Who are the doctors here?
In an encouraging decision, regional pediatric clinic Physicians to Children will now require parents to vaccinate their children — on schedule — in order to maintain a relationship with the clinic. From their revised policy (italics mine):
We firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as Pediatricians and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their schedule are the results of decades of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by thousands of bright, caring, and compassionate scientists and physicians.
. . .
We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence and current studies, that vaccines DO NOT cause autism or developmental disabilities. We firmly believe that the components and preservatives used in vaccines for decades do not cause developmental, immune, or other medical disabilities.
Over the past several years, many people have chosen not to vaccinate their children due to misguided concerns regarding autism and potential adverse reactions. As a result of under-immunization, there have been outbreaks nationwide and worldwide of measles, mumps, and whooping cough. These outbreaks have resulted in unnecessary and preventable deaths.
Notice that stuff about scientific studies? That’s what distinguishes modern medicine from the bloodletters of the prescience era and the modern charlatanry to which it gave rise. It’s what distinguishes the assertion that vaccines prevent illness from the assertion that vaccines are linked to autism.
The RT article includes this partial quote from Robert Gard of PtC:
“We have seen herd immunity in our region decline over time due to the increase in unvaccinated children,” he said.
The rest of Gard’s quote carries the point home in a way peculiarly absent from RT’s coverage. From PtC’s vaccines page:
“We have seen herd immunity in our region decline over time due to the increase in unvaccinated children. For example, 23 out of 46 students at a Floyd school were infected by whooping cough in March 2011. Fortunately there were no deaths in the Floyd outbreak; however, a similar outbreak in California in 2010 resulted in ten deaths there,” said Dr. Robert Gard, a Board certified pediatrician at Physicians to Children.
The recent outbreak of whooping cough in Floyd County, appears to have spurred the decision, though other regional pediatricians quoted in the RT article acknowledge having discussed similar policies themselves. It would strike me as negligent were they not to have.
The MedBeat post accompanying the article garnered a mild flood of confused backlash, though interspersed with occasional bouts of rationality. Anyway, Gard had already exposed the offenders in the article: “You’re dealing with someone who is not trusting you and your advice. So, when will they trust your advice?” Would that more pediatricians set as clear a standard of trust as PtC and refuse to allow parents to sabotage their children by playing doctor.