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United Kingdom Medicine

UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine 699

Posted by samzenpus
from the protecting-the-herd dept.
rnws writes "The BBC reports that an English High Court judge has ruled that sisters aged 15 and 11 must have the MMR vaccine even though they and their mother do not want it. The High Court decision, made last month, came after the girls' father brought a case seeking vaccination. When outlining her decision in the latest case, Mrs Justice Theis emphasized it was a specific case 'only concerned with the welfare needs of these children', but lawyers say as one of a series it confirms there is no longer any debate about the benefits of the vaccine."
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UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine

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  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:41PM (#45117217)

    "The BBC reports that an English High Court judge has ruled that sisters aged 15 and 11 must have the MMR vaccine even though they and their mother do not want it. "

    No, the kids don't know any better, and the mother is practicing child abuse, especially against the 11 year old.

    Brainwashing your kids against vaccination is particularly evil.

    --
    BMO

    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:44PM (#45117237)
      Find me a kid that wants to get shots. Of course they're going to be against it. But yeah, it's sad this very dangerous idea is still floating around, all because somebody wanted to get money from an alternative vaccine and thus fabricated a lie.
      • Re:Good. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Pseudonym (62607) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:39PM (#45117565)

        Find me a kid that wants to get shots.

        Both of my kids, when they were in the age range 4-7. Neither were scared of needles, and the doctor gives you a jelly bean.

      • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:33PM (#45117899)

        Find me a kid that wants to get measles, mumps and/or rubella.

      • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

        by umafuckit (2980809) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @11:39PM (#45118247)

        Find me a kid that wants to get shots. Of course they're going to be against it. But yeah, it's sad this very dangerous idea is still floating around, all because somebody wanted to get money from an alternative vaccine and thus fabricated a lie.

        As far as I know, the MMR controversy was not initially related to an alternative vaccine (at least not one that was ever produced). It originated with Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the UK who claimed there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. He produced a flawed paper claiming such a link and had been paid 55k GBP by parties interested in establishing a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy#Wakefield_Lancet_paper_controversy [wikipedia.org] The only reason the whole thing blew up as it did was because the press reported his "findings" in an uncritically positive light. (This is the same press who have warned the British public about the dangers of "WiFi radiation in our schools" on the front page of a national broadsheet.) Wakefield's paper was later retracted when evidence of fraud (data fabrication) came to light. Whilst this was reported in the media, it wasn't really made clear that the whole house of cards had collapsed. The media didn't apologise (as far as I know) nor did they embark on a campaign to clear the name of the MMR vaccine, so to speak.

        Wakefield had plans to profit from the demise of MMR (testing kits, alternative vaccines, etc) but he never got that far.

        • by marauder (30027)

          He's not "Dr" Wakefield. He's just Andrew Wakefield, fraudster and disgrace to science. From the article: "On 24 May 2010, the GMC panel found Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct on four counts of dishonesty and 12 involving the abuse of developmentally challenged children, and ordered that he be struck off the medical register."

          • by tgibbs (83782)

            Technically, being "struck off" the medical register means the loss of your license to practice medicine. It does not mean the loss of your medical degree.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:41PM (#45117221)
    I hope so, I don't know why so many people heard of one study, which was proved false, and not the others which disproved it.
  • Sensible decision (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mynamestolen (2566945) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:53PM (#45117283)
    You don't drive through red traffic lights. You don't spread your stupid diseases to innocent Children who for GOOD reasons can't be vaccinated. And you don't waste my taxes trying to treat your sick kids because you're too stupid to understand some basic science.
  • by MasseKid (1294554) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:59PM (#45117315)
    Dad and mom do not agree, kids are minors and thus unable to decide for themselves in the eyes of the law, and thus medical evidence breaks the tie. I really don't see the problem here...

