Should Doctors Be Allowed to Deny Care to Unvaccinated Patients?

The latest development in the "are vaccines safe" national debate is the troubling decision by many doctors to no longer see patients (mostly children) who have not been vaccinated according to national medical associations and U.S. government agency standards. If it were just a few doctors who were making this decision, this might not be the hot issue it is becoming. The reality is, however, that the number of doctors who are taking this position is growing steadily--with no end in sight.

Needless to say, this "movement" (if we may call it that) raises many ethical, legal and moral questions. The main stream media and the pro-vaccine establishment (which is very well-funded) seem to think that this is yet another black-and-white issue--in other words, they insist that there are only two sides to this story: theirs and the erroneous views of the dissenters. As is usually the case with most controversial subjects, this is far from being the case.

Many important issues are at stake, including the most basic human rights of all patients (not just those who want to blindly follow the powers that be); whether we live in a democratic republic or in an omnipotent Police State; whether it's okay to militarize medicine across the board; whether patients have the right (or not) to question any aspect of medical care (especially when many scientists and doctors are on their side--even if not officially, for fear of losing their licenses); whether it's okay to arbitrarily discriminate against patients at whim with impunity; and whether vaccines pose any danger/threats to the public at all (an issue which has not been conclusively decided by any means of the imagination).

Should Doctors Be Able to Pick & Choose Who They Want to Treat?

This is, first of all, a question which has never been fully answered in the US either legally or ethically. Doctors, for example, refused to treat native Americans in the 1800s, which eventually compelled the US government to establish an agency that dealt exclusively with this issue; such an agency is still in existence to day.

More recently, many (if not most) white doctors refused to treat black patients as recently as the early 1900s (and, shockingly, as late as into the 50s and even 60s, especially in the poor South). Was that all right? The fact that the government allowed the practice didn't make it all right, but it happened nonetheless.

Today, however, it's generally understood that doctors are not supposed to discriminate in that manner. Doctors have never lost the power to refuse to treat a particular individual (or family) but, if any doctor today clearly established a pattern that indicated discriminatory practices, there are legal avenues that could be pursued. The government (even if just to put on a show) could yank that doctor's license or impose some other penalties. Professional organizations would also officially come out against such practices--again, mostly probably for superficial reasons, not necessarily because they wanted to do the right thing.

For doctors to arbitrarily decide that they will not treat a whole group of people is something that may be heading us in a direction we may not ultimately want to follow, if we insist we have a conscience, want to defend personal freedom, and agree that the militarization of medicine is not in our best interest.

Do We Really Want to Militarize Medicine?

Those people who are eager to force every American to receive vaccines simply haven't properly examined the full ramifications of what they espouse. What about those pregnant women who have been diagnosed as having a mentally/physically defective fetuses in their wombs? Do we force them to have an abortion? Or should we just execute the babies when born?

What about forcing everyone to be genetically profiled? Everyone expected to get diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer--maybe we can exclude them from important jobs like teaching, law enforcement or scientific research. These people can be identified and placed on special job/education program disqualification lists.

Do we really trust the big pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the insurance companies (which, these days, know way too much about us and are making many decisions concerning our health) to be making these decisions? Are we, more importantly, ready to abandon most or all of our most basic freedoms--instead giving such to the powers that be?

If you personally want the government to do all the thinking for you, they will certainly do that for you--eagerly, I might add. Giving the government and the corporate giants absolute power, however, carries many precipitous dangers, as history has proven time and time again.

Are vaccines totally safe and should they be, therefore, mandated, to the point of ignoring anyone (even the many professionals with legitimate concerns and questions) that stands opposed? Before you call for the Police State to make that decision once and for all, read the writings of all those geniuses (like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Lord Acton, etc.) who have warned us about the pitfalls of "absolute power" . . . in essence, telling us that "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Before you mock people who disagree with the majority, do try to closely and objectively look at both sides. Have you really read up on the position of dissenters, or merely filled your head with the propaganda of the many well-funded entities that greatly benefit (financially and otherwise) from vaccines?

Is The Safety of Vaccines the Only Issue to Consider?

Many people, completely sold on the wonderful benefits of vaccines (for, indeed, vaccines have done wonderful things for humanity), have simply closed off their minds on the mere possibility that maybe, just maybe, vaccines are not perfect. Maybe there are one or two small holes in the great tapestry of national vaccination?

Regarding the concerns about vaccines, the reality is that there is a lot of misinformation out there, including these mostly elusive studies that conclusively prove that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. The people who continue to allude to them fail to provide copies of them immediately following their authoritative diatribes. Why is that?

Many of us who examine clinical research studies for a living have never actually seen these studies but, nevertheless, they exist--or so we are told. For the record, there is no study out there which conclusively proves that there is no connection between vaccines and autism; furthermore, since we are still 100% unsure as to what is causing the escalating epidemic, vaccines remain a lurking, potential "culprit." Such a study, for one thing, would need to include controls that were never vaccinated. We are told, however, that this would be unethical, even though such patients are already around by their own choice!

