Liability for Failure to Vaccinate

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By Art Caplan

Measles are breaking out all over Britain.  Getting fewer headlines is the fact that measles are back in the USA too.  In fact they are in our region.  A mini-epidemic is raging in Brooklyn.  Measles for cripes sake!  The disease that many of us over 60 had as kids that should never occur is back with a vengeance.  The reason for the diseases reappearance is simple—failure to vaccinate.  Maybe it is time to get tough on those whose choices put others at risk.

For decades, there has been a safe, effective vaccine that works exceedingly well against the measles–95% full protection for a kid who has been vaccinated– and nearly equally well at preventing transmission to others.  The more people have been vaccinated the tougher it is for measles to gain a foothold.

NY City health officials have reported 30 cases so far–26 in Borough Park and four more in Williamsburg.  The NY Daily News reports that the consequences of this outbreak have been dire:

“There have been two hospitalizations, a miscarriage and a case of pneumonia as a result of this outbreak,” a Health Department spokeswoman said. “All cases involved adults or children who were not vaccinated due to refusal or delays in vaccination.”

So far the outbreak has been among religious Jews some of whom shun getting the vaccine for their kids out of fear it causes autism Dr. Yu Shia Lin of Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park told The News.

Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn are not the only ones making poor, dangerous and sometimes fatal choices by avoiding vaccination.  20 people were sickened a few weeks ago in North Carolina when an unvaccinated person came back from India, attended two youth baseball games, and later, developed symptoms of measles having exposed many people.  An infant in Battle Creek, Michigan, whose parents traveled out of the country without vaccinating their child against measles likely exposed others to measles at a pediatric office and subsequently at the emergency room where their measles-infected child was taken.  And Britain is battling an enormous outbreak of measles directly attributable to non-vaccination

Pockets of measles spring up in places where parents choose for one reason or another not to vaccinate and then take an infected child on a bus, to an airport, to daycare, an amusement park, a church or other public places.

For many years public health officials have tried to debunk false fears about vaccine safety.  Public officials have tried to make vaccination a condition of entering school.  But choosing not to vaccinate is still permitted.  Some parents home school to duck the vaccination requirement.  And some parents just won’t believe that the vaccines are safe no matter how many studies prove otherwise.

I think there should be a right to decide not to vaccinate your child.  But, we have been far too lenient in putting up with the consequences of that lousy choice.  If your kid gets the measles, and remember public health officials are getting very very good at tracing outbreaks to their source, and makes my kid sick (can happen since vaccine is not 100% effective), my newborn baby die (newborns can’t benefit from vaccines) or my wife miscarry (fetuses are at especially high risk), then shouldn’t I be able to sue you for the harm you have done?

Some will say that the law in NY and other states allows refusal and that protects against liability.  Maybe.

If you know the dangers of measles or for that matter whooping cough or mumps, and you still choose to put others at risk should you be exempt from the consequences of that choice?  I can choose to drink but if I run you over it is my responsibility.  I can choose not to shovel the snow from my walk but if you fall I pay.  Why should failing to vaccinate your children or yourself be any different?

When the subject is vaccines a tiny minority continue to put the rest of us at risk.  We are willing to let them choose to do so without penalty.  That should change.  If I know you or your kid made mine sick because you chose not to vaccinate then you should bear full responsibility for the harm you knew or ought to have known could happen.

150 thoughts to “Liability for Failure to Vaccinate”

  1. Aside from the causation issue, which as you pointed out is surmountable, I don’t see any barrier to actually bringing such a case. Why do you think one had not yet been brought?

      1. To remind you, the Supreme Court case – Sebelius v. Cloer – discusses under what circumstances someone claiming a vaccine injury and suing through NVICP gets lawyers fees. It does not cover this situation.

  2. AMEN!! If parents choose not to vaccinate, they should be, by law, required to take extra precautions to make sure they don’t expose others and, yes, we should be allowed to sue them for gross and unconscionable negligence! I do not know how Andrew Wakefield sleeps at night!

    1. not sure i suspect the perception that the exemptions permitted under state law make liability for harm done impossible–I do not see it that way. you may choose to exempt but that does not relieve you of civil liability if you choice harms another.

      1. If I know you or your kid made mine sick and you or your child was vaccinated then you should bear full responsibility for the harm you knew or ought to have known could happen.

        The lawsuits and ambulance chasers will have more work to do in the first 10 years of your delusional world compared to all the years prior to the invention of vaccines
        Vaccination won’t protect you from lawsuits any more than car insurance protects you from auto accidents.

    2. Give me a break. These so called “outbreaks” have been shown to be starting in VACCINATED individuals! If your vaccines are so good- then what is the problem with my kid being unvaccinated?

      1. First, that is not completely accurate. Some outbreaks of diseases were in vaccinated populations – the recent Chicken pox outbreak, which led to no complications; others clearly start with unvaccinated individuals: most measles outbreaks fall into that category. And the rates for measles and pertussis are higher – substantially higher – among the unvaccinated. Second, as to the risk from an unvaccinated child: if that child, at a higher risk, catches a disease, she endangers children too young to be vaccinated, those that cannot be vaccinated because of medical conditions, and those in whom the vaccine was not completely effective. She also undermines herd immunity: if immunity (natural or from vaccines) is above a certain threshold, many diseases cannot take hold in a population, because they have no new host to jump to when they can’t survive in a certain host (this does not apply to tetanus, by the way).

        1. Herd immunity is a junk science concept used to promote a herd mentality. As far as i can tell, vaccines have never prevented anything, apart from health, sanity and plain common sense.

        2. Dorit, your ‘herd immunity’ parroting is so obviously against all common sense that i should not really reply to you at all. Why can’t people see that this ‘medical hypothesis’ is purely a marketing tool ? I would let my children have the REAL diseases rather than deal with the purposeful poisons added to vaccines. Fact is, without vaccinations, children get LESS diseases and this is proved in study…plus the natural diseases have their advantages…

    3. Which others are they exposing to infection? Only other vaccinated people. What’s the problem?

    4. In truth, I know Dr. Wakefield and he sleeps very well at night–with the knowledge that he is fighting for the health of our children when so many others have fallen into the slippery slope of believing in government lies. Why not hold drug companies, government health agencies and pediatricians accountable for vaccine injury? In particular, the 1 in 31 boys now diagnosed with autism. ??
      Maurine Meleck SC
      grandmother to 1 in 31(vaccine injured)

    5. Mary, you know that vaccines can cause other diseases, right? If the parents choose not to vaccinate their children’s, it’s their decision. I don’t think we need a law to force this decision.

    6. What you are saying is ridiculous. If you child is vaccinated, aren’t they supposedly protected? How can they get sick from an unvaccinated child? If you have so much faith in the vaccine then what is your concern. Nonsensical.

      1. “Why not hold drug companies, government health agencies and pediatricians accountable for vaccine injury? In particular, the 1 in 31 boys now diagnosed with autism. ??” Many studies, in many countries, by many researchers examined the link between vaccines and autism; none was found. Holding drug companies liable for a link unsupported by any credible evidence is problematic. As to accountability – for drug companies, I recommend reading Bruesewitz v. Wyeth; but there is no case against the pediatrician, and suing government agencies will probably run into sovereign immunity problems.

