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Is It Ethical for a Medical Practice to Dismiss a Family Based on Their Decision Not to Have Their Child Immunized?

Nulty, Dorothy MSN, FNP

JONA’S Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation: October/December 2011 - Volume 13 - Issue 4 - p 122–124
doi: 10.1097/NHL.0b013e31823a61e5

ABSTRACT The parents’ decision not to have their child immunized stirs up much controversy in the public sector and in the healthcare arena. Much debate surrounds not just the parents’ choice but also the practitioner’s decision to refuse care based on their refusal. This article presents a common and increasing scenario faced in pediatric practices and explores the ethical implications that it poses for the healthcare provider.

Author Affiliation: College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Correspondence: Dorothy Nulty, MSN, FNP, College of Nursing, University of South Florida, 12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd, MDC22, Tampa, FL 33612-4766 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.