CAN DOCTORS LEGALLY REFUSE TO TREAT UNVACCINATED CHILDREN?
Sometimes the answer is “no,” but they do so anyway. Here’s how it works.
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Some of the most heartbreaking calls I’ve gotten over the years come from distraught parents whose child, sometimes an infant, needs a life-saving operation, but the surgeon refuses to operate unless the child gets vaccinated first. A related issue arises when pediatricians refuse to treat any unvaccinated children. Sadly, most doctors are brilliantly manipulated into believing that vaccines are safe and necessary. They aren’t careless or stupid; the manipulation is truly that powerful. It operates on the part of the subconscious that controls conscious level perception, causing them to see vaccines as logical, safe and necessary. So, doctor mandate policies have become increasingly common over recent years. (Read Fear vs. Knowledge to learn how psychological manipulation works in both sleeper and aware communities). There is also powerful outside pressure from pharma-controlled state and federal health agencies, state professional boards, and all other corners of the healthcare profession to “get with the program.” But are these policies legal? There are both legal and practical considerations.
First, the law. As a general matter, physicians in private practice can refuse to treat any patient for any reason or for no reason. Constitutional rights—for example, one’s First Amendment “free exercise” of religion right as it concerns religious objections to vaccines—apply to governments, not private entities such as doctors in private practice. But there’s an exception to this general rule that may apply here.
First, I wish to clarify that we’re not talking about an exemption. Exemptions are laws that create exceptions to legally required vaccines. Most state exemption laws apply to daycare and school enrollment, not doctors’ business policies. There just aren’t exemption laws for this situation. Perhaps we should be lobbying our legislatures for that. In the meantime, the absence of such laws doesn’t mean there isn’t other law that would prevent a doctor from refusing to treat a child based solely on the child’s unvaccinated status, and I believe there is.
This discussion concerns situations where a parent has legally qualifying religious objections to vaccines that can invoke federal Constitutional rights in some situations. Generally, Constitutional rights apply to governments, not to private entities such as doctors in private practice, but there is an exception to this general rule. When a private entity has “substantial ties” to government, the private entity may be considered a “state actor,” in which case, with respect to those “substantial ties,” the private entity is acting as or for the government, and thus Constitutional rights may apply. So, do doctors in private practice have substantial ties to government with respect to their vaccine mandate policies?
Unfortunately, our opinions don’t determine the answer. A strict legal answer starts with reviewing applicable legal precedent to see what situations the courts have ruled constitute a “substantial tie,” generally; and then to see whether the facts in those cases are similar or analogous to the facts in our situation, so that we could argue that the precedent applies to our situation (unless there’s a legal precedent case that already answers this specific vaccine question; but I’m not aware of any such precedent). For example, the fact that a physician in private practice accepts Medicaid and Medicare probably does not meet the “substantial ties” test; a more substantial tie is required. Ultimately, as to any given present dispute, a final determination would be up to a judge, and potentially one or more appellate courts if a trial court ruling were to be appealed. But there is a compelling legal argument to be made that doctors in private practice, with respect to their vaccine mandate policies, do have substantial ties to government, as follows:
1) The federal government spends $ billions each year subsidizing vaccine research and development.
2) The federal government (FDA) licenses vaccines for use in the U.S.
3) States and federal governments mandate vaccines.
4) State and federal governments purchase and distribute vaccines.
5) State and federal governments regulate all aspects of vaccines, including research, manufacture, storage, distribution, administration, etc.
6) State and federal governments compensate vaccine injury and death victims in place of liability otherwise assignable to doctors and manufacturers (did you know that states can have a vaccine injury compensation program? NC does).
7) Historically, vaccines were utilized almost exclusively by and through government agencies. (Courts view history as a relevant factor in “state actor” analyses.)
Honestly, I can’t imagine a more “substantial tie” between a private entity and government than this. So, there’s a powerful legal argument to support the proposition that when a parent has a legally qualifying religious objection to vaccines, a private physician can’t lawfully refuse to treat a child or refuse to operate on a child based solely on the child’s unvaccinated status, as that policy conflicts with the parent’s federal Constitutional, First Amendment “free exercise” of religion rights.
But Constitutional rights are not absolute. Where health concerns are sufficiently high, which is usually decided by health officials (most of whom are, sadly, corrupt, brainwashed, or coerced) and not by us, Constitutional rights can be overridden. But should a doctor insist that a child’s lack of vaccination poses a health risk severe enough to override a parent’s religious objections, here are two counter arguments:
1) Legally: Routine vaccines concern hypothetical future events. One gets a vaccine to address a potential future exposure to disease that: a) may not ever happen, b) may not cause illness if it does happen, and c) is unlikely to have any lasting adverse effect if illness does occur. To the contrary, it would likely have the beneficial effect of imparting life-long immunity, which studies show correlates with lower risk of chronic illness in adulthood. In contrast, courts have said that even a temporary loss of religious freedom constitutes “irreparable harm,” and the loss of religious freedom in this situation occurs the instant the child is vaccinated and can’t be undone. The immediate, permanent violation of religious freedom arguably outweighs the hypothetical future harm of potential disease exposure, etc., as there is U.S. Supreme Court precedent applying this argument in an analogous situation.