    IF mom and dad and kids didn't want it and courts were ordering something, then that would be a different story.
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Your right. The fact that this is a custody case, not a medical case is lost on most people.
  • It's unfortunate. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitterOak (537666) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:02PM (#45117333)
    It's unfortunate they made the issue out to be the efficacy of the vaccine and not the moral implications about forcing medication on people against their will. I, like most, believe the autism-MMR link is pure nonsense, but I do believe it must be every person's right to refuse medical treatment, including vaccines. (In the case of children, parents sometimes need to make decisions on their behalf, of course, but it shouldn't be the government making those decisions.) Of course, an exception to that rule can be made if people want the privilege of traveling to certain foreign countries which are known to harbor specific diseases, but otherwise, it should be up to parents, or adults to make these decisions, wrong though they may be.
    • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:07PM (#45117367)
      You may want to read about herd immunity. We need a certain percentage of the population to be vaccinated to protect everyone against the disease, including those who cannot have the vaccination. Leaving it up to everyone to decide for themselves what they want to do won't work. We don't let people decide what side of the road to drive on, now do we?
      • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday October 14, 2013 @01:24AM (#45118675)
        Herd immunity gets thrown out like a mantra. While it is great, we are now starting to vaccinate against diseases where herd immunity will save fewer lives than the vaccine harms. Herd immunity is not the end all be all answer. To think it is, is to be just as scientifically inclined as Jenny McCarthy.

        OK, to be fair, I only know of one vaccine that poses a real threat, and that is only because it is misused. That would be the chicken pox vaccine. It should not be used on children. The data supplied by virtually every source shows this, even when the sources conclusion recommends the vaccine. The problem is that those who support vaccination rarely if every draw a distinction between a vaccine like the chicken pox vaccine and the polio vaccine. Then the Anti-"Anti-Vaxers" come out and start screaming about how all vaccines are good, and anyone who would question the righteousness of the all mighty vaccine is a murderer who should have their children removed from them.

        When we were fighting polio, there was no question that A vaccine was a good thing. The big killers and maimers are largely gone now. We have had effective vaccines for a long time. Now we are trying to add vaccines that prevent diseases that are less likely to kill or maim than a home cooked meal. That's right. If the chicken pox vaccine were never developed, you would still have a greater chance of being killed or maimed by a home cooked meal than by chicken pox.

        Even worse is that the vaccine is known not to offer life long immunity, so we are very likely just pushing the disease off for a decade or so. This is particularly unfortunate because chicken pox is 10x more deadly for an adult than a child.
      • Also those for whom the vaccination does not work. It turns out that vaccinations are NOT 100% effective. In some people, the vaccination will not provide immunity for whatever reason. Well, there's not really any good way to test this. It's not like we can go in infect people with potentially deadly diseases, just to see if they in fact are immune to those diseases. However, when a large percentage of the population has been vaccinated, the herd immunity acts such that basically nobody gets it since the di

    • Parents do not have absolute rights over their children's treatment. I imagine every court in the industrialized world has had to deal with Jehovah's Witnesses who don't meant their child to have blood transfusions. A strong argument can similarily made for vaccines, in that the child's wellbeing overrides the parents' wishes our beliefs.

    • Re:It's unfortunate. (Score:5, Informative)

      by avandesande (143899) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:12PM (#45117395) Journal

      You missed the part about the father wanting the kids vaccinated.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        You missed the part about the father wanting the kids vaccinated.

        You missed the part where most people don't give a shit about the wants of fathers.

    • by jhealy1024 (234388) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:25PM (#45117469)

      What about the case of public health? Vaccines rely on "herd immunity" to be effective, so letting everyone pick and choose leads to a situation where not enough people are vaccinated to protect the population as a whole (as seen by outbreaks of measles in pockets of the country over the last year). There was an article written on this (which I can't find now) that was a great overview of the tension between one's individual rights to liberty and one's societal obligations not to kill people by willfully refusing something that has been demonstrated to work.

      What if, for example, we found the "typhoid mary" for measles (someone who was asymptomatic, but carried the disease and spread it to others). They could be cured with the vaccine, but refuse to take it. Should the interest of the public health outweigh the individual right to refuse treatment in this case? If not, why should others perish? If so, then why not force vaccines on everyone? Where should the line be drawn?

      Here in the US, we typically coerce vaccination by making it a prerequisite for public school (some states allow "personal" or "religious" exemptions, though). That way, people aren't "forced" to do it; life is just more unpleasant if they insist on skipping vaccines. Not sure if the UK has a similar system to encourage vaccination.

