The Instigator
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The Contender
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Should the government force people to vaccinate their children?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 434 times Debate No: 76155
Debate Rounds (3)
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I think that people should be forced to vaccinate their children because I value the continuation of human life over individuality in tiny doses. It is like, in chess, if you don't move your bishop to stop the queen from coming through and taking out multiple pieces because you don't want to be forced to move. It seems to me like people are too concerned with winning small battle while creating problems with the people you need to co-operate with. This is like the hierarchy in the school systems. There are the teachers and parents down at the bottom, then the principle, next is the director, and in some cases whoever is in charge of all funding. The parents and the teacher are not working together properly. The parents will remove their kids from school and the teacher will go in strike without communicating with each other. If they were to work together they might be able to make a difference. The epidemic of diseases that have not been relevant for decades. People say they are worried about things like autism. I think that medical illness and the things directly effected is far worse than autism. I am 13 so I might not have the most mature argument or position. I also have mild autism so my opinion is most likely more bias than average.


First, I would like to point out that my opponent has provided absolutely *zero* evidence that vaccines are actually effective. We would need to see evidence that vaccines actually do the job that health professionals claim that they do in order to decide whether parents should make the choice whether to vaccinate their children or not.

Right now, the law does allow parental choice. That is a good thing. Even though the law may require vaccinations, parents may have an exemption due to medical or health reasons or religious or philosophical objections. [1] We need to keep these exemptions in place so that the government cannot force parents to violate their religious faith and tradition in order to please and serve the government.

My opponent does not really address the issue of whether the government should be allowed to force parents to vaccinate their own children against their wishes. Also, what about the consent of children? What if they do not agree to have themselves jabbed with a needle containing fluid from aborted babies? [2] Is the government able to force the child *and* the parent to go against their belief system simply because the government believes that it is better for everyone? Of course not! That would be absurd.

In summary, the case for vaccines does need to be made before someone can argue that the government should enforce a universal mandate that all children become vaccinated. Second, parental rights do need to be understood by legislators. Third, the issue of the individual's right to resist government control is at stake in this discussion as well as the health and medical risks inherent in accepting immunizations.

This is such an important and timely topic. I am glad that my opponent brings it to the table. I look forward to future rounds of discussion and dialogue.


Debate Round No. 1


The evidence that vaccinations are "actually effective" is the fact that when people stopped vaccinating their children, small epidemics of diseases that have not been around for decades have come up. These diseases killed millions of people across America due to the anti-vacinnation movement, the measles and even polio are back after decades of extinction, among others. When people were vaccinating their kids, their kids were not getting sick or getting other people's kids sick.

The vaccinations are to help with medical and health issues. If you of your children have vaccinations than they obviously should not be forced to be vaccinated. In this case they should be closely monitored.

I am for religion, that being said I do not think that what ever religion you may be in would support the mass death count of their people and the people dead by proxy in a sense. If their god doesn't want them to vaccinate he is asking that they risk their lives and the lives of others. It can turn people into unwilling disciple killers. Some religious beliefs call for human sacrifice although that is illegal. This is a less direct form of human sacrifice or at least it has a similar result with a higher
death count.

Philosophical positions are killing people. Terrorists have philosophical positions, terrorists are not legally aloud to start epidemics or just kill mass amounts of people nor should they be.

I am not sure what you meant by saying "My opponent does not really address the issue of whether the government should be allowed to force parents to vaccinate their own children against their wishes." As for the children/infants, I don't imagine that if you were able to explain to them in a way that they would understand the effects of polio that they would choose it over a needle. The problem is that they have never experienced polio nor have their parents most likely because they were probably vaccinated.

I understand that this is a sensitive matter due to religious beliefs and I do not intend to offend anyone, though I might. How angry do you think that you would be if your child was laying on a bed in the hospital not able to move dying of polio because the religious kid in your child class was not vaccinated. The problem I suppose is not that the people that won't vaccinate are dying, that is their choose, it is that children that were vaccinated that are getting very sick. Even if someone is vaccinated they can catch a disease. If a terrorist wants to die than they can jump out of a plane without a parachute, they can not crash a passenger plane into a building. Their beliefs are not the problem what they do about those beliefs is the problem. I am not saying that people should not be aloud to express their opinions and beliefs, they should. I am saying people should not die because of them therefore the people that hold those beliefs act on them. That is like people not believing in brushing hair or lice shampoo so the entire community gets lice and will continue to get lice after they have treated themselves for it.


Thank you for the response, Edgar! I really appreciate it. This is a really timely topic, considering that the 2016 presidential election is coming up and many people are wondering whether the president would uphold parent's rights or doctor's rights. Great choice of topic.

Your first big assertion about the efficacy of vaccines is one of the biggest myths of the "pro-vaccine" community. It has gotten so bad that even pro-vaccine people recognize that vaccines did not accomplish anything historically in terms of the prevention of disease. They have resorted to a different argument called "herd immunity." They realize that improving hygenic conditions is what actually began alleviating disease and disorder in society. But they argue that somehow "herd immunity" might provide continuing justification for injecting people with needles since it is believed that if a greater number of individuals have immune protection against a disease, then it may confer benefit on others in the "herd." [1]

Some scientists recognize that vaccines are not effective in terms of preventing disease within an immediate "herd" or peer group within schools but might be effective at preventing spread of disease outside of the "herd." [2] In some instances, vaccination was even abandoned since it did not seem helpful. [2] In a great number of cases, it has been determined that *not* vaccinating may be better, particularly in case of the chicken pox vaccination where there are greater risks to adults who had been vaccinated as children than it would have been had they never been vaccinated at all. [3]

I'm wondering if you would cite some actual evidence or a genuine study that shows that lack of vaccination has led to the spread of a particular disease. As Ivan Illich demonstrates in his treatise on the inefficacy of modern medicine: "The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization." [4]

Now, I'll move on to that dreaded connection between the Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine and autistic manifestations. Of course, medical journals would like to dismiss very quickly the connection. There has been much controversy swirling around the figure of Andrew Wakefield. [5]

A great deal of concern surrounds whether the possible side effects from neurotoxins added into vaccines, such as Thimerosol, are worth the supposed benefits of vaccination. [6]

One study which claims that there is not a causal link between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism does show some interesting figures when you look at the actual data in the study which examines children vaccinated and non-vaccinated in a Danish Health Registry. [7] When you scroll down to page 1480, you get the raw results of the study. Out of 1,647,504 who do receive the MMR vaccination, the number who develop autism is 263. Compare that ratio to the ratio that emerges from the control group of 482,360 non-vaccinated children, of whom 53 develop autism. That is not a very proportionate ratio. If we multiply the 53 cases times the 3.42 (ratio between the total unvaccinated and total vaccinated), we arrive at a figure much below the 263. Thus, there is a connection between the MMR vaccination and the autism disorder.

To be fair, they could have very conservatively worded the conclusion of the empirical study by stating that there is a somewhat or slightly greater chance of developing autism after an MMR vaccination.

I will now rebut some of the comments made by my opponent. I have already asked for evidence linking the anti-vaccination movement to death in America which my opponent may provide in future rounds.

My opponent makes some comments about religion and self-sacrifice. Perhaps, he could clarify more precisely what that has to do with the vaccination debate.

My opponent does bring up the issue of polio. Is there any evidence that the polio vaccine specifically caused the lowering of polio versus the evidence that I have presented that shows that this is not the case. In fact, his last paragraph is an appeal to emotion. Emotional appeals do have some appeal, but evidence should be cited to try to support those appeals.

Again, thanks for the opportunity to engage on this topic.




[4] Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health (New York: Pantheon, 1976) p. 16.



[7] Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, et al., "A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination and Autism," New England Journal of Medicine 347 no. 19 (Nov. 7, 2002): 1477-1482.
Debate Round No. 2


Edgar_Allan_Poe forfeited this round.


Thanks again to Edgar Poe for setting up this debate, given the importance of this topic with presidential candidates who talk about imposing a national mandate for vaccination being in the media. The right of doctors to impose their will on patients or on parents who have questions and concerns about vaccines is a topic that will probably not be going away anytime soon.

My opponent made the mistake of ^assuming^ that parents would object to vaccinations for their children only upon religious grounds. I do hope that he is disabused of that notion now.

Based strictly on a health perspective, there are numerous concerns about the safety ^and^ efficacy of vaccines. And pharmaceutical companies stand to make a great profit off of their vaccine formulas, if only they can convince the government to make their particular vaccine mandatory for all citizens.

As I argued, the issue of the relationship between certain vaccines and nervous system disorders, such as autism, is very real. While researchers may choose to write it off as "statistically insignificant," the comprehensive Danish study shows that it is factually based, indeed.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by asi14 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD: Forfeiture of pro, lack of sources on pro. Pro: Do not forfeit even if the text is long. In other debates, long text can sometimes mean plagiarism (which did not happen here, thank God). Also please have sources to back up your claim. Your case seemed a bit odd to me, as it was untopical to your own resolution. Con: Great job with the sources. I like how you were open to the other side's arguments and embraced each of those arguments. I also like how you didn't just say at the last round "forfeiture on pro, vote con." You ensured this was the case. Overall I thought this was a good debate.