Public health concerns justify compulsory immunizations
Debate Rounds (3)
I know this is the old resolution, but I didn't want to debate economic sanctions in fear of someone stealing my case. I really liked this topic so I wanted to see if there was anyone out there who still wanted to debate it. For the voters, here is the LD round breakdown:
If you accept this debate please post your case in round 1 and we will continue. Good luck to whoever accepts.
I affirm the resolution Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunizations
In order to clarify the debate, I offer the following definitions
1. Public health from Oxford English Dictionary, 2008: The health of the population as a whole, esp. as monitored, regulated, and promoted by the state (by provision of sanitation, vaccination, etc.)
2. Justify from the Oxford English Dictionary, 1989: To show or maintain the justice or reasonableness of (an action, claim, etc.); to adduce grounds for; to defend as right or proper.
3. Compulsory from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law: Required or compelled by law.
4. Immunization from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: To produce immunity in, as by inoculation.
Observation: Compulsory isn't synonymous with universal. The former allows exceptions (for example, religious objections), while the latter doesn't.
VP: Quality of Life- Without a good quality of life free of disease and illness, one cannot enjoy anything else. Thus, quality of life should be the paramount value in this debate. Whichever side shows that the quality of life is most increased, wins.
VC: Hobbe's Social Contract- My criterion will be Thomas Hobbe's social contract. Hobbe's theory states that human beings do not always act rationally, therefore, the purpose of the state is to protect human beings from themselves. In joining a society under a state sovereign, the individuals have some of their rights limited for the common good. The state has the responsibility for the wellbeing of their people from diseases, and compulsory immunizations maximize the quality of life, they are justified.
C1: Vaccines are safe
A divergence between individual and community benefits may also exist when there are ideological beliefs incongruent with vaccination or individuals are unaware of or do not accept available scientific evidence. Ideological beliefs that may influence persons to forgo vaccination include religious issues (i.e. the use of cell lines from aborted fetuses to make vaccine) and a general belief that 'natural' disease is preferable to vaccines. Recent controversy surrounding association between the MMR vaccine and autism exemplify situations where some individuals perceive the individual risks of vaccination to outweigh the benefits. Despite carefully designed epidemiological studies and reviews by external groups finding no association between MMR vaccines and autism, a substantial proportion of parents maintain a belief that vaccines cause autism. From the perspective of these parents, the benefits of MMR vaccination may not outweigh the (perceived) autism risk. The community risk/benefit analysis is likewise dependent on one's knowledge base and perception of the science – undoubtedly individual vaccine refusal can lead to resurgence of disease.
Vaccines are actually very safe, despite implications to the contrary in many anti-vaccine publications (which sometimes contain the number of reports received by VAERS, and allow the reader to infer that all of them represent genuine vaccine side-effects). Most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. These can often be controlled by taking acetaminophen before or after vaccination. More serious adverse events occur rarely (on the order of one per thousands to one per millions of doses), and some are so rare that risk cannot be accurately assessed. As for vaccines causing death, again so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically. Of all deaths reported to VAERS between 1990 and 1992, only one is believed to be even possibly associated with a vaccine. Each death reported to VAERS is thoroughly examined to ensure that it is not related to a new vaccine-related problem, but little or no evidence suggests that vaccines have contributed to any of the reported deaths. The Institute of Medicine in its 1994 report states that the risk of death from vaccines is "extraordinarily low." As you can see the positives of affirming the resolution and thus increasing the quality of life outweighs the negatives of affirming.
