Wednesday, January 18, 2012
An article published by the American Medical Association’s Virtual Mentor journal advocates making participation in vaccine trials mandatory, arguing that people should be forced to take experimental shots in a similar vein to how jury service is compulsory.
The article, written by Oxford University’s Susanne Sheehy and Joel Meyer, is entitled Should Participation in Vaccine Clinical Trials be Mandated?
Concerned about the “distressing decline in the numbers of healthy volunteers who participate in clinical trials,” the piece argues that “Compulsory involvement in vaccine studies” should be considered for the “greater good of society.”
“Many societies already mandate that citizens undertake activities for the good of society; in several European countries registration for organ-donation has switched from “opt-in” (the current U.S. system) to “opt-out” systems (in which those who do not specifically register as nondonors are presumed to consent to donation) , and most societies expect citizens to undertake jury service when called upon. In these examples, the risks or inconvenience to an individual are usually limited and minor. Mandatory involvement in vaccine trials is therefore perhaps more akin to military conscription, a policy operating today in 66 countries. In both conscription and obligatory trial participation, individuals have little or no choice regarding involvement and face inherent risks over which they have no control, all for the greater good of society.”