Either Vaccinate or Find a New Doctor!

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Either Vaccinate or Find a New Doctor!
6
Thu, 02-14-2013 - 3:43pm

I have a friend who's pediatirician will no longer treat her family because of their vaccination choices.   His office implemented a new policy that requires all patients to be fully vaccinated, and she refuses to vaccinate her children with the MMR vaccine.  Now she has to do another search for a pediatrician she can trust, who will also respect her wishes. 

Do you think that it's fair for doctors to stop seeing patients for this reason?  

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 02-15-2013 - 12:39pm

While it sucks for your friend, I can understand the doctor's pov. They have to protect themselves from lawsuits in case anything happens as a result of that child not being vaccinated. Does anyone know if you can be a exception to a rule like this if your child has shown to have reactions to vaccines in the past? Does it vary by doctor or are their no exceptions?

Chelsea

"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 02-19-2013 - 5:24pm

A doctor in private practice has the right to turn away patients if they feel they are not on the same page.  It is their right just like its our right to choose what doctor we go to.  The first pediatrician I went to after my middle one was born told me when I told her we were on the fence about vaccinations that we either vaccinated and followed her care as she saw fit because of her medical training, or find a new pediatrician.  We sought out a new pediatrician and have been relatively happy so far with them.  My question would be, if the doctor isn't willing to budge or talk with the patient about why they feel that way, do you want that doctor treating your family all the time, are they going to listen to you as a parent about the care of you or your child or are they going to go with what they have determined is the right care regardless.  I personally would prefer a doctor that is a partner with me and a source or knowledge, but not one that isn't going to listen to my thoughts and concerns in relation to care for my child.

And yes, it also is party to do with lawsuits and liabilities, and they are getting increasing pressure from the American Pediatric Association to have this policy to let go of parents that aren't willing to vaccinate or vaccinate on schedule.

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Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 10:45am

Yes it's fair. The doctor should have a right to determine with whom he or she does business just like the consumer has a choice in doctors, insurance plans, etc. Of course it's a hassle to find a new doctor, but it's a hassle for the doctor to find new patients, too. If either party doesn't agree to the business transaction contract, neither should be forced into it.

On a more relational note, I agree with the poster who asked how your friend could feel comfortable with a doctor who so obviously disagrees with your friend's desire to not vaccinate anyway. It would reasonably be a bad situation if your friend continued seeing a doctor when there is so obvious disagreement on health practices between them.

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 8:32pm

I'm with the doctor. I'm also betting this a medical liablity issue for private practice physicians. I'm sure they'd rather require all patients to have vaccinations than face a lawsuit.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 11:53am
That's a good question, Tracy. From what I understand, the doctor was supportive of their vaccination choices, but his hands were tied. If the practice he was in hadn't implemented this policy, he would have still had them as patients.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 02-22-2013 - 5:00pm
ah I see. Yes, then that is something that is done in the practice as a whole, so he either needs to go with it, or go out on his own or look for another practice group that aligns more ideally with how he wants to practice or the patients he would like to retain. I know at our pediatrician, there are 2 pediatricians and 2 PAs and our pediatrician is the only one that is more non-vaccine friendly. We have seen the others in the group and every single time we've been there we've gotten the lecture, and the literature, about why we are "wrong" not to vaccinate. So when we do go to the doctor, which is only about once a year at most and I am thinking I will not even worry about well child visits any longer, we make sure that he is the one we are seeing, and no one else.
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