JOHN STUART MILL is sometimes attributed with the quote “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”. In reality, the quote seems to have arisen during prohibition protests.
Everyone understands that there are times when individuals must be called upon to secure our liberties and rights as a nation, at the risk of cost to individuals. The military draft, for example, is seen by many as a necessary evil from time to time, but even the de facto suspension of individual liberties during the draft is seen as extraordinary – no draft would be acceptable during a non-emergency period. The draft, for example, would never have been acceptable during Bush’s elective war in Iraq.
Lately there have been moves on the part of governments and other organizations to reduce, limit, or remove individual liberties and rights, and a full accounting of which rights are impinged in the name of saving humanity from infectious diseases seems worth considering.
1st Amendment Right to Free Speech
I was stunned to read a legal “scholars”‘s treatment of the question of whether we should tolerate free and open discussion of questions of vaccine safety. Claiming that discussing vaccine safety was akin to “shouting gunfire in a crowded theater”, the authors of the article in the Jurist concluded that perhaps American citizens’ rights to discuss their knowledge of the risks of vaccination should be rescinded.
Luckily, the issue was aptly taken up by Mary Holland, a legal scholar at New York University, who wisely stated (in brief) that the right to yell “gunfire” becomes a moral imperative when gunfire has, indeed, erupted in a theater.
Rights to Informed Consent
Vaccine defenders trample all over individuals’ rights to informed consent for medical procedures, both inside and outside the doctor’s office. Inside the office, they routinely deny informed consent by minimizing what is known about risks of vaccine injury, both in terms of the diversity of injuries that may occur, and their frequency. Patients who ask too many questions about vaccine injury are seen as problematic, rather than being seen as exercising their right (in all states) to know specific risks. Information on the known HPV vaccine adverse events provided by your doctor are incomplete, and if you ask for the vaccine insert, you will find that it, too states that it is incomplete in its listing of the known adverse events, and it refers you back to your doctor for a full list!
If patients or parents decide to exercise their legally guaranteed right (in 47/50 states) to refuse vaccination, or to modify the schedule, or to skip or delay any specific vaccination due to their individual concern over risk, they are treated as problematic by healthcare workers, including medical doctors and office staff. The disdain and disregard for the law in such a setting by medical professionals is obvious.
California bill SB277 is a highly contested example of a state overreaching the authority intended by previous cases. It specifically strips Californians of the right to non-medical exemptions, and those who persist in exercising their Federal rights to refuse medical treatment once fully informed of the risks are stripped of their rights to access a public education, a right specifically provided by the California state constitution.
AAP Codifies Patient Harassment and Abrogation of the Hippocratic Oath
Doctors and healthcare workers around the country have been reported to use coercion, shame, and threats to deny patients access to medical care if they are vaccine-risk aware, and choose any of the legally provided options other than the CDC schedule. Last week, the AAP codified this disregard for the law by approving pediatricians’ practice of refusing to provide medical treatment to citizens who exercise their legal rights to non-medical exemptions. Citizens in nearly every states with mandatory vaccination for school attendance have the right to exercise religious, philosophical, moral and personal belief exemptions, whether pediatricians like it or not.
Sept 2016: Forty-seven states honor individual and parental rights to refuse vaccination – without their doctor’s permission to do so. AAP, CDC, and Pharma want that number to be ZERO.
In some states, the medical community has tried claim that doctors should ascertain for the state whether a person’s request for a religious exemption is genuine. Such laws and practices are clearly a violation of the freedom of religion, which is a constitutionally protected right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. A moment’s review of the contents of some vaccines (aborted fetal cells, pig products) will reveal that recipients who are forced to receive those contents into their bodies are also being forced to deny central tenets of their faith.
Across the US, patients are denied informed consent in myriad other ways as well. The fact that pharmaceutical companies are exempt from liability prevents news stories of companies held accountable for harm – and also prevents motivating companies from making vaccines safer. Instead, consumers pay a tax on every vaccine to pay damages via the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – which sounds good, until one realizes how extremely tortured the logic has been to make vaccine-induced encephalopathy a replacement vaccine injury for autism so the program does not have to pay for vaccine-induced encephalopathy-mediated autism.
Right to Refuse Medical Experimentation
After the Nuremberg trial, it became both common international and national law in the US that no citizen shall be subject to medical experimentation without their express, fully informed consent. The law that protects American citizens’ right fall under the FDA’s domain, which requires that all medical researchers conducting human subjects research acquire specific consent after reviewing the full list of known and potential risks associated with experimental drugs and medical procedures.
