Vaccine Release Forms
It has become obvious, there will be a major push for the swine flu this fall. Strong recommendations will be made to our patients and it is important they are prepared to discuss these issues with their pediatricians and prepared with their potential responses.
1- Not too long ago, the AAP came up with a "vaccine release" form they suggested pediatricians have parents sign if they refuse to vaccinate. Legal council advises parents do not sign the form.
The entire form is questionable, (see link below for entire form) however this one statement is particularly concerning and may have significant future legal implications for the parent: "If my child does not receive the vaccine(s) according to the medically accepted schedule, the consequences may include.... Transmitting the disease to others. "
In essence, by signing, the parent is agreeing they are putting other children at risk because they have not vaccinated their child. Even though there is no substantial evidence for this, no parent should be putting themselves into this position of liability.
2- If a pediatrician then tells a parent they must sign this form, or they cannot stay in their practice, the parent can rebut by pointing out to the pediatrician they are aware that the refusal of care is not in accordance with AAP policy.
First, the AAP does not require parents to sign this form, it is only a suggestion.
Second: point out this to the pediatrician, " Doctor, I suggest you refer to the RED BOOK on Pediatric Infectious Disease from the AAP, page 8 - it talks about how to approach parents like myself who do not want to vaccinate. It says NOT to kick us out of the office. It also says it's OK to develop a compromised schedule for those parents requesting that option. So, the official AAP policy is that it is OK to work with parents like myself and to ultimately allow us to decline vaccines if we want to."
3- The parent can enter the office very proactively and if the doctor asks for a form to be signed, or tells you care in their office will not be administered with out signature or vaccination compliance, the following form would be appropriate to hand over and say," when you sign this, I can consider signing yours"
Of course the parent will not get a signature from the doctor, however the form may, just may get the pediatrician thinking.
(Another use for the form is topic of conversation in our own practices... thanks Dr Angela DiMartino for posting this to facebook)
1- AAP Refusal to Vaccinate Form: http://www.cispimmunize.org/pro/pdf/RefusalToVaccinate.pdf
2- Pediatrician Form http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/note.php?note_id=78496227647&id=1042453691&ref=mf