The ability to make decisions about what goes into our bodies is a basic human right. This personal autonomy is challenged whenever government requires mandatory vaccinations. Indeed, sticking needles into a human body is the very definition of intrusive.
For this reason, I am introducing “Informed Consent” legislation to require patients and parents be given information before they consent to vaccinations. Consistent with my successful medical cannabis initiative, I believe all medical decisions should be between a patient and their physician – including the right to informed consent or informed refusal in the use of vaccines.
I am also introducing a Resolution calling upon Congress to repeal the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. This federal law prevents those harmed by a vaccine from suing pharmaceutical companies making these products. I believe this Act violates patient’s rights by limiting options to refuse vaccinations or seek due process of law as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution.
My goal is to ensure people are first given an explanation of the potential benefits and the potential risks whenever a vaccine is administered. Only then are people able to exercise their basic human right to decide whether or not to allow intrusion into their bodies.
Informed Consent is already required for a number of medical treatments and procedures: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and blood transfusions. My legislation would extend patients’ rights to Informed Consent to vaccinations by requiring them to be informed of the potential risks and benefits of the vaccinations they are being given. More importantly, my legislation will require patients be given this information prior to their consenting to receive a vaccination.
I believe Informed Consent should, at a minimum, mean the person from whom consent is being sought be given the opportunity to understand what they are being given, what the risks and benefits are, and other potential consequences of the procedure they are facing.
Physicians and researchers are divided on the impacts of vaccines on children – especially the relationship of vaccines to autism – plus a number of other conditions and medical circumstances where vaccination may not be considered safe.
From the 1940’s when the first autism cases were diagnosed to the 1980’s when the vaccine schedule was expanded, the rate of autism remained relatively stable. In the early 1990’s, parents and physicians witnessed an alarming rise, which some call an epidemic, in autism rates. In one decade, the rate of autism increased 500%: from one in 2,500 to one in 500.
A reanalysis of a 2004 CDC study showed a higher connection between incidences of autism for children receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine prior to 36 months of age. In 2008, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program awarded a family roughly $1.5 Million for a vaccine’s role in an autism-related diagnosis.
Until these issues are further researched and/or a Vaccine Safety Commission is established, I believe no patient or parent should be required to submit to a vaccination without Informed Consent.
I hope my colleagues in the Senate and House will agree: Informed Consent is a basic human right of consenting or refusing a medical treatment or procedure – including vaccinations.