June 25, 2001
Hon. Juan Vargas
Re: AB 182, Hepatitis A Vaccination
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons would like to state its opposition to this measure.
AAPS was founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine, which is based on traditional medical ethics and the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. It is a nationwide organization representing physicians of all specialties.
Under the Oath of Hippocrates, physicians promise to "do no harm to anyone," and also to "prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment."
At its annual meeting in St. Louis last year, our general assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing vaccine mandates. Such mandates are contrary to the Oath of Hippocrates, as they force a one-size-fits-all regimen on all patients, regardless of their individual circumstances, and may do harm.
All medical interventions, including vaccination, have adverse effects. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that some vaccines can have very severe adverse consequences to some patients, including death, outweighing any conceivable benefit. Vaccine safety research is surprisingly limited.
We believe that vaccines should be offered, along with the best possible information as to quantitative risks and benefits, including disclosure of the limitations of safety research. Parents have the right to know how many children were included in the trials, how long they were followed, and what outcomes measures were used. Parents should give fully informed consent, free of any coercion.
California Vaccine Awareness has provided a list of questions and concerns that deserve your serious consideration. You have a very heavy responsibility to make a prudent decision on this legislation, which will affect the health of millions of your young constituents.
Please feel free to call if you have any questions or I can be of any assistance.
Jane M. Orient, M.D., F.A.C.P.