LD 798, An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements, is headed to work session soon in the Maine Legislature, and every Mainer should be concerned about the precedent that will be set should this LD pass into law. Forced vaccinations are a direct violation of the right to informed consent set forth in the Nuremberg Code by the United Nations as part of the Geneva Conventions of 1948.

The very first point of the code states that “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”  Additionally the Nuremberg Code requires respect for informed consent, without “the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion…” It is impossible to ethically remove this basic human right from the discussions about implementing LD 798, which, if it becomes law would clearly qualify as all manner of coercion and force. The legal precedence that will be set should the government gain the right to inject an individual’s body with vaccines, or anything else, would destroy a civilization built on individual rights and freedoms. Ask yourself, if that is possible, what will be next? If we value the concept of my body, my choice, how is that any different when it comes to the coercion of any medical procedure?

School vaccination rates in Maine are the highest they have ever been and are steadily above 95 percent which is the number quoted as necessary for herd immunity. For the past three years, Maine school vaccination rates (not exemption rates) have been higher than the national average for all vaccines, which directly contradicts media reports that we have some of the highest exemption rates in the country. We cannot have one of the highest exemption rates and also one of the highest vaccination rates. Maine is diligent with accurate reporting while many other states are not accurately reporting exemption data, therefore we can be confident in these statistics.

Most parents do choose to vaccinate their children, but for some, the consequences of vaccinating in the past have been devastating. Vaccines can indeed cause harm, which is clear when the vaccine package insert is actually reviewed, when the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System is examined, and even more clear when we see that over four billion dollars has been paid out in “vaccine court” since the explosion of our vaccine schedule subsequent to the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Because of the potential consequences, which include not only short term illnesses, but also long term disabilities and death, we must maintain a system that includes informed consent – a process that not only educates, but also protects choice.

If LD 798 is enacted into law, it will clearly violate established international and domestic law that ensures the freedom of autonomy of every individual. The United States Court has upheld that, for no reason, not even a blood draw, is an individual’s body to be injected or treated against his or her will. In the Supreme Court Decision, Missouri vs McNeely (2013), the Court said, “this Court has never retreated from its recognition that any compelled intrusion into the human body implicates significant, constitutionally protected privacy interests…”

My daughter was vaccine injured, and her life and well-being should have mattered. She is a person with equal rights under the law, and that law was violated. Thankfully, she recovered, but many do not. We must ask our legislators to oppose LD798 to provide equal protection for all children.

Kim Davis