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WA State Vaccine Law Threatens Exemptions & Violates Privacy
Posted: 2/13/2011 10:37:10 AM | with 28 comments

by Barbara Loe Fisher

If you are a resident of Washington state, you should know that there is a bill quietly sailing through your state legislature that violates your privacy and threatens your right to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination. House Bill 1015 1 and Senate Bill 5005 also discriminates against parents by failing to give them equal protection under the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL 99-660). 2

The proposed new law will legally require doctors and nurses to personally sign off on all religious or personal belief exemptions to vaccination filed with the state. Parents seeking non-medical exemptions will be required to include a signature from a vaccine provider on the exemption form stating that they have been given vaccine benefit and risk information. 3 Currently Washington state mandatory vaccination laws 4 only require signatures from medical personnel when medical exemptions are filed.

If this bill becomes law, it will put doctors, nurses and other medical personnel in the legal position of acting as inquisitors of religious beliefs held by fellow citizens, which is an invasion of privacy and a de facto violation of First Amendment rights. 5 Americans associated with the medical profession will have the power to sit in judgment of, or interfere with, the free exercise of religious, spiritual or conscientious beliefs of other Americans. It will also make it easier for doctors to punish parents making selective vaccine choices by denying their children medical care, which is the official policy of many U.S. pediatricians. 6

The ethical principle of informed consent 7 to medical risk taking means that you, as an individual or the legal guardian of an individual, have the human right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention and make a voluntary decision without being harassed or coerced by anyone. 8 The informed consent principle protects individuals in every society from exploitation by those in positions of power in medicine, government and industry. 9, 10, 11

The proposed Washington state bill makes it easier for doctors and other medical personnel to violate an individual’s informed consent rights and discriminate against those filing vaccine exemptions, who may hold different beliefs and values. 12, 13, 14, 15 Informed consent is especially important when it comes to vaccination because doctors and nurses cannot predict ahead of time who will be injured by vaccines. More than $2 billion dollars has been awarded by the U.S. Court of Claims 16 to compensate vaccine victims, mostly children, whose doctors did not know they would suffer brain inflammation, immune dysregulation and become permanently disabled or even die after vaccination. 17, 18, 19

Co-sponsors of the new Washington state vaccine law do not acknowledge in the bill that there is already a federal law in place since 1986, 20, 21 which legally requires doctors, nurses and all vaccine providers to: 

  1. Give parents vaccine benefit and risk information before vaccination takes place;
  2. Record serious health problems, including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths, after vaccination in the child’s permanent medical records;
  3. Report serious health problems after vaccination 22 to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS); 23 and
  4. Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given, including the manufacturer’s name and lot number.

Unfortunately, today most vaccine providers do not obey these important federal law requirements. So if the goal of the new law is to educate parents about vaccination, it should simply state that all vaccine providers are legally required to give every parent Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) produced by the Centers for Disease Control, 24 which also contain information about reporting vaccine reactions and the federal vaccine injury compensation program.

If you are a Washington State resident and do not want to lose your right to file a religious or personal belief exemption to vaccination without getting the signature of a doctor or nurse, you need take action TODAY.

Sign up for NVIC's Advocacy Portal and learn how to take action and make your voice heard. No matter what state you live in, please join forces now with the oldest, largest, and most experienced vaccine safety and informed consent organization, the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center, 25, 26 and fight for your freedom to make voluntary vaccine choices in America.

If it can happen in Washington state, it can happen in your state. Defend your informed consent rights.

Please forward the public service announcement linked to the end of this commentary to everyone you know about how to join NVIC’s Advocacy Portal.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

Click here to watch NVIC’s Advocacy Portal Public Service Announcement.

 

References


1 Washington State Legislature. House Bill 1015 and Senate Bill

2The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986  (PL 99-660). Subpart C - Assuring a Safer Childhood Vaccination Program in the United States (300 aa 25-28): Recording and reporting of information; vaccine information; mandate for safer childhood vaccines; manufacturer recordkeeping and reporting.

3 Washington State House of Representatives, Office of Program Research. Bill Analysis (HB1015) Health Care & Wellness Committee. January 11, 2011.

