Tell the ER docs that your kid isn't vaxed?! - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-13-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading an article yesterday on ER visits (don't ask me why, we never go to the ER!) and one of the things it said is always tell the ER staff if your kid isn't vaxed because it's critical information.

Can someone explain this to me?!?! I don't really understand how it could be critical that they know (especially since the same diseases can show up in fully vaxed kids!) and I feel like it would just prejudice their care and shift the focus off the emergency situation.

Would you tell ER staff? And if you wouldn't bring it up yourself, what would you say if you were directly asked, "Is he fully vaccinated?"

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Old 02-13-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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" (especially since the same diseases can show up in fully vaxed kids!)"
You know this, and I know this, but some doctors either don't know this, refuse to believe it, or think that the chances of a fully vaxed child contracting a VAD are so remote that it does not merit consideration.

There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices, order invasive testing based soley on vaccine status, and treat their children with hostility due to vaccine status. Others have had no trouble at all, or just a raised eyebrow.

Some here have a personal policy of only reporting vaccine status if they think the doctor may overlook something relevant (so no for a broken arm). I think if I revealed this information it would be followed by "and her regular doctor supports our decision."

"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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Old 02-13-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I would disclose it, because I wouldn't want them to overlook a potentially serious illness, based solely on the fallacy that the child couldn't have XYZ because s/he is vaccinated. When my ds had whopping cough at 8 months old, it was only my persistence that got him the proper screening; they had ruled out whooping cough because he completed the primary DTaP series.


 

 

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Old 02-13-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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To me it is only important if you are taking them in for an illness that you dont know what it is. To me taking a child in for a cut or break they dont need to know vax status because it is irrelevant.

Since I have no intention of getting a tetanus vax there in the ER it is irrelevant if you plan to allow/consider the vax then you should tell.

I have yet to disclose my no vax status for an ER visit for either of my kids because going in I already knew exactly what was wrong with both of them and it had nothing to do with vax status.

 
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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First off I would question why they would rule out whooping cough in a vaccinated child when it is one the most common illnesses that fully vaccinated children get.

I always answer "yes" when they ask is your child fully vaccinated. I would answer different if they asked is your child vaccinated to the CDC standards or the according to the feds. I answer yes because our children are fully vaccinated to our standards (that one that counts ). We spend a lot of time in the hospital and the ER with our 10 year old (he has health problems) really this has never been an issue. A couple of times a nurse has made a huge deal about Liam not having his flu shots and I asked and you are uptodate on juvenile arthritis and the flu shot and the recommendation for this? This always shuts them up immediately.

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Old 02-13-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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If asked I am completely honest about my medical history when I go to the ER, I cannot for any reason think why I shouldn't be completely honest about my children's medical history either.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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The reason is a few people have had CPS called on them when they refuse a vax or claimed a religious exemption. No these people didnt loose their kids but a case was opened against them and they had to go through to get CPS off their backs. I for one dont want to risk that happening to me. Even if the risk is small it is not one I am willing to take.

So at every visit when they ask "Is he/she up to date on vax?" My answer is always yes he/she is.

 
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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If asked I am completely honest about my medical history when I go to the ER, I cannot for any reason think why I shouldn't be completely honest about my children's medical history either.
Here are three:

  1. There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses (as in the children are not being treated) who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices.
  2. Invasive testing is ordered (such as a lumbar puncture for an infant) based solely on vaccine status.
  3. Children have been treated roughly or with hostility due to vaccine status.

"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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Old 02-13-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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I lied, and I would again. Ok it would never come up again since I don't have any minor children anymore. Sorry but there are nut case Drs and nurses that think it's medical neglect to not vax. Vax status does not mean the child does/doesn't have any illness so the answer is irrelevant to the diagnosing of disease.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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I don't see any point in lying to doctors, especially concerning my children.

