Opinion: Man Temporarily Loses Rights To See Child

“Yeah, I got it from my dad.”

I was raised by an old woman, and when she got sick, I was never allowed anywhere near her and had to stay with relatives. I don’t know if that’s because it would have been quite brutal for a child to watch their parental figure die, or it was simply due to the fact that they thought they should put the health of the child first. It was almost certainly the latter. But that does not mean that every parent thought the same way they did. On December 23rd, 2021, a Canadian judge ruled to temporarily revoke the parental rights of a man due to his lack of a COVID-19 vaccine.

I feel that a parent should prioritize the health of their child whenever possible, and though this may sound mean, it feels acceptable to label this father as ignorant to the risk his child would be taking by being around an unvaccinated person. According to USA Today, the child had in fact been vaccinated both times, while his father had not been vaccinated at all. Does the father not understand that he is also putting himself at a great risk? Vaccinations do not prevent infection, they simply suppress the symptoms and make them much more mild than they would have been otherwise. What this means is that, while the child themself would be safe from infection, they would still be something of a “silent transmitter,” where they could give others the virus without even knowing that they have the virus. As a result, the child could get COVID and unknowingly spread it to his father, who would be immediately made aware that they have the virus.

While I do feel that people, and by extension parents, should have the right to make their own decisions about their personal health, it should be understood by everyone involved that this is not a right and instead is a privilege. I believe that in the event someone is making health decisions that can put others at risk, they should have certain rights suspended until they make the correct choice.