Topic – “Are compulsory vaccinations ever justifiable?”
Explaining contemporary ethical and legal problems in healthcare and relevancy of ethical and legal theories and concepts
A vaccine is a biological preparation which provides immunity against a certain disease. These vaccines contains medically treated agents which are developed to weaken a microbe and kill disease causing microorganisms. It has always been a topic of debate that, are compulsory vaccines ever be justifiable or not. Various governmental authorities has adopted this technique of compulsory vaccines, in order to reduce the rate of a particular disease. There are various ethical and legal issues faced by compulsory vaccination programme. The first most issue which is raised by this programme is the concept of mandates. It has been considered that in current scenario parents are well aware about medical requirements of their children due to which it is considered as unnecessary. Various educational institutions demands vaccination certificates before admitting any student in their institutes due to which various objections has been raised. As children which does not has any need of a specific vaccine has to take it because of this compulsions. Another legal issue which is raised is vaccine research and testing. Under this legal issue, it has been said that all vaccines must be certified to governmental medical authority and every vaccination programme must be licensed. But due to failed efforts of proper control and management, various issues regarding vaccine testing has faced. Third legal issue which is considered as the most impactful is informed consent. To reduce the rate of some serious disease, few governmental authorities proposed a plan that a child or its parents should not be informed about vaccination and must be injected at the time of their birth. Certain patient advocates believe that specific consent in ethical and adequate due to which conflict arises (Schwartz and et.al., 2013).
There are various legal and ethical theories and concepts which are developed to protect the rights to patients and to protect society from harmful diseases. The most influenced theory which helped in resolving issues raised from compulsory vaccination is awareness theory. This theory is followed by most of the countries as it is considered as the most safe and undebatable approach of vaccination. Under this theory, awareness about importance of vaccines is spread in order to ensure safe environment for society. Many countries has adopted the approach of good parenting where training is provided to would be parents through nursing homes. Main aim behind using this theory is to aware society about harmful effects of diseases which can be prevented by few vaccines. This awareness is spread by using various mediums such as digital media, nursing homes etc. The problems of mandates, research and testing, informed consent and others can be managed by this theory. These key ethical issues which can ruin efforts of governmental vaccination programme can be resolved by this theory (Klug, 2011).
Analysing healthcare practices and its needs to identify and critically evaluate the ethical and legal challenges facing healthcare practitioners
Compulsory vaccination is not only a problem of patients and their family but also to practitioners. Doctors and nurses engaged in the programme of compulsory vaccination has to suffer from various ethical and legal problems. This programme is considered as a never ending debate as it has both positive and negative impacts on society. In order to resolve these issues faced by patients, practitioners and society, there are few practices conducted by governmental authorities.
The most successful practice for the prevention of issues of compulsory vaccination is education and awareness. It is considered that the major problem of vaccination refusal is fear. In order to evade the fear of vaccinations, information about vaccines benefit is spread to the society to make them aware about the benefits of this programme. In this practice, issue of society and patients are effective solved as they are not forced to have a vaccine. But are suitably informed about the all aspects of vaccination (Social and Committee on Bioethics, 2013).
Another practice which is usually conducted by governmental authorities is approaching educational institutions. In this practice, hospitals and nursing homes are send to various educational institutes to provide vaccination facilities to their students. Typically compulsory vaccination programmes are developed for children and in order to ensure their safety, schools and other institutions are approached. Free camps for these vaccination programmes are also practised. In this practice, doctors and other nursing staff arranges monthly or annually camps in which free vaccines are provided along with all the information about them. Main aim of these practices is to build a safe environment for society. Awareness is a suitable practice for patients and on the other hand approaching educational institutions is a suitable practice for practisers as it protects doctors from any legal or ethical issue (Ottenberg and et.al., 2011).
Ethical and legal issues faced by patients, practitioners and society can be resolved by some practices and theories which are mentioned above. Compulsory vaccination is not only a problem of undeveloped and non privileged countries but also a issue to developed country. World health organisation is an authority which provides laws and ethics for compulsory vaccination. Practices like educating society is the most effective but time consuming theory due to which in some circumstances, programme of compulsory vaccination is also used.
From the above essay, it has been concluded that with the help of suitable theory and practices, ethical and legal issues for compulsory vaccination can be resolved. It has been observed that suitable medical authorities are responsible for identifying these practices and theories.
Books and Journal:
Schwartz, R. L., and et.al., 2013. Health law: cases, materials and problems. West Academic Publishing.
Kluge, E. H. W., 2011. Ethical and legal challenges for health telematics in a global world: telehealth and the technological imperative. International journal of medical informatics. 80(2). pp.e1-e5.
Social, G. and Committee on Bioethics, 2013. Ethical and policy issues in genetic testing and screening of children.Pediatrics, pp.peds-2012.
Ottenberg, A. L., and et.al., 2011. Vaccinating health care workers against influenza: the ethical and legal rationale for a mandate. American Journal of Public Health. 101(2). pp.212-216.