Childhood vaccines play a major role in minimizing the incidence of vaccine-preventable disease. While all states accommodate medical vaccine exemptions, certain states also allow for waivers on the basis of religious or philosophical objections. Certain vaccines have been particularly controversial, with public perceptions linking them to autism and developmental disorders, despite consensus to the contrary in the scientific and medical communities. This has led some states to add exemptions in recent years, while other states opted to eliminate the exemptions.
Ethics and Governance Analysis of Final Revisions to the Common Rule
The Obama Administration’s recent revision of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, known as the Common Rule, raises the questions of how we, as a society, should best translate ethical principles into law and whether law is the ideal vehicle for pursuing ethical outcomes in the case of human subjects research.