Anti-Vaccine Pediatrician Can Resume Limited Practice

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A Portland-based pediatrician who opposes vaccines is now allowed to see patients but on a limited basis.

An Interim Stipulated Order signed this month by Dr. Paul Thomas and the Oregon Medical Board allows him to treat patients requiring acute care. That could include treatment for an injury or an urgent condition. It does not include a regular check-up or preventive care. 

The order expressly says that Thomas cannot talk to parents about vaccine protocols, answer their questions or make any recommendations. And he is not allowed to perform any research involving patient care.

Thomas did not respond to a request for comment. His office said that he is not yet practicing. 

The medical board also declined further comment. The order is in effect while the board investigates Thomas, a well-known vaccine skeptic in the Portland area. In December, the board suspended his license over his vaccine recommendations. The latest order lifts the suspension.

The suspension cited the cases of eight patients who were allegedly harmed by his opposition to the standard schedule for vaccines recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This schedule has been relied upon for many years, is updated periodically and is widely accepted as authoritative in the medical community,” the suspension said. 

Thomas has promoted his own views about vaccines in a book called “The Vaccine Friendly Plan” that recommends decreasing the frequency of many vaccines and omitting others.

The order said his assertions that his schedule would prevent or decrease the incidence of autism amounted to fraud.

Research linking autism to the measles vaccine has been refuted by the CDC and other research, including a study of more than 650,000 children in Denmark that was published in 2019.

Nevertheless, Thomas has been unwavering in his views.

The order cited two instances of pertussis in unvaccinated children who were in Thomas’ care and the use of colloidal silver to treat one child for a deep scalp laceration. The child, not immunized against tetanus, spent two months in intensive care after contracting tetanus. Three children in his care who were not vaccinated for rotavirus contracted the disease and had to be hospitalized.

The investigation is ongoing, the latest order says. If Thomas violates its conditions, he could be disciplined. 

The investigation could also end with disciplinary action or the case could be closed.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.

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