Parental Dispute Over A Child’s Vaccination
There has been much dispute over children’s vaccination in the news recently. In family law, a judge can delegate decision-making authority between the parents. This gives one parent sole decision-making power in one area involving the child. For example, this might be for something such as education. At the same time, the other parent might have sole decision-making power in another area, such as health.
Parental disputes over a kids’ health is a common social behavior in Canada. Decisions made that affect a child’s health and rules made around vaccination can be complicated.
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We have lawyers in Vancouver that can go to court for you as a last resort. Our family lawyers often suggest starting with a parenting agreement between spouses in a parental dispute. These agreements normally start at $1100. Sometimes when a parenting agreement fails, you need to turn up the heat. If this happens, your lawyer can fight for your rights in courts.
A common question we get asked is whether one parent can file in court to seek health treatment to their child in a guardianship case. The differences in the law of the different provinces can be striking. For example, there are two provinces in Canada that have mandatory vaccination for school children: Ontario and New Brunswick. The legislation in Ontario and New Brunswick mandates that these children be vaccinated against diseases. These include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, varicella (chickenpox) and meningococcal disease.
Family Law Act in BC- Dispute Over Kids Vaccination
Here are important things to know about a parental dispute over kids’ vaccination in British Columbia. Learn which parent is responsible for making child-related decisions.
The British Columbia courts have the power to give one parent decision-making authority. Further, they do this by granting them sole guardianship and parenting. The court may also require the parties to share decision-making on various topics. For example, education, health residence, faith, and other important decisions.
The court must analyze the respective parenting skills and problems of each parent. This will help them make a decision on who should be in charge of the issue. This might be done on the basis of the best interests of the child’s health issues. The British Columbia courts also deal with other issues. These include where a child should go to school. Further, what events should be enrolled in? Who should be their doctor and dentist? What their medical treatment should be? How long the child should be breastfed? These are common and specific legal cases that our family lawyers can help with.
The way parents should go about managing their child’s health and vaccinations can be difficult. It becomes even more complex if one of the partners denies health treatment to their child.
Resolving disputed parental authority over vaccinations in court
In a recent parental dispute case in British Columbia, the courts have taken an unprecedented step. They have granted the father permission to get regular vaccines for his two young sons. This was done after the mother refused to consent. A B.C. judge ordered that the father be permitted to have his two young sons undergo regular vaccines. Further, that the father had permission for other necessary medical and dental care.
All of this had been questioned by their mother. The father in a court ruling told the judge that he had asked the mother on countless occasions for mom’s consent to the children being vaccinated. This had been the case from the time she was pregnant with her first child until just before the court hearing.
The couple living in B.C.’s Interior met in 2012. They had been in a union for just over five years. They had two children together. The mother said that she was not completely opposed to children being vaccinated. Further, she wasn’t against making them cooperate with appropriate medical and dental guidelines. She simply did not want needless immunizations for the children.
She also resisted the use of x-rays by the kids’ dentist. That was a decision that contributed in one of the boys getting a root canal. Further, the kid had to have a tooth drained and teeth pulled out. This was said to be because of her reluctance to agree to a normal dental procedure. She didn’t want children vaccinated for diseases that no longer exist in Canada. Also, she wanted them to be screened for immunities before any vaccine decision was made.
Court gave power to the father over the parental dispute
Nevertheless, in her court judgment, the judge acknowledged that the two boys, one in Grade 1 and the other in childcare, are stable and have no immunity issues. Further, they don’t have diseases that would otherwise make them ineligible for live vaccines.
In other terms, there are no health features in either child that would make their doctor not prescribe vaccines. The father said schools required children to be vaccinated. That was in order to be in compliance with immunization schedules provided by Immunize B.C. He also said he had gotten a letter from Interior Health. The letter told him that his partner had a recorded denial on file. The letter requested that the older boy be given immunizations.
Learn more about family law: Father Living in Toronto Wants to Take a Child Away From the Mother
Due to the reluctance of the mother, the medical officer requested him to send a letter with her approval for the vaccine. A copy of a custody order was provided that proved that the father had full power to make medical decisions. The judge challenged the documentation presented by the mother. The evidence submitted by the mother suggested the children had adverse reactions from vaccines. “It doesn’t mean that parents can blindly follow whatever medical advice they receive,” the judge said.
Mother to acknowledge father rights granted by the court
Doctors and health advisors can make mistakes— sometimes tragic ones. It remains the responsibility of parents to hear advice. Further, they need to ask questions and carry out research. Once they are done receiving advice, they should make the appropriate decisions for their children. Science shows that vaccination is preferable to non-vaccination. Also, vaccination helps protect those who can not be vaccinated and to protect ourselves, the judge added.
The court ordered that the parental responsibility for both boys ‘ medical and dental care’ should be in the hands of the father. However, the order said that the mother should be aware of any medical appointments and prescribed treatments.
Learn more about family law: Different Types of Child Custody
Vaccination won over disease allegations- Dispute Over Kids Vaccination
It is normal for parents to want to take care of their children and be protective of them. However, in this day and age, there is too much information available. This information can be challenging to validate. False allegations find space next to genuine medical evidence. It is everyone’s responsibility to sift through the misinformation. Further, they must find the truth from reliable sources.
In the case of the vaccine debate, there are reliable sources listed below:
Don’t let medical advice (or legal advice) on a Facebook post that is full of fake news. According to the World Health Organization, few deaths have been traced to vaccination. Further, what is known is that the risk of death from disease is considerably higher than the risk of death from a vaccine intended to prevent the disease.
See this video to understand the best interests of a child.
Dispute Over Kids Vaccination- Getting legal advice
Are you going through child decision-making issues? Do you need advice from a lawyer familiar with the laws in British Columbia? Our family lawyers can help with parental disputes and the best interest of the child. Our lawyers are experienced in providing advice in family law cases. This legal advice is essential to protect your parental rights.
Having a dispute over kids’ vaccination? Under the role of guardianship and child’s best interest. Connect with the right lawyer by reaching out to us via the live chat function. You can find it in the bottom right of the screen and you can also call us at 1-844-466-6529
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Family law can be complicated – see this short video