MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The following press release was published by the AMA on 16/11/2021. I consider it sufficiently relevant to re-publish it here in full and, as it is entirely self-explanatory, without further comment:

At its Special Meeting today, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates approved a resolution stating that only licensed physicians should determine whether a person should receive a medical exemption from vaccines.

The policy comes in the wake of tens of thousands of people seeking exemptions to state and municipal COVID mandates, contending they have medical reasons for remaining unvaccinated. The new policy states that only licensed physicians should have the medical authority and the power to grant these exemptions.

“Vaccine hesitancy has played an unfortunate role in extending the COVID-19 public emergency. Failing to get vaccinated has resulted in tragic and unnecessary deaths. To protect everyone, we must be sure that a trained, licensed physician is making the judgment on whether a person actually warrants an exemption,” said Willie Underwood III, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., a member of the AMA Board of Trustees.

The definition of “medical authority” varies from state to state, with some states allowing alternative practitioners, such as naturopathic providers, to approve vaccine exemptions. Surveys have shown that naturopathic providers and other alternative medicine providers (such as homeopaths and chiropractors) are less likely to recommend vaccines—or even recommend against vaccines—despite scientific evidence of safety and efficacy.

“State policymakers need to limit the definition to physicians who have the training necessary to recognize a medical condition that prevents a patient from receiving a vaccine,” Dr. Underwood said. “We shouldn’t jeopardize public health by listening to unlicensed and untrained providers.”

The AMA already has policy opposing nonmedical (religious, philosophic, or personal belief) exemptions from immunizations, since such exemptions endanger the health of the unvaccinated individual and the health of the community at large. The AMA supports the immunization recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for all individuals without medical contraindications. It also supports legislation eliminating nonmedical immunization exemptions and encourages state medical associations to seek removal of nonmedical exemptions in states requiring mandatory immunizations.

“One of the unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and misinformation around it is the questioning of vaccine efficacy even though vaccines have nearly wiped out diseases that once plagued us. Physicians must make the argument clearly and loudly based on the science: Vaccines save lives,” Underwood said.

33 Responses to The American Medical Association take a stand against chiropractors, naturopaths, or homeopaths granting medical exemptions to vaccines

  • “There is also a fierce battle raging in the USA over compulsory vaccinations, compulsory masks, lockdowns and other measures that massively restrict people’s basic rights but are at best of dubious use. Both chambers of the Florida Parliament have now passed a law that also bans compulsory vaccinations Florida, like the majority of the US states, relies on reason and observance of civil liberties and fundamental rights. ” tkp
    to neutralize any polemical “ad homeopathum” comments as irrelevant from the outset: I myself am vaccinated twice and just recovered from “breakthrough disease” ….

  • Actually, the way it reads, the AMA is pushing for a forced and mandatory medical procedure and needs to get rid of a loophole.

    Also, the AMA has been consistently loosing members over the past few years/decades. I think currently only around 15% of MDs are members. In the 1950s it had around a 75% membership.

    It would be interesting to see a survey of American MDs views on mandatory vaccinations.

    • They have been losing them, not “loosing ” them.
      Such an annoying and uneducated misspelling.

      But otherwise right. AMA is just a failing trades union, puppy for the Pharma industry.

      • Thanks for pointing that out.

        BTW, this survey reported:

        “…which is most common?” On the list:

        Poor syntax, poor grammar…18%

        Common Reasons for Rejecting Manuscripts at Medical Journals: A Survey of Editors and Peer Reviewers. Science Editor • March – April 2000 • Vol 23 • No 2 • 39

        Shall we claim….“uneducated” authors?

    • It should actually be, AMA is rightfully pushing for barring medically and scientifically incompetent individuals from distributing vaccine exemptions like candy, with utter disregard for health of their patients.

      • Oh, their position goes further…they want to abolish all non-medical exemptions.

        No religious, philosophic, or personal belief exemptions.

        • Non-medical exemptions would be a separate issue. But it seems right to me “that only licensed physicians should determine whether a person should receive a medical exemption from vaccines”.

          • It’s in their press release…

            “The AMA already has policy opposing nonmedical (religious, philosophic, or personal belief) exemptions from immunizations.”

            This latest virus is just ammo.

          • You do know that chiropractors in the US are classified as physicians, within their scope.

            “A licensed chiropractor who meets uniform minimum standards (see 3. below) is a physician with respect to specified services furnished on and after July 1, 1973.”

            Social Security Act—Sec. 1861(r)
            Regulations No. 5—405.231(a),(b)

          • @DC: “You do know that chiropractors in the US are classified as physicians, within their scope.”

