Friday, April 2, 2021

"public health could supersede individual rights"

"E. Edwin Spencer had no way of knowing he would be making history that day when he knocked on Henning Jacobson’s door in Cambridge, Mass. All he knew was that smallpox was spreading in their city at the dawn of the 20th century, and as a doctor and the chairman of the board of health, it was his job to make sure all residents had been vaccinated against the deadly disease within the past five years.

Jacobson flatly refused to comply.

More than a century later, as millions of Americans get vaccinated voluntarily against the coronavirus and society starts to reopen, questions loom about how far businesses and government can go to ensure safety. Can airlines, concert venues and other businesses refuse service to anyone who chooses not to get vaccinated? The Biden administration has insisted there will be no national mandate, but it is still working with the private sector to create a vaccination passport or certification."
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"The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint, nor is it an element in such liberty that one person, or a minority of persons residing in any community and enjoying the benefits of its local government, should have power to dominate the majority when supported in their action by the authority of the State.

It is within the police power of a State to enact a compulsory vaccination law, and it is for the legislature, and not for the courts, to determine."
From the Jacobson vs Massachusetts case in 1905   Smallpox was the concern in the early 1900's that sparked the case.

"As more and more people get vaccinated, questions on what to do with people who refuse to get their shot(s) keep coming up. Should vaccinations be optional, required, or just required for people in certain occupations?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Getting more people vaccinated improves the chances of herd immunity and the possibility of putting COVID behind us. But requiring people to get a vaccination – particularly if the vaccine is authorized for emergency use only – smacks of Big Brother and rubs a lot of people the wrong way."

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