05 June 2008

Honesty, Please.

There's a lot of talk about how stupid anti-vaccinationists are putting everyone's lives at risk. Conversely, there's a fair bit of mud-throwing at the money-hungry medical establishment dictating what we should do with our children's bodies. Suppose (for a moment!) that vaccines are generally a good thing. "You" are "the medical profession" and you would like lots of people to consent to vaccinating their children. How do you do it?

Is the way to do it to make it "mandatory" so that parents feel forced into this decision? Or let the parents decide, knowing that they may make the "wrong" choice and children will die? Ah, it's a free country, so let's decide to use force. Let's just state that "these are the shots Janey needs today" as a fact and don't allow any input into the matter. Best of all, tell the parents that "Janey needs these shots" and then present them with a consent form, never mentioning that the parents are allowed to say no. It's just a form they "have to sign." Parents are a pretty bewildered and stupid lot in that they trust you almost implicitly.


Years ago, activists started talking about thimerosol in the vaccines. How should you get people to comply with the vaccine schedule? Listen or circle the wagons? Your decision was to erect a huge "vaccines are safe and effective and we are not listening to a fringe group la la la" shield around the issue and continue to compel vaccines. I suppose you could have said, well, we think it's pretty safe but we're going to listen to the consumer, because it's important to us to have most people vaccinate, and we're going to change the shots. But you didn't, and it took about forever to get you to listen so that now most vaccines no longer have thimerosol. Meanwhile, more people began to question what you were telling them about the safety of these vaccines.


You admit in tiny print on the papers parents receive that yeah, it's a really really really really rare thing, but their kid might die. But you care! You wanted the vaccine companies to keep making vaccines cheap, and so you support the VAERS reporting system so parents can't sue the drug manufacturer when something goes wrong. Thanks for advocating for the average parent! Mwaa! And speaking of advocacy, you're able to claim that you're following law. You don't make law. (Shh... your organizations LOBBY for law, and you're rich and powerful, but you don't MAKE law... Be sure to act indignant at this idea, as though the parents are ignorant and stupid because they can't separate doctors from politicians in their teensy brains.)

How about you negotiate with insurance companies for BONUSES for pediatricians with good vax rates? The result would be one of two things: bullied parents or disenfranchised parents. Better yet, let's allow pediatricians to send letters barring from our practices the patients that don't follow every "recommendation" we give them. That will teach them that they'd better trust us next time. We know that this will also help bolster immunization rates.

When you meet with parents who have objections, be sure that you have a condescending tone and refer to "science" continually. It doesn't matter if the patient knows 200 people who experienced adverse effects. If it isn't in a scientific journal that you or your colleagues got paid to write, it doesn't count! (Shh... but be sure to go into great detail about that one kid you knew who died a horrible death from pertussis "because" he wasn't vaccinated. But tell them deaths after vaccinations are almost always something that would have happened anyway!)

**

Our pediatrician sent us a certified letter quite suddenly telling us to never come back. No reason given, but at the previous appointment I was LITERALLY cornered by the doctor and nurse and asked to have my children submit to a series of shots. I did try to explain my position. I'm ok with shots, but the kids can only fight three things at once. So the DTaP would be all for today, thanks. They tried to force me to sign papers saying it's all my fault if my kids die. I'm sure it's no coincidence that, if the pediatrician wants his grubby bonus money from MY INSURANCE COMPANY, the way to do it is to kick ME out because I have a bunch of kids and that's why I received this letter. Great. MY money, working against me.


So guess what? Now I'm going to one of the few doctors in the area who will take us on our insurance given that I want to slow down the shot schedule and omit three of the 98 million "mandatory" shots. He's a regular physician and does not carry immunizations at all because he deals only with adults usually. Do you think I'm now magically "on schedule" with my immunizations? Did the treatment I received from this medical "professional" convince me to get more rather than fewer shots for my children? Do you think I'm going to go to the county health center with the interesting people so I can pay full price for the shots (they don't deal with ins. companies except Medicaid) AND wait three hours? Yeah, that's happenin'. Not to be snotty, but the behaviour I see there leaves MUCH to be desired. And that includes mine and my family's after we've been waiting forever. I think we come out with more bugs than we've prevented.


If you're accepting that shots are a "good" thing, I think the way the medical establishment markets itself is pretty crummy. How about listening to the people? How about some honesty?

If I've made factual errors in my post, I'm happy to correct them IF I receive comments that are respectful in tone and I consider the commenter to have any authority whatsoever. If my post has gotten you angry or annoyed, this probably doesn't include you.

