When society offers free and safe vaccination, it should also be possible to attach financial responsibility for the consequences to refusing to do so.
Citizens attitude towards taking coronary vaccination has been clarified (HS 4.10). According to the poll, a clear majority does not accept a refusal to receive a vaccine because of the principle. Health authorities, including doctors, do not consider coercion to be justified. However, coercion and freedom without responsibility are not the only options in this important solution for society as a whole.
The overall mortality rate in the corona is about two percent, which is quite high. The older the patient, the more deadly the disease. Indeed, those over 70 are in favor of coercion, while those under 30 are opposed to it.
Only One hundred years ago, a Spanish disease struck Finland, which was especially deadly among those under 30 years of age. The elderly had a mild illness. Coronary mortality in the under-30 age group is very low, but in unvaccinated over-70s it is already close to 10 percent. Would the views of young people and the elderly on vaccination remain the same if these figures were the opposite of what they were a hundred years ago?
The societal ethical problem, of course, would be the same: At what level of risk is it acceptable to put a group in danger to life in the name of individual freedom? How much financial investment is society prepared to make in defense of this freedom?
For adults, a coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be safe and significantly safer than the risk of non-vaccination in an epidemic. We therefore have two opposing values: the right of the individual to decide for himself and the responsibility of society to provide security for all its members against danger to life and health. In road safety, the freedom of the individual can be restricted. Should we now start thinking about the future in the fight against a dangerous disease as well?
Abstinence vaccinations have led to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of other diseases, as well as sick leave, numerous healthy quarantines, overloading of all health care capacity, unemployment and costly hospitalizations, and declining productivity and deaths. The exchange costs of full freedom are therefore the prolongation of the epidemic and the significant human, social and economic suffering.
There has been no counterweight in the horizontal cup of individual free choice. The costs are paid by the vast majority who act in a socially responsible manner.
Option no need to be forced. When society offers free and safe vaccination, it should also be possible to attach responsibility for the consequences to refusing it. Could we agree that refusing certain vaccinations for reasons of principle will lead to partial or even full liability for the treatment and incidental costs of this disease? This would apply, for example, to sick leave compensation.
Only then can it be said that a decision to refuse vaccination for reasons of principle is ethically fair for the whole. Current practice allows the ethos of selfishness to be realized while others bear the consequences of the act.
Medical Counselor, Turku
Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.
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