Mandatory Vaccination

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The issues raised by the Nuremberg trials are as relevant to medicine in 1996 (and 2020) as in 1946

The Nuremberg trials of doctors who had committed war crimes during the second world war began 50 years ago this week.

The BMJ has devoted many pages in this issue to exploring the Nuremberg trials, what went before, and their aftermath for two main reasons.

Firstly, we must never forget. On the wall of the highly moving United States Holocaust Museum is a quote from Deuteronomy: “Only guard yourself and your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw.”

Secondly, the issues thrown up by the trials–informed consent for experimentation, the involvement of doctors with the state, patient autonomy, genocide, and the behaviour of doctors when associated with abuses of human rights–are as relevant today as the day the trials began.

Indeed, there is a sense, particularly in Germany, that we are at the very beginning of thinking through the issues thrown up by what doctors did in the second world war.

We needed 50 years to be able to begin to think clearly about something so horrible.

– the whole story via this link or download pdf backup below.


Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Article 6 – Consent

1. Any preventive, diagnostic and 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 The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice. 

2. Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights law. 

3. In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. 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.

The ten points of the Nuremberg Code
  1. Voluntary consent is essential
  2. The results of any experiment must be for the greater good of society
  3. Human experiments should be based on previous animal experimentation
  4. Experiments should be conducted by avoiding physical/mental suffering and injury
  5. No experiments should be conducted if it is believed to cause death/disability
  6. The risks should never exceed the benefits
  7. Adequate facilities should be used to protect subjects
  8. Experiments should be conducted only by qualified scientists
  9. Subjects should be able to end their participation at any time
  10. The scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment when injury, disability, or death is likely to occur

http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

https://www.bmj.com/content/313/7070/1448.1.full

Declaration of Helsinki

ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS.

The World Medical Association (WMA) has developed the Declaration of Helsinki as a statement of ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects, including research on identifiable human material and data.

Council of Europe

Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/164

Chapter II – Consent
Article 5 – General rule

An intervention in the health field may only be carried out after the person concerned has given free and informed consent to it.

This person shall beforehand be given appropriate information as to the purpose and nature of the intervention as well as on its consequences and risks.

The person concerned may freely withdraw consent at any time.

This Declaration addresses ethical issues related to medicine, life sciences and associated technologies as applied to human beings.

NIH National Library of Medicine

Abstract
The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine developed by the Council of Europe, now undergoing ratification, is the first international treaty focused on bioethics. This article describes the background of the Convention’s development and its general provisions and provides a comparison of its requirements with those of federal regulations governing research with human subjects. Although most provisions are comparable, there are significant differences in scope and applicability, for example, in the areas of compensation for injury, research participation by persons with limited capacity to consent, assisted reproduction, organ transplantation, and research in emergency situations. The Convention represents a milestone in international bioethics and protection of human rights that will probably be referred to with increasing frequency
http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31058&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11660358