Friday, May 18, 2007

Pediatricians refusing patients

Business Week reports:
Pediatricians are encountering parents who refuse vaccinations for their children, prompting the doctors to show them the door

... In a survey of 302 pediatricians published a year-and-a-half ago in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 28% "said that they would ask the family to seek care elsewhere" for "refusing specific vaccines," and 39% said they would do so for families refusing all vaccines.

They mostly cited as the reason "lack of shared goals" and "lack of trust," while "fear of litigation" was cited by a relatively small number. ...

Increasingly it seems, the pediatricians are following through on their threats, despite the potential for serious revenue loss. ...

And what about the business implications for pediatricians giving the boot to an apparently growing group of parents? Douglas Diekema, a Seattle pediatrician who authored the academy's guidelines on handling anti-vaccination parents, says that so far "The numbers are small enough that it has little impact on physicians."

But longer term, he argues that physicians who refuse to treat objecting patients may actually save money.
If a pediatrician refuses non-vaccinating parents, then you don't want that pediatrician anyway. The job of a physician is to make recommendations, and it is the responsibility of the patient or parent to make the final decisions. Pediatricians don't necessarily know anything about vaccines; they are just following the official mandates from the CDC.

The vaccine schedules are very profitable for pediatricians, and many of them very much like being able to bully patients into following orders. If the pediatrician is going to disregard your wishes on vaccines, then he may also disregard your wishes on more important matters. My advice is to tell the medico to his face that you make your own decisions, and if he has a problem with that, go elsewhere.

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