[Our comment: No surprise here, unfortunately, regarding so-called Medical Ethicist and longtime pro-GMO (genetically modified organism) propagandist, Arthur Kaplan.]
by Marco Cáceres
In a recent video commentary published in Medscape, New York University professor Arthur L. Caplan, PhD offered his views on the question of whether children have “vaccination rights.”1
Dr. Caplan thinks that what he defines as the “vaccination rights” of minor children supersede the legal right of their parents to exercise informed consent to vaccination on their children’s behalf if a parent elects to decline one or more government recommended vaccines for whatever reason. He claims that vaccinating children represents a higher moral imperative than respecting the informed consent rights of parents.
“I want to point out a moral stance that I don’t think has gotten enough attention, which is that every child has the right to be vaccinated,” said Caplan. “We keep talking about parents’ right to say yes or no, to avoid mandates or requirements, or to do what they choose to do. Someone has to speak up and say, ‘Well, what about the kids? Don’t they have any rights?’”1
Caplan believes that if parents refuse to vaccinate their kids the government has the right to override the legal right of parents to make medical care decisions for their children. Caplan argues that the government has the duty to vaccinate the children without the consent of the parents and by force, if need be. “If the parents won’t do it, I think it’s the responsibility of the state or the government to do it,” said Caplan. “The presumption should be not listening to what parents who don’t want to vaccinate are saying, but starting out with a presumption that kids have a right to fight off deadly diseases, that kids who can’t be vaccinated have a right to protection. How do we move public policy forward from there?”1
Attempts to answer Caplan’s question about how to “move public policy forward” on the issue of parental rights regarding vaccination of their children are already well underway in the United States. Legislation has been introduced in states like California that would seek to give government the right to make health care decisions for children, even against the wishes of their parents, if the state deems the decisions to be in the best interests of the children.2 3
Such legislation would also allow government authorities to take legal physical custody of children in cases where parents refuse to comply with mandates forcing or coercing them to vaccinate their children.2 3