Hawaii County's Human Services Committee took the first step in preserving our constitutional freedoms yesterday during an historic vote on Resolution 237-09. The Resolution's stated purpose: "...Urging Hawai'i State and Federal Legislators to amend vaccine laws to the right of medical, religious and philosophical exemption from mandated vaccine programs."
What a laudable leadership step this resolution proves to be. Residents from Kona, Waimea and Hilo were present to testify before the Committee in support of the approval of Resolution 237-09. After considerable discussion, where the only point of divergence between council members was the absence of testimony from an opposing view, the committee voted to approve the resolution 7 votes yes, 1 vote no. The resolution now passes to the full Council for discussion and consideration with more testimony pending. This resolution is tentatively expected to make it to the October 21st Agenda.
The core point of the Resolution is 'choice'. Choice which comes from the exercise of 'freedom'. Freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution! Our Declaration of INDEPENDENCE says the following: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."
Thus, the premise of this Resolution is wholly based on the guarantee of our freedoms as expressed prolifically in our Bill of Rights, our Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution! Authority for the audacity of this Resolution comes from our Declaration of Independence' opening paragraph: "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." With this said, the Resolution stands as testimony to the world the folks of Hawaii County expressly resolve to maintain those freedoms which include right to decide whether or not to accept the immunization currently offered for H1N1.
And so Hawaii County's Human Services Committee has declared the cause which impels them to separate themselves from the strong plausibility of a 'mandated' inoculation program currently being hotly debated on a national level. CBS News writes: "This raises an obvious and important question: Under what circumstances can government officials order mandatory vaccination? And could the general public be ordered to roll up their sleeves for injections, even if there might be side effects beyond a sore arm or mild fever? The concern in New York also comes as skepticism of vaccination in general seems to be on the rise. "
Councilwoman Naeole's staff did an outstanding job in seeking out the information they needed and arming themselves with the knowledge that would be defensible and in creating the resolution. Councilwoman Naeole further proved a novel leader in this instance in supporting her staff for their outstanding devotion to this topic.
Councilman Greenwell remained ever focused on the primary issue this resolution exposes and addresses: the 'right' and 'freedom' of Americans to 'choose' if they wish to receive the inoculation, or to opt out for any reason.
Resolutions usually bear no particular legislative weight other than to put on the record the consensus of a group or legislative body. Yet, in this world of 'political gain' as the dominant underlying motivation for nearly all things done on a governmental level, THIS RESOLUTION manifests a clear apolitical impulse prone only in the direction of continuing a freedom based personal choice.
The medical arguments are no less important and bear considerable contemplation, but the underlying issue is the 'freedom' to choose to accept or reject the medical rationale for such a mandate.
Plaudits to the Human Services Committee, to Councilwoman Naeole and her staff and to Councilman Greenwell for maintaining and providing clarity in articulation time and time again, marshaling a positive vote for a positive resolution in the presence of a grateful constituency!
That's my opinion! What's yours?