The Instigator
Johnicle
Pro (for)
Losing
36 Points
The Contender
wiredpilot12
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Resolved: Public health concerns justify government violation of pharmaceutical patents.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,699 times Debate No: 3372
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (20)

 

Johnicle

Pro

This should be a good debate. It's another classic debate of public safety or public freedom... Just for fun, I want to make this a LD debate (since I got it from the NFL possible topics for 07-08), so if you accept this debate, please provide a Value and a Criterion. Thanks, and with that, I will begin my opening case...

-Resolved: Public health concerns justify government violation of pharmaceutical patents.

I. Value- Public Welfare
In this debate, you will see the greatest value as being public welfare. There's no doubt that people who are suffering are due their safety. People who are abusing their patent deserved to have it violated until they can get it under control. Until then, it is justified for the government to protect their people.

II. Criterion- Prudence
Prudence is defined as basically as doing what is wise... being smart. The side that is prudent within this debate is Pro as they care for the welfare of their people instead of just a patent. Certainly in advocating prudent governments, that their violations will not be permanent, eventually I would say that a government will allow the patent to continue as normal, but when the government has a health concern, the government MUST be prudent in achieving Public Welfare by getting the people what they need.

III. Patents are not as important as Public Health.
My final argument is my most important, when people have health issues, you can't let something like a government patent get in the way. If you would to put the people that own the patent in the shoes of the person with the public health concern, they would inevitably help them self, the only thing you do by voting Pro is give that same courtesy to the general public, and therefore prudently support the public welfare, so please vote pro.

Thank You and good luck to the challenger!
wiredpilot12

Con

Thank you for this debate; it is my first and I am glad to begin with an intelligent conversation. If my understanding of the LD debate style is inaccurate, I ask that you please comment below so that I may be better educated. Let's begin!


I. Value: Natural Rights�
In almost complete contrast to your suggestion of "Public Welfare" being the key value of this argument, I would like to suggest that the protection of an individual's Natural Rights should take precedence to all else when the decision lies with the federal government.

For what other reason is government established then the protection of its people's rights? And if they "claim" (as the American government so commonly does) to protect these rights, then aren't they in lockstep with our founders who wrote:

"…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

I would like to make note of the rights listed above: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The founders knew that life is a cycle of difficulties, and all that one gets from it is a chance to be happy. More importantly, however, the founders, with this clause of the Declaration of Independence, have shown that the ideals America were founded on are derived from John Locke's Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government. Within the pages of this printing, Locke wrote of the natural rights to life, liberty and property, specifically stating:

"Every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his."


II. Criterion: Limited Government�
I use the criterion of Limited Government to show how, in an unrestricted system, both sides (the consumer and the patent holder) are satisfied.

Our Natural Rights are jeopardized every time we give the government any more control than the Constitution allows it. Granted, this great document was not written with a party system in mind, but in all reality, a limited government provides no room for bickering on issues; what the people want is what the people get. In an unrestricted economic system, the consumer wants products at the lowest prices possible, and the those with goods to sell want to sell them at the highest price the consumer will accept. Currently, sanctions and regulations placed on both sides of the deal limit how much products can be bought or sold for. These laws limit fluctuation of the system, but don't provide the best prices for either end. Without these restrictions, consumers would be free to determine what is produced, and how much they pay for it through the basic ideas of free-market economics. Thus, both sides reach their individual goals with no outside interference.


III. Rebuttal of Criterion: Prudence�
This was the portion of your argument that I enjoyed. You cite the definition of prudence "…doing what is wise…being smart," however, you never look beyond how the national government can be wise in the management of their citizens. Prudence begins at the consumer level. From the consumer, to the corporation manufacturing the pharmaceutical, to the patent holder, all the way to the three branches of the federal government, prudence should be evident.

While on the consumer level, prudence is as simple as washing one's hands and practicing good everyday hygiene, the main portion of my argument on this point lies not with the consumer (who's illness is not always controllable), but with the patent holder and manufacturer/marketer of the drugs in question. They are in the medical field to earn a living, often at other's expense. They make money off everything from cold medicines to anti-biological agents for the U.S. Military. What difference is it to them where this money comes from? They have stockholders to support and employees to pay; such is the way of the capitalist marketplace.

Also, consider the inventor who holds the patent. The government has issued them protection to sell and market their idea/product for a reason. We have an ever present right to property, protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They should, and do, use that protection to make money themselves by selling manufacturing rights to businesses. For them (the patent holder and the medical companies) to not sell and profit from their idea would lack prudence on their part.

