Technology and Business Law Blog

Can vaccinations be made compulsory?

Parents face jail time for not getting their kids vaccinated. This is what the Prince George County school officials decided was the way to go about it. Either get the kids vaccinated on the spot or go to jail for 10 days and pay fines. The only exemptions being for religious or medical reasons. Under these exemptions the question then arises as to how does one prove that the religion is against vaccination? Does one have to present religious scriptures specifying stating so? Normally if a religious objection is made then the process would be that the parent or legal guardian have a written and signed statement detailing the objection and present it to the local school authority.

As far as medical reasons go the parent or legal guardian needs to get a medical waiver letter from a physician stating something to this effect “the fear of allergic reaction in a sensitive child” and “to prevent possible damage to a weakened immune system.” Now, would a doctor be willing to give such a letter if he had no proof that the child might have an allergic reaction or had not been previously vaccinated and thus an allergic reaction cannot be established. After obtaining such a waiver if the child is still vaccinated and has an allergic reaction or becomes seriously ill then the immunizing authority can be sued. On the flip side if the parent knew about the child’s allergy issues and failed to get a medical waiver then the parent can be held responsible.

It is better to check out the State law and see what it specifies about compulsory immunizations and verify the exceptions to it. Most parents just get intimidated and agree to the school authorities. The issue that has not been addressed is what if the parent prefers an alternative system of medicine like Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Yunani or some other holistic approach to their child’s health issues, does it make them an uncaring parent and who is to decide which system of medication is better? Also there have been reported instances of autism related to MMR vaccines even though it has not been conclusively established, and if a child becomes autistic after a vaccination then who is held responsible, since the parent has to sign a waiver before the child is vaccinated?

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November 18, 2007 - Posted by | compulsory vaccinations, parents liability

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