(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal on behalf of children who are barred from New York public schools despite vaccine medical exemptions issued by their doctors in what Children’s Health Defense has decried as a “horrific” decision.
It is unknown how many Supreme Court Justices, if any, voted to hear the case. The votes of four Justices are sufficient to grant certiorari and have a case heard by the Supreme Court.
A group of parents sued in July 2020 after New York legislators tightened medical exemption requirements and granted school principals the ability to override doctors’ exemptions, effectively barring from school students in danger of a severe reaction to vaccines.
A law passed on June 13, 2019, required that school vaccine exemptions “be based on a nationally recognized standard of care, such as those contained in guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC],” according to Bloomberg.
It also repealed all religious exemptions to vaccination, forcing families to homeschool, move out of state, or vaccinate their children against their convictions.
The law was issued after a measles outbreak in Rockland County from late 2018 to early 2019.
On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of parents of eight children whose medical exemptions were subsequently denied by New York Public Schools, Bloomberg reported. Some of the children had a family history of vaccine-induced death.
One 15-year-old girl represented in the lawsuit had previously had “severe adverse reactions to immunization,” along with all her siblings, one of whom had “died of complications from immunization,” Children’s Health Defense (CHD) reported. The girl herself had “multiple diagnosed autoimmune syndromes,” including autoimmune encephalitis, which “attacks the brain.”
A 6-year-old boy named in the lawsuit “suffered severe anaphylaxis to his hepatitis B vaccine as a baby” and had received vaccine medical exemptions ever since.
The case was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York on Feb. 17, 2021, and by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29, 2022. The plaintiffs subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court on Oct. 27, 2022.
The original lawsuit protested New York’s “unreasonable burdens on the availability of medical exemptions to the mandatory school immunization requirements for medically fragile children who need them,” CHD reported.
“As a result, hundreds of medically fragile children across New York State have been expelled from school and denied vital services and programming after their medical exemptions written by licensed treating physicians are overruled by school administrators with no medical training,” the lawsuit argued.
The plaintiffs further noted, “The CDC itself has clearly stated that the ACIP guidance is not meant to replace the clinical judgment of a treating physician.”
“The new regulations contain overburdensome requirements for doctors and are being implemented in a manner that deters physicians from writing medical exemptions after they have concluded that an immunization is unsafe for the child,” the lawsuit continued.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Sujata Gibson, slammed the New York Department of Health for “arbitrarily impos[ing] an extremely narrow definition of what qualifies for medical exemption” in a statement to The Defender.
She pointed out that the lives of these children and their families have been in upheaval since New York’s tightening of medical exemptions.
“These children have been barred from school and services — even online — for almost four years now. Many families had to uproot their lives and move out of state so that their children could get an education,” she told The Defender.
“I’ve been contacted by other families who could not hold out, and whose disabled children were severely injured when subjected to vaccination against medical advice just to stay in school.”
Last year, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to New York’s narrowed vaccine exemptions that claimed they violated religious rights, and refused to overrule New York City’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers.
Gibson is urging people to take a stand against the law and to contact their legislators to make their voices heard.
“We will continue to bring legal challenges, but in the meantime, we hope that people will contact their lawmakers and urge them to provide clear guidance to put an end to the Department of Health’s reckless and inhuman policies,” she told The Defender.
“Our most fundamental right is to protect ourselves and to protect our children from harm. None of us should take these alarming policies lying down.”