The City Council of the District of Columbia voted 12-1 to approve a bill that allows children age 11 and up to have a vaccination without their parents’ consent and the bill was enacted into law on December 23. That means that kids from 11 and older “may consent to having a vaccination where the minor is capable of meeting the informed consent standard” (Fact check: DC law allows minors over age 11 to consent to vaccines (usatoday.com)). A doctor would determine if a minor met the criterion of informed consent that is defined as the ability “to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care.”
Included in the legislation is the requirement that doctors “seek reimbursement without parental consent, directly from the insurer” and “submit the immunization record directly to the minor’s school,” rather than to the parents. The measure does not mean that minors are required to receive vaccinations, but that they may consent to receiving government-recommended vaccines if they meet the conditions of the legislation.
What the law does not say is that it is in violation of the Constitution. (DC Council Would Discard Constitution, End Parents’ Rights – Parental Rights with updates here, Urgent DC Bill Update – Parental Rights). In the 1979 Parham v. J.R. decision, SCOTUS said that just because kids don’t agree with their parents doesn’t give an agency the power to make that judgment. The decision goes on to say that most children even into adolescence are not able to make sound judgments…concerning medical care or treatment. “Parents can and must make those judgments.”
Further, the bill says that while the parents’ insurance will have to pay for the shot, the parent will not be notified of the charge. The child’s medical record WILL NOT show the immunization, but instead that record will be held at the child’s school and the record is confidential, not to be shown to parents.
In other words, the child, the doctor, the school and the insurance company would all know about the shot, but the parents would not be told. If parents lose the authority to make such decisions for and about their child, what lies ahead? Slowly, parental authority is being taken away from parents and given to the government. Are you willing to give up your rights as a parent? I hope not!
— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance