Respectful Insolence

Using religion to avoid vaccination

Mike, Mike, Mike, why did you have to show me this story?

Don’t you know that stories like this drive me crazy?

Basically, the story from Boston Now reports on how more and more parents in are claiming religious exemptions to vaccination in Massachusetts:

More Massachusetts parents are sending their children to school without the required vaccines, and some may be lying to get around state law.

Records obtained by Team 5 Investigates show that while the number of medical exemptions has remained flat, the number of parents claiming that vaccines violate their religious beliefs is going up – 343 in 2001 to 474 in 2006 – while the total number of kindergarteners has declined.

Medical exemptions require a doctor’s signature, but no evidence is needed when parents ask for a religious exemption.

This is nothing new, of course. Antivaxers actively encourage people to take advantage of religious exemptions regardless of whether such exemptions in fact actually apply. Indeed, according to the story, naturopaths in Massachusetts are actively contributing to this trend:

NewsCenter 5 spoke with two mothers who received religious exemptions for their children, but declined on-camera interviews to protect their privacy.

Barry Taylor practices naturopathic medicine, and defends these parents’ right to choose. “The truth is, it’s not about their religion,” Taylor said. “It’s about their values. And it would be a bit of a white lie to say it’s religious.”

Proponents of parental choice want Massachusetts to add a philosophical exemption to the vaccine requirements, an option that’s available in 18 other states. The Arlington-based group Vaccine Choice instructs parents on how to seek a religious exemption, suggesting the following wording: “I am exempting my child from vaccination because it conflicts with my sincerely held religious belief.”

The founder of Vaccine Choice was unavailable for an interview, but told Team 5 Investigates she is merely trying to educate parents about their rights under the current law.

Vaccine Choice is nothing more than a thinly disguised antivax group. The antivax crankery on its website lays down plenty of canards, such as that thimerosal in vaccines is the cause of the autism “epidemic” to the standard ploy of “choice” (a thinly veiled rationale for justifying refusal to vaccinate) to links to all kinds of woo and “vaccine injury” lawyers.

As Dr. John Cohen is quoted in the article:

“You are withholding from them something easily available, well-studied and used for years that is going to prevent their getting an illness,” Dr. Cohen said. “It’s essentially abuse.”

]

Indeed it is.

The pernicious effect of religion here is more than just on the children of parents who follow specific religions that may find vaccines objectionable (which, by the way are few in number). In this case, religion gives cover to parents who just don’t want to vaccinate because of pseudoscientific fear-mongering or “philosophy.” Undue respect for religious beliefs that clash with the scientifically proven ability of vaccines to prevent disease safely enables these parents to easily bypass vaccination laws. With an increasing number of states providing more and more religious and “philosophical” exemptions to vaccines, I fear that it will only be a matter of time before diseases once thought vanquished return in a big way on these shores.

As for the matter of “religious freedom,” it’s not absolute. As an extreme example, we don’t allow human sacrifice in the name of religion. There’s a huge debate over whether adherents of some religions can use psychoactive substances that are otherwise illegal, such as peyote. If there are going to be religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination (and, quite frankly, I’m not sure that there should be), is it so much to ask for a note from a pastor, Imam, Rabbi, or whatever, confirming that the vaccine is, indeed, against the person’s religion?

Comments

  1. #1 vlad
    August 1, 2007

    I have a basic question. If some children are vaccinated and other are not (for what ever reason) would those children who are vaccinated still be safe from the childhood diseases or would the un vaccinated children pose a threat to vaccinated children?

  2. #2 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2007

    Some vaccinations don’t always take, so some people who get vaccinated aren’t protected. Herd immunity where everyone’s vaccinated tends to put more ‘distance’ between the infected and unprotected.

    At least, that’s how I understand it.

  3. #3 THobbes
    August 1, 2007

    If there are going to be religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination…is it so much to ask for a note from a pastor, Imam, Rabbi, or whatever, confirming that the vaccine is, indeed, against the person’s religion?

    Quite frankly, yes. While the outcome is deplorable, the abuse of this privilege can’t be construed as enough justification for denying or limiting its proper use. The presumption under the existing law is that someone objecting on religious grounds has a deeply held belief against the use of vaccines; is there any reason other than an outcome-based one for changing that? Is there a principle or justification for limiting one’s religious exercise, whether it be true or not? I do not accept “public health” as a justification, as “public health” is simply another goal–I’m interested in whether there is a higher goal or reason that can be used to resolve this conflict between good religious practice (at least as these parents are claiming) and public health. And have no doubt that it is a conflict: I am sure that parents who are honestly opposed to vaccination are against it as strongly on religious grounds as those who favor it are for it on public health grounds. Until such a justification can be put forth, I would argue that the tie goes to the parents, so to speak, which is keeping with the general conception of liberty on which the country was founded (i.e., unenumerated rights get retained by the people).

    Not to mention that the government should not generally be in the business of determining the validity of a religious conviction. What standard will be used to judge the validity of this “note”? Must it be from a recognized church group? How often would the person have to attend to qualify? It also moves the presumption of vaccination further away from the individual’s right and toward the government’s authority. Mind you, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with a presumption of mandatory vaccination unless one opts out. I do have a problem with the idea that government may qualify this opting-out in any way that it sees fit. That allows it to be unduly coercive when it comes to promoting vaccination, in that it may draw its standards so stringently that no parent would be able to meet them.

    I agree with you on many points: it is not cost-free for people to falsely decline vaccines on religious grounds, nor is it particularly ethical. But I will argue that it is a cost that comes with the ignorance and fear that is bred by anti-vaccination types–though that can be fought too, as you have admirably done here so often.

  4. #4 Orac
    August 1, 2007

    Not to mention that the government should not generally be in the business of determining the validity of a religious conviction.

    The government is already in the business of determining the validity of religions. It decides what claimed religions do and do not get tax exempt status, which ones are and are not allowed to use their symbols on the graves of soldiers in military cemeteries, etc., etc. The government also already does determine the standards for opting out of vaccination (medical need, religion, etc.).

    Perhaps we should just do away with religious exemptions altogether.

  5. #5 Jim
    August 1, 2007

    One of the problems is that many of the vaccinations we get are for things that are rare to one degree or another–such that those not getting vaccinated don’t stand a great risk of contracting them regardless of vaccination. One or two resurgent epidemics and you’d see a lot more people turning their backs on the pseudoscience.

    But in a free society some people are going to do the stupid thing, and that’s the price you pay for freedom. I don’t think we should do away with religious exemptions, I think at most vaccinations should be presumptively “required” but that one can opt out without any justification. Quite frankly I think it’s a little bit scary that the government can force drugs/vaccines/medicines on people. Call me paranoid, but the government doesn’t exactly have the world’s greatest track record for accuracy, efficiency or accountability.

  6. #6 isles
    August 1, 2007

    There should be no religious exemptions. I believe there is at least one state which doesn’t offer one. Government isn’t *forcing* vaccines on anyone; you just can’t send your child to public school unless you’ve done the socially responsible thing and had him or her vaccinated.

    And it’s not the federal government, anyway, that mandates vaccines; that is a state-by-state decision which is usually based on guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group administered by but not controlled by the CDC.