9 comments:

  1. Last week I had to take my 6 yob to the Children's Urgent Care because he stepped on a nail in our backyard. He'd had his first 3 DTaps, so he needed another one as a 'booster'. Two nurses and a doc told me that because my kids were homeschooled, they were so much healthier and safer than kids in PS, and they made no big deal at all about the fact that I space my kids' shots months apart (ok- sometimes years). I have only had one doc in 20 years give me grief about spacing shots, so I fired him.

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  2. My mother never vaccinated us and we were fine but my sisters children got shots and one got very sick. They dont think thats unusual though.

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  3. We don't vaccinate. I did a bunch of research when my oldest was a baby, and my husband and I decided that we would not. So, dd has had the first round (before we knew better), and that's all. Ds has had none. Zero. Zilch.

    All parents should make that decision for their own children. Just as we should make decisions on education for our own families.

    Our first pediatrician was very accepting of our decision; he said he didn't give his own daughter all the vacs that were "recommended." Our current pediatrician is just as accepting. We're in Southern California (if that makes any difference).

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  4. I feel so very lucky that my doctor (and all that I have seen so far) is fine with doing things on MY schedule.

    Yes, Amy will be completely vaccinated at the end of it, but I would prefer to space them so she has her final needle at 2, rrather than at 12 months. Luckily my doctor is good with that.

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  5. I have never been vaccinated - and I'm a college student. My mother read the small print when I was a baby and said "no, I don't want to risk this with my kid, thanks." Thankfully, TX has "exemption for religious or philosophical reasons," otherwise I would've had to be vaccinated when I went to public school in 10th grade. Now I haven't gotten any shots because I don't think it would be good for my immune system to get 18 years' worth of shots done in a much shorter time period.

    I did have chicken pox and pertussis when I was about 4. I don't remember either, which is probably a good thing. I have heard some scary stories about my experiences with pertussis. Lingering effects? I'm immune to chicken pox and susceptible to coughs. I'm fine with that.

    Considering the news stories about vaccinated people getting measles, I don't know how effective vaccines really are, either...

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  6. I was fully vaccinated and yet I had a medically documented case of the measles. Had to be under quarantine and everything. So there ya go.

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  7. OH THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!! And I never would have read it if you hadn't visited my blog!

    My daughter was vaccinated up to the age of 2. I always had a bad feeling and started to read about vaccines. I read A LOT. I found out a lot of things the general practitioner doesn't want you to know. I watched her for 2 years, fearing I'd see the change from vibrant child to the child adversely affected by vaccines.

    One book I read made me open my eyes. It stated that there is a growing connection between the Hep B vaccine and autoimmune diseases. I got out my realized that exactly 6 months after I finished a Hep B series (of 3) when I was 24, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I realized that for whatever reason, genetically speaking, my genetic makeup could predispose me to an autoimmune disease from that vaccine. That translated to my children's genetic makeup.

    My son, now 22 months has had ZERO vaccines. My pediatrician is a 60 year old man, who has allowed me the freedom to choose that. I still don't know if I will vaccinate him at all. Luckily, I live in Colorado where I'm allowed to choose. AND I am going to have to go check out Claire who has done the same as I have.

    My nephew has had all vaccines, including chicken pox. He had chicken pox last winter. I don't know that the risk involved with pumping chemicals (including the DNA of the specimen the vaccine virus was grown in) into our bodies is any less harmful than any of the diseases they are supposed to prevent.

    I cannot thank you enough for talking about this touchy topic.

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  8. Dear Mrs. C.,

    I see you have brought up a lot of different concerns here about vaccination. I'm sorry to hear about the trouble with your pediatrician.

    Did you know that there is a place in every large city where you can go to get vaccinations at a pretty reasonable price? It might take some investigating.

    I used to live in Denver, and I found out about this place. I wish I could tell you what it was called, but perhaps even my travel agent told me about it before I took a one-year, around-the-world trip and had to get about every vaccination possible over a period of two months or so.

    In fact, that's my best suggestion--if your doctor won't tell you, call a reputable travel agent who specializes in tours to remote places like central Africa, the jungles of southeast Asia, and South America. This place will also give you a little booklet called "Carnet de Sante," (health book detailing your vaccinations) which is used internationally.

    You can get ANY vaccination at these places. When I went there, I found poor people also getting vaccinations there, because they don't have to pay the doctor's office fee on top of the vaccination price. It's like they charge you the price of the vaccination, plus ten dollars (or only a minimal fee).

    I hope this helps.

    Best regards,
    Eileen
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

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  9. My kids are vaccinated but I know they are looking to study if there is any connection to Aspergers Syndrome and vaccinations.

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