May 15, 2007


The Doctor Is Out—to You: Pediatricians are encountering parents who refuse vaccinations for their children, prompting the doctors to show them the door (David E. Gumpert, 5/16/07, Business Week)

Shirley Reese, a mother of six, was thrilled last fall when she learned that her small town of Iron Mountain, Mich., was getting a full-time pediatrician. She quickly made an appointment to bring in her oldest son, nine-year-old Samuel, because of some concerns she had about his performance in school, as well as problems with his tonsils and adenoids.

By the time she left the appointment, she recalls, "I was crying." It had nothing to do with the pediatrician's assessment of Samuel. Rather, it was because Samuel's tenure as the pediatrician's patient had lasted less than an hour.

The pediatrician, Alexis Wolfe, had told Reese she should find another physician for Samuel because she refused to accept the doctor's recommendations to administer several vaccinations for the boy. Reese says she has another son who is autistic, which she thinks may have been brought on by vaccinations. "I'm not going to brain-damage any more of my children by having them vaccinated," she says.

Reese isn't alone. While no one knows exactly how many doctor-patient relationships are going up in flames, the number appears to be growing, and seems most commonly to be occurring among pediatricians over the issue of vaccination. In a survey of 302 pediatricians published a year-and-a-half ago in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 28% "said that they would ask the family to seek care elsewhere" for "refusing specific vaccines," and 39% said they would do so for families refusing all vaccines.

The brain damage appears to be a hereditary matter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 15, 2007 12:00 AM

She might have read somewhere on the internet that there is no such thing as medical progress, just sanitation & hygiene.

Posted by: Daran at May 15, 2007 2:20 PM

... and who knows, maybe she doesn't believe in germs either.

Posted by: erp at May 15, 2007 3:32 PM

Progress? Innoculations? They're older than dirt.

Posted by: oj at May 15, 2007 3:51 PM

What's the point of having an immune system if you don't exercise and develop it when you're young with a little dirt and the occasional vaccination?

The real problem are mothers like this who want to shrink-wrap their babies against all "germs", which is little more than the modern equivalent of Madarin foot-binding.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 15, 2007 4:43 PM

Those who shun inoculations are parasitic hypocrites. There is a certain risk in vaccination. The risk is justified, in comparison to the diseases. If most, almost all, of your fellow citizens are getting vaccinated, and you opt out, you are getting most of the benefit, with none of the risk.

A moral failing, I should say, rather analogous to that of the "antiwar" types who enjoy peace and freedom while not suporting that wich makes peace and freedom possible.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 15, 2007 7:00 PM