DOCTORS are refusing treatment for unvaccinated children over fears they may present a risk to other patients.
The revelation has prompted calls from the Royal Children’s Hospital for doctors not to discriminate against and endanger children based on decisions made by their parents, reports Herald Sun.
Findings of the RCH’s latest Child Health Poll shows one in six Australian children who are not up-to-date with their vaccines have been refused care by a health care provider.
The poll has also revealed 7 out of 10 parents would reconsider sending their child to a school if they discovered there were high rates of unvaccinated classmates.
A quarter of unvaccinated children under six and one in five primary-school age children were found to have been refused care by health clinics, while a small number of teenagers were also rejected.
“All children, regardless of their vaccination status, have a right to access healthcare,” Dr Rhodes said.
“While some people may feel they can understand the reasons for doctors and other healthcare providers thinking twice about whether they will treat unvaccinated kids, we have to remember these children are not making that decision for themselves.
“If we have a situation where people are being refused care they will seek out certain healthcare providers who support their decisions around not vaccinating there kids, and that presents a real risk of creating a subgroup in the population where we are not educating families and helping them to understand why vaccination is important.”
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians yesterday released a statement saying vaccinations have been more effective in preventing disease and death than any other medical intervention, and health professionals should ensuring children were immunised.
“Health professionals should not refuse to treat unvaccinated children. Doing so represents unethical coercion and further disadvantages these children,”
“Instead, health professionals should maintain contact with the children’s families to improve their care and provide ongoing education around the health benefits of vaccines.”
Do you think doctor’s should have the rights to refuse treatment for unvaccinated childre? Or do you agree this is totally irresponsible?
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