To vaccinate or not to vaccinate for young children – what if parents can’t agree?
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In a previous article we discussed the fact that a Court can order vaccinations for children where there is dispute. As pointed out in our article each case turns on its facts.

In the recent case of Palange & Kalhoun the Court ordered that a 10 year old child be vaccinated against the wishes of one of the parents.

In that case both parties were directed to file any expert evidence that they sought to rely upon.

The mother, who wished to vaccinate the child, filed a Report and Affidavit of a Public Health Researcher in the area of vaccinations whose qualifications included a PhD in Public Health. The mother also sought to rely on pamphlets or publications including publications by the World Health Organisation.

The father provided similar publication evidence to support this view that the child should not be vaccinated.

What did the Court Rule?

The Court ruled that the child should be vaccinated and ordered accordingly.

Before we get carried away with this decision it is important to note that the Court did not make the decision on any general view of the Court in favour of vaccinations or against vaccinations.

The Court based its decision on the cogent expert evidence filed by the mother. The Court ignored the anecdotal and publication evidence provided by both parties including the mother. The Court focused on the expert evidence and stated that the expert concerned had the appropriate expertise and qualifications.

The Judge was then able to say that he was satisfied based on this evidence and in this case that it was in the child’s best interest to be vaccinated against COVID 19.

An important message to be derived from this case is to ensure that when seeking Orders about vaccinations for any child or when seeking any other Orders relating to medical procedures for a child, any such application must be backed up by proper and researched evidence from an expert in the field with recognised qualifications in that field. This is something that too many Practitioners ignore.

Freeman Family Law has been assisting clients for over 30 years on matters involving divorce or separation, complex financial and property issues, as well as advice on parenting and wills & estates. Book an appointment with an Accredited Family Law Specialist online or at one of our offices in Yarraville, South Melbourne, Caroline Springs, Essendon or Mornington.

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