Americans do not have a right to ‘dine at restaurants, attend shows in a theater, and travel for leisure,’ the ethicists argued
A pair medical ethicists, one from Yale University and one from New York University, recently said that unvaccinated people should be restricted from traveling, eating in restaurants and should see their “privileges” revoked.
They said that the “the time for begging and pleading to vaccinate must come to an end” and the United States should emulate France’s vaccine passport system that acts as a mandate by barring access to most public places to unvaccinated people.
“Liberty does not mean you have the freedom to do whatever you want wherever you want,” NYU Professor Arthur Caplan and Yale Professor Sarah Hull wrote in an essay for MedPageToday. “Nor does it make sense to conflate the concept of individual rights, which inform our liberties, with that of privileges, which are predicated on each of us upholding certain responsibilities.”
Both teach bioethics at their universities.
The two argued that unvaccinated Americans do not have a right to access public places.
It is hard to argue in good faith that American citizens have an inalienable “right” to dine at restaurants, attend shows in a theater, and travel for leisure. Indeed, if these were truly protected as rights, our government would be obligated to ensure basic access to them through entitlement programs or legal protection.
The medical ethicists then compared banning unvaccinated citizens from public places to requiring that people have a driver license.
The pair said there is “ample precedent for limiting individual liberty.”
“Driving is a privilege that must be maintained by ongoing licensure, registration, vehicle inspection, and adherence to the rules of the road for the sake of personal and public safety so that all may drive,” Caplan and Hull said.
“The concept of requiring COVID-19 vaccination to access privileges involving social gathering similarly protects public health and prevents reckless individuals from harming others,” the pair argued,
“The dangers we collectively face are too great to indulge bad choices any longer,” the ethicists said.