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Ethics and vaccination

Krantz, Ingela LU ; Sachs, L and Nilstun, Tore LU (2004) In Scandinavian Journal of Public Health1999-01-01+01:00 32(3). p.172-178
Abstract
Background: Immunization programmes are ethically defensible and society has a significant role to play in providing vaccination against measles and safeguarding herd immunity to optimize its individuals' capabilities. Since preventive actions interfere with individuals who consider themselves as healthy, public health strategies - as distinct from advice in a clinical consultation - require something approaching certainty as to benefits and possible side effects of an intervention. The principle of individual autonomy, a fundamental value in bioethics, often makes discussions covering ethical issues in public health interventions difficult and non-productive as to practical solutions. In encounters intended to provide information on... (More)
Background: Immunization programmes are ethically defensible and society has a significant role to play in providing vaccination against measles and safeguarding herd immunity to optimize its individuals' capabilities. Since preventive actions interfere with individuals who consider themselves as healthy, public health strategies - as distinct from advice in a clinical consultation - require something approaching certainty as to benefits and possible side effects of an intervention. The principle of individual autonomy, a fundamental value in bioethics, often makes discussions covering ethical issues in public health interventions difficult and non-productive as to practical solutions. In encounters intended to provide information on vaccination, discussions regarding risks tend to simplify the issue into an individual one: either the child gets measles or not, or is affected by side effects or not. Method and conclusions: A model is suggested for identification and analysis of the ethical conflicts in measles vaccination programmes, which contains two different dimensions: the affected persons and the relevant ethical principles. Justice as solidarity, not utility, should be paired with autonomy in ethical deliberations on preventive health interventions such as a vaccination programme for measles. If the goal is solidarity rather than conformity, the parents must be free to decide what they think is right, because that is what moral responsibility is all about. Solidarity, however, could never be accepted as an argument without parents trusting the messages from the health institutions and availability of reasonable societal support for those who claim an association between vaccinations and possible side effects. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
solidarity, public health, measles, justice, autonomy, ethics, vaccination
in
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health1999-01-01+01:00
volume
32
issue
3
pages
172 - 178
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • pmid:15204177
  • wos:000221757600003
  • scopus:3543113762
ISSN
1651-1905
DOI
10.1080/14034940310018192
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8d390be8-86f1-403b-9eaa-2cf7bf5da7ad (old id 275777)
date added to LUP
2007-10-23 19:32:26
date last changed
2017-09-17 07:03:30
@article{8d390be8-86f1-403b-9eaa-2cf7bf5da7ad,
  abstract     = {Background: Immunization programmes are ethically defensible and society has a significant role to play in providing vaccination against measles and safeguarding herd immunity to optimize its individuals' capabilities. Since preventive actions interfere with individuals who consider themselves as healthy, public health strategies - as distinct from advice in a clinical consultation - require something approaching certainty as to benefits and possible side effects of an intervention. The principle of individual autonomy, a fundamental value in bioethics, often makes discussions covering ethical issues in public health interventions difficult and non-productive as to practical solutions. In encounters intended to provide information on vaccination, discussions regarding risks tend to simplify the issue into an individual one: either the child gets measles or not, or is affected by side effects or not. Method and conclusions: A model is suggested for identification and analysis of the ethical conflicts in measles vaccination programmes, which contains two different dimensions: the affected persons and the relevant ethical principles. Justice as solidarity, not utility, should be paired with autonomy in ethical deliberations on preventive health interventions such as a vaccination programme for measles. If the goal is solidarity rather than conformity, the parents must be free to decide what they think is right, because that is what moral responsibility is all about. Solidarity, however, could never be accepted as an argument without parents trusting the messages from the health institutions and availability of reasonable societal support for those who claim an association between vaccinations and possible side effects.},
  author       = {Krantz, Ingela and Sachs, L and Nilstun, Tore},
  issn         = {1651-1905},
  keyword      = {solidarity,public health,measles,justice,autonomy,ethics,vaccination},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {172--178},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Public Health1999-01-01+01:00},
  title        = {Ethics and vaccination},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14034940310018192},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2004},
}