to me, so I see no need to explain them further or reinforce them.
missbailey8

Con

Thank you for your rebuttal! Though I'd love to provide a defense against it, I'm afraid that this would be unfair, considering that you wouldn't be able to respond to the following rebuttal. With further ado, here's my rebuttal.

I. It damages the genetics of the human species as a whole

Yes, I will concede a bit to this. If one or both parents have inheritable diseases, it's very likely that the child will also get said disease. However, regardless of whether or not they reproduce, it won't eradicate the disease entirely. For example, someone can carry a recessive gene and pass it down to their child.

"People who have a change in just one copy of a recessive gene are called 'carriers.' They don't usually have the disease because they have a normal gene copy of that pair that can do the job. When two carriers have a child together, however, the child has a 1 in 4 (25%) chance of getting a gene with a mutation from both parents, which would result in the child having the disease. Cystic fibrosis (a lung disease), sickle cell anemia (a blood disorder), and Tay-Sachs disease (which causes nervous system problems) are caused by recessive mutations from both parents coming together in a child." [1]

So no matter what, there will always be genetic disorders, whether it with recessive genes, environment, etc.

II. Most of these diseases cut off quality and hope of life dramatically for innocent people.

My opponent mentions that "...genetic disorders can always happen at a random chance, and it never is anyone's fault." In other words, they're being punished for something they had no control over. It's not their fault that they got a disorder, whether it be mental or physical.


Good bye.

Citations
[1]http://m.kidshealth.org...=
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Darenskiy 5 months ago
Darenskiy
Clear of all genes*
Posted by Darenskiy 5 months ago
Darenskiy
If had to vote, I would say that Pro lost miserably. First of all, Pro doesn't understand the study of genetics. Even if you enforce this, it still wouldn't stop people from developing diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, tuberculosis, etc. You'll still be susceptible to developing these diseases because they're in the parents' genome already. Honestly, this is the stuff kids learn in eighth grade. Even if we suppose that the parents are clean of all cells that may trigger terminal illnesses (which is genetically and physically impossible), there is still a threat of aneuploidy. A situation where you either lack chromosomes in a cell or have more than the needed limit; hence, causing congenital anomalies/defects. If you agree with Pro, I strongly recommend you to learn your biology basics.
Posted by Otto_Hasenkamp 7 months ago
Otto_Hasenkamp
Correction : "but the feeling that people are okay with spreading diseases that put children through suffering and low quality of life just to satisfy the parents." was incomplete.
"but the feeling that people are okay with spreading diseases that put children through suffering and low quality of life just to satisfy the parents wouldn't really benefit anyone like something like racial diversity would."
Posted by Otto_Hasenkamp 7 months ago
Otto_Hasenkamp
"Genetic disorders are what cause evolution."
No. Natural selection,collective genetic mutations and many other factors are what cause evolution.

""So, while success, for normal human beings, is leaving their footprint in the world and achieving whatever they set for themselves..." Actually, "normal human beings" have genetic misprints and don't even know it. Most genetic misprints are neutral and cause no noticeable difference."
That is correct.
However, as they cause no noticeable difference, they can't be medically called a disorder or disease.
Posted by Otto_Hasenkamp 7 months ago
Otto_Hasenkamp
"You're argument has no basis in science, and it makes me wonder how much you know about genetics."
I'm no geneticist, so yes, I will make some mistakes regarding the theme.

"if you stop people with cancer from having children, then that would stop all cancers from being passed on, and would strip the human genome of all cancers"
Most cancers are not completely hereditary diseases. In most cases, you can only inherit increased chances of cancer from your parents. However, just like any genetic disease, it can happen randomly.
For example, women with a faulty BRCA1 gene have an 80% chance of getting cancer somewhere in their lives. However, these genes are hard to detect.
(Source : http://www.cancerresearchuk.org...)

"Humans can have genes that are linked to cancer, but can live there entire lives without having cancer, the genes may be dormant in them, perhaps even dormant in their children, only to reamerge many generations later and cause the great grandchildren to have the cancer."
That means that, in average, one person with faulty genes will lead to 8 different cases of cancer. I don't understand this argument.

"So, you wouldn't stop the cancer genes from being passed on (success), but you would succeed in decreasing genetic diversity."
Genetic diversity isn't necessarily a good thing. I don't know about you, but the feeling that people are okay with spreading diseases that put children through suffering and low quality of life just to satisfy the parents.