4 Washington State Vaccine Requirements

5 United States Constitution, First Amendment.

6 Flanagan-Klygis EA, Sharp L, Frader JE. Dismissing the Family Who Refuses Vaccines. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005; 159:929-934

7 University of Washington School of Medicine. Ethics in Medicine: Informed Consent.

8 Doyal L. Good clinical practice and informed consent are inseparable. Heart 2002; 87(2): 103-105.

9 Encyclopedia of Virginia. Buck v. Bell (1927).

10 Seidelman WE. Nuremberg lamentation: for the forgotten victims of medical science. British Medical Journal 1996; 313: 1463-7.

11 Annas GJ. Globalization of Clinical Trials and Informed Consent. N Eng J Med 2009; 360:2050-2053.

12 ACLU. 2009. NYCLU Urges Public Education and Voluntary Vaccine for H1N1 Flu, Warns Vaccine Mandate Violates Privacy Rights. Testimony by Donna Lieberman

13 Offit, P.  Mandating Influenza Vaccine: One Hospital’s Experience. Medscape 2010.

14 Sullivan PL. 2010. Influenza Vaccination in HealthCare Workers: Should It Be Mandatory? Journal of Issues in Nursing. 

15 Evans G, Bostrom A, Johnston RB, Fisher BL, Stoto MA, editors. Risk Communication and Vaccination: Summary of a Workshop. Institute of Medicine, National Academies Press 1997.

16 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Statistics Report (January 3, 2011).

17 Waldenbuerg WS, Wallace SE. When Science is Silent: Examining Compensation of Vaccine-Related Injuries When Scientific Evidence of Causation is Inconclusive. Wake Forest Law Review 2007; 42: 303-331.

18 Poling J, Poling T. Letters: Vaccines, Autism and Our Daughter, Hannah. New York Times April 15, 2008.

19 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Vaccine Injury Table.

20 See Reference #1

21 National Vaccine Information Center. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

22 MedAlerts.org: Online Access to the U.S. Government’s VAERS Data

23 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

24 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control: Vaccine Information Statements

25 National Vaccine Information Center. About Us.

26 In the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States: Bruesewitz v. Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Lederle Laboratories. Petition of Amici Curiae National Vaccine Information Center, it’s co-founders and 11 other organizations in support of Petitioners.

Posted: 2/13/2011 10:37:10 AM | with 28 comments





  
Comments
Damien McKenna
Reading the two bills, the only changes appear to be: a) changing the signor's requirement from being a physician to either a physician, a naturopath, a physician assistant or an advanced registered nurse practitioner, and b) requiring a physical signature from one of the above. There's nothing about how often a signature is required, there's nothing about denying people religious freedom or requiring people who are obtaining exemption on religious grounds needing to instead see a doctor, neither of the bills change how that works.
2/14/2011 1:12:21 PM
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Suzie
The treating physician should not be required to sign off for parents who chose for either religious or personal beliefs. It should be the informed decision of the parent wether or not to vaccinate.
2/14/2011 1:32:43 PM
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Stacy Fox
Let us continue to have the freedom of choice
2/14/2011 1:54:06 PM
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Tbug
Damien...please read all the Bill documents including the digests.

"SB 5005 - DIGEST Expands requirements for exempting a child from certain
immunizations."

Now what does "expands requirements" really mean?

It means "reduce exemptions" and parental rights along with that!

Always a good idea when reviewing any legalise to word spin it the opposite way in order to understand the true meaning. ;)
2/14/2011 2:28:23 PM
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Nancy
Damien,

We currently have the freedom of choice to vaccinate or not. This bill infringes on that right by making us jump through hoops, spend money and waste time listening to a doctor give a one sided spiel on vaccines. I actually have a brain and have done a great deal of research on vaccine pros and cons and am quite informed on my own, don’t need a doctor to tell me how to think.

This bill is “the boiling frog” that will remove our right to freedom of choice with whether we want to vaccinate or not. This is a very dangerous bill from that perspective. This bill is for people who are not capable of thinking for themselves and want the government to do their thinking for them. This bill should never go through.
2/14/2011 2:45:01 PM
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Dawn Richardson
Unfortunately, HB1015 and SB5005 do seek to make it more difficult for parents to utilize existing philosophical/conscientious or religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws by requiring parents to obtain a signed statement from a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, naturopath or nurse practitioner that the parents were provided information about the benefits and risks of "immunization".
HB1015 and SB5005 should be defeated for a number of reasons (which are all included in the action alert relating to this bill posted on our NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org.) Some of the primary problems created by these bills are that they require a parent using a religious or philosophical exemption to enter into a private contractual paid relationship with a health care practitioner that may hold conflicting and contentious views on vaccination in order to request that their exemption form be signed to make it valid under this proposed law, but because there is no requirement that forces the health care practitioner to follow through and provide education or sign the exemption form upon request from the parent, this puts the health care practitioner in the position of judging the validity of and having the final approval of parental religious or conscientious beliefs. This is morally wrong and violates the First Amendment rights of parents.
2/14/2011 2:57:48 PM
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AJ
The us goverment needs the same treatment as the Egyption goverment got. To much dictatorship in the USA!!! I for one want all my freedoms back!!! United we stand, divided we fall.

