The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2015 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 833 times Debate No: 80704
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Round 1: Acceptance, rules, what you hope to prove, thanks, etc . . .
Round 2: This will be opening statements, values, value criterion, definitions, and the structure of your case
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Closing statements
I will take anyone and hope someone challenges. Good luck to all.

I will be trying to prove that teenagers should have the right to choose what medicine they take. Thanks to my opponent, commentators, and judges. Good luck and let the debate begin.


I accept. LD rules please since this is the current LD topic. Otherwise I don't care. No K's is fine since some people like that.
Debate Round No. 1


Amnesity international is a global group that fights to protect people against violated justice, freedom, and human dignity. They also claim we have the rights to our body without fear of coercion.
It is for this reason and the following points I stand in the firm affirmation of the resolution that states "Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices. My value for this debate will be that of autonomy and the value criterion I shall use will be that of hedonism.
Autonomy: Immanuel Kant defines it as the right to govern oneself without unwanted outside interference
Hedonism: the oxford english dictionary defines it as the ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life
Adolescents: Merriam Webster defines it as a young person who is becoming an adult
Rights: Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy defines it as rights to approve a distribution of freedom and authority, and so to endorse a certain view of what may, must, and must not be done
Ought: The philosopher Hume defines it as "should we" instead of "can we"

Contention 1: Past violations. published a story on 1/22/2015. It states, "Only months before turning 18, a Connecticut girl has been told by her state's supreme court that she must undergo chemotherapy against her wishes. This court case was decided on January 8th. The girl was identified on court papers only as Cassandra C." I want to emphasis on the words against her wishes. This goes against her autonomy and this does not give Cassandra pleasure. This is why we need my value and criterion.

Contention 2: Teens should control the medicine they take. is a website I recently visited. It is a website with a group of expert doctors and physicians. They try to help people of all ages with their problems and here is what they have to say. "Time flies. Before you know it, your 13 year old is driving with you 16 year old off to college. With adulthood just around the corner there is no time like the present to begin encouraging teens to take on the leadership roles in all aspects of everyday life."

Contention 3: Who this affects. Teens. The University of Washington School of Medicine has a few things to say.
I will keep it brief. Basically if a child disagrees with a parent they should take things seriously. The child is the main focus here.

In conclusion I leave you with this. "A man is born alone and dies alone; he experiences the good and bad karma of his consequences alone; and he alone goes to hell or the supreme adobe." -Chenyaka


Because Ought implies moral obligation and a right is something morally and legally owed to you, I value morality. Prefer morality as a whole to just autonomy argument since morality covers autonomy and more, so it's more inclusive of all rights. You can't say that autonomy isn't more important than, say, equality - only the neg values all rights so prefer morality to just autonomy. The Standard is preserving rights.
The Counterplan Text: The aff adolescents will consult with pediatric psychologists before determining whether particular children will be able to make autonomous medical choices. The recommendations of those psychologists will be strictly followed.
Since we're following what the pediatrician says, there is no autonomy, so the CP is inherently different from the aff.

C1: Consultation leads to more specific decisions and increased family communication.

There are unique roles for pediatric psychologists in the process of determining children's involvement in medical decision making. First, pediatric psychologists can provide knowledge regarding child and adolescent development, as well as quality of life issues, for their medical colleagues (e.g., Kent, 1994). Similarly, they can assess developmental and clinical issues for the determination of children's level of involvement. Third, pediatric psychologists can make specific recommendations regarding particular children's level of involvement. Finally, pediatric psychologists can facilitate doctor-parent-child communication. Specifically, they can help parents and physicians understand children's concerns; help physicians understand parents' uncertainty and anxiety; and help parents understand physicians' goals.

And, family communication is crucial during adolescence because the adolescent's mind is still forming and needs a stable life to operate.

