I know a lot of people have issues with the government passing laws for our own good, such as a law requiring parents to vaccinate their children. Except here's the thing. There are a lot of laws dictating what we can and cannot do with our children.
You can't feed them some crazy weird diet of like only wheatgrass juice that leaves them malnourished. Even if it's the diet you're eating and you think it is perfectly healthy, and that normal human foods are poison.
You must put a baby in a car seat, despite the fact that car seats are expensive and there are plenty of websites out there extolling the dangers of carseats. (One I found talked about some chemical used in making many brands of car seats.)
Your child must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, even if plenty ofadults think helmets are stupid and useless hand refuse to wear them because it restricts their rights.
And the funny thing is, each of these laws just affect the individual child. It doesn't hurt your neighbor if your kid isn't eating properly or not strapped into a car seat.
However, vaccination is an issue that affects Public Safety as well as your own child (and unlike food, helmets, and car seats, vaccines can be obtained for free) yet there are no laws requiring parents to vaccinate their kids. What's up with that?
Most people who refuse to vaccinate are misinformed-- if you are going to endanger the health of your child and others, at least have the sense to look at the scientific facts. Too many people believe anything and everything theit cousin's dogwalker posts on FB. Be a skeptic! It will save you time, money and improve the health of your family (according to 3 out of 4 friends I polled)ReplyDelete
Actually, when they have done the research on people that refuse, they find that as a whole they are extremely educated and have researched the issues extensively. However, this group rarely refuses all vaccines, they usually refuse some of the newer vaccines (chicken pox) and commonly start their schedule when their children are older.Delete
Actually, bicycle helmet laws vary from state to state. Michigan, for instance, has no requirement that children wear helmets. Michigan is also pretty liberal on the vaccination waivers although technically vaccinations are "required by law." And while all of the states have car seat, booster seat, and seat belt requirements for children, the ages involved vary. I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to starve your kids anywhere, though... assuming anybody notices you're doing it.ReplyDelete
But... ummm... yeah, your basic point is valid.
I see this whole vaccination debate as a microcosm of a bigger issue: inability orReplyDelete
unwillingness of one side to see an opposing point of view. I've stopped watching
certain nightly "news" programs for this very reason. The conservative agenda is
promoted on one show and the liberal agenda is promoted on another. No consensus is ever reached. Like an action potential, it's an all or none response. As Mr Spock (RIP Leonard Nimoy) might say, " it defies logic." However, it is all too human. Perhaps if we could see the world as others see it, we could be less
combative in working out our differences. It doesn't mean changing ones' point of
view. It simply means respecting the right of others to have a different one.
might say, " it
That's not really a reasonable solution when somebody else's opinion means that your kid is exposed to a virus that could make them deaf or even kill them. Or for example, somebody else's opinion means that you cannot get an abortion at age 13.Delete
Hmmm. I think I see Pauls' point. I see Fizzy's also. I think the issue is not just seeing other opinions, its the lack of respect for others' lives. Not caring about other human beings. That's really what it boils down to. If you respect others, you will listen, take the time and patience to explain why the view is an issue. If they refuse, well we stop thieves, abusers, murderers, etc. for the common good, for other human good. That is being missed here. I've tried to talk with a few who attacked me and I simply ended up saying, in the end, the govt. will force them. That's what it comes down to. Sad, very very sad.Delete
however, if your kid is vaccinated, it shouldn't matter if your kid is exposed to the disease or not - they shouldn't get it.Delete
You can feed your child whatever you want - what you can't do is have them severely malnourished or actually die from it. (Well, severely malnourished and looking like it - malnourished and morbidly overweight is another problem that CPS around here won't pursue.)ReplyDelete
You don't have to put baby in a car seat - you only have to put baby in a car seat if it's in a car driving on a road. The government owns and maintains the roads; the government makes the rules for what it allows on the roads. So, people who are totally against car seats would (theoretically) be able to avoid them - biking, public transport, walking, horse and buggy....(Yeah, someone in a midwest city having to commute to daycare would have a difficult time; but if they were so against carseats, it would be reasonable to move to a locale where they were avoidable). Also, one can avoid a carseat and probably not get pulled over for it (the majority of the time) - it's not a 'one and done' type thing like vaccines.
