Group Dedicated to Safeguarding Informed Consent
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2016
Los Angeles, Calif.—Parents and doctors—not politicians—should be making medical decisions for children. A newly launched nonprofit called Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) is now joining the cause to get the government out of some of the most important conversations parents have with their pediatrician. PIC is committed to protecting the rights of parents to make medical decisions for their children, and safeguarding doctors’ professional responsibility to act ethically and in the best interests of their individual patients.
PIC is dedicated to raising public awareness about the problems posed for both parents and doctors by mandatory vaccination laws. In June 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB277, one of the most expansive and intrusive mandatory vaccination laws in the U.S. These laws discriminate against families who, in the best interest of their child’s health, do not follow the CDC’s recommended schedule. Politicians have forced their way into the conversation about one of the most important medical decisions families will make in consultation with their doctors.
“I started researching the childhood vaccine schedule when I was pregnant, and my husband and I decided not to follow the CDC’s recommended schedule. When SB277 passed, I felt like our personal medical decisions were under attack,” stated Dr. Shira Miller, who founded Physicians for Informed Consent in 2015. “Fortunately, I found a doctor who had the necessary knowledge to evaluate the risks vaccines posed to my children, but I realized the average parent was not going to seek an in–depth personalized vaccine risk evaluation and would just do whatever their child’s school was now saying needed to be done in order to attend.”
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, passed by Congress at the behest of drug companies faced with mounting lawsuits, served to protect doctors and vaccine manufacturers from liability for injuries caused by vaccines. The law prevents parents from suing doctors or vaccine manufacturers if their child dies or suffers a disability due to a vaccine. Stripped of the legal recourse afforded to other medical procedures, parents must instead go through a lengthy and complicated application process for compensation and apply within the 2-3 year statute of limitations. Two out of three claims are denied, and many times parents do not know this option is available. Additionally, doctors are not held accountable for failure to fully disclose possible vaccine risks or for failure to report adverse events following vaccination.
“Since 1988, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded $3.2 billion in compensation to families who have met the extremely stringent injury requirements,” explained pediatrician and PIC founding director, Dr. Paul Thomas. “How many of these and other families could have avoided the pain of seeing their child injured if doctors were held responsible for their recommendations and were incentivized to give patients all of the information about the risks of vaccines?”
“As a mom I understood the violation of my parental right to informed refusal of a medical treatment, and as a physician I understood how medically dangerous this one-size-fits-all vaccine schedule was for children at large and I just had to do something,” said Dr. Miller. “The only people who should be making vaccine decisions for children are their parents and physicians, not politicians.”
PIC is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt resource for doctors and parents who believe in the importance of informed consent and want to get the government out of personal medical decisions. PIC has 150 members across the U.S. who are united in a simple mission: End mandatory vaccination laws and promote and preserve the right to informed consent for any medical procedure, including vaccination.
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