Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Andy writes:

Cathy took our kids to the doctor for a routine check-up today. Been sending them to the same doctor for about 7 years. About 4 years ago the issue of the Hep B vaccine came up, and the doctor indicated his skepticism about forcing it on everyone. But later, about 2 years ago, the same issue came up and the doctor was pressuring us. No thanks, we said.

To my total shock, the doctor simply gave the first dose of the Hep B vaccine today to Andrew. No notice, no consent. He wasn't even there for that purpose. Andrew's not even in the age group for mandatory Hep B vaccination in NJ. Doctor also told him to return for next two doses in the future. ...

Looks like parents should require their doctors to sign promises not to vaccinate their children without prior consent.

This is an example of how pediatricians rate they professional obligations, and defined by official authorities, higher than pleasing the patient. They may not accept family autonomy over medical decisions. I don't think that you'll get the pediatrician to sign anything. You are better off finding a pediatrician with the guts to say that he disagrees with some of the vaccine recommendations, or that he respects parental decisions to refuse vaccines. Anytime some professional is pressuring you to do something that you really don't want to do, it is a sign to hire someone else.

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