'We cannot allow you to circulate freely': Bioethicist delivers warning to unvaccinated Canadians

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky, an internationally respected authority on bioethics and policy advisor, said it was necessary to restrict unvaccinated Canadians from more than just 'non-essential' businesses.

'We cannot allow you to circulate freely': Bioethicist delivers warning to unvaccinated Canadians
Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
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Vardit Ravitsky, a professor of bioethics at the School of Public Health, University of Montreal, appeared on the news to discuss Quebec’s taxation of the unvaccinated.

Under the policy, imposed by Quebec Premier Francois Legault, those who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccination for “non-medical reasons” will face a “significant” financial penalty. The tax would apply to all adults in Quebec who refuse to get their first dose of the vaccine within the next few weeks — and only those with medical exemptions will not have to pay the tax.

Speaking on the matter, Ravitsky, who is an internationally respected authority in bioethics, said that it was necessary to restrict access to more than just “non-essential” businesses like liquor stores and cannabis stores. The government, she says, must go “all the way.”

“I would say if you need access to food, and access to medication. Grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies. Everything else that is not food and medication that you need for your health, at this point, becomes in a way, a luxury for you because you made your choice not to get the vaccine,” said Ravitsky.

“And we cannot allow you to circulate freely and increase the burden on the health-care system,” added Ravitsky, who chairs the COVID-19 Impact Committee of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and leads a dozen Canadian scholars who provide Canadian lawmakers with policy advice.

The group has publicly called on lawmakers to leverage the pandemic, which they call “an unprecedented opportunity to reshape our social contract to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable among us.”

“As you’ve said,” referring to a previous conversation with the host, “This means if I’m in a car crash, if I’m diagnosed with something else, I don’t have access to the hospital because it’s overflooded, not to mention postponing interventions for all of us and our families.”

“So increase the pressure, absolutely, yes,” concluded Ravitsky. “But if you’re doing it through some sort of fine or forced contribution at least do it based on a sliding scale.”

Speaking in a previous interview with the Times of Israel, the bioethicist “shudders at the prospect of business as usual” and called on governments to continue with the pandemic-related restrictions.

“Everybody wants to get back to normal,” Ravitsky said. “As we get vaccinated and gradually drop the masks, there’s a risk we return to normal and forget this ever happened. I don’t want to go back to normal because, in many ways, normal wasn’t good. I want to build something better. If we revert to normal, we’ll miss a chance to come to terms with who we really are.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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