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Should self-determination outweigh public health concerns?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 236 times Debate No: 88036
Debate Rounds (2)
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"In a democracy, the well-being, individuality, and happiness of every citizen is important for the overall prosperity, peace, and happiness of the nation."

My value for today is individualism, which is defined as: A theory of maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual and stressing individual initiative, action, and interests. (Merriam Webster"s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, p.593) Individualism matters. It matters because people are naturally curious and creative and need to be able to express this. Individualism helps to better society as a whole. Individual rights make for happy people, which makes for an overall happy population. Individualism must be valued and taken into consideration unless the government wants to head down the North Korean path of oppression.
My value will be achieved through my criterion of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is an international document that states basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.
Contention 1: Deprivation of the right to self determination is in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which clearly states in article three: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Security of person is defined as: "A person's legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation." (Black"s Law Dictionary, 4th edition, p. 1522.)
Put simply, security of person is a person"s right to individuality. It is their right to individual choices regarding themselves. Their body, their choice. The government enforcing laws that put the population as a whole above an individual would infringe on these rights.

Contention 2: The government valuing public health concerns above an individual's self determination encompasses the concept of forced vaccinations, an issue that has been a topic of discussion and widespread debate due to recent outbreaks of diseases such as measles. Supporters of mandatory vaccination have claimed that optional vaccinations do not work out and that they simply aid in the spreading of disease. If the government truly begins placing public health concerns above self-determination (an individual"s right to make their own decisions based off of what they feel is best for them) then mandatory vaccinations would be inevitable due to the desire to avoid widespread outbreaks of diseases. However, forced vaccination is a violation of Article 5 of the UDHR, which states: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Degrading is defined as: "To bring into low self-esteem or disrepute." (Merriam Webster"s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, p. 304.)
Inhuman is defined as: "Lacking pity, kindness, or mercy." (Merriam Webster"s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, p. 601.)
Cruel is defined as: "Disposed to inflict pain or suffering; devoid of humane feelings; unrelieved by leniency." (Merriam Webster"s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, p.279.)
As much as 700,000,000 people suffer from a condition called trypanophobia, which is an extreme fear of needles and injections. What, you may be asking, do cruelty and inhumanity have to do with this phobia and today"s topic? Everything. Forcing someone with this phobia to get a vaccination is nothing but cruel and inhuman, not to mention degrading. Phobias are far more than simple fears. The difference between a phobia and a fear can be most easily explained with the following example: Most people get jittery when a spider crawls on their arm. Let"s face it; spiders are creepy and weird. Someone with arachnophobia, however, would be essentially immobilized. A spider crawling on a person suffering from a phobia of spiders would render the individual in question physically and psychologically impaired. Phobias are bad enough to have to live with them; why expose people to their phobias? The mere fact that this phobia exists, and you never know who could be suffering from it, makes placing the public above an individual"s right to make their own choices as far as vaccinations go a direct violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Contention 3: Soft drinks are a public health concern because of diabetes. Ice cream is a public health concern because of obesity. The detergent you wash your clothes with is a public health concern because someone may be allergic to it. My hairspray is a public health concern because of environmental damage, which ultimately comes back to affect everyone. Considering that many, many things can be taken as a public health concern, making a move to place the public above individualism would be a violation of article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
Simply put, someone could look at their neighbor"s home through the blinds and decide that the inside of their home is a public health concern, simply because an item found within the home, such as a bottle of Gain detergent, bothers them. The government would have absolutely no right to come into this person"s home and try to tell them that they must change laundry detergents. It is a violation of the right to privacy in that the government would be interfering with this person"s personal lifestyle choices despite the fact that absolutely no laws have been broken.
Privacy is defined as: "PRIVACY, RIGHT OF. The right to be let alone, the right of a person to be free from unwarranted publicity. Holloman v. Life Ins. Co. of Virginia,192 S.C. 454, 7 S.E.2d 169, 171, 127 A.L.R. 110. (Black"s Law Dictionary, 4th edition, p. 1358)
Conclusion: "The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." - Woodrow Wilson
This quote by Woodrow Wilson displays how corrupt our government has become over the years, how power hungry and dictatorial our leaders have become. Agreeing with the idea presented by the negative, that the public should be valued above individualism, above individual rights, only helps to strengthen this quote. Allowing for this is a sign of a much more corrupt, potentially tyrannical government.


"Logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"-Spock & Captain Kirk The Wrath Of Khan 1982

The Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 10 December 1948 in Paris.
WW2 had raged from 1939 to 1945 and as the end drew near, cities throughout Europe and Asia lay in smoldering ruins. Millions of people were dead, millions more were homeless or starving. The DOHR was written in response to a disastrous war involving genocide and brutality the likes of which the human race has never seen. The DOHR was not written for people afraid of spiders, vaccinations, small spaces or hurtful comments. Individualism is important to an extent. Some parents decided to be individuals; to go against modern stereotypes and make a decision of their own free will to "faith heal" their kids. Those two kids are dead. When it comes to protecting your rights as an individual versus the lives of kids I have to side with the lives of kids. To say that all forms of mandatory law and government intervention are comparable to the dictatorship going on in North Korea is absurd. It's borderline extremist. The government has grown corrupt wild and out of control; However, if a serious disease is carrying about and people refuse the vaccine because they're too cool or" God will save us", I'd personally drag them into the clinic and put a needle in their buttocks myself. The only way to cure a phobia is to stand up as a strong man/women and deal with it. There are veterans who have lost limbs downrange and are less scared of fireworks than some of the "individuals" you speak of. "The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the south, to protect the southern country"-Woodrow Wilson( A History of the American People) 1901. He also created the Federal reserve; not the best guy to quote when arguing for individual rights and less government control. Phobias do not equate to torture if they did it might be illegal to dangle a fake spider in front of someone. Where has our grand individualistic society gotten our country? Since 1776 America has been at war 222 out of 239 years. (Mint Press News) Society will always be more important than one man or one woman, That is why it's a society. So sometimes we must take one for the team. "No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses"-Vladimir Lenin (
Debate Round No. 1


wyn.snow forfeited this round.


well lets take it to a vote then.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DavidMancke 7 months ago
Good topic
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