Vaccine Terms Confusion
Clearing the Air…
There’s confusion about some common terms in the vaccine awareness world. Part of the confusion concerns the use of terms in different contexts. For example, medically, one can argue that the words “vaccinate” and “immunize” are not the same, as one can be vaccinated without necessary becoming immunized. In the legal arena, however, the terms “vaccination,” “immunization,” and “inoculation” are used interchangeably. So, you can’t escape a mandatory vaccine by arguing definitions, as the law determines the definition of words for legal purposes. The particular meaning of these terms, then, depends on the context in which the words are used. We can use them any way we want to in informal discussions, but in specific contexts such as medical and legal, the definitions that apply are the ones designated for that particular context by authoritative sources for each context. Finally, the words “shot,” “jab,” and “injection” can also refer to vaccines, but these are informal terms whose meanings may encompass other types of injections. Again, the meaning may depend on the context in which the words are used.
As for the legal arena, statutes are organized differently in federal law and the many different state legal systems. But all statutes include definition sections to specify the meaning of words and terms as they’re used in the section of laws where the definitions are presented. When statutory terms are not defined in the statutes, the standard dictionary definition usually applies. So, we don’t get to decide what the words in statutes mean. We must first check to see if the important terms are defined in the statutes, and if not, see what the standard dictionary definitions of the terms are.
Two other terms that are often confused are “isolation” and “quarantine.” “Quarantine” applies when a person has been exposed to, or was likely exposed to, an infectious disease, but the person has not developed any symptoms. The person’s mobility is limited for the incubation period of the disease to see whether the person develops symptoms. Quarantine is a precautionary measure, as not everyone exposed to a disease will develop symptoms. In contrast, “isolation” applies to people who have already developed symptoms. The sick person’s mobility is restricted to prevent the person from spreading a communicable infectious disease until such time that the person is no longer contagious. Quarantine and isolation decisions are made by government health authorities who are granted decision-making authority by law.
Whether health authorities exercise their quarantine and isolation powers appropriately is a separate matter. COVID-19 lockdowns restricted the mobility of enormous numbers of people who had neither symptoms nor any documented disease exposure. On its face, this seems highly inappropriate. But whether these restrictions were legal depends on two things: 1) Whether the action was consistent with applicable laws, and where it was consistent with applicable laws: 2) Whether those laws were Constitutional or otherwise lawful (however, as law is considered to be lawful until a court rules otherwise). You see, legislators can pass any law, Constitutional or not, if the bill gets enough votes. And if we believe a law is unconstitutional and challenge it in court, judges may or may not rule properly on the question. Sometimes improper rulings occur by accident or mistake, sometimes they are deliberate. There are good people everywhere, but the American judicial systems are substantially corrupt. When big money and power are challenged in court, big money/power often determines outcomes in advance regardless of the real law. Judges can be bribed or threatened into ignoring proper law. This is far more common today than most people realize. It’s not something limited to 3rd world dictatorships. Our legal systems are every bit as corrupt as the healthcare systems. This is not to say that the legal systems never deliver proper results, only that they’re unreliable. Having the law on your side should be all that matters, but it isn’t in today’s world, especially when you’re challenging corrupt power. For this reason, we must engage in activism work to address that power directly, or having the science and law on our side won’t matter. Presently, none of our activism work does this, but one project is designed to do this. Information about it is presented from time to time in this vaccinerights.substack.com e-newsletter.
To make the most of our rights, we must avoid making assumptions and learn how the law works. Our rights start with, and depend on, the meaning of the words in the laws that apply to any given legal concern. So, we must determine what laws apply, then review the words in applicable statutes and regulations carefully, paying heed to statutory definitions and standard dictionaries as appropriate. We must recognize that the meaning of words in the law may not be what we first assume. In this way, we take an important step forward to maximizing the chances of getting the legal outcomes we want with important legal matters.
Alan Phillips, J.D.
Vaccine Rights Legal Expert
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Alan Phillips, J.D., is the nation’s leading vaccine rights legal expert. He’s the only person who’s ever worked fulltime as a vaccine exemption attorney, who’s worked in all 6 dozen exemption contexts and sub-contexts (indeed, the only one who can name more than a few of them), and who’s worked with clients, attorneys, legislators, and activists nationally for over two decades. For exemption assistance, see vaccinerights.com.