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Should parents have the right to refuse vaccinations...

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Should parents have the right to refuse vaccination for their children?

No way!
15
28%
Yes indeed!
19
36%
Depends
18
34%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes: 53

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Curtains
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Should parents have the right to refuse vaccinations...

#1 Post by Curtains » October 18th, 2007, 8:39 pm

for their children? In some states in the US, apparently the way the laws are written makes it impossible for parents to refuse to have their children vaccinated but they can claim exemption on religious grounds. The result is that some parents who are not religious are claiming exemption.

Here is the story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071017/ap_ ... e_skeptics

Isn't it true that if immunisation programmes are undermined it puts many people at risk? And isn't this enough reason to make vaccination compulsory and not to allow exemption on any ground?

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whitecraw
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#2 Post by whitecraw » October 19th, 2007, 12:20 am

Refusing medical treatment one doesn’t want is a fundamental human right, instituted by (among others) the European Convention on Human Rights and our own Human Rights Act. This means that patients should only undergo medical treatment to which they have given their consent. Children, of course, are not legally competent, which means that the decision as to whether they undergo medical treatment properly rests with their legal guardians, who are usually their parents. Scientists could go to court in specific cases and argue that this decision should be taken out of the parents’ hands and placed in those of someone who would be more compliant to their prescriptions; but the right to forego medical treatment one doesn’t want in particular, and to exercise autonomy over one’s own body in general, is a right the law denies patients and/or their attorneys only in very exceptional circumstances.

It’s a bit of a myth that, if immunisation programmes are undermined (by parents who elect not to have their children vaccinated), it puts many people at risk of infection. It only puts at risk of infection other children who have not been vaccinated and those for whom vaccinations do not provide protection; i.e. those who are already at risk.

Relatively few parents elect not to have their children vaccinated for religious reasons. Most elect not to from fear and scepticism. Now, this fear may well be unfounded and that scepticism and distrust offensive to scientistic sensibilities. In which case the proper response in a liberal democratic society is to allay that fear and overcome that scepticism through health education rather than by coercion.

Nick
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#3 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2007, 9:35 am

IIRC (which, having started to post, I now doubt,) somewhere, (is it France or the US?) children are not permitted to attend school without being vaccinated. As education is compulsory, this effectively coerces parents to vaccinate their children unless they home-school them.

Firebrand
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#4 Post by Firebrand » October 19th, 2007, 11:20 am

If people need to lie about their religion to claim exemption it sounds as if it might be the law in the USA, Nick. Why on earth would people go to those lengths otherwise.

I agree with White Craw on this one. There was a huge scare about the whooping cough jab when my kids were little and I was absolutely terrified of them having it. I think if it had been left to me, I probably wouldn't have. Fortunately, I allowed myself to be persuaded by my husband and others. The appropriate response is to present accurate information to parents not to dismiss them as silly or ignorant, which seemed to be what happened a lot at the time.

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jaywhat
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#5 Post by jaywhat » October 19th, 2007, 2:37 pm

Seems to me the point of jabs is to protect the whole population not just your particular child - or religious belief for that matter.

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whitecraw
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#6 Post by whitecraw » October 19th, 2007, 8:40 pm

Jabs only protect (ceteris paribus) those who are given them. Which reminds me: I must make an appointment to get my flu jab.

Nick
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#7 Post by Nick » October 20th, 2007, 10:47 am

Except that ceteris ain't paribus. If, say, a bug has a 50% chance of being transmitted from human to human, then the more who are inoculated, the quicker an outbreak will end. Thus the jabbed also protect the unjabbed to a certain extent.

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Alan C.
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#8 Post by Alan C. » October 20th, 2007, 5:31 pm

I refused to have the TB (I think) injection at school, I must have been 12 or 13, my parents didn't object on my behalf, I just said "I don't want it" and that was that, I don't remember anyone making a fuss about it, as far as I remember I think everybody else in my class had it, and if I'm not mistaken some had allergic reactions to it.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

squiffy
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#9 Post by squiffy » October 22nd, 2007, 9:52 am

I daren't get into the argument about whether or not vaccination is optional because I would undoubtedly be wrong. :redface:

I would like to say that because of vaccination very few people remember how serious illnesses like measles or whooping cough are. Until inoculation became widely available there were epidemics of what now seem rare or mild childhood diseases and the mortality rate was considerable.

If people are not vaccinated the advances in modern medicine mean that a course of antibiotics can allay the worst effects of the disease and any subsequent complications if they should happen to catch it.

Do people who refuse vaccination also refuse that treatment for the condition?

Jem
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#10 Post by Jem » October 22nd, 2007, 11:53 am

You make very good points, squiffy.

There's no easy answer to the ethical question which seems to come down to just how much control parents should be allowed to retain over their own children's bodies. Obviously, if parents seriously physically abuse or neglect their children, the children can be removed from them. The question is whether taking the positive step of protecting them and others by immunisation is on the same spectrum.

I don't know what I think. I voted other.

