Daunting Concepts

Mandatory Vaccinations, Encouragement or Extortion?

I recently read an article on ABC news website about Australia potentially allowing childcare centers to require vaccinations for children on enrollment. There has been a discussion about increasing vaccinations for children in Australia recently, with suggestions for solutions including vaccination requirement for childcare rebates and financial aid.

Vaccinating is certainly a topic which easily leads to heated debate, with many feeling strongly about their convictions. I personally have done some research into the matter, but still do not feel comfortable making a hard and fast decisions on this issue. I understand why vaccinations are important, but I also understand why vaccinating is not always the right decision and does carry risks. This is a decision that should be made well informed and well researched. Remember anyone you ask has an opinion and may give a biased answer. Do the research yourself. I will not be commenting on what I am leaning toward. That is not the point of this post.

Forcing the decision to vaccinate on families and individuals is unethical and immoral. In fact, forcing any medications, medical procedure, or physically/emotionally/mentally altering procedure, which has long term effects, on anyone is immoral and unethical. I do not care how “good for you” it is, it is unethical and immoral to force a particular decision on anyone. Whatever my personal decision may be, it is not right for me to force that decision on you.

Refusing financial assistance, tax rebates or childcare to a family because they have chosen not to vaccinate is a type of extortion. That financial assistance or tax rebate can mean the difference between dinner on the table, rent paid, clothes for a family or not. The availability of childcare can mean the difference between a parent earning or not. Some families may be able to afford to make the choice, but others are just not that well off. Thus refusing these sometimes vital things can mean that family has to make a difficult and personal decision under duress.

As a free and democratic country, where we value personal freedom, should we be forcing people into anything? We raise our voices at forcing people to dress a certain way. So why is it that, suddenly, we are okay with forcing people to vaccinate their children? Refusing financial assistance and childcare to families who choose not to vaccinate is not encouragement. It is extortion.

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