Prophylaxis is wrong
Prophylaxis is wrong is a family of arguments made in the context of medical or public health debates in which a prophylactic treatment or policy is opposed. A prophylactic medical treatment is defined as any treatment or procedure which seeks to prevent illness rather than treat it. These might include:
- vaccines meant to protect against potential future diseases (both common and rare)
- booster doses of vaccines (e.g., a tetanus shot given after possible exposure to the pathogen)
- antibiotics (e.g., when given to a patient undergoing surgery)
- antiviral therapies (e.g., drugs that are meant to prevent transmission of HIV)
- preemptive surgical removal of body parts in healthy individuals (e.g., circumcision, appendectomy, mastectomy)
- taking of nutritional supplements to prevent illness
Avoidance behaviours that pose a risk of illness will not be considered (e.g., not smoking to avoid lung cancer). Only active interventions will be considered as prophylactic.
Arguments for and against prophylaxis, both from a deontological (rule-based) and consequentialist perspective will be weighed against each other.
|Statement of the claim||Prophylaxis is wrong|
|Level of certainty||Ethical preference|
|Counterclaim||Prophylaxis is right|