Federal Judge Refuses Bullsh*t Arguments And Rules Against Vaccine Deniers In NYC
A federal judge ruled in favor of a New York City policy that allows schools to ban unvaccinated children from attending classes if another student has come down with a vaccine preventable illness. A lawsuit was brought by three families who felt their rights had been violated. How long can we let parents turn a blind eye to public health? This ruling is a step in the right direction.
Two of the families in the suit felt their First Amendment right to religious freedom and their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law were being denied. The third plaintiff, Dina Check, claimed the city improperly denied her 7-year-old daughter a religious exemption. Here’s what Check has to say about her reason for refusing vaccines:
“Disease is pestilence,” Ms. Check said, “and pestilence is from the devil. The devil is germs and disease, which is cancer and any of those things that can take you down. But if you trust in the Lord, these things cannot come near you.”
What the… seriously? So parents with children who legitimately cannot be vaccinated because they are immunocompromised have to worry about crumbling herd immunity because people like Check think they are “protected” by god? This is one of the things that drives me most crazy about religious zealots; they think God is all knowing and invented everything – but not vaccines. Maybe, just maybe “God” invented these vaccines to protect you, dummy. Why wouldn’t one of the most significant medical accomplishments in, ever, not be given the thumbs up by your God?
From The New York Times:
Among the 25 people who contracted measles in New York City between February and April this year, two were school-age children unvaccinated because of parental refusal. When one of the children, who was being home-schooled, contracted the measles, city health officials barred that child’s sibling, who had a religious exemption, from attending school. The sibling eventually contracted measles as well. Health officials credited the decision to keep the second child out of school with stopping the spread of disease in that community.
To back his decision, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn cited a 1905 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a fine for a Massachusetts man who refused to be vaccinated during a smallpox outbreak. Upholding the five dollar fine in that case helped establish the government’s right to enforce vaccination requirements as a matter of public health.
So now, not only will vaccine deniers in NYC be not adequately protecting their children against disease, they will be possibly forcing them to miss school.
Ohio, which granted more than three times as many religious and philosophical exemptions to kindergarten students last year as it did in 2000, is struggling to contain a measles outbreak that has recently spreadto 339 Amish people who were largely unvaccinated, the state health department said.
A city with a population like New York has an even more intense obligation to consider the public’s health and safety – and I’m glad to see that they are doing that.