Vaccines

Seeking Balance in Vaccination Laws

The issue of mandatory vaccination is a thorny one for libertarians. A tension exists between the rights of the individual and the rights of the general public.

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With the recent reemergence of measles in the U.S.—a highly contagious viral infection that was once presumed eradicated by the measles vaccine—calls have come from various quarters for the mandatory vaccination of people against communicable diseases. This has made its way into politics, as various potential Presidential candidates feverishly assert their support for getting immunized, while at the same time trying painstakingly to avoid any controversy.

The issue of mandatory vaccination is a thorny one for libertarians. A tension exists between the rights of the individual and the rights of the general public. No person should be forced to have something injected into one's body—whether or not it is potentially harmful or life threatening.  On the other hand, other members of the community also have a right to be free from force. And a threat to their health or life by a person carrying a highly contagious disease can be a form of aggression. The challenge lies in achieving a proper balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the general public to both be free from aggression.

It has recently been suggested that mandatory vaccination be a precondition for enrollment in Medicaid. After all, "if you want the taxpayer to pick up the tab, you follow standards of care." Otherwise the taxpayer winds up picking up an even bigger tab if the Medicaid patient contracts a serious infectious illness. This proposal makes sense.

Even under the Affordable Care Act, nobody is forced to seek taxpayer-funded health care through a government-run exchange. It is a voluntary transaction. The person who seeks enrollment in Medicaid is not prohibited from using cash or charity or purchasing private health insurance (free of subsidies) outside of any exchange.

Private health insurance companies, of course, should have every right to require vaccination as a condition of selling the policy to a subscriber—or to risk-adjust the premium rate for those who choose not to get vaccinated. This is a private, voluntary transaction. Notice I wrote, "should." Under the ACA, the costs of those who choose to not get vaccinated get passed along to everyone, because insurance is "community rated" and "guaranteed issue" under the ACA.  Under the ACA people may not be charged different premiums on the basis of different risks (as is the case in a true insurance market). Under a truly market-based system, the cost would be borne by the person who chooses not to get vaccinated, in the form of a higher premium, and wouldn't be "socialized."

It has also been suggested by some libertarians that vaccination be a mandatory precondition of admission to public schools—with almost no exception. But attending a public school is not analogous to enrolling in Medicaid.

K-12 education has been mandatory in most states since the beginning of the 20th century, and the government-monopoly school system makes it very difficult (and unaffordable to many) to obtain the education by any means other than the public school system. Most people cannot afford to support the public school system through the taxes they pay and still have enough money left over to pay for private or parochial school (although some parents of modest means make heroic sacrifices to do so). And not everyone has the time or capability to engage in home schooling. When it comes to enrolling children in public schools, most parents are trapped.

It is also dangerous to use government-funded monopolies which people are mandated use as leverage to extract certain behaviors from people. It becomes a slippery slope. One day it can be mandated vaccination. The next day it can become mandated weight-loss or mandated time spent at the gym–or mandated indoctrination in some viewpoint with which the parents may disagree.

For this reason, this libertarian physician doesn't support mandatory vaccinations as a precondition for admission to public school. I favor opt-outs for religious or personal belief reasons, as is the case in my state of AZ, California, and many if not most states.

I suggest what I think might be a reasonable way to "thread the needle" on this tough issue: allow a public school to require that parents keep their children out of school in the event of an outbreak of a contagious disease for which they refused vaccination, and not allow the children back into school until the threat has been deemed to have ended by public health authorities. This way, the parents must weigh their perceived risk of vaccinating their child against the risk of their child missing a significant amount of school days.

While this may not be a perfect solution, I think it provides a practical way to accommodate the rights of individuals and parents with the legitimate safety concerns of the population.

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  1. Appreciate the attempts at “threading the needle”. Sorry to get hang dog, but adding reasonable measures to the ACA only prolongs it. Rush to the other side and capsize the f***er by introducing as many absurd adjustments as possible.

  2. I agree eith the author that mandatory vax is a complex issue for libertarians who approach the issue thoughtfully. As someone who supports vaccination, I am terrified of providing the government with the power to force citizens into medical procedures. We live in a country where forced sterilization and abortions were a reality for a long time and in some places (north carolina) such forced procedures took place very recently. Todays vaxx could prove a justification for something truly awful tomorrow.

    1. There will always be one or more complex issues for anyone with any -ism who approaches the issues carefully. There are situations that are not resolvable on principle by that -ism because there are grey areas where any principle applied turns that area into a slippery slope. Sorry, -ist (-ists of any kind of -ism), but such situations are just going to have to be resolved by compromise because the extreme on either end of the grey area is absurd. So compromise and don’t worry that the point of compromise satisfies no principle and is therefore easily changeable. Save the principles for issues that principles can be easily appied to, and don’t worry that your -ism isn’t applicable to everything, because nobody else’s -ism is, either.

