the fallout from medical luddism

May 4, 2009

When I was a child, I was vaccinated against mumps, measles, smallpox and a lot of other diseases. It was done at schools (this was in Eastern Europe) and at doctors’ offices on a regular schedule. We knew that no vaccine was 100% safe and 100% effective, but we also knew that being vaccinated could make it a lot easier to combat common diseases by training my immune system for it. Oh and by the way, I would also help many of the children around me not to get sick by upholding herd immunity.

Now, after decades of vaccinations, there are people going after drug companies and doctors, shocked that a vaccine isn’t a total, 100% safeguard against anything and everything, convinced that either the vaccines or the “toxins” in them or the angle at which the doctor inserts the needle or whatever the current argument might be, that vaccines cause autism regardless of the proof to the contrary. Thanks to these anti-vaxx activists, babies in Australia are dying from diseases they should never have died from because the vaccination rate is too low for herd immunity and suppressed infectious illnesses are making a comeback. Take a look at this segment from the Australian talk show Sunday Night.

There are three very important things you should note. The first is that the anti-vaccine parents in the audience are afraid. They’re not sure about the information, they find conflicting reports that come from doctors and well researched sources and spin from anti-vaxxers like Meryl Dorey. Legitimate science can and will often lose in a competition with parental fear and uncertainty, something that Dorey and her disciples capitalize on to keep spreading their message of how dangerous vaccines supposedly are while being unable to bring a single, proven, indisputable case of people dying from routine immunization into the public eye. Note again the shock and outrage coming from the “revelation” that vaccines are not 100% safe! Can you name a single thing that’s 100% safe? Name me a medicine that’s 100% effective and has no side effects. If the guideline for approval and use was 100% or nothing, you could say goodbye to all of modern medicine. And actually, to all medicine in general because no two bodies and metabolic rates are identical. (Except maybe in twins.)

medical fear

The second thing you should note is the outrage that the government dares to pay doctors to cover expenses in immunizing children. How dare they?! Does this not mean that doctors are slaves of the government who are by default slaves of Big Pharma, the evil monsters who’ll kill your kids for an extra dollar?! Um, no. It’s just blatant anti-corporatism. Taking care of kids costs money as every parent should know. The governments of various countries try to help cut down costs incurred by doctors by paying to keep vaccinations on time and on schedule because they know they’ll have to spend less on healthcare overall when the populace is properly immunized. In most developed nations, governments use tax receipts to heavily subsidize healthcare and the last thing they and the taxpayers need, are outbreaks of the 1950s rearing their heads again.

Doctors get paid to do a lot of things. Why? They run a business. Does this mean that anything they do must be a conflict of interest and bad for you just because there’s money involved? Even non-profit groups running hospitals and major healthcare centers pay their doctors for vaccinations, surgeries, exams and therapy. Just because there’s money involved doesn’t make it evil. And yet it’s being made out to be by people scared out of their minds by devoted doomsayers like Meryl Dorey and Jenny McCarthy.

Finally, I want to call your attention to how Dorey suggests treating the whooping cough. Homeopathy. Yes, to use vaccines is to toy with your child’s life. But giving your kids water and pretending it has memory of a half a molecule of some plant root or mystical salts is perfectly a-okay according to her in an interview regarding the case being discussed in the clip above. (about 8:30 into the report) Maybe, just maybe, her kids had a really bad cough from a cold or the flu and would’ve shaken it off on their own? It’s not like she sought medical help from a hospital or a doctor as she admits before stating that homeopathic remedies worked to cure her kids. Then, after stating that no one dies from whooping cough, she does an about face on the next talk show when the parents of a baby who died from whooping cough are face to face with her. I wonder shy she didn’t wonder aloud if the parents tried homeopathic remedies since they worked so well for her kids…

Funny enough, her son says he feels grateful he didn’t have to “be put through the vaccinations.” Considering that his mother keeps telling him that kids are dying left and right from vaccines on a daily basis, of course he is. I would be too if all I heard my entire life was how evil vaccines and the companies that manufacture them are and how they’ll slay me for a dollar with the help of doctors and governments. And that brings us back to a previous post about the anti-vaxx movement. The bottom line here is that groups like McCarthy’s and Dorey’s are a modern incarnation of Luddism combined with alternative New Ageisms that see evildoers holding big syringes filled with who knows what at every turn, demeaning homeopathy because they supposedly can’t get patents on making products from herbs. Even though they can and have done so for over 100 years.

The bottom line is that vaccines work. When was the last time you knew someone with smallpox? Or polio? To hype up their risks and muddle medical literature with random anecdotes based on personal emotions or a testimony of a trial lawyer who sees an autism trial as a career-making case, is nothing short of causing an immense public health hazard and needlessly scaring parents already concerned about their childrens’ well being because you like Big Pharma conspiracy theories.

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