We've been asked about our vaccination status on each ER visit and have never been hassled, lectured or had CPS files opened on us. It's a non-issue.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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I would personally never lie about my child's medical history.

fwiw we have spent a lot of time in ERs b/c of dd's medical condition, and I have only been asked twice what her vax status was. I simply said that she was not up to date on her vaxes and we moved on to the next question. It was never mentioned again. I'm not saying that is always the case, but that has been our experience.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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i have been to the ER 2 times for dd's asthma.

first time the dr asked i said she was vaxed up to 2 year shots and she will not and is not to have any more vaxes. he looked at me and said that is fine with him and that was the end of that boy was i shocked first time dealing with dr's and vaxes.

second time i never even got asked. i was there in the ER for 6 hours with dd vaxed to 2 years and ds unvaxed. the nurse did have have us wait for 10 min in intake because she was having the room extra cleaned this included washing the walls with cleaners but i didnt know this at the time if i did i would of said to skip it. we have allergies and asthma to clearners so we were dying from it.

in my mind vaxed or unvaxed they need to look at everything when a child is sick for a unknown reason
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Here are three:

  1. There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses (as in the children are not being treated) who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices.
  2. Invasive testing is ordered (such as a lumbar puncture for an infant) based solely on vaccine status.
  3. Children have been treated roughly or with hostility due to vaccine status.
I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
Yes, this is true and ITA but since we are talking about an ER visit, the idea is that it is an emergency.

What next to do? Remove the child, leave and drive to another hospital?

I have a hospital almost in my backyard, but the next closest one is three highways away.

I am mostly just reading this thread though b/c I do not know exactly what I would do. If my child was so sick or injured that I had to take her to the ER, I would be scared to announce her vaccine free status, but at the same time, lying can come back and bite you and it's not something I want to do.

I've heard some people lying by omission or assumption. "Is your child up to date?" Yes, she is (according to the mom's definition). Sneaky though.

How sad that we have to do this to get emergency care for our children!

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
No, I do not know what you mean.

You probably live in an area in which you have a choice of doctors and hospitals. The rest of us are not so lucky. So we often take pot luck and hope for the best and do what is in the best interest of our child in each and every particular ER situation.

Remember also, that accidents occur to children while on holiday in another community, so a parent does not always know the mindset of the particular ER team when they take their child in.

For most medically trained personnel, an unvaccinated child = child neglect and abuse. They see it as their mission to berate and punish the parent and overtreat the child while the child is in the control of their ER, and possibly look for other forms of neglect and abuse to call to the attention of DSS or CPS to further investigate the parents and home situation.

And remember, if you are taking in a child less than two months old and/or the child is born at home, it is SOP to give this child a spinal tap in many ERs. Medical personnel consider the outside to be dirty and they treat babies born outside of the hospital as dirty.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices, order invasive testing based soley on vaccine status, and treat their children with hostility due to vaccine status.


When an ambulance takes one of us to the ER, it goes to the nearest available ER. That generally means one of two hospitals. One hospital didn't give us any problems about not vaxing. The other one... Well, the ER doc harassed me, called the hospital social worker on me for medical neglect, insisted on a ridiculous amount of blood being drawn from my son (who has hard-to-find veins, so they were torturing him), and wanted to catheterize my son and do a spinal tap. All because he had a febrile seizure from a fever spike - and because we didn't vax. If we vaccinated, he would've found the fever cause much earlier - a simple ear infection. Because we didn't vaccinate, he decided to punish me and my infant son. He insisted that my son must have a VPD, and so he needed all these invasive tests. I declined the catheter (bagged instead for the urine sample) and the spinal tap (are you freakin' kidding me?!?). I knew I had to allow the blood draw or else they would've pushed the medical neglect charge beyond the hospital walls. Doctors have far too much power. Doctors with an agenda are dangerous to families like mine.

I've decided to answer the question like this: Look at my child. Look at his symptoms. Any vaccinated child can still get the diseases an unvaccinated child can get. I don't want my child to be overlooked because you believe that vaccines provide 100% protection, or because you believe that unvaccinated children are constantly contagious with vaccine-preventable diseases. My child's vaccination status doesn't matter. You will do a more thorough job without that information.

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've decided to answer the question like this: Look at my child. Look at his symptoms. Any vaccinated child can still get the diseases an unvaccinated child can get. I don't want my child to be overlooked because you believe that vaccines provide 100% protection, or because you believe that unvaccinated children are constantly contagious with vaccine-preventable diseases. My child's vaccination status doesn't matter. You will do a more thorough job without that information.
I love this answer!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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You aren't necessarily there because of disease. The only time I had to take dd to the emergency room was when she hit her head on the coffee table when learning to walk. She did need stitches, and yes they asked if she was up to date on vaxes and yes I lied. It was irrelevant to the reason I was there anyway. I wasn't going to invite trouble.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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To me it is only important if you are taking them in for an illness that you dont know what it is. To me taking a child in for a cut or break they dont need to know vax status because it is irrelevant.

