Is it Medical Neglect to Not Vaccinate Your Children in Michigan? (Pt 2)

January 25, 2019 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Child being Vaccinated
Vaccinating your kids is a choice the state allows each parent to make on their own, but there may be consequences for that decision.

Whether or not to vaccinate your kids – it’s a debate almost as heated as abortion and whether or not the current President should be in office. Welcome back to our discussion on this controversial topic. However, we’re not actually taking a stand on one side or the other here (that’s up to you!). Rather, what we’re talking about here is whether or not choosing not to immunize your kids counts as medical neglect in the eyes of Michigan law.

The law allows you to choose what you believe is right.

As we explained last time, Michigan law doesn’t require that parents vaccinate their kids. However the law does require that, if you choose to forgo vaccinations, that you make an informed decision about it, and that you have the paperwork to prove that you considered the options before making up your mind. Michigan has one of the highest rates of waived vaccines in the country, which means that many parents in the Great Lakes state have chosen to forgo immunizing their kids.

How does the state keep track of which kids are vaccinated, and which kids aren’t?

All children are required to be vaccinated before starting school in Michigan (unless their parents have a signed waiver from the health department). And all Michigan schools must report to the local health department about the immunizations of each new student, and each seventh grader. Parents whose children aren’t vaccinated and don’t have a waiver are not allowed to attend school.

What circumstances allow a parent to choose a waiver over vaccinations?

But for parents who choose not to immunize their kids, but they still want them to go to school, how do they go about getting that all-important waiver? Well, there are only three circumstances where the state will grant a parent the right to forgo immunizing their kids:

  • A child has had at least one dose of a required vaccine and the next doses isn’t due yet. These children are considered to be in a “provisional” status, but schools are required to follow-up with them to make sure that subsequent doses of vaccine are received, until they’ve received all of their required vaccines.
  • A child has a medical contraindication to a vaccine, (which means there’s a medical reason why they cannot have the vaccine) in which case a Medical Contraindication Form has to be completed and signed by the child’s medical physician.
  • A parent or guardian holds a religious or philosophical belief that makes accepting vaccination unacceptable to them. This would be a nonmedical exemption, and requires certification at the local health department.

Can you still be accused of medical neglect, even though it’s legal?

Technically no, you can’t be charged with medical neglect, as long as you followed procedure. If you choose not to vaccinate your kids in Michigan, make sure you get the right waiver from the health department and fill out any required paperwork. However, even if you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, people can still make allegations against you. And once CPS is involved, even if you haven’t broken the law, life can become very challenging!

Make the call and protect your rights!

If CPS, the police, or school administration falsely accuses you of medical neglect or child abuse, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 immediately. Our skilled and experienced child abuse defense attorneys can help protect you from unnecessary and invasive investigations by CPS. We’re available 24/7, including weekends and holidays, to help you protect your parenting rights.