    • Re:It's unfortunate. (Score:5, Informative)

      by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:31PM (#45117517) Homepage

      But that was not the issue here.
      Half of their legal guardians wanted them to get the vaccine, and the other half did not want it. The kids had picked a side, but were too young for their opinion to matter.
      So, in the end either the court could of just said, "well we cannot decide for you", or it could take the role of a third child guardian, and base their decision on the medical science.

    • Re:It's unfortunate. (Score:4, Informative)

      by mysidia (191772) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:34PM (#45117533)

      It's unfortunate they made the issue out to be the efficacy of the vaccine and not the moral implications about forcing medication on people against their will. I, like most, believe the autism-MMR link is pure nonsense, but I do believe it must be every person's right to refuse medical treatment, including vaccines

      I agree that there must be some limited right for an individual to refuse a medical treatment that might be harmful to them.

      However: the parents have the authority to force their children to undergo medical operations for the benefit of the child; their child not being of sound mind, is deemed incapable of refusing treatment for themself.

      The two parents are in disagreement ---- think of this as more a parental rights issue; one of the parents demands their child be vaccinated for their protection and long life; the other parent has decided they object to their child receiving the vaccine based on some bogus hearsay about vaccines causing autism or other bad things.

      The parents cannot resolve the matter amongst their selves, therefore: the court has to step in to settle the dispute between the two parents, and ensure the child's welfare is protected.

    • I do believe it must be every person's right to refuse medical treatment, including vaccines.

      If you've got an infectious disease that has outbreak potential, most legal systems allow doctors to detain you for treatment.

      This isn't the same thing, but there's a similar public health factor. It's not a personal decision, given that there are people who CANNOT be vaccinated for whatever reason, and some of these diseases have no "cure" other than prevention.

      Most of these outbreaks happen when unvaccinate

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:09PM (#45117381) Homepage

    even though they and their mother do not want it

    Well duh. I didn't want shots either, but luckily for me my parents were sane people and didn't let a ten-year-old make medical decisions.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @09:25PM (#45117477) Homepage

    "confirms there is no longer any debate about the benefits of the vaccine."

    How can anyone be stupid enough to believe that a judge ruling has any effect on medical science?

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:55PM (#45118033) Homepage

    Given the innuendo of the clip, one might think we're expected to feel outrage about this because the daughters AND mom don't want it. But guess what? Dad gets a say too, and no; that is not outrageous. Mom must have thought he would be a pretty spiffy father because she slept with him at least twice.

    Just because one or both of the parents changed their minds does not mean dad loses his "father" status. His opinion is equal to mom's, and I'm glad the court decision reflected that.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Monday October 14, 2013 @07:46AM (#45120105)

    We get all these people who think that vaccines are linked to autism because one discredited scientsts said it was, so we get all this controvercy over vaccines. But what about all the other crap we're putting into our bodies? Hormones in the water supply. Industrial pollutants. Even intentional fluoridation, which has been correlated with lower IQ. But do these people rally against this stuff? No, because it takes too much work. It's easier to go on about government conspiracies and skip going to the doctor.

  • by realsilly (186931) on Monday October 14, 2013 @12:30PM (#45122749)

    .... and if they get Measles, Mumps, or Rubella while under the age of 18, their mother must pay for all doctors bills 100% out of pocket, including hospital stays.

    Also it if can be proven they they infect anyone else, they must pay the doctor bills of those that can prove it.

    Legal fees alone in the defense will fix that.

    If they get these after the age of 18, then they should face the same expenses as their mother would.

    It's simple repercussions of one's actions.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      and if a child dies from allergic reaction to say the egg the virus was grown, we can have you and people who think as you do stung to death by bees?

  • by superdave80 (1226592) on Monday October 14, 2013 @01:27PM (#45123417)
    The court is not really forcing the girls to get the vaccine. This is a case of the mother not wanting the vaccine for her daughters, and the father wanting the vaccine for them. If the father hadn't wanted the vaccination either, then the girls wouldn't be vaccinated. More of a custody dispute than a vaccination dispute...

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