Abstract

What can the Jewish tradition contribute to the current public debate about vaccination? Much of the rhetoric surrounding vaccine refusal appeals to concepts of individual autonomy and fears of political and intellectual authority, claiming that the individual is the best expert on his or her own health and on whether to actively deny accepted medical consensus. Unlike many other health decisions, vaccine refusal has direct and measurable consequences for one’s community. The Jewish tradition’s emphasis on community and the well-being of the collective, as well as its tradition of respect for intellectual authority, can be a critical support to the medical community in encouraging widespread vaccination.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2326-2176
Print ISSN
1540-7942
Pages
pp. 173-188
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-07
Open Access
No
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