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Don't compromise on vaccination.

I agree with Dr. Karen E. Breach's argument about the vaccination controversy ("Is it appropriate for a physician to dismiss a family for refusing all vaccinations?" Pro & Con, November 2005, p. 23).

It is important to give parents time to process information and make a decision.

It is reasonable to be flexible and probably gives parents a sense of autonomy and ownership.

The problem is some parents will not listen to a scientific argument.

"Compromise" on minimum standard health care is professionally unethical. Parents' misinformed views should be "denigrated" because their source is false or incomplete. Parents should be treated with gentleness and respect, and they do respond if they sense genuine compassion for their children: all the more reason to express firm conviction regarding the value of immunizations.

Have we forgotten in our arrogance that a full set of immunizations does more to prevent morbidity and mortality than 18 years of well-child care? Doesn't tacit support of parents who choose to put their children at medical risk make us party to child abuse?

We dare not compromise our principles for fuzzy New Age thinking. If every doctor had this philosophy, parents might get the message, and the fearmongers of pseudoscience would be defeated.

Jeffrey E. Hoffman, M.D.

Lake Oswego, Ore.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Hoffman, Jeffrey E.
Publication:Pediatric News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:212
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