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Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 546 times Debate No: 90250
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
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This is an LD debate, please do not accept if you don't debate LD.

The first part of round 1 will be the guidelines for this debate.

The second part of round 1 will be the 1AC. Please post your case, because last time, my opponent just said "I agree."

The first part of round 2 will be the first CX time. Max 5 questions, and if you don't agree with that, add in what you feel should be the proper amount of questions at the end of the 1AC.

The second part of round 2 will be the answers to those CX questions.

The first part of round 3 will be the 1NC.

The second part of round 3 will be the CX questions. Again, 5 questions max.

The first part of round 4 will be the answers to those CX questions.

The second part of round 4 will be the 1AR.

The first part of round 5 will be the 2NR.

The second part of round 5 will be the 2AR.

When placing cards, write out the tag as usual. When placing the actual cards, just type in what you would say if you were in a real LD debate.

If there's any questions, comment.

Good luck to my opponent.


Hello, good luck and half fun FlamingDog0047

My value for this debate will be ethical egoism

My criterion will be self autonomy

1) My opponent will be arguing for paternalism, an encroachment on ones autonomy with an attempt to act in their best interests. The best interests of someone is a delusion because only said person knows their bests interests. Bests interests are defined by the person because they know cognitively what is best. One may argue they do not know what is best for themselves, but that is where your subjective morality fails. What is best for yourself might not be best according to the objective and cognitive ability of others. If people coherently and genuinely believe that medicine X will not work, that is their perspective from their best interests. How can one make the argument that they know what is best for others? How do we know they know what is best for them. And if they don't know whats best for them, why should their consequences fall on other individuals, in this case, adolescents.

2) Lets say that I have Cancer and that the only way of surviving this cancer was chemo-therapy. Lets also say that parents did not want chemo-therapy because it was against their religious beliefs. Should I be left to die. I mean think about it. My opponent will argue that parents know best but this falls into subjective morality which indicates that all morals are fabricated by ideals of unknowing individuals. Rather, objective morality lets individuals reach their maximum autonomy and lets them exercise free will accordingly.

3) Under the resolution, if con wins, then adolescents cannot choose their health insurance provider, their doctor, whether or not they should take basic generic over the counter medicine and etc. For example putting a bandaid on a cut is a medical choice. An adolescent would not be allowed to willingly put a bandaid on a cut. Under topicality if their was no adult present and their was a medical emergency, an adolescent could not act. Under the resolution lifeguards for example would have to be over the age of 25, the age in which the frontal lobe stops developing, because they would have to perform medical duties to a person. But under topicality they cannot because that would be autonomous of them. If an adolescent is alone with an elderly person and that person falls down and there needs to be immediate assistance the adolescent could not act. In fact calling the hospital or an ambulance would be an autonomous medical decision. If an adolescent aspired to be a doctor or someone in the medical field when they grew up, the could not think about this autonomously because that would not fall in the Con of the resolution. The topicality of the resolution is worded so that adolescents cannot act individually for any reason in any medical choices

4) Allowing adolescents to make medical choices maximises autonomy. Its that clear and simple. If you vote pro then you create more autonomy. If you vote con you take away less autonomy.

5) My opponent might argue that adults know more about chemo-therapy and other medical treatments more than children. But do they really? If adults know so much about chemo-therapy for example, then they obviously know about: alkylating antineoplastic agents, nitrogen mustards, nitrosoureas, tetrazines, aziridines, cisplatins, N-Nitroso-N-methylurea, carmustine, lomustine, semustine, fostemustine, streptozotocin, temozoloide, diaziquone, antimetabolites, Trifunctional purine biosynthetic protein adenosine-3, mercaptopurine, sinopodophyllums, topoisomerase inhibitors and etc. If you are telling me that an adult knows all of this stuff over an adolescent, then you yourself ought to have someone making autonomous decisions for you.
Debate Round No. 1


1. What is ethical egoism?

2. Is your framework and case pretty much "Autonomy First"?

3. Do you have any impacts in your case?

4. Do you have any solvency?

5. Why are adolescents capable of autonomy?


Answers to questions:

1- Moral agents will act in the objective self-interest

2- The framework of my case is that no individual can make better choices for one person than the actual person themself.

