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Barbara Loe Fisher: Well baby visits are vaccine battlegrounds!

The grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, is ranting again. This time, she is peddling both misinformed consent about vaccines and likening her struggle to social justice movements of the past as she portrays well baby visits as “vaccine battlegrounds” instigated by the AAP.

Yesterday, I discussed how antivaccine activists have increasingly been trying to make life miserable for pro-vaccine advocates such as Dr. Paul Offit, who’s been putting up with their harassment for decades now. Along with that, they’ve been making lives miserable for pediatricians. To be clear, I’m not blaming vaccine-averse parents, most of whom aren’t antivaccine but rather concerned or scared, thanks to the misinformation promoted by real antivaxers. I’m blaming the real antivaxers, the leaders of the antivaccine movement, the ones who run blogs, form antivaccine groups like Texans for Vaccine Choice or Michigan for Vaccine Choice, lobby government for loosening of school vaccine mandates or even primary Republican candidates whom they perceive as too pro-vaccine. As a result of the barrage of misinformation, many parents question vaccines, leading to prolonged, sometimes contentious, conversations with pediatricians during well baby visits about vaccines, leading some pediatricians to take a harder line on parents who don’t vaccinated, with some even “firing” parents who won’t vaccinate their children from their practice.Not surprisingly, Barbara Loe Fisher, the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, does not approve.

I don’t know how I missed it, but last week the founder and president of the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) posted a video bemoaning how pediatricians are turning well baby visits into “vaccine battlegrounds”:

Ms. Loe Fisher apparently has a different definition of “battlefield” than I do, and she definitely has a different perception over whose fault it is that pediatricians have to spend so much time trying to persuade vaccine-averse parents that vaccines are safe and effective and that they should adhere to the standard of care and vaccinate their children according to the CDC-recommended schedule. First, she takes us on a journey to forty years ago:

I remember when I took my first-born baby to the pediatrician for his first checkup 40 years ago. Like most young Moms, I looked up to my pediatrician and completely trusted him. I did everything he told me to do, never questioning his expertise or doubting him, believing that he would never recommend or do anything that would put my baby in harm’s way.

Much has changed since 1978. Back then infants and children were getting half as many vaccines as they do today. Parents had no information at all about vaccine risks and failures. We just followed the doctor’s orders.

Ve vere just following ze orders! (Sorry, given Ms. Loe Fisher’s history of Nazi analogies with respect to school vaccine mandates, I couldn’t resist.) At least she’s not claiming that babies are now getting ten times the number of vaccines now as they did 40 years ago, as many antivaxers do by taking multivalent vaccines like the MMR (which covers measles-mumps-rubella) and counting each disease vaccinated against in the vaccine as a separate vaccine.

Not surprisingly, she most strongly disapproves of doctors’ efforts to persuade hesitant parents to do the best thing for their children and vaccinate. What doctors view as trying to hew to the standard of care and protect babies and children from vaccine-preventable diseases that were once deadly but are rarely so any more, thanks to vaccines. So it’s not surprising that Ms. Loe Fisher bemoans the situation, referring to vaccination as “most often discussed health topic in America.” Not surprisingly, the references she cites to back up the claim that vaccination is the “most discussed” health topic don’t really support her assertion. One’s a link to the CDC-recommended schedule for children and adolescents. Another’s a link to an article reporting a survey of pediatricians and family physicians about requests by parents to spread out the vaccine schedule, and the last is an article about the moral dilemma of “firing” vaccine-averse parents who won’t come around and vaccinated from pediatrics practices. I guess Ms. Loe Fisher isn’t the greatest at making sure her references actually support her arguments. Whatever.

Consistent with her previous Godwins (but without actually invoking Hitler or the Nazis this time), Ms. Loe Fisher views the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule as a “commandment”:

These days, that CDC vaccine schedule is no longer being viewed simply as a recommendation, it is being treated as a commandment. We are told it is our patriotic civic duty to get our children vaccinated and ourselves, too. The implication is that we are committing treason if we don’t.5

These days, a well baby checkup can be a frightening and gut-wrenching experience for a new Mom bringing her baby to the pediatrician’s office. That is because, with the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), many pediatricians have taken the hardline position that they do not have to discuss vaccination with parents or, if they do, they can threaten them with dismissal from the practice for not obeying a direct order.6 7 8

Not exactly. First of all, nowhere in the article cited to support Ms. Loe Fisher’s claim that it’s implied that we are committing treason if we don’t get our children vaccinated according to the CDC schedule. Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me, particularly this passage:

The report urges pediatricians to:

  • Listen to parents patiently, address concerns and correct misperceptions.
  • Explain that vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness.
  • Present all vaccinations as required rather than optional.
  • Personalize the positive message about vaccines.

