(NewsNation) — A bill introduced in Connecticut would allow children ages 12 and older to receive vaccines without their parents’ approval.
NewsNation partner The Hill reports that the bill was proposed by state Rep. Kevin Ryan, and was referred back to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health.
“The legislation I proposed is an issue that has been an important concern for my constituents. As their representative, it’s my duty to express their requests and ensure their concerns have been taken seriously,” Ryan said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.
Similar laws have been passed in other areas: Washington, D.C. has one allowing a child at least 11 years old to receive a vaccine without a parent or guardian’s consent, per The Hill, while in Oregon, a minor 15 years or older can consent to medical care.
Dr. Payal D. Adhikari, a board-certified pediatrician, said this isn’t necessarily a terrible idea — but it is a “slippery slope.”
“When you give somebody at the age of 12, whose brain isn’t fully developed, the autonomy to make decisions without parental permission, it really can lead to significant unintended consequences,” Adhikari said on “Morning in America.” “They might not know their own medical history, and if they have allergies, and if they’re getting these vaccines by themselves or other medical care by themselves, who’s there to monitor if there are side effects, or contraindications?”