Richard Pan Breaks Another Promise
Had Expressly Stated He Wouldn't Interfere with Doctor-Patient Relationship
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - State Senator Richard Pan, the author of SB 277, a law that requires kindergartners to get twenty-seven different doses of medication and fifteen different shots or forego a public education, has introduced SB 276, a bill that would require government permission for a doctor to opine that certain vaccines could harm a patient. This is an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship, likely violates doctor's free-speech rights, and contradicts Pan's own public promises from just a few years ago.
Pan has claimed there is a problem with “medical exemptions” – i.e., official opinions by a doctor that if a child is vaccinated, that child could suffer harm. Medical exemptions are extremely rare, and doctors grant them only if a child or a family member suffers from things like a debilitating disease (such as leukemia), or if a child or a family member had a well-documented negative reaction to a vaccine or one of its ingredients. Just 0.7% of students obtain such an exemption, up from 0.2% before the passage of SB 277, a change that is not statistically significant. The total number of children exempt from the state’s vaccine requirements (i.e., including those 1.1% exempt due to disabilities) has actually dropped since the passage of SB 277, going from 2.6% to 1.9%, indicating that Pan’s plan is a solution in search of a problem.
Pan's legislation would require doctors to get permission from a government department -- the state Department of Public Health, before issuing an opinion for a patient on this issue. Such interference in the doctor-patient relationship is unprecedented, and the only analogous laws have been in state's requiring state approval of abortions -- something that has been universally deemed improper.
Pan’s planned attempt to crack down on doctors would almost certainly get in the way of a doctor making an evaluation based on empirical, scientific evidence. “Imagine being the parents of a child who the federal government concluded was injured because of a condition that made them susceptible to vaccines, and then your family doctor tells you she is too terrified to exempt your younger child from those same vaccines, because the thought police might take her license,” said Christina Hildebrand, President and Founder of A Voice for Choice Advocacy, a non-profit that advocates for medical freedom. “I can’t imagine what good would come from the government regulating a doctor’s free will to diagnose as he sees fit – it starts to resemble regulation of free speech,” Hildebrand concluded.
Pan, a politician representing the Sacramento region, is a regular beneficiary of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, averaging just shy of $100,000 from it every legislative session. He is the top recipient of such funds in the state legislature, and the pharmaceutical industry, in turn, is his largest contributor.
“Any legislation or action on behalf of drugmakers that interferes with a doctor’s individual judgment will be hotly contested,” said Hildebrand. “We cannot let government determine what is in the best interests of any individual, overriding the doctor-patient relationship. Every doctor and patient in the state should be alarmed if such action is brought forward. If this can be done with vaccinations, what medical treatment will be next? Patients need to be able to trust their doctors and not worry that they are being pressured or worried that their honest, scientifically based medical judgement will be overruled by a legislatively appointed official who has never met them.”
For more information see: WWW.AVOICEFORCHOICEADVOCACY.ORG