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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Preserve Polio Society


Whenever one of my patients refuses vaccines for their child, I cringe.  Why turn down one of the best medical protections available?  Vaccines have prevented massive numbers of deaths and uncountable lives of anguish.  Refusing them makes as much sense as refusing clean water or sanitation systems.  For those of us with basic medical and scientific knowledge, this decision is incomprehensible.    
However, for the average parent, vaccines may seem incomprehensible.  Medical science has advanced to the point where many people can’t understand how vaccines work, and don’t appreciate the benefits they have brought about.  Most parents don’t have a scientific education, so in decision-making they rely on the loudest voices that jive with their inner sense of values.  The collective memory of children in iron lungs or infants coughing themselves to death from pertussis is gone, so fear of disease has been removed from the equation.  In modern times we see the benefits…

This month at our office we have been bandying about the thought of taking a stronger stance against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.  In a recent article in the Daily Beast entitled “Pediatrician:  Vaccinate Your Kids-Or Get Out of My Office” Dr. Russell Sanders takes the hard line 1.  He points out the tremendous health benefits that vaccines have engendered, the overwhelming evidence to support their safety, and the irrationality of declining one of the most beneficial medical treatments available.  He focuses on the issue of trust:  ..“for immunizations to be as malign as their detractors claim, my colleagues and I would have to be staggeringly incompetent, negligent or malicious to keep administering them” ...“as a parent myself I wouldn’t trust my children’s care to someone I secretly thought was a fool or a monster”.  He concludes by emphasizing that if parents can’t trust his medical advice on vaccines, then they will not tru…