The Vaccination Litigation

I read a few articles last week that suggested doctors should be held liable for promoting an alternate vaccination schedule, for not recommending vaccines, and for not vaccinating a child who later comes down with a “vaccine-preventable” disease. Doctors weren’t the only individuals targeted, anti-vaccination groups and the parents who belong to them were too. As the wife of a physician, and as a parent who has chosen not to vaccinate, and one who believes you have the right to choose or not choose the same, I take offense and a stance. You should too if you want to have access to a physician who does their own research, thinks independently, and acts in the best interest of your child. You should take a stance if you want autonomy over your own body and parenting decisions, because this is what this whole thing really boils down to.

Apparently, the new “vaccination litigation” movement being propagated has the end goal of removing philosophical (and ultimately religious) vaccine exemptions, by putting pressure on doctors to put pressure on you, and by silencing those who speak out against vaccinations. Not going to happen, not to my children, and not on my watch.

In Defense of the Doctor
Doctors should not be sued for questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccinations, for doing their own analysis of the history and data, and for coming to a different conclusion. They should not be threatened and bullied for respecting the wishes of a parent who may not be comfortable injecting carcinogens, neurotoxins, animal and aborted fetal DNA and cells, and a whole host of other immuno-compromising, questionable, hazardous, and carcinogenic
garbage into their child’s body.

These litigation advocates believe that a doctor is violating the “duty” or standard of care owed to patients by not vaccinating them. However, the standard of care owed varies for each patient, and though it may largely be based on the views of one’s profession – views are always changing. This is something we should all be thankful for. I for one am glad that doctors have stopped blood-letting, prescribing heroine and thalidomide, touting the nonexistent benefits of smoking, and prescribing arsenic for asthma.

Without doctors who questioned the normal course, traditional thinking, and the majority, we would still be utilizing any number of barbaric medical practices from lobotomies for the mentally ill, electric belts for impotence, tobacco smoke enemas, hemorrhoid treatment with hot irons, malaria for syphilis treatment, and savage surgeries for paralytic diseases instead of physical therapy. Seriously, forcing people to accept and tolerate only one viewpoint sounds a lot like Nazi Germany to me, and that’s just down-right scary.

Should a doctor be sued if they recommend or suggest a parent delay vaccines, approve of an alternate schedule, or allow a child to walk out their door without being jabbed?
Well let’s think about it, is it logical for a doctor to be sued by the patient who decides not to get a colonoscopy but then gets colon cancer, or the patient who forgoes a pap smear and develops cervical cancer, or the woman who forgoes the mammogram and gets breast cancer, or if a drug is avoided because it is not in the patient’s best interest? Absolutely not. 

If a doctor can be sued for not vaccinating a child or for recommending an alternate schedule, we should make things fair and open up the door for a doctor to be sued if they vaccinate a child who then as a result experiences SIDS, brain encephalitis, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, mitochondrial disease, or death. While we’re at it, let’s overturn some Supreme Court cases that have limited vaccine-manufacturer and physician liability. 

Can a doctor be sued for vaccinating a pregnant woman with the flu shot or Tdap who loses her baby as a result, or for vaccinating a woman with MMR or Varicella who gets pregnant within three months of being vaccinated and whose fetal development is compromised? Oh wait, you didn’t know that the CDC recommends avoiding pregnancy for only one month despite the vaccine inserts’ 3-month warning? Your doctor didn’t mention that to you? Can one sue for that? Can we sue doctors who are not (but should be) aware of vaccine side-effects, or are we just going to ignore the fact that vaccines have risks?

The CDC says that in cases of immunocompromised children, it is up to the physician to decide whether a patient should be vaccinated. Would the threat of a lawsuit force a physician to choose what isn’t in the best interest of an immunocompromised patient? What about in the case of a child who might not have experienced an illness had they undertaken a delayed schedule? Can a doctor be sued by the family of a child who gets vaccinated, gets a vaccine-associated illness, but does not get immunity to the disease for which they were vaccinated for in the first place? Whose on the hook for that one?

Sure, let’s sue a doctor because an unvaccinated child develops a “vaccine preventable disease,” or because another child played with my child and that child got sick. Good luck proving that my child caused it, and that the vaccine would have prevented it. Immunity is something the CDC doesn’t even guarantee (nor do vaccine manufacturers). I’m guessing that testing whether the disease resulted from vaccine viral shedding is out of the question? Seriously, where does one draw the line? Apparently not there. 

Your Liability
Supposedly, individuals who do not support vaccines and who speak out against them should be held liable (for any number of crimes that will soon be made up) because their research persuaded others to question vaccines as well. First amendment rights? If you don’t support vaccinations you supposedly don’t have any.

Give parents some credit here. We experience different viewpoints daily but ultimately arrive at our own conclusions and just because those conclusions may differ from the “norm” doesn’t mean they’re wrong and doesn’t mean anyone should be subjected to the court room experience. 

Why are we attempting to sue others into submission anyway?
Nothing honorable can come from this type of discourse. Are we going to start suing parents who don’t take their children to the doctor for these vaccines? If so, many parents will forgo check-ups in order to avoid the harassment at the doctor’s office by a doctor who has the cloud of a lawsuit hanging heavy. Who benefits from this? Not the doctor. Not the patient, and not you.

People have autonomy over what they put into their bodies, and parents have autonomy over their children. Bullying and threatening parents and physicians into one form of thinking is detrimental at best. This country depends on the exchange of ideas and so does science, or do we not believe in science anymore if science threatens what we once held as fact?

