Oregon State University recently announced that it would mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff and faculty, beginning fall term.
I’m afraid this policy will have the opposite of its intended effect, only further eroding public confidence and trust in COVID vaccinations. People intuitively know that good medicine does not need to be forced down their throats or coerced into their arms. At its core, mandated medicine is unethical and contrary to the foundational principle of informed consent in medical decision-making.
According to the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, “Any preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice... In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.”
Furthermore, COVID vaccines have received only Emergency Use Authorization, and have not yet been formally approved or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. Even more concerning is that COVID vaccine manufacturers have been given indemnity from lawsuits and have zero liability for damages caused by their vaccines. In other words, no matter how grievous the injury, the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing COVID vaccines cannot be sued for damages.