I don't claim to be an expert, but from what I understand all of the good scientific information is pro vaccine. There seems to be no real question of that. The only reason people can consider opting out is due to herd immunity. Because there is so much widespread inoculation, there is a certain herd immunity, and your kids may still be safe even if not vaccinated, but it's no guarantee.
It is science that has given us this safety net, and yet we question the science when it doesn't jive with our notions. If smallpox, for example, was still endemic, we would be crying out for science to intervene. It seems to me that those who choose to opt out are taking advantage of both past science and the current responsible parents of the rest of society. This seems both ironic and somewhat selfish to me although I know that this is definitely not the intention.
I wish I had paid more attention to what disease I recently came across that is experiencing a bit of a resurgence due to people opting out. I am not going to research and fact check now, but I am not dreaming this.
As far as state vs parental rights, we allow intervention in many instances. If you don't want to give your kids a critical blood transfusion, the state will overrule. Don't you think that is right? If parents abuse or neglect their kids, the state can take them away. Don't you think that is right? The state can make sure that you are providing the proper education for your children, whether in home or in school. Don't you think that is right? I see mandatory vaccination in the same light.
... I don't think parents should have the right to put both their kids and society's children in harm's way. Kids only belong to us in the sense that we are responsible for their care and upbringing. They don't, however, belong to us as mere possessions to do with as we please when it runs counter to the best science available.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Yesterday, there was a discussion on Facebook about vaccinations vis-à-vis parental rights to withhold their children from this responsibility. Basically, I went against popular opinion (what else is new?) arguing that it shouldn't be left up to the parents' whims. I believe that society's welfare trumps parental rights in such matters. I was asked to elaborate, but did so via a private message. I thought it would be interesting material for a blog post. This is what I wrote.