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Challenge Match: nyk537 vs Heike : Who's Immunilogical System...Yours or Big Medicines?

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posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 11:11 AM
The topic for this debate is: "Childhood Vaccinations Should Be Mandatory.

nyk537 will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Heike will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 01:28 PM
I’d like to begin by offering a heart-felt thank you to MemoryShock and the rest of the ATS debate staff for allowing us the pleasure of debating here today. I’d also like to extend a wish of good luck to my opponent, Heike, who has already proven to be a worth adversary.


Any way you slice it, immunization is one of the great medical miracles of the past century. Through advances in immunization, we have effectively eliminated and reduced many major diseases that have previously plagued our societies. Smallpox, for example, which killed nearly two million people as recently as 1967, no longer exists. Polio, reduced by over 90 percent worldwide, has been erased completely from the western hemisphere. Measles deaths have gone down 95 percent in most of the world, and vaccines have also been able to reduce the occurrence of whooping cough from two million in 1980, to 346,000 in 1998.

Despite these amazing facts regarding the effectiveness of immunization, some parents are still reluctant to fully immunize their children. One of the main causes of this concern is simple misinformation regarding the safety if immunization by anti vaccination activists.

Throughout the course of this debate, we will further examine the effectiveness and safety of immunizations today, so that we can make a clear case for the mandatory vaccination of our children. Before we dig too deep though, I’d like to offer a little more information regarding the safety of immunizations today, as this is time and time again the main concern for parents.

Right off the bat, we can agree that no vaccine is 100 percent safe. Almost all vaccines can cause pain, and redness or tenderness at the site of injection. Is this really reason enough to bypass a possibly life saving vaccination though?

Even everyday activities contain as much danger as most vaccinations. For example, every year in the U.S, 350 people are killed in bath or shower related accidents, 200 people are killed when food becomes lodged in their throats, and 100 people are killed as a result of being struck by lightning. Taking this into consideration, I doubt there are many of us who seriously consider eating food, taking a bath, or walking outside to be unsafe. We can only assume that the benefits of these activities far outweigh the risks. It’s for this reason that vaccinations should not be feared for their possible dangers, because the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risks.

To further examine this point, let’s take a look at a specific vaccination, and the disease it prevents.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

The hepatitis B vaccine has been known to have very few side effects, although one in particular can be serious. It has been found that about one out of every 600,000 doses is complicated by an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The symptoms of this reaction are hives, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure. Although no case of this has ever resulted in death, the symptoms of this reaction can be intensely frightening.

Taking this into account, we know that every year about 5,000 people die after being infected with the hepatitis B virus. In addition to that, about 10,000 people every year suffer severe liver damage or even liver cancer from the virus.

Looking at this vaccine in particular, we can see that the benefits of the vaccine clearly outweigh the risks.


During the remainder of this debate, we will take a look at several other vaccines and how they are proven time and time again to be extremely effective at preventing disease. We will also examine the advances in vaccination, as well as where the future is heading in the field.

By the time we are through with this debate, I will leave little doubt in your mind that mandatory vaccination of children is nothing to be feared, but rather something to be embraced.

I’ll stop now and allow my opponent to lay the groundwork for their argument, and I look forward to digging deeper into this very intriguing topic.

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:03 PM
Thank you, nyk537, for agreeing to debate me and allowing me to choose my side. Thanks also to MemoryShock for setting us up, and thanks in advance to those who will be reading and/or judging our debate.


The government and those responsible for public health and safety want you to believe that mandatory vaccinations are a purely medical issue. They argue the benefits of vaccinations as a medical procedure and compare the benefits to the risks. If you have a disease, and the treatment has a 75% chance of helping you and only a 5% incidence of side effects, are you going to take the treatment? Probably. But normal healthy children are not afflicted with disease and do not need treatment. The analogy is invalid and specious.

Mandatory vaccinations are, in my opinion, at least partly an ethical issue. When considering it, I am reminded of the movie Storm of the Century, in which a community is told it must give up (a clear metaphor for sacrifice) one of its children, without knowing in advance which child it will be, in exchange for the safety of the rest of the community. Ultimately they are coerced into agreement, but I think that Mr. King meant us to doubt that they made the right decision. Certainly the parent of the child who got the short straw did not accept the decision in the end.

In human history other tribes and civilizations have practiced sacrifice for similar reasons - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or the few - and we refer to those societies as barbaric and primitive. And yet, by accepting mandatory vaccinations, we are agreeing to a similar practice in our own society.

ABC reported that since the federal government began urging routine hepatitis B shots for infants in 1991, at least 274 newborns had died after receiving the vaccination. An additional 2,600 infants had suffered serious medical problems. ... It is well established that a small percentage of children will suffer adverse reactions or die from routine childhood vaccines.


From 1986 to 1997, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program awarded nearly $1 billion in damages to more than 1,000 families whose children suffered catastrophic reactions to mandatory vaccines. Vaccines do kill and damage children.

Do you agree that the sacrifice of one child is acceptable if it (supposedly) saves others? Perhaps you can be convinced to agree, hypothetically, that the death of one child is a fair exchange for the lives of hundreds or thousands of other children. If, however, the one child is your child, will you still agree? Would you take a "lottery ticket" knowing that one of the tickets means death or severe illness for a child of one of the ticket holders? Perhaps you do not feel that way about vaccinations, and perhaps I will not be able to convince you to feel that way. However, I believe that I can bring you to an understanding of the parent who does feel that way about childhood vaccinations, (there are many of them) and concede that they should have the choice to refuse vaccinations for their children.

The ethical question is made much easier to decide in favor of mandatory vaccines when you are told that a child who is not vaccinated will likely go on to die anyway of one of the dread diseases he wasn't vaccinated against, and will pose a health risk to all of the other children he comes into contact with, as well as perhaps some of their parents. This is simply not true.

If vaccinations work as advertised to prevent disease, then an unvaccinated sick child poses no risk to vaccinated children. They are protected by the vaccine. Therefore, anyone who makes this argument is admitting that vaccinations don't really work and yet is still trying to use it to convince you to allow your child to be vaccinated. This issue, and the true extent of the "danger to the public health" represented by unvaccinated children, will be further examined during the course of this debate.

There is also another non-medical issue surrounding mandatory vaccinations: that of civil liberty and personal freedom. If I do not have sovereignty over my own body (or the bodies of my children), what personal freedom can I claim? How shall I be happy about constitutional protection from having my house searched without "probable cause" if my children can have foreign substances forcibly injected into their bodies, and can be taken away from me by the government if I refuse to allow this? Furthermore, adding insult to injury, I can be required to pay for the vaccinations my child is mandated by law to have! This seems more representative of a police state than a "free" country.

As this debate continues I will show you that:

1. Doctors continuing to recommend vaccines for children is sufficient to prevent "epidemics." Most parents will still vaccinate their children in accordance with the recommendations, and 100% vaccination is not necessary for "herd immunity."

2. The risk of side effects from several mandatory vaccinations is actually higher than the risk of the child contracting the disease.

3. Other developed countries with modern water treatment and sewage facilities and good hygiene do not mandate vaccinations, and they are not suffering from epidemics or overrun with preventable childhood diseases.

4. Vaccines do not work nearly as well as the medical community would have you believe. In many cases vaccines provide incomplete and temporary protection. By contrast, contracting the disease in childhood is seldom life-threatening, and recovering from the disease confers complete and permanent (lifetime) natural immunity.

5. Although the government, CDC, and other authorities will assure you that vaccines have been proven to be safe, the truth is that no long-term studies on the safety of vaccines have been done; there is no clinical data on any reactions, effects, or conditions which might arise more than a few weeks after the administration of the vaccine.

In short, I hope to convince you that we (collectively) do not have the right to force parents to play a form of Russian Roulette with their children in order to theoretically protect other children.

posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 11:58 AM
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this debate has been indefintily postponed.

posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 12:57 PM
This debate has been forfeited to Heike.

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