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To vaccine or not – The moral choice

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Neil Daculan
Neil Daculan
Neil Daculan is a married deacon of the Archdiocese of Melbourne since 2014, a theologian and graduate of Philosophy. He was an AusAID scholar from 1998 to 2000.

By Deacon Neil Daculan

It’s hard to debate on people’s choices when most would shield themselves with their right: the right to choose what’s best for them. While the right of choice is indeed most basic, akin to this right is one’s responsibilities, the other side of the same coin so-to-speak of which we seldom touch on.

The accompanying problem to this right of choice is the freedom of information that people gather, of which these days is mostly FB information: fake news, anti vaxxers, end-of-day messiahs and what not.  One’s choice is almost always influenced by the information one adheres to and the conundrum of social media is that while information is freely passed, a lot of these information need to be delicately masticated like a prized wagyu of a beef. We prefer an eat-all-you-can type though, hence this gnawing fear of vaccines, as if medicine is designed to make zombies of us. And by us, I do not mean to discriminate from the all-knowing to can’t-be-bothered type: it is literally us. I don’t mean to roll my eyes on friends whom I know are rational people with good education and yet…

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Moving on to this question on vaccination, I do not see it as a selfish or selfless choice: if virtus stat in medio as per Aristotle applies, this very important choice to get the vaccination or not is a moral choice.  I mean, it is THE moral choice.  

Let me explain.

Let’s say I am an anti-vaxxer and do not believe in the efficacy of mRNA or whatever it is that virologists concoct to form a vaccine, and then I get sick with COVID-19 virus. Will I die alone because of MY choice not to be vaccinated?  There is not an island with only one man or woman (or whatever gender fluidity you prefer) and so I might infect another 5 or 6 of my family members and friends. What if one of them is immuno-compromised and dies ahead of me?  Will I be blamed because I brought the virus to my loved one? Or even a hated one (if it’s an in-law, most likely it is)?  If I cannot be blamed because of my views and consequent actions, then who is?

That’s the problem with this im-moral choice not to vaccinate. I call it im-moral because it is at first instance a moral choice before I declined to do so. The objective act is a good act before I turned it into a subjective, almost evil-like act. Because it is a choice – hurrah for that – such choice must go through a microscopic inspection before it is ratified. By microscopic, I mean science. Here, science is on our side. Really. So is morality. A guy named Francis said it nicely: “vaccination is an ethical action, because you are gambling with your health, you are gambling with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”  

Wanna join the queue now?

Feature image: VGC-Group | Pixabay


READ MORE: “I just completed my two doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine” – Dr Natividad


Neil Daculan
Neil Daculan
Neil Daculan is a married deacon of the Archdiocese of Melbourne since 2014, a theologian and graduate of Philosophy. He was an AusAID scholar from 1998 to 2000.

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