Pediatricians can also note that they receive regular flu vaccinations to protect their patients, and that they’ve had their own children vaccinated as recommended, said Edwards, who is pediatrics chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

That hardly sounds judgmental. Here’s probably the passage that provoked Ms. Loe Fisher’s ire:

Pediatricians also should remind parents that vaccination is something of a civic duty. If large numbers of parents refuse vaccines, the herd immunity that occurs with widespread vaccination can be compromised, McCarthy said.

“Vaccination is not just about you and your kid,” she said. “It’s about your neighbor’s newborn. It’s about your grandmother. It’s about the kid at school who can’t receive a vaccine because he’s on chemotherapy.”

All of this is, of course, true, but I don’t see any implication that a nonvaccinating parent is “committing treason.” The only way one can make that sort of conclusion is if one views failing to live up to one’s civic responsibility as “treason.” It’s not. Treason and not being civically responsible are two very different things. However, it serves Ms. Loe Fisher’s agenda to conflate them in order to anger vaccine-averse parents by claiming that pediatricians through the American Academy of Pediatrics are calling them “traitors.” It’s a very dishonest strategy, but, then, this is Barbara Loe Fisher.

Similarly, although the new policy allows pediatric practices to dismiss patients whose parents won’t vaccinated, as is usually the case, it’s way, way more nuanced than Ms. Loe Fisher portrays it. For example, it expresses tolerance for diverse professional approaches, which is unlike the earlier guidance, which promoted a unified response to vaccine refusal. Indeed, the resolution presented at the AAP’s Annual Leadership Forum that led to the clinical report also called on the AAP to “to continue to support pediatricians who continue to provide health care to children of parents who refuse to immunize their children.”

Basically, what Ms. Loe Fisher is doing is obvious. She’s portraying the AAP and pediatricians as dogmatic paternalistic authoritarians who won’t listen to the legitimate concerns of parents. Of course, pediatricians have always listened to the concerns of parents. Indeed, it is the job of a physician to counter medical misinformation that their patients (or parents of their patients) might have, particularly when that misinformation interferes with the patient’s getting proper science-based medical care. Contrary to Ms. Loe Fisher’s assertion, nowhere in any of the references she cites does the AAP (or anyone else) say that pediatricians don’t have to discuss vaccination with parents or that they can, as Ms. Loe Fisher seems to be saying, do so in the context of threatening to fire them from their practice if they don’t knuckle under. In reality, the AAP encourages pediatricians to discuss vaccination with parents and has always viewed firing parents as a last resort. What the new policy recognizes is that there eventually comes a time when parents who won’t vaccinate and won’t listen to the pediatrician take up so much time and effort on the part of the pediatrician and his or her staff that it becomes clear that the parents should find a pediatrician with whom they’re more comfortable.

One area where Ms. Loe Fisher is not entirely incorrect is in her assertion that the trust between pediatricians and mothers is broken. No, it’s not broken between all (or even most) mothers and pediatricians. It’s just that it’s fairly inevitable that trust between parents who are absolutely convinced that vaccines are potentially harmful and not worth the risks and pediatricians who want to treat their children according to the science-based medical standard of care will inevitably erode. Of course, Ms. Loe Fisher, being the grande dame of the antivaccine movement that she is, presents this case in a manner distorted by the not-so-funhouse lens of her antivaccine beliefs:

Pediatricians’ offices have become ugly battlegrounds. Intelligent, well-informed and loving parents asking legitimate questions about vaccination are being belittled and treated with disrespect and contempt by too many pediatricians robotically implementing the CDC’s inflexible vaccine schedule in clear violation of the informed consent principle.

Don’t take my word for it, go to NVIC’s Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall and read report after report of just how terrifying pediatric check-ups have become. The sacred trust between mothers and pediatricians fostered by mutual respect and shared decision-making has been broken. Sadly, the admiration and trust that mothers used to have for family pediatricians is melting away and being replaced by fear.

