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The Contender
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19 Points

Public health concerns Justify compulsory immunization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,698 times Debate No: 9996
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)




First of all this is LD debate sooo AC, NC, AR, NR AR2 lets do it!

"The only purpose for which power can rightfully be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against a few members will, is to prevent harm to the majority of the community." This is one of John Mill's harm principles. Freedoms are limited, we must have our basic needs and a safe environment to live in, without these things freedom cannot be exercised freely. When society goes without immunization it is bad for society as a whole; however, with compulsory immunization we could eliminate diseases and wouldn't have to worry about them in the future. When more lives are saved there is more happiness in society, which minimizes suffering and in turn achieves utilitarianism and maximum public safety. Therefore I affirm today's resolution "Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization"

My value for this round is utilitarianism because most of my information falls under John Stuart Mill's harm principle, Mill was English philosopher who created the term utilitarianism. My criterion is public safety. Utilitarianism is defined as the greatest good for the greatest number of people and public safety is defined as the quality of averting or not causing danger, or loss to population as a whole, according to random house dictionary. So, If we have the greatest good, we achieve the maximum public safety.

I'd like to start off with a few definitions from Random House Dictionary:
Public health: health services to improve and protect community health, esp. sanitation, immunization, and preventive medicine.
Concerns: to trouble, worry, or disquiet
Justify: to defend or uphold as well-grounded
Compulsory immunization: required or mandatory vaccination that makes an individual immune, as against a disease, only exemptions by law.

Observation 1:
LD is a moral debate, and with this debate you must choose the side which upholds their value and criterion better than their opponent, through the side's arguments and how it relates to today's resolution. Throughout my case I will show examples of reports where immunizations have helped. Also, in my arguments you will see me uphold my value and criterion extremely well, numerous times. To win this debate I must show you why my values triumphs my opponents and why I should when today's debate.

Observation 2:
For my opponent to successfully when this debate they must uphold their value and criterion better than I do and show this through their arguments. They must show why there should be no possibility for compulsory immunization. Governments must have all options on the table, and to affirm my side is to keep this option on the table, to affirm their side is to completely eliminate any chance of compulsory immunization. This is like nuclear weapons we don't use them, but the option is there if it comes to that. Affirming the negative is to say eliminate any possibility of these nuclear weapons. Also, if they drop ANY of my arguments, observations, sub points, value or criterion my opponent should lose this debate. They should also concede if I have better arguments that tie to the resolution and contentions. Also, just as a reminder opponents my not bring up new arguments after attack

Contention One:
Compulsory immunization eliminates disease and prevents it from returning.
Sub point A: In countries where there is compulsory vaccination of children, the argument presented by governments is that the mass vaccination of children from birth will help to eradicate and prevent various diseases from existing in the country. Prior to a vaccine for polio, between 13,000 and 20,000 cases were reported just in the USA annually. In 1988, the World Health Organization decided to try and eradicate polio worldwide, and as of today the disease has been removed from the USA, Western Pacific and Europe. Only four countries are endemic, and there are just 2000 cases reported worldwide as of 2009.
Sub point B: By stopping vaccination before the disease is widely eradicated leaves countries susceptible to future unexpected outbreaks. Polio is just one example of how vaccines can prevent and eradicate diseases that have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths throughout the past century. Although some may argue that with diseases such as Polio wiped out in most of the world a vaccine is not necessary. However any reduction in the number of people vaccinated against the disease would leave a window of opportunity for the disease to rear up once again. People tend to under estimate the dangers of disease especially if they have not experienced the effects.

Contention Two:
Compulsory Immunizations are necessary to protect the rights' of others. The good thing about immunization is that if the majority of the people get the vaccination, the disease can almost completely be eliminated from society. If the population is immunized under that amount, it is still possible for diseases to have significant outbreaks. This concept is often referred to as herd immunization.
Sub point A: Herd immunization is important because it minimizes the chances of those not vaccinated or those not able to be vaccinated chances of getting serious diseases. If one person's choice is not to get immunized they are directly harming another's freedom from the disease. People in society ought to be required to get immunizations because it protects the rights of others.
Sub point B: I believe we are given freedom in our world, but freedom with consequence. We protest against ideas we believe are wrong, demonstrating our right of freedom of speech, and get arrested, we practice our right of freedom in not getting vaccinations, and we see the consequences by directly putting others in danger. So when we exercise our right of freedom in not being forced to get an immunization, we are really taking away someone else's freedom. Therefore you really can't argue that compulsory immunizations take away your freedom, if in not getting them you're taking away other's freedoms. It's just hypocritical.

