AMA Ditches Informed Consent, States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Jun 11, 2015, 12:04 ET
TUCSON, Ariz., June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At its annual meeting, the American Medical Association voted to mobilize its lobbying power to persuade state legislatures to end all nonmedical exemptions to mandated vaccines.
"Citing the 'crisis' of a few hundred cases of measles nationwide, none of them fatal, the AMA has just ignored the principle that patients may not be subjected to treatment without their informed consent," states Jane M. Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Nationwide, less than 2 percent of kindergartners have a religious or philosophical exemption to immunizations, according to AMA councils. In some areas, a considerably higher percentage of parents have made the choice to decline or delay some or all vaccines.
Vaccines, like all medical interventions, have risks and benefits, Dr. Orient noted. If a vaccine is very safe and a disease is serious and endemic, almost everyone will want it. If there are vaccine safety concerns and the disease is rare or usually benign, many might choose to forgo the vaccine until circumstances change.
"The AMA advocates giving selected authorities the power to dictate treatment of the entire population," Orient stated. "Its spokesmen demean religious or personal convictions." Forbes magazine quoted AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris, who suggests that parents are opting out "solely as a matter of personal preference or convenience."
How much risk can society vote to impose on unwilling persons in an effort to protect others? What if the level of risk is unknown, the consequences potentially fatal or devastating to some individuals, and the hypothetical benefit to others small? "The AMA has not addressed these issues," Orient noted. "And considerations of conscience are apparently irrelevant to the AMA."
"Sacrificing the important principle of informed consent has implications far beyond vaccination," Orient warned. "It is a matter of concern whatever your view of vaccines."
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.
SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)
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