AJ.
2/14/2011 3:11:28 PM
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Lowell
It is time for the truth to be known about all vaccines, and in a way that parents have the information that gives them the tools to make informed choices. Mandating vaccines is unconstitutional, and violates the right to choice about what you put in your childs body. The science proving safety and effectiveness of vaccines clearly is not there. Until it is, all people have the right to properly informed choice. Not allowing for excemptions is something we can not tolerate in a free country, because it as well flies in the face of everything this country stands for, and has fought for.
2/14/2011 6:57:16 PM
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Camille
While I am a strong advocate for allowing parents to make all decisions for their children without governmental control, I'm not sure how these bills will infringe on any benefits not already infringed upon by the law. As I read both bills - I have to agree with Damien that it appears the only change is the medical personnel that can sign the forms that are already required by law to be signed. It still says parents/guardians can sign the 'certificate' for religious/personal exemption. Am I missing something?
2/15/2011 9:55:50 AM
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Camille
Okay...forget my last comment. I just finished reading http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/1015%20HBR%20APH%2011.pdf and this seems to say while I would still have right to sign the certification for my child - I would still have to have a health care provider to sign the form stating that they have shared with me the importance of vaccinating. Grrr.
2/15/2011 10:06:40 AM
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David Prehoda
Let us continue to have our freedom of choice
2/15/2011 12:13:18 PM
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SusanTX
Damien,
What planet do U live on? U said "
We currently have the freedom of choice to vaccinate or not." This is not true. Nurses and DR R being force to take vaccines or lose our jobs. I am a healthy nurse that hardly ever gets sick. Why put toxins in my body to add diseases or kill me!
2/15/2011 6:35:12 PM
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Alisa
The email I just received from my state senator was NOT encouraging:

Dear Alisa,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Senate Bill 5005 and its companion, House Bill 1015, pertaining to exemptions from immunization. I appreciate your input.

Senate Bill 5005 passed out of the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care on January 9th and was placed on second reading by the Senate Rules Committee. It is currently awaiting further action.

House Bill 1015 passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 75-18 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care. It, too, is awaiting further action.

If you are interested in tracking the progress of these bills, please visit the legislative website (www.leg.wa.gov).

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts; I will certainly keep them in mind. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,
Senator Doug Ericksen
2/15/2011 7:08:29 PM
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Amy Phair
I live in Australia and it is the same here already, we have to have a form signed and approved by doctors and we have to sit and listen to an angry berating lecture about vaccines before they will sign it. Our doc still hasn't signed ours :(
2/16/2011 6:37:06 PM
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Faye Shipman
This is just wrong! we are waiting till our son is 2 before we start giving him vaccines. I want to know everything about them before they put it in my son, and to not give the parents of their own child the rights to say what their child will be given is immoral. I really pray this law does not get passed, thats just taking away our right to do what we thinks best for our children.
2/18/2011 12:34:26 PM
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Borat the Patriot
Bottom line is that we (as a society) need to get GOVERNMENT and INSURANCE BUSINESSES OUT of the medical care industry, period! Government officials are NOT qualified to make decisions that affect our health & medical welfare. That decision belongs between doctors and patients. After all - It's OUR money. When the lucrative profit is gone from the Medical Industry - then Government and Insurers will decide it's NOT worth their time. (remove the money and the problem of greed and corruption declines dramatically). The OLD system of FEE for SERVICE worked for centuries and there were NO MIDDLEMEN/WOMEN to siphon off our dollars or what we had to barter. Its time we take a 'step back' to our future. We'll all (sans the insurance industry and government bureaucrats) benefit.
The rest of the world is beginning to peacefully REVOLT against Oppressive Government practices. We should not rule that out as an alternative here.
That's why AMERICA was formed in the first place! I place my trust in GOD (not GOVERNMENT and (as I age) I certainly don't trust the insurance business to decide upon my level of health care - read: 'death squad').
2/21/2011 1:59:57 PM
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Lisa
I am threatened annually with loss of employment for refusing vaccines. These bills threaten not only parents, but everyone who wants to refuse a vaccination. It forces refusers to pay for a service they do not want, just like the mandate to purchase health insurance. It forces us to participate in a corrupt and unaccountable system.