Just think about, you're in heaven, or whatever you believe in, and you're getting assigned a body. Everyone gets normal bodies while you get a body of a baby that can't breathe properly. If you ever get to live more than 5 years, you will be sterile, have a high chance of having multiple tummers and cannot form blood clots. All because daddy or mommy wanted a baby and the government does not give one crap about the chi
Posted by Smooosh 7 months ago
Smooosh
I wasn't talking about the success of a person, I was talking about the success of the genetic misprint (the genetic misprint gets passed on). You're argument has no basis in science, and it makes me wonder how much you know about genetics. As far as you're concerned, if you stop people with cancer from having children, then that would stop all cancers from being passed on, and would strip the human genome of all cancers, but there is no truth in that argument whatsoever! Humans can have genes that are linked to cancer, but can live there entire lives without having cancer, the genes may be dormant in them, perhaps even dormant in their children, only to reamerge many generations later and cause the great grandchildren to have the cancer. So, you wouldn't stop the cancer genes from being passed on (success), but you would succeed in decreasing genetic diversity. If you erase the fact that your argument holds no scientific reasoning, then all you're really saying is, people with genetic disorders are bad and shouldn't be allowed to procreate. Stopping these people from having children will fix no "problem" it will eventually inhibit mankind's ability to evolve. Genetic disorders are what cause evolution."So, while success, for normal human beings, is leaving their footprint in the world and achieving whatever they set for themselves..." Actually, "normal human beings" have genetic misprints and don't even know it. Most genetic misprints are neutral and cause no noticeable difference.
Posted by Otto_Hasenkamp 7 months ago
Otto_Hasenkamp
"Moreover, society is becoming more aware of genetic disorders, and we are realizing that people with them can have happy fulfilling lives. Who are you to automatically asume that there lives are worthless?"
I feel like you're implying I'm saying that everyone that has a genetic disorder should be lined up agaisnt a wall and shot in the head. I never said their lives are worthless nor that they can't have happy fulfilling lives. I just said that they having children is a risky practice that should be discouraged and penalized.

Incest is also a risky practice that most of the time results in malformed children, and it is rightfully penalized in most states of the U.S. As I said, in exception with people with mental retardation, this practice is selfish and ignorant.
Posted by Otto_Hasenkamp 7 months ago
Otto_Hasenkamp
" If we stop people with "genetic disorders" from having kids, it wouldn't actually stop genetic abnormalities from appearing in the human genome"
I never said it would.
"If you inhibit genetic diversity, you inhibit evolution as a whole."
Let's see some random genetic disorders:
Angelman Syndrome: "Severe intellectual and developmental disability, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements, frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor."
Down Syndrome: "Physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability."
Cystic fibrosis: "Affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections."
(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org...)
Does this seem like evolution to you?

"We would all become more closely related, which would cause us to become stupider, which would cause people to come up with stupid ideas."
It'd be really neat if you told me where I can read about this. Looking at milennia of human study just shows that we're progressively getting smarter and smarter due to collective thinking, but a few blocks of text might just change my mind.

"What you may consider a genetic disorder or mistake or misprint, is actually the catalyst for more genetic diversity which in turn becomes the fulcrum for genetic evolution. If a person with a genetic misprint lives long enough to reproduce, then the misprint is a success."
So, while success, for normal human beings, is leaving their footprint in the world and achieving whatever they set for themselves, for people with genetic disorders, living enough to reproduce is success? Humans are not savage animals with the sole purpose of passing down genes and dying. We are civilized, and civilized people don't force their children to live a life where being alive at 20 years of age is an achievement.
Posted by Smooosh 7 months ago
Smooosh
If you agree with pro, then you have no real understanding of genetics. If we stop people with "genetic disorders" from having kids, it wouldn't actually stop genetic abnormalities from appearing in the human genome, it would only work to stifle genetic diversity. If you inhibit genetic diversity, you inhibit evolution as a whole. Then we would all become more closely related, which would cause us to become stupider, which would cause people to come up with stupid ideas like stopping people with genetic disorders to not have kids.

What you may consider a genetic disorder or mistake or misprint, is actually the catalyst for more genetic diversity which in turn becomes the fulcrum for genetic evolution. If a person with a genetic misprint lives long enough to reproduce, then the misprint is a success, whether it's beneficial to the person or not, there is no divine power that decides if the misprint is right for the person or would harm the person. Genetic disorders penetrate into the human genome all the time. It's what drives genetic diversity.

Moreover, society is becoming more aware of genetic disorders, and we are realizing that people with them can have happy fulfilling lives. Who are you to automatically asume that there lives are worthless? (obviously someone who's parents are related).
Posted by LifeLightI 7 months ago
LifeLightI
I agree with Pro. They should not be able to have children, to pass on the disease. That is selfish. If they want children and to help the world including their own "children", they should adopt! This should become a law for harsh diseases.
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