Alan Philips, JD: Responding to establishment argument that “Parents Should Be Held Liable For The Deaths ‘Caused’ by Unvaccinated Children
Dr. Caplan’s primary premises, for purposes of the parental liability question, are essentially that: 1) Unvaccinated children put others at risk, 2) Unvaccinated children, as such, cause actual harm to others, and 3) Non-vaccinating parents know these first two premises, and should, therefore, be held liable for the harm caused by their failure to get their children vaccinated. I. The Real Ethical Issue
Dr. Caplan’s concern puts the cart before the horse. He has missed the target, a far more fundamental ethical question underlying his position, by mistakenly assuming that parents who refuse vaccines for their children are necessarily negligent for doing so. But the matter is not nearly so simple. Given the medically and legally established fact that vaccines cause permanent disability and death, no parent can be reasonably categorized as “negligent” for choosing not to vaccinate their child. The real ethical question, then, is not whether or not parents should be held liable for their choice not to vaccinate, but instead, whether or not parents should be required to place their children at risk of vaccine injury or death in the first place.