LA TIMES: The Disneyland measles crisis: how to make negligent parents pay

imageI generally dislike resorting to government intervention. And I really dislike the LA Times for its one-track, myopic editors. So you can only imagine how important I believe this subject is, that I’d post this article from the LA Times about reinstituting government-mandated vaccinations in school – no exceptions. While you may think it’s a “choice”, this is life & death & your choice affects everyone else’s most helpless citizens, our children. ‪#‎wheatonslaw

The continuing and spreading outbreak of measles traced originally to visitors to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park revives the questions of who should be held responsible, and how they should be made to pay for the injury and illness they’ve caused.

Here’s one suggestion, offered Thursday by science writer Alex Berezow in a USA Today op-ed: “Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail.” That may be an extreme remedy, but Berezow’s notion that non-vaccinating parents should shoulder the responsibility for their actions is widely shared among legal experts and bioethicists.

Liability could certainly exist if a parent simply chose not to vaccinate his child and a death results.- Bioethicist Arthur L. Caplan

As the Los Angeles Times has documented, California has experienced an alarming increase in “personal belief” exemptions allowing unvaccinated children to attend public and private schools, and a parallel decrease in immunization rates among kindergartners in many communities.

Most alarmingly, the trends often are associated not with low-income neighborhoods, where the cost of a vaccine might be an issue (though less so since the Affordable Care Act mandated that preventive treatments such as vaccines be provided without cost-sharing), but in affluent communities, among ostensibly well-educated parents.

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