Signing a no vax waiver for doctor's office - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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How come there's no consent form to RECEIVE the vaxes? (at least, it doesn't sound like there is?) Better yet, how about a universal form where you can check off which vaxes you want to receive/decline all on one form?

I get that the form is used to protect the doctor but I really can see how it *could* be used against the patient. I also don't understand why you have to sign something to opt out but not to opt in, it's backwards from everything else i.e. you don't sign a form to opt out of surgery!

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#32 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
How come there's no consent form to RECEIVE the vaxes?
Regulations and policies for consent vary from state to state, so I can only speak with authority to where I practice. We have a general consent that is signed by the parent/guardian. This consent covers treatments, testing, and access to medical records. Trying to obtain signed consents for every specific treatment is cumbersome and impractical. Once I do it for immunizations, do I have to get signed permission for everything else? How about a finger prick to do a lead or iron test? What about a throat swab? a nebulizer treatment? checking blood pressure? documenting weight?


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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I get that the form is used to protect the doctor but I really can see how it *could* be used against the patient. I also don't understand why you have to sign something to opt out but not to opt in, it's backwards from everything else i.e. you don't sign a form to opt out of surgery!
But there is absolutely no precedent for this form being used against the patient (or more specifically, the parent), and furthermore, if someone ever did pursue that from a legal standpoint, the signed deferral doesn't make the case any stronger than the actual fact that they deferred in the first place. I mean, you as a parent are ultimately responsible and liable for the well being of your child. If you cause them harm be it actively (say, physical abuse), or passively (i.e. neglect), you are going to be held liable. While I cannot fathom anyone ever going after a parent or guardian with this argument in regards to an unimmunized child, if they did, the facts wouldn't change based on the waiver being signed.

Think about it:
Did the parent have the opportunity to immunize? Yes
Were the presented with information? Yes
Did they elect not to immunize? Yes

These are true whether the form is signed or not.

And again, I want to stress: I AM NOT advocating that a parent or guardian should be pursued like this. I believe that would be absolutely ridiculous and offensive.

I'm just saying that if some entity was crazy enough to do this, and the case wasn't tossed out as baseless, the signed form would make no difference.

The other reason for signing the form is that technically, you are AMA (against medical advice). You said you don't sign a form if you opt out of surgery. But, if the decision was expressly in opposition to that which is recommended, often times you do sign a waiver. And just like with the immunizations, it's not so that you are held liable, it's so the physician/facility/etc... isn't.

Without arguing the merits of immunization (I tend to think we might disagree on that), you have to make the appropriate comparison.

The comparison to opting out of surgery isn't say, an elective gall bladder removal where the alternative is to try medication and see. The comparison is to an aortic aneurysm, where there is no medically acceptable alternative to surgery.

Again, I understand and respect that YOU may not agree that there is no good alternative to immunization. But you have to at least respect that from the medical standpoint, I don't have an acceptable alternative that doesn't leave me open to liability. If I tell the patient that it's okay not to have surgery for the aneurysm and they die as a result, I'm liable. If I tell the parent it's okay not to have the immunization and the child gets sick as a result, I'm liable then too.

Does that make sense?
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#33 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I guess what I'm saying is it seems kind of inconsistent... OK how about antibiotics? If a kid has a mild ear infection and the parent would rather wait & see than immediately start antibiotics, do you make them sign a 'refusal to medicate' waiver? Or if they have a sprain & don't want to wrap it in those stretchy bandages (mind blank on what they're called ) then do you make them sign a form consenting to not wrapping it? Or how about a form to refuse starting solids at 4mos? (P.S. I'm saying 'you' but I mean it generally not targeting you specifically, though I am curious about your thoughts on this!)

As far as the waiver itself, no I don't see how a waiver like you've composed could be used against the parents, but the AAP waiver specifically talks about "knowingly putting you child at risk" etc. (and many of us on here would argue the shots are much more risky than not vaxing of course, so we would not feel we were putting our children at risk)... So say, for ex., a parent was being investigated by CPS (unfounded case) and they invesitgated the medical records. Having signed something that says you are knowingly & willingly putting your child at risk sounds pretty awful...

Also I object to the part about the parents being presented with all the information & had their questions answered etc. because our old pedi, for example, knew next to nothing about the vax ingredients and actually MADE UP statistics (I double-checked them when I got home to make sure I wasn't just confused)... so I would never want to sign something saying my pedi had provided me with all the info etc.

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#34 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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The comparison to opting out of surgery isn't say, an elective gall bladder removal where the alternative is to try medication and see. The comparison is to an aortic aneurysm, where there is no medically acceptable alternative to surgery.
I don't think that is a valid comparison (though your explanation of the medical POV is helpful). In this situation there isn't a "problem" that is "cured" by vaccination. Vaccinations are prophylactics given to a healthy person that can cause harm.

Though I don't quarrel with signing a declination form, the AAP form is intended to imply that the parents are irresponsible and to pressure them into vaccinating.

Quote:
http://www.aap.org/immunization/pedi...oVaccinate.pdf
AAP Documenting Parental Refusal to Have Their Children Vaccinated

The use of this or a similar form demonstrates the importance
you place on appropriate immunizations, focuses the parents’ attention on the unnecessary risk for which they are accepting responsibility, and may in some instances induce a wavering parent to accept your recommendations.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#35 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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As far as I'm concerned the forms are just another way to try and intimidate parents into complying.
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#36 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dixielane View Post
Well, crap. I signed something today. I too didnt read it, had a wiggling crying baby, and the nurse just said "sign here". Erg! Can I totally retract my signature, or is it absolutely permanant now for all eternity!?? I might not go back to vax my baby, I don't know yet, but I don't want anyone having that information ON a file..
I also signed this form in the past too and just recently sent my pediatrician's office a retract-type statement, retracting my signature from one line in particular on that form which states:

“I know that failure to follow the recommendations about vaccination may endanger the health or life of my child and others that my child might come in contact with.”