  7. #7 vlad
    August 1, 2007

    I’m all for people being allowed to opt out of vaccinations as long as doing so does not endanger the rest of us. If herd immunity is needed (not just advised) to prevent outbreaks of measles, mumps or rubella I’d say it is actually a coin toss. These are all treatable illnesses (I believe curable). However if we are talking about something like polio that’s a completely different story.
    Ones freedom of choice regularly ends when another’s rights begin. You do have the right to refuse a vaccine so long as doing so will not endanger others. Once you cross that line then no you have no more right to do so then hitting someone in the head with a baseball bat.

  8. #8 Chayanov
    August 1, 2007

    “Call me paranoid, but the government doesn’t exactly have the world’s greatest track record for accuracy, efficiency or accountability.”

    True, but then again compare the government’s record to that of religion’s. I know which one I’d prefer. It is going to take an epidemic to get people to wise up about vaccinations, but unfortunately it’s also going to take a toll on the lives of innocent children.

  9. #9 Dan
    August 1, 2007

    One of the problems is that many of the vaccinations we get are for things that are rare to one degree or another

    Vaccination programs are a victim of their own success. The reason the diseases are so rare (in developed nations at least) is because of vaccination. People haven’t seen how destructive these childhood diseases can be and don’t realize that they should be much more afraid of the illness than the shot. I’d think the picture of polio victims in an iron lung ward would be enough to convince anyone of the utility of vaccines, but misinformation and paranoia are powerful as well.

  10. #10 Andrew Dodds
    August 1, 2007

    Vlad –

    Prior to vaccination, I believe there were around 100 deaths a year from measels in the UK. This came down to around 13 wit the first vaccines and 0 with MMR.

    Rubella is nastier in that it causes Birth defects; Mumps, IIRC, can cause permenant deafness.

    None of these complications (Death, birth defects, deafness) can be fixed after-the-fact, as it were, so there isn’t really a cure.

    Of course, these diseases are (now) rare, so the 1-in-1000 cases of complications are even rarer, so it’s easy to believe that they are low risk.

  11. #11 David
    August 1, 2007

    Re Dan’s point about vaccines being victims of their own success, we have the luxury today of not knowing how horrible life was before vaccination programs. Let me quote from a 2001 St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce A. Epstein:

    It is a myth that vaccines do not work. Before vaccines became widely used, infectious diseases killed thousands of children and adults each year in the United States.

    VACCINATIONS SAVE LIVES: In the 1964-1965 rubella (German measles) epidemic, there were 12.5-million cases. Of the 20,000 infants born with congenital rubella syndrome, 11,600 were deaf, 3,580 were blind, and 1,800 were mentally retarded. In 1999, there were only 238 cases.

    Before 1963, more than 3-million cases of measles and 500 deaths from measles were reported each year. In 1999, there were only 86 cases.

    In 1952, polio paralyzed more than 21,000 people. Polio has virtually been eliminated from the North American continent.

    In the early 1940s, there was an average of 175,000 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) per year, resulting in the deaths of 8,000 children annually.

  12. #12 LCR
    August 1, 2007

    I have a question that may have already been addressed in another post on this topic (if so, I apologize for not paying attention). Has anyone ever compared the population of non-vaccinated children to vaccinated children throughout their childhood (and perhaps beyond) to see if the non-vaccinated children do indeed acquire these diseases at some point in their lives?

    I suspect that the fact that the non-vaccinated children live within a mostly vaccinated population would serve as a form of protection (albeit incomplete) from the disease. But is there a “breaking point”? By that I mean, is there a point, measured in terms of the proportion of the population NOT vaccinated, where we will start to see a resurgence of these diseases? The vaccinated population will still be protected, but it would be devastating to the non-vaccinated population.

    So far this group has benefitted from the protection of the very vaccines they fear by living within a vaccinated population, but by encouraging others to follow their example, they are creating their own horrible doom. I can’t help but wonder how many of their children would have to start to getting sick before they would finally acknowledge their error.

  13. #13 Lambert Heenan
    August 1, 2007

    I think that the only religious exemption should be to exempt profoundly religious people form taking part in the democratic process as they have demonstrated conclusively that their capacity to make reasoned decisions is severely impaired.

    ‘course it’ll never happen, but I can wish…

  14. #14 Dawn
    August 1, 2007

    LCR – yes, there is a “critical level” at which you will see a resurgence of the diseases. As I am at work, I don’t have the numbers at my fingertips, but I believe you need higher than 90% vaccinated rate for the herd immunity kick in. (If anyone can give more exact numbers, please do so!)

    I am one who depends on herd immunity. Although I have been given the MMR more than once, and actually HAD measles AND rubella I have no measurable antibodies to either so am at risk for catching them again if they ever come around.

  15. #15 kristina
    August 1, 2007

    I’ve gotten a religious exemption for my son in one New Jersey town: We wrote a letter from a form letter circulated among parents and were given a form to sign. In my current town, religious exemptions are not being accepted.

    I had my son vaccinated (at the age of 9 going on 10) last summer. With nary a problem or side-effect.

  16. #16 daedalus2u
    August 1, 2007

    How about this as an option. Anyone can opt out of any vaccination, but they need to demonstrate resistance to the disease by going through a trial of exposure to it. Under conditions that are safe for the rest of us.

    That would accomplish several things, it would cull the stupid and immunologically weak, while preserving the intelligent and the stupid but immunologically strong. It would provide examples of what these diseases actually do to unvaccinated individuals, so the less stupid could make a better decision as to vaccination. We would have more cases of the disease to actually study with modern methods, so we would learn more about them.

  17. #17 DuWayne
    August 1, 2007

    Religious exemptions my tush. If they don’t want to immunize their kids, fine. But they should then have to find an alternative method by which to educate their children – period.

    Dawn is a good example of why. In most people, the vaccines work wonderfully, but for some reason, some people do not develop anti-bodies. Why should they be put to an increased risk, no matter how small, of being infected, because some nuts don’t want to immunize their kids.

  18. #18 Rebecca
    August 1, 2007

    And another problem is that even for people who were vaccinated in their childhood, the immunity may fade, and if they are exposed later in life to someone ill with the disease who got it because of lack of vaccination, this can lead to illness or even death. (I know of one case like this). I suppose one way to fight against this would be to encourage adults to get revaccinated.

  19. #19 Dawn
    August 1, 2007

    Forgot to add: the fact I have developed no antibodies ticks off my mother no end (since she nursed me through both of them and my brother, who had much lighter cases, has tons of them).

  20. #20 Dan
    August 1, 2007

    Has anyone ever compared the population of non-vaccinated children to vaccinated children throughout their childhood (and perhaps beyond) to see if the non-vaccinated children do indeed acquire these diseases at some point in their lives?

    That’s a good question. As usual, wikipedia has some answers: Herd Immunity & Perverse Effects of Vaccination

    In short, yes, there is a mathematically definable “critical level” at which the non-vaccinated are protected. It depends on the specific disease and how it is transmitted, however. Remember that vaccines are not 100% effective–if the effectiveness of the vaccine is below the threshold for herd immunity, look out.

