The Instigator
coconutmilktea
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,846 times Debate No: 9784
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)

 

coconutmilktea

Pro

A parent's decision not to vaccinate a child may place others at risk if the child becomes infected and exposes others to the disease. These the basic elements that comprise negligence claims—harm, duty, breach of duty, and causation—are met in some cases where parents forgo vaccination. The health and wellbeing of the public is, in part, a function of the behavior of individuals. When one individual's behavior places another at a foreseeable and easily preventable risk of illness or injury, tort liability can play a valuable role in discouraging that conduct. This is true in the context of childhood immunization. Since the recipients of vaccinations are most often children, the persons being harmed--or at least risking harm--aren't legally able to accept or refuse inoculation on their own.

Vaccinations have undoubtedly saved millions of lives since their inception. The risks are minimal; the benefits massive. Besides, without compulsion--without the greatest possible protection of the population--those benefits aren't seen.
mongeese

Con

Thank you, coconutmilktea, for starting this debate.

"A parent's decision not to vaccinate a child may place others at risk if the child becomes infected and exposes others to the disease."
This statement would be true if and only if the "others" also chose not to receive vaccination. In which case, it is simply a decision to be made by the individual: to spend time and money to take a vaccination and be safe from a virus, or go without, saving time and money, but risking disease. Therefore, the only ones at risk are the ones who choose to be at risk. No problems besides their own.

"The health and wellbeing of the public is, in part, a function of the behavior of individuals."
Explain. The government protects the public from coercive action. The people protect themselves from non-coercive action. And so, we get liberty. Violation of this policy would result in a violation of liberty.

"When one individual's behavior places another at a foreseeable and easily preventable risk of illness or injury, tort liability can play a valuable role in discouraging that conduct."
However, the only people at risk are the ones who potentially put others at risk. Additionally, how do you know who spread a disease to someone else?

"Since the recipients of vaccinations are most often children, the persons being harmed--or at least risking harm--aren't legally able to accept or refuse inoculation on their own."
Therefore, the decision defaults to the parents, which is only natural. The parents should have the most authority over their own children.

"Vaccinations have undoubtedly saved millions of lives since their inception."
Then obviously, the people who do not wish to risk dying of the flu should get vaccinated. Other people who risk it are of no concern to them.

"The risks are minimal..."
So, you acknowledge that there are risks. Why, then, should one be forced to embrace these risks with the benefits if he thinks the risks and costs are more negative than the benefits are positive?
"...the benefits massive."
Then smart people will get them. Only the dumb would not. And that's their problem. Plus, we get natural selection, both through removal of stupidity [1] and development of immunity to viruses without necessary vaccinations.

"Besides, without compulsion--without the greatest possible protection of the population--those benefits aren't seen."
The benefits are seen by anybody who chooses to receive the benefits. The benefits are not received by anybody who chooses not to. Pretty simple. The benefits will be seen if a majority of the population chooses to receive vaccinations, and even then, the only ones who suffer are the ones who don't participate.

Counter-arguments:

A. Compulsory vaccinations violate the right to liberty.
Naturally, if the government forces me to do something that I do not wish to do, I no longer have the liberty not to do it.

B. Compulsory vaccinations violate the right to pursuit of happiness.
Vaccinations cause unease and crying in children [2].

C. Vaccionations pose risks that many would rather not take.
In fact, vaccinations for harmless diseases that probably won't be contracted anyway tend to do more harm than good. They can cause increase in autoimmune diseases [3].

D. Vaccinations cause soreness.
"Vaccines may cause ... soreness..." [4]
If I'm about to be playing in a tennis tournament, I don't want a sore arm. Therefore, I'd opt not to receive a vaccination. Simple.

In conclusion, nobody is harmed by a man's choice not to be vaccinated besides the man himself. Compulsory vaccinations deprive the rights of liberty and pursuit of happiness. Therefore, they are not justified.

Thank you, again, for starting this debate.

1. http://www.personalityresearch.org...
2. http://www.fotosearch.com..., http://www.fotosearch.com...
3. http://vran.org...
4. http://kidshealth.org...
Debate Round No. 1
coconutmilktea

Pro

coconutmilktea forfeited this round.
mongeese

Con

Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
coconutmilktea

Pro

coconutmilktea forfeited this round.
mongeese

Con

Fun time.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 8 years ago
Nails
coconutmilkteamongeeseTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
coconutmilkteamongeeseTied
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Total points awarded:07