IV. In Event of Emergency…

The government has provided ways for a patent holder to be reimbursed for the use of his idea/product. And while the Fifth Amendment does state, "…nor shall private property be taken for public use…" (What else is a patent if not private property?), this line is followed by a subordinate clause: "without just compensation." The U.S. government has every right to use any idea put forth in writing and approved as a patent, so long as they pay the asking price of the owner, the same way they would pay for anything else. With an administration that is willing to pay upwards of two trillion dollars on a war overseas, any price would be reasonable for protection of a nation's own citizens. Right?

In any case, this is evident in the legislation recently up for approval in the District of Columbia and Vermont to issue "compulsory drug licenses" to patent holders that regulate, exactly as I have outlined above, the way in which the government may go about obtaining a pharmaceutical under protection by U.S. patent.
Debate Round No. 1
Johnicle

Pro

Thank you for taking this debate. I'm basically just going to go straight down your last speech in rebuttal.

I. Value
My opponents value is natural rights. Certainly this is valuable but my argument against this is that people's true right is to be safe. If there is a patent that stands in the way of a person and their health, do you think that person deserves the natural right to life... of course s/he does. The true natural right is the PRO side and a healthy society. Therefore, the greatest value achieved in this round is public welfare since the good of people is the natural right. The PRO side thus achieves both values. Since my opponent contends that the patent right is higher than the right to good health (as he claims when taking the CON side of this debate) you will see that he loses value from the get go. Sure people deserve their right to a patent, but when there are public health concerns, you MUST see it as justified as violating the patent. He talks about "just compensation" but what you have to see is that the U.S. Government I'm sure would be willing to give just compensation (as they do with eminent domain)... AND even if they didn't the person who owned the patent would be able to sue to get their "just compensation." The only person within this resolution that does not get their "just compensation" or what they are deserved is the CON'S average citizen under the public health concern... Therefore, it would be justified in order to violate that patent which is the only way in which to truly achieve this life (better and more life with fewer health concerns), liberty (liberty to good health), and pursuit of happiness (happy with good health) that he talks about.

II. Criterion
Let's begin by evaluating his criterion. He claims limited government but what you have to see is that "both sides" are NOT happy. The patent holder is happy (more than likely) put the public with the health concerns is NOT happy whatsoever. How can he achieve his value if he can not even get his criterion. Both sides are only happy with the PRO side with the good health AND the assumed "just compensation" (via government issue or suing rights)... Therefore PRO gets the CON's criterion while CON can not.

III. Criterion- Prudence
Voters, I simply urge you to be prudent yourself and see the justification of keeping the public and their health concerns under control. Simply ask yourself, would you want to put your health in the hands of some random patent holder out there? I know that I wouldn't, therefore, I can only see it as justified for the government to protect the public in violating the patent. Certainly the patent holder is issued to keeping his patent, BUT the government protecting the public is justified. I would suspect that the government and the patent owner could come to an agreement, but if no agreement is achieved, the public MUST come first and them coming first is justified.

IV. In event of emergency.
The only emergency in this round ought to be flowed to the PRO side. The emergency is the public health concerns. This contention is where he talks about the "just compensation"... but what he fails to look at is the public's compensation. Don't you think that they deserve the compensation of good health?... of course they do. The "just compensation" will come for the patent holder in due time, but with great power comes great responsibility and if the patent holder doesn't abide to that philosophy, it would be justified to violate that patent to be responsible and protect the public. I urge you to flow through my III argument of the patent not being as important as the public and therefore vote PRO.

Thank You!
wiredpilot12

Con

You misinterpret my argument; it is not that the value of Natural Rights is superior to that of Public Welfare, but rather, that they are two rights, that the government may protect simultaneously (thus eliminating any reason to ignore patent laws). PRO simply wishes to manipulate my words (or lack thereof) by stating that, "The patent right is higher than the right to good health (as he claims when taking the CON side of this debate)." I claim no such thing and will not be accused of loosing value for doing so. The rights to life, liberty and property act as the legs of a tripod that support the pursuit of happiness; if one is to remove or lessen one of them, the entire structure falls. However, even with all three rights present, happiness is not a guarantee, as my opponent would like to make it seem. The founders knew this, and thus remained us that we are only granted the pursuit of it. That said, I am simply the CON in this debate as I do not see any reason for the government to break its own patent laws, rather than because the value put forth by PRO is any less than mine.

The PRO supports my case when he agrees that, "the U.S. Government ... would be willing to give just compensation (as they do with eminent domain)." If this is the case, then you have lost your main argument as violate is defined as, "[To] act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises." If the U.S. government is paying compensation, they are in line with the laws of eminent domain and have violated nothing.

