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News of the Day ... in Perspective


AMA advocates overturning religious exemption to mandatory vaccines.

The official AMA resolution H-440.970 states that state medical associations should "seek removal" of religious and philosophical exemptions from "statutes requiring mandatory immunizations"ľa position that will be applauded by the pharmaceutical industry, from which the AMA receives substantial revenue.

Forty-eight states now allow religious exemptions, and Texas just became the 19th to allow philosophical exemptions. The Texas legislation was supported by groups advocating for parental rights.

Although rarely invoked, the religious exemption does allow dissent to continue concerning vaccination and may even facilitate some studies of vaccine effects because of the persistence of an unvaccinated control group.

In stark contrast to the AMA, AAPS takes the position that patients have the right to refuse medical treatment, including vaccination, and that physicians should make recommendations based on the risks and benefits to each individual patient rather than relying solely upon pronouncements by elite committees. Such committees are frequently compromised by conflicts of interest and cannot consider individual needs and values.

Additional information:

The AMA position on vaccines:
Vaccine-exempt law expands

Religious Exemptions from Immunizations

The AAPS position on vaccines:
Resolution passed at 2000 annual meeting

Vaccine information:

Study shows that odds of developing multiple sclerosis are three times as great in patients who have received hepatitis b vaccine: Neurology 2004;63:838-842.

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