The Views of Parents Who Reject Compulsory Vaccination: A Case Study of the Crisis of Trust in Biomedical Knowledge Cover Image

Postoje rodičů odmítajících povinná očkování svých dětí: případová studie krize důvěry v biomedicínské vědění
The Views of Parents Who Reject Compulsory Vaccination: A Case Study of the Crisis of Trust in Biomedical Knowledge

Author(s): Jaroslava Hasmanová Marhánková
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: anti-vaccination movement; biopolitics; health; medicine; risk; vaccination

Summary/Abstract: Immunisation programmes currently represent a fi rm and widely accepted part of preventive medicine. The Czech Republic ranks among countries with a mandatory immunisation schedule strongly regulated by the state. Having one’s child vaccinated is an unquestionable norm, supported by formal sanctions for those who do not take part in this practice. This article focuses on parents who challenge this norm by deciding to refuse to allow their child to be vaccinated. Twenty-two parents whose children were not vaccinated were interviewed and several participant observations were conducted at public lectures on immunisation and at meetings of parents who actively take part in the debates against compulsory vaccination. The article analyses groups in the Czech Republic that are critical of vaccines in the context of the crisis of trust in biomedical knowledge. It identifi es key factors affecting parents’ critical views of vaccination and highlights their previous experience with health authorities and the feeling of a loss of faith in the trustworthiness of biomedicine as the key motives infl uencing their decision to refuse vaccination. The decision to vaccinate is analysed as a part of the process of the ‘will to health’ that occurs in the context of an ongoing negotiation between different notions of risk.

  • Issue Year: 50/2014
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 163-187
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: Czech