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Volume 27 • Number 1

January 2013



Resisting Moral Permissiveness About Vaccine Refusal

by Mark Navin

If the popularity of his Vaccine Book is any indication, many people agree with Dr. Bob Sears about the morality of vaccine refusal. Like Sears, they do not "fault parents" who refuse vaccination out of concern for their children's well-being; they think morality permits parents to prioritize the interests of their children over the "good of the country as a whole." Other writers for a popular audience have also argued that vaccine refusal may be justified by a parental prerogative to prioritize the interests of one's own children. Writers for academic audiences have also often characterized the morality of vaccination in terms of an analogous tension between personal (parental) autonomy and (utilitarian) considerations of public health.

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ISSN: 2152-0542