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When Doctors Try to Blackmail Parents

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

When Doctors Try to Blackmail ParentsIt has been a rough few weeks moving into our new digs. Part of the issue was getting the kids registered for school. The process was so tedious I thought we would be asked for DNA samples. AND getting my preschooler back into a special needs preschool was like pulling teeth. They were all but ready to refuse him because they wanted a doctor’s note saying he was healthy despite our decision not to vaccinate… which I am pretty sure violates the law since I had given them a copy of a form stating that I was invoking the philosophical exemption law guaranteed by the state of Ohio.

BUT I decided to take him to a doctor to speed up the process and that was yet another disaster. The doctor told us he would be happy to fill out our paperwork but would never see us again because we refuse to vaccinate. Then the man held the paperwork hostage for 30 minutes or so until he could lecture me about my poor choices. I related to him that my oldest had been injured and almost killed by a vaccine and that this was confirmed by two pediatric neurologists AND we were told not to vaccinate him again. This new doctor, who has never met my older son and has never looked at his medical history said this was all lies. Either I was lying or these doctors were quacks.

I was quite angry after that and went on tirade about vaccine risks. The doctor replied that vaccines have NO risks. ZERO risk. At that point I started to think the man was a blooming idiot. I politely asked why it was that each vaccine comes with an insert outlining all the CONFIRMED risks associated with each vaccine as documented in drug trials. His response… the flyers are full of made up stuff so that vaccine companies can cover their bases. Really? Death is listed as a risk just for kicks and giggles? Yes, despite this man’s medical degree he was an idiot… who had clearly never researched vaccines beyond the one week he went through them in class or the indoctrination he managed to absorb at medical conventions.

I asked why he felt that refusing to see unvaccinated kids was ethical. Did they not deserve medical care? He declared that medical doctors are banding together and refusing to see these families because they feel it will force parents to reconsider their bad choices. Oh blackmail? No, he said with a smug smile, it isn’t blackmail if what they are doing is BEST for the children. Wow…

Of course by that point I knew the guy was a total creep and never wanted my kids to see him again either. Yet this is the second time we have been booted out of a practice for failure to vaccinate. This is definitely an alarming trend.

I still want to establish a relationship with a family doctor so my kids can participate in organized sports and other recreational programs that require annual physicals. And since medical society is steadily leaning towards the idea that non-vaccinating parents are neglectful parents, it never hurts to make sure you have one your side to establish that you ARE in fact making educated choices and that you do care very much about your kids health. We may just look for a family doc instead of a pediatrician and Dr Sear’s web site has several suggestions for my state.

The whole experience had me feeling kind of low, as I am sure this man intended, but then I remembered all the ways I am working to keep my kids healthy:

* By not injecting them with chemical cocktails called vaccines!

* By letting food be their medicine.

* By feeding them a nourishing diet that is short on grains and refined sugars, and full of things like pastured eggs, pastured milk, grassfed meat, daily batches of dark leafy greens and fruit in green smoothies, healthy fats and proteins from nuts, seeds, seaweed, and cultured and living foods like fresh yogurt and kefir.

* By feeding them local foods and raw foods that have more of their nutrition intact and organics that do not have pesticides whenever I can.

* By avoiding processed foods that have preservatives, dyes, and other chemical nasties that do not belong in food.

* By providing them with daily opportunities to play out in the sun and fresh air.

* By treating illnesses and injuries with homeopathics.

* By not sterilizing their environment with antibacterial products. Kids need to get sick and build a good immune system!

* By providing them with a green and natural home that does not use toxic cleaners or other products that leach into the air as pollution or into their food.

After remembering all of that, which the doctor had no knowledge of and frankly didn’t care about… I finally remembered that Mom does know best. My kids are very healthy and that is precisely because we choose NOT to go along with conventional wisdom in regards to food and medicine.

Related Reading: He’s Not Autistic, But… How We Pulled Our Son From the Mouth of the Abyss & How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

  • Frugal Babe

    I agree with every single thing you wrote here. Excellent post. Our son is two and a half, and has never been vaccinated. We intend to keep it that way. He was born at home with a midwife who recommended a great family practice doc who – although she did say that she was in favor of vaccinations – was very respectful of our decision to not vaccinate. We recently moved, and have a “meet the doc” appointment next month with a family practice doc in our new town who was recommended as being very tolerant of parents who don’t vaccinate. I have often heard that pediatricians are much more draconian about vaccinations, and that it’s easier to find an open minded doc if you go with family practice docs. Best of luck finding one, and sorry about your experience with the idiot doctor!

  • Melanie

    Try also searching on the mothering magazine boards for a recommendation for a good doctor in your area. I didn’t find too many choices on Dr. Sears’ site for a doctor in my area but found many more recommendations on the mothering boards.

