Author: Tracey Young. (Sept. 18, 2021). Changes to 'Mature Minor Consent' in BC: Kids Under 12 might be asked to consent to COVID-19 vaccines. Advocacy BC. Retrieved from: https://advocacybc.blogspot.com/2021/09/changes-to-mature-minor-consent-in-bc.html
In this article, I will present the following:
■ Parents' Legal Rights and Duties as Legal Guardians to their Minor Children
■ What is Informed Consent for health care decisions and medical treatments
■ What is Consent under the Infants Act of B.C.: Medical Treatment, Sec. 17, Consent of infant to medical treatment
■ The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization from the B.C. Government
■ Changes the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has made to their 'Communicable Disease Control Manual' policy, and process for what is required for "Mature Minor Consent" to give children COVID-19 vaccines
■ Suggestions for advocacy for parents and others who would like to bring awareness of these changes and the potential impacts for kids, parents, and others, including a link to a template parents and legal guardians can send to the principal and vice principal of their childrens' school about immunizations
■ BC and Canadian COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Health Reaction Statistics Update, to September 17, 2021
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has made changes to their 'Communicable Disease Control Manual,' policy, and process for what is required for "Mature Minor Consent" to give children under the age of 12 the ability to provide "Consent" to taking COVID-19 vaccines. The procedural and process changes includes removing an important "check and balance" in the form of consultation with senior managers and risk consultants' about whether a young person can legally provide Mature Minor Consent to take a vaccine without their parents'/legal guardians' knowledge, or consent. This gives discretion, authority, and power to community health care workers, who are strangers and lack knowledge about kids' health histories, to assess and approve young peoples' capacity to provide consent for immunizations at school, or elsewhere.
I have received reports from different areas of B.C. that vaccine clinics have already been taking place where health authority employees have been sent into schools. Once on school property, they have been speaking with children and youth about vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines may have been administered at school to minors in the 12-17 age group without their parental/legal guardians' knowledge, or consent.
Parents' Legal Rights and Duties as Legal Guardians to their Minor Children
The B.C. government says this on their website: "A guardian is responsible for their child’s care and upbringing. Only a guardian may have parental responsibilities and parenting time."
- Daily decisions made when you are caring for the child
- Important decisions like those related to education, religion, and medical treatment
- Receiving information (including about health and education) about the child from others, and
- Protecting the child’s legal and financial interests
➤ Parents' Legal Rights as Guardians: Parents and legal guardians have a fundamental right and need to be aware of what medical and health care, medical procedures and treatments, and substances their minor children are receiving from the state. Immunizations fall into this category as vaccines are administered primarily by Health Authority employees (Ie. "the state").
➤ Parents' Legal Duty of Care to their children: Family and child protection laws in B.C. are clear that parents and legal guardians have a legal duty of care and obligation to protect and safeguard their minor children's physical and psychological health, safety, and well-being.
- It is my analysis as a former child protection worker that parents' legal duty of care and legal guardianship of their children is being undermined, compromised, and subverted by the state -- in this situation this is the BC Centre for Disease Control, the B.C. government, and the Health Authorities in B.C. regarding vaccines and immunization.
- If children are determined by a stranger to be capable of giving consent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (or any others) and they experience an adverse health reaction parents have a legal duty of care and right to know what medical care, medical procedures, and substances their minor children have received from those who administered it, as well as all of the other details regarding the process undertaken by the individuals who assessed and determined capacity for consent.
➤ Parents' and guardians know their children and their health histories best: They are in the best position to make health care consent decisions on behalf of their minor children where the state and experimental vaccines are concerned. Parents will also be the ones' who will be put in the position of having to ensure their children receive health care, and make decisions about that as legal guardians in the event their child suffers an Adverse health reaction post-vaccine.
➤ Adverse Health Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines: Based on the statistical data and research that is available regarding the Adverse Health Reactions (AHR's) being experienced by recipients of these experimental immunizations, particularly for young people, it is my analysis that Canadians have not been able to provide true Informed Consent prior to taking COVID-19 vaccines. See below for the most recent AHR statistics from the Canadian government to have a snapshot of the how serious the situation is.
Figure 3. # of Adverse Event Reports by Age and Sex, up to and including Sept. 3 (n=)
Sources: Government of B.C. What Does It Mean to Be a Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/divorce/family-justice/family-law/parenting-apart/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-guardian.
Government of Canada. Reported side effects following COVID-19 vaccination in Canada, up to Sept. 3rd, 2021. https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety/.