It's boiling down to forced medication, just like fluoridated drinking water. A nation of guinea pigs, forced to purchase our own deaths (or injury or potential injury) and thank the merchants for the privilege.

The human immune system works pretty well most of the time and it's free. A few vaccines are worth the risk and the rest are just cash cows for the vaccine industry and the distribution system. Follow the money. It is NOT anyone's patriotic duty to remain 100% disease free. For all the money that is spent on making, marketing and distributing vaccines, alot of more pressing problems could be addressed. Like the 100,000 annual deaths from MEDICAL ERRORS.

Improve education or nutrition. Provide adequate shelter for thousands of homeless. Create some job. Move some money out of the coffers of the medical-industrial complex and into the budgets of people who need some concrete, measurable results.

If we don't start saying NO to all the vaccine mandates, when will they stop? Schoolchildren already are required to get more shots than puppies...
2/21/2011 2:25:52 PM
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Kay
This passed, right? A school nurse called and told me. Now I hope my doctor will sign or I guess we're out of luck for public school. Sigh.
3/8/2011 9:40:16 PM
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Jaime
We are loosing our rights and we don't even know it. I have faith that America will wake up and peacefully protest our rights back and we can then be a truly free country. Until then I will be homeschooling my son vaccine free : )
3/15/2011 2:39:15 AM
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Ann
The House Committee was supposed to vote today on whether or not to send SB5005 to the floor for a vote. Does anyone know how the vote went? March 17 the Senate is reviewing the House version HB1015 and is open for testimony.
3/16/2011 2:09:13 PM
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Noah
This passed on March 25th and goes into effect 90 days after adjournment of the session.
3/28/2011 4:39:25 PM
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Chris
I have heard that the Governor has signed this bill...
5/11/2011 11:43:24 AM
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Lene
yes... she signed this bill... I believe there's lots we can still do about it. It must be challenged in court since we will be reqiured to talk to doctor about our religious or personal belives which is un-constitutional.
5/11/2011 10:27:31 PM
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Karen
Hmmm... I am just now finding out about this new bill.

My son will be 18 at the end of May. We have to submit a waiver for his college which he starts in Sept.

He has never been vaccinated for anything. His brain functions beautifully and he has always bounced back after any illness. We have heard of other children who seemed to change after being vaccinated and some who even died. Vaccination is very scary and the Dr. is exempt from any liability if you sign the permission form to give the vaccine.

We don't go to Drs. since my son was almost killed by one when he was 5 months old so don't have anyone to sign off on this form. It just looks like another way for the medical/pharmaceutical communities to get money to me. We are also not religious so can't use that for an out. We just choose not to vaccinate.

This is all very disturbing. I would like to know how to get this decision changed.
5/18/2011 2:08:13 AM
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Paul Arthur
@Karen and all interested in this and other bills. I suggest you go to www.NVICAdvocacy.org and register for your State to discuss strategy with your neighbors. Think globally but act locally!
5/18/2011 7:48:56 AM
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Karen
Thank you Paul. :)
5/20/2011 2:11:31 AM
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Misty
This is not right! What happens if parents can't get a doctor to sign the waiver. It's not right that we have to pay to go the the doctors and be belittled and laughed at just to try to get their permission for something that should be up to us parents. We have all done our research already and don't need to be told AGAIN what the risks and benefits are. It wont be long before we are forced to vaccinate. Thanks a lot Governor Gregoire.
6/2/2011 10:12:33 PM
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Tim
Doctors are no longer doctors they do not look for cures but rather are just paid to push big prescription drugs onto the population, We are being attacked from all sides our health mandated laws that are unconstitutional, our food all the preservatives they lobby for to get put in the food we eat, and just lately NDAA National Defense Authorization Act giving government the right to arrest us us citizens and put away for life no hearing judge or jury.We are heading in the wrong direction.
1/18/2012 11:53:01 AM
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