June 16, 2014
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Brooklyn federal court judge recently dismissed the lawsuit of a practicing Roman Catholic who objected, on religious grounds to the mandatory immunization of her young daughter for school.
In court papers, Dina Check, 47, of West Brighton, said she believes the body is a temple, and injecting vaccines into it “would defile God’s creation of the immune system … (and) demonstrate a lack of faith in God, which would anger God and therefore be sacrilegious.”
The state Public Health Law requires that children be vaccinated against a number of diseases, including mumps, measles, polio, diphtheria and rubella.
Ms. Check’s other children were vaccinated; however, she said she regretted doing so and had since turned to holistic medicine.
District Judge William F. Kuntz II tossed out Ms. Check’s lawsuit and the suits of two other plaintiffs who made similar claims.
In striking down Ms. Check’s claim, Kuntz said the U.S. Supreme Court has “strongly suggested” that religious objectors “are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations” and that courts in the jurisdiction have “resolutely found there is no such constitutional exemption.”
A moral theologian told the Advance the Catholic Church doesn’t oppose vaccinations.
Ms. Check’s lawyer, Patricia Finn, said she will appeal the ruling.
“The law is not well settled, the practice of vaccinating is dangerous and we do not experiment on children in the United States,” said Ms. Finn in a statement. “The due-process rights of Americans, protected by the United States Constitution, guarantee that an individual in this country can refuse injections that could potentially kill them, for any reason, medical, religious or otherwise.”