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Should parents who do not vaccinate be held liable for deaths?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2019 | Personal Injury

Vaccinations serve a very important purpose. They help to eradicate diseases. When enough of the population has taken a vaccine, it helps to create herd immunity where the disease cannot get incorporated and so everyone is safe from it. This is very important to public health. However, the recent anti-vaccination movement is putting everyone in New Mexico at risk, and some people think parents who refuse to vaccinate their children should be held responsible if an epidemic occurs and others lose their lives because of it.

Forbes explains that there are certain people in the population who cannot get vaccinations because they are too young or have health issues that make it dangerous to get vaccines. These people rely on herd immunity. When a population is largely unvaccinated, a disease can flair up and those who are unable to get a vaccination are the most likely to get the disease and suffer serious effects, including death.

Some people feel that by not vaccinating their children, ant-vaccination parents are putting others at risk and are being negligent. They think this negligence is a solid basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. After all, if the parents had just vaccinated their children, the disease would not have spread and infected the child that ended up dying.

Experts who take the stance that these parents are negligent cite drunk driving as an example. Whether you drink or not is your personal choice, but once you drink and get behind the wheel, you expose others to danger and therefore you commit a crime. They say it is the exact same with not vaccinating because these people’s personal choice is starting to negatively affect others around them. This information is for education and is not legal advice.