COVID-19 and children: Anti-vaccination parents unlikely to win court disputes, BC lawyer says

Vancouver –

With children under the age of 5 now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, there can be heated arguments between divergent parents – and some may end up in the end. ended up in a courtroom.

However, according to BC attorney Martina Milau, who has settled a number of similar vaccine battles before the pandemic, but dragging a war on childhood vaccinations before a judge is not likely to end. nice to parents who are against vaccines.

When it comes to healthy kids who don’t have any chronic health conditions, “I don’t see a court ruling against vaccinations,” Milau told CTV News.

Divorced or separated parents who are trying to prevent their ex-partners from vaccinating their children face an uphill battle, the lawyer said, as they are also going against the odds. Public health recommendations encourage immunization of eligible children as quickly as possible.

“A judge wouldn’t beat that,” said Milau, who works at Clark Woods LLP in Coquitlam. “Judges always turn to experts when they have no expertise on a subject.”

Based on her experience with other vaccinations, that parent will demonstrate that vaccination poses a significant risk to their child, and Milau suggests, based on her experience with schools other vaccine cases, that this is not an easy case to make.

The lawyer said if such a client approaches her without the backing of a solid medical opinion, she may have to turn them down or send them to another firm.

“I don’t want to take people’s money so they just lose,” says Milau.

However, there are potential problems for the parents of both parties in the dispute.

Milau said pro-vaccine parents can easily vaccinate their children alone, despite the court order requiring them to make health care decisions jointly with their former partner, but be warned that doing so may come back to bite them later.

“If you’re supposed to do something by consensus, even if you’re right, but if you do it unilaterally… it shows very poorly in the long-term,” says Milau. .

In addition, young people can also get vaccinated on their own, regardless of what parents believe about vaccinations or the pandemic.

When Health Canada first approved the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 17, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that minors may choose to have their immunizations according to their needs. parental will under BC’s Newborn Act, which allows minors to make their own medical decisions with the support of healthcare professionals.

There is no legal age limit when a child is considered mature enough to give explicit consent, although officials have not commented on the possibility of people under 12 using the Infant Act. born for vaccination.

For parents who feel they need legal representation in a vaccine dispute, Milau emphasizes that they don’t need to find a company that advertises a specialty with COVID-19 cases, she says. described as an emerging “gimmick” in family law.

“People can go to any elderly family lawyer regularly and get very competent advice and representation,” she said.

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