Vaccines and the Ethical Issues That Surround Them

2155 Words9 Pages
VACCINES AND THE ETHICAL ISSUES THAT SURROUND THEM As incoming transfer students or freshmen, all Northern Michigan University’s students are asked to present medical proof to the registration office that they have previously received the measles vaccination. As a transfer student this past semester, I was required to do this before registering for my classes. I happily complied with this, but began to wonder what kind of ethical issues are involved with vaccine requirements. After much researching, I came to find that there are many ethical issues and controversies surrounding vaccines and immunizations. But as we all know, there are always two sides to every argument. Vaccination is both looked at as one of the greatest developments of the twentieth century, and also as a very dangerous practice with many possible negative side effects. In the following paragraphs, I will explain to you the basics behind what vaccines are and how they are developed, some background information on the types of vaccines, the history of vaccines and immunizations, what kind of requirements and exemptions are involved with vaccination, the basic ethical issues behind vaccination, and both the pros and cons in the arguments concerning the ethical issues with mandatory vaccination of children BASICS OF VACCINES & DEVELOPMENT Now what exactly is a vaccine? The Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford defines vaccines as “medications that are designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to generate a response that will protect the individual from disease caused by the pathogen in question” (“What are vaccines?”, n.d.). A more simple way to say it is that vaccines are a way that humans fight against disease. Vaccines allow a person to become immune to a certain disease. Vaccination is an important practice not only because it prevents an individual from contracting a

More about Vaccines and the Ethical Issues That Surround Them

Open Document