Mandatory Vaccine Refusal Using Ethical Theories

Topics: Ethics, Vaccine, Vaccination Pages: 4 (1317 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Our lives are littered with problems, some have simple solutions but many especially the ones that pertain to our health or to the health of our families are extremely difficult to solve. Health is the most important thing that someone possesses, or in the words of Ghandi “It is health that is real wealth not pieces of gold and silver.” So when one has to make a decision about wealth they have the liberty to lose some, but when deciding about one’s health no one wants to lose some. The solution to such a sensitive problem is not as easy as choosing between A and B, there is far more to it! Many times an option that may be beneficial to an individual is not entirely accessible, affordable, or logical, so sacrifices have to be made! This is where such problems become extremely difficult to solve. Does one make a decision that benefits them or everyone as a whole? Does one accept and respect the decision made by a health care practitioner, or does one decide on their own? Furthermore, looking back at what happened in Dublin twelve years ago, can one allow a parent to deny their child access to the MMR vaccine, the lack of which happened to be the root cause in the case leaving three infants deceased? This paper will aim to justify that it is ethically not permissible for a guardian to refuse the MMR vaccine for their child, as it not only poses a risk for the child alone but also for all susceptible children in the community. This justification will be reinforced using two ethical theories that nullify the refusal of administration of the vaccine by a guardian, the first theory that will be exhausted will be Act Utilitarianism and further reinforced using W.D. Ross’s Ethical Pluralism theory. Act utilitarianism (AU) is a fairly straightforward theory with an obligation to equality and impartiality. It comprises of mainly utility and disutility, or in simple terms utility equates to happiness or something worth pursuing and disutility equates to unhappiness or...
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