June 11, 2019 | Professor Michael A. Helfand‘s article, “This Orthodox Family And Their Yeshiva Are In A Legal Battle Over Vaccines,” has been published in The Forward magazine. The article examines the New York vaccine wars and the question of whether parents can exempt themselves from their legal obligation to vaccinate their children.
Excerpt from “This Orthodox Family And Their Yeshiva Are In A Legal Battle Over Vaccines”
The stakes keep getting higher. The CDC has already confirmed 981 cases of the measles in 2019 — more than any year in over a quarter of a century — which the agency attributes, in large part, to communities where children remain unvaccinated.
But what was unusual about this latest lawsuit, filed by Shulamith School for Girls, is that it flips the typical script. Instead of parents claiming a religious right not to vaccinate, it is the school claiming a religious right to require vaccination. And at the heart of this inverted narrative is not only a lesson for resolving the vaccine wars, but a lesson for how our society ought to build its protections for religious liberty.
The complete article may be found here