How Young Is Too Young? Today’s Children Can Consent to a Range of Procedures

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Canadians as young as 12 can get birth control, abortion, cross-sex hormones, and COVID-19 vaccinations without parental consent if authorities deem them informed enough to decide, a situation that legal experts and advocates call into question. When it comes to vaccinations, Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge who is a senior policy fellow for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, says teen vaccination is inconsistent with other legal restrictions. “Some parents have very strong objections to having their children vaccinated, but if the child can just go ahead and his consent is good enough for vaccinations, how can that be reconciled with the fact that he has to be a certain age to drive a car or to buy liquor?” he said in an interview. On May 5, Health Canada approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years of age, making it the first COVID-19 …

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