Originally Posted by teacozy
What do you guys think about this response?
"First, states could adopt a narrow religious exemption that requires a show of sincerity and enforce it strictly, following New York’s example. There are two other problems with this approach. First, policing sincerity is very, very close to policing religious beliefs. The reason courts put obstacles on policing religious beliefs is because courts are uncomfortable – correctly, in my view – to allow state officials to play conscience police. It’s not the state’s business whether your beliefs deserve protection, whether they are good enough to count as religious beliefs.
Second, states could only offer medical exemptions. This is supported by Skeptical Raptor, and also, for example, by Dr. Paul Offit. This would have the advantage of protecting the largest number of children and reducing the rate of exemptions. This is, however, a very strong intrusion into parental rights. It will also force parents who truly believe vaccines are toxic to either somehow present a false medical exemption or homeschool. This may negatively affect the career prospect of such parents and their income, not necessarily a good thing for the children. It may also deprive the children from public schooling.
Or third, states could get rid of religious exemptions and offer only a personal choice exemption. The risk, of course, is that this will lead to high rates of exemptions, with children left vulnerable to disease and potentially a risk of outbreak. One way to handle that is by making personal choice exemptions hard to get – by imposing educational requirements (as proposed by Professor Ross Silverman and implemented by several states, including Oregon, Washington and California), and requiring an annual renewal. But a personal belief exemption would still probably lead to more exemptions than a medical exemption only situation.
My personal tendency is towards option 3. But I admit I am still conflicted and unsure about that."
Guess who wrote this a week ago? Dorit Reiss. Yes, this was written by the evil pharma shill Dorit Reiss, on skeptical raptor's blog as a guest post.
Thanks for clarifying her position.
I realize that you cannot speak for her, but I wonder where she gets the idea that Bad Mommy Laws are effective, especially with yearly renewal.
It isn't fair to cite the Washington State example, ("It MUST be working. The exemption rate went down to 4.2%!"), because correlation doesn't equal cause.
I'd like to see some real, rigorous evidence that these "informed consent" laws truly do fulfill their intention of converting the heathens, i.e. that state-mandated videos and exam room lectures convince non-compliant parents to move to full vaccine compliance.
I actually once saw research indicating just the opposite, and I'm kicking myself for not saving the link. I'll grant that the sample size was small, but it's the most evidence that we have on the issue. A group of "vaccine-hesitant" parents in Canada, (Toronto, I think???), watched a video trying to convince them to comply with vaccine orders, and it only further alienated them and reinforced their decision to decline vaccines. If anyone can dig that study up, you'll get a big cyber-smooch.
And what's with the annual renewal part? Is Dorit hoping that rehashing this issue 12 months later will inspire the non-compliant to see the Light? Or are these red tape hurdles just supposed to serve as an implicit punishment for non-compliance?Edited by Turquesa - 2/24/14 at 8:56pm