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gcb01
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#11 Post by gcb01 » October 22nd, 2007, 4:05 pm

Jabs protect not only those who have them but those too young to have them.

I think there are situations where compulsory vaccination would be justifiable such as an outbreak of something like smallpox - highly infectious, kills 50% of those infected.
Regards

Campbell

Thomas
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#12 Post by Thomas » October 23rd, 2007, 10:46 pm

gcb01 wrote:Jabs protect not only those who have them but those too young to have them.

I think there are situations where compulsory vaccination would be justifiable such as an outbreak of something like smallpox - highly infectious, kills 50% of those infected.
Thank you for saving me some typing. :wink:

Staf
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#13 Post by Staf » November 1st, 2007, 12:09 pm

In case anyone is interested, I found here: http://www.alternative-doctor.com/vacci ... james.html


Six Reasons to Question Vaccinations


1. Vaccinations are forced. For example, there are compulsory vaccination laws in every state. If something is good it doesn't have to be forced.
2. Vaccinations are toxins by definition.
3. Vaccinations are indigenous to only one model of healthcare--the conventional medical model--and its practitioner's particular understanding of disease phenomena.
4. Vaccinations are promoted by fear, guilt, and 'creative' statistics.
5. Vaccinations are represented as safe and effective when evidence suggests they are neither.
6. Vaccinations are aggressively pushed by public health departments and other government agencies as though they were a public health issue when they are not. This is done to insure a high rate of compliance.

Ten Reasons to Just Say 'No' to Vaccinations

1. Vaccinations are toxins by definition.
2. Vaccinations are aggressively promoted by those who have a financial stake in their consumption.
3. Vaccinations are promoted using fear, intimidation, and coercion.
4. Vaccinations are big business.
5. Vaccine manufacturers are nearly liability proof for their products.
6. Vaccinations are not only forced upon us, but those who deny us the exercise of our free will refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
7. Evidence suggests that vaccinations damage the immune system, the nervous system and the spirit-mind-body connection.
8. Compulsory vaccinations ignore biochemical and psychospiritual individuality.
9. Vaccinations are misrepresented by government agencies as a public health issue which they are not.
10. Vaccinations are heavily subsidized, heavily propagandized and can be seen as a wake-up call for us to see how we allow ourselves to be programmed by huge vested interests.

Dan
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Joined: November 26th, 2007, 5:05 pm

#14 Post by Dan » November 27th, 2007, 11:41 am

It’s a bit of a myth that, if immunisation programmes are undermined (by parents who elect not to have their children vaccinated), it puts many people at risk of infection. It only puts at risk of infection other children who have not been vaccinated and those for whom vaccinations do not provide protection; i.e. those who are already at risk.
I think this understates the problem. If a few people decline immunisation, then they are protected because most people have been vaccinated and the disease doesn't spread so far so quickly (depending on the disease and how it is spread, obviously).

If lots of people decline immunisation, then the first outbreak will spread much further and more quickly, like a fire without firebreaks.

Dan

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

#15 Post by Nick » November 28th, 2007, 2:06 pm

Staf wrote:In case anyone is interested, I found here: http://www.alternative-doctor.com/vacci ... james.html
Thanks Staf. There really is some nonsense on the net, isn't there?

Six Reasons to Question Vaccinations
This sort of guff should be exposed for the tripe it is.
1. Vaccinations are forced. For example, there are compulsory vaccination laws in every state. If something is good it doesn't have to be forced.
Nonsense. Driving tests are a good thing, as it raises driving standards. Would everyone take one if they were not compulsory? No.
2. Vaccinations are toxins by definition.
The implication here is that you are putting something harmful in your body. But your body is already full of bacteria, another 'yukky' sort of word, without which you would not survive.
3. Vaccinations are indigenous to only one model of healthcare--the conventional medical model--and its practitioner's particular understanding of disease phenomena.
What, like faith-healing for example?
4. Vaccinations are promoted by fear, guilt, and 'creative' statistics.
Show me the 'creative' statistics, and provide statistics which counter them. And show me a parent of an un-vaccinated child, dying of a preventable disease who does not feel guilt or fear.
5. Vaccinations are represented as safe and effective when evidence suggests they are neither.
Such as what evidence? As far as I know, science has never claimed that vaccines are 100% safe, but that the risks from not being vaccinated are thousands of times more risky than being vaccinated.
6. Vaccinations are aggressively pushed by public health departments and other government agencies as though they were a public health issue when they are not. This is done to insure a high rate of compliance.
How can they not be a public health issue?

Ten Reasons to Just Say 'No' to Vaccinations

1. Vaccinations are toxins by definition.
see above
2. Vaccinations are aggressively promoted by those who have a financial stake in their consumption.
But are paid for by those (eg the NHS and taxpayers) who do not
3. Vaccinations are promoted using fear, intimidation, and coercion.
see above
4. Vaccinations are big business.
Thank goodness. Do you want vaccines manufactured in garden sheds and spare bedrooms?

