Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Body in Jax FL, Heart in Istanbul
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I got the religious exemption without any problem from the health department. No questions asked, they filled out the paper, handed it to me, advised me to make a copy for my own records and turn in the original to DS's preschool. Great. That's what I did. But in FL, he has to have a physical completed by a physician, physician's assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse practitioner, so I took him to a local walk-in clinic, same thing I did with my daughter last year before she started high school. I did not expect what happened next.
When the MD walked in, he asked what the physical was for and I told him that DS had been enrolled in preschool. He asked about the immunizations and I told him that we already had the waiver from the Department of Health for religious exemption. He then asked what our religious affiliation is! I informed him that according to Florida law, he is not allowed to ask my religious affiliation in regards to the vaccine exemption and he was a bit miffed, but proceeded with the exam. No probs with the exam, DS cooperated without and trouble. The doc then says that he is not comfortable filling out the form for an unvaccinated child and would need to call the medical director. I said fine, go ahead. We waited. And waited. I think it was close to 20 minutes, then I stuck my head out the door and saw him writing on the form, figured all was good and shut the door again. He came in a minute or two later with the form on his clipboard, said that he'd talked to the medical director, wanted to make sure that his @$$ was covered because it took him "14 years to get this license and I don't want to lose it." Ugh, whatever. (Keep in mind that he still has the clipboard, hasn't given me the form.) He tells me that because DS is not vaccinated that he is at risk for the contagious diseses that are covered by the vaccinations (duh!) and that he would recommend he not be at school if he shows any signs of illness. No kidding. Like I'd send a sick kid to school anyway, but let that one go. He asks me to sign the front of the form that states I am the parent/guardian of the child, then walks me to the checkout desk with the form *still on the clipboard* and hands it to the cashier. I have to wait for the person in front of me to finish checking out and then hand over my debit card to pay for the visit. The cashier goes to make a copy of the form, then finally hands me the original. This is the first time I get a chance to see what he'd actually written. Here it is, verbatim:
"Patient has no history of vacinations[sic], he is at increased risk of mumps, measles, rubeola, hepatitis, influenza, haemofalis[sic] he is at increased risk of infection and death. he may also be a health hazard to other children. Parents were enformed[sic] and stated that they are aware of the risk they also state they are exercising there[sic] religious right." This is in the comments section of the box checked that states: This child has a health condition that may require emergency attention at school, e.g. seizures, allergies. Specify below.
Another check box states "This child may participate in school activities including physical education with the following restriction/adaption. (Specify restriction and reason). He writes: "He is to be isolated if and when any signs of infection.
I am livid! I have a good relationship with the clinic manager who is, unfortunately, on vacation but will return Monday. When I go in there to talk to her on Monday (or more likely Tuesday), I want to be absolutely prepared with all my ducks in a row. I already have the state statute that backs up the religious exemption. I would appreciate any other ammunition that you wonderful ladies can give me. I cannot believe that he would put his personal biases in my son's medical record!