Doctors “fire” patients for refusing vaccines

More and more American paediatricians are “firing” parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Vaccine researchers say the practice appears to be growing, despite the fact that medical associations do not recommend it. A study last year showed that 30% of 133 Connecticut paediatricians said they had asked a family to leave their practice for refusing vaccines, and a recent study of 909 Midwestern doctors found that 21% reported dismissing families. In 2001 and 2006 only 6% of doctors said they “routinely” discharged families due to parents’ continued vaccine refusal and only 16% “sometimes” dismissed them.

“There's more noise among paediatricians, more people willing to argue that it's OK to do this versus 10 years ago,” said Douglas Diekema, of the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr Diekema wrote the AAP’s policy on dealing with vaccine refusers, which recommends doctors address the issue at repeated visits, but lets parents have their way if the child is at no significant risk. Most paediatricians consider preventing disease by vaccination one of their primary duties. ~ Wall Street Journal, Feb 15

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