Since I have no intention of getting a tetanus vax there in the ER it is irrelevant if you plan to allow/consider the vax then you should tell.

I have yet to disclose my no vax status for an ER visit for either of my kids because going in I already knew exactly what was wrong with both of them and it had nothing to do with vax status.


I agree with this. If ds ever had to go to the ER and we had no idea what was wrong with him...I would probably tell them about his vax status. Other than that, I wouldn't. Thankfully, we haven't had to deal with it. I pray we never will. When I had to take ds to a doc outside of town, it was a knee jerk reaction to say 'yes, he is vaccinated' because I never care to open a can of worms, whether it be a medical professional, mom at the park or sometimes even family and friends.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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What a timely thread. Ds was in the ER this morning with a fever, vomiting and pain in the neck. Since we were concerned about meningitis I did reveal vax status. The dr questioned it, but more in a friendly way than in an "I'm out to get you" way. We had an interesting discussion on vaccines (after my ds was diagnosed with strep, not meningitis). Other times (when we've been in the ER for something that has nothing to do with vaccines) I've said "Owen is current on his vaccinations according to my schedule and with his doctors knowledge". At our local ER (well, we have 3 but I only use one for my ds) they ask vax status every single time we go in (which, unfortunately, is quite a lot ).

ETA- when ds had to go to the ER this summer (and was admitted for 4 days) due to high fever (107) and belly pain nobody questioned our vax decision, outside of the original "is he up to date on his vaccines".

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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No, I do not know what you mean.

You probably live in an area in which you have a choice of doctors and hospitals. The rest of us are not so lucky. So we often take pot luck and hope for the best and do what is in the best interest of our child in each and every particular ER situation.

Remember also, that accidents occur to children while on holiday in another community, so a parent does not always know the mindset of the particular ER team when they take their child in.

For most medically trained personnel, an unvaccinated child = child neglect and abuse. They see it as their mission to berate and punish the parent and overtreat the child while the child is in the control of their ER, and possibly look for other forms of neglect and abuse to call to the attention of DSS or CPS to further investigate the parents and home situation.

And remember, if you are taking in a child less than two months old and/or the child is born at home, it is SOP to give this child a spinal tap in many ERs. Medical personnel consider the outside to be dirty and they treat babies born outside of the hospital as dirty.
Actually I have been fortunate enough to never have brought either of my kids to our ER, so I have no idea if my local one is any good. I do live in a large urban area, so if it came down to it, I have the ability to pack up and leave to go to another hospital less than 15 minutes away. Urgent care is 2 for 2 in misdiagnosing my kids though. our non vax status had nothing to do with either case though. The only ER we have used was in a small town when visiting family and my son was treated very kindly.

I don't know where you get your info that MOST medical professionals believe and unvaxinated kid = neglect or abuse though. My kids have had two regular pediatricians, two trips to urgent care, one trip to an ER and no one once ever batted an eye about our vax status. My current ped. needs me to sign a refusal form, but he practically apologizes for having to ask me since his medical group requires one. So anecdotal on my behalf, yes. But we are 5 for 5 in not knowing a doctors stance on vaxing in advance and never had an issue with them or their support staff.

My statement wasn't meant to say a parent already knows how a doctor feels, but that chances are if a physician is that bad to begin with, your kids vax status isn't going to make them a better doctor. No matter what as parents I'm sure we all advocate for our children. I've fired doctors that did not in my opinion have my best interests at heart and if I was unlucky enough to have something similar happen with my kids I'd not hesitate in finding some other care.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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I to would find other care if needed if I was in a position to do so. In some cases it is impossible to take your child somewhere else because of distance and/or because of the seriousness of the injury/illness.

I took my ds to the ER Sunday morning after he jumped off the toy box and hit his nose on the very edge of the foot board. He had to be seen right then to get the stitches and check for head injury since he it HARD.

I told them yes he was up to date but lets say that I told them no he wasnt and the ER dr decided to make a big deal out of it. I couldnt leave with ds because his nose was still bleeding and we still didnt know about head injury status. I would have had to drive an hour + to get him seen at another ER. During that time his life could have been in danger.

