![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. And neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. The state's authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his or her claim to control the child's course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, the parent cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself or herself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death. The state's wish to prevent the spread of communicable diseases clearly constitutes a compelling interest.
Parents with objections to state-mandated immunization challenged an amendment to California law that eliminated the previously existing personal beliefs exemption from mandatory immunization requirements for school children. The trial court sustained defendants' demurrer and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
Were the amendments to California's public health laws governing immunization requirements unconstitutional?
The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment. Eliminating the personal beliefs exemption did not violate the constitutional rights to freedom of religion, to attend school, or to equal protection. The goal of achieving total immunization of appropriate age groups against the specified childhood diseases did not render the amendment void for vagueness. The parents' claim under Health & Saf. Code, § 24175, that all vaccines are medical experiments, failed because immunization was reasonably related to maintaining the health of the subject of the immunization as well as the public health.