Last month, a Michigan court’s sentencing of a mother, who refused to vaccinate her child, to prison for five days raised the human rights concerns among parents to a new level. The woman named Rebecca Bredow was also ordered out of the primary guardianship of her son’s custody by the same court. Where exactly are human rights going with the judicial authority crossing the line of tyranny in cases like these?
To comment on the case and the issue of civil rights against forced vaccination, here we have Joel Dorfman, a non-practicing attorney and a board member of Michigan for Vaccine Choice. Michigan for Vaccine Choice (MVC) is a state-wide organization that helps Michigan residents understand their vaccine rights and the current laws on vaccine waivers. The organization also provides access to a wide variety of vaccine-related resources published by the CDC, FDA, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and researchers.
Ernest: Joel, thanks for responding to my call for sharing your view on this topic. When you heard the news of Rebecca Bredow’s sentence, what did it make you think?
Joel: I felt bad for Rebecca, but I understood that she allegedly violated a court order and was being jailed for contempt not because of a vaccine rights issue. Our members felt it was wrong, but unless the Judge erroneously enforced a prior valid court order, she was justified in her actions.
Ernest: On the legal side, the mainstream media say Rebecca was punished for deciding not to vaccinate her son while agreeing to vaccinate him earlier in order to follow the court order. So, despite her being the primary guardian of the child, she was punished for changing her mind? How do you see that?
Joel: The question is did the court have the right to choose which parent’s view on vaccines is enforced. We believe the parent with most of the custodial responsibility should make medical decisions for the child. It would be best if in the divorce decree it was stipulated to how these sorts of medical decisions would be made in the future for minor children. Rebecca contends she did not change her mind. She contends she never agreed to or signed a court order requiring her son to have his immunizations brought up to date.
Ernest: To my knowledge it’s one of the first such sentences in America that tried to force a parent to vaccinate her child against her will. How often have you seen similar punishments by the judiciary or government for parents who stand against vaccinating their children?
Joel: I have not experienced this in the past. However, this appears to be a tactic used more often by men in custody disputes to distract the court from issues of non-payment of child support or child abuse by the non-custodial parent.
Ernest: As part of the sentence, Rebecca has also been deprived of the primary guardianship of the child. Can she get that right back legally?
Joel: I thought her guardianship was only suspended while she was jailed. I assume custody will be restored to her and it will be decided later if it is changed permanently.
Ernest: We didn’t see enough condemnation or protests in media or criticism of the judge’s decision in Rebecca Bredow’s sentencing. Representing an organization that educates people on choice, do you feel the media is doing little if anything to inform people on vaccine choice?
Joel: The mainstream media is financed by Big Pharma and Health Care Institutions ads to a large extent. As a result, it is almost impossible to get them to report vaccine choice, vaccine safety and efficacy issues, and vaccine injury information to the public.
Ernest: The vaccine critics on social media and activism sites saw a red alert for parents and guardians after this kind of punishment for a mom who chose not to vaccinate. Do you believe this case could set a dangerous precedent and lead to deterring parents from vaccine choice?
Joel: No, I think it has alerted choice advocates to the danger to children in divorce proceedings to be used as pawns without regard to their best interests. When obtaining a divorce, the right to make the medical decisions for the children of the marriage must be spelled out in the divorce decree so the court will not have jurisdiction to make decisions. This decision will not deter parents from making the best medical choices for their children.
Ernest: What is the primary or most important thing parents need to do if they are taken to the court over vaccine refusal?
Joel: The best thing to do is have expert witnesses available and as much other documented evidence as possible to support your position.
Ernest: Your organization provides access to resources relating vaccination issues. Does that include medical resources and experts as well alternative media that do not consider vaccination as safe and/or effective?
Joel: Yes, we can assist in helping to suggest experts as well as documented mainstream evidence to demonstrate the risks associated with immunizations. We need not rely solely on alternative media. There are plenty of MDs and PhDs who have written on the subject.
Ernest: Finally, has your organization or its members been pressured in any way to discourage you from pursuing your mission?
Joel: We have not been discouraged from pursuing our mission in any way. We have more friends in medicine, law and politics than ever who believe that medical freedom is a right we all should have, particularly where the risks of the medical intervention is well documented.
Ernest: Joel, thank you again for participating in this correspondence.