Bill Requiring Parental Consent For Vaccination Of Children Under Consideration By Tennessee Legislature

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

Legislation that would counteract Tennessee’s “Mature Minor” doctrine, which currently allows children across the state to secure vaccinations and certain other medical care without parental knowledge, continues to advance in the Tennessee General Assembly this week.

Tennessee’s Mature Minor Doctrine seemed to fly under the radar for many state residents until an uproar during the summer of 2021, following release of the Covid-19 vaccine and a Tennessee Health Department official’s encouragement of vaccinating minors without informing their parents.

This doctrine has actually been in place since Cardwell v. Bechtol (1987) which provided that mature minors who are capable of meeting the informed consent standard, also have consent authority. The doctrine was then reaffirmed by Tennessee’s Attorney General in 2003.

House Bill 1380 (HB1380) brought by Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge-District 33) would counteract the doctrine, requiring written consent of a parent or legal guardian before a healthcare professional would be able to provide any vaccinations to a minor. 

Titled the “Mature Minor Doctrine Clarification Act,” this legislation would also prohibit state agencies like the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) from providing vaccines to children in state custody without parental permission. 

However, this would only apply in circumstances where parental rights have not yet been terminated. 

Corresponding Senate Bill 1111 (SB1111) brought by Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16), has already progressed through committee and is scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor today.

If you want to support this legislation, you can use the Find My Legislator tool to contact your Senator.

HB1380 has also been scheduled for consideration by the House Government Operations Committee today, April 10th, 2023.

To support this legislation, you can use the information below to contact House committee representatives prior to the bill hearing.

Rep. John Ragan (R) – Chair – – 615-741-4400

Rep. Jay Reedy (R) – Vice-Chair – – 615-741-7098

Rep. Gino Bulso (R) – – 615-741-6808

Rep. Karen Camper (D) – – 615-741-1898

Rep. Dale Carr (R) – – 615-741-5981

Rep. Jesse Chism (D) – – 615-741-6954

Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) – – 615-741-4410

Rep. John Crawford (R) – – 615-741-7623

Rep. Rick Eldridge (R) – – 615-741-6877

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) – – 615-741-6871

Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D) – – 615-741-2702

Rep. Caleb Hemmer (D) – – 615-741-2035

Rep. Kelly Keisling (R) – – 615-741-6852

Rep. Sabi Kumar (R) – – 615-741-2860

Rep. Justin Lafferty (R) – – 615-741-4110

Rep. William Lamberth (R) – – 615-741-1980

Rep. Mary Littleton (R) – – 615-741-7477

Rep. Pat Marsh (R) – – 615-741-6824

Rep. Greg Martin (R) – – 615-741-2548

Rep. Jake McCalmon (R) – – 615-741-4389

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at

One thought on “Bill Requiring Parental Consent For Vaccination Of Children Under Consideration By Tennessee Legislature

  • April 10, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    Same old, same old. In the name of security, health and happiness, some politicians took it upon themselves to play God with “Mature Minor” Act. Oh of course, they exempted themselves from penalties should a child die or have lifelong ill effects from a basically unproven vaccine. Worse, they left the door open for the children to lie to their parents and, insidiously, opened the door to all manner of lying, cheating and chicanery. Without that law, no school, doctor or hospital would have dared perform sex change therapy on a child without parental consent.


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