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father will not get child vaccinated
May 30, 2005

I have a family member who has been diagnosed with a type of Hepatitis, but I'm not sure what kind it is. I do know from reading up on it, it sounds like C or B or autoimmune. This Father has had this for about 5 months, and will not take his 16 year old daughter to the Doctor. The child has not even been tested, yet she is going to school and working after school. The child has called me complaining of being tired, and having a rash occassionaly. I want to intervene since it is family,..but Im turned away.

Should I call family services?

This child could be very sick living in the household, and is it possible the child could be a carrier to infect other children at school not to mention the child getting sick or sicker? Im at my wits end trying to get this child the correct medical help they deserve. Should I call family services?

I'm very serious.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Conway

This is a very difficult question to answer. Some people think that it is only if a mior is being physically harmed or abused that authorities should be contacted. If it is true that a minor is being put at health risk, there is also a duty to report this. Whether this represents such a situation is for you to decide.

As a health care practitioner, though, I would offer the advice that if a situation such as this is reported to me and it turns out that there is no problem, the issue is quickly resolved without negative feelings and everyone is happy and relieved. I and others have lived through situations where a report was not made, and there was a bad outcome.

I am sure that you will make the right decision for all concerned.

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