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West Virginia parents report bullying by the medical community for delaying or not vaccinating

West Virginia parents report bullying by the medical community for delaying or not vaccinating

·         The recommended best practice for quality health care is participatory decision-making—also called shared decision-making (Figure).

·         This is recommended because it offers a structured way to incorporate evidence as well as patient values into medical decision making. It supports conversations leading to better-informed decisions in accordance with what matters most to patients. 

·         Yet the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a psychological manipulation called presumptive consent in vaccination discussions which undermines participatory decision making.

·         When parents wish to delay or decline vaccinations for their children, pediatricians cross the line of appropriate behavior and bully parents until they consent (Figure).

·         Ethical informed consent is voluntary and without coercion and bullying.

·         West Virginia parents are looking to the Legislature to protect their right to informed consent for their children’s healthcare.

Chanda Adkins

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