🗒 Parents refusing to immunise children

Putting parents and patients at ease with immunisation is a valuable skill. MIPS is well versed in assisting doctors who have faced difficult situations such as when one separated parent wants to vaccinate their child.

Strategies and skills:

Explaining management when treatment is refused

  • Practice patient centred care according to the current and accepted evidence.
  • Consider the likely benefit and potential harm in all clinical decisions.
  • Place the interests and wellbeing of the child first.
  • Ensure patients are well informed (shared decision making) noting the public interest (community at risk of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks) but respecting patient’s rights.
  • Improve the community's understanding and awareness of the National Immunisation Program.
  • Note and advise the increasing restrictions and limitations on the non immunised child including Government policy.
  • Ensure detailed notes are recorded in the medical record.

Patient autonomy

  • Patients have a right to make decisions about their medical care.
  • Healthcare providers can educate the patient but do not make the decision for the patient.

Clinico-legal sequelae of the certifying objection forms

  • Certification of any document may have legal, medical and financial consequences.
  • Generally, the only exception will be a medical exemption (medical contraindication or natural immunity certified by an immunisation provider).
  • Only sign statements you know or reasonably believe are true.
  • Be prepared to verify any certification.

Should members have any queries concerning the above issues please contact MIPS.

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