Vaccine Discrimination in America
I knew it was coming. With how 2015 was full of fear and vaccine bullying, I’m not surprised that vaccine discrimination would be next. Many of us have already experienced it privately in one way or another, some by a pushy physician at a medical clinic and others by a bossy school nurse, and it looks like more places are officially adopting the practice.
No matter where or when it happens, being discriminated against is uncomfortable. When that discrimination includes judging, trampling ones parental rights, and denying medical treatment, it’s more than uncomfortable. It’s downright frightening.
I’ve yet to be completely turned away from a clinic or from receiving services after being asked what my child’s vaccine status is. Most of the time, it’s no one’s business to hear that sort of personal information. Other times, when vaccines could be relevant, I tread lightly when offering that information. If I fear that treatment could be jeopardized, I tend to begin with a caveat, “Because my son suffered a vaccine injury, we do not completely follow the recommended vaccine schedule…” and hope that the person who’s listening is actually listening to what I’m saying. Most of the time I am being heard, but one night several years ago, I was not.
That happened when I brought my daughter to the Emergency Room. She’d been fighting a viral respiratory infection for just over 24 hours. With how young she was at the time, I knew it could turn into a serious situation. I’d consulted with our pediatrician, followed her suggestions, and was able to bring some relief during the day. Unfortunately, though, things went from bad to worse - and quickly - once night fell. Knowing that she needed help, I bundled my baby up and headed to the ER.
We were ushered back right away, but instead of treating my child, the ER doctor we were assigned insisted on wasting time. That began after his question, “Are vaccines up-to-date?” was answered with my, “No, we’re selectively vaccinating.” response.
At that point, the doctor completely ignored the medical emergency that my daughter was presenting and opted to berate me about vaccines. In an attempt to belittle me in front of the team of night-shift nurses, who were standing at the ready waiting for the doctor to respond to and act on my daughter’s current condition, he continued to question me. The nurses said nothing, and when the doctor continued his tirade, the nurses looked down. Knowing my rights, I didn’t let that man’s words bother me. I kept my head held high and calmly waited for the doctor to finish the verbal assault.
Keeping my chin up helped me stay poised, but that further infuriated the ER doctor. I don’t think he meant me in particular, but that’s when he went so far as to declare that I was responsible for the return of “vaccine-preventable” diseases. “It’s selfish people like you causing other people’s kids to get sick!” Without skipping a beat, he began to cite non-US “vaccine-preventable” statistics. Those statistics could easily scare the socks off of someone, but I recognized the statistics and knew that he was using them as scare tactics. Maybe he thought that using scare tactics would make me change my mind about the decision I’d made for my children about vaccines, but it didn’t.
While he spoke, I remained calm. That only angered the man with whom I was about to entrust my child. Then, switching his approach, and probably in the hopes of making me cave to “catch up” on the vaccines that he insisted that my daughter was “missing”, the doctor said she could get them that same night. I stared at him in disbelief. If I’d been able to record him to show him how foolish, unprofessional, and dangerous he was, I would have. But I was more concerned about why I’d brought my daughter to the hospital and needed to get the doctor to remember that, too.
I quickly formulated a response.
Standing my ground, I politely declined the vaccines then he was offering. Then, pointing to my child, whose breathing was worsening, I smiled, thanked the doctor for his very strong opinion, and said, “Now that we got that out of the way, can you please remember why I brought her in tonight? She is sick. She is struggling to breathe, and she needs help. Will you help her?”
He did. But he did so without any compassion.
Using the worst bedside manner while glaring at me as he made his assessment, I avoided eye contact unless absolutely necessary. Discreetly, I pulled my phone out of my purse and texted my husband. I let him know that the situation was tense, but that we were finally getting medical help. Slipping the phone in my pocket, I stayed as close to my daughter’s side as I could while continuing to watch and listen.
The doctor was almost done with his assessment. Throwing his gloves down on the bed that my daughter was lying on, he barked his orders: Breathing treatments and steroids. Observe. Repeat breathing treatment if necessary. And with that, he stormed out of the room.
Not wanting to rock the boat any more than I had just done because I feared that this doctor could retaliate, I had watched his every move. I would do the same with each nurse and respiratory technician who entered the room that night.
They watched me, too. Some of the staff was sympathetic, but none were apologetic.