Doctors are not our masters. We pay them well to do a job, not to exploit and terrify us. Discrimination, coercion and force have no place in modern medicine or in public health policy.19 20 21 22 23 24

Let me start with that last bit first. True, doctors are not patients’ masters, but neither are they their servants or paid lackeys, either. Physicians are hired to exercise their professional medical judgment and deliver the best science-based care that they can. While I agree that coercion is to be avoided, I also assert that if a patient will not allow a physician to do what he considers to be best for the patient—or even to compromise and do something that might not be optimal but is still not outside a reasonable standard of care—then the patient has in essence fired the physician. Of course, Ms. Loe Fisher wants to portray physicians as “robotically implementing the CDC’s inflexible vaccination schedule.”

I also can’t help but note how Ms. Loe Fisher slipped the bit about “violation of the informed consent principle” in there. Misrepresentation of “informed consent” is stock and trade of antivaxers. What they portray as “informed consent” is, in fact, misinformed consent. Antivaxers both make up (e.g., autism, which vaccines don’t cause) and vastly exaggerate potential risks from vaccines while downplaying their benefits, and that is the body of information that they want to see presented to parents. Naturally, if that misinformation were the basis of informed consent, few parents would agree to vaccination, which is why I refer to this deceptive technique as “misinformed consent.” Ms. Loe Fisher, of course, is a master of misinformed consent.

As for the “Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall,” I perused a few of the stories featured there, and saw that these are just the sort of parents who are basically begging to be “fired” from any pediatric practice.

For example, here’s one from two days ago:

I was in my pediatricians office and I was asked if I was going to get my sons vaccines yet since I’ve told them I was delaying previously. I used this technique in fear I would get kicked out like I’ve heard many have. This time, I said “no” to any vaccines. The nurse told me that I would have to sign a refusal form. I told her I would read it first. When I read the form I quickly felt that I was being told I’m a bad mom and that I’m aware I was endangering my child and others for declining shots. I did not agree so I crossed out certain sections and initialed. I gave the form back to the nurse and then my pediatrician came in and gave me a new form. She told me that I could not alter the form in anyway and that I needed to resign. I told her I didnt agree with what the form stated and that I also didn’t receieve full informed consent about the vaccines either. She came back with papers I assume they hand out to patients who ask. Knowing that they are provided by the CDC, I quickly told her these papers are not true informed consent and that I wanted the vaccine inserts that come with the vaccines themseleves. She then had her nurse come back in with the little packets. My pediatrician came in shortly after and I told her I’m still not signing because I dont agree with this refusal form and explained why. She said if I didn’t sign then I could no longer attend her office. By this point we were talking loudly (arguing) in the room with the door open. She then started yelling at me saying I am lucky to have her because she is the only pediatrician in the area that accepts non vaccinated children. She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble because not all her patients are vaccinated so she is doing me a favor by still seeing my child. She also explained that the refusal form is just something they put in their system to show that in case something happened with my son like he contracted a disease, I cant come back at her for not offering the vaccine. This spoke volumes and confirmed everything I’ve heard that pediatricians are pressured to administer these vaccines. Needless to say after this happened I never went back. This is a true battle ground for parents and if not educated these pediatricians know how to bully a parent. It’s not easy arguing with a white coat even when you are educated.

First of all, I concede that this pediatrician probably should not have let this mother get under her skin like this. Doctors are human, though, and sometimes have bad days too. Also, given the millions of children and patient encounters with pediatricians, it’s inevitable that some will be bad and that some subset of those unpleasant encounters will involve vaccine-averse parents. Of course, this is not an vaccine-averse parent. This is clearly an antivaxer. In any event, the pediatrician raised her voice and said some things that were probably not the greatest idea. On the other hand, this mother’s entitled attitude would probably try the patience of a saint, with her nonsense about “informed consent” (really misinformed consent) and her demanding nature. I also note that blowups like this rarely occur on a first visit. Usually, when there is an argument like this between parent and pediatrician, it’s only after multiple attempts by the pediatrician to assuage the parents’ fears. Moreover, it is not at all unreasonable to want a parent to sign a refusal form in which they acknowledge the risks of not vaccinating. Who wants the liability of not vaccinating if there’s no clear record of the fact that the parent refused vaccination. The pediatrician is correct: How does the pediatrician know that a nonvaccinating parent whose child came down with measles and suffered encephalitis from it or contracted Hib and died wouldn’t sue her for not having pushed to vaccinated strongly enough?

