Group suggests pediatricians refuse to treat some unvaccinated children

3 years 2 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, August 30 2016 Aug 30, 2016 Tuesday, August 30, 2016 4:13:00 PM CDT August 30, 2016 in News
By: Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A national medical organization issued recommendations Monday for pediatricians to potentially refuse to treat patients in order to increase the number of children who are vaccinated.

"Unimmunized children are at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases and in a practice setting also create risk of disease outbreaks in young infants and those children who medically cannot be immunized,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

“If, after counseling efforts are exhausted, parents decline immunizations, the AAP says pediatricians may request that they sign a vaccine refusal form and/or seek care from a different health care provider," the group said in an online statement.

Dr. David Fleming, co-director at the MU Center for Health Ethics, said the policy recommendation is suitable if it's being done to protect children.

"One of the issues and concerns that I think the pediatricians have is that, when children aren't vaccinated and they come to the office, the could potentially infect other children," Fleming said.

In the state of Missouri, a child can be exempted from vaccination for medical, religious or "moral" reasons. According to a 2015 webinar hosted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau, parents can opt out of vaccines for any reason while their child is in day care. About one percent of children fit this category in 2014. From kindergarten to 12th grade, the religious exemption is valid. A medical exemption will work regardless of the age of the child. 

Versailles parent Joyce Riley said the decree from the AAP is outrageous. She said she had a neurological disorder as a result of multiple vaccinations.

"That's absolutely, unbelievably wrong," she said. "Where's that jurisdiction? Where's that come from? It's another corner to pressure parents into vaccinating their children."

Dr. Kathryn M. Edwards, one of the co-authors of one of the AAP statements, said the idea of the refusal of service is to draw attention to the non-medical exemptions. She said vaccines work the best when most of the population is treated.

Under the suggested policy, pediatricians would treat children in emergency situations regardless of their vaccination status.

Fleming said doctors need to be wary of how they treat their patients.

"If we're doing it to discriminate against a particular class of patients, it's unethical," Fleming said.

Ken Hussey, the executive director of the Missouri chapter of the AAP, stressed these are "policy statements and recommendations."

"These are designed to give guidance, direction and attention to issues," he said. "I can’t say if this will affect how individual pediatricians will practice. It’s up to each one."

Hussey said the Missouri chapter contains around 1,100 people that include pediatricians, medical students, retired medical professionals and residents. Not all pediatricians are members of the orginization. The website stated 66,000 pediatricians are members across the nation.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A family of four is getting help from the Red Cross after a fire forced them from... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 4:32:00 AM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The River City Habitat for Humanity housed more than 1 million nails over the weekend. Mid... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:31:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The mother of one of the victims in Columbia's two weekend homicides described her daughter as "a really... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:05:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
To start this climate conversation, we have to begin somewhere. So, let's start with the basics: the difference between weather... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:45:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - Three people died in a crash Sunday afternoon in Cole County while a driver fled from police... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:39:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Interim Police Chief Geoff Jones will officially make the switch to permanent police chief in a swearing-in Monday.... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The family of a South Dakota woman who was found shot to death in Missouri last... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 2:39:29 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers have taken a man into custody in relation to a shots fired incident on Sept. 3... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:51:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers responded to reports of a car crashing into a home in the 900 block of Sardonyx... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:45:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A truck crashed into the Ventura Townhome complex Saturday morning in relation to a domestic assault, according... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 5:20:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 4th annual Tunnel to Towers 5K was held at the Governor's Garden on Saturday. This... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 4:29:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Police Department announced its participation in the National Child Passenger Safety Week enforcement campaign... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
NEW LEBANON - For one group, New Lebanon's bicentennial celebration was a unification decades in the making. While researching her... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The percentage of successful disability cases aimed at reversing the denial or re-evaluation of benefits... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 10:37:39 AM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating two homicides after three people were shot Friday night. Officers said... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:04:00 AM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, September 13 2019 Sep 13, 2019 Friday, September 13, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT September 13, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
JEFFERSON CITY - A recent Facebook post showed grass clippings left out in Jefferson City. Many commented on the post... More >>
2 days ago Friday, September 13 2019 Sep 13, 2019 Friday, September 13, 2019 6:11:00 PM CDT September 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police and the city's Solid Waste Department will expand the search area in the Megan Shultz case.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, September 13 2019 Sep 13, 2019 Friday, September 13, 2019 4:44:00 PM CDT September 13, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
8am 74°
9am 78°
10am 82°
11am 85°