This story was submitted by Shawna I. Clark:
I brought my son Xavier Pinder for an appointment on May, 7 2012 at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor pediatrics to be seen for a cough he has had for two weeks. Our assigned pediatrician is Dr. Miller and we saw him on this day. When Dr. Miller came into the exam room he asked what was going on with Xavier. I explained to him about the cough, what it sounds like, that it seems to worsen as the day progresses and what over the counter medications I had been using to treat it. Dr. Miller asked me how long this had been going on. I told him that the coughing started as more mild type coughing symptoms that were coupled with a sore throat Xavier had been seen by him for two weeks earlier and that the cough has never gone away.
Dr. Miller had a folder and some papers in his hands that he threw onto the exam table where Xavier was sitting playing a game. He said he wished he would have known about the coughing when he saw Xavier before because now he needed to swab him for pertussis since there was an outbreak. Dr. Miller said that Xavier’s cough could be just a lingering cold or he could have pertussis in which case every time I (speaking to me) have taken Xavier to Walmart and he has coughed all over someone’s infant child I am potentially killing other people’s children.
He asked me to give him a reason why Xavier does not have any vaccinations on record. I told Dr. Miller Xavier has never received a vaccination because I have made a choice as a parent not to vaccinate. I told Dr. Miller that if he had something he felt he needed to inform me about I would listen however I was not going to discuss it or argue with him but I would be agreeable to listen. Dr. Miller asked me if I knew the statistics on how many people die every year from not vaccinating. I told him I did not and that I did not understand what the problem was, that I was doing nothing illegal, and that as a parent it is my choice.
I told Dr. Miller I did not understand why this was such a problem at Navy Hospital and that I was not treated like this elsewhere. Dr. Miller asked me where else I have taken Xavier and I told him nowhere and he told me that was the reason. I told Dr. Miller that I have an older child who does not come to Navy Hospital for treatment who is also not vaccinated and that his doctor treats me with dignity and respect. Dr. Miller asked me to sign a waiver form and I refused. I refused to sign the form because Dr. Miller outlined a list of vaccines on the form with his pen or pencil and said I would be signing that he informed me of the risks of not receiving those vaccinations.