NYU bioethicist pushing vaccine passports was sued in 2000 over first gene therapy trial death

Special to WorldTribune, December 10, 2021

Analysis by Joe Schaeffer, 247 Real News

It’s always worth noting when the tyranny is presented front and center.

Arthur Caplan: ‘I’m an ethics expert.’

On Dec. 8 Goliath media conglomerate The Hearst Corporation provided a multi-newspaper forum to a virulently strident proponent of coronavirus social coercion who proceeded to make the crudest of arguments in support of the creation of vaccine passports in Connecticut.

Apparently inspired by the despotism of neighboring New York City and its maniacal Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Nutmeg State is hot to roll out this particularly jarring form of “your papers, please” oppression. “All we would do is make it easier for them to do so and standardize it,” Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont says of the proposed move and how it would help businesses keep track of the vaccination status of customers. “Probably we’d do it with other states in the region because I think that makes it a lot more effective. I’m not sure we’re going to get to it this year, but we’re certainly looking at it.”

Adjoining New England state Massachusetts and its RINO governor, Charlie Baker, are also keen to barcode Bay State citizens. Systemic hardware is being put into place:

The discussion in Connecticut comes after Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said his state will implement a QR code-based vaccine verification system.

“It’s a universal standard and we’ve been working with a bunch of other states, there’s probably 15 or 20 of them, to try to create a single QR code that can be used for all sorts of things where people may choose to require a vaccine,” Baker told GBH News.

All of which inspired Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics and founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University, to voice his full-throated approval. Proving once again that the hubris of the technocratic class never fails to astound, the piece is draped with an arrogant headline and self-absorbed introductory paragraph:

Opinion: I’m an ethics expert. CT needs vaccine passports.

I have been working on vaccine issues, including COVID-19, for many years with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Major League Baseball, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the NCAA and many other groups. You might have seen or heard me in the media as I am a regular guest on CNN, WGBH public radio in Boston and WOR in New York City.

Much in keeping with his conceited colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, Arthur Caplan likes himself. A lot.

There’s nothing intellectually dizzying, however, about the “bioethicist’s” moral argument for vaccine passports. It is astoundingly basic and brutal: What’s wrong with more tyranny? You’re already being violated in so many different ways to begin with:

And if you think Connecticut can track you by having you carry proof of vaccination on your phone, realize that you are already being tracked by your driver’s license, bank, credit card company, Uber account, restaurant reservation app, Facebook, many other social media sites and even your health care provider. A proof-of-vaccination passport ought to be the least of your privacy worries.

It is crucial to emphasize that the coronavirus has furnished the excuse for technocrats to roll out a core functioning moral principle that they have diligently been nurturing for decades: a utilitarian view of human worth is to replace God-given individual rights. Also in keeping with Fauci, Caplan is a zealous advocate for this effort to redefine humanity as mere matter that is to be molded and shaped for the “common good.”

In 2008, while at The University of Pennsylvania, Caplan co-wrote a revealing paper contemplating the pros and cons of mandatory vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV). This was the hyped infection of the time. Merck’s Gardisil vaccine was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June, 2006.

The paper was published in Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal by The Johns Hopkins University Press. Inoculating everybody against HPV was the subject up for contemplation:

When stripped of its emotional charge, the debate can be framed as a contest between competing ethical values. This framework can be conceptualized graphically as a conflict between autonomy on the one hand, which militates against government intrusion, and beneficence, utilitarianism, justice, and nonmaleficence on the other, which may lend support to intervention. When applied to the HPV vaccine, this framework would support a mandate based on utilitarianism, if certain conditions are met and if herd immunity is a realistic objective.

Think of this all as foreshadowing to what we see today. Caplan chillingly laid out the coercive social regimen he is now advocating for Connecticut via vaccine passports:

The application of beneficence to overrule autonomy in the case of particular individuals represents paternalism. This describes the attitude of a physician who provides or withholds a treatment in contravention of a patient’s wishes based on a perception of the patient’s underlying best interests. Paternalism reflects an external judgment of the best ultimate outcome for the patient.

