Pediatricians fed up with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of concern it can cause autism or other problems increasingly are “firing” such families from their practices, raising questions about a doctor’s responsibility to these patients.
Medical associations don’t recommend such patient bans, but the practice appears to be growing, according to vaccine researchers.
The rise in patient firings reflects another factor. As patients have become savvier and more willing to challenge doctors, physicians have become increasingly reluctant to deal with uncooperative patients, said Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, doctors may feel financial pressure to see more patients and so have less time to contend with recalcitrant ones.
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Don’t know what to make of this. The doctors have their reasons. They do not want to have to treat kids with communicable diseases. It’s a hazard to the rest of their patients and staff and is EASILY prevented. If a parent is going to be difficult with this, what else are they unreasonable about? But, it does pose a problem with the rest of child’s health care. Some dilemmas have no good answers.