Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Individual decisions that lead to Community Public Health Risks
Though meals was almost completely eradicated from the US, recent outbreaks are causing children to become extremely ill. The New York times journalist Donald McNeil shows how a historical study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released in November 2007, death rates for 13 diseases that can be prevented by childhood vaccinations were at all-time lows in the United States. In 9 of the diseases, the rates of hospitalization and death declined over 90%. For small-pox, diphtheria and polio the death rates had dropped by 100 percent. Unethical scientists began false accusations of detrimental mental effects of vaccines (i.e. autism). In recent years, vaccines have become a hot-button topic among parents. In one community, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, and the other three were too young to receive vaccines. Should the parents who decided not to vaccinate their children be accountable for the underage children who got the virus from contact with the unvaccinated children? If health is a human right, then should society hold individuals accountable for harming the people (or in this case, children) around them due to their decisions? The government's main role is to protect the public. Individuals must be held accountable for public Health risks that they impose on society by the choices they make.