Lance Thurman: As a father, I have many questions about my wife and her refusal to

My wife does not want our kids vaccinated. She is a nurse and believes vaccines are toxic, don’t work and cause autism. I am not happy that she has put our family’s health in jeopardy by unvaccinated children. If our son gets sick and we need the primary care, I am concerned the nurse could take an “OK to treat” certificate from our son and pass it off to a colleague.

Let’s say your son gets sick.

How can I get help treating my son if my wife will not get vaccinated?

I feel like the parents of kids who don’t get vaccinations should be held accountable for not following medical recommendations.

Seriously, though, is putting your kid at risk to work at a health care facility that doesn’t vaccinate even worth it?

I see two issues.

This isn’t about which “way” you go, it’s about being responsible about my son’s health.

My wife tells me it isn’t really my place to interject when she thinks I’m putting our son’s health at risk.

“I am doing the best I can to try to get my kids all the vaccinations they need, and keeping me out of this health care is fair punishment for not being vaccinated,” she says.

It may seem reasonable. I’m no clinical nurse, but I can tell you from experience that if I didn’t do my job, my wife or kids could get sick and be put in danger.

What I’m saying is: She can’t blame me for her decision. This was her choice.

I agree that getting your kids all the vaccinations they need is the best course. But that’s my job. In this case, she can’t pick and choose which family members she wants to immunize and which she doesn’t.

This is like setting the family restaurant’s prices based on the individual preferences of the patrons. If you don’t eat at a certain restaurant, you shouldn’t expect to pay the same price as someone who does. Your family shouldn’t be dependent on the advice of one individual to help them make a decision that has far-reaching consequences.

This problem has turned up a number of times on my job, and it’s usually a nurse who decides that I can’t be on-site or share the responsibility of vaccinating children who might otherwise show up sick.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where we can work together. For example, when I set the vaccination schedule for a hospital and the community health nurses have to make tough decisions about whether to treat children who go to a pediatrician and are too sick to go elsewhere, they can handle those difficult cases in more controlled circumstances.

In most cases, though, it’s not just me versus my wife and who gets their child vaccinated. In these cases, kids who are too sick to be vaccinated end up not getting medical attention. That means a lot of children are going untreated, their parents probably won’t even know they’re sick, and our country loses $8 billion each year in unplanned hospital visits.

Have you heard about this new kid disease?

As a father, I have many questions. Is it even a concern? What is the danger to my son? How would he fare in the long run? I certainly don’t want to hurt my son. It’s just that I am worried about other kids.

Recently, there was a crazy story about how a North Carolina mom made headlines after her toddler stopped breathing after she decided against vaccinating him. The parents later decided to vaccinate him anyway, and now the little boy is “immensely happy and healthy.” The doctors said his vaccination plan worked, they’re glad they were able to keep him from being unvaccinated and I’m delighted he survived.

It makes me angry that this happened. But it’s important to make a distinction: We vaccinate all our kids so that if our kids do get sick, we can take care of them, usually at home, and keep them alive.

It may be an issue we don’t fully understand, but here’s my bottom line: You are responsible for your kids’ health. Even if your wife makes your job difficult, you will get the flu

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