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Re B (Child) Sub Nom Re C & F (Children) [2003] EWCA Civ 1148

Human Rights - Immunisation - MMR vaccine - Fathers wished daughters to receive immunisation - Mothers objected - Immunisation against childhood diseases in best interests of children - Judge conducted comprehensive survey and considered all relevant factors - European Convention on Human Rights 1953 Art 8 - Children Act 1989, s 8

8 August 2003

The applicant fathers sought a direction under s 8 of the Children Act 1989 for the full range of immunisation for the children, who had never received any form of immunisation. The judge considered the position separately in respect of each disease. In reliance on the expert evidence, he concluded in relation to each child and each immunisation that the benefits outweighed the risks. The judge considered the impact of the order sought on each mother, but decided the case by reference to the paramount consideration of the welfare of the children. The mothers appealed, arguing that the judge wrongly adopted a two-stage test, in which he decided that immunisation was in the girls’ best interests and then determined that there were not sufficient non-medical reasons for rejecting the applications for immunisation orders. ISSUE Whether the judge’s approach had been correct. HELD (dismissing the appeal) The judge did not wrongly take the medical evidence to create a presumption...

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