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CA bill (AB 499) would allow 12 year olds to consent to certain vaccines without parental knowledge

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 

There is a bill in California (AB 499) that has already passed the CA Assembly, and is scheduled for a vote in the CA Senate June 14 (this Tuesday). It would allow children as young as 12 to consent to vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases, mainly HPV (Gardasil or Cervarix) but also hepatitis B, without their parents' knowledge or consent.

 

It would add to an existing law that already allows children starting at age 12 to consent to testing and treatment for STD's. The bill would add prevention, including vaccines to the law.

 

What are your thoughts on this? The purpose of the existing law was to make it possible to treat STD's in kids too afraid to tell their parents. I think vaccines for prevention is a lot different than treating an existing disease. I think there is no need for this law, and that it is dangerous and probably and unconstitutional infringement on parents' rights.

 

If you want to do anything about it, I'll link to my post in Activism.

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1316697/california-bill-ab-499-would-allow-12-year-olds-to-consent-to-certain-vaccines-without-parental-knowledge

post #2 of 93

Well, I'm not even in CA and I'm outraged as a parent. Does this mean they are bypassing parents' personal belief exemptions?

 

This is complete and utter BS and most certainly unconstitutional.  No way in hell would I let them do anything to my child without my knowledge or consent.  I hope the parents in CA stand up to this big time and shut the bas***rds down.  What do 12-year-olds know anything about vaccines, the safety of them, and the side effects? They are not old enough to weigh risks vs. benefits for crying out loud! Plus, I'm sure these vaccines would be pushed on these kids in such a way where it makes the kids feel comfortable to get them, enabling them to consent every time.   I could just see ads all around the school promoting these vaccines making them seem as if they are so wonderful, just like they do with ads on TV, or handing out pamphlets to the kids.  Sick.


Edited by SilverMoon010 - 6/10/11 at 12:11pm
post #3 of 93

hmmmm ------- I mean some 12 years old I know think that they should be allowed to drink/ They have thought about it carefully and have decided that because they don;t drive, they would not pose a danger to others. A carefully thought out rational choice don't you think? I'm all for lowering the legal drinking age to 12. In fact I think 12 years old should be able to decide if they wish to attend school as well. I mean if 12 is the age that "they" have decided that kids can make sound rational choices having fully weighed the pros and cons of their actions - then why not just make that the age where kids can be emancipated from their parents should they so choose.

 

Seriously though - this is ridiculous. I know a 12 year old girl who recently had a meltdown (I mean serious meltdown) when she was told she could not attend a Justin Beiber concert unchaperoned. The hysterics that ensued were acadamy award worthy - and she is mature enough to make a choice that has the possibility of serious injury or death? or even has the maturity enough to express concerns and ask he right questions to establish the pros and cons - follow up on what they are being told by their doctor - weigh the evidence and make a truly informed choice? Gimmme a break. I still had a cabbage patch kid when I was 12.

post #4 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

Does this mean they are bypassing parents' personal belief exemptions?

 

 

This is EXACTLY the intent, I believe.  They can get around parents' philosophical exemptions with, "Don't listen to your Mom and Dad.  These vaxes are completely safe." 

 

Unfortunately, it looks like this issue is split between some dangerously black and white lines.  On one side, the religious conservatives (Catholic lobby, Right to Life) are opposed, and on the other, the Planned Parenthood/NARAL crowd favors it.  This is all according to the article posted in the Activism forum. 

 

But that shouldn't even be the FRAMING.  It makes no difference if you're religious or atheist/agnostic, pro-life or pro-choice.  The whole adolescent sex issue is a red herring.  The question we should be asking is whether or not 12-year-olds should legally be able to consent to pharmacological or similar medical interventions, such as the HPV vaccine.  As Silvermoon suggested, this law will provide a way for public health officials to bypass parental objections and coerce children into more of their vaxes. 

 

Furthermore, this legislation also sets up a slippery slope.  If children can consent to the HPV vaccine, why not DTaP boosters and the whole rest of the CDC schedule?  Nurses could go into schools, tell kids scary things about the diseases, and vaccinate them without any parental consent.  Just some thoughts... 
 

 

post #5 of 93

Say this law passes and the child who consented to the vaccine suffers an extremely terrible complication from it or even death (as we have seen far too many times with Gardasil) and the parent had no idea the child had been vaccinated, what happens then? The parent had been completely left in the dark and is left to pick up the pieces from the damage done?  Seriously, what is wrong with these lawmakers today? They have serious issues.

 

Also, how do they plan on informing the parents of the receipt of the vaccination afterwards, or do they never plan on informing the parents at all? 

