The Seville prosecutor’s office considers that families who refuse to vaccinate their elders risk losing guardianship

Publication: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 10:12 PM

Legal guardians of elderly people with disabilities who refuse to allow relatives to be vaccinated against the coronavirus risk losing their guardianship if a judge, on the basis of health criteria, considers vaccination compulsory, according to the Seville prosecutor’s office.

This was stated by the Delegate Prosecutor for the Elderly and the Protection of the Disabled in Seville, Norberto Sotomayor, after hearing the first case of parents who refuse the vaccination of an elderly man who resides in a house of retirement from the province.

In statements to reporters, Sotomayor explained that it was the residence that informed him that the relatives, the patient’s children, had refused to fill out the form before the vaccination and therefore had not given their consent.

The prosecutor did not “formally” open any information procedure concerning this first case of “explicit” vaccination refusal and at no time would he undertake a criminal investigation beyond the civil procedure, according to the representative of the prosecution. , who also said advance that there is news that there will be “more cases” similar in the coming days.

Indeed, the prosecutor is in contact with the health authorities “to guide” the process and this Tuesday he sent a letter to the provincial delegate of Health to ask him to request information from all the residences on cases of refusal to vaccinate elderly people with disabilities.

If the relatives are not convinced and the medical criterion is that there is “no incompatibility” for these vaccinations, the former are liable to “lose the guardianship of the person” in the event that they do so. have and that the matter reaches the court.

“We are talking about the guardian who has to ensure the health of the service, so in an extreme case, a removal of legal guardianship can be triggered, although it puts the patch before the injury. But that person represents the other and if he does it badly, the guardian does not act correctly, ”Sotomayor said.

“When the family member, close friend or, in case of abandonment, the director of the center refuses to allow the patient to be vaccinated, there is the law of patient autonomy. If this decision is not correct, a judicial intervention is made and is obliged to vaccinate But it is necessary to analyze on a case by case basis with the advice of the doctors who treat the person and of the coroner who takes the prosecution “, he said added.

“A person at full capacity can refuse to be vaccinated. The problem is, this decision has to be made by someone else on their behalf. The same goes for minors whose parents refuse to be given a blood transfusion when doctors say it is necessary. , as is the case with Jehovah’s Witnesses ”, gave the example of the prosecutor.

If this “conflict” exists, “the health of the person must prevail”, therefore “if the doctor says that there are no scientific reasons not to vaccinate, the child’s decision cannot harm the health. father, “Sotomayor continued. the case of Seville.

So that a refusal like the one that was given does not end with a judicial decision “it is necessary to prove that the vaccine should not be administered”, because a priori “it has been shown that the vaccine is good”.

If the family rejection persists, “the director of the residence or the prosecutor, legitimized, must insist that the vaccine be administered” after a judge “understands that there is no obstacle” and gave a decision to force that vaccination.

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