The conflict of vaccination mandates that should be accorded to people who refuse to be vaccinated is a topic of bioethical debate.

In previous posts, we analyzed the reasons that support vaccination, from the recognition of available scientific evidence and respect for the bioethical principles that defend human life, justice and solidarity.

In this sense, we echo the reflection published on the subject by Diego Gracia Guillén, Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine, in his article published in the journal Anales RANM in July 2021, where he analyzed the moral problems that underlie Covid-19, and specifically vaccination.

Among the moral dilemmas that arise in the current pandemic crisis, Gracia raises the question of whether vaccination should be made mandatory by public authorities or left to the free choice of people. The question from which it stems is: Should vaccination “objectors” be respected?

As the Academic explains, until recently, we would have answered a resounding no, but “Today, on the contrary, we respond positively almost unanimously and equally emphatically. This shows, at the very least, that there has been a drastic change, not only towards mandatory vaccination, but also towards the legitimacy of the public authorities to demand social benefits that may compromise to some extent, even if only to a small degree, people’s health or lives”.

Is it lacking in solidarity not to get vaccinated? Gracia’s paper is based on the fact that “it is in these situations of social crisis that the solidarity of individuals is put to the test. Vaccination should be a social obligation. But if for whatever reason it is not, it should at least be clear that, with some exceptions, it is a moral duty”.


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