The Instigator
skids
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,543 times Debate No: 9982
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

skids

Pro

debate format: AC, NC, AR, NR, 2AR.
INTRO: "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." Because I agree with John Stuart Mills in believing that a government must secure the secure the safety of a majority of its citizens before an individuals, I affirm the following resolution.

RESOLVED: PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS JUSTIFY COMPULSORY IMMUNIZATION

RESOLUTIONAL ANALYSIS:
Definition of COMPULSORY: Compelled; mandated by legal process or by statute.
www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jury/glossary.htm
Through this definition we still allow for society to keep it's free will and allow for exemption. Simply what will happen is the government will mandate the vaccination program to ensure that those who wish to be vaccinated receive the vaccination while those opposed and provide reasonable grounds to be exempt, can be.

VALUE: My value for today's round will be that of societal welfare. Simply defined as the well being of a society in matters of health, safety, order, and economics . In May, 2008, Ambassador Dore Gold stated, "The Western world has developed an evolved understanding between citizens and the state. This, in turn, has allowed an evolution to take place in our understanding of the state's duty to protect citizens, with this now regarded as an integral part of the Western way of life. However, many countries have failed to develop a duty to protect. This means that when natural or man made disasters occur many citizens die unnecessarily." Because diseases can have serious symptoms that can result in the incapacitation or even death of a citizen, and can be easily spread, the government has a duty to vaccinize it's citizens for society's welfare.

CRITERION: My criterion for today's round will be that of utilitarianism. Defined as doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Andrez Melansek, in 2004, states "Compulsory vaccination has eradicated or greatly reduced the impact of some of the world's most devastating diseases, such as small pox, polio, measles, etc. The numbers of people with the diseases decreased dramatically after the vaccine was introduced. With better vaccines, and more comprehensive and effective vaccination programmes, even more suffering and deaths could be prevented. Even if they do not trust their particular governments, people should believe the overwhelming weight of medical opinion and the backing of the World Health Organisation in favour of vaccination." Because these vaccines are doing so much good by either reducing the number of people with the disease or getting rid of it completely, we are achieving utilitarianism by protecting society and achieving societal welfare.

C1: COMPULSORY IMMUNIZATION UPHOLDS SOCIETAL WELFARE
The World Health Organization in 2009 states "Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and even eradicating infectious diseases. An immunization campaign carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1967 to 1977 resulted in the eradication of smallpox. When the programme began, the disease still threatened 60% of the world's population and killed every fourth victim. Eradication of poliomyelitis is now within reach. Since the launch by WHO and its partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, infections have fallen by 99%, and some five million people have escaped paralysis. Between 2000 and 2007, measles deaths dropped worldwide by over 74%, and some regions have set a target of eliminating the disease. Maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in 12 of the 58 high-risk countries." Because these vaccinations protect and maintain the well-being of the health of society, compulsory immunization would uphold societal welfare.

C2: COMPULSORY IMMUNIZATION IS THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER
David Satcher, M.D., in 1999 states, "Vaccines are among the 20th century's most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease, disability, and death. Not only do they prevent a vaccinated individual from developing a potentially serious disease, vaccines routinely recommended for children also help protect the entire community by reducing the spread of infectious agents. Childhood immunization has been one of the earliest priorities of this Administration. Under the Childhood Immunization Initiative, a wide range of efforts, such as outreach campaigns, disease monitoring and vaccine research, have been enhanced. Overall, immunization coverage among children in the United States is higher today than ever before. These high immunization coverage levels translate into record, or near record, low levels of vaccine-preventable diseases. For most of the vaccine-preventable diseases, there has been a 95 percent or more reduction in cases. This has occurred because States, Territories, and local governments have instituted effective immunization programs. Today there are far fewer visible reminders of the suffering, injuries, and premature deaths caused by diseases that can now be prevented with vaccines. So that we do not forget the past, allow me to share some examples:" Vaccines are protecting those who receive them, which helps to achieve utilitarianism

