California Pediatrician Bob Sears Breaks Silence on Medical Board Opposition to Vaccine Exemptions
Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Two years ago we covered the story about Dr. Bob Sears in California who faced discipline by the California state Medical Board after he wrote a medical exemption for vaccines on behalf of a 2-year-old patient who experienced adverse reactions from earlier vaccines.
California Dr. Bob Sears Faces Medical Board Discipline for Writing Medical Vaccine ExemptionThis action taken against Dr. Sears happened after the new law in California, SB277, went into effect removing religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccines. After the passage of SB277 in 2015, only a doctor can issue an exemption for vaccines for medical reasons.
Dr. Bob Sears is internationally renown for his stance on parental rights and informed consent, and although he is not anti-vaccine, he does believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to vaccines is misguided, and that the medical needs of his patients need to be taken into consideration regarding vaccines and the spacing of vaccines.
Therefore, the attack on Dr. Sears was generally seen as a political move in California to try and intimidate him and other doctors who write medical exemptions for vaccines for their patients, which is perfectly legal, even after the passage of SB277. California lawmakers are heavily lobbied and influenced by Big Pharma, which would like to see all vaccines mandated for everyone, regardless of medical conditions.
Dr. Sears has broken his silence after 2 years, and he has revealed that there are several other cases the California Medical Board is looking into regarding his medical practice.
Public Statement From Dr. Bob SearsDr. Bob Sears Facebook Page
Patients, friends, and colleagues:
I want to update all of you on the status of the California medical board case against me which began in 2015. For those who don’t know, the board has been investigating me for writing a court opinion letter for a child who had an adverse reaction to vaccines. Recently, instead of proceeding to a trial, the board has offered me a settlement of 35 months probation, and I have accepted. I am at peace with this outcome. Probation means that I will choose a pediatric colleague in the area who will periodically review some of my charts to verify I am, as always, practicing within the standard of care. I will also have to take some extra continuing medical education classes and an ethics course.
Why accept a settlement when I’ve done nothing wrong? The challenge with medical board cases is that even if I win on all aspects of a case, the medical board can still exercise its authority and put me on probation anyway. I win, or lose, a trial before a judge, then the medical board decides the punishment based on how they see the facts. Since it was likely that I’d get probation anyway, I accepted the offer.
All this for a court opinion letter? Medical boards are normally tasked with protecting patients against doctors who do things like sell drugs, see patients while intoxicated, commit insurance fraud, prescribe a wrong drug that ends up hurting a patient. However, this investigation probably came from higher up the chain of command. I picked a fight with a California Legislator, and he has been very vocal about openly working with the medical board to prosecute doctors who excuse patients from their vaccines, regardless of the merits of a case. I signed up for this.
So what really happened, and why should the very existence of this case concern every American? A child and his mother came to me for help. The mom described how her baby had suffered a moderate to severe neurologic reaction to vaccines almost three years prior, and she was afraid a judge in her upcoming hearing was going to force her to resume vaccines now. Medical records of the reaction were not available yet, and I gave the patient a letter of opinion to show the judge that the reaction was severe enough to justify not doing any more vaccines. The board accusation against me states that such a judgement should not be made without medical records. But this patient needed a letter right away. Getting the patient’s medical records ended up taking over a year. Isn’t it my job to listen to my patients and believe what a parent says happened to her baby? Isn’t that what ALL doctors do with their patients? A patient’s word is often the only evidence we have – as doctors we must trust our patients, the same way our patients trust us to look out for their best interest. After all, I don’t want a child to receive a medical treatment that could cause more harm. I am going to first do no harm, every time.
The second detail in this case, and the part which ultimately prompted me to agree to a settlement, is the medical board observed that I did not make complete medical notes of the neurological exam I performed on the child at a second visit. The child came in complaining that he had been hit on the head with a hammer. I checked him out thoroughly, performed a complete neurologic exam, but you know what? I didn’t write down all aspects of the exam. I documented everything else but that one detail.
Is this fight over? No it is not. This was just case number one. The medical board is already lining up four more cases, and these will be about vaccine medical exemptions under the new vaccine law. It seems there is an attempt to keep me on probation for the rest of my medical career. But the one thing I’m going to do differently this time is that I’m going to be very open with all the proceedings. With case one, I was silent. Upon the recommendation of my lawyers I haven’t said a thing until now. But I’m tired of being quiet.
So, case number two involves siblings who got vaccine medical exemptions from me because one of the children has a severe medical condition that research has shown can get worse with ongoing vaccination. The other child doesn’t have the condition, yet, but dad does. Exemption for reasons in a family’s medical history is an amendment guaranteed under SB277. We’ll see if the medical board agrees – probably about two years from now. These things take a long time.
Case number three is a child with a family member who had a severe permanent neurological injury after vaccines.
Case number four is a teen who had a severe reaction to an infant vaccine, her own doctor told her to opt out of that vaccine after that, and I gave her an exemption from the teen booster dose. We’ll see if the board agrees.
Case number five involves siblings to whom I did not give vaccine exemptions to, but a parent somehow reported me to the medical board anyway. I don’t know why yet. Should be interesting.
It alarms me to see any medical board questioning exemptions that are given to families who have suffered severe vaccine reactions. It should alarm everybody. More doctors need to stand up for their patients, especially the ones who are the most vulnerable. I’m going to continue to stand for these children.
Now that case one is settled, I can go back to being loud and proud about my belief that every single patient should receive complete informed consent prior to vaccinations. This two-year period of silence has been tough. I will not rest until every single family has been given access to full, complete, objective, and un-doctored information that makes every parent fully aware of the risks they accept if they don’t vaccinate their child, and all the risks they take if they do vaccinate their child. Period. And I will fight against mandatory vaccination laws until they are no more. When every single person on this planet has access to informed consent, and can make a free choice, I will then be able to say my work is done.
Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support, and your continued prayers.
Thanks to: http://vaccineimpact.com
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