Comments on the AANP
Position Paper on Immunizations
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians position paper on vaccinations advocates "informed consent," "more research," and "parental choice. These may sound legitimate, but the real message is an unbalanced attack on immunization based on delusional philosophy rather than science. The prevailing scientific view is that a few minor problems exist and are being addressed, but the benefits of immunization are so much greater than the risks that immunization should be universal. (In other words, the public health value of immunization is so well established that it would be senseless to debate whether or not it is worthwhile.) In contrast, the AANP position statement exaggerates the risks and suggests that "some" of the current vaccinations are ineffective.
Overview of Naturopathic Medicine and Immunizations
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is a strong proponent of preventive medicine and of the protection of children and adults from the serious consequences of infectious disease. Naturopathic physicians, as primary care providers, are morally obliged and legally mandated to uphold and carry out the public health mandates and should be authorized to administer immunizations in all jurisdictions where naturopathic regulation to do so exists. All physicians are ethically obliged to give parents and legal guardians accurate and current information on both the benefits and risks of childhood immunizations, i.e., parental "informed consent", such as required by the public health clinics of the United States Public Health Service. It is documented that some of the current and past immunizing agents have been associated with significant morbidity and are of variable efficacy and varying necessity.
It is the position of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians that:
This article was revised on April 15, 2019.