Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Chiropractor Says Organic Nutrition Will Save His Kids From Measles

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A mustachioed chiropractor who lives in Studio City has provided a reason for why he lets his four children walk around unvaccinated.

You’d think the Disneyland measles outbreak would have put a damper on the anti-vax crowd's willingness to publicly identify themselves. That is not the case for Patrick Bennett, a chiropractor who agreed to talk to ABC 7 about why he has never had his four children, ages 5 to 15, vaccinated.

Bennett claims that he personally believes his children's immune systems are better served by organic nutrition, avoiding chemicals and chiropractic therapy. According to Bennett's website, "Dr. Patrick simply believes in chiropractic first, drugs second and surgery absolutely last!"

Given that absolutely everything is made out of chemicals, we're pretty sure that Bennett's kids don't actually live chemical-free. And maybe our history is a little foggy, but it also seems like maybe what put down diseases like polio and measles were vaccines and herd immunity, not chiropractic therapy.

Support for LAist comes from

Dr. Catherine Hurley, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, told ABC 7 that since the outbreak, she's seen families who had previously turned down the MMR vaccine change their stance.

Meanwhile in Santa Monica, Dr. Jay Gordon told CBS doesn't think measles is a big deal, nor does he think it's really making a comeback. Gordon is a pediatrician who says he's signed hundreds of personal belief exemptions, which allow parents to bypass vaccines otherwise required by public schools. If someone does happen to get infected with measles, then whatever. "[It's] not meningitis, not the plague, not Ebola, they'd get measles. Measles is almost an always a benign childhood illness," he said.

Measles is a more worrisome disease for some vulnerable people. Up in the Bay Area, the father of a boy who battled leukemiais asking that unvaccinated children be required to stay home from school. He's worried because though his son is in remission, his immune system has been weakened. But the superintendent in Marin County says there's not much he can do about unvaccinated children unless an infected child actually shows up to school.

Dr. Deborah Lehman at Cedars Sinai Medical Center disagreed that measles is benign, telling CBS, "People don't remember children staying in dark rooms because they have measles and the light hurts their eyes and developing brain swelling and serious developmental problems."

Prior to measles vaccinations in 1963, measles affected about 3 to 4 million each year, according to the CDC. Of those infected, about 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 developed brain swelling.

Bennett, however, has personal anecdotes on his side. "If you want a different way of looking at how to promote healthiness within your body…we've got a proven track record of four kids that [are] holding pretty darn strong against any family's recommendations," he said.

Good luck to you, but maybe stay away from Disneyland. For right now, state health officials are strongly advising unvaccinated people and babies not visit any of the parks.

Most Read