05 February 2015

Once, Twice, Three Times a Vaccine Post

Sorry for the title, but just as the popular mind has it fixed that celebrities die in threes, so too will I post about vaccines in threes.  This time, an article from noted paleo-Conservative/Libertarian Catholic Judge Andrew Napolitano on the question: To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate?

Please note that this article hits the issue from the mostly secular angle of personal freedom v. government coercion, and centers on the differing rationales of Presidential hopefuls Christie and Paul in rejecting a compulsory vaccination position.  Excerpts below:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unwittingly ignited a firestorm earlier this week when he responded to a reporter’s question in Great Britain about forced vaccinations of children in New Jersey by suggesting that the law in the U.S. needs to balance the rights of parents against the government’s duty to maintain standards of public health.

Before Christie could soften the tone of his use of the word “balance,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul jumped into the fray to support the governor. In doing so, he made a stronger case for the rights of parents by advancing the view that all vaccines do not work for all children and the ultimate decision-maker should be parents and not bureaucrats or judges. He argued not for balance, but for bias — in favor of parents.


The science is overwhelming that vaccinations work for most children most of the time. Paul, who is a physician, said, however, he knew of instances in which poorly timed vaccinations had led to mental disorders. Yet, he was wise enough to make the pro-freedom case, and he made it stronger than Christie did.

To Paul, the issue is not science. That’s because in a free society, we are free to reject scientific orthodoxy and seek unorthodox scientific cures. Of course, we do that at our peril if our rejection of truth and selection of alternatives results in harm to others.

The issue, according to Paul, is: WHO OWNS YOUR BODY? This is a question the government does not want to answer truthfully, because if it does, it will sound like Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” That’s because the government believes it owns your body.


Rather, you do. And you alone can decide your fate with respect to the ingestion of medicine. What about children? Paul argues that parents are the natural and legal custodians of their children’s bodies until they reach maturity or majority, somewhere between ages 14 and 18, depending on the state of residence.


No less a champion of government in your face than Hillary Clinton jumped into this debate with a whacky Tweet that argued that because the Earth is round and the sky is blue and science is right, all kids should be vaccinated. What she was really saying is that in her progressive worldview, the coercive power of the federal government can be used to enforce a scientific orthodoxy upon those states and individuals who intellectually reject it.

In America, you are free to reject it.

Clinton and her Big Government colleagues would be wise to look at their favorite Supreme Court decision: Roe v. Wade. Yes, the same Roe v. Wade that 42 years ago unleashed 45 million abortions also defines the right to bear and raise children as fundamental, and thus personal to parents, and thus largely immune from state interference and utterly immune from federal interference.


But if Paul is wrong, if the government owns our bodies, then the presumption of individual liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been surreptitiously discarded, and there will be no limit to what the government can compel us to do or to what it can extract from us — in the name of science or any other of its modern-day gods.


Worried about Measles said...

I don't believe the government can enforce vaccinations, but they should make it as inconvenient as possible.

Don't want to vaccinate? Public schools won't accept you. Doctors can't accept non-emergency visits.

After 5 kids getting measles in a Chicago day care, you would think us Traditionalist Catholics would be more worried about spreading it to other families in church. We do have obligations to society at large irrespective of your libertarian leanings.

chantgirl said...

A government that "owns our bodies" is effectively a government which owns the lives of its subjects. Weighing the worth of individuals based on cost/benefit equations, such a government will control who is allowed to breed, who is allowed to be born, who is to be treated, and who is to be euthanized. The risk of parental discretion pales in comparison to the dangers of a government, which has by way of healthcare gained control over the life and death of its subjects.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT an issue of "Who owns your body."
While I think it is ridiculous that people play Russian Roulette, that is their choice to point their guns at their own head.
However, it is unconscionable that science-denying idiots would choose to play Russian Roulette by pointing guns at our heads.

The poor choice to not get the vaccine means that if/when their kids get the measles, infants, the elderly, the sick, those recovering from surgeries, those with compromised immune systems ... all are at risk of dying as innocent victims by someone else's poor choice. [Manslaughter, anyone?]

To me, Pro-Life does not stop once a child is born. We need to do everything possible to prevent clearly preventable deaths of society's most vulnerable.

This raises the bigger question: Is the purpose of democracy to help each and every individual live in their own narcissistic world, or is it to promote the welfare for all humans? Seems our Catholic faith should be far more about the larger community. That is, unless you think your relationship with your god can exist in its own bubble, without any responsibility to others. (And the word "Love" then only applies to love of self, and no one else.)

thetimman said...

Of course, TIYS, if you decide to vaccinate yourself and your children, you really aren't at risk from someone's unvaccinated child.

And just to put things in perspective, the current measles outbreak has affected about 600 people in a country of 300,000,000.

Finally, I like to capitalize the spelling of Almighty God.

MM said...

Actually, those who are unvaccinated do put those who are innocent at risk, as TIYS pointed out-- infants who are too young to be vaccinated, the small percentage who are vaccinated but who's immune systems do not respond to vaccines, those who have compromised immune systems including anyone receiving chemotherapy, babies who were born prematurely, kids with congenital heart defects or lung disease, the elderly and so on. I work in a pediatric hospital and I do not believe the government should make vaccines compulsary. However, I wish those who think these diseases are no big deal would spend a winter caring for the kids in the pediatric intensive care unit who spend months on ventilators after suffering from pertussis and influenza. I wish they'd been there when we just handed the baby with haemophilus influenzae (Hib) meningitis to his mother for her to hold for the last time because his brain herniated. I wish they would come talk to the parents of the child receiving chemotherapy who is now in septic shock from the flu and might not make it. The things we healthcare workers see are horrifying, and that is why we want and hope that people will make educated decisions. I don't ever want to do CPR on another child with a vaccine-preventable illness. I don't want to have to see another child who has already been through so much because of his congenital heart defect have to struggle to breath because he his fragile heart can't handle the illness he's contracted. I don't want to see another baby turning blue from the coughing fits of pertussis, another baby who is on a ventilator for months and months recovering and ends up requiring a trach and ventilator at home. Seeing these kids suffer year after year and seeing the actual affect of these diseases is what puts things in perspective.

Philip said...

It is shocking to see Catholics speak like faithful socialist mouthpieces of the government.

Furthermore, there is the illusion that there is no link between vaccines and autism. I'm sorry, if you think there is no link. You must also think there is no link to autism from abortions or cancer from abortions or barrenhood from abortion or cervical cancer from contraception. Perhaps you also defend the mandated vaccines for Africans that are supposed to cure malaria. Bill Gates must be a hero? Those vaccines have no sterilants in them or anything of that sort.

Show me one mainstream doctor who agrees with the links above. Show me one FOX News analysis that defends those links?

Don't you know the more we give ourselves over to science--as it is being misused today, we will end up as guinea pigs. No one person is adverse to vaccines because they work, but because they don't work, and that parents have evidence that the vaccines have adversely affected their kids.

When the FDA and Big Pharma finally let parents bring evidence forward and allow big Pharma to be sued, then, we can have a discussion. If the FDA protects big pharma from being sued, that makes all these claims more valid.

We are being used, and we will suffer for it.