Informed consent is a staple of ethical healthcare. Established by the Nuremberg Code:
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.
This is the foundation that all policy and law on medical treatment has been based on. Even the simple procedure of drawing blood or taking an x-ray, I’m sure you are familiar with signing consent forms prior to any sort of medical visit, no matter how small.
This practice is currently being subverted in guidelines set out by the World Health Organization.
Guidelines for vaccinating children and adolescents suggest implied consent to be adequate without verification. This is not without first acknowledging the need for informed consent:
For consent to be valid, it must be informed, understood and voluntary, and the person consenting must have the capacity to make the decision.
However, when it comes to administering vaccines at school, it becomes the duty of the parent to keep their child home. The mere attendance of a child at school during a vaccination event is outlined as implied consent, and notification of the parent can simply be a letter sent home with a student. Any parent knows how reliable kids can be with providing letters to parents, with reliability decreasing the younger the child is. The WHO outlines:
An implied consent process by which parents are informed of imminent vaccination through social mobilization and communication, sometimes including letters directly addressed to the parents. Subsequently, the physical presence of the child or adolescent, with or without an accompanying parent at the vaccination session, is considered to imply consent. This practice is based on the opt-out principle and parents who do not consent to vaccination are expected implicitly to take steps to ensure that their child or adolescent does not participate in the vaccination session. This may include not letting the child or adolescent attend school on a vaccination day, if vaccine delivery occurs through schools.
As if this isn’t bad enough, the age of consent itself is being targeted as well.
In a growing number of countries, the age of consent for medical interventions is set below the age of majority. This allows adolescents to provide consent for specific interventions, such as access to contraceptives or HIV testing. Some countries have fixed the age of consent specifically to allow HPV vaccination at 12 years.
This particular article is not about the dangers of vaccines, and does not serve to argue any stance for or against vaccinations. This is about informed consent. It is your fundamental right to know and choose your health care, and that right extends to your children. The attempts to systemically undermine this should not be brushed off lightly.