Letters to the Editor

Letter: Talk to health care providers

If you are concerned about contracting or spreading COVID-19, please make sure to ask your health care providers if they and their staff are vaccinated. This includes doctors, dentists, in home providers, etc.

I recently learned that my family dentist was not vaccinated. This information was not volunteered when I went in for examines or procedures. I only learned about it from another patient who had asked if the hygienist was vaccinated. The hygienist indicated that they were not vaccinated.

I called and had a personal discussion with my dentist, who informed me that they were not vaccinated and they would not provide details on the vaccination status of assistants or administrative staff within the practice due to privacy and HIPAA requirements. I have since switched to another dental firm that freely offered that all employees are vaccinated.

I felt betrayed in that I believe that the provider should have felt compelled to provide this information for me to consider prior to any close contact work as a professional and ethical health care standard. The Hippocratic oath taken by dentists promises to do no intentional harm to patients. The oath also describes the importance of sympathy and understanding throughout the care of a patient. The dental Hippocratic oath also reminds the dentist that prevention is preferable to cure of disease.

I urge you and others to question your health care providers to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations and not putting you at unnecessary risk of contracting COVID-19.

— Scott Schliebe

Anchorage

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