            And which part of your scope is treating infectious disease? I thought you were the musculoskeletal experts, no?

            I would counsel you to stay in your lane but understand it may be that your ego can’t fit.

            Perhaps a Phrenologist is what’s called for?

          • Do you know what “within their scope” means?

          • “A licensed chiropractor who meets uniform minimum standards (see 3. below) is a physician with respect to specified services furnished on and after July 1, 1973.”

            What services are specified?

          • What services are specified?

            Varies by state.

          • @DC: Do you know what “treating infectious diseases” means? Or have you reverted to a Palmerite after all?

          • has: Do you know what “treating infectious diseases” means?

            Do you know the discussion isn’t about therapeutic vaccines? Try to keep up.

            Do you support removing all non-medical exemptions and forcing everyone to get vaccines? (unless they have a medical exemption of course)

          • “Do you know the discussion isn’t about therapeutic vaccines? Try to keep up.”

            Indeed I do. Because vaccines are prophylactic.†

            Honestly, you make it easy. I only need say “Stay in your lane” and you bring the evidence which proves it.

            † The nearest to “therapeutic” would be rabies vaccine, which isn’t administered until after the disease is [suspected to have been] contracted, though before its symptoms develop.

          • has: The nearest to “therapeutic” would be rabies vaccine, which isn’t administered until after the disease is [suspected to have been] contracted, though before its symptoms develop.

            Not really:

            https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/provenge

            has: Honestly, you make it easy. I only need say “Stay in your lane”

            You don’t get it. The AMA is trying to widen the lane to all residents. One’s profession is irrelevant.

            Remove all barriers. Mandatory medical procedure.

            Strange as it contradicts their position on informed consent:

            “The process of informed consent occurs when communication between a patient and physician results in the patient’s authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention.” https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics/informed-consent

          • @DC: So, hey, TIL there is such a thing as a therapeutic vaccine. Awesomecool! With that said, “a” does appear to be the operative word: Provenge is the first such vaccine ever created, specifically for treating a specific subset of prostate cancers; other vaccines—including the ones against SARS-CoV-2 which have triggered the issue here—remain firmly in the camp of prevention-not-cure. (Nor could I not say how effective Provenge has proven as a therapy: Dendreon, who created it, went titsup a couple years later, so I hazard it didn’t do that well as a product.)

            However, all of that is really moot, as prostate cancers and Provenge have about as much relevance to chiropractic as COVID vaccines do. So while you are indeed finding some mistakes in my compelling (thanks for doing that), they aren’t exactly the compelling giant killers you possibly think they are.

            As I acknowledge myself: IANAD, thus everything I say about medicine is Caveat Emptor, E&OE, and frequently wrong. Whereas you claim/wish to act as a primary healthcare physician; thus it is completely right and proper that everyone should expect—and demand—a far higher standard from you.

            Thus my central thesis stands: preventing and/or treating COVID, an infectious respiratory+pulmonary disease for which vaccinations are now widely available and strongly recommended, lies outwith the purview of the chiropractic profession, who (excepting a minority of Palmerites who we both agree are full of it) assert themselves to be specialists in diagnosing and treating a number of musculoskeletal problems, and that only.

            And, honestly mate, is this really a windmill you ought to be tilting against? Forget chiro’s own AE risks of dissected aortas and the like; errors in COVID treatment kill tens—likely hundreds—of thousands easy. Is that really a responsibility—never mind liability—you want to expose yourself to too? ’Cos when I say to you “stay in your lane”, I’m not only saying it for patients’ health and longevity—I’m saying it for your own sake too.

          • has, you are missing the point, again.

            Giving someone a non-medical exemption does not mean the chiropractor, or MD, is necessarily anti-vaccine.

            The press release is a request to put all exemptions in the hands of MDs. Then to remove the choice for non-medical exemptions. Thus, unless one has a valid medical exemption, they must get vaccinated.

            So yes, I have an issue with that, if indeed that is their goal, as well as for other medical procedures (forced sterilization comes to mind which was practiced in the not too distant past).

          • “The press release is a request to put all exemptions in the hands of MDs. Then to remove the choice for non-medical exemptions. Thus, unless one has a valid medical exemption, they must get vaccinated.”

            DC, I don’t see how you get that from the Press Release.

            While it says that the AMA has a POLICY against non-medical exemption, the Press Release is really about MEDICAL exemption, and who has the medical competence to make an accurate medical assessment.

