by Lori Lee, West Virginia Chair, National Vaccine Information Center; Board Member, VaxTruth.
WEST VIRGINIA PARENTAL RIGHTS THREATENED
Forced Medical Procedures on the Horizon
Compulsory immunization, a forced medical procedure and medication, required for school entrance without religious exemption, is practiced in only two states in the United States. According to the West Virginia State Director for the National Vaccine Information Center, Lori Lee, “West Virginia is one of these states falling nearly 50 years behind the rest of the United States in such legislation, but it is now apparent that the state’s health department’s agenda is to strip parental rights even further.”
In the August 31, 2012 edition of “The Journal,” the publication reports, “Lisa Carper, coordinator of student support and social services for Jefferson County Schools, confirmed earlier in the summer that from the state level, the county has been directed to file medical neglect charges with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.”
West Virginia is unique in its legislative code, not only because it does not stand in line with the rest of the United States regarding parental rights and vaccines, but in that it states that parents who do not fully vaccinate their children are guilty of misdemeanors (one for each missed vaccine). West Virginia Bureau for Public Health states they are very happy with this current code, even though concerned parents and citizens have lobbied the legislature to change it for over a decade. Parents whose religious or moral code does not align with fully vaccinating their children and parents who have researched vaccines and choose to make educated, informed decisions are locked out of the school system and forced to home school or drive to a neighboring state, where non-medical exemptions are permitted.
The Bureau for Public Health has been sued by several West Virginia families whose children are being denied an education due to additions to the original legislative code 16-3-4. Bureau for Public Health tried to add additional vaccines to the code, but this failed in the West Virginia Legislature. However, they added them anyway misusing a process called Interpretive Rule.
In a Kanawha County Circuit Court hearing on September 5, 2012, Charlene A. Vaughan, Deputy Attorney General of the Attorney General, arguing for the Department of Health and Human resources suggested that perhaps these children need to be assigned a GAL, or Guardian ad Litem (as shown in video posted by WCHS on September 6, 2012). This comment is of great concern. A Guardian ad Litem is an attorney assigned to children when parents are not making sound medical decisions and gives the attorney rights to do so.
In this case, it can only be inferred that parents who do not fully vaccinate would lose the power to make these medical decisions for their children. The NVIC is quite concerned that West Virginia is moving backward, not forward regarding parental rights in their threats to strip parents of the right to make informed health care decisions for their children.