With the growing debate on vaccinations and if delayed vaccinations or no vaccination should be hidden, there has also been an increased debate over child neglect when it comes to vaccinations. For some parents, opting to take the risks and not vaccinate their children has been considered to be a right of the parent. However, many states are now moving towards child neglect charges for parents who do not vaccinate their children. Delayed vaccinations, selective vaccinations and regular vaccination schedules are permissible. However, with the outbreak of meningitis and the flu outbreak of 2012 that took the lives of several children, states are no longer taking the vaccination debate lightly.
Many states are looking towards the concept that if a parent chooses to expose their children to the illnesses and public school systems, major ports of entry such as Texas and in smaller communities they are actually risking the child's health. If a child is not vaccinated they are at a much higher risk of having an illness take over their immune system and succumbing to illness. This has lead many health advisers to discuss if this program is actually less about vaccinations and more about children collective health.
The belief is that if a child has an option to be protected against an illness that could kill and the parent chooses to not offer this option to the child, the parent is actually exposing the child to a dangerous situation. This dangerous situation could lead to massive illness or death. Therefore, this is putting the children at risk unnecessarily and this falls under certain state definitions of child neglect.
If the child neglect charges and the bills concerning, neglect charges for vaccinations go through there could be several issues. The first issue would be enforcement. If a parent does not vaccinate their child and the child is allowed to enter the school system then the parent would then be brought up on charges of child neglect. The question that remains is it better to put the parent into a prison system over child neglect charges or with the parent simply go through a therapy program or be offered the option to vaccinate the children in lieu of having the legal matter dropped. Many parents feel that this is a violation of their First Amendment rights and a violation of their parental or civil rights.
The opposition would claim that this is a situation of government control and parents should have the right to determine what vaccinations their children receive, what medical care the children receive and how that medical care should be administered. However, the situation does tend to become foggy and blurred when the child could die from exposure to these illnesses. It is a debate that is being played out in many states, court systems and in legal arenas. Though the move to make child neglect charges stick on parents who do not vaccinate their children is still in discussion, the overall assumption is that it may be required in order to protect children from severe illnesses and the spread of epidemics.