Even if CON hadn't negated his own argument in his first paragraph, his rebuttal of my criterion serves only to lessen his case further. While he does state that in a limited government, capitalist system, "The patent holder is happy (more than likely) put the public with the health concerns is NOT happy whatsoever," he does nothing to support this claim or argue it further. All he manages to do is combine his first argument with the now purposed idea of "just compensation" (again weakening the term "violate") in an attempt to show how both sides are happy when the government is picking up the slack. He fails to show how the two sides actually would react in a "laissez faire" style system, or why they would be unhappy to negotiate to a reasonable, middle price.

PRO then continues with a statement ("I can only see it as justified for the government to protect the public in violating the patent. Certainly the patent holder is issued to keeping his patent, BUT the government protecting the public is justified ... if no agreement is achieved, the public MUST come first and them coming first is justified.") that does nothing to refute my points, and only reinforces his already clear view on the subject. This statement is followed by a question aimed at the reader (and voter): "Would you want to put your health in the hands of some random patent holder out there?" To this I must reply that the control is in the hands of the consumer. One who remains fiscally responsible does not need the support of the government to afford healthcare and prescriptions. Simply through this means is the entire topic avoidable. Even those who are not so gifted in the ability to think ahead and save are already benefiting from other forms of government welfare money, of which a portion should be going to healthcare.

At this point, CON falls back onto the cry of liberal politicians across the nation as he states, "The emergency is the public health concerns," as he attempts to refute my fourth main point ("In Case of Emergency"). However, one must consider the vast scale of the United States; less than 50 million of a population of over 300 million is not an emergency, it is a fact of life. There will always be those unable to afford commodities purchased by the masses, and those who refuse them in favor of having the government paying their way. It is also a fact that our government is governed by the majority, but still grants equal rights to all. Why should the 85% who are responsible enough to own insurance pay for their government to give what amounts to special treatment to the 15%? Yet CON believes that the 15% deserve their compensation too. I propose that health is not a compensation, it is something that is achieved and earned through good practice. Prudence on the part of the American public would drastically reduce the number of diseases contracted within our populous, and limit the healthcare field to treating only pre-existing conditions because little else remains. Take, for instance, 18 million Americans currently have Type II Diabetes and another 41 million are on the cusp (a condition known as prediabetes). Sadly, Type II Diabetes can be managed through watching one's diet and exercise. That lack of prudence is what brings upon this America's health issues, not the governments inability to lower the prices of commercial drugs.
Debate Round No. 2
Johnicle

Pro

Before beginning, I would like to thank my opponent for a debate well debated. As for order, I will go rebuttal/enforcement, voter issues...

-->I very well could go line for line against my opponents points, but my goal for this round is not to rebuttal all of his points, but to simply prove the resolution true. Which brings me to what is justified? Defined from dictionary.com, justified is "to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done." Therefore I offer the following example to show how violation of pharmaceutical patents is justified.

Example:

We'll use my opponents example of diabetes. Two of my good friends have diabetes from a cause not of their own. It was inherited and no prudent means could have stopped that. Let's say a man patents the use of something that can cure their disease. 10 years later, the government discovers that this very thing is capable of curing diabetes, but the patent holder won't sell the use of it for any less than 500 billion dollars (greedy man). Would you allow the people of the world continue with diabetes until a settlement is reached? (CON) OR... Would you "violate" the patent and cure this horrible disease and THEN reach a settlement? Both groups of people would eventually get what they wanted and both groups would be happy. This supports BOTH values and BOTH criterion's and shows how this action is JUSTIFIED. I would like you to also extend this example by simply replacing the word "diabetes" with ANY disease. This just shows the the public's health should not always be in the hands of a patent holder and that a government needs to take action where action is due...

This leads me to voter issues.

1. Example
Simply just extend my example as to HOW government violation is justified when there are public health concerns.

2. Values
The values of this round are most definitely won on the PRO side. Public welfare is obviously better on the PRO side as the public health concerns have the best chance to be eliminated when the patents that prevent elimination are dealt with. People are due good health and they get it best when the jerks who want a million dollars for something that costs 10 cents are dealt with. This leads me into Natural Rights (his value)... this also is better weighed on the PRO side. Extend his "18 million" with Type II diabetes. I'd like to weigh this against the one patent holder. Both have the natural right of either their patent or their health but on the PRO side, the more important natural right (of good health) is achieved and the natural right of your patent has a good chance of eventually being achieved. The eventual is where the violation is upheld (as there was some confusion in his last speech), but the eventual is also where we do EVENTUALLY have a chance of getting everyone their natural right. BUT, when the public's health is at risk and there's a jerk out there holding back, it is justified to violate their patent, which is the prudent thing to do.

