Parents Sue DC Over Allowing Kids to be Vaccinated Without Parent’s Consent

By Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
July 16, 2021 Updated: July 16, 2021

Four parents filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia on Monday, alleging the district’s recently enacted law deprives parent’s constitutional rights and endangers children’s safety by allowing minors as young as 11 years old to get vaccinated without their parent’s consent or knowledge.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and Parental Rights Foundation represented the four parents in the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in the District of Columbia.

“The [law] is reckless, unconstitutional, and needlessly endangers children’s lives by stripping away parental protection and the protection of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986,” CHD president and general counsel Mary Holland said, referring to Washington’s Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, which became effective in March.

Epoch Times Photo
Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated by Nurse Karen Pagliaro at Hartford Healthcare’s mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn., on May 13, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

The law allows children eleven years of age and older to take any vaccines—including COVID-19 vaccines—without parent’s consent or knowledge, if the vaccine has been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the child is “capable of meeting the informed consent standard.”

“A minor shall be deemed to meet the informed consent standard if the minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care,” the law states. The complaint criticized the law as “placing that decision-making squarely in the hands of the government.”

The complaint (pdf) alleges Washington’s law deprives the plaintiffs of their constitutional right as parents to “direct the care and upbringing of their children” and the right to “freely exercise their religion.” It also alleges the law conflicts with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and seeks an injunction to prevent Washington from enforcing the law.

Under Washington’s law, even a minor’s parent has applied a religious exemption for vaccines for the kid or has the kid opted out of the HPV vaccine, the minor can still choose to receive a vaccine, and the health care provider who administers the vaccination could leave a certain part of the immunization record “blank,” so the parents won’t find out.

The law requires the provider should send the immunization record directly to the minor’s school, and the school should keep it “confidential.”

Furthermore, providers “shall seek reimbursement, without parental consent, directly from the insurer,” and the insurer “shall not send an Explanation of Benefits for services provided,” the law states.

“The D.C. Act has dire implications for the health of children. If parents do not know their child was vaccinated at school, they may not recognize vaccine adverse reactions. Serious adverse reactions require immediate medical treatment and are contraindications to further vaccination,” CHD’s statement reads.

The statement also pointed out that if the family doctor is unaware the child was vaccinated, additional vaccines may be administered too close in time to those given at school.

This is not the first time Washington got sued for the law.

On July 2, Joshua Mazer, father of a 16-year-old daughter, also filed a lawsuit against Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, alleging the law deprives parents of the right to participate in medical decisions for their children.

The Bowser’s office didn’t reply to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.

The mayor has been encouraging residents to get COVID-19 vaccines by offering people getting their first COVID-19 vaccine a $51 visa gift card at select vaccination sites.

On June 30, Bowser and D.C. Health Department announced the opening of new vaccine clinics at six public schools for minors between 12 and 18.

Bowser’s public school chancellor Lewis Ferebee also encourages all students ages 12 and older to get COVID-19 vaccines.

“The science is clear: vaccines are the single most effective tool we have to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” Ferebee said in May. “To help meet our commitment to fully reopen schools for every student, every day in the fall, it is our responsibility as a community to get vaccinated, including our middle school and high school students.”

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said more than 1,200 cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults were reported following the administration of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s two-shot vaccines.

The CDC has said that COVID-19 vaccines are “safe and effective.”

Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.