- Increasingly, parents are left feeling belittled or threatened by their children’s doctors should they so much as question the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccination schedule
- There are stories from across the U.S. of people who have been dismissed from medical practices or yelled at by their physicians over questions regarding vaccination or personal decisions of whether or not to vaccinate
- It’s a doctor’s job to inform his or her patients so they’re able to make an educated decision about their medical care; it’s not a doctor’s job to make that decision for the patient
- Physicians and pharmaceutical companies that people are expected to blindly trust when it comes to vaccinations are the same ones who are implicated in creating a deadly opioid epidemic and who, via medical errors, are a leading cause of death in the U.S.
A visit to your doctor’s office should leave you feeling informed and supported, with open and truthful conversations about your health and treatment plans. Many, however, do not get such courtesies, especially where vaccinations are concerned. Open conversations about vaccines are the exception rather than the rule at many U.S. doctors’ offices.
Increasingly, parents are left feeling belittled or threatened by their children’s doctors should they so much as question the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccination schedule.
Many are even going so far as to kick patients out of their practice, leaving them without a source for medical care. As Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), states in the featured video:1
“The sacred trust between mothers and pediatricians fostered by mutual respect and shared decision-making has been broken. Sadly, the admiration and trust that mothers used to have for family pediatricians is melting away and being replaced by fear.
Doctors are not our masters. We pay them well to do a job, not to exploit and terrify us. Discrimination, coercion and force have no place in modern medicine or in public health policy.”
Do Doctors Have the Right to Demand Certain Medical Treatments?
Patients should be able to trust their doctor’s advice, but when this comes in the form of a commandment, that trust is broken. “These days, that CDC vaccine schedule is no longer being viewed simply as a recommendation, it is being treated as a commandment,” Fisher says. NVIC maintains a Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall where anyone can post stories of vaccine harassment — and it’s a heavily populated page.2
There are stories from across the U.S. of people who have been dismissed from medical practices or yelled at by their physicians over questions regarding vaccination or personal decisions of whether or not to vaccinate. This is true even in the cases of prior adverse reactions to vaccinations.
“Pediatricians’ offices have become ugly battlegrounds. Intelligent, well-informed and loving parents asking legitimate questions about vaccination are being belittled and treated with disrespect and contempt by too many pediatricians robotically implementing the CDC’s inflexible vaccine schedule in clear violation of the informed consent principle,” Fisher says.3
The fact is, it’s a doctor’s job to inform his or her patients so they’re able to make an educated decision about their medical care; it’s not a doctor’s job to make that decision for the patient. Further, questions regarding vaccine safety and efficacy are relevant now more than ever, as children are expected to get more vaccines than ever before — 69 doses of 16 vaccines.4
Doctors Break Patients’ Trust by Not Discussing Vaccine Safety
There’s a serious lack of credible studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in order to reveal vaccine safety or lack thereof. Yet, at least one study has found the vaccination schedule may put premature babies at increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.5
And in a pilot study comparing the health of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, those who were vaccinated were more likely to have been diagnosed with any chronic illness as well as other health conditions like otitis media, pneumonia, allergies and eczema.6
In 2013, a physician committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academy of Sciences, even pointed out that the current federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule for infants and children from birth to age 6 had not been adequately studied for safety.7
These are the types of facts parents need to make an informed decision about vaccination, but they’re not likely to hear them from a conventional pediatrician. In fact, they may be threatened for even inquiring. As Fisher explains:8
“These days, a well-baby checkup can be a frightening and gut-wrenching experience for a new mom bringing her baby to the pediatrician’s office.
That is because, with the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), many pediatricians have taken the hardline position that they do not have to discuss vaccination with parents or, if they do, they can threaten them with dismissal from the practice for not obeying a direct order.”
Pharmaceutical Resisters Are ‘Cockroaches’
In the vaccination debate, what happens all too often is not an open, scientifically based discussion but rather inappropriate name-calling and threats. A scathing article in the Los Angeles Times added further fuel to the fire when it labeled unvaccinated people “cockroaches.”9
In praising California’s Senate Bill 277, which requires children to be fully vaccinated to attend public school and eliminated the state’s personal belief exemption, the article said, “a lot of cockroaches have met their demise.” It then continued with name calling, stating, “Parents’ suspicions about the safety of vaccinations have been fed by conspiracy theorists and medical crackpots …”
It then touted the widely-spread myth that medical exemptions to vaccines are threatening herd immunity. Naturally acquired herd immunity comes into play when a very high percentage of individuals in a population have gone through a natural immune response to a viral or bacterial disease.
Vaccine-acquired “herd immunity” is a misnomer because most vaccines provide an artificial immunity that leans heavily on stimulating an antibody response (humoral immunity), which is incomplete and more temporary than the longer lasting cell-mediated plus humoral immunity acquired after recovery from an infection.
