Commitment to vaccination is possible if public health is at stake

Yesterday, the House of Representatives rejected a proposal to permanently cancel potential vaccinations. The obligation to vaccinate in the Netherlands is possible when public health is at stake. This is what Professor of Health Law Art Hendricks from Leiden University said. Hendricks describes the desire of the German government, which wants to impose the injection obligation on its citizens, as a “major violation of self-determination”.

This does not change the fact that, according to the professor, there is a health crisis in which many people believe they will either die or become seriously ill. “As a politician, then you must think carefully: do you seek the health of the many or the self-determination of the few?”

Public Health

According to Hendricks, this right to self-determination is allowed to be abolished if there are valid reasons for this. Hendricks mentions helmet and seatbelt wearing in traffic as everyday examples of this restriction. “It is in the interest of public health.” Politicians will have to scratch their heads later if it turns out years later that many deaths could have been prevented, Hendricks says.

In Germany, there will be a roll-call vote on the vaccination commitment and the party-style vote will not go as usual, showing how sensitive the topic is. Hendricks argues that any obligation to vaccinate must be enshrined in law. It must be in law. This can be done in a separate act, but it can also be done in a public health act.

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Megan Vasquez

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