Imposing tort liability on parents who fail to vaccinate their children would not serve the public health and public policy interests that drive childhood immunization efforts. The public policy goals of vaccination are to slow the spread of disease and to reduce mortality and morbidity. Our country’s public health laws already play a substantial role in furthering these goals. Although application of tort law may be an appropriate response to some of the problems that result from vaccination noncompliance, there also is a need to cultivate public understanding of the connection between individual actions and collective wellbeing. It is doubtful that the imposition of individual tort liability will achieve this goal.
Daniel B. Rubin & Sophie Kasimow,
The Problem of Vaccination Noncompliance: Public Health Goals and the Limitations of Tort Law,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol107/iss1/7