Contention Three:
Immunizations are cost efficient.
Sub point A: The recent swine flu break out have cost different government around the world much more than it takes to produce and spread the vaccine. America has spent over $110,000 on swine flu, with most of the money going toward personnel costs, according to a report by the country's health official, this is just one example. It cost way less to just give and enforce a vaccine, because it is the most "cost-effective" way to save lives.
Sub point B: If people were not have immunization, it also puts a burden on the health care system to treat all of those infected which must in some way be paid, which turns on the public. With compulsory immunizations, all of this can be avoided thus minimizing suffering, because the public will not have to pay extra tax for the treatment from health care system, in turn achieves utilitarianism. If people will not choose to make the right, justifiable, and sensible choice to be vaccinated, then the choice will be made for them. Vaccinations have undoubtedly saved millions of lives since their inception, the risks are minimal; the benefits are massive. However, without compulsion, the utilitarianism of these benefits would not be seen. Without compulsion, utilitarianism cannot be seen; therefore public safety is not achieved. As a result, I urge you to affirm the resolution.


I would like to thank my opponent in advance for having this debate with me.

The following contentions will attempt to justify that compulsory immunization is not a requirement to ensure the health and safety of the public.

These arguments are also based upon the system of government that is used by the United States of America. As are the population stats. I would also like to say that in no context am I against getting immunizations, only making them a legal requirement.

Contention 1
A governmental system like than of America's is initially based upon the principals of upholding the rights of the individual, not of the collective [1].

Sub Point A:
A person may choose to do most anything they want to as long as they do not cause undue harm to others. This is the basic principal behind the phrase Pursuit of Happiness. This means that if an individual chooses to partake in an activity that is harmful to themselves they are allowed to make that choice for the most part.
Sub Point B:
Choosing not to get an immunization against any specific disease is simply an individual exercising this freedom. It may be true that a vast majority of people who have the option to be immunized against diseases choose to be immunized. It is also true that there are individuals that suffer severe and life threatening side-effects from taking vaccines. Among the most popular vaccines about 1 in 1,000,000 suffer from these [2]. These compulsory vaccines would basically condemn 307 [3, 11/13/2009] people to death or serious health problems. In other, less popular vaccines this ratio greatly rises, the highest being 1 in 50,000. This ratio would put 6,140 individuals at risk.

Contention 2
Immunization of 100% of a population is not required to eradicate the specified disease from that population. [4]

For any specific disease to be eliminated from a population it simply must not be allowed to infect any in that population. This means that as long as most are immunized from a certain disease then the chances of a person who is not immunized against that certain disease getting that disease is low. If the ratio of immunized to non immunized continues to rise in the favor of the immunized then eventually there will be a time when the percentage of people infected with a disease simply is not enough to justify the passing of a compulsory immunization law.

Contention 3
Immunization is not an absolute defense against any specific disease.[5]

While getting an immunization can prevent you from getting the disease it does not mean you will not. Getting an immunization can be compared to a wall that guards you from an enemy. This wall is a very strong and effective wall. Since it is so strong and effective your enemies need to find a way to get past your wall. Some may try to climb over it, some may try to go around it, and others may try to break it down. A majority of these efforts fail, but there are a few that succeed in getting past your wall to hurt you.

Contention 4
There is also the aspect of religion to consider, freedom of religion is a liberty granted to individuals and for some religion getting immunized might go against one of the tenants of that religion.

[4] (specifically section near bottom about herd immunization
[5] (specifically the fifth paragraph)
Debate Round No. 1


zneuser93 forfeited this round.


Since my opponent has forfeited his second round comments I will continue with my rebuttals.

