Some Doctors Won’t Treat Unvaccinated Kids

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some doctors are now taking a stand. They are refusing to treat young patients who have not received their childhood vaccinations.

As CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports, doctors say it’s an effort to encourage good health and to keep their waiting rooms disease free. Other doctors are saying there’s another solution.

Lori Buher says she will never forget the night her healthy teenage son Carl fell terribly ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. He was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

“We couldn’t even conceive that it had happened so quickly,” Buher said. “And here they were telling us he was going to die.”

Carl didn’t die, but he lost both legs and three fingers to a disease he could have been vaccinated against.

Carl’s heartbreaking story is exactly the kind of thing pediatrician Dr. Bradley Dyer wants to prevent. He’s made childhood vaccinations mandatory at his practice.

“If a caregiver or parent decides not to vaccinate their children, we feel that they’re taking an unnecessary risk, so we wanted to take a strong stand and say this is so important to us that it’s a deal-breaker for us,” Dyer said

Dyer said he has turned away families who have refused vaccinations and encourages other doctors to do the same.

Fellow pediatrician, Dr. Scott Goldstein, said he takes a different approach to patients who worry about vaccinating their children.

“I don’t think it’s the best idea to turn patients away, just because they don’t want to vaccinate,” he said.

Goldstein and his colleagues prefer to educate parents about vaccine benefits.

“My biggest concern is that they’re misinformed, he said. “I think anybody, when they’re confronted with appropriate information, will see the light and want to get the vaccines.”

Goldstein’s office has been successful in educating parents about the benefits of vaccinations. All of the patients there have been vaccinated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not turning away unvaccinated patients, but can understand why some doctors do.

“In 2008, three babies who were too young to be vaccinated ended up getting measles from an unvaccinated child who had measles in the waiting room of their doctor’s office,” Dr. Ari Brown said.

As for Buher, she’s now a firm believer in immunizations.

“There are so many things we can’t protect our children from. Why not protect them from things that we can?” she said.

Instead of turning patients away, some doctors have suggested parents who don’t get their children vaccinated should sign waivers or be charged higher insurance premiums.

  • EducateB4UVaccinate

    Anyone who is non-vaccinating, Home First Health Services WILL see you! :-) We are a non-vaccinating family and have found tremendous support from the doctors at Home First. They have several different locations, you can google them to see which is closest to you. Been with them for years and have extremely healthy children! The vaccine industry can’t control everyone! ;-)

  • momofmanyfeet

    Good thing you show both sides of this story. Dr. Mayer Eisenstein’s practice “Homefirst” doesn’t vaccinate at all. The parental right to refuse medical treatment that we deem unnecessary for our children should be paramount. The way that these doctors bully parents into getting vaccinations is against their own vow as doctors and should be illegal. What ever happened to the creed “first do no harm”? Parents should have the right to refuse medical treatment for our healthy children.

  • Brenda

    I think parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against Measles, Mumps, rubella, Chicken pox and Polio need to be informed of the DANGERS of NOT vaccinating their children!! I’ve seen first hand what these childhood diseases can do!! I was one of those children who was not vaccinated and I wish that I was! I ended up being very sick for a long time from not being vaccinated!! I ended up with Mumps on both sides of my neck (Mumps, if not treated properly can cause sterility), I had the measles, I was sick for 4 to 6 weeks with Rubella first then the Chicken pox right after!! I had a class mate come down with Polio and was told that she would never be able to walk with out assistance! I am a strong believer in getting children vaccinated!!! I’ve also seen a small child with Chicken pox almost lose his foot because his parents didn’t think Chicken pox were dangerous! They found out the hard way that they were very wrong!!
    So, PLEASE parents!! Vaccinate your children!! It does NOT cause Autism if that is what you are worried about!!

    • Dr. K.

      Not sure where you get your facts from…

    • Mara Kansoer McCord

      I have experienced first hand, after being fully vaccinated as a child. At age 2 I had rubella, didn’t die. At age 6 pertussis, again didn’t die. Age 9 mumps, and guess what? I still didn’t die! The vaccine injury my son experienced was far worse than all the “deadly” diseases I lived through put together. Vaccines are not 100% effective, but vaccine injuries are 100% preventable.

    • momofmanyfeet

      Your assumption that parents who do not vaccinate are uneducated about the diseases and possible complications is daft and a bit conceited. Who are you to judge us without any knowledge about us? Your arrogance leads you conclude that you are so much more informed than anyone who does not agree with your side of the argument. There are MD’s, PhD’s, scientists, and many many others who stand with us and our parental choice not to vaccinate. I have 2 master’s degrees one of which is in science and my undergrad degree is in biology. I have researched not only the diseases and their complications which vaccinations “protect” against, but I have also researched the manufacturing process, the rates and types of adverse reactions, the clinical trials, the declining rates of those diseases from 1900-1990, you name it and I have researched it and used those facts to make an informed decision regarding MY children.