C2: Voluntary Immunizations do not work
Voluntary vaccinations do not reach to large segment of the population. In theory, both compulsory and voluntary vaccination programs allow all individuals access to treatment. However, as Saraiya et al. pointed out, racial and socioeconomic inequalities exist in incidence patterns of cervical cancer and in cervical cancer screening rates. For example, these researchers found that in the United States, incidence of cervical cancer was 50% higher among African American women and 66% higher among Hispanic women than among White women. These groups not only have greater risk for cancer but also have lower rates of screening, do not receive the same beneﬁts from screening as do other populations, and are therefore at greatest risk of being missed by voluntary vaccine initiatives. As you can see compulsory vaccination programs, are a better alternative for ensuring immunity to the disease because disadvantaged populations will have access to the vaccinations at little or no cost, unlike voluntary vaccinations. Another important point is that voluntary vaccinations do not reach herd immunity. Herd immunity is defined as from medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com: The resistance of a group to attack by a disease to which a large portion of the members are immune. Voluntary vaccinations fail to achieve herd immunity because simply put not enough people receive the vaccinations. Herd immunity is important point because it allows people can't get vaccinated (underlying health conditions, religious objections) are protected because the majority of the population is immune.
I offer the following definitions for clarification:
-Public health concern is defined by Merriam Webster as concern for the health of the community as a whole.
-Justify is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary as "to show to be right or fair".
-Compulsory immunizations are vaccines that are mandatory as issued by a government or the World Health Organization.
I offer the following observation for clarification:
My observation concerns the herd immunity threshold. The herd immunity threshold is the percent of people in a community that need to be vaccinated to prevent a disease from spreading. For example, the herd immunity threshold for small pox is 83-85%. This means that 83-85% of the community needs to be vaccinated in order for small pox to be suppressed. Now, my observation: Voluntary immunizations regularly exceed the herd immunity threshold. For example, voluntary immunization rates are 98%. In Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden have immunization rates of 90-93%.
Moving on to my values.
Value Premise: Justice. Justice is defined as giving each person his or her fair due. Justice is the value for this round because the resolution asks us whether compulsory immunizations are justified.
Value Criterion: Upholding individual rights. When someone's rights are infringed upon, justice is not enabled. Issuing compulsory immunizations infringe upon a person's rights, therefore compulsory immunizations are unjust.
Contention 1: Forcing a person to take a vaccine is unjust.
By issuing compulsory vaccines, the government issuing the vaccine is acting unjustly because they do not allow the public to decide whether or not they want to get a vaccine.
Subpoint A: When someone goes through surgery, the surgeon makes sure that the patient fully understands the risks of the surgery and tells them outright what may happen negatively as a result of the surgery. The patient then is given a choice whether to take the risk and go through with the surgery or not. Vaccines can potentially lead to negative side affects. Through voluntary immunization one can choose for themselves if the risk of a negative side effect occurring is worth the benefits the vaccine may offer. Through compulsory immunization, the government chooses whether you should risk getting a vaccine or not.
Subpoint B: When a government issues a compulsory vaccine, everyone is forced to get the vaccine. While you can get a medical exemption if you have proof that the vaccine will effect you negatively, it doesn't mean that many people have negative side effects to vaccines. Red Cross Nurse Pamela Jordin said, "I used to work in a private nursing home, we would not give flu shots because the one time we did, it made everyone sick and three people died. All other years, no shots, only a couple of people would get the flu and no one died from it. We heard the same story from other elder care faculties. I would not want to be in a state or federal institution."
Contention 2: Issuing compulsory vaccines intervene with religious beliefs, and can become violent.
Subpoint A: When governments issue compulsory vaccines it goes against some people's beliefs. For example, because some vaccines are made with human fetal tissue, conservative Christians sometimes refuse vaccines, as do Islamic people. In most countries, people are allowed to practice their own religion. Therefore, compulsory vaccines go against the constitution of these countries. This is because if a person's religion says that they may not take vaccines, but their government is making them, they are not allowing them to honor their religion.
Subpoint B: Violence has broken out several times as a result of compulsory vaccines being issued. For example, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a Vaccine Revolt broke out after compulsory vaccines were issued. The revolt consisted of several riots that resulted in substantial property damage and several deaths. In India, there was a revolt against compulsory immunizations as well. When officials came to people's homes to forcibly vaccinate them, the parents would hide their children. The forcible vaccinations proved to be counter-productive as well. Before compulsory vaccinations were issued, the number of vaccinations in one district averaged 3000 a year. Once compulsory vaccinations were issued, the number fell to just 900.
