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Physicians fire anti-vaccine patients

Last updated on June 13th, 2012 at 05:02 pm

The Wall Street today published an article, More Doctors ‘Fire’ Vaccine Refusers, by Shirley S. Wang, which discusses how physicians are beginning to refuse to see patients (mostly children) whose parents refuse to have them vaccinated.

❝Pediatricians fed up with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of concern it can cause autism or other problems increasingly are “firing” such families from their practices, raising questions about a doctor’s responsibility to these patients.❞

The reasoning seems to be concern for other patients becoming ill from diseases brought in by the unvaccinated children (a serious worry in crowded waiting problem).  The article also mentions that physicians don’t have time for recalcitrant patients (and parents) who choose to argue about every point and discuss non-evidence based medicine.  The former is a legitimate reason.  I’m unconvinced about the latter, even if patients are bring a lot of university of google junk medicine into a consultation.  There could even be a third reason:  liability.  It’s probable that an anti-vaccine lunatic will sue their physician if a child dies because the parent refused a vaccine.

There might be an ethical issue if there was only one pediatrician in a large area.  But the anti-vaccine lunatic should be able to find another pediatrician who can ignore or enable that type of bad medicine.  That’s the real ethical issue.


Michael Simpson

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