By Dr. Tenpenny
Parents want to trust their pediatrician. We no longer live in extended families. Moms and grandmas often live far away so when Johnny or Jenna gets sick, instead of consulting with those close to us who know how to take care of sick kids, we confer with our doctor.
Most pediatricians are well-meaning and do what they feel is in the best interest of their little patients. However, when it comes to vaccination, pediatricians often go beyond helpful suggestions; they resort to fear tactics. Parents are told frightening, “worst-case scenario” stories of a child who had serious complications from an illness such as measles, mumps or chickenpox. The children who recovered uneventfully are never mentioned. The pressure to vaccinate escalates each visit and sometimes results in threats. Intimidated into believing that “the doctor knows best,” parents reluctantly give in.
Then, you begin to read articles and books by doctors, including me, who have uncovered problems associated with vaccines. Reports of vaccine dangers are not based on opinion. They represent thousands of hours of research, exposing important facts unfamiliar to most pediatricians. The information tackles mainstream thinking about vaccines head-on with new-found detailed references.
But two sets of divergent, compelling data create a sense of confusion. You spend hours researching both sides of the argument to determine which doctor is telling the truth, which information is correct. You struggle, argue and feel conflicted. Both doctors are convincing. Both speak with authority and present foreign information you grapple to understand. Which guidelines should you follow? Which doctor should you trust?