Finally, Ms. Loe Fisher frames her struggle as a social justice struggle, a framing by antivaxers that never ceases to bug the hell out of me:

Every social reform movement in history has been shaped by injustice and suffering. Suffering is often the greatest catalyst for change, and change will come if we believe it is possible. Working to successfully reform vaccine policies and laws that cause suffering is not an impossible dream.25 It will be done if we believe it can be done.

It is time to let our elected representatives know that we want them to put legal boundaries on the authority that doctors and public health officials wield in our society.

I felt the bile rising in the back of my throat as I read this nauseatingly self-righteous attempt to tie antivaccine activism to social justice movements of the past. I suppose I should be grateful that Ms. Loe Fisher resisted the temptation to invoke the Nazis, their medical experimentation, the Holocaust, and the Nuremberg declarations. I know she wanted to.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

41 replies on “Barbara Loe Fisher: Well baby visits are vaccine battlegrounds!”

” frames her struggle as a social justice struggle”
Right. Either they compare themselves to civil right advocates in the 1960s or present day feminist and the “Me Too” movement.
They’re second class citizens in the “back of the bus” or women dismissed by society.
Kim Rossi goes on and on about how when “all women” should be heard, she and her cohorts aren’t included.

“She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble…”


“She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble because not all her patients are vaccinated so she is doing me a favor by still seeing my child.”

I’m calling bullcrap on this one. Our CDC Fascist Overlords are never so obvious as to call individual pediatricians on the carpet for not following their vaccination guidelines like good little robots.

There are more subtle indoctrination methods, like handing out monogrammed CDC coffee mugs and t-shirts saying Vaccines Cause Adults.

Other note: antivaxers falsely inflate the number of vaccines given to children mainly by counting total number of doses. This is how they get from the standard 12 or so vaccines on the commonly utilized pediatric schedule to 38, 54 or whatever weird number they come up (even with that tactic, they’re typically bad at counting).

We go to a pediatrician who does not accept non-vaccinated patients. You must follow the CDC schedule, no delays. Fine with me.

What I don’t understand is why these parents want to utilize these offices anyway. If they don’t trust the doctor about vaccines, why would they trust them on other issues?

The paediatrician has to think about her other patients. Having a non vaccinated child with a possible infectious illness in the waiting room puts any immunosuppressed or fragile child in that room at unacceptable risk.

“firing” parents who won’t vaccinate their children from their practice
I am clearly not a nice person but I have no problem with this at all. I am in my sixties with no children but any idiot who wants to endanger my nieces, nephews and their children have not the least sympathy from me. I pity the children but the parents, F them.

What we do to protect the children is another matter but if the parent is aggrieved, kick them out of the office.

“I don’t know how I missed it, but last week the founder and president of the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) posted a video…”

Problem is she’s always posting videos or recycling them so often that it’s painful to have to listen through her stupid lies to figure out if it’s new BS or old inspissated fecal matter she’s flinging on any given day. She clearly hates us pediatricians, and it’s a damn shame the AAP won’t spine up and actually call out the NVIC for the harm they have done to public health in America. The NVIC knows their web and social media pages work and part of that reason is the lack of any push back whatsoever from the AAP.

In Australia the “Australian Vaccination Network” (AVN) was forced to change its name to more clearly reflect that it is an anti-vaccination network (also AVN!). They have become a rump organisation with almost no public voice.

“….She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble because not all her patients are vaccinated so she is doing me a favor by still seeing my child. ”

Complete and total lie. The CDC doesn’t meet with pediatricians to discuss their clinic vaccination rates. But BLF lies and her whole organization lies. And infants and children are being hurt and even dying from their lies.

After fourteen (14) years of blog writing, Orac has made himself one of the most recognizable skeptics.

@ Orac,

I noticed you used the word “autism” just once (1) in the post.

Q. If a person of science proposes a reasonable mechanism-of-action of how vaccines may adversely affect an autistic child’s atypical behavior, and thereafter publicly warns others, would you consider said person anti-vaccine. As always, MJD would be most surprised and personally delighted with a response.