Much of what the CDC calls vaccine safety research is conducted using post-market surveillance. US citizens are not informed that their reaction to a given vaccine may be used by the government or government-funded researchers to assess vaccine safety. By definition, then, we are all enrolled in an uncontrolled medical experiment without consent. We are never given the opportunity to refuse to be enrolled in this massive medical experiment. Not that it matters much for the sake of the science; the studies conducted using data from the passive Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) are nearly universally retrospective descriptive correlational studies, and thus any suggestion or hint of increased rates of serious adverse events can easily either be cooked away by repeated rounds of data analysis (analysis-to-result), as has been the practice at the CDC for studies on the question of vaccine-induced encephalopathy-mediated autism, or the results can be dismissed as merely ‘correlational’.
When a new vaccine is being added to the CDC pediatric schedule, the prospective studies that are conducted do not test the cumulative effect of the vaccine schedule against unvaccinated individuals, but rather existing schedule vs. modified. Those that do use ‘placebo’ tend to use the adjuvant (additive designed to enrage the immune system) vs the vaccine, and thus the rates of mild, moderate and serious adverse events for vaccines are unknown.
13th and 14th Amendment Rights: The only way so far to identify individuals – and families – who are at risk of vaccine injury is to vaccinate them, and thereby injure them. These subgroups of individuals are potentially identifiable – if only research priorities allowed us to focus on the development of biomarkers to predict who might be at risk of specific harm. In America, minority citizens have, under the 13th and 14th Amendments, the rights to equal protection. The first step to predicting who among us are at special risk is to admit that vaccines cause harm. In denying the link between vaccines and autism, not only are the rights to informed consent denied, and rights to compensation for harm being denied, but the right to protection by the state as a genetic minority are also denied because the science to identify specific biomarkers for specific serious adverse events for specific subgroups cannot be conducted when autism denialists write the rules.
CDC Proposes Their Totalitarian Rule
In a stunning move made under the guise of medical emergencies caused by emerging infectious diseases, CDC has proposed new rules for themselves to be able to apprehend and detain American citizens indefinitely, without access to legal counsel; to disallow citizens’ rights to cease communicating with the CDC (First Amendment; Fifth Amendment); to access (without consent) our electronic communications (Fourth Amendment); to forcibly vaccinate American citizens against their will (Rights to Informed Consent); and to deny them any compensation whatsoever for any harm done to them physically or to their attempts to enjoy their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Defenders will say that this is only for instances in which an emergency has been declared, and they list specific diseases for which they imagine they may have to impose totalitarian rule (Ebola, Marburg, and others (see a full accounting by James Grundvig here). They also, of course, give themselves the right to add more diseases, and thus vaccines, to this list. CDC wish to grant itself open-ended police powers in a manner that is not only not consistent with the Constitution: their power grab is not consistent with America.
I am sure that I have not fully counted the number of rights seized by the CDC Totalitarian Rule, but they must be stopped. They should not be granted powers to suspend most of the Constitution.
CDC employees have an odd, paramilitary culture that is not necessary in a free and open society. Perhaps they are nervous and this bluster is a threat. Perhaps they will apprehend people who write blog articles. Perhaps they will apprehend people who make movies. Perhaps you will be arrested by a Rear Admiral and force-vaccinated against all of these diseases because you told your sister about “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism“.
We must immediately, forcefully and collectively assert and affirm our rights to:
- Rights to Free Speech
- Religious Rights
- Rights to Refuse Medical Treatment
- Right to Refuse to Participate in Medical Experiments
- Rights to Equal Protection
- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The reality is that open-end legislation at Federal, State, and County levels on vaccine mandates are dangerous, because no science is done to tell us about the risks of adding an ever-increasing number of vaccines, and this newly proposed ’emergency’ authority to force vaccination upon American citizens a list of vaccines to which CDC can add at their whim cut deep across the grain of American sensibility and our traditional respect for the rights of individuals.
The attack on Constitutionally guaranteed and protected rights being visited upon the American public is sometimes described using the word “impingement”. The aggregate effects of these moves is not an impingement – it is a dismantling of our safeguards against a totalitarian state. It’s a wholescale slaughter of the Constitution.
What are your thoughts? What other rights are being threatened by vaccine risk denialists? Let’s have #thediscussion – while we still can.
Holland, MS. 2011. Legally Censoring Speech on Vaccines and Autism: A Response. The Jurist http://www.jurist.org/forum/2015/12/mary-holland-vaccines-autism.php
About the Author:
Dr. Lyons-Weiler is the CEO of The Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, former Senior Research Scientist and Scientific Director of the Bioinformatics Analysis Core at the University of Pittsburgh, and former faculty member in the Department of Pathology and Department of Biomedical Informatics (University of Pittsburgh), and former full faculty member in The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He is the author of three books (Ebola: An Evolving Story; Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research and The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism). To book Dr. Lyons-Weiler for speaking engagements, email firstname.lastname@example.org