CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine: legal issues

Can the government legally force people to take the H1N1 swine flu vaccine?

The answer is most likely, yes.

This issue was raised in a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case entitled, Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Defendants argued that the state of Massachusetts could not legally force public school children to get vaccinated. The Court disagreed, rejecting the argument that vaccination violated the "inherent right to care for his own body and health in such a way as to him seems best."

In a later case, Washington v. Harper, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a state's interest in maintaining the safety and security of its prison justified forced medication of inmates in reasonable furtherance of its goal.

These cases established a line of precedent that put the state's police power ahead of privacy and liberty interests relating to the individual's own healthy self-care. The "police power" is the state's ability to regulate health, safety, welfare and morals under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. More detail is in my book, Complementary & Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (chapter 3--State Law Regulation of Medicine). Below is information received from a third party regarding the H1N1 swine flu vaccine:

Greetings some of you already have this info....If not please pass it on to others..... Take care M
by Lynn Jennings, M.D.
Dear Readers, For those of you who miss my patient case studies, forgive me. I will be back to my regular format next month. This information is too important and, for some people, it may be lifesaving. In last month’s article, we discussed the H1N1 vaccine, its safety profile (or lack thereof), the possibility of mandatory vaccination and some of the things you could do to optimize your immune system. It has been a very turbulent month considering the controversy over healthcare and the continuing recession. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that people are frightened about government spending, rising unemployment and fears of a “pandemic.” It’s time for a little empowerment. Let’s continue our discussion on the H1N1 vaccine.
Clinical trials are ongoing at this time to determine the efficacy and appropriate dose of the H1N1 vaccine to cause the development of antibodies to the H1N1 virus. If you go to the website www.clinicaltrials.gov (and type H1N1 in the blank labeled: Search Terms), a list of the active, recruiting and completed studies are listed. On the day I wrote this article, there were 59 studies listed for the H1N1 virus/vaccine. Of the current, active studies of the H1N1 vaccine, none of them are scheduled to be completed before April 2010. Are they expecting the American public to roll up their sleeves for untried vaccine? How can they make a decision on the safety before all the data is in?
I ask that question, but is there any doubt what the results of the studies will recommend? On August 15, 2009, the FDA approved vaccines made by the following companies: CSL Limited, MedImmune LLC, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited and Sanofi Pasteur. All four firms manufacture the H1N1 vaccines using the same processes. It is important to appreciate that this vaccine has been fast-tracked, meaning that many of the usual safety precautions used to prevent contamination of the vaccines will be overlooked by the regulatory agencies. 1 The government insists that the H1N1 vaccine is undergoing the same testing as the seasonal flu vaccine. But haven’t they told us that the H1N1 virus is different, with the potential to cause illness and loss of life on a grand scale? Approval by the FDA does not make this vaccine safe.
Many of the current, active studies are using forms of the vaccine that are non-adjuvanted. That is to say they do not contain squalene, MF-59, AS03 or AS04. Adjuvants are extremely important when discussing vaccines. An adjuvant is a substance that is added to the vaccine to improve the immune response. Squalene has been shown to induce hyperimmune responses and has been associated with the development of autoimmune disorders. The government does have a history of saying one thing and doing another. During the 1976 swine flu vaccine disaster, they tested one vaccine and then gave a different one during the mass vaccinations. Over 500 people developed Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).
1. A letter from the Health Protection Agency (the official body that oversees public health in England) written on July 29, 2009, was sent to British neurologists warning them to be alert for possible development of GBS which could be triggered by the vaccine.
2. I do not know if the vaccine being used in the clinical studies contains thimerosal, but we do know that the vaccine they plan to use on the general public will. Despite the known toxicity of mercury, the government continues to dismiss concerns regarding the addition of thimerosal to the vaccines. On July 30, 2009, US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed that the Swine Flu (H1N1) vaccine will contain the mercury based preservative thimerosal.
I wish I could give you some “warm fuzzies” showing the government has your best interests at heart. The truth is that our government has Big Pharma at heart. It has been reported that there have been behind the scene, closed door agreements with the large pharmaceutical companies regarding the current healthcare issue. The drug industry's chief lobbyist, PhRMA President W.J. Tauzin said an unwritten agreement was reached with Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and was closely monitored and "blessed" by the White House. Under the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, agreed to provide $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years. It also promised to promote healthcare reform in a multimillion-dollar ad campaign. In return, the White House agreed to consider the $80 billion as a cap on PhRMA's costs in the overhaul legislation. In addition, it has been reported that the White House agreed not to require rebates on sales of commonly prescribed drugs to patients enrolled jointly in Medicaid and Medicare.3 It has also been reported that the industry asked the government not to allow the import of generic drugs “because of safety issues.” Right... Didn’t I say no warm fuzzies?
So what are your options? If you do not want to take the vaccine or you do not want your children vaccinated, here is some information you need to know. You can get a waiver to decline the vaccination for you and your children.4 Many states allow for personal belief waivers, more allow for religious waivers. Two states allow for medical waivers only.
States which allow waivers for personal beliefs: WA, CA, ID, UT, CO, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, ND, MN, WI, LA, MI, OH, ME, VT
States which allow waivers for religious beliefs: AK, HI, MT, WY, NV, SD, NE, KS, IA, MO, IL, IN, KY, TN, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, CT, RI, MA, NY, NH, OR, DC, PA
States which allow medical waivers only: MS, WV
You can go to the website www.nvic.org

Readers, decide for yourselves.

 


Michael H CohenMichael H Cohen
Founder
The Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area-based Michael H Cohen Law Group provides healthcare legal and FDA legal & regulatory counsel to health & wellness practices and ventures, including health technology companies (medical devices to wearable health and nanotech), healthcare facilities (from medical centers to medical spas), and healthcare service providers (from physicians to psychologists).Our legal team offers expertise in corporate & transactional, healthcare regulatory & compliance, and healthcare litigation and dispute resolution, in cutting-edge areas such as anti-aging and functional medicine, telemedicine and m-health, and concierge medicine.Our Founder, attorney Michael H. Cohen, is an author, speaker on healthcare law and FDA law, and internationally-recognized thought leader in the trillion-dollar health & wellness industry.
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