Published November 17, 2016
Humans and infectious microbes have coexisted for as long as humans have walked the earth, and the human immune system...
— William Wilberforce
At the heart of this contentious debate about vaccine safety is a larger ethical issue: Do individuals have the moral right—and should they have the legal right—to make voluntary choices about whether to use all government-recommended and -mandated vaccines?
… There are compelling reasons to defend the ethical principle of informed consent and flexible vaccine exemptions in public health policies and laws. Vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person using a pharmaceutical product which has the inherent ability to result in the injury or death of that person. There is no guarantee that the introduction of lab altered killed or live microorganisms and other vaccine ingredients into the body of a healthy person will not compromise the health or cause the death of that person either immediately or in the future.
There are very few predictors that have been identified by medical science to give advance warning that an individual will suffer an injury or death after vaccination. The U.S. recommended child vaccine schedule has not been fully scientifically evaluated. Most vaccine injuries are not compensated and vaccine reactions are not reported in the U.S. There is no guarantee that a vaccine will protect a person from contracting or transmitting an infectious disease. The FDA and CDC openly state that the numbers of human subjects tested in clinical trials are too small to detect all serious vaccine-adverse events before licensure and widespread use.
The significant gaps in scientific knowledge about vaccine risks and failures and who is more vulnerable to suffering harm from vaccine use makes vaccination a medical procedure that could be viewed as experimental each time it is performed on an individual or released for widespread use in a population after licensure. This makes the legal right to informed consent to vaccination an even more important human right.
— Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)
Fisher BF. Opting Out: The Moral Right to Religious and Conscientious-Belief Exemptions to Vaccination Pathways Issue 38, Summer 2013.