The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2009 Category: News
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,642 times Debate No: 10045
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




This will be a LD style debate. Due to my case being too long for this website ill have to split up my Constructive into two parts. Hence why I made the debate have more rounds, however i will adhere to the rules and abstain from bringing up any new arguments.
Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.
V: Justice
VC: Reducing Human Suffering
Concerns- to relate to; be connected with; be of interest or importance to; affect or pertaining to affairs
Just- done or made according to principle; based on right

OBSV1: Religious objections are not valid.
Though these groups don't intend to harm others they do insofar that refusing immunizations cause greater harms to more than just their own communities. They reduce the effective immunization level in their neighborhoods, schools, and churches. In addition to endangering their own children, these infected persons mix with members of the larger community; they will expose those who are susceptible to contagion (LSU Law Center for Medical and Public Health). Though this is not a U.S specific topic I will address the argument of it violating a "constitutional right" under freedom of religion. This is not the law today, nor has it ever been the law in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts,207 held that an individual could not refuse smallpox vaccination. The Court's decision read, "We are not prepared to hold that a minority, residing or remaining in any city or town where smallpox is prevalent, and enjoying the general protection afforded by an organized local government, may thus defy the will of its constituted authorities, acting in good faith for all, under the legislative sanction of the State" (p. 37).
The family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. And neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. Acting to guard the general interest in youth's well being, the state as parens patriae may restrict the parent's control by requiring school attendance, regulating or prohibiting the child's labor and in many other ways. Its authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child's course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, he cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.
OBSV2: The Negative must prove injustice.
The Negative simply cannot take an inactive standpoint in this debate; therefore the Negative has the burden of proof indicated by the resolution of proving compulsory immunizations due to public health concerns as UNJUST, if they fail to do so you have to vote for the Affirmative because the Negative has failed to reach its burden according to the resolution.
OBSV3: Public Health Concerns are valid.
The vary definition of concerns shows that these are NOT irrational fears or phobias held by the general populous, just to name a few of the immunizations that are deemed compulsory in order to reduce human suffering, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Oral Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Hepatitis B. Protecting ourselves from such illnesses is in no way irrational, in fact they're a great precaution taken by our communities.

The Affirmatives primary thesis is as follows, compulsory immunizations reduce human suffering which achieves justice. By showing that affirming reduces human suffering it does not matter the nature of the ethical system that informs that action is irrelevant. Furthermore, this approach avoids allowing the shortcomings of a particular agent to undermine efforts to prevent suffering from a certain situation. Our inability to prove why justice demands a certain action in abstract terms should never be a reason why we do not look to reduce suffering when the harm is real, urgent, and entirely preventable.

C1: The State has legitimate and justifiable reason to exercise its right over the individual when in accordance with the Harm Principle.
John Stuart Mill in On Liberty wrote that "The only purpose for which power can rightfully be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant." John Locke agrees. This thesis has become known as the harm principle. The Affirmative interprets the harm principle, in accordance with compulsory immunizations, are justifiable when without them:
• An individual's decision could place others health in jeopardy
• The state's economic interests could be threatened by the costs of care for vaccine preventable illness, related disability or death and for the cost of managing vaccine preventable disease outbreaks
• The state's duty of educating children could be compromised

C2: School closings and missed in-school time causes suffering.
Since in recent times various forms of influenza have damaged the educational opportunities of children attending school and by in large society as a whole, not making immunizations compulsory causes' citizen's harms that are largely preventable and to not reduce human suffering when there is a viable option is unjust. Damaging a child's ability to attain an education subjects them to much potential harm however we'll talk about one large one, poverty (Every Child Counts, London): When one is subjected to poverty the harms are as follows:

•No voice in policies or in the delivery of livestock services
•Limited access to education, resulting in reduced literacy rates
•Limited access to health services
•Limited access to land and water, or insecure rights of access to these resources
•Poor access to credit facilities, extension services and agricultural services
•Premature birth, and or birth defects due to fact that poor women in effect have poor prenatal care
•Limited or difficult access to markets
•Low household incomes, related to generally high levels of unemployment or under-employment.

