It’s the Coercion Stupid!
Up until 2021, it was axiomatic under International, Federal and State laws and regulations that coercing any person to undergo an experimental medical treatment was strictly verboten. I put that in the original German because we all remember that dozens of Nazi German doctors were convicted at the Nuremberg Trials of carrying out ghastly inhumane medical experiments on prisoners in concentration camps during World War II. Or do we?
It seems that many in the medical profession and government have conveniently forgotten all that established law and have instead plunged head-long into increasingly harsh methods of trying to coerce people to get the Covid-19 vaccines, which despite any denials by the controlled media and so-called “fact checkers,” are in every sense, and especially legally, “experimental.” In addition to requiring vaccination for certain categories of workers, such as health care workers, most state and federal employees, and other categories that the courts have so far blocked, the federal government and some mostly blue states and cities have rolled out all kinds of regulations with the not-so-veiled purpose of punishing the Unvaccinated.
Examples include allowing, encouraging or in some cases requiring, businesses to ban the Unvaccinated from their premises. In New York City and other large cities, owners of gyms, restaurants and entertainment venues must ban all unvaccinated patrons, and the list keeps growing. Around the rest of New York State, “emergency regulations” issued by the NYS Health Department on Dec, 10, 2021 encourage local businesses to check for Vax cards at the front door. So long as they only admit the vaxxed, they do not have to require masks on customers. The state also has more stringent testing requirements for the Unvaxxed in many situations. The meme recently going around that, “We are not coercing you, we are just going to take away all you rights until you comply,” pretty accurately describes the situation.
To make it convenient for businesses to discriminate against those who wish to retain their medical freedom not to take an experimental gene therapy, New York State has led the nation in the introduction of the “Excelsior Pass,” an updated high-tech version of the famous German efficiency about “showing your papers.” In addition, proof of vaccination (which now means two shots and a booster) is now required for all college students in New York, even if they participate in classes remotely, and if the crazed left-wingers who control the state legislature have their way, this requirement will soon be extended right down to grade school or below. Considering that Covid-19 represents practically no threat to healthy children and the long-term side effects are unknown, this is by far the most reckless and dangerous experiment in the history of public health.
The fact that these regulations make no sense in terms of the currently accepted science that vaccinated people are just as likely to catch and spread the Covid virus as the unvaccinated, apparently is no obstacle. To give it the best possible spin, perhaps these officials honestly believe that coercing people into getting an emergency authorized vaccine is “for the public good,” but that is clearly not a legitimate exception to the Nuremberg Code or all the other laws and rules that have followed, as outlined below. For less charitable possible motives see my other substack article on “Prejudice, Hostility and Scrutiny of Discrimination against the Unvaccinated.”
The most basic and well protected international human right is the right to uncoerced informed consent, which the Supreme Court has recognized as a fundamental right subject to strict scrutiny. This right is nearly absolute in the context of an experimental medical product. After World War II, Nazi physicians were found by U.S. Military Tribunals to have committed war crimes and hanged for having forced or even coerced subjects into participating in vaccine trials with experimental vaccines. Arguments that vaccine trials advance the greater good were unavailing. Without meaningful consent, it is a war crime to force a medical experiment on subjects.
As part of its final judgment, the tribunal promulgated the Nuremberg Code on Permissible Medical Experiments. Point One of that Code is worth quoting in full, “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 so 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.“
This statement of informed consent as the most basic and fundamental human right has since been repeatedly ratified and adopted around the globe, in laws, treaties, regulations, and ethical guidelines for medical research. For example, in 1964, the World Medical Association adopted the Declaration of Helsinki, which provides that human subjects “must be volunteers and informed participants in the research project.” Although themselves non-binding, the principles underlying the Declaration of Helsinki and the Nuremberg Code have been incorporated into international conventions, as well as the laws and regulations of countries around the world, including the United States, which are binding in United States courts. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations, which went into effect in 1976, provides in Article 7 that “no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”
In 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, requiring prior, free, and informed consent for participation in medical treatments and research. The United States clearly regards itself as bound by the provisions of the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki. The highest courts in the United States recognize that the right to informed consent codified in the Nuremberg Code is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. These principles have been adopted by statutes and regulations in the United States as well as case law.
In 1979, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare issued the Belmont Report, which was prompted in part by ethical problems with using black men in the Tuskegee Syphillis Study. The report addressed the issue of informed consent in the human experimentation setting. The Report identified respect for self-determination by “autonomous persons” as the first of three “basic ethical principles” which “demands that subjects enter into the research voluntarily and with adequate information.” Ultimately, the principles of the Belmont Report, which itself was guided by the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki, were adopted by the FDA in its regulations requiring the informed consent of human subjects for medical research. See 21 C.F.R. § 50.20.
The Department of Health and Human Services has similarly adopted this standard in its regulations governing grants for medical research. See 45 C.F.R. § 46.116. The State of New York has also adopted the principle of informed consent for all medical treatment. See § 2805-d NY Pub Health L § 2440 (2012) of the New York Public Health Law (requiring informed consent for medical treatment). Additionally, New York recognizes a common law right to informed consent, under which, forced medical interventions are batteries.
Pursuant to Title 21 of the United States Code, products and devices like the Covid-19 “vaccines” approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) must be optional to the user as the basic standards for testing, evaluation, and approval have been bypassed by the FDA due to an emergency.