        1. I so agree, vaccine companies should be held responsible for vaccination injury, then they would have to seriously look at the nature of the product. This would presumably lead to one of the following outcomes: safe vaccines or a recognition that vaccines are not, in fact, safe at all.

        2. This article is industry propaganda at it’s worst and I would like to see the author sued for fraud by false representation. Ok, you state, and I quote “Many studies, in many countries, by many researchers examined the link between vaccines and autism; none was found” please check this link and reappraise…

          Also this man is also in cahoots with a fear-mongering agenda (Measles as a wild strain is LESS risky than vaccine strains and BENEFITS us…it is no worse than a mild flu for most except the weak who will suffer from the vaccination but may never encounter the disease) and child genocide, he should be jailled… Vaccines are useless and a crime against the people…

          Link to Measles benefits…

    7. Before non-vaccinators can be liable, we must first impose liability on all the smokers for the lung cancer contracted by non-smokers. Get moving on that.

    8. You seem to forget that it is parents’ fundamental and unalienable right to decide what goes into their children’s bodies. It’s called freedom of choice. This right isn’t and cannot be granted or withheld by the state, but only supported or suppressed, as in Mississipi and West Virginia where parents are denied religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions which parents in other states can use to opt out of the institutionalised child abuse I consider vaccination to be.

  3. Perhaps I don’t understand the epi of measles, but isn’t the externality limited to other non-vaccinated people? If so, why exactly are they complaining about the transmission?

    1. no vaccination is only about 92% effective in young people, far less in the elderly and newborns cannot be vaccinated so are completely vulnerable

      1. Site your reference for these statistics… i am so utterly tired of pro-vaccine shills making unsubstantiated statements without reference so it can be scrutinized properly.

      2. Ha ha, so says the pharmaceutical company. Vaccines are losing their efficacy fast. Strains of the diseases are mutating rendering some immunisations useless. Oh but wait, there are billion dollar deals at stake, and all of these stockpiles….better do some quick sales…….

      3. Not true Art

        Serres et al. (2012). Greater risk of measles with earlier age of 1st dose in adolescents who received two pediatric doses of vaccine beginning from 12 months of age: Further evidence from Quebec. ICAAC. Retrieved from{6B114A1D-85A4-4054-A83B-04D8B9B8749F}
        Excerpt: “Two dose recipients whose first dose was given at 12-13 months rather than ≥ 15 months of age were at substantially higher risk of measles infection as adolescents. The optimal two-dose schedule in support of the measles elimination goal warrants further evaluation”

        1. Thanks for the link Heather. I’ve recently spent some time researching the same issue because from Feb (a month before my youngest’s 1st birthday) I have been tediously harassed by our local gp to take him in for the MMR…………And I believe many babies carry their own immunity from their mother for a little while, some up to 18 months old. But this information speaks volumes of the care, sense, and incentive of these pharmaceutical companies. If a young baby were to contract the disease it’s logical they will encounter issues with their under developed lungs and inability to perform the usual functions a child or adult would. But generally I don’t believe infants are more vulnerable because they’re more susceptible, but that *if* their natural immunity doesn’t hold up they are vulnerable due to complications that may arise because of their infancy. I have felt the dilemma myself with my children even following my first who is severely disabled as a direct consequence of vaccine damage. If the author of this and other similar viewed postings was witness to my story, my son, or any of the thousands more, they would first understand how truly offensive this is, but also supporting instead of condemning them who desperately need and deserve it.

        2. Heather: “Excerpt: “Two dose recipients whose first dose was given at 12-13 months rather than ≥ 15 months of age were at substantially higher risk of measles infection as adolescents. The optimal two-dose schedule in support of the measles elimination goal warrants further evaluation””Note that what this says is that it is better to vaccinate at 15 months than at 12 months. It does not say the vaccine is ineffective. Actually, “Studies indicate that more than 99% of persons who receive two doses of measles vaccine (with the first dose administered no earlier than the first birthday) develop serologic evidence of measles immunity.”

          1. seroloic evidence does not mean protection. This form of immunity proof is highly debated and does not prove that you have immunity, only that your body is fighting against the injected virus, nothing more

      4. Art, I challenge your reliance on industry stats…if you want to stick up for childhood vaccinations and persecute those that know the truth, then I suggest you take the whole program of childhood vaccinations yourself and then report back on your findings. If you are still mentally capable or alive… Any less is bullshit and you are full of it sir. Vaccines are fraud and so are you.

  4. I wonder if the real problem, form the point of tort law, is the existence of the duty rather than the difficulty of proving causation. As Art points out, state legislation that explicitly allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their children suggests that state law recognizes no legal duty to do so. In addition, wouldn’t the plaintiff/injured child to whom the disease was transmitted also be likely to be unvaccinated? Would the decision of the plaintiff’s parents not to vaccinate their child be a defense? Of course, there are some children who cannot be vaccinated (because of their age or compromised health), and it may be unfair to bar a child from recovering in tort because her parents neglected to have her vaccinated.

    1. exactly. Causation is insufficient to be tortious, and rightfully so. If the ‘victim’ contracted the disease by riding on a bus next to the vector, should we sue the bus company for bringing about the cause for the virus to be transmitted (without the bus, there would have been no transmission)? Should we sue the state for building the road on which the bus rode (without the road, there would be no bus, and no transmission). Should we sue the organizers of the fair that the kid was travelling to (without the fair, the kid would not have been on the bus)?

      You always wade into very dangerous territory where you force existential action upon people to limit their liability. Yes, for example, corporations can be sued for treating their employees negligently through inaction, but it was their choice to incorporate, and their choice to contract the labor of their employees to make money. But vaccination is an existential choice. And there will always be corner cases where individuals can get sick or die from vaccinations too – as is always the case when you inject something into your body. At what rate do we consider those corner cases relevant? 1%? 0.1%? 0.001%? Ten people in the nation? One person in the world? In this country we are not a straight democracy – we are supposed to protect minorities from the majority.

      1. Well spoken Moto. I haven’t heard anyone above you speak with anything but slavery to socialism and absolutely no proof that unvaccinated people hurt anyone. Let the individual choose.

      2. Very well said. I believe the statistics of vaccine damage will begin emerging soon….and the degrees and extensive realities will most likely terrify and enrage us all. This publication is born of an incomprehensible, immoral and rigid character.

    2. We actually do occasionally hold people responsible for harms their inaction cause to others. This is the question of duty to act raised out by Prof. Schwartz and Moto. We usually create a duty to act when there are policy reasons, and they suggest this would be too much of a limit on liberty, and I think this is a strong argument. Of course, the same problem may not exist if you are suing the non-vaccinating parent for a specific negligent action: bringing an unvaccinated child to a playdate and not warning the other children; traveling to areas of epidemics with an unvaccinated child and exposing others on return.

      1. Aside from premises liability to invitees and circumstances created by the tortfeasor, I can’t think of an event where society imposes a duty to act to protect a stranger. What circumstances are you thinking of?

        1. Vermont has a general duty to assist law that also creates civil liability; some states use an expansive “Special Relationship” definition to impose, for example, liability between friends – see Farwell v. Keaton, 240 N.W.2d 217. And in some situations reliance on gratuitous promise was seen to create a duty (e.g. Marsalis v. La Salle). This does not fit neatly into any of those exceptions (maybe a special relationship, in situations of close acquaintance between the parents), but the point is, in all of these scenarios the courts created a new duty to act based on policy considerations. I’m not sure if we should create one here – Rob Schwartz and Moto suggested some good concerns – but it is certainly worth a discussion.

