Respect, promote and protect freedom of informed vaccination consent throughout Europe

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The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states clearly: ‘Free and informed consent must be respected in the fields of medicine and biology’[1].   Approximately 40% of EU citizens[2] do not however have this basic right when faced with the medical act of vaccination.  This is a breach of our Universal Human Rights.  In 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled that vaccines are ‘unavoidably unsafe’[3], so mandatory vaccination as imposed on these citizens is not medically or ethically acceptable, especially where medical, religious or philosophical exemptions are not allowed.

The EFVV (http://www.efvv.eu), a group representing some 20 European countries (both EU member states and non-EU members) is therefore demanding:

1.     That compulsory vaccination be abolished throughout Europe as it is a breach of our Universal Human Rights,

2.   That mandatory vaccination never be introduced in any country where vaccines are only recommended at present.

3.     That the Precautionary Principle be applied in the case of vaccination in Europe,

4.     That European citizens benefit from freedom of fully informed vaccination choice and consent,

5.     That an effective, independent European Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting (VAER) system be established to monitor vaccine safety.

One million signatures from at least seven EU countries will guarantee a debate in Brussels.  Whatever your own government’s policy, please unite by signing and then sharing this petition far and wide.

In 2016, it is estimated that nearly 400 million Europeans in EU member countries enjoy freedom of informed vaccination choice but approximately 258 million do not [4].  Vaccinations are mandatory in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia[5] and potentially other countries if new members, e.g. Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia or others join the European Union.  We therefore call on all Europeans to stand together in a demand for a united vaccination policy based on freedom of informed choice and consent.  We also demand the formation of an independent and effective vaccino-vigilance unit with transparency and public availability of results.  We believe that mandatory vaccination must be abolished and an effective Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting (VAER) system established because:

Any involuntary or enforced medical treatment is a breach of:

       o   the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

      o   the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

      o   the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child,

      o   the European Council’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine,

      o   the European Charter of Patients’ Rights,

      o   the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 

      o   and even the Nuremberg Code (a set of research ethics principles for medical experimentation on humans set as a result of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials at the end of the Second World War).

In detail:

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states clearly: ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity’[6].  It also states: ‘Free and informed consent must be respected in the fields of medicine and biology’[7] and lastly: ‘The prohibition of eugenic practices and of making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain must be respected’[8].

The European Council’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine states clearly: ‘The interests and welfare of the human being shall prevail over the sole interest of society or science’[9].  It also states: ‘An intervention in the health field may only be carried out after the person concerned has given free and informed consent to it.  This person shall beforehand be given appropriate information as to the purpose and nature of the intervention as well as on its consequences and risks.  The person concerned may freely withdraw consent at any time.’[10]

The European Charter of Patients’ Rights states clearly: ‘Every individual has the right of access to all information that might enable him or her to actively participate in the decisions regarding his or her health; this information is a prerequisite for any procedure and treatment, including the participation in scientific research (4 – Right to Consent)[11]’.  It also states:  ‘Each individual has the right to freely choose from among different treatment procedures and providers on the basis of adequate information (5 – Right to Free Choice)’[12] and also ‘Each individual has the right to be free from harm caused by the poor functioning of health services, medical malpractice and errors, and the right of access to health services and treatments that meet high safety standards (9 – Right to Safety)’[13].

The UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child states clearly: ‘Parents … have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern’[14].

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states clearly: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes… freedom … to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance’[15].

The Nuremberg Code states clearly: ‘The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.’[16]

Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), which would include Vaccine Adverse Effects (VAEs), are reported to be the fifth-leading cause of death in the EU[17] but this could be even higher since there is gross under-reporting of these events, as acknowledged by David Kessler, head of the FDA during most of the 90s[18], and in the case of vaccines, failure to acknowledge a causal link is a further problem.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that vaccines are ‘unavoidably unsafe’[19].

