Top Reasons You Can’t Trust Your Doctor

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

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Story at-a-glance -

  • Increasingly, parents are left feeling belittled or threatened by their children’s doctors should they so much as question the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccination schedule
  • There are stories from across the U.S. of people who have been dismissed from medical practices or yelled at by their physicians over questions regarding vaccination or personal decisions of whether or not to vaccinate
  • It’s a doctor’s job to inform his or her patients so they’re able to make an educated decision about their medical care; it’s not a doctor’s job to make that decision for the patient
  • Physicians and pharmaceutical companies that people are expected to blindly trust when it comes to vaccinations are the same ones who are implicated in creating a deadly opioid epidemic and who, via medical errors, are a leading cause of death in the U.S.

A visit to your doctor’s office should leave you feeling informed and supported, with open and truthful conversations about your health and treatment plans. Many, however, do not get such courtesies, especially where vaccinations are concerned. Open conversations about vaccines are the exception rather than the rule at many U.S. doctors’ offices.

Increasingly, parents are left feeling belittled or threatened by their children's doctors should they so much as question the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) vaccination schedule.

Many are even going so far as to kick patients out of their practice, leaving them without a source for medical care. As Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), states in the featured video:1

"The sacred trust between mothers and pediatricians fostered by mutual respect and shared decision-making has been broken. Sadly, the admiration and trust that mothers used to have for family pediatricians is melting away and being replaced by fear.

Doctors are not our masters. We pay them well to do a job, not to exploit and terrify us. Discrimination, coercion and force have no place in modern medicine or in public health policy."

Do Doctors Have the Right to Demand Certain Medical Treatments?

Patients should be able to trust their doctor's advice, but when this comes in the form of a commandment, that trust is broken. "These days, that CDC vaccine schedule is no longer being viewed simply as a recommendation, it is being treated as a commandment," Fisher says. NVIC maintains a Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall where anyone can post stories of vaccine harassment — and it's a heavily populated page.2

There are stories from across the U.S. of people who have been dismissed from medical practices or yelled at by their physicians over questions regarding vaccination or personal decisions of whether or not to vaccinate. This is true even in the cases of prior adverse reactions to vaccinations.

"Pediatricians' offices have become ugly battlegrounds. Intelligent, well-informed and loving parents asking legitimate questions about vaccination are being belittled and treated with disrespect and contempt by too many pediatricians robotically implementing the CDC's inflexible vaccine schedule in clear violation of the informed consent principle," Fisher says.3

The fact is, it's a doctor's job to inform his or her patients so they're able to make an educated decision about their medical care; it's not a doctor's job to make that decision for the patient. Further, questions regarding vaccine safety and efficacy are relevant now more than ever, as children are expected to get more vaccines than ever before — 69 doses of 16 vaccines.4

Doctors Break Patients' Trust by Not Discussing Vaccine Safety

There's a serious lack of credible studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in order to reveal vaccine safety or lack thereof. Yet, at least one study has found the vaccination schedule may put premature babies at increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.5

And in a pilot study comparing the health of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, those who were vaccinated were more likely to have been diagnosed with any chronic illness as well as other health conditions like otitis media, pneumonia, allergies and eczema.6

In 2013, a physician committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academy of Sciences, even pointed out that the current federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule for infants and children from birth to age 6 had not been adequately studied for safety.7

These are the types of facts parents need to make an informed decision about vaccination, but they're not likely to hear them from a conventional pediatrician. In fact, they may be threatened for even inquiring. As Fisher explains:8

"These days, a well-baby checkup can be a frightening and gut-wrenching experience for a new mom bringing her baby to the pediatrician’s office.

That is because, with the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), many pediatricians have taken the hardline position that they do not have to discuss vaccination with parents or, if they do, they can threaten them with dismissal from the practice for not obeying a direct order."

Pharmaceutical Resisters Are 'Cockroaches'

In the vaccination debate, what happens all too often is not an open, scientifically based discussion but rather inappropriate name-calling and threats. A scathing article in the Los Angeles Times added further fuel to the fire when it labeled unvaccinated people "cockroaches."9

In praising California's Senate Bill 277, which requires children to be fully vaccinated to attend public school and eliminated the state's personal belief exemption, the article said, "a lot of cockroaches have met their demise." It then continued with name calling, stating, "Parents' suspicions about the safety of vaccinations have been fed by conspiracy theorists and medical crackpots …"

It then touted the widely-spread myth that medical exemptions to vaccines are threatening herd immunity. Naturally acquired herd immunity comes into play when a very high percentage of individuals in a population have gone through a natural immune response to a viral or bacterial disease.