As mentioned, bicycle laws vary. Kids don't have to wear them here. Even when they are written, the wording pretty much only applies to a bicycle on a public roadway - if you want to bicycle on your private property, you don't have to wear a helmet. Also, one doesn't have to bicycle.
Finally, there are laws regarding vaccination; kids (around here, anyway) must be vaccinated if they are to attend a public institution (ranging from daycare to school).
One of the differences with vaccination compared to your other examples is that a vaccine is a biologically-engineered agent that is injected into the child's body. (And no, food doesn't count because it's not engineered in the same way vaccines are; it's required for all animals to live; and it's not injected.) It can't be taken away, whereas car-seats and helmets aren't on all the time.
Anyway. I was vaccinated on time and will vaccinate my kids. However, I don't want state or federal laws mandating vaccines for all kids simply for being alive. I think the current model (again, here in my locale) of requiring vaccination for kids attending public institutions (daycare through school) is good enough. I'd also agree with a no-public funding for medical illness for an unvaccinated child who contacts a vaccine preventable disease or higher insurance premiums for those who don't vaccinate.
Oh, and where are vaccines free?!?! The last time I went with a kiddo, it was dr office fee (well visit) + vaccine fee + nurse injection fee! It was >$250.
The services may not be free if you have the ability to pay, but I'm pretty sure that any child can get a vaccination at no cost or very minimal cost in places like these:Delete
I would be fine with parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against serious diseases if they stayed out of all public facilities, such as parks, museums, schools, doctors offices. Public schools are not the only places where kids interact and touch things and breathe the same air.
I definitely agree with the higher insurance premiums, although I don't think it's ethical not to treat those children when they become ill.
Here's the problem Fizzy: you have people who are refusing something to help them. If they believe its ok for others to suffer, why shouldn't they? Its heart rendering to know that in America, for the most part, unless you do it to someone or their loved ones, they could care less. The way to stop some of that is to suffer the consequences of your choices. That's really going to be the only way I see some of these people having to accept that. Very painful to say but sadly the truth.Delete
Dr. Fizzy, we're on the same side. I wholeheartedly agree with your position(s).ReplyDelete
No disagreement there. However, others may not share our viewpoint. At the
heart of the matter is safety, public and individual. I know that I am not going
to change anyone's mind who is convinced otherwise. I can though, by listening
with an open mind, better understand their concerns as it relates to the issue.
No, consensus may not be reached, but it may bridge the misunderstandings
that both sides claim the other is guilty of. I feel we can gain more cooperation
from anti-vaccinators with understanding, not to be confused with agreeing,
than we can by other means. Wouldn't you agree?
The trouble is that when it comes to vaccines, “the other side” is totally unreasonable. You’re absolutely right that there are valid concerns to be raised, but those aren’t the concerns we hear about. For the longest time, it was “vaccines cause autism” or “vaccines can cause more harm than good - and those illnesses aren’t such a big deal, anyway.” From an objective point of view, looking at all of the data that we have available, neither of these statements are reasonable. But these people have the same access to this information as you or I have, and it doesn’t matter who says it, they firmly believe what they are going to believe.Delete
I like to believe that everyone, if given information, respect, and a thoughtful explanation, will come to the most objective conclusion. The question is, what do you do when faced with a person who refuses to change their world view, despite being presented with a mountain of evidence against their belief? What happens when it’s not just one person, but a multitude of people whose decision-making capacities have the potential to wreak havoc on society?
Paul, if you ran into some person who was attempting to pass legislation that people with aspergers shouldn't be allowed to hold jobs, marry, or have children, would you just smile and try to be understanding and see their point of view as they took away all of your rights?Delete
Anonymous People with Aspergers' aren't endangering public health, causing a lot of sickness and potential death. Frankly, it is also the public money that is going to have to pay for these problems. It is cheaper to pay for $10K of vaccines than $10M when there is an epidemic. At some point the right to swing your fist stops at my nose. Everyone has rights, but not the right to cause sickness. What about people who don't have sick time or money to pay for these things? I still remember to this day a single mom secretary almost losing her job because her son got chicken pox and pneumonia back to back. She didn't have care for him, so she got hit financially and at work. Her kid infected no one. Think of what happens when a very infectious disease gets out. Look at Ebola in Africa. They believe that HIV and pregnant women, cholera, etc. are all worse killers because all the beds are taken by Ebola, so pregnant women or those with cholera who MIGHT have been treated, got left to chance. Is that right? Do we devote all these resources to people and then others lose out at care because we're dealing with epidemics? Asperger people don't do that. I have a friend who has an Asperger son. This young man has NEVER caused any one any problems. He's quiet and law abiding. He's friendly, tries to be at least. I've seen others that are whizzes at math, science that are contributing to society.Delete
You make a valid point, and I fully appreciate what yourself and LedgemDelete
are stating. To play devils advocate, some of them feel that big money
interests are at play, and the scientific data is skewed to promote the
other point of view. As was pointed out in the previous post, marijuana
is a lot safer than some of the so called "approved" drugs that are
on the market. Having spoken to many proponents of anti-vaccination
I understand their concern. I don't agree with it, but I understand it.