      1. I know have an irresistible urge to listen to John Lennon…

        1. Sorry, “now”

      2. … There are situations that are not resolvable…

        That does not apply here.

        Libertarian principles hold that individuals are self-owners. Mandating vaccinations violates self-ownership. Period.

  3. OT: In yesterday’s spanking thread, free society linked to an article about the supposed bad effects of spanking. I noticed this in the article:

    “[I.Q.] scores were slightly lower among children whose *mothers* reported using spanking as a form of discipline.”

    [emphasis added]

    Another study was about single mothers spanking their two-year olds or some such thing.

    The Pope’s remarks, and verse of Proverbs I quoted, involved *fathers* disciplining their children. From the article, they must not have found bad effects from this.

    1. Here’s a study supposedly finding bad results if Dad spanks his five year old:

      http://www.healthywomen.org/co…..tudy-finds

      1. Nut graf:

        “Spanking by fathers did not appear to have an effect on later behavior. However, it did have an effect on a child’s language skills by age 9, the researchers found.

        “Children whose fathers spanked them frequently at age 5 were much more likely to score poorly on tests that judged their receptive vocabulary, which is the ability to recognize and understand words upon hearing or reading them.”

        1. According to the article, “frequently” = “twice weekly or more.”

          1. The “effect on later behavior” which the study seemed to look for was a *negative* effect, since the paragraph preceding was about how “[n]ine-year-olds who were spanked at least twice a week by their mother at age 3 or 5 are much more likely to break rules and act aggressively than children who weren’t spanked”

        2. …did have an effect on…

          Correlation != causation.

          What if it were true that parents with lower IQs tend to have children with lower IQs and tend to spank more often? And there are other possible explanations for this correlation.

          This is another example of poor science (or pseudoscience) used in sociology.

          1. Of course, but being as charitable as possible to these “scientists,” all their results mean are (a) Mom should leave the spanking to Dad, and (b) Dad should reserve the spanking for truly bad behavior, not normal rambunctiousness.

            The “scientists” aren’t going to say this because they’re predetermined to denounce *all* spanking based on (supposed) evidence of the harm of spanking in certain dysfunctional situations, and anyway the results seem to indicate differences between the sexes, which is not permissible to say.

            1. None of the alleged results contradict what the Pope said:

              “”A good *father* knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the bottom of his heart. Of course he can also discipline with a firm hand: he’s not weak, submissive, sentimental,” he said.

              “”This *father* knows how to discipline *without demeaning;* he knows how to protect without *restraint*.””

              [emphasis added]

              http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02…..index.html

              The kind of people who object to this are the kind of people who object to vaping because it looks like smoking.

              As if there’s no difference between Dad coming home and saying “your mother tells me you swung the cat around by the tail. I’ll have to spank you for hurting that poor creature,” versus divorced or never-married Mom coming home from work and bringing little Caleb or Ma’alik with her, but the boy keeps running around and screaming despite Mom’s shouts of “stop!” so finally Mom picks up the boy and hits him repeatedly.

  4. This is not a complex political issue because it shouldn’t be a political issue at all. It is a medical and scientific issue. The question isn’t “should vaccines be mandatory”. The question is “should this vaccine be mandatory”. And that is a scientific question or a really a set of them.

    1. How harmful and contagious is the disease?
    2. How effective is the vaccine?
    3. How harmful are the side effects of the vaccine?

    Generally utilitarian calculations are evil. Unfortunately sometimes they are forced upon you. Utilitarian calculations are evil when the choice is to either do nothing and know there will be no effects of that or do something and achieve some good at the cost of some harm. There you are using people as a means to an end because you can always do nothing and avoid both the good and the harm.

    Sometimes life isn’t that easy. Sometimes the choice is do nothing and watch this harm occur or do something and achieve some good at the cost of some harm. In those situations you have no choice but to use some kind of utilitarian calculus because doing nothing results in some harm and prevents you from just walking away from the decision without cost.

    1. Vaccines are one of those times. If you don’t require them in some cases, there will be real harm. Saying people should die because we can’t violate the principle of personal autonomy is no better than saying people should die because we must achieve some great project. In both cases people are being harmed for some end without their consent.

      Not all vaccines should be mandatory. Some, maybe should be. The answer to that depends on the science involved not politics.

      1. “Not all vaccines should be mandatory. Some, maybe should be. The answer to that depends on the science involved not politics.”

        I’m reluctant to suggest that the right to choose whether something is injected into your body should depend on science.

        There may be scientific reasons to avoid or minimize vaccinations for reasons that have nothing to do with crank conspiracy theories about “big pharma” and autism.

