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"Should I get my anti-vax friends’ baby vaccinated without telling them?"


That's the question put by an anonymous reader to Damon Young's advice column in the Washington Post.

Hi Damon: My best friend is an antivaxxer (not only covid, all the vaccines). His wife is, too. They have a 9-month-old baby and they haven’t vaccinated him. I babysit for them every other weekend. Should I take the baby to get his shots without telling them?

To his credit, despite being pro-vaxx, Damon advised strongly against doing so:

I am also a parent of two small children. And if someone took them, against my will, to get vaccinated? Let’s just say that I was advised, by my editors, for legal-ish reasons, not to say what I’d do to that person.

What you’re suggesting is reckless, egregious and possibly even criminal. Forty-three states require a parent’s permission to vaccinate a child. The age where parental consent is no longer necessary depends on the state, and ranges between 15 and 18. But these laws are for teenagers who wish to get vaccinated, not adults who want to sneak their friends’ babies to the clinic.

Of course, if you believe that your friends are abusing their children, you have a responsibility to report them. But despite the fact that I do agree with you on the necessity of vaccination, and that your friends are acting dangerously, you’ve burrowed so deeply in the rabbit hole of self-righteousness that you’ve come up on the wrong side.

There's more at the link.

What astonishes me (although, given the number of Karens who've popped out of the woodwork since the COVID-19 pandemic began, perhaps it shouldn't have) is that someone could even begin to think that interfering in the health care of someone else's children - her best friend's children, at that - is OK in any way, shape or form.  It's none of her business!  How would she react if someone else were to restrain her from vaccinating her own kids, because they didn't agree with her views on the subject?

How could anyone in their right mind even conceive of such a question, much less ask it?  My mind boggles at such incredibly insouciant blindness to reality.  It boggles even more that a "best friend" would be willing to betray so intimate a trust like that.  Talk about Nurse Ratched in the flesh!  (Of course, I'd try to choose my close friends better than that in the first place.)

All I can say is, if anyone did that to a child of mine and I found out about it,                                                                        .  (Fill in the dark bit to your own satisfaction.  Further affiant sayeth naught.)


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