Measles Mania and Your Child: The Shocking Way This Could Affect Your Family

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Everyone has heard about Measles Mania that is sweeping American news and social sites, both sides have a hard time even fathoming the opposite opinion, and the anger has been contagious (pun intended). However, the more significant news story for moms here, isn’t the 100 or so people who have contracted measles, but the ramifications of federally ordered mandatory vaccinations for every American person.

Many parents are insisting that “a family’s right to be sick ends where public health begins,” and see vaccinations as a public health issue that should be mandated by the federal government. No matter how many times I saw this I thought, surely this is just the outspoken far-left extreme; there can’t be that many people who literally believe in legislating away American’s rights to not have substances forcibly injected into their body. Actually 60 percent of Americans believe all children should be federally required to receive vaccinations; Fox News is running segments where doctors call on President Obama to pass federal regulations mandating vaccines for all children. (Never mind that this would be Unconstitutional.)

Thirty-seven percent of Americans even believe that this should be carried out forcibly against parents wishes, although their plan for enforcing this has often not been forthcoming (Jail? Fines?). The point of passing a law, though of course, is to make people change their actions with the threat of consequences, and major media sources like USA Today aren’t shy in calling for some pretty steep enforcement strategies: declaring anti-vaccine parents guilty of child neglect, public endangerment, and openly calling for these parents who have turned their children into biological weapons to be put in prison. (Currently more than 1 in 10 parents skip or delay vaccines. That’s a lot of jailed parents.)

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan argues that since epidemiologists today can reliably determine the source of a viral infection, any parent whose unvaccinated child endangers another is clearly at fault and could be charged with criminally negligent homicide or sued for damages. Another related post for the Harvard Law Blog expressed similar notions. Slate, of course, agrees: “Here’s why the anti-vaxxers are wrong and Caplan and his co-authors are right to raise the idea of suing or criminally charging them: Parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids for reasons of personal belief pose a serious danger to the public.” (This of course is somewhat ironic since vaccines are one of the only products on the market where you cannot sue the manufacturer if your child is injured or killed by a vaccine. Injury claims go through an alternatively set up court system; the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which was established at the same time vaccine manufacturers were exempted from liability, a program that has quietly paid out over $3 billion dollars in compensation awards for death an injury due to vaccines.)

Mandating vaccines is not only supported by the majority of Americans, but major governmental, law, and educational institutions are currently fleshing out the details of implementing said legislation. So let’s step into this not-so far off world for a moment, because there are quite a few ramifications to this idea that should concern all parents.

First of all, in a world where you don’t have the right to refuse injections of whatever substances the government decides, do these ‘public safety measures’ extend to include the immunocompromised, such as HIV or cancer patients? What about children (like my child) who has a degenerative genetic condition that compromises her body’s ability to eliminate heavy metals? Should she be banned from receiving her public school based therapy because of her sensitivity to heavy metal toxicity? The majority—52 percent—of Americans say yea, unvaccinated children should not be allowed to attend public schools. If my daughter were given exception status or schedule delay on mandatory vaccinations, who decides if she qualifies? Legislators who don’t have medical degrees? Some board of doctors making decisions for the public who may or may not be elected by the public? The pharmaceutical industry who is producing the vaccines (no conflict of interest there)? All the parents from Facebook who apparently think they have personal say in my child’s health-care decisions?

And if vaccines are mandatory, which ones should be mandatory? All of them? The number of vaccines on the ‘recommended schedule’ has increased significantly, and includes up to 71 vaccine antigens in 53 injections by age 18 today depending on the state. Which vaccines ought to be federally mandated? All 71? Should refusing the tetanus vaccination be reason to deny a child entrance to public school since tetanus is not a communicable disease? What about infant shots for sexually transmitted diseases? What about the flu—a disease that kills more people annually than measles?

Even if someone were to be comfortable with making all the current vaccines mandatory, there’s the issue of where the industry could go. “Pharmaceutical companies are now actively targeting both adolescents and adults for cradle-to-grave vaccination… Who wouldn’t love a business model with a captive market, no liability concerns, free advertising and promotion by government agencies, and a free enforcement mechanism from local schools? It is, truly, a drug company’s dream come true.” With more than 220 new vaccines in the developmental pipeline, the vaccine schedule is likely to expand—significantly. And expand to adults. It is not hard to imagine a future where employers, life-insurance policies, or insurance companies could be mandating vaccines. Who will stop that locomotive? Legislators riding on campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies? The CDC with boards made up of former pharmaceutical company executives?

The ramifications of legislating a healthcare decision are truly enormous. As one parent put it: “Freedom doesn’t get much more personal than the right of individuals to choose what is put into their bodies, and to accept or reject medical procedures.” It’s amazing that the very people who think you can’t trust people with freedom, see no problem in trusting other similar people with enormous amounts of power, which is simply the freedom to take away other people’s freedom. Congressman Ron Paul, a legislator, historian, and ob-gyn doctor recommends we should ask ourselves “when in history has a ‘limited’ infringement on individual liberty stayed limited?” Once you remove a person’s right to refuse medical procedures we have truly entered a new era, one in which “our liberties end where the possible potential of risk is present.” That brave new world is one into which, I for one, do not want to be forced.

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