On not vaccinating your kids….

learn_from_mistakes

Here’s an article on the topic… 

Some background — there are lots of diseases out there that can kill — and western medicine has developed vaccinations for many of them.  Vaccinations work in a variety of ways, and one of them is to give the person a mild case of the disease so that the body builds up immunity to that disease… i.e. so you don’t get a full case of it later…

Some people cannot be vaccinated — they are either too young for it to work (usually under 12 months) or they have a compromised immune system and introducing the virus in any form would harm them.  These folks have been able to live relatively normal lives because the diseases that would have killed them aren’t a concern… until — somehow folks decided to opt out of vaccinations.  Also, vaccinations don’t always “take” in an individual — and there is no way to know if they work or not until someone gets sick.

I’ll tell you, I’ve read the articles advocating not vaccinating– most of them are very poorly reasoned, employing enough logical fallacies that they’d qualify for a logical fallacy exercise in a logic class.  I have yet to read an MD or a professional medical researcher with an PhD endorsing the idea that kids shouldn’t be vaccinated — it’s mostly self-proclaimed “experts” in holistic medicine saying vaccines are bad for kids.

Here’s the deal — their analysis all relies on conjecture and a very small risk of harm to the kid — as in, parents take more risks to their kids’ well-being every day in what the kids eat, play with, the way the parents drive and a jillion other things — all of which pose a larger threat to their kids than vaccinations.

On the other hand, one unvaccinated kid could get very sick and die — and before they die, they can infect many others…. others who didn’t have a choice about not being vaccinated — because, for those people, vaccinations ARE a risk.  In a society where the maximum number of people possible are vaccinated, the chances of any given disease spreading are very small and when it does spread, it doesn’t get very far — so it’s unlikely that any one person who cannot be vaccinated will get it.

SOOO — now that not vaccinating your kids is getting trendy, and measles was spread at Disneyland, some folks are saying that unvaccinated kids without medical reasons for not being vaccinated ought not be permitted in school — and that seems right to me.

Parents are exercising their right to choose not to have a medical procedure for their kids.  I fully support that right to choose, BUT — just because you have a right to choose to do or not do something does not mean you can then avoid the implications of that choice…. and, in this case, the implications of the choice are not limited to the family making the choice.  In effect, the parents who choose not to vaccinate are making a choice for others, and as a result I think it’s fair NOT to permit their kids to go to school.

I also think that IF/when a domestic outbreak can be traced back to an original non-vaccinated by choice person, that person (and likely their parents) ought to be financially and legally responsible for the implications of their choice — including being responsible for medical bills, time lost from work / school as well as pain and suffering damages.  IF the person who brought the disease into the country could not be vaccinated, the first voluntarily non-vaccinated person to catch it should pay… period.

Life and medical ethics is all about choices and consequences, in this case the person making the choice can and should be liable for the consequences.  I’m guessing that one lawsuit against a non-vaxxer parent would revers the trendy decision not to vaccinate.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “On not vaccinating your kids….

  1. Mercedes L Charles

    Here is my question. If vaccines are so good, why the vaccinated population is worry about an outbreak? Well, if you have the vaccine then you are supposed to be immune, is not that the purpose of vaccines?
    I think that there is not enough research done whether some of this vaccines cause autism or other disorders in some children. That is one of the many concerns for some parents perhaps that is one of the reasons some might choose not to vaccinate.

  2. JC Davis

    I’ve been reading this in the news over the past week or two. My argument is impassioned, for certain, and I will try to make a rational point beyond my emotions.

    My basic position echoes that of the mother of one of the infected children, Anna Jacks. She said, “Your children don’t live in a little bubble. They live in a big bubble and my children live inside that big bubble with your children,” she said. “If you don’t want to vaccinate your children, fine, but don’t take them to Disneyland.”

    Dr. Jack Wolfson – himself a medical “professional” (who should know better) – has said it’s the Jacks family who should keep themselves at home, not him. He is quoted by CNN as saying, “It’s not my responsibility to inject my child with chemicals in order for [a child like Maggie] to be supposedly healthy… As far as I’m concerned, it’s very likely that her leukemia is from vaccinations in the first place.”

    Wolfson continues, “I’m not going to sacrifice the well-being of my child. My child is pure,” he added. “It’s not my responsibility to be protecting their child.” Um, no Wolfson, you are entirely wrong about that. You live in a shared society with certain expectations and norms as to what is considered acceptable and appropriate, and if you want to be a part of this society, you need to heed these customs.

    To extend Wolfson’s argument, it could be supposed that if his child had Ebola or SARS that he would still consider it “not his problem” to remain isolated from society? Let’s use a Kantian argument, shall we Mr. Wolfson: what if your “pure” child was exposed to another child at school who had Ebola – would that be just fine with you? I doubt it. Therefore your argument fails unless you are willing to accept that others follow your same justification.

    CNN asked Wolfson if he could live with himself if his unvaccinated child got another child gravely ill, to which he responded, “I could live with myself easily,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate thing that people die, but people die. I’m not going to put my child at risk to save another child.” What a selfish and obnoxious thing to say! I would like to know if Wolfson’s attitude changes if it were his child infected with a life-threatening illness due to the carelessness and selfishness of others.

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/30/health/arizona-measles-vaccination-debate/index.html

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