I thought some people might be interested in this.
It's against AAP recommendation to refuse to see unvaccinated children. Furthermore, they not only exclude unvaccinated children, but also selective/delayed vaccinating families. I think it's just a scare tactic to force parents to do what they want. Committed parents will just find other doctors.
I think over time doctors also will start to refuse to see adult patients who don't get yearly shots and such... Pretty soon my family will only have access to emergency care in this country! I don't want to see a doctor though anyways who refuses to let me choose my own health care, and hence a doctor who has blatant disregard for informed choice.
This line made me laugh:
You're dealing with someone who is not trusting you and your advice," he said. "So, when will they trust your advice?"
translation: a patient that does not listen to me or take my advice about vaccines will not listen to me or take my advice about ANYTHING. This black and white thinking is dangerous.
People can have different viewpoints and opinions on things and still work together and maintain meaningful relationships. Why should it be any different with one's doctor? I'm a psychiatric social worker. I mean HOLY CRAP!! If I fired every patient I see because they didn't follow my advice, I would have NO PATIENTS! I work with some very seriously mentally ill patients. Those people still have the right to refuse to take medications even if they are delusional, and psychotic. I can't imagine telling one of them I won't help you anymore because you won't take medication. One of the first things one is taught in social work school is "start where the patient is". Seems like they should be teaching that in med school as well.
Now, pediatricians across the country — and particularly in vaccine-averse pockets such as northern Idaho, Boulder, Colo., Washington State and Marin County, Calif. — are stuck figuring out how to respond to patients whose parents obtain immunization exemptions on medical, philosophical or religious grounds. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends doctors continue to treat — and educate — anti-vaccine families, some pediatricians are electing to “fire” patients who swear off vaccines.
What the heck? Lol, they need to educate us. Right!
Now, to play the devil's advocate, I do understand why physicians want to fire the parents who don't vaccinate. They wholeheartedly believe that vaccines are good, and they are frustrated that parents won't listen to their recommendations. You know, they go through so many years of education, and it must be irritating to have these know-it-all parents think they know more about medicine. I can see why some doctors would be frustrated with that.
Do I think it's right to fire a family who doesn't vaccinate? No. I wish there were more doctors who were supportive of delayed/selective and non-vaccinating families. But, as long as the "doctored" vaccine "facts" prevail in medical school, we don't have much of a chance. Doctors believe what they are taught, and it is at this level where there needs to be a change. We can help make the change by continuing to speak out. This will help force the medical establishment to tell the truth.
IMO, doctors (if they are independant) or their employers (if they work for a hospital practice) should have a right to decide who they will establish a long term care relationship with. If they feel that a patient's beliefs or behaviors will hinder what they consider appropriate health care, and that patient is set on those behaviors and beliefs, it wouldn't be a great doctor patient relationship anyway.
And likewise, patients should be able to choose practictioners who respect their views on health, and are willing to work with them.
Obviously, there needs to be some allowance for emergency care, and I believe there are laws regarding that. But long-term doctor-patient relationships do tend to work better if there is understanding, agreement, and trust on both ends.
And this is not just vaccine-related. The same issue happens revolving around pregnancy and birth. And there are many reasons a doctor might need to "fire" a patient from their practice, very valid reasons too. I am sure liability plays a part in this as well. A practice could concievably face serious repercussions, either legal or in terms of patients coming to see them, if they are known to accept non-vaccinated patients and an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease were to be traced back to their waiting room.
The "BAD MOMMY" form and the Dr documenting that the parent was educated about vaccinations and refused them against medical advice will protect the Dr against legal action. Being careful about scheduling could fix other issues- scheduling newborns to visit before older children, not making newborns hang out for an hour in the waiting room, having separate "sick" and "well child" rooms, not having toys/books in the waiting area (can transmit germs) or having sani-wipes that parents can use to wipe off toys before/after the children play with them. How about scheduling non-vaxy patients last in the day? Make them wait outside in the parking lot holding one of those pagers that restaurants use? Nah- probably easier just to fire non vaxers. Oh and they better fire vaccinated children with VPD's too just to be on the safe side.
Another problem is that there are fewer and fewer doctors that practice outside of large medical groups. A physician with an independent or smaller practice is more easily able to practice in whatever manner they choose. However, in a larger group, even those that might be willing to treat unvaccinated children, might not be able to exercise that option because the practice is likely to have a "policy" that governs the way that all physicians in the group will practice. These "policies" will undoubtedly reflect the way the mainstream medical community is moving, i.e. taking a harder stance toward vaccination.
The trouble with this policy is that if every practice adopts it, those of us who selectively vaccinate eventually won't be able to vaccinate at all. If doctors everywhere are booting us naughty, non-compliant parents, where are we going to get the vaccines that we DO want?
Fortunately, I still have options in my area, but not everybody does. By taking choice away from parents and families, they are shooting themselves in the foot.; if they force us to choose between all or nothing, it will usually end up being nothing. We don't have to get any vaccines AT ALL, so if public health and children's lives were truly that concerning to physicians, you'd think they'd at least be willing to work with those of us on alternative schedules rather than force us into a situation where we cannot vaccinate at all.
ETA: I got a kick out of this segment.
Gard said that he and his 10 colleagues at Physicians to Children do not believe they are abandoning patients. He said instead he believes that the impasse over vaccines indicates a broken doctor-patient relationship.
"You're dealing with someone who is not trusting you and your advice," he said. "So, when will they trust your advice?"
So as long as we OBEY their "advice" without a shred of skepticism, we have a good relationship? Gotcha. What he describes sounds less like a "broken relationship" and more like a broken doctor ego...
"I really believe that we should not abandon our patients because they have chosen not to be immunized but to make sure they have the information to fully understand the decision they are making." Oh right, because a pro-vax ped is going to give parents unbiased information about vaccines, sure..
Doctors who are turning away non-vax'ers IMO are doing non-vaxer's a favor by showing their true colors. I would never bring my kids to a doctor who just tolerated my decisions; I couldn't trust someone like that to care well for my kids. They need to support and understand my decision not to vax. I realize I'm blessed to have a great ped, perhaps if ped's like this are scarce in certain area's I can see why this would be upsetting. But I had several to choose from, so it's been my assumption that they're out there and always will be, you just may have to search a little harder.
Good riddance. They do us all a favor when they demonstrate what little regard they have for the patient's right to informed consent. Anyone who gets "fired" (yeah right, as if you work for them and not vice versa) by such a physician has just dodged a bullet. It's win-win, really.
Couldn't agree more!
Well we got "fired" and I wish there was a practice nearby that would take my kids- I wouldn't care what they thought of me.
Nah... 98% of parents vaccinate their kids to schedule in most parts of the country,
What is it that you need from a ped that you would go with just anyone who would accept you? Is it well-visits required for school or something? Just curious.