The refusal to vaccinate form - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took DS (unvaxed 100%) to his 2 year check up today at the ped's and was asked to fill out this 'refusal to vaccinate' form. We don't do regular well baby visits, at least not at the interval recommended by the pedi, I just take him in when he is sick and once every 6 months to have him weighed and checked.
I have been presented with these forms before, and have naively signed one of them without actually reading it. Today I read it, and there is a line on it that I completely DO NOT agree with.

It reads "I know that failure to follow the recommendations about vaccination may endager the health of or life of my child and others that my child might come in contact with"

The ped basically told me that this form is 'unalterable' and if I don't sign it, then I will be dismissed from their practice.

I do not believe that by not vaccinating my son I am putting his life in danger. In fact, the reason I have chosen NOT to vaccinate my son is because I don't want to put his life in danger.

I feel that by refusing to treat my son on the basis that I do not agree to have him injected is discrimination against my right to have a say in my and my child's health care.

I would like them to remove this line from their form, as I feel it is unfair to mandate the signing of this hogwash.

I don't feel it is fair to us, or other parents who feel this way. And I feel this is an issue that deserves attention. Any suggestions on what kind of actions I can take to change the situation?

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#2 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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I agree with you on this issue. But, if the ped refuses to see your son unless you sign the form without altering it, then that is his right. Here are your options:

1. Sign the form and hope for the best. I don't believe that anyone has ever had this form used against them legally, yet.

2. Refuse to sign the form, inform the ped that it is because of this ridiculous requirement, and find a new ped.

3. Sign the form, but put in large letters next to your signature, "SIGNED UNDER DURESS." This should protect you legally from repercussions from the objectionable wording, and hopefully will also satisfy the office requirement to sign the form. I would also require that I receive a copy of the form and keep it in a safe place in case I needed it in the future.

Sorry you are dealing with this. It is common and completely bogus.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Keeping in mind that #3 in the pp could get you "fired" from the practice.

 
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#4 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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If it is the AAP form they expressly say that it is alterable.

"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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#5 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
Keeping in mind that #3 in the pp could get you "fired" from the practice.
Particularly given that it's the same as not signing in the first place.
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#6 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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That is outrageous. I'd be telling the doc... It was nice knowing ya!

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#7 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
I agree with you on this issue. But, if the ped refuses to see your son unless you sign the form without altering it, then that is his right. Here are your options:

1. Sign the form and hope for the best. I don't believe that anyone has ever had this form used against them legally, yet.

2. Refuse to sign the form, inform the ped that it is because of this ridiculous requirement, and find a new ped.

3. Sign the form, but put in large letters next to your signature, "SIGNED UNDER DURESS." This should protect you legally from repercussions from the objectionable wording, and hopefully will also satisfy the office requirement to sign the form. I would also require that I receive a copy of the form and keep it in a safe place in case I needed it in the future.

Sorry you are dealing with this. It is common and completely bogus.
Technically, you would not be signing the form under duress.

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That is outrageous. I'd be telling the doc... It was nice knowing ya!
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#8 of 15 Old 08-18-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Personally I would never sign anything that included that line that says you are knowingly putting your child at risk. Just because it hasn't been used against anyone yet doesn't mean it won't be in the future.

Personally I would cross out the line anyway and sign the form with only the parts I'm ok with, knowing he'll probably "fire" you. You are probably better off with someone who won't make you put into writing that you're endangering your child at every visit.

I don't think it would work to say you're signing under duress. You don't HAVE to sign it, he has given you an ultimatum but he's not holding a gun to your head and you still have a choice.

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#9 of 15 Old 08-19-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
Technically, you would not be signing the form under duress.

IANAL, but in my quick search of the web (), this is what I found:

Duress is "threat of harm made to compel a person to do something against his or her will or judgment; esp., a wrongful threat made by one person to compel a manifestation of seeming assent by another person to a transaction without real volition". - Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) "Duress" also applies when the compelled act concerns a person's child.

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Duress in contract law falls into two broad categories: Physical duress, and economic duress.

Economic duress

A contract is voidable if the innocent party can prove that it had no other practical choice (as opposed to legal choice) but to agree to the contract.

The elements of economic duress

Wrongful or improper threat: No precise definition of what is wrongful or improper. Examples include: morally wrong, criminal, or tortuous conduct; one that is a threat to breach a contract "in bad faith" or threaten to withhold an admitted debt "in bad faith".

Lack of reasonable alternative (but to accept the other party's terms). If there is an available legal remedy, an available market substitute (in the form of funds, goods, or services), or any other sources of funds this element is not met.

