Austria Imposing Mandatory Vaccination Regime Violates International Law

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by Robert Bridge, Strategic Culture:

While vaccines can play a major role in fighting against the current pandemic, to enforce this medical intervention on anyone violates every aspect of human liberty and freedom, which many generations of men and women have fought to ensure.

Western media has been shockingly nonchalant about Austria announcing it would become “the first European country” to make vaccines against Covid 19 mandatory, with possible prison sentences for non-compliance. Can we get a second opinion?

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Amid a surge in new Covid cases, Austria has ordered a 10-day lockdown of its entire population – including those who have received inoculations – starting on November 22. On top of that, the government said it was preparing legislation for a mandatory vaccine regime to be rolled out on February 1st, the chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, has announced.

“We haven’t been able to convince enough people to vaccinate,” Schallenberg said in an effort to rationalize the draconian decision. “For too long, I and others have assumed that you can convince people to get vaccinated.”

Incidentally, Schallenberg, who descends from a long line of blue-blooded Austro-Hungarian nobles, was hand chosen to replace Sebastian Kurz as chancellor last month as the latter became embroiled in a testy corruption probe. Immediately following Schallenberg’s appointment, wily Covid-19, perhaps seeing a golden opportunity for a power play amid the chaos, surged in the country.

What the new Austrian chancellor seems to have forgotten, however, in his desire to play medical dictator is that people have a right to self-autonomy over their bodies. Strongly encouraging civilians to receive a vaccination is one thing; forcing it upon them by coercion – on pain of financial penalties and even imprisonment in the event they cannot pay – is crossing the humanitarian red line. That much, at least, has been determined by the United Nations.

In October 2005, some 190 UNESCO Member States adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, which committed the signatories and the international community to “respect and apply fundamental ethical principles related to medicine, the life sciences and associated technologies.”

Article 6, Section 3 reads:

“In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.”

Speaking on the need for the Declaration, Pierre Sané, former UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (2001-2010), discussed a meningitis pandemic that swept through the Nigerian city of Kano in 1996. Pfizer, in what it described as a “humanitarian gesture,” offered to help by making available a new antibiotic drug called Trovan, which could be administered orally to children. Pfizer failed to acknowledge, however, that Trovan had never been tested in a disease outbreak, nor was it ever given to children orally. Nevertheless, six weeks after the outbreak had occurred, 200 children participated in Pfizer’s clinical trial.

Sané explained what eventually happened: “A governmental committee of medical experts investigated the Trovan trial and concluded that it was illegal and unethical. The desperation of the parents and the emergency situation made it easy to enroll patients in the trial, suggesting free treatment for a serious disease. Parents with infected children were often not aware that they were included in a clinical trial; they were afraid for their children and did not ask many questions…

“In many cases no permission was requested to test the drug. Pfizer argued that informed consent could not be obtained from parents because they were illiterate. In this impoverished part of the country, few parents indeed could speak or write English,” Sané added.

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