Friday, 3 February 2017

Seven month old baby forcibly vaccinated

1 comment:

  1. A local authority has been granted permission by a top judge to forcibly vaccinate a seven-month-old baby boy against his mother's wishes.

    The mum objected to her child receiving the jabs because she said her older children had had bad reactions to vaccinations in the past. But the London Borough of Barnet said the potential consequence of not immunising the boy was too great to risk.

    Now, after a hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice MacDonald has made a declaration that vaccination is in the boy's best interests. The jabs will protect the baby against bacterial infections which can lead to highly dangerous forms of meningitis.

    The court heard the mum objected to her son, who is currently in care, being given the two vaccinations. She said three of her older children had suffered reactions - a swollen leg, ear infection and a rash - after receiving immunising jabs.

    She said the risk of infection was low and so it was not worth the risk giving the boy the vaccines. However, experts said the risks of not vaccinating were potentially disastrous.

    Problems that could develop from the infections included meningitis, pneumonia and septic arthritis. At their most serious, infections could lead to permanent brain damage and even death.

    Giving judgment, Mr Justice MacDonald accepted that vaccinating against a mother's wishes would impinge on her human right to respect for her family life. But he made a declaration that the boy receive the jabs - referred to in his ruling as the Hib vaccine and PCV vaccine.

    'I am satisfied that the balance of risk as between administering the outstanding Hib vaccine and the PCV vaccine and not doing so plainly favours immunisation,' he said.

    'Whilst the mother submits that risk of infection is low, and whilst the expert evidence supports that contention to a certain extent, it is plain on the evidence before the court that the consequences of that risk becoming manifest are grave indeed, with meningitis in particular being a rapidly progressive infection, hard to diagnose and treat in time to prevent permanent damage or even death.'

    He continued: 'A parent is entitled to make a decision based on their assessment of the likelihood of infection and how severe that infection might be in terms of outcome.

    'However, I must and do have regard to the fact that the mother's evaluation does not accord with the expert medical evidence before the court.

    'I am satisfied that it is appropriate in this case to make a declaration under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court that it is in the child's best interests for the local authority to be given permission to arrange for him to receive the Hib vaccine and the PCV vaccine and I do so.'

    The judge made his ruling in private on Monday, but has today given permission for it to be published.