Why Doctors Don’t Want Unvaccinated Children in Their Practice

This is a good read by Russell Sanders from The Daily Beast. Here’s the link along with an excerpt:

http://thebea.st/1lpV5Wl  (link from Atul Gawande’s twitter feed)

No contemporary phenomenon confounds and confuses me more than seemingly sensible people turning down one of the most unambiguously helpful interventions in the history of modern medicine.

There are few questions I can think of that have been asked and answered more thoroughly than the one about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism.

The HPV vaccine is safe.

There is no threat to public health from thimerosal.

I often wonder why a parent who believes vaccines are harmful would want to bring their children to a medical doctor at all…

If vaccines caused the harms Jenny McCarthy and her ilk claim they do, then my persistence in giving them must say something horrifying about me. Why would you then want to bring your children to me when you’re worried about their illnesses? As a parent myself, I wouldn’t trust my children’s care to someone I secretly thought was a fool or a monster.

It’s not merely that I don’t want to have to worry that the two-week-old infant in my waiting room is getting exposed to a potentially-fatal case of pertussis if these parents bring their children in with a bad cough. It’s not just that I don’t want their kid to be the first case of epiglottitis I’ve ever seen in my career. Those are reasons enough, to be sure. But they’re not all.

What breaks the deal is that I would never truly believe that these parents trust me. Giving kids vaccines is the absolute, unambiguous standard of care, as easy an answer as I will ever be able to offer.

If they don’t trust me about that, how can I hope they would if the questions ever got harder?

Related blog entries:

Unrelated link: Medical app (from Kipp Ellsworth twitter feed): http://goo.gl/pV4vJC :BabyGrow App Enables Parents to Track Children’s CDC/WHO Growth Curves.


8 thoughts on “Why Doctors Don’t Want Unvaccinated Children in Their Practice

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