    3. I just want to point out that the plaintiff’s parents would not necessarily have decided not to vaccinate. The plaintiff may be too young to vaccinate; suffer vaccine failure; or they may have not vaccinated for medical reasons, as pointed by Moto. I’m not sure which situation would be more common. In the measles epidemics in the U.S., for example, you are right that we often had an unvaccinated child infecting mostly other unvaccinated individuals; but in Europe, many of the cases were in those under a year, not vaccinated.

        1. “What “epidemic?” 80% of these outbreaks are occurring in VACCINATED individuals!!” Not really for measles. Let’s look at one year of European data which is pretty typical: “Vaccination status was known for 83% (23 846) of the reported cases. Of these, 82% (19 556) were unvaccinated, 13% (3 191) had received one dose of measles vaccine and 4% (858) had received two or more doses.” The measles vaccine is very effective; 99% of people develop immunity after two doses.

  5. Caplan, you are a laughable clown. I am always greatly amused when I see you presented as a “bioethicist.” Your sloppy reasoning is again evident when you assert the unvaccinated put people at risk. People have always been at risk from infectious illnesses. As such, the unvaccinated don’t create any risks that did not already exist. And why should you be able to sue? There is no obligation to vaccinate. If there was one, why did you not present a line of reasoning to support that half-baked assertion? Also I’m curious, have gotten a paycheck from vaccine makers in the past? It is of great comfort that my opponents can only present confused and muddled reasoning to support their wacky beliefs.

    1. And the government and vaccine companies should have to be liable (able to be sued) for any side effects from the vaccine.

    2. point well made! took the words right out of my mouth, just formulated them better than i could !

  6. Dorit, as a law professor you should realize there is no duty of care that would allow a negligence suit. Is your bizarre love for vaccination so strong that you cannot apprehend this? Or is negligence not the route you would take? From where does a duty of care emerge when we have a non-action aka simply existing?

  7. Robert, I do realize that currently there is no case that suggested that a parent that did not vaccinate has a legal duty to anyone harmed by the choice. But remember that duty of care is not dictated from above: the courts decide when to impose a duty of care, including when to impose a duty to act, based on policy considerations. For example, the courts acknowledge a duty to act in cases when prior conduct created risk, or in narrow circumstances when someone started to help. Some states impose, by statute, a general duty to act in easy cases – Vermont does that – as do other countries; and a legislature can certainly create such a duty. So saying there is no legal duty currently is correct but does not answer the question raised: should there be. You are assuming the law will never change – that’s not something you can count on. That is why I’m directing you to the arguments by Prof. Schwartz and Moto, which suggest why we may not want to impose such a duty.

    1. What you’re implicitly advocating is a duty to inject a foreign substance into a person’s body. Regardless of the perceived risks and benefits, that is — at its core — a liberty and privacy issue of constitutional dimension. Should there be an exception for people who eschew conventional medical treatment on religious grounds? If not, WHY not? If so, how is “religion” more important than a non-“religious” but equally earnest closely-held belief?

      1. The constitutional question is a separate issue, and not really the one here. To remind you, we do impose liability for things that are not legally required; these are two separate issue. Something can be legal – and not doing something may be legal – and yet not reasonable under our standards of negligence. As to the constitutional question – in the three last times the Supreme Court addressed this, that would be Jacobson v. Massachusetts, Zucht v. King, and Prince v. Massachusetts, it allowed mandated vaccination (In Jacobson, the issue was a fine for not vaccinating); as far as I know, while courts did impose limits on what can be done in relation to religious exemptions, echoing your concerns, they never challenged the principle of requiring immunization to attend public school.

  8. Of course, that point still avoids the other potential set of cases, where the suit is not for inaction – for not vaccinating – but for negligence given that choice: can a parent be sued for taking an unvaccinated child to an epidemic area and then sending them to school, if that child infects other children? Can a parent be sued for not telling a pregnant woman or a mother with a newborn that their child, brought in close contact with that person, is unvaccinated, if a disease against which we have a vaccine is passed from the child to the newborn or causes a miscarriage? I think those questions at least deserve to be asked. Or more extremely, the cases occasionally mentioned on anti-vaccination boards of a parent knowing their child has chicken pox and choosing to expose others to that child – why should that parent not be liable?

    1. Dorit, I do not agree with you, but I must say that at least you are not resorting to rhetorical ploys such as just using insulting language against those you disagree with.
      As I live in the UK I’d like to see the source of your figures claiming that a predominance of babies were infected by the current measles outbreak. As far as I can see data collection here seems patchy to say the least.
      My own son had measles at that age (as did I), with no complications. I don’t see a huge mortality rate currently either. Is there collection of data to show whether the outbreak is currently in vaccinated or unvaccinated children or whether complications are worse in vaccinated or unvaccinated children? It seems to me that most claims on this issue are not backed up by sound evidence and that the opportunity to compile data is not being taken (not all parents take their children for diagnosis anyway).

      1. Stephens, my comment was about Europe, not the U.K.; it reflected the data from a set of reports monitoring measles across Europe. Here is one from 2011: Notice that the majority of the cases were in those under 1 (figure 4) and notice table 2, complications. Why you are right the number of deaths was low, the complications were not: we had one in a thousand, as predicted, have encephalitis, 4% with pneumonia, and other complications. Remember, also, that if a child gets measles under the age of 2, there is a chance she will develop the fatal and uncurable SSPE – here is one such child: So I am glad you and your child were fine, but it’s not something one can count on.

    2. While you’re at it, why not require HIV+ people to wear a biohazard patch? If you find that offensive, at least recognize that it’s only different in degree from what you are implicitly advocating.

  9. In my state, West Virginia, there is no religious or philosophical exemption from compulsory immunizations for school entry. Only children with valid medical exemptions can forgo vaccination. I am the lawyer for the state Public Health agency. I/we would completely agree with your legal theory and will be on the lookout for measles cases with serious harm. We would love to have other states move in our direction by repealing their laws that allow for religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccine. there was a case brought several years ago, Workman v. Mingo County Schools, that held THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO AN EXEMPTION FROM VACCINE REQUIREMENTS. There is a case pending before out State Supreme Court right now that will determine if the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health or the Legislature gets to decide who sets vaccine requirements for school children. It will be a very important decision. thank you for this article.

    1. Thankfully I do not live in the US. Here in Canada we value our constitutional rights, including the one that basically says, no product can be mandated. See we have freedoms here, unlike those hillbilly states that feel its alright to force people into taking pharmaceuticals.

    2. Clearly you don’t care that to get a medical waiver damage must already have been done to someone by vaccines and because of certain people, people like you maybe, proving the damage can be near impossible because no one is willing to question the safety of vaccine. Don’t you find morally wrong that we can not even hold vaccine manufacturers accountable to the lives they take and the damage they do?

    3. So how are your vaccination policies working out for West Virginia in terms of over all citizen public health? There are a variety of sources ending in .gov that will support that WV has nearly the highest incidences of Diabetes, Infant Mortality, Low Birth Weight, Poor Mental Health, Poor Physical Health, and Premature Death in the nation. So it would seem if we want to create a bunch of low income, over weight, smokers that have some of the highest per capita public health expenditures, then sure let’s all join WV, the burgeoning bright spot of the US. .