The article is reminiscent of Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, who has gone so far as to bully parents of vaccine-injured children and classify NVIC as a hate group.
He’s also said that the movement calling for increased scientific study into vaccine efficacy and risks, and calling for protection of informed consent, should be “snuffed out,” i.e., crushed or killed. Hotez is a vaccine developer, a former president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development.
He also recently published a study putting targets on the U.S. counties that have the highest numbers of kindergarteners with nonmedical vaccine exemptions,10 and then, in The Conversation, falsely blamed “anti-vaccine websites and social media” for measles outbreaks in Minnesota, New York and Missouri and “almost 200 influenza deaths of unvaccinated children.”11
Unfortunately, doctors like Hotez, instead of opening up the playing field for legitimate questions into vaccine safety and efficacy, would rather engage in name-calling (NVIC and other vaccine choice organizations are “exporting … anti-vax garbage” to communities around the world, he said12) and have parents who disagree with him “snuffed out.”
Physicians and Pharmaceutical Companies Created an Opioid Epidemic Killing Millions
Physicians and pharmaceutical companies that people are expected to blindly trust when it comes to vaccinations are the same ones who are implicated in creating a deadly opioid epidemic.
In the U.S., 63,600 people died from a drug overdose in 2016, 66 percent of which involved an opioid. Overdose deaths have been on the rise since the 1990s, with those involving prescription opioids increasing sharply since 1999.13 Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, with the deaths being driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl.14
“The rise of fentanyl can be traced back to doctors’ offices, according to leading researchers and doctors who blame several decades of liberally prescribing highly potent opioids to patients who shouldn’t have been exposed to them in the first place for creating a huge market for … organized crime groups, who are now exploiting a population of opioid misusers,” Vice News reported.15
Research published in the journal Medical Care even found a link between the rate of prescriptions for opioids and the number of opioid deaths in geographic regions of British Columbia, Canada.16
Both physicians and pharmaceutical companies are to blame. Many drug companies are still marketing the drugs to doctors and giving them perks like free meals, paid travel expenses and money for speaking and consulting engagements.
A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study found that although doctors typically receive less than $1,000 a year in such perks, they may still influence opioid prescriptions. In fact, physicians who received perks from drug companies increased their opioid prescription rates by an average of 9 percent in the year after the payment.17
It’s shocking that, in the midst of an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, the pharmaceutical industry would still be making payments to physicians to prescribe more opioid products, but this is precisely what’s occurring.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health,18 more than 375,000 nonresearch opioid-related payments were made to more than 68,000 physicians between August 2013 and December 2015, totaling more than $46 million. This amounts to 1 in 12 U.S. physicians who have received money from drug companies producing prescription opioids.
Doctors Are a Leading Cause of Death
According to research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), medical errors kill an estimated 250,000 Americans each year, making them a leading cause of death.19 While medical error is not included in rankings of cause of death or included on death certificates, death from medical care itself, and the doctors who administer it, happens far more often than many realize.
In a U.S. survey of more than 2,500 people, researchers found that 1 in every 5 adults has been on the receiving end of a medical error and 1 in every 3 say someone whose care they were closely involved in had experienced a medical error.20
It’s clear that people must feel comfortable in asking questions of their doctors — their very lives depend on it — yet this cannot occur in an environment of threats or belittling that often occurs when the topic of vaccinations is concerned.
Making informed choices and using proven tools to reduce your risk of illness by maintaining optimal health are strategies you may use to reduce your personal risk of injury at the hand of another, as well as to stay healthy to avoid chronic and infectious diseases.
And as always, if you’re seeing a medical provider who is not open to answering your questions, or whose trust you question, it’s probably time to seek a new provider.
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smart phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up to date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.
Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up to date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination, will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.
The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims — View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions — Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall — View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
- Vaccine Failure Wall — View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.
Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.
It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect, and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
Sources and References
- 1, 3, 4, 8 National Vaccine Information Center November 5, 2018
- 2 NVIC, Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall
- 5 Journal of Translational Science April 24, 2017, DOI: 10.15761/JTS.1000187
- 6 Journal of Translational Science April 24, 2017, DOI: 10.15761/JTS.1000186
- 7 Institute of Medicine (2013) The childhood immunization schedule and safety: Stakeholder concerns, scientific evidence and future studies
- 9 Los Angeles Times November 12, 2018
- 10 PLOS Medicine July 6, 2018
- 11 The Conversation November 14, 2018
- 12 The Chronicle February 20, 2018
- 13 U.S. CDC, Understanding the Epidemic
- 14 The New York Times November 3, 2017
- 15 Vice News June 22, 2016
- 16 Medical Care: November 2015 – Volume 53 – Issue 11 – p 954–959
- 17 JAMA Intern Med. 2018 May 14.
- 18 American Journal of Public Health August 8, 2017
- 19 BMJ 2016;353:i2139
- 20 WebMD October 3, 2017