The Instigator
skynnbon3s
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
FaR
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should human cadavers be fully used instead of buried or cremated?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,819 times Debate No: 30828
Debate Rounds (4)
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skynnbon3s

Pro

The human body is a incredibly unique organism. To waste such a unique thing seems foolish and horrible, especially when you consider that there are over 100 000 people waiting for an organ donation in America alone, and that everyday an estimated 16 of these people will die on that list. If everyone who died donated their body to be fully utilized in whatever way would most assist people at that time, then most, if not all, these lives could be saved. Also the wastefulness of funerals and cremations is also a factor, they are financially straining for the families, take up a huge amount of space (around 7 million acres of cemeteries in America) and ultimately accomplish nothing, would it not be better for everyone if these bodies were used to save lives? Another factor to consider is the use of human cadavers for medical research or other forms of research. For around two thousand years, human bodies have been used to find cures, or better understanding of numerous diseases. Also it has been human bodies that have resulted in the increased safety you see in modern vehicles, an estimated 8, 500 people have been saved on roads in the last year thanks to cadavers.
It is a practical, neigh, unavoidably necessary for man kind to stop pointless rituals that do nothing in the way of assisting the betterment of our world, and give the ultimate gift.
Human cadaver use should be compulsory, because without it, we would have far less of the understanding, safety and lives, we pride ourselves on.
FaR

Con

Human cadaver use should not become compulsory. Not only it is morally wrong; it is also impractical and will have great negative consequences.
"Who owns a persons body or organs?" is a philosophical question. But whether we believe in natural law and assume that a supreme being created our body, or take a social contract tradition view, it is universally accepted that we are the sovereigns of our bodies and the property that we acquired through its usage i.e. labour. Some philosophers such as John Locke do not even distinguish between a person"s life and property while talking about their rights and therefore one can argue that our body like our property should be immune to illegitimate seizure. While what we can do with our body when we are alive is not at question here, its is important to remember that, except in extreme cases such as euthanasia or organ trade, nobody - especially not the state - has no say in what we wish to do with it and the governance of one"s body is an individual right and therefore protected from unjust seizure. These rights and the ownership of one"s properties will be inherited to next owners or should be returned to its creator i.e. GOD.
In either case no other external entity - again especially the state- should meddle as they have no right to do so. It is important to mention that once one is deceased, one can not consent to any social contract or benefit from it. The only case that a state is justified in such action is when we assume that one benefited from social contact while alive and now when the person is dead, the body can be possessed as a part of that implicit contractual agreement; In that case a person should be able to waive the benefits otherwise it will be immoral to enforce such contact.
In general we should be very careful when violating one"s right to achieve a greater good, and always ask: "What would be next?". Could we then justify using an inmates kidney to save life of another person? Can we execute a person who committed murder and use the organs to improve 2-3 other lives? Can we execute a person instead of life sentence and use the organs? Can we kill an innocent old person to save 4 youngsters? The problem with utilitarianism is that there are very thin red lines.

Now that I have argued that such actions or enforcement would be illegitimate (immoral); Lets assume that like many other illegitimate violations of property and personal rights (such as prohibition), an external entity such as a state wishes to enforce or in another word "posit" a law that makes the usage of cadaver compulsory for some greater good or public benefit. Here I will argue that such coercion will be unbeneficial, impractical and even might even have great negative consequences.

You have claimed that there will be three main benefits in case that the cadaver use becomes compulsory:
1) Saving or improving life through organ transplant
2) Advancement of science through usage of cadaver in research
3) General economical benefits through
- better usage of public resources
- force liberation of families from rituals and costs

We all know that many of the organs of the people who died -especially of natural causes- are not usable for transplant. Therefore, regarding saving lives we are mostly talking about accidents. I believe that right now the problem is not that not many people hadn't signed up for organ donation but that there not that many accidents or the ones that their organs can be used. Also in many cases, families who do care about other peoples lives, do consent and still get to see their beloved ones get buried even missing a couple of organs. They even get a better feeling when for example they see that their beloved one"s heart is still beating. So there is not much to gain from such coercion.
Regarding your second claim about advancement of science, I genuinely believe that currently there is not much wrong with status quo, there are lots of homeless and donated bodies that go to the hospitals, and there are also many substitutes to human body. There is also the fact that the medical science has advanced the point that requires normal cadaver for research and it mostly uses it for educational purposes. If we were talking about a person with a very rare disease that could be different, but generally there are not much medical use for any normal cadaver
About your third point and economical benefits:
First, let"s remember that any state enforcement itself requires resources.
Secondly, the funeral industry will get negatively affected by such regulations and obviously they might lose jobs.
Third, many of cemeteries gain value when people get buried in them, some even become tourist attractions and we know their owners could use them in better ways, they would have.
And fourth, people who don"t want to pay for funeral, right now can just donate the cadaver anyway so there would be no gains over there either; Unless you are claiming that there are some people who would have prefered not to have a funeral but currently are forced by social pressure to do it; In that case they might have still been forced to do a mock funeral or have a memorial service anyway.

Now that I have argued that there are not much benefits, let me go on to the impracticalities. Lets say after any death a team have to be deployed and examine the condition of the cadaver and see if it fits the criteria and then take it if it could be useful. Can you imagine how much that will cost? It have to be a rapid response team otherwise the organs will not be useful and honestly that would only be practical in accidents that as I mentioned above are not many. There also exists the problem of brain death and vegetable state.
Then what happens? Will they give back the cadaver? What if the family says we don"t want it? Then the state have to bear more costs disposing it?
There is also the matter of enforcing such laws. What happens if a mother hides the cadaver of her son so the government can"t find it, or tries to steal it? It has to go to trial and there are obviously many sympathetic jury members with the chance of jury nullification.
By the way how do the government know someone is dead if his family don"t report it or report it late so the government can"t use the organs?

Now lets get to the dangerous negative effects. I will just give you some examples:
- I have a 8 years old daughter who needs heart transplant and currently is 20th on the list. I take a gun and go at school and shoot 50 innocent 7 years olds in the head. Obviously no one can punish my daughter for being a killer"s daughter.
- State starts pushing death sentences so the state can use the bodies.
- I see my loved one had a heart attack and assume she is dead. I wait some time to call emergency services so I make sure her organs will not be taken out.What if she still had chance?
- My son is sick, only my organ is suitable, I shoot myself in the head (I think there even was a movie like that)

Before I finish I also want to raise the issues of receivers right. Many people like Jehovah's witness don"t wish to receive any organ or would not be comfortable with receiving it if they know the family of the person or the person itself did not donate it voluntary. Can then we distinguish between voluntary and coercive donations. Should we also force them take organs because we had too many death this month.

In conclusion, the compulsory use of cadaver as suggested is immoral, impractical and has negative great consequences.

At last I have to say I do agree with you that when possible and useful, people should opt for saving a life or helping the science to advance rather than blindly following rituals; However I do not agree that forcing people to do it would be beneficial and efficient; It should be left to people to choose for themselves. People like you and me should try by educating people rather than forcing them to do what WE think is right.
Debate Round No. 1
skynnbon3s

Pro

skynnbon3s forfeited this round.
FaR

Con

I assume you had some technical problem. You are more than welcome to follow up your argument in next round, if you wish.
Debate Round No. 2
skynnbon3s

Pro

skynnbon3s forfeited this round.
FaR

Con

FaR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
skynnbon3s

Pro

skynnbon3s forfeited this round.
FaR

Con

FaR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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