Protestant Pastor in Glasgow on Vaccination of Children & State Intrusion into Family Lifeeditor
Government Decision to vaccinate children for Covid:
I write to you about the current situation concerning vaccinations against covid for children aged 12-15, which will affect directly some of our families with teenagers at school. Some parents have asked me to say something on this, and I believe it is an issue that affects us all, because we all have a shared responsibility to nurture and to protect the young in our midst.
The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the regulative body in charge of decisions on vaccination and immunisation: who should receive all vaccines, when, and how. This body some time ago, very hesitantly and half-heartedly, extended the use of just half-vaccination (a single dose) to 16-18 year olds. (This followed great political pressure, and only after several dissenting members were quietly ‘retired’ from the committee).
It was a controversial decision given that previously the JCVI had repeatedly said there was no reason to vaccinate healthy youngsters who were at ‘vanishingly small risk’ of any severe disease from coronavirus, and they produced no new evidence to suggest this had changed. Just 0.001% of covid deaths in the UK have been in in people under the age of 25, and the vast majority (perhaps even all) were among those with serious and life-threatening illnesses like cancers, and likely terminally ill or otherwise extremely immune-compromised. So, whereas there was already provision to vaccinate those deemed at particular risk, it was at best contentious (and in my view unethical) to make this recommendation for 16-18 year olds.
But the JCVI has refused to go further and endorse vaccination for under 16s.
They stated very clearly that the benefit to children themselves of receiving this vaccine (which is still only useable under emergency-use authorisation – EUA) is virtually zero, whereas the already-known risk of serious harms though small, is not negligible. On a population-wide scale, it would risk significant numbers of children becoming seriously ill, and some dying.
Just one known very serious adverse effect of these novel vaccines is that of myocarditis – inflammation of the heart. This has been reported in many countries, and much more commonly the younger the age group: in Israel 1 in 10,000 21-24 year olds vaccinated, rising to 1 in 6000 in 16-19 year olds.
Despite claims that many of these cases were ‘mild’ and resolved, from my own background in cardiology I can tell you categorically that the use of the term ‘mild’ is misleading, and that in virtually every single case of this there will be lasting damage to some degree in the heart. Some of these cases being studied in the USA show persistent changes on MRI scan on follow up, and it is still very early days with long-term effects unknown. However, myocarditis has a high rate of progressing to heart failure, and is one of the reasons some younger people end up needing heart transplants.
Heart muscle damage is something you do not want to have, however it is caused, whether it is through inflammation (myocarditis) or a blocked vessel causing a heart attack. Obviously a ‘mild’ heart attack is far better than a severe one, and if you are in your 70s, the small lasting damage to your heart muscle may not have a huge effect on your heart function, health and longevity. But if you are in your teens, your heart has a whole lifetime of hard work ahead of it, and any damage will be lasting. The degree to which this may prove extremely serious or even fatal in the medium to long term is simply not known.
To quote from a recent article in the British Medical Journal, “COVID-19 vaccine side-effects are well recognized, but incidence is poorly monitored and understood. The US voluntary reporting system (VAERS) has higher rates of vaccination-associated death than all other vaccines combined over the past 20 years”.
So, given the already-known potential harms (of which myocarditis is just one), and the entirely unknown potential long-term adverse effects, which may come to light only after many months or years (as, for example, with the dreadful permanent neurological effects of the Pandemrix Swine-Flu vaccine in 2009), the decision by the Chief Medical Officers to go against the JCVI advice and vaccinate under 16s is plainly not scientific; as the BMJ article concluded, “From a public health standpoint, it makes poor sense to impose vaccine side-effects on people at minimal risk of severe COVID-19.”
This is clearly a political decision, not a medical one. Nor is it moral or ethical.
A helpful article from the Oxford Centre for Practical Ethics (which is worth reading in full) says the Government and Chief Medical Officers have made a double ethical mistake here.
First, it treats children as mere means to an end: the vaccine has nothing to offer them in terms of benefit, and we are using them supposedly to protect others – adults. This would be wrong even if there were significant benefits to adults, but since we know that the vaccines do little to prevent transmission in any case (very little, if anything, indeed, for the now predominant delta variant) it is even more reprehensible.
But the second ethical mistake is that, in giving the reasoning for vaccination as preventing the disruption in school education, “we are assuming that the appropriate, or even inevitable, response to children getting infected is closing schools and isolating children.” But there is no reason to simply assume that we should isolate an entire classroom or even school when some child in it tests positive. This is absurd behaviour which has never been a feature of epidemic management in the past, and is not the way most other countries have dealt with schools during this one. It has far more to do with the weaponising of the situation by militant unions who have shamelessly used covid as means to further their own self-serving ends, to the detriment of our children. As the paper goes on:
“Isolating healthy children that we have no good enough reason to believe are infected and infectious is a choice we make, it’s not something caused by the virus. We could and arguably we should choose otherwise if we think that the harms to children of isolation and school closure outweighs any harm that COVID-19 poses on them.”
