Letter: Moral reasoning on schools' rubella vaccination

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your use of the word 'contemptuous' to describe Father Leo Chamberlain's decision not to participate in the Government's vaccination programme is surely unwarranted. Participation is not compulsory. Many parents have genuine concerns about vaccination, especially when the 'explanatory' booklet we were given states that the Government thinks it best to re-immunise the majority of children because a minority have not been immunised. Why?

The Patient's Charter insists on fully informed consent before medical procedures. Perhaps it is time to insist that this informed consent extends not only to the origins of the vaccine, but to its effectiveness, the short-term side-effects, and the long-term effects of so many immunisations on our children. Not to mention the plight of brain-damaged victims of immunisation.

In attempting to treat our children, the Government has merely succeeded in treating parents like children, by not entrusting us with the full information.

Yours faithfully, ANN FARMER Woodford Green, Essex 27 October