A woman in the UK has lost her court battle to not have her children vaccinated after a High Court judge ruled that preventing them from being vaccinated was not in the children’s best interests.
The woman refused to have her children vaccinated on the grounds they were vegan, like her, and she fed them only “natural products” so as to keep their bodies “as free of toxins as I can possibly make them."
However, the father applied for a court order to get his sons vaccinated, citing the safety of his children first and calling the mother “obsessive, overprotective and narrow in her views."
He told the court she had “a suspicion of all conventional medicine” and used an example of her not allowing the children to take paracetamol-based medicine, like Calpol, specifically designed for children.
She defended her beliefs, telling the court: "It is not natural to be injected with metal elements and as a vegan, it goes against my beliefs for my children to be injected with something that is grown on animal cells or something that has been tested on animals."
She also suggested doctors don’t criticize vaccines as they're afraid of losing their jobs and that her boys had strong immune systems that would help protect against diseases.
Of course, being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning modern medicine, with the diet often cited as an environmentally sustainable option to help slash planet-warming emissions. But as with anything, the topic is far from settled, with certain foods like palm oil attached to heavy deforestation.
Judge Mark Rogers upheld his decision that the children should be vaccinated under the 1989 Children’s Act that allows judges to overrule parents’ decisions if their welfare is at stake. He pointed out that the mother couldn’t find a doctor to support her views in court and told the hearing that he had “serious concerns as to [the mother’s] ability to look objectively and even-handedly” at the issue.
"I am truly sorry that the mother will regard the decision as wrong," he added, "but my objective duty is clear."
The children will now receive vaccinations against polio, measles, meningitis, and diphtheria.
An estimated 3 million children’s lives are saved each year by vaccinations, but sadly 2 million children also die from easily preventable diseases due to not being vaccinated. So if you still need a reminder, no, vaccines do not cause autism. Even the National Autistic Society, the biggest autism charity in the UK, thinks it’s about time we stop wasting energy on something that's long been debunked.
And if you’re still on the fence, read this heartbreaking letter from a mother who eloquently explains why your misinformed decision doesn’t ever just affect you.