In today’s article, we would like to focus on a topic that is very important in terms of the current situation around the world. For more than two years, Poland has been struggling with the COVID-19 epidemic. After numerous studies conducted by scientists all over the world, society has been given the opportunity to protect itself against the disease and receive the vaccine. However, how does this relate to underage children, who cannot make the decision to vaccinate themselves?
It should be noted that under Article 97 of the Family and Guardianship Code each parent has full parental authority, which means that each parent is obliged and entitled to exercise parental authority. It should be emphasized, that in important matters concerning the child the parents are obliged to reach an agreement as to the way in which matters concerning minors should be settled. Such matters undoubtedly include the choice of a name for the child, the choice of the child’s school and educational path, travel abroad or the way of treating the minor. In the current reality there are more and more conflicts between parents due to the fact that they have different positions on the need to vaccinate. In such a situation the guardianship court will undoubtedly be competent to resolve the matter.
A similar case was recently decided by the District Court for Wroclaw-Fabryczna in Wroclaw in a case carried out under case number III Nsm 891/21. The father of the child filed a motion with the Court to decide on his important matters and give consent for the vaccination of the minor with the second dose of vaccine against Covid-19, because of clear opposition of the mother. It should be emphasized that the child’s father concealed from the mother the fact that the child had received the first dose. Taking into account the clear conflict between the parents when deciding, the court in accordance with Article 576 of the Code of Civil Procedure was obliged to hear the minor if it is justified by his mental development, state of health and degree of maturity. The child explicitly refused to accept the second dose of the vaccine, arguing that the first dose had already given him a certain degree of protection. In the case cited above, the court accepted the boy’s argument and on this basis dismissed the father’s petition.
To sum up, it should be pointed out that in a situation when parents are not able to come to an agreement in important matters concerning the child, the guardianship court may make the decision for them.
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