        “The IL-23 receptor gene is not the only one thought to be associated with I.B.D., but it seems an especially good candidate. “The IL-23 immune pathway was already implicated in I.B.D., psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis,” said Dr. Richard H. Duerr, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11…..7gene.html

        Even if some parents only suspect their children have a genetic predisposition to developing an autoimmune disorder, it is entirely reasonable for such parents to weigh the benefits of “herd immunity” against the risk of possibly exacerbating a genetic time bomb.

        With that being said–since when should our right to make choices for ourselves only be respected if we’re making our choice for smart reasons?

        Does the right to choose our own religion disappear if the religion we choose is stupid? Does the First Amendment only protect smart speech–or are people free to choose to say stupid things, too?

        1. If the science says a vaccine does more harm than good, then it shouldn’t be required. Again, it is a scientific question.

          Concerning that issue, when you consider the enormous amount of harm done by childhood disease before vaccines, it is almost impossible to imagine any valid scientific case being made that the harm of proven effective vaccines for things like mumps and polio outweigh the benefits. Regardless, it is a scientific issue for each vaccine.

          1. The issue for kids with a genetic predisposition for hyperactive autoimmune disorders isn’t between exacerbating their risk or reintroducing mumps, measles, and rubella.

            There are benefits associated with herd immunity.

            According to this, the MMR vaccine can be as little as 88% effective.

            http://www.usnews.com/news/art…..es-rubella

            If there are 70 million children in the U.S., that means more than 15 million are not protected–even though they were vaccinated. Those children still enjoy the benefit of the other 55 million children who were vaccinated–for whom the vaccine was effective.

            That means that if an outbreak occurs, it won’t spread very far–and is less likely to infect those for whom the vaccine was ineffective.

            The kids who don’t get vaccinated enjoy the benefit of that herd immunity, too, and parents who choose to balance the risk of their children against measles, mumps and rubella vs. the risk of the MMR vaccine possibly exacerbating their child’s proclivity for hyperactive autoimmune disorders are not being entirely irrational.

            It certainly isn’t a choice between their child getting the mumps or their child getting the vaccine. It’s managing the risk of one vs. the risk of the other. And if you consider that those who were not vaccinated are facing the same risk as some 15 million children who were vaccinated, joining their ranks seems even less entirely unreasonable.

      2. … If you don’t require them in some cases, there will be real harm…

        Utterly false.

        First, healthy, non-infectious individuals, regardless of inoculation status, do not spread disease.

        Second, outbreaks occur even in populations with 100% documented vaccination rates.

        Vaccinations are not the Kevlar vest they have been sold to be. And focusing on who is vaccinated and who is not distracts from the real issue of infectious people (regardless of immunization status) going to work/school and not taking precautions to avoid exposing others.

      3. “Saying people should die because we can’t violate the principle of personal autonomy….” Strawman. Nobody says that. What they say is that the principle of personal autonomy requires that individuals assess, mitigate, and be held responsible for their own risk. Not having a measles vaccine does not mean you have the measles. If that were the case, then the outbreak in california would probably be on the order of thousands, and not dozens. So really, unvaccinated people who have not actually spread a disease have not done anyone any harm. Just like a gun owner who has not shot anyone has not done anyone any harm and should not be looked upon as though he were just a potential mass murderer.

    2. See Robert L. Formaini’s “The Myth of Scientific Public Policy”. Formaini’s a libertarian, and the example he takes up most of the short book with happens to be swine flu.

      Utilitarian calculations aren’t evil, just cruel. They depend on someone’s relative valuations and override other people’s. And they can’t be helped in some situations. That’s the way reality is. Reality is cruel.

    3. Just because science is involved doesn’t mean there aren’t other important considerations, such as probabilities of various outcomes, people’s preferences and risk aversion. For example, the science behind driving is crystal clear: the fewer miles driven by society the fewer deaths from accidents. So I might argue that we should ban driving. It’ll save thousands of lives. Of course, it’ll have some costs, but I believe it’s worth it. I’m sure a lot of other people would think the costs outweighs the benefits. Science can’t settle that.

      1. exactly. Science doesn’t make moral recommendations or have anything to say about subjective valuation.

    4. This became a political issue the moment question number 4 comes into place.

      4. Should the government force an individual to get vaccinated on pain of fine, imprisonment, or death?

      If only the government or those who seek to use the government as their bludgeon to get others to do what they want them to just stayed out of it and let the scientists promote convincing evidence, this wouldn’t be a political issue.

      Knowledge only become an issue of politics when force becomes involved.

    5. And who determines the “science”? The Government? No thanks.

    6. Forcing people by law to inject something into their bodies is of course a political issue, since the enactment of laws is a political issue.

      Why are you even on a libertarian site if you don’t agree to libertarian principles?
      Libertarians believe in the principle of nonagression. That principle is clear: You cannot force others to inject something into their bodies.

