THAT is the question!
I recognize the need for public health policy. Knowledge of germ theory and sanitation throughout the public is paramount in this regard. But, as a libertarian (small L), I question the efficacy and efficiency of government-mandated measures to stave off disease.
Where does the public need trump private beliefs? Religion?
My maternal grandmother passed in 1919 due to the Worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic. Who knows how many lives could have been saved had a vaccine been available?
As a child in the 50’s, I contracted just about every ‘children’s’ malady known – measles, mumps, chicken pox (2X – yeah, I know, not supposed to happen!), whooping cough. It’s amazing I didn’t get polio, considering. I did participate in the nationwide polio vaccine distribution in the 1960’s.
Fast-forward to today. There is an ubiquitous meme (I’m certain fueled by the anti-corporation profit, ‘natural’ folks) that vaccines are laden with poisonous chemicals, and that in spite of their possible benefit, these chemicals cause autism in a percentage of growing children.
As a result, there is a minority of folks who have kept their children from being vaccinated. The incidence of measles, whooping cough and other maladies are on the rise, when previously they were essentially eradicated.
And, as with the polio vaccine, there is a small percentage of folks who develop diseases from the vaccine. An ‘acceptable’ percentage we are told.
Should parents be required to vaccinate their children by government mandate? Even though there is a small chance they will become ill?
There was a recent court case wherein parents were forced to have their daughter given chemotherapy, even though they believed in not administering such a medication. Of course, her cancer wasn’t contagious.
This is a complex issue, in my view. The rights of the individual versus the power of the State.
What do you guys think?
h/t Refdesk, Newsweek