NVIC Vaccine News

Why Is Informed Consent to Vaccination A Human Right?

By Barbara Loe Fisher
Published June 28, 2017 in Rights & Ethics

Civil liberties.

They include the legal right to exercise freedom of thought, speech, conscience and religious belief. 1 2

mom with child and doctor


Protection of autonomy and bodily integrity includes the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking. 3 4 5

What is informed consent?

Informed consent means you have the legal right to be fully and accurately informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention, including a pharmaceutical product, and are free to make a voluntary decision about whether to accept the risk for yourself or your minor child without being coerced or punished for the decision you make. 6 7

Informed consent has guided the ethical practice of medicine since the Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg after World War II, where the informed consent principle was internationally acknowledged as a human right for individuals participating in scientific research. 8 9 Today, informed consent to medical risk taking also means you have the legal right to be fully and accurately informed by a doctor or medical facility about the benefits and risks of a lab test, surgical procedure, prescription drug or other medical intervention performed on you or your minor child and give your voluntary permission. 10 11

Why is informed consent to vaccine risk taking a human right? 

Vaccines are biological products manufactured by pharmaceutical corporations. Like other pharmaceutical products, vaccines carry a risk of injury or death, which can be greater for some people than others, and often doctors cannot predict who will be harmed. 12 13

mom with child and doctor

One-size-fits-all vaccine policies and laws, which force you to risk your health or your child’s health without your voluntary, informed consent and with the threat of punishment for declining a vaccine, violate human rights. 14 15

It is important to protect civil liberties, including the freedom to exercise voluntary, informed consent to medical risk taking. Without the legal right to protect autonomy and bodily integrity, without the legal right to freedom of thought, speech, conscience and religious belief, we are no longer free. 16 17

Within NVIC.org, learn more about vaccines, diseases and the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking.

Empower yourself today with well-referenced information that can help you make educated decisions about vaccination.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.



1 National Archives. America’s Founding Documents: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights. June 26, 2017.

2 The Free Dictionary. Definition of civil liberties.

3 Open Society Foundation – Armenia. Right to Bodily Integrity. Human Rights in Patient Care: A Practitioner Guide.

4 Cohen J, Ezer T. Human Rights in Patient Care: A Theoretical and Practical Framework. Health and Human Rights Journal 2013; 15(2).

5 The Free Dictionary. Substantive Due Process: Modern Analysis.

6 Nir E. Informed Consent. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2011 (Fall Edition).

7 HG.org. Understanding Informed Consent.

8 Annas GJ, Grodin MA. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code. Oxford University Press 1992.

9 Grodin MA, Annas GJ. Legacies of Nuremberg – Medical Ethics and Human Rights. JAMA 1996; 276(20): 1682-1683.

10 U.S. Library of Medicine. Informed Consent – Adults. Medline Plus Oct. 29, 2015.

11 Nemours Children’s Health System. When You Need Consent for Treatment at Nemours. The Nemours Foundation 2017.

12 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality: Evaluating Biological Mechanisms of Adverse Events (p. 57-102), Increased Susceptibility (p. 82). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2012.

13 HRSA. Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Data and Statistics.

14 Fisher BL. Blackmail and the Medical Vaccine Exemption. NVIC Newsletter May 18, 2015.

15 Nickel J. Human Rights. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Nov. 8, 2014.

16 Fisher BL. Vaccination: Defending Your Right to Know and Freedom to Choose. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 3, 2014.

17 Fisher BL. Defending the Religious Exemption to Vaccination. NVIC Newsletter June 28, 2016.

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9 Responses to "Why Is Informed Consent to Vaccination A Human Right?"
Commenter Name
Posted: 6/29/2017 9:54:52 AM
Where are all the attorneys?? Why do mandates continue? Why aren't we marching in the streets??
Commenter Name
Lisa Smith
Posted: 6/29/2017 10:08:15 AM
Thank you for fighting this fight for all of us Editors Note: Thank you, Lisa. We need so many more people to stand up and defend the legal right to flexible vaccine exemptions in U.S. public health laws. Hoping everyone who reads this will register today for NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org and let your voice be heard. Your health. Your family. Your choice!
Commenter Name
Posted: 6/29/2017 11:56:00 AM
Doctors keep pushing Ned's and vaccines. Surely they're aware of risks to harm. When I reject vaccines the doctor seems noticeably bothered. My body - my right.
Commenter Name
Heather Falzone
Posted: 6/29/2017 12:21:29 PM
It amazes me the things that are happening in our "Home of the free" every day. This is the type of thing that could cause a civil war. I do all I can to help, wish I could do more and would if I could.
Commenter Name
Debra Prisk
Posted: 6/29/2017 2:30:07 PM
It feels like America is no longer free. Like Boogalo said above...where are all the lawyers?
Commenter Name
Posted: 6/29/2017 2:58:26 PM
While I completely agree with an individual's right to make decisions about their own body & health - and for parents, their child(ren) - I have to question the use of Open Society Foundation as a reference (#3). This organization was founded & chaired by George Soros. His political activity is controversial, in the U.S. & around the world. People should do their own research & draw their own conclusions. See here: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/george-soros But also look into other sources.
Commenter Name
Sandy Lunoe
Posted: 6/30/2017 12:43:08 AM
IS INFORMED CONSENT AN IMPOSSIBILITY? Informed consent prior to any medical intervention is surely a basic human right. Vaccination is definitely a medical intervention. However, vaccines are inferior pharmaceutical products because there are so many unknown factors. Considering that the complete list of ingredients of vaccines and all the long-term negative consequences for each individual will most probably forever be unknown, informed consent may well be an impossibility
Commenter Name
Thomas Woolf
Posted: 7/1/2017 8:53:24 PM
With the long list of possible side effects including all types of deleterious conditions known to mankind, especially encephalopathy, which is code speak for autism, I feel like we are being lead to the ovens. Not to mention the more than 60 dead naturopaths in the past 2-3 yrs. who were working towards a cure/reversal of autism and suddenly died mysterious deaths.
Commenter Name
Posted: 4/27/2019 1:24:04 PM
Is there a link to a fully consent form? I heard about a while ago and am not sure where to find. Was developed in California, the dr. has to read and sign and it then provides liability if have vaccine... or maybe I misunderstood. Editors Note: We have heard of self-prepared forms circulating the internet that are suggested for doctors to sign prior to administration of vaccines but we are not aware of any doctors who would consent to waive liability protection voluntarily LP.
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