Conclusion

Should doctors be allowed to deny any one group medical care? It's a sad thing that this question should even come up in a democratic republic. If doctors can scientifically disprove all the objections and concerns at hand, that would be one thing but, since they cannot, their decision is based on their absolute trust in vaccines--not to mention the backing of the groups financially benefiting from vaccines.

Doctors are sworn to first do no harm. Until vaccines are proven to be 100% safe, physicians should not force parents to just ignore the many problems and questions that still linger over vaccines. Why are so many children (1 of 50) coming down with autism (suspiciously often after vaccines were administered)--as well as other possibly autoimmune disorders?

Until we can answer the many questions and concerns adequately, who is to say a doctor is not harming (not just preventing some diseases) these children with these vaccines?

If you want to ignore the many ethical/moral concerns in question, how about just relying on good science? Good science isn't just found on mainstream media publications, in labs run by people who benefit from vaccines (who may, therefore, be too conflicted to render objective views), and in studies that only those who want to defend vaccines to the "death" can understand and decipher--for only they can draw conclusions dissenters can't translate.

Instead of making fun of those afraid of vaccines, how about publishing those magic-bullet articles that prove conclusively that vaccines and autism are not related? How about not threatening doctors (as insurance companies and government agencies are suspected of now doing) who are still willing to treat unvaccinated patients--are many doctors refusing treatment to unvaccinated patients not because of their own conviction but because they are being intimidate into taking such positions?

Until these issues are adequately resolved through verifiable, objective scientific channels (not through political intimidation or because of financial considerations), doctors should not be allowed to deny medical care to people who have (often after doing their own research) decided to forego vaccines until their concerns/questions are addressed. If vaccines work as well as some say, those children (and they are still the majority at this point) who have been vaccinated should be protected from those children who have not been vaccinated.

Besides, who says that 100% of persons in a community have to receive a vaccine for the vaccine to work? It's unlikely that we have ever achieved such numbers regarding any vaccine for any community on earth. In fact, even smallpox was eradicated in spite of the fact that not everyone in the world (or even in the third world communities where the disease was most prevalent) received the smallpox vaccine!

What if all doctors decide that none of them will treat unvaccinated patients? That prospect presents a much more dangerous situation (considering all those medical problems--many of which have nothing to do with vaccines-- that would then go untreated). For the record, doctors have a sworn duty to protect the health of all members of society--including those persons who refuse to be mindless, never-questioning-"authority" robots!

Copyright, 2015. Fred Fletcher. All rights reserved.

References & Resources

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/open-letter-doctors-reject-unvaccinated-patients/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/30/1361156/-Some-doctors-will-no-longer-see-patients-who-refuse-vaccinations#

http://www.worldmag.com/2015/02/not_in_my_office_some_doctors_tell_unvaccinated_patients

http://shotofprevention.com/tag/doctors-choosing-not-to-see-unvaccinated-children/