  10. I just wanted to share this resource, in case there are those interested in learning more about the state of the laws. Y. Tony Yang and Vicky Debold of George Mason University produced a State Vaccination Requirements Database. You can access it through (the password is “solstice”).

  11. All of this is ridiculous, because there is NO ‘epidemic’ in the UK. If you look at the official government statistics, there is no massive rise in measles in Wales compared to last year, or the year before. This is all hype aimed at frightening parents into vaccinating. Furthermore, at least one government official said on the UK news that, because children in Wales are well-nourished, we haven’t seen any serious complications from this normal childhood infection. Also check out the statistics which show that these normal childhood infections can actually be protective against autoimmune diseases. The incidence of cancer in leukaemia amongst people who have had full-blown childhood infections is much lower than vaccinated children.

    1. Ms. Driscoll — there most certainly is a measles epidemic on-going in the UK, centred on Swansea in South Wales — see, and, and One death has been attributed to measles so far. Since Welsh children are largely well-nourished, the case fatality rate will be lower than what we normally see in developing countries, but is that reason to dismiss the epidemic. The notion that infectious diseases strengthen kids’ immune systems is medieval. Before vaccines became available, millions died annually from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles, millions more were paralyzed by polio. In 1918, 50 million people worldwide died from influenza, more than all the dead in the First World War. Anti-vaccinationists want to take society back to those days, but the general public clearly does not to join them. Please consider the confusion you cause by statements like the one above. Thanks.

      1. There is no confusion to that statement. Deaths are caused from COMPLICATIONS- not the actual measles virus. The actual virus lasts 7-10 days and while it makes someone feel pretty bad- is not fatal, unless we are talking about an infant, or immuno-compromised individual. But the shedding of vaccines is more harmful than the actual virus.

        1. Dawn, without the measles virus infecting the child, there would be no complications of measles. And the MMR does not shed its measles component: “Although a woman can excrete rubella vaccine virus in breast milk and transmit the virus to her infant, the infection remains asymptomatic (202-205). Otherwise, persons who receive MMR or its component vaccines do not transmit measles, rubella, or mumps vaccine viruses (206,207)”

        2. Dawn, please explain. How does one suffer and die from complications of a disease one does not catch in the first place?

      2. Sorry matey, quoting the media just shares the hype. look at NHS Wales, the official government site and you will see Ms Driscoll is correct. there is no measles epidemic in the UK.
        I could say loads more about the original article, and the ridiculous assertions and suggestion but here in the UK it is late! I will say though, that I am the well read, well informed, and very proud mother of healthy unvaccinated children. I have had a long and successful career in special education, and have seen first hand the down side of vaccination. parents have the right to balance the risks of vaccination against the risks of childhood illness, and make their own informed choices.

      3. There is a problem here in that if you look at the data there were high fatality rates before vaccines, but these had fallen dramatically before vaccines were available too. Vaccines cannot claim responsibility for the huge reduction in mortality rates: it had already taken place. I’m also in the UK, I agree with Catherine that the UK ‘epidemic’ is media hype, possibly with a political agenda.
        1918 is 100 years ago, the ‘flu vaccine is notably hit and miss. In the last 100 years we have seen huge improvements in public health facilities and (in the UK) welfare leading to better health and lowered susceptibility.

        1. ” there were high fatality rates before vaccines, but these had fallen dramatically before vaccines were available too. Vaccines cannot claim responsibility for the huge reduction in mortality rates:” Stephens, that is partly true: mortality fell before vaccines thanks to medical advances. For example, someone who got polio could stay alive with the use of an iron lung. But that is not a good result: rates of diseases did not fall, suffering and disabilities continued. Rates of diseases only fell after vaccines for each disease:

      4. I think the article’s headline says it all. “43,000 Vaccination Drive” what a boon for Merk. All they had to do was get an article in the Guardian and the BBC to drum up business for a solid second quarter close.

        Interesting that of the 370 out of the 840 tested actually HAD measles. (so what did the other 64% have, since it wasn’t measle’s?) So it would seem that the 1170 cases “driving this outbreak” is ACTUALLY more like 514, or about 40% less than the sensationalist headlines that are adding to Merk’s bottom line. So I guess there won’t so many cases of ” It is just a matter of time before a child is left with serious and permanent complications such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or dies” after all. Of those 340 actually tested it would be SO entirely interesting to find out how many actually developed ” It is just a matter of time before a child is left with serious and permanent complications such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or dies”

        And of course last but not least as the assertion that “There is no adverse effect to this extra jab ” so I suppose the manufacturers must be liars. AS they list them on page 7.

      5. you are talking about times before vaccines; these were also the times when nutrition and hygiene were dismal and the cause of higher death rates when infected. The pro vaccine people always cite the high fatality rates in medieval times or third world countries.
        For myself: i go by having had all child hood diseases, along with my sister; neither of us suffered any adverse effects, in fact my sister’s asthma disappeared completely after she had pertussis at the age of 4; myself i have all positive high anti body titers to all of them and never had one vaccine – no vaccine will give you that!

        1. Nutrition and hygiene were abysmal in the U.S. before the early ’60s? That would be the time period right before the measles vaccine. How about in the early 1990s, right before varicella vaccine became available? For that matter, let’s go back in time to that horribly dirty, disease ridden time period we refer to as the ’50s, when people were suffering and dying from polio. Nobody has to cite figures from medieval times to see that what are now vaccine preventable diseases were often dangerous and could be deadly.
          As for your family anecdotes, I’m happy that you and your sister came safely through those diseases. Unfortunately, you and your sister are not the only children who suffered from them. I’m surprised you think that two children are totally representative of the population.

      6. Oh, golly gosh. How can I live with myself? I caught measles, mumps, chicken pox and German measles when I was a child…… and I survived. I’m a big strong girl aged 67. My mother had measles; my father had measles; my husband, his three brothers and one sister had measles. EVERYBODY had measles. There is not one single case of complications or death from measles amongst the whole of my extensive lifelong connections. So please, also consider the confusion you cause by your didactic statements. That’s all I wish to say. Thank you.

      7. I live in South Africa. The last time we had a case of wild polio here was in 1954. The last case of polio paralysis was in 2011, and it was vaccine induced.

        Authorities here still administer the oral polio vaccine to newborns at 2/3 days of age. The OPV vaccine causes a newborn to excrete the live polio virus in his/her faeces for up to 6 weeks following administration of the vaccine.

        If my child is not vaccinated against polio and contracts the virus from the vaccinated child – should I be able to sue that parent or child for reckless behaviour and infecting my child – because they vaccinated?

        What does that imply for other vaccinated kids who transmit these diseases post-vaccination?

        Also, because living in poverty and having poor hygiene and sanitation raises the risk of harboring and transmitting any virus/bacteria, based on your principles, should I be able to sue those people if they or their children transmit a disease to my vaccinated/unvaccinated child?

        1. Ha ha, I’m certain the writer should comprehend your suggestion. Incredibly insightful of you. In fact I’d love to share your reply on another page please. Thank you for the most sensible and logical response to this entirely ridiculous, amateur, and arrogant article spreading more media fueled propaganda ‘supported’ (ha ha ha ha) by a plethora of misinformation, generalisations and assumptions. It’s publishing such as this that further encourage humanity to relinquish all sense of self, independence, freedom of choice, and our most basic right to life.

