Francesco Biondo

Conscientious objection and vulnerability. The dark side of the resistance movements to vaccinations

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Conscientious Objection; Ethics of Vaccination; Vulnerability.

After a worrying decrease of the rate of vaccination, Italian Parliament has enacted the law 119/2017 which raises the number of mandatory vaccination and prohibits unvaccinated children, except those for medical reasons, to attend infant school. In this paper, I focus on the moral justification of antivaccinist groups by applying the account of conscientious objection provided by Raz and followed by Gascón Abellan and Saporiti. According to this conception, conscientious objection is a moral right insofar as it is an instance of a right to privacy, which entails the right to do wrong. I show how this conception cannot justify these movements insofar as 1) it assumes a moral topography in which the separation between private and public sphere is already defined, 2) conscientious objectors to vaccines put in danger the health of vulnerable persons by refusing to cooperate in reaching herd immunity.

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