    Of course, there’s an interesting downside. Vaccinating against a disease tends to increase the age at which someone is naturally exposed to it. Since some things like Chicken Pox are more dangerous to older people, vaccination programs can have to effect of making the disease more virulent by certain measures. Of course, the solution to that is more and vaccination to eliminate or eradicate the disease in question.

  21. #21 LCR
    August 1, 2007

    Thanks for some quick responses to my question.

    Dawn and Rebecca, I had completely ignored the possibility of people who did get vaccinated and still developed no immunity, as well as those who couldn’t get immunized due to allergic responses to the vaccination (my son reacted badly to Hep A and has been told to avoid future innoculations). So by refusing to have their own children immunized, these parents are not just putting their own families in danger but also those who, as Dawn so aptly puts it, rely upon “herd immunity” to keep them healthy, as they have no other options. All the more reason to make it more difficult to use the “religion” excuse, if this personal decision to withhold vaccinations has a potentially detrimental affect on others around them.

  22. #22 PennyBright
    August 1, 2007

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000644.htm

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000500.htm

    Some articles about the 1985 measles outbreak in the Christian Science community. The CS church gets a lot of the blame for the religious exemption laws being discussed here – they lobbied intensively for such laws during the 50′s and 60′s.

    I wish it were easier to educate anti-vax folks about how herd immunity works, and how their actions are weakening that very herd immunity that protects them. My husband, despite repeated vaccinations, does not titer as immune to varicella.

    Recently we’ve been debating with our pediatrician about when to get our daughter vaccinated for varicella — I’d rather have her catch it young when it’s not so severe an illness, but our MD reports that we should just go ahead and get the vaccination because he hasn’t seen *any* chickenpox cases in over two years.

  23. #23 Jim
    August 1, 2007

    DuWayne:

    Why not just have the government require adults to get re-immunized? They could just tie it via requirement to accessing some government-provided service that everyone uses–like roads. That way the government does everything the government thinks is right for everyone by forcing everyone to get as many vaccinations as the government deems necessary at each stage of their life.

    Problem solved.

    Obviously that is sarcastic, but it is a common tactic to use the issues of a few to abuse the rights of the many. I’m still not convinced of the government’s ability (both currently an ongoing) to accurately tell me what is good and appropriate to be putting in my body, whether my objections be religious or otherwise. Now, I am making sure my daughters get the appropriately recommended vaccinations, I’m just pretty damn cautious when it comes to relying on government information.

  24. #24 HCN
    August 1, 2007

    vlad said “If herd immunity is needed (not just advised) to prevent outbreaks of measles, mumps or rubella I’d say it is actually a coin toss. These are all treatable illnesses (I believe curable). ”

    What is the cure for viral diseases like mumps and measles? Really, I want to know.

    Even for bacterial infections like pertussis, Hib and tetanus antibiotics are often not effective.

    Please tell us how these two boys could have been cured:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece

  25. #25 gadgeezer
    August 1, 2007

    If herd immunity is needed (not just advised) to prevent outbreaks of measles, mumps or rubella I’d say it is actually a coin toss. These are all treatable illnesses (I believe curable).

    No – they’re not. As Dr Griffin pointed out during her Autism Omnibus testimony (pdf), until the advent of Aids, measles was regarded as the most virulently immunosuppressive virus to which we were typically exposed. It’s not the measles as such that is the problem, but the immunosuppression (which lasts a surprisingly long time) that makes us vulnerable to secondary infections and various unpleasant sequelae.

    Mumps and other preventable illnesses are also gateways to secondary infections or contribute to congenital problems.

  26. #26 isles
    August 1, 2007

    Jim,

    In general, state decisions about which vaccines to mandate for school entry are made in a pretty transparent fashion. The scientific studies upon which these decisions are made are freely available. No reliance on gubmint information is necessary. Of course, for nonscientists (and I have no idea whether you are a scientist), it is probably better to ask a trusted family doctor for his or her interpretation of these studies.

    I am not aware of any instance where a state has required a vaccine that the medical community felt was unhealthful. I would never suggest that state legislators should be trusted to make medical recommendations that conflicted with those of the scientific consensus (and, indeed, the seven states that have outlawed thimerosal-containing vaccines were absolutely wrong to do so), but since this has never (again, IIRC) happened with respect to requiring vaccines, your defensiveness about government mandates seems excessive.

  27. #27 Common Sense
    August 1, 2007

    A number of states allow a philosophical exemption from vaccinations. I can only imagine (although I don’t know for a fact) that those states likely have a larger amount of unvaccinated children. What you can do with your free time Orac (since apparently you have a lot) is to do some studies on those states with philosophical exemptions. Do more children die from vaccine-preventable diseases (you know like that really dangerous Hep B)? … So, you go do that and get back to me… In the meantime, I’m off to get my religious exemption notarized for my kids and then I’m off to Church.

  28. #28 DuWayne
    August 1, 2007

    Jim -

    I could honestly care less whether people want to get their kids immunized or not except insofar as I would feel very bad for the child, who doesn’t understand or have any say in the matter, if they get sick. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to keep them the hell out of public schools, where other kids have to go to get an education and will be exposed to them. People like Dawn, do not ask to have the lack of anti-bodies, though fairly rare (as I understand it)it happens. Don’t want to conform to public health standards, don’t trust the gubbnint, keep ‘em out of gubbnint schools.

    By the way, I didn’t rely on information from the government, when we decided to have our child vaccinated. Having been somewhat skeptical of vaccines, I talked to my old family doctor about it and he provided me with fairly easy to understand information, that had nothing to do with the government.

    Common Sense (or senseless) -

    Sorry to here that, I’ll be praying that your kids don’t get sick, because of your stupidity.

  29. #29 carolyn
    August 1, 2007

    PennyBright – I caught varicella when I was in hospital as a kid, from another kid on the ward. It wasn’t a huge deal for me (I was in for minor surgery, and this just meant a longer time off school), but for the sicker kids, this was a big deal. It’s like with flu, you need to keep those who are more likely to be harmed from being exposed to the virus.

  30. #30 Cain
    August 2, 2007

    Ah, ridiculous troll Common Sense. Ah, ridiculous gambit, “one more study”. A match made in heaven.

    Tell me, CS, the overwhelming number of studies showing vaccine efficacy and vaccination’s role in ending polio and other diseases, do they simply not count?

  31. #31 angry doc
    August 2, 2007

    Common Sense,

    Children seldom die from hepatitis B, but children who are infected and go on to develop chronic hepatitis B (aka Hep B carriers) do die from Hep B related liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

  32. #32 Jud
    August 2, 2007

    “Perhaps we should just do away with religious exemptions altogether.”

    Sure, as soon as you repeal that pesky free exercise of religion clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Now, religious freedom doesn’t give you the right to endanger others, analogous to the way another First Amendment right, freedom of speech, has been famously held not to give you the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. So if you can show some clear and present danger to others from refusing vaccination – lots of women of childbearing age nearby in the case of rubella vaccine, perhaps, or flu vaccine in the midst of a pandemic – then perhaps you can get a judge to hold that the danger to others is so great it overrides the right of free exercise of religious belief.

    There’s also an pro-exemption argument re not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The law regarding religious exemption from vaccination parallels the law regarding exemption from military duty on the basis of conscientious objector status, so before you encourage throwing out the former, think of the consequences re the latter.