Utilitarianism takes the external judgment one step further to consider the best ultimate outcome for society, as a whole. It implements an explicit balancing of relevant factors to determine the optimum result for the greatest number of people regardless of competing individual needs. Utilitarian concerns can be consistent with those of beneficence, but they can also conflict, as when the best interests of some individuals are at odds with those of the majority. Utilitarianism supports mandating a vaccine to prevent the harm to society that could be caused by the presence of unvaccinated individuals. This is the most prominent and longstanding justification put forth by mandate proponents.

Paving the path to tyranny:

In this situation, a small number of vaccine declinations can have a devastating impact on a community, so the greatest medical benefit for the greatest number of people is achieved by requiring that everyone receive the vaccine. This is true regardless of whether a mandate is in the best interests of every individual or whether it ignores the interest in autonomy. It is an example of government coercion in the service of a competing ethical consideration. It also reflects an implicit hierarchy of public goods in which health takes precedence over rights.

Caplan and co-author Robert Field thoroughly dehumanized mankind by constructing a handy graph to mathematically determine where personal autonomy is to end and utilitarian good demanding coercion is to kick in:

Public health ethics has just begun to struggle with the conflict between individual autonomy and vaccine mandates. The level of emotion involved may make the debate seem overwhelming, however a structured analytical model could make the clash of values more manageable. This is the contribution of a graphic framework that lays out significant competing concerns simultaneously.

Fast forward 13 years. And here is Caplan in September applying this soulless utilitarian morality to the COVID hype. What a fine Bolshevik commissar he would make (2:24 mark of video):

“If you don’t vaccinate… you lose your right to go where you want. Or, to put it quite simply, the critics of vaccination have it backwards. It’s not ‘their body, their choice.’ It’s their choice that leads to the loss of freedom for their body.”

Given what we are learning about the experimental nature of the so-called coronavirus “vaccines” today, it is beyond alarming to note that, while at Penn, Caplan was the subject of a 2000 lawsuit by the family of an 18-year-old who is believed to be the first person to have died from gene therapy experimentation. The experiment was morally greenlighted by Caplan in his “ethicist” role. Remember, prominent bioethicists today have stated that we all have an obligation to take part in such experiments in the name of the “common good” and that the notion of “informed consent” is up for debate:

The family of Tucson teenager Jesse Gelsinger, the first person to die from gene therapy, yesterday sued the research team involved in the deadly experiment and, in an unusual move, the ethicist who offered moral advice on the controversial project….

The ethicist, Arthur Caplan, is the director of bioethics at Penn and a well-known, often-quoted leader in his field… He became involved early in the planning stages for the experiment….

The decision to use relatively healthy adults was controversial because risky, unproven experiments generally use desperately ill people who have exhausted more traditional treatments, so have little to lose. In this case, the virus used to deliver the genes was known to cause liver damage, so some scientists were concerned it might trigger an ammonia crisis in the adults….

The lawsuit contends that the consent form given to Gelsinger underestimated the risk of the experiment, left out crucial information about liver damage suffered by earlier volunteers in the experiment and failed to mention the deaths of monkeys given a similar treatment during pre-clinical studies.

Gee, does any of that sound familiar at all?

The case was settled out of court:

For Paul Gelsinger, Jesse’s father, the lawsuit brings closure to his discussions with Penn about the situation surrounding his son’s death. “I let Penn off the hook here,” Gelsinger said last night. “I could have refused to settle this case.” “It’s over with Penn as far as I’m concerned,” he added. “I don’t need to see them embarrassed anymore.”


Paul Gelsinger said he was disappointed that Penn never apologized to his family. “An apology from them would go a long way,” he said. “I don’t know if they have the heart to do so. That we never got an apology does not help this wound to heal.”


“If they don’t have the heart to even apologize, I don’t see how they can consider themselves a national leader in bioethics,” he said.

INFORMATION WORLD WAR: . . . . How We Win . . . . Executive Intelligence Brief

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