Written by Staff Writer, CNN
If you haven’t yet gone to bed to read our latest trend report on trends and events — a fact made all the more regrettable by this morning’s headlines — here are a few choice points: The media is your biggest enemy; activists are now explicitly espousing plans to disrupt corporate power structures; and we’re heading toward a green Nirvana.
So it makes sense to close out this week’s week on a super light note: a push by officials to ensure New York City serves its attendees with the measles and mumps vaccinations despite protest.
The Times Square Alliance, a nonprofit that organizes major holiday events in the theater district of Manhattan, is sponsoring the city’s efforts, which include a $650,000 “Measles and Mumps Vaccine Expanded Preference List” and the creation of a phone line for people to report unvaccinated guests.
New York’s mayor may want to opt in by jabbing some hands, however.
New York, NYC is the 7th-largest source of unvaccinated children in the US and accounts for 22% of all unvaccinated children in the country, according to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention report. Meanwhile, just over half of American parents said they had “no idea” when their child was or hadn’t been vaccinated, the report found.
How can you hide the measles from your friends?
With the virus spreading so freely among unwitting hordes, some are pondering an age-old gambit: a measles sting.
Until recently, when individuals put the measles bug on their face, they could reasonably rely on the courts to hold them in contempt of court for failing to comply with vaccinations.
But last December, in a landmark case, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals found no such protection for a father who hid his 12-year-old daughter from her school’s vaccination policy while forcing his four younger children to take a vaccine. The court’s decision erased a common law clause stating that a person would not be held in contempt if they abided by the regulations of another state “to the letter.”
This April, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the US Supreme Court – who authored the decision – mused in the case of California v. Freitas that the punishment of imprisonment without bond was not likely to work when vaccination “creates such a profound harm that the defendant’s survival is assured.”
It would therefore “hardly be harsh” for courts to penalize unvaccinated parents by withholding a child’s “right to vote,” as well as access to other basic services. Perhaps in light of those muddled feelings on the issue, Judge Reinhardt may have saved the worst for last: for California to bar parents who refuse vaccination records from sending their children to public school.
The courts may be left with no choice but to stave off one last round of outbreaks by stirring up a plot to open a kind of siren song, inviting people to do the unthinkable: see your doctor.