    Of course, all the foregoing has been based on reasoned legal argument; in terms of anti-vaccination belief being a sort of hysteria that I’d love to see disappearing rather than increasing, I’m right there with you.

  33. #33 Chris
    August 2, 2007

    Common Sense (or senseless) -

    Sorry to here that, I’ll be praying that your kids don’t get sick, because of your stupidity.

    So will CS, most likely. But praying won’t keep them from getting sick. Vaccination will. That’s the whole damn point, isn’t it?

  34. #34 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Children seldom die from hepatitis B, but children who are infected and go on to develop chronic hepatitis B (aka Hep B carriers) do die from Hep B related liver cirrhosis and liver cancer”.

    Right… and how would a baby on day 1 of life be infected by Hep B (unless the mother had it… in which case, I am all for the vaccine)? Dopes, test the mother… If negative… leave the baby alone. Simple. Some of you are so thick.

  35. #35 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Tell me, CS, the overwhelming number of studies showing vaccine efficacy and vaccination’s role in ending polio and other diseases, do they simply not count”?

    What I would like from you is to not continue shoving unnecessary and dangerous vaccinations on newborn babies. You would think that this is rocket science. It isn’t. Let’s figure out a safe schedule. You know, one in which babies aren’t being injected with mercury (in utero) and out. One in which babies aren’t necessarily injected with a Hep B vaccine for no reason. One in which bogus vaccines such as the Prevnar and the ProQuad aren’t assumed to be safe despite the fact that… THEY AREN’T… Again, not ROCKET SCIENCE here people.

  36. #36 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Sorry to here that, I’ll be praying that your kids don’t get sick, because of your stupidity”.

    Thank you for those kind words. My children are doing just fine. The older two are fully vaccinated (with 2 autoimmune diseases and former GI issues to show for it). The third (least vaccinated) is healthy as a horse and has very little use for a doctor. Well baby visits basically destroyed the health of the older two. I’m not bitter at all because I realize that I am in fact very lucky… I am simply happy that I was able to understand my mistakes and move on knowing what had happened.

    Thanks for your concern.

  37. #37 Jon H
    August 2, 2007

    Someone should visit ‘Vaccine Choice’ and pretend to be a parent seeking advice, but should present them with a form to sign by which the organization and the advisor personally would accept financial responsibility should the child suffer infection due to the lack of vaccination.

    I doubt they’d be willing to put their money where their woo is.

  38. #38 Tammy
    August 2, 2007

    As a pregnant woman, I have a particular interest in herd immunity. I can’t take many drugs, and my resistance is apparently lowered. (I got a bad cold for the first time in many years last week, and Tylenol did jack for me.) So if I get sick, I’m living in the 14th century.

    I had to have a rubella titer done when I was married, but of course you don’t have to be married to get pregnant.

  39. #39 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Someone should visit ‘Vaccine Choice’ and pretend to be a parent seeking advice, but should present them with a form to sign by which the organization and the advisor personally would accept financial responsibility should the child suffer infection due to the lack of vaccination”.

    In turn, every parent going in to get their child vaccinated should ask their pediatrician to sign his/her name on a form stating that the pediatrician would be held accountable financially if the child suffers any adverse reaction. With vaccines being so safe, the pediatrician should be happy to sign it.

  40. #40 Cain
    August 2, 2007

    What I would like from you is to not continue shoving unnecessary and dangerous vaccinations on newborn babies.

    First off, way not to answer my question. Second, you have absolutely no proof that vaccines are “unnecessary and dangerous”, just saying so doesn’t make it true. This isn’t BRAIN SURGERY, CS!

  41. #41 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “First off, way not to answer my question. Second, you have absolutely no proof that vaccines are “unnecessary and dangerous”, just saying so doesn’t make it true. This isn’t BRAIN SURGERY, CS”!

    Apparently you need brain surgery… There are in fact some unnecessary vaccines (Hep B for one). Never mind the unnecessary and quite dangerous flu shots. Never mind all those 5 in 1 vaccines which have been proven to be more dangerous than if you get the shots by themselves spread out. When people do not use their brains and realize that there is a limit to the number of vaccinations that some babies can handle before they suffer some consequences… they lose all credibility with me. *I* will decide what I do with my own kids’ bodies… Clearly, I have the ability to read through the bull that we are given. Again, I don’t have an issue with a smaller amount of vaccinations given spread out over time (one at a time) and watching for adverse reactions. Of course, taking any bad reaction quite seriously. There should be no issues with that.

  42. #42 Cain
    August 2, 2007

    Again, there is this little thing called “evidence” that you’re sorely lacking. Please provide evidence that Hep B vaccines are unnecessary, or that flu shots are dangerous. Please back up your statement that “there is a limit to the number of vaccinations that some babies can handle before they suffer some consequences”. You’re just making this all up!

  43. #43 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Again, there is this little thing called “evidence” that you’re sorely lacking. Please provide evidence that Hep B vaccines are unnecessary, or that flu shots are dangerous. Please back up your statement that “there is a limit to the number of vaccinations that some babies can handle before they suffer some consequences”. You’re just making this all up”!

    Before I do anything… Are you a doctor? Are you a parent of an possibly affected child of any kind (meaning: autoimmune diseases, autism, allergies, etc). Who are you? While it may seem irrelevant… It isn’t.

  44. #44 Cain
    August 2, 2007

    Um, yes it is irrelevant. You don’t have any special knowledge because of your status. Scientific laws and data don’t simply bend to your will because you’re a parent. So you’re a parent, great. You’re still wrong.

    And for the record, no I’m not a doctor or a parent. I am someone, however, who can actually think critically and read a study.

  45. #45 Common Sense
    August 2, 2007

    “Um, yes it is irrelevant. You don’t have any special knowledge because of your status. Scientific laws and data don’t simply bend to your will because you’re a parent. So you’re a parent, great. You’re still wrong”.

    Ah, no… definitely NOT irrelevant. Since you are neither a parent nor a doctor than you wouldn’t understand the significance. I will forgive you for your ignorance. It is important because I used to be naive like you. I used to believe that those who would question vaccinations were foolish and taking unnecessary risks with their childrens’ health. Then, my friend, I witnessed the effects of these vaccinations on my children. Do not speak about what you do not know… Please feel free to take your “studies” and shove them up your butt (where they belong).

  46. #46 Sastra
    August 2, 2007

    One of the byproducts of the strong social approval attached to religion and spirituality in our culture is that the definitions of both those terms have become looser and looser. Belief in the supernatural (including a belief in God) is often seen as unimportant to what religion really is. Religion is how you live. Religion is what matters most to you. Anything which inspires you, or motivates you, or attracts or comforts or engages or interests you — hey, that’s religion. It’s what grounds you. It’s belief in belief.

    Why the redefinition? I think that in some cases this is because people who are more or less secular can’t let go of the positive values granted to religion, and so they want to change the concept in order to make it more sophisticated and relevant in the modern world (or, alternatively, they insist this is what it has ALWAYS meant and been.) In some cases it’s because people apparently want to define everything as “really just another religion” in order to level the playing field and gain credibility and political status for their own supernatural beliefs. And sometimes people just seem to think it’s more open and “fair” to get rid of divisive ideas like gods, rituals, and souls and bring everyone together in One Great Big Ecumenical understanding of Religion Simple, a spirituality which can gather up atheists, naturalists, materialists, everybody, no problem.

