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#1 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am due with baby #1 in four weeks. I have been doing a lot of research on vaccines and have decided that I would like to forgo them all. Michigan has a philosophical exemption so I figured I was all set. Until this week that is....

I live in a very rural area and there are simply not many doctors to choose from. In fact, I am having a home birth and could not find an OB that was willing to work with me so I am going without a back up. There are two pediatricians and a handful of family practice doctors. All of the docs in the area are under the same physicians group, as in there are no independent docs in the imediate area. I have been interviewing the family practice and peds to find one for the baby. I do want to have a designated doctor for the baby so going without is not an option for me.

In the interviews I bring up the vax issue in this way "I would like to delay vaccines, how do you feel about this". I know full well that they have to tell me they do not agree and that is OK. But instead I have been getting a different line "I am not willing to be your baby's doc unless you do the regular schedule and full vaccinations". Knowing that my stance is actually stronger than the "delayed" line that I am using as the tester question, I can see I am going to have major problems. During visit number 1, I am going to be fired as a patient when I refuse the first vaccine. I have now gotten the same line from three docs. I asked the last doc if that was a group policy and sure enough, it is. All of the docs in the area are programmed to act the same way so it is basically pointless for me to waste my time interviewing the other docs.

This means I have two choices. Either fully vax on schedule and have a baby doc or go without a doc. Inevidebly, chances are high that at some point, I am going to have to see a doc with the child. So I do not see how option 2 is even an option. I live two hours from the next closest town. And it is still a small area that is likely just as medically conservative as this area. I seriously doubt I would have better luck there.

What would you do in this situation? Can docs really refuse patients in this manner?

I am also getting very concerned about my reputation in this town. I already ticked off all of the OBs with my "radical" home birth ideas. Now I have alienated myself from the peds and a couple of family practice docs. While I could care less what people think about me, I do not want to be denied medical services or treated as a quack for the rest of my life. I have lost my original family practice doc (who I liked) over this issue. I am beginning to question whether my convistions about not vaxxing are worth the other harmful things I am bringing on to myself....

And I am really bummed because the last doc I interviewed was perfect in every other way. She would be a great doc for the whole fanily, 100% supported my home birth and veganism. Even admitted that she was not comfortable with the vaccine combos currently being used. But said sadly that she had no choice about this issue. She could not be the baby's doc if we do not vax as recommended

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#2 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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...of conviction. You appear to be very "naturally" oriented and I assume you have the physical strength and health that your stance would imply. You could use the Natural Family Living guide that Mothering publishes. It has extensive listings of organizations where you might get the inform you need.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, 601 Valley Street, Seattle WA 98109 Phone: 206-298-0126 www.naturopathic.org

American Holistic Health Association
Anaheim CA
714-779-6152
www.ahha.org

In the vaccine book that mothering publishes is mention of:

Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines
PO Box 1121
Troy, MI 48099-1121
Ph: 810-447-2418


You need to enlist the support and research abilities of everyone you know who believes as you do. You don't mention a partner in this, or any relatives who might be accessble.

Is there a La leche league near you? They don't have a vaccine stance but they might help you find a sympathetic health care provider.

If you are as isolated as you seem to be, the risk of illness for your child seems remote-- it's people that carry disease.

Will you be working after the birth? will you need outside child care? If because of your individual circumstances you are able to devote your time and energy to your child's health you will have an advantage over so many people that have little or no control over their child's world.

My wife read your message and sends her love and support, as do I.

Try and get the two books I mentioned if you can.

Keep us posted,

Ray
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#3 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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....Ask the physician you mention in the last paragraph that you really like if she would take care of your baby if you sign a waiver releasing her from all responsibility in the event that your child gets an illness that it could have been vaccinated for. Even put something on paper and sign it and see her again at her office.

Also, how's your diet. I realized you said your a vegan and I'm wondering how you get good cultured food in your diet. From what I know you don't eat dairy-- so yogurt is out of the question. Your health will have to be optimal for your child, I'm interested in knowing more about your diet. Are you organic?
Check out Stonyfields new soy yogurt.


