OKLAHOMA CITY - Concerns over a recent measles outbreak are raising another question. If you don’t vaccinate your kids and they end up getting someone else sick – could you be sued?
The number of measles cases for just the first month of 2015 is already greater than most average years.
Some health officials say it’s because of the growing number of unvaccinated children.
The recent measles outbreak linked to Disneyland is sparking debate on the issue of vaccinating children.
“It’s ridiculous. When I was a kid, it was a rite of passage. So that’s what we need to go back to,” said Porter Davis, a former state representative who favors parents’ rights when it comes to vaccines. “It is my decision what I put into my body. It’s my decision what my kids put into their body and nobody else’s.”
“If you choose to do that, as a parent, I guess we’re going to respect that, under our law. But if you choose to do that and it affects others, I think that’s where other peoples’ rights begin to come in as well,” said local attorney, David Slane.
Slane says it’s only a matter of time before we could see this in the court system.
Here’s a potential scenario:
A parent chooses not to vaccinate their child and they somehow become infected with measles.
Then they go to day care and infect a child who is maybe too young to be vaccinated and that child becomes very sick or even dies.
“I think it doesn’t fall in the realm of criminal conduct. But I think it certainly falls in the realm of negligence,” said Slane.
“I think it’s criminal to stampede people into taking vaccines,” said Davis.
Oklahoma does have laws requiring children be vaccinated, but the state does allow exemptions for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.