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Old 06-20-2008, 07:56 AM   #1
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Unhappy Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes -- UPDATE in OP

Yesterday, Gavin went to his 12 month wellness check-up. We've been going to this pediatrican office for a few years now, and I really like most of the doctors. Occassionally, I run across one I don't see eye-to-eye with, as was the case yesterday. The check up itself didn't go wonderful as the doctor was very critical of our life-style choices (we are vegetarian, cloth diapering, anti-circumcision, etc etc)...but I tried not to let it bother me.

When the topic of vaccines arose, I told her, I was going to do the MMR and the Hep, but NOT the chickenpox. She asked why, and I explained, that we've been staggering our vaxes to ensure our children don't get too many vaxes at each appointment. I told her that although we believe it's important to vaxine, we have just been taking approaching it with a slower time line (especially in the infant months). Gavin had been all caught up at this point.

She asked why I didn't want the chickenpox, and I explained for several reasons : 1) not sure we wanted it administered before they start school since I don't know that the evidence and ethical concerns warrent giving it to children so young. and 2) I know some children get a mild case of chicken pox after receiving the vaccine, and I wasn't willing to have that this summer. I am going to be cross country next week and unable to care for him, and our insurance is changing over next month and we will be without wellness care (emergency care only) for 30 days. The doctor gave me enough feedback that I felt she not only understood my decision factors, but agreed we should wait. She left saying, "ok, so no chickenpox vax today."

In comes the nurse to give the vaxes, and Gavin is screaming and tired. She didn't review the vaxes she was administering (which is a step that nurse always takes), so just started giving them to him. I looked down and counted three needles and knew there should only be two, so I said, "wait, stop, you know he's not getting the chicken pox vax, right?" She looks and said, "yeah he is, I just gave it to him." I uttered a couple curse words and said that he wasn't supposed to get that today...she said "noone told me, so it's not my fault. No one has a problem with this vax anyway." I was fuming

Now, I understand people are human and make mistakes. I am guessing the dr didn't communicate well with the nurse. This nurse always rolls her eyes and expresses more opinions about my delayed vax schedule than I like, but it's quite likely she didn't know she wasn't supposed to give the chickenpox. She's not my favorite nurse, but I find it hard to believe she would have done that on purpose.

Still...I am fuming. I feel violated and that my son's health was compromised. I want to write them a letter to have it on file that the vax was given against my wishes. I need this documented for two reasons 1) I am upset and feel my rights as a mother weren't respected and 2) if Gavin does get a case of chickenpox while we are without wellness care insurance, and I need to take him into the dr office, I don't want to be responsible for paying for the office visit out of pocket. I feel a letter would provide some level of documentation if things go wrong.

Every time I sit down to write this letter, I am too emotionally overwhelmed and angry to write anything that sounds mature and well composed. Can you all give me some wording ideas?

Thanks for listening/reading....

ROUGH DRAFT OF LETTER IN POST #13

UPDATE:

The doctor just called me and didn't come out and say "sorry" per say, but gave me enough satisfaction that it was a mistake and she spent a pretty long time telling me that the protocol is changing in the office for the administering of vaccines...I guess new protocal had been implemented in the other office, but theirs had been "lax" about it. It's recorded in Gavin's record, etc etc.

So, I am satisfied for now, Gavin's not sick yet...they did what I asked -- aknowledged the mistake and assured me it won't happen again with the new protocal...still irks me, but I feel a little better about it now. Now, if he gets chicken pox...

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Last edited by aidensmommy; 06-23-2008 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

Wow, I am so sorry! I think the words you used "violated and compromised" express it exactly right. Although I have chosen to vax on schedule (well, one behind as I homebirth), I can't imagine having my Ped's office be so cavalier about it.

I would definitely express the fact that your nurse was not apologetic but rather defensive. Although it may have been an honest (albeit careless) mistake, an apology was definitely merited!

I would start looking for a new Ped office where you have providers who encourage and support you!
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

Oh momma i ould be fuming too! I probly wouldve talked to head of managment immediatly after the incident! I would still call and talk to someone as well, that nurse and doc were not doing there job by communicating which is REALLY important!!! That is how some kids get the wrong meds, vaxs, treatments that could be extremely harmfull or fatel!! I personally would talk with some one face to face, write a few letters as well of you get no response and document this on a calander starting from the date of the administered vax. State in the letter the exact conversation to the best of your knowledge and the steps that were taken in the office as well as the nurses coments.
It is important they are having top notch communication fo rthe sake of our children! SS this had to happen momma! GOOD LUCK!
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:27 AM   #4
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

I don't have the time to help with the letter but I would be SO mad and I think you have to sign before theygive the vax s if you didn't I think may be reprucussions on their part--

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Old 06-20-2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

I am still working on the letter -- do you think I should reiterate my reasons why I didn't want the vax, or should I just focus on the fact it was given against my wishes? I am thinking the more succint the letter the better? but, I am not sure.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:35 AM   #6
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

I would state very strongly that you did not give CONSENT for the vaccine!
Consent is required for vaccines to be administered!
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

As far as a letter goes, I don't think your reasons are the important part - I think the fact that they did something you SPECIFICALLY said NOT to do, *after* the doctor had confirmed that she understood your not wanting it, is what I'd focus on. That and the fact that the nurse didn't apologize - whether she was told or not, she still should have apologized!
I'd be ticked, mama.. SS
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:38 AM   #8
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

Just focus on the fact that it was given without consent.

The nurse may not have been told by the DR but they are supposed to review the forms to make sure they are giving only what they're supposed to be so she IS the one in the wrong here. I'd be filing a formal complaint against her liscencing board.

All 3 of my kids have had wild CP. Not one needed medical care during that time, very few people do so I wouldn't worry about not having the insurance. I'd still be on the lookout for wild CP as they'll try giving a booster before school.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:47 AM   #9
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

I would not address the letter "to whom it may concern". Make some calls and find out who the head of public relations is and who the regional president and vice presidents are.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: Our ped gave DS a vaccine against my wishes, pls help me draft a letter (long)

See, this is where I am torn. I don't like this nurse very much, but she still is human, and humans make mistakes. I think her personality rubs me wrong, but it's also quite clear her workload at that office is incredible...her un-charming personality aside, she's still usually good with the kids and keeps the office running smoothly. I fear that filing anything with the licensing board could almost be malicious -- I mean that could cost her her job, right? I just hate to spread negative actions into this world.

At the same time, when I write this letter, my hands start shaking, I am so upset. I agree that chickenpox for a 1 year old, if heaven forbids he actually get them probably wouldn't need a dr visit -- BUT, my three year old doesn't have the vaccine, so I wonder if he would get them too now....and I don't think my DH ever had chicken pox as a child. Poor DH is watching both boys and our puppy for three nights when I am in CA for a friend's wedding...he's already stressed, we don't need chicken pox added to the mix.
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They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.
You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you."
-- Kahlil Gibran
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