Dr. Joseph Mercola
February 14, 2007
As you read this work and put its principles into practice, there are two basic axioms you never want to forget. They are the rock upon which all your actions are based.
1. Nobody, anywhere or any time and under any circumstances has the right or power in this country to immunize you or your children against your will and conviction. If they attempt to do so, you can legally charge them with "assault with a deadly weapon" and have the full resources of our laws behind you.
2. At all times in attempting to avoid unwanted immunization, you have the Law of the Land behind you. Those who would try to vaccinate you against your will are on very shaky ground. Into every compulsory immunization law in America are written legal exceptions and waivers which are there specifically to protect you from the attempted tyranny of officialdom. It is not only your right, but your obligation to use them, if this is what your conscience tells you.
In all your contacts with any member of the school, public health, or legal establishment, always remain calm, courteous, and humbly reverent toward their position. You are only asking of them that which the law duty binds them to give you. There is no reason, or advantage, to be gained by antagonizing them.
Most of these officials believe they are discharging their trust as outlined by law. If they are overstepping the law, then you must very diplomatically bring the true facts to their attention, but without attempting to belittle them.
The more you can preserve their ego, the more easily and quickly you are likely to get what you desire - a waiver of immunization.
Rule No. 1: Do not harass, belittle, or antagonize officials unnecessarily.
All compulsory laws concerning vaccination (including the military) contain exceptions and waivers. It is these protections placed in the laws that you may legally use to exclude yourself and your children. Surprisingly, these exceptions were placed there, not for your sake (although you may take advantage of them), but for the protection of the establishment.
How is this? Let us assume that these exceptions were not there and everyone was actually forced to be immunized. Should a child die or become mentally or physically disabled, the parent would have the perfect case to sue the doctor, the school, the health department, and even the state legislature for enormous damages.
Since they allowed no exceptions, they must accept full responsibility for all the adverse consequences of the law.
However, if exception waivers are placed in the law, the responsibility is then transferred back to the parent. If a child should be injured by immunization, the officials can say, "Well, the parent should have exempted him if they thought there was any danger."
Therefore, there is in truth no such thing as a compulsory vaccination law in this country. They are ALL, in essence, voluntary. The problem is that practically no one in authority will let you know this fact.
Rule No. 2: There are no compulsory vaccination laws. All are voluntary, and you are held responsible for the adverse results upon you or your children.
While all immunization laws have exceptions you can use, the wording in each state differs, and you must know the exact wording for your state to make the proper request of waiver. This information can be obtained in one of two ways.
1. Go to the reference section of your local library- look in the State Statute Revised Law Book under Public Health Law or Communicable Disease sections. The list of immunization requirements will appear first and then the exemptions will be given. Usually one or two provisions will be listed: either on religious or medical grounds or both.
2. You may call or write your state representative and ask for a copy of the immunization laws in your state. Making this available is part of his job, and it will be sent promptly.
Rule No. 3: Know your own state law so that you can conform to its exact requirements for exemption.
There are two basic reasons for exception - medical or religious. Which one you choose will often depend upon the wording of the law in your state and your personal convictions.
We shall discuss medical exemption first. While laws do vary, nearly all states require that a note or certificate of waiver be submitted by a physician licensed in the state of residence. In some areas where states are small and people continually travel from one to another for business, a statement from a physician in a contiguous state will be accepted.
In this letter it is usually necessary to state the reason for the requested waiver and the length of time it should extend. Many laws limit all such letters to a school year and they must be renewed each fall.
The two most valid reasons for medical waiver are "the fear of allergic reaction in a sensitive child" and "to prevent possible damage to a weakened immune system." Both of these can occur in a child who has been immunized, and since no one but the physician and the parent will be held responsible for their consequences, it is up to them to protect the child.
It is possible that some states may require the letter from an M.D. or D.O., but many will allow an exemption letter from a chiropractor if it is courteously and properly written, as outlined above.
Rule No. 4: Medical waivers are always valid but must be written to fit each state law and often need to be renewed annually.
The foregoing may work for school exemptions, but are there any such waivers in the Armed Forces? Yes. All branches of the Service provide "immunization waivers."
Again, if they did not you could sue them for millions of dollars if a reaction occurred from their immunizations. Because of these waiver provisions, you become responsible if you react.
