Covid-19 Vaccination, Moral Injury, and The Fracture of Conscience

Filed on 11 December 2021 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

Covid-19 Vaccination, Moral Injury, and The Fracture of Conscience (as at 9 December 2021).

Moral injury is an event that violates deeply held moral beliefs or values. It can cause a profound psychological distress that results from actions, or lack of them, which deeply impacts one’s moral code (Williamson, Murphy and Greenberg, 2020). It may be something I have done, deeply personal and not necessarily known to any person other than myself. It may be something I have done or allowed that involves others, even without them ever knowing. It may be something that has been done to me or I have witnessed done to others. It may be something that I have been compelled or obliged to do by others with the power to enforce it. See

Think of the self-blame and regret, sometimes coupled with anger, felt by the mother (or father) who allowed or encouraged her 16 yr old to be vaccinated and who now has myocarditis with an uncertain future. This, even though she may be aware that such might also have occurred with natural Covid infection together with the conflicting responsibility on her as a parent to be considering transmission to the wider population. And – re the latter point – she subsequently discovers that vaccination does not prevent transmission anyway.

And now, with “provisional approval” by the TGA and validation by ATAGI to roll out the vaccination program to 5-11 yr old children– does she allow/encourage/subject her younger children to the same procedure – fortunately at this point in time not “mandated” by government for school entry?

For me the decision to be vaccinated was simple. I am a GP and my rationale in conducting vaccination clinics over 2021 was to protect the community by increasing herd immunity and also protect the individual attending for vaccination. I have valued and enjoyed the process using Astra/Zenica to our older patient population and I believe in vaccinating as many as possible in this age group. See

It distresses me that the media and state government portray the protesters as just being anti-vaxxers when it is a disparate group of people (and many more silent) with valid concerns re the vaccine itself for the individual, for the transmissibility of the virus even with vaccination and therefore its ultimate failure to protect others, the probable increased risk of mutation, the long-term unknown effects, and the totalitarian nature of the mandatory provisions of compelling a medical procedure in light of all the above.

So, am I happy to have had the vaccine and to be involved in A/Z clinics? YES.

Do I believe that frontline medical workers should be vaccinated? YES, unless natural immunity can be shown.

Am I happy for widespread “mandatory” vaccination with subsequent loss of employment for those who won’t comply together with the emotional torment of do I for the sake of providing food for my children? conflicting with the fracture of conscience in submitting to a compulsory medical procedure with an unknown future? NO.

Am I happy for mandatory vaccination of healthy young people with mRNA vaccines and the risk of myocarditis/pericarditis? NO, not at least till I see reliable comparative figures of this complication which, as I understand it, to possibly be five times higher in the vaccinated than the un-vaccinated. I have an athletic relative aged 17 with pericarditis after Moderna.

Am I happy to ask a 17 yr old to take this risk of immediate problems and forced abstinence from exertion related sports with unknown risks of long-term invalidity – as well as other yet unknown effects of mRNA and spike proteins having been introduced into the body – for the sake of the elderly population who have already been vaccinated and protected anyway? NO.

Am I happy for Pfizer to be given to 5-11 yr olds? NO. (At least, not at this point.)

The issue – in Oz at least – is no longer vaccinating everyone to increase herd immunity for the sake of the vulnerable elderly and who are now vaccinated anyway but considering each age group and the relative risks of “natural” vs vaccinated problems.

The fracture of conscience dilemma cannot just be dismissed.

For me personally and for many the issue was clear as stated above. I think it is far more a dilemma for the parents of the young and very young. Must I submit to the authorities to submit my children to these unknown risks that may not be any greater than the risks of natural Covid infection for this age group?

So, we have fear of “natural” Covid infection for the next generation and I submit a greater fear of participating in an authoritarian compulsion to vaccinate our children.

The media – as above – have portrayed the objectors as being radicals and less than 2% of population. I believe the figure of the silent parents, themselves submitting for the public health of the community, but who are concerned for the sake of their children would be more of the order of 20-40%.

Who will we blame in time to come? Will the parents blame themselves? Will they be guilt ridden for their invalided child with chronic relapsing myocarditis? Will the now adult child blame the parents or the medical profession or the authorities in charge who forced/mandated/compelled this submission with huge penalties both directly financial in terms of fines and indirectly with loss of occupation and further indirectly with loss of national income and world shortages?

Fear and uncertainty compounded by compulsion.

How many in the general population are/will be aware of these issues. Because of the complexities I’m sure many will just go along the public recommendations/enforcement and so not actually suffer any part of “moral injury” in the here-and-now, but what might this be in time to come? Did I allow this to happen to my child? Was I approving?

The fracture of conscience dilemma cannot just be dismissed. 

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One Response to “Covid-19 Vaccination, Moral Injury, and The Fracture of Conscience”

  1. Nick Alb 29 December 2023 at 11:43 pm Permalink

    It is a hidden fact that forced vaccination can cause moral injury. I am emotionally suffering years later and can say that submitting to the vaccination pressure has harmed my mental health immensely. Awareness needs to be spread.