  • Mara McCord

    I think these bully doctors should have their medical license pulled. I am the mother of a vaccine injured child, and am vaccine injured myself. My parents blindly followed the vaccine schedule for me and my brother and both of us suffered. Even being fully vaccinated I still got rubella, pertussis, and mumps. I can assure you I am not dead. I am not saying nobody should vaccinate, I am saying parents need to do much research, not just what the latest fad on google is. Most of these so called “deadly” diseases were declining long before vaccinating became common, and most of the recent outbreaks are among fully vaccinated people.

    • Dr. K.


  • tim

    are u a real medical doctor Dr. K ?

  • Hospital/OSHA Certified

    Unvaccinated children are neglected children. Parents, guardians and health officials must be responsible for ensuring children are properly inoculated for serious and potentially deadly diseases. If you really want to view pictures and video of children suffering, dying or dead from such diseases, visit Better yet, go visit a foreign third world country and witness an innocent child suffer the agonizing pain and anguish before they die a slow gruesome death. We’ve got vaccines for a reason. Wake up!

    • Mara McCord

      Unvaccinated children are NOT neglected! My son suffered severe vaccine injury, so we stopped vaccinating him and my daughter is vaccine free. It would be irresponsible to continue to inject my children with poisons. Yes, we do have vaccines for a reason, to make the drug companies rich.

  • momofmanyfeet

    Your views are so biased and one sided that they hold no water. Yes, unvaccinated children can get sick, but so can vaccinated children. No vaccination is 100% effective. Also, you leave out the picture of children who die and suffer the rest of their lives because of the vaccine. Read the vaccine insert and they list the possible complications and effectiveness. Then read about the actual diseases they protect against. The United States even has a court and compensation program set up just for children and adults who die or suffer from a vaccine injury. Are they not innocent children as well? Here is a link to an article (from a better source than you give) regarding the horribly deadly diseases you speak about wit such fear…..
    They are not as deadly as you say because the US is not a third world country. Our sanitation and medical advances and their availability to every citizen has lowered the morbidity and mortality rates for them all.
    For example, in 95% of polio cases people show no symptoms at all. About 5% show signs of a common cold and recover. Under one percent will advance into paralytic polio, but because of modern medical advances the majority of those under 1% will recover fully. Not so scary anymore huh?

  • Rey-Marie

    I am a pediatric RN and I have vaccinated literally 1000s of children & seen NO injury other than fever or redness/swelling at injection site. It is true that no vaccine offers 100% protection, but children who are vaccinated often won’t get as sick w/ an illness as their unvaccinated counterparts. (as seen in mumps outbreak in NYC area last yr) I work w/ MDs who refuse to see unvaccinated children- and they encourage parents to do the research- real research- not internet myth & legend. Do you know how many parents have sited the ridiculous Britsh study about MMR/Autism? The MDs I work w/ will work w/ parents who selectively vaccinate- or vaccinate on an alternate schedule, but to say “I don’t want any vaccines- period” is neglect and I’ve seen unvaccinated children come in w/ Chicken Pox, mumps, pertussis, rotavirus,meningitis, Hep A & Hep B. I have seen vaccinated kids get mild cases of chicken pox. I also saw an unvaccinated child nearly die of chicken pox- the mother repeatedly stated “I had no idea he could get this sick- I thought it was no big deal.” 10 days in the ICU changed her mind…hope other parents who chose not to vaccinate won’t have the same experience.

    • Mara Kansoer McCord

      I doubt you have seen NO injury other than fever (which is vaccine injury) or redness/swelling. Your practice probably sees many vaccine injuries that are discounted as “normal” reactions or coincedence.

    • sciencemommy

      The problem is finally solved! An RN has seen no injury, so vaccinations don’t cause injury. The RN says that vaccinated children don’t get as sick as unvaccinated children, and I’m sure that she is the authority on this fact. I’m sure glad that you have cleared that up for everyone. Especially all of us parents who don’t do “real research”.
      You got us! All of us parents who don’t vaccinate are clueless and all of our research is based on myths and legends. We are all so below the level of education that an RN has (what maybe a bachelor’s degree, but the majority have an associates?) that we can’t decipher fact from fiction.
      Whew, I am so glad that you chimed in on this issue so we can all just blindly follow your daft advice. I bet you don’t even inform the parents of the kids that you vaccinate of the risks and complications. Have you ever handed a parent the insert from the vaccine that you inject into them or do you just hand them the CDC letter which downplays the side effect/complications and instead explains about the disease that it is for. What other medicine does that? On the box of tylenol it doesn’t list facts about fever or pain, it lists the side effects and complications so that a parent can make an informed decision about giving that medicine to their child.
      But I am sure that you are totally informed and so knowledgeable that everyone else just neglects their child in your eyes. What a joke.

  • Evergreen Park

    The thing today is some Doctors not all arein itfor the money not what is best for the people . Obama is right reform heath care

  • EducateB4UVaccinate

    Oh, some of these comments are just laughable. I especially enjoyed reading Sciencemommy’s comment. I wish there were “like” buttons on here… Vaccines are a product for an INDUSTRY. All they see are $$$. Ridiculous how much of the population believes that vaccines are a necessity, even so far as to say a parent is neglectful for not vaccinating, lol. I mean, my goodness, some people are just so blind. Do you do everything your government tells you?? HAHAHA!!

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