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Type: Journal article
Title: Should routine childhood immunizations be compulsory?
Author: Isaacs, D.
Kilham, H.
Marshall, H.
Citation: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2004; 40(7):392-396
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 1034-4810
Statement of
D Isaacs, HA Kilham and H Marshall
Abstract: Routine childhood immunizations are compulsory in a small number of countries, including the United States of America. Arguments used to justify making immunizations compulsory include enhancing the health of the community and treating as paramount the rights of the child to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. But compulsory immunization infringes the autonomy of parents to make choices about child rearing, an autonomy which we generally respect unless doing so seriously endangers the child's health. We present a historical review and ethics discussion on whether routine childhood immunizations should be compulsory. We conclude that, for both ethical and practical reasons, routine immunization should not be compulsory if adequate levels of immunization can be achieved by other means.
Keywords: bio-ethics; coercion; ethics; no fault compensation
Description: Article first published online: 22 JUN 2004
RMID: 0020042650
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2004.00399.x
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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