3- I do not have any impacts in my case because this is a lincoln-douglas debate

4- I do not have solvency because this is a lincoln-douglas debate

5- This is an is-ought fallacy. You are automatically assuming that there are standards that make individuals capable or incapable of autonomy. Everyone has the right to self autonomy. Every human being that has a cognitive mind and know the consequences of their actions has the capibility of autonomy.
Debate Round No. 2


I will state my case, then go to my opponent's.

I negate.

I value morality as per the evaluative term "ought" in the resolution, which is defined as "used to express duty or moral obligation". By Merriam-Webster.

The standard is maximizing societal welfare.

Experience is the source of epistemic knowledge as it is how we empirically ground our existence. We cannot derive truth from reason as conceptions of reason differ from person to person and reason is socially constructed and thus dynamic. Sentience is the only non-arbitrary source of normativity. Pain is universally bad and pleasure is universally good."
Nagel 86

Sensory pleasure is good and pain bad, no matter who"s they are. Everyone takes the avoidance of pain and promotion of pleasure subjective reason for action. Without positive reason to think there is nothing good or bad about having an experience we can't regard the common impression to the contrary as a collective illusion.

Equality must be the foundation of any system. Util is the only ethical framework that is consistent with the equality of individuals by impartially maximizing good consequences. Reject ethics that admit arbitrariness as they are not coherent guides to action."

Util is the most educational because it"s how states make decisions. Education is the only portable impact from debate so prefer my standard because it"s more educational.

In order for the aff to win, they have to prove why adolescents are capable of medical autonomy. The only way to do this is by defending the fact that adolescents have the same nature and decision-making process as adults.

In order for the neg to win, I must prove at least one reason why adolescents aren"t capable of autonomy.

Contention 1: Social Influence

Adolescents have sensation seeking which leads to unhealthy decisions.
Wilhelms 13 writes

Sensation seeking has been extensively studied and appears to be curvilinearly related to age rising to a peak in adolescence, followed by a decline. Adolescents perceive rewards associated with taking risks to be particularly great, which can result in unhealthy decisions.

Adults and Adolescents process information differently where adolescents can"t process the emotional critical meaning.
Wilhelms 13 writes

One group of subjects chooses between 400 dying versus a two-thirds probability that all 600 die. People change their answers to mostly risk seeking, based on whether the options are described in terms of lives saved or lives lost, even with mathematically identical options. This example also illustrates the role that emotion plays in advanced cognition, as previously explored. The ability to see this is particularly relevant to mature minors' medical decisions as adolescents do not process this gist in the same way that adults do.

Contention 2: Flawed Priorities

Instant gratification is prioritized over delayed reward within" adolescent minds.
Wilhelms 13 writes

Adolescents have not completed the process of neurobiological changes associated with self-control. Tendency to weigh immediate rewards more highly than delayed reward is referred to as temporal discounting and is a stable characteristic and predictor in adult decision-making.

In adolescent development social consequences are prioritized over health.
Wilhelms 13 writes

Changes occur in the networks relied on for the encoding of social and emotional information. The potential consequence of losing one"s hair due to chemotherapy bring dramatic social consequences for an adolescent.

Contention 3: Immaturity

The cognitive control of adolescents is highly unstable due to immaturity.
Wilhelms 13 writes

Adolescents have similar basic cognitive capacities. They do not use this reasoning as a result of immature cognitive control systems.

The adolescent decision making process is not mature and does not rely heavily on intuit.
Wilhelms 13 writes

Adolescents are not just more emotional and impulsive than adults; their understanding is not mature. Adult decisions rely on intuitive representations. Adolescent processing of risky decision-making resembles the example of adolescent chemotherapy patient who decided to consume alcohol. Mature understanding of the situation would be a rejection of the standard model of trading off.