I now move on to my opponent's arguments.
Observation: I agree to your observation that compulsory immunizations allow exceptions.
VP: My opponent says we can't have a good quality of life and we "can't enjoy anything" unless our life is "free of disease and illness". Well, I've been sick before, and I still have a good quality of life. My value should be used to judge this round because the resolution asks whether compulsory immunizations are just.
VC: My value criterion is a prerequisite to my opponent's because upholding one's individual rights is far more important than government protecting people from themselves. If the government had to choose between the two, it is quite obvious that the government would protect their citizen's rights and trust that they will make the best choices for themselves. Furthermore, the state does not need to issue compulsory immunizations to protect their people from disease because as long as the herd immunity threshold is achieved the community is protected.
A - I agree that vaccines do not cause autism.
B – While vaccines are generally safe, they are examples of the vaccines causing unexpected harm. If you look to my contention 1, subpoint b you can see how vaccines can cause harm unexpectedly.
C2: My opponent is basically saying here that because some people have less of a chance for getting screenings for cancer, they will not be vaccinated if voluntary vaccinations are issued. This is untrue. If a vaccine comes out, and someone does not have a medical, religious, or philosophical reason to not get the vaccine, that person will get the vaccine.
My opponent says that voluntary immunization programs do not reach disadvantaged members of society. The same can be argued against compulsory vaccination programs for illegal immigrants. Compulsory immunization programs do not reach illegal immigrants because the government does not have record of them. I am not supporting immigrating illegally, but if enough people remain unvaccinated, herd immunity is not reached. Through voluntary immunizations, these people can be reached, preventing a possible outbreak.
My opponent also claims that voluntary immunizations do not achieve herd immunity, but he provides no warrant (evidence) to support this claim. I, in my observation, give several examples of voluntary immunizations achieving herd immunity. I also give an example of compulsory immunizations LOWERING the immunization rate to less than one-third of where it was before.
For all these reasons I urge you to negate. Good luck to my opponent, and I await his rebuttal.
First of all, in his observation my opponent is claiming that voluntary immunizations consistently reach herd immunity and then gives the examples of Norway and Sweden. What you have to look at here is that Norway and Sweden are not third world countries like some countries in Africa are. So of course, the healthcare in Norway and Sweden will be better so people will be healthier, live longer, etc. Countries in Africa aren't as fortunate. What you have to look at is that compulsory immunizations are a much better solution in a global context (look at the smallpox eradication). Moreover, his examples of Norway and Sweden show that people value a good quality of life, hence they're taking the vaccinations. How would these people then object to compulsory immunizations?
On to my opponents value of justice which is defined as giving each his or her due. Once again, what you have to look at is that you're not giving others their due of a good quality of life, when you deny compulsory vaccinations. This is because voluntary immunizations do not always reach herd immunity, so by denying vaccinations your directly threatening other people's rights of safety and good quality of life.
This brings me to his value criterion of upholding individual rights. He says "when someone's rights are infringed upon, justice is not enabled". Once again, by denying compulsory immunizations you are infringing upon other people's rights of safety and good quality of life (see above). During the smallpox program, we limited the rights of people for the safety of all. Small pox had killed about 300 million people in just the 20th century. Therefore, I ask you isn't stopping such a deadly disease worth the infringement on a person's autonomy?
Now on to his first contention. He says "by issuing compulsory vaccines, the government issuing the vaccine is acting unjustly because they do not allow the public to decide whether or not they want to get a vaccine". Then he gives an example surgery. Surgery is different from compulsory immunizations because the former doesn't affect the safety and wellbeing of the society, while the latter can (by stopping disease). He goes on to say that vaccines have a potential negative effect, and that we have a right to decide whether we want to take the risk. First of all, cross apply my first contention that the risk of disease is so rare, that it can't be assessed statistically. Second of all, you can get an exemption if you have an underlying health condition.
