When you take your child to their pediatrician, you expect to be given all of the information you need to help you make good decisions about their care.
Whether it is about an antibiotic to treat an ear infection, the need for an MRI if your child is having severe headaches, or weaning off an asthma medication, etc., you deserve to be well informed of the risks and benefits of any and all procedures they have.
How Do You Provide Informed Consent to Vaccination?
Of course, informed consent also applies to vaccinations.
How do you provide informed consent to vaccination?
- Provide the latest edition of the appropriate Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) before a vaccination is given. Although these aren’t actually “informed consent forms,” they are required to be given by federal law and because “cover both benefits and risks associated with vaccinations, they provide enough information that anyone reading them should be adequately informed”
- Give parents/guardians the chance to take the VIS home to review later.
- Answer any questions about the vaccine that their child is about to get.
Hopefully you always get informed consent before your child is vaccinated.
You should also get informed consent before skipping or delaying any of your child’s vaccines, as it risks their getting a life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease and puts others at risk, all without any extra benefit.
“At trial, the parent and physician both acknowledged that the vaccine was recommended, but the parent stated that the risk of death wasn’t mentioned during the discussion.”Document ‘informed refusal’ just as you would informed consent
Believe it or not, a pediatrician in California was successfully sued after a parent refused to vaccinate their child with Prevnar and their infant died of pneumococcal sepsis, which the vaccine could have prevented.
Although they realized that their pediatrician had recommended the vaccine and they refused it, they claimed that they didn’t realize that their baby could die without it. He did…
Myths About Informed Consent and Vaccines
Not surprisingly, many folks get the idea of informed consent to vaccination wrong.
For one thing, unless it is required by state law, no one has to sign a consent form before getting vaccinated. Many pediatricians and clinics do have you sign that you received the VIS, although federal law does not require this signature.
And informed consent doesn’t come from reading a vaccine’s package insert, as the parts pushed by anti-vaccine folks are just things included from voluntary reports and have not actually been proven to be caused by the vaccine.
“Now that case one is settled, I can go back to being loud and proud about my belief that every single patient should receive complete informed consent prior to vaccinations. This two-year period of silence has been tough. I will not rest until every single family has been given access to full, complete, objective, and un-doctored information that makes every parent fully aware of the risks they accept if they don’t vaccinate their child, and all the risks they take if they do vaccinate their child. Period. And I will fight against mandatory vaccination laws until they are no more. When every single person on this planet has access to informed consent, and can make a free choice, I will then be able to say my work is done.”Dr. Bob Sears
When Dr. Bob talks about vaccines, do you think he mentions the parents who skipped the Prevnar vaccine and then successfully sued their pediatrician for not warning them that their baby would die?
Overstating the side effects and risks of getting vaccinated, rarely or ever mentioning the benefits of vaccines, and underestimating the complications and risks of life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases isn’t informed consent.
It is actually misinformed consent.
It is propaganda.
Parents deserve informed consent about vaccines. Unfortunately, that’s not what they are getting from the modern anti-vaccine movement.
More on Providing Informed Consent to Vaccination
- VAXOPEDIA – Immunization Education Agreement
- VAXOPEDIA – How Can I Get Vaccinated If My Parents Are Anti-Vaccine?
- VAXOPEDIA – Did the US Government Lose a Landmark Vaccine Lawsuit?
- Informed Consent and Vaccines
- Ask the Experts About Documenting Vaccination
- Informed consent, vaccines and package inserts – examining the facts
- Vaccine informed consent – mandates and liability
- Ethical Issues and Vaccines
- Vaccines and the Law
- CDC – Immunization Requirements & Laws
- CDC – Instructions for Using VISs
- Making an informed decision
- AAP – Document ‘informed refusal’ just as you would informed consent
- The Anti-Vaccine Crowd Shows They Are Anti-Informed Consent
- Battling misinformed consent: How should we respond to the anti-vaccine movement?
- Turning the informed consent tables on the anti-vaccine movement
- AMA – Informed Consent