The Instigator
KatieAnselmo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
C.C
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Resolved: Public health concerns warrant 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: 7/8/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 865 times Debate No: 12509
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

KatieAnselmo

Pro

The latter part of John Rawls' second principle of justice states that "social and economic inequalities are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society." Under this principle, it is easy to conceive how public health concerns could warrant government violation of pharmaceutical patents because the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society would be found in a public health care system.

A standard dictionary thesaurus search of public health will render the following definition: "Public health: The science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community, as by preventative medicine, health education, control of communicable diseases, application of sanitary measures, and monitoring of environmental hazards." This definition clearly illustrates the possible positive effects that a public health care system can bring to a nation.

The example of the 1918 Influenza epidemic in the United States also serves to illustrate how well public health can serve our nation. In this epidemic, the government used a system of public health care to garner the money to research and develop new influenza prevention methods and vaccines that not only brought the country out of the epidemic it was then in, but have prevented any other major outbreaks of influenza like symptoms.

According to Rawls' second principle of justice, equality may be undermined if it has the capability to aid everyone, including the lowest person on a nation's social agenda. The undermining of pharmaceutical patents ought to be warranted in order to repair and preserve the health of all of the individuals of our nation.

A social theory even older than Rawls' principle of justice, such as Aristotle's concept of Holism yields the same type of idea. For example, according to the theory of Holism, the entire population of our country is more important than the individual. Thus, the rights of the individual may be undermined by the government in order to protect our country.
C.C

Con

Introduction:
Hello KatieAnselmo and thank you for this debate. This is my first time on this site and debating as a whole, so I would greatly appreciate it if people viewing this could inform me of things (debate etiquette or the like) I am doing wrong. Thank you! With no further due…

Clarification:
Because the topic we are debating on is whether or not Public health concerns warrant government violation of Pharmaceutical Patents, no other factors were specified. Therefore, we must assume that this argument is for a country like America, but not limited to America's current economical and political condition.

Argument:
I shall organize my rebuttal in accordance to each of The Instigator's five paragraphs, and provide additional support myself.
In the first paragraph, my opponent said, "Under this principle, it is easy to conceive how public health concerns could warrant government violation of Pharmaceutical Patents because the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society would be found in a public health care system." This is a major faulty in logic since a public health care system, as good as it is for the people, does not have to warrant government violation of Pharmaceutical Patents. She also quoted John Rawl, but the quote support a public healthcare system, not a warrant for pharmaceutical patent violation.
In the second paragraph, she defines public healthcare and concludes the paragraph with "This definition clearly illustrates the possible positive effects that a public health care system can bring to a nation." This paragraph does absolutely nothing to support her argument, and again, supports public healthcare instead.
The third paragraph is most interesting because not only does it not support her argument, it also supports the con argument instead. She provides the example of the 1918 influenza epidemic in the United States and states how great the effects of the healthcare system. However, there is no evidence of any violation of Pharmaceutical Patents during this time period. In fact, because "the government used a system of public health care to garner the money to research and develop new influenza prevention methods and vaccines that not only brought the country out of the epidemic it was then in, but have prevented any other major outbreaks of influenza like symptoms" without violating any Pharmaceutical Patents, this proves that a healthcare system can achieve great results and is perfectly fine not violating any Pharmaceutical Patents. Thus, this paragraph also does not support her point.
In the fourth paragraph, my opponent states that "The undermining of Pharmaceutical Patents ought to be warranted in order to repair and preserve the health of all of the individuals of our nation." This is the only line in the fourth paragraph that is related to her point, and it is simply a repetition of her argument; there is no support provided.
The fifth and final paragraph of my opponent introduces a new example that leads to the conclusion of her argument: "Thus, the rights of the individual may be undermined by the government in order to protect our country." This, being a very broad generalization, does not provide support to the specific case of Pharmaceutical Patents. For instance, every single taxpayer is sacrificing something for the better of the nation when a healthcare plan is in action. A military draft is undermining the rights of individuals for the better of the country. My opponent, throughout her five paragraphs, provided little support of her actual argument.

Con Argument:
Legally, patent is defined as "A set of exclusive rights granted by a state (national government) to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention." [1] To violate a patent is to go against the law. The government must also abide the law. A list of more specific rights in the United States can be found here http://www.law.cornell.edu.... However, this is not all. Originally stated in the United States Constitution is the copyright clause, which states it is government's duty "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries…" [2] Violating the United States Constitution for anything is preposterous for it would shake the very roots our nation is build upon; healthcare is no exception.

In relation to the economy, such an action would be a disaster. Pharmaceutical companies live off of their patents. If the government violated the patent laws by producing the medication and distributing it without the involvement of Pharmaceutical companies, the companies would go bankrupt. Is this a worthwhile sacrifice of individual rights? Also, what incentives would an inventor have to patent medicine in America if they know it's just going to be taken by the government? This is starting to sound very Stalin-like.

The most important point is probably the fact that a healthcare system can be perfectly fine without the violation of patent laws. Ironically, a good example is the one provided by my opponent. In the 1918 influenza epidemic, the United States healthcare system did many good things, also presented by my opponent. All of these things were achieved without any violation of patent laws. Also, the current UK public healthcare system is completely free and quite successful. It does not violate any Pharmaceutical Patents. Why then, would we want to destroy the roots of our nation, our nation's economy, and inventor incentives for an addition to a perfectly fine healthcare system?

The con argument has been presented and I await my opponent's rebuttal.

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
KatieAnselmo

Pro

KatieAnselmo forfeited this round.
C.C

Con

My arguments still stand.
Debate Round No. 2
KatieAnselmo

Pro

KatieAnselmo forfeited this round.
C.C

Con

I presume this concludes this "debate".
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
KatieAnselmoC.CTied
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 Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.