I’ve been wanting to do a thread like this for awhile!
An article on vaccinations in the journal Pediatrics reminds physicians:
Health care providers are legally obliged to obtain informed consent before treating a patient.
And the Centers for Disease Control tells doctors:
Parents should be helped to feel comfortable voicing any concerns or questions they have about vaccination, and providers should be prepared to listen and respond effectively.
So I say…..what are we waiting for? Let’s bring on the questions!
I need YOUR contributions to compile a list of questions about vaccinations that parents may wish to ask their providers. (You can also use these on anyone else in a vax discussion).
The SECOND post in this thread will contain the questions “filed” under different categories. To keep the questions in a central location, I will periodically update the post with new contributions.
Some things to keep in mind before you post:
- Please participate only if you understand and agree with the merits of this approach---namely, asking a provider questions before consenting to or declining vaccination for you or your child. Please do NOT post to discuss or debate somebody’s questions. The goal is is to keep this thread FOCUSED on questions about individual vaccines, vaccines in general, and vaccine-avoidable diseases.
- Please contribute questions whether you are pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine, pro-delayed/selective vax, or completely undecided. Even if you intend to follow the recommended schedule, remember that even pro-vax sources reiterate that you have the right to ask questions before consenting to vaccination. http://www.parenting.com/health-guide/vaccines/doctor
I honestly see no reason to exclude any reasonable questions contributed to this list. This resource is for you, as a parent, to use at your discretion, so you may skip any questions that don’t concern or apply to you.
- These questions should be delivered with a diplomatic tone and wording; they are to inspire discussion and not debate! They may be challenging and thought-provoking. (Some of you may disagree, but I personally find no problem asking questions to which I already know the answer…worth it if it gets the doctor thinking! ;-) ) On the other hand, we’re not out to play a game of Stump-the-Doc!
Some things to keep in mind before asking your provider these questions:
Supposedly there are doctors out there willing to dedicate a separate appointment to discuss vaccination with parents. (I say “supposedly” because I haven’t personally experienced this…yet). I’ve also heard of email correspondence, but again, that doesn’t seem to be an accepted practice in my area.
- Experienced parents already know this: Well-Child Visits are QUICK (well….at least your encounter with the doctor is. I’m making no promises about the wait time ), so you’ll only get a chance to ask maybe 2-3 of these questions. Pick the ones that matter to you most and seem most relevant to your situation.
They may also believe that you do your “research” on celebrity websites and conspiracy theory blogs. A good many are waiting for you to ask if vaccines cause autism so that they can quickly answer that “all of that’s been debunked.” Others will have canned answers ready for a few other questions.
My point is….you may catch them off-guard with some of the questions in this thread. A good provider will be will to provide an answer that is deliberate, thoughtful, and genuine (vs. rehearsed or dismissive). Assume that they are well-intentioned and genuinely have your child’s best interest in mind.
- Patiently keep in mind that most providers have been led to believe—by their colleagues and by mainstream media—that unless you fully vax your children, you are *scared* (not *skeptical*) and that all they need to do is address your “fears.”
- Another test of a good provider lies in how respectfully and thoroughly s/he handles your questions. Answers that are hyperbolic, dismissive, emotionally manipulative, (i.e. resorting to guilt and fear), condescending (e.g. implying that only a doctor can do “real” research), or bullying, (telling you in so many ways to vaccinate your kid “or else”) are obviously grounds for finding a new provider. Answers that are anecdotal, (“I have patients who…,” “During my residency, I saw…”) may require some gentle prodding for actual science and data. Just remember the importance of mutual respect. It does no good to paint a provider into a defensive corner, and s/he shouldn’t do the same to you!
Good luck! Now let’s get that list going!