I think this is a step too far. Canadian pediatricians are discharging patients whose parents refuse to permit inoculations. From the The Star story:
Pediatricians in Canada are starting to discharge children whose parents refuse to have them vaccinated. More and more, doctors are taking a stand when their medical advice is being ignored, said Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro, chair of the pediatrics section for the Ontario Medical Association and president of the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario.
“There have been some pediatricians who are very concerned about that, and may not take on the patient in the beginning,” Yamashiro said. “If you are going to fundamentally disagree with one of the things I think is good for your child, what else are we going to have a problem with?” Dr. Fatima Kamalia, a Thornhill-based pediatrician, says she discharges patients whose parents refuse to have them vaccinated. “Their whole philosophy on care is not consistent with how I practise my medicine,” she said. “So it’s probably better that they find a doctor who they’re comfortable with, who they can talk to, and who can handle their specific needs better than me.”
Oh please. Under that theory, a doctor could fire a patient who refused any treatment. And here I thought paternalism was verboten in medicine. Ah, Wesley, you are naive. That’s only if the patient wants to die.
If this is an issue of protecting the safety of other patients, I can see it. But a patient who has been inoculated is very unlikely to become infected. If this is a pressure tactic to get parents to follow orders, as I really think—and because that is best for children, which I believe—that becomes a step too far that punishes the child for the sins of the parents.
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