Vaccinations and the Parameters of Medical Ethics from a Secular and Jewish Perspective.
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ABSTRACT Background and Introduction: The obligation or lack thereof of individuals to vaccinate themselves and their children has been the subject of much discourse. This paper explores the requirement for inoculations from a secular medical ethics as well as halachic or Jewish Law perspective. The different values such as patient autonomy and requirement for one to take care of themselves take effect when addressing this issue. Data: Secular and Jewish medical ethics texts as well as historical, judicial, and scientific sources are utilized to yield a greater understanding of vaccinations. Methods: This paper includes a literature review of secular medical ethics including patient autonomy and competence while exploring Jewish texts related to taking precautions and the necessary actions towards optimal health. Results: This paper considers the secular and Jewish approach towards medical ethics. Even with the differing values, the two viewpoints result in the same conclusion regarding vaccinations. Discussion: The paper will discuss the secular and Jewish perspective towards medical ethics as well as the history of vaccinations. It will also delineate the sources of various misconceptions regarding immunizations and refute those arguments.
senior honors thesis.