According to the German Criminal Code [20], vaccination is an invasive medical act causing bodily harm and as such, it requires the informed consent of either the individual being vaccinated or his/her carers.  It has however been acknowledged officially that there are still enormous gaps in current scientific knowledge regarding vaccination, so the provision of full and comprehensive prior information is simply not possible.  Vaccine package inserts[21] list many possible adverse effects, sometimes including death.  As long as there is risk involved in a medical procedure, if safety cannot be guaranteed and if comprehensive prior information cannot be given, the Precautionary Principle must be applied.

It has been shown in regions with freedom of informed vaccination choice that high WHO-recommended levels of vaccine uptake are achieved without mandatory vaccination [22].

Each European country sees legal responsibility for vaccine damage differently but in the main, medical and political authorities as well as the vaccine manufacturers are not fully accountable, leaving victims with no compensation or support.

No significant research has yet been done to compare the health of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children but there are an increasing number of studies suggesting that unvaccinated children enjoy far greater health than their vaccinated peers[23].  This is an area where further research is needed.

Given all of the above, we demand:

1.  That mandatory vaccination be abolished in all European countries,

2.  That mandatory vaccination never be introduced in any country where vaccines are only recommended at present,
3.  That the Precautionary Principle be applied in the case of vaccination in Europe,
4.  That European citizens benefit from freedom of fully informed vaccination choice and consent, a universal human right,
5.  And that an independent vaccino-vigilance unit be established where Vaccine Adverse Effects (VAEs) will be reported and the number and severity of VAEs in Europe will be easily accessible to all. 

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf, Article 3, page 9

[2] Calculated using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_population and http://www.eurosurveillance.org/images/dynamic/EE/V17N22/DAncona_tab1.jpg

[3] Bruesewitz v. Wyeth LLC, 131 S. Ct. 1068, 179 L.Ed.2d 1 (2011), http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf
[4] Calculated using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_population and http://www.eurosurveillance.org/images/dynamic/EE/V17N22/DAncona_tab1.jpg
[5] http://www.eurosurveillance.org/images/dynamic/EE/V17N22/DAncona_tab1.jpg
[6] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf, Article 3, page 9
[7] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf, Article 3, page 9
[8] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf, Article 3, page 9.
[9] http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/164.htm, Article 2 – Primacy of the Human Being
[10] http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/164.htm, Article 5 – General Rule
[11]http://ec.europa.eu/health/archive/ph_overview/co_operation/mobility/docs/health_services_co108_en.pdf, page 5
[12]http://ec.europa.eu/health/archive/ph_overview/co_operation/mobility/docs/health_services_co108_en.pdf, page 5
[13]http://ec.europa.eu/health/archive/ph_overview/co_operation/mobility/docs/health_services_co108_en.pdf, page 6
[14] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx, Article 18
[15] https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20999/volume-999-I-14668-English.pdf, Article 18, page 8.
[16] http://history.nih.gov/research/downloads/nuremberg.pdf, Item 1, page 1
[17] Arlett, Dr. Peter, Setting the Scene: New European Union Pharmacovigilance Legislation, November 2012, slide 6 - (http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Presentation/2013/01/WC500137839.pdf) and also http://who-umc.org/DynPage.aspx?id=105196&mn1=7347&mn2=7489&mn3=7248&newsid=11241
[18] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16689555
[19] Bruesewitz v. Wyeth LLC, 131 S. Ct. 1068, 179 L.Ed.2d 1 (2011), http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf
[20]http://www.impfkritik.de/upload/pdf/Koerperverletzung/Koerperverletzung-IfSG-Erdle.pdf: §§ 20-22 (§ 223 in the German Criminal Code)
[21] http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm
[22] For example, uptake is at 97% in Scotland: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Child-Health/publications/index.asp
[23] http://www.vaxchoicevt.com/science/studies-comparing-vaccinated-to-unvaccinated-populations/, http://www.efi-online.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/VaccineFreeChildrenHealthier.pdf and http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/quick-compare-2/


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