A parent should never fear what a person with power could do to their child, but fear is exactly what I felt that night in the ER. Instead of building bridges and providing immediate care, I was treated horribly. I was targeted as “one of those moms”, and my daughter’s medical treatment was unnecessarily delayed.
I’m no doctor, but it turns out, I was right to bring my daughter to the ER that evening. She was sick. She was struggling to breathe. She did need medical attention. And after the doctor stopped defending the almighty vaccine program that I was not interested in, he, too, agreed that she needed treatment – and quickly.
Thankfully, within a few hours, things got better. I’m glad for that. I’m glad that I experienced what I did with that doctor, too. Even after the raised eyebrow, the fuzzy eyeball, and the unwelcomed lecture made in a judgmental tone, I will never forget what it feels like to be discriminated against because of health care choices that I have made. Nor will I ever let it happen again.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
Have you been fired from a practice or been denied medical treatment or services because of you/your child’s vaccine status? What have you done or said when you’ve found yourself face-to-face with a vaccine bully? Were you successful in defending your rights? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
My children have most definitely been discriminated against since birth due to our decision to not fully vaccinate. I have taken them to our children's ER and had a male doctor decide to no longer give us adequate care. It is a scary day when you go in desperation for help for your child and the medical professionals turn their backs. We have also had two pediatricians refuse care for our children and when you have a two week old, that is scary also.
Posted by: NT | February 06, 2016 at 02:07 PM
This happened to my 22 year old daughter in October. She went to the health center at her university and told them her throat was sore and she thought she had strep throat. The first question the nurse practitioner asked was if she had a flu shot. Once she said no, all treatment stopped. The nurse practitioner refused to treat her throat with antibiotics unless she got a flu shot on the spot. She refused and left. Four days later she broke out in a rash, which was diagnosed at a different urgicenter as Scarlett Fever. The Scarlett Fever resulted from untreated strep. Scarlett fever can cause life long heart complications. NO heath care professional should be demanding that you receive a vaccine when you are ill in order to be treated for your illness, but I believe it is the new normal. Even more infuriating is that no one is being held responsible for this type of behavior.
Posted by: LindaL | December 14, 2015 at 04:13 PM
Vaccinating our children seems to be a 'groupthink" mentality that has plagued our healthcare system for years and not until more nurses and doctors have the courage to speak out about certain people sensitive to vaccines will we ever see progress. The fact is there are specific people, based on genetic testing, that are prone to having terrible reactions to vaccines, but of course, no genetic testing is being done to ascertain WHO is at risk for these life changing side effects, and as such, we continue to gamble with our children's lives and are expected to just shut up and accept the norm. Well, excuse me, but the norm is not working. Children are being injured and hurt, yet we see no doctors coming out against this? And the few that do are critically judged and banned from speaking? This seems odd. Very odd indeed.
Posted by: Lalia | December 08, 2015 at 01:39 AM
This doctor should be sued for attempting to poison and possibly kill with vaccines a sick child.
Posted by: no-vac | December 07, 2015 at 04:16 PM
Personally, I prefer to see a public announcement that my patronage is not wanted than to be subjected to what you went through, Cathy, and I hope I'd have half the composure you did, if I'm ever in the same situation.
In a true free market, these pronouncements though would mean a huge opportunity for any health provider that wanted to respect parental health choices (and therefore probably not likely to happen). Last year's HPV vaccine uptake suggests nearly 1/3 of the patrons of these clinic might want to change providers for their teens under this new "policy."
As the state and pharma-controlled boards determine more and more how a doctor gets paid and for what "services," I think, more and more might act like they work for the state... and we that work for them (even though we're still paying the tab).
And the rest of us? Especially those not aware of the risks, will they just go along or even promote their own (I can't think what else to call it) slavery? I really can't tell from my small circle for sure, but with SB 277 it seemed like the majority aware of the legislation by and large believed it was wrong...but the majority overall, I think, weren't aware it passed.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | December 07, 2015 at 11:43 AM
We have been asked to seek well-care treatment for our children from two different pediatricians offices in the Denver area. It's frustrating because we rarely had sick visits, thankfully our kids have been quite healthy. Yet we are treated as if we are spreading deadly & life threatening diseases and virus... In all actuality, ANY one can be a carrier of any virus, vaccinated or not. It can be terrifying to be out right refused service or treated so terribly by health care professionals, whose job is to HELP people! People who are sick, not healthy... but I am trusting in God to defend and protect my family. I know He has guided us in the decision, He will see us through it.
