A Doctor’s View on Supporting Families

September 7, 2016

Does this sound familiar??  Families do not always agree with research-based recommendations.  We do our best to reach common ground and move forward together.

Physicians Struggle with Ethics of Barring Families who do not follow immunization schedule

“We as pediatricians do so much more than immunize…We teach, we advocate, we role model, and even when parents say no to immunization the first 10 times we bring it up, we bring it up an 11th and 12th time.”

Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD* and Thomas A. Lacy, MD** say the small risk to vulnerable [immune-compromised] children is outweighed by the benefits families get from access to pediatricians. The Academy of Pediatrics released a statement on August 29 advising practitioners to continue to provide medical services to children whose parents refuse immunizations, and only dismiss them as a “last resort”.   Some pediatricians say they will continue their services regardless of the family’s refusal to vaccinate.

Continuing those relationships even when advice is not followed may, in the end, be the best way to support the family.  “You have to go at it just as you should if you saw a child who is obese.”

Sound familiar?

-adapted from Medscape Medical News

Pediatrics. Published online September 2, 2016. Abstract

* Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Pediatrics, at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida, and the Department of Pediatrics at University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando

** Nemours Children’s Primary Care in Orlando

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