To this I would add a third ethical mistake, which is the most concerning of all: that it has been made quite clear children will be able to receive the vaccine without, or even against, their parent’s consent on their behalf.
Resort has been made to so-called ‘Gillick Competency’, which refers to the infamous case from 1985 where the Law Lords ruled that a 15 year old girl could be prescribed the contraceptive pill without her parent’s consent. That was a controversial ruling, but it dealt with the very specific, complicated circumstances of contraception for an already sexually-active girl. It involved weighing up many complex issues, including the possibility of abortion should contraception be denied. The judgment thus made provisions for exceptional situations; it did not simply override the norms of parental responsibility for minors. It is entirely inappropriate to transpose such specific case law into the context of mass vaccination, and as a justification to sweep parental authority aside for every underage child in the nation.
Furthermore, assessing Gillick Competency is a demanding and specialist medical task, not just a matter of a quick chat with a ‘Vaccinator’ at school or in a vaccination centre. It also clearly stated in all guidelines that consent for any procedure can never be valid if a young person is being pressured or influenced by someone else. It would be very hard to argue that teenagers in a school setting, surrounded by peers and the vast media noise about covid, are in a situation entirely free of pressure or influence. Indeed, quite the reverse is likely to be the case.
All this is yet another deeply sinister sign of the onward march of the secular state into entirely unwarranted intrusions in the realm of family life which we have seen in our country in recent years, and sadly in Scotland in an even more pronounced way: think of the recent Scottish Government’s recommendations for schools stating that children as young as four years old should be allowed to change their gender identity in school life without any recourse to parents’ views.
We should recall also the Scottish Government’s nefarious ‘Named-Person’ legislation, which similarly tried to sideline parents’ rightful place as guardians of their children, but was vigorously opposed in the courts (by a broad coalition spearheaded by Christians) and, mercifully, eventually struck down by the UK Supreme Court. It is worth noting the very strong language used by the Supreme Court Justices in that judgment, exposing the Government’s totalitarian ambitions and specifically condemning its chilling actions seeking to drive a wedge between children and parents:
“The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world.”
My view, then, is that the decision made by our Governments to allow vaccination of those under the age of 16, even potentially undermining the express wishes of parents, is unscientific, unethical and immoral – and downright dangerous: both potentially to children, and certainly to the very structure and sanctity of family life in our nation.
However, given that this decision has been made, each family with teenage children will now themselves be faced with decisions to make.
As your pastor, it is not my place to intrude into your family life or seek to coerce you into what decision you should make for your children in this circumstance any more than it is the business of the state to do so. Nevertheless, I do have responsibilities toward you all, including our children.
It is my responsibility to remind children that our Lord commands them to ‘obey their parents in the Lord’, and not to defy them, ‘for this is right.’ (Eph 6:1). It would be quite wrong for teenagers to defy their parents and take the injection against their wishes (just as it would be quite wrong for a parent to ‘provoke’ their child by coercing or pressurising them to take it).
It is also my responsibility to make clear to parents that Scripture is clear: it is they (not the Government or its advisors) who are responsible before God for their children’s welfare in all things, both physical and spiritual. So it is the responsibility of parents to think this through very seriously, particularly given that the whole machinery of government (and its allies in the supplicant mainstream media) is throwing its whole weight behind the campaign to vaccinate all youngsters, and also given the sheer power and influence of peer pressure among teenagers.
Parents are the adults responsible here. Whatever you decide is for you to think through clearly, before God, and act on accordingly. People may come to different conclusions, and we need to be careful about condemning others’ decisions if they differ from our own. I echo Paul: each should be ‘fully convinced in their own mind’, and each should seek to act in conscious faith, and not sin, in whatever decision is made, ‘for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin’. (Romans 14:5,23)
Given the mass media’s very one-sided reporting of these matters, and also the many pressures which will come on parents from Government letters, advertising, and perhaps from schools themselves and other parents and school friends, I would personally encourage us all, by way of gaining some balance, to read these articles linked to below, each of which I can recommend as being honest, rigorous, and presenting things in a non-politicised way.
Yours earnestly in love,
William J U Philip
To read letter at source, with links appended, click here
Once again, Rev Dr William Philip in Glasgow has upstaged (or should that be “out-supernaturalised”) the Scottish Bishops who have consistently failed to protest against the Scottish Government’s repeated intrusion into family life, determined as it is to impose its anti-Christian agenda on us all. Instead, the bishops are co-operating fully with Covid restrictions, even insisting on them at Sunday Mass. All through, they’ve gone beyond even what the Government requires. Incredible.
I’d say let’s hope that the above letter shames them, but I know it won’t. They’re too far gone. That’s my take on their shameless co-operation with the atheistic Scottish Government. What’s yours?