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.
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.