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AIBU to think that father may have taken this to court to get his own back on ex-wife

(158 Posts)
LoveSewingBee Fri 11-Oct-13 22:47:31

Court has decided that two girls will be given MMR jab against their own wishes and against wishes of their mother

I am all for vaccinating, but surely this will be very traumatic especially for the vegan girl. I really think that it is wrong what their father has done here and this is being done to get his own back on his ex.

What do you think?

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 22:53:12

I think it's difficult to justify inflicting vaccination on girls of that age who do not want to be vaccinated. Their father has every right to try to persuade them and point out the benefits and, in his opinion and that of many people, the lack of risk. I do not agree that he has the right to go to law to force them - although clearly this particular judge disagrees with me.

Judges are in a position of authority and I suspect this means they do have a tendency to lean towards the rulings of other figures/organisations of authority. (Although not all judges all the time, I suspect there is a degree of pull there.)

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 22:53:58

Oops, meant to add, you could well be right about this being really about the father imposing his will on his ex-wife.

Justforlaughs Fri 11-Oct-13 22:57:40

You might be right that the father is" imposing his will on his ex-wife", on the other hand he may be trying to do the best he can for his daughters. I strongly support vaccination for the MMR and if my DH decided otherwise I would fight him every step of the way.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 22:59:34

Justit - but these aren't babies or toddlers, they are 15 and 11. And the father was anti-MMR - he's changed his mind. So I think it's more complicated and less straightforward than 'one parent wrong, one parent right'. And I really don't see that this is a matter for the courts.

LoveSewingBee Fri 11-Oct-13 23:03:44

I feel especially for the fifteen year old. This must be really traumatic for her.

I am very much in favour of vaccination, but not forcing. The measles outbreak has passed, so I don't think that this is a good reason either. Clearly, at the heart of the measles outbreak, and if they were right in that area, that may have been different.

Poor girls.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 11-Oct-13 23:04:53

I don't think there is enough information about the family in that article to be able to form any sort of judgement about the Fathers motives.

A lot of people have changed their minds over the MMR in recent years, especially when they have children a similar age to the girls in question. At the time they will have made their decision there were doubts all over the media for years about the safety of MMR. A lot has changed since then, so I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that this parent wants to vaccinate his children out of spite for their mother just because he's a separated man.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:05:21

It's not going to do her relationship with her Dad much good, is it? And what's he going to do if she refuses point blank to get in the car and go to the appointment, or refuses to go into the consulting room?

CoconutRing Fri 11-Oct-13 23:06:24

OP, you are right. It smacks of the father exerting power and control over his ex. If the vaccinations go ahead, I suspect the relationships between the father and children will be damaged beyond repair.

hettienne Fri 11-Oct-13 23:06:49

I think the 15 year old certainly is likely to be old enough to make her own medical decisions. The 11 year old I'm not so sure.

Either way I'm not sure how it will be possible to force children of that age to have an injection if they don't want it. No doctor/nurse is going to physically pin them down.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:07:01

It's not the father's position on vaccination that makes you wonder about his motives, it's going to court over it. Seems like an extraordinarily strong step to take, especially going against the clear wishes of his children, given they are 11 and 15.

Justforlaughs Fri 11-Oct-13 23:08:32

It sounds just as likely that the mother has deliberately influenced the girls against the jab, by talking about the components of the jab and being incompatible with being a vegan. I wonder if she would feel the same way about other medications that no doubt contain the same things/ have been tested on animals? or whether she has only raised it to persuade her daughter to her own point of view.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Oct-13 23:08:46

What the hell are they going to do? Hold them down? It is utterly ridiculous and a complete waste of money and time. I am very pro-vax but this is ludicrous.

Mmmbacon Fri 11-Oct-13 23:09:05

But whats to say the next outbreak won't be in her area, at school, college or university, plenty of people realised the importance of vaccination due to outbreak, and a father is as entitled as a mother to change his mums on what is in the beast interest of the children,

LoveSewingBee Fri 11-Oct-13 23:09:12

Also the fact that the father's sollicitor contacted the mother to tell her to have the girls vaccinated or otherwise father would take it to court. Doesn't suggest great communication between the two ...

LoveSewingBee Fri 11-Oct-13 23:11:30

I really think that especially the wishes of the fifteen year old should be respected. By all means, argue with her, show available evidence, explain the dangers of not vaccinating, but forcing her .... seems inhumane to me.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:11:33

Yes, he's clearly able to change his mind, no, that doesn't mean he automatically gets to order his ex-wife and children to obey his new decision. Only he has, he's gone to court to make sure they do what they are told. All seems very distasteful.

LoveSewingBee Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:45

I suppose their is no appeal to this decision as it was the High Court????

Justforlaughs Fri 11-Oct-13 23:15:07

Well, as the judge heard both sides and judged that the mother had influenced the girls against their better interests, that neither girl had questioned the jab until she put in her pennyworth (which she is entitled to do), then I think that we have to accept that this is the case. The article gives very little to go on, and one assumes that having heard all the evidence (which we haven't) they decided that this was in the best interest of the children.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:17:41

JFL, I don't think that's fair or accurate. 'Neither girl had questioned the jab until the mother put in her twopennyworth' - what are you on about? The parents made a joint decision not to vaccinate when the children were too small to be aware of any decision being made - toddlers and age 3 or 4 for pre-school booster.

Justforlaughs Fri 11-Oct-13 23:20:03

Edam - to quote the article - the officer said that when she asked them what would happen if they became ill with measles, mumps or rubella and needed medicine, they clearly had not thought about what the ingredients in that medicine might be. AT what point do YOU think they questioned what was in the jab?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 11-Oct-13 23:28:48

As a parent who has had to seek help from the courts to prevent the other parent preventing medical treatment

I think sometimes it is needed that's what these types of orders are there for to be used when both parents cannot agree.

Children can be like little sponges who will absorb info provided by their parents sometimes that info is biased miss informed and does not take into account the bigger picture.

Whilst logistically its going to be hard to enforce he has just as much right as the mother to make this decision his perception of risk is just as valid as hers as they could not agree its down to the courts to make a decision that mainly takes into account the best interests of the children

celestialsquirrels Fri 11-Oct-13 23:29:48

These cases are not uncommon ie where one parent is anti vaccination and the other brings it to court for a judge to decide.
Absent specific health issues for the kids, it is difficult to see how a judge can do anything but follow current medical advice which is to immunise and that has always been the result in the cases i have seen. I will admit that the cases I have been aware of have involved younger children, but a 15yo is still a child and if that child is making ill informed decisions influenced by the non-vaccine parent... Well you can see the issue.

CoconutRing Fri 11-Oct-13 23:31:37

I always thought vaccination was optional.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:39:46

Sock - but if children are 'like little sponges' then surely they will be absorbing information from both sets of parents? (I'm not sure a 15yo is anything like a sponge, tbh, most 15yos of my acquaintance are only to happy to argue with their parents.)

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