- The Council of the District of Columbia disempowered parents by enacting a law that made it illegal for a doctor, insurance company or school administrator to divulge a child’s vaccination history in records that can be seen by the child’s mother or father
- The law denies basic parental rights to protecting their child from vaccine injuries and to have the tools and knowledge necessary to monitor them for signs of a potentially life-threatening vaccine reaction that requires immediate medical treatment
- It also violates vaccine safety provisions of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, a federal law that confirmed vaccine injuries and deaths are real and made preventing vaccine reactions a national priority
- Additionally, it violates informed consent rights of both parents and their child while doctors, other vaccinators and anyone else involved in the vaccine decision have no liability if the child is injured
- If you want to protect parental and informed consent rights, register for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal to stay up to date on vaccine laws being proposed in your state
This past year, we have seen many lawmakers in the U.S. and other countries vote to eliminate or severely restrict civil liberties in the name of the public health.1,2,3 One of the most outrageous legislative actions violating parental and human rights took place in Washington, D.C., in November 2020 when city council officials gave doctors the power to vaccinate children as young as 11 years old and hide what they did from parents.4,5,6,7,8
The D.C. mayor refused to veto the bill9,10 and, in January 2021, the U.S. Congress sat on its hands11,12 and gave tacit approval to enactment of the most dangerous child vaccination law in America.
In a breathtaking violation of medical ethics and several federal laws, the new vaccine concealment law in Washington, D.C., allows doctors to extract “informed consent” from young children too immature to know what informed consent13 means or what a vaccine reaction looks and feels like.14,15,16
The D.C. city council majority, with only three members dissenting, cruelly disempowered parents by voting to make it illegal for a doctor, insurance company or school administrator to divulge a child’s vaccination history in records that can be seen by the child’s mother or father.17
Parents Won’t Have Information to Protect Child From Injury
An 11-year-old child does not know or understand his or her personal health history but most parent do. If a child has experienced previous vaccine reactions, has severe allergies or other health conditions that could increase vaccine risks,18,19 parents kept in the dark will not have a way to protect their child from further harm.
Parents who don’t know which vaccines their children have been given will not be able to monitor them for signs of a potentially life-threatening vaccine reaction that requires immediate medical treatment.20 If the child is injured or dies after vaccination, parents will not know they must apply to the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) before the filing deadline expires.21
Parents will not know their insurance company has been billed for vaccines. Parents will not know that a school the child attends is in possession of their child’s secret vaccination records even when there is a vaccine exemption for religious belief reasons on file with the school.
This blatant violation of a parent’s moral right and legal responsibility to make medical risk decisions on behalf of a minor child was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics22 and pushed through by the D.C. city council, while the mayor and the US Congress looked the other way.
First, D.C.’s vaccine concealment law violates vaccine safety provisions of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, a federal law that confirmed vaccine injuries and deaths are real and made preventing vaccine reactions a national priority.
Parents of DPT vaccine-injured children secured vaccine safety provisions in the 1986 Act, which directs doctors and other medical workers to give parents written vaccine benefit and risk information BEFORE a child is vaccinated23 and also mandates that vaccine providers record which vaccines the child is given in a record the parents can access.
Specifically, the 1986 Act mandates that “health care providers who administer a vaccine” must give a child’s legal representative “a copy of the information materials” developed by the Centers for Disease Control “prior to the administration” of a vaccine.24,25
The 1986 law also requires each person administering a vaccine to “ensure that there is recorded in such person’s permanent medical record or in a permanent office log or file to which a legal representative shall have access upon request” certain information:
No. 1: the date of administration of the vaccine; No. 2: the vaccine manufacturer and lot number of the vaccine; and No. 3: the name and address and, if appropriate, the title of the health care provider administering the vaccine.”26
These informing and recording vaccine safety provisions were included in the 1986 Act specifically to provide parents with information they need to make well informed vaccine decisions for their minor children; to help parents recognize and prevent vaccine reactions; and to ensure a vaccine reaction is reported to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).27,28
If a doctor can secretly inject a young child with one or more vaccines and hide the vaccination records, how will parents know what is happening when a vaccine reaction occurs? They won’t have the information they need to take their child to an emergency room or be able to make the connection between the vaccinations and a child’s regression into poor health.
