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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
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.
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.
9 Grodin MA, Annas GJ. Legacies of Nuremberg – Medical Ethics and Human Rights. JAMA 1996; 276(20): 1682-1683.
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.
16 Fisher BL. Vaccination: Defending Your Right to Know and Freedom to Choose. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 3, 2014.
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