Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Hit me with your best shot

No vaccine for stupidity

Even before the recent news flurry over anti-vaccine spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy and the status of her son's reported autism, there was a provocative news item in the Sacramento Bee concerning a new medical clinic designed for parents who need assistance in opting out of California's childhood vaccination program, recently made more stringent by long overdue changes in state law. The clinic's founder, Dr. Dean Blumberg, supported the new state law but also describes himself as a firm supporter of parental rights:
“I’m pro-immunization, but I’m also in support of parental rights,” Blumberg said. “That’s why we decided to set up the clinic as a community service, in case there are parents whose health care provider won’t sign the [exemption] form or some parents who don’t have a primary care provider.”
The Bee article generated a laudatory letter to the editor:
Dr. Blumberg helps no-vaccine parents' right to choose
Re “Clinic to aid no-vaccine parents” (Our Region, Dec. 19): Surely, we as doctors and parents can debate the many merits of and concerns with vaccination programs. However, UC Davis Medical Center physician Dean Blumberg has taken a position that is both praiseworthy and responsive to parental rights. As a parent working in emergency medical services, I have decided not to participate in vaccination programs for reasons that are really not at issue. What is at issue is that we are afforded the right and responsibility as parents for our children. I encourage Dr. Blumberg to continue providing information to assist parents in our choices and to continue honoring us as parents as we evaluate this information and make our decisions. The doctor should be recognized for his commitment to the higher standard of self-determination in the practice of pediatric medicine. —CK, Roseville
I was inspired to submit a response that the Bee did not see fit to publish, so I offer it here:
Anti-vaccination parents who leave their children vulnerable to preventable diseases are always so eager to appear rational and reasonable. As one said in Letters, “I have decided not to participate in vaccination programs for reasons that are really not at issue.” Not at issue? How delusional a statement is that? How would people react if a parent said something only slightly different? For example: “I have decided not to use child safety seats in my car with my children for reasons that are really not at issue. In case of a traffic accident, I prefer to hope that my children will be thrown clear.”

1 comment:

Gene O'Pedia said...

Too bad. The newspaper handed you the perfect straight line, but refused to print your perfect response. Which it would've been, seems to me. I guess "the science is still out" on the safety of vaccinations.

I used to hear similar, back many years ago, when some people refused to wear seatbelts - "No, I want to be able to escape from the car after an accident." Etc.

You know, though, it's not likely that a kid will catch polio if everyone else is immunized!