The Case Of Mandatory Vaccination

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He states “one man’s freedom to murder his neighbor must be sacrificed to preserve the right of another man to live” (Friedman 1962, 26). This type of matter would be unanimously agreed upon, therefore government enforcement is irrelevant, according to Friedman. Yet, in the case of mandatory vaccines, agreement on protecting another’s life is not universal; therefore we must further justify a policy of mandatory vaccination.
Further justification for mandatory vaccinations is logically discerned by reading John Stuart Mill’s and Arthur Okun’s views on rights. In On Liberty, Mill articulates that the only form of acceptable coercion is through the “harm principle” or “other regarding.” This translates as no one can or should want to harm their neighbor; therefore, society can willingly accept vaccination to protect others (Colgrove 2006, 4). Opponents argue that “harm principle” is not applicable because the only direct consequence is the side effects and harm a person receives from the vaccination (Colgrove 2006, 4), not the indirect effects such as a susceptible person obtaining the disease from lack of herd immunity. In response, I would argue, it is impossible to comprehend all the consequences our actions. Therefore, the government’s role is to prevent citizens from creating externalities that potentially hurt our neighbors.
Enforcing a policy of mandatory vaccinations enables the government to prevent negative externalities, which harm our neighbors. This is a duty of
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