Vaccine-acquired "herd immunity" is a misnomer because most vaccines provide an artificial immunity that leans heavily on stimulating an antibody response (humoral immunity), which is incomplete and more temporary than the longer lasting cell-mediated plus humoral immunity acquired after recovery from an infection.

The article is reminiscent of Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, who has gone so far as to bully parents of vaccine-injured children and classify NVIC as a hate group.

He’s also said that the movement calling for increased scientific study into vaccine efficacy and risks, and calling for protection of informed consent, should be “snuffed out,” i.e., crushed or killed. Hotez is a vaccine developer, a former president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development.

He also recently published a study putting targets on the U.S. counties that have the highest numbers of kindergarteners with nonmedical vaccine exemptions,10 and then, in The Conversation, falsely blamed "anti-vaccine websites and social media" for measles outbreaks in Minnesota, New York and Missouri and "almost 200 influenza deaths of unvaccinated children."11

Unfortunately, doctors like Hotez, instead of opening up the playing field for legitimate questions into vaccine safety and efficacy, would rather engage in name-calling (NVIC and other vaccine choice organizations are "exporting … anti-vax garbage" to communities around the world, he said12) and have parents who disagree with him "snuffed out."

Physicians and Pharmaceutical Companies Created an Opioid Epidemic Killing Millions

Physicians and pharmaceutical companies that people are expected to blindly trust when it comes to vaccinations are the same ones who are implicated in creating a deadly opioid epidemic.

In the U.S., 63,600 people died from a drug overdose in 2016, 66 percent of which involved an opioid. Overdose deaths have been on the rise since the 1990s, with those involving prescription opioids increasing sharply since 1999.13 Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, with the deaths being driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl.14

"The rise of fentanyl can be traced back to doctors' offices, according to leading researchers and doctors who blame several decades of liberally prescribing highly potent opioids to patients who shouldn't have been exposed to them in the first place for creating a huge market for … organized crime groups, who are now exploiting a population of opioid misusers," Vice News reported.15

Research published in the journal Medical Care even found a link between the rate of prescriptions for opioids and the number of opioid deaths in geographic regions of British Columbia, Canada.16

Both physicians and pharmaceutical companies are to blame. Many drug companies are still marketing the drugs to doctors and giving them perks like free meals, paid travel expenses and money for speaking and consulting engagements.

A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study found that although doctors typically receive less than $1,000 a year in such perks, they may still influence opioid prescriptions. In fact, physicians who received perks from drug companies increased their opioid prescription rates by an average of 9 percent in the year after the payment.17

It's shocking that, in the midst of an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, the pharmaceutical industry would still be making payments to physicians to prescribe more opioid products, but this is precisely what's occurring.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health,18 more than 375,000 nonresearch opioid-related payments were made to more than 68,000 physicians between August 2013 and December 2015, totaling more than $46 million. This amounts to 1 in 12 U.S. physicians who have received money from drug companies producing prescription opioids.

Doctors Are a Leading Cause of Death

According to research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), medical errors kill an estimated 250,000 Americans each year, making them a leading cause of death.19 While medical error is not included in rankings of cause of death or included on death certificates, death from medical care itself, and the doctors who administer it, happens far more often than many realize.

In a U.S. survey of more than 2,500 people, researchers found that 1 in every 5 adults has been on the receiving end of a medical error and 1 in every 3 say someone whose care they were closely involved in had experienced a medical error.20

It's clear that people must feel comfortable in asking questions of their doctors — their very lives depend on it — yet this cannot occur in an environment of threats or belittling that often occurs when the topic of vaccinations is concerned.

Making informed choices and using proven tools to reduce your risk of illness by maintaining optimal health are strategies you may use to reduce your personal risk of injury at the hand of another, as well as to stay healthy to avoid chronic and infectious diseases.

And as always, if you're seeing a medical provider who is not open to answering your questions, or whose trust you question, it's probably time to seek a new provider.