  • Wow. Just wow. We lucked out and found a practice that is open to alternative type medicine. In fact, they actually prescribe homeopathy. When we first went there, they asked for all the vitamins, herbs and prescriptions my kids ever take. And it felt so good to list them all because they understood many of them. In fact, when I raved about the brand of cranberry pills I give my daughter for bladder infections, she asked me to repeat it so she could suggest it to other patients. It felt so wonderful to be listened to and respected for the simple fact that, of all the people who care for my child’s welfare, I care the most.

  • Liss

    SO glad we dont live in the states! This Dr makes me SO angry i could almost feel my blood boiling grrrr

  • Heather Zell

    you are in Columbus. correct? What about Dr. Sant?

    • Don’t know him but will look him up. Thx!

      • Lydia

        We go to her and she is great! Very open about vaccinations, even told us when we interviewed her that she has parents that don’t vaccinate.

  • I know this story all too well. The AAP’s one-size-fits-all vaccine policy and pediatricians’ inability to think outside of the AAP box leaves parents with few choices. There are many children who absolutely should NOT be vaccinated, e.g., those with mitochondrial dysfunction (like Hannah Polling), and few doctors know that many children are essentially immunocompromised (due to their compromised gut and immune health) and are at greater risk for adverse events and chronic illnesses. Yet, all children are required to receive the same vaccines, regardless of their particular health concerns/predispositions.
    This isn’t even taking into consideration the fact that vaccines themselves may be responsible for dysregulating the immune systems of all/most children. That’s a whole other issue.
    To learn more about the impact that vaccines may be having on our children’s health long term, visit Epidemic Answers:, a web-project sponsored by Parents Ending America’s Childhood Epidemic (PEACE).
    –You can also read in depth about this topic in my new book: A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children

  • Wow. That doctor made the decision to use someone else an obvious choice. “They make vaccine dangers up?” Really?

    May you find a doctor more suited to your family’s needs soon.

  • Terra

    Our midwife recommended our pediatrician, who has been respectful of all our decisions concerning our daughter (including not vaccinating). Perhaps you have a midwife or doula near you that you can contact and ask for some pediatrician referrals?

  • I’m not sure of the laws in OH, I live in MN and here we use a mid-wife who can also take care of our other MD needs. She is a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) and has the power to do the regular birth stuff, as well as check ups, perscriptions, etc. It is really nice even though we don’t have kids, I don’t have to deal with all the “take this super duper strong pill for your every little tiny issue”. You should look into it.

    Also, I used to work at a health store (in IA) and we worked with “Internal” medical doctor. They seemed more open to at least trying natural options first.

  • steph carlson

    Sorry to hear this has happened to someone else. We only vax against a few things. And I had trouble when I moved to Ohio as well. We got alot of harassment from the school system over the simple CHICKEN POX vaccine. ( one of the ones we do not do ) We have a Chiropractor in Ky who we use, and he did not vaccinate any of his 7-8 children. He encouraged me to keep looking. I found a Pedi who was would not refuse us who was referred to us through our Homeschool group. ( we eventually decided to home educate for a myriad of reasons) However, when your youngest was born with Down syndrome our pedis did start to push some of the shots again. Flu, Pneumonia etc. To their surprise, She was able to breastfeed and has the thinnest chart of all my children. Hang in there. Keep looking fellow Buckeye. They are out there.. you just have to make a lot of phone calls. I literally called and asked ” I don’t want to waste your time, and don’t want mine wasted.. so.. in short, We refuse to vaccinate – Will that be a problem?” . I still get the brief ” well you really should” talk now and then depending on which doc we have the appointment with. But nothing big.

  • My blood is boiling.
    I can’t believe the doctor would say that to you. My doctor finally stopped laying into me about the importance of vaccinating after I told him I had ethical issues about the use of aborted fetal tissue being used for their development. He didn’t believe me (I’m sure he thought I had gone off the deep end), until I brought him the research I had come up with. After a brief glance he told me he’d be contacting Merck. Ha!

  • Laura

    Way to stand strong in the face of intimidation! And thank you for writing about your experience and your beliefs about vaccinations. As a mother who refuses to vaccinate, your outstanding article and all of the other parents who have commented helps confirm what I’ve been doing and gives me comfort that I’m not the only one in this fight.

  • Melodie @Breastfeeding Moms Unite!

    Wow – that is so awful. I feel quite lucky that where I live I haven’t heard of any problems and I have a number of friends who don’t vaccinate. Are you in a rather conservative area or is this really a scary new trend? Either way I wish you luck with your new physician. At least you know how to speak up for yourself too!

