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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Vaccine passports and recalibration (testing against a standard) of social ethics


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“Vaccine passports would undermine one of the most fundamental rights in a civilized society: autonomy over one’s own body.”

(Author Tom Moran April 2, 2021)


I have done it a few times, but my fear of needles is quite extreme and the last time I donated I almost had a panic attack which meant I was surrounded by nurses for the duration of my donation, reducing the blood donation process for everyone else was delayed. . They politely asked me not to come back.

“Not participating in a noble act is not immoral.”

Only about four percent of people donate blood. It is certainly a noble thing to donate blood, such as donating money to a charity or volunteering in the community. But that doesn’t mean the other 96 percent are bad or selfish people. Not participating in a noble act is not immoral. In other words, donating blood saves lives. Not giving blood is not murder.

If you have a rare blood type, your blood is even more valuable to society than anyone else’s – but this doesn’t mean you have a moral, social, or legal obligation to protect other people by donating blood. The individual right to choose is more important than the ‘greater good’ of society. We’ve always known this. Therefore, giving blood is voluntary. Therefore, there is no penalty for abstaining from it and there is no real reward for participation other than receiving a sticker and a cookie. Coercion of any kind would be morally reprehensible.

Autonomy over one’s own body is absolute – one of the most fundamental rights in a civilized society. This autonomy is so important that it extends even further than our own death. Our organs may only be used for life-saving transplants with our prior consent. Becoming an organ donor (also a noble act for those who do this) was an opt-in system until recently. (= no action without permission) Again, there is no reward for participation and no penalty for abstinence.

Any medical intervention that benefits society, without any conceivable benefit to the individual, must always be voluntary. The rights, freedoms or opportunities accorded to an individual in society should never depend on participation in such an act.

Imagine if blood donation was a prerequisite for going to the theatre. Or that you have to show your organ donor card to enter a restaurant. Imagine you had to be a bone marrow donor before you could go to a football game. Also, imagine that you would have to accept a socially beneficial medical procedure before you are entitled to chemotherapy from the NHS. (The National Health Service in England)

For centuries, women have fought for the right to autonomy over their own bodies. An abortion is a medical procedure, and women are just as entitled to it as to any other treatment. But by adopting a philosophy that transfers our medical decisions to the state, we hypothetically give governments the power to ban abortions, or even the power to enforce them, if they so choose.

“The rights of the individual to assess risks and prioritize the quality of their own life have now been forgotten.”

In the last 12 months, dramatic changes in public health attitudes have brought us closer to this reality. The individual’s right to assess risk and prioritize the quality of his own life has not only been forgotten – it has been, and is being derided as if it never existed in the first place. The precedent set by just the smallest step towards this change of philosophy is incredibly dangerous. In the coming weeks, we will all have to ask ourselves what kind of world we want our children to grow up in. Do we further give them the right to autonomy over their own body – indeed, their own selves, their souls, their identity? Or let the state be in charge of their bodies? Some might argue that vaccine passports are the first step towards eradicating a disease. Rather, they are the first step towards the destruction of basic human rights.

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