In the mean time the original ER dr could already have alerted CPS and then I would have them showing up at my door because of the charge of neglect. They see something in my house they dont agree with and wham I am screwed.

So it is safer to just say yes than to possibly have to deal with what some of the pp's have had to deal with. It isnt a big deal to just say yes while it could be a heck of a big deal to say no and the Dr. decide to make your life miserable.

 
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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I think it would depend on the reason for the visit. For a broken bone or another obvious trauma injury, yes she is up to date (she is according to the schedule we have agreed on with her ped, which is none). For a less obvious illness that truly needs diagnoses, I would tell that she is unvaxed.

My reason for thinking this way is that I spent 2 months with a terrible case of whooping caugh that went undiagnosed despite several trips to doctors because I was up to date on my shots. The doctor that finally diagnosed me (after I had begun to recover on my own) said it was a classic case. He was an older doctor.

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Old 02-15-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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I don't know where you get your info that MOST medical professionals believe and unvaxinated kid = neglect or abuse though.
...I said "MOST".

I have five children. We have lived in several states and one foreign country. Experience has taught me that truth. You are not denying my own true life experience are you? I have not imagined it.

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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...I said "MOST".

I have five children. We have lived in several states and one foreign country. Experience has taught me that truth. You are not denying my own true life experience are you? I have not imagined it.

Pyrodjm: I hope everything works out for you. Keep us posted. We do care.
Absolutely I am not denying your own true life experience. But I think what you mean really is that in your experience most medical professionals feel this way. This is very different than saying for a fact that most feel this way. If I were to go by my own personal experiences I could say ALL are okay with it, but I don't have any study to prove this so I just explained it as my experience instead.

I've had some doctors that have seemed to be on a mission to punish me or make my life miserable. I know they are out there, I'm not denying that. Benifit of the doubt tells me that most medical professionals don't go into the career simply for the terrible hours, high stress and big bucks. There are medical professionals out there who genuinely care about people and want to do what is right, not just be proven right.

For that reason if a physician feels it is necessary to ask me my kids vax status I tell them the complete truth. When I go to the doctor, especially if it's something for my kids I tend to ask a lot more questions than are asked of me. I need to fully understand all options before I agree to any tests. And I do so all very politely and if not in too much pain with a big a smile I can muster on my face. Never in a "I don't trust you" chip on my shoulder way, but in a "I'm sorry but I'm going to need more info before I can decide. If you need to see someone else and come back that's okay." sort of way. The only doctor who said he was the doctor and he gets to decide without me questioning him, was immediately told not to come near me or my room. Another doctor was called, and it turns out I was right.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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No, I don't think that's being honest to shove off her statement as purely a personal experience.

All you need to do is float away from mothering momentarily to find hundreds and hundreds of blogs, articles, journals, forums etc written by doctors who perpetrate myths about vaccination over and over again.

Heck, you actually don't need to leave MDC at all. Just browse the numerous posts asking for friendly doctors or read the stories of getting kicked out again by a ped, etc.

A doctor or nurse who isn't foaming at the mouth over vaccines is a rare luxury.

To assume the ERs in our nation are somehow exempt from this is not realistic.

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:05 AM
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I always get asked, and I always say "we have a philosophical exemption." So far, they've just nodded and moved on. (Knock on wood.)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always get asked, and I always say "we have a philosophical exemption." So far, they've just nodded and moved on. (Knock on wood.)
Oh I like this too. I said something similar to my OB about birth control once (that I'm religiously opposed) and she was immediately all apologetic & promised to never bring it up again!!

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A doctor or nurse who isn't foaming at the mouth over vaccines is a rare luxury.

To assume the ERs in our nation are somehow exempt from this is not realistic.
This, totally... We've already switched pedis (after very very careful screening in the first place to find one more "accepting" of not vaxing!) It's a horrible feeling to have your love for your child questioned!!! It's like a stab in the heart when a doctor implies you don't have your child's best interests in mind! And I worked for a pedi in another state several years ago... they did NOT think highly of non-vaxing parents and they kicked them out of the practice. There are 2 docs in my state that are truly OK with not vaxing (yes I realize there COULD be more than 2 but even in my Tribal Area here on MDC there are only 2 docs people have had much success with.

Artgoddess, I imagine you live in an area where people are very open-minded on this issue??

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
This is what I used to think too. It is pretty shocking that these smart people would actually not put the patient's best interests first. But it happens. A lot.
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