On Sunday, the World Health Assembly (WHA) will begin voting on amendments proposed by the Biden administration scheduled as “Provisional agenda item 16.2”. If passed, the amendments will grant the World Health Organization’s Director-General the power to unilaterally declare health emergencies and decision-making authority over these emergencies, implementing quarantines, lockdowns, mandating vaccines, and passports.
Many people are concerned that these amendments will grant power to the WHO that endangers the sovereignty of nations.
Rabbi Moshe Avraham Halperin, head of the Machon Madii Technology Al Pi Halacha (the institute for technology according to Torah law), is an expert in medical ethics in the framework of the Torah. He explained the ethical considerations in allocating authority to the WHO.
“It is impossible at this point to accurately judge how well the WHO functioned in the pandemic,” Rabbi Halperin said. “The tools are not available.”
“But the WHO is an organization of professionals gathered from around the world based on their expertise. At face value, they do not have any external interests other than their stated purpose.”
“Even though they are not religious authorities, there are halachic (Jewish law) issues where the rabbis consult with medical authorities. They do have a recognized level of authority. This is especially true as pikuach nefesh (saving a life) is a halachic consideration of the highest degree.”
Here, where we are dealing with a global pandemic, the WHO is the recognized authority. Even though there may be people who have raised doubts about the way they operate, their honesty, or their interests, this is only doubt, and to the best of our knowledge, nothing has been proven. This doubt is not enough to prohibit or prevent the WHO from acting to save lives.”
“Of course, the entire issue of the vaccine, the shutdown of businesses, and many other aspects of the pandemic ha grave political and economic implications. And none of the people from the WHO are angels in heaven or saints. They have their own considerations, of course.”
“Nonetheless, since there is no other body of experts so, even though there may be a shadow of a doubt, it is not enough of a doubt to dismiss the WHO and their expertise in an issue which is a matter of life and death.”
“Of course, if they increase their authority to include laws that endanger people or help some people at the expense of others, this will require more attention and additional questions.”