Judge rules dad can get sons dental x-rays, vaccines

2018 08 14 19 13 2914 X Ray Dental Digital Bitewings 400

A judge in Canada has granted a father the sole responsibility to decide whether his young sons receive necessary dental treatments and vaccines, despite objections from the children's mother, according to news reports.

The case landed in Salmon Arm Provincial Court in British Columbia after the children's mother, who has not been named to protect the identity of the boys, opposed getting them dental x-rays, which resulted in one child receiving extensive, more painful treatments. She also refused to consent to the children being vaccinated.

Provincial Court Judge Stella Frame ruled that the father must keep the mother, who he split from in 2017, informed of all medical and dental decisions, but he is responsible for making their children's health decisions.

The judge found no support for the mother's concerns that allowing her older son to undergo x-rays at the dentist's office unnecessarily exposed him to radiation. Instead, the court noted that the failure to permit the x-rays led to painful procedures that were not in her son's best interest.

The issue of vaccines

An U.S. doctor considered an expert in the study of adverse vaccine reactions, Toni Lynn Bark, MD, provided evidence on behalf of the mother. However, it didn't move the judge, and even Dr. Bark admitted her field of expertise was not recognized by medical professionals. Dr. Bark is frequently called as an expert witness in cases in the U.S. in which vaccine safety is questioned.

The judge said the information that Dr. Bark provided seemed more like a "conspiracy theory." Frame especially took exception to Dr. Bark's data that infectious diseases, like measles, pose a low risk to the population, while vaccines produce a high number of adverse effects. Frame debunked that claim, noting that the risk to contract measles is not small.

Noting that vaccines are necessary to protect those who can't be vaccinated, the judge wrote that any adverse reaction was largely outweighed by the risk of spreading infectious diseases. Therefore, Frame ordered both boys to be vaccinated in compliance with the province's immunization schedule and their family doctor's recommendations.

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