Olga Rodríguez Marcos: “We receive many cases in which one parent wants to vaccinate their child and the other does not”

Compulsory vaccination spreads across Europe before ómicron and Austria is going to be the first country to impose it. Could it be raised here?

—With the existing level of vaccination, neither is it going to be considered, nor do I think it would be viable. Our courts have already shown that they are absolutely guaranteeing, as was made clear with the ruling that the second state of alarm was unconstitutional. After that setback and also seeing how the Supreme Court reflected the issue of the covid passport, or the curfew and so on, it would not get the go-ahead. Of course, our way of understanding the law is not prone to compulsory vaccinations.

Could it not even be imposed for the most sensitive groups such as health or socio-health personnel?

—It is that if we go into the workplace, the issue legally becomes even more controversial. By imposing a compulsory vaccination on a health worker, you are saying in a veiled way that those who are not vaccinated will not be able to be hired and that those who do not comply with the regulations can be fired. Hypothetically, it would make some sense to restrict labor rights for a scientifically accredited common good, but this is not the case either, because the vaccine does not prevent the transmission of the disease since it is not sterilizing.

Does that mean that in our legislation individual rights are more important than collective rights, than public health?

—It’s not that it’s more important, it’s that what the courts always consider is a weighting of rights. As when the right to freedom of expression and the right to honor are confronted. The courts do what they can with the law in hand and without forgetting that each one has its own ideological bias. They are really making balances between the two, taking into account the still photo of each moment of the pandemic. It is not that one is superior to the other, but that each time this conflict arises they have to arrive at a balance.

What is happening with the vaccination of minors when one parent wants to immunize his or her son or daughter and the other refuses?

—This is hot because we are receiving many cases of divorcees in this sense. More than we expected. These cases clog the courts and are very unpleasant. Vaccinate or not is part of the sphere of parental authority. It has nothing to do with custody.

And how it works?

—Well, in this case, the one who wants to vaccinate has to go to the family judge and has to present the discrepancy. That one considers vaccination beneficial for the minor and, on the other hand, the other does not believe it to be correct. So, to supply the will of the one who does not want, the judge has to put the signature. Either we have the signature of the parents, or that of one and that of the judge.

What are the judges deciding right now?

-There is everything. There is no unified criteria. Most go for scientific evidence. In other words, in principle, there are no side effects and, therefore, there is nothing that objectively says that there is a risk for a minor to be vaccinated. But everyone has a criteria. They are specific cases depending on the circumstances of each family because having grandparents at home is not the same as not having them, if they are very young children, some point out that you can choose to have them at home… the feelings of each judge and the needs of each minor.

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