Sincerely,


Ray
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#4 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 04:13 PM
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I'm sooo sorry for your situation!
Here's the link to the AAP's schedule of vaccs: http://www.aap.org/policy/2003Imm.pdf

You should be able to delay to at least 2m for all of your baby's shots. For example:

HepB: you can skip the one at birth (you'll be having a homebirth anyway so no one to stick the baby) but if you have a blood test that shows you are HBsAg- you can delay it until 1-2m either way so that will give you a little time. I think I read that right, someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Did you mention that your choice is based on a religious preference (not sure if it is with you but it "could" be if you agree with any of the teachings of Christian Science one of which is no vaccs). Someone else on this board mentioned that route, you can probably do a search to find more info. I'm not sure if it's legal for a dr's office to refuse to see you because of your religious preferences. The legal waiver mentioned by Ray also sounds like a really good idea.

What gets me is, if you had never mentioned vacs to the dr, and just called to schedule an appointment because the baby was sick, would they turn you away?
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#5 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Augh! I had this all writen, then my process got killed....let's try this again...

Thanks for your support.

The very first thing I did was go to LLL. While no one there was against vaccinations, they did help me to identify docs that seemed "crunchier" and therefore more likely to cooperate. Those are the docs I started with.

I tried the waiver idea with all three (a trick I had read about). It did not fly. They stated that it was not their liability they were worried about but that I was "endangering my child and others in the area". Ummmm...whatever. It was the exact same line at all three docs, as if scripted. I also tried the waiver idea with OBs when trying to find a back up doc. It did not fly there either.

When I first got pregnant, I scoured the two sites you mentioned trying to find holistic or naturopathic docs. I figured there just had to be something near by. I live in the U.P. of Michigan and we are very isloated. There are no alternative docs anywhere within 4 hours. There were some "holistic practitioners" listed within my region, but when I would call their numbers, they were either disconnected or not into patient care but rather into herbal sales and such. None of them had degrees.

I have not seen the book Mothering puts out about vaccines. I will definately check that out.

I do have the full support of my husband. The rest of our families do not support any part of our lifestyle but are not in the area anyway, so they would be of little help even if they did support us.

I will be staying home full time with baby so I am confident that her/his health will be good. I am a vegan but I do eat homemade almond yogurt (complete with cultures). We also eat primarily organic and do not eat processed foods. So again, health will probably not be an issue. But I know the time is going to come when baby has an ear infection, broken finger, or a cut needing stitches and I will feel the need to go to someone. I am really at the point where I feel I have no choice but to choose between going against my gut feeling about vaccines or go doctorless. It just does not seem legal to me to deny patients who have philisophical objections to certain treatments. Not that I would want to force a doc to us that did not want to.....

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#6 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Turquoise,

We posted at the same time. Thanks for the schedule info!!! That helps me know exactly what I am getting into. I think I sort of blew it by telling the first person that I am opposed to vax for safety reasons. Now if I go back and claim religion, it probably will not fly. I have the sneaking suspicion that they are talking to each other.... Like "watch out, crazy woman coming your way...". They just seem a little too organized and scripted.

I think that it is true that I could have just showed up for an appointment and they could not deny me service. But as soon as I say no to vaccines they can "fire" me. That is what my family practice doc did. I have been seeing her for 10 years. I attempted to make a consultation appointment with her to discuss Rhogam. To make a LONG story short, Dh and I have the Rh incompatibility. I refused the 28 week shot and will only get the shot if baby test shows + blood. But I can not find anyone who will agree to take the blood sample from midwife and then give me the shot if necessary. Wanted to talk to my family practice doc to get her opinion or help. Once she found out the appointment was related to home birth she had a nurse call and cancel. I pleaded my case and there were a few back-and-forths with the nurse to doc (doc would not TALK to me). A few weeks later I got a letter in the mail officially terminating the doc-patient relationship. It is totally legal. I checked it out since I was furious and out for blood! I am trying to avoid this with any other docs because frankly there are not many up here and I cannot afford to go around dropping docs.

I still have not completely solved my Rhogam issue. But this baby doc thing is really stressing me out! I want someone to be there in case I have breastfeeding issues or if the baby gets sick!

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#7 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 04:34 PM
 
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Well mine are almost 4 and 2 and the youngest has never been to the doctor, the oldest went as an infant but we moved away from a lovely dr when he was 11 months old.

The oldest was sick (cough, ear infection, antibiotics) once about 5 months old when I was training teachers at a preschool and bringing him with me.

