measles.jpgA state disciplinary board fined Dr. Mark Nesselson $10,000 and ruled that the pediatrician could only work under supervision from now on. Nesselson filled out fake paperwork for parents who did not want their children to receive required immunizations before attending school, which is required by law. The doctor was caught when he moved to Hawaii and handed off patient records indicating that he had never actually immunized some children to another doctor, who reported him to state authorities.

Some parents feel that vaccinations at an early age can lead to autism in their children due to the presence of a preservative in the vaccines called thimerasol, which contains mercury. The Centers for Disease Control maintains that there is no link between vaccinations and autism.

Since the introduction of widespread vaccinations at childhood, the levels of diseases like polio, measles, mumps, bacterial meningitis, whooping cough, and diphtheria have all but dropped to zero in the general population. Critics of mandatory vaccinations counter that while the link between immunizations and autism may not have been conclusively proven, parents should be able to make up their own minds about whether to give their children shots. The controversy rages on even into kids' teen years. Some states are proposing that teenage girls be mandatorily vaccinated against HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer. HPV is normally transmitted sexually.

(Image of child with measles from the American Academy of Pediatrics)