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Gour v Moss [2021] NZFC 12883

Published 09 May 2022

Guardianship dispute — vaccination — Covid-19 — global pandemic — Gillick competence — Care of Children Act 2004, ss 4, 5, 6, 46C & 46R — Family Court Rules 2002, r 416ZH — Stone v Reader [2016] NZFC 6130. The applicant father sought orders that the parties' son be vaccinated against Covid-19. The applicant was concerned that the child's existing health conditions meant that Covid-19 presented a significant threat to his health. The respondent mother did not file a response but did appear at the hearing to indicate her opposition to the orders sought. She argued that the vaccine was "experimental" and liable to produce severe side effects. The child's medical practitioner favoured vaccination, and the Court found that expert opinion held that the vaccine was safe and effective. The potential for harmful side effects from vaccination was outweighed by the danger that Covid-19 posed to the child. The Court found that it was in the child's welfare and best interests to be vaccinated as soon as possible, and made orders to this effect. Judgment Date: 20 December 2021. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *