There was quite a response to my request for opinions regarding whether vaccines should be mandatory. I was a little surprised that the opinion from almost everyone I heard from was that vaccines were tremendously important, that every child should get them, but that getting the government involved to make them mandatory wasn’t a good idea. The majority of the people I heard from were Libertarian, or libertarians (the difference being that those who are members of the Libertarian party are designated with a capital “L”; those with a small “l” identify with the philosophy, but are not necessarily members of the party). There actually wasn’t much difference in the responses based on party affiliation, but, of course, there was variation among the various personalities.
There has already been a good discussion on my prior article asking for opinions. See this link for that article with comments .
Here are some examples of the pro-vaccine folks:
Bradford Lyttle of the US Pacifist Party
While the United States Pacifist Party (USPP) has not taken an official stand on vaccination, I, as the founder of the party, and its presidential candidate in several elections, do have a position. I believe that vaccination should be mandatory in all cases where the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that they are effective in preventing a disease, and there is little or no evidence that they have adverse side effects. If vaccinations of this kind are not made mandatory, then there is a much greater likelihood that some children will not be vaccinated, may contract the disease, and thereby become carriers that may infect others.–Sincerely, Bradford Lyttle
Roger Tucker –Independent American Party
I believe that the science behind the good value of vaccine use is true. However, I do not trust the people who manufacture the vaccines for the bad ingredients that they cause or can cause to be included in the vaccines. These people have no desire to make everyone live healthier and longer. They want to reduce the population, not increase it. They want to make money off of sick people. The logic that these people use is void of any belief in our Lord and Savior, who is Jesus Christ.
If you use my statement, please quote all of it.
I am an Independent American
Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?
With the new surge of measles cases, many people are calling for mandatory (forced) vaccination. At first glance, their arguments seem reasonable. Measles can kill and the vaccine is reportedly about 95% effective. Side effects are claimed to be minimal, although serious outcomes are reported on pp. 6-8 of the package insert that comes with the vaccine, including measles itself.
Even if the vaccine had zero side effects and 100% effectiveness, forcing it upon children would start us down the slippery slope of allowing bureaucrats and politicians to decide what medications we MUST ingest or be injected with. Today’s pharmaceuticals have the power to alter our thinking, libido, and even our desire to live. Some schools already diagnose boisterous children, bored with the one-size-fits-all curriculum, as having some type of disorder, and demand that they be given medications that have serious side effects.
Ultimately, each of us must weigh the risks and benefits of what we eat and how we medicate. Choose wisely, and good health to you and yours!
Compulsory Vaccinations for Freedom?
The prospect of compulsory vaccination (“Should Obama make vaccines mandatory for all children,” Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, January 30) should trouble even those who think the practice can be defended in principle as a kind of self-defense.
The burgeoning women’s liberation movement of the 1960s emphasized a theme with a prominent American pedigree, powerfully expressed by John Locke, who helped to inspire the Declaration of Independence: The right to own your own body is the most basic of all rights. Proponents of voluntary vaccination stress this right.
Critics argue that, if we can use force to stop a knife-wielding thug, we can use force to stop someone from infecting others, even unintentionally. But at least one cluster of difficulties ought to concern even those who think this argument works (there isn’t space here to talk about why it might not): The negative consequences of a forcible vaccination program would be serious and far-reaching.
Proponents of compulsory vaccination want the government to vaccinate their neighbors. Implementing a large-scale state program of mandatory vaccination would dramatically increase the level of government intrusion in people’s lives.
Like the “war on drugs,” such a program would feature incentives for extensive government monitoring. Pediatricians would confront new reporting requirements. Home-schooling parents would be assessed for compliance. New levels of intrusion would spawn new secondary crimes, as people were punished not only for failing to comply with vaccination mandates but also for failing to provide information needed to implement these mandates. Government agencies would demand new surveillance powers and technologies. Those with state power would find it hard to resist the temptation to seek more power and more budget dollars.
At the same time, mandatory vaccination would create new incentives for what economists call “rent-seeking.” Well-connected businesses would welcome opportunities to boost their profits at the public’s expense. Those that manufacture vaccines, often worried by anticipated profit declines as drug patents expire, would doubtless find reason to lobby — in the public interest, of course — for mandates that would dramatically increase their captive markets. (The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to provide vaccines at low costs.) More and more illnesses could be expected to be added to the list of those met with compulsory vaccination — enabling these markets to expand without reference to consumer demand. Makers of monitoring technology would surely find multiple opportunities to encourage legislators to boost government contracting opportunities.
Any appeal to “save our children” is likely to be met with hysterical enthusiasm. So the vaccine manufacturers will continue to be protected against liability, as they are now, by federal law. (Taxpayers are on the hook for some injuries in virtue of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Not only does this unfairly burden people who aren’t responsible for making or marketing unsafe products, but it reduces the incentive for manufacturers to concern themselves with safety.)
