Odd Visit to Pediatrician's -- Thoughts? - Mothering Forums
I'm Not Vaccinating > Odd Visit to Pediatrician's -- Thoughts?
Purple Cat's Avatar Purple Cat 11:35 PM 04-17-2009
I don't vaccinate my twins. They are seen by a pediatrician at a clinic. The clinic's policy has been that they still see unvaccinated children. They don't kick you out for failure to vaccinate.

Our pediatrician is diplomatic and well-mannered, which I greatly appreciate. He has urged me many times to vaccinate, especially as he claims "the measles epidemic is moving into Illinois."

A medical student watched while my children had their WBV a few days ago. At the end, the pediatrician said he had a handful of parents who refused all vaccinations and he wanted to understand their reasoning better. He politely listened to my reasons. I explained that we have religious exemption which has been respected by preschools and by the school district when we registered. I explained that also with that I had read Evidence of Harm. I told him the author, as a writer for the NYT, had credibility with me. I explained that causation is notoriously impossible to prove in population studies, so epidemiological studies showing no caustion between autism and vaccines had little sway with me. I told him Evid. of Harm detailed studies that showed MTHFR seemed to be the biological function for heavy-metal poisoning/autism to result from vaccines. I also was frank that I feared that getting any vaccines jeoparidized the acceptance of our religious exemption.

He very politely listened. He explained that as a pediatrician he felt very concerned about unvaccinated children as measles moved into Illinois. He said he was increasingly seeing children with measles. I responded, well you see children with autism every day, too. I told him I appreciated his concerns. He thanked me for listening and encouraged me to read articles debunking teh MMR-link because "vaccines have never been safer."

I told him that I thought reasonable people could make different decisions and still be good parents. I said ultimately I think it just comes down to trying to make the best decision as a parent in the face of uncertainty and to weigh different risks and probabilities.

What do you think this was about? Thoughts? Reactions? I feel beyond exhausted.

lach's Avatar lach 11:41 PM 04-17-2009
Based on what you said, it sounded like he was being respectful of your opinion, even though he obviously doesn't agree with it. You offered your reasoning, and he offered his. However, it would depend a lot on his tone, which obviously doesn't really come across in a written description of the conversation. It would also depend if he continues to bring it up and nag at you.

I don't think there's anything wrong with him wanting to understand where his patients are coming from: if anything, I think that's a sign of a very good doctor. I do think there's something wrong with him proselytizing to people who aren't interested and have obviously done their own research and come to their own conclusions.
tanyalynn's Avatar tanyalynn 11:55 PM 04-17-2009
The fact that it sounded like he genuinely wanted to understand, and listened, is impressive. And in fact, it's even more impressive to have a doc who sincerely disagrees, but still listens and doesn't browbeat parents who make a different decision. And it's sorta disturbing that he has no other ideas for surviving measles other than vaccination--I think there's a whole lot that parents can do to increase the likelihood that their kids will get measles and be just fine.
stacey05's Avatar stacey05 01:16 AM 04-18-2009
Wow! I think you did GREAT! I might start doing well baby/child visits again if you could come with me and do the talking! I am so NOT good at verbalizing what I want to say especially when someone is on the opposite side of the fence. I think your visit went great and at least he listened to you, didn't kick you out of his practice and didn't say you were a bad parent! I wonder why he is so scared of measles? I know there have been more cases lately, but haven't they all pulled through fine or am I missing something? Of course, I know there is a chance of something going wrong, but there are things you can do to help your child have a better chance of being ok. I only worry about measles because I have a child that has croup when sick and that is supposed to be one of the 3 main causes of death in measles. Of course, we have many treatments to help kids breathe better here in our country and to help manage these symptoms. MMR has a chance of having serious side effects too.

emma1325's Avatar emma1325 01:46 AM 04-20-2009
My immediate impression of your story is that the Dr. was trying to show the med student "how to handle" parents who don't vaccinate.


He may be very nice, but he still insisted that you were wrong without acknowledging and respecting your views based on your research. I wish more doctors would take notes when parents were giving their reasons, and perhaps look more into what parents are actually saying and what they're concerned about.
Full Heart's Avatar Full Heart 03:16 AM 04-20-2009
I've had that line given to me too..."Just trying to understand". I wouldn't offer anything other than its against our religious beliefs. I just love how drs all claim, they had someone in their office, they have seen tons of cases of whatever, measles, WC, insert fav vpd here. How many cases of Measles were there last year? 200? Yes, Il had quite a few of those, like 40. In the whole state. So Yes, he might have seen some measles cases, but what are the chances he saw more than a couple? Besides 1/2 of all the measles cases were in VAXED kids.
KimPM's Avatar KimPM 01:38 PM 04-20-2009
Yes, some peds seem to be mounting their response to non-vaxers, and the AAP is coming out with papers like this:

It seems that it essentially all comes down to your worldview. It's probably best not to get into a discussion with your ped about it, unless you already know they agree with you on the issue.