Posted by: Katie Bernshausen | December 07, 2015 at 10:08 AM
VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM
@AnneJ there are a lot of us out there that know all about the vaccine injuries to children mostly because we have had our own children hurt. That is how I found out I had to have my child injured because I did not have a clue about vaccines. Most likely the Doc you ran into also had his child hurt too, read about it and then became infuriated and now teaches it to all of his students.
As far as the photographic memory part goes that study was done in the 80's and often quoted when we were all students. The fact is we all have potential photographic memories and some develop it more than others. As medical students reading copious amounts of material and then having to cough it up on exams we start there. We really develop our memories stronger in residency when we have to recite the information in rounds or on direct questioning from a professor as we have to call on different memory processes.
Your Doc was highly motivated he is a teacher, probably has a injured child and on top of it is well read on the subject and then he put them, the vaccine lover's, on "BLAST" to his students( I love that term). The intern was shocked because he has drank the Kool-Aid and does not know any better yet.
My high school classmate is an OB GYN and he often goes to conferences and they are now starting to openly discuss autism in these conferences and whether or not they should trust the government - they are openly discussing these things now. Why? Because these people are following the vaccine schedule as best as they can, their children are delivered by their colleagues and the child is normal. Then they start vaccinating and the autism strikes, their hearts and families are broken and they realize that they have been lied to- and for a while too. Hurt is followed by investigation and research and then discovery and then anger and the feeling of betrayal, questions and suspicions and then active conduct and resistance to the status quo and finally apocalypse.
We are about at the level of questions and suspicions for a lot of docs now that are not pediatricians and even for some pediatricians because they too vaccinated their children with autistic results.
I am truly happy that your experience was positive as most of us docs actually do genuinely enjoy helping our fellow man even if we have to disagree and fight with our government to do it.
VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM
Posted by: WILLIE | December 07, 2015 at 03:15 AM
They have done a few trillion dollars worth of damage to millions of children, ...they cannot figure out the cause of something 50 times more common than polio...
and they then want to give "catch up vaccines" to a sick child in the ER.
Posted by: go Rand | December 06, 2015 at 10:51 PM
Posted by: Benedetta | December 06, 2015 at 04:54 PM
Nothing is more important for a pregnant couple than the choice of their pediatrician. It is more important than anything including the obstetrician/and or hospital. Prospective parents should pick a pediatrician that is respectful of parental choice whether to vaccinate or not, whether to have a vitamin K shot or not. This will probably mean out of pocket expenses to go to a private/boutique doctor because the HMOs are ruled by Big Pharma. Anyway, it's expensive but a life saver. My daughter had autoimmune disease so she knew what it meant to be sick, and she picked a very expensive doctor but he has backed her all the way. He was the only doctor to touch her baby in the hospital--she signed a waiver against the other doctors. . He brought the oral vitamin K to the hospital. He gave her a medical exemption, even though she might have qualified anyway under the medical exemption clause because she does have autoimmunity which could put her child at risk. Still, choose wisely. If I had a hospital hassle me about vaccines I would have to leave. Probably it would be good to know the hospital policies in your area so in case of an emergency you aren't taken to the wrong hospital. I hope that Illinois hospital's rejection of the unvaccinated is published far and wide so that people who don't want to be force vaccinated can avoid it like the plague.
Posted by: kapoore | December 06, 2015 at 04:25 PM
Funny you should mention it. My best friend called me last month (she is not in our community) and said, "You know what I have noticed? That the ONLY two groups of people who anyone is allowed to make fun of any more are people who don't vaccinate, and fat people. So you are doubly screwed."
And she is right.
In other news, I am currently taking applications for a new best friend.
Posted by: Ginger Taylor | December 06, 2015 at 03:22 PM
Just say, "oh yes! my child has everything he needs." As an answer to the vaccine question. Worked for lots of people I know.
That's until there are electronic records on everyone.
Posted by: Cynthia Cournoyer | December 06, 2015 at 02:59 PM
This doctor incentive program called AFIX was mentioned at Mercola's site.
And as someone posted previously
As a senior, I have had drs ask about pneumonia vaccination status, even when their practice doesn't give vaccines. There's money and or bullying of doctors in the mix.
