1905: The Massachusetts "smallpox era" was nearly over1, and a

1905: The Massachusetts "smallpox era" was nearly over1, and a US Supreme
Court decision, Jacobsen v. Massachusetts, was handed down on the issue of
police power of the state in favor of compulsory vaccination.2
1922: The US Supreme Court decided Zucht v King, extended compulsory
vaccination to children who attended school.3
1927: The US Supreme Court used Jacobson as precedent in Buck v Bell, ruling
in favor of the involuntary sterilization of “feeble minded” persons in state
institutions, stating that, “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is
broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.” 4 It was the first of many
decisions that used Jacobson as precedent in the ongoing conversation about
the line between the individual and the collectivist of the state and its
regulation, and the development of “manifold restraints to which every person
is necessarily subject for the common good.” 5
Dissolving Illusions, http://www.anheurope.org/ANH+Book+Review+Dissolving+Illusions+by+Suzanne+Humphries+MD+a
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449222/ 1944: The US Supreme Court decided Prince v. Massachusetts, referencing
Jacobson: “The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to
expose the community or child to communicable disease, or the latter to ill
health or death. . . . Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it
does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of
their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when
they can make that choice for themselves.”6
1973: Jacobson used as precedent in the Supreme Court decision of Roe v
Wade, which included the following commentary:
“…in that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one
pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously
articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize
an unlimited right of this kind in the past. Jacobson v. Massachusetts,
197 U.S. 11 (1905) (vaccination); Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)
(sterilization). We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy
includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and
must be considered against important state interests in regulation.”7
6 http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0321_0158_ZO.html 7 http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZO
Sept. 14, 2012: The US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled
that a parent’s refusal to vaccinate her children against diseases is not a “free
exercise” of religion, and is tantamount to neglect.8
8 http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-­‐