“If a person of science proposes a reasonable mechanism-of-action of how vaccines may adversely affect an autistic child’s atypical behavior, and thereafter publicly warns others, would you consider said person anti-vaccine.”
I notice that you are no longer riding the vaccines-cause-autism hobby horse, but now ask about vaccines adversely affecting an autistic child. That’s quite a shift, so maybe some of what gets written here has sunk a micrometer or so into your head.
Next point, that person of science would have to prove that it does happen.before anyone would give an ear. I can hypothesize a means by which aliens cause us to doubt that strange lights in the sky are their spacecraft, but unless you start a Kickstarter or a Go Fund Me, I won’t be able to investigate it as thoroughly as it deserves. After all, we know The Truth Is Out There.

Old Rockin’ Dave (ORD) writes,

I notice that you are no longer riding the vaccines-cause-autism hobby horse, but now ask about vaccines adversely affecting an autistic child.

MJD says,

A natural component in some vaccine packagings (hint: polyisoprene-based elastomer) may affect the incidence of atopy in immune-sensitive children, driving a reasonable mechanism-of-action set forth as “allergy-induced regressive autism.” In simplification, said component must be completely eliminated from the vaccine manufacturing process for the benefit of everyone.

@ ORD,

It is my opinion that certain antigens, and their protein fragments, can induce atypical adaptive-immunity and neurological asymmetry in some immune-sensitive neonates and infants.

MJD states:

It is my opinion…

You can stop right there, Michael. Opinions are like arseholes. Everybody has one, and they’re often full of shit.
I recently wrote a blogpost on lessons from World War 1. One of the lessons was to use metrics and data, not feelings, to make decisions. The data is against you on this. If you feel the data is wrong or incomplete, you have the responsibility to make your case. We do not have to prove a negative.
We can argue hypotheticals until the cows come home. But if those hypotheticals are close to impossible, that’s all they are: hypotheticals.

You need more than a “reasonable mechanism of action” to issue a public warning. I can propose a “reasonable mechanism of action” for any number of unproven things right now. Interesting exercise but “Alice in Wonderland” stuff. But a public warning based on nothing more than a “reasonable mechanism of action” would be irresponsible, it not downright irresponsible, depending on the scale of the public warning you intend to issue. You need actual…evidence! Sir.

One of the things my psychologist brother treats is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Tell an obsessive that no, there is no possibility of your husband turning into a rat and why that is impossible, or whatever object and response may be, the reply is always “But what about…”.
“There;s no thimerosal in vaccines anymore,” “But what about aluminum?”
“There’s no evidence that it causes autism.” :But what about aborted fetal cells?”
And on and on it goes. Like conspiracy enthusiasts, refute one of their talking points, they find a new and even less likely one.
I’m not pointing a finger here. just see for yourself if it applies to anyone here, and whether it afflicts any person who presents using three initials.

(The husband turning into a rat obsession was real.)

One day, I was (unadvertently) attending a scamfest disguised as a conference where the host was presenting about writing books (YES, books) as a replacement for business card (this scamfest: ).

That gerry asked the audience if (my interpretation) there was any critical thinkers around in the room and at that moment, I would have raised my hand but I had a red flag feeling.

Turn out that he gave such a conference in, of all places, a psychiatric hospital somewhere in new york state. He started his sales pitch and a few phrase later, one of the patient there called him upon his scam with the word bullshit mentionned during the call out… He asked the psychiatrists in the front row to told him to keep going.

He kept going and then, the patient was even angrier and the gerry was getting anxious, he ask again the front row psychiatrists with a bit more details asked, the psychiatrists breathed a bit of relief and told him to continue. He ask why and then, one of the psychiatrists tell him that it is the first time of their life that the patient is finally entirely rational about something…

I left in the first 30 minutes, leaving the convenient excuse of “bathroom break” for those who asked while on the way out.

I’m pondering what would happen to MJD should he find himself in a similar setting with him as presenter…


“These days, a well baby checkup can be a frightening and gut-wrenching experience for a new Mom bringing her baby to the pediatrician’s office. That is because, with the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), many pediatricians have taken the hardline position that they do not have to discuss vaccination with parents or, if they do, they can threaten them with dismissal from the practice for not obeying a direct order”

Where does she get these crazy ideas? My kids are 11 and 15. I have never had a gut-wrenching experience taking them to a well visit. I have never been scared of the doctors. I will even admit that I used to be on the fence about chicken pox and flu vaccines (don’t flame, I am fully on board now) and our then doc was very nice about it. Honestly, I think these antivax groups whip new moms into a frenzy and create this panic and fear with all their negative rhetoric. He always listened to my concerns and questions and was never rude or disrespectful.

