Medical Doctors Violating Informed Consent Rights

In response to an editorial in The New York Times, October 12, 2006
Foolish Vaccine Exemptions

"The pendulum has swung too far toward letting parents opt out. States need to work harder at educating parents about the value of vaccination and should get tougher in granting exemptions." - Editorial, New York Times, October 12, 2006

"It is of paramount importance that the United States government stands on solid ethical and scientific ground before sanctioning experimental research on its citizens without their consent," the Iowa Republican [Senator Charles Grassley] said in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt." - Lisa Richwine, Reuters, October 11, 2006

"Four senior doctors at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and the Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera were arrested yesterday on suspicion of carrying out hundreds of illegal experiments on elderly patients without their consent. The doctors - including Shmuel Levy, deputy director of Kaplan-Hartzfeld, who was responsible for Hartzfeld; Nadya Kagansky; and Alona Smirnov - are suspected of wrongful death through negligence, abuse of helpless victims, aggravated assault, fraud, violation of a statutory obligation and interference in an investigation." - Jonathan Lis & Ran Reznik, Haaretz, Israel, October 10, 2206

Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:

When medical interventions are forced on individuals without their voluntary, informed consent, the human right to self determination and individual autonomy is violated. Medical doctors and scientists exploiting others for ideological reasons or personal and professional gain, using the immoral utilitarian rationale that some may be harmed for the theoretical benefit of many others, often require the consent of government officials to facilitate that exploitation. Therefore, it is extremely important for citizens to be vigilant and oppose all attempts by scientists, medical doctors and public health officials to erode individual rights when it comes to voluntary, informed health care decision making.

Those who choose to become scientists or medical doctors are not exempt from the temptations which plaque humans, including the desire for prestige, honor, money and power. Over time, the public health will not be benefited by an erosion of individual freedoms which serve as a needed check and balance on accumulaton of too much power by any one person or elite group within society.

An examination of the role that scientists and medical doctors, especially those in public health, have played in human rights abuses in history is very instructive and serves as a warning to those who would give up the right to informed consent to medical interventions, such as vaccination. The book "Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code" by George Annas and Michael Grodin reinforces the need for restrictions on the power that society takes away from individuals and gives to medical doctors and scientists - for any reason.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Very good article. Thanks!

Has there been any cases where people have been given a vaccination without there consent? I'm curious to see what the judicial system has ruled in the past. If you know of any cases please let me know. Thanks