Aart Hendriks: Compulsory vaccination is in the interest of public health
Yesterday, the House of Representatives in the Netherlands rejected a motion that would completely rule out an obligation to get vaccinated. Compulsory vaccination in the Netherlands can be considered if public health is at stake. Professor of Health Law Aart Hendriks of Leiden University discussed this on BNR Nieuwsradio.
Hendriks believes that we are currently in a health crisis where many people think they might either die or become seriously ill. 'Politicians then have to consider what is more important – the health of many or the self-determination of few?'
According to Hendriks, setting aside the right to self-determination is allowed if there are good reasons to do so. He gives some examples of such restrictions in our daily lives, such as wearing a helmet and the use of safety belts when driving. 'It’s in the interest of public health.’ ‘Years from now, politicians will have a lot to answer for if it appears that many deaths could have been prevented’, says Hendriks.
Compulsory vaccination, however, must be secured in legislation. 'It must be laid down in law. This can be a separate law, but it could also be incorporated in the Public Health Act.'