Members of the American Medical Association voted to push for policies that let minors receive vaccinations against their parent's will.
According to Med Page Today, following the vote, the American Medical Association (AMA) will encourage lawmakers at a state level to create vaccine consent policies for minors. If these laws are placed, this would remove parents from the equation if a "mature minor" — which normally means 16, but in this case will be younger — wants a vaccine. But, this could also mean a child that doesn't want vaccines could veto their parent's desires for them to get them.
"The delegation does have a concern about mature minors [being] able to say 'I don't want that vaccination' when their parent wants them to get it, and how we deal with that," says Dr. Charles Barone.
There are other obstacles to hurdle aside from that. Most notably, the issue of paying for shots. Depending on age, this would be a parent's responsibility. Still, they will look to the Board of Trustees to look into possible solutions.
With all that said, this policy decision is on-brand for the AMA. In fact, they support treatment for HIV without parental consent.
This news comes after measles cases around the world have risen. This has been attributed to "Vaccine Hesitancy" by the World Health Organization. They say vaccinations are a cost efficient way of preventing diseases, and they prevent about two to three million deaths a year. That could rise by over a million more if there was more access to healthcare globally. According to their numbers, measles cases have risen 30 percent around the world, and countries that were close to eradicating the disease completely have seen it come back. WHO says the causes for "Vaccine Hesitancy" are complex, but they attribute inconvenience and complacency as some of the leading factors.
For the AMA, working to change policy will be an uphill battle. There are many factors to consider when trying to change state laws — especially ones that infringe on parental rights. It will be interesting to see how they plan to proceed after this vote, but it will be even more interesting to see how lawmakers react.