New School Year, Old Custody Battle

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Child Custody disputes about vaccinating children are back with the start of a new school year. Florida allows religious exemptions from vaccines, but California recently eliminated all religious exemptions.

Hundreds of parents are protesting California’s new state law that took effect recently, and requires vaccines for nearly all schoolchildren.

SB 277 mandates vaccines for 10 different diseases, and blocks them from attending school if their parents refuse. Experts say those who resist are putting their children at risk.

I’ve written about the interplay between custody and vaccines before. The issue is the intersection of parental rights and religion.

Unlike the new California rule, Florida still provides for a religious exemption if vaccinations are in conflict with the religious tenets and practices of the child’s parent or guardian.

Vaccine disputes are high stakes cases because of the public health issues involved. Americans are again getting sick and dying from vaccine preventable diseases which were once a thing of the past – including measles, mumps and whooping cough.

The CDC is reporting that during 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. This was the most reported cases since 1955. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age.

There are only two vaccination appellate decisions in Florida, and the facts in each are strikingly similar. In both cases, the parents shared parental responsibility. Both involved chiropractors as parents who were involved in their children’s health care.

Moreover, in both cases the health care professional parent opposed vaccinations. Ironically, the outcomes in the two cases were very different.

Vaccination disputes are interesting and high-stakes cases to watch for as the new school year approaches.

The ABC news article is here.