Discussion Forum

The United States’ health-related views and laws are shaped by social, political, and historical factors that are often part of the larger debate over individual rights versus the collective good.

Although this debate reaches beyond the focus of this week’s topic, discuss and weigh in on some of the following issues:

Should childhood immunizations be mandatory or optional?

Should the government regulate workplace safety, or does this type of regulation stall the growth of companies and the economy?

Should higher insurance rates or taxes be used to punish poor health choices (e.g., cigarettes, “junk” food)? Would this be unfair to individuals, or is this fair since all Americans pay a portion of the healthcare costs to care for these choices?

When, if ever, does national security trump state or individual rights? In major health pandemics? In cases of bioterrorism or biologic weapons?

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