Childhood vaccinations have become a point of controversy among parents and physicians. Due to a more recent outbreak of measles and other childhood diseases in America, the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged parents to vaccinate their children more than in the past. Speculation about vaccinations was generated after a falsified report by Andrew Wakefield was published claiming there was a connection between the measles vaccine and autism. The paper was been withdrawn and Wakefield has been eliminated from the General Registrar, however the fabricated data still has a massive presence in the decision making process for parents. Because parents have sole decision-making power, physicians can only make recommendations through counseling in order to obtain informed consent.
In order to reverse the negative connotations surrounding childhood vaccinations, physicians and medical professionals must take on the role to educate the parents prior to their decision-making. They must emphasis the purpose of vaccinations, which is to prevent the child from diseases that may cause mortality or major morbidity. It is up to the physician to strongly recommend and urge the parents to approve vaccinations for their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that in addition to educating the parents, the physicians must call on their ethical responsibility to their children, which means emphasizing the clinical benefit to not only their children but also to the other children that will come in contact with their own child. In conclusion, it is up to medical professionals to remove the negative stigma of vaccines and reinforce the positive benefits to each parent and patient.