Debate Against Vaccinations As An Assault On Liberty

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Yes, this country was founded on liberty and freedom of choice, there can be no denying this. The primary source of debate against vaccinations as an assault on liberty stems from parent’s opinion that this is in some way the government trying to tell them how to raise their children as children in many states must have current vaccinations to attend public school. With respect, the government can have authority as to how someone raises their children. The government has laws detailing what constitutes child endangerment and abuse and failure for parents to remain well outside of these lines can result in parental incarceration and the movement of children into the foster care system. Federal law defines child abuse as "any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (childwelfare.gov, accessed July 24 2016). Although a parent cannot be incarcerated for refusing vaccinations, courts do recognize parens pattriae which states “neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation, and the government can restrict a parent’s rights in order to safeguard a child’s well-being” (Lemons ,2016 p.174). At the end of the day, it is the safety of the child, not the concerns of a parent which is at stake. It is not a parents right to expose children to “a potentially fatal infection” according to Dr. Paul Offit, adding, “There’s not a year that goes by at our hospital where we don’t see a child suffer and die from a vaccine-preventable disease” (as cited in Lemons, 2016 p.174). Is electing to forego vaccination not similar to leaving a c... ... middle of paper ... ...efits of vaccination far exceed any risk they may have except in the aforementioned contraindications to vaccination. Although some see the vaccination program as a means for financial gain, a mandatory vaccination program would more than pay for itself and would save the healthcare industry a vast amount of money. The issue that it is an attack on civil liberty will always be a concern, however this is to protect the health of children who do not have the ability to make their own medical decisions, and if that child’s parents are willing to expose them to a deadly preventable disease it is the responsibility of the government to protect the child. Although it has been proven that current schedules of vaccines do not render the immune system at a functional disadvantage, I do believe that those who wish to have a delayed vaccination schedule have the right to do so.

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