Childhood Vaccination Ethics

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In the journal article Ethics and Childhood Vaccination Policy in the United States, the authors are trying to make the point that more people should focus on childhood immunization. They focus on it from an ethical point of view, as many parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for various reasons. The article is trying to convey the message that vaccinating your child is not only beneficial for the child itself but also for the good of the community and society. The ethical issue that illustrated here is if healthcare workers are willing to sacrifice the patient’s autonomy for the greater good of everyone else. Another issue that this article points out is that it is not easy to put forth a policy that requires all parents to vaccinate …show more content…
Such topics bring healthcare workers moral distress, as it is not easy to choose between the good of your patient and the greater good. Should the state get involved when it comes to the topic of vaccination or should this remain a decision of the parent? Can soon-to-be parents who do not plan on vaccinating their children be persuaded early on that a child needs to be vaccinated for their safety and the safety of others? How can healthcare workers find a balance between the patient’s autonomy and the greater good that comes with herd immunity? Those are all questions that the article poses and are a part of this very passionate …show more content…
Beneficence is always doing the best thing possible for the patient, it is all about the patient’s best interest. “Beneficence relates to doing something good and caring for the patient” (Finkelman & Kenner, pg.181). So in this situation, it is very hard to do what is ideal for the patient because the nurse knows that the child can be harmed by this decision. Nonmaleficence is doing as little harm as possible in order to eventually reach the best outcome. Many parents do not have the right information regarding what the side effects of vaccines are, and they are afraid that their child will be harmed instead of benefit from it. Small side effects that are sometimes associated with post-vaccination time periods can be scary for the parents. However, those side effects should not last longer than twenty four hours, and afterwards have a very high chance of a child not being exposed to potential outbreaks that can be caused by someone who is not vaccinated against that disease. A situation like this can cause moral distress. “This moral distress would likely result from an ethical conflict between doing what the provider sees as best for the child and for society and what is best for fostering the therapeutic relationship with that patient and the patient’s family” (Hendrix et al. 2016). This goes back to the idea of the ethical dilemma between the patient’s autonomy or the greater

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