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Should Pediatricians Be Able to “Fire” Parents?

“There are growing numbers of college-educated parents, who are talking to their pediatricians about whether there is adequate scientific evidence to support the safety of giving children three times as many vaccinations as they use to get,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center. “Rather than engaging them in a constructive conversation, too many pediatricians are simply slamming the door and denying medical care to children when educated parents ask too many questions or want other options.”

Despite recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Medical Association (AMA) urging doctors to maintain relationships with patients and provide medical care to families, more and more pediatricians are “firing” parents who refuse, delay or alter the vaccine schedule for their children, telling them to seek treatment elsewhere.

AAP policy states, “Families with doubts about immunization should still have access to good medical care, and maintaining the relationship in the face of disagreement conveys respect and at the same time allows the child access to medical care.”

A national survey published in Pediatrics in 2010 concluded that “more than 1 in 10 parents of young children use an alternative vaccination schedule” and 22% have serious safety concerns about the vaccine schedule that doctors recommend.

A national poll by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 9 in 10 parents rank vaccine and drug safety as their top priority for child health research.

A recent survey of 900 doctors conducted at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, found that 21% of doctors stopped seeing patients, who refused vaccines or asked for alternative vaccination schedules. This past summer, the Chicago Tribune reported that doctors are refusing to treat unvaccinated children and described a letter eight doctors in a big pediatric practice sent to families informing them they would no longer see children, whose parents declined to follow the CDC-­recommended childhood vaccination schedule.

“In addition to families with healthy children, who want to make selective vaccine choices, there are lots of families, whose children have severe allergies or have experienced previous vaccine reactions, and want to reduce vaccine reaction risks,” said Fisher. “When pediatricians threaten parents, families may stop seeking regular check-­‐ups and may end up not vaccinating at all instead of delaying or spacing out the vaccines.”

American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines state that a doctor may refuse medical care only after giving the patient enough notice to find another physician. State rules vary, but doctors generally must document the behavior, inform the patient what the problem is, give him or her a chance to change and, finally, send a certified letter stating the relationship is over. However, they must continue to provide medical care, as needed, for an additional 30 days. The AAP has also published guidelinesfor pediatricians electing to dismiss families if they do not follow AAP and CDC vaccination recommendations.

What do you think?  Do physicians have the right to choice who they want to treat?  Do parents have the knowledge to make important medical decisions on behalf of their children?

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Debbie

Tuesday 27th of November 2012

I think a doctor should have the right to refuse treatment but I feel that a lot of pediatricians are motived by the vaccination schedule and the business that it brings to their practice. I also think that informed consent is not being performed as is required by federal law. The ingredients alone in a vaccination should give cause for concern. An intelligent and well informed doctor should be aware of the parent's concern. Just in my practice, I have seen the harmful affects of vaccinations.

I did not vaccinate my daughter after much research and education on the topic. 23 years later I am even more convinced that I did the right and safe decision for my daughter. I never went to a pediatrician. My daughter got regular chiropractic care, a good nutritional diet, was breast fed, lived by a wellness plan, exercised, Etc. My daughter was really healthy compared to vaccinated children. If vaccinations were so safe, effective and didn't contain toxins, I might consider them. I had too many logical questions regarding vaccinations that no one could answer and I didn't want to take a risk with my daughter's health.

I have trully done the research on vaccinations. What I find often is that people state things but they can't back up what they state. School nurses didn't even know the ingredients in vaccinations. When we start giving a new born a Hep B shot when the mother could be pretested for this concern then you know that something is really wrong with our healthcare. That baby's neurological system isn't ready for that insult.

If our healthcare system continues to be motived by the money and power, it will evidually fail. Oh wait, it already is failing. Have you seen the lastest United States health ranking? We keep going down, down, down.

RG

Thursday 8th of November 2012

I know people who were intimidated by their Doctors into taking unnecessary tests. Mothers with perfect blood sugar levels forced to take the glucose test and intimidated into going through insulin treatment. Unneeded weekly sonograms for a baby that continually passes them with flying colors (meanwhile the Doctor filling the mothers with fear that surely something could be wrong.)

I don't trust a Doctor who feels that he or she has to resort to bullying in order to convince me of his or her point of view. That in and of itself tells me enough about what kind of "knowledge" he or she possesses. One doesn't go to a Doctor simply for medicinal treatment. People come for medical advice, take it or leave it. That is also part of being a Doctor.

Unfortunately, there are too many reasons why a Doctor may feel inclined to act this way. Money, money, money... parents who try to turn on the doc if things didn't work out.

Jennifer

Saturday 28th of January 2012

My newborn was dumped as a patient because I refused vaccines due to my metal allergies -specifically nickel, mercury, and cobalt. If my child inherited these, then the vaccines could have dangerous results on him. Rather than waiting for a test, I was told I could not come back to the clinic - ever! They would not even look into purchasing a thimerisol free brand of the same vaccines. When I called the office manager to complain of this, she said that deviating from the suggested vaccine schedule causes problems for their billing department and not to take it personal. So, basically that network of physicians (MANA in NW Arkansas) is more concerned with proper billing than the health of my child. Now that he is over a year old, his new dr is happy for our business never even asks what vaccines he has had and focuses his energy on why we are in the office in the first place.

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