Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Informed Consent and Vaccines


Oregon is changing its policy for vaccine exemptions, but only by requiring parents to be informed about the risks they are dealing with.

Vaccines are not 100% effective and doctors do not pretend that vaccines are 100% effective, but anti-vaccine propagandists claim that nobody is endangered when they do not vaccinate their children.

That claim is a lie.

There will always be some people for whom the vaccine is not effective. These children are endangered by unvaccinated children transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases.

There will always be people who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons. Cancer patients are just one example of a large group of people endangered by unvaccinated children transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases.

Proponents point to the current 6.4 percent of Oregon kindergartners whose parents exempted them on religious grounds from at least one vaccination this year — the highest rate in the nation and one that has increased steadily over the past decade.[1]


Image credit. Click on images to make them larger.


This is measles, but the same is true of other vaccine-preventable diseases. They have been increasing since Andrew Wakefield tried to discredit the MMR vaccine in order to sell his own competing vaccine.

Vaccine-preventable diseases are not good for children.

Opponents of the bill claim that this is discrimination against religious people because the exemption waiver states that the child is not vaccinating for religious reasons.

This is also a lie.

While the waiver does state that it is for religious reasons, the anti-vaccine propagandists have encouraged their followers to claim that they have religious objections. This does nothing to prevent parents with religious reasons for refusing vaccination for their children from continuing to refuse vaccination for their children.

There is no current requirement that parents know anything about vaccines before preventing their children from being vaccinated. this bill would require that they receive accurate information from an online video or receive information from a doctor before preventing their children from being vaccinated.

Parents will still have the option of receiving inaccurate information about vaccines from the few anti-vaccine doctors out there, like Dr. Jay Gordon,[2] an anti-vaccine propagandist. They will still be able to have their biases reinforced by an anti-vaccine doctor. Yes, the terms anti-vaccine and doctor do indicate a lack of understanding of medicine.

Sen. Doug Whitsett of Klamath Falls said he personally believes vaccination is “the right thing to do.”

But “who are we to tell the parents of children that they must vaccinate … their children? Where do we get that right?” he asked.[1]


That is suggesting that the bill would force vaccination, which is not true, but why should we expect truth from politicians?

Informed consent is the standard of care and this bill is attempting to present parents with accurate information, rather than the misinformation that anti-vaccine groups use to try to scare parents.

Parents are only trying to do what is best for their children.

We should be helping them to make good decisions based on information that is true.

A similar law implemented in Washington state in 2011 reduced by 25 percent the rate of kindergartners with at least one religious exemption from immunization, officials said.[1]


We are faced with a return of diseases that killed children at the beginning of the last century, but were almost completely eliminated near the end of the century. These diseases are coming back and killing children again, due to the actions of anti-vaccine propagandists.

This is a simple action to help parents protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases.


[1] Vaccine opt-out change advances – Senators vote to require parents who don’t want a child vaccinated to get a science lesson first
By Saul Hubbard
The Register-Guard
Published: 12:00 A.M., June 7

[2] Dr. Jay Gordon’s profound misunderstanding of science
Respectful Insolence
Posted by Orac on February 18, 2011
Respectful Insolence



  1. As a mother of 3, I’ve always been concerned about vaccines, which ones are safe and which ones I should be more concerned about…any advice?