The threat actually induces the making of the contract. This is a subjective standard, and takes into account the victim's age, their background (especially their education), relationship of the parties, and the ability to receive advice.

The other party caused the financial distress. The majority opinion is that the other party must have caused the distress, while the minority opinion allows them to merely take advantage of the distress.
If a person had an acutely ill child (not OP's situation from her post), and the doctor required that in order to provide care for her child, the mother must sign the form as-is (likely illegal anyway with regard to a person's right to make decisions about their own healthcare), and the mother had no other choice economically to obtain medical care for her child, then I could see that argument being won in court as "under duress." Yes, it would be saying that you don't actually agree to the form, but the receptionist may not know that, or may not even look at the signature. It would be one way to obtain care when there are no other options, and it just may protect a person if there ever were proceedings against a parent with regard to their ability and willingness to care for their child.

I would also just find another ped. But that isn't always an option for everyone and in every place.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-19-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Been there done that - found a new doc.

Not worth trying to change their mind. All you will do is spin your wheeels and waste your energy IMO.

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#11 of 15 Old 08-19-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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I'd have walked out. No way would I sign that form.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-20-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
IANAL, but in my quick search of the web (), this is what I found:

Duress is "threat of harm made to compel a person to do something against his or her will or judgment; esp., a wrongful threat made by one person to compel a manifestation of seeming assent by another person to a transaction without real volition". - Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) "Duress" also applies when the compelled act concerns a person's child.



If a person had an acutely ill child (not OP's situation from her post), and the doctor required that in order to provide care for her child, the mother must sign the form as-is (likely illegal anyway with regard to a person's right to make decisions about their own healthcare), and the mother had no other choice economically to obtain medical care for her child, then I could see that argument being won in court as "under duress." Yes, it would be saying that you don't actually agree to the form, but the receptionist may not know that, or may not even look at the signature. It would be one way to obtain care when there are no other options, and it just may protect a person if there ever were proceedings against a parent with regard to their ability and willingness to care for their child.

I would also just find another ped. But that isn't always an option for everyone and in every place.
The situation OP is in and the hypothetical situation that you presented are not comparable. In OP's situation, she would not be signing the form under duress, and even signing with that qualifier wouldn't make it true. In the hypothetical that you presented, with an imminent need for medical care being denied without signing the form as-is, that would likely be duress, and you wouldn't need to qualify your signature with that statement. The issue of duress would not be based on economics (since there are ways to get free health care), but on the urgency of the medical situation at hand and whether or not the mother felt that her child's safety was imminently at risk if she didn't sign it. There would need to be the proverbial "gun to her head".

I wold not sign that form. Even though they haven't come back to haunt a parent so far does not mean that it won't. Plus, I can't imagine trying to work with a doctor that supports this line of thinking... you will be in an uphill battle for much of your child's medical care.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-20-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
The situation OP is in and the hypothetical situation that you presented are not comparable. In OP's situation, she would not be signing the form under duress, and even signing with that qualifier wouldn't make it true. In the hypothetical that you presented, with an imminent need for medical care being denied without signing the form as-is, that would likely be duress, and you wouldn't need to qualify your signature with that statement.

I wold not sign that form. Even though they haven't come back to haunt a parent so far does not mean that it won't. Plus, I can't imagine trying to work with a doctor that supports this line of thinking... you will be in an uphill battle for much of your child's medical care.
Just wondering how you could possibly know that signing this form has NOT caused legal problems for any parents. I don't think there is any way we could possibly know if it has or hasn't ever been used against a parent before yk?

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#14 of 15 Old 08-20-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
Just wondering how you could possibly know that signing this form has NOT caused legal problems for any parents. I don't think there is any way we could possibly know if it has or hasn't ever been used against a parent before yk?
I guess I don't know for sure. But I assumed that since I have never heard of it happening that it hasn't. I know it's dangerous to make assumptions, but this sort of situation seems like it would have made some headlines somewhere. If you are aware of a situation where that form has been used against parents I would be very interested in reading about it!
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#15 of 15 Old 08-20-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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I guess I don't know for sure. But I assumed that since I have never heard of it happening that it hasn't. I know it's dangerous to make assumptions, but this sort of situation seems like it would have made some headlines somewhere. If you are aware of a situation where that form has been used against parents I would be very interested in reading about it!
I personally do not know of any case where this form has been succesfully used by CPS to take away a child, but I have heard (3rd party) of cases where this form has been used in divorce cases (ie custody issues). BUT i'm small potatoes and it's a big country. Nothing surprises me anymore frankly!

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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