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Preventing & Treating Communicable Conditions

Macklin v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Overview

Macklin v. Arkansas Department of Human Services (Arkansas Supreme Court, June 24, 2021): After a lower court denied a mother’s request to prevent the Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS) from immunizing her daughter, despite the mother’s objection, the mother appealed. The mother argued that ADHS, the temporary custodian of the child, could not vaccinate the child over her religious or philosophical objections. Deferring to the Arkansas General Assembly to establish public policy, the court held that the “legislature has recognized that the State’s interest in promoting the health and safety of its children must yield to the rights of parents to make fundamental decisions in the lives of their offspring.” The Arkansas Supreme Court concluded the mother was exercising her parental rights, reversing the lower court’s decision. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – August 16, 2021.

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