The Rights of the Unvaccinated Child: The Legal Framework

Shot of Prevention

This is the first post in a five-part series written by guest blogger Dorit Rubinstein Reiss.

Dr. Reiss is a Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of  the Law in San Francisco, CA, who often examines the social policies of vaccination in various articles, blogs and law journals.  In this series, she will elaborate on the legal mechanisms that are available to protect children against the risk of non-vaccination.  A detailed explanation of each of the following posts appears at the conclusion of this article.

DoritBlogPost1Right to Health

The Legal Framework

Much of the discussion surrounding the anti-vaccine movement focuses on the decision of parents to not vaccinate their children and the danger that decision poses to others. That danger is undeniably real; parental choice not to vaccinate can directly harm other children and increase the risk of outbreaks.

However, the primary risk of this parental decision is borne by the child.   While living in a first world country with high vaccination rates may offer…

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