      What you can do is requiring vaccines to attend schools or universities. You can open shops that allow only vaccinated people in. You can create gated communities exclusively for vaxxers.

      But forcing other people to get vaccinated under threat of violence is irreconcilable with libertarianism.

  5. Leviticus Chapter 13
    45 And the leper in whom the plague [is], his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.
    46 All the days wherein the plague [shall be] in him he shall be defiled; he [is] unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp [shall] his habitation [be].

    Thus sayeth the Lord.

    1. Who’s Jesus in this story?

      1. The correct answer is Melchizedek.

  6. when is Reason going to fix mobile? it’s pathetic

    1. It’s not just mobile. For many years, HyR’s been a resource hog that tends to crash systems.

  7. The right to choose what is and isn’t injected into our bodies seems like a pretty fundamental right.

    If any private employer wants to insist that you need to be vaccinated against x, y, and z, as a condition of employment, then I think they should be free to make that a condition of employment.

    People who don’t want to be vaccinated should be free to choose to go work somewhere else.

    If any school, public or private, wants to insist that all the children who attend that school must be vaccinated against x, y, and z, then I think they should be free to make that a condition of attending.

    If some parents don’t like that, they should be free to choose home school.

    If Disney wants to insist that all children who enter their theme parks are vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella, then the libertarian solution is not to use the government to coerce vaccination.

    People being free to make choices for themselves is fundamental to a free society. People, businesses, and schools should be free to choose to limit the risks to themselves, their customers, and their students in various ways–and that is all the balance that is necessary.

    A society in which people aren’t allowed to make choices that may negatively impact other people is not a free society. It isn’t fundamentally different from a society in which no one is free to make choices unless they’re in everyone else’s best interests.

    1. The right to freely walk around in public is a fundamental right as well. It is just as fundamental and valuable as my right to determine what goes into my body. Given that, should I have the right to freely move in public even though I have a contagious disease?

      If the government can lock me in what amounts to jail in the name of public health, why can’t it tell me to take a vaccine? Sure in one case I am contagious and in the other, I might become contagious. That, however, seems to me to be a distinction without difference in most cases. If it is possible for me to contract and pass the sickness before I know I have it, my walking around in public vaccinated creates a real health risk to the public. Just because it is less of risk than if I were known to be sick doesn’t make it an insignificant risk or a risk so different in kind that the justification to violate my rights no longer applies, especially since the violation of giving me a vaccine is significantly less than the violation of quarantining me.

      Again, it is a scientific question. Just how much of a threat to others does my failure to get vaccinated create? The answer to that question tells you whether the government has a right to force me to do it.

      1. Walking around in public with an infectious diseases is a threat and should be dealt with accordingly. If someone were walking around with a gun, pointing it at people and pretending to pull the trigger, few would object to forcibly stopping him. The same principle applies to infected individuals, although the remedies needn’t be as drastic.

        1. Walking around unvaccinated is a threat under certain circumstances. If people stop getting these vaccines, these diseases will return and people will die.

          All you are telling me is that it is not an immediate threat. Big fucking deal. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat or the harm not real just because it occurs later. The principle in both cases is the same; the government has a right to violate your rights in the name of protecting public health. If you don’t believe in that principle, and nothing says you have to, you don’t believe in quarantines. If you do, then you can’t object to requiring vaccines on the basis of any kind of principle. You just objecting because you don’t think the harm it prevents is worth the harm doing so causes. And that is a scientific question not a political one. The answer to it is determined by the dangerousness of the disease and the effectiveness of the vaccine.

          1. You are arguing about forcing people to mitigate risks.

            If enough people stop getting vaccinations…
            If an unvaccinated person gets sick
            If that disease doesn’t show symptoms

            These are all risks of harm. Just as allowing people freedom of travel exposes us to many of the same risks. Just as allowing people to own arms exposes us to the risk of accidental or intentional deaths.

            But history has shown us that people mitigate these risks all by themselves. The Disney case is so remarkable because it is so rare. Have we swung in the wrong direction? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that the voluntary system that has been so successful can’t recoup that backslide.

            1. John you say that science compels a freedom limiting decision. I say it compells the exact opposite.

              Any objective review of the past 100 years clearly shows the success of a completely voluntary system. The few deaths this year aren’t even rounding errors compared to the number of lives saved in the voluntary system.

              Indeed the number of deaths are insignificant compared to the already small number of anti-vaxxers. You are asking to cross a major line in coercion to shave off hundredths of a percent of risk. You are letting sensational stories, bias against Luddites, and your personal fears to cloud an objective view of the facts.

              1. My compliments.

                This is the best argument I have seen against compulsory vaccination.

                Voluntary vaccination is a huge success, so don’t fix what ain’t broke!

          2. Not comparable. Unvaccinated is a threat only in the same sense that my driving around is a threat that the brakes may fail, the gas tank may leak, or I may have a heart attack.

