Government wrests control of our children’s vaccination status with the help of family court

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By Guy Hatchard

Stuff newspaper under its banner programme ‘The Whole Truth’, which is financially supported by the government, trumpeted its satisfaction yesterday with the headline: “Covid-19: Family Court declines mum’s bid to stop her daughter being vaccinated”

In the latest of six Family Court decisions promoting Covid-19 vaccination for minors, another judge, Sarah Jane Fleming, has followed suit by ruling that a 12 year old girl should receive Covid mRNA vaccination against the wishes of her mother. The judge supported the wish of the father to allow vaccination.

The judge decided to overrule the concerns of the mother regarding adverse effects of mRNA vaccination on younger persons (a matter of published medical evidence) saying: “There was no evidence the girl would be at serious risk of side effects or an adverse reaction” (watch this video to view evidence).

The judge further ignored medical advice that Covid poses little risk to children by speculating: “Of course, the longer-term effects of a child at this age contracting the virus are also largely unknown”. Critically, neither are the longer term effects of the experimental biotech vaccine, although research is now pointing to sustained immune deficiency following mRNA vaccination.

The judge noted that the girl wanted to be vaccinated as “she wanted to participate in competitions and go to the movies” and described her as a “mature and thoughtful child” who had decided that vaccination was “the right thing to do”.

The girl had had a string of arguments with her mother who, according to the court hearing, was seeking to ‘manipulate’ her daughter. The Stuff article referred to the mother as ‘the woman’.

Is this just a case of the family courts settling a dispute between estranged parents or is there a deeper principle at issue?

Who is actually stopping the young girl from going to the movies and participating in school competitions? It is not the mother; this is the direct result of NZ government mandates and instructions to school principals. It is the government who is manipulating.

In fact the girl is not taking a ‘mature and thoughtful’ decision as required by the Child Care Act, she is reacting to draconian government mandates. Her response is understandable. What young person wouldn’t want to undertake ordinary activities with her peers?

In this case, the child proved unable to fully rationalise the situation objectively and instead blamed her mother. Anyone who has taught 12 year olds, will tell you that failure to weigh up causal factors is typical of this age group. The judge did not acknowledge this, but instead blamed the mother.

Thus the Family Court sided with the government by overruling the necessity for parents and guardians to make informed joint decisions about their children’s health. This is symptomatic of a growing arrogance on the part of the government and its courts. There seems to be little comprehension of how much the stability of the wider society depends on the integrity of the family unit. This dangerous trend, which places children at risk, has accelerated during the pandemic.

Government policy in New Zealand allows 12+ year olds to consent to be vaccinated at school without the permission or presence of either parent. This is a case of the government suggesting to children that they can overrule their parents in matters of health. Thus weakening the bond between parent and child that is a, if not the, crucial element of child development and safety.

Covid vaccination is not a lone government intervention. Vaping has taken off among young people based on government recommendations that it is a safe alternative to smoking. It is increasingly clear that vaping is affecting health. According to a survey of 19,000 NZ school children in November 2021, more than a quarter now vape regularly.

Last week the government advised school principals to enforce mask wearing for students despite copious evidence that mask wearing is ineffective at stopping transmission, impairs physical and mental development, and harms the health of the young. Some teachers report that the damage is irreparable.

During 1991, I managed an earthquake relief project in the Soviet Union. I experienced first hand the effect of government childhood intervention. Students were assigned to career paths from an early age. Most ended up as square pegs in round holes, bored with their assigned daytime career whilst moonlighting during the evenings doing something more suitable.

We should be aware of the extremes of what can happen when children are encouraged by the state to overrule their parents’ ideas. This happened during the 1930s in Germany when children were directly pressured to enrol in Nazi youth movements. It fostered a moral vaccuum which eventually helped to normalise the cruelties of the holocaust.

The underlying assumption of our government that they know ‘what is best for children’ is not supported by prior experience. A 2022 investigation found that the government child care agency, Oranga Tamariki, recorded 486 incidences of harm to children under its care during the preceding 12 months. 1 out of every 12 children in care. A scandal that has rocked the nation. These vulnerable children should have been safe, they were not.

When placed in positions of authority over children, the state takes an impersonal approach which mandates the same for everyone in education and health, whereas parents try hard to satisfy the individual needs of their family members.

Our government appears to be determined to undermine the necessary family responsibilities and structures which underpin development and maintenance of stable and adaptive social relationships throughout society. Parental guidance and choice are essential elements of a successful and thriving diverse society.

We are eagerly awaiting the first High Court ruling on vaccine mandates for children and hope the judge diverges from the Family Court rulings to date.

Guy Hatchard PhD

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