Family Court Requires Immunization When Parents Disagree

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Tel Aviv Family Court ruled that in the event of a dispute between parents over whether to have a child immunized or not, the child should be immunized, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The ruling was made in the case of a boy who enters his first public child care situation with a number of other children on September 1.

Publication of the decision was made on Tuesday, though key names were not mentioned.

The mother opposed immunizing her child on the grounds that the high level of immunization in Israel would provide him with so-called “herd immunity,” which maintains that non-immunized children are protected if enough of the children around them are immunized.

The court ruled against her, relying chiefly on the recommendations of an independent, court-appointed medical expert, as well as the Health Ministry’s backing of the immunization program.

The expert rejected the herd immunity argument on both ethical and medical grounds. He argued that it was problematic to rely on others to immunize when the parents refuse; and that it was not safe to rely on herd immunity with migrants coming into Israel from many developing countries.

It remains that if the parents are in agreement that they don’t want immunization, their wishes will be respected.