Those are the exception. Apparently there is kind of a mind set that will go full on into many conspiracy theories. One of those is a close relative, fortunately they live in another state.

Unfortunately they tend to spread their nonsense to random vulnerable parents, who are just going about their lives thinking all is great until they encounter a person like this. A mother of six kids showed up at an ARC disability parent meeting. She was vaccinating as expected until she met someone who claimed she had a child who died from a vaccination. So she did not vaccinate at least half her kids. The youngest has autism. So she declared, oops.. vaccines do not cause autism.

The ARC mediator stepped in and told her that she did not actually have evidence of that parent’s experience, and that using the “vaccines causes autism” argument is considered “ableism”… essentially another form of denigrating the disabled.

All I chimed in was that taking care of a six month old with chicken pox was heart breaking, and that I do not like when full grown adults think kids should suffer like that.

Her eyes were like a deer staring at flood lights. We did not yell at her. But she was shocked at our reaction. Apparently she was in the middle ground that we strive to convince… fifteen plus years ago.

Just thought I’d add one of Fisher’s absolute nuttiest statements, which I included in my first post for SBM, “The So-Called Vaccine Debate: False Balance and The San Diego Union-Tribune”. In a keynote presentation at the Health Freedom Congress, Fisher said:

“Vaccination is a medical procedure that has been elevated to a sacrosanct status by those in control of the medical-model based health care system for the past two centuries. Vaccination is now
being proclaimed as the most important scientific discovery and public health intervention in the history of medicine. Using religious symbols and crusading language, medical scientists describe vaccination as the Holy Grail. Vaccines, they say, are going to eradicate all causes of sickness and death from the earth and anyone who doubts that is an ignorant fool (Fisher, 2014).”

Really? Scientists are saying vaccines will wipe out “all causes of sickness and death”? Does this
even sound rational?

The problem, as followers of SBM and Respectful Insolence understand, is that antivaccinationists form an echo chamber. They repeat and accept without question even the most ABSURD claims. It’s almost as if, or probably is, that they try to outdo each other in just how extreme, fantasy-based, claims they can make.

“Using religious symbols and crusading language, medical scientists describe vaccination as the Holy Grail.”

What are these “religious symbols”? Jonas Salk on a crucifix? Paul Offit as Buddha? Orac as a leering Satan (OK, I can understand that one)?

Also is it even an issue to AV parents that they will be dismissed from certain practices? According to the AV hard-liners “hundreds of doctors are becoming anti-vax and refusing to give them”. If that were truly the case AV parents shouldn’t have any trouble finding an AV provider for their children. Or could it just be that more and more doctors becoming AV is a (gasp) another AV lie?

“She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble because not all her patients are vaccinated so she is doing me a favor by still seeing my child.”
It has to be an accurate quote, because the CDC of course, regulates medical practice and if a practitioner crosses them s/he will be dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, shackled, hooded, and flown to Atlanta by the CDC Police to be shown the instruments of torture and warned severely. Then, still in their pajamas, they are dumped on a roadside in rural Arkansas just before dawn.
Or maybe that was really an illusion to cover up an alien abduction, but damned if I know how I got home from outside Little Rock so quick.

“By this point we were talking loudly (arguing) in the room with the door open. She then started yelling at me saying I am lucky to have her because she is the only pediatrician in the area that accepts non vaccinated children. She also stated that they just had a meeting with the CDC and she is in trouble because not all her patients are vaccinated so she is doing me a favor by still seeing my child.”

Nope. Never happened. If any “yelling” occurred, she did it, not the doctor. None of the words she put in the doctor’s mouth were spoken by anyone but the paranoid anti-vaccine idiot. All of them lie about every encounter they ever have with a medical professional. Reading their stories is like watching a room full of children trying top every other child’s previous “absolutely real it happened to me, I swear!” ghost story. The lies are as fantastical as their own delusions of adequacy and education. It would be amusing if they did not risk public health in their quest to feel better informed and better educated than the professionals who actually are informed and educated. As much as I love trolling those people, they truly disgust me.

I’m glad you made this point. I’ve had the experience a number of times when talking on the phone with various people (some at medical facilities) that whenever I make a science (or logic)-based point about something the official perceives as “controversial”, I am accused of “raising my voice” or “yelling” when I definitely have not done so. I think this reaction must be some sort of psychological response to a perceived threat.

