Manual of Catholic Medical Ethics – Chapter IV

on-line edition as of 2023 edited by Willem J. cardinal Eijk, MD PhD STL, Lambert J.M. Hendriks, PhD STD and prof FransJ. van Ittersum, MD PhD MSc

Ⓒ Katholieke Stichting Medische Ethiek 2014 - 2024

IV.1.5 Preventive Medicine Conclusion

Vaccination is a sensitive subject because it concerns personal freedom, the integrity of one’s own body, one’s own health, but also the health of other people and of society as such. All these aspects deserve attention. However, the starting point is that in general it is morally justified, good, necessary and also morally obligatory to use vaccines, with the aim, on the one hand, of protecting the vaccinated person from contracting possible contagious diseases and, on the other hand, of taking responsibility for fellow human beings, who have a higher chance of contracting a contagious disease if fewer people get vaccinated . However, it is going too far denying someone the freedom to reject vaccination, especially if he is convinced in conscience that he should not have himself or his children vaccinated. At the same time, every effort should be made, through good and objective information, to persuade people to freely choose vaccination.