Now Only *Their* Michigan Vaccine Exemption Form is Allowed?!
There are new rules in Michigan that will make it more difficult for those of us who do in-depth research and decide not to vaccinate our kids, or even if we don't want to vaccinate on their schedule.
The two most unsettling changes are:
1. Now in order to send your kids to school or day care, they'll no longer accept your own vaccine exemption form, instead you'll have to use their state-mandated form which is worded in such a way that make us sound like negligent parents: “By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child and others at risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.”
(By the way, this is the vaccine exemption form we used, and the wording is MUCH better than their vaccine exemption form.)
2. The other issue is that now, in order to refuse vaccines, we would be required to “receive education on the risks of not receiving the vaccines being waived and the benefits of vaccination to the individual and the community.” The form of education must be approved by the local health department.
The terrible threat of “over-educated parents”
We'll have to be ready to get an earful, too. Read about how they're stepping up the training for doctors so they know how to “handle” parents who choose not to vaccinate: Doctors learn how to push back gently against anti-vaccination movement. “Stern said Offit's presentation had armed her with useful information to take back to her “overeducated parents,” and that she would “make more of an effort to push” those who sought to delay shots.”
Yeah, because we wouldn't want overeducated parents figuring out what is truly best for their own kids would we?!
A few of us local bloggers have gotten together to help raise awareness about this issue, so check out their posts today, too:
For my part, I got in touch with the best resource we have in this fight, Alan Phillips, a vaccine rights attorney in NC. (Listen to his vax radio show here.) He informed us that…
The New Michigan Rules are Unconstitutional!
Scroll down for the information from Alan on these new Michigan rules. There you'll also find information on past cases to use for evidence that the law does not require you to sign their form or partake in their ‘education'.
Get Alan's book here: The Authoritative Guide to Vaccine Legal Exemptions.
Katie tells us that we in Michigan should be grateful that we have philosophical exemptions to required vaccinations as we are one of only 20 states that do, so this new rule is a better alternative than the state simply stripping it down to only medical exemptions or medical and religious exemptions allowed.
But I'm not feeling very grateful…
I'm just feeling ticked off that they think they can strip us of our parental rights once again, instead of letting us choose what is best for our families.
However, part of me is feeling very grateful right now that we homeschool, but I know I'm not done dealing with this issue. Just the other day I had to dig up our vaccine forms on one of our kids to sign her up for summer camp. Unfortunately we didn't know better when she was at the age for shots, so we blindly did what our doctor said it was time to do. 🙁 Our youngest was another story, though, and we'll probably come up against various roadblocks as he grows up. Click here for all my vaccine posts where I tell about our decisions with him.
What to DO:
If parents in Michigan want to help get this rule rescinded, there are some action steps they can take:
- Get on the newsletter list for Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines to stay up to date.
- Sign up for the NVIC Advocacy portal (you'll need to register there) and be ready for them to send a Michigan “action alert” telling you what to do: http://NVICAdvocacy.org (NVIC is also collecting as many Michigan stories of vaccine reaction, harrassment, and failure as possible.)
“Dear Michigan NVIC Advocacy Team Members,We wanted to alert you that the Michigan Department of Community Health has abused their rule making authority to severely restrict the process by which parents obtain non-medical vaccine exemptions for their children by circumventing the legislature and burying a single paragraph in a 19 page rule. Children entering a program after Jan 1, 2015 utilizing a non-medical exemption will now have to have the additional burden of having the local health department certify on a form prescribed by the department that the parent has received their one sided education on the benefits of vaccines and the risks of not being vaccinated in order for the exemption to be accepted by a school or a group program...” (Read the rest at this link.)
- You can always call or write your legislators directly, asking them to initiate action to remove the rule put in place by the state health department (R 325.176 of the Michigan Administrative Code) in December of 2014. Contact information for state senators and representatives is available online (Google it). Many are just being sworn in to state office for the first time, so they might need some education on what you're even talking about! Keep in mind that what you're asking is not to enter debate on whether vaccines are necessary, effective, or anything else – just that (a) the health department did not invite public comment and should, and (b) parents should retain the right to be exempt from mandatory vaccinations.
The rights of parents are being STOMPED on more every day…
- Did you see the recent story where a 17 year old girl was taken from her Mom and forced to have chemo against their wishes?!
- Not that long ago Jacob Stieler's case made big news around here. His family had to fight for their rights to make his medical decisions, too. Click here to read all the posts about Jacob Stieler — start at the bottom for the beginning.