2) Medically: Isolated instances of unvaccinated children do not pose a material risk to anyone, as vaccine policy concerns the immune status of groups with respect to preventing the spread of disease through populations, and not the immune status of individuals. The so-called “herd immunity” or “community immunity” theory claims that when most are vaccinated, all are protected. You can’t even tell an individual child’s immune status by their vaccine status, as there are both immune and non-immune children in both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Vaccines don’t work in everyone, vaccine immunity declines over time, and unvaccinated children can get natural immunity (what a concept!). A titer test is required for each child and disease, vaccinated or not, to determine the immune status of any given child at any given point in time. So, doctors’ vaccine-requirement policies, are, respectfully, scientifically misguided. (They do, however, help maximize pharmaceutical profits.)
So, parents in these situations have a strong legal argument in their favor. But does that really matter? Because a legal right means nothing unless it’s honored by all concerned. This brings us to some serious practical considerations:
First, most parents can’t afford to sue a doctor. Doctors know this, so they’ll just dig in their heels even if they know you have a legal right (most don’t know that, but they’ll never admit it if they do, of course). That is, they can win by default despite the law being on parents’ side. Lawsuits are expensive and emotionally grueling, they can drag out for months or even years, and outcomes are never certain. And while courts have procedures to expedite emergency matters, there still may not be enough time to get a court order when a child needs a life-saving emergency operation quickly.
Next, would you want your child to be treated by a physician who only did so because of a court order? That’s something to avoid if possible. When a child needs a potentially life-saving operation, most parents would surely take their chances, of course. But this is an important consideration. (However, should a situation arise where a parent is willing to sue, a win might help other parents, as one win could scare other doctors into giving in to avoid a losing lawsuit. So, suing could be a good thing even if not to the benefit of the suing parent.)
Finally, and most importantly, can parents reasonably expect a proper court ruling on a vaccine matter at all? Most judges are within the estimated 95% of the population that fall victim to the mass psychosis, so they have a strong pro-vaccine bias. Worse, psychologists report that psychological manipulation works *better* on people with advanced degrees. So, it’s likely that more than 95% of doctors, judges, etc. truly believe that vaccines are safe and effective. To them, anyone with a different view appears crazy, a danger to society. For this and other reasons (such as bribery or coercion), most judges will ignore the law on vaccine matters. They may justify this as “protecting the child,” “protecting the community,” or even just protecting their own reputations and careers. No judge wants to look “stupid” or “crazy” to the pro-vaccine public for leaving a child unvaccinated, to risk being accused of being responsible for spreading diseases, or to lose their next election. So, where vaccines are concerned, the legal systems simply aren’t reliable to reach outcomes based on the real science and law. I don’t mean to suggest that we *shouldn’t* defend our rights in the courts—nothing ventured, nothing gained; and the control, while substantial, isn’t absolute. But the practical reality is that if we don’t *also* address the underlying control that prevents courts, legislatures, the media, medical publishing, etc. from functioning properly with vaccine matters, they will continue to function unreliably, to put pharma’s profits over real science and law, and vaccine refusal conflicts will just keep coming up more and more. Having the law on your side is a critical starting point, but it’s just not enough where improper outcomes can be forced by powerful elite who are above the law. And make no mistake: Whenever an outcome really matters to the pharma elite, they can usually control the outcome. The real science and law don’t apply to them.
This explains why decades of ever-greater activism work have been consistently met, overall, with an ever-advancing pharma agenda. But this doesn’t mean we can’t win; it just means we need a different strategy, a new approach that addresses this part of the equation, along with everything else we’re doing. Stay tuned for information about a project doing this…
Alan Phillips, J.D.
Vaccine Rights Legal Expert
Have an exemption question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Some questions may be addressed in future articles (with anonymity).
Alan Phillips, J.D., is the nation’s leading vaccine exemption legal expert. Alan is the only person who’s ever worked fulltime as an attorney with exemptions, who’s worked in all 3 dozen different exemption contexts and sub-contexts (indeed, the only one who can name ½ of them), and who’s worked with clients, attorneys, legislators, and activists nationally concerning exemption rights for over two decades. Contact Alan at vaccinerights.com.