Mandatory Vaccination Battle Heats Up in California
by Bob Adelmann
When Dr. Richard
Pans bill, AB 2019, was debated in a public hearing before
Californias Senate Committee on Health, Dawn Richardson, Director
of Advocacy for the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC),
up to explain why she and her organization opposed the bill.
If the bill is enacted into law, Richardson says, it will in effect
forced mandatory vaccinations onto children even when their parents
have decided its in their best interest to deny them. Under
current law, parents may file a personal belief exemption
which allows their children to attend public school without vaccinations.
But under Pans bill, a doctor must sign off on the parents
decision first, and most of them wont.
The idea is
that the government has a vested interest in making sure that the
parents are making the right decision, have full and complete information
before making that decision, and consequently mandates that parents
have that medical conversation before filing the exemption.
The only problem is that its difficult to find a doctor that
is willing to have that conversation and then sign off on the parents
request. A young couple who remained anonymous in their report to
NVIC had an incident not
uncommon in the medical profession:
Our new daughter
was born on December 13th, so we had briefly met Dr. Leong at
the hospital for our daughters initial checkup
seemed to be no problem at the time with Dr. Leong, but we did
not have any discussion about immunizations at that time.
at the Sutter Pediatrics office on Dec. 19th, 2011 for her first
doctor's appointment my husband and I received shocking news.
Once Dr. Leong came into the room and my husband informed her
that we would be choosing to not immunize our daughter her demeanor
completely changed. She instantly became rude and condescending.
Her first words were "Well, that is going to be a problem.
She spoke to us as if we were stupid, telling us we seemed like
"nice kids", but that she would not treat our daughter
unless we immunized [our daughter with] a long list of immunizations
that she wanted us to.
only a couple that she was okay with us not getting. She said
since youre here I will look at her today, but unless
you choose to immunize [her] then youre going to have to
find another doctor.
herself over and over again that she would not see her unless
we immunized. Then she went on to say that no one in that office
would see us either...She lectured us and lectured us as we sat
there in shock and dismay at what was happening.
We left that
appointment feeling sick to our stomachs at what we just endured.
[The doctor expressed] complete and utter disrespect of our rights
as American citizens and parents making an informed decision that
we feel is best for our daughter.
their report to NVIC the couple expressed their revised views of
the medical professions credibility:
of the public health system is skeptical and leery. It is our
right to make informed decisions that are best for our daughter.
This is our choice and no one else should be making it for us.
It is very
difficult to find a doctor that respects your decision to not
immunize. We in no way shape or form should be ostracized for
being involved in what is put into our children.
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© 2012 The New American