The FDA has not approved any existing vaccine intended to be used against SARS-CoV-2 other than through an EUA. Although the FDA recently rushed through approval of a prospective COVID-19 vaccine, it is not actually a vaccines that is currently publicly available. The vaccines in general use remain under a EUA. If there were an approved vaccine available, the use of the other vaccines approved under EUAs would have to be discontinued, as EUAs can be only be granted when there is no other approved treatment.
There has been a great deal of misinformation and lack of proper reporting of these facts by the press. Large headlines and multiple stories were published claiming that the Pfizer vaccine was given full approval by the FDA on Aug. 23, 2021. In fact, that approval was for a vaccine called Comirnaty, which is not yet available to the public.
Perhaps the reason that Pfizer has not moved forward on producing and distributing Comirnaty, even though they would enjoy a monopoly in the market, is that vaccines that are not under a EUA, do not enjoy the same liability protection. The FDA has tried to claim that the current Pfizer vaccine in use is “medically interchangeable” with Comirnaty, but was also recently forced to admit in federal court that it is “legally different” from it.
It is unlawful under the EUA to even represent that the vaccines are safe or effective, leave aside to mandate or coerce them. This has not stopped the federal government and many states from spending billions on paid propaganda assuring the public that everything is hunky-dory with the jabs. All these vaccines, whether approved or available, are still in the experimental phase and will be for many years to come and cannot be mandated. For example, the clinical trial of the Pfizer Covid vaccine now approved under a EUA is not scheduled for final completion until July 30, 2023.
There has never been a vaccine produced and brought to market as rapidly as the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized under EUA. Typically even the most hasty vaccines take years or decades to properly develop and test. In late May 2020, President Trump initiated Operation Warp Speed, a controversial federal program to rush the development of vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2 in record time. The COVID-19 vaccines were pushed through various hasty iterations of unfinished clinical trials, skipping even the more common basic steps normally employed in trials, such as animal testing, and were rushed to market in a matter of months not decades.
This is particularly significant as the COVID-19 vaccines employ a novel technology that has not previously ever been able to pass the trial phase and become licensed for use in human beings due to significant safety problems identified in animal trials. These “vaccines” are in fact not traditional vaccines at all, but a variety of gene therapy. The long term effects and general adverse effects for the COVID-19 vaccines are still largely unknown, although preliminary data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is troubling.
While some people may have valid reasons to take a leap of faith and hope the benefits outweigh the risks, there are also valid reasons to exercise caution and not be coerced into taking an untested vaccine. The Excelsior Pass and other discriminating programs of the state, assume that there is no valid medical reason not to take the vaccine. In fact there may be many. Some people may have pre-existing conditions that make them at higher risk of having a bad reaction to the vaccine. Some may have been shown by prior reactions to be allergic to some of the ingredients in the vaccine.
Decisions as to whether to take the vaccine under these circumstances should be made by the individual in consultation with their personal physician, free of any coercion by the state. Some individuals may have religious objections to taking these vaccines. All of the vaccines currently available have relied on tissue from aborted fetuses at some point in their production. Some may have other moral or religious objections to vaccines in general. Vaccine Pass programs makes no allowance for these kinds of objections, making the program further in violation of the 1st Amendment protection of Freedom of Religion.
Some individuals may choose not to take the vaccine based on their age or physical condition. It is well established that the more severe cases of Covid are almost exclusively found in those of advanced years or among those who have pre-existing medical morbidities such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or a compromised immune system. In fact, studies have estimated that the survival rate from Covid for people under age 50 who don’t have any of those co-morbidities is over 99.9%. Now that the milder variant Omicron has become the dominant version of the virus, this tilts the calculus even further on the side of caution.
Young and healthy people generally have much milder cases and in some cases don’t even realize that they have had the virus. Such people may conclude that considering their much lower risk profile and the known risks of the vaccine, which include serious side effects such as blood clots, pericarditis, myocarditis or even death, they would prefer to use their informed consent to decline the vaccine.
This is not an unreasonable position since some studies have estimated that among young healthy people, the chances of dying from the vaccine are higher than the risk of dying from Covid, not to mention the possibility of long-term debilitating side effects. Given the large number of adverse reaction showing up VAERS (more than all other vaccine reactions put together in the 35 year history of the system), and the fact that those may be just the tip of the iceberg, since most experts agree that VAERS events are greatly underreported, it is wise for every person to make a risk/reward analysis based on their own age and physical condition. Despite what public health officials, celebrities and politicians from the President on down say, the vaccine is not a one-size-fits-all treatment.
Further, now that the Supreme Court has knocked down the OSHA mandate for vaccination of all U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees, such larger companies may need to reassess their choice of enforcing a mandate. While drug manufacturers and medical practitioners may enjoy immunity, companies who require vaccination on their own initiative may not be protected if an employee suffers an adverse event. Perhaps this is why large corporations such as General Electric have already suspended their mandates.
This article was adapted from my legal memorandum in support of a motion to enjoin the current NYS Health Department regulations and practices. Links to that memo and other legal papers filed in the case of Strong v. Zucker currently in the Federal District Court in Western New York, can be found at my website: TwoOldMeninChairs.com
Corrin Strong practiced law in NYS from 1981-85. He has been officially retired since 1986 and is representing himself in this matter “pro se.” Some of the arguments presented here were developed by other attorneys and borrowed from their filings available on the PACER federal court reporting system.