Washington, DC, Vaccine Concealment Law Violates Federal Laws
This lack of critical information about their child’s medical history also means parents will likely miss the deadline for filing a claim in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which has awarded more than $4.5 billion to the vaccine injured over the past three decades.29
D.C.’s vaccine concealment law violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA, which guarantees parents the legal right to have access to their children’s education records, including health and vaccine records, at the primary and secondary school level.30
Vaccine Concealment Law Violates Informed Consent Rights
D.C.’s vaccine concealment law also violates the long standing ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk taking,31 which has governed the ethical practice of human research and medical practice since the Nuremberg Code was published in 1947 after the Doctors’ Trial.32,33
Informed consent is exercised on behalf of minor children by parents, who are morally and legally responsible for the well-being and financial support for their children until they are old enough to live independently.34,35,36
Child development specialists have documented how young children and teenagers lack the critical thinking skills and emotional maturity to exercise good judgment when assessing risks.37,38,39,40, Preadolescents are more susceptible to pressure from peers and authority figures.41,42,43,44
Vaccine Administrators Have No Liability for Injuries, Deaths
Doctors are the ultimate authority figures in our society today, and many are serving as authoritarian implementers of one-size-fits-all federal vaccine policies and state vaccine mandates.45,46
Like vaccine manufacturers, doctors and other persons who administer vaccines cannot be held liable in civil court when a child dies or is injured.47 Congress passed special legislation in 2020 to make sure that doctors or anyone else who administers a Covid-19 vaccine cannot be sued.48
When the risks of vaccination turn out to be 100 percent for a child, it is the mother and father raising that child on a day-to-day basis who will be left with the lifelong consequences — not the doctor who has been given the power to secretly persuade the child to take vaccines, and not the politician who voted to give doctors that power.
The D.C. council sponsor of the bill entitled the “Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act” originally wanted doctors to be able to vaccinate children of any age — no matter how young — without the knowledge or consent of their parents. She argued that minors of any age can get an abortion in Washington, D.C., and get treated for a sexually transmitted disease or substance abuse without the knowledge or consent of their parents.49
She told Medscape Medical News that parents with “anti-science” beliefs were not vaccinating their children based on a “disproven belief” that vaccines may cause harm, which puts other people at “extreme risk” for disease.50
A dissenting D.C. city council member countered with “Medical professionals and schools should not be permitted to coerce impressionable minors into procedures capable of causing injury or death behind their parents’ back.”51
Vaccine Concealment Law a Profound Betrayal of Public Trust
The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights states that:52
“The interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the sole interest of science or society;” and “For persons who are not capable of exercising autonomy, special measures are to be taken to protect their rights and interests;” and “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.”
It is a profound betrayal of public trust for any city, state or federal government to strip parents of their God-given right to protect their children from harm by allowing a doctor to give a child a pharmaceutical product without getting a parent’s permission.
Science is not perfect, doctors are not infallible, and pharmaceutical products like vaccines come with risks that can be greater for some individuals than others,53,54,55 which is why parents must retain the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking on behalf of their minor children. Will the vaccine concealment bill that is now law in Washington, D.C., be exported to your state next?
Take Action Today to Protect Parental Rights
If you want to protect parental and informed consent rights, register for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal today and stay up to date on vaccine laws being proposed in your state so you can contact your legislators and take positive action.
Never be the one who has to say you did not do today what you could have done to change tomorrow. It’s your health. Your family. Your choice. And our mission continues: No forced vaccination. Not in America.
