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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?

pointyfangs Sun 13-Oct-13 15:23:32

saintly I think the way consent is done for the HPV jab varies enormously between areas. We were given a sealed envelope addressed to both us and DD, with a consent form in which her consent and ours had equal placing in terms of size, font etc., and a lot of information about the vaccination. This pack was supplied 5 months ahead of time and although they asked for it to be returned within 7 days, this was not enforced - we called the nurse in charge of the scheme in our area and asked if we could bring it in on the day as we wanted time to consider, discuss and research. Ultimately I felt the decision was DD's to make.

Then again I work in health research so I feel that valid informed consent is hugely important - which is why this case is such an ethical minefield.

saintlyjimjams Sun 13-Oct-13 15:23:41

Yes it's littlies at the mo - but I think the plan is to roll it out fairly quickly.

I'm not sure it matters what we think - if girls of 12 are consenting to HPV then I think it will be left to him. I do worry about his ability to say no at school - he's a 'good' boy & not used to having to opt out iykwim - so even if we've talked about it at home I think he will struggle if the assumption is that it's being done (I would have fewer concerns about ds3 tbh - he'll happily say no). I'll have to contact the school begorehand to ensure they know that he is choosing to say no. It's hard to say no to an institutional machine! Especially when you're still a child.

saintlyjimjams Sun 13-Oct-13 15:24:46

Oh that's interesting pointy

Chunderella Sun 13-Oct-13 16:05:27

Saintly sometimes people detained under the mental health act can have treatment imposed on them that isn't a matter of life and death also. Not the same situation as this, though. Ideally this wouldn't go to court, but if neither parent budges and both feel strongly enough, it was probably inevitable regardless of what the girls thought. The mother could certainly have sought an order to prevent vaccination, which she'd probably have been wise to do if he'd persuaded the girls.

In terms of costs, I would guess this is legally aided, the girls anyway. It appears to have been initially an application for an order in the family court, and the application was probably made prior to the legal aid changes in April. I could be wrong though, not done family law for 3 years. Even if not, there are cases of the anti-vax community having stepped in to pay people's legal fees, fines etc, so that could have been an option here. I don't want to second guess the mother and she may have her own reasons for not appealing, but funding likely wasn't one of them. I'd just never want to rely on an order from the high court not being enforced when there's another option. It's a risk.

An interesting point sash. For all we know, the parents had agreed to fully vaccinate if there were an epidemic, or when the girls reached a certain age, or some other circumstance and mother went back on that.

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 08:47:28

Chunderella all the training we receive on valid informed consent says that being sectioned does not automatically make someone incapable of valid informed consent, and imposing treatment means going through an additional layer of assessment procedures before this can take place.

Chunderella Mon 14-Oct-13 09:02:54

Yes I know pointyfangs (share an office with a mental health solicitor so I pick up some of the basics from listening to her). It's correct though isn't it that someone in that position can still have treatment imposed on them if they've come through those additional assessment procedures and still been found to be unable to give informed consent?

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 10:19:57

Yes, that's correct. The hoops are considerable though - I was acting MH Act Manager for a while and had to deal with all the admin involved. I consider that a good thing, you need rigorous procedures if you're going to go against someone's will like that.

Chunderella Mon 14-Oct-13 11:05:21

Oh yes, definitely agree. Good to hear your insider view.

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