By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
The Commission of the Republic of Slovenia for Medical Ethics (KME RS) is following with concern the renewed spread of the covid-19 epidemic among Slovenian society. The epidemic not only threatens its health power, but undermines its economic power, cripples all its activities and affects the lives of everyone among us. In limiting it, therefore, both society and each individual have their obligations and responsibilities.
“Covid-19 disease has been limiting our lives for more than a year. Throughout its duration, the Slovenian public responds to it either by approving preventive restrictive measures or rejecting them for various reasons. In a situation where all sorts of conflicting information about the covid-19 virus, vaccines and measures is appearing on the media and networks every day, it is difficult for citizens to decide what is true and what everyone should do to make it right. KME RS respects the right of each individual to his or her own opinion on vaccination and on the causes and nature of infectious diseases, but cannot agree with experientially and professionally unfounded views and the harmful consequences of their spread. The sole purpose of preventive measures and vaccination is to protect the health of individuals and society from infection,” wrote the President of the KME RS Božidar Voljč, MD.
He said that all epidemics of dangerous infectious diseases are changing social conditions, accompanied by high morbidity and mortality. In every epidemic, therefore, expertly justified action that reduces the risk of disease and saves lives is the highest priority. Restrictive measures, that would normally be unacceptable, are unavoidable during an epidemic. The covid-19 epidemic cannot be alleviated without them, vaccination and PCT rules. New variants of the virus are born in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated environments. In addition to the limitations, global vaccination will also be needed to stop the global pandemic. And the attitude of health care and health policy towards infectious diseases will never be the same again after the Covid-19.
Child mortality rates and sufficient vaccinations against infectious diseases are a reflection of social civilisation and health culture
Regarding vaccination, KME RS wants to point out that in every society the child mortality rate and sufficient vaccination against infectious diseases are a reflection of its civilisation and health culture. However, due to prejudice and possible side effects, vaccinations have always been accompanied by concerns and opposition everywhere, but the benefits have always outweighed the potential risks. With them, we prevented the former mortality of children, eliminated children’s cemeteries and greatly extended life expectancy. Vaccination against covid-19 also confirms its effectiveness. Compared to the world, in Slovenia we have a rare opportunity for everyone to be vaccinated for free with the selected vaccine at any time. Higher vaccination coverage is limited solely by various concerns. In all environments, however, insufficient vaccination perpetuates the epidemic, endangers human health, and restricts the freedom of society and of each individual. Hospital treatment of unvaccinated people with covid-19 restricts other patients’ access to and right to hospital treatment, incurs unnecessary costs, prolongs waiting times and increases unfair health inequalities. According to the KME RS, non-vaccination must not restrict general rights, democracy and social freedom.
Measures to contain the epidemic must be addressed through an impartial balance of all the human and fundamental rights that the measures interfere with and that are intended to protect. KME RS believes that in a time of growing epidemic morbidity and mortality, the weakening of the effectiveness of preventive and public health measures through overly critical, unconstructive and politically motivated interpretations of regulations is ethically unacceptable.
The way the covid-19 epidemic is reported in the media should be impartial
KME RS also wishes to point out that the occasional inconsistency of preventive restrictive measures and the inadequate way of informing the public about their contents reduces trust in the profession, its representatives and the urgency of action. The way in which the covid-19 epidemic is reported in the media should also be impartial and should not encourage non-compliance with measures and opposition to vaccination. Anonymous comments on articles about covid-19 on the web, in themselves, define their level and their objectivity. KME RS also deplores the public appearances of some doctors who, contrary to the professional and ethical principles of their profession, not only oppose vaccination, but also disparage the profession to which they are supposed to belong.
The epidemic should unite Slovenian society and not divide it
KME RS invites all citizens to join forces in measures to limit the epidemic. Existing doubts and concerns should not turn into mutual threats and unreasonable hatred. The political exploitation of the covid-19 epidemic circumstances undermines confidence in politics and policies, deepens social divisions, and negatively impacts the culture of our society. KME RS calls on all Slovenian political parties to join the efforts to effectively limit the epidemic by unanimously supporting preventive measures and vaccination. A large part of the Slovenian public will support them in this, Dr Voljč concluded the letter.