Is it legal for a pediatrician to withhold vaccinations without notifying the parent?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2019

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Is it legal for a pediatrician to withhold vaccinations without notifying the parent?

I just found out that my son’s pediatrician hasn’t given him all of his vaccines because they

Asked on January 4, 2019 under Malpractice Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is likely a violation of medical or professional ethics to withhold vaccines without notifying the child's parents: they did not provide the expected level of medical care; they did not get informed consent from you as to what they were doing. You could file a complaint with the state office that licenses doctors. But there is no legal action you could bring unless you can demonstrate an actual (not merely possible or theoretical) harm that you son suffered from this, since malpractice suits and other civil legal actions provide compensation for harm suffered: therefore, no harm, no case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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