On his Subpoint B, my opponent gives the examples of deaths in a nursing home caused by a flu vaccine. He says "Red Cross Nurse Pamela Jordin said, "I used to work in a private nursing home, we would not give flu shots because the one time we did, it made everyone sick and three people died. All other years, no shots, only a couple of people would get the flu and no one died from it. We heard the same story from other elder care faculties. I would not want to be in a state or federal institution."" Clearly, according to this, when flu shots were given to everyone one year, everyone got sick and three people died. Then it goes on to say that other years, only a couple people would take the flu shots, But no one died from it. This clearly shows that the problem wasn't with the vaccines themselves, but the people who had the shots were just likely to have underlying condition that made them react that way to the vaccines.
On to his second contention, he says that issuing compulsory immunization intervene with religious beliefs, and can become violent. If my opponent looked at observation in my constructive, he would see that compulsory and universal are not the same thing. Compulsory still allows exemptions for underlying health conditions and religious objections. So my opponent's second contention should not extend.
Now on to my side of the flow
Against my value my opponent states my value shouldn't be used because he's been sick and he's had a good quality of life. Once again compulsory immunizations can prevent deadly diseases from out breaking. How can you enjoy a good quality of life if your dead?
Against my criterion my opponent said that his criterion is more important than mine. He says that "If the government had to choose between the two, it is quite obvious that the government would protect their citizen's rights and trust that they will make the best choices for themselves. Furthermore, the state does not need to issue compulsory immunizations to protect their people from disease because as long as the herd immunity threshold is achieved the community is protected". First of all, if a deadly disease breaks out and people die, what rights would there be left to protect? Second of all, by protecting their citizens by enforcing compulsory immunizations wouldn't governments be protecting the most important right of all, right to life? Third, not all countries have good healthcare, and cannot herd immunity (third world countries).
He agrees with my point that immunizations do not cause adverse effects such as autism.
He says that vaccinations can still cause unexpected harm, and gives example of his subpoint b under contention A. I've already refuted this, look above.
Against, my C2 he says that "If a vaccine comes out, and someone does not have a medical, religious, or philosophical reason to not get the vaccine, that person will get the vaccine." Cross apply my C2 where I state the reason for a person not be able to get economic sanctions is because they cannot afford voluntary vaccinations which unlike compulsory vaccines can be quite expensive. He says that voluntary vaccinations can reach illegal immigrants. Can you warrant this please?
Voluntary immunizations do not reach herd immunity because the many minority groups cannot afford them see my (C2). Here is one example of voluntary immunizations not actually working. Dr. Richard Daines, state health commissioner of NY, said, "Years of voluntary vaccines for flu led to vaccination levels of between 30% and 50% of health-care workers, which is not high enough to provide herd immunity — protection to the remaining unvaccinated population".
My opponent claims that compulsory immunizations are needed to eradicate diseases. However, he fails to note that polio was eradicated through voluntary immunizations. My opponent also claims that people value a good quality of life, and therefore wouldn't object to voluntary immunizations. Just because people value a good quality of life doesn't mean that people aren't going to remain true to their religious beliefs and personal values.
My opponent claims that when voluntary immunizations are issued, you are not giving other their due quality of life, and states that voluntary immunizations do not reach herd immunity. However, he gives no examples or evidence to prove this and fails to address the fact that when you do not allow people to honor their own religion, you are not acting justly. Furthermore, wouldn't a good quality of life be the pursuit of happiness? If one wants to worship their own religion, they have that right.
My opponents claims that, by not issuing compulsory immunizations, one is infringing upon other people's right to safety. He then gives the example of small pox being eradicated through compulsory immunizations. However, voluntary immunization rates regularly achieve the Herd Immunity Threshold. This has been proven through the eradication of polio.
My opponent claims that disease is so rare, and that you can get an exemption if you have an underlying health condition. This does not explain why everyone got sick and three people died when the people in the nursing home were vaccinated, according to my Jordan card (quote).
