Monday, March 24, 2014

Mandatory vaccination debate

The NY Times has this debate:
An outbreak of measles in Manhattan showed that even doctors had overlooked the disease as childhood vaccination became widespread. But over the last decade more people have objected to immunization. Along with the religious exemptions that almost all states allow, 19 states allow exemptions for philosophical reasons.

But are broader outbreaks like those in Britain evidence that parents should no longer be allowed to get any exemption from having their children immunized?
An argument in favor:
Personal and religious belief exemptions should be curtailed because some people, whether because of age or compromised immune systems, cannot receive vaccines. They depend on those around them to be protected. Vaccines aren’t the only situation in which we are asked to care about our neighbors. Following traffic laws, drug tests at work, paying taxes -- these may go against our beliefs and make us bristle, but we ascribe to them because without this shared responsibility, civil society doesn’t work.

Public health is no different.
Is the concern here about people with AIDS?

One problem with this argument is that if the public health is so important, why is it only applied to kids? Most of the whooping cough cases come from teenagers and adults, and all of the measles cases come from foreigners. Not kids.

I agree more with the argument against:
This January lawmakers in the United Arab Emirates mandated that women breastfeed for two years, announcing that breastfeeding is a “duty, not an option.”

Officials should encourage childhood vaccinations, but they shouldn't have the right to force parents to vaccinate their children.

Should public health officials do everything they can to encourage, inform and facilitate breastfeeding? Yes. Do they have the right to force women to breastfeed? Not in a country that believes in freedom of choice.

There is tremendous evidence showing vaccinations prevent childhood diseases. Should public health officials do everything they can to encourage, inform and facilitate childhood vaccinations? Yes. Do they have the right to force parents to vaccinate their children? Absolutely not.
American compliance rates for childhood vaccination is about 98%, altho some parents do not get them on schedule. If we want to have a free society, we have to accept that 2% of the population may not do what it is told. About 30% of American moms do not breastfeed, in spite of all the official encouragement.

The same newspaper has a long article on The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists:
But in the eyes of many Americans, bisexuality — despite occasional and exaggerated media reports of its chicness — remains a bewildering and potentially invented orientation favored by men in denial about their homosexuality and by women who will inevitably settle down with men. Studies have found that straight-identified people have more negative attitudes about bisexuals (especially bisexual men) than they do about gays and lesbians, but A.I.B.’s board members insist that some of the worst discrimination and minimization comes from the gay community.

“It’s exhausting trying to keep up with all the ignorance that people spew about bisexuality,” Lawrence told me.
It was TL;DR, and I am assuming that the proof does not exist yet.


Anonymous said...

SHould a free society have speed limits?

George said...

My guess is that someday our cars will be wired so that speeding is impossible.

Speed limit laws are based on what endangers others. Vaccination schedules have othre motives at work.