Doctors Dismiss Parents Who Refuse to Vaccinate Kids
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But Dan Flanders, MD, FAAP, does not have a vaccinated-families-only policy, seeing the ‘threat to dismiss’ procedure as a scare tactic that can undermine the trust between doctor and family.
“I worry that when pediatricians dismiss vaccine-hesitant families, it is the children who suffer for their parents’ poor, uninformed choices,” says Dr. Flanders.
As for parents, it should come as no surprise that the opinion on the AAP’s new policy comes with mixed opinions. While mom Effie Greenhouse of Portland, Oregon said she has never felt uncomfortable taking her children on playdates with the children of a friend who delays vaccines, she’s not sure she agrees with doctors refusing to see unvaccinated kids.
“I get worried that if my doctor and most other doctors shun parents who are refusing or delaying vaccinations, and all of those families then cluster at a few remaining doctors’ offices, our chances of an outbreak could increase,” Greenhouse said. “If a practice has a lot of non-vaccinating families, it seems like an outbreak could really take off and spread further, so I want my doctor to see vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing families. I want those kids to get the benefits of herd immunity, too.”
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