Parental Refusal Of Immunizations Policy Statement
We at Family Care provide the best care that we can for our patients. To do this effectively, we must enter into a partnership based on mutual trust with the parents of our patients. Recently, there has been a trend of unjustified fear of side effects from vaccines by well-meaning parents. We believe that immunizations are one of the most important health interventions a parent can do on behalf of their children, and we want all our patients to benefit from this modern lifesaving tool.
While we recognize and respect the parents’ role as the ultimate decision maker for their child’s healthcare, we believe strongly that we are obligated to deliver the best and safest healthcare possible for our patients and our community. We feel professionally uncomfortable caring for children who will not receive recommended vaccinations. These preventable diseases can and do cause severe illness, brain damage and death.
We hope that you take the time to read quality papers and internet sites about the benefits of vaccines. The best internet site for vaccine education can be found at www.vaccine.chop.edu, which is hosted by one of the finest children’s hospitals in the country, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The federal government also maintains an informative site at the CDC web site: www.cdc.qov/vaccines.
We hope that you will review the accurate information about immunizations here as well as on respected internet sites and consider allowing your child(ren) to receive this important protection. These vaccines are available through our office at modest cost, or through the local county health department at no charge.
As a group practice, we feel we must implement a consistent policy in regard to Parental Refusal Of Immunizations. Refusal of recommended vaccinations indicates a significant difference of philosophy of care and it would be best that we terminate our doctor-patient relationship. It is our hope that no patient is discharged from our practice due to vaccine refusal.
If you refuse to follow the recommended vaccine series, we will with great reluctance send a letter to you discharging your child(ren) from our care. If your child requires medical care within the following 30 days, we will provide that care. After that period, our obligation ends. When you have chosen another pediatrician, please complete and return by mail or fax the attached Authorization to Transfer Medical Records form. We will then forward your medical records to this new provider at no charge.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing frequency of parents refusing all vaccinations nationally. This places children in unnecessary and potentially severe risk, and we feel obligated to do everything we can to reduce the number of children needlessly exposed. It is to this group that this letter speaks. It is our hope that most families with ill-founded fears of vaccines will reconsider and obtain for their children all recommended vaccines. If not, and you are unwilling to obtain the recommended vaccinations, we ask that you find another doctor’s office to care for your children.