Expert in pediatrics takes stand in Michigan anti-vaccination case

Mother cites religious beliefs for anti-vaccines stance

By John Steckroth - Editor

PONTIAC, Mich. - A controversial vaccination case was back in the Oakland County Circuit Court with an expert in pediatrics Monday.

Lori Matheson is fighting her ex-husband Michael Schmitt for the right to decide if their 2-year-old daughter should be vaccinated. Matheson does not want her child to get vaccines. She said autoimmune disease runs in her family and she believes vaccines lead to autism. 

"When I started reading ... that's when I found out that there are some vaccinations that are cultured in aborted fetal cells," she testified. 

Supporters of Lori Matheson, a Michigan mother who is against vaccinating her 2-year-old daughter on grounds of religious beliefs. (WDIV)

Schmitt does not agree. He wants the court to order vaccinations for his daughter. 

"The vaccinations are strongly recommended on both of those forms by the CDC, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, basically every credible doctor," he said in court. 

Matheson came to court Monday with extra counsel, who objected to Dr. Teresa Holtrop to be qualified as an expert in pediatrics. 

Judge Karen McDonald disagreed with Matheson’s attorney. Watch below:

Holtrop is with the Wayne Children’s Healthcare Access Program. During her testimony, Matheson’s attorney’s objections were overruled eight of nine times.

Matheson’s attorney asked her questions about the Institute of Medicine. Holtrop told the court that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the authority in regards to vaccines. 

Holthrop answered questions about which vaccines the girl in question is behind on. They used a cardboard cutout to help visualize the number of vaccines.

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Michigan is one of 17 states that allows for exemptions from vaccines based on religious beliefs. Matheson is citing her religious beliefs as her reason for being anti-vaccinations. Her ex-husband doesn't believe any of that.

Click here for more information about vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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