Parents who say no to vaccinations need to be told the risks
LETTER — Posted Dec. 5, 2005
Regarding "Doctors drop families that refuse shots" (Article, Oct. 24/31): I find it hard to be understanding when parents refuse potentially lifesaving vaccinations for children on the basis of overblown fears of extremely rare side effects.
Children don't have a choice and are dependent on their parents' judgment. Parents who refuse immunizations for their children should receive an "educational component" [described in the article] so they understand the risks to children of not getting these shots. I recommend for starters a color atlas of children sick with meningitis, polio and measles.
M. Dean Havron Jr., MD, Winchester, Va.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/12/05/edlt1205.htm.