Informed Consent requires the following:
➤ Having the benefits, risks, and alternatives for a specific medical/health intervention explained in detail PRIOR to this intervention being administered
➤ Having the nature of the treatment (Ie. vaccine), what it is supposed to do
➤ Have a very clear explanation of what potential side effects and risks are associated with the substance
➤ Receive information about the known Adverse Health reactions and side effects people who have received the treatment have experienced as part of the risk-benefit decision-making process
➤ Example: In the United Kingdom (UK), the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI), the UK vaccine regulatory body, has decided that the benefits of the vaccine for the age group 12-15 is so small, it does not outweigh the known risks of kids in this age group after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. See National Health Service (NHS) advice on who is approved to receive COVID-19 vaccines here in the UK.
This article takes a deep dive into Informed Consent. It is a must-read for parents and others:
Advocacy and Informed Consent for Health Interventions: Masks, Temperature Screening, Hand Sanitizer, COVID19 Swabbing, Testing and Vaccines
- The Infants Act explains the legal position of children under 19 years of age.
- One of the topics covered in the Infants Act is the health care of children. The Infants Act states that children may consent to a medical treatment on their own as long as the health care provider is sure that the treatment is in the child's best interest, and that the child understands the details of the treatment, including risks and benefits. It is up to the health care provider to assess and ensure the child's understanding of the treatment." (BC Government)
Special note: In this video, the BCCDC states that the following steps are also part of the process involved in approaching "mature minors" to assess for consent for health and medical treatment decisions, such as immunization:
Health assessments – Does the minor have any specific diagnosed, or suspected health issues, conditions, or use medications? If so, have they been assessed/are they being assessed? What medications have they been prescribed and what are they treating?
Communicable Diseases and Immunization in B.C.
BCCDC states: "The purpose of the guidelines in the Communicable Disease Control Manual is to assist public health practitioners with decision-making about specific situations and support consistency of provincial public health practice."
BC Centre for Disease Control. Communicable Disease Manual.
Chapter 2: Immunization
The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization
Immunization Consent Policy and Procedural Change
From the BCCDC: Re: Update to Communicable Disease Control Manual, Chapter 2: Immunization, Appendix A – Informed Consent for Immunization (See letter below which communicates these changes)
Appendix A – Informed Consent for Immunization
Section 4. Step by Step Process for Obtaining Informed Consent, 4.1c) Mature Minors has been updated to remove the recommendation to consult with a Program Manager or Risk Management Consultant for further direction when obtaining mature minor consent for children 12 years of age and younger. This change has been made to remove any perceived barriers for such children who are deemed capable and wish to provide consent on their own behalf (i.e mature minor consent).
The COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in those 12 years of age and older, and is being offered to those who will be turning 12 years of age within the calendar year. The Infants Act, which explains the legal position of children under 19 years of age, indicates that there is no legal age of consent for health care in BC; instead, a minor’s ability to consent depends upon the minor’s level of maturity."
BCCDC Letter Stating the Changes to Mature Minor Consent Process and Procedure
Advocacy Tips and Suggestions For parents and Others
➤ These issues need to be shared with other parents, grandparents and concerned people to bring awareness of these changes and the potential impacts for kids, parents, and others. These are some of the things that can be done below.
➤ Share this article with other concerned parents and adults to increase awareness of these issues and find ways to work together to protect and safeguard children and youth at school.
➤ Read the Infants Act and the BCCDC Communicable Disease Manual to understand the situation kids in your life might be facing. See links above.
➤ Talk openly and give your kids EXPLICIT direction and PRACTICE WORDS they can use to tell adults who bring up vaccines with them at school, or anywhere else how to respond. Things like:
- "My parents and I make health decisions together."
- "I think you/I should talk to my parents about vaccines."
- "I feel uncomfortable discussing this topic with you. I would like to stop talking about this now." or "I would like to talk about something else."
➤ Join with other parents and concerned adults to create a plan to address the issue of kids being approached at school, or elsewhere to take COVID-19 vaccines (or others)
➤ Consider speaking with a lawyer who specialized in Family Law who you can discuss the issue of the state administering health/medical treatments to your children without your consent, or knowledge. Find out what you can do to legally prevent this, and what to do if it happens anyways.
➤ Send the template I have created for Parents and Legal Guardians to send to Principals, Vice Principals as administrators responsible for the health, safety and well-being of children and youth at school. Find the template here:
Sample Template Parents and Legal Guardians Can Send to School Principals About COVID-19 and Other Vaccines
BC and Canadian COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Health Reaction Statistics Update, to September 17, 2021
Copyright © 2021.Tracey Young/Advocacy BC. All Rights Reserved.
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