Utanian Presidential Debate 303

TOPIC: Health
SUBTOPIC: Health policy versus Morality
Health policy has a strong tendancy to encroach significantly on morality, and visa-versa, and it is a repeatedly proven difficult task to appropriately seperate the two. For example, Utanian girls as young as thirteen are getting pregnant. Do we moralise, accept much of it as Utani trandition or permit abortions? And on abortions, in Nystonia they are banned almost altogether giving morality are far stronger influence over health policy. Then there is drug policy -- should we have supervised drug injecting rooms, or should we tolerate deaths of drug users as self-inflicted? Should we go that one step further and have drugs legalised? Should single and homosexual people have permission to adopt? Should Euthenasia be permitted? With all these examples at your disposal, the question is how will you approach, if elected President, this difficult minefield of health policy?

Candidate
Name
Pres. George OKARVITS
Gov'r Edward R. HOPE
Kyle LANGLEY MP
Max BOORNAL MP
Cameron OLDS MP
Robert TALIN MP
.
President Okarvits
Gov. Edward Hope
Kyle Langley, MP
Max Boornal, MP
Cameron Olds, MP
Robert Talin, MP
Party's
policy
Opposed to Nystonian state moralism; though Peoples is a Cruisian party
Supports limits; opposed to free-for-all abortion rights
Conservative Party mix of liberal and moderate moralist
Cruisian Democrats very moralist
Somewhat mixed, no strong central policy
Part of Nystonian state government
Liberal (somewhat moderated by Utanian climate)
Pro-homosexual rights; pro-abortion rights
No clear policy
Would continue "present course"
Strongly anti-moralist
Opposed to Nystonia state moralism
But, not strictly liberal; some limits
Debate
points
Nystonia state an aberration
Individualism/pluralism means a mish-mash of no policy at all
Limits will be imposed
Abortion a medical procedure, not a contraceptive
Concensus, but govt. can still lead
Supports free contraceptives
Pregnancy between people involved
Would crack down on child abuse
Pragmatic, sensible leadership
No one can be "objective"
Drug users a menace to themselves, society; so, no rights
Individual rights subservient to society
Trust doctors and patients to make the right decisions
All procedures will be permitted; up to individual to decide
Drugs may be legalise; treatment over enforcement
Solution in the middle
Concensus should determine limits
Opposed to Nystonian state moralism
State should provide, support"alternative solutions"
Agrees with free contraception
All policy should be directed by local communities
Best
Quote(s)
"As the great and honoured Saint said, while all things are permissible, not all things are good for me. I think this is a principle by which the state can provide coherent health policy." "I will not tolerate the abuse of any child. They are our future, and our future will not be damaged by the stupidity or malice of the present." "we live not just as individuals in this world, but as members of a society that has rights as well." "My policy as President [will be] to allow doctors and health professionals to make the best decisions and to assist their patients to make the best decisions. My administration will permit them to make those decisions without government interference." "If there is a concensus as to what limits there should be, then the state, as servant of the people, should place those limits in place." "I believe that health policy should reflect the needs and the desires of the people it is treating [and] should be active in seeking to appease the people it serves."
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Edited extract:

BOORNAL: "There is no doubt... let me say that this is perhaps the best question I have heard this evening, because it gets to the heart of a difficult issue. So thank you.

This is difficult field in which to make sweeping statements and make pronouncements from on-high without specific examples, and I think that is why it such a difficult area for we politicians to let go: we must let go, and trust Doctors and other health professionals to make the right decisions.

Broadly speaking, that will be.. would be my policy as President, to allow doctors and health professionals to make the best decisions.. and, more importantly, to assist their patients to make the best decisions, because at the heart of it, Doctors do not make decisions as much as patients have to. Most of all, my administration will permit them to make those decisions without government interference.

All medical procedures that can save lives or make lives more comfortable will be permitted. I will see to it that a woman's ability to choose when she has children will be reinforced, even in Nystonia state. I will ensure that this applies to thirteen year old girls as well, that their right to delay parenthood are not overrun. That said, my approach will, in all medical fields, will be prevention rather than cure.

Euthenasia would also be permitted under my Presidency. The rights of individuals to choose the point at which they no longer live should not be overrun by the long arm of Utan Krysaror [Utanian Capital city].

My administration's fundemental approach can be best summarised as secular. The state shall play no role in enforcing morality, but then neither will it play any part in pooh-pooing or forcing the violation of the moral codes that our people choose to live by. How people choose to live should be, and will be under my government, protected and not interferred with by the state.

There is only one caveat to that; you mentioned drugs. This is a doubly difficult area to make pronouncements as I have just done, because we are talking about people whose will to live by their chosen moral code is already overrun by the addictive power of the...

MODERATOR: Ah, Mr Boornal. Your...-

BOORNAL: ..drugs in question.

Uh, okay, then let me finish by saying that while drugs may be somewhat legalised, treatment, not enforcement, will be my policy.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr Langley, your two minutes.

LANGLEY: I believe Mr Boornal got to the crux of the issue there, but has ended his explanation contradicting himself: he is in favour of secular freedom of choice, yet suggests that he would violate that in the case of drugs which, he says, takes away your freedom of will. Rather than being critical of that contradiction, I am sympathetic, because I believe there are few cases in which the patient's choices are not unduly influenced.

Take euthenasia. Overwhelming pain, or pressure from a medical industry that has no interest in keeping the patient forever on life support, will violate the patient's right to choose.

You see, we live not just as individuals in this world, but as members of a society that has rights as well. Drug users are not only having a devastating impact on their own lives, but on the lives of the people who care for them, and the people around them. Indeed, they often have an impact on the people they steal from, steal to feed their habits.

