If our baby was given a vaccine without our consent, what do we do?

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If our baby was given a vaccine without our consent, what do we do?

We have 2 kids on the Autism Spectrum and as such have opted to follow a graduated vaccination schedule with our children (we do vaccinate, just slowly). We were told specifically that no vaccinations will be given before we as parents consent but now it appears to be too late (the hospital computer states the vaccination was given). The nurse who gave it can’t remember whether or not she actually gave it. Unknowingly, the very same nurse complained to my wife during our stay about “parents who have kids with autism and choose to not vaccinate put her kids at risk”. What do we do? Should we speak to a malpractice attorney?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is probably no point in talking to a malpractice attorney:

1) While a number of  people have expressed the belief that vaccination may contribute, in some way, to autism, that is not the generally accepted view of the medical establishment. Therefore, vaccinating a child when it would be medically appropriate, even if the parents did not consent, would not be malpractice.

2) Even if it were malpractice, the legal system only allows recovery for actual damage or injury--i.e. you'd have to demonstrate, by at least a preponderance of the evidence (i.e.e more likely than not) that the vaccination has in fact harmed your child, in order to recover any compensation.

You may certainly complain to the hospital, clinic, or medical practice that employs this nurse that she acted against your wishes; you may also explore filing a complaint with the state board/agency that licenses nurses.


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