Should parents who refuse to vaccinate their children be held accountable?

The return of diseases that were previously eradicated is an emerging public health emergency.

Minnesota is currently dealing with an outbreak of Haemophilus influenzae, a disease that should have been eradicated with the appropriate vaccine. There were 5 confirmed cases, with 3 children not vaccinated against the disease.

A 7-month old infant tragically died, becoming the first Haemophilus fatality in the state since 1991.

Two physician-bloggers (via Dr. Val) take a stand against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

WhiteCoat asks, “Should parents who fail to take steps to prevent a largely preventable illness be held accountable if their children suffer a bad outcome?” The answer is yes. Those who refuse to vaccinate their children should absolutely be held responsible.

Pediatrician Rob Lamberts tries to understand the mindset of such a parent: “These parents probably thought, ‘What’s the harm? Why can’t we just wait to do the immunizations until the risk is less?’ A 7-month old infant died from this logic.”

Indeed.

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