There is a clear difference between “yelling” and speaking authoritatively. I’ve even been accused of “ranting” in emails where I have only stated facts, which are always referred to as my “opinions”, of course. It also never fails that I am said to be employed by the pharmaceutical industry.

This happened most recently with someone who keeps cashmere goats and sells the yarn she produces. She opently states that she doesn’t vaccinate her goats, that her veterinarian approves of this, and that she worms her goats with herbs. So, it isn’t just parents of newborns. I admit that I said her vet was a quack, but I DID NOT YELL.

The fundamental problem is that people have no idea what constitutes a “fact”.

Recently I learned that if you told an antivax mom that she might be listening to the wrong people it is called #momshaming. A whole new can of worms.

It goes both ways. I got lots of “mom shaming” because I was “not doing enough” for my kid. Despite taking the toddler to neurologist appointments, twice a speech therapy, IEP meetings, and all the other normal things.

Apparently that was because I was not feeding him a limited diet, nor feeding chelation drugs or letting someone wave their hands over his head (cranialsacral therapy). One of those moms who was really pushing the notion that autism was caused by mercury in vaccines tried to get a moderator of a listserv to ban me because I had the audacity to remind her that the MMR vaccine does not contain thimerosal.

Now go read what I wrote here:

That poor woman only chose to not vaccinate her kids because she believed someone’s story without questioning. She only realized it was not true when her youngest child was born with autism. She was shocked to learn that disability rights/support organizations like The Arc believe the “vaccines cause autism” narrative is ablest, as it is disrespectful and demeans the disabled. Therefor it is not allowed in their discussion/support groups.

Then go read the Patheos link posted above by Dangerous Bacon. Who was doing the “mom shaming” in that scenario. The mother whose six month old child died, or the strangers who swamped her Facebook page?

This is nothing new of course. In the past, other opportunistic predators preyed on the grieving families too. Jehovah witnesses did come around when someone died in my town. What’s new is the anonymity and the speed these people can do their harm with.

And that makes their “mom shaming” okay? Just drop the shovel. Stop digging yourself even deeper.

Trust me, it is never a good thing to victim blame anyone.

Sorry, going on your previous comment where it seemed those who promote vaccinations were “mom shaming.”

These days, a well baby checkup can be a frightening and gut-wrenching experience for a new Mom bringing her baby to the pediatrician’s office…

… and Mrs. Loe Fisher will do her utmost to ensure that this is indeed the case by instilling fear, uncertainty, distrust and hostility in the minds of parents who are unlucky enough to stumble across her vitriolic antivaccine propaganda.

I was just thinking…it was only a couple of years before 1978, that I was arguing with my youngest child’s pediatrician about vaccines. He had just told me the shocking (to me) news, that smallpox vaccines were no longer given. I was so upset, and bless him, he was patient in his explanation as to why. I left, only partially convinced, but after doing some research at the Main Library (long before the Internet), I understood. I’m assuming that this person would like smallpox to make a comeback, also?

So if I understand correctly, you wanted to vaccinate your and didn’t get the vaccination because smallpox went extinct.
Seems like you had the opposite problem those brave mommy-warriors have now. They don’t want the evil vaccine and the disease becomes more popular again.

“First of all, I concede that this pediatrician probably should not have let this mother get under her skin like this.”

It’s tough to do that when the parent strings you along, though, first agreeing to sign the form, then altering it before signing, then demanding informed consent (which doubtless had already been given as she says she’s delayed vaccines in the past with this pediatrician), then saying it wasn’t good enough and demanding the inserts, and when even that was given, saying she still refused to sign…. That’s basically Ms Fisher doing what she always does, baiting and switching until it’s patently obvious that none of it was in good faith and she had no intention whatsoever of signing the form. And the pediatrician is described as the bully here? She just wasted a lot of their time solely to punish the pediatrician’s office for daring to suggest disagreement with her decision to reject medical advice. Which is especially galling since the main person the form is protecting the doctor from is her. Fisher could sue the doctor if her child got measles later on. She won’t, since she’d have to first admit the vaccines would’ve worked, but without signing that form, she could.

This is 100% about her own pride and her own desire to be the great crusader. I can totally understand the pediatrician deciding to draw a line at that point and not put up with any more stalling tactics. Fisher is lucky anyone in medicine is willing to work with her at all, given how venomously she treats them.

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