The British government is advocating the vaccination of children against particular behaviours using the forthcoming array of pharmacotherapy vaccines. These would innoculate children against a host of behaviours that the government defines as anti-social: drinking, smoking, drugs, blogging and so on.
The article explains that “Doctors would immunize children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users with an injection” and that the program would operate in a way similar to the “current nationwide measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programme.” Further the authors reveal that “such vaccinations are being developed by pharmaceutical companies and are due to hit the market within two years.”
Developments like this are monitored by the Centre for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, whose response was clear:
Richard Glen Boire, a legal scholar at the CCLE, believes that vaccinating children with “anti-drug” drugs would be “alarming and unlawful, and would signal the first time that neuropharmaceuticals were overtly used to enforce government policy.”
Aside from the human rights concerns, the UK plan raises serious health questions regarding the long-term effects of these drugs on the complex neurochemistry of the brain.
The CCLE warns that advances in the neurosciences will challenge the ability of individuals to maintain their cognitive freedom. Governments will redefine mental health to use drugs and other neurotechnologies in order to police and channel people’s behaviours.
(My thanks to Alex Ramonsky of the Entelechy Institute for alerting me to this issue).