A Michigan court case could set what some say is a troubling precedent by mandating that four children be vaccinated for measles against their parents’ wishes.
Attorney H. Elliot Parnes has petitioned Oakland County Circuit Judge Lisa Langton to order the four children to receive the shot.
The case involves a troubled home where drugs have been present, but legally speaking, the parents’ right have not been terminated – and they’re still the parents.
The Kenny case could set a precedent that could be used against other parents opposed to vaccinations.
“No court, to my knowledge has ever ruled that it is illegal or neglectful to not get your kids immunized,” attorney Daniel Bagdade, representing the father, Brian Kenny, told The Detroit Free Press. “We’re moving into some new territory here.”
Parnes is the court-appointed attorney for the children. The kids – ages 10 and under — are currently temporary wards of the state and living with their grandparents.
Kenny opposes vaccination and is prepared to fight Parnes’ petition in court, Bagdade said. The case is scheduled to be heard in Oakland County Circuit Court on February 11. Kenny has studied the issue, spoken to parents of autistic children, and believes the vaccine can cause it.
“He feels he has done his due diligence and is adamant about his position and feels that the court making him do this is a violation of his rights,” Bagdade said.
The parents have a history of domestic abuse in front of the children and of drug use. Despite the family’s messy history, the case could set a dangerous precedent for all families.
Attorneys seem to be as divided on the issue as everybody else.
Guardians like Parnes sometimes seek emergency medical care, but an order seeking immunizations is rare, experts told the newspaper.
“I’ve never seen one,” Attorney Lee Somerville said. Somerville has been practicing law in Michigan since 1990. “It’s not like this is a lifesaving situation,” and because the parents’ rights have not been terminated, it “should be the parents’ decision to make.”
“But here, is this going to have an impact on their health in the next six months?” Somerville asked, answering the question as “no.”
“Perhaps they will be adopted and then those parents could decide.”
Growing Call to Strip Rights
Anti-vaccination parents and their attorneys should pay attention to the Kenny case because there is a growing movement to strip parents of their right to decide vaccinations – and there’s even been calls to jail them or fine them.
Attorney Nicholas Diamond told Forbes that he thinks it would be possible for an attorney to make a case for holding parents financially liable if someone got sick because their child was not vaccinated.
Parents choose not to vaccinate for a host of reasons, ranging from the vaccine’s potential ties to autism to the fact that two of the ingredients were made using cells from aborted babies.
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