C3: UTILITARIANISM ACHIEVES SOCIETAL WELFARE
In 1905 there was a supreme court case on the issue of whether or not compulsory immunization was justified. Edward P. Richards gives a summary. "Mr. Jacobson believed that the scientific basis for vaccination was unsound and that he would suffer if he was vaccinated. The Massachusetts Supreme Court found the statute consistent with the Massachusetts state constitution, and Jacobson appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court examined the issue of whether involuntary vaccination violated Jacobson's "'inherent right of every freeman to care for his own body and health in such way as seems to him best . . . " The Court bifurcated this question, first considering the right of the state to invade Jacobson's person by forcing him to submit to vaccination: This court has more than once recognized it as a fundamental principle that "persons and property are subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State; of the perfect right of the legislature to do which no question ever was, or upon acknowledged general principles ever can be made, so far as natural persons are concerned."' (at 26) With this language, the Court stated the basic bargain of civilization: an individual must give up some personal freedom in exchange for the benefits of being in a civilized society." The supreme court believes that achieving utilitarianism to maintain societal welfare is one of the governments top priorities, even if it means that some rights must be sacrificed.
Nails

Con

I agree. The value should be societal welfare. We can achieve societal welfare by doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people (utilitarianism.)

Now let's examine my opponent's claims.

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C1: COMPULSORY IMMUNIZATION UPHOLDS SOCIETAL WELFARE

Read his article, nowhere in there does it say "compulsory." It is simply "an immunization campaign carried out by the World Health Organization." If simply providing more voluntary vaccinations stops disease, as his article says it does, I see no reason why he can validly draw the conclusion that we also need to immunize those who are unwilling.

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C2: COMPULSORY IMMUNIZATION IS THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER

This is the same mistake as he made last time. He posts an article that simply states the benefits of immunization, then draws the conclusion that compulsory immunization is necessary. However, the actual article he has posted again proves the contrary: that compulsory immunization is superfluous!

His source states that "States, territories, and local governments have instituted effective immunization programs." He has forgotten that America still allows immunization exemption. [1] His source, then, simply states the benefits of voluntary immunization.

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C3: UTILITARIANISM ACHIEVES SOCIETAL WELFARE

Um, ok?
I've already agreed that we should adhere to utilitarianism. This point proves nothing.

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Observations
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1: Herd Immunity

Herd immunity describes a type of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a portion of the population (or herd) provides protection to unprotected individuals. For example, smallpox's herd immunity threshold is 83-85%. [2]

2: Voluntary immunizations routinely exceed herd immunity

a. In Colorado, immunization rates are as high as 98%. [1]

b. The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden have reached 90% to 93% [measles immunization] voluntarily. Incentives could further increase that number.

[Cynthia M. Steckel, "Mandatory Immunization for Health Care Workers – An Ethical Discussion" AAOHN Journal, Vol 55, Issue 1, 2007.]

c. In 1997, a federal initiative to increase immunization coverage in Australia included financial incentives for parents and family doctors...Coverage for vaccines due by 12 months of age was 94% in 2001, compared with 75% in 1997, showing that incentives for parents and providers contribute to high immunization rates, even in the jurisdictions that do not have legislation to link school entry with vaccination.

[Daniel Salmon, Stephen Teret, C. Raina MacIntyre, David Salisbury, Margaret Burgess, and Neal A. Halsey, "Compulsory Vaccination and Conscientious or Philosophical Exemptions: Past, Present, and Future", The Lancet, Volume 367, Issue 9508, 2006.]

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Contentions
========

1. There is no practical benefit to compulsory immunization.

Look at the 3 sources in my observation that say we already prevent disease without compulsory immunization. But further, my opponent has given sources on my behalf as well! Both his contentions 1 and 2 have sources glorifying voluntary immunization programs. This means his issue of disease is already solved with or without compulsion, so there is no 'greater good for the greater number' and he isn't achieving utilitarianism at all.

2. Compulsory immunization leads to lower quality vaccines.

What keeps pharmaceutical companies from making vaccines with sever adverse side effects? People refuse to vaccinated if they are afraid that they will be hurt by it. [3] The pharmaceutical companies can't "sell the product;" they have to iron out the kinks, so to speak. That changes with compulsory immunization. The companies make a vaccine, for example the "experimental swine flu vaccines" [3] that may have adverse side effects, and the government forcibly distributes it. You have to accept the vaccine regardless of possible side effects; you have to "buy the product." In this situation, the company's only objective is to make a vaccine that effectively stops the disease, not one that is safe to administer. There is no profit gained in improving the safety of vaccination with compulsory immunization.

