Children 'should have the right to tell doctors to vaccinate them'

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Children should have the right to tell doctors to vaccinate them if parents have 'flawed' anti-vaxx beliefs, rules American Medical Association as US measles cases hit 17-year high AMA said children should be able to override their parents if 'mature' enough There have been more than 1,000 measles cases in the US so far this year Anti-vaccination beliefs spreading among parents have been blamed for rise But children may make their own anti-vaxx decisions, experts warned 

By Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 12:21 BST, 12 June 2019 | Updated: 12:26 BST, 12 June 2019



Children should be able to get vaccines even if their parents don't want them to, top doctors in the US have ruled.

The American Medical Association – the country's largest doctors' union – this week voted to give 'mature' children the power of consent.

Their ruling comes as measles cases in the nation are the highest they've been in 17 years with more than 1,000 infections reported in 28 states.

Anti-vaccination sentiment among parents, spread on social media, is being blamed for the spread of the virus which can be stopped by the MMR jab.

'Mature' children should be able to get vaccinated even if their parents don't want them to be, the American Medical Association decided at a meeting this week (stock image)

'Mature' children should be able to get vaccinated even if their parents don't want them to be, the American Medical Association decided at a meeting this week (stock image)

'Minors who have demonstrated capacity... and who are able to provide informed consent should be able to receive vaccinations regardless of the flawed beliefs of their guardians,' said Dr Sarp Aksel, an AMA representative in New York, according to MedPage Today.

'The AMA should remain committed to efforts to increase vaccination rates, and this resolution should support state legislators to establish policies.'

The AMA voted on the measure at its annual meeting in Chicago and said it would encourage state lawmakers to put its policy into law.

According to MSN News, another member of the association, Dr Bobby Mukkamala said: 'The prevalence of unvaccinated pediatric patients is troubling to physicians.


Most people will recover from measles within one or two weeks, but sometimes complications can develop.

People most at risk include teenagers and adults, babies younger than age one and children with weakened immune systems.

Common complications include diarrhea and vomiting, middle-ear or eye infections, laryngitis, fits caused by a fever, and lung infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis and croup.

About one in every 15 infected children will develop one of these. 

Less common complications include hepatitis, meningitis and a brain infection called encephalitis.

Rare complications include serious eye disorders which can lead to vision loss, heart and nervous system problems, and a fatal brain infection called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis – this is very rare and only happens in one in every 25,000 cases.

Having measles during pregnancy increases the risk of the baby having a low birth weight, premature birth, or stillbirth or miscarriage.

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