By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM
Across the country, state legislatures are trying to pass bills that would require parents to have an office visit with a pro-vaccine, mainstream physician before they can exercise their right to refuse. This new tactic has been investigated over the last several years by the American Academy of Pediatrics. For example, in this 2006 article, “Vaccine Delays, Refusals, and Patient Dismissals: A Survey of Pediatricians,” reported this information:
“Asking parents why they are requesting to delay or refuse vaccines can provide a window of opportunity for providers to tailor their guidance accordingly, as suggested in the AAP’s new Clinical Report “Countering Vaccine Hesitancy,” and our data help guide the content of those conversations. Future studies should focus on specific, unique approaches that address parents who refuse and those who delay separately. In both survey years, pediatricians reported that they were only able to convince about one-third of vaccine-refusing parents to change their minds by providing education.
A recent randomized trial assessed different communication techniques to improve measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine immunization rates. None of the strategies in the study increased parental plans to give the vaccine, and among those who had the least favorable vaccine views, the intent to immunize after the study actually declined.
This finding underscores the complex psychosocial underpinnings of messages aimed at parents who delay or refuse vaccines. It illustrates the importance of initiating conversations about vaccines with an understanding of the reasons for parents’ concerns, as captured in our study, to best devise effective strategies to promote vaccinations in the refusing and delaying parent.”
The State of Ohio has recently put forth a bill to force parents to participate in one of these “re-education” sessions. On May 22, 2018, Ohio House Health Committee held a hearing where more than fifty opponent testimonies were submitted to the committee regarding HB 559. If HB559 passes in Ohio, parental exemption rights in Ohio would be restricted and they would be required to make an appointment with a state-approved physician to receive a religious or philosophical vaccine exemption. As of this writing, the bill is still in Committee.
Informed consent regarding vaccination is a farce. Pediatricians give you the opportunity to be “informed” on why vaccines are good and necessary but say nothing about the health problems they can cause, including death. And what if you ARE informed, but you are coerced to consent OR you have no right to refuse – such as in California, West Virginia and Mississippi.
I am horrified by these legislatively created re-education sessions. They are visions of communist indoctrination camps. Below is the written testimony I submitted to the Ohio Health Committee regarding HB559. My testimony was read into the record by Stephanie Stock, VP and PR chairperson for Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom. I hope that many state groups will use this information as a template when your state pushes forward similar bills. To stay on top of your State’s vaccination bills, go to NVICAdvocacy.org – sign up. It’s free.
In Opposition to House Bill 559
Submitted to Ohio House Health Committee
May 21, 2018
Upon review of this bill, it is one of the most oppressive attacks on parental rights that the Ohio Legislature has put forth to date.
If passed, House Bill 559 will force responsible parents to submit to “vaccination education.” Will this be similar to recent reports that more than 100 Christians were sent to “re-education” camps in China’s north-western Autonomous Region to be taught to be loyal to the communist ideology? These camps are also referred to as “study centers” or “mind-transformation centers.” (REFERENCE: The World Watch Monitor, February 2, 2018.)
Requiring Ohio parents to seek an exemption from a “specifically trained physician” – who may be out of their insurance network and an inconvenient distance from their home – is akin to submitting to “re-education appointments” and will result in state tracking of those who continue to refuse. Is this really happening in the United States of America?
There is no doubt these physicians will be knowledgeable about the information put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the very conflicted policies of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.) Quite frankly, how can YOU, our elected officials, possibly conceive that this is a good idea?
Parents who wish to exercise their right to refuse all, or certain, vaccines do not make this decision in a cavalier fashion. They have researched pros/cons. They understand that taking care of an unvaccinated child requires more attention to nutrition, health, and wellness. These parents have chosen to think for themselves and not blindly follow a vaccination schedule advocated by government agencies and their physicians.
I can assure you that most physicians – and most nurses – have not received any detailed education about vaccines in medical/nursing school. AND most don’t even read the vaccine package inserts, required by the FDA to be available with each vaccine and medication, to educate the practitioner and to assure the vaccine is given appropriately and side effects are monitored.
Obligating parents to seek out an appointment with a practitioner to be “educated” about only the benefits of vaccination – without also being told about the potential for serious side effects and including the risk of death – is completely against every Ohioan’s personal rights and out of line with the exemption laws for our state.
How many of you, as state legislators, would agree to be legislatively obligated to attend “re-education” appointments on topics in your chosen field? Why are you promoting policies to support politically motivated, pro-vaccine lobbyists and advocacy groups? There are no infectious epidemics in Ohio. This law is not only draconian, it is completely unnecessary. It only benefits the special interest groups and pharmaceutical companies who sell the vaccines.
House Bill 559 is morally and ethically un-American and akin to communist indoctrination policies. The Chinese are “re-educating” Christians. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese government opened hundreds of “re-education” camps throughout the country to “teach citizens about the new (communist) government.” Muslims in various countries around the world have been “interned and re-educated.”
I am submitting this testimony in STRONG opposition to HB 569. DO NOT PASS this draconian legislation. I would gladly be available to discuss this with each of you personally and submit documentation as needed.
Dr. Sherri J Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM