Doctors “firing’ Patients


Refuse to get your child a vaccine and get ‘fired’ by your Pediatrician. Who would of thunk?

 Refuse Vaccine, Get ‘Fired’ by Pediatrician?

 Well over a third of pediatricians — 39% — say they would “dismiss” families that refuse all vaccinations, a new study suggests. That’s surprising, says study leader Erin A. Flanagan-Klygis, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Chicago’s Rush Medical College.

But another finding surprises Flanagan-Klygis even more. More than one in four pediatricians — 28% — say they would fire families that agreed to some vaccinations but refused one or more other vaccinations.

This study is based on questionnaires filled out by 302 randomly selected members of the American Academy of Pediatrics who give recommended childhood vaccinations. Ref: October issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.


Dismissing the Family Who Refuses Vaccines

A Study of Pediatrician Attitudes

Results Fifty-four percent faced total vaccine refusal during a 12-month period. Pediatricians cited safety concerns as a top reason for parent refusal. Thirty-nine percent said they would dismiss a family for refusing all vaccinations. Twenty-eight percent said they would dismiss a family for refusing select vaccines. Pediatrician dismissers were not significantly different from nondismissers with respect to age, sex, and number of years in practice. Pediatrician dismissers were more likely than nondismissers to view traditional vaccines (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis; inactivated poliovirus; Haemophilus influenzae type b; measles, mumps, and rubella) as “extremely important,” but they were no more likely to view newer vaccines (7-valent pneumococcal conjugate, varicella-zoster virus, hepatitis B) as “extremely important.”

Conclusions Pediatricians commonly face vaccine refusal that they perceive to be due to parent safety concerns. In response, many pediatricians say they would discontinue care for families refusing some or all vaccines. This willingness to dismiss refusing families is inconsistent with an apparent ambivalence about newer, yet recommended, vaccines. The practice of family dismissal needs further study to examine its actual impact on vaccination rates, access to care, and doctor-patient relations.


Logically though, how can you as a parent or your child be ‘fired’?  They provide a service to YOU. You don’t work for THEM. Without YOU, who would THEY WORK FOR? Would you honestly want a physician that didn’t TRUST and RESPECT YOU to KNOW what is best for YOUR child?  Would you really want a physician that didn’t RESPECT your RIGHT to choose what you believe to be in the best interest of your child? Patients can fire their doctors. Doctors can only refuse to see you as a patient in the future. :)


 According to the American Medical Association, doctors have “an obligation to support continuity of care for their patients” and “should not neglect a patient.” But if a doctor must end the relationship, they have to provide enough notice so the patient can secure another health care provider.”

I’ve often found that doesn’t happen. Doctors simply tell patients to find a new doctor and in not so nice words. 

Take care when firing a patient

 A physician may legally and ethically decide not to continue treating a patient as long as the patient is not in need of immediate care and has been given a reasonable opportunity to find another doctor, which is consistent with the recommendations of the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.


According to the AAP:

Responding to Parental Refusals of Immunization of Children

Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH and the Committee on Bioethics

 The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly endorses universal immunization. However, for childhood immunization programs to be successful, parents must comply with immunization recommendations. The problem of parental refusal of immunization for children is an important one for pediatricians. The goal of this report is to assist pediatricians in understanding the reasons parents may have for refusing to immunize their children, review the limited circumstances under which parental refusals should be referred to child protective services agencies or public health authorities, and provide practical guidance to assist the pediatrician faced with a parent who is reluctant to allow immunization of his or her child.


So much for the Hippocratic Oath. Or respecting a parents RIGHTS under the LAW. Perhaps they have even forgotten that vaccines are not mandatory. They are only mandated for school or daycare attendance, without an exemption.


Parents often feel they have to explain their reason for not vaccinating. Why? If a physician’s belief  is to vaccinate everyone under the sun, nothing you say will make a difference to them. If not vaccinating is your choice, own it. If you do not vaccinate for religious reasons, simply state it. You owe no further explanation and it is against the law for a physician to question your faith or religious beliefs further. If it is against your philosophical beliefs, much like religion, simply state it, and no further discussion needed. You don’t question their religious beliefs, so nothing gives them the right to question or discriminate against yours.

Bullying? Yes, I’ve heard this one too. Remember, only you allow a physician to bully you. If a physician is unethical and unprofessional enough to start it, calmly leave without comment. A physician has no right to bully, yell, discriminate, name call, harass or threaten you, ever. We would call those descriptions ‘abuse’ and that is exactly what they are doing, and they are not above the law.


Finding the Right Physician

1. Make a list of physician’s names and get references from friends or families who have similar views as yours.

2.  Call and ask the receptionist if non-vaccinating/selective/delay patients are accepted before making the first appointment.  If you are comfortable with the answers to your questions, book an appointment.

3. Direct any further questions directly to the physician at the appointment.