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Anti-Vax Mom Wouldn’t Take Her Sick Toddler to the Hospital, So Police Intervened

It's raising an important question about parental responsibility and rights.


Last weekend Arizona police raided the home of an anti-vaxxer who refused to take her unvaccinated toddler, who had a fever of 105, to the emergency room. Shocking body cam footage shows officers breaking into the house with guns drawn after the child’s doctor reported the mom to authorities.

According to the Chandler Police Department, Sarah Beck initially took her two-year-old son to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine on February 25. The doctor advised her to go to the hospital immediately because of her child’s high fever. When the doctor found out that Beck had not gone to the ER but instead returned home, she alerted the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

Police say that when they arrived at the house with a search warrant, they heard a child coughing inside. After Beck’s husband, Brooks Bryce, refused to let them in, the officers stormed into the home with guns drawn and forcibly removed the sick two-year-old and the couple’s other two children.

The incident is raising a lot of important questions about parental rights. Some people, like representative Kelly Townsend, believe that the authorities overstepped. “What has our country become that we can tear down the doorway of a family who has a child with a high fever that disagrees with their doctor?” she said to the Arizona Republic. “What about parents’ rights to decide what’s best for their child?”

Nicholas Boca, the family’s attorney, agreed, telling ABC, “It’s absolutely ridiculous. That type of kicking your door in, with guns drawn… it should be reserved for violent criminals.”

Beck, who is being charged along with her husband with child abuse, told CBS, “We love our children. We love them. If our children needed help, we would absolutely help them.”