The Instigator
Skepticalone
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Sapphique
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The U.S. Federal Government should restrict the prescription of antibiotics.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Skepticalone
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,542 times Debate No: 76859
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

Skepticalone

Pro


Introduction
This debate is the final part of Bsh1's March Official Beginner's Tournament. Thanks to Sapphique for agreeing with me on the topic, and for being so patient while I was AFK for vacation!


Rules
1. No forfeiture
2. All arguments must be according to the definitions provided.
3. Appropriate conduct must be made: no profanity, inappropriate behavior, and/or trolling.

Definitions
restrict: put a limit on; keep under control.
prescription: an instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be provided a medicine or treatment.
antibiotic: a medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.

If my opponent has any issues with these definitions (or would like to add more), let us discuss them before acceptance.

Format
72 hrs/argument, 5 rounds, max. 10,000 words/argument
My opponent may submit arguments/rebuttals as she sees fit with exception to the last round which will be for rebuttals/conclusions only. No new arguments in the final round.

This should be very interesting since Sapphique and I have the same mentor: Whiteflame. Thanks for the help, sir, and good luck to you, Sapphique!


Sapphique

Con

I accept. Thanks to whiteflame for the advice throughout the tournament, and thanks to Skepticalone for instigating. I look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Skepticalone

Pro

Arguments

Antibiotics have played a huge role in saving lives. Penicillin on its own is estimated to have saved 200 million lives. [1] To be clear, I am not advocating complete disuse of antibiotics, but rather limited use in order that the antibiotics we currently have will remain effective for as long as possible.

Antibiotic misuse and overuse



Imagine a world without antibiotics with post-operative conditions similar to those before 1940. Not only could elective surgeries be potentially life threatening, but necessary life-saving procedures, such as organ transplants, could be rendered pointless without a method to fight off potential infections introduced in the process. This is the world we could live in without controlling misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about “The end of antibiotics, question mark?” Well, now I would say you can change the title to “The end of antibiotics, period.” We’re here. We’re in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t. - Dr. Arjun Srinivasan[4]

The biggest problem with using antibiotics when they're not needed is the development of antibiotic resistance, which is when bacteria survive by outsmarting the antibiotic. Common infections become difficult to treat, and when you really need an antibiotic, it may not work. - Dr. Laura Hicks

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics have contributed to new strains of bacteria which are now resistant. This is contributing to “superbugs” which are resistant to all antibiotics. There are currently strains of Tuberculosis which are completely resistant to all current antibiotics available [8]. Some forms of staphylococcus (MRSA) have become almost as resistant as the untreatable strains of Tuberculosis [9]. In addition to these, the CDC has set new guidelines for the use of antibiotics which leave only one drug for the routine treatment of Gonorrhea because of resistance [5]. Continued misuse/overuse will bring about more drug resistant strains of other bacteria.

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” [2]

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for situations for which they can have no impact on the illness. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. Viral infections are a completely different beast, and are unaffected by antibiotics. To prescribe antibiotics for viral infections is misguided and harms us all - yet it happens. “…about half of the 100 million prescriptions written for antibiotics each year are for respiratory ailments that aren’t going to be helped by a drug.” [3] Some prescription for ailments, such as ear infections, are completely unnecessary since the patient’s body can and will (if given the chance) fight off these infections without help.

When prescribing antibiotics, doctors use the most powerful varieties 60% of the time, and out of these broad spectrum prescriptions 25% are for viruses.[7] In doing so, they are needlessly contributing to the downfall of (currently) our best defense against bacteria. We need to do away with appeasing patients (instead of educating them), prescribing antibiotics out of habit, and using these drugs when unnecessary in order to ensure their continued effectiveness.



Antibiotic use in animals



Antibiotic misuse is not limited to humans. In fact, humans are not the primary consumer of these miracle drugs. Approximately 80% of antibiotics used in the U.S. are being fed to animals [6]. These drugs are not primarily used to treat infections, but rather to increase growth in food animals or as a pre-emptive measure in regards to unsanitary conditions. To make matters worse, this misuse has been linked to resistant infections in humans. In 2010, Director of the CDC stated,” There is strong scientific evidence of a link between antibiotic use in food animals and antibiotic resistance in humans.” In 2012,the FDA stated,” Misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs creates selective evolutionary pressure that enables antimicrobial resistant bacteria to increase in numbers more rapidly than antimicrobial susceptible bacteria and thus increases the opportunity for individuals to become infected by resistant bacteria”. Also submitted by the FDA in 2012,” In regard to antimicrobial drug use in animals, the Agency considers the most significant risk to the public health associated with antimicrobial resistance to be human exposure to food containing antimicrobial-resistant bacteria resulting from the exposure of food-producing animals to antimicrobials.” Limitations placed upon the use of antibiotics in food animals could provide significant benefits to the prolonged effectiveness of these crucial drugs.

I look forward to my opponents opening arguments, and will turn this over to her now.

[1] http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...

[2] http://www.cdc.gov...

[3] http://ideas.time.com...

[4] http://www.pbs.org...

[5] https://www.advisory.com...

[6] http://www.nrdc.org...

[7] http://www.webmd.com...

[8] http://www.nature.com...

[9] http://www.cdc.gov... - p 77 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Sapphique

Con

Due to personal reasons and unforseen circumstances, I will not be able to complete this debate with Skepticalone. All points should go to my opponent. Thanks once again to my opponent, bsh1, and whiteflame. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
Debate Round No. 2
Sapphique

Con

Sapphique forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Sapphique

Con

Sapphique forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Skepticalone
Anyone can vote.
Posted by RevNge 2 years ago
RevNge
Wait, can only specific judges vote on this? O.o
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Skepticalone
This debate topic was whiteflame's suggestion, and after researching this a little I was amazed at how much antibiotics are frivolously used on animals. Thanks for the info, I will look into it a little later.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
As someone who has studied antibiotic resistance, and attended numerous conferences on it - I recommend the following talk for anyone interested in our future of medicine. Big things are likely going to happen in the next couple of generations.

Maryn McKenna: What do we do when antibiotics don"t work any more?
http://www.ted.com...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Shame this debate didn't conclude.

Prescription of antibiotics is like 10% of the problem. The mass use of antibiotics in livestock, and non-prescribed use outside of the U.S. Is what is really putting us back into the dark ages with drug resistance.
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
Congrats, Skepticalone, on winning the tournament!
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Skepticalone
right...Hey, at least we're gonna finish!! ;-)
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
3 months later ...
Posted by RevNge 2 years ago
RevNge
"March"? .____________________________.
Posted by Sapphique 2 years ago
Sapphique
Let's do this, then. Tbh I've been rather occupied with my summer homework so I haven't prepared as much as I should have. We'll see how it goes :P
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RevNge 2 years ago
RevNge
SkepticaloneSapphique
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Con was unable to present any argument in the debate (along with full FF), and all of Pro's contentions went uncontested.