Monday, October 03, 2005

Doctors Drop Patients

Doctors don't like to be questioned. Vaccine refusal is especially contentious says a new study. Vaccines, the holy grail of medicine right after the discovery of penicillin (and the related germ theory), must be enjoyed by all...or else.

Of 302 pediatricians questioned, 256 said they had encountered a parent who refused to let a child receive at least one vaccination in the previous 12 months, and 162 -- 39 percent of the group -- who had a parent refuse all vaccinations.

The refusals were most commonly based on safety concerns, worries about children getting multiple vaccines at once, philosophical reasons and religious beliefs, said the report from Chicago's Rush Medical College.

"In the case of parents refusing specific vaccines, 82 (28 percent of the doctors) said that they would ask the family to seek care elsewhere; for refusal of all vaccines, 116 (39 percent) of pediatricians said they would refer the family" to another doctor, said the report.

The reason physicians cite most often for wanting to drop such patients were lack of shared goals and lack of trust, added the study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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