Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Religious Studies


Health Sciences, Public Health.


Lage, D.




Mass immunization is distinct from other medical practices in that healthy individuals assume largely unknown risks with no goal of improving their present state of health. Vaccinees face the very real prospect of vaccine-related adverse effects, some permanently debilitating or even fatal, for a promise of future health protection even when no immediate or direct threat to health exists. Mass immunization has always met with some measure of opposition. What is new about the current controversy is that many physicians, nurses, and medical researchers have articulated their own opposing viewpoints supported by factual evidence. Mass immunization presents a vital, and largely ignored, area of inquiry for biomedical ethics. Most immunization-specific literature focuses upon scientific research, immunization recommendations, and disease-related morbidity and mortality rates. Public health officials medically justify mass immunization but the question that is virtually left unanswered by existing literature is whether or not mass immunization is ethically justifiable. The ethical discussion will be grounded in findings from international scientific, medical, epidemiological, and legal documents. This thesis is primarily concerned with the ethical implications of mass immunization within a Canadian context. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Religious Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .D56. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0496. Adviser: Dietmar Lage. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.