On to my opponent's case.

Your framework begs the question "why is autonomy intrinsically valuable?" This assumption is never justified in the 1AC.

Nothing is intrinsically valuable since things are only valuable if they achieve some other end. Autonomy achieves some other end and is therefore valuable but that"s only after the fact that means that since death precludes autonomy, you should evaluate death impacts first.

The only reason autonomy would be valuable is because it allows us to control our decisions, however this assumption appeals to the idea that consequences matter which justifies utilitarianism. Instead of merely protecting autonomy, we should maximize overall autonomy.


1] My arguments are intuitively true, for example we wouldn"t let genocide occur even if we had to violate someone"s autonomy because that makes no sense.

2] Autonomy violations are inevitable " every state action will obviously violate some people"s autonomy so we should devolve to utilitarianism instead of using a framework that leads to policy inaction.

Most parents actually listen to their kids and don"t abuse them.
Coleman 12

This does not mean there is no role for adolescents" voices in medical decision-making. It is likely that these voices and norms largely influence and dictate most parents" best interests determinations. The consent form signed by a parent is mostly a formalism.

Medical decisions cost money but adolescents don"t have any. De facto, adolescents will require parental consent in order to pay for any medical decision. A core tenet of the aff is that parents disagree with adolescents on their medical choices" unfortunately, they don"t resolve that.
McGuire 10

Many treatments are expensive. The likelihood that a minor is able to sustain such fees is remote; hence, there is an a priori assumption of parental approval and consent. The adolescent as well as the adult are on equal footing in this matter.

Thus, I negate.


1. How does taking away autonomy maximize societal welfare?

2. When you say that in order for aff to win they must prove that adolescents can achieve medical autonomy, are you talking about your "correct" version of autonomy or objective autonomy in general.

3. Even if adolescents and adults process information differently, does that make the adults any more objectivily right?

4. You stated that, "They [adolescents] do not use this reasoning as a result of immature cognitive control systems." What if adults dont use reasoning as well as the adolescent? Should the adolescents suffer from the medical choices of the adults?

5. You stated that I never justified that autonomy as a right. You are correct but since autonomy is free will, are you arguing that we should eliminate free will?
Debate Round No. 3


1. I would say that I achieve more societal welfare than you by taking away autonomy.

2. I'm not sure what you mean by this question, so clarify in the comments.

3. So, first in contention 1, adolescents has sensation seeking, unlike adults. That's the first piece of evidence. In contention 2, in the minds of adolescent's minds, instant rewards are prioritized over rewards over time. In contention 3, adolescents are more emotional, more impulsive, and their understanding is immature. So adults have a better probability of making the better decision.

4. Adults are more likely to make better decisions than adolescents. Your question might be proven false by the fact that adolescent could make even worse decisions than the adult.

5. Yes, by eliminating this "free will", I could save more lives and maximize more societal welfare. Also, you need to prove that medical autonomy actually is a free will.


Yugandda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


FlamingDog0074 forfeited this round.


Yugandda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by FlamingDog0074 2 years ago
Ok, I'll just debate traditionally.
Posted by Yugandda 2 years ago
As you stated this is a Lincoln-Douglas debate. I am debating whether the resolution is objectively moral. You can decide what to do in order to rebut my case.
Posted by FlamingDog0074 2 years ago
Well, your plan would technically be give adolescents medical autonomy
Posted by Yugandda 2 years ago
Well I did not structure that into my speech. The topic was actually originally for LD a couple months ago so I assumed we would be following LD rules. I am debating morality rather than practicality of the outcomes. You are more than welcome to make counterplans but I will not make a plan in the first place
Posted by FlamingDog0074 2 years ago
I forgot to put this in the guidelines, but would you mind disadvantages and counterplans?
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