 

I find it so disturbing how the focus is always on the weak-minded when it comes to vaccines....New parents (more easy to place fear in when they first have a baby), pregnant women (who want to make sure they don't "catch" anything when they are pregnant for fear of harm to the fetus), and now 12-year-olds who know nothing about vaccines and who are too busy worrying about what color they are going to paint their fingernails.

post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

Say this law passes and the child who consented to the vaccine suffers an extremely terrible complication from it or even death (as we have seen far too many times with Gardasil) and the parent had no idea the child had been vaccinated, what happens then? The parent had been completely left in the dark and is left to pick up the pieces from the damage done?  Seriously, what is wrong with these lawmakers today? They have serious issues.

 

Also, how do they plan on informing the parents of the receipt of the vaccination afterwards, or do they never plan on informing the parents at all? 

 

I find it so disturbing how the focus is always on the weak-minded when it comes to vaccines....New parents (more easy to place fear in when they first have a baby), pregnant women (who want to make sure they don't "catch" anything when they are pregnant for fear of harm to the fetus), and now 12-year-olds who know nothing about vaccines and who are too busy worrying about what color they are going to paint their fingernails.



I completely agree.

 

Do we really want to give 12 year olds the message that they are grown up, independent, and can keep important information from their parents?

 

A friend of mine is a pharmaceutical rep. and posted on her Facebook the other day that she caught a 13 year old girl at a doctor's office as she fainted after her Gardasil shot. It boggles my mind that this vaccine is still not only on the market, but recommended to all children in that age group.

post #7 of 93


Edited by member234098 - 6/4/12 at 7:47am
post #8 of 93

Let's hope the communication between parent and child is strong enough that the child will respect the parents opinion when they tell their child never to consent to a vaccine.  But seriously...what kid is going to consent to a shot when they don't have to?  It's a shot, kids HATE shots!  Wouldn't the child have to ASK for it?  It's not like they're opening a free vaccine clinic in the school and the class all goes in and they just ask them to sign...it's like handing out condoms at school, they don't actually hand them out, the child has to ASK for them.  Am I wrong?

post #9 of 93

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

Let's hope the communication between parent and child is strong enough that the child will respect the parents opinion when they tell their child never to consent to a vaccine.  But seriously...what kid is going to consent to a shot when they don't have to?  It's a shot, kids HATE shots!  Wouldn't the child have to ASK for it?  It's not like they're opening a free vaccine clinic in the school and the class all goes in and they just ask them to sign...it's like handing out condoms at school, they don't actually hand them out, the child has to ASK for them.  Am I wrong?

 

Very true, kids hate shots, but this opens the door for kids to be persuaded into getting them. An example is the pizza party (in Detroit I believe) for the class of kids with an 80-percent vaccine rate or more for H1N1.  Who the heck knows! Or even if their friends talk about it and say they have received the vaccine, they may feel it's okay. Kids are easily influenced at that age, too easily influenced.

 

Either way, even TRYING to pass a law like this is taking even more control away from parents when it comes to their own children.  That's the point. It doesn't matter if the child is going to ask for it or not. It's the principle of not having control over the medical decisions of your own child and not even being informed of them. Who is held accountable/responsible if the child has a severe reaction to the vaccine, such as a complication that is life-altering? The 12-year-old? Absolutely not. I see lawsuits written all over this bill, particularly with Gardasil.


Edited by SilverMoon010 - 6/15/11 at 8:34am
post #10 of 93

I totally agree that this shouldn't be passed, just saying if it is, we still have power as parents to be smart parents, and make sure our children understand the importance of issues like these and that we are protecting their health.  I know kids are easily influenced, but I think at age 12 kids are pretty smart and it wouldn't be difficult to explain health topics like these.  Although I could see a teen who wants to be rebellious say HA I got the vaccine IN YOUR FACE, lol...but I know not really funny...so again I agree this shouldn't be passed. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

 


 

Very true, kids hate shots, but this opens the door for kids to be persuaded into getting them. An example is the pizza party (in Detroit I believe) for the class of kids with an 80-percent vaccine rate or more for H1N1.  Who the heck knows! Or even if their friends talk about it and say they have received the vaccine, they may feel it's okay. Kids are easily influenced at that age, too easily influenced.

 

Either way, even TRYING to pass a law like this is taking even more control away from parents when it comes to their own children.  That's the point. It doesn't matter if the child is going to ask for it or not. It's the principle of not having control over the medical decisions of your own child and not even being informed of them. Who is held accountable/responsible if the child has a severe reaction to the vaccine, such as a complication that is life-altering? The 12-year-old? Absolutely not. I see lawsuits written all over this bill, particularly with Gardasil.



 

post #11 of 93

Hmmm... my first reaction was that this was a terrible law and shouldn't be passed. But then I realized that I believe teenagers should be allowed access to birth control and/or an abortion against their parents' wishes. Is this the same thing? Why or why not? (I don't know the answers to these questions; I'm just adding them to the discussion.)

post #12 of 93

I'm a bit torn on this one.  On one hand, I support teens being able to access birth control and such without parental notification.  But on the other, while I do think the vaccine can be important to preventing cervical cancer, I'm not sure the risk of cancer is enough/the value of the vaccine in preventing it is enough to disregard the right of the parent to have a say in medical choices for their teen.  Maybe someday in the future when we know more about if some of the things the vaccine has been accused of causing are real risks and have better long term data as to how much it really does reduce cervical cancer rates, but for now.. I couldn't support a law like this.  