Sources and References
- 1Fisher BL. How Fear of a Virus Changed Our World. NVIC Newsletter June 1, 2020
- 2Anderson A. These Endless Public Health Mandates Threaten American’s Liberty. Heritage Foundation Mar. 15, 2021
- 3Weisberg L, Molnar P. LaJolla Light June 14 2021
- 4Council of the District of Columbia. B23-0171-Minor Consent for Vaccination Amendment Act of 2019. (Effective from Mar. 16, 2021)
- 5Al-Arshani S. Kids as young as 11 years old would be able to consent to vaccinations under a new bill proposed in Washington, DC. Business Insider
- 6Richardson D. DC Bill B23-0181 Allowing Children 11 Years Old and Older to Be Vaccinated Without Parental Knowledge or Consent Advances
- 7Smith W. D.C. to Legalize Vaccination of 11-Year Olds Without Parental OK. National Review Nov. 5, 2020
- 8Turner M. DC Council to make final vote on bill that would allow minors to get vaccines without parental consent. WUSA-9 Nov. 12, 2020
- 9,17Austermuhle M. D.C. Activists Want Bowser to Veto Bill That Would Allow Minors to Consent to Vaccines. NPR Dec. 7, 2020
- 10,22,49,51Ault A. 11-Year-Olds Could Receive Vaccines Without Parental Consent in DC. Medscape Dec. 24, 2020
- 11McNeely M. Bill to Let 11-Year Olds Make Medical Decision: Will Congress Say No? Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Feb. 24, 2021
- 12Parentalrights.org. Breaking DC Update: Lee Attempts “Common Consent.” Mar. 3, 2021
- 13FindLaw. Understanding Informed Consent and Your Rights as a Patient. June 6, 2018
- 14,40Blakemore SJ, Robbins TW. Decision-making in the adolescent brain. Nature Neuroscience 2012; 15: 1184-1191
- 15,20Fisher BL. Do You Know How to Recognize A Vaccine Reaction? NVIC Newsletter Aug. 27, 2018
- 16National Vaccine Information Center. If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions
- 18CDC. Contraindications and precautions to commonly used vaccines. May 4, 2021
- 19CDC. COVID-19 Vaccines: Summary Documents for Interim Clinical Considerations. June 1, 2021
- 21Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. June 2021
- 23English A, Shaw FE, McCauley MM et al. Legal Basis of Consent for Health Care and Vaccination for Adolescents. Pediatrics 2008; 121: S85-S87
- 2442 U.S.C. United States Code, 2016 edition. Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare Chapter 6A – Public Health Service… Vaccine information
- 25CDC. Vaccine Information Statements (VISs): Required Use. July 28, 2020
- 2642 U.S.C. United States Code, 2016 edition. Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare Chapter 6A – Public… Recording and reporting of information
- 27MedAlerts. Search the U.S. Government’s VAERS Data and Reporting Vaccine Reactions to VAERS
- 28Fisher BL. DIY If Your Doctor Won’t Report Vaccine Reactions to VAERS. NVIC Newsletter June 2, 2021
- 29Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. VICP Data & Statistics June 2021
- 30Family Education and Privacy Act. Title 34: Education
- 31Nunez K. What You Need to Know About Informed Consent. Healthline Oct. 11, 2019
- 32Encyclopedia.com. Nuremberg Code Establishes the Principle of Informed Consent
- 33Komesaroff PA, Parker M. Ethical Aspects of Consent. Issues Magazine March 2009
- 34Otterstrom K. The Legal Right and Responsibilities of a Parent. Lawyers.com Apr. 9, 2015
- 35Findlaw. How Long Do Parents’ Legal Obligations to Their Children Continue? Nov. 17, 2018
- 36Fisher BL. The Moral Right to Conscientious, Philosophical and Personal Belief Exemption to Vaccination
- 37Kelley AE, Schochet T, Landry CF. Risk taking and novelty seeking in adolescence: introduction to part I. Ann NY Acad Sci 2004; 1021-1032
- 38Steinberg L. Cognitive and affective development in adolescence. Trends Cogn Sci 2005; 9(2): 69-74
- 39Harvard Mental Health Letter. The adolescent brain: Beyond raging hormones. Harvard Health Publishing Mar. 7, 2011
- 41Steinberg L. Monahan KC. Age Differences in Resistance to Peer Influence. Dev Psychol 2007; 43(6): 1531-1543
- 42Knoll LJ, Magis-Weinberg L, Speekenrbrink M et al. Social Influence on Risk Perception During Adolescence. Psychological Science May 25, 2015
- 43,45Koleva G. Authoritarian Doctors, Timid Patients, and a Health Care Gridlock. Forbes May 29, 2012
- 44Heath S. Understanding the Power Hierarchy in Patient-Provider Relationships. Patient EngagementHIT July 23, 2019
- 46Fisher BL. The National Plan to Vaccinate Every American. NVIC Newsletter Mar. 21, 2020
- 47NVIC. National Vaccine Information Center Cites “Betrayal” of Consumers by US Supreme Court Giving Total Liability… Businesswire Feb. 23, 2011
- 48Fisher BL, Parpia R. 2005 PREP Act and 1986 Act Shield Vaccine Manufacturers from Liability. The Vaccine Reaction Aug. 10, 2020
- 52United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Oct 19, 2005
- 53Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Evaluation of Biologic Mechanisms of Adverse Effects: Increased Susceptibility
- 54National Vaccine Information Center. Vaccination: Know the Risks and Failures. 2019
- 55Fisher BL. Why Is Informed Consent to Vaccination a Human Right? National Vaccine Information Center June 28, 2017
Analysis by Barbara Loe Fisher