mom jailed

Woman Jailed for Failing to Vaccinate Her Child – Was She Justified?

woman_jailed

If you have children, you have probably wondered whether or not you should vaccinate them against some pretty horrific diseases.  My opinion may have leaked out in that last sentence, but when I say horrific, they actually are.  I’m not a parent myself, so my opinions are based on what I think I would do in this situation.  I understand that it’s not always easy to make decisions as a parent, and I’m sympathetic to those of you who have had to.

Getting back to the vaccination debate though.  There isn’t a lot of proof that vaccinating a child will pre-dispose them to anything negative later in life.  But there are still some parents out there who believe that you shouldn’t vaccinate.  One of them happens to be my sister.  While I haven’t had this conversation with her directly because it wouldn’t amount to much, I have had this conversation with other family members.  There was a time that she was told that her kids couldn’t go to school unless they got vaccinated.  She continued to send them, and ultimately she was “forced” to get them vaccinated.

vaccinations

Now I don’t think we should have to live in a world where we are forcing people into medical procedures.  Especially ones that are going to potentially prevent the spread of diseases.  But again, these are just my opinions.  What’s happening now, however, is that a mother in Michigan is headed to jail due to her refusal to vaccinate her child.  Rebecca Bredow was ordered to have her son vaccinated by a judge after listening to arguments from her ex-husband, who supports the vaccinations.  She refused to comply, citing religious believes and is now going to jail for failing for following the judge’s orders.

vaccinations

Let’s leave religion out of this in terms of an argument. I don’t really want to get into that in this post. What’s interesting about this, however, is that Michigan is one of the very few states that allows parents to refuse to vaccinate based on religious grounds.  Why is that interesting?  Well, because they’re giving them an out.  In this case, however, the parents are divorced (or not together) and that means that the wishes of both parents have to be weighed in the case.  If both were arguing religion, then this wouldn’t even be an issue. Bredow is only going to spend seven days in jail and it’s not because she committed a crime.  It’s because she failed to follow the judge’s order.

I don’t necessarily have an answer for this.  My concern isn’t with the fact that you don’t want to vaccinate your child.  My concern is with the fact that you’re putting other people and their children at risk.  Normally, I’m all about being able to choose your own path and make your own decisions.  But there are some instances where the government needs to tell you what to do.  There are some people who need to be told to vaccinate their child, otherwise, they won’t.  So I do struggle with this, but overall, I think that the vaccinations are in place for a reason.  History has shown us when things are bad – smoking for example.  And people still choose to do that.  The government has done a lot in this area, but people are still going to make their own choices.  Maybe in 50 years, someone will be reading this post and laugh at my opinion because we will find out that vaccinations are bad.  But until that time, you have to do what’s best for your child, and sometimes that’s a vaccination.