Posted by Rojas @ 9:06 pm on November 11th 2013

The ugly questions of Libertarianism

Immunity to disease is best fostered by collective vaccination–by some estimates, 95% vaccination is necessary to confer meaningful protection from disease among non-immunized members of a population, or among those whose immunization has worn off.

Immunizations for many diseases are now down to the 90% range due to the anti-immunization rantings of the likes of Jenny McCarthy. Under ordinary circumstances one would support the right of individuals to run their own risks by not being immunized. This journalist who has contracted whooping cough isn’t fond of that idea.

What do you think? Do the public health issues raised by a lack of immunization make a compelling case for making the process compulsory? Or are outliers of this sort no big whoop?


  1. I feel similarly about environmental issues – as adept as libertarians kind of are at addressing the issue on a small scale I don’t feel they have a compelling answer on a large one which is, of course, the important one.

    That said, both with environmentalism and with vaccinations the problem is the very evident slippery slope. When governments can compel or restrict land uses, or compel or restrict compounds injected into your body, that’s a pretty scary window to put a leg through.

    Comment by Brad — 11/12/2013 @ 7:21 pm

  2. My own answer on immunizations?

    I just cannot get myself to a place where I would make any kind of disease prevention – particularly an invasive one – compulsory. That said, I am perfectly fine with both private and public entities stacking the deck towards certain outcomes – in this case making vaccination a precondition of public schooling, businesses making it compulsory for employment (for adults, obviously), etc.

    Comment by Brad — 11/12/2013 @ 7:23 pm

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