5. Vaccine manufacturers are nearly liability proof for their products.
Not so. The fact that they are not deemed liable in rare cases when the vaccine goes wrong is because of the testing and stats. are so rigorous before the vaccine is released, even when people are begging for it. It would be unfair if manufacturers were to be criminally liable if they caused something totally unforeseen, provided they have abided by the rules.
6. Vaccinations are not only forced upon us, but those who deny us the exercise of our free will refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
So are you willing to be responsible for your actions, if by refusing vaccination, you cause harm to others? No? I thought not.
7. Evidence suggests that vaccinations damage the immune system, the nervous system and the spirit-mind-body connection.
What evidence? Mind-body-spirit! Don't make me laugh!
8. Compulsory vaccinations ignore biochemical and psychospiritual individuality.
Psychospiritual?!

:hilarity:

9. Vaccinations are misrepresented by government agencies as a public health issue which they are not.
How do you reach that conclusion? What is your definition of a public health issue?
10. Vaccinations are heavily subsidized, heavily propagandized and can be seen as a wake-up call for us to see how we allow ourselves to be programmed by huge vested interests.
Oh, so it's all a great conspiracy is it? I was right. You are barking mad. (That's you, the website, not you, Staf. :grin: )

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Oxfordrocks
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#16 Post by Oxfordrocks » November 28th, 2007, 4:23 pm

Refusing vaccinations is stupid.






End of debate.
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating staying in EU.

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of staying in the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens will be caused by leaving EU?
3. Should the supreme court ruling on British subjects be based in UK?

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Curtains
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#17 Post by Curtains » November 28th, 2007, 11:44 pm

:grin:

I don't think anyone here disagrees, Ox. But the debate is not whether they are stupid but whether they should have the right to refuse.

Dan
Posts: 298
Joined: November 26th, 2007, 5:05 pm

#18 Post by Dan » November 29th, 2007, 9:32 am

Well, they do have the right to refuse.

So actually the real question is, should the right to refuse be removed?

Dan

tubataxidriver
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Joined: August 3rd, 2007, 10:39 pm

#19 Post by tubataxidriver » November 30th, 2007, 10:03 pm

Another key issue not yet featured here is the usual modern requirement for "informed consent" to accept or refuse medical treatment.

Even a small child can give informed consent under the right circumstances, but not in all cases. Parents / guardians can give informed consent on behalf of a child but I expect that in some circumstances they might not be able to give this reliably. I would suggest that if parents firmly held to a particular religious view, i.e., they refuse to acknowledge supportive scientific information about a vaccine and stuck to a religious dogma, then their consent could not be fully "informed" and the state would be right to intervene in the interests of the child.
It’s a bit of a myth that, if immunisation programmes are undermined (by parents who elect not to have their children vaccinated), it puts many people at risk of infection. It only puts at risk of infection other children who have not been vaccinated and those for whom vaccinations do not provide protection; i.e. those who are already at risk.
Immunisation is never 100% effective for those who receive it - it can be as low as 60% for some diseases. Hence if an under-fully-immunised population can support a greater number of disease outbreaks then it is highly likely that even some immunised individuals would get caught up in such an outbreak. Hence the less probably effective the immunisation is for the individual, the greater the proportion of the population needs to be immunised for the whole thing to work.

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Vaccination

#20 Post by clayto » December 3rd, 2007, 6:24 pm

Vaccination involves both internal (private) and external (public) consequences. Where there are external public consequences such as the spreading of contagion / infection to others it is clearly an 'other regarding' matter, in the words of J S Mill, which justifies limitation of individual freedom, eg. freedom to withdraw children from sex education classes might be regarded as increasing the risk of VD including AIDS / HIV for others, so it can be argued not to be just a 'self regarding' matter (Mill). Mill argued that matters which are only self regarding (he cited drug taking just as today some people say smoking) should not invite interference with our freedom, eg. choosing not to accept a blood transfusion? But Mill came to think there was very little that was really only self regarding (some aspects of sexual behaviour? How does cross-dressing harm others?) Most things of importance are a mixture of the internal (self regarding) and external (other regarding).

Even if something is judged to be internal self regarding can our freedom / liberty be enhanced by having our freedom restricted? I say yes, the freedom issue is much more complicated than is often assumed. There are many matters over which we are, and should be, "forced to be free" in the words of Rousseau. Education (to defined standards) is compulsory. Does that make us less or more free? More? Compulsory National Insurance and taxation to support health and welfare services, and benefits such as pensions, disability, unemployment. Are we more or less free as a result? Would we be as free as we are if we had not been compelled to pay for defence in WW2 (including those who would have wanted to escape payment)? Hence the argument that conscientious objectors still get the protection they refuse to pay for / fight for ---- we did not parachute such people unarmed into Nazi Germany with an invite to kill them. If we were free to decide what side of the road to drive on, at what speed, with cars as unfit as we wanted would we be more or less free? Note how many smokers say they are glad to be compelled not to smoke in public. Of course in many of these cases there are plainly external public effects as well as internal.

I know what my answers are.

Chris
clayto

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