        2. Your facts about South Africa and measles would seem to be seriously in question.

          “The last confirmed wild poliovirus case was in 1989. The minimum period required since the last confirmed wild polio case and the time a country can be said to be free of polio is 3 years;”

          And nothing mentioned of any cases that might have been caused by the vaccine.

          1. Hi ChrisKid,

            I suggest you follow this link to check what our govt Dpt of Health reports about vaccine induced paralysis in SA in 2011.


            Then, my desktop research also came up with the 1989 date and link you found. However, I spoke to healthcare professionals in Johannesburg, notably a nurse named Larraine who owns a company called Immuno-Tots. Her sole business is vaccination and she’s been doing it since the 1980s.

            She’s pro-vaccination and told me that the 1989 case of wild polio commonly referenced was in fact not polio but Guillain-Barré syndrome and that the records have not been updated to reflect this.

            Be that as it may, how about dealing with the point of my argument, which has little to do with whether the last case of polio was in 1954 or 1989. If the last case of wild polio was in 2005, it wouldn’t make a difference.

            Should I be able to sue for damages if a vaccinated child passes the disease to my unvaccinated child?

            And should I be able to sue for damages if a person with poor hygiene, diet, living conditions pass disease to my child?

      8. I am also in the UK, and the man who died in Swansea was one of the few with a confirmed case of measles. Nobody has been able to confirm measles as cause of death. Britain is one of the worse for a busy bee propaganda machine. CRITICAL viewing of all news sources is required.

    2. Thank you- people only listen to and read what they want to- and refuse to entertain any other possibility. Measles runs in 5 year cycles as well. When there are only a few cases in a five year period, and then BOOM 100 people get the measles it’s an epidemic. These cycles have been attributed to waning efficacy of vaccines, as well as mother’s inability to pass natural immunity on to their babies.

  12. If immunizations work, why would unvaccinated children be a threat to anyone who has been immunized? I believe the threat is made up.

  13. Seriously? Studies have shown that many of these so called outbreaks begin in VACCINATED individuals! You can’t start witch hunts based on a child that is not vaccinated- and probably healthier than the vaccinated one, or accuse children of being “outbreak monkeys” This is ridiculous. Perfect example of fear tactics being used to frighten parents.

    1. Well, one thing is clear and that is that “fear tactic” MOST accurately describes persistent efforts by the anti-vaccine crowd to exploit an unfortunate deficit in the state of the current medical literature regarding the exact cause of autism spectrum disorders, when pushing a general bias towards vaccination.The fact that we’re still mentioning the MMR and PDDs in the same breath is evidence enough of the deep-seeded cynicism of this group of known-nothings.

      -A frustrated MD

  14. My child has a medical exemption. I could never imagine trying to blame another child for making mine sick, unvaccinated, vaccinated, it doesn’t matter. Your kid comes home sick and all you want to do is blame someone, enough even to sue. What a sick world you people live in. I can’t believe scum like you exist

  15. So should the government be responsible for the awful side effects vaccines can give to children? Where is the money and the responsibility there?

  16. How on earth can unvaccinated children make vaccinated children sick? Where is the logic? Either vaccines work or they don’t, and if they do then the only children getting sick from infectious diseases will be the unvaccinated ones.

  17. As someone vaccine damaged I have to say how insulting and seemingly uneducated this idea is. In a country that makes it so we can not even hold liable the very makers of vaccines one wants to sue those who refuse to take the risk (many with good reason) for possible outbreak. If if vaccines worked as we are taught to believe they do, then someone vaccinated would not have to fear the unvaccinated. What is further negligent in this article is the fact that there are outbreaks in fully vaccinated communities. How about the risk to those of us who can not vaccinate from those who are and either shed virus or simply pass it along? Vaccines have killed people, this is fact. They have harmed people and continue to do so. We can’t hold the vaccine manufacturers accountable so they make safer vaccines and yet some want to hold those who will not take that risk accountable? Ludicrous! The american people pay out millions (and not nearly what they deserve) to those harmed by vaccines. Don’t act as if there is not a valid danger! There is a saying that fits the vaccine situation so very well. “May the odds be ever in your favor!” When it comes to vaccines, the odds are not in my favor but I guess those of us who are damaged because of them don’t matter for the greater good. Sound familiar?

  18. I cannot believe what I’m reading! The alleged measles outbreak in Europe has been exposed as an exaggerated problem. The numbers of those infected are not anywhere near what’s being reported. If your vaccines work and are so wonderful them my unvaccinated child should be no threat.

    1. And if a vaccinated child is in the small percent (1-15%) of children who suffer vaccine failure, and gets the disease from an unvaccinated child, that child will suffer and can be harmed.

  19. What about suing the parents of children who get live virus vaccines, then go out and sicken others due to the virus shedding? Art Caplan should know that live virus vaccines can, and do, shed, thus endangering others who either haven’t had the specific disease the vaccine was for, or who are immunocompromised and can’t get the vaccine. Also, he fails to mention that studies have shown that the measles vaccine tends to wane, and it takes live virus contact to give it a “boost.” He also fails to mention that, for some inexplicable reason that scientists have not yet figured out, measles can occur in fully vaccinated populations, and that is exactly what happened in the late ’80s in America. The vaccine also is negatively affected by sun exposure. As an ethicist, Dr. Caplan should explain why he is selectively targeting nonvaccinators when science has shown these things to be true?

  20. This is ridiculous. Perhaps you should be thinking of suing the maker of the vaccine for not protecting you as it should. Just a thought.

  21. But I can’t hold a pharmaceutical company liable if my child is damaged by a vaccine? Seems fair. Do you actually support this philosophy?

  22. So lets get this straight.. ALL of the cases you site, refer to a non vaccinated person visiting outside the country and bringing Measles back and spreading it to the population which is 92% vaccinated. And in one case an outbreak of 20 people occurred in one of the cases and yet no one seems to be crying foul that all 8% of those unvaccnated that got sick. Or were those 20 people vaccinated and had they’re vaccine fail? Which is MUCH more likely, especially when referring to the UK stats. So far the vast majority of the cases in the UK that have developed were from vaccinated children, in fact MOST of the cases in the UK have proven to be the exact strain in the vaccine that’s making them get the disease.

    Why is no one crying foul that the vaccine doesn’t work. Why is no one crying foul over the vaccinated that are getting sick and then spreading it to other vaccinated children as well. Why is no one crying foul that you can still carry a disease and not be sick with it?

    Because those targets aren’t as easy and blatant as someone who exercises they’re fundamental human right to avoid a medical procedure.

  23. People should never be forced to put something into their bodies against their will. If the vaccinations were for real, meaning they work the way their suppose to, then their should be no wories for those who are vaccinated against those who are not. Now the people who choose not to have vaccines know the risks of aquiring potential childhood diseases. The only thing I can say is that when accusations are blaming just those unvaccinated people, ya better have lots of proof it’s their fault. These diseases just don’t all of a sudden pop up out of

  24. One more thing I was vaccinated as a child went to school and aquired the measles from a girl who sat next to me and her Dr. had cleared her to go back to school. Just sayin.

