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Letters Case for mandatory vaccination

Debating the future of mandatory vaccination

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 07 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4100

Re: Debating the future of mandatory vaccination

The question I would like to pose to Emma Cave [1] is how do we arrive at the position of conferring on vaccine science or the bureaucracy that supports it such a degree of authority over our lives. Is there any evidence that the technology has reached such a level of perfection, the bureaucracy such a level of integrity that societies should defer without question? It is no use pointing to the position of more than century ago as if anything was certain about the science then [2] and perhaps no more use today when human judgment, institutions and the technology still remain fallible.

From where does her confidence in the technology and the bureaucracy (if she has it) derive? If not, why does she suggest that this is where we should be going?

[1] Emma Cave, 'Debating the future of mandatory vaccination (Case for mandatory vaccination),'BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 07 September 2017)

[2] Alfred Russel Wallace, 'To Members of Parliament and Others: Forty-five years of of Registration Statistics proving Vaccination to be both useless and dangerous' 1889,

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 September 2017
John Stone
UK Editor