Why is pro-vaccine talk fully supported (even encouraged - it has its own board) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 121 Old 09-25-2012, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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but not pro-circumcision?

 

Don't get me wrong...I'm against genital mutilation and the positive - or even neutral - portrayal of it on mothering.com.  But let's examine the similarities between vaccination and routine infant circumcision:

 

 

- They're both medical interventions done to a healthy child

 

- Neither is immediately necessary for medical reasons

 

- They both alter the natural state of the body

 

- They both have risks, including the risk of death

 

- They both have experts for and against the procedure

 

- There's scientific evidence used to support and reject both interventions

 

-They're both widely accepted - even pushed on parents - by the mainstream medical community (more so in the US for circ)

 

 

My opinion is that in light of the similarities, supportive discussion should be allowed for both, or not allowed for either.

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#2 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 03:43 AM
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I think this should be a question for our community.

 

Anyone care to share their thinking and feelings about this? What do you think Mothering should and should not host in this regard? 


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#3 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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1. Because there may actually be some benefit to vaccination. 

 

2. Amputating useful body parts is not a medical intervention, it's purely cultural.

 

I
 

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#4 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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Because the supposed "benefits" to circumcision are pure BS! And vaccines actually DO prevent the diseases they claim to prevent! (Even if not 100% of the time) Even if circumcision really did prevent stds and hiv, children are not sexually active so it would be reasonable to wait until the teen years for a boy to choose for himself whether he thinks the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. On the other side, if vaccines were delayed in order to give the child a choice as a teen/adult, they will have had several years during which they are vulnerable to certain diseases. Sorry, I don't think the two are comparable at all. I have not vaxed either of my kids, and don't plan to, and think the current schedule is ridiculous, but I still think it is a reasonable parent choice. routine infant circumcision, on the other hand, is a bizarre cultural practice with no logical justification. 

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#5 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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ETA: I just read LilStar's post. If you want to read my way too long comment, feel free, but I think  she summed up my views very nicely and much more succinctly.

 

 

For one thing, there is no benefit to infant circ. Even if circ did prevent STIs, penile cancer, HIV, etc. etc., these are not medical issues for an infant. There is absolutely no reason why a child shouldn't be allowed to wait until he's old enough to weigh the possible risks and benefits for himself.  With vaccines, the situation is different. Many of the illnesses being vaxed for are childhood illnesses, and the risks exist during infancy and childhood. Therefore, the decision does need to be made, one way or the other, during childhood. One can't realistically say, "well, when my child is 18 he/she can decide for himself/herself whether or not to get the varicella vaccine", because the risk of catching the disease exists before that.

 

Secondly, there's the issue of degree. Most people don't experience obvious negative effects from vaccines. I had multiple vaccines as a child, including smallpox, and there's no evidence of it today. Every circ'd boy loses his foreskin. Every circ'd boy experiences the change in his glans from internal tissues to external tissues, with the accompanying toughening of the skin, etc. Every circ'd boy develops scar tissue.

 

This topic is comparing what's normally truly a very minor procedure, used during childhood to address medical concerns which routinely arise during childhood,  to amputative surgery on a non-consenting newborn, used to address medical concerns that are extremely unlikely to arise duing childhood. There is absolutely no question that circ can wait.

 

Just to clarify...I'm not pro-vax, or anti-vax.

 

I do believe that vaccines work, and I find the "improved hygiene" argument to be kind of ridiculous. (I'm sure it's had some impact, but, for example, there hasn't been a single local case of measles, to my knowledge, since the MMR was put into place. I saw a full local epidemic - at least a third of my high school was out sick over the course of it - in the mid-80s and multiple individual cases, including myself, prior to that. The same goes for the mumps, although we didn't have the local epidemic of that - I know literally dozens of people my own age who had it. I've never met a single contemporary of ds1 who has. Believe me, hygiene in the 80s was just fine.) My oldest son was fully vaxxed, but the schedule was smaller then. DD1 has been selectively vaxed. DS2 has had a couple, when he was quite small, but not all the recommended ones. DD2 hasn't had any. I'll probably get mumps for ds2 in the next couple of years, as I want to reduce his odds of getting it before puberty.

 

OTOH, I also don't think we understand enough about how the immune system works (knowledge is increasing all the time, which is great) or what the potential long-term effects of vaccines may be, to be adding vaccinations to the schedule as casually as is currently happening.  I also feel it's completely unnecessary to be starting vaxes at two months of age. So, I see a downside to the whole process, as well.

 


IMO, the difference is that vaccination genuinely falls into the category of medical decisions that need to be made during infancy and childhood, which is part of a parent's job. Circumcision doesn't fall into that category. There's no reason to subject an infant to amputative surgery, even for potential benefits in his adult life. He can make that decision for himself, and it does not need to be made for him, so it shouldn't be.

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#6 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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I also appreciate that there are varying POVs about vaccines on this forum, even those I disagree with. Its not a black and white issue and a lot of the decision comes down to perspective! Hearing other's perspective is helpful. It reaffirms my decision OR it makes me take another look at my decision and make sure that I'm still comfortable with it. I like reading the back and forth as well. Any time a study/article is posted, there's someone else coming along pointing out where a weak spot may be. It keeps me thinking, and I appreciate it. 


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#7 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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1. Because there may actually be some benefit to vaccination. 

2. Amputating useful body parts is not a medical intervention, it's purely cultural. 


Thank you, I agree and I agree with LilStar's post, too.


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#8 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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Hmm...while i agree that there can be some medical benefit for some children with regards to vaccines and that most infants do not benefit from circumcision...i see the question more as "why is mothering hosting a forum supportive of vaccines"...is there a forum for moms who feed formula? (i havent looked, so i dont know...its a sincere question) The vast majority of kids do 'just fine' with formula just as most kids dont have obvious negative effects from vaccines. Is there an acceptable place on MDC to talk about the pros