February 26, 2019
Portland, OR—If you’re in Oregon and you care about children’s health, you’ve probably heard that a bill to bar Oregon’s children from public school, private school, and daycare is being fast-tracked through the House right now.
Though the majority of Oregonians believe in medical freedom and don’t agree that vaccines should be mandated (according to polls conducted in 2015), some lawmakers are arguing that we should force vaccination compliance and disallow children from Oregon’s schools if they have not received even just one of the 31 recommended vaccines. Dr. Leslie Hamlett disagrees.
Here is a version of the letter she wrote to Oregon lawmakers against medical mandates.
To the Legislature:
I’m writing to voice my opposition to HB-3063.
I am a physician in private practice in Portland serving over 3,000 families.
While this bill has good intentions of protecting our kids, I fear that important information has been left out in its consideration.
First, the expression that vaccines are “safe and effective” fails to acknowledge that vaccines are the only medical product that are not held to the same safety standards as all other medical devices and products.
There have not been double-blind placebo-controlled studies on vaccines, nor has the development of this product advanced enough to look at the long-term effects the current CDC recommended schedule has on the health of our children and the role genetics and immunobiology play in their safety.
Today’s children are the sickest generation this country has seen.
As a practicing physician, I, along with many of my colleagues, am concerned that it is no coincidence that our children’s health has declined as the number of recommended vaccines has increased. We require three-fold more vaccines than when I was a child.
The science must look at how all these factors interplay.
I have seen firsthand that vaccines can cause injury.
My family members have been injured and my patients have been injured.
We do not yet know the precise reason certain individuals are susceptible to vaccine injury, but to say vaccine injury doesn’t occur is incorrect.
Yet the pharmaceutical companies cannot be held liable for these injuries.
Where is the justice in that?
Making tax payers pay millions of dollars for these injuries is wrong.
How can we mandate the administration of a product that may cause harm all the while making the public pay for the damage?
What other industry is exempt from litigation when things go wrong?
Perhaps most importantly, we must acknowledge that government is overstepping its boundaries here and interjecting itself into the private relationship of a doctor and her patient.
Knowing a patient’s full medical, family and social history puts the doctor in the best position to determine how to care for her patient.
Individualized medicine is what will heal our nation.
To believe that everyone’s detox pathways and immune system act the same is a fallacy.
The human body is a complex and intricate system and must not be treated as a machine.
Furthermore, this bill (HB-3063) is discriminatory and deprives children of their right to an education.
The parents of children who vaccinate on an alternative schedule or not at all are well educated and informed and are quite convicted in their decision.
These people are not going to change their minds if this bill becomes law and take their kids to the doctor to get “up to date” on shots.
Rather, these families will move out of the state and Oregon schools will lose money.
We can look to California for an example of this predicament: after California passed a law to mandate vaccines for entry into school (SB-277), hundreds of thousands of families left.
Many California families who opposed medical mandates came to Oregon.
Many of them, in fact, are in my care.
What this translates to, in a state where the public-school system is already underfunded and underperforming, is a loss of $400,000,000+ annually, as there are more than 31,000 exemptions on file, with each student estimated to cost $13k (source).
It’s also important to mention the data here:
Vaccination rates in Oregon have not changed over the last few decades.
In 2018, 95.8% of Oregon children K-12 had two doses of MMR.
And that’s why we are not seeing outbreaks of measles in Oregon schools.
Seeing fewer than 60 cases of measles in an unvaccinated community in Clark County has not even translated to a single case of measles in an Oregon public school or even to a single case of community acquired measles.
That’s because the current Oregon laws, which allow for medical, philosophical, and religious vaccine exemptions, work well.
According to the CDC’s National Immunization Survey, there has been no change in the percentage of children who received one or more MMR vaccines from 2013 through 2017, holding steady at around 91.5% with no statistically significant changes for the past 5 years.
Children who are unvaccinated make up a tiny fraction of school-aged children in Oregon. They pose no threat to vaccinated children or to herd immunity.
I find that clear communication and transparency are the best approaches to vaccines.
Individualizing the child’s vaccination schedule to respond to their child’s exposures and vulnerabilities actually makes parents feel less hesitant and less fearful about vaccines.
I encourage you to focus your desire to protect kids in a different fashion: demand true vaccination safety studies, make manufacturers liable, and take big pharm lobbyists out of the government.
Thank you for your time.
Leslie Hamlett, ND
Dr. Leslie Hamlett is a naturopathic doctor and a midwife in private practice in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Hamlett received her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA and is also a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine where she received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine and certification in Natural Childbirth. Dr. Hamlett’s practice centers on pediatrics, women’s health, naturopathic midwifery, and minor surgery. She loves to help build healthy families and care for the babies she delivered as they grow up.
If you want to take action against HB-3063, the public will be given 90-seconds each to testify in front of the House Health Care Committee THIS THURSDAY at 3 p.m. in Hearing Room E.
According to the committee:
The public are invited and encouraged to testify as well as submit their testimony by email, in PDF format to the committee exhibit email address: [email protected]
Once an individual has submitted their written testimony, committee staff will post the documents to OLIS for committee members to review.
Individuals can submit testimony in advance, during, and 24-hours after the public hearing on HB 3063.
Testimony and exhibits submitted in writing shall be attached to the minutes and considered as part of the official record.
Other action you can take to protect medical freedom and oppose medical mandates:
✅ Write a letter to your local newspaper.
✅ Call your local television station and request they do a fair and balanced story on HB-3063 and why it is being fast-tracked in the absence of any medical emergency.
✅ Visit your senator and representative in Salem and tell them why you support medical freedom and oppose medical mandates. If you don’t know who your lawmakers are, click here to find out.
✅ Write individual letters to each of the lawmakers on the House Health Committee. Hyperlinked list can be found here.
✅ Join Oregonians for Medical Freedom, subscribe to their mailing list, and follow their Facebook page.