          • @DC: As David says: There are two separate issues:

            1. Who is qualified to grant medical exceptions.

            2. Should non-medical (e.g. religious) exceptions be allowed.

            In respect of #1: AMA says MDs. (Presumably this also includes DOs, who in the US now receive the same medical training; although I do wish they’d just fold them into the one qualification/profession and be done with it.) That means not homeopaths, not chiropractors, not naturopaths, and so on. (It should also mean not Quack-MDs, who are occasionally busted for issuing fraudulent medical exceptions to antivaxxers, but we all know the one about foxes and henhouses. Baby steps, hey-ho.)

            In respect of #2: AMA says “No.” Which they are entitled to do. (That is their opinion, and right to express it; or would you rather deprive them of that?) Now, given how much Americans loooove their religions (a term we’ll extend to cover all irrational belief systems), that opinion may or may not fly in practice (even amongst their own members). I suppose one could argue that homeopaths, chiropractors (Palmerites in particular), naturopaths, and so on are more than qualified to pronounce on religious matters.

            But I think it reasonable even in the case of non-medical exceptions to demand that the exception seeker has it explained to them that their selfish entitled irrational behavior not only puts themselves at risk of harm (which is fine—that’s their funeral) but also all the people who they come into contact with (which is not). And the person qualified to do that is an MD (or DO), not some homeocrank who themselves is convinced that COVID is a vast global conspiracy operated by the Rothschilds and Bill Gates to depopulate the planet and sap their precious bodily fluids, for… I dunno, reasons.

            Now, we can argue about the ethics of mandatory vaccination policies… or at least we can start to once the meaning of “mandatory” is fully defined (because I doubt it actually means vaccination hit squads pinning people in the streets). And there are lots of good arguments to be had there about the rights of the individual to protect his own interests as he sees fit vs the rights of everyone else in society to protect theirs too too. (And the only people who think that’s a simple black-and-white question with one simple black-and-white answer are those who believe the only person in the world who matters is themselves and that everyone else doesn’t count: delusional psychotics, raging Cluster Bs, and their ilk.) Thus the laws against, for instance, drunk driving and corporate manslaughter; the right to trial by jury and the 4th Amendment. And there are complex, difficult, forever arguments there too about what is “not enough” vs. what is “too much”.

            Furthermore, everyone should engage in all these arguments, because that is all part of the checks-n-balances, feedback loops, eternal vigilance, etc. that keeps our complex messy imperfect civilizations from tilting so far in one direction or another as to become an outright tyranny. No freedom is free. No freedom is absolute. There is no one simple easy answer which is Right or Wrong, black-or-white, just a range of complex compromises, colored in shades of gray, seeking to balance every individual’s rights, responsibilities, and privileges against every other individual’s, in such a way that no one person can enjoy everything they want but none must be deprived of essentials either (which in the case of a killer pandemic is their own life and their right to self-governance as long as it doesn’t impinge on the rights of anyone else—and you can tell much about a person by whether they mention that last clause or not).

            All of which is most mature, and looks and works great on paper too, and is pretty much what the founding fathers (who were grown-ups in their day) wrote all about. However… a real-world caveat:

            The people screaming loudest about “tyranny” in the US today aren’t the ones who want to prevent tyrannies: They’re the ones who want to establish and enforce a tyranny of their choosing. A “society” in which they are personally free to act with total impunity (whether acting irresponsibly, spreading diseases, lynching their critics, etc) while everybody that is not them are held slaves to their whim. It is impossible to conduct any conversation with that, so f-k ’em; if they’re determined to play stupid games with the rest of society, tough beans if society plays hardball back.

            The alternative to that is that US society sits with its thumb up its comfortable ass, turning a convenient, apathetic blind eye and allowing another million Amercians to die through propaganda and inaction; just don’t be surprised if the quasi-fascistic forces massing behind the “FREEDUMS!!!” banner keep on rolling and strip away voter rights and other protections until they’ve achieved the de-facto one-party state they’ve spent the last 60 years slowly growing. That is a toxic dysfunctional dangerous environment, where one group of ostensible grown-ups is acting as screaming toddlers: absolutely apoplectic that they’re not being allowed to play on the freeway and throwing weapons and sh-t in response. So while millions of lives and democracy itself are at peril, if a rational civil discussion on how to conduct a rational civil discussion about vaccination policies has to be tabled until those appalling brats grow TF up, so be it.

            Nasty misbehaving abusive children have no-one to blame but themselves when the responsible adults step in to discipline them; no matter how hard they try to deflect all the blame and responsibility onto everyone else. The alternative—no discipline at all—is what raises a generation of psychopaths. And here we are.

