‘Informed consent’ right raised as Duterte suggests COVID-19 jab while sleeping

October 12, 2021 - 7:24 PM
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on October 11, 2021. (Roemari Lismonero/Presidential photo)

The public’s “right to informed concern” was brought up after President Rodrigo Duterte suggested that those who are hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should get jabbed while they are asleep in their residences.

In part two of his pre-recorded “Talk to the People” aired on Tuesday, Duterte reminded Filipinos to strictly adhere to the minimum public health protocols and told them to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Iyong lahat nang pinag-uusapan namin dito, and all the hours of talking to you and presenting what is happening to our society, can be best answered by tatlo lang eh, tatlo lang talaga: Bakuna, magmaskara ka, iwas,” Duterte said.

“Kaya ‘yan na lang ang ipagbilin ko sa iyo na sana sundin ninyo kasi ‘yan lang talaga ang pangpawala ng sakit ng ulo sa bayan natin,” he added.

Duterte furthered that he knows there are still lots of Filipinos who do not want to receive COVID-19 jabs.

“Kaya hanapin ninyo ‘yan sa barangay ninyo. Akyatin natin ‘pag tulog at turukin natin habang natutulog para makumpleto ‘yung istorya. Eh kung ayaw, edi akyatin sa bahay eh, tusukin natin sa gabi. Ako ang mag-ano, I will lead the journey,” he said.

“I hope that I said everything that has been said here since the beginning has always been centered on one important factor, and that is really the vaccine. Mayroon tayong bakuna, marami nang dumating,” Duterte added.

The president’s remarked comment sparked ethical concerns.

“No consent from the patient, alam mo ba ‘yung Patient’s Bill of Rights, bro?” a Twitter user asked in response to Duterte’s remarks.

“Bawal ito because there is NO CONSENT from the patient,” another online user, who claims to be a researcher and teacher, said.

“Healthcare Ethics: 5.00. Right to Informed Consent found in a ditch,” an aspiring nurse commented.

There is no single source of patients’ bill of rights but according to the one available on a private hospital’s website, the patient has the “right to informed consent.”

According to Makati Medical Center’s patient rights, the “patient has a right to self-determination and to make free decisions regarding himself or herself.”

“However, the attending physician shall inform the Patient of the consequences of his or her decisions,” it said.

“If the patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to express his/her will, informed consent must be obtained whenever possible, from a legally entitled representative,” it added.

However, the consent of the patient “may be presumed” if there is no available representative and if a medical intervention “is urgently needed.”

Their patients’ rights are adopted from the World Medical Association Declaration of Rights of the Patient, as amended by WMA’s 47th General Assembly and the Magna Carta of Patient’s Rights and Obligations of 2008.

The Department of Health earlier said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risks of getting severe symptoms of the disease.

“Vaccines mimic the virus or bacteria that causes disease and triggers the body’s creation of antibodies. These antibodies will provide protection once a person is infected with the actual disease-causing virus or bacteria,” it said on its website.

While COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged to help stop the cycle of COVID-19 surges.