 

But this vaccine is indeed different from others in that a teen may have more knowledge of their risk factors than their parents do.  A parent can be expected to have at least as much knowledge, if not more, as their child/teen as to how likely it is that their child will encounter measles etc. But a fourteen year old may be aware that she is at risk for HPV already while her parents intend to have her vaccinated eventually but want to put it off until there is an actual need because they don't expect her to be sexually active for a few more years. 

 

Balancing the rights of the parent and the rights of a child tends to be quite a difficult thing once teenage sexuality enters the picture. 

 

 

post #13 of 93

This is interesting because my parents had the right to vaccinate me, and did.  Now, if I had been educated on the subject when I was younger, I would have been pissed if they had forced me to get vaccinations that I considered potentially dangerous.  So shouldn't children have the right NOT to be vaccinated too?

post #14 of 93

Gee how did I know it would be a vax related to sex that they want kids to be able to consent to. :rolleyes

post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

I'm a bit torn on this one.  On one hand, I support teens being able to access birth control and such without parental notification. 

 

 


By "birth control," would that include hormonal contraception?  By "and such," do you mean abortion?

 

I'm OK with kids getting condoms without parental consent, but the Pill is a medication with side effects, and abortion is surgery which, like 100% of all surgeries, has risks.  Parents need to know about such medical interventions because as legal adults, they are in a much better position to hold doctors and pharmaceutical companies accountable should something go wrong.  So I'm pretty across-the-board consistent when I oppose California giving the HPV vaccine to minors without parental consent.  There may be a link to S-E-X, which in our culture tends to get everybody on every side all up in arms, but we're still talking about medical interventions. 

 

ETA: I heard a rumor that this bill passed.  Any word.......?

 

post #16 of 93
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
I heard a rumor that this bill passed.  Any word.......?

 


No. The third reading in the Senate is scheduled for Monday, June 20.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_499&sess=CUR&house=B&author=atkins

 

post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

By "birth control," would that include hormonal contraception?  By "and such," do you mean abortion?

 

I'm OK with kids getting condoms without parental consent, but the Pill is a medication with side effects, and abortion is surgery which, like 100% of all surgeries, has risks.  Parents need to know about such medical interventions because as legal adults, they are in a much better position to hold doctors and pharmaceutical companies accountable should something go wrong.  So I'm pretty across-the-board consistent when I oppose California giving the HPV vaccine to minors without parental consent.  There may be a link to S-E-X, which in our culture tends to get everybody on every side all up in arms, but we're still talking about medical interventions. 

 

ETA: I heard a rumor that this bill passed.  Any word.......?

 


Yes, hormonal contraception.  And I don't want to get into an abortion discussion on this forum, but "other stuff" would indeed include that, along with STD testing and treatment.  

 

Getting pregnant also can have serious side effects, even when the pregnancy is not carried to term but especially when it is.  While sexually active teenagers should certainly be using condoms, being on the pill too can make it even less likely that pregnancy will occur.  While it is certainly better to have a parents input, they can't make informed choices when they don't have all the information (that is, knowledge of exactly how sexually active their teen is), and there is no way to ensure they have that without violating the teens privacy and possibly putting some teens in danger of abuse or becoming homeless after being kicked out.  

 

post #18 of 93

I think it is inconsistent to be opposed to teens consenting for vaccines but okay for them to consent to chemical birth control. Both have side effects; both can be damaging if you don't know your medical history (blood clots run in my family, so my girls should never take the pill.) The pill and the vaccine have failure rates, none are perfect. Both go intot he body and can have lost lasting side effects. I think this is completely comparing apples and apples.

 

I teach high school students and have no problem with students being given condoms without their parents knowing. Teens have sex- not all but many do. ANd they are very open about that fact at school. But they are also persuaded easily- and while they don't like shots, I can see ads promoting the vaccine worded in such a way that it sounds like it is mandatory, or what the cool ones are doing

post #19 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

Getting pregnant also can have serious side effects, even when the pregnancy is not carried to term but especially when it is. 


 

True, but unlike pills, vaccines, or surgery, pregnancy is not a medical intervention performed on somebody.   

 

Teens and children need SOME kind of adult advocate (maybe not a parent!) looking out for THEM and not the interests of doctors and pharmaceutical companies.  The latter aren't inherently "evil" (as I and other like-minded moms often get accused of thinking), and the existence of a conflict of interest doesn't necessarily mean that a stakeholder is going to exploit it.  But it's there nonetheless, and no minor should be vulnerable to it.     

post #20 of 93

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Edited by member234098 - 6/3/12 at 2:09pm
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