Shuswap dad wins court case allowing kids to be vaccinated against mother's wishes | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Shuswap dad wins court case allowing kids to be vaccinated against mother's wishes

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A provincial court judge has ruled in favour of a Shuswap father who took his former partner to court in an effort to have their two children vaccinated and undergo X-rays.

According to the ruling, the mother's refusal to allow one of the boys to be X-rayed by a dentist led to the child having a root canal, a cavity filled and teeth pulled.

In the B.C. Provincial Court decision, Dec. 31, 2019, Judge Stella Frame ruled the parental responsibility for the medical and dental treatments for the couple's two boys lies solely with the father and ordered the children to be vaccinated.

The couple separated in 2017 following a five-year relationship during which they had two boys - one is now in Grade 1 the other in daycare. According to the decision, the father (all names in the court judgment have been initialized) requested that the children be vaccinated from the beginning, while his former partner opposed the idea.

The mother argued she doesn't want her children vaccinated for diseases that "no longer exist in Canada" and registered her refusal on file with Interior Health. Her registered refusal with the health authority barred the father from immunizing his children without a custody order giving him the sole authority to make medical decisions for the children.

The mother argued the boys should both receive tests that can determine whether the boys would have adverse reactions to vaccinations, but she cannot afford to have them done and the father refused to pay for them.

In the decision, the judge said the mother's "unsupported concerns" about X-rays led to "unnecessary and painful" dental work for one of her children.

In her submissions, the mother — who represented herself in court — offered a report by Dr. Toni Lynn Bark. However, Judge Frame criticized the report from Dr. Bark because the report was not done on either of the boys, but on a completely different child. The judge also said Dr. Bark was not in court for cross-examination and there is "considerable concerns about the foundation of the contents of this report."

According to the decision, Dr. Bark is an expert in "vaccine adversomics" although the judge points out Dr. Bark does not have any expertise in immunology, virology, epidemiology, genetics "or any other field that might lend strength to her stated opinions."

"She appears to lack any expertise other than anecdotal experiences," reads the judgement.

The judge goes on to say Dr. Bark's reports, theories and opinions sound like a "conspiracy theory."

The father's submissions included two Supreme Court decisions, and reports from the UN Foundation's Measles Initiative, the World Health Organization Measles Key Facts, the Centre for Disease Control and others.

While the judge acknowledged that not everyone is recommended to receive vaccinations, the two boys do not fall into this category.

Judge Frame said parents should not blindly follow whatever medical advice they are given and states "errors - sometimes catastrophic ones - can be made by the pharmaceutical and medical industries.... It remains the responsibility of the parents to hear the advice, ask the questions, do the research and reach the appropriate decision for their children."

The judge also acknowledged that vaccine adversomics may one day gain traction and credibility, but it needs to do so through study, balanced expertise and objectivity.

"The current best evidence is that vaccination is preferable to non-vaccination, that it is required in order to protect those who cannot be vaccinated as well as to protect ourselves," the judge said. "Any adverse reaction the person may have from the vaccine is largely outweighed by the risk of contracting the targeted disease."

Ultimately, Judge Frame granted the parental responsibility for the medical and dental treatment of the children solely to the father and ordered the boys be vaccinated.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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