A father refuses immunizations for his 2-month-old because he fears side effects.

The mother of a newborn rejects vitamin K injection because she has heard it is linked to the development of leukemia.

A parent declines evaluation of any kind for an unimmunized 10-month-old with fever and irritability.

Parents opt out of having a newborn screening specimen collected on their child due to privacy concerns.

AAP News photo by Jeff Knox

Cultural or language barriers, fear of a procedure, unreliable information or lack of money all can influence parents who refuse care for their child.

These scenarios bring into focus some of the issues physicians recently have discussed in the national debate over how best to provide medical services to patients whose parents refuse care and the risks parents put on their children and others in their communities with these decisions.

Issues have arisen with regard to immunizations, vitamin K...

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