He also has had stiches once, and no doctor refused "emergency" care or even really asked about anything except a tetnus shot and we had to go to two doctors because we were on vacation when it happened and then we went to another doctor when we got home to get them removed.

If you are only worried about emergency care, then they really will treat you. Do you need to go every two months to find out how much weight they have gained, get your doctors parenting advice on co-sleeping, solids, breastfeeding, retracting foreskins, ect. and pick up any germs waiting there? Is it really important that you have a relationship with a doctor (probably not the one who is going to be setting any bones or putting in any stiches, unless you have good timing)?

What a tough decision,
Good Luck,
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#8 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mallory
If you are only worried about emergency care, then they really will treat you. Do you need to go every two months to find out how much weight they have gained, get your doctors parenting advice on co-sleeping, solids, breastfeeding, retracting foreskins, ect. and pick up any germs waiting there? Is it really important that you have a relationship with a doctor (probably not the one who is going to be setting any bones or putting in any stiches, unless you have good timing)?

Mallory,

I think you mentioned this when I was asking why we even go to well baby visits, was that you? Either way, I'm glad you brought this up! I thought about mentioning it, but I'm still on the fence about opening the whole can of worms and searching for a new ped myself and didn't want to be hypocritical.

I've delayed DD's vaccs the easy way...she's 8m and I still haven't scheduled her 6m appt. I need more time to research.

But on a more practical note, I came from a poor family so I did not get my shots until right before school and then only because it was mandatory (and back then we got less shots anyway). I did not go to the dr unless I was terribly ill and even then only when we could afford it. We ate crap (..."and liked it" sorry, all this talk about the good old days I had to giggle :LOL) but yet overall, I consider myself a fairly healthy person. Considering your family’s good diet and clean surroundings, I would assume your baby has a much better chance of staying healthy. From what I have read so far, many of these diseases are opportunistic, or at least the complications from them are, and more likely to cause problems in impoverished areas. That's another reason why I'm wanting to delay/discontinue.

Best of luck to you! It's a tough decision in the first place, why do these doc's have to make it so much harder???
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#9 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am seriously considering going docless at this point. It seems doable. Not sure why I am so hung up on having one. Probably because I always had one. But correct me if I am wrong...there are some minor illnesses that can get very serious if not treated such as strep throat or ear infections. Isn't that the kind of thing you see a doc for? Can you just go to the ER with these kinds of problems? For those that go without a doc, do you see one annually or do you also only go to the ER for an emergency? And what about those pesky forms for camp and sports that require a physical? With no doc, how do you get these signed?

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#10 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 11:55 PM
 
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I have a ped I take my kids too,but to be honest I don't think they have ever seem him when they are ill except yesterday I asked about my dd's red eye.He suggested otc drops and gave a script for if it got worse.I just kept up with the eyebright tea drops,and the script went over with the unused samples of antibiotics he gave for ds's cut finger and dd's infected toe(they refused to take the stuff,so I had to resort to alternatives).
My suggestion is to get the book Smart medicine for a healthier child,so you have a list of options to try from.Even strep can be treated effectively at home,and if it does not improve you can always go to the ER or an urgicare clinic.

I am so sad reading your post and those of others in similar situations.I just took the kids in for another WCC visit.I must have seen this staff/ped 8 or 9 times now,and not once did I get an attituded about not vaccinating.Sometimes they forget we don't vax,and then," Oh yes,you don't vaccinate!" and that is it!

My ped said the other day that my 15mo ds was healthier than him.
I really just don't understand why doctors do this except to bend and control the parent. I know how some say,"Well if they don't vax then they might not follow other medical recommendations I give." Well,as parents of that child isn't that our right?

Take a break from the allopath search.Maybe something will come your way unexpected. I found mine via a lady I met online whose dh is a chiro.She uses a different doctor but mentioned the guy I have now was ok with those who do not vaccinate.

You could try the health department for physicals.Just take in your exemption form for the vaccine record.

Best wishes with your homebirth.I was sooooo discusted with OB's and hospitals that I had both my kids at home,with my first being a UC. I remember trying to get doctors to test for a UTI at 8 weeks pregnancy and later on for GBS,and no one would do it unless I hired them on as my OB and gave a deposit. Shows how much they cared!
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