Health Care Policy Essay Discussion

Health Care Policy Essay Discussion

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most volatile healthcare policy debates currently underway. Muoio (2021b) reports that over 90 health systems, including Ascension and Kaiser Permanente, have mandated vaccination against COVID-19 for their employees. Iguacel et al. (2022) claim that most citizens and healthcare providers are in favor of mandatory vaccination; however, there are those who strongly oppose it.

Individual Rights versus Collective Good

Individuals who are opposed to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine often assert that mandating the vaccine directly conflicts with their right to make an autonomous decision (Arora, 2022).Health Care Policy  However, others state they have the right to be protected from the disease and should not be placed at risk due to the autonomy of others. Mittelman (2021) discusses how his rare kidney disease places him at high-risk for the disease. Because he has had renal transplants, he requires medication that leaves him immune comprised. Mittelman declares that he should not be placed at risk by health care providers who have not been vaccinated. Arora (2022) supports this position and states people should not be allowed to act as biological weapons that threaten the health of others.

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Proponents of the vaccine policy believe it is the government right and responsibility to protect public health and state it is analogous to seatbelt laws. They state both the vaccine and seatbelts pose some risk, but the overall benefits outweigh those risks. The supporters further state there are many other laws, such as food standards and water fluoridation, that initially faced pubic resistance that are now widely accepted (Arora, 2022).

Ethical and Legal Considerations

A group of employees from Houston Methodist healthcare system sought legal action against the system mandatory vaccine policy. The plaintiffs attorney stated the policy requiring vaccination constituted coercion. Health Care Policy However, this was dismissed at the federal level with the federal judge asserting employees still had free choice. The judge decision was based on the supposition that those not wanting to receive the vaccine could seek employment elsewhere. Additionally, the healthcare system was granting both medical and religious exemptions. The judge also stated the policy was not breaking any laws and was a valiant effort to save lives (Muoio, 2021a).

Arora (2022) discusses the ethical challenges of mandatory vaccination policies as they relate to autonomy and justice. The premise of autonomy was discussed above. The declaration that mandatory vaccine policies are discriminatory relate to the principle of justice. Those with religious or philosophical beliefs excluding them from receiving the vaccine may feel they have been discriminated against. The response to this objection by supporters of the policy is similar to their response to the question of autonomy: People have the right to inflict harm upon themselves, but not to inflict harm upon other people.

References

Arora, A. (2022). Implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine: Ethical challenges. Perspectives in Public Health, 142(3), 147-148. https://doi.org/10.1177/17579139221083808

Iguacel, I., Alvarez-Najar, J. P., del Carmen Vasquez, P., Alarcon, J., Orte, M. A., Samatan, E., & Martinez-Jarreta, B. (2022). Citizen stance towards mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and vaccine booster doses: A study in Colombia, El Salvador, and Spain. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 10(781), 781-792. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10050781

Mittelman, M. (2021). Patient commentary: Protect patients like me- make covid vaccines mandartory for all eligible staff in care settings. British Medical Journal, 374(1921), 1-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1921

Health Care Policy Essay Discussion

 

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