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Thread: Anti-Vaxxer Threatened With Jail If Her Son Not Vaccinated

  1. #11
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I actually had a case that very nearly went to trial over custody, and vaccinations would have been one of the issues. Both parties had, when they were married, decided not to vaccinate the kids. But a couple years after the divorce, dad (my client) was beginning to change his mind, while mom was a staunch anti-vaxxer. She had a nice little rant about that at her deposition, especially when I trotted out the email to dad in which she described vaccinations and other evidence-based medical care as "poisoning the children in the name of western medicine," or something like that. (She also lied about other things, and was not happy when I presented her with her own emails proving it.) Ended up settling the case largely in my client's favor.


    What it is "about" depends on how the attorneys frame the issues, and what the judge decides.


    That would be beyond his authority as a non-custodial parent. When one parent has sole custody, the other parent may only make emergency medical decisions.
    I'm not sure that's true in Ohio. We have (typically) sole physical custody and shared legal custody.

    But if we've had a case like yours, I haven't seen news reports on it.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    What a load of crap article that says "she educated herself" Bullshit. She found some bogus website blogs and looked for things that supported her notion, because if she really was educated, she would vaccinate the kid
    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    The headline is more than misleading. It is false. This woman faces possible jail time for contempt of court. It is not unusual in such family law cases for the court to side with the parent who wants to provide standard medical care to their children over the parent who prefers not to provide standard medical care due to their peculiar personal beliefs. Even strongly held religious beliefs are not viewed as an excuse for a parent to deny needed medical care to their children.
    Yup, but par for the course
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  3. #13
    RNG
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    This is one that really bothers me, getting away from the contempt of court and each parent's rights in cases of divorce.

    My ethical problem is with the contradiction between personal freedoms vs the rights of society. And in this instance it is further complicated by the issue of at what point can society overrule a parent on the basis of the child's welfare.

    Of course, it's all greatly complicated because with all the sensationalism in the media and this wondrous interwebz thing wacko ideas are so easy to propagate.
    Thanks from Madeline, bajisima and Ian Jeffrey

  4. #14
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    This is one that really bothers me, getting away from the contempt of court and each parent's rights in cases of divorce.

    My ethical problem is with the contradiction between personal freedoms vs the rights of society. And in this instance it is further complicated by the issue of at what point can society overrule a parent on the basis of the child's welfare.

    Of course, it's all greatly complicated because with all the sensationalism in the media and this wondrous interwebz thing wacko ideas are so easy to propagate.
    Rather difficult to persuasively argue that children who remain vulnerable to horrible diseases because of their parents' scientific illiteracy and phobias are better off.

  5. #15
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Not exactly the same, though. That's a criminal case against a parent accused of religion-based neglect, resulting in death.
    Well yes, but there is clearly overlap. In this case, the court found out that she intends not to vaccinate despite being ordered to do so, right? Hopefully the kid doesn't contract and then suffer or even die of complications of measles. It's making a comeback thanks to parents who think they can fight viruses with echinacea and tea tree oil (or whatever).
    Thanks from Madeline and Ian Jeffrey

  6. #16
    RNG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Rather difficult to persuasively argue that children who remain vulnerable to horrible diseases because of their parents' scientific illiteracy and phobias are better off.
    Yes. I totally agree. But it is also hard to draw the line where a parent's rights end. Don't get me wrong. I'm strongly in favor of vaccinations. A suggestion was made here that parents could choose to not have their kids vaccinated, but then the kids wouldn't be allowed in school or playgrounds and such.

    It didn't fly but I was very torn about supporting it.

  7. #17
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    Yes. I totally agree. But it is also hard to draw the line where a parent's rights end. Don't get me wrong. I'm strongly in favor of vaccinations. A suggestion was made here that parents could choose to not have their kids vaccinated, but then the kids wouldn't be allowed in school or playgrounds and such.

    It didn't fly but I was very torn about supporting it.
    That's the typical rule for states here in the US. Parents have the choice to forego vaccinating their children, but their children lose access to public facilities such as schools if they aren't vaccinated.

  8. #18
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Well yes, but there is clearly overlap. In this case, the court found out that she intends not to vaccinate despite being ordered to do so, right? Hopefully the kid doesn't contract and then suffer or even die of complications of measles. It's making a comeback thanks to parents who think they can fight viruses with echinacea and tea tree oil (or whatever).
    It is, sort of. I think such fights between parents have also erupted over education and religion issues.

    There, it more clearly is about the power of each parent to raise the child as they are fit.

  9. #19
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I'm not sure that's true in Ohio. We have (typically) sole physical custody and shared legal custody.
    Every state has some form of "sole legal custody" (one parent makes the non-emergency medical decisions) and "joint legal custody" (both parents make the non-emergency medical decisions together). Physical custody - i.e., parenting time, addressing how much time the child(ren) spend(s) with each of the parents - is an entirely different legal issue.

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