By Travis Reinold
Is it ethical to sacrifice one innocent person for the greater good? Or, to borrow a line from A Few Good Men, is it ethical to order the “code red?” The philosophies of “Do No Harm” and “The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number” predate Hippocrates and other Greek philosophers. In fact, these philosophies belonged to the Canaanites and the Israelites in the Old Testament. In God’s eyes, it was repugnant that the Canaanites were willing to sacrifice one innocent child to appease Baal, the god who supposedly controlled rain within an agrarian economy. And while there was no “science” that proved Baal’s existence, nor his ability to control the rain, their cult-like faith accompanied a perverse philosophy that it was okay to harm one innocent and unwilling person for the greater good.
Today, the constant echo chamber saying, “The COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe and Effective” sounds similar to the ancient drums that drowned out the screams of a crying baby in the fiery arms of Moloch. Because as the news companies repeat advertisement lines for vaccine companies profiting billions, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, tells a different story. Currently, over 13,000 deaths have been reported due to the COVID-19 vaccines. However, it’s unlikely that the death toll is really just 13,000. According to a report for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, VAERS accounts for less than one percent of vaccine injuries. Why is that? VAERS is an unautomated system that most medical providers have never heard of, much less ever been trained on. Additionally, if a COVID-19 vaccination causes anyone to die from a heart attack or stroke two weeks later, it’s extremely unlikely that anything will be traced back to a “safe and effective vaccine.”
Sadly, it’s unclear whether or not the “science” behind COVID-19 vaccinations is any better than the “science” of the Canaanites. For anything to be called “science,” the scientific method must be followed. This should include a control group of people that didn’t take the vaccine, so all possible side effects can be thoroughly analyzed over a lengthy period of time in order to compare the vaccine’s effectiveness with natural immunity. Yet, for some reason, the vaccine companies conveniently decided to forgo this basic precept by offering the vaccine to the control groups. Thus, most of America, and even our military, are now participants in the experiment. To many of us, it seems unlikely that severe harm will
occur, so, we roll the dice thinking that they’ll never land on snake eyes. But regardless of the outcome, the vaccine companies will still receive the same payout while we absorb all the risk. That’s because we’ll be forced to consume their product while federal law absolves them from all financial liability. Liability that’s been passed onto the federal government where organizations like the CDC receive non-appropriated funding from vaccine manufacturers. A conflict of interest? Even worse, leadership positions at the CDC and FDA continue to serve as revolving doors to lucrative jobs within the vaccine industry.
In the military, we take SHARP and EO classes that reinforce the idea that all people deserve dignity and respect because, ultimately, everyone is an image-bearer of their divine Creator. Yet, when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccinations, it appears that we’re walking away from our ethics and our values. Perhaps we should review the Nuremberg Code which says, “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential…without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion…The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs, or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.” In other words, like we learn in SHARP class, coercion is simply wrong. We’re not allowed to coerce someone into becoming a medical experiment. Yet, throughout the military, service members are complaining of segregation and discrimination based upon a personal health decision. And with the implementation of mandatory vaccinations, brave men and women will be forced into a medical experiment where the outcome isn’t entirely certain. At this point, military leaders must understand that they’ll own full responsibility for any negative outcomes. Just as it’s never acceptable to say, “I was just following orders,” it won’t be acceptable to say, “I was just following the Health Authorities.”
Of course, the argument for COVID-19 vaccinations will be that the military has a unique mission of national defense. However, with an overall survival rate of 99.7 percent, COVID-19 does not justify mandatory experimental vaccinations in the military. Especially if COVID-19 can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, vitamins, and minerals as many frontline physicians claim. However, most concerning, would be the risk of vaccinating the entire military at the same time if the worst effects aren’t seen for another 2-3 years. It seems prudent that the military should maintain an adequately sized control group that can respond if the most severe adverse reactions among the vaccinated are delayed.
In any pandemic, “Do No Harm” and “The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number” are the two philosophies that military leaders will have to choose between. “Do No Harm” follows with the intent of the US Constitution: that power resides with “We the People” and the government protects the unalienable rights of all its citizens. Also, “Do No Harm” aligns with the words of Jesus, who said He leaves the 99 to save the 1. It furthers trust, a bedrock value in the military, because it explains why we’ll recklessly chase after any fallen comrade who’s fallen into the hands of the enemy. However, “The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number” (or leaving the 1 to save the 99) is a philosophy that’s often associated with fear, as we try to take control over our circumstances. Even worse, we end up playing the role of God by determining who’s harmed and who isn’t. And in an environment of fear, we’re likely to screw up the math and cause greater harm. We may inevitably leave a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, or any other teammate in harm’s way. Because we can never truly measure the second, third, tenth, and hundredth order effects of our decisions. As we continuously talk about COVID cases and deaths every day, I hope we’re not losing sight of the bigger picture, which invariably includes our ethics and our values. These are the ethics and values which have bypassed fear, in order to protect our Constitution, our freedom, and our way of life.
*The views and opinions expressed in this paper do not in any way represent the United States Army, the Department of Veteran Affairs, or the Department of Defense. Travis Reinold is a military veteran that manages his wife’s private medical practice. Additionally, he is music composer and Christian podcaster.
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