- Here are all my parental rights posts in one spot. Sadly, there are many.
- The issue of forced workplace vaccination isn't a parental rights issue, but it certainly violates our rights when people are given the choice to be vaccinated or lose their jobs! Mandatory Vaccines for Healthcare Workers: How to Refuse Mandatory Vaccines and Not Get Fired.
- Remember my friend Jill and her husband David told their story in this post, Mandatory Flu Vaccines for Healthcare Workers – Why One Man Is Choosing the Mask? Well David wrote a BOOK about his experience and all he's learned (and what a stinking SCAM flu shots are): The Man Behind the Mask.
- Click here for all my vaccine posts, including how we made our decisions on what shots to let our kids have and which ones we refused, how it went when I spoke with our doc about all this, what happened when the school got into the mix, and lots more there, too.
- As always, remember my disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical (or legal!) advice. See my entire disclosure blurb here.
Now read the information from Alan, vaccine rights attorney, on the new Michigan rules and constitutional concerns:
(I copied and pasted from a pdf he sent me, so the formatting is wonky.)
12-18-14 MI Constitutional Summary.docx
Page 1 of 4
Alan G. Phillips, J.D.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
December 18, 2014
MICHIGAN VACCINE EXEMPTION PROCEDURE
INTRODUCTION TO CONSTITUTIONAL CONCERNS
Note: This document is not to be construed as offering legal advice.
I. Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH), Immunization Waiver Form1
A. Michigan parents are required to have their children vaccinated, Mich. Comp. Laws §
333.9205, and to present a Certificate of Immunization when enrolling children in school
or daycare, §§ 333.9206 and 333.9211. Michigan parents report being told that in order to
exercise an exemption to immunizations required for school and daycare, they must
complete the DCH Immunization Waiver Form and view educational material about
immunizations. However, the statutory exemption language clearly states that “[a] child
is exempt” if the parent “presents a written statement to the administrator of the child’s
school or operator of the group program to the effect that the requirements of this part
cannot be met because of religious convictions or other objection to immunization.”
Mich. Comp. Laws § 333.9215(2). The department of health does not have authority to
require a procedure in place of the statutory procedure; it may at most offer only an
alternative procedure. So, if parents are being required to do anything more by the DCH,
that Department is overstepping its legal authority. Parents need only comply with the
statutory procedure’s written statement requirement to be fully in compliance with the
law. The legal authority for this position is contained in numerous precedent cases. E.g.,
in Mccormick v Carrier, 487 Mich. 180. 795 N.W.2d 517, the court stated the plain
language meaning rule: “[I]f the language [of the statute] is clear and unambiguous, it is
presumed that the Legislature intended the meaning expressed in the statute. Judicial
construction of an unambiguous statute is neither required nor permitted.” Id. at 524.
There is nothing ambiguous about the language of § 333.91215(2). Accordingly, parents
may opt out of immunizations by following the statutory procedure, and cannot be
required to use the DCH form or view educational materials.
B. Regarding the DCH form, in order to exercise the exemption, the form requires
parents to agree with alleged facts with which many parents exercising the exemption do
not agree. In so doing, this form violates parents’ Constitutional free speech rights. The
U.S. Supreme Court has held that the right to free speech includes the right to be free
from being compelled to speak. See, e.g., Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977).
For example, the form states:
1 Department of Community Health, IMMUNIZATION WAIVER FORM,
Page 2 of 4
“By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child and others at
risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented
through proper vaccination.”
This assertion contradicts mainstream medicine. The widely accepted “herd
immunity” theory tells us that all are protected so long as most are vaccinated, which is
why states enact non-medical exemptions in the first place. However, the veracity of the
assertion is not the issue (however, the falsity of the DCH assertion strongly suggests a
potentially serious conflict of interest issue). The issue is simply that the government, by
requiring parents to agree with its views, is compelling parents to speak, and thus
violating their Constitutional rights.
