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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Just interested in the point of view of any doctors/ healthcare professionals (and parents) out there on this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24493422

In case the link doesn't work, a judge has ordered the vaccination of two children (aged 15y and 11 y) against their own and their mother's wishes following court action by the divorced father.

I am not sure how they can forcibly vaccinate the children- surely it can't be ethical to hold them down and inject them?

Don't children of 15 and 11 have the right to refuse medical intervention, which after all is not even because they are ill.

I have to say I was shocked!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
This isn't a comment on the ethics as such, but the courts felt that the daughters were both against having the vaccination due to the influence of the mother who didn't want them vaccinated. The are always issues when parents have different ideas about what is the right choice, and it's even worse if the parents are separated. Sometimes issues like this are used by one parent for other underlying reasons.

Also interesting that this is the third similar case and all have decided that the child should be vaccinated.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I recently gave my sons, the same age as these girls, the choice about whether to have this very vaccine. In fact when I say I gave them the choice, I actually forced them to choose, I suppose. I feel very uncomfortable with taking medical decisions on their behalf now...I taught for a Hospital Education Service for a while and saw the fallout of some of these decisions at the sharp end. I guess that helped form my belief that children should always be actively involved in consenting to treatment of any type, and especially when it has spurious value, as some might say is the case with this particular vaccine.

I'm thinking, perhaps cynically, that a court will always opt to vaccinate a child when it's Government policy to promote the vaccine.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Another thing to think about is that (assuming the girls live with the mother), what would have happened if it had been the other way round and she wanted them vaccinated and the father didn't.

They probably would have had the vaccination and he wouldn't have known until afterwards.

I had a friend with a DD the same age as mine. The father was adamant the DD wasn't getting the mmr, whereas the mum wanted her to have it. When they split up, the DD was vaccinated. She never told the father.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:29 am 
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There was false evidence against the MMR conjured up by a now discredited expert. The parents had supposedly agreed not to have their children vaccinated when younger because of this. With the benefit of the more recent information about the MMR the husband wanted the children to be vaccinated.

Hopefully the children were not against having any vaccine themselves and were not held down. Maybe they wanted the vaccine and the mother was preventing them because she was still taken in by bogus science?

The courts surely took the most prudent decision with the best information available to them at the time. The decision the parents took together in good faith many years back is now very out of date. I wonder how many people are today scared off vaccines because of the same bogus science. The bad and dishonest science about the MMR has lingered a long time in the public mind but the fact that it was discredited ( deliberately flawed) science has not caught the attention of a surprising number of people.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:44 am 
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Perhaps like me, the scepticism of some towards MMR has nothing whatsoever to do with bogus science and more to do with questioning the need for a vaccine against non-life threatening illnesses (and in one case designed to protect pregnant women and their unborn children rather than the actual recipients of the vaccine) given together to tiny children, as a cocktail and very often at the same time as other vaccines.

The Wakefield debacle has done nothing to advance the interests of mature debate into the implications of vaccinating against every known illness just because we can, sadly.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:33 am 
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Agreed - but there are big downsides to mumps, measles and rubella catching on in the general population again and us losing our herd immunity. If people are not vaccinating against MMR merely because of the Wakefield scandal this is terribly sad. One presumes that the court looked into this and the mother was allowing other vaccines and not MMR.

It is very hard when one parent wants one thing, and the other the other. I missed a lot of vaccines as a child because my mother had this idea that I was allergic to everything under the sun, which I was not. I am too old for MMR anyhow, but I was jolly relieved to be protected from Rubella prior to conceiving. Maybe this father was a bit more science savvy than the mother?

I don't personally know any family that has been affected by having the MMR vaccine, but I do know people who have family members that have things that have been caused by contracting mumps, measles or rubella at the wrong point in their life.

I am glad smallpox was eliminated too by that most amazing vaccination campaign. And what is wrong with having a vaccine in order to protect pregnant women and their unborn children rather than yourself - it's a marvel that humans have the ingenuity to design these vaccines and one quick jab in the arm is a small price to pay.

I think we are far from being able to vaccinate against every known illness --- and if we could, it could potentially release public money for other useful services .e.g. care of the elderly. Would it be such a bad thing?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:52 am 
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Don't forget the immunocompromised . It's interesting that most parents accept other vaccines..many parents I see are desperately worried about whooping cough in their babies. Probably because that's on the increase at the moment but perhaps we've forgotten what a child with full blown measles is like? Of course, many children will recover and the illness will be mild but that's not always the case. Chicken pox for example often develops into nasty complications. It's also interesting that it's the parents with children who haven't had so much as a cold who decline. Those who have children with other health conditions jump at the chance for any kind of protection for these preventable illnesses. There are other vaccines which are offered to children with health problems. Some vaccinated children don't always have full immunity either, so losing that herd immunity has far reaching effects. Is it socially and morally responsible then to vaccinate our children?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:04 am 
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Amber wrote:
given together to tiny children, as a cocktail and very often at the same time as other vaccines.



That's a common fear. They're nothing compared to the thousands of viruses and bacteria we come in contact with every day!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:28 am 
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Regarding children and consent, healthcare professionals should be assessing if the child is 'Gillick competent' there are certainly no easy answers, but for my 12 year old I would certainly consider his views now. Although he is the 'worried-well' and asked about a flu jab. :roll: Thanks Dad for bringing that up.

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research ... 61289.html


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