These people have become a danger not only to themselves, but to the community they live in, to the very society they belong to. And that society must have rights as well, must have rights to protect itself, and rights to protect people from themselves. If that means violating these people's freedoms, so be it.

I reject, wholeheartedly, this obsession of some of my colleagues to promote this country as one of rights and freedoms of the individual. Society has rights, too, and we must not provide undue strength to the provision and protection, indeed promotion of individualism in this society, which is a cohesive collective, not a collective of individuals.

My approach to all health policy issues will be to reflect that principle.

MODERATOR: Mr Langley, just to clarify one aspect of your position, will you permit abortions and euthenasia?

LANGLEY: My approach, as President, will be that of looking to the needs of both the society and the individual. I believe in both cases, there is a need for restriction of these individual rights for the benefit of the society as a whole.

MODERATOR: Alright, we'll leave that there, Mr Langley. Mister President, your turn.

OKARVITS: Thank you. I think it is important to emphasise the aberration that Nystonia state represents. This is not Utani tradition, it is simple moral imperialism, the same that we had under the Guwimithians who intended to impose their religion, their beliefs, their morality on we Utanians. And it is this policy that I reject.

Utani are traditionally far more moderate in their approach to such difficult decisions than Nystonia state has proven. And I believe this should be applied to the management of the Utanian state. Appealling, as Mr Boornal has done, to the individualists in our midst will not provide a coherent health policy, but a mish-mash of rules lacking any guidance.

I believe the state should provide some guidance, some limits. As the great and honoured Saint said, while all things are permissible, not all things are good for me. [St Paul] I think this is a principle by which the state can provide coherent health policy.

Under my continued administration, abortions will be permitted, but not a free-for-all. There will be limits. As for the thirteen year old pregnant girls, I think we would need to examine the specifics of these cases. Certainly without that, I will refrain from making moral pronouncements, let alone policy based on so little information. Yet, on whether these children should abort their babies, the answer is clear: there are numerous alternatives to abortion, such as adoption.

Let me be clear about my position again: I believe that abortion is a medical procedure that should be applied when there are medical grounds as to why a birth should not occur. It is not a procedure that should be applied as a catch-all to contraception.

While passive euthenasia should be permitted, I think there are, again, limits at active euthenasia. And the scourge of drug use will be treated, and imports and sales curbed. I see no reason to permit this being inflicted on our communities.

MODERATOR: Mr President, that's definitely time.

OKARVITS: Uh, alright, I'll leave it there. Thank you.

MODERATOR: No, thank you. Mister Olds, you're up next. Two minutes.

OLDS: I think I would agree with Mr Boornal that this is a good question, but a minefield to answer. Broadly speaking, I think the solution lies in the middle. The President argues for limits, Mr Boornal for none, and Mr Langley argues for society first.

I think that if there is a concensus as to what limits there should be, then the state, as servant of the people, should place those limits in place. I think this would mean that many people would agree with limits on various procedures, such as euthenasia or abortion, and I will agree with those, because I think the majority has a right to influence health policies of this nature.

As for working through specifics, I think that should be left until after community consultations.

MODERATOR: Alright, brief and to the point. Governor Hope?

HOPE: I would like to echo previous sentiment that this is a good question, if for no other reason that it is difficult to answer for a politician. I would also echo the, uh, brief sentiment of Mr Olds that such policies need to be directed by the people, not by the state. And where there is a clear and obvious support for restrictions, then they should be imposed, because we do, as Mr Langley pointed out, live as part of a community, a society, not just as individuals.

Now, that said, it does not mean the state, represented by the President, should abdicate his responsibility to lead the people. And I believe there are numerous areas in which leadership can be shown.

One area that I have championed is in free contraceptives. I still support such a policy. I believe that our citizens should have the right to choose when they enjoy pregnancy, and that this right should be extended to the youngest in our midst.

Now, I am personally shocked that this country has thirteen year old mothers, and it is not a position I would have wanted any of my duaghters to be in, but, I also believe that this is a matter between the parents and the people involved. Not the state. Oh, unless, of course, this pregnancy has come by way of a crime, and I will be clear here, that adults have an obligation to protect their children, and the state has the same obligation. I will not tolerate, as President, the abuse of any child. They are our future, and our future will not be damaged by the stupidity or malice of the present.

[Gets wind-up] Alright, let me finish by adding this: I will lead when it comes to health policy. I will find the solutions and pursue them as President, that are pragmatic, sensible, and are in tune with the very best of the cultures that we Utanians are.

MODERATOR: Mr Talin. Two minutes...

TALIN: I will start by making my position clear: I am against state-sponsored morality. Nystonia state is an anathema to the Utanian state, and, if elected President, I would reverse every one of the... ridiculous over-stretches of power that Governor Cryer has implemented.

I believe the state should stay out of morality, and I believe the state should be demonstrating leadership when it comes to such matters, by providing and supporting alternative solutions, and by accepting the needs and wants of the community.

I find myself in a strange position agreeing with Governor Hope on contraception. I support free contraception, but I also support the right of parents and communities to moderate the behaviour of their children. So, such measures should not be made available to all for all ages if so chosen by the community.

I believe that health policy should reflect the needs and the desires of the people it is treating. I believe it should be active in seeking to appease the people it serves, and I oppose the notion that some bureaucrat in Utan Krysaror [national capital] or Vela Luka [Nystonia state capital] should be imposing the policy from on high.

I believe this is the appropriate path forward, and will be my policy, if I am elected President.

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