‘Informed consent’ needed before vaccination — CHR

Published June 26, 2021, 12:42 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has reiterated that “informed consent” by a person is needed in the government’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Director Gemma F. Parojinog of CHR’s Human Rights Policy Advisory Office said that “informed consent” is a fundamental right of every person before a treatment can be done on him or her.

“So, kelangan po talaga ng consent muna bago tayo ma-vaccinate (we really need consent before we can be vaccinated),” she stressed.

Parojinog said: “Acceptability is an essential component of the right to highest attainable standard of health. People need to be informed of all relevant information concerning the vaccines they are taking. That is the only way our people can understand the necessity of having protection from the virus. That is informed consent.”

People’s consent was tackled by Parojinog in a radio program last June 22 after President Duterte’s threat last June 21 to arrest persons who refuse to be vaccinated.

Parojinog, a lawyer, said that arrests should only be done if there is a violation of the law.

“Patungkol naman sa karapatan ng mga taong maaaring arestuhin, hindi pwedeng maaresto kung walang krimen na naisasaad sa batas. Wala pong basehan ang pag-aaresto kung sakaling gagawin ito ng ating mga law enforcers (As for the rights of people who can be arrested, they cannot be arrested if there is no crime stated in the law. There is no basis for arrest in case our law enforcers do so),” she said

Last June 22, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the President has no intention of jailing those who refuse to get vaccinated.

“I believe that the President merely used strong words to drive home the need for us to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity as soon as possible,” Guevarra said.

“As a lawyer he knows that not getting vaccinated is a legal choice,” he explained.

He said that “there is no law as yet that compels vaccination against COVID-19, much less criminalizes it, as presently available, vaccines are still in their trial phases.”