With reports of a new measles outbreak tied to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, Art Caplan argues that if my kid gets sick because you didn’t take care of yours, I should be able to sue you:
If you know the dangers of measles or for that matter whooping cough or mumps, and you still choose to put others at risk should you be exempt from the consequences of that choice? I can choose to drink but if I run you over it is my responsibility. I can choose not to shovel the snow from my walk but if you fall I pay. Why should failing to vaccinate your children or yourself be any different?
When the subject is vaccines a tiny minority continue to put the rest of us at risk. We are willing to let them choose to do so without penalty. That should change. If I know you or your kid made mine sick because you chose not to vaccinate then you should bear full responsibility for the harm you knew or ought to have known could happen.
Read Art’s entire column here. He’ll be on my America Weekend show this Saturday to discuss this topic.