From my understanding there aren't alot of vampires in the world...the folks in Mystic Falls thought they had the problem solved until recently.
Which is why it's weird that they don't just admit that they can't handle the situation and go to the authorities or go on FOX News or something. With only a few vamps around, the 6 billion-plus human residents of the planet should be able to make short work of them or at least keep them perpetually on the run.
What to do with the blood-bank vampires who don't harm any humans is another question, but I could foresee a civil rights campaign starting in their defense, with them becoming instant celebrities with millions of Facebook fans.
Mega-hotties like Stefan and Damon would be fine. They'd have to hire legions of bodyguards to keep their fans at bay, and armies of secretaries to answer all their mail (with more offers to be their personal blood donors than they could ever hope to satisfy) but they certainly would not need to fear for their lives.
In short, the story would quickly balloon way beyond the Stefan-and-Elena angst level that it's mired at now. Because I'm sick of that routine, I want to see it balloon into something new, but I know that TV shows don't do that kind of thing.
True, but it's worse for the actual hunters because vampires would have civil rights. You can't just lynch people any more. The KKK kind of ruined that for everyone in the 60s just like the Nazis totally ruined genocide.
Weeelll...vampires are a type of serial killer, and there's no statute of limitation on murder, so it raises all sorts of wonderful legal questions, like would Stefan still be prosecutable for the murders he committed in the 1920s? I could see the argument made that the statute of limitations presumes a lifetime of no more than 100 years or so, which at the very least would tangle the cases up in court for a while.
And there's also the perspective that vampires are in a sense, a separate human species, whose natural food source is humans. That's an unprecedented situation that will probably take the legal profession another 100 years to sort out. Also, Stefan is technically dead. Does the law apply to dead people?
Your ideas about the medical uses of vampirism, and their potential to be used as a political football, are great! See, that's the kind of imagination I'd like to see in a vampire show one day. There's so much more that you can do with this topic than teen angst.
Here's another idea: the most dangerous aspect of vampires is not their blood-drinking but their mind control abilities. Imagine unscrupulous politicians, governments, corporations, criminal cartels, etc getting their hands on a vamp and either convincing or coercing a vamp into working for them.
That threat would be so intolerable to governments that the biggest threat Stefan, Damon et al would face is not vampire hunters who want them dead, but the FBI, which would put all "American" vampires in protective custody if for no other reason than to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Chinese, al Qaeda or Mexican drug cartels.
There would be a mad scramble as all governments try to round up vampires in their jurisdiction. There might even be fights over who has jurisdiction - what nationality is Klaus, anyway? Imprisoning vampires without trial is another sticky legal area. Do dead people have civil rights?