I wrote a very professional letter to them explaining in no way, shape, or form would I ever endanger my child and that my husband and I strongly oppose. I also went into the fact that there is no guarantee that the deliberate introduction of killed or live microorganisms into the body of a healthy child will not compromise the health of that child. In addition, there are no guarantees that the vaccine will indeed protect the child from contracting a disease. Thus, I am not endangering my child by not vaccinating, but indeed, we are protecting him. (Note: These are my beliefs as I don't want to offend anyone who feels differently.)

I got the letter notarized and sent it certified mail with receipt, and I intend to keep all of that together for my own records as well. I'm not sure how much weight this retraction letter holds, but it made me feel better having written it so they can attach it to the AAP Refusal to Vaccinate form that I signed and place in my child's file in case there are any questions. For future, I am going to simply cross that line out before signing.
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#37 of 41 Old 07-31-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I signed the form, but crossed off the "bad parent" part, as well as the part about the ped discussing risks and benefits of the vax, cause she did not tell me the risks of the vax, nor was she even really completely aware that I DID know all the risks of the vax anyway0

but, that said, I probably wont sign it for future kids.
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#38 of 41 Old 08-03-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I signed this form last week and it was an eye opener as I had no clue it even existed. I have many friends who choose not to vax and I was aware there was a religious waiver, but not the AAP form/statement. I was so concerned about signing it that I thought to come and search on the MDC boards about it.

My DD (4) had all of her shots up until the 4-6 year old series. We simply wanted to get the CP shot as a single this time and the others after she turns 5. My logic is that she is still within the 4-6 year recommended time frame, but the dr. said that since she was recommending that I get them -now- that I would, from this point on, be considered behind in her vaccinations. I expressed confusion because it clearly states on the CDC websites, even the offices' own website, "4-6 years". So to me she is still up to date on her vaccines.

I felt I was treated very frostily compared to past visits and was given the strong impression that the only way she would let me get the CP vax separately is if I signed the form. I assumed if I neglected to sign it would still be notated in the file, so I did. I even questioned her about it and asked if this was just to protect them from lawsuits and her response was "No, no, just to make sure you know the risks." I informed her I thought it was worded rather outrageously.

I wish I had seen this thread because I didn't even think to cross out the parts I felt were over the top!

Anyways, I'm rambling but thanks for posting the link to the AAP form and explanation of it's use.
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#39 of 41 Old 08-03-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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I signed something like this for our doctor years ago. It was a CYA thing for her and she was a good doctor who was supportive of our "alternative" choices.

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#40 of 41 Old 08-03-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mandy F View Post
I also signed this form in the past too and just recently sent my pediatrician's office a retract-type statement, retracting my signature from one line in particular on that form which states:

“I know that failure to follow the recommendations about vaccination may endanger the health or life of my child and others that my child might come in contact with.”

I wrote a very professional letter to them explaining in no way, shape, or form would I ever endanger my child and that my husband and I strongly oppose. I also went into the fact that there is no guarantee that the deliberate introduction of killed or live microorganisms into the body of a healthy child will not compromise the health of that child. In addition, there are no guarantees that the vaccine will indeed protect the child from contracting a disease. Thus, I am not endangering my child by not vaccinating, but indeed, we are protecting him. (Note: These are my beliefs as I don't want to offend anyone who feels differently.)

I got the letter notarized and sent it certified mail with receipt, and I intend to keep all of that together for my own records as well. I'm not sure how much weight this retraction letter holds, but it made me feel better having written it so they can attach it to the AAP Refusal to Vaccinate form that I signed and place in my child's file in case there are any questions. For future, I am going to simply cross that line out before signing.
Mandy, you did the right thing by retracting your signature and anyone else who agreed to such a form should do the same. What people have to understand is that everything you sign is contract. There are MANY court cases based on contracts. Erie Railroad vs Thompkins. No Contract, no case. If you sign something that clearly states you are possibly endangering the health of your child/children or your parent rights may be compromised, you better run.

I see these forms all the time in pediatrician's offices and no one EVER reads the contract. Please, never sign a document without fulling comprehending what it is you are agreeing to. Sometimes what you may believe something means, means something entirely different in the world of legalese and trust me, it can and will be used against you.

If a doctor tries to pressure you into signing a form tell him/her that you will discuss it with your attorney and contact them at a later date. Or simply decline signing the form. This may mean you are told to leave the practice, but at least you haven't compromised your rights or incriminated yourself.

Just to toss this out there, if these forms a.k.a contracts mean nothing then what are they in place for? We could pose the same question in the reverse. Why do doctors refuse to sign declarations assuming financial responsibilities for injuries. They believe in their products, they believe they are safe, they are advocates for vaccination compliance, yet no doctor, nurse or desk agent will sign that contract. But It's all just useless paper, right? Be careful what you sign, ladies. No matter what anyone tries to tell you.
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#41 of 41 Old 08-06-2010, 04:11 AM
 
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We drive 45 minutes to see our pediatrician because he is one of the only docs we've found who does not require us to sign one of those forms, and he also advocates for holding-off on vax's. Originally we saw a doc for 2 years who required those annoying forms and I felt horrible every time we signed them. It's worth it to us to drive the extra 45 minutes, they don't take our insurance so we have to pay out of pocket (ouch!), and whenever we've had an urgent need to have my dd's seen locally, we just go to a clean, friendly urgent-care who takes our insurance and they've never made us sign a vax form when going in to ask about her high fever, or a rash, etc.
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