This hasn't become an issue yet, but I'd like to know my rights in case it does. My DD is 11 years old, and while she is "up to date" on her vaccinations I have a religious exemption on file for her, as she will not be receiving any more. She hasn't had any in years. We are in NYS.
DD has some mental illnesses and we had to place her in a group home for safety reasons. At the intake (in September) the nurse there told me she would look into if they could keep DD past when she was "due" for any vaccinations, but she thought their agency policies and NYS laws regarding children in residential care would force me to vax her or bring her home. Technically, DD was "due" for tetanus years ago, and pretty soon will be due for HPV and whatever else they do at the 12 year visit. The nurse has yet to mention it again, so I haven't said anything. When I signed the consents to place her there I specifically stated on them, "I do not consent to any vaccinations or the PPD test." This group home is a voluntary placement, meaning I maintain custody of DD while she is there.
Also, DD was hospitalized for 2 weeks in October at a psych hospital. When I was signing all the admittance papers I specifically wrote "*I do NOT consent to any vaccinations or the PPD test" on every single page that was a medical consent form. DD knows we don't vax "for religious reasons" and if someone tries to push something onto her to tell them, "You can't do that, it's our religion. Call my mom." The person doing the intake tried to cross off my statement, saying they don't do normal vaccinations, the consent was really only for emergency care. I stopped her saying, "Emergency care. If DD stepped on a nail while here you'd want to do the Tetanus vax. My statement stays or I'll rip up the entire consent." She dropped it at that and let the statement remain.
The therapist at the hospital called me all angry, saying they needed to do the PPD test and DD was throwing a fit about it. I told her we don't do the PPD test for religious reasons. I argued with the therapist a bit, maintaining that we object for religious reasons. She wouldn't back down so finally I said, "If you look at the consents I signed at intake you will see I specifically stated I did NOT consent to vaccination or the PPD test. If you do either of them it is without my consent and I will file legal charges." She decided to stop arguing then and said she would check with her superiors, but DD may need to be discharged since I refused to consent to the PPD test.
Regardless of all this, they tried no less than 6 times (after my convo with the therapist!) to take DD to do the PPD test, to the point where DD called once me sobbing.
Every time, I got on the phone with the nurse I said, "We don't do the PPD test, we have a religious exemption." If they pushed for our religion I said, " You can't legally ask me that." Usually the nurses just dropped it and said they'd talk to their boss. The therapist never discussed the test with me again while DD was there, and DD never did allow them to do the test.
Can DD be discharged from a psych hospital because we refuse the PPD test? Can the group home discharge her for our no vax status? Does anyone know of anything I can use if they try to pressure me again? Does "religious discrimination" work in this case? I highly doubt this will be DD's last hospitalization, and she will probably be needing residential care for at least a year. Should I change what I write on the consent forms?
Sorry I have so many questions.. I'm just sick of being bullied about this all the time.