Forced Covid Tests and Vaccines Violate Human Rights

Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

The authorities should take an explicit consent from the people before giving them Covid-19 tests or vaccines. 

By RMN News Service

There are reports of forced testing and vaccination in India, which are causing panic among communities. According to bodily integrity rules, it is an offence to force people to accept Covid tests and vaccines. 

Bodily integrity means the inviolability of the physical body and it allows personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination of human beings over their own bodies.

The violation of the bodily integrity of another person is regarded as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and a possible criminal act, and therefore it amounts to human rights violation.

The Indian Express newspaper quotes an RTI reply received from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, regarding compensation provided for injury or adverse reactions or deaths from the vaccine. The Ministry replies, “As far as compensation is concerned, the Covid-19 vaccine being voluntary, there is no provision for compensation as of now.”

Therefore, the authorities should take an explicit consent from the people before giving them Covid-19 tests or vaccines. 

According to the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom (UK), consent to treatment means a person must give permission before they receive any type of medical treatment, test or examination. This must be done on the basis of an explanation by a clinician.

Consent from a patient is needed regardless of the procedure, whether it’s a physical examination, organ donation or something else. The NHS says that the principle of consent is an important part of medical ethics and international human rights law.

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Rakesh Raman