Monday, May 12, 2008

Greens label Labour MP's inoculation proposal a breach of fundamental human rights

Green Party health spokesperson Stuart Jeffery today condemned a Labour MP's proposal to force parents into inoculating their children as 'shocking' and 'inherently discriminatory', accusing the Mary Creagh MP and the Labour affiliated Fabian Society of running the risk of 'holding a child's future to ransom'.

Mr Jeffery spoke out after Ms Creagh MP suggested that, in order to increase the uptake of the MMR vaccine, children who have not received all their vaccinations should not be allowed to start school. On top of this, public health expert Sir Sandy Macara wrote in the Fabian Society's magazine that the Government should consider linking child benefits to vaccinations. (1)

Mr Jeffery said

"Coming from a Labour minister and Labour affiliated think-tank, this proposal is as shocking and surprising as it is inherently discriminatory against children from less wealthy backgrounds.

"Child benefit is a life-line for poorer families. Reducing this for whatever reason simply increases child poverty, and will serve only to penalise children for the actions of their parents.

Commenting on the ethical and moral implications of the proposal, Mr Jeffery added

"A child's access to education is a fundamental human right, and one that must not be based on any external conditions, such as medical intervention. This proposal would effectively be holding a child's future to ransom.

"An effective programme of vaccination is a key plank to improving public health, and should be achieved through good clinical evidence, scientific persuasion and public trust. Forcing parents to have their children inoculated through fines and conditional terms is discriminatory and an infringement of human rights."


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