Doctors Disagree With Charges Against Dr. Bob Sears, Assert Vaccine Safety Is A Concern
by Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., resetme, 27 September 2016
On September 2, 2016, the Medical Board of California filed an accusation against Dr. Robert Sears, a Capistrano Beach pediatrician and author of several books, including a comprehensive guide to vaccines.
(Photo: All 3 of Cammy Benton, M.D.'s daughters had adverse reactions to childhood vaccines. Genetic testing revealed that the girls were methylation compromised, making it harder for their bodies to detoxify. Benton says the Medical Board's allegation of "gross negligence" against Dr. Robert Sears is completely unfounded.
Dr. Benton says her two older daughters who are fully vaccinated have ongoing health problems, including learning challenges, gastrointestinal issues, and allergies, which were caused by vaccines. She and her husband stopped vaccinating their youngest daughter when she was four months old. She has not had any vaccines since. Benton says that, unlike her sisters, the three-year-old has never needed an antibiotic and rarely gets sick.
The Medical Board of California claimed Sears “was grossly negligent in his care and treatment of J.G., a minor, who he saw for six office visits between April 2014 and May 2015.”
According the Medical Board, the first cause for discipline is that Sears did not follow the standard of care. The Board explains: “The standard of care requires that a physician evaluating a patient for possible reaction to vaccines obtain a detailed history of the vaccines previously received as well as the reaction/reactions that occurred. Based on that information the physician should provide an evidence-based recommendation for future immunizations.”
But, say several doctors and supporters of Sears, according to the Medical Board’s own documentation, this is exactly what Sears did.
When Sears saw the toddler for the first time on April 3, 2014, he was told by the boy’s mother that her son had had two concerning vaccine reactions.
The boy “shut down stools and urine for 24 hours with 2 month vaccines and [was]limp ‘like a ragdoll’ lasting 24 hours and not himself for a week after 3 month vaccines.” In a letter dated April 13, 2014, excusing J.G. from future vaccines, says Sears indicated that “the patient’s kidneys and intestines shut down after prior vaccination and that at three months the patient suffered what appears to be a severe encephalitis reaction for 24 hours, starting approximately ten minutes after his vaccines, with lethargy, limpness, and poor responsiveness.”
An evidence-based recommendation for future immunizations
“Based on the symptoms the child suffered after previous vaccinations (as described by the mom in the accusation), I would say Dr. Sears was being grossly conscientious,” asserts Shira Miller, M.D., a Los Angeles physician who is board certified in internal medicine and has been practicing medicine for 14 years, via e-mail.
Deborah Gordon, M.D., an Ashland, Oregon, family physician who has been practicing medicine for 30 years, including five years in California, agrees. Gordon says the kind of reaction described by J.G.’s mother was “absolutely cause for concern.” A three-month-old baby who remains limp for 24 hours immediately after being vaccinated, Gordon says, is suffering from a neurological insult.
“That shrieking cry or high fever isn’t because the spot of the vaccine still hurts,” Gordon points out. “It is because an inflammatory reaction is going on in the child’s system, including in the brain.”
Encephalitis is not only a known side effect of infant vaccines, it is one of the vaccine injuries compensated for by the US government’s vaccine court, an independent, no-fault court established by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that haspaid $3.4 billion to families for vaccine injuries. Consumers, via a surcharge on every vaccine, fund the court.
According to the Vaccine Injury Table, which is the US government’s listing of covered vaccines and associated injuries: “For children less than 18 months of age…an acute encephalopathy is indicated by a significantly decreased level of consciousness lasting for at least 24 hours.” That sounds identical to what happened to Bob Sears’s patient.
“Sears acted appropriately and in the best interests of the patient,” argues Santa Rosa physician Robert Rowen, M.D., who has been practicing medicine for 40 years. “Based on what I know of the case, his determination that vaccines were counter-indicated was very warranted.”
Tina Kimmel, Ph.D., who has a master’s in public health from the University of California at Berkeley and who worked for the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health for six years, agrees.
“I have not seen any evidence that he committed negligence,” Kimmel says. “He was actually being quite responsible as a physician towards that family. It makes me feel that he is just being scapegoated because he doesn’t toe the line.”
The standard of care is to ignore negative reactions to vaccines
The Medical Board has taken issue with Sears partly because they allege that he did not request documentation in writing from the patient’s previous doctor. But this allegation makes one Ventura County pediatrician I spoke to off the record exasperated. When a mom brings a child to the doctor and explains her son has had a fever of a certain temperature, this doctor points out, we do not insist on a screen shot of the thermometer or written proof that the child was sick.
Cammy Benton, M.D., a family physician who practices in a small town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, says relying on a mother’s description of her baby’s two previous adverse vaccine reactions is the right thing for doctors to do for another reason. According to Benton, many doctors refuse to document or even acknowledge when a child has a negative reaction to a round of vaccines.
“My daughter had two vaccine-exemption-worthy reactions,” says Benton, who has been practicing medicine for 12 years and has three young children. “In spite of me telling her doctor in person and writing a letter to the doctor about it, those reactions are still not in her charts! You can tell doctors all you want about vaccine reactions, but they don’t want to believe you.”
Benton had learned in medical school that vaccine reactions are extremely rare and her own doctor kept assuring her that vaccines were safe. So she says she forced herself to ignore how both of her older daughters’ health seemed to be deteriorating after each doctor’s visit that included immunizations. But when genetic testing revealed that her daughters have methylation impairment (two are homozygous for MTHFR mutations, a genetic condition that makes it more difficult for the body to rid itself of toxins), the pieces started falling into place for Benton and her husband.
She says her two older daughters who are fully vaccinated have ongoing health problems, including learning challenges, gastrointestinal issues, and allergies, which were caused by vaccines. She and her husband, an engineer, stopped vaccinating their youngest daughter when she was four months old. She has not had any vaccines since. Benton says that, unlike her sisters, the three-year-old has never needed an antibiotic and rarely gets sick.