In a ruling late Friday, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously upheld a district court order forcing a mom, with joint legal custody, to vaccinate her 11-year old child against COVID-19. (see below). The divorced parents disagreed on the need for their child to be vaccinated.
A district court previously ruled that vaccination was in the child’s best interest based on the child’s pediatrician’s recommendation and “government and professional groups’ guidelines and research results.” The court applied the best-interest-of-the-child standard.
The mother argued that the district court infringed her fundamental right to care, custody, and control over her child by applying the standard as opposed to a medically necessary standard derived from NRS695G.055.
In determining which medical decisions is in the child’s best interest, the Supreme court affirmed that the district court weighed the following factors in their determination: the seriousness of the harm the child is suffering or the substantial likelihood that the child will suffer serious harm; the evaluation or recommendation by a medical professional; the risks involved in medically treating the child; and the preference of the child.
According to recently published data by the National Institute of Health, the COVID-19 mortality rate was disproportionally low in children under 12 suggesting a better protection against severe COVID-19 at the young ages compared to other infectious diseases. The proportion of total deaths spiked at very early ages for pneumonia and influenza, but not for COVID-19.Order 9-28-23
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