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To Immunize or Not to Immunize: Some Ethical Issues

Whether or not to immunize children is both a medical and an ethical issue. Medically, concerns remain about whether some types of immunizations cause or contribute to neurological problems like autism. There are also basic ethical questions about immunizing children like, for example, whether doing so thwarts God's will, or whether it is ethical to use a vaccine originally based in the cells of an aborted fetus. On the opposite side are questions about the morality of putting larger populations at risk over concerns for an individual. Adding to the debate is a post-modern suspicion that scientists and doctors don't always know as much as they think their scientific approach tells them. In a 7 1/2-minute news video prepared for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a source for cutting edge reporting at the intersection of religion and culture, correspondent Deborah Potter outlines various aspects of the debate and its religious and ethical elements. For resources on teaching religion and ethics, see our article, "Best Resources for Teaching Religion."

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