Who Could Decide for Child to Have Vaccination?
A divorced parent who still had joint custody of their son had a dispute over whether their son should be vaccinated against COVID-19. The father, after consulting with his family physician, agreed to have his son vaccinated, while the mother objected to the vaccine on the grounds that it was a gene therapy and the possible side effects of vaccination; the child himself wanted to be vaccinated. The higher regional court first held that even if a child under the age of 16 can express his or her own opinion on whether to receive medical treatment, the unanimous consent of the custodial parent is still required, allowing the establishment of a medical contract with the providing facility to form a medical legal relationship; if the unanimity cannot be reached, the family court is called upon to decide which parent should do so. Second, it is known that the side effects of vaccination are much less than the risk of serious illness caused by an unvaccinated child, not to mention that the child’s prior illnesses may have aggravated the course of the infection, and that immediate danger or violation of basic rights arising from vaccination cannot be avoided without immediate adjudication.