Saskatoon judge rules child can receive COVID-19 vaccine in court battle between parents
A Saskatoon judge has ruled in favor of allowing a father to have his child vaccinated for COVID-19 despite the mother being opposed to her child getting the vaccine.
"I have determined the best interest of this child operate in favour of an order directing that the father shall be entitled to have the child vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus," wrote Justice Michael T. Megaw in his Sept. 9 decision.
The case centered around a mother and father who had opposing views on whether their 12-year-old daughter should be vaccinated.
The names of the plaintiffs and defendant have been redacted from court documents to protect the identity of the child at the centre of the application.
Court documents show in 2014, following a divorce, it was determined the children would live with their mother with their father getting specified parenting time. The mother would have final decision-making authority over education and medical matters regarding the children.
The child’s father applied for an order authorizing him to proceed with getting the young girl vaccinated as he was concerned the she was more at risk of contracting COVID-19 because of her diabetic condition.
But her mother opposed vaccinating the child because she said her daughter indicated she did not want to be vaccinated, and felt her voice should be heard. A psychotherapist concluded the child’s views should be respected and the child should be allowed to decline being vaccinated.
The mother also had general concerns about information circulated by health authorities regarding the vaccine and that the child may have a medical condition called "vaccine toxicity."
Both parents filed several submissions in support of their arguments.
The judge decided based on the evidence presented, the child’s diabetic condition didn’t place her at any greater risk than others with respect to the effects of getting COVID-19.
An affidavit from an anaesthesiologist following a video conference with the child said it appeared she had already suffered from vaccine toxicity issues.
But the judge noted the doctor diagnosed ‘possible’ vaccine toxicity and therefore his thoughts were not definitive.
In regards to the wishes of the child, the father questioned whether the child’s views were truly her own, and asserted the child’s wishes "do not simply carry the day on these matters."
The judge decided the child’s views need to be considered, but do not decide the issue. The judge also said there was concern about how much the child was influenced.
The father presented affidavits from three doctors while mother submitted affidavits from two doctors touching on the issue.
The judge accepted the information from the doctors who recommended getting the vaccine saying they were more qualified in the area of infectious disease and COVID-19.
“I have determined there is nothing before me that satisfies me on a balance of probabilities that this child’s health will be compromised by the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine” the judge wrote in his decision.