Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SuperWatto, Jul 20, 2013.
Just want to say thank you for this concise and thorough post.
...for the moment, which is the scary part. There was another doctor, name of William McBride, who first identified that thalidomide caused birth defects.
For an encore, he went on to take exactly the same route as Wakefield did: pronouncing that Debenox was causing birth defects on the back of manipulated and falsified data, mainly to support lawsuits against Debenox's makers. McBride was struck off the Australian registers in 1993, but he was readmitted back in 1998. Watch that space with a pessimistic heart. It might be noted that the career of the poor old whistleblower who first exposed McBride was destroyed by it.
Many issues have been covered well regarding the need for vaccination, but I want to touch on something that was mentioned earlier:
The issue with people being able to "research" something on the internet is that people can find the exact wrong information.
Katana mentioned a group in Australia that calls itself the "Australian Vaccination Network". Now, your average person would look at a name like that and work off an assumption that this is a group with solid grounding in the basics of health and how vaccinations affect the human body, and therefore trust what is being said by this group.
These people would be wrong. The AVN is a front for a group that is committed to an anti-vaccination agenda and spread all sorts of propaganda about the 'dangers' of vaccinations. The vast majority of people involved in this group have not a single drop of medical or scientific qualifications behind them and are using anecdotal evidence that is flimsy as best but passing it off as common occurrences across Australian society.
Any idiot can create a website and publish information on the web. They can then do a lot of things to make it what people see as the first items in a search on Google. The average person does not have the basic scientific grounding to then separate out the information that they see on a website made by a crackpot from that coming from people with direct knowledge. But because of a seemingly growing view of the medical industry as being out to 'trick' the public, people will reduce the importance of anything that is posted on a website that is government or industry group backed.
If someone is going to conscientiously object to something that has greater importance to society as a whole rather than an individual freedom (see: shouting fire in a movie theatre) then it should only be done so after someone is forced to read and acknowledge the dangers from a legitimate source (i.e. be given pamphlets at the doctor's surgery that contain only scientifically backed data and read it there and then and discuss with the doctor). But also any government or private entity should be allowed to base allowances for entry into schools/facilities/programs/etc. upon records of this being undertaken in situations where it is a public health issue for vaccination to not have been undertaken.
Yep. His name was Andrew Wakefield, I believe, and he was reprimanded big time. Just as importantly, the article was redacted. As much damage as Jenny McCarthy has done, he's done more, by tarnishing science in general. Jenny's looking for someone to blame, which is a natural reaction to her circumstances, but I absolutely agree she's taken it way too far. Once it begins to harm others, that's a problem.
I think that the only valid reason to refuse vaccinations is severe allergy to the vaccine (hives, risk of anaphylactic shock etc.).
I'm from Finland, and here children have been taken into care when their parents have refused potentially lifesaving treatment on religious grounds. Adults can opt out of treatments on whatever grounds they wish, but here the probable future interests of the child overrun the parental prerogative of raising one's child as one wishes. This hasn't, however, so far, been applied to vaccinations. Most people do vaccinate their children, but there is a small, fairly vocal, anti-vaccine lobby.
That's not to say that there are no risks with vaccinations, a few years back when the swine flu epidemic was imminent, some patients who were vaccinated with the Pandemrix vaccine developed narcolepsy. This apparent connection was thoroughly investigated, and some people (mostly young adults or teenagers who were 12-16 years old when they received the vaccine and fell ill) will receive compensation for the rest of their lives because they're unable to work due to their condition. Luckily such consequences are rare.
Groups like the AVN really boil my blood not just because of the false information they give, but how they have effectively polarized the vaccination debate to the point where there's very little middle ground. As Dingo said, the name itself is deceptive as is the groups "mission" to inform parents about the possible dangers of vaccines so they make an "informed choice". And if you don't subscribe to their dogma, you're ostracized, censored and (as I was) banned from their Facebook page.
There's a series on SBS right now about the history of medicine, and the last episode talked about vaccines. Particularly the smallpox eradication by WHO. Smallpox is no longer in the vaccination schedule because of is. Why don't they do this to other diseases? Polio could be wiped out completely if they did. I think we're soft.
We're making progress on polio right now.In 1988, there were 350,000 cases. In 2011, there was less than 500. The only countries now where polio is endemic rather being brought in by people traveling are Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, just within the last few years it was effectively eradicated from India.