Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, February 1, 2015

1/29 Peripatetic Group

Our discussion focused mainly on the differences between the traditional and feminist points of view in bioethics, or focusing mainly on the individual versus the community at large.  Since vaccines have become a hot topic in the news, we talked about the idea that vaccines are an individual decision but that they impact the whole society, so that people must take the safety of others into consideration when making any type of decision.  The system of vaccines has been set up so that herd immunity is able to protect everyone, even those few who cannot get vaccinated.  However, with more people who are not incapable of being vaccinated choosing not to get vaccinated, the risk for spread and possible mutation occurs, which puts us all at risk.  The outbreak in Disneyland is a good example of this, as the high population of unvaccinated people in California gives the measles virus a reservoir of people to infect and thrive in, so that others can be infected later and the disease can be spread further, possibly circumventing the vaccine. The conversation then turned to the differences between moderate and radical feminism, and what would happen if extreme feminists ever took over the world.

For news on the Disneyland debacle:


  1. I sometimes think its sad that the parents who believe their kids shouldn't get vaccinated are the ones disrupting the immunity to certain diseases in communities. I remember back when I was little that if a kid wasn't vaccinated, they couldn't go to school. Parents who choose not to get their children vaccinated are also putting their kids at risk of getting highly infectious diseases that have vaccines. Before antibiotics and vaccinations were made, the life span of an American wasn't as long and people died of all types of infectious diseases. The revolution of the invention of antibiotics and vaccines has extended life expectancy tremendously and saved a lot of lives.

  2. The section on clinical ethics talked about when it is appropriate to intercede on someone's behalf for "their best interest" rather than their wishes. This reminded me of seppuku, or honorable suicide in Japanese. Rather than taint their honor (by dying by the enemy's hand) or the honor of someone else (by cheating on a spouse), a person will end their life so that shame is not brought upon anyone. This is obviously not in the best interest of their well-being, but it is a very personal choice nonetheless and is somewhat tolerated in Japan.
    DQ: This also relates to assisted suicide: is it the patient's choice, should the doctor help, or turn a blind eye, or report them to higher authorities?

    FQ: What is palliative medicine in the hands of the Hospice Movement used for?
    A: Easing people into death, or "dying with dignity"

  3. I don't think it is right for one misinformed person to jeopardize the fate of the community at large. They may have certain beliefs about the situation, but I don't think they have the right to affect other people. It is fine if they want to hurt themselves. That is their choice, but when they begin hurting others with their decisions, that is when the line should be drawn. I would stand by a decision to mandate vaccinations.

  4. I guess that I can see both sides of the story. I think people should have a right to raise their kids the way that they want to (within reason of course), but this is a situation where I think that allowing people to do what they want could jeopardize the lives of other people. In this country, we are free to do as we please so long as we don't infringe upon others rights. In this situation peoples' lives are being risked when these kids are not vaccinated, which is why I think that many vaccines shouldn't be optional.
    Here is a video showing how the anti-vaccination movement started.

  5. DQ: Should doctors have a say in a female's decision to have an abortion?
    FQ: (T/F) Valid consent has three key features: informed, competent, and voluntary.

  6. As much as we have free will when it comes to how we raise our children, I think getting having our children vaccinated should become mandatory if you are enrolling your child in a public school. This seems logical to me due to the fact that we all "sign" a social contract that would support this when we live in a community.

    I found an old comic from the 1940's when this issue first arose: http://i.imgur.com/BZQgGq0.jpg

    DQ: Based on the assumption that people who would seek an abortion would somehow be able to get one if it was illegal, should we keep them legal and easily available?

  7. As the other comments have already stated, the decision of getting oneself vaccinated (or one's kids vaccinated) should be take seriously. It is no longer an individual choice when the outcome can affect other people. Just like there are laws against acts that harm or endanger others (such as murder, robbery, assault, etc), there should be rules and regulations for vaccinations as well. As of right now, most colleges and schools require certain proofs of vaccinations in order to attend, which I think is a good start. Still, more should be done to ensure that outbreaks like the one in California don't occur more often. If not, diseases that were once thought to be under control may spread again and cause an epidemic.

  8. I don’t think it is right to choose to not be vaccinated, because it makes the vaccinated vulnerable. I agree parents should have the right to choose what is done to their children but there is a limit. I also believe that many individuals are not well informed of vaccines and turn down the idea altogether if it goes against their beliefs. It is well known that individuals are stubborn and in contemporary society have numerous opinions (whether properly informed or not) available for them to believe. Choosing to not be vaccinated endangers public health for the choice of the individual. Not being vaccinated violates the choice of those who choose to be protected by getting vaccinated because it by helps mutations and immunities to evolve in the pathogens the vaccines are created to prevent from spreading.

    FQ (BB82): “The idea that the doctor always knows best, beyond what is known about the medical facts and consequences, is known as ______”

    FQ (BB90) “Which approach to abortion regards the foetus as having increasing moral significance as it develops more and more human characteristics?”

    DQ: Should assisted suicide be legalized in the United States?