Hooven__Final_Essay - Requiring vaccines in order for...

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Requiring vaccines in order for children to attend school has caused heated debates between parents and the government across the United States. Backing science, the government believes mandating vaccines is ethical due to it protecting the greater good. In other words, vaccines can prevent or even eradicate deadly diseases, thus, if every child was vaccinated they would have the immunity needed to prevent or fight these terrible diseases, ultimately avoiding a potential outbreak or premature deaths. Some parents, however, deem the forceful injection of foreign substances into their children's bodies unethical. They believe they should have full autonomy over their child’s healthcare. Given this polarized divide, the guiding question of whether vaccines should be required to attend school is a tough one, and takes a lot of reflection to be able to draw a conclusion on the matter. From a utilitarian standpoint, the answer is whatever will bring the most good to the greatest number of people which, in this case, would be getting vaccinated. A Kantian would have the same verdict, but for a different reason. In their view, vaccines are a categorical imperative and therefore a duty to fulfill prior to attending school. They are not concerned with the results of vaccines, but are rather driven by the maxim and fulfilling their duty. While the Utilitarian and Kantian theories are quite different, they both guide the main claim in supporting the requirement of vaccines. There are also alternative approaches to answering the question, which can continue to provide answers to this ethical dilemma. As stated, requiring vaccines to enter school would be moral according to utilitarians. This is because society is viewed as a whole, and whatever is best for the majority will always remain a top priority. Regardless of personal or religious reservations, vaccines ultimately bring about the greatest good and safety meaning they are what is morally right. While requiring vaccines to attend school is morally right according to utilitarianism, coming to this conclusion is
not without challenges. This conclusion does not consider the damages or side effects vaccines cause, as long as the majority is happy and healthy. Another way to view this is that just because it benefits the majority, it does not mean it's just. Therefore, a parent arguing against vaccines may have a valid point, however it would not matter because it does not benefit the majority.

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