At least that was my initial reaction to the news that in the District of Columbia, Federal Judge Trevor McFadden temporarily halted the Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, which I had never heard of before. The law would have allowed children as young as 11 years old to get vaccinated without the knowledge of their parents if a provider deemed them capable of informed consent.
Children, period, are generally not deemed under law or common sense to be capable of “informed consent.” To name a particularly vivid example, this is why the crime of statutory rape exists. Indeed, a theme of my ethics seminars to lawyers is that informed consent is largely a legal fiction in many instances when adults are deemed to have granted it. The legal profession airily allows “informed consent” in, for example, waiving conflicts of interest when few laymen and a disturbing number of lawyers haven’t a clue what a conflict of interest is. The D.C. law is obviously worse. If a child doesn’t understand the mechanisms by which vaccines are supposed to work as well as the medical, religious and legal controversies underlying parental consent and religious freedom, then such a child cannot possibly deliver informed consent. Moreover, the authorities who get to make the call in the D.C. law aren’t even lawyers; they are providers who profit from every vaccination they give.
And that is—ta da!—a conflict of interest.
Under this lunatic and—once again—totalitarian-leaning law from the extreme leftist administration of Democrat Murial Bowser, children with parents who objected to vaccines on religious grounds would have secret access to their own medical records, while vaccine providers would be allowed to seek reimbursement directly from the insurer without parental knowledge or consent.
See? Antivaxx nuts have their uses. One of the successful lawsuits that got the law blocked (for now) was filed by Children’s Health Defense, the organization run by anti-vaccine fanatic Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The assault on parental rights as well as religious rights represented by D.C.’s law goes far beyond vaccinations. It is part of a wider campaign to split children from their families, and to allow the government to indoctrinate and mold the political and social beliefs of the young. Legal means of bypassing parental consent has already been activated in many jurisdictions to give minors access to abortions—and since you ask, no, I do not believe that a minor is sufficiently mature, educated or experienced to consent to those either. The next non-stop on this slippery slope will be schools and doctors delivering “gender-affirming care”—how’s that for an “it isn’t what it is” euphemism?—to minors without their parents’ knowledge.
But all with the ‘informed consent” of the children, of course….