Informed Consent and the Nuremberg Code
The rush to produce the Covid vaccines has become a fundamental issue in the response to the pandemic. The argument promoted by enthusiasts for a vaccine rolled out in only four months, as lawyer Lynne Cohen approvingly writes in the Canadian journal C2C, is that “lengthy testing periods are themselves largely due to a regulatory burden, liability concerns and public risk-aversion.” This strikes me as an altogether convenient evasion of the hazards of pharmagenic velocity, a ready-made excuse to market any prophylactic, no matter how problematic, in record time.
Cohen concedes that “the risks and shortcomings of vaccines are real,” but does not dwell on the fact that the Covid products are not traditional vaccines. They are genetic delivery systems, i.e., forms of “gene therapy,” that contain part of the virus’ original genetic code, vectors that integrate into the genome. They are another order of remedial injection entirely, with unpredictable but mounting adverse results. Indeed, data have surfaced indicating “roughly the same risk of serious injury from the vaccines as from Covid itself.” Moreover, as Grant Brown writes in a subsequent edition of C2C, “the comparison with traditional vaccines was misleading if not outright dishonest.”
The usual riot of Internet sites, “factcheckers” and magazines will claim that Covid vaccines are not forms of gene therapy. The prestigious National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) research paper, Gene Therapy Leaves a Vicious Cycle is having none of that. It specifies that that vaccines are indeed forms of gene therapy that come with attendant dangers: “The general concerns with viral vectors are the risks of an immune response, off-target effects, inflammation, and insertional mutagenesis.” The paper, which offers a minutely detailed analysis of the therapeutic question by the most scrupulous professionals, concludes that, while gene therapy is immensely promising, advanced research is still required into the technology. The vaccines as currently engineered and marketed are premature.
Similarly, a Mayo Clinic preprint study argues, in very careful language calculated not to offend, that “mRNA Covid-19 vaccines strongly protect against infection and severe disease”—they do not immunize, as was once confidently asserted, they “protect,” a clandestine downgrade—but that “further evaluation of mechanisms underlying differences in their effectiveness such as dosing regimens and vaccine composition are warranted.” Translation: much work remains to be done.
Notwithstanding, people are being pressured and coerced to take the jab on peril of social exclusion and loss of employment. This is where the Nuremberg Code applies. The Code requires a person to be “situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force [ …] or other […] constraint or coercion.” We need to keep in mind that the vaccines are experimental substances that have not undergone the scientific protocol of 5-10 years of clinical trials, which means they are critically untested, a lapse which renders the provisions of the Code against medical invasion of the body even more stringent. The purport of its ten principles is clearly being violated—principles with which an uninformed citizenry should labor to acquaint itself.
Admittedly, the Code does not mention vaccines but focuses on experimental injections, which the vaccines undoubtedly are. Section 5 of the Code states that “No experiment should be conducted if it is believed to cause death or disability” and Section 9 requires that “Subjects should be able to end their participation at any time.” But the first Principle is especially crucial. The implementation of the vaccine regimen plainly violates Section 1 of the Code, which stipulates that “Voluntary consent is essential.” Voluntary consent, obviously, implies informed consent; a patient must know, fully, what he or she is agreeing to.
Defining informed consent, the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, a 2005 re-affirmation of the Code, states that "The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice.” It makes clear that “human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms are to be fully respected” in all public health legislation and that “the interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the sole interest of science or society.”
But informed consent is a rara avis. Many people I have spoken to have never even heard of Nuremberg, let alone the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights—a gaping hole in contemporary education—nor have they investigated the nature of the vaccines on their own initiative. I have friends and relatives who have received the jab but were never informed of the vaccines’ components or method of delivery, the duration of their efficacy or their possible adverse effects. They were asked only if they suffered from allergies before the jab was administered. Such a breach of medical convention may be tantamount to malpractice, despite the fact that compliant ignorance would have prevented many or most of those submitting to the jab from inquiring. Moreover, the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines to doctors instructing them how to deflect or stymie inconvenient questions. Nevertheless, in so urgent and precarious a situation, the risks need to be disclosed. And since they are not, it behooves us to inform ourselves.
Regrettably, we are not doing our homework, not paying attention, not informing ourselves, not thinking. We have allowed ourselves to succumb to an unholy mix of fear and official agitprop. As psychotherapist Todd Hayen writes in OffGuardian, “it appears we have lost any scintilla of common sense. How can a government…convince the masses so easily that the unvaccinated are the mortal enemy with not a whiff of science in the argument?” And why, for that matter, are influential players in the pandemic sweepstakes, like the World Health Organization, refusing to disclose their own vaccination status? Do they know something we don’t?
In the last analysis, we need to insist on the universal relevance of the Nuremberg Code, whose semantic thrust is toward the sovereignty of the person rather than the unquestioned authority of public institutions, political bodies or medical colleges. Absorbing products that are still in clinical trials and will be for many years into the future, far too many of us have become unwitting experimental subjects, as well as passive and submissive captives to government overreach and media propaganda. As a result, the potential harm that is being done, to the person and the nation alike, is “boosted” with every passing day.