Pediatricians are openly denying anti-vaxxer families services due to their opting out of vaccinations. New state laws, introduced legislations and a general malaise of anti-vaccination stances have all contributed to the growing epidemic. According to MedPageToday.com, this is an “always or often” scenario for these families.
About a fifth (21%) of pediatricians surveyed said they would “often or always” dismiss a family from their practice for refusing at least one infant vaccine, compared with only 4% of family physicians (P<0.0001), reported Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues.
The interesting dilemna for the Government and pharmaceutical companies is that while these dismissals could help their vaccination causes by asserting a heavy hand of fear, they also release the anti-vaccination parent to find a more suitable, likely more welcoming, pediatrician. Under such circumstance, the practical concept of “influencing the parent to vaccinate” is all but lost. If we look at documentation on aappublications.org, the message would reflect similar in tone.
The goal of this report is to assist pediatricians in understanding the reasons parents may have for refusing to immunize their children, review the limited circumstances under which parental refusals should be referred to child protective services agencies or public health authorities, and provide practical guidance to assist the pediatrician faced with a parent who is reluctant to allow immunization of his or her child.
For many parents, being declined services from a pediatrician will anger them (rightfully so). It may inconvenience them based on the location of the pediatrician, or even that pediatrician’s scheduling. And it is possible that it causes financial discord due to insurance policy setups. However, sans those potential dilemmas, it may serve as a blessing in disguise allowing the anti-vaccination parent or guardian a more clear and free path away from strategically placed influences over the matter. If Government agencies work with Doctors, they can provide the best research available on ways to instill fear and influence change. In addition, parents should work with a medical hierarchy which they feel best represents their family’s interest. With pharmaceutical influence looming large these days, that isn’t always easier. Maybe denial of services makes it a little bit easier, though, by exposing which Doctors are potentially on the take.
What should you do if you and your family are denied services by a Pediatrician under these circumstances?
- Remain calm. Engaging the matter emotionally is unlikely to change the Doctor’s stance or help your case.
- Document everything. If you can, ask the Doctor to write up this notice to refuse services. Keep this on record.
- Remember, this could easily be a blessing exposing a Doctor who would more likely attempt to influence you, or even keep tabs on you regarding your child’s welfare.
- Look for local, anti-vaccination pediatricians, or pediatricians who sincerely respect your decision. Do your research. Get referrals. Use communities like ours to help find pediatricians in your area.
The biggest thing is to not panic. Don’t allow the situation to overwhelm you. Remember, you aren’t alone.