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I have declined the HPV vaccine for my daughter - school nurse demands I give reasons why - is this legal?

(232 Posts)
TimeIsAnIllusion Sat 20-Sep-14 12:01:09

I have declined the HPV vaccine for my daughter. Do I have to explain the reasons why on the form? I received a telephone call from the school nurse saying I must but I don't wish to explain myself. If the vaccine is offered I have a right to decline surely - so must I give a good enough reason to decline?
I don't know who the information will be passed on to and how my reasoning will be judged or considered. I just want to politely and quietly take the "no thanks" option without being pressed as to why.
By the way I my dd has had all other childhood vaccines but it's this particular one I'm not happy for her to have.

HattieFranks Sat 20-Sep-14 12:02:54

Can I ask (with no agenda) why you aren't happy with her having it. Dd will be due in the next couple of years.

mausmaus Sat 20-Sep-14 12:04:54

just say 'I made an informed decision'

divingoffthebalcony Sat 20-Sep-14 12:05:13

It's a reasonable question IMO.

Branleuse Sat 20-Sep-14 12:06:27

surely you have a reason you can quickly tell her? Whats the problem?

iwantavuvezela Sat 20-Sep-14 12:09:09

Perhaps they want to know so they can understand the reasons, address them if necessary. I would imagine they can also,see if they can address a parents fears, understanding of it etc. from their perspective it is a reasonable question.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 20-Sep-14 12:10:24

Well I don't think legally they can make you tell them your reasons. They're not going to arrest you and take you to court if you don't.

rainbowfeet Sat 20-Sep-14 12:11:46

As the mum of a 12 yr old dd , I'm interested in your reasons too.. Must say I myself have not researched the vaccine but have read when the vaccination program began parents who were concerned it might encourage unprotected sex with multiple partners as girls will feel they won't have to worry about cervicle cancer anymore.

LineRunner Sat 20-Sep-14 12:12:12

I think this is really interesting, on the issue of consent and bodily autonomy for teenage girls.

I allowed my DD to give her own informed consent as a point of principle, because I think teenage girls should be able to consent to this vaccine themselves if they wish. Their bodies, and all that. But the nurse still rang me to 'check'.

What does your DD think, if you don't mind me asking.

TimeIsAnIllusion Sat 20-Sep-14 12:12:31

My reasons are complex and explaining them may mean imparting confidential medical information about my daughter that I do not wish the school nurse or other "random" folk to be privy to. (It's nothing they will need to know for any accident or emergency scenario).
There is more than one reason that it doesn't feel the right thing to do for my child and I have read up and weighed up the pros and cons.
I just wanted to know if giving a reason was a legal requirement really.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Sat 20-Sep-14 12:14:52

I doubt it's a legal requirement but your answer may inform future public health messages etc.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 20-Sep-14 12:15:06

I had something similar when I was pregnant and I refused an HIV test. I wasn't high risk and I worked at the time for someone in insurance and he told me that it might affect future insurance later on as they ask if you've ever had an HIV test and there isn't the option to put 'yes but only because I was pregnant' and they could class you as high risk just because you've had a test.

This was a long time ago and things have probably changed now but I had tons of pressure from the midwife and I ended the conversation by saying very firmly 'because I said I didn't want it' and that was the end of it.

I think it's outrageous you have to give a reason,I would just say 'I've made an informed decision and I've decided against it.'

TimeIsAnIllusion Sat 20-Sep-14 12:20:58

My child is 12. We have looked at the pros and cons together.
At her age she would rather decline just to avoid the needle if nothing else to be frank!
I have an older child who was offered it at a much older age (18) and she decided for herself no - that's when I first began looking into the vaccine as initially I wanted her to have informed reasons if she was going to decline a vaccine.
I've read up again since to make sure I have the most up to date information I can find.

There's all sorts of reasons I could give but I don't want the hassle of more communication from medical staff who wish to persuade me otherwise. I have made my informed choice my husband also agrees - we don't want this for our daughter presently.

When my child is older she could opt to get it herself of course.

TimeIsAnIllusion Sat 20-Sep-14 12:25:26

Thank you mausmaus I will use that line and hope they find that satisfactory.

Viviennemary Sat 20-Sep-14 12:26:24

I'd just write on the form 'My husband and I have discussed this and have made the decision not to have DD vaccinated.'

Sidge Sat 20-Sep-14 12:28:15

She could opt to give consent now herself actually. She doesn't need to be older.

They can't demand you explain why you've declined consent but it can help to clarify any issues or concerns you may have. Also some health authorities like to code declined reasons for data purposes, eg vaccine concerns, health contraindications etc.

TimeIsAnIllusion Sat 20-Sep-14 12:36:18

So the school can get the children who's parents declined and persuade them to have the vaccine anyway in the school environment? Would I be informed before the deed was done? This seems very wrong to me when children are only 12 as I don't feel my 12y old has the maturity and life experience to understand all the reasons both for and against. Hence we decide against currently and if as she's older and wiser she looks into it and decides she wants it she could get it when she is older.

LineRunner Sat 20-Sep-14 12:37:43

My DD was 13. I really felt that it should be her consent.

LineRunner Sat 20-Sep-14 12:41:16

If a DD wanted the vaccine, but the parents didn't, would the nurse go ahead at age 12? I honestly don't know.

CarrotAndStick Sat 20-Sep-14 12:42:11

Yes at our secondary, they bypass very happily the non consent from the parents if the child actually says 'Oh yes that's ok. I'll have it.'
Strangely enough, I've never heard the case in reverse hmm

The reason is that they are teenagers and are old enough to give consent. Which imo is completely wrong. But I'm yet to find someone who has successfully challenged that.

insanityscratching Sat 20-Sep-14 12:44:45

My dd was 16 and declined for herself even though I would have wanted her to be immunised. Dd is 11 and withdrawn from the school health programme but I would hope that when the time comes she will give her consent and receive immunisation at our GP. I do think that when the immunisation is due and a child is 12 or older then ultimately the choice should be theirs.

MrsTeee Sat 20-Sep-14 12:45:44

Just play the system, do what they want in a tick-box way. I think I put "for reasons of family medical history". I seem to remember going further to say that if they managed to persuade dd to have it done against my advice, then she was to have it done at the GP surgery, not at school under duress.

In fact a good number of girls in her year didn't have it done, so she didn't feel pressurised more than she could handle.

But best to be vague or they will argue against your given reason. Don't engage.

auntpetunia Sat 20-Sep-14 12:46:22

We got a form last week for Dd and on the bottom it says something like your child can agree to this on their own behalf they don't need your permission using the Gillick competency and a court case Gillick v Norfolk council. Which is a case from 1982 when a mum took the council to court for giving her daughter the pill without her knowledge. It ended up in the high court and she lost. If a child is mature enough and understands the consequences then they can agree to treatment their parents don't agree to.

Just make sure your DD knows why and that she can just say I don't want it.

BirdhouseInYourSoul Sat 20-Sep-14 12:47:44

I asked my DD's school which manufacturers vaccine they were using (out of 2) and they couldn't tell me. That was my reason for not agreeing to it ultimately.

Can they give consent on your behalf though? I thought at 13 she wouldn't be able to consent and they had no legal basis too surely? I thought that was a medical emergency thing?

Where we live the uptake was below average so I guess they weren't all that surprised when we declined.

MrsTeee Sat 20-Sep-14 12:49:08

I did have to tell dd not to allow them to do it there and then, or I would take legal action against the school. I was aware they could get "consent" hmm from her. She was far too young to understand the implications of the medical conditions she may be genetically susceptible to, and to do a crash course with her about all of them would have been awful for her.

Thank god other parents at the school had the same views.

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