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Vaccination conflict within relationship more often leads to lawsuit

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Dutch lawyers report seeing an increase in the number of conflicts in the relational sphere surrounding vaccination. This is especially related to disputes over the vaccination of children.

At least a quarter of divorce lawyers have dealt with a conflict where parents disagreed about vaccinating children. Forty-seven percent of those cases led to a lawsuit, according to the Dutch Association of Family and Inheritance Lawyers Divorce Mediators (vFAS), which conducted an investigation together with the current affairs program EenVandaag.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinating children has become a bigger issue. The possibility that children between the ages of five and 12 can be vaccinated against coronavirus increases the number of conflicts, said 45 percent of lawyers affiliated with the vFAS. In situations where the consent of a parent or legal representative is required within the law of persons and family, the court may be asked for alternative consent if one of the parents does not wish to grant consent.

The study surveyed 316 lawyers. Nearly a third (32 percent) of the lawyers received questions from parents who could not agree on vaccinating the children. More than a quarter (27 percent) provided assistance in the form of mediation.

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