ALBANY, N.Y., July 28, 2020 /PRNewsCentre/ — Attorneys Sujata Gibson, Michael H. Sussman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mary Holland filed a class action lawsuit last Thursday in Federal Court challenging the constitutionality of New York State’s Department of Health regulations that allow school principals to overrule treating physicians on recommendations about medical exemptions to immunization for medically fragile kids. The named plaintiffs, eight New York State families whose valid medical exemptions for their school children were overruled, and Children’s Health Defense (CHD) ask that the court declare the policy unconstitutional and allow children back into school.
"What these families have gone through shocks the conscience," said lead attorney Sujata Gibson. "Since the regulation took effect in August 2019, thousands of immunocompromised children in New York have had their treating physicians overruled and been removed from school."
In powerful detail, the complaint describes how these families have sought and received multiple exemptions from physicians and specialists, only to have them denied by school officials with no medical training. This widespread practice of rejecting valid medical exemptions is especially bewildering as New York repealed the religious exemption to vaccination in June 2019, arguing that it was to protect immunocompromised and medically vulnerable children.
"My child has suffered enough because of his health condition," said plaintiff Jane Doe. "Why must he suffer school expulsion and ostracism too?" Treating physicians assert that the policies are preventing them from doing their jobs: "Physicians who are on the ground, caring for these medically vulnerable children, need to be able to defend children’s health without fear of professional and personal threats," said Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., CHD Chairman, stated, "The right to a valid medical exemption from vaccine mandates has been federal law and policy for over 100 years. New York betrays children when it rejects exemptions from licensed, treating physicians in favor of the say-so of principals and superintendents."
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SOURCE: Children’s Health Defense