Husband Questions If He Can Vaccinate Child Without Wife's Knowledge

Desperate Dad Seeks Advice When Wife Refuses To Vaccinate Their Baby

A doctor is injecting a vaccine to a baby boy
Image via Getty Images/Karl Tapales

Her arguments, like many anti-vaxxers, are against ‘big pharma’ lies

Getting your child vaccinated is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their health. But what happens when parents disagree with each other about whether to protect their baby from myriad terrifying diseases? One Reddit user posted such a scenario, seeking advice on how to handle the situation.

Reddit user PinkyStinky1945 and his wife of three years recently had a child. At some point, he said she became convinced (with the help of a friend) that vaccinations cause debilitating diseases and refused to have their child vaccinated. So, he posted a question for fellow Redditors, asking about his rights as a father: “Is there any way I can sneakily just bring my child to the doctor and have her vaccinated without my wife’s knowledge?”

My wife has fallen for the anti-vax nonsense and refuses to vaccinate our child! I’m growing very worried from legaladvice

“Shortly after birth (because this was pre-brainwashing) our child received her Vitamin K shot, and the Hep-B vaccine. However, now She’s refusing to give our child any of the other vaccines.,” he wrote. “I know that in her mind, she’s coming from a place of love for our child but as you can imagine, this has caused a considerable amount of strain and we’ve had a number of arguments already.”

Commenters were quick to offer advice, in a nutshell, “Go get your kid vaccinated immediately.”

He went on to explain her rationale, as with many anti-vaxxers aren’t based on scientific research, but on fear mongering.“’Oh well if you look this graph you’ll see that the numbers of cases for <X disease> have risen alongside the increased use of <Y vaccine>,’” his wife said. He said he’s tried (and failed) to reason with her that correlation doesn’t equal causation “by showing her that as ice cream sales increase, so too do the murder rates.”

He also said he’s tried to provide information on infant mortality rates in developing countries and that receiving vaccinations has dramatically decreased those numbers, but she dismissed the statistics as “created by think tanks funded by the government and ‘big-pharma.'”

Sigh.

The anti-vaxx movement is a major concern, so much so the the World Health Organization named “vaccine hesitancy” as a top 10 biggest global health threat in 2019. According to the organization, this trend threatens to “reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases,” specifically measles cases which are now at an all time high. The CDC also reports the percentage of people who have received no vaccinations has quadrupled since 2001, putting the health and safety of those unvaccinated at risk and compromising the entire concept of herd immunity.

This Reddit user said he doesn’t want the argument to lead to divorce but he feels lost and scared for his child, as would any parent in that situation. In the end, he said he’ll try one last time to talk to his wife about the importance of vaccinations and if she again refuses, he will get his child vaccinated without her knowledge. “I know that is the best thing for my marriage and my child,” he concluded.

We can only hope his wife eventually hops on board.