Are Mandatory Vaccines Unethical?

Are Mandatory Vaccines Unethical?

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This is a discussion on Are Mandatory Vaccines Unethical? within the Science and Technology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Hi all! So, I am from a particular state, that recently had a measles outbreak due to a lot of ...

  1. #1

    Are Mandatory Vaccines Unethical?

    Hi all! So, I am from a particular state, that recently had a measles outbreak due to a lot of "antivaxxers". I do not live in that state anymore but a lot of family does so I have been updated on recent events. In this state, they are trying to pass laws that make certain vaccines mandatory. What do you think of this? Is it unethical? Or is it necessary to prevent deaths in the future from worse disease?

    I just ask because I have mixed opinions on it. I believe that everyone should be vaccinated unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so... however, I also believe that parents should have a say in what happens in their children's health.... but in doing so they are hurting other children so mandatory vaccines should be passed....

    Anyway, let me know what you think and why!
    Death Persuades and MeltedSorbet thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Also, do you think this will lead to other mandatory medical procedures in the future? Not just vaccines.

  3. #3

    I believe vaccines work. I'm vaccinated. Any children I have in the future will be vaccinated. But I don't think it's ethical to force people to get a medical procedure because it's "for their own good."

    A parallel - Alcohol generally causes a lot more physical harm than good, both directly and indirectly. And because it impairs judgment, it can lead to other people getting hurt. The number of people killed yearly due to alcohol is far larger than the people who are put under threat by antivaxxers. And I'd argue that it's far more invasive to force a medical procedure upon someone than to prevent them from taking in a specific chemical substance.

    So should we re-institute prohibition?
    jamaix and Ashes4719 thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    I don't think they should be mandatory, but I do think it's ethical to withhold access to public resources or facilities in the interest of public health if you choose not to get a vaccination. The idea that you have freedom to choose is still intact, but with it comes the need to accept some consequence too.
    JayDubs, crazitaco, JennyJukes and 2 others thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by JayDubs View Post
    I believe vaccines work. I'm vaccinated. Any children I have in the future will be vaccinated. But I don't think it's ethical to force people to get a medical procedure because it's "for their own good."

    A parallel - Alcohol generally causes a lot more physical harm than good, both directly and indirectly. And because it impairs judgment, it can lead to other people getting hurt. The number of people killed yearly due to alcohol is far larger than the people who are put under threat by antivaxxers. And I'd argue that it's far more invasive to force a medical procedure upon someone than to prevent them from taking in a specific chemical substance.

    So should we re-institute prohibition?
    I agree with this! But, though alcohol kills a lot innocent people every year, will prohibition significantly lower that? I just ask because if we did make certain vaccines mandatory (like meningitis) then we would have herd immunity and childern that can't get the vaccine or are not old enough will not get it. I guess I am trying to compare the two solutions to show that maybe prohibition would be less effective than mandatory vaccines?

    Ii agree that an invasive procedure is unethical but is it so if it protects others?

    Quote Originally Posted by chad86tsi View Post
    I don't think they should be mandatory, but I do think it's ethical to withhold access to public resources or facilities in the interest of public health if you choose not to get a vaccination. The idea that you have freedom to choose is still intact, but with it comes the need to accept some consequence too.
    I think this is a good idea! Like maybe prevent people from going to public schools if they are not vaccinated for dangerous disease?
    JayDubs thanked this post.

  7. #6

    I cannot say whether it's unethical—the meaning of "ethics" is too vague to be meaningful to me.

    I would prefer that people have the freedom to do what they want to their bodies and that parents be free to refuse certain medical procedures for their children. I also think it's fine that such families be restricted in some way in society to prevent the spread of diseases for which the children are not vaccinated.

    I think the actual problem in this scenario (the "unethical" bit, you may say) comes down to people being forced to participate in a society that requires vaccinations. People should have more freedom to opt out. The ability to homeschool one's children is one way to opt out, but I'm not sure that's enough in terms of the vaccination issue (it's certainly not enough in terms of general freedom).

