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A Chara,- DARA GILROY (Letters, 17 January) argues that "The right to consent is an important principle of medical ethics and the right to bodily integrity is enshrined in our Constitution. Putting restrictions on the unvaccinated amounts to paying lip-service to these rights while illegitimately seeking to implicitly coerce. This is duress and undermines the right to consent."

The writer fails to note that the "right to bodily integrity" is not specifically "enshrined in our constitution" and that Article 40.1  also notes that while "All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law, This shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in its enactments have due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function"

Indeed, a bill to include a specific reference to a Right to Personal Autonomy and Bodily Integrity in our constitution was defeated in the Dail in 2014. Rights conferred by the constitution are not generally as absolute as libertarian advocates like to have us believe and are generally constrained by reference to phrases like "subject to the common good".

President Macron's reported comment that he wants to emmerder or "piss off" the unvaccinated are not helpful in this regard. It reinforces the narrative that the unvaccinated are the victims in all of this, and that they are being illegitimately coerced into giving up their right of consent.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody wants to discriminate against the unvaccinated in any way other than to protect their own health and that of the general public. A Vaccination certificate is a reasonable and proportionate way of doing this and infringes on no fundamental human right.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 17th, 2022 at 01:07:12 PM EST

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