C2: When Adolescents Make Their Own Choices, They Act Impulsively

The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice has conducted psychosocial and developmental research that has corroborated the neurobiological research on adolescent brains; the research has yielded the conclusion that decision-making capabilities are diminished in adolescents. Although the MacArthur Research Network"s study shows that basic cognitive abilities and intellectual maturity mirror adults" by the time adolescents reach age 16, advanced cognition and psychosocial development continue into the 20s. With diminished advanced cognition, including the ability to reason and to understand, adolescents are more vulnerable to psychosocial and emotional influences. Coupled with their lack of experience and inefficiency in processing information, adolescents are less capable than adults of making decisions. The MacArthur Research Network"s social science and developmental psychology research identifies psychosocial and developmental factors unique to adolescents that inhibit their decision-making capabilities. First, adolescents are more receptive and responsive to the influences and opinions of their peers than those of adults, although this varies by age group within the general juvenile population. (...) Developmentally, adolescents also tend to be more impulsive and emotional"they are more inclined to make impulsive decisions, engage in impulsive behavior, and act recklessly compared to adults. Harvard Medical School"s Dr. Deborah Yurgelun Todd explains that adolescents tend to act and react more impulsively because they rely more on the area of the brain that generates emotional gut reactions, rather than trying to thoroughly analyze and rationalize.

So Adolescents will engage in risks and make bad decisions, which is reasons they should not choose for themselves. If rights are important and the adolescents will make bad decisions and restrict their own freedom, you have to vote neg.

Plus, the Impacts can be disastrous.

Mary Julia Moore and Cheryl Buehler studied a group of middle school children over a 4-year period through early adolescence to examine the ways in which their behavior influenced the behavior of their parents. In particular, they were interested in the ways that problem behaviors may influence their parents" likelihood of divorce. The scientists were interested in testing the pathway through which troublesome adolescent behavior may undermine the parents" marriage. They hypothesize that when teenagers have trouble, this undermines parents" feelings of effectiveness in parenting which may influence mothers or fathers to be less supportive to each other in trying to deal with the problem behavior. This hypothesis makes sense based on other scientific evidence and it all makes commonsense. If a parents feels like they are not getting their partner"s support in dealing with their teen challenging behavior, this seems likely to trigger feelings of resentment and overall distress. All of which might lead to questions about one"s marriage. The scientist measured adolescents" problem behavior when they were in the 6th grade. They measured both antisocial and hostile behaviors as well as behaviors such as depression. Both mothers and fathers were asked questions about whether they had thought about divorce and other questions to get a sense of their divorce proneness and questions about their sense of effectiveness as a parent. The analyses examined whether adolescent behaviors predicted parents" divorce proneness 4 years later. The sample in this study was primarily White and had some college education. Some caution should be noted that these findings may not apply to all types of families. As the scientists had expected, adolescents" problem behaviors had a significant effect on the couple"s divorce proneness. This effect appears to be primarily through damage to mothers" and fathers" feelings about their parenting abilities. This is especially true for fathers; fathers who have difficulty managing their teen"s behavior feel badly and may give up trying to be a parent. The scientists also found that mothers and fathers" feelings of effectiveness as parents influenced each other as well; when one parent was feeling less effective, the other, more effective parent begin thinking about divorce. It seems like when one parent gives up on trying to help manage the difficult behavior, the other parent perceives this as a lack of support. This lack of support seems to damage the marital relationship. These findings remind us of the complexity of family relationships. All members of the family have an influence on each other. This can run in a positive direction or in a negative direction.

Bad decisions by the kids damage marital relations, which is bad for everyone involved. For all these reasons, you are going to be voting negative. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


Who do these treatments effect?
So this affects a human. Should the human that controls the effected body have the final say?
So are you saying children should stand to the side hopeless and uncared for?
How does your value and criterion link back up to each contention?
Is forcing a child to take drugs against their will moral?

Morality must be valued. I agree. I see it better fits my case because forcing a child to take drugs without hearing their opinion, and/or against their will.

With increased communication can we not use autonomy. So does this not support my value?

For your C2. Is this not why autonomy says "unwanted outside interference"? Everyone is always getting suggestions. It is how we listen to them and choosing if we want to accept them.

