• The San Juan Daily Star

Bill filed to penalize vaccination of minors without parental consent


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


In order to protect minors and parental rights when giving informed consent on inoculation against COVID-19, Rep. Lisie Burgos Muñiz filed a bill on Tuesday that proposes the imposition of statutory damages of $10,000 on any person who provides a vaccine against COVID-19 to a minor without the written consent of at least one of his parents or legal guardian with parental authority.


Under the bill, corporations that allow such unauthorized inoculation must pay statutory damages amounting to $20,000.


“My bill arises from the distrust that the people have demonstrated in relation to the vaccination process that the executive branch [of the Puerto Rico government] is carrying out,” the Dignity Project legislator said. “We have seen how the governor has imposed very onerous burdens on the unvaccinated with the intention of forcing them to be vaccinated on pain of facing penalties in their work. To this is added the abuses of some members of the medical class in denying services to their unvaccinated patients. We are concerned about how the executive branch can deal with the vaccination of minors given the possible authorization, by the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], of the use of the Pfizer vaccine on minors between 5 and 11 years of age. For this reason we have to prevent this.”


The lawmaker meanwhile expressed her support for parents in defending their right to assist their children in their medical decisions.


“Given the repeated violations of civil rights by the executive, we do not see why to entrust the governor and the secretary of health with the well being and health of our children, adolescents and young people,” she said. “It is specifically the parents who must assist their children in the decision to accept or reject the vaccine against COVID-19. No minor has the knowledge and skills to understand all the foreseeable risks of vaccination or any other medical treatment or procedure.”


That is why, Burgos Muñiz said, as a legislator and citizen she categorically rejects any undue interference from the state, and from any third party, with the right of minors to have the advice and authorization of their parents regarding medical decisions.


“Parents will always count on my support in defending all the obligations and rights framed in the figure of parental authority,” she said. “Our children do not belong to the state or to the pharmaceutical companies.”