3. Criterion
The Criterion's in this round are also flowed to the PRO side. Prudence is achieved when you do the right thing of giving 18 million people their natural right instead of just 1 (which is justified). Also you have limited government which is not achieved on the CON side because he says that both sides are satisfied (in his first speech)... NO, both people are not satisfied, when there is a public health concern you must do what is prudent. Therefore, I urge you to remove the word "limited" and replace it with "prudent" and flow the "Prudent Government" to the PRO side by giving the most people their natural right and increasing the public welfare.

This is how and why it is justified to violate a pharmaceutical patent when there is a public health concern. His last speech was simply a lot of "he was confused", so I offer this speech...... It is justified, no and's, if's or but's..... it is justified, it is "to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done"... I did not specifically refutate his points because I didn't want to play the "dropped points" game but simply the game of "prove/disprove" the resolution game... it is still justified and therefore I urge you to vote PRO.

Thanks for this great debate!
wiredpilot12

Con

I have two simple goals for this round.
1. Provide simple rebuttal to PRO's major points
2. Convince the readers of the benefits of CON's Value and Criterion

PRO begins the round with a definition of "Justified" and an extremely valid example of its use. However, he fails to show the side of justified that condones the poor stealing from the rich. What Robin Hood did in the Middle Ages was justified in its own right, but still illegal. I would like to remind the voters that all actions are justified in the mind of the accused.

Second, in what way is the patent holder (either an individual or corporation) ensured to receive full compensation from the government? I realize that PRO is no longer able to reply, but I leave that question up to the voters to decide. The process of suing the government involves jumping through hoop after hoop, trying to outsmart the men and women who authored the system so that the loopholes exist in their own favor. The only possible outcome I see from violating a patent with the promise of retribution coming in the months following its use by the government is one in which the legal owner of the idea is screwed over because they don't have the time or resources in a legal battle with the law.

Values-

If neither value is superior than the other, the benefit of one over the other lies in the result down the road. While at the present, any number (as 18 million refers to a number who acquired, rather than inherited, their disease) to one seems to make the choice obvious; the government should side with the majority. I however, would like to ask where/when the sacrifice of the minorities' liberties stops. Maybe today one man looses his liberties for the masses, but tomorrow how many will fare the same? The government, from that point on, can use the case of [patent holder] vs. [outraged masses] as criteria for deciding future cases (in and out of the medical field) where the minority is being asked to relinquish rights to the government in favor of the majority. What does America represent then?

Criterion-

Simply put, a prudent government is a limited government. How can any size governmental body determine what is right for all 300 million of us? Why should we let them choose for us? 435 men sit on top of Capitol Hill and decide for the rest of us if the bill on the floor is "justified" but do we get a say, no, except to choose the lesser of two evils to represent us. More people are satisfied with their own decisions than those of the government, regardless of if they support the administration or not. A prudent government knows that their people want freedom, real freedom, not an illusion, and respect that by limiting their own powers.

Thus, by establishing a limited government that respects the natural rights of its citizens, the natural relationships between people do what a government violation of policy never can, please all parties.

Thank you Johnicle for what has been a great debate!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
Arguing constitution doesn't mean anything.... Thats what we can do..... not what we ought to do
Posted by Gemini573 9 years ago
Gemini573
Agreed. It's a very impressive line that really reinforces Con's point.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
"The rights to life, liberty and property act as the legs of a tripod that support the pursuit of happiness; if one is to remove or lessen one of them, the entire structure falls. However, even with all three rights present, happiness is not a guarantee, as my opponent would like to make it seem. The founders knew this, and thus remained us that we are only granted the pursuit of it."

Wow. What a ballin' line.
Posted by wiredpilot12 9 years ago
wiredpilot12
Round Two - Con Argument - 3rd Paragraph - 3rd Word

Read PRO, not CON.
20 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by BlackMask 7 years ago
BlackMask
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Vote Placed by mrbullfrog11 8 years ago
mrbullfrog11
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by The_Devils_Advocate 8 years ago
The_Devils_Advocate
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by wiredpilot12 8 years ago
wiredpilot12
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by clddice 8 years ago
clddice
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by jiffy 9 years ago
jiffy
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by 11matrix11 9 years ago
11matrix11
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Johniclewiredpilot12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03