Posted by: Greyone | December 06, 2015 at 01:17 PM
As the parent of several vaccine-injured kids, I've had my fair share of eye-rolling and public humiliation from ignorant doctors when I'm giving our family medical history. It's extremely uncomfortable, but I've developed a pretty thick skin over the years, and refuse to back down (though I do change doctors on my own, as I prefer doctors with common sense and compassion).
There certainly are more than a few ignorant health professionals who bully and belittle, but once in a while I come across a truly compassionate, caring, honest MD who really listens and treats accordingly. Those are the ones who get my business. I have no time or patience for the rest.
On one experience, I was seeking a second opinion (for an issue unrelated to autism) from a doctor I'd never met. I no longer gloss over or omit the vaccine damage part of our medical history, as I feel it's an important part of the history to document in order to get proper medical care . How can you treat properly if you don't even understand the underlying problem?!
Since this was a mainstream doctor who did not know me, I braced myself for the worst when I got to the vaccine injury part of the conversation. I could see the male intern who was also in the room openly rolling his eyes and giving off the vibe that what I was saying was crazy and "not supported by medical literature".
Much to my amazement, the MD stopped talking to me and turned his attention to his intern. The MD then proceeded to go over vaccine fraud at the CDC, vaccine injuries, the bloated vaccine schedule, and recited a bunch of studies that completely supported that vaccines can and do injure children at a much higher rate than is reported. The guy must have had a photographic memory, as the stats he was quoting just flowed. It was the most incredible doctors visit I'd ever had!
I was stunned, but SO very thankful to the MD for speaking up. By the end, the intern was asking great questions to both of us (that EVERY doctor should be demanding answers to), and what started out as very uncomfortable turned into a wonderful teaching situation. Turns out the MD had a vaccine-injured son and was fully versed on vaccine injuries and CDC/pharmaceutical research fraud.
We ALL need to keep speaking up at every opportunity. All of you in the medical field need to be especially vocal and push for the change that needs to happen. Silence is not an option.
I also love the idea of a public "Vaccine Bully" board for people to post on! If a pediatrician refuses to research the vaccines he/she is injecting into innocent babies, and bully's the parents that actually do their homework, they deserve no less than at least a bit of public "exposure".
Posted by: AnneJ | December 06, 2015 at 12:57 PM
I found an article in the Chicago Tribune about the above headline. It's not a hospital that is refusing to see patients. It's a couple of private practices. Good article here:
Any pediatrician who refuses to give good care, not just care, but good care, to any child, including the un or partially vaccinated, should lose their license to practice medicine.
To the pediatricians who think they're G-D:
You don't want to do your job? You want to willfully and deliberately jeopardize the health of certain children and disenfranchise them as a matter of policy? Then you should be fired and forever barred from the practice of medicine.
One of the doctors firing patients for nonvaccinating in the article, fired 90 families. That's 90 families in just one practice. That doesn't sound like 1 or 2% of the population isn't vaccinating to me.
I would ask Dr. Laura Bianconi if she knows the vaccination status of all the adults sitting her waiting room. Oh right, I forgot, they're next.
Posted by: Linda1 | December 06, 2015 at 10:45 AM
To not be vaccinated they judge ya'!
Well, they will get around to judging ya' if you get a vaccine injury too.
Yeap, they judge if you do get vaccinated and get sick and miss work.
They will judge ya' if you get w depression -- shake off them blues, they say.
They judge ya' if they are irritable at work.
They judge ya' if you then get on Prozac, and ya' start showing mania; they will judge ya' there too.
When ya' end up in the hospital because the Prozac brings out what was probably mild bipolar - into bipolar on steroids; and ya not slept in three nights and three days and go into psychosis --they judge ya' too.
And your probably Refrigerator Mom that is sitting beside your bedside gets to hear the little ol'e sanctimonious nurse comes into the room not only judges ya', but give you a good scolding. Of course you are in psychosis; so just the refrigerated Mom is really the only one in the room to heart the scolding of how ya' could do better as you wither and squirm from your legs hurting, even though you are in a state of psychosis The nurse judges that you could do better.
And when your Mother finally throws a fit that nothing is being done - the nurse grabs that computer on wheels and starts searching through your blood work to see what illegal drugs ya' are taking.
Is that judging?
Yeah, I thinks so.
So we are going to get judged either way.