When my opponent tries to explain my Jordan card, he claims that it wasn't the flu shots themselves. He says "only a couple people would take the flu shots". This is completely incorrect. If you look at the quote, it says "other years, no shots", so no shots were issued to the people in the facility.
My opponent also contradicts him/herself here. S/he claims that the people who died from the shots had an underlying medical condition. However, according to my opponent, they should've gotten an exemption. Now, I ask my opponent: Why didn't they?
My opponent claims that, because compulsory immunizations allow for exemptions, you can disregard my second contention. This is untrue. The examples I discussed in my second contention were compulsory immunizations programs that allowed for exemptions, and yet these things still happened. Therefore, you can extend my subpoint b in my second contention that compulsory immunizations can cause violence and lower the immunization rate. Because my opponent did not respond to this, we hold this true for the round. This is really important, because my opponent is admitting that compulsory immunizations do not achieve justice (violence is unjust) or quality of life (violence and the lowering of immunization rates leads to a poor quality of life). So, no matter whose value premise you look to, you must negate because compulsory immunizations do not achieve either value premise.
My opponent claims that compulsory immunizations prevent deadly diseases from out breaking. However, so do voluntary immunizations, as I've shown with my polio example.
My opponent states three reasons why his criterion is preferable over mine, I will rebut them in the same order.
First - ‘Protecting individual rights' includes the right to life. So if a deadly disease breaks out, the government would protect the citizens' right to life.
Second – Governments can protect their citizens right to life by issuing voluntary immunizations, which it has done in the past with the outbreak of polio.
Third – I don't really understand what he's trying to say here. "and cannot herd immunity" doesn't really make a coherent statement. Not trying to be mean, but I actually don't know what he's trying to say.
I've agreed to the fact that vaccines don't cause autism. I've also already responded to my opponent's defense of this. Look above, under "contention 1"
My opponent claims that voluntary immunizations are expensive. While vaccines can be relatively expensive in first-world countries where people actually have the money to afford them, this is not the case in third-world countries. What kind of businessman would try to sell $20 vaccines to people who don't have $20? The businessman wouldn't make any money. So, while vaccines can be $20 in the United States, vaccines in third-world countries cost roughly 40 cents.
http://wow.gm... <- an article proving my claim that vaccines in third-world countries cost 40 cents.
My opponent also asks me to warrant my claim that compulsory immunizations do not reach illegal immigrants.
First, they can't reach illegal immigrants because the government does not have any records of them. Therefore, they won't be issued any vaccines.
Second, I have another article that proves my claim that voluntary immunizations DO reach illegal immigrants.
My opponent now shows an example of voluntary immunizations not reaching the herd immunity threshold. I could put up a bunch of examples of voluntary immunizations achieving the herd immunity threshold (Finland, Colorado, Sweden, just to name a few), but it doesn't really matter. My opponent and I can trade examples back and forth all day long. However, my opponent AGREED that compulsory immunizations lower immunization rates. So you must look to voluntary immunizations in this debate.
1) My first voting issue is my second contention, which I extended. Because, my opponent failed to respond to this, we must hold the following true for the round:
a. compulsory immunizations lower immunization rates
b. compulsory immunizations cause violence
Neither of these achieve justice or quality of life; nor do they protect human rights or ‘human beings from themselves'. Therefore, no matter whose value premise or value criterion you look to, you must negate.
2) My second voting issue is that voluntary immunizations do regularly achieve the herd immunity threshold, without the controversy and the injustice of compulsory immunizations. By achieving the herd immunity threshold, voluntary immunizations preserve a good ‘quality of life' and ‘protect human beings'. By allowing people to practice their own religion, and giving people a choice, voluntary immunizations also achieve justice and protect human rights. Therefore, no matter whose value premise or value criterion you look to, you must negate.
1)My opponent, with his argument for compulsory immunizations, doesn't achieve ANY of the value premises or value criterions in this debate (voting issue #1)
2)I, with my argument for voluntary immunizations, achieve ALL the value premises and value criterions in this debate (voting issue #2)
Because of this you must negate.
146190 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by pbplk58 7 years ago
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