Mandatory Vaccination Battle Heats Up in California

By:  Bob Adelmann
07/11/2012
       
Mandatory Vaccination Battle Heats Up in California

Dr. Richard Pan’s bill, AB 2019, to require a doctor to "sign off" on parents' decisions not to innoculate their children will wind up enforcing that innoculation. During a public hearing, Dawn Richardson, Director of Advocacy for the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC), showed up to explain why she and her organization opposed the bill.

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:

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Photo female doctor pediatrician with breathing mask over mouth giving child an intramuscular injection in arm via Shutterstock

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