California Legislature Seeks to Remove Private Physicians from Decisions on Medical Vaccine Exemptions, States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

TUCSON, Ariz., March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California has already done away with religious and philosophical exemptions from mandated childhood vaccines, reports the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Now, in SB 276, it proposes to tightly restrict medical exemptions, removing the ability of private physicians to approve medical exemptions based on the circumstances of individual patients. 

If SB 276 passes, all medical exemptions will have to be approved by the State Public Health Officer (or approved designee) and be based on very narrow contraindications specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All requests for medical exemption will have to be tracked in a government database that will include personal and sensitive information. Prior exemptions may be retroactively invalidated.

Like all government restrictions of freedom, this one is claimed to be justified as protecting the public, and measles outbreaks are cited.

“As long as measles exists somewhere in the world, there is a remote chance that a traveler will bring in the virus, and a child will contract measles in the U.S., develop a complication, or die, although the last reported U.S. death from measles was in 2015,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D.

“Giving government officials the authority to override physicians’ judgment about what is best for their individual patients will not eradicate measles,” she stated. “But it will likely not be the last intrusion into the right of patients to make their own decisions about their medical care based on informed consent.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has sent an open letter to California legislators opposing SB 276 and supporting the right to informed consent to medical interventions.           

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. Its motto is “omnia pro aegroto,” or “all for the patient.”

Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110,