Via The Hamilton Spectator: Judge orders 10-year-old girl be vaccinated for measles against mom’s wishes. Excerpt:
The mother had plenty of arguments as to why her 10-year-old daughter should not receive the measles vaccine — ranging from "most diseases today are very rare" to "unmistakable links" between vaccines and severe reactions.
Problem was, Brantford Superior Court Justice R. John Harper wasn't buying any of it.
He recently ruled that the girl, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, be given a vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella, or whatever else her family doctor recommends, prior to her trip to Germany later this month to visit extended family.
By ruling that vaccination is in the best interests of the child, Harper was siding with the girl's father, who is separated from the mother and shares joint custody, as well as with the overwhelming scientific evidence that has proven the effectiveness and extremely low risk of the measles vaccine.
"The parents are at the extreme end of high conflict and their positions relative to the issue of vaccinations is equally polarized," Harper wrote.
"The tragedy in such circumstances is that the child is placed in the middle of parents who she deeply loves. The parents have discussed the issues with the child and it is my view that no 10-year-old child should be put in a position such as the child in this case."
The April 10 decision comes amid a recent measles outbreak that swept through North America, including Ontario, which Harper acknowledged "is at the centre of the controversy before this court."
"This case shows the courts sensibly disdain those with a blind spot for science, whether it be denying that vaccines work, or denying that the earth is round," said Amir Attaran, a law and medicine professor at the University of Ottawa.