Remembering what the Politicians said about the scope of medical exemptions under SB 277

Remembering what the Politicians said about the scope of medical exemptions under SB 277

On Monday May 13, 2019, there will be a perfunctory hearing on SB 276 at the Senate Appropriations Committee.

If this was covered by the Las Vegas bookmakers, the smart and even the dumb money would be on it passing easliy out of committee along party lines.

Still, it’s not a bad time to remember what the politicians said and promised when the PBE was removed under SB 277 and how no-one need worry because of the robust medical exemption process would could be written by any Cali. physician. Well of course it hasn’t worked out that way.

So here are the main statements by the politicians about how broad medical exemptions could be: (My thanks to Greg Glaser, Esq. who actually put it together.)

The concluding sentence of Governor Jerry Brown’s signing statement, dated June 30, 2015, was as follows: “Thus, SB 277, while requiring that school children be vaccinated, explicitly provides an exception when a physician believes that circumstances –in the judgement and sound discretion of the physician – so warrant.”

And here is the Assembly Bill Analysis on SB277:

“A medical exemption letter can be written by a licensed physician that believes that vaccination is not safe for the medical conditions of the patient, such as those whose immune systems are compromised, who are allergic to vaccines, are ill at the time of vaccination, or have other medical contraindications to vaccines for that individual patient. Every state allows medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements.
This determination is entirely up to the professional clinical judgment of the physician.” [emphasis added]

The legislative intent of SB277 is further evidenced by the following transcripts of the official public hearings on SB227. See e.g. Assembly Committee hearing transcript, dated June 9, 2015:

“Rob Bonta: Thank you, Dr. Pan. And then finally, we have an amendment regarding the medical exemption and a physician’s judgement. And I’ve heard from a number of constituents and Californians regarding concerns that a medical exemption is difficult to obtain or was difficult to obtain. I believe that current law states that a physician has complete, professional discretion over the writing of a medical exemption. However, I have asked the author to take an amendment to clarify that a medical exemption is entirely within the professional judgement of a physician and we have agreement on that amendment.

“SB277 bill author Richard Pan: Yes.”…

See also SB277 bill Co-Author Ben Allen in that same hearing, “One of the things we’ve talked about over and over again is how important it is that there be a strong and robust medical exemption so that anybody who has a legitimate medical concern, genetic predisposition, some sort of immunological problem, they can go to a doctor anywhere in the State and get an exemption from that doctor.”

SB277 bill Author Richard Pan further addressing the State Legislature during these hearings, “If the physician feels there is a genetic association, with a sibling, a cousin, some other relative, it’s not safe for a vaccine, they can provide a medical exemption for that vaccine. There is no limitation….
“We are trying to create the space to allow doctors and their patients and their parents to work together, hand in hand.”
“… that may be family related, that therefore that child is also at increased risk eventhough that child has not yet suffered harm, then they can exercise their professional judgment to provide an exemption.”

The medical issues referenced in the above-cited legislative history, such as “genetic association” cited by Senator Pan are not officially listed contraindications to vaccination. Rather, they are precautions to vaccination recognized in different measure in different medical communities to justify a medical exemption to vaccination.

Indeed, in their Winter 2016 Newsletter sent out to all California doctors, the Medical Board of California provided guidance on any new Medical Legislation for the previous year. ( “this bill [SB277]specifies that when issuing a medical exemption, a physician must consider the family medical history of the child.”).

I guess it’s alittle dissappointing, but not entirely surprising to the vaccine concerned.
Only thing I’ve got right now is for you to keep reminding the legislators and their staffs what was promised, and tell them that regardless of how few doctors are writing exemptions now, they’re not the bad guys just because they are following the literal words of the legislators who promoted and passed SB 277.

Rick Jaffe, Esq.

One thought on “Remembering what the Politicians said about the scope of medical exemptions under SB 277

  1. And you will use this in Dr. Stiller’s defense? That he was following the letter of the law? And now, they want to reneg on their promises and make those laws retroactive? What a DANGEROUS slope! Keep fighting the good fight Mr. Jaffe!

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