3. Compulsory immunization leads to biopower.

It's not the small minority of 2-5% who are losing their rights here. It's not just those who have previously refused vaccination that have their rights violated. Everybody loses their rights. I might have gotten all vaccinations in the past. That doesn't mean that I'll do so in the future, or that I don't deserve the right to refuse immunization. Affirming means the government violates the rights of all of the population, not a select few.

This massive violation of human rights is what philosopher Michel Foucault says constitutes Biopower. Biopower is the government's control of human life. Foucault contends that government is established solely to protect the rights of citizens. It should not try to manage the lives of its citizens. Foucault claims that this management of life turns people into objects. The government counts people as units of bare life. Its goal becomes maximizing the quantity of bare life under its control or "protection." He argues that this mindset leads us to commit grave atrocities in the name of "the common good" as he writes,

"Wars are no longer waged in the name of a sovereign who must be defended; they are waged on the behalf of the ontological existence of everyone; entire populations are mobilized for the purpose of wholesale slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have become vital. It is as managers of life and survival, of bodies and the race, that so many regimes have been able to wage so many wars, causing so many men to be killed. And through a turn that closes the circle, As the technology of wars has caused them to tend increasingly toward all-out destruction, the decision that initiates them and the one that terminates them are in fact increasingly informed by the naked question of survival. The atomic situation is now at the end point of this process: the power to expose a whole population to death is the underside of the power to guarantee an individual's continued existence."

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. New York: Vintage, 1990

=======
Conclusion
=======

My opponent and I agree on the standards for the round. We are looking to maximize societal welfare by following the philosophy of utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number.

---

That being said, my opponent certainly hasn't proved that vaccinations are beneficial at all to society. He has listed 3 contentions.

He seems to forget for which side he is arguing in his 1st 2 contentions. He posts sources praising the effectiveness of voluntary immunization. This in no way supports the conclusions he makes that compulsory immunization is in any way necessary.

His 3rd contention isn't even a contention at all. He simply says that utilitarianism leads to societal welfare. That statement I can agree with. I can't agree that compulsory immunization, however, leads to societal welfare. It's not the greater good and none of his contentions say that it is.

---

Now you have the arguments against compulsory immunization.

1. Voluntary immunization works equally well. We provide incentives for vaccination as well as outlining the benefits and harms, then we administer the vaccination provided that the patient gives his or her informed consent. All studies, including my opponents prove that this is more than sufficient to reach the necessary threshold of herd immunity.

2. Voluntary immunization checks pharmaceutical company abuse.

3. Compulsory immunization leads to biopower.

=====
Sources
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[1] http://www.i2i.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com...
Debate Round No. 1
skids

Pro

skids forfeited this round.
Nails

Con

A representative of the Red Cross knocked on the door of the richest man in town. She said, "Our research shows that you make ten million dollars a year but don't give a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to make a generous donation?" The rich man replied, "Did you know that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?" Embarrassed, the Red Cross worker mumbled, "Um . . . no." The rich man interrupted, "Or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" The stricken Red Cross worker tearfully tried to express regrets, but the lawyer interrupted again, "Or that my sister's husband died suddenly in an accident, leaving her penniless with three children?" The humiliated Red Cross worker cried, "I had no idea!" The rich man continued, adding, "So if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
skids

Pro

skids forfeited this round.
Nails

Con

Alcohol and calculus don't mix: Don't drink and derive.
Debate Round No. 3
skids

Pro

skids forfeited this round.
Nails

Con

The Energizer bunny was arrested and charged with battery.
Debate Round No. 4
skids

Pro

skids forfeited this round.
Nails

Con

I'm scared of numbers that can't be expressed as fractions. It's an irrational fear.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
planetdebate.com
Our debate team has a subscription.

If you want, I can send you a copy of the topic briefing for this resolution. I'm sure you can find the stats online somewhere else, also.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 7 years ago
ToastOfDestiny
Nails - where'd you get the stats on Sweden and Norway?
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
lol Nice pic Rogue
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
nice picture snell
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
i dislike the five rounds. maybe only three? you can say a lot more online than in an LD round.
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
If nobody takes this by tomorrow night, I'll take it
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by idkmybffbill 7 years ago
idkmybffbill
skidsNailsTied
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
skidsNailsTied
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Total points awarded:07