Childhood Immunisation: The Legal Dimensions
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Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Occasional Paper No. 06/1997 by Marie Swain
|Childhood immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases is seen by the majority of the Australian community as beneficial. The question remains as to how the State obtains optimum immunisation levels. In determining the mechanisms to achieve this end, the interests of the children, the parents and the community must be considered, and it is not always possible to reconcile these interests. To date the Australian approach has been similar to that adopted in many overseas jurisdictions, namely enacting legislation requiring documentary proof of immunisation on school entry. While such action is somewhat of a compromise between the extreme competing views on the matter, it nonetheless raises issues of a child's right to education and a right to be treated in a non-discriminatory fashion. Non-legislative responses are now being examined as a way of encouraging parents to immunise their children. |