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Some pediatricians refuse to treat kids if parents reject vaccines, study finds

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

If you don't want have to have your child vaccinated, your pediatrician may refuse to treat your family, a new study finds.

More than half of pediatricians' offices in the United States included in a new study published in the medical journal JAMA reported having a dismissal policy for families who refuse to vaccinate their children.

"This study among US pediatricians showed that the practice of dismissing families who refuse vaccines for their children was common, with half of pediatricians reporting their office has a dismissal policy, although fewer personally dismiss patients," said the study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus that released Tuesday.

Researchers conducted a survey from April to July 2019 among US pediatricians to assess their current practices, experiences and office policies regarding the dismissal of families who refuse or ask to "spread out" vaccinations.

More than half -- 51% -- of the 303 pediatricians involved in the research reported that their office had a policy to dismiss families if a vaccine was refused.

That number was higher than a similar study done in 2012, which found only 21% of pediatricians reported they often or always dismissed families for refusing vaccines.

Of the 154 physicians who reported that they ever dismissed families for refusing vaccines, 18% said that families always or often changed their minds and agreed to vaccination after hearing about the policy.

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