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Two Sacramento-Area Physicians Under Investigation Accused Of Issuing Questionable Medical Exemptions

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Two Sacramento-area physicians are under investigation, accused of issuing questionable medical exemptions to children whose parents simply didn't want them to be vaccinated.

The investigations by the California Medical Board are happening during the nation's worst measles outbreak in more than a quarter-century.

"They're making money off it, and they're endangering other people's children," said Senator Richard Pan.

Dr. Pan co-authored one of the toughest vaccination measures that is now law in the state.

"The medical board is trying to do their job. They've identified physicians who are granting inappropriate medical exemptions," Pan said.

READ: Abandoned Toddler Sparks Interest In Foster Parenting

The two local doctors are Dr. Michael Fielding Allen, and family physician Kelly Sutton. In a 2017 interview with CBS13, Sutton said: "the fact is, vaccine injury is real."

"These physicians have also been noted to be advertising in some way, or telling people how to get medical exemptions," said Pan.

According to a petition by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, obtained by California Healthline, the Assistant Chief of Pediatrics at a Kaiser Permanente Clinic in Roseville, Dr. Wendy Cerny, wrote in her complaint:

"We feel this doctor and perhaps her colleagues … are making easy money on these exemptions that are not based on true medical need and are actually putting children and other people in the community at risk for contracting and spreading serious infectious diseases."


Sarah Rule, an Auburn mother whose kids are a patient of Dr. Suttons', came to the doctor's defense. She said she was worried about genetic pre-disposition and Dr. Sutton didn't just hand out medical exemptions for her kids.

"It was a comprehensive process, where she knew my children, she understood my family history, my concerns about previous vaccine situations, we then proceeded with extensive genetic testing so we can ensure the situation we were in was a valid reason for an exemption," said Rule.

This comes amid new data that shows nearly 100 Sacramento County schools do not have vaccination rates high enough to achieve community immunity against measles.

For the latest data on vaccination rates for all schools click here. 

"That can't be right, those schools are actually dangerous for students, cause immunization rates are not high enough to prevent an outbreak," said Dr. Pan.

This is not a criminal complaint, the doctors do not face jail time, but if wrongdoing is found, they face anything from a public letter or probation to having their medical license revoked.

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