It is the sacred duty of parents to protect and care for their children. The well-being of humanity depends on this fact. Parents are the ones responsible for their children and in so doing have the right to decide what is in their best interests. The role of the state and the law is only to protect the child in the event that the child’s life is directly threatened by neglect or from physical or psychological danger to the child, including from the behaviour of the parents. It is the same with all members of society. The state does not have the right to interfere with the decision of the parent or guardian unless those criteria are met.
Except it seems where vaccines are concerned.
No medical procedure is one hundred per cent safe. This is both medically and legally accepted. The ex-Supreme Court Justice, in the USA, Antonin Scalia said, “vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.” He strangely used that justification to give drug companies immunity from prosecution for any damage caused by vaccines. In that context of “unavoidably unsafe” it is the right of a parent/guardian to make an informed decision about which vaccines, if any, to give their child. Governments should not have that decision-making power, especially when questions about safety and efficacy are actively discouraged, and in some cases denied.
In some states in the USA, it is legal for children to be given vaccines without their parent’s/guardian’s consent. But if the child suffers adverse, it is the parent’s responsibility to look after the child, and the legal bar for compensation from the state is set so high it is a rare case that passes. In many states, ALL childhood vaccines are mandatory in order to attend school and legal, philosophical and medical exemptions are being removed in many states. Few other countries have such strict mandatory vaccine laws and it is recognized that the rights of parents/guardians transcend that of the state.
In the context of COVID19 and the rush for a vaccine, the debate is becoming increasingly heated and anyone who questions the safety, efficacy or even the need for a vaccine is immediately labelled as an “anti-vaxxer”.
Imagine our surprise when we came across this anonymous but well crafted article on WikiHow called: How to get vaccinated without parental consent.
The article outlines a situation where parents/guardians are withholding permission for the child to be given a vaccine. It tells the child it is their right to have the vaccine and describes a number of ways they can deceive their parents in order to get it. It actively encourages children to lie to their parents, because lying in this context of their health and safety is acceptable. It also suggests children enlist the help of friends and other pro-vaccine parents/guardians to “cover” for them.
The article is laid out as a series of simplistic drawings of children considering the dilemma, with instructions on how to deceive their parents/guardians and organise the vaccination.
At the bottom of the article are these comments:
- Remember that you don’t have to tell your parents about getting vaccinated, especially if they are controlling or abusive.You can keep your health choices to yourself, especially if they would be mean to you or make you feel unsafe as a result of your choices. You’re allowed to keep a secret if it’s necessary to promote your health and well-being.
The article continues to give a range of ‘reasons’ the child can use to justify going behind their parent’s back.
This comic book style article is aimed mostly at children in the US because of the different vaccine laws there, but with a COVID19 vaccine promised in the near future, it will become relevant to children everywhere. The discussion about a vaccine rushed to market, with no long term testing, which is unlikely to be licensed at the time the government wants to use it – and for which everyone involved, from the pharmaceutical company that creates it, to the manufacturers who produce it and the people who deliver it (according to the recent UK consultation, these may not be health care professionals) will all be indemnified against any harm.
Children are not in a position to understand the full implications and cannot give fully informed consent. It might be argued that no one will be in a position to give fully informed consent to the COVID19 vaccine because no one, including the medical profession will know what the implications might be, in the short or the long term.
COMMENT: There can be no doubt that this article on WikiHow promotes the undermining of parents even if this causes division within the family.
Imagine the upset of a confused child, perhaps being coerced by his/her peers, or being pressured by teachers or medical personnel. It encourages the child to turn against their own parents, and if necessary report them to state authorities. There is no indication of what would happen if the child has adverse reactions following a vaccine, in a family where those charged with their safety do not know the child has had a vaccine. Furthermore there is no indication of who will care for that child should they be damaged. The article directly interferes in the inner sanctum of family life, and seeks to give the authority of children to representatives of government, in this case, the medical profession acting on behalf of the state.
This seems an insidious intrusion into people’s lives based on the false assumptions that all vaccines are safe and that vaccines are crucial for well-being. The truth is there are still many unanswered questions regarding vaccine safety and efficacy, and yet the childhood vaccine schedule continues to increase (currently in the order of 57 before the age of 17 in the UK and 72 in the US.)
Two videos aimed at children related to vaccines have also come to our attention. One is for use within the US school system where a cartoon character interviews Dr Fauci. He tells the viewer, the child, that they can get infected and then infect their parents or grandparents and that the best thing they can do is have the COVID19 vaccine when it’s ready. He continues by telling the children that it’s their job to help their parents understand how everyone needs to follow the rules, masks, distancing and the vaccine when it’s ready. The BBC children’s channel Ceebies have a series with Dr Ranj and a group of puppets talking about child health, which seems to be focused on helping children accept being ill and looking to medical interventions in order to be healthy. In this one he helps a puppet lost their fear of ‘injections’ in this case the MMR, with a sign song at the end extolling the virtues of vaccines in general.
Are children in any position to make an informed choice about vaccines. Most adults find it hard enough to wade through the pros and cons.
Governments are not without corporate influence and this can interfere with their ability to protect the public. The responsibility for decisions regarding a child’s health should remain with their parents or guardians. The WikiHow article ends with advice about what to do if the family relationship is completely fractured by the child’s decision to get vaccinated without parental consent:
“It’s illegal in many countries for parents to kick their minor children out of the house or abandon them, but that doesn’t always stop them, so you need to protect yourself. Can you arrange to stay with someone you trust? If not, you should contact an authority figure or mandated reporter, like a teacher, police officer, or a Child Protective Services worker (or the equivalent where you live); they can help you find somewhere to stay.”
This interference is, in our opinion, unconscionable and WikiHow should remove the article immediately.