When you first sign up or enlist, you must state your objection to the vaccinations and tell whether it is "religious conscience" or medical reasons, such as allergies or a low tolerance to medication of any kind. If you do not show objection at this time, you have given the military the right to do what they will with you.
If there is any difficulty, the same rules apply here as in the school program. Never forget, even though you may be in the Service, no one has the right to immunize you against your will. You do not give up your constitutional rights when you join the Armed Forces.
Rule No. 5: The rules that govern school vaccination exemption also apply to the military. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. They do not know, or are hiding, the facts of the law.
What about international travel? May I go around the world without vaccination?
The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva grants American visitors the right to REFUSE shots when traveling internationally. However, if an area you wish to enter is infected, you may be detained until the public health servant gives you the "go" (at his discretion).
Thousands travel world-wide each year without shots - so you may if that is your choice. Many of our co-workers have traveled over much of the world and have never taken any immunizations, nor were they ever detained.
It would be wise to request a copy of Foreign Rules and Regulations, Part 71, Title 42, on immunization when you receive your passport. Never forget the basic rule, "No one will vaccinate you against your will because by doing so they assume full responsibility for the consequences both legal and medical."
Rule No. 7: You may travel wherever you wish in the world without vaccination. The worst that can happen is that in very rare circumstances you may be detained temporarily.
Some Important Details
The above seven articles constitute all the basic rules. However, there are many important little "tricks of the trade" to having your legal requests honored. These will now be discussed.
While waivers and exemptions are written into all laws on immunization, most public health officials, doctors, and especially school officials are loathe to discuss their existence when questioned, and rarely, to our knowledge, volunteer such information.
A top Philadelphia school official was on the radio with the unequivocal statement, "NO SHOTS, NO SCHOOL."
This statement is of course completely counter to state law, with which presumably he is familiar. Such unwarranted dogmatism is common in the people you will encounter. Once the end of their legitimate authority has been reached, they will use their next most powerful weapon - INTIMIDATION.
They will threaten to keep your child out of school, take him from you, or send you to jail. These are all idle threats because they can do none of these thing, if you follow our simple instructions.
The basic rules have been given to you, but there are a few important details to be considered if the officials start on this course of unlawful intimidation.
1. You must send a letter to the school to inform the education officials of your stand. A phone call is not legal. It can be a note from your doctor, minister, or a notarized letter from you stating your sincere objections to the immunization. If you do not do this and fail to have your child immunized, it could be construed as negligence on your part and in some states there is a possibility of legal action against you.
2. If the school should refuse to honor your letter, request that they give you a statement in writing outlining their reasons for refusal. If they won't, their refusal is legally invalid, and your letter stands; they must enroll your child. If they do (they rarely will) they take the risk of incriminating themselves, especially if they are acting contrary (as is common) to what is specified in the law concerning your rights for exemption. Remember they are on tenuous ground, not you. They are your servants, you are not their servant. If worst comes to worst and you have a very knowledgeable official who writes you a refusal and states accurately the lawful reasons for refusal, he will also in a negative way tell you what the accepted exemptions are, and then you can go about meeting them, by one of the routes suggested in this handout.
3. Child neglect is the one legal point you want to avoid at all costs. No legal parent or guardian can be charged with neglect unless he shows complete lack of concern or action to be more informed. Stripped of legal jargon, this simply means that if you can show that you have investigated the situation, have come to a specific decision concerning immunizations, and have informed the authorities of the same, no neglect charge can be brought. Neglect can be brought only when it can be shown that you have failed to have your children immunized, not out of respect for their medical or spiritual integrity, but only because you were too concerned with other matters.
4. At times there may be a question of whether you have given or withdrawn legal consent. Legal consent is dependent upon being properly informed on both the advantages and the risks in any choice or decision you make. In other words, if a physician were to tell you that vaccination is perfectly safe and effective to obtain your consent, such consent would not be legal because he lied and you have not been properly informed. Conversely, it could be argued that non-consent is not legal if you are not fully informed about the risks and advantages of immunizations.
5. What do I do if everyone refuses to give me a waiver?
This would be an extremely rare circumstance. But should it happen, you are not left without resources. Here is where we pull out one of our big guns. Send notarized letters by certified mail to the vaccine laboratory which makes the shot (ask your doctor for the address), to the doctor who is to administer the shot, to your school principal,to the school board, and to your local health department.
