[Over at the main page last week, Murali discussed a semi-tradition around the blogosphere of posting something in opposition to one’s usual viewpoint during “Opposite Day/Week.” It’s supposed to be challenging, and it’s not an opportunity to take pot-shots at the opposition by writing something parodical or ironic. I’ve been mulling what I would write with a certain sense of trepidation. My worry is that, by writing something serious to endorse a viewpoint I oppose, I give people an opportunity to take it out of context and actually use it to support a cause to which I stridently object. As I pondered the conundrum on my run yesterday, I decided it would be both chicken and silly to avoid posting something. First of all, I am not such a master rhetorician that what I write will prove devastating to my opponents. Secondly, if what I truly believe is so flimsy that it can’t withstand an argument against it that I craft myself, then it’s pretty damn flimsy indeed. And so, in the spirit of opposite week, I turn the page over to my evil twin.]
by Sandy Russell
The vaccination regimen as standardized in the United States today is a menace, foisted on a credulous pubic by a medical industry intent on promoting its own agenda to the exclusion of all reasonable dissent. Through a combination of negligence or malfeasance, the latter sometimes well-intentioned, medical providers across the country expose their most vulnerable patients to a host of poorly-understood harms.
There are many, many organizations that have formed over the years to give voice to parents who have witnessed their own children being harmed by these products, and the response from the medical industry is always the same — dismissal, condescension and disrespect. No matter the number of grieved parents who share their stories, no matter the consistency with which the problems with vaccination are described, no matter the perfectly reasonable nature of the concerns raised about the seemingly endless profusion of vaccinations that are “recommended” if not required outright, parents who dissent are labeled unhinged, difficult or deluded.
The basis for the medical community’s argument is similarly changeless. Ask a typical doctor, and he or she will gesture toward an imposingly vast and inarguable body of scientific “evidence,” which apparently has asked and answered the question for all time. With all due respect to these doctors, most of whom likely do care about their patients and are simply parroting what they have been led to believe, anyone who has ever had anything to do with research of any kind knows that the answers you get depend on the questions you ask, the way you ask them, and the way you measure your results. Statistics can be manipulated and massaged to yield just about anything the questioner wants. When one considers how deeply invested the pharmaceutical industry is in promoting its products, and how much of its legitimacy the healthcare industry has decided to rest upon the supposed safety and efficacy of vaccinations, is it any wonder that skeptics would question the objectivity of these purportedly disinterested investigators? A saying about foxes and henhouses springs rapidly to mind.
Look at the attitude of my own twin, whose low opinion of my views is most certainly reciprocated. He positively revels in the fact that his practice not only does not accept those who refuse vaccinations, but will not yield even on the schedule with which they are administered. Ask him why, and you will get some vague answer about patients not completing the required series of shots, and falling through the cracks, leading to greater risk of disease. What this rather disturbingly implies is that he considers himself insufficiently vigilant to keep track of his own patients, and to see to it that they get the care he thinks so vital to both their health and the public’s. If making sure everyone is vaccinated, does it not make sense to accommodate the reasonable requests of parents who would vaccinate, if only on a schedule that is not so intensive?
After all, once a vaccine is administered, it cannot be undone. Whatever effect it will have has inexorably been triggered. Unlike medications that can be stopped or side effects that can be reversed, a vaccination that has been incorporated into a child’s system is there forever. Is it not therefore reasonable to err on the side of caution? Why do parents who wish to tread lightly not receive the humane assent of their pediatricians?
But no. Always no. Always the arrogant, hard-hearted no. With hubris the medical industry draws its line in the sand, and those who refuse to cross it are deemed reckless or unbalanced. Shame on you, they cry, and brandish their studies and wave their reports. But the question is too important to entrust to those who have so much at stake in promoting their own agenda. More study by truly disinterested parties is necessary. Until such time as the true effects of vaccination are understood and explained clearly to everyone who loves and cares for their children, vaccines are a risk we can’t afford to take.