They are genuinely concerned that they are going to do irreparable
harm to their child/children by vaccinating them. I spoke to one woman
whose child had Aspergers Syndrome, like myself, which she attributed
to vaccination. I did not contest her assertion but rather left the topic
open ended as we discussed it further. I mentioned that I too had Aspergers Syndrome, and that I believed my mother was on that
spectrum too. Interestingly enough, she revealed to me that she had
certain traits in common with people with Aspergers Syndrome. Perhaps
it's a genetic thing? I said to her with a smile in my voice. She laughed.
What did I accomplish? Maybe nothing, or perhaps I planted a seed
that will take root later. As a person who worked in the medical profession (podiatrist), I side with your position on this issue. However,
if I push too hard with someone who has an opposing point of view,
they're just going to shut me down. More than being right, people
want to be understood. They spend good money on therapists for
that privilege. My point is, I believe a person/people are more receptive
to listening to an opposing viewpoint when they feel understood. No,
it probably won't change their thinking initially, but it might just plant
a seed. The bottom line: society needs to be protected. How we
accomplish that? I don't know.
Paul, I think you are doing a good job. I've found anti vax people to be very unreasonable and very unwilling to listen to anything. I've seen them try to shill out and scream me down. I quickly stopped the conversation and just said well, govt. will force them. In the end that is what I see happening. I see these peoples' points. They do have really good ones, however ... the problem is that they are applying "big pharma" and the like to a problem that doesn't exist. They don't make the kind of money on vaccines that they do for other drugs. So while, yes, we're ripped off in one area, that doesn't mean we are in all. As for scientific data, well ... its hard to fake diseases and the harm/death before vaccines to after vaccines. Right there, that should have given people a clue. I think what scares me is you get an epidemic and they trace it to "patient zero", are you going to see mob rule? I bet you do. I find that scary. With Aspergers' I would bet many of these parents don't want to admit that the research does indicate a genetic component. Its like saying I caused my kids' problems. You know nowadays everyone is at fault but themselves. Oddly, the Asperger adults I know have never blamed their parents. I would have thought parents would spend more time developing their social skills and any savant talents, if they had them, so that the kids would have an easier time and be able to be adults on their own. That is more helpful than blame.Delete
Society is going to get protected, but its going to be govt. enforced. That's what I see happening. I don't like it, because you go down a very dark road, but its twixt a rock and a hard place.
Correction to a previous post: regarding parking for physicians, I incorrectly statedReplyDelete
that nurse practitioners and physicians do the exact same work so they should
be allowed to park in physician spaces. Although I see nurse practitioners and
other medical personnel as valued members of a team, each member is contributing in their own unique way. It is my feeling, though, that there is an overriding concern that trumps parking order: safety. I fully appreciate the fact
that a woman may feel less safe in a desolate parking lot than a man. One
solution: Unless there's a compelling reason for a man to have a spot close to
the hospital, women should be given first priority.
As a woman, I disagree with that assertion. Women and men should be treated equally. Period.Delete
I hope my comment wasn't interpreted as meaning women can't take care of themselves. I was raised by a single mom and maternal grandmother who provided for me and my sister. To the contrary, I don't see women as weak but very strong and capable. However, I feel very protective toward women too. I apologize if my comment was viewed as patronizing or negative in any way. It was not my intention.Delete
Your argument is often used to deny women the same opportunities as men. Example: In college people argued that it was "unsafe" for women to have 1st floor dorm rooms because they might attract peeping toms and get raped. Then it was argued that the rapist might endanger the whole building, having entered through the poor, unsuspecting female's dorm room. Rather than suggest a common sense solution (i.e. ladies, pull your shades when you get undressed), this was used to restrict the choices of dorm room for females at my college until 1996.Delete
In the case of the parking, if security is a real concern in the parking lot, I assure you that it is a problem for men as well as women as theft is far and away more common than rape. The solution is to staff an attendant at the parking lot or install cameras and make the parking lot safer for everyone, not to give spots closer to the door to females.
