Essay about Law Can Address The Mm Outbreak

Essay about Law Can Address The Mm Outbreak

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Law can address the MM outbreak in multiple ways. First, tort law can be used to compensate individuals who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons if they become infected by a child who has not been vaccinated for non-medical reasons. To establish a case for negligence, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant had a duty to not harm, that duty was breached, and that harm was caused by said breach. Parents that choose not to vaccinate their child make a deliberate, conscious choice that substantially increases the risk that the rest of society is exposed to. This choice could be characterized as willful and wanton conduct, since the defendant acted with a reckless indifference to known consequences and breached the duty to act with appropriate care. However, remedial law is ex post facto and does not prevent harm. While it provides some deterrence, it is offset by the fact that plaintiffs do not always win. The remedial instrument is also slow and expensive, which excludes plaintiffs. The remedial instrument is therefore not an effective method of combating the MM outbreak.
Second, the penal instrument could be used by criminalizing the failure to vaccinate. Mandatory vaccination laws, found constitutional in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), could be passed, and failure to abide by them could be prosecuted. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons could be forced to pay fines or serve a jail term, depending on the circumstances of the case. Criminal law also allows states to hold parents responsible for the harm their unvaccinated children pose to other individuals. Since 5% of individuals with MM die, parents could even be charged under the reckless homicide statute, because they had a disr...


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...ccination ensures that there is little opportunity for an outbreak of MM to occur, and are therefore a public good because they increase public health and safety by reducing the risk of an epidemic, and also reduce the number of premature deaths from illness. The government could engage in public education campaigns on the benefits of vaccination, and means-test individuals to provide the MM vaccine for those unable to afford it. Administrative law in the form of the Public Health Service Act, which sets price controls for pharmaceuticals purchased by government agencies, ensures that the state will not have to spend an excessive amount of money on vaccine acquisition and distribution. Since a combination of administrative and public benefit law targets the largest number of people, it is the most effective method of addressing the increased number of MM infections.

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