“When a mother senses that her baby is acting strangely, she usually calls the doctor for advice. Again, ignorance and denial can cause a doctor to reassure her that nothing is wrong and everything is going to be just fine. The desperate mother becomes more desperate as she tries to make the doctor believe her:
‘The doctor wasn’t really concerned about her shaking. I couldn’t get anyone to admit there was something seriously wrong with my child. He kept telling me I was overreacting. I used to try to run to the doctor’s office when she would start having her seizures. She might have several a day and then go a few days without one. So I would run to the doctor’s office and sit there, hoping the doctor would see one. He wouldn’t believe me.’
Doctors try to reassure mothers who bring in paralyzed or convulsing children after a DPT shot that their children will ‘get better.’ As this mother commented, ‘These doctors try to pass it off as a transitory thing. My doctor kept saying, ‘Oh, she’s going to get better.’ Now you can’t t just tell a mother whose daughter is lying there not doing anything that it is okay, she is going to get better.’
In their disbelief and denial of DPT vaccine reactions, doctors will even go so far as to suggest that the distraught parent needs psychiatric help. One mother whose doctor refused to believe that her baby was having seizures after a DPT shot said, ‘My pediatrician told me that I needed psychiatric help because there was nothing wrong with her. I knew something was wrong with her. I am never going to let another doctor tell me anything that I will accept on blind faith. I am going to check it out.’
But even when doctors are willing to admit a baby is acting abnormally, it is difficult for them to accept that the behavior is due to the recent DPT shot. While some do not want to believe it, others may be covering up to protect themselves.
A favorite way to escape undeniable truth that a child is having neurological problems following a DPT shot is to claim that the problem is due to ‘other causes.’ Doctors will try to convince parents that such convulsions often occur spontaneously, even if the baby reacted within hours of the shot.
One mother expressed her frustration at this typical line of reasoning by doctors, saying, ‘Nobody will listen to us.’ They keep telling us, ‘She must have had an underlying seizure disorder.’ I don’t believe that, but even if she did have an underlying seizure disorder, I can’t believe the shot didn’t trigger it into activity. The neurologists I go to laugh at me when I say there is a connection with her DPT shot. I get furious.”
— Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, DPT: A Shot in the Dark