Iskra Beleva- "The larger and longer the unemployment, the deeper and more complicated are the social and economic problems it causes in society. The existence of stable long-term unemployment extracts a segment out of the labour force and isolates it economically and socially. Long exemptions from labour life and labour environment lead to losses of professional qualification. For society this means a loss of economic and social gains and no return of investments made. Reintegration of unemployed into working life requires new investments. Moreover, unemployed people represent a vulnerable economic and social group. In their struggle to survive, they are inclined to join the shadow economy and to conduct criminal and violent behaviour. Many consequences of unemployment are manifest in psychological and behavioural deformations of personality." Long-term unemployment turns into psychological and behavioural deformations this is because people look for outlooks to survive whether or not they're legal. Again subjecting citizens to suffering is unjust.
•Lastly, crime which is quite possibly the most harmful. George Winslow writes- "the reality is that crime is largely a product of poverty. Street crime is most rampant in poor neighborhoods, and crime rates rise and fall in proportion to how the national economy is doing". Well-paying jobs, concludes Winslow, are far more effective than police or prisons in reducing crime.

C3: Inefficient use of tax money causes suffering.
You'd be hard pressed to find a citizen who doesn't find taxes oppressive already, how much more difficult would it be to find an individual who is happy not only to pay taxes, but for them to be used inefficiently? Since students were not mandated to receive vaccines and in turn large parts o



--"Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it" and because I agree with Mikhail Bukunin, I negate the resolution. Resolved- public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

Value- Individualism- the theory that the principle concern of all political and social groupings is to preserve the rights, guarantee the independence, and enhance the development of the individual person. According to Jeremy Bantham, "each person is the best and final judge of his or her own interest. The individual should NEVER be hindered by authority, state, or institution from securing his or her own interests."

Criterion- The Categorical Imperative- The cat. imp. is a deantological theory that focuses on the morality of the MEANS, not the ends. When determining whether an act is moral or justified we must look at the process, not only the end result. If the means are not just, then it does not even matter what the final result is. One should strive to live an ethical life but always for the proper and correct reasons!

Contention 1- Ethical action is based on personal duty not gov. coercion.

the categorical imperative maintains that every individual has a natural element of personal duty in his life. the basis for all ethical action is personal duty. Duty cannot be determined my government policy. Ethical duty must be developed within ones self and based on universal principles. in this way, compulsory immunization CANNOT be justified. Yes. I am not arguing that immunization itself is unjust, but that government coercion for vaccination is not just. Regardless if the end result id a physically healthier society.

For example, there is a student who wants to get an A. The end result, the A, is certainly a food thing, but if in order to receive that A, he results to cheating, the end was never really good! Coercion and force by ones government cannot be just. the government exists solely to protect the rights of the individual!

Contention 2- Coercive immunizations are Specifically not justified

According to David Isaac's, in the Journal of Pediatric and Child Heath, "Compulsory Immunization will be regarded by many as justifiable terms of the benefit to the individual child and to the community. But, in order to respect autonomy, state coercion should be kept to a minimum! in general, children should not be compulsory immunized when similar results can be achieved through education and inducements. Australia is in the happy position of having achieved very high rates of routine childhood immunization, over 90%, without the need for compilation.

If citizens do not have the individual right to make decisions over what is put into their own body, what rights can they possibly have?

now to argue some arguments brought up by the Aff-

starting with arguements in their 1st contention- Religious objections are not valid.
Though i do agree that the government had the right to step in to stop a religion from harming others (like human sacrafices ETC.) it is not just to force them to do something that they believe will send them to hell! Many religions believe that "what is meant to happen will, and cannot be stopped" who is the government to say that "HEy, we are sending you to hell!" Government coercion is not just!

- Now my opponent has statued that i have the burden of proving it is unjust, and i have done so.

in the last contention, arguements about schools closing were broguth up-

I DO NOT DISAGREE THAT VACCINATIONS ARE GOOD- i but do not believe the government coercion is the JUST way of bringing people to get vacines. like i said in my last contention, Australia had a 90% vaccination rate, all due to eductaion!
If we are to be more educated on taking vaccines we are to be more inclined to get vaccinations, without the government taking away our personal liberties!

thank you
Debate Round No. 1


CaleBREEEum forfeited this round.


Thank you for forfeiting that round!
Debate Round No. 2


CaleBREEEum forfeited this round.


Since my oponent has failed to argue any of my points, or defend their own, I must win the debate.
And that is all i have to say about that. Thank You
Debate Round No. 3


CaleBREEEum forfeited this round.


thank you for again forfeiting. i therefore win!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by HortyHornet 8 years ago
you need to put something to finish the debate
Posted by sashaperry 8 years ago
thank you!
Posted by NItEMArE129 8 years ago
I really like your case. Very creative and original.
Posted by oceanix 8 years ago
CaleBREEEum, the criterion you seem to be looking for is NEGATIVE UTILITY, or that whatever action is best is that action which prevents the greatest amount of human suffering.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
I'd like to take this. Unfortunately I'm in the middle of about 3 other debates on this topic.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by sashaperry 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:07