            Having an infectious disease is entirely different.

          3. Walking around unvaccinated is a threat under certain circumstances…

            Yeah… when they are infectious. But, walking around vaccinated is a threat under the exact same circumstances (being infectious).

            Healthy, non-infectious people, vaccinated or not, do not spread diseases. Infectious people, vaccinated or not, spread diseases.

            Focusing on the unvaccinated and the “anti-vaxxers” is distracting from the real issue. The real issue is people getting sick / being infectious (regardless of their innoculation status) but taking few, if any, precautions against infecting others. That is what needs to be addressed.

      2. “Given that, should I have the right to freely move in public even though I have a contagious disease?”

        I certainly believe you should be free to sue someone for negligence.

        I can understand why someone who is infected with Ebola might be legally quarantined–just like I understand why someone who is mentally ill and violent might be committed to a mental institution.

        I do not understand why that would suggest that people shouldn’t be free to choose what is or isn’t injected into their bodies.

        1. I certainly believe you should be free to sue someone for negligence.

          That is an absurd answer Ken. I don’t want to get sick in the first place. Suing you after I get sick and possibly die is of no help. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to determine. So even if I found the thought of filing a lawsuit comforting, chances are I would never know who I could sue.

          When you say “but you can sue” you are really saying “I don’t give a fuck if you get sick, people’s right to move around in public is more important than your right not to be harmed and it is your job to die for this right.”

          I can understand why someone who is infected with Ebola might be legally quarantined

          Then you agree the government has the right to violate someone’s rights to protect other people’s health.

          I do not understand why that would suggest that people shouldn’t be free to choose what is or isn’t injected into their bodies.

          Yes you do. You understand why they can lock someone up with ebola. So you understand why they can make them take a shot. The same thing is going on in both cases.

          1. “That is an absurd answer Ken. I don’t want to get sick in the first place. Suing you after I get sick and possibly die is of no help.”

            Well how do you feel about the Second Amendment, John?

            Do you think the government should wait until after I commit a crime with a gun to prosecute me, or do you think they should just ban guns for everybody ahead of time?

          2. “Then you agree the government has the right to violate someone’s rights to protect other people’s health.”

            I believe that the cops should be free to shoot a criminal who is actively running around arbitrarily shooting at other people.

            That isn’t violating someone’s rights anymore than throwing someone in jail for arbitrarily shooting people is violating someone rights.

            If you’re walking around with Ebola, you might as well be a terrorist with a bioweapon.

            Meanwhile, you seem to be having a hard time differentiating between the risk of something happening and the thing actually happening.

            We don’t ban guns because people might use them to commit crimes. We arrest, try, and convict people for using a gun to commit a crime.

            1. “I believe that the cops should be free to shoot a criminal who is actively running around arbitrarily shooting at other people.”

              This has happened like 6 times in all of recorded history. Please shut the fuck up.

              1. Regardless of how many times it’s happened, the point remains that if government has any legitimate function at all, it’s protecting our rights.

                …from criminals, among other things.

                People who aren’t vaccinating their kids and taking a risk, however, are not necessarily violating other people’s rights–and the government has a responsibility to protect their right to choose what is and isn’t injected into their bodies and the bodies of their children.

                Incidentally, I don’t believe the government is violating a criminal’s right to arbitrarily shoot people when the cops shoot a criminal that’s shooting at them or someone else.

                Such criminals have willingly forfeited their right not to be shot at–it’s just like in a case of self-defense. The Second Amendment gives you the right to choose to own a gun. It doesn’t give you the right to violate someone else’s rights to life, liberty, and property with a gun.

                The question is whether someone who refuses to be vaccinated is violating other people’s rights, and the answer is no. Refusing to have your children injected with something is not in itself violating someone else’s rights.

                But sending your kid that isn’t vaccinated to a public school might be.

            2. Ken, to use your terminology, walking around with Ebola is not an example of a [harmful] thing happening [to others]. It is just a risk of a [harmful] thing happening [to others]. And there may be absolutely no intent to harm anyone. So if you agree that such people can be quarantined, you believe that the risks to others is sufficient enough to violate a right.

          3. Yeah, I don’t give a fuck if you get sick. Not my problem.

      3. In a libertarian world, the “right to freely walk around in public” wouldn’t exist: you would need to have implicit or explicit permission from the property owner. In this world, the effective owners of “public” places are usually governments. So wouldn’t it be reasonable to need permission to walk around from them, too?

      4. Given that, should I have the right to freely move in public even though I have a contagious disease?

        I would say, “no”, and that you have a responsibility to self-quarantine if you are infectious.

        However, that is a different question from, “should I be free to walk around unvaccinated?”. Being unvaccinated != having a contagious disease, and being vaccinated != not having a contagious disease.

