Is mandatory vaccination ethically justifiable?

Yes — the flow-on harms are too great.


Margaret Somerville

Is mandatory vaccination ethically justifiable?

What ethical issues do mandatory interventions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus raise — in particular, mandatory vaccination? Asked another way, what weight should be given to the arguments of “anti-vaxxers” who oppose mandatory vaccination?

I am not addressing here “involuntary vaccination” — namely, rounding up people and vaccinating them against their will, although in highly dangerous infectious disease situations, Public Health authorities can have powers to impose treatment. Rather, I am focussed on what could be described as “non-voluntary vaccination”, the person can avoid vaccination, but only by making a choice they do not want to make. . . continue reading

British Medical Association to move to neutral stance on assisted dying


The BMA will move to a neutral stance on physician-assisted dying.

The change in position follows a narrow vote at the BMA Annual Representative Meeting (ARM), which h saw 49% of 302 delegates in favour, 48% against and 3% abstaining.

The motion said: ‘This meeting believes, in order to represent the diversity of opinion demonstrated in the survey of its membership, the BMA should move to a position of neutrality on assisted dying including physician-assisted dying.’

It follows a major BMA survey last year that found more doctors are in favour of seeing the BMA change its stance to support assisted dying than those who are against it. . .Another motion adding that provision should be made for ‘conscientious objection’ in any future UK legislation on assisted dying. . . was also passed. . . A section proposing that clinicians with a conscientious objection should refer the patient to another clinician was passed as a reference – meaning it will be looked at but not made official BMA policy . . . continue reading

Covid vaccination and the common good


Patrick Parkinson

Covid vaccination and the common good

A couple of decades ago, there were hardly any anti-vaxxers in Australia. Those who held the belief that it was wrong to prevent illness by receiving a vaccine typically rejected other aspects of modern life and government regulation as well.

The anti-vaxxer movement gathered pace with the publication of an article in a medical journal, since retracted and thoroughly discredited, that purported to make a link between vaccination and autism.

Since then the movement has become widespread. Now, vaccination against Covid has emerged as a religious issue – at least in some theologically conservative circles. . . continue reading

COVID Vaccination and Conscience Debate Intensifies

Amid a spike of cases and concerns about the Delta variant, some U.S. bishops oppose a religious exemption, yet ethics experts caution against mandates.

National Catholic Register

Judy Roberts

An increase in COVID-19 cases sparked by the Delta variant has sharpened the divide among Catholics in the United States over whether individuals should be required to inoculate against the coronavirus or have the right in conscience to decline the currently available vaccines.   

Amid a wave of new vaccine mandates being rolled out by businesses and institutions in response to the spike, Catholics who morally object to the vaccines are finding themselves at odds with those who think the ethical obligation to protect public health should be the foremost consideration.  . . continue reading

Bioethics and Conscience

International Conference

European Institute of Bioethics

Bioethics and Conscience

Monday, October 4, 2021
UCLouvain – Faculty of Medicine – Brussels Campus
Scientific committee :

Prof. Benoît Beuselinck – KU Leuven – UZ Leuven
Prof. Louis-Léon Christians – UC Louvain
Prof. Willem Lemmens – University of Antwerp

60 € – The conference registration fee includes full access to the conference, lunch break and coffee breaks. Free registration for students.

Registration Form