NYVIC (New Yorkers for Vaccination Information and Choice)


Letter to NY State Senator Urging Passage of Vaccination/Patient Rights Bills

Dear Senator _ _ _ _,

I urge you to sponsor and support the "Vaccination Religious Exemption" bill (S.4693) and the "Vaccination Physician Prevail" (S. 4692) bill, recently introduced by State Senator Frank Padavan and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Dick Gottfried.

The "Religious Exemption" amendment would assure that individuals (usually parents/guardians on behalf of their school age children), when claiming their legal right to a religious exemption from mandated vaccination, are not subjected to interrogations into their personal religious beliefs and practices by local school authorities. There have been numerous instances in which authorities, in fact, do subject law abiding citizens to just such outrageous intrusions while seeking to validate that their beliefs are "sincere," including accessing family medical records. A rather shocking example of this can be seen in the lengthy questionnaire a Rockland county school superintendent has been subjecting parents to. It can be read at http://nyvic.org/nyvic/law/2005/31questions.htm.

What is ironic is that, while not wishing to over generalize, these parents reportedly have healthier children, owing to the seriousness with which they accept THEIR responsibility to ensure that their children are kept healthy not only by prayers and practices, but by proper nourishment and nurturing because they have chosen a sacred and spiritual commitment.

The "Physician Prevail" bill seeks to solidify the doctor/patient relationship regarding medical exemptions to vaccinations. As the bill's memo puts it: A patient's physician or nurse practitioner is in the best position to decide if a vaccination or vaccinations should not be administered to the patient. Government agencies should defer to these professional judgments.

Neither amendment would concern more than a tiny fraction of the population and are unlikely to affect immunization rates at all. Finally, and more importantly, both bills are sensible, fair and restore rights and freedoms that make America the great country that it is.

The full text of the Senate versions of the bills are at:
"Religious Exemption" bill - http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S04693&sh=t
"Physician Prevail" bill - http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S04692&sh=t

Please sponsor and support this legislation. I look forward to your reply. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Frank Fitzgerald

P.S. I am active supporter of New Yorkers for Vaccination Information and Choice (NYVIC). Additional information about these bills may be found at http://nyvic.org/nyvic/law/2005/default.htm.

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