          • Ok. So how many states allow a chiropractor to write a medical exemption for vaccines? And in those states how many chiropractors would actually sign such a form? And of those signed forms how many are not legitimate?

            This is from Missouri:

            MedicalExemption:
            – Must have form signed by MD or DO, NOT chiropractor, specifying which vaccines child cannot receive.

            I suspect if one breaks down the numbers you will discover this has almost nothing, if anything, to do with legitimate medical exemptions. This is about non-medical exemptions which is why the press release goes into the topic.

            So take away an untrained chiropractors ability to write a medical exemption for a vaccine, yah, OK. I doubt that will make any significant changes in who does and does not get a vaccine.

          • Has: 1. Who is qualified to grant medical exceptions.

            I would rephrase the question to: what does it take to be qualified to grant a medical exemption for vaccines?

            Here is a list for possible medical exemptions: many are based upon, wait for it, a bad reaction to a prior vaccine (yes, some have additional criteria)

            https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/should-not-vacc.html

            If MDs want the sole right for vaccine medical exemption, so be it. If they want to require chiropractors, who want this responsibility, to have post grad training, so be it. How to keep the wacky cracky out of the process?…do the former.

            I am more concerned with the non-medical exemption. And yes, the AMA is free to have their opinion/view. I just don’t agree with it. I doubt many do.

            Moving on.

        • Chiropractors and naturopaths have no business giving medical exemptions, let alone non-medical ones.

          Having a religious or personal objections towards vaccines doesn’t change the fact that the virus could be lethal to many and highly contagious.

          Whether you screem individual freedom or not, covidiot morons are gonna moron at their own expense and that of the people around them.

        • Do you even understand what a vaccine exemption is? It is a special dispensation granted by society to an individual, freeing them from liability for any consequences that arise. For those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, it is a requirement. For everyone else it is a privilege, not a right.

          If antivaxxers choose not to be vaccinated, that is absolutely their right!† Whereupon they can pay their dues to society some other way: testing and masking, limiting social interactions, homeschooling, or whatever. In any case, those who hold a genuine, deeply held religious objection to being vaccinated would (one would hope) accept the consequences of their choice with humility and grace. They wouldn’t screech with outrage and hate at those who have chosen to vaccinate, for having the gall to insist they do their part too.

          No. What antivaxxers demand is the RIGHT TO FREELOAD: to parasitize the rest of us; to take from our shared society and give nothing [except abuse] in return. Because antivaxxers, like other abusers, seek POWER and CONTROL. And they believe that if they scream at us long and hard enough, we will eventually fold. So screw them: their right to swing their fists does not end at the back of our skulls!

          And if that is what you choose to defend—the hill that you wish to die on—then by all means carry on. Because that choice is yours. But respect works in both directions. And you are running on fumes.

          † The only time that individual right to choose may be reasonably suspended be is if the disease in question is both highly communicable and causing massive casualties (say, R₀>2 with >30% fatality; basically Black Plague levels). In that situation, everyone who can be vaccinated should be: to save millions of other lives even if they don’t want to protect their own. But that is an extreme measure, only to be invoked in exceptional crisis, and COVID is a cuddly puppy by comparison so you don’t need to worry on that.

  • I think “rightly” would be better there; “is rightly pushing for…”

    “Rightly” means it’s right that they push.

    “Rightfully” would mean only that as an Association, they have the right to push, irrespective of whether it is correct to do so.

  • Is anyone surprised that the AMA, the power-that-shouldnt-be, wants to control this healthcare advisory role? That is what monopolies do. Thankfully there are cracks in this suffocating facade letting some fresh air in.

    • @Roger: “Thankfully there are cracks in this suffocating facade letting some fresh air in.”

      I had not realized Roger was into trepanation. Although it does not surprise me.

      • I need trepanning like I need a hole in the head….

        • Perhaps if you also pour some water down that hole? Because how can you know until you try it yourself?

          (Honestly, we could have a contest sometime to see who among us all can invent the most outrageously addled, credulous, lethal, and unbelievable “One True Cause and Cure.” Except I can already tell you: 1. The medics would win that game by a million miles. 2. There’s an Altie somewhere out in the world that’s already doing it for reals.)

        • In the shower this morning (Metaphysical Moments No 26D) I suddenly remembered a line from the Marx Brothers film “Horse Feathers”. Groucho’s character says to someone else “Why don’t you drill a hole in your head and let the sap run out”.

          This is not pertaining to anyone in this discussion thread – I just thought it was a good line, in view of the comments about trepanning.

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