Pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears on Huffington Post: California Bill AB2109 Threatens Vaccine Freedom of Choice
Posted Mar 01 2012 12:00am
Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to Dr. Bob Sears for being a pediatrician, not a pedia-politician and speaking out about CA AB2109. Amazing how many on the left are hollering about taking away women's choice in ob/gyn care while remaining dead silent on pediatrica/parental healthcare choice. Please comment at Huffington Post HERE. :
The California legislature is currently considering a bill that would require parents to obtain their doctor's signature on a government form prior to enrollment in public school if they wish to skip one or more vaccines for their child. Current law allows parents to decline vaccines by signing an exemption form at the school -- no doctor's signature needed. The new law would require "a written statement signed by a health care practitioner that indicates that the practitioner provided the parent with information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases."
On the surface, this doesn't seem like a bad idea. It will require parents to prove that they've had an informed discussion with their physician. Most parents already have such discussions anyway. However, what gravely concerns me is that some doctors will refuse to sign this form. I know how doctors think. Many doctors strongly believe that vaccines should be mandatory, and that parents should not have the right to decline vaccines. Some doctors are willing to provide care to unvaccinated kids, despite this difference in philosophy. But now the power over this decision will be put directly into doctors' hands. He or she can simply refuse to sign the form. Doctors who oppose vaccine freedom of choice have been frustrated for years over this issue. Finally, they will have the power to impose their beliefs on their patients. Patients will be forced to find another doctor to sign the form, submit to vaccines, or get kicked out of public school.