Tennessee parents outraged by measure allowing kids to receive COVID vaccine without parental consent

Tennessee parents outraged by measure allowing kids to receive COVID vaccine without parental consent
A dose of the COVID-19 vaccine being prepared at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on December 14, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Defense

Parents in Tennessee are not pleased with their children being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without the need for parental consent.

According to Fox-17 Nashville, the Mature Minor Doctrine has sparked controversy among parents in the state as they no longer have the right to prohibit their children from being vaccinated.

The publication reports that the doctrine "allows kids ages 14-18 to get medical treatment like the Covid vaccine, without parent permission or presence. It's up the child's medical provider to determine if the kid is mature enough to make their own medical decisions before providing medical treatment."

Parents like Mimi Pohlam are outraged by the doctrine. During an interview with the publication, she and her husband insisted that it only seems appropriate for parents to make such critical decisions on behalf of their children.

"I don't want the state or federal government to raise my children. I would like to make those decisions and I have the right," said Polham.

Polham also raised questions about children's level of maturity to make such a critical decision.

"How are they mature enough to make medical decisions that could have lifelong consequences," said Polham. "You can't even get your ears pierced without me signing something. A child can't even go to the doctor alone without me being there. I don't even understand how this is any different."

Like parents, some lawmakers have also expressed disappointment and concern about the measure.

"I don't know the term I could use, to express my extreme disappointment in the state of Tennessee to think that a 14 year old child could say yes (to the shot)," said Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon, Tenn.).

Despite growing concerns about the measure, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has shown his support for it.

"From my perspective, what's appropriate for the department of health is to provide information on access to vaccines, for adults for their personal choice and for decisions about their children," Lee said. "That's what I'm encouraging them to stay focused on."

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