Eighteen is a special birthday for many teens. The milestone into adulthood is surrounded by many legal privileges. This includes the right to make medical decisions without parental input.
However, one Ohio teen faced some backlash from his mother after he made his first major adult decision concerning his health. Ethan Lindenberger defied his parents’ wishes and decided to celebrate his 18th birthday with vaccine shots.
Lindenberger told NPR that his parents are anti-vaxxers and that he had to go behind their backs to schedule a vaccine appointment. For 16 years, he had never received shots for diseases like hepatitis, mumps, polio, chickenpox, measles, or rubella.
Last November, he asked people on Reddit where should he go to get vaccinated.
His mother, however, described her son’s decision as insulting and a “slap in the face.” Jill Wheeler, who owns a children’s theater company, said of her son:
“It was like him spitting on me saying ‘You don’t know anything, I don’t trust you with anything. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You did make a bad decision and I’m gonna go fix it.'”
But Lindenberger believes his mom is incredibly ill-informed.
Watch the teen explain his views below:
Growing up, he said his parents claimed that certain vaccines could cause brain damage and autism. Eventually, he began researching the benefits of the disease prevention treatment and shared the information with his mother.
The mother of seven shared her stance on the issue with Fox 59:
“I have seven children; five have not been vaccinated.”
“At the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is best for your children and it’s not going to be agreeable to everyone.”
After Wheeler’s experience with Lindenberger, she’s decided to convince her younger children not to receive vaccines.
According to The Hill, anti-vaccination debates are causing more and more teens to defy their parents and get vaccine shots amid measles outbreaks.
However, some have accused Lindenberger of staging his story. But he says he’s actually a high school senior and that it’s a real story.
From my Reddit AMA in case some were asking. Not addressing anything here on FB in any comments due to high levels of…
Lindenberger went against his parents’ anti-vaccine beliefs and recently received his first round of shots for HPV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza despite causing tension at home.