An outbreak of measles in Washington State is the latest news hook for efforts to tighten vaccine mandates and oppose efforts, as in Arizona, to strengthen protections for informed consent and parental rights, reports the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
In case states fail to follow California’s lead in eliminating all exemptions except for rare medical reasons, Congress may enact a federal mandate, AAPS notes. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Feb 27 on the measles outbreak. The Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee will hold a hearing on Mar 5 concerning preventable disease outbreaks.
“All medical interventions, including vaccines, have risks and benefits,” stated AAPS executive director, Jane M. Orient, M.D. “Physicians have the duty to advise patients according to their own best judgment, and patients have the right to decline to follow their advice. Patients also have the right to be fully informed and not restricted to governmentally approved information.”
Legislators need to consider the following, states AAPS:
- Vaccines are neither 100 percent effective, nor 100 percent safe. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out nearly $4 billion for severe vaccine damage. It is the only recourse for injured patients, as manufacturers are immune from liability.
- The last U.S. death from measles occurred in 2015.
- Extremely high vaccination rates do not prevent all measles outbreaks and may even worsen overall harm from measles.
“Medical freedom is a basic human right,” states Dr. Orient. “Sacrificing it in the name of population health is likely to worsen public health.”
“Governmental preemption of patients’ or parents’ decisions about accepting drugs or other medical interventions is a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy, and parental decisions about child-rearing,” states AAPS in a letter to congressional committee members.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. Its motto is “omnia pro aegroto,” or “all for the patient.”