I see what you're saying, and apologize for my short sightedness on the issue. I truly would not deny anyone their rights/opportunities intentionally. I'm glad that you pointed it out. I simply did not know.Delete
Your solution is a good one: "staff an attendant at the parking lot or
install cameras." Perhaps both can be done!
We have a governmental body that is non-oppressive. We take this for granted. Empowering the government to take away parental rights (specifically regarding the injection of a foreign body) is oppression. I am a physician. I am pro-vaccination. I am wholeheartedly against a law requiring the injection of a foreign substance into a child. It is beyond my comprehension that educated people cannot fathom the precedent this type of legislation would set. The privilege and naiveté is astounding. (The comparison of bike helmets to immunizations is lacking).ReplyDelete
Maybe it shouldn't be a requirement to vaccinate your children, but the restrictions should be greater. Not allowing them to attend public school is a start, but children can still interact in public parks, museums, amusement parks, and worst of all, doctors offices. There are plenty of doctors who now refused to see unvaccinated patients, and I completely agree with this decision. If parents had to struggle to find a pediatrician for their unvaccinated child, they might change their mind about vaccines. A rather stubborn nurse I know at work changed her mind about the flu vaccine when she found out that she was going to have to wear a mask all winter if she didn't get one.Delete
I know a doctor who quit working in the hospital because of that same rule about the flu vaccine.Delete
Not allowing children to go to public school is almost a requirement. That only came about with Jimmy Carter by the way.
What about kids who can't follow the standard schedule - what about them?
Limiting a child's access to healthcare is a breach of the Hippocratic oath. Prohibiting access to public places, while not a violation of the body itself, violates other basic human rights. One thing is clear, the "solution" to this ill-informed anti-vaccination movement involves education.ReplyDelete
They can get healthcare, but it just might not be where they want to get it. It's not a violation of the Hippocratic oath, and it's something that more and more pediatricians are doing:Delete
Not only does having these children in the practice put other patients at risk, but it belittles you as a physician if the parent won't follow your most basic recommendations.
I have to agree with Fizzy. How and who they would get healthcare is a consequence of the choice they make. If I was a parent of a new born baby or one that was a couple of months old, I would expect the ped to protect my child, & provide a safe environment. I would also be restricted because I wouldn't want to go to a ped who didn't do that. Physicians have a long history of claiming mental problems in people who didn't follow their recommends when it was an issue of personality or the doctor just doesn't want to be bothered. I've seen non compliance used as a control issue. Its well known in patient circles. There is a difference between the two. They have science and history to rely on.Delete
I do think building trust among parents is probably a better way to go than arm twisting people into getting their children vaccinated. More authoritarianism on the part of the government seems likely to backfire.ReplyDelete
That said, I hate seeing my child sick more than pretty much anything and honestly cannot fathom why anyone wouldn't want to vaccinate, even if vaccinating her only decreases her chances of severe illness by a small amount.
Agreed. We are not going to change anti-vaccination opinion by driving theDelete
wedge between us further. It will only harden their resolve. No, if they're unable or unwilling to change their perception, we will change ours. No, not with respect to our position on vaccination, but with respect to our perception of those who disagree with us. We will no longer see you as the enemy, and it will be reflected in our tone and manner toward you.
We will understand that you're afraid and are not acting out of spite. We will not bully you by denying you care though we are within our rights to do so. Though we are of the majority opinion, we will accommodate you to the best of our ability in public school school and public places. We will overwhelm you with our compassion and understanding. In an atmosphere of trust, and having no one to do battle with you except your own conscience, perhaps you will be more open to seeing the issue from a different perspective.
* correction: We will not bully you by denying you care in a private settingDelete
though we are within our rights to do so.
This whole debate was on "Special Victims Unit". Guess I have a lot of time on my hands!ReplyDelete