Pros And Cons Of Vaccinations

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Vaccines have been a crowning achievement in modern society over the past 100 years and have been able to irradiate infectious diseases, such as polio, through mandatory vaccinations which have effectively eliminated the pathogen. This phenomenon is called Herd Immunity. Herd immunity is achieved when there is a sufficient level of vaccine protection in the population to prevent circulation of the disease to those who remain biologically susceptible (Swartz 21). While there are clear benefits for mandatory vaccinations, there are clear ethical dilemmas which are at work, that of the extent of the individual's responsibility to protect the entire population, their own desires to receive or not receive the vaccination and their right to autonomous decision making. Throughout this paper, I will outline these dilemmas and implement the ethical frameworks such as utilitarianism, Epicurean ethics, and Kantian ethics to focus on the ethical question at hand being “is it morally permissible to make vaccinations mandatory?” If the healthcare system took the Utilitarian approach to assess whether getting vaccinated should be mandatory then surely this would be the case. Utilitarianism looks at the foreseeable utility that one's action would produce. To do the right thing you try to do the greatest good you can and produce the most overall happiness. The implementation of a law making vaccinations mandatory for everyone would ensure immunity against a specific pathogen for all. As

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