Bioethical aspects of the impact of conspiracy theories on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, humanity faced a completely new challenge, how to react and behave in the time of the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, numerous conspiracy theories emerged whose primary purpose was to bring unrest and fear to the public. Globally, the race has begun to develop a successful virus vaccine that will end the pandemic. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of a large number of scientists and tens of billions of dollars of public money invested in vaccine research and development, a vaccination campaign across the planet began in late 2020 and early 2021. Even before the vaccination campaign began, conspiracy theories began to circulate widely, questioning the vaccine’s effectiveness. These conspiracy theories have had a significant effect on the willingness to vaccinate a section of the public. Conspiracy theories regarding their harmfulness to human health, and the fact that they directly prolong the duration of a pandemic and contribute to unnecessary death from coronavirus, are a first-rate and current bioethical issue. In this paper, we will analyse the stated claims of conspiracy theorists and their impact on Croatian citizens and the motives for which almost half of the Croatian citizens hesitate or do not want to be vaccinated at all.
Keywords: bioethics, conspiracy theories, COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination.
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