    When nontheists try to insist that “religion” requires “belief in supernatural entities, beings, or forces” they’re often called unsophisticated and naive. Right. So good luck on keeping that “religious exemption” within bounds.

  47. #47 Cain
    August 2, 2007

    Listen, CS, I’m sorry one of your children had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. It obviously happens, no drug is ever 100% safe or 100% effective. This is why we do risk/benefit analyses. According to the evidence at hand, the risk of an adverse reaction from vaccination, while greater than zero, is still very low, while the benefit (innoculation from disease) is great. Because of your child’s adverse event, you have come to wrongly inflate the risks while downplaying the benefits. You have assumed your child’s reaction is universal. This is hogwash, and if you actually looked at the data rather that troll on in blind faith, you would know this.

    Please feel free to take your “studies” and shove them up your butt (where they belong).

    Translation: I don’t care about reality, I KNOW I’m right and I’ll never change my mind.

    Sigh.

  48. #48 David D.G.
    August 2, 2007

    Cain, we don’t even know that the problem was a response to the vaccination at all. We only have HIS OPINION that it was, and it is informed by (fully understandable) parental fear and guilt as well as (much less defensible) ignorance and misplaced faith. Though sympathy for CS’s offspring is laudable, and I share it, that gives him exactly zero credibility in claiming any kind of authority here, much less the right to be abusive in doing so.

    ~David D.G.

  49. #49 HCN
    August 3, 2007

    Common Sue’s children have celiac disease and diabetes:
    http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/wp/?p=315#comment-4973

    It is usually better to just ignore her. Her off topic posts and refusal to engage in polite debate have caused her to be banned elsewhere, like this blog:
    http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/wp/?p=589#comment-40315

  50. #50 Luka
    August 3, 2007

    I hear anti-vaccine parents say, all the time, that their older child had vaccines and the youngest didn’t and the oldest has all these health problems and the younger one is “healthy as a horse.”

    Either the same person is posting in all the vaccine debates, or that is another standard (supposedly “golden”) argument against vaccinating.

    I have a couple of kids who were vaccinated equally– and the oldest has always been more susceptible to illness in comparison with his younger sibling. I’ve talked with other moms who have had the same experience with their kids–and just as many moms who have completely had the opposite experience.

    One has nothing to do with the other. It’s an anecdotal opinion and completely worthless, since I can find just as many anecdotes with an opposite reaction to the same experience.

    That’s why we have to rely on science. People are notoriously unreliable at objective reporting. Science has higher standards.

    Why is this so hard for some people?

  51. #51 HCN
    August 3, 2007

    Luka said “That’s why we have to rely on science. People are notoriously unreliable at objective reporting. Science has higher standards.

    Why is this so hard for some people?

    We do not know, Luka.

    You went on about the oldest child versus the youngest. My oldest child had neo-natal seizures and has never been vaccinated for pertussis. After he went through puberty it was discovered he had a serious, actually a VERY serious genetic heart disorder (the most common first symptom is “sudden death”, fortunately his was caught after a heart murmur was discovered during a routine examination).

    The two younger children had more vaccines than he did… something about being born AFTER Hib wsa available, and the introduction of HepB at birth. Yet, the two younger kids are just fine. They have been tested for the very nasty generic heart condition… but they do not have it. Plus, they have never had any seizures, and do not have any learning disabilities.

    Perhaps, giving them Hib and HepB is protective.

    No, not really… they both benefited by not getting the genes that run through the family. Actually, that is not qute true… their children may get the genetic tendencies towards migraine headaches (which manifested into seizures for their older brother), and their children may have a one in two chance of being 1 out of 1000 to get hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (they both have had the $2000 echocardiograms to make sure neither of them have that particular genetic cardiology).

    Genetics is complicated, and nothing is guaranteed.

    Good grief… both of us as parents are near-sighted! But in the three children we have one far-sighted child, one who is very near-sighted (and begging for contacts), and one who has perfect vision. Go figure.

    Nothing is guaranteed.

  52. #52 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “According to the evidence at hand, the risk of an adverse reaction from vaccination, while greater than zero, is still very low, while the benefit (innoculation from disease) is great”.

    Untrue. The risk is much higher than what is reported. Hence, the problem.

    “This is hogwash, and if you actually looked at the data rather that troll on in blind faith, you would know this”.

    Clearly you speak from the point of view of an uneducated person with no kids. Don’t be fooled.

  53. #53 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “Cain, we don’t even know that the problem was a response to the vaccination at all. We only have HIS OPINION that it was, and it is informed by (fully understandable) parental fear and guilt as well as (much less defensible) ignorance and misplaced faith”.

    First of all, I am not a he (thank goodness)… I have found that many men are unable to use common sense in regards to this matter (not all men). I also have no guilt in my decisions. I would have made the same decisions over again. I tried the traditional route (what all the doctors said to do) and it was destructive to the health of my child but looking back I can’t blame myself at all for being caught up in the madness. I did my best and learned from it. That is all I can ask of myself.

    “Though sympathy for CS’s offspring is laudable, and I share it, that gives him exactly zero credibility in claiming any kind of authority here, much less the right to be abusive in doing so”.

    Oh, please, no… I don’t want any sympathy at all. We are doing just great. I absolutely do have authority because as a mother, I wish to inform people of the dangers injecting chemicals, metals, live viruses, etc. into their babies. This is based on experience. It’s real simple. Doctors (with an agenda) or uneducated people with no life experience (having made the vaccine decision with their children) are mere roadblocks.

  54. #54 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “Nothing is guaranteed”.

    No, HCN, nothing is guaranteed. This is the reason why people make decisions based upon reading the pros and cons. Some vaccinations are riskier than others. Some diseases that we vaccinate for which may outweigh the risks (that I see) with the vaccine. There are some children (with family histories of autoimmune diseases, neurological issues, etc) where the mandated and/or VERY crowed suggested vaccine schedule is simply too much If you can’t see that… I am sorry for you. I do find it interesting that HCN thought that his/her child could be exempt from some vaccines due to his particular health concerns… yet you cannot see how my own children are worthy of that same respect in regards to their health factors. Shame on you for putting the health of your kid above my own…. Stop being so selfish.

  55. #55 DuWayne
    August 3, 2007

    Common Sense -

    You talk about selfish? Give me a break. You are the one selfishly ignoring the evidence. You are the one (presumably) sending or planning to send your kids, unvaccinated, to public schools, where they will put other kids at risk for infectious diseases. You’re the one who thinks leaving your own kids unprotected is ok. You are selfishly ignoring not only the health and safety of other people’s kids, you are ignoring the health and safety of your own children, through your willful ignorance of reality. Selfish indeed.

  56. #56 KMD
    August 3, 2007

    “You do have the right to refuse a vaccine so long as doing so will not endanger others.”

    If you get measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, YOU may be treated and recover without any ill effects. If my immuno-compromised child on chemotherapy gets any one of those diseases SHE could die.

    Lives are in fact endangered by refusal to vaccinate.