There is autonomy. Every single day we have it. We choose what we wear. We choose how long we shower. Autonomy does exist. We are choosing the medicine we want someone else or ourselves to take. The child who these drugs will effect ought to have that right to make those choices.

Conclusion: The neg case just holds up the aff's point of autonomy. I have proven it. We must see that I have the burden of proof and have successfully shown how their case supports my own. Please answer all the questions I have put out there.


First let's go over the aff points, then the neg ones.
Aff's contention 1 is meaningless - it literally just says that adolescents don't have the right. Restating the topic doesn't have any weight in our debate.
Contention 2 says teens need to be ready to face leadership roles. OK, but medical decisions are far too important of decisions to just be experimenting on and practicing for real life. Cross apply my second and third pieces of evidence - the adolescents will make bad, potentially disastrous choices. This isn't the time to be simply practicing for the real world. Because the harms outweigh the benefits, adolescents should not have this right.
Contention 3 says that we should look at the impacts to the child. OK, I prove that the decisions children make are often gigantic mistakes. So once again, the harms outweigh the benefits.
Now to Framework. Autonomy cannot come first because we are always affected by others. Source 4 Writes (Mutcherson, Kimberly M. (2005) "Whose Body Is It Anyway - An Updated Model of Healthcare Decision-Making Rights for Adolescents," Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy: Vol. 14: Iss. 2, Article 3.[ Assistant Professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law-Camden.])
The autonomous person, as the saying goes, is 'his own man' or 'her own woman.' He/she doesn't 'belong' to anyone else, either as property or as possession.... this version of autonomy is both undesirable and unattainable on an individual level, and therefore, destructive from a policy perspective. We all experience dependency, and we are all subsidized during our lives (although unequally and inequitably so). 83 As used in this article, autonomy does not demand a rugged or radical individualism in which people are outside of communities, but instead embraces individuals who make decisions with the support of and in conjunction with the communities, large and small, to which they belong.
So because we will always be influenced by the community, the classic definition of autonomy is flawed. So prefer this community idea of autonomy. Neg preserves it much better since neg lets the doctor and parents all give their input on the decisions.
As for the opponent's questions, the treatment affects the child, but because children make bad decisions, they should not be making the decisions - it's that simple. They are cared for in the neg world - not just by the parents, but by the best doctors. This way they are ensured proper treatment, while in the aff world, they make bad decisions, causing divorces of their parents too. Now think about it judge - which world is better? Clearly neg is winning. My contentions and counterplan still stand, so I urge you to avoid the affirmative world and negate the resolved. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3


Tmurdock forfeited this round.


Neg lets the kids get the correct decisions since kids are too reckless, increases family communication which is key to my definition of autonomy, and avoids terrible impacts like divorces from these bad decisions. Also my opponent forfeits which is reason enough to vote neg right there. If you want kids to have the right decisions made, vote neg. If you want a world where adolescents make risky decisions and cause the parents to get divorced vote aff. The neg counterplan, net benefits, and contentions all have no response. Judge, you have to vote neg here. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by truthiskey 3 years ago
Posted by GoOrDin 3 years ago
I want to agree, but in fact this is a very conditional situation.

marijuana is considered by some t be medicine.
I am a stoner. That is a bulshit concept to even fathom.

Also, there are oxycottons and other addictive drugs, which children snort in school. this is responsible for many girls street prostitusion and inevitable abuse, neglect and abandonment or disgrace in immature, premature relationships during school or college.

also, many drugs require a certain blood density, and body mass. Having a poor, unregulated diet or an escalated physical pace can make judging whether the medication is needed or forgotten substantially significant. leading to health concerns.

in other situations the children are embarrassed or concerned/paranoid when they shouldn't be, Or just stubborn, arrogantly stubborn, or ignorant children.

I hate medication*** I wouldn't force it on my own kids.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by truthiskey 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 3 years ago
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 Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited and Con provided the only cited sources. Arguments were relatively even, but given the forfeit, I'm inclined to vote Con on arguments as well.