Quebec judge rules boy, 12, can get COVID-19 vaccine despite father's opposition

·2 min read

MONTREAL — A Quebec Superior Court judge says a mother is allowed to have her 12-year-old son vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the father's opposition.

In a judgment rendered last week, Justice Aline U.K. Quach ruled the boy can be vaccinated in accordance with both his and his mother's wishes.

The ruling states the mother had wanted her son vaccinated ahead of the school year but the father had argued the boy was healthy and would not benefit from the vaccine.

The father had also raised concerns before the court about potential vaccine side-effects and had said he feared his son would have an allergic reaction to the shots.

A lawyer for the child said the boy wished to get vaccinated and wanted to be able to take part in activities like football and to see his grandparents safely. As well, the parents met with the boy's pediatrician, who said he was in favour of all his eligible patients getting a vaccine.

Quach also dismissed the father's attempt to have an American scientist testify as an expert witness, noting the Texas-based scientist was known as someone who "makes inaccurate claims on COVID-19 vaccine safety."

The judge said the boy's mother thought Dr. Janci Chunn Lindsay was an "anti-vaxxer."

"Her opinion cannot be taken seriously, is subjective and will not enlighten the court in assessing evidence," Quach said about the witness. "Moreover, the scientist is based in Texas, did not meet (the child) and did not consult his medical file."

The judge noted Quebec is currently in a fourth wave of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant and that school-aged children, teens and post-secondary students are at risk. She also said the province has urged those 12 and older to get fully vaccinated.

Quach said considering it was in the best interests of the child to get vaccinated and the lack of opposition from the boy's pediatrician, she authorized the mother to allow him to get the two required doses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2021.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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