  57. #57 HCN
    August 3, 2007

    Common Sue said “You are the one (presumably) sending or planning to send your kids, unvaccinated, to public schools, where they will put other kids at risk for infectious diseases.”

    Actually, Common Sue… all my children are fully vaccinated. My oldest was not vaccinated for pertussis (DT instead) as per doctor’s recommendation due to his history of seizures.

    It was when he was an infant and there was a pertussis epidemic that we had to be very careful who came into contact with. That is where I first ran into the parents like yourself, and how that has framed my opinion. Just about the same time over 120 Americans died of measles.

    Though it has been more recently revealed that the DPT did not really cause more seizures, and he could have been safely vaccinated. My son’s vulnerable status can be squarely blamed on Barbara Loe Fisher and Harris Coulter Who are possibly the two main reasons pertussis has returned and has subsequently killed several dozen infants. Just like Wakefield is to be blamed the deaths of several Irish kids, one UK kid and countless other disabilities due to mumps and measles.

    Perhaps you think the parents of the these two boys who were severely disabled from measles acted “selfishly” in not vaccinating them:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece

    (note: both boys had had kidney transplants)

  58. #58 HCN
    August 3, 2007

    KMD,

    Common Sue would not care if your child died. She has no feeling or understanding of other parents with health impaired kids.

    Did you see how she twisted my son’s health history? It has been explained to her countless times over the past couple of years… and yet she thinks I purposely do not vaccinate my kid (not true, my son who now has a heart condition is in the first set of folks to get a fall flu shot).

    She just does NOT care!

  59. #59 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “If you get measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, YOU may be treated and recover without any ill effects. If my immuno-compromised child on chemotherapy gets any one of those diseases SHE could die”.

    I’m very sorry for your situation, however, we each do what we need to do for our own children. My children have had bad reactions to vaccinations which have caused medical problems with them. It is not my responsibility to put my children at more risk for the sake of yours.

  60. #60 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “(not true, my son who now has a heart condition is in the first set of folks to get a fall flu shot)”.

    Yikes…Flu shot, HCN? Not smart. As always, my opinion only.

    “She just does NOT care”!

    I do care… I care very much. I simply know that my children cannot handle the toxic assaults.

  61. #61 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “Though it has been more recently revealed that the DPT did not really cause more seizures, and he could have been safely vaccinated. My son’s vulnerable status can be squarely blamed on Barbara Loe Fisher and Harris Coulter Who are possibly the two main reasons pertussis has returned and has subsequently killed several dozen infants”.

    Liar, liar pants on fire, HCN. The DTP shot was a very dangerous shot. It has been replaced by the “safer” version of the DTaP. Barbara Loe Fisher was one of the driving forces behind this change for the safety of the children being vaccinated. It is sad and pathetic (yet typical) that you would malign that effort. Pull your head out of the sand. I only hope that people such as Cain and DuWayne do their own research instead of blindly following people like you with your twisted logic where the safety of a vaccine is of little importance.

  62. #62 KMD
    August 3, 2007

    “I’m very sorry for your situation, however, we each do what we need to do for our own children. My children have had bad reactions to vaccinations which have caused medical problems with them. It is not my responsibility to put my children at more risk for the sake of yours.”

    I’m sure you sleep well at night with that attitude. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure you do. Somehow I wonder if it was your own child’s very life at risk because I chose not to vaccinate my kids, whether you’d have a different opinion.

  63. #63 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “I’m sure you sleep well at night with that attitude. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure you do. Somehow I wonder if it was your own child’s very life at risk because I chose not to vaccinate my kids, whether you’d have a different opinion”.

    Are you kidding me? I sleep just fine. You don’t get it. I followed the rules for years with my older two children. My children were injured by vaccinations … what don’t you get? Why shouldn’t I protect my kids as you protect yours. I feel for your situation (really I do)… I simply am not going to jeopardize the health of my kids for the health of yours…

  64. #64 LCR
    August 3, 2007

    We have a number of students in our elementary school who have not had their immunizations because they are Christian Scientists. I have always been perplexed and rather appalled that the school does so much work making sure that all entering children are current on their immunizations, but as soon as someone offers the religion excuse, well, then, that’s okay. So religion is more important than the health and welfare of the general student body?

    Though I worry about the health and future of the children from these families who choose not to immunize, I keep my nose out of their personal health decisions. I wouldn’t want another person interfering with my family in that way. But having said that, I do wish that the schools would make those immunization requirements more stringent. If a child has been told by a doctor NOT to have an immunization for health issues, fine, but if parents choose to not immunize their kids because of religious or philosophical reasons, then I don’t think they should be accepted into the public school system. I’m sure they can find a school that agrees with their religion or philosophy that will take their money and educate their children.

    I’m sure this will go over like a ton of bricks with some people, but why have these immunization requirements for entering school in the first place, designed to promote a healthy population, if you allow an individual’s religious or philosophical non-scientific and non-medically based beliefs (and fears) take precedence over the health of that community?

  65. #65 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    As far as I’m concerned the government should not be forcing me into injecting mercury, aluminum, formeldehyde, chicken embryos and antifreeze into my baby… That just makes sense to me… We can agree to disagree on that though.

  66. #66 DuWayne
    August 3, 2007

    HCN –

    You are the one selfishly ignoring the evidence. You are the one (presumably) sending or planning to send your kids, unvaccinated, to public schools, where they will put other kids at risk for infectious diseases.

    Was actually from me, in response to common senseless, claim that we’re being selfish, expecting her to vaccinate her kids.

    Common sense -

    You know what, the government shouldn’t force you to vaccinate your kids. They just shouldn’t be allowed to attend the public schools that other children, including those who actually have a medical reason not to take certain vaccines or just can’t develop the anti-bodies, go to get educated.

    Don’t want to vaccinate your kids? Fine, keep ‘em home and educate them yourself. Don’t put other kids at risk, because of your selfish stupidity.

  67. #67 LCR
    August 3, 2007

    I just finished reading a biography on John Adams which did a wonderful job of relating much of the social and health conditions that people endured during his lifetime. Every summer, our early government vacated the cities because of the rampant illnesses that flourished during the heat and humidity (and the bugs) of summer. It was during Adams’ early political career that the immunization against small pox was developed. In spite of the horrible way it was administered (slicing open a vein to mildly infect the person with infected pus… lovely), in spite of the fact that people had to get sick before they gained immunity, and in spite of the fact that some people died from the administration of this process, it was apparent to most people that in the long term, this medical procedure was going to save lives and improve the health of our people.

    I’m afraid this lesson has been lost on too many people, primarily because we no longer live in a society where death visiting your doorstep every sweltering summer was an expected occurance. We have become spoiled by the benefits of science, benefits that have allowed even the naysayers to avoid the diseases that immunizations protect us from. I greatly fear that the reoccurance of these diseases among the population of non-vaccinated individuals will be the only thing to make these people aware that their fears are misplaced… or perhaps at least nothing compared to the fear of losing a frightening number of your loved ones to these preventable diseases.

  68. #68 Common Sense
    August 3, 2007

    “Don’t want to vaccinate your kids? Fine, keep ‘em home and educate them yourself. Don’t put other kids at risk, because of your selfish stupidity”.

