We Need a New Pediatrician

We need a new pediatrician.

The reason we need a new pediatrician is rather involved.  A while back, the pediatrician that our family has frequented for years came out with what was, in my opinion, a rather draconian and insulting policy regarding immunizations. The policy was simple; you will take the shots the CDC recommends, or we will not treat you.   The written policy went on to refer to the unimmunized as ‘selfish’.  Their policy is reproduced here.  When I read the policy I was incensed, and it lead to a number of family discussions. My wife wanted to stay with the doctor, and I did not.  My compromise was that we would stay with his office until we were forced to leave by this issue.

Fast forward a few weeks and their office calls to tell me that my oldest needs to come in for his 11 year physical. I had never heard of such a thing, and the person on the phone was just a message service with no insight into such things.  I wanted to know what was driving this physical. My kids aren’t in government schools so I couldn’t imagine any reason that   pre-6th grade physical would be required. My wife called their office a time or two on my behalf and got no answer that would satisfy me.

On the day of the appointment my wife called from the doctor’s office and told me that   part of the 11 year checkup was a series of immunizations.  One of the  immunizations was for HPV( Human papillomavirus vaccine), It’s ’recommended’ by Big Pharma for both girls and boys to prevent genital warts and certain types of cancer. We had already declined this for my daughter before the new policy came out.  One of the shots was a Tdap booster (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster. The last on the list was the Meningococcal vaccine which supposedly prevents meningitis. She read them off to me and I made a command decision.   She was to instruct the doctor that my son would receive a tetanus booster and that was it. I hung up the phone and waited. I felt in my gut that this was going to be a day of confrontation.

A few minutes later the phone rang and my wife told me that the pediatrician wanted to speak to me. His first question was whether or not I had actually done any research before I decided to risk my child’s health. I told him I didn’t think the risk was that high, and that injecting foreign substances into my child’s body wasn’t my idea of health care. He warned me of all the meningitis outbreaks that still happen in America and told me that I was putting my child in grave danger. He said, and I quote, “If he catches it, I don’t want to have to stand there in ICU and watch him die because he didn’t get this shot.”  Keeping in mind that meningitis is treatable with penicillin and that death from it usually only happens in a previously compromised immune system, the message was clear; take the shot or death may happen.

I continued to decline the shots, and he asked me if I was aware of their office policy.  I told him I was and that I found their  low [amazon asin=1481896407&template=*lrc ad (right)]regard for parental choice very troubling. By now we’re both yelling at each other, which wasn’t the best way to handle it. He asked me if I understood that he could no longer treat our family unless we got these shots.  I made some comment about how much money his office makes off of immunizations. He told me he didn’t have time to argue with me, that we were done here.  He handed the phone back to my wife. I instructed her (still in a fairly harsh tone of voice unfortunately) to pack up our son and come home.

Once I was off the phone, he began to work on my wife.  He apologized for getting so upset on the phone with me, and he wanted to give us some time to ‘think about’ it before we severed the doctor-patient relationship. He gave my wife the party line on vaccines in general, and somehow my upcoming mission trip to Haiti came up.  The idea was floated out there that I could bring back some plague from Haiti and infect our unvaxed kids.  Before she left, my wife had to sign a ‘Refusal to Vaccinate’ form that they would keep on file.  They also informed my wife that she would not be able to get our children’s medical records. Their policy is to release those records to our next doctor, not to us.

A week went by and I was still trying to locate a doctor that honored our choices as parents when we received a letter in the mail officially severing the doctor-patient services unless we ‘comply’. Included was a revised version of their policy in which the word ‘selfish’ is replaced with a reference to ‘herd immunity’.

My issue is simple; it’s my child, not theirs.  Maybe vaccines are good, maybe they’re bad. Maybe Wakefield was right and they attribute to allergies and autism, maybe they don’t.  Either way, I as a parent ought to be able to pick and choose what shots are given to my child, not the CDC.  In the pediatricians defense, they are a private practice and can do as they see fit, but I think it’s poor policy and a poor business decision to sever years of customer relations over the recommendations of Big Pharma and their lackeys in the government. I think it’s poor policy as a parent to blindly sign on to whatever injections the government dictates from on high

So we have no pediatrician at the moment, and there is a certified letter waiting ominously for us up at the post office from the pediatrician.  My concern is not that we won’t find another doctor, and my concern isn’t that my  son will catch meningitis. My concern at this point is that a visit from Child Protective Services comes out of all this.  Out of concern for the staff at this misguided doctor’s office, I’ve not released the name of the office, but I suspect we have not heard the last from all this.

Reprinted with permission from Local Boy.