While federal regulation of mandatory vaccines might reduce some dangers, manufacturers’ incentives to keep risks at appropriate levels would be dampened by “regulatory capture.” Those who regulate key industries are usually drawn from those industries’ top executives. And even when regulators come from outside, regulatory agencies typically depend on the regulated industries for information about products, standards of care, and so forth. The kind of regulation we could expect doesn’t inspire confidence, especially where population-wide mandates are concerned.
We could be confident, for instance, that pre-release safety review of vaccines, like those of drugs, would continue to be designed to satisfy regulators rather than to survive exposure during litigation. And where there are billions of dollars to be made, out-and-out fraud is hardly unlikely.
Government bureaucracies predictably seek to expand their own power. Business-government partnerships work to enrich well-connected businesses and their politician allies at the public expense. A mandatory vaccination program could be expected to increase government power and force ordinary people to pay more to influential corporations.
Let’s stick with freedom.
Some people had a strong opinion as to what should happen to children who weren’t vaccinated, although they didn’t think they should be government mandated:
The science is settled on vaccines, no, they don’t cause autism, no, the ingredients aren’t some damning secret, vaccinations are effective and except for in the few rare cases, the only harm is a booboo.
They shouldn’t be mandatory, but they really shouldn’t have to be. The anti-vaccination (or ant-vaxx) is just one of the prominent scientific denial movements today, they just happen to be denying something that has demonstrable, easy to see, and easy to package for mass media consumption consequences, you can blow off starving and malnourished children in Africa due to anti-GMO fear-mongering as a given, you can easily misunderstand or misinterpret climate models and data, you can’t ignore a disease nearly eradicated making a sudden comeback.
The failure of the science and medical community is that they aren’t effective communicators, because most of their focus is on schools,with compulsory attendance, and truancy laws, they haven’t faced market forces to force them to refine their message or package it in a manner that actually communicates the ideas and facts that are necessary to understand the state of our knowledge today without boring a bunch of teenagers.
The solution is that actual scientists refine their message and make it more appealing to combat the quacks, the charlatans, and the tinfoil salesmen. Just because the lie is halfway around the world, doesn’t mean the truth shouldn’t even get it’s pants on.
Libertarian Party of Texas
Hi. I’m personally an Anarchist, but since there is no Anarchist party
— except the kind that involves beer — in America, I’ve registered
Libertarian for the last 20 years. Hey, half a loaf is better than none!
My view on vaccines and anti-vaxxers is: if you don’t want to vaccinate
yourself or your kids, that’s fine — but then you must quarantine your
kids, and probably your whole family, for the sake of the public safety.
That means you can’t send your kids to the public schools; you’ll have
to home-school them. You can’t let your kids (or yourself, if
unvaccinated) go outside the house, let alone anywhere near other
children, without wearing at least a breather-mask, if not a complete
Or you can remove your family to some isolated patch of land — maybe a
small island — where there are no other people except your fellow
anti-vaxxers. With a good Internet connection you could work online
jobs, do your banking online, and arrange to have goods and mail
air-dropped to you.
Or, for that matter, you can emigrate to some third-world country where
nobody but the rich are vaccinated, and nobody will force vaccination on
you or your family. Then you can go about freely, assured that everyone
else is as safe from vaccinations as you.
There are always choices. They all have consequences.
–Leslie Fish <;)))>< Reason Magazine, which is generally considered a libertarian site, has posted many articles about the current vaccine discussion. Here is a discussion of a belief that I ran across a few times, that anyone receiving public assistance be required to have vaccines to receive those benefits:
Jed Ziggler-Independent Libertarian
The solution: for once our bloated welfare state comes in handy. If you don’t want to have your kids vaccinated, that’s your right, but you may not send your children to government schools, you will not be eligible for most forms of social welfare including SNAP and WIC, you will not be eligible for subsidies under the ACA program, and your child may be ineligible for government-backed student loans. Do the right and responsible thing for your kids, or you don’t get to suckle from the government teat.
Another topic that received discussion was that of who should make decisions regarding vaccinations:
What Libertarians should be doing is insisting that all medical choices are, in fundamental principle, solely the province of the patient – even if those choices are NOT the choices approved by the “experts” whoever they are. Not the parent, not the state, not the doctor, not corporations making vaccines, not the benevolent experts at any Federal or State department: only the patient. Any person making medical choices that create an unreasonable risk of harm is responsible for the actual harm caused by those choices, just as vaccine providers should be liable for negligence in preparation of vaccines and doctors should be liable for negligence in advising a patient to vaccinate or not. If the patient is incapable of understanding what choices are available, special rules can apply obviously; the basic approach should be to identify the closest capable patient advocate/temporary decision maker based on the patient’s personal relationships.
The issue, according to [Rand] Paul, is: WHO OWNS YOUR BODY? This is a question the government does not want to answer truthfully, because if it does, it will sound like Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” That’s because the government believes it owns your body.
Paul and no less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court have rejected that concept. Under the natural law, because you retain the rights inherent in your birth that you have not individually given away to government, the government does not own your body.
