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Are vaccines safe? Show more Show less
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Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed messages they are exposed to and want to do the best for their children.

We cannot say whether vaccines are safe Show more Show less

It is a fundamental right of parents to make decisions about their child’s welfare.
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Parents should choose whether to immunise their child

Compulsory immunisation leads to concerns about freedom of choice and personal autonomy.
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Context

For accurate information on the efficiency of vaccines, consult the WHO website.[1] Most countries recommend immunisations according to their specific immunisation policy or schedule. Other variations include vaccinations being mandatory, parents having to sign a form to opt-out of immunisation, and others such as Australia where access to welfare, state education or day care requires proof of immunisation status. Political pressure means these regulations change fairly regularly.

The Argument

It is a fundamental right of parents to make decisions about their child’s welfare. In most countries, parental authority ensures parents can make decisions about their child’s welfare as they believe fit. Youth over the age of 15 (depending on the country or state) are generally allowed to request immunisation even if their parents object. Many jurisdictions in the Commonwealth use the Gillick competence argument for younger children if it is considered the child has “sufficient maturity and intelligence to understand the nature and implications of that treatment.”[2]

Counter arguments

The rights of the children who are unable to be immunised are equally important and they, or their parents, have no choice. It is an obligation as a member of society to protect those vulnerable children who are unable to be immunised by not exposing them unnecessarily to infectious diseases. Immunisation is the most effective way to do that.[3]

Premises

[P1] It is a fundamental right of parents to make decisions about their child’s welfare.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The rights of the children who are unable to be immunised are equally important and they, or their parents, have no choice.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962726/
  3. https://www.immune.org.nz/sites/default/files/ConcernCritiqueFussIAS201011V02Final.pdf

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This page was last edited on Friday, 22 May 2020 at 15:25 UTC

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