It seems to me, that others are resorting to threats of litigation because they’re not getting their way and they don’t like what some of us have to say. Middle school, bullies, and lunch money…oh yes, it’s all coming back to me now. If it really was about disease prevention they’d be advocating a mandatory “raw foods / whole foods” diet, mandatory sleep hours and outside time for children, probiotics, vitamin D, and a whole host of other things proven to prevent disease (without the risk of harm I might add). And they certainly would not be recommending vaccines – which are associated with a laundry list of acute and chronic diseases, including the ones they’re designed to prevent. Who has to deal with the potential side-effects? Oh yeah, we do.

Physicians should not be held liable for practicing within the scope of their knowledge and those opposed to vaccines should not be prevented from encouraging others to question the needle, the need, and what comes through it. And no group, on either side, should be held liable for expressing their viewpoints. Case closed. 

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  1. Katie says

    Thank you for writing this, Megan.

    I am curious: are you familiar with Lisa Murakami, SAHM/ attorney married to a physician? She has written some vicious things against the natural mindset, particularly the “Vaccinations” piece. She seemed to have spotty backing, but she tried to assert the right to sue for an unvaccinated child spreading something.

    I would think she’d been bought and was just churning out propaganda, but I really do think she vaccinates her kids (i.e., not just saying stuff).

    I would be interested in your take, as a lawyer also married to a doctor (you guys could be best friends! ha–NOT), on whether her evidence is as sorely lacking as I suspect, from a legal standpoint.


    I simply cannot go back and read that to quote it for you…I’m just assuming you saw it. We ALLL saw it.

  2. Tracy Boggs says

    This reminds me so much of the early studies of Dr. John Lee, MD. He spoke out 25+ years ago on the dangers of Premarin and other chemically altered hormones. He was called a quack, ostracized from the medical community and Big Pharma went after him BIG TIME.
    He held his ground, he had the studies to back it up and today millions of women are alive because of his ground breaking work. What if he had been shut down? What if he had been forced to tow the line? Big Pharma would still be killing women with Premarin and like drugs, doctors would still be blindly prescribing it and they would all be telling us how wonderful it all is!
    This whole things makes me so angry!!!

  3. Serene says

    If only I had the emotional tact to write such a wonderful article. Thank you for this. Sharing!

  4. Maria says

    Great post! I’m curious as to how this will all pan out, (if at all) especially taking into consideration the increasing number of parents that stopped vaccinating or have never vaccinated their children, like myself. The vaccination litigation movement definitely has a long and difficult battle ahead…. I feel sorry for them.

  5. says

    An April-June 2013 article in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics states, “[W]hile India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP).

    In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received.
    nhokkanen recently posted…The Murder-Suicide Phenomenon Among Autism Caregivers ContinuesMy Profile

  6. says

    Well, well said, once again. This is why I’m a huge activist for and others…it will be a very slippery slope if we allow this absurdity to become reality. The “S” really seems to be getting close to hitting the fan to inspire/force us all to stand up for what is right. No fear, no worrying – we’re all in this together. Thank you for another incredible post, Megan.

  7. Colleen says

    Thanks for this article. As a mom of three kids who are not vaccinated, I’m wondering what to do about polio now that the WHO declaring a global polio crisis. Any thoughts about it?

    • dc says

      I don’t have time to double check this, but I do believe the declaration of a global polio crisis is over 68 cases. That’s more than expected this time of year. Keep in mind, that some of the places experiencing polio are war torn countries in which the citizens are stressed and malnourished. Most people who are infected with wild polio don’t even have symptoms, and gain full immunity. Even some of those who go on to develop paralysis can sustain a full recovery. Many questions are appropriate to ask regarding the motivation to declare a crisis. Is the use of oral polio vaccine is responsible for the spread (VAPP or shedding of virus)? What factors predispose the few to become paralyzed, while the majority have no symptoms, or minor symptoms and full recovery with lifetime immunity? What makes those affected vulnerable? Nutritional status? Stress? Chemical exposure? A combination of factors? As far as suggestions of what to do, I would keep your children healthy, and not travel to an area rife with war and disease, and take these sorts of declarations with a grain of salt. Best to you Colleen, and I hope this puts your concern into perspective.

  8. Cynthia Maurer says

    Your article sums up the absurdity of the agenda of the vaccine supporters. They feel threatened by our clear understanding of the harm engendered by vaccination and want to silence us all. Over my dead body. While we are trying to protect our children,they are attacking our right to do so. It feels like a war to protect our freedom and civil liberties as well as our health.

  9. Tara says

    Yes, if they want to open that door, then it has to be a two way door. if they want to sue for not vaccinating, then we can sue for catching a disease through shedding, or when a child has a severe reaction. they cannot have it one way, their way. it doesn’t work like that. take away the liability-free cloak from the pharmaceutical companies. lets see how fast they do more research and make vaccines cleaner. Right now, they have no reason to, can put anything in them. they can’t even purify them completely. who knows what you are getting and how that will react with one’s body.

  10. April says

    So let me get this straight… They want to hold Doctors liable for NOT vaccinating, but those same doctors (and the vaccine manufactures), can in NO WAY be held liable for any vaccine injury and/or death that is caused… What hypocrisy! Wake up people!

    • Kathy says

      April –

      Everyone needs to remember those nine magic words if a doctor is pushing vaccines: “If this vaccine injures my child, who is responsible?” Their reaction will be most interesting……

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