In these letters make it clear that since they have refused to give you a duly requested waiver, you can no longer be held responsible for what may happen to your child if they force these shots upon him. You then state that you will allow immunization if each will present you with a written signed guarantee of safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and that they will consent to assume full responsibility for any and all adverse reactions that your child may develop from the required shots. Of course none will give you such a guarantee. They cannot do so because all vaccines are considered potentially highly toxic. We have yet to hear of an instance of further harassment of parents after such letters have been sent.
That's about all that is needed to obtain the necessary exemptions for your children. All that has been said in this last section (1 to 5) is also applicable to the military and international travel, if required.
Potpourri of Ammunition
"As long as each individual who opposes vaccines has sincere objections, states them in writing, and signs his name - it is considered legal and proper action and must therefore be honored."
"Since many medical controversies exist surrounding immunization, drugs, and various other medications, it mandates that each individual have the right to control his own decisions and freedom of choice; anything less would be contrary to the constitutional laws that protect the citizens' rights. "
"When you deal with school officials and lawyers, you are playing with legal terminology - move the wrong words around and you get hung." The terminology used in this booklet has worked before and should work again.
"It is important to state your objections in such a way that it complies with your state's exemption provisions. They must then accept your request; if they do not, they are breaking their own law." That is why it is absolutely essential that you know your own state law word for word before submitting your objection.
"According to CDC (the federal Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, Georgia), physicians are required to first inform their patients of the risks involved before they consent to vaccines." If they do not do so, it is prima facie evidence of deceit or negligence on the part of the physician.
This regulation by the federal government would also seem to assume that the patient has the right to refuse if he feels that the risks are too great. If this is so, is not the federal government on record as supporting voluntary immunization and, by obvious implication, against state-enforced compulsory immunization?
Should you ever have to go to court, or what is more likely, to appear before a "kangaroo" court of school and health department officials, here is some class A evidence you might find useful to mention.
• No vaccine carries any guarantee of protection from the laboratory that produced it or the doctor who administered it.
• The U.S. military allows no-nonsense "immunizations waivers."
• There is NO FEDERAL LAW on immunizations. They don't dare. Their lawyers know the consequences.
• Your rights have been infringed upon by officials attempting to use force against your will.
Most state officials like a nice, stress-free job. When you send in your objections and refuse to fit their ordered world by not having your children immunized, you make waves.
This rocks their quiet existence, and there are only two ways their life can become orderly again: either by forcing you to their will or acquiescing to yours. What you must do to obtain an early waiver is to make the latter the easiest path for them.
At first, however, an attempt will usually be made to bend you to their will by some form of intimidation. Many uninformed parents give in to this tack, and so it is tried again and again.
If you are adequately informed, as a reader of this publication should be, you will let the officials know in no uncertain terms that you understand your rights under the law and will not stand for any such shilly-shallying. Invariably, once they discover you are adamant and acquainted with the state law, your waiver will be rapidly forthcoming.
The greatest part of the material on the first four pages is taken from the work of Mrs. Grace Girdwain, of Burbank, Illinois. Our staff has rearranged and edited the information, but we wish the full credit for its existence to go to this courageous woman who has for twelve years worked arduously, without compensation, to help her fellow Americans obtain their legal rights.
The following is an example of the state of Illionois law (where I live) relating to immunizations. Illinois, like most states has no philosophical objection, but does have a religious one.
Illinois Administrative Code Title 77: Public Health
Chapter I: Department of Public Health
Subchapter i: Maternal and Child Health
Part 665 Child Health Examination Code
Subpart E: Exceptions
Section 665.510 Objection of Parent or Legal Guardian
Parent or legal guardian of a student may object to health examinations, immunizations, vision, and hearing screening tests, and dental health examinations for their children on religious grounds. If a religious objection is made, a written and signed statement from the parent or legal guardian detailing such objections must be presented to the local school authority.
General philosophical or moral reluctance to allow physical examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screening, and dental examinations will not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to statutory requirements.
The parent or legal guardian must be informed by the local school authority of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures per IDPH rules. The Control of Communicable Diseases (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690) at the time such objection is presented.
Section 665.520 Medical Objections
a) Any medical objections to an immunization must be:
1) Made by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches indicating what the medical condition is.
2) Endorsed and signed by the physician on the certificate of child health examination and placed on file in the child's permanent record.
b) Should the condition of the child later permit immunization, this requirement will then have to be met. Parents or legal guardians must be informed of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures when such objection is presented per Section 665.510.