Rather, you do. And you alone can decide your fate with respect to the ingestion of medicine. What about children? Paul argues that parents are the natural and legal custodians of their children’s bodies until they reach maturity or majority, somewhere between ages 14 and 18, depending on the state of residence.
What do the states have to do with this? Under our Constitution, the states, and not the federal government, are the guardians of public health. That is an area of governance not delegated by the states to the feds. Of course, you’d never know this to listen to the debate today in which Big Government politicians, confident in the science, want a one-size-fits-all regimen.
Most people believed that the decisions be made by the child’s parent or guardian. Several people suggested, however, that the parent might be too emotionally involved to be able to make the right decision.
…intense emotions that can cloud judgment, such as needles being scary, are part of why someone might argue that parents can’t make this decision rationally
Most states require vaccinations to enroll children in school, but they accept exclusions based on religious objections or medical reasons. There are two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, that have laws very close to making vaccines mandatory. Mississippi, by far, has the highest percentage of children vaccinated, which is not well-received by everyone.
Our America Initiative, an organization headed by Gary Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian Presidential nominee, supports Mississippi Parents for Vaccination Rights.
There were some people who didn’t think vaccines were good for everyone.
Here are a couple links provided to me from Beth Duensing-, Libertarian:
A discussion of “herd immunity”
I received a couple more links for this category:
Kelly Gneiting of Independent American Party
I can easily speak for the Independent American Party on this issue.
Vaccinations should be voluntary. Taking vaccinations shows an incredible (and perhaps foolish) trust in government. Just ask the American People via approval rates of Congress or our President, if they trust our government.
Danger of vaccinations are well documented. And enjoy your free internet until the time comes when this information is forbidden from being viewed.
The most poignant opinion I received was from Mike Seebeck, a Libertarian in Colorado
I’m vaccine-damaged, courtesy of the MMR shot in the 1970s. It took me almost 15 years to correctly diagnose, treat, and recover from the damage (although not completely to this day), and I was lucky it wasn’t any worse than it could have been. It’s taken me 25 more years to take that diagnosis and figure out exactly how the damage happened. As such, I’ve done extensive research on the immune system. I’ve learned the biomechanics of immune responses at the cellular level and plenty about anatomy and biophysics—and my wife is the biologist! I’ve asked doctors trick questions about this over the years, and almost always I get back the wrong answers. A vaccine given to my wife can be fatal, and that’s no exaggeration. Naturally, I’m opposed to them, based on the combination of my own life experience and lengthy research, which has zero to do with celebrities, media propaganda, mass hysterics, or pharmaceutical indoctrination and fraud.
As an individualist libertarian, I hold that we own our own bodies, and that we have the absolute right and final say over what we inhale, inject, ingest, and intake into our own bodies. That right includes great responsibility to make sure that what goes in is not something bad for it, unless one chooses to do so nonetheless. But that also means that no government can compel, force, or coerce me into taking any vaccine, either. My freedom and liberty starts with my own self.
You hear non-libertarians make the argument that we don’t have the right to endanger anyone else by refusing these shots. To them I say this: nobody has the right to not be endangered. Life is dangerous by definition, and the guy walking past you on the sidewalk may be a psycho mass murderer or a harmless Forrest Gump, and you simply don’t know. You also don’t know if that kid walking with them is vaccinated and shedding a virus, or is unvaccinated and perfectly healthy, or if they are sick as a dog with a disease, vaccinated or not. It is inherent upon each individual to minimize the risks in their own lives—that’s part of the responsibility of freedom, and it’s a moral obligation to one’s self and to those they love around them. But it is NOT a right to impose anyone else’s belief of what is “safe” and “for the common good” on anyone else. The “public” is nothing more than a collection of individuals, after all. Your idea of what is “safe” could be maximally “unsafe” and wind up killing me. No thanks!
To everyone, libertarian or not, I say this: Don’t believe the hype and hysterics: do your own research, follow the money, understand the issue historically, biologically, and politically, and make your own decisions. Above all, support both your own right to do so, and the same right of anyone else to do the same.
Also, I had not heard from any Green Party members, and I couldn’t find anything in their platform regarding this topic. However, while I was proofreading this article, a commenter on IPR left this comment along with the following link:
This Green is pro-vaccination and generally supportive of measures to require them. There was a a time (nearly fifteen years ago) when I was critical of vaccines because autism, mercury, yaddayadda. But that’s been debunked and I now yield to science. Not vaccinating not only puts that child at risk, but younger children and others with compromised immune system. At a bare minimum, if you want your child to attend a public school, they should be required to have their vaccines (except for medical issues as raised by physician). It appears that most Greens agree:
If the above poll is accurate, then the Green Party stands as the only alternative party that overwhelmingly approves making vaccines mandatory.
I received two more articles that are worth noting here, but don’t really fit into the outline of this article. I am giving you the links here, and I highly suggest you take the time to read both of them.
Dan Phillips, MD-Constitution Party