Feb 10, 2013

Child dies after no inoculation and no care

Plenty of people don't inoculate their children with vaccinations. I personally think they are fools (in this matter), but I don't think they are criminals.

A woman in Mea Shearim has come under fire for not inoculating her children. Somehow they also connected this to the fact that she is a member of the "kat haShalim" - the veiled women cult, as if that has any relevance. If it does have relevance, I am not aware of it. Plenty of people do not believe in the efficacy of inoculations without having any connection to the kat hashalim.

Plenty of people don't inoculate their kids, but what makes this case special is that in this case one of the sick children died of his flu. A neighbor realized something was wrong, seeing the baby listless, and it seems many in the family were ill at the same time, and called the paramedics.
(source: NRG)

According to Kikar, the case has gone to one where the security forces have now raided her house in Mea Shearim last night, only to find that the kids had been moved to an unknown location. It seems they decided on the operation after being told by neighbors that there is another sick child in the family that is not being taken care of.

Personally I think that the inoculation issue isn't the main issue. If a person thinks inoculations cause more harm than good, than they can go to doctors, they can go the alternative medicine path, the homeopathy, or use whatever methods such people use to keep their kids healthy. I think the bigger issue here is that the mother did not take her deathly ill kid to a doctor, she did not call the paramedics when it became necessary, and she could not even be found when the paramedics came to revive the child.

The fact that a person does not believe in the method of inoculations as being good care for their kids does not mean they are necessarily neglecting their children. If they are not inoculating their kids, they should be vigilant in using the alternative methods of maintaining the health of their children and preventing the major illnesses. If they do not use inoculations but also don't do anything else, that is neglect - perhaps abusive neglect, perhaps criminal neglect - and the fates of these children should not be left in the hands of such a person.

According to Bechadrei, the rabbonim of the Eida are also looking for them and have called for the kids to be removed from her care.

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  1. I understand how tznius as a hiddur gets taken beyond with the shalim, and I understand how they take mistrust of the secular and turn it into mistrusting doctors (don't agree but I see the trajectory) - but I do not understand how they create their own Judaism. What of the established charedi system rejects authority, that the shalim think they are being even more holy by going "above" the Rabbanim in their community?

  2. I get the impression from what you wrote that the missed vaccine was flu. Historically few parents get their children the flu vaccine, and I think it's only this year that they formally started recommending children get the flu vaccine (traditionally it was only recommended for health care workers and the elderly).

    Then early in the flu season they ran out of the vaccine for 1-2 months. And of course, the flu vaccine is not recommended to people with certain kinds of allergies (particularly eggs).

    So while I agree not getting treatment for a very ill child can quality as neglect, not getting a flu vaccine certainly should not.

  3. Akiva - that is unclear whether she refused all inoculations or just the flu shot. The only reason it isnt so relevant is that once the kid is sick, the flu shot wont help anyway. She should have taken him to the doctor.
    your final sentence is misleading. nobody said not getting a flu shot is neglect. I even gave them the benefit of the doubt that refusing all inoculations would not be neglect. the case here was refusal of inoculations (lets say also flu shot), but also refusal to go to the doctor when the kid got sick. that is neglect.

  4. Please. The whole practice of immunization rests on everybody getting inoculated. If even a few kids don't, it puts all the others at increased risk. There is no- absolutely no- evidence that the scare tactics against vaccination are true; there is no- absolutely no- evidence that anything "alternative" or "homeopathic" has any effect at all, as much as the charedi world seems to fall for all this nonsense.

    So yes, if immunization is called for and you don't do it- particularly in a country where it's all paid for- yes, you are criminally negligent not just of your own child but of others as well.

  5. Nachum, I agree 100% regarding vaxing (all my kids are vaxed on time) with the exception of flu vaxes. While it's true that they are free through the kupa, if you're a bit late, you pretty much miss them. Maccabi ran out of flu vaccines 6 weeks ago. So, my kids are out of luck, as am I and my husband. I'm really criminally negligent because I didn't get to the kupa on time for flu vaccines?

  6. interestingly enough, the talking heads on radio kol b rama were slamming the social services department this morning. why? no, not because they said that they were lying in attacking an innocent chareidi woman. the opposite. they were saying that the mother is obviously negligent, but social services often takes a blind eye to problems in the chareidi world to "keep the peace".

  7. Abbi, no argument there.

  8. No one who is not immunologically compromised needs to die of the flu in this country. Top-quality medical care is available for all. This mother is negligent, not because she did not get the flu vaccination for her kids, but because she davka was too stubborn and ideological to get them medical help in time.


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