Archive for Monday, October 9, 2017

Grandparents challenge Kansas child immunization mandate

October 9, 2017, 1:34 p.m. Updated October 9, 2017, 5:03 p.m.


— The grandparents of a 2-year-old Kansas boy have filed a lawsuit alleging the state is acting as “religious police” by requiring vaccinations for children.

Linus and Terri Baker sued the Kansas Department for Children and Families after the agency announced its intention to vaccinate the boy despite the family’s wishes, the Kansas City Star reported.

The Bakers have physical custody of the boy as his foster parents. The couple opposes immunization on religious and health grounds. But because the child is in temporary state custody, the department has the authority to make the immunization decision.

Under state law, children in child care facilities are required to have current immunizations unless there are health risks or religious reasons. If a child is enrolled in a school or school-operated preschool, the guardian must state “that the child is an adherent of a religious denomination whose religious teachings are opposed to such tests or inoculations,” according to the law.

Linus Baker said the religious exemption language is vague because asking a child if he is an adherent of a religion is “nonsensical and ridiculous.” The Bakers’ lawsuit argues that the exemption imposes an unconstitutional religious test and violates the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.

Linus Baker also said it’s troubling that the state appears to be requiring people who cite the exemption to provide the specific denomination and its teaching opposed to immunization. He said the law doesn’t apply to everyone equally because someone may not be part of a specific denomination or they may have a personal objection not specified in a particular group’s teachings.

A department spokeswoman says the agency can’t comment on the pending lawsuit because they haven’t seen it yet. Agency officials have already notified the family they intend to immunize the boy.


Theodore Calvin 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Religion is like an LLC for your soul. It allows one to take real actions based on things that are not real, and have little to no individual consequences if those actions really hurt someone.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 2 weeks ago

How can they protest on religious grounds, if they can't state which religion and the particular tenant that is against immunization? Did I read that wrong?

And I think they need to provide evidence that this boy would be damaged health wise by getting the immunizations. And they Andrew Wakefield fake study doesn't count. That man should be charged with murder.

Greg DiVilbiss 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Could it be that religion is more than a particular tenant? Could it be that their religious beliefs hold to no organized religion and in fact, the beliefs that they hold are from a personal experience with their chosen deity?

Besides that why should you have to claim a religious exemption anyway if your research leads you to believe that the risk of immunization is higher than the risk of a disease say like chickenpox? I see no difference between a moral aversion to immunization vs a religious one. One decided through rational thought vs one that is decided by dogma.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 2 weeks ago

If that were the case, then Trump could have used religious reasons to avoid the draft, instead of fake bone spurs.

Jack Krebs 6 months, 2 weeks ago

This is why there should be no specifically religious exemptions that don't also provide for someone who has objections on other grounds. Among other things, this discriminates against those who have moral objections to something, but are non-religious, including being an atheist. Exemptions like this are a Pandora's box of problems: better to have laws apply to all, or have objective grounds for exemption, such as medical reasons. (Even then, there will be judgments about different situations that might be made, but that's why we courts.)

Ron Holzwarth 6 months, 2 weeks ago

My religion demands that I drive on the left hand side of the road, and never stop at stop signs. Likewise, my Lord has personally told me to never stop at a red light, because just like stop signs, red is the color of evil.

Anyone have a problem with my religion?

Paul Beyer 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe the state should take total custody away from them and give temporary custody to a responsible family. Sounds like entire family is not competent or responsible. Why were the child taken into state custody in the first place?

Richard Heckler 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Vaccinations guarantee no protection.

If YOUR child happens to be one out of a thousand that has an extreme reaction to the vaccination or happens to be a victim of say chickenpox in spite of vaccination then what?

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Under certain circumstances, having your seat-belt on during a crash can actually cause more damage than if you'd not been wearing it.

I assume you don't wear your seat-belt because of that, right?

Phillip Chappuie 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Here is your conundrum: Baker's argument is valid. Baker is dumb for not vaccinating.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 months, 2 weeks ago

"Religion" is the fall back for many people who do not have any reasonable or logical objections...These folks really believe there is some dude in a long robe sitting on a cloud passing out "blessings" an thunderbolts.

Make no mistake.....I certainly believe there is a plan and order to the Universe we live in. There is some sort of supreme plan that we live and exist by, but I think that almost all "religious" explanations do not explain where the stars and planets originated. We really have no idea of that plan and order.

Religion is the great hoax that allows otherwise normal people to have "beliefs" that government agencies trip over them selves to agree to.

Pray for them.

Ron Holzwarth 6 months, 2 weeks ago

They could take the child to Mexico. I don't think Mexico requires vaccinations. Of course, Mexico has a much higher child mortality rate, but so what? He'll go to Heaven, right?

Richard Heckler 6 months, 2 weeks ago

It seems back a few decades ago children were exposed to chickenpox and such in order to establish an immunity.

Could this be a naturally occurring vaccination?

Inconvenient .... yes.

In the meantime:

You're invited ... to a chickenpox party. Huh? Years ago, it wasn't uncommon for parents to bring their kids over to a friend's or neighbor's house when a child turned up with the classic itchy, red, blistery rash of chickenpox, a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus.

Since the virus is extremely contagious -- it can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through touching the fluid from chickenpox blisters -- exposing your child to a pal with pox was often enough to have him catch the disease.

And since most kids would get it anyway -- before a vaccine was introduced in 1995, 90% got chickenpox before the age of 20 -- parents figured why not catch it and get it over with?

Plus, the disease can be more serious in teens and adults than in children, so having it in childhood and developing an immunity to prevent him from getting it later was another incentive.

"You definitely want to be immune to chickenpox before you become an adult, when it's much worse, so parties were a good idea"

Ron Holzwarth 6 months, 2 weeks ago

You're not immune as an adult, even if you had chickenpox when you were younger. Later in life, the chickenpox virus can and often does reemerge as shingles, which is a very painful condition. It's a painful skin rash with blisters in a localized area. At age 60, a shingles vaccination is recommended if you had chickenpox when you were younger. It will not prevent shingles, but it will cut your chances of an outbreak by about half.

The immunization is needed because repeated exposure to the varicella zoster virus (VCV), the cause of chickenpox, which will give a person some immunity from shingles, is rare today, because so many young people have been vaccinated. Thus, older people have very little protection from the re-emergence of VCV from within their body, which will cause shingles.

And, contact with a person who suffers from shingles will often trigger chickenpox in a younger exposed individual. So, someone could have had chickenpox 50 years ago, and infect a child tomorrow, if the child hasn't been vaccinated.

For many reasons, some of which are not obvious to many, vaccinations against infectious diseases are necessary.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.