  25. I understand that people are scared. But the comment that theory that illness imparts stronger immunity being medieval is completely off base. What does one think vaccines do? They cause an immune response to the injected material imparting some immunity. SOME. That is why boosters came about becuase sometimes the immunity given is not as good. And in the case of varicella one use to be partially protected against another illness whith in the same “family” so to speak, shingles. But with the advent of the varicella vaccine we saw an alarming rise in shingles even amoung those that do not normally acquire this illness. Tell me then who is being harmed? By what? How does one’s immune system learn, exposure whether it be natural or by vax.

    Another problem what about the people that “follow the rules”, so to speak, and vaccinate but don’t follow protocol when dealing with the sick. Example my children were possibly exposed to whooping cough because those that were contagious did not keep their sick children home! This was a vax family. Amazingly with our use of an awesome diet, supplements and some luck they did not come down with it. So be careful who you want to blame as the shoe could be on the other foot. (If my children show ANY sign of sickness we are home-bound no matter what.)

    And as for the notion that children will be healthier if vaccinated I wold argue (although completely anecdotal) my children do not get the “average” 8-10 colds a year. They have had only slightly more than 1/year. We do not protect them from common ailments nor do we hand sanitize everything. (Two direct lineage family members react to vaccines so they are not receiving any)

    Each individual makes the choices one believes are correct based on the information that person has. Each individual chooses to take risk, don’t want risk? Stay home.

  26. This is just as laughable as the parents of autistic children being able to sue the corporations who created the vaccine that caused their child’s autism. In other words – you couldn’t prove measles came from a specific person, and you can’t prove that a child became autistic thru a vaccine. So why make a law that would end up being completely unenforceable?

  27. I understand that people are scared. But the comment that theory that illness imparts stronger immunity being medieval is completely off base. What does one think vaccines do? They cause an immune response to the injected material imparting some immunity. SOME. That is why boosters came about becuase sometimes the immunity given is not as good. And in the case of varicella one use to be partially protected against another illness whith in the same “family” so to speak, shingles. But with the advent of the varicella vaccine we saw an alarming rise in shingles even amoung those that do not normally acquire this illness. Tell me then who is being harmed? By what? How does one’s immune system learn, exposure whether it be natural or by vax.

  28. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that this is even a conversation. What about the common cold and Flu? Children can and have had complications with the common cold and Flu. My children are Vaccine Free and extremely healthy. My child has gotten a cold from my VACCINATED friends child, should I sue? The difference, my child has a minor cold for 24hrs and all my Vaccinated friends children’s Cold and Flu will last a week or two.. God gave us an immune system for a reason, and fruits, vegetables and herbs to help prevent and cure illness and disease. To vaccinate would alter Gods creation. How can another person think they have the right to tell me what is best for my family? As for the Measles, most of us has had them as a child. It’s part of growing up and being in public school. We survived . Infants, Elderly and pregnant women are always at risk for anything! We cant live in a bubble, just do our best at staying healthy. If you choose to eat crap like Mac N Cheese, hot dogs, chips and sodas that’s your Right, but don’t complain to the rest of us when your child gets one of these illnesses or disease and try to blame others for your failure to keep your child healthy.

  29. Liability for failure to vaccinate? Maybe when the vaccine companies give up their shield from liability for vaccine injuries and those affected by vaccine injury can sue the drugmaker in open court, with a judge and jury, rather than in a secret court where records are routinely sealed, even when parents request they not be.
    I think we need to remember we’re a country of free choice and when we start mandating medical procedures that do not come without risk to some, we’re on dangerous territory.

  30. What this entire argument is missing from both sides is the frightening increase in the number of vaccines given to children, along with the growing number of parents who have experienced dramatic changes in their children after receiving the litany of disease cocktails attacking young immune systems. In addition, big pharma regularly introduces unproven, questionable medications to the market with the approval of the FDA which is run by a revolving door of those companies executives. It’s not vaccines we don’t trust. It’s vaccine makers. We can argue the merits of vaccines all day and what the real cause of the decline of some diseases are (vaccine vs. sanitary conditions). Many reputable health professionals call into question today’s vaccination process, yet you think I should blindly submit my child in great fear for good reason, in order to avoid litigation that you suggest should be proper due to a handful of cases? Unbelievable. Why don’t you avoid this exercise in the absurd and work on the birth defects in Iraq numbering in the tens of thousands due to the chemicals made by the same companies who produce these vaccines.

  31. I had measles when I was young. It was a common disease. I now have a lifetime immunity. I am not against vaccines but I don’t agree plunging a newborn w/hepititis when mom is healthy and the baby needs to build their immune system w/ mom’s milk and not fight off a disease that comes when one is sexually active or an IV drug user. I don’t agree w/ giving 3-4 or 6 shots. Why not 1 and let the child build up an immunity to that disease then move on to another. To punish parents who don’t agree is not your right. The last 2 generations have been bombarded w/vaccines and these two generations have the most medical problems, including 1 in 50 w/autism. One question I have is why would a fully vaccinated child be at risk? I am not speaking w/out knowledge, I’ve researched vaccines.. and I used to work as a nurse.

    1. Good comment, in fact from my view, knowing that the mother that is breastfeeding will pick up traces of virus from the baby’s mouth and produce antibody herself, then i would advocate breast feeding instead of vaccines…until age 5 at least…I believe the ever earlier vaccination is designed to get MMR and other ‘dodgy’ vaccines (to me they are all dodgy) into the child before it reaches notable progress in development, thus concealing any autism effect from the vaccine until too long after the vaccine is given to prove causation. ‘The Poisoned Needle’ is a great book from 1957 (free on internet) showing how the early fraud started and many true figures over the smallpox jab, hailed as saviour, yet of 900,000 people vaccinated, over 850,000 caught it… and only 10% of the population ever received the vaccine anyway, so anyone who looks even slightly closer at real figures rather than industry ‘adapted’ ones can easily spot the massive fraud this eugenics program from the WHO (Vatican influenced…think ‘continued Inquisition’)

  32. According to a Professor of Virology, vaccination does not stop you from being a carrier of any virus. There was a time when patients with kidney disease would be encouraged to get measles as it seemed to boost & mature their immune system enabling them to recover from their kidney disease.

  33. (not sure if my comment has posted or not – computer problems). So will the government be held responsible for vaccine injuries from the known side effects?

  34. The only ones at risk should be the un-vaccinated kids. Because vaccines work right?
    Seems to me that even having this conversation shows that these don’t work the way they claim.
    There is a real cool thing called a titter test that can be done via a blood test to see if the kids or pets even need the vaccine. Maybe that is the better route.
    How do you improve perfect health, that’s right you cant.

  35. Didn’t know harvard was into censorship. Good to know that you cannot handle any debate

  36. “Why should failing to vaccinate your children or yourself be any different?”

    It is different in the it is neither law to vaccinate, nor should it ever be mandated. Shall we hold liable those who give us the flu? or perhaps the hospital that contains illness not found elsewhere?

