D.C. Passes Bill to Immunize Children Without Parental Knowledge, Consent

Written by Martin Walsh

OPINION
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


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Last month, the District of Columbia passed B23-017, a bill that allows children to be vaccinated without the knowledge or consent of their parents, the Washington Post noted.

The “Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act” permits a child aged 11 years or older “to consent to receive a vaccine where the vaccination is recommended by the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It also establishes that if a minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks inherent in the medical care then informed consent is established.”

The Post noted: “A bill passed by the D.C. Council on Tuesday would allow children as young as age 11 to obtain vaccinations without their parents’ consent. Under the legislation, if a doctor determines that a minor is capable of informed consent, they would be able to seek government-recommended vaccinations their parents object to on religious grounds. They also could get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus — which is recommended for older children but opposed by some parents because the virus is sexually transmitted and they object to their teenagers having sex.”

The bill not only permits children of this age to provide consent to doctors and other vaccine administrators without a parent’s knowledge or consent, but also requires insurance companies, school administrators, and medical personnel to conceal from parents that their child has been vaccinated.

The legislation mandates (in lines 37–38) that “[p]roviders who administer immunizations under the authority of this subsection shall seek reimbursement, without parental consent, directly from the insurer” rather than involving a parent in this process.

Secondly, it mandates that insurance companies are not to notify parents of such payouts in the standard way. “Insurers shall not send an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) [to the child’s parents] for services provided,” the bill states (line 40).

Finally, B23-017 requires a health care provider to leave part of the immunization record “blank” in order to conceal from parents that their own child has been vaccinated (lines 48–52).

More fundamentally, if this bill becomes law, The Vaccine Reaction warns, “it is clear that minor children will be at risk of being pressured and coerced into getting a COVID-19 vaccine behind their parents’ back.”

V.R. also demonstrates how B23-0171 violates the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA), which requires health care providers to supply parents or guardians with vaccine information from the CDC prior to administering the vaccine to their minor child.

The CDC itself affirms this to be a legal requirement on its website.

According to an “FAQ” question, “Is there a requirement to verify that parents/legal representatives have actually received and reviewed the VIS (Vaccine Information Statement)?,” the answer is “Yes.”

Obviously, V.R. argues, children are “far less likely than an adult parent to understand personal and family medical history, including vaccine reactions,” nor do they “have the same kind of critical thinking skills or emotional maturity required to make a well-informed vaccine benefit-risk decision compared to an adult.”