  • I’m glad we never had to face an awful clueless doctor like that. I would have come out of there in tears for sure! I get very emotional :) We drive 40 minutes (Boston) to a holistic pediatrician and it is worth the drive, just to avoid the blackmail, unnecessary meds, and to get sound health advice! Kudos to you for standing up for your kids and I hope you find a great family practice who will respect your choices.

    • hi there,
      this is important to me too and i am having trouble finding a doc that will support our decisions

      i’m in the boston area and am wondering where you go?

  • Heather Zell

    here is Dr. Sant’s website:

    Dr. Ali Carie is vaccine friendly too (not as much as Dr. Sant)

  • On the bright side – when a smug doctor who is proud of his own ignorance and prejudice takes himself out of the game, it saves you the trouble of having to decide whether or not to continue to retain his services – with that attitude, his decision not to keep seeing your family just shortens your process toward finding the correct medical support people for you family.

    Good luck – it’s always a process! When mine were young (25 years ago) I had similar discussions about breastfeeding – just because they are vehement in their opinions doesn’t mean they’re *right*.

  • Sharon

    Good for you for standing up to that ignorant doctor! We also do not vaccinate. I have two boys and my oldest was injured after his second set of vaccinations. We just had to submit our religious exemption for our boys to school. Keeping my fingers crossed* Thankfully we have a practice that is open to us not vaccinating. Hope you find someone soon and thank you for writing about your experience.

  • That’s terrible, terrible, terrible that the doctor would treat you like that for the choice you make. This is crazy. With my four children it has been a battle. Now my doctor just says she respects our decision not to vaccine but she doesn’t support it. I fear if I ever have to switch to another doctor.
    This is International Vaccine Injury Awareness month. This post is important!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Marmaduke

    This is appalling behavior from the doctor and should be reported. It is unconscionable that you can’t find a sympathetic physician.

    The medical establishment pushes way too hard to solve problems with medicine first. The prevalence of gastric-bypass surgeries is another horrible example of this. Changes in diet, exercise, and other aspects of lifestyle should be the first choice. Medication and surgery should be last resorts.

    However, the blanket rejection of everything related to modern medicine is simply dangerous. Vaccines do have risks and should not be forced on everyone, however they do prevent serious diseases and, for the majority of people, have much more benefit than risk. Antibiotics, used appropriately, save lives.

    Modern medicine has made people healthier…on average, but it has also created a new set of problems. Reverting to homeopathy may remove these new problems, but it will also take us back to the age of 35 year life spans.

    What we need to do now, is not to reject modern medicine completely, but to fix it. Make it more nimble. Make it more respectful. Make it more holistic. Don’t run away screaming, walk in, fighting.

    • I completely agree. When my mom found out she had breast cancer, she wanted to do a fasting cleanse in preparation for surgery and her doctor treated her like she was an idiot. So she focused instead on trying to heal herself with only alternative methods. She died two weeks before her 50th birthday. But then again, we had a friend who was diagnosed around the same time as my mom and she did the whole chemo/radiation thing and she died just before my mom, so no guarantees either way. We need to make sure that these two sides of medicine learn to play nicely together so we all benefit.

      Also, while most doctors do know that diet and exercise will help, if not completely cure, many of our most common health issues, they also know (from experience I’m sure) that the majority of their patients will not follow their advice. Doctors prescribe pills because people would rather take a pill than make even simple lifestyle changes. When my daughter was little and had lasting colds and I’d bring her in to the doctor to check her out, I usually had to sit through a lecture on why antibiotics won’t help with a virus. I always felt like saying, “Ya, I know dude, I just want you to check that she doesn’t have an ear infection or strep throat.” So really, part of the problem is the other patients, too.

  • Kimberly

    I just recommended Dr Sears The Vaccine Book to my pregnant friend this week. I am blessed with a ped who respects my decisions to pick and choose the vaccines for my children. I am sorry you went through that but it does fuel your fire and thats how YOU make a difference! So thank you!
    I have a cousin who we believe was autistic as a result of DTP shot. Shot that was stopped in European countries years before it was in the US. And we are the most advanced country?
    My dad is 62 and doesn’t take a single medicine. VA doctors said you need to take something. Why? Because everyone does! haha!!!
    My husband is a pharmacist and thinks Im crazy with my vitamins, supplements, veg diet and yoga. I am 4 yrs younger and look and feel 10+ yr younger. Lets see who gets the last laugh!!!
    Hang in there!!! You aren’t alone!!!