    DuWayne, so it’s cool to inject your baby with mercury, aluminum and antifreeze? Go for it, then. I am choosing not to and yes, my children will be enjoying public school…

    By the way, DuWayne… I decided to click on your name here which directed me to your blog. You should look to your own words in this debate. Allow me to quote you. You wrote:

    “Second, if people choose, they should be able to put whatever they wish, into their body. From foods that are generally unsafe, to various enthogens, it should be their choice to put what they please into their body”.

    My dear DuWayne, it goes both ways. I should also be given the right to avoid putting poison into my kids’ bodies and not be penalized by the government for that decision by not allowing my children into public school. It’s quite simple…

    I can only hope that you do your own homework on the baby that you have on the way. Really open your mind and read. You may actually learn something. Read both the pros and cons of certain vaccinations and do not under any circumstances allow your partner to get a flu shot during her pregnancy. You also may want to consider NOT getting a Hep B vaccine on day 1 or 2 of life. That is just plain uninformed. Do yourself a favor… READ and THINK.

    Good luck with everything. I do understand that the vast majority of those tests which come back elevated are false alarms so I will be wishing you good thoughts with that. Either way, children are always a blessing…. We all wish only the best for our children no matter where we stand on this particular issue – Despite the nastiness of the majority of the posters here who are influenced by the medical professionals who have gotten it wrong for such a long time. I also notice that you have ADHD, your child will have a higher risk for neurological issues such as this as well. Again, not telling you what to do but… be careful with the vaccines… your child will also likely be more susceptible to neurological problems from vaccines.

  69. #69 HCN
    August 3, 2007

    DuWayne, I sincerely apologize for misreading your posting. Sorry.

    No… wait, Common Sue DID say that to me here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/08/using_religion_to_avoid_vaccination.php#comment-522260 … she said ” do find it interesting that HCN thought that his/her child could be exempt from some vaccines due to his particular health concerns… yet you cannot see how my own children are worthy of that same respect in regards to their health factors. Shame on you for putting the health of your kid above my own…. Stop being so selfish.”

    Even though it was a medical reason to not vaccinate for one disease, a disease our county was having an epidemic of.
    I back to ignoring Common Sue again, she just has absolutely no sense.

  70. #70 HCN
    August 4, 2007

    Sorry, I have to address the Common Sue on this where she called me a liar: “Liar, liar pants on fire, HCN. The DTP shot was a very dangerous shot. It has been replaced by the “safer” version of the DTaP. Barbara Loe Fisher was one of the driving forces behind this change for the safety of the children being vaccinated. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16940831

    From that “CONCLUSIONS: In this study of more than 2 million children, DTP and MMR vaccines were not associated with an increased risk of encephalopathy after vaccination.”

    And:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=14580221 which says “Data from these clinics suggest that vaccination is safe for children with a personal or family history of seizures, but statistical power has been limited.”

    Barbara Loe Fisher, Harris Coulter, Andrew Wakefield and a bunch of other folks are guilty of fraud, and possibly manslaughter. You, on the other hand, are just guilty of obstinate stupidity.

  71. #71 isles
    August 4, 2007

    And the whole-cell pertussis was, I believe, better at creating lasting immunity than today’s acellular version. So at least some of the current difficulty with keeping pertussis in check can be attributed to those two nitwits.

  72. #72 DuWayne
    August 4, 2007

    Yes Sue, I absolutely believe in ones right to take anything into their body. I also believe they have a right to refuse to take something into their body. I even, though with much trepedition, support one’s right to refuse to vaccinate their children. That does not mean others should have to suffer, for those choices.

    This is not an issue of freedom, but an issue of public health and safety. The choices we make with our freedom, often times come with consequences. If I choose to ingest certain substances, I give up my right to do other things, such as driving, or depending on the substance, go out in public at all. While I should be able to choose to ingest as much LSD as I might like, I should not be allowed to inflict the results of that decision on others, by attempting to drive under it’s influence. Likewise, you should have every right not to vaccinate your children, that does not mean you should have a right to inflict that choice on others.

    It is highly unlikely that, regardless of what we do, that any child of mine could avoid ADHD. My biological father and all but one of his boys, two of his girls (15 in all, that we are aware of), are not ADHD. Of all the progeny of my half sibs that I am aware of (13) only two don’t have ADHD. Bipolar, is not as prevalent in our genetic heritage, but my own is very mild and the symptoms may well be the result of congenital insomnia, which also seems prevalent with us. There is no evidence that this has anything to do with vaccines, my maternal half brother does not suffer any neurological disorders.

    Unlike you, I started out very skeptical of vaccines. Having spent a large part of my life, without health insurance and like many people with neurological disorders, a huge appetite for mind altering substances, I got into plant medicines and enthogens. I also have a tendency to be susceptible to notion that, motivated by greed, people and especially large corporations are capable of incredible horrors. So when my first child was on the way, I spent a lot of time doing a lot of research. I read a lot, including information provided by the doctor I grew up with, who had provided care for years, for whatever I could afford at any given point. I have a great many reasons to trust him, and trust him I do. He didn’t just tell me it was ok, he provided evidence that he knew I needed to make my decision.

  73. #73 Common Sense
    August 4, 2007

    So, HCN claims the he/she is not a liar yet:

    “I back to ignoring Common Sue again, she just has absolutely no sense”.

    Short time later:

    “Sorry, I have to address the Common Sue on this where she called me a liar: “Liar, liar pants on fire, HCN”.

    That ignoring me went well, HCN. Anyway, HCN, the DTP was in fact a very dangerous shot (in comparison to others). That, my friends, is common knowledge. The newer DTaP is less dangerous. If you cannot even acknowledge that known fact than you aren’t worth that much time and energy.

    I giggle at your assertion that those people you listed are guilty of fraud and possibly manslaughter. A comment like that is hilarious and moronic. Typical for you.

  74. #74 Common Sense
    August 4, 2007

    “Likewise, you should have every right not to vaccinate your children, that does not mean you should have a right to inflict that choice on others”.

    Sweet innocent DuWayne… Again, parents who refuse to inject babies with mercury, aluminum, formeldehyde, antifreeze, chicken embryos, human tissue, etc. etc… should not be banned from public schools. End of discussion. You seem extremely uneducated in this debate. Smarten up and READ. You need this information.

    “It is highly unlikely that, regardless of what we do, that any child of mine could avoid ADHD”.

    That may/may not be true. You may, however, be able to stop them for more serious damage such as autism. As you know (I assume) ADHD/ADD is on the low end of the spectrum. How many toxic vaccines did you have as a young child, DuWayne? I imagine it was approximately 1/3 of the amount that is recommended for children today. So, if any of your ADHD symptoms/issues (whatever you call it) were due to any environmental concerns (not limited to vaccines)it is possible that your children being injected with 3 times as many of these toxic assaults could put them over the edge… resulting in a larger degree of damage from those assaults… Really, you should read more.

    I laugh at your commentary here:

    “I read a lot, including information provided by the doctor I grew up with, who had provided care for years, for whatever I could afford at any given point. I have a great many reasons to trust him, and trust him I do. He didn’t just tell me it was ok, he provided evidence that he knew I needed to make my decision”.

