LEGAL AND ETHICAL JUSTIFICATION OF COMPENSATION REGARDING COMPULSORY VACCINATION INJURIES

Ivana Tucak

DOI Number
-
First page
145
Last page
155

Abstract


Although vaccination as a modern public health measure has been accompanied with controversies since its very beginning, today medicine has no doubts with respect to its benefits for individuals and whole communities. It is to be noted that vaccination has significantly decreased the incidence and mortality rate of a number of infectious diseases. When propagating vaccination, scientists point not only to its effectiveness but also to its efficiency. It is believed that preventive national mass vaccination programmes have saved billions of euros considering treatment and other medical costs which would be incurred due to the outbreak of a disease. Vaccination and other medications may imply certain unwanted reactions. Although severe side effects of vaccination are rare, in such cases compensation of injuries bears great relevance for the success of immunization policies and maintenance of the public trust. This paper attempts to clarify why traditional tort litigation is not convenient in this view. The injured parties often face long-lasting judicial proceedings with an uncertain outcome. What is even worse is that such cases often concern children who are likely to need lifelong care. On the other hand, vaccine manufacturers are also vulnerable. Vaccine production is expensive and subject to strict supervision. High costs cases are particularly discouraging for manufacturers, which jeopardizes public health goals. Our aim is to demonstrate that the Republic of Croatia should introduce the so-called “no-fault” compensation programme which would bind the state to compensate for the damage done to its citizens in the name of the principles such as solidarity and justice.


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References


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