An article in the Gold Coast Bulletin reports a 15 year old boy has been given the Gardasil HPV vaccine against his mother’s explicit wishes which were made clear on a consent form.
According to the article, Ms Blakemore’s son “came home from school last Tuesday and said he had been given the vaccination after he was told to sign his own consent form”.
Ms Blakemore said:
“My son doesn’t comprehend that sort of stuff, they don’t actually get the other side of the story so he’s not well informed enough to make those decisions when put on the spot.”
According to the article, “Ms Blakemore said 15-year-olds were too young to make decisions about their body”. She said: “They can’t vote, they can’t drink and legally they can’t have sex but yet they’re allowed to sign a form for vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease…If they don’t have consent forms from parents they should be sending a note home to say they weren’t vaccinated, not just go ‘here’s a form, we think you’re old enough to make these decisions’”.
Ms Blakemore said: “From a parent’s point of view, giving us consent forms then going over our heads is just abominable and terrible.”
When her son was vaccinated with the HPV vaccine, Ms Blakemore said: “He questioned the lady doing it as he was only supposed to get one vaccination, and she said ‘Your name’s on the list, so you’re getting the shot’.” The boy’s mother said when her son came home he was“really upset…He asked if there is an injection that could get rid of it and I said ‘No’”. (It appears the boy was given another vaccine product at the same time, but this is not identified in the article.)
According to The Australian Immunisation Handbook, for consent to vaccination to be legally valid, the following elements must be present:
- It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of being vaccinated.
- It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.
- It must cover the specific procedure that is to be performed.
- It can only be given after the potential risks and benefits of the relevant vaccine, risks of not having it and any alternative options have been explained to the individual.