While the medical profession has finally caught on, that the more "educated" a parent makes themselves on the issues around vaccination, the more likely they are to chose not to vaccinate, they are utterly offended that people can chose not to vaccinate. Furthermore, their take on the issue of "choice" is off the wall. Their solution to parents not making the 'right' choice, is to back parents into the wall and take pot shots at them with "Refusal to vaccinate" letters (see bottom), which read like legal documents, but are not. These "refusal to vaccinate" letters come out of such skewed thinking patterns as can be seen in this statement in May this year, from the biggest vaccine defender of them all, Dr Paul Offit:
"The surprising part is that someone who would be better educated would be less likely to get the vaccine," he said. "That's exactly the opposite of what one saw say in the mid-1800s when smallpox vaccine was first required."
If you've read "Bodily Matters", then you'll know that view's just plain wrong. But even worse, if you've read the medical AND Legal journals of the day, you have to ask yourself the question, "Exactly WHAT has Dr Offit actually read about who opposed the smallpox vaccine and why?" He seems not to know that some of "his own" were at the forefront of the anti-smallpox vaccine move in USA. Furthermore, why does anyone in their right mind think that educated people, who don't vaccinate, is a new phenomenon?
In a video hosted on medscape Dr Offit says this paragraph:
I think that when the CDC and the AAP recommend vaccines that they know are safe and effective and they know that can prevent disease, and a parent says, "I don't want to do it that way," you're being asked to practice substandard care, which could result in harm. In the Philadelphia area, we've had -- in the past year -- 3 children who died of Haemophilus influenzae type B meningitis. They died because their parents were more frightened of the vaccine than the disease it prevented. I think for some physicians to have a parent come in and say: "Look, I don't want my child to get the Hib vaccine," it's very difficult for the physician to say, "Okay, let me work on this with you," knowing at the same time that they're sending the child out into a community where the incidence of Hib colonization is greater than it has been in the past.
This statement is puzzling for two reasons.
First, these kids who allegedly died of Hib in 2008 ... in HIS area - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to him.
The Philadelphia Enquirer talks about six cases and two deaths with this table:
Hib Cases in Pennsylvania
Haemophilus influenzae type b disease has been confirmed in three children in Lancaster County and one each in Chester and Perry Counties and Philadelphia. A second Philadelphia case is under review.
Illness Age Clinical Outcome Vaccination
onset at onset syndrome status*
1. August 1 year Meningitis Survived 0 doses
2. November 7 months Sepsis Survived 0 doses
3. December 6 months Meningitis Survived 0 doses
4. January 5 months Sepsis Survived 0 doses
5. February 3 years Meningitis Died 1 dose
6. March 4 years Meningitis Died 0 doses
7. January 2 years Pneumonia/sepsis Died 0 doses
* The "primary" series of Hib vaccine normally is given in three doses, at two, four and six months, although some combinations of vaccine types can be administered in two doses. Because of a shortage, guidelines call for delaying the fourth "booster" dose, which normally is given at 12 to 15 months.
SOURCE:Pennsylvania Department of Health
But the question has to be asked. Why didn't these cases make it into the CDC 2008 Haemophilus B report? Did subsequent tests throw doubt on the initial diagnosis, or is CDC two years out of date?
The collector of this sort of data, USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has no problem discussing five cases and one death in Minnesota in 2008, but where, oh where are the three deaths in Philadelphia discussed? Wouldn't that make the MMWR review? Y'ad think.
Dr Offit's comments raise other issues as well.
WHERE is the proof that haemophilus influenzae B carriage is much greater than ever before? And if that is the case, then WHY aren't the authorities all over everyone to advocate HIB vaccines for every man, uncle, granddad and his dog, just like they do for whooping cough?
Second, by not vaccinating children, paediatricians are practicing substandard care. Really? We're talking here about a profession as a whole, who, using best practice, manage to knock off 101,000 Americans every year to preventable medical error, (CBS said 200,000 error and infection, but the total for preventable hospital infection is 99,000 per year.) What does this make the medical profession? The leading preventable cause of death in the USA? We're talking here, about a profession who recklessly prescribe antibiotics to children in contravention to best practice and cause untold problems as a result, but don't seem to want to deal with that. We're talking about a profession who advocate paracetamol and tylenol (acetaminophen) at the drop of a hat to just about everyone, seemingly in oblivion to the fact that not only can acetaminophen derail the immune system, it's highly liver toxic. But never mind...
Offit's solution is to fire the patients, so then they get no care.
Which just might not be a bad position to be in actually....
What we are talking about here, is where doctors consider that they know everything, and that their choices are the right choices, and anyone else's are WRONG.
The American Academy of Paediatrics, in it's zeal to bring parents into line with their "choice", have at one time or another, brought out the bull dozers.
In 2002, they wrote what they called the "Refusal to Vaccinate" letter. Which was then amended somewhat. In 2005 they spelled out in Pediatrics, their "policy". In 2008, they revised it, and the latest 2010 version is longer still. They are also promoting the AllStar policy in which paediatricians lay down the law on the issue.
Now, they are urging another more subtle more emotionally blackmailing policy, whereby all practices have posters stating that the paediatricians have vaccinated their children and want to talk to "you" about vaccinating yours. The bottom line, which says, "Love them, protect them, immunise them today!!" which effectively infers that only parents who don't love their children, don't vaccinate them.
I've heard a rumour that the "Stakeholders" in the vaccine machine in this country (basically IMAC, Dept of Health, vaccine manufacturers and pharma-funded KOLS) are wanting to bring in the AAP approach into New Zealand.
Forewarned is forearmed.