Bioethics Blogs

Mandatory Vaccinations???

In an earlier post, I argued that laws that allowed parents to refuse vaccinations on religious but not “philosophical” grounds, were incoherent and unconstitutional. I am happy to see that California is set to end both types of exemptions. The only remaining exemption would be for medical reasons.

Unfortunately, the penalty for not vaccinating a child is barring the child from school. I fear that the type of parents who refuse vaccinations are exactly the type who would try to home school their kids, without special training or preparation. And, one can’t help wondering how well these parents will teach science education and basic logic.

In addition, these unvaccinated kids would still be free to use playgrounds, go to libraries and museums, and therefore continue to pose a risk of infection to children who cannot be vaccinated because of, e.g., leukemia. Draconian as it sounds, maybe the time has come to require that all kids be vaccinated, on pain of criminal penalty.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.