        The real litmus test is, are you infectious/contagious? You immunization status is irrelevant.

      5. You keep saying it’s a “scientific question,” but who determines the science? Who is the peer review to determine whether x is effective? What percentage of scientists have to agree x is effective to mandate it? Saying it’s a “scientific question” is just outsourcing our liberty to a tribunal of people not necessarily interested in our health but rather beholden to special interests of one side or another. No thanks.

      6. You also have the right to walk into a national park. You may get killed by wolfes or a bear as a consequence.

        Your right to walk into a national park does NOT give you the right to kill all the wild animals living there.

        Besides that, 99.99999% of unvaccinated people are not a risk to anyone. There are other far more dangerous things in public.

    2. Except that public schools are funded by involuntary taxes. It’s just another reason to eliminate publicly funded schools or at least implement vouchers.

      Jails are a different matter, since few people voluntary pay to be jailed 🙂

      1. “Except that public schools are funded by involuntary taxes. It’s just another reason to eliminate publicly funded schools or at least implement vouchers.”

        Yeah, people who never had children or send their children to private schools are forced to pay property taxes and fund the local public school system, too.

        Just because you’re forced to pay for something, however, doesn’t mean your children should also be forcibly injected with something against your will.

        There are lots of good reasons for vouchers. Not having them isn’t a good reason for the government to forcibly inject something into children’s bodies against their parents’ will.

        1. No, it’s not a good reason, but it’s the excuse the proggies use.

    3. Right on.

    4. What Ken says.

  8. balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the general public

    The idea of “the rights of the general public” as separable from individual rights is … problematic.

    1. Intensely.

    2. The idea of “the rights of the general public” as separable from individual rights is … problematic.

      Agreed.

      Only individuals have rights. The “general public” does not.

  9. What is we had universal school vouchers? You remove the financial drain on the person.

    Public schools are petri dishes, and little billy the cancer patient deserves the ability to go to a school where his life is not in danger just because susan’s mom believes Jenny McCarthy more than medical science.

    Everyone has the freedom to be stupid, no one has the freedom to stupidly put others at risk.

    Another option would be to explicitly establish a new class of tort claims for damages caused through infection outbreaks spawned by those who have purposefully remained unvaccinated.

    1. You dumb asshole, it’s not a question of having the “freedom to stupidly put others at risk”, it’s a question of whether the government has the power to FORCE you to take a drug that they claim will help others. Go to Gawker with that shit, you fucking statist.

  10. Outlaw Disneyland

  11. Hey, you use your property the way you want to, I’ll use mine the way I want to.

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  13. If you are coming into this country (citizen or not) then you have to have been vaccinated.

    1. If you are coming into this country (citizen or not) then you have to have been vaccinated.

      Not if you come into this country illegally…

      For the decade 2001 – 2011, 88% of all measles cases were “import related” [table on page 15].

  14. What are you talking about? The libertarian solution is simple, private ostracism. Anyone not vaccinating is shunned and shamed and not allowed in any private spaces.

    1. I would add to that moral suasion.

  15. Or, you know, just eliminate public schools.

  16. “nobody is forced to seek taxpayer-funded health care through a government-run exchange. It is a voluntary transaction. ”

    This is one of my great annoyances with Reason – the pretense that the US market for medical care can in any way be called “voluntary”.

    I’ve got some news for “this libertarian physician”.

    You are part of a medical mafia which shakes down their neighbors by restricting their ability to care for themselves and each other. We can’t buy what we want. We can’t buy from whom we want. We can’t offer services if we want. Unless, we get permission from the medical mafia, at whatever cost they choose to charge.

    If you’re going to shake me down, at least have the decency to spare me the insult of calling it “voluntary”. Don’t piss on my back, then tell me it’s raining.

    The US medical “market” is centered on restricting access to medical information and care by force, then jacking up prices a few thousand percent on the medical “choices” they deign to allow. Most of the “information processing” involved is medical mafia paperwork to see just how the pounds of flesh they extract from their “customers” will be divided.

    We still need surgeons, but most routine visits and med based therapy could be replaced by a web site at google and an actual free market in meds, which would leave us with better care and the vast majority of our current medical spending still in our pockets.

    “Voluntary”? Not in the least.

    1. You need to look up the word voluntary. It means you’re able to act of your own free will. It doesn’t mean that others are forced to sell you what you want under the conditions that you prefer.

