In a recent decision from Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench, the court dealt with whether a 13-year-old child of divorced parents should or should not be vaccinated.
Given the child’s age, her the father in this case requested that her name be confidential, the judge ruled in favor of that request.
The mother in this case, heavily opposed consenting to the daughter’s COVID-19 vaccination citing skepticism about the pandemic, and the unknown risks from the supposed dangerous and experimental vaccines. While the father believed it was his daughter’s best protection against the virus and that it overallsafe and effective.
Our very own founding lawyer Angela Princewill, commented on the outcome of the recent decision in a CTV news segment, which drew national attention across the country, as it sparked an interesting debate; Should a 13-year-old child or any child beordered to take the vaccine? and what sort of considerations does the court look at in making this decision?
The judge in this case, Justice Michael Megaw, heavily relied on the ‘best interest’ analysis when considering whether the vaccine was in the child’s best interest. In doing so, the judge considered the public health directives available, evidence from the child’s doctors, medical evidence, and evidence pertaining to the true views and preferences of the child.
Ultimately, Megaw considered the evidence put forth by both parties and ruled in favour of the father. In his judgement, he cited that it was ultimately in the best interest of the child to be protected against COVID-19. Megaw ordered that the father was able to proceed to get the child vaccinated, in consultation with the child’s doctor but without requiring the consent of the mother.
There have been a series of similar decisions in line with Megaw’s judgment, which make it clear that absent significant expert evidence to the contrary, it is presumptively in a child’s best interest to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This decision echoes the court’s sentiment that judges’ are unlikely to go against the recommendations of the government and public health authorities in deciding whether the vaccine is safe and effective.
To learn more about this decision, click here to watch the CTV news segment Divorced parents fight over daughter’s vaccine in court | CTV News
Listen to our podcast on this issue here: Episode 21: COVID Vaccine for Children – Family Law Perspective by AP Legal Zone (anchor.fm)