A Melbourne paediatrician has encouraged doctors to administer Covid-19 vaccines to children as young as 12 against their parents’ wishes, arguing it is both ethically and legally permissible.
John Massie, professor of paediatrics at the University of Melbourne, says there is “no ethical barrier” to vaccinating children under the “mature minor” doctrine – and that providers should not fear legal repercussions as the federal government has fully indemnified clinicians and drug makers against any adverse reactions.
The article calls for the vaccination of children as young as 12 without parental consent to be adopted as a national standard, citing public health, the best interests of the child, and young people’s “right to privacy”.
“Parents are legal and natural decision-makers for their kids, but they don’t have absolute authority or absolute sovereignty over their kids … We wouldn’t be encouraging kids to keep it a secret unless they had to. We would like kids to tell their parents that they’ve had it.”