    For example, if the kids are homeschooled to get around school vaccination requirements, the parents/guardians forfeit what is basically free daycare: public school. That could cut into the family's income because at least one parent will need to be home instead of working, at least when the kids are small. There are extremely limited options for making up for that lost income because there are extremely limited options for surviving without money and a job, and those limits are a direct consequence of the way societies are structured (private property, monopolization of resources, etc.). So the need for a second income could push the family to use public school, which could force them to get the kids vaccinated. Of course the parents have the option to not have kids in the first place, but that too is a decision that's limited by societal constraints in a way it shouldn't be.

    In short, the whole vaccination problem exists only because civilization exists. If people didn't live in such high population densities (a fundamental feature of civilization), almost no one would be affected when an infectious disease broke out and vaccinations therefore probably wouldn't even exist. And if people weren't forced to participate in the market economy to survive (another feature of civ), those who didn't want to abide by rules like vaccination requirements could more easily opt out.
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  8. #7

    Allowing the potential for mass deaths to occur due to the spread of preventable diseases combined with allowing mass ignorance to exist and be perpetuated is more unethical than mandatory vaccines.
    Hypaspist and Ashes4719 thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashes4719 View Post
    I agree with this! But, though alcohol kills a lot innocent people every year, will prohibition significantly lower that? I just ask because if we did make certain vaccines mandatory (like meningitis) then we would have herd immunity and childern that can't get the vaccine or are not old enough will not get it. I guess I am trying to compare the two solutions to show that maybe prohibition would be less effective than mandatory vaccines?
    Yes, I think it's unethical even if it's effective.

    Let's take a look at the prohibition of alcohol again. It seems like we both agree that alcohol prohibition is a bad idea. But is it only a bad idea because it's difficult to enforce? Or is the more important aspect that people should have agency to make choices about their own lives?

    I'd argue the second part is more important. It's both a matter of humility and respecting other people as individuals. Humility, because it's hubris to think we always have the right answer. And respect for others to let them determine the course of their own lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashes4719 View Post
    I agree that an invasive procedure is unethical but is it so if it protects others?
    Society has to balance safety and freedom - they're both important, and promoting one sometimes comes at the expense of the other. In this case, I'd balance it as chad does above.

    You don't have to get vaccinated. But there may be limits on what resources you can use if you refuse to be vaccinated. Public school is the obvious example.
    jamaix and Ashes4719 thanked this post.

  10. #9

    It's a good question, because even though it's just being floated for discussion in a lot of groups right now, I believe it will end up on the table as a serious proposal within the next one to two decades. And a lot is going to depend on what kind of political landscape we are in. The thing about reducing access to public resources is, I don't think that is going to be satisfactory to proponents of mandatory vaccines. Exposure isn't limited to schools, it's everywhere we go and engage... extra-curriculars, entertainment, shopping, gyms, just everywhere. Granting an entity the power to violate ones bodily autonomy seems really dangerous, when we consider how corrupt and self-interested some of these groups can be (big-pharma, government in general). It's not about science (I'm vaccinated, as is my child) it's about the potential to misuse that power, which is massive. I personally cant get on board with situations where people are held down and forced against their will, children are being taken without parental consent during school (I've seen a few extreme advocated mention this) but I think that's where it's headed. Vaccine requirements may begin with public resources, extend to private, until clear zones are created. Once that happens, nearby unvaccinated zones will likely still pose threats during travel. Arguments will be made that parents who do not vaccinate demonstrate gross negligence, and that the state should be able to come and take those kids. I don't know what's ethical, but I do believe we are headed for one hell of a shitstorm.
    JayDubs, jamaix and Ashes4719 thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by JayDubs View Post
    You don't have to get vaccinated. But there may be limits on what resources you can use if you refuse to be vaccinated. Public school is the obvious example.
    I agree!

    My kids went to a private college and you could fill out paperwork that would allow you to opt out of being vaccinated, BUT there were potential consequences. For example: if there was a reported case of say meningitis (whether student or in a nearby area) an unvaccinated student was not allowed to attend class until it was deemed to no longer be a threat. However, classes would continue to meet and the student would not be permitted to make up the missed classes or assignments.

    Before anyone gets excited and calls me an anti vaxxer, my kids were both vaccinated. I just happened to know about the policy. I thought it was fair.
    JayDubs, hal0hal0 and Ashes4719 thanked this post.


     
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