Getting medical treatment as a child has always been something that a parent or legal guardian must sign off on. Minors are not considered legally able to make their own decisions with regards to important choices about medication and other forms of medical intervention, so most of that responsibility has fallen to an adult in the family.
Unfortunately for some children, this has meant a complete lack of any vaccinations. With the anti-vaxxer movement only gaining steam, more and more young children are not receiving potentially life-saving vaccines. However, many of those that have not been given this preventative medication are now in their teens and fighting back against their parents’ beliefs.
Teens around the world have been using the internet to ask how they can get vaccinated without their parents’ consent. The problem is that in most states they have to be legal adults before they are able to do so. A few will allow teens from the age of 16 to vaccinate. But a bill put forward in Washington, D.C., following this rise of pro-vaccine teens could potentially change the law, according to WAMU.
The bill will allow children in the D.C. area to get vaccinated without their parents’ consent, at any age.
Council member Mary Cheh introduced the bill on Tuesday, with the hope of giving children who don’t share their parents’ beliefs surrounding vaccines the opportunity to get themselves the protection they want from dangerous and preventable diseases.
Under D.C. law, parental consent is required for any vaccine to be given to a minor. But a new bill would let minors of any age give their own consent. https://t.co/yMIdYrkNpr
— WAMU 88.5 (@wamu885) March 6, 2019
Her proposal comes after a measles outbreak that spans across 11 different states.
“We’re a jurisdiction where we have tourists, we’re a pass-through for other people,” Cheh says. “The prospect of coming into contact with someone who is not vaccinated is significant, I think. Even if this helps one child get vaccinated, that’s enough for me.”
D.C. currently allows minors over the age of 12 to give consent for other medical treatments, including “contraceptive services, mental health, prenatal care, and abortions,” but still not vaccinations. Cheh is hoping to change that with her bill and add vaccines to the list.
Ethan Lindenberger of Ohio just recently turned 18 and got himself vaccinated against everything available not long after that. His mother was furious at him, saying his actions were like a “slap in the face,” and that he was telling her that she made a “bad decision.”
According to a previous report by The Inquisitr, Lindenberger explained that his mother feels that “vaccines are some kind of government scheme.”
Lindenberger testified before Congress this week about misinformation, explaining that his parents get most of their information about the topic from Facebook posts.