Monday October 18 2021
Covid-19 : When Parents Disagree On Their Child’s Vaccination
Vaccination against Covid-19 is currently in the spotlight. Hence the issue at stake when it comes to vaccinating one's minor child and the parents do not agree on this decision.
In multiple situations where the child is at the centre of a dispute, the best interest of the child is the key criteria to make a decision, in accordance with art. 33 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
In addition to this criterion, when the child reaches a certain age, his opinion regarding decisions that concern him is considered by the judge. At the age of 14, a minor child may give his own consent regarding his health condition. A 12-year-old child is still able to share his opinion with the court and the court will take it into consideration in its decision.
A judgment was rendered on August 27, 2021, by a judge of the Superior Court, the Honourable Aline U.K. Quach, allowing a mother to have her 12-year-old child vaccinated against Covid-19 despite the father's refusal. Since the child was about to start school at that time, the mother asked for him to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The father refused on the grounds that his son's medical condition did not require vaccination and that it was in his best interest not to have the vaccine administered. He also claimed that his son would probably suffer allergic reactions to the vaccine since he is allergic to penicillin and other antibiotics.
The court ultimately ruled in favour of the mother, basing its decision on public health recommendations and the child's serious desire to be vaccinated. Indeed, public health recommends that children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive the Covid-19 vaccine for several reasons, such as pandemic control, as well as the possibility for them to continue their school and sports activities which have a positive impact on their physical and mental health.
Making decisions about a child is never easy when parents disagree. Therefore, a lawyer can always help and guide you through any differences concerning your child.
Gianina Fuschini, Attorney-at-Law
With the collaboration of Zoubida Khaled, Articling Student
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.