  37. How about holding the vaccine companies responsible when vaccinated children get sick! If vaccines are so great, why are the vaccinated so worried about catching something from an unvaccinated child? It would seem that only those who chose not to vaccinate would get sick and they would have only themselves to blame. There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about disease these days. It was Louis Pasteur that proved that it’s not the germ or bacteria that makes us sick, it’s the terrain! Bacteria are everywhere and already in us and on us by the millions so why aren’t we all sick?? The reason is that some of us are virtual welcome wagons for disease. We eat animal products that clog our arteries and lead to antibiotic resistance, we live on sugary sodas, highly processed and refined foods, rarely eat fruits and vegetables, don’t exercise, and go around on less than ideal amounts of sleep! Why do you think it is that a spouse can get sick with a cold or flu and the other spouse remains healthy? Frankly, vaccination has caused more harm than good and left our infants unprotected because only natural immunity is passed on via breast milk. The world didn’t get polio or smallpox, check with CDC statistics on it and you will find out how greatly the numbers have been exaggerated! We have been brainwashed into being terrified of disease and there’s no reason to be! Let’s face it, not much money made on healthy people now is there. If you really care to know the truth, READ, RESEARCH, don’t trust only the information spit out by those organizations that profit from vaccination!
    The idea suggested in this article wreaks of ignorance and is very divisive. No one wants to unnecessarily expose themselves to disease so maybe you should consider the fact that those who choose not to vaccinate just might have darn good reasons not to.

  38. I’ll vaccinate my child when I can sue the crap out of vaccine manufacturers and the doctors who administer them if my child suffers an adverse reaction but since they are financially protected against any liability/responsibility thanks to the childhood protection act of 1986, I will continue to protect my child against disease the best way I know how, through impeccable, organic nutrition! And since I have 15 aunts an uncles who ALL caught the measles as children and (gasp) survived without any complications, I’ll take my chances 🙂

    1. Well only 1 in 500 dies from measles. Pretty good odds.
      You just keep eating your organics, and drinking your kool aid. Your kids will be fine, maybe.

      1. Not in the developed world. 1:1000 suffers complications and 1:2500-4000 ends in in fatality. And Kool-aid isn’t cool either.

  39. So who gets sued in the case of so-called vaccination failure? In Whooping cough epidemics in the US in 2011 and 2012, the great majority of the infected were fully vaccinated, many were partially vaccinated and the minority were unvaccinated. So it is possible that the vaccinated were infecting each other. Maybe you should study immunology to understand why this happens and then you will see that immunity conferred by vaccination is inferior to natural immunity. Anyone who understands immunology and public health knows this.

    Another thing, measles is NOT a fatal or deadly disease so this conversation is moot, since you could not prove any lasting harm in the great majority of the cases, and there would be no standing to sue.

  40. So the premise for why everyone needs to be vaccinated is that vaccines work, right?
    So if this is correct then it would be impossible for an un-vaccinated person to give a vaccinated person the disease. I think if you dig for the unpublished data you will find that most of the outbreaks started with someone who was already vaccinated. Is the government liable for perpetuating a falsehood?

  41. Your position defies logic Mr. Caplan as it misleads the ignorant crowds.
    Now let me reiterate: if vaccines are safe and if they protect the vaccinated, then what exactly are you afraid of? The unvaccinated then should be of no danger to any of you.

  42. Quid pro quo: You have no business suggesting parents of unvaccinated children accept liability when vaccine makers have no liability when their vaccines fail, harm or kill.

    1. This is a false equivalency: there is a compensation mechanism for vaccine injuries. If it’s a manufacturing defect, you can sue the manufacturer. If it’s a design defect, NVICP provides compensation (and in fact offers the plaintiffs the benefit of a reduced burden of proof, no fault and payment of lawyer fees). Where is the compensation when a child – or an infant too young to vaccinate – catches a disease because a parent, against the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, refuses to vaccinate?

      1. “Where is the compensation when a child – or an infant too young to vaccinate – catches a disease because a parent, against the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, refuses to vaccinate?

        It is in the same place with the compensation for individuals that catch a disease because a vaccine fails. It is non-existent so get over your double-standard of responsibilities.

  43. So… Since vaccinated individuals can shed the virus for 2-3 weeks after vaccination and this is known to cause harm to immuno-compromised individuals ( which is why dr’s advise recently vaccinated to avoid all contact with immuno compromised people for 2-3 weeks post vaccination) – do you propose that those vaccinated folks also be sued if they spread disease to someone “unsuspectedly”?

  44. How many of the persons affected with measles had been vaccinated?
    How many had been proven immune by having antibodies tested even AFTER being vaccinated.
    If unvaccinated people are to blame, how many out of this current outbreak never had a vaccination?
    Tell the WHOLE story

  45. Vaccines are partially effective, usually around 70%, and protection is temporary, lasting between 5-10 years. This puts most adults squarely in the “at risk” category, unless you have received the 10+ boosters recently. I challenge those of you that believe wholeheartedly and unquestioningly in mass vaccination to do just that as a personal experiment. Please note my sarcasm as I could never in good faith recommend this to anyone. As for my family, after devoting our energy, resources, rearranging our lives, and fighting for years to restore the health of our vaccine-injured baby girl, our freedoms to choose shall not be infringed, nor will our freedoms to tell others exactly what we have experienced…

    1. That would depend on the vaccine. Tetanus and MMR after two doses are over 99% effective. Some others are over 95%. Some vaccines wanes after 5-10 years, but offer protection when the person is most at risk; others last for a long time (chicken pox, hepatitis B, MMR). So as a general statement, that’s inaccurate. Also, we worry mostly about outbreaks among populations at risk.

  46. 1. Turns out that the UK data was a lie.
    2. A number of studies showing it’s kids with vaccines who are “shedding” and exposing kids who are not vaccinated. And they told us tobacco was safe too.
    3. Most important — clearly the vaccine doesn’t work folks. Emperor’s New Clothes. Now go to the CDC website and read the toxins in these vaccines.

    1. Doh!
      Of course it works. In a highly vaxed community, with almost all the kids being vaccinated, many of the vulnerable and non-immune will be those in whom the vaccine didn’t have a full effect (around 2 or 3%). So if you have a community with 97% vaccination, and there is a measles outbreak, the ones who get infected are 100% of the unvaccinated (3% of the original population), and around 3% of the vaccinated population in whom the vax didn’t work.

      So you get 50% of “those with measles” having had vaccine. The point is, there are 94% of the poulation who did NOT get measles, because they were vaccinated.

  47. The families of vaccine-injured and -killed children aren’t allowed to sue the drug companies that maimed or killed their child. If vaccines truly worked, you would have no reason to fear unvaccinated children if you chose to vaccinate your own. The fact is vaccines don’t always work and, in fact, can cause the disease they are supposed to protect against. That individual can then spread the illness. Bottom line is, if you were led to believe that a vaccine provided immunity, yet it didn’t work, you should be able to sue the drug company for false advertising; not a random person who you think may have infected you.

  48. The trouble Dr Caplan is manipulation of public information, over-asserting the benefits of vaccination, denying and ignoring the risks, the captive market (which you propose to extend) and the preposterously every growing mandated schedule. In this there has long since ceased to be any true accountability (just the greatest bondoggle ever – to use a magnificent American term). As it is the UK measles epidemic was a fraud. When health officials were telling the media that they had 432 cases in Swansea they only had a single case confirmed.

    More likely they were dishonestly shroud-waving because they are scared of Andrew Wakefield’s defamation suit in Texas.

    John Stone, UK Editor,

  49. I was going to post some version of “Are you kidding… I should have to give my children something that can cause seizures, brain damage and death (for which I can’t sue) or risk a lawsuit?”, but Jeff was so concise that I am just going to echo him:

    “Quid pro quo: You have no business suggesting parents of unvaccinated children accept liability when vaccine makers have no liability when their vaccines fail, harm or kill.”

