Parents who refuse or delay vaccination for their children are unwittingly confessing to child abuse when they sign the AAP, American Academy of Pediatric’s, refusal to vaccinate form.
What is Child Endangerment?
This is a legal term defined by each state and federally as well as by respected world organizations. Although each state law is different, they all generally agree that it is maltreatment when a parent knows that their actions may harm their child or others.
According to the CDC:
Child abuse and neglect is any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.
According to the World Health Organization:
The abuse and neglect of people under 18 years of age. It includes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Four types of child maltreatment are generally recognized: physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological (or emotional or mental) abuse, and neglect.
According to California state law:
‘Neglect’ means a situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon, unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of the child to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered.
According to Massachusetts state law:
‘Neglect’ means failure by a caregiver, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability, and growth, or other essential care.
According to DC law:
‘Negligent treatment’ or ‘maltreatment’ means failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care that includes medical neglect, and the deprivation is not due to the lack of financial means of his or her parent, guardian, or other custodian.
According to Pennsylvania state law:
Neglect: The failure to provide a child with adequate essentials of life, including food, shelter, or medical care
How does your state define child abuse/neglect? Click on the link below to find out:
The state and federal laws are pretty compelling, but what does this have to do with a vaccine exemption document? It all has to do with the wording, the fact that by signing and witnessing the document, you are creating a legally binding document that attests you fully understand that you could harm your child or other children by making the choice not to vaccinate your children even after being “fully” informed of the need and the wisdom to do so. It is written in such a way that you are ignoring the safety of your children and others to refuse vaccination and that you acknowledge that the results of your decisions may cause gross bodily harm or death of your children or other children.
The cover letter of the form includes…
Despite our best efforts to educate parents about the effectiveness of vaccines and the realistic chances of vaccine-associated adverse events, some will decline to have their children vaccinated. This often results from families misinterpreting or misunderstanding information presented by the media and on unmonitored and biased Web sites, causing substantial and often unrealistic fears.
The AAP encourages documentation of the health care provider’s discussion with parents about the serious risks of what could happen to an unimmunized or underimmunized child.
This form may be used as a template to document that the health care provider had a discussion with the parent signing the form about the risks of failing to immunize the child.
If a parent refuses to sign the refusal form such refusal along with the name of a witness to the refusal should be documented in the medical record.
What are you signing?
That you are advised by your medical professional to do vaccinate your child:
My child’s doctor/nurse….has advised me that my child (named above) should receive the following vaccines
You have complete informed consent regarding said vaccinations:
I have been provided with and given the opportunity to read each…
I have had the opportunity to discuss the recommendation and my refusal with my child’s doctor or nurse, who has answered all of my questions about the recommended vaccine(s).
You have been advised this is a medical “need” for your child to have this vaccination:
I understand the following: The purpose of and the need for the recommended vaccine(s).
You agree that the results of your decisions may cause gross bodily harm or death of your children or other children:
If my child does not receive the vaccine(s) according to the medically accepted schedule, the consequences may include… Contracting the illness the vaccine is designed to prevent (the outcomes of these illnesses may include one or more of the following: certain types of cancer, pneumonia, illness requiring hospitalization, death, brain damage, paralysis, meningitis, seizures, and deafness; other severe and permanent effects from these vaccine-preventable diseases are possible as well). Transmitting the disease to others (including those too young to be vaccinated or those with immune problems), possibly requiring my child to stay out of child care or school and requiring someone to miss work to stay home with my child during disease outbreaks.
You are making this decision AMA, Against Medical Advice:
My child’s doctor and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all strongly recommend that the vaccine(s) be given according to recommendations.
You are on purpose after being fully informed of the medical necessity for your child, freely making the decision to endanger the health or life of your child and others.
Nevertheless, I have decided at this time to decline or defer the vaccine(s) recommended for my child, as indicated above, by checking the appropriate box under the column titled “Declined.” I know that failure to follow the recommendations about vaccination may endanger the health or life of my child and others with whom my child might come into contact.