Green pass in higher education

According to André den Exter, associate professor of Health Law at Erasmus School of Law, a green pass in higher education is not such a bad idea. To prevent social disruption, stricter measures are necessary measures such as a 2G policy in higher education, says Den Exter in the Nederlands Dagblad. He compares the situation in the Netherlands with the one in Italy, where he is affiliated with the University of Bologna as a guest lecturer.

In Italy, stricter measures have already been implemented. For example,  almost all professions are subject to a vaccination obligation. The image of Bergamo in 2020 is seared into most Italians' brains. Every day army trucks with corpses left Bergamo for cremations. In hospitals, selection took place to determine who would or would not receive treatment.

Italy versus The Netherlands 

Another measure introduced within the University of Bologna is the use of the green pass. Everyone who enters the campus undergoes the check. Registering visitors is common. The check takes place at each entrance. In the Netherlands, this is still unimaginable. The association of universities and various rectors see problems with introducing the green pass for access to universities. It would be a far-reaching infringement of the right to education. Practical objections also play a role here, such as the feasibility of the checks.

Restriction of fundamental rights

The right to education and guaranteeing accessibility is an important asset, but it is not an absolute right. When there is a clash of fundamental rights, which is currently the case with access to healthcare, restrictions on fundamental rights are allowed if they are necessarily proportionate and effective. Hospitals currently postpone critical plannable care that must take place within six weeks to prevent damage to health. According to Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the national acute care network, and Diederik Gommers, the association of intensivists, the Dutch hospitals have almost reached 'Code black'.

Social disruption

Reaching Code black will have significant consequences, including for the distribution of IC beds. "The [Code black] scenario, so detested by politicians, in which potential ICU patients will be selected based on age and no longer based on medical need," says Den Exter. According to the government, the proposed 2G rule would better protect unvaccinated people and lead to less pressure on healthcare. "No one embraces the alleged exclusion of the unvaccinated, but the urgency, the threat of lockdowns, and the associated social disruption also justifies the 2G rule in higher education," says Den Exter.

Assistant professor
More information

Read the entire article here (in Dutch).

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