For this round I would like to submit the following definitions:
1. required; mandatory; obligatory: compulsory education.
2. using compulsion; compelling; constraining: compulsory measures to control rioting.
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority ): the majority of the population.
2. a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
3. the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder (distinguished from plurality ).
4. the party or faction with the majority vote: The Democratic party is the majority.
5. the state or time of being of full legal age: to attain one's majority.
6. the military rank or office of a major.

Both of these are from

Pro's Contention 1
Sub Point A:
I will not repost it here, but it basically illustrates how effective a vaccine can be. The statement that polio has been eradicated in the United States, Europe, and the Western Pacific is true. It is also true that none of these three groups needed compulsory immunization to achieve this goal. Since this information really does not do anything to show how compulsory immunization is justified it is a moot point.
Sub Point B:
Here my opponent warns of the dangers of stopping production of a vaccine. It is true that stopping the production and distribution of a vaccine can lead to a severe outbreak of said vaccine it has nothing to do with this debate. People will still go out and get inoculated even if the vaccine is not required.

Pro's Contention 2
Sub Point A:
Here my opponent states that if a majority of a population is inoculated against any specific disease then that disease can be eradicated from that population. This is the statement that brings down his reasoning. Compulsory immunization by definition is any immunization that is required to be taken. If the inoculation were required then 100% would theoretically be immunized. My opponent states that only a majority is required to be immunized. The definition of majority is any number of a grouping that totals to be over 50%. This statement contradicts your original resolution.
Sub Point B:
I address this statement specifically in Sub Point B of my Contention 1, and less directly in my Contentions 2 and 3. Also if you are an individual that chooses not to be immunized then overall you are only endangering yourself and others who choose not to be immunized, and they in turn are only at risk because they too did not get inoculated. Not being immunized is only a bad thing if you actually contract said disease. The chances of this are highly unlikely.

Pro's Contention 3
I absolutely agree with this contention. Vaccines are cost effective. Unfortunately the cost of a thing is not an issue when having a moral debate. It would be like saying that everybody should eat Ramen noodles and no other noodles because they are cheap. While the facts of that statement are true not everybody is going to eat Ramen noodles simply because they are cheap. Cost does not equate justification in the context of this debate.
Debate Round No. 2


zneuser93 forfeited this round.


...Nothing more to add.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Korashk 6 years ago
I apologize for resubmitting a definition. I missed it when I checked.
Posted by alansson 6 years ago
"Also, if they drop ANY of my arguments, observations, sub points, value or criterion my opponent should lose this debate."

This seems highly abusive. Dropping one arguement or observation is not enough to warrant losing a debate. An LD debate is not about how many subpoints and observations you can force through (you have a lot), it is about who best proves their point. Many of your points might be 'dropped', simply because they are not very controversial. You don't even mention the word 'compulsory' in your second OR third contentions. The neg does not have to prove that immunizations are bad, only that COMPULSORY immunizations are bad.

There's nothing wrong with a lot of your points, per se, but from simply reading it I don't really see how it can prove an aff case, because you can't bring up new aff arguments in your next speech (1AR).
Posted by NItEMArE129 6 years ago
one time when a vaccine went wrong doesn't show that compulsory vaccinizations have historically been disastrous. plus, if they were as disastrous as you said, then why would we be using something so obviously dangerous?
Posted by tashass 6 years ago
not my point...
Okay i think i got my last conetention tho
Im going to use how is healty world is not really a happy world and have as my support heraclitus
Sounds good?
Posted by ilovgoogle 6 years ago
@tashass Check spelling.
Posted by tashass 6 years ago
im writting a Negg speech and i need help...
Its for this thing i have to do for a novist
oky i have 2 contentions and i need one more..but i want a really good philosphical last contention
My first two are individual rights and safty factors of vaccinces...
any ideas for the last one?
Posted by zneuser93 6 years ago
then why dont you debate me?
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
The vaccination of small pox introduced HIV to the human race... and pevaded it throughout subsaharan Africa.
Posted by pcmbrown 6 years ago
smallpox no longer exists...explain plz
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
Historically, compulsory immunizations have been a wreck. Take Smallpox in Africa, for example.
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