    1. To remind you, there is a compensation mechanism for vaccine injuries. If it’s a manufacturing defect, you can sue the manufacturer. If it’s a design defect, NVICP provides compensation (and in fact offers the plaintiffs the benefit of a reduced burden of proof, no fault and payment of lawyer fees). Where is the compensation when a child – or an infant too young to vaccinate – catches a disease because a parent, against the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, refuses to vaccinate?

      1. Wow…You have a disturbing level of faith in the system. Really? I suppose you would next suggest that if a vaccine damaged child hadn’t received compensation that they must not be vaccine damaged.
        Also, despite the tests you mention disproving a link between autism and the MMR, it is too complex for this claim. Furthermore, the only people really qualified to speak about it are the families who are affected and spend their lives (not a few nights, or months) researching it.
        Until now with DSM 5 in place, the extreme differences in the ‘autisms’ has made very little impact or difference to a broad range of people including professionals in both the medical and scientific fields who have had little contact with Autism’s forms. The consequence of this generalisation and generous labelling has brought enormous strain and negligence to all on the spectrum, despite their placement. We know that some forms of Autism are genetic, while others are environmental..some probably predisposed for the trigger. Vitamin deficiencies. Immune malfunction. Inability to expel toxins. Bacterial complications. Neurological differences, disorders. And yet we call them all autistic.
        I cannot tell you how ridiculous and frustrating this is, and has been for families on the spectrum.
        There is indeed a percentage of us whose vaccine damaged child has been labelled autistic. In comparison to this grand exhaustive group we are small, and tucked away in isolation where our children and others are safe.
        I can’t blame you for simply repeating what you’ve read. However I thought you should know that you’re wrong..
        I enjoy your passion and efficiency. Too bad you’re not fighting for the right team though. 😉

  50. I seem to recall something called the Nuremberg trials that outlawed medical experimentation on humans without consent. Vaccines continue to be experimental. If this were not so, drug makers would not be investing multi-millions into “improving” or discovering “better” and more effective and safer vaccines. There would not be new start up companies seeking novel vaccine technologies to improve upon the failures of current conventional vaccine technology The doors for effective and safe vaccines remains wide open. Caplan would have familiar company in fascist Germany.

  51. I’m astonished at the continuing root ignorance in this area. Parents who vaccinate are irresponsible. Only parents who have not researched vaccinate. This is irresponsible. Why do so few do any research on this? In no other area is the shoddy tobacco science of commercial interest regurgitated so freely by all and sundry without checking!

    1. And yet I meet parents of small children who come from developing countries, areas where the lasting effects of these childhood diseases are still a part of the collective conscious, who insist that their child receive every available vaccination. They are always baffeled when I ask them if they would like for their child to be vaccinated–as though the answer to the question wasn’t obvious.

      It’s only in areas were children no longer suffer and die in large numbers from childhood illness that the idea of vaccination is perverted by people such as yourself.

  52. I think they should be held liable…yes…as soon as parents of vaccinated children are held liable for sickening unvaccinated children! 😀

  53. Internal Corresondence
    To: Mr. Larry Hewlett
    WLD, Radnor

    From: Alan Bernstein
    WLI, Marietta

    Subject: DTP Vaccine
    Date: August 27, 1979

    After the reporting of the SID cases in Tennessee, we discussed the merits of limiting distribution of a large number of vials from a single lot to a single state, county or city health department and obtained agreement from the senior management staff to proceed with such a plan.

    This subject has been discussed with Charlie Young and the following guidelines were developed by FSRD. I would appreciate your comments concerning this procedure and the advisability of formalizing these guidelines.

    Interim Measures In Affect
    1. Allocation of stock to Distribution Centers is designated by lot number in a manner designed to leave the maximum variety of lot numbers in Great Valley and Marietta to service substantial orders.
    2. Managers in D.C.’s carrying average inventories of over 3000 packages (approximate) have been requested to advise FSRD of any orders exceeding 2000 vials. FSRD will then designate shipment by lot number, furnishing additional stock as needed.

    Permanent Policy Proposal
    1. A D.C. will not fill any order with stock exceeding 2000 packages of one lot number before clearing with FSRD.
    2. When additional stock is needed for compliance, FSRD will make necessary arrangements.
    3. In the event that the national inventory does not permit compliance, FSRD will clear exception with Marietta management, or make arrangements for split delivery.

    Alan Bernstein

    cc: Mr. Gray, Dr. Shaw, Drl Bierly, Dr. McCarthy, (illegible) Mr. Pullan


  54. I don’t appreciate you using my name. Please remove your comment before I make official requests to the administrators of this page for your IP information.

  55. Live vaccines (such as polio and flu) can cause others to contract diseases they would not otherwise be exposed to. Should the parents of children who receive live vaccine be liable for the damage they inflict on others?

  56. There must be a reasonable carve-out of the parents of children who, for medical reasons, can not have their child immunized. For example, any child who has had a transplant can not have MMR or any other live-virus vaccine. I wish that the post had considered that this is the population that is to be protected, and not the population who should be legally liability.

    1. No one is proposing to punish this group of patients and families.

      In fact these are the exact groups of patients, those with objective medical contraindications, who would benefit the most from this type of public health intervention. It was mentioned in the original article that these groups should be explicitly protected.

      1. How about the children whose families are unaware of any relative sensitivities? What about those who choose not to vaccinate consequent children after one is already tragically affected?

  57. This evening, 7:00 pm Eastern time, there will be a special broadcast to deconstruct Art Caplan’s views on vaccination liability as well as take on the serious violations of human rights in Paul Offit’s efforts to further limit vaccine exemption statutes and the the vaccine industrial complexes increasing monitoring of individuals and organizations who question the pseudo-science promoted vaccine authorities. The program will look at both the scientific and legal issues that define these efforts are serious human rights violations. The broadcast can be heard internationally and live at or by visiting and searching for the Progressive Radio Network. Among the guests addressing the topic will be Prof. Mary Holland, JD, from New York University’s School of Law and co-author of The Vaccine Epidemic; Robert Krakow, a former Narcotics Bureau Chief in the Manhattan Distric Attorney’s Office and one of the nation’s leading attorneys for vaccine damaged children; Dr. Toni Bark, MD, a pediatric physician and holistic doctor practicing in Chicago and an strong advocate for vaccine exemption rights; Alan Phillips, one of the few American attorneys whose legal practice focuses on vaccine exemption and vaccine waivers and an advisory board member of the American Chiropractic Autism Board.

  58. This article is in my opinion too stupid for words. This is MEASLES, not Ebola or the Bubonic Plague! Measles is a generally benign childhood illness virtually every child of my generation including myself went through, along with mumps, rubella and chickenpox, yet I never heard of anyone suffering harm or any problem. I also don’t remember any dead children’s bodies littering the streets.

    Countless parents have had to watch helplessly as their previously healthy children descended into autism following MMR.

    Mercury in vaccines is also implicated. When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data — and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic.

    Why are these people who conspired against the public good, defrauded the American public and who have caused harm to countless children by allowing children to be injected with these toxic cocktails not in jail?

    Why sue parents for opting for sanity instead of blindly complying with the insane vaccine child poisoning schedule?

  59. If these kinds of damages are awarded repeatedly, one could take this position a step farther and require the unvaccinated to carry insurance that would cover the possible costs. It would be similar to how drivers are required to carry auto-insurance (and what some are proposing for gun ownership).

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