  17. If vaccines are safe, why has the federal government assumed all liability for vaccine injuries and deaths. Your only recourse for vaccine injury is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which has paid out 3 billion in damages since it began in 1989. The federal government assumed liability because vaccine manufacturers were being sued into bankruptcy over injuries and deaths.
    If vaccines are effective, then you get vaccinated and you will not need to worry about anybody else being vaccinated. The truth is that vaccines are not effective. Many people develop illnesses that they were vaccinated against.
    What we are asked to do is to inject our healthy infants with substances that may kill or injure them in order to prevent an illness they may never be exposed to. Typically this is done in the name of preventing an illness that is very rarely fatal.
    The latest data I could find is from the U.S. department of health which admits to 2700 infant deaths caused by vaccines in 2010 alone. Go ahead and roll the dice with your child health, but don’t try to force others to do the same.

    1. The parents of any child who dies from a vaccination should be happy to have sacrificed them to the Collective.

      Many here are more than willing for the State to “allow” such glorious sacrifice.

    2. “If vaccines are safe, why has the federal government assumed all liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.”

      Because it is the only way that vaccine manufacturers can be persuaded to keep making them. Vaccines are not a big moneymaker.

      “If vaccines are effective, then you get vaccinated and you will not need to worry about anybody else being vaccinated. The truth is that vaccines are not effective.”

      This is complete and utter bullshit. Vaccines are highly, but not 100%, effective. Also, there are some people who cannot be vaccinated and rely on herd immunity for protection.

      Vaccines aren’t effective? What the fuck do you think happened to all those diseases? Wait, don’t tell me, it was just “better sanitation”, right?

      “he latest data I could find is from the U.S. department of health which admits to 2700 infant deaths caused by vaccines in 2010 alone.”

      Now you are just making shit up. Where do you get this nonsense?

  18. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

    1. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

      Truth!

  19. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

  20. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

  21. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

  22. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

  23. When government can forcefully vaccinate it’s citizenry, you no longer own your body. It is government property.

  24. They don’t need to mandate any sort of indoctrination in order to attend public schools, since that’s what the schools themselves do. As for insurance companies requiring vaccinations, one must remember that most of these are done in childhood, and many of us are too old to have received vaccines such as the MMR (though as a I result I did have measles, as well as chicken pox, as a child).

  25. This is a very good idea:

    “allow a public school to require that parents keep their children out of school in the event of an outbreak of a contagious disease for which they refused vaccination, and not allow the children back into school until the threat has been deemed to have ended by public health authorities.”

    This would hit just about every parent right where it hurts… the wallet. Someone is going to have to look after the kid, so a parent is either going to have to take the day (weeks) off work or pay for child care. I suspect most children would be vaccinated after the first go ’round with little precious out of school for a week, 2 weeks, possibly longer.

    1. What about parents that chose to vaccinate, but… little Johnny or Suzy still got sick (’cause vaccinations are not 100% effective)… and still sent their sick little brat to school?

      Why do they get a pass?

  26. PART II
    Strong words? Yes. And they demand strong evidence.
    I believe the papers above will make the evidence clear. There is, in fact a mountain of powerful evidence to support these contentions.
    And if science, and public policy, are to be rational, they must be evidence based. There is, contrary to some of the best and longest-running propaganda ever advanced, absolutely no reality to the beneficial nature of vaccines or to the manifestly nonsensical manufactured concept of “Herd Immunity”.
    If you are protected by a vaccine, why would my not being protected impact you?
    The illogic is so enormous that one is taken immediately to the “Big Lie” tactic. And that is precisely what it is. A fiction created to cover an illogical assertion. Nothing more.
    Further, it is quite clear that children who contract the ordinary diseases of childhood have stronger immune systems and lower incidence of ill health than their peers who do not. Again, the data are clear while the propaganda is murky and deceiving and intentionally so.
    For more information, please avail yourself of our complimentary newsletter at triple w DrRimaTruthReports dot com and listen to the Dr. Rima Truth Reports at triple w TheMicroEffect dot com every Monday from 3-5PM Eastern.
    Yours in health and freedom,
    Dr. Rima
    Rima E. Laibow, MD
    Medical Director
    Natural Solutions Foundation
    http://www.DrRimaTruthReports.com
    Facebook.com/NaturalSolutionsFoundation
    @DrRimaLaibow

  27. PART I
    The question of whether to compel vaccination or not is, happily, not a difficult question at all for libertarians or, in fact, for any other thinking person.
    The fact are abundantly clear to anyone at all who examines not the rhetoric and manufactured “common wisdom” but the data on the prevention, eradication and cure of communicable diseases.
    I invite you to do so here, http://drrimatruthreports.com/…..020415.pdf and here, http://drrimatruthreports.com/…..20151a.pdf by examining the paper and powerpoint I have just finished presenting to the First All India People’s Congress on Medical Education in Mangalore (Feb 5-7, 2015).
    Once you look at the data it becomes impossible to believe that vaccines have a role in public health. They do, however, have a role in public control and in private profit.
    A very, very big role, indeed.
    Even the shining stars of vaccine success, smallpox and polio, are, in fact, massive deceptions.
    Read the paper. View the Powerpoint. Then review just why you believe that anyone should be coerced into this public health measure which is, in fact, a public ILL health measure to the enormous profit of the vaccine industry and its partner in biological and social crime, the govenment agency promoting it.

