Liability for Exercising Exemptions
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|Thu, 01-29-2009 - 4:03pm|
CHOICES SHOULD HAVE CONSEQUENCES:
FAILURE TO VACCINATE, HARM TO OTHERS,
AND CIVIL LIABILITY
Douglas S. Diekema* †
A parent’s decision not to vaccinate a child may place others at risk if
the child becomes infected and exposes others to the disease. Should an
individual harmed by an infection transmitted from a child whose parents
chose to forgo vaccination have a negligence claim against those parents?
While I do not hold a legal degree and therefore cannot speak directly to
issues of law, as a physician and ethicist it seems to me that the basic
elements that comprise negligence claims—harm, duty, breach of duty, and
causation—are met in some cases where parents forgo vaccination.
Highly suggest reading the entire document. Thoughts?