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Parents Lose Right to Decide Whether to Vaccinate Their Kids

The Short of It

Michigan parents, who were previously deemed unfit, lose their bid to keep their four kids from being vaccinated.

The Lowdown

Parents who lost custody of their children in 2014 can't prevent the state from immunizing their kids on religious grounds, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this week.

The children, all four of whom are under age 6, became temporary wards of the state when social workers determined they were not being adequately fed or receiving proper financial support. The children also allegedly lacked proper supervision.

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The kids were later placed in foster care. It was at that time a case worker asked that they be immunized. The "unfit" parents objected to the vaccinations on religious grounds. But according to the new ruling, the state has the right to immunize kids who have been removed from their homes.

"The parent relinquishes this right and must yield to the trial court's orders regarding the child's welfare," justices wrote in the opinion. "Although parents generally enjoy the right to prevent vaccinations on religious grounds, these provisions did not apply to parents who have been adjudicated as unfit."

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The Upshot

This ruling will likely have an impact on how other states decide who has the right to say if children should be immunized if they're in the custody of the state.

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And since it's in the best interest of the public at large for most people to be immunized, I have to side with the court. What is your take?

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