  • Brooke

    I’m so happy you chose to share this experience on your blog. It makes me sooo mad to think doctors like that exist. Go ahead, refuse all the non-vaccinated children and their parents, but that doctor won’t have any patients the more that people wake up. No one I know of considered the swine flu a concern. The one person I know of that got the vaccine for H1N1 was pregnant and her doctors pressured her. Once she got the vaccine, she was sick with full blown H1N1 less than a week later. People are waking up and doctors/medical schools might be the last ones to catch on……

  • Mandy

    He (the loopy doctor) meant he was still trying to pad his pockets with the kickbacks he gets from the vaccine companies and the money they pour into research grants and such the like, right? ;)

  • I’m so sorry you had to go through that! Ugh. It is blackmail and it is ignorant. I am lucky to have a doctor’s office that does not agree with my stance on vaccines but respects it. They also treat me like an intelligent person with a different opinion, instead of like a dangerous idiot. I hope you find a wonderful doctor who at the very least supports your right to your very healthy lifestyle.

  • Amy W

    I am so sorry for your treatment by this practioner. It is difficult to make choices that are not popular, but the one you have made for your children is both for their good health and an informed one. Keep on being your children’s advocate.

  • Shena

    We do the same for our children and use your blog as guidance and inspiration…thank you :)

  • A.F

    Wow! What a story! I agree with you and am astounded at how many doctors will not take children who don’t vaccinate. I pick my kids vaccines they receive and am careful to time it when they are older and their immune systems are stronger.

    I wish we would be allowed to have chicken pox like in the days when I was growing up! I didn’t feel great but did get over it and am now immune to it!

  • Tammy F

    I’m glad doctors like that just galvanize your stance even more so. I live in Ohio too (North of Cincy) and will definitely take a whole different approach to vaccines with my next child. (I learned the hard way with my first born son, and as an RN, I was indoctrined to believe that vaccines are perfectly safe and necessary). I’m glad you know there are plenty of people out there who are on your side! :-)

  • Cortney

    Thank you for this post!

    Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons that my husband and I have not had children, yet.

    I feel like we would be so controlled in every decision we would try to make to benefit our child.

    Why is good parenting considered bad in today’s society?

  • Kate

    I don’t think anyone should be treated with disrespect. On the other hand, I do not want an un-vaccinated child, who maybe carrying a preventable disease, to infect my infant in the waiting room of our doctor’s office because my child is too young to receive the protection of certain vaccines. Whooping cough, for example, could be deadly if my baby were to be infected. Your children are healthy because they are protected by the general population of vaccinated individuals. I have done MUCH research on this topic and have come to the conclusion that the risk of a serious/deadly disease is much greater than the risk of a vaccination that will keep my children healthy. Our daily environment is much more dangerous for our children that a vaccine that will prevent a disease. i.e. The offgassing from the flame retardant in our car upholstery that we are constantly inhaling…

  • Helen Pinnock

    Although in England our Doctors are generally not quite so draconian, I have also experienced this from Doctors it can be very disheartening and even though you know you are doing the right thing it can make you question your self in the short term. But like you say I believe in trusting my instincts and Mothers know best stay strong.  

  • Grecogirl

    Love your post. I to do not vaccinate my children, four of them now. The only grief i have gotten is from doctors. Who are often shocked my kids are not sick all the time. In fact they rarely ever get sick at all. As i watch all the other school kids get flu shots and are sick for weeks. I have learned to stand my ground and not be intimidated by the “intelligent” doctors with their big


  • Ellie M

    Great post!!! I totally agree! :) My husband and I just had our first baby about 7 months ago and we inevitably bumped (and continue bumping at every scheduled checkup…)  into this same wall of pro-vaccine theology.  Truth be told, I hate it.  Instinct, reason, logic, and just common sense tell me to stay away from these chemical cocktails; I’m listening.  And I’m a registered nurse!! I just do not understand how MDs, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are closing their eyes to fact upon fact upon fact upon fact…THAT IS ALARMING.  But I’m not alarmed:)…God Himself is my protection;) Keep it up everyone! Let’s keep our kids and families HEALTHY…

  • AJ

    Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. Does anyone know a doctor in Massachusetts, near Boston that would support my decision of not to vaccinate my five year old?

    Thank you

  • LT

    My children are vaccinated but I respect your choice and knowledge of what is best for your children. You know your child better then anyone else. My concern though, and perhaps this can be addressed, is what if a child is not vaccinated for a specific illness and that child exposes another child who is yet to be vaccinated? I feel that unvaccinated children should stay away from very young children.

    • If my children came down with whopping cough, or the like, I most certainly would keep them away from other people. But I won’t keep them away from young children in general because that is not rational in my opinion.

    • Gina

      If your children are vaccinated then a non-vaccinated child would not be a threat. The reason you vaccinated is to keep your children from being susceptible when they come in contact with a given illness. Trust your vaccinations.