Mandated vaccinations have historic and legal precedent | TheHill – The Hill

Posted By on June 16, 2021

The trend seems to be going in the direction of requiring and approving compulsory vaccinations as a condition of employment. A Texas federal judgerecently requireda nurse at Houston Methodist Hospital either to be vaccinated or to lose her job.He correctly characterized as reprehensible the nurses argument that a vaccination requirement is akin to medical experimentation done during the Holocaust.

The medical experimentation done byDr. Josef Mengeleand others in Auschwitz was designed to kill the patients, not to help them.Vaccines are designed to save lives.To make any analogy to the Holocaust is to suggest that the Holocaust was no worse than vaccination.That is a form of Holocaust denial, deserving only of condemnation.

But even without that exaggerated, bigoted hyperbole, the argument offered by the Houston nurse and her fellow plaintiffs is not constitutionally sound.

The United States Supreme Court, more than 100 years ago, ruled that the public health power of government extends tomandating vaccinesagainst highly communicable and often lethal diseases.In that case it was small pox. Inthis case it is COVID-19. Its up to the government to determine the safety requirements for vaccinations, and here it has been determined that,in the light of the seriousness of the current pandemic, the vaccine is safe enough.

The Texas court went out of its way to emphasize that nobody is threatening the nurse with imprisonment.She has a choice: She can refuse to be inoculated, but she cannot work in the hospital if she makes that decision.That is a perfectly rational judicial conclusion.

The hard case may never come.That would be if all Americans were required to be vaccinated without regard to religious or philosophical beliefs.We havent reached that point yet because there are still more people who want to be vaccinated and havent received their doses than there are conscientious objectors.It is unclear whether we will be able to reach herd immunity without some kind of compulsory vaccination, but we can come a lot closer than we now are.

During the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washingtonrequired all of his troopsto receive the primitive vaccinations then available to prevent the spread of small pox. I am aware of no objection to that order, nor to the modern-day mandate that all American military personnel must be vaccinated against multiple diseases.

Even for those who oppose vaccination on medical or ideological grounds, sacrifices are often required as a condition of living in a free and democratic society.Many people dont want to pay taxes, or to send their children to school, or to show ID when they get on airplanes. But the law requires them to do so.

In general, our nation has provided exceptions for conscientious objections, based on religion or closely related philosophical beliefs.But this doesnt mean that conscientious objectors for vaccination should be allowed to endanger others.Recall that the vaccine is only about 95 percent effective. No one would get on an airplane if there was a 5 percent chance of a crash nor should a vaccinated person be required to encounter an unvaccinated person.So perhaps conscientious objection should be permitted, but it should be conditioned on not exposing others.

The issue of mandatory vaccination is emotionally wrought.Unfortunately, like everything else in America today, it has been caught up in politics. Extremes on both sides of the political spectrum are more opposed to it than people at the center, and people on the center-right seem more skeptical than people on the center-left. Skepticism is healthy in a democracy.As the great jurist Learned Hand once said, The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not too sure that it is right.

But, in a democracy, emotional issues are resolved under the rule of law by legislation, executive orders and judicial review.That process is now going forward.There will probably be decisions both ways, and they will vary with the facts of each case.In the end, public health considerations almost certainly will prevail over any individual preferences.That is not a sign of tyranny.It is a sign of democracy at work.

Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzMandated vaccinations have historic and legal precedent Dershowitz files multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Netflix over portrayal in Epstein series Why does the hard left glorify the Palestinians? MORE, professor emeritus for Harvard Law School, served on the legal team representingPresident TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MOREfor the first Senate impeachment trial. He is author of the recent book, Cancel Culture: The Latest Attack on Free Speech and Due Process, and his podcast, The Dershow, is available on Spotify and YouTube. You will find him on Twitter@AlanDersh.

See the article here:

Mandated vaccinations have historic and legal precedent | TheHill - The Hill

Related Post

Comments

Comments are closed.