  28. It’s not a complex issue at all. No one is born with a positive obligation to inject themselves with anything. Being a libertarian means believing in self-ownership, if you find that insufficient for this or any other issue then you’re not a libertarian. From a libertarian perspective you have the right to restrict people who do not vaccinate from coming on to your property and maybe try to avoid them as much as possible outside of that but that’s it.

    1. Sounds like it’s a fucking stupid idea to be a libertarian then.

  29. I suggest what I think might be a reasonable way to “thread the needle” on this tough issue: allow a public school to require that parents keep their children out of school in the event of an outbreak of a contagious disease for which they refused vaccination, and not allow the children back into school until the threat has been deemed to have ended by public health authorities.

    I have a much better suggestion: make school funding portable, so that if parents don’t like the vaccination requirements at public schools, they can send their kids to private schools, a few of which may choose not to have such requirements; that way, they aren’t forced to pay twice for schools.

    Of course, mandatory vaccinations are really the least of the problems with public schools: bad teaching, bad curricula, bad food, and a totalitarian mindset are doing much more harm than any mandatory medical procedure. Portable funding and vouchers are even more important for addressing those issues.

  30. You should not be forced by the government to be vaccinated or to vaccinate your child, however, I believe doctors and associated business should outright refuse medical services to these people.

    If you deny the benefits of vaccines with the overwhelming evidence that supports them, there is no reason to believe anything else provided by modern medicine. Thus providers should not be sympathetic in denying treatment to these people. Sad that we have come so far just to have a bunch of idiots want to progress all the way back to the fucking stone age.

  31. On the other hand, other members of the community also have a right to be free from force. And a threat to their health or life by a person carrying a highly contagious disease can be a form of aggression…

    Which is a disingenuous argument for demonizing the unvaccinated based on a basic fallacy conflating “unvaccinated” with “contagious”.

    The majority of the unvaccinated — based on the limited number of cases of the measles as compared to historic levels — are otherwise non-infectious and are not threatening anyone with a highly contagious disease. On the other hand, vaccines are not 100% effective and even fully vaccinated individuals can cause outbreaks.

    Healthy, non-infectious individuals, regardless of innocculation status are, no threat and commit no aggression wrt contagious diseases. The witch-hunt for “anti-vaxxers” and the uninfected is a red herring. Any threat is from infectious individuals, and it does not matter if they were vaccinated or not. What does matter are what precautions they take, after getting sick / becoming infectious, to minimize their exposure to others.

    How about demonizing employers that grossly disencentivize self-quarantine.

  32. I suggest what I think might be a reasonable way to “thread the needle” on this tough issue: allow a public school to require that parents keep their children out of school in the event of an outbreak of a contagious disease for which they refused vaccination…

    Why limit it to those that refused vaccination? That conflates “vaccinated” with “immune” and, since vaccinations are not 100% effective, that is as fallacious as conflating “unvaccinated” with “contagious”.

  33. This Mom has the right of it: “Parents who send sick kids to school are the reason our healthy kids are getting sick — and it’s just not fair.” Nowhere does she mention vaccinations. Rather, she focuses on sick kids.

    If a “CafeMom” can figure it out, why is it so hard for some Reasonoids?

  34. “[Transmission] of measles can occur within a school population with a documented immunization level of 100%”. Dec. ’83 to Jan. ’84 an Illinois school district saw 21 cases of the measles. Of those, 17 were full vaccinated individuals. The 4 remaining were preschoolers, 2 of which where under 15 months of age.

  35. Fact: Vaccines are not 100% effective. The most generous number I’ve seen for MMR is 97%. That means for 100 vaccinated, at least 3 will not develope immunity. The population of the US is approximately 320 million. So, even with 100% vaccination, nearly 10 million (~9,600,000) Americans would not have immunity.

    Fact: Vaccinated individuals can and do spread diseases and outbreaks can and do occur in populations with documented 100% vaccination rates.

    Fact: Healthy, non-infectious people do not spread diseases. Period. Their immunization status is irrelevant.

    Corollary: Infectious people spread diseases. Period. Their immunization status is irrelevant.

    The facts are uncomfortable — they do not fit the narrative nor do they confirm the [unvaccinated/”anti-vaxxer” witch-hunt] bias — but they are incontrovertible. The real issue is NOT vaccination status. The REAL issue is asinine work/school policies that grossly disincentivize staying home/keeping kids at home when sick or infectious.

  36. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  37. I like to live by the idea that we should never say “yes” to anything we can’t say “no” to.

    I think we should look less at the unvaccinated and more at our wide open boards and all the sicknesses those people are bring over here.

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