Flat White

Vaccine segregation is an affront to liberty

29 June 2021

6:00 PM

29 June 2021

6:00 PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, supported by state premiers and territory chief ministers, is set to make the coronavirus vaccination mandatory for aged care workers. This is despite the protestations of health unions such as the Australian Nursing Federation, which has warned a survey of members who work in aged care revealed that almost two-thirds said vaccinations should remain voluntary and 31 per cent said they would leave the industry if forced to get a jab. 

Why should we be surprised? Scott Morrison has already floated the idea of vaccine ‘passports’ to exempt Australians travelling within their own country from lockdowns and associated restrictions. Further, under a proposal being put together by health bureaucrats, vaccinated travellers will be treated differently by being allowed to quarantine at home. 

Watch Rocco Loiacono talk vaccine passports with Alan Jones.

I am not against vaccines, and, of course, the government must keep its citizens safe by all ethical means possible. However, governments, bureaucracies and business leaders doing their bidding (Qantas, Alliance Airlines, Flight Centre and so forth) have no right to enforce or to coerce an individual to take a medical treatment against the individual’s better instincts or judgment. This is the sole preserve of the doctor-patient relationship, where individual and particular circumstances, pathologies and conditions can be taken into account by those who know what is best for themselves.  

In fact, the Australian Immunisation Handbook makes it clear that: “[Vaccines] must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.” This long-standing principle of informed consent to medical treatment is enshrined in the Nuremberg Code of 1947, of which Australia is a signatory. This Code came into being as a direct result of the atrocities of World War II and the revolting medical experiments conducted by the Nazis and other totalitarian regimes against their own people in the name of ‘science’. The Code opens with this defining statement: 

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion, and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.

Rowan Dean, Rebecca Weisser, Ramesh Thakur, Jake Thrupp and this correspondent, among others, have argued in this publication and elsewhere that medical and emotional blackmail are anathema to our traditions of liberty. 

Suggestions that mandatory vaccinations will only be limited to certain sectors or circumstances because they are ‘in the public interest’ are naïve at best, and vacuous at worst. Where will this end? It will be, as the saying goes, the thin end of the wedge. Lest anyone be in any doubt about this notion, Tucker Carlson highlighted on his June 1 show on what is happening in Democrat states where segregation, along the lines of that which the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s protested against, is occurring once more.  

“The new segregation looks a lot like the old segregation,” the popular Fox News host said. Before coronavirus, “pretty much everybody agreed that segregation was the worst thing this country ever did,” Carlson told his audience. 

“Forcing certain categories of citizens into separate, lesser accommodations, barring them from public places, treating them like lepers or untouchables: that was completely immoral and wrong.  

“We were told that a lot, and most of us strongly agree. It was wrong.” 

Nevertheless, “the very same people” who have condemned segregation “are now enforcing segregation,” Carlson charged. 

“Just this morning the New York Times informed us that unless you can prove you’ve taken the injection that the Democratic Party demands you take, you are no longer permitted in bars, comedy clubs, even some dance competitions, in the state of New York,” he observed. “You’re too dirty to appear in public. You’re not welcome near normal people.” 

Those who choose not to take COVID-19 vaccines will not be able to attend basketball games in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Carlson said. (A June 2 update to the stadium’s website says that “fully vaccinated sections” have been added to the Gardens.) They will also have to sit in “roped-off sections” to watch baseball games. 

“Medical Jim Crow has come to America,” Carlson asserted, provocatively citing the laws that enforced racial segregation in parts of America from the 1870s until 1965. “If we still had water fountains, the unvaccinated would have separate ones.” 

The origin of the phrase ‘Jim Crow’ has often been attributed to ‘Jump Jim Crow’, a song-and-dance of black people performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in ‘blackface’, which first surfaced in 1828 and was used to satirise the populist policies of the President at the time, Andrew Jackson. As a result of Rice’s fame, ‘Jim Crow’ by 1838 had become a pejorative expression referring to African-Americans. When southern state legislatures, dominated by white Democrats, passed racial segregation laws directed against black people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these statutes became known as ‘Jim Crow laws’. The effect of these laws was to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by black people in the aftermath of the Civil War. 

“Why should it end here?” Carlson asked. “The coronavirus is transmissible and it can be dangerous, but it’s hardly the only illness that fits that description. There are many.” 

“If politicians can segregate potential COVID carriers from the rest of the American population, why can’t they do the same thing to people with HIV, or tuberculosis, or Hepatitis C? … At this point, there really isn’t a reason why this wouldn’t happen because the precedent has been set.” 

In Australia, we do not discriminate (and neither should we) on the basis of race, sex, colour, religion, age or so on. Why then should we begin discrimination on the basis of medical status, leading to an underclass of people simply because they did not take a medication that cannot, or did not need, to take. As is the case in America, the same people who profess to be against discrimination in all its forms now argue for its enforcement, aided and abetted by a Prime Minister who has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be an enemy of freedom, and, it seems, would love nothing better to be the new Supreme Leader in his health fascist state. 

Dr Rocco Loiacono is a senior lecturer at Curtin University Law School. 

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments