Legal, Medical, and Moral Questions Surround the Apparent Indiscriminate Rush to Vaccinate Students
Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today calls on the Governor, the RI Department Of Health (RI DOH), mayors, and town administrators to suspend high-school based vaccination clinics until six critical legal, medical, and parental-rights questions are addressed.
The RI Department of Health has declared that students ages 16 and up are medically “emancipated” from their parents or legal guardians, and thus parental consent forms are not necessary. Cranston opened its first clinic at Cranston High School East this morning, with clinics in additional cities and towns expected to come online in the following days and weeks.
Yet public details of the controversial program are shrouded in mystery and appear to violate long-time accepted medical tenets.
“This rush to indiscriminately vaccinate every eligible student, 16 years or older, and without parental consent, is certainly not moral and may not be medically safe or legally defensible,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “Families and the public need to know if vital safeguards and precautions have been put in place.”
From a legal perspective, according the Robert G Flanders, board member of the Center and former Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court … while Chapter 23-4.6 of Rhode Island’s general laws appears to give persons the age of sixteen (16) or over the right to consent to “routine” or “emergency” medical or surgical care, many private attorneys question whether the Covid-19 shot, which is widely categorized as an experimental treatment not yet fully approved by the FDA, qualifies as either routine or as an emergency medical treatment.
Paraphrasing what one prominent civil rights attorney in the state said on a recent radio interview: the legality of applying this statute to this pandemic shot is flimsy enough, where he would not want to stand in the shoes of a government entity that might have to defend itself against an individual case that might produce some adverse health event.
The temporary EUA pandemic vaccines should not be considered as routine, nor is there any emergency situation threatening these children’s lives or health where this statute might apply and deprive their parents of the right to consent to such treatment.
Before these school-based clinics are allowed to continue the Center calls on the RI DOH to release its legal opinion as to why it believes these students are legally emancipated for these vaccines, so that appropriate public debate and legal scrutiny can take place.
From a medical perspective, it is unclear if the maxim of “informed consent” will be followed before students are administered the shots. Informed consent means that patients are informed of the risks and benefits of any treatment before moving forward. It is unclear if students will be afforded this widely accepted practice.
The state and each school district should make their respective ‘informed consent’ policies publicly clear so that appropriate review and discussion can occur.
According to research by Dr. Andrew Bostom, adjunct scholar to the Center and Brown University credentialed epidemiologist, there are multiple reasons why young adults should not indiscriminately rush to receive the vaccine and why informed consent is so critical:
Healthy teenagers 16-19 have an extraordinarily low risk of severe adverse medical consequences if they contract the coronavirus.
The risk of an adverse Covid-19 vaccine medical reaction is significantly higher than that of the annual flu shot, according to data on the CDC’s own website, potentially leading to hospitalizations or fatalities.
The potential long-term risks of these vaccine treatments are not yet known
Teenagers who have recovered from a coronavirus infection also need to be informed that their naturally-developed immunity is at least as protective as any immunity that might be conferred by a vaccine.
Anyone who may have contracted the virus, could be at increased short-term risk of adverse reaction to the vaccine.
There may exist instances, rare as they may be, where a specific vaccination may pose increased risks for certain individuals with certain medical conditions. The maxim of first “consulting with your physician” also appears to be purposefully ignored.
What data and studies, and what medical rationale does the DOH cite in justifying this rush to vaccinations of young adults?
From a moral perspective, there are two important considerations.
Parental-rights. Even if legal, based on private discussions and public interviews conducted on the popular video blog show, In The Dugout with Mike Stenhouse, parents are outraged and believe it is immoral that their children are being subjected to experimental medical treatments without their consent.
Not only do parents believe that they have the right to authorize care for their children, but families are concerned that students may be bullied … via peer pressure from fellow students, teachers, or administrators … into making rash medical decisions.
The opposite of informed consent, it anathema to the medical community, and of significant concern to parents, that any student or patient be coerced or forced into receiving any medical treatment.
How will school districts ensure not only that “informed consent” appropriately happens, but also that no “coercion” or “bullying” occurs in pressuring students into signing up for the treatment.
Vaccine Passports: As Governor McKee all but admitted in a recent press conference, and as the letter from Cranston Public Schools stated in its clinic announcement letter, it appears that schools may soon require vaccinations from students if they are to be allowed to participate in “spring end-of-year events such as the junior and senior proms and graduation-related events.”
In mandating experimental health care treatments for any reason, this assault on medical freedom, personal choice, and parental rights is immoral. Such tyrannical acts by government and government schools in Rhode Island, not only runs counter to the concept of individual liberty, but runs counter to policies that more enlightened states are implementing. For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to soon sign legislation that passed its state legislature that would impose a $5,000 fine on any school or business for each time it requires a “vaccine passport” or proof of vaccination in order to be a participant or patron.
Legal or not, what is the state government’s official position on the justification for this infringement on parental rights?
Will the State commit to banning ‘vaccine passports’ for any and all high school events?