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2/10/2015 8:00:00 AM
Fred Fletcher
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Fred Fletcher is a hard working Consumer Advocacy Health Reporter. Education: HT-CNA; DT-ATA; MS/PhD Post-Graduate Certificates/Certifications: • Project Management • Food Safety • HIPAA Compliance • Bio-statistical Analysis & Reporting • Regulatory Medical Writing • Life Science Programs Theses & Dis...
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Comments
People are waking up to the fact that the risk of injury from the vaccines is greater than the risk if illness injury. Many vaccines do not work at all or do not work well. I think parents should fire providers who don't want to work with them on a more humane or even an absent vaccine schedule. There are thousands of studies showing harm from vaccines: http://medscienceresearch.com/ Many of us were provaccine until our children were hurt by them. The children today have more neurological and autoimmune issues than ever before. The schools can't keep up with all the IEPs and 504 plans. There are 3 year waiting lists for kids to see the developmental pediatrician or pediatric neurologist. The remedy is worst than the diseases as far as vaccines go. Sacrifice your kid at your own risk. I wish I hadn't.
Posted by Anne Nans
I work in a preschool environment and see many children with multiple diagnoses...autism, ADHD, ADD, OCD, ODD, etc. Our program is now overwhelmed with children who have had their vaccinations on a schedule right out of the womb. I did the same thing with my own children (4 boys) who all have some sort of anxiety disorders. I was a stay at home mom until my youngest entered Kindergarten. I cannot say that the vaccinations caused their disorders, however I have not seen irrefutable evidence to positively say that vaccinations don't cause those disorders either. I believe that vaccinations are the best preventive tools we have right now, however people should have the right to decide for their own children. One of my sons reacted to a shot that made his brain swell....he could have died. As an adult he decided to get Hep A shot that made him so sick he went to the hospital severely dehydrated. He no longer gets shots....he could die with the shot or without the shot. I think doctors have a right to do what they feel best for their own business purposes, but when the government decides to make every parent vaccinate their child/children, then there is a problem with that for me. I have a solution that may help...until we know FOR SURE that vaccinations DON'T cause disorders, infants should be scheduled one shot at a time so their bodies can get used to them. If there is a negative reaction, then the doctor/parent can decide to vaccinate/not vaccinate. Also if moms are lucky enough to stay at home with their children until they enter school, either start shots at 2 or 3 years old one at a time to check reactions. I never received shots for school (polio sugar cubes came out when I was about 5 years old) and I had measles and mumps. Cannot remember that but my siblings all lived through those ordeals. I got chicken pox at 38 years old and even survived that. I had an infant son who had whooping cough at 2 months old, and another infant son who was 6 weeks old in the hospital with RSV. I think researchers are trying to figure it out, but with so many children with autism and numbers still rising I hope that a miraculous find will finally reveal the answer to the autism pandemic.
Posted by FAH
The doctors are not doing this for themselves; they have other patients they need to think about. The ederly and those with weak immunites could catch a childhood illness and jeopardize their lives. There is also a financial consideration of a possilbe lawsuit. They will not sue the parents, the would go after the doctor. There are plently of places when kids can get medical care. I see this as being blackmaill and certainly selfish. The doctors should be able to treat whom they want without fear of governmental control. . I would imagne that this adult did not want to look for another doctor because of inconveniece. This is just a tip of an iceberg. Within a few years there will be a severe shortage of doctors. It is best to find a doctor who will honor your wishes.
Posted by maverick
Some patients are not able to receive vaccinations. I know of a young child, for example, with cancer. HE cannot be vaccinated; but if this child is exposed to someone with a preventable disease - measles, chickenpox, etc...his life could be at risk. This should not happen to him, simply because someone else is a science denier. Vaccines have eliminated many, many diseases. It's science. It's a FACT.
Posted by Lucky
If you want the "freedom" to put your child at risk, then I guess a physician should have the "freedom" to choose not to treat that child. If you believe that the physician has a responsibility to treat people in medical need, then maybe you should fulfill your responsibility as a person in society to help keep epidemics from occurring. The reason this country's relatively epidemic-free is because of that, and it's irresponsible (and, frankly, selfish) to ignore that.
Posted by Mark Eisenberg
Do doctors have the right to refuse treatment for people who smoke and get cancer, sleep round and get an STD, eat too much and get diabetes then I think they have the right to refuse treatment for those who choose to not vaccinate. If not, they are stuck with treating any and all despite their patients silly choices.
Posted by Heather
My thinking is "Yes", everyone has the right to decide whether or not they want to vaccinate their children. However in my day, we could NOT enter school unless we had our vaccinations, and to my knowledge, their was never a crazy epidemic of autism that derived from having these REQUIRED vaccinations! They were enforced to provide the safety of health amongst all the children. I recently had a friend whose baby died due to being exposed to an unvaccinated child in a day care center. The baby was too young to receive the proper vaccinations but due to the wreck less and irresponsible behavior of the parents of the unvaccinated child, they were responsible for the death of another child. Fine, if you don't want to vaccinate your child then keep them isolated from all other children. That IS your right AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!!!!
Posted by Emo
First, persons who use the science of vaccines or any studies should not encourage behavior that demonstrates a partial interpretation. For example when we say there isn't a 100 percent assurance that vaccines and Autism are connected misses the point. There are few studies, if any that are a 100 percent assurance of any sort. That is where we have statistical levels of confidence...such as 5 percent out of 100 or 1 percent out of 100. The stats therefore never usually say if you take this or that you are guaranteed a cure. Just does not happen. So your article encourages people, given iris not 100 percent sure to buy into their biases based on belief. That is a dangerous position that in part creates a potential public health risk. Example...if a child does not take their polio vaccine, and contracts polio...the parents who were in the MD's office may be more likely to contract polio...or those children too young for vaccines are at risk. The position of this article places the public at risk by providing a position that is indefensible, if science is not 100 percent then do as you believe, do not vaccinate. For that matter, statistically speaking we can never infer there is a scientific assurance...because it is not 100 percent. Shabby science...and unconscionable to use this kind of thinking for the public to make informed decisions about their children.
Posted by Joe Baust
Good argument usually starts with the premise it is oppossing. In other words it starts withe the rationale of the opposing side. This paper does not do that. Rather it rails against a practice which it does not explain from the Doctor's view. Once this is explained one can argue against the foundation of the Physicians rationale. For example such physicians the author is criticizing may take an ethical position that they cannot collide with parental negligence of their child's health (refusing vaccines) not to speak of community health. Such a position is based on evidence. The author presents no evidence in his arguement but argues against the lack of findings. This is pretty unscientific so his position is easily rejected.
Posted by Sahli Cavallaro
I don't know how this can be ethical when it comes to the Hippocratic Oath, but I do see a lot of schools not allowing children to enroll in school if they are not properly vaccinated.
Posted by jeremiah

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