Attorney’s Duty
“It shall be the ethical obligation of any attorney who is consulted by an individual with respect to a vaccine-related injury or death to advise such individual that compensation may be available under the program for such injury or death.”
Physicians probably have an ethical duty to counsel vaccine-injured patients about the availability of compensation under the Vaccine Compensation Act. If the physician assists the patient in obtaining compensation, the patient may be more likely to accept the award under the act and forgo a lawsuit. The problem is that the vaccine injury table (Appendix 12–A) and the vaccine package inserts list many events that have not been proven to be related to vaccine administration. [Fulginiti VA. How safe are the pertussis and rubella vaccines? A commentary on the Institute of Medicine Report. Pediatrics. 1992;89:334–336.] In addition to encouraging unfounded claims, the listing of these unproven risks fuels the myth that vaccines are dangerous. [Lynch TP. Vaccine myth and physician handouts. Am J Dis Child. 1991;145:426–427.]