    DuWayne… you spoke with a DOCTOR looking for advice on whether to vaccinate your child and he actually told you yes… wow, what a shock! LOL! Of course he did, DuWayne, that is the entire issue here… Don’t you get it? You need to read and research the issue from the point of view of parents. I suggest the EOHyahoogroup.

    Good luck. Be smart.

  75. #75 isles
    August 4, 2007

    Common,

    Just thought I’d give you a little tip. I’m sorry to have to say it, but the black pointy hat doesn’t go well with your green skin.

  76. #76 DuWayne
    August 4, 2007

    Sue -

    Just to clarify a couple of points.

    The doctor I spoke to about it, didn’t simply tell me I should vaccinate my child – indeed, he never actually said that. He gave me a lot of information to read. Both studies that were skeptical of vaccines and studies that were not. This is the same doctor that also helped me make informed decisions about altie medicine, i.e. medicine that I could actually afford, as much of it grew where I lived. Helped me make sure that I didn’t fry my brain, or at least took precautions, when using hallucinogens – not because he supported my decisions to use them, but because he knew I would use them with, or without his suggestions.

    As for my neurological disorders, please feel free to read my blog about them. I’ll have the second part of my story about life with ADHD, insomia and bipolar, up later today. While they have caused me no end of trouble, they are intrinsic to who I am. They are also, in spite of being something of a curse, the greatest blessing in my life aside from my family. They are an integral part of my burgeoning career as a songwriter. They are a part of how one of my brothers managed to teach me to read when I was two, write when I was three. Yeah, they make academia an extreme challenge and make me susceptible to substance abuse, but these are issues that I can compensate for. And my understanding of them, will be very useful in raising the child I have, who is definitely ADHD and the one on the way, who quite likely will be as well.

    As for fears of autism, it is certainly a risk. I would go as far as to say, that it is more probable that a child of mine will be autistic, than it is for neurotypicals. I accept that risk and if my net child is autistic, I will take the same joy in raising him and loving him, as I do my ADHD son. I spend a fair amount of time, with one of my son’s friends, who is autistic. I also spend a lot of time with an autistic teen from my church, who has an interest in learning to write music. They have enriched my life to an amazing degree, I would expect no different raising an autistic child, in spite of the immense challenges involved.

    And they were not caused by vaccines. I have been an insomniac since the day I was born – before I was ever injected with anything. I slept less than ten, of my first twenty-four hours outside my mother’s uterus. There is a slight possibility that my mother’s smoking while pregnant with me, contributed to the situation, but the genetic propensities were already there. Considering that most of my half-sibs on the paternal side, also have ADHD and some of them bipolar and sleep issues, I chalk it up to genetics. We’re talking fifteen kids, out of eight different mothers.

    I have to laugh myself, at the notion of depending on a group of people who’s only claim to expertise on the subject of vaccines, is that they are parents. No thank you. It was that crowd that started me out skeptical. Then I did more serious research, I read about it from both sides and positions in between. Am I 100% certain that the vaccines won’t cause any problems? No. I am, however, entirely convinced that it is far more dangerous for my children not to be vaccinated. I also laugh at the use of all caps, for the word doctor, as though they are all eevile. . .

  77. #77 Common Sense
    August 5, 2007

    DuWayne, I don’t use caps to suggest that doctors are “eevile” as you say but instead to assure you that it is very common for nitwit doctors to scare people into vaccinating their children. It is used as emphasis.

    I wish you the best with your kids… just don’t be stupid… If it makes sense for you to vaccinate your newborn on day 1 with Hep B — go for it. If it makes sense to vaccinate your newborn with the Prevnar – go for it. If you don’t want to have to poke your child with individual shots, please feel free to indulge in one of those more dangerous 5-in-1 shots. If your are concerned about “the flu” feel free to vaccinate against the flu with a thimerosal-containing flu shot… I really don’t care what you do… I just know what I will not be doing… with my religious exemptions in place. Thanks be to God… :)

  78. #78 Tabitha
    October 11, 2007

    I have too been reading up on the vaccines (as my child approaches her first set of shots) and quite frankly, its scary. I have been on the CDC website and they tell you what is in those vaccines. Thimesol or however it is spelled is mercury. There are aborted fetal cells, monkey tissue, etc. Do you know that cancer rates have risen at least 10 fold. Autism was only 1 in 10000 in the 70s (only 8 vaccines were around then) and now its 1 in 150 (with more than 22 vaccines on the market today). There is a vaccine now for earaches. What is that. I had earaches and suffered no damage. I don’t think children need this many vaccines now. I will do the Diptheria, pertussis and polio but thats it. I would rather have my child build natural immunity to these diseases. The polio vaccine back in the 60s (its different now) has been proven to cause bone, breast, colon, and brain cancer. Don’t believe everything the government tells you. Do your own research.

  79. #79 Bronze Dog
    October 11, 2007

    Thimesol or however it is spelled is mercury.

    Only in the same sense that table salt is explosive, metallic sodium and gaseous, poisonous chlorine. Does anyone take 5th grade science anymore? Compounds are not the same as elements!

    Do you know that cancer rates have risen at least 10 fold.

    I highly doubt that. Show me the evidence. After you’re done with that, show me the evidence that it’s caused by something other than us NOT dying of other diseases.

    Autism was only 1 in 10000 in the 70s (only 8 vaccines were around then) and now its 1 in 150 (with more than 22 vaccines on the market today).

    Yeah, because there’s no other possible causes for that. Like the definition of “autism” expanding, or people being more open about autism after benefits started showing up and the stigma lessened when it stopped being blamed on bad mothering.

    There is a vaccine now for earaches. What is that. I had earaches and suffered no damage.

    Yeah, because Tabitha is the measure of all things. If it doesn’t hurt Tabitha, it must be harmless. Tabitha, Tabitha, Tabitha. Get over the hubris.

    I suppose measles must be harmless because I survived it, even though some children DIE from it.

    I will do the Diptheria, pertussis and polio but thats it. I would rather have my child build natural immunity to these diseases.

    Because inflicting a child with a potentially fatal disease is much better than letting them get a potentially fatal disease.

    The polio vaccine back in the 60s (its different now) has been proven to cause bone, breast, colon, and brain cancer.

    Evidence? No? Got something to hide, Tabitha?

    Don’t believe everything the government tells you. Do your own research.

    Because child-murdering alties, ambulance-chasing money-hungry injury lawyers, and Big Altie corporations are more trustworthy than scientists doing the scientific studies under the scientific method which demands accountability by anyone in the world.

    Oh, wait, where does the government fit in? Tabitha’s deluded imagination, of course. The government is irrelevant to the data. But that won’t stop Tabitha from changing the subject in order to perform transfer.

    Of course, given that Tabitha has conspicuously avoided leaving any references for her alleged “research,” I think we can presume that she’s actually trying to prevent us from examining her “research.”

    Given that she can’t tell the difference between an element and a compound (which should have been covered in grade school science), I doubt she has any knowledge of how scientific research is done. Just propaganda “research.”

    I’m in that foamy moral outrage state, again. Criminally negligent anti-vaxxers do that to me. Why must the world be populated by such mindless naysaying toe-the-party-line woos?

    Time to cool back down with another humor entry on my blog. I’m going to need it. I dressed a little too warmly today.

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