The Mommy Files: Should Doctors Ditch Parents that Refuse Child Vaccinations?
I’m not going to get into the vaccination debate. Really, I’m not.
Instead, I’m here to ask a different question: should doctors ditch families that refuse to vaccinate their children?
This question was prompted by several things: first, an article I read in the Boston Globe about doctor’s that were refusing to see families after they refused vaccinations for their children; second, an article by Michael Linhorst about a bill in New Jersey that threatened to limit a parent’s ability to refuse said vaccinations.
As I poked around online, I found more and more stories about doctors and pediatricians that were refusing to treat unvaccinated children. I suspect there’s a major moral dilemma here: doctors must consider both the long-term welfare of the child, as well as the preservation of the “herd-immunity” of entire communities.
To muddy the waters even further, many see doctors as impartial healers of all citizens, regardless of beliefs; but their medical background teaches them to follow objective science and disregard discredited claims.
Surprisingly, though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sets a specific immunization schedule for pediatricians to follow, they seemingly disagree with those doctors that refuse to treat unvaccinated children.
Ultimately, it’s a parent’s choice to vaccinate or not. And regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind. But as a parent, do you believe that your doctor should be allowed to make the call?
photo credit: sanofi pasteur