On Tuesday, the 17th of November, the District of Columbia will finalize a bill that would flout existing Supreme Court precedent and greatly diminish parental rights regarding a minor’s healthcare. The Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act (Bill 23-171) will allow children as young as 11 to consent on their own in regard to receiving vaccinations. Their parents will not be informed.
The bill will declare, “A minor, eleven years of age or older, may consent to receive a vaccine where the minor is capable of meeting the informed consent standard, and the vaccine is recommended by the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)…”
To meet the “informed consent standard,” the bill says the minor must be “able to comprehend the needs for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care.”
However, the bill does not establish exactly who would determine if the child is able to comprehend these factors, nor does it state that the child will be told that vaccines, though generally safe, are not risk free.
Supreme Court precedent has been clearly established and has held for decades that parents have both the duty and the right to direct the care, custody, and control of their minor children. This bill is in direct conflict with said Supreme Court precedent and contrary to the U.S. Constitution.