Vaccines Have Risk and Require Informed Consent

“There are many unknowns, and there are no certainties,” concludes Dr. Orient. “But the physician must strive to do no harm, not even in the form of serving the collective good.” Increasingly expansive and coercive vaccine mandates place the supposed collective good of society above the right of patients or their parents to give or withhold informed consent, writes Jane M. Orient, M.D., in a guest editorial in the Journal of American Physicians ‘ fall issue.

Public health officials are continually claiming “vaccines are secure and efficient,” and “vaccine hesitation” is a significant threat to worldwide government health.

No medical intervention, however, is either 100% secure or 100% efficient. Some complications may be “very common,” but, Dr. Orient writes, patients may not be willing to take the risk of death or catastrophic lifelong disability for a gain that they perceive as tiny.

In addition, the risk of damage may be significantly higher than reported. One research proposed that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the fast safety-signal detection scheme for rare adverse events from vaccines, could report only 1 percent of severe responses. Ten years later, we don’t have any other data on reporting completeness.

Adult vaccines are likely to be mandated more commonly in the near future, particularly in perspective of outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and mumps in fully vaccinated adults whose vaccine-induced immunity appears to have decreased. AAPS participants frequently complain about the need to work in hospitals or other health equipment for influenza vaccine. Due to a request to demonstrate immunity or latest vaccination against some 15 distinct illnesses, one doctor withdrew an request for consulting privileges.

The dogma is that “vaccines are secure and efficient,” and it is our responsibility to safeguard against vaccine-preventable diseases the “herd,” particularly susceptible, immunosuppressed kids. It is almost certain to raise any question about this to cause vitriolic allegations of being a risk to the society as an “anti-scientific anti-vaxxer.” However, severe issues need to be explored with an open, critical mind.

The philosophical question is how much risk a individual may be forced to take, even to save another’s life. Tort law does not create a “obligation to rescue.” Should we override a religious objection or reluctance to take a danger because an unvaccinated kid may get measles and may expose an unvaccinated kid if a measles epidemic occurs? Where do we draw a line once we put the collective over individual rights?

A case of 1905 that maintained a mandate for vaccination against smallpox, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, is the precedent used to promote all mandates for vaccines. The cautions of the judges regarding the abuse of police powers have been ignored, while judicial interpretations have expanded to include the implied power to avoid epidemics, not just to react to current ones.

There is an “epidemic of doubt” and an “epidemic of distrust,” which is only exacerbated by labeling all skeptics as “anti-vaxx” and “anti-science.” Dr. Orient points to severe, otherwise unexplained adverse events and problematic vaccine ingredients including fetal DNA, retroviruses and adjuvants. The latter are used to boost the immune system with the ability to trigger autoimmune conditions in order to improve the efficacy of the vaccine.

“There are many unknowns, and there are no certainties,” concludes Dr. Orient. The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is released by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a domestic organisation that has been representing doctors in all specialties since 1943.

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