This precise matter was addressed previously in Vermont with regard to the
Vermont health department’s vaccine exemption form. A group of parents and an
attorney brought the matter to the attention of the state health department, and the
department revised their form so that it no longer requires parents to agree with the
department’s views on immunization and infectious disease.2
II. Parents exercising an exemption are now being required to go through a vaccine
educational process before being given a form for the exercise of the exemption. This
raises two distinct Constitutional concerns:
A. With respect to those parents whose objections are religious in nature, the First
Amendment’s “free exercise” clause protects religious beliefs that are religious in nature
and sincerely held. See, e.g., Sherr and Levy vs. Northport East-Northport Union Free
School District, 672 F. Supp. 81, 98 (E.D.N.Y., 1987). Since federal law supersedes state
law, U.S. Const. art. VI, § 2, cl. 2,3 the state is without authority to impose further
substantive restrictions on parents’ right to refuse vaccines on religious grounds beyond
requiring that parents have a sincerely held religious belief. Therefore, parents with
religious objections must be excluded from any required “educational” requirement. This
is only common sense; the state’s view of the science of vaccination is irrelevant to
parents’ religious beliefs, and amounts to the state challenging parents’ religious beliefs,
as if attempting to persuade parents to violate their beliefs. This is offensive to not only
those parents, but to the First Amendment.
B. With respect to all Michigan parents: All parents have a 14th Amendment due
process Constitutional right to parent their children, and this right includes the right to
make medical decisions. In Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the U.S. Supreme
The Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause has a substantive
component that “provides heightened protection against government
interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests,”
Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 720, including parents’
fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and
control of their children, see, e. g., Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651.
2 “First Amendment Rights Cited in Objection to New Vaccine Exemption Form; Lawyer Warns Parents
Might Sue State,” http://vtdigger.org/2012/10/19/andrews-vaccinedoh-story/
3 The Supremacy Clause: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States . . . shall be the supreme law
of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any
state to the contrary notwithstanding.” U.S. CONST. art. VI, § 2, cl. 2.
Page 3 of 4
The Troxel Court further explains:
There is a presumption that fit parents act in their children's best interests,
Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584, 602; there is normally no reason for the
State to inject itself into the private realm of the family to further question
fit parents’ ability to make the best decisions regarding their children, see,
e. g., Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 304.
The Troxel “fit parents” presumption may be rebutted by a showing that a parent is unfit,
but such showing is necessarily one that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
When the state requires all parents to see educational material as a prerequisite to
exercising the exemption, the state is presuming that all such parents are unfit to make the
decision, without the required showing. On that basis, an educational requirement is
unconstitutional and must be removed.
The violation of parents’ 14 Amendment Constitutional due process rights is not
counterbalanced by the state’s public health needs, as state legislatures are free to remove
non-medical exemption options altogether. Furthermore, state health departments around
the U.S., who design these educational materials do so in partnership with the
pharmaceutical industry. These partnerships creates, by definition and in practice,
conflicts of interest that results in information that is substantially biased in favor of a
pharmaceutically motivated profit agenda. For instance, these educational materials do
not mention the fact that the federal government has paid out, annually on average over
the past 25 years, over $110 million for vaccine injuries and deathsn4 nor does it mention
that the pharmaceutical industry is the biggest defrauder of the federal government under
the False Claims Act.5 In 8 years (2004-2012), there were twenty settlements in the $345
million to $3 billion range.6 Criminal fines in the $100’s of millions are common, and
have, so far, topped out at $1 billion (Pfizer 2009, GlaxoSmithKline 2012). In the last 5
years, $19.2 billion were returned to taxpayers from attempts to defraud federal health
programs, more than double that of the previous 5 years (as of February 2014).7 The State
should not be partnering with an industry that routinely engages in massive criminal
behavior, and, in the simplest of terms:
No one should ever be required, or even encouraged,
to take a product from an industry that routinely
engages in massive criminal behavior
Given the pharmaceutical criminal reality, should the State wish to offer educational
information to parents about vaccines, that would only be appropriate if the information
was first reviewed and approved by independent medical, legal, and other professionals,
and other informed, interested parties with no ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and if
such information was truly complete and objective—that is, included the practical reality
of vaccine injury and death, for example. That is, if Michigan truly wishes to support
child health, industry must be removed from the equation, so that objective, balanced
information is made available, and parents given the right to make informed choices.
Alan G. Phillips
NC State Bar No. 30436
4 U.S. DHHS, HRSA, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Data and Statistics,
5 “Public Citizen Study: Pharmaceutical Industry Is Biggest Defrauder of the Federal Government Under the
False Claims Act,” Dec. 20, 2010, http://www.pharmpro.com/news/2010/12/public-citizen-study-
6 List of largest pharmaceutical settlements (2004 – 2012), Wikipedia,
7 False Claims Act Whistleblowing Blog, February 2014 archive,
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Displaying 12-18-14 MI Constitutional Summary.docx.