Case Study – Vaccination and Autism

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Kids drawing together.

Case Study – Vaccination and Autism

By Ryan Pferdehirt, D.Bioethics, HEC-C

November 2019





Patient is a 6-year-old female being seen at her family physician. The patient is up-to-date with all of her vaccines, but the patient’s mother is now expressing concerns. The mother is saying that after receiving his one-year vaccines, the patient’s younger sibling (1-year old male) started showing signs of autism. Now, the patient is to receive her latest DTaP, MMR, IPV, and Varicella, but her mother is saying that she thinks she better not. You are their family physician.

Do you allow the mother to refuse the vaccines?

How do you engage with the mother to participate?

If the mother continues to refuse, should you dismiss the family?

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