An Open Letter on Coercive Mandates and Vaccine Passports

[Editor’s Note: The below is an Open Letter from Dr. Douglas Farrow regarding proposed COVID-related mandates and passports specifically in Quebec, Canada, and the letter can serve as a model for other jurisdictions.]

To the Minister of Health:

I wish to record my opposition to coercive vaccine mandates and to vaccine passports. I offer for your own consideration the following reasons:

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

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  1. The mandates are incoherent. Either the “vaccines” (which are more accurately described as experimental gene therapy treatments) protect or they do not protect those who have received them. If they do protect, there is nothing to fear but fear itself, which the government has a duty to resist rather than promote. If they don’t protect, they ought not to be forced on others.

  2. Such mandates are contrary to science, as to sound reasoning. It has become evident recently that the vaccinated, too, are prone not only to contract the Delta variant but to spread it. There is increasing evidence, as predicted by eminent scientists, that mass vaccination of people who do not need protection is driving variant production and dangerous antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). Moreover, many have already been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and have robust natural immunity. It is particularly dangerous for them, as for the young, to take these injections.

  3. Coercive mandates represent a violation of individual autonomy. Vaccination decisions, as some courts have recently reaffirmed, are personal medical decisions that cannot appropriately be determined by anyone other than a patient and his or her own doctor; nor can information about those decisions, except in extreme cases, be demanded by third parties. In this connection, I remind you that the weekly COVID-related death rate in Canada per 100,000 people is currently zero.

  4. These mandates serve to reinforce the vaccine passport system or to achieve its goals by other means. But vaccine passports violate the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. They severely erode natural and constitutional rights while accomplishing nothing that protects the citizenry, for people without passports are often immune and people with passports are often not immune. This suggests to any thinking person that such instruments are political not medical in nature; in short, that they are instruments of power not of faithful service to the public.

  5. It is deeply unethical to ask people—especially young people who, absent serious co-morbidities, are not at risk from the virus but are at risk from experimental measures—to submit to those measures because older people, in a position of power over them, are fearful. Inasmuch as this fear is stoked by those plainly in a conflict-of-interest position, who stand to gain financially and politically from the imposition of vaccines or vaccine passports, it is doubly unethical.

  6. People who are pressured or coerced into vaccination and who suffer vaccine injury—deaths and serious injuries are being reported in significant numbers in many jurisdictions—will be in a position to take legal action against those who did the coercing or who suppressed knowledge of these injuries. Others who are disadvantaged by non-compliance may also be in a position to take legal action. (I encourage you to read the Statement of Non-Compliance produced by Professor Forte, with which I concur.) Likewise those for whom nothing has been done to provide the option of a vaccine that is ethically produced and genuinely safe.

  7. Coercive mandates, in the case of experimental treatments, violate the Nuremberg Code, which ought to be held sacrosanct among both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. They do so by abandoning the principle of informed consent with which it begins. Indeed, it can be argued cogently (though I cannot conduct that argument here) that each of the code’s ten points has been violated, or on the present trajectory will be violated. FDA approval of the Pfizer product notwithstanding, these gene therapies remain by definition experimental. Their short-term performance is disconcerting and their long-term effects are unknown.
    What is already clear enough is that, unlike traditional vaccines, they produce dangerous, even fatal, clotting effects; require frequent boosters; disrupt the natural immune system; and, through global rather than targeted use, contribute to the emergence of breakthrough variants. The public has not been properly informed of these features. Rather, it has been encouraged, quite irrationally, to 
    scapegoat the unvaccinated. Even such consent as it has afforded, then, does not meet Nuremberg standards. Moreover, the consent of one adult does not suffice in lieu of another’s; nor, in such circumstances, can the consent of many override the dissent of one. 

Emerging evidence about the behavior of the virus and of the vaccines, and about the behavior of those suppressing safer and more viable treatments for their own gain, makes the position of officials who enforce mandates and passports extremely tenuous. History will judge harshly all who undertake to act contrary to reason and in violation of basic moral principles, as will God and nature itself. 

I remind you of this government document containing the ten points of the aforementioned code, for the sake of those unfamiliar with the duties it prescribes. I observe that able clinicians working on COVID-related public health problems have supplied good medical reasons (here are ten) why we ought to steer clear of coercive mandates and instead re-examine the peculiar premises on which recent public policy has been based. Sadly, such voices are being censored, but many other capable doctors and scientists are of the same mind. As the Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff remarked in a recent interview: “To me, as a public health scientist, it is stunning that we suddenly threw out [the sound] principles we have used for decades to deal with public health issues.” 

To sound principles we must return immediately. May we count on you to help set things right? Refusing to endorse coercive mandates and abandoning vaccine passports would be a good start. In the other direction lies grave peril, both for the people and for those who govern them.


Douglas Bryce Farrow
Professor of Theology and Ethics
School of Religious Studies, McGill University

[Image Credit: Unsplash]


  • Douglas Farrow

    Douglas Farrow is Professor of Theology and Ethics at McGill University in Montreal. He has written frequently in Catholic World Report, First Things, Touchstone and other journals, popular or academic. He is a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology and has been active in the work of the Institute on Religion and Public Life and of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. His recent books include Ascension Theology, Desiring a Better Country, Theological Negotiations, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians in the Brazos Theological Commentary series. Professor Farrow received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to public discourse on significant social issues.

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