Thursday, November 1, 2012

Educating the Uneducatable

Yesterday one of our Facebook members shared our Halloween themed meme  on her Facebook page and got this reaction criticizing  the meme's content: does not prelude the other


The vast majority of medically educated doctors, nurses and scientists throughout the world (including your own pediatrician) believe that, properly used, vaccines are generally safe and effective. Are they infallible? Certainly not, no more so than antibiotics or seatbelts. You can also choose to believe that the world is flat. It's your right. It's also my right to call into question illogical comments, like the one posted. It's simply not either or. There is no vast pharmaceutical company conspiracy. If there is then hundreds of thousands of doctors are incredibly stupid and the anti-vaccine amateurs have all the answers. I don't believe that.

Here is my response:

Your friends criticism of this meme fails in several ways. He constructs a “vast pharmaceutical company conspiracy” straw man argument out of a one sentence meme having nothing to do with a “conspiracy.” Then he goes off on a “flat Earth” tangent which has as much relevance as does the “conspiracy” straw man.
Then he puts his faith in a medical system that over and over is found, by the mainstream media and some elements of the system itself, to be overtreating patients with antibiotics, cat scans, x-rays, unnecessary surgery etc. He then creates a false dichotomy in which the only way obedience to the vaccination schedule can be unwise is if “hundreds of thousands of doctors are incredibly stupid and the anti-vaccine amateurs have all the answers” Then assumes something’s safety and effectiveness automatically makes a product valuable to me. (And can you really call the pertussis shot, for example, effective when one now needs six or seven doses over a twenty year period? Especially when a natural infection provides 30 years to lifetime immunity and decreases the chances of transmission during the child bearing years) Let’s not even talk about if they are safe or not. It is a fact when a child is vaccinated; pain is inflicted on him or her. There must be a good reason for this. (Eighteen trips to the doctor during one's childhood for a yearly, painful flu shot seems hardly worthwhile when you're unlikely to get the illness or suffer substantially from it) But in addition to the pain are the accepted common adverse events: high pitched crying, somnolence, fever, irritability etc. Then there are risks such as the chance of contamination (SV40 incident with polio vaccines) or discovering mercury levels exceeded safety limits after a generation has received those vaccines. Then add in something like this recent news which illustrates how little we know about playing around with biological systems

Then combine it with this Institute of Medicine report from 2004:

The report, issued by the IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee, found that scientific evidence from epidemiological studies on whether allergy, including asthma, can be caused by multiple vaccinations was conflicting and concluded that the evidence “was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.” The Committee concluded that epidemiological studies to date “favor rejection of a causal relationship between multiple immunizations and increased risk for infections and for type 1 diabetes.” However, the Committee also concluded that they did find some biological mechanism evidence that vaccines could increase the risk of immune dysfunction in some children that could lead to increased infections and allergy, including asthma. They stated that, “The biological mechanisms evidence regarding increased risk for infections is strong.”

Then add to that the huge increases in the immune dysfunction in the young and ask yourself if tricking that developing system is such a good idea.

So to conclude, nutrition status (part one of the meme) determines to a large degree the severity of these illnesses. On the other hand drugs and medications are detrimental unless they have a benefit that overcomes their risks and side effects. So if part one protects, why take on the risks of part two? As the risk of an illness drops, the benefit of the preventative measure also drops. So yes, if you take the steps mentioned in part one of the meme you may not need the treatments touched upon in part two.