• 26 May 2021
  • 3 min read

Should Access To NHS Services Be Contingent On A Person’s Vaccination Status?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 5
  • 1033
Should access to healthcare be restricted for people who are unvaccinated?

UPDATE: Given the responses to this article so far, I felt it necessary to clarify some points. This isn't an idea originating with us, it can be found in mainstream media discussion.

Some of the sources that prompted this article are:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/antivaxxers-vaccine-coronavirus-nhs-b1849437.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9593417/SARAH-VINE-let-selfish-idiots-dont-want-free-Covid-vaccines-hold-hostage.html

https://twitter.com/JeremyVineOn5/status/1394962535544066062

Open discussion about difficult issues should not be avoided in a democratic society. The article was simply meant to spark debate and comment about an issue already in the public domain.

On a personal note I would say that the idea of restricting healthcare to the unvaccinated is one I disagree with in the strongest terms.

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The discussions around the COVID vaccines, and the moral and ethical considerations of coercing compliance beg the question; should a person’s access to healthcare be restricted if they refuse a vaccine on non-medical grounds?

As the Government seems increasingly uncertain about completing their lockdown easing plan on June 21st, there are comments in the media and elsewhere attempting to pin the blame for any potential delay in the unlocking on people who have refused a COVID vaccine.

Can there be any moral or ethical justification for denying someone access to healthcare based on their vaccination status? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.

This article does not make any comment about the vaccination programme or its efficacy. It is merely an attempt to address what for now is a hypothetical moral question.

Loaded, and historically dangerous terms such as ‘refusenik’ are being bandied around by government ministers in interviews. Newspaper columnists and other prominent personalities have labelled the unvaccinated as ‘selfish’, ‘idiots’, ‘weapons-grade stupid’ and variations thereupon.

A prominent theme in this cacophony is the idea that those people who choose not to have a vaccine should not be permitted NHS treatment if they fall ill with COVID, or indeed anything else.

Do people have what a journalist in The Independent newspaper called a ‘societal obligation’ to have the vaccine, in order to protect others? Do the needs of others outweigh a person’s right to bodily autonomy?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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Given that the NHS is funded from everyone’s taxes, there is no talk of tax exemptions for those people who would theoretically be unable to use the service for which they have paid. So, in effect barring unvaccinated people from NHS treatment would undermine the social contract under which people are willingly taxed to pay for healthcare and other social services.

If a plan to restrict healthcare for the unvaccinated ever does come into being, should there be a mechanism by which those ineligible to use health services are exempted from paying for them?

The WHO Constitution of 1946 stated: “Governments have a responsibility for the health of their peoples which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures.”

The COVID vaccines are being provided by the state. Does the state have a right to argue that the unvaccinated should have certain treatments made unavailable as the treatment costs potentially incurred could have conceivably been avoided by having taken the vaccine?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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A right to healthcare is also protected under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so it would be legally dubious to attempt to bar certain people from being able to access healthcare should they need it.

If the government is not going to legislate for mandatory vaccination, should they end up using social pressure to coerce people into getting the vaccine?

Should the government seek to coerce people into taking a vaccine by restricting an unvaccinated person’s access to healthcare as a consequence of their choice not to have a vaccine?

Or does the threat of removal of healthcare violate a principal of the informed consent a subject has to give before they have a vaccine administered?

Please let us know what you think in the comments, and Like the article if you found it interesting.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

  • 5 Comments
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    • Marusya Mihaylova one month ago
      Marusya Mihaylova
    • Marusya Mihaylova
      one month ago

      Strongly believe everyone should have access to healthcare regardless ethnicity,origin,background as we been taxed for NHS. The vaccine is medicine ... read more

    • Suzanne Loveridge one month ago
      Suzanne Loveridge
    • Suzanne Loveridge
      one month ago

      NO! NO!NO!!!!!!! I have been hospitalised following flu vaccines that affected the way I reacted to vaccines given after. Secondly ... read more

      • Hi Suzanne, Thanks for commenting. We expected it to be an emotional topic, but felt it needed discussion. It's not an idea that we came up with - there are examples in prominent newspapers(see http... read more

        Hi Suzanne, Thanks for commenting. We expected it to be an emotional topic, but felt it needed discussion. It's not an idea that we came up with - there are examples in prominent newspapers(see https:// /voices/antivaxxers-vaccine-coronavirus-nhs-b1849437.html)for example. I personally find the idea of determining healthcare provision based on vaccination status to be repugnant, but I wanted the article to be neutral as far as possible. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.
        read less

        Replied by: Richard Gill

        Hi Suzanne, I've posted an update to the blog with links to some of the sources that inspired this piece. It's at the top of the blog now. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.

        Replied by: Richard Gill
    • Joana Dos Santos Couto one month ago
      Joana Dos Santos Couto
    • Joana Dos Santos Couto
      one month ago

      I think raising topics such as this one is extremely dangerous! To even raise the question on whether we should ... read more

      • Hi Joana, I can appreciate your concern, but we felt that this is an issue that needs discussing. It's not an idea originating from us - it's a theme found in mainstream media discussion. We are not... read more

        Hi Joana, I can appreciate your concern, but we felt that this is an issue that needs discussing. It's not an idea originating from us - it's a theme found in mainstream media discussion. We are not advocating the idea, in fact it is something I personally would find morally indefensible. Some of the media sources that prompted this article are: https:// /voices/antivaxxers-vaccine-coronavirus-nhs-b1849437.html https:// /debate/article-9593417/SARAH-VINE-let-selfish-idiots-dont-want-free-Covid-vaccines-hold-hostage.html https:// /JeremyVineOn5/status/ Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.
        read less

        Replied by: Richard Gill

        Hi Joana, I've posted an update to the blog with links to some of the sources that inspired this piece. It's at the top of the blog now. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.

        Replied by: Richard Gill
    • Sue Hester one month ago
      Sue Hester
    • Sue Hester
      one month ago

      I am 69, and up to now have not had a vaccine.This is not to say I won’t in the ... read more

    • Kameka Sarju one month ago
      Kameka Sarju
    • Kameka Sarju
      one month ago

      The fact that this is even being asked is absolutely disgusting. There are people right now suffering from advanced diseases ... read more

      • Hi Kameka, We realised it was going to be a contentious article, but the idea of restricting health care treatment to the unvaccinated is something that is recurrent amongst certain sections of the m... read more

        Hi Kameka, We realised it was going to be a contentious article, but the idea of restricting health care treatment to the unvaccinated is something that is recurrent amongst certain sections of the media and commentariat. It is not an idea of our creation; the article was simply meant to spark debate and comment about an issue already in the public domain. It is in no way a position we support, but it is an issue that we feel needs discussing in order to show how abhorrent(in my personal opinion)an idea it is. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.
        read less

        Replied by: Richard Gill

        Hi Kameka, I've posted an update to the blog with links to some of the sources that inspired this piece. It's at the top of the blog now. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.

        Replied by: Richard Gill