Posted by: Benedetta | December 06, 2015 at 10:04 AM
The last pediatrician told us their practice did not accept unvacinated children after seeing him for the first two to three months after birth. It's a pediatricians office not a er and we live in a rural area so there isn't many other options within an hour or two. The last time we took him in there for an ear infection at approx 5 months the doctor issued antibiotics for him and offered to give him vaccines at the same time or within the next several days. After looking at her like she was crazy I told her no. Then she went on about the prevnar 13 vaccine and how it dealt with similar things as his ear infection did. They also told us that was the last time they would accept my son for treatment due to not having vaccines. Since then I have switched pediatricians for him. My daughters 4 year old vaccines are coming up and knowing what I have learned since dealing with her 18 month vaccines I can't wait to tell them to go kick rocks. They also didn't know what a dislocated knee was for her and advised us to "just keep pushing motrin" after he 18 month shots when her fever got to 103.
Posted by: George stevens | December 06, 2015 at 09:58 AM
Why can't there be a Doctor or Medical Facility Board of SHAME? "PROFESSIONAL VACCINE BULLY"
Doctors have taken on the role of "Gods" and feel they are above reproach so I personally think it is time to give them a reality check. It's not just Pediatricians-it's in every area of health. I've run into a few, even nurses who bully and I've abruptly ended Q & A's because of their rude obtuse behavior or their holy than thou attitudes. I don't believe there is a law against compiling a list of Doctors and hospitals to avoid. Some states are talking about violating HIPPA in daycare facilities and some schools, posting on a board the names of children and employees who haven't been vaccinated so why not turn the tables on them. I'm sure most of the country is unaware that many in the medical profession have now added PVB at the end of their MD-Professional Vaccine Bully. If these repugnant people are willing to put the lives of children at risk while they berate their parents about submitting to a practice that has NEVER proven to be safe or effective while a child is having difficulties breathing-they deserve to be exposed because they are dangerous.
Posted by: Danchi | December 06, 2015 at 09:29 AM
We need to start recording them and posting it to show others the attitude we deal with concerning this matter. There will always be some zealots siding with them but if we remain calm and expose their behavior and tactics, we can use their own behavior against them in the same way video is helping expose police abuses.
Posted by: Dook's Dad | December 06, 2015 at 09:28 AM
Anyone have suggestions on "Nor will I ever let it happen again"?
Our pediatrician is one who insists on vaccinations during wellness screening. Our family doctor as well. So far I simply haven't taken our daughter to see either, but what if I need to take her to either of these people or to the ER?
Posted by: Louise Stanley | December 06, 2015 at 09:22 AM
I'm right there with you, Cathy.
Posted by: Dan E. Burns | December 06, 2015 at 07:44 AM
I have been refused all medical and dental treatment, even when urgent, for decades, since before I even knew I was vaccine injured. I have never refused any treatment except antibiotics, indeed I haven't actually been offered any! This is in the UK where vaccines are not mandatory. I've been unable to get treatment either on the NHS or privately.
Posted by: Grace Green | December 06, 2015 at 07:28 AM
A slightly different experience with "professional medical care" happened to my wife about 50 years ago .. when our then 4 year old daughter had been hospitalized to treat a "rare blood disease" (ITP) .. and .. as an abundance of precaution .. my wife decided never to leave her bedside unattended by someone .. either her or myself .. present at all times. Late one night .. the nurse making the rounds administering medications was about to give my daughter pills that my wife did not recognize as her "usual" pills. When she questioned the nurse .. the nurse became very defensive .. one could say openly hostile at being confronted .. left room to get written proof the medications she was about to administer were correct .. only to return shortly with the proper medications .. easily recognized as such by my ever vigilant wife.
As the nurse was leaving the room .. obviously embarrassed and angry that her mistake had been noted .. she glared at my wife and issued a veiled warning to her that she had better be in my daughter's room whenever her medications were being administered.
The next day I was in the hospital administrator's private office reporting that a nurse had issued a threat to my wife .. and .. during the entire six weeks our child was in that hospital .. that particular nurse was never seen in the pediatric ward again.
Needless to day .. that personal experience of having a child confined to a pediatrics ward in a hospital for a length of time .. was truly eye-opening ..
A side note .. 35 years AFTER my daughter's "rare blood disorder" we learned the disorder .. ITP .. is now listed as a possible adverse reaction to vaccines .. either the DPT or MMR. Who knew? THEY KNEW.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | December 06, 2015 at 06:53 AM