When Dr. Richard Pan’s bill, AB 2019, was debated in a public hearing before California’s Senate Committee on Health, Dawn Richardson, Director of Advocacy for the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC), showed 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 it’s 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 Pan’s bill, a doctor must sign off on the parents’ decision first, and most of them won’t.
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 it’s 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 daughter’s initial checkup…There seemed to be no problem at the time with Dr. Leong, but we did not have any discussion about immunizations at that time.
Upon arriving 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.
There were only a couple that she was okay with us not getting. She said “since you’re here I will look at her today, but unless you choose to immunize [her] then you’re going to have to find another doctor.”.. read more here…