When one parent wants to vaccinate – a case study

When one parent wants to vaccinate – a case study

Being separated and co-parenting brings it challenges, in particular when one parent wants to vaccinate their child and the other doesn’t. When it comes to making decisions about the health and well-being of children, you want what is best for your children, but when issues cannot be sorted out between each party, the Court gets involved.  The below cases illustrate the approach of the Family Court when the parents of a child cannot agree on vaccination.  Please note however that these cases were decided before the COVID-19 vaccinations came into existence (assumably).  

In regards to the COVID-19 vaccinations, there is a lot more science and information around now both from the manufacturers themselves as well as from independent doctors, scientists and other relevant experts that have warned about the dangers and questioned whether the new ones are even vaccines at all (but rather pathogen delivery systems and/or protein primers).   

If the Family Court is truly independent and has true integrity, it will take into account the relevant evidence when the next vaccine dispute arises involving one of the COVID-19 vaccines.  The Court should ask the parent wanting the child vaccinated, to prove that it is safe.  The Court should also look at what evidence there is that these new vaccines are not safe and not in the best interests of children receiving them.

One thing is for sure, the quality of expert evidence is critical in these cases.

 

Case Study 1 – Duke-Randall & Randall [2014] 

This matter involved the issue of vaccination of two children aged seven and eight years of age.  The father wanted to be released from restraints that prevented him from vaccinating the children.  The mother wanted the father restrained permanently from vaccinating the children. 

The father provided evidence that he had not previously acted in respect of immunising the children because of the mother’s strong views against immunisation, but he now wished to do so.

Whilst the Court provided the mother with plenty opportunity to provide evidence in support of the children not being immunised and as to any risk of vaccine damage, for whatever reason, she had not done so. 

The Court ordered the children to see a Senior Consultant Physician (Immunology and Allergy) to prepare a report regarding whether there were any medical reasons as to why the children should not be vaccinated. The Professor, in his report concluded that both children were healthy and able to receive vaccinations as per the recommended vaccination schedule. It was noted that the children did not have any increased risk of side-effects or adverse events than the general population. The Professor’s report recommended a catch up schedule for vaccination for the children.

The father proposed that the children should be therefore vaccinated in accordance with the recommendations of the professor.  The father provided evidence that the children were excluded from YMCA holiday care if not vaccinated and were not able to travel to Indonesia as they would need to be vaccinated as a condition of travel. The children’s primary school informed the father that it required the children to be vaccinated with NSW Health Guidelines otherwise the parent must complete a conscientious objection form.   

Decision by the Court

It was concluded by the Court that there was no evidence before the Court that the children would be adversely affected by being vaccinated, and that the expert had recommended that they bring their vaccinations/immunisations up to date.  The Court concluded that once vaccinated, the children will no longer be restricted in various ways which they appear to have been to date.  It was ordered that the father be at liberty to vaccinate the children in accordance with the recommendations of the single expert. 

 

Case Study 2- Kingsford & Kingsford [2012]

The issue in this case was whether it is in the child’s best interest to be traditionally vaccinated or to continue with homeopathic prophylaxis as an alternative to traditional vaccination.

The case concerned an eight-year-old girl and the dispute between her parents as to whether the child is to be immunised by way of homeopathic or traditional vaccination. The mother wanted the child to be homoeopathically immunised by her and for the father to be restrained from vaccinating the child.

This matter follows an incident on 20 January 2010 when the father authorised his new wife, without the mother’s prior knowledge or consent, to take the child to a medical centre, to review and check if the child had received traditional vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C. 

Prior to this incident, the child had been immunised according to the homeopathic regime of vaccination. 

The father relied on the evidence provided by a medical expert who is a principal specialist and consultant in an Emergency Department and a senior paediatrician in a Child Behaviour Clinic. It was the recommendation of this expert that the child be immunised traditionally and that she undertake a program of ‘catch-up’ immunisation to bring her up to the standard level of traditional immunisation for a child of her age.

The expert further provided evidence that homeopathic prophylaxis (“HP”) immunisation does not do any harm, and that most doctors do not object to it as parallel immunisation, but that he would oppose using HP vaccination in place of traditional immunisation.

The mother relied on the expert evidence (not a medical doctor but an expert who had an Honours degree in Economics and was employed in financial services before becoming a homeopathic practitioner in 1994). This expert agreed there are some infectious diseases that should be protected against, however he disagreed with the suggestions that the child needs to be protected by traditional vaccination. 

Decision by the Court

Taking into consideration of all the evidence, it was decided by the Court that the efficacy of homoeopathic vaccine in preventing infectious diseases has not been adequately scientifically demonstrated. It was accepted that both forms of immunisation carry risks but that the risks of both forms of immunisations are relatively low. The father’s behaviour to have the child immunised in secret was scrutinised and criticized by the Court.  In the end however, the Court ordered that the child receive any and all traditional childhood vaccinations so that the child is fully immunised to a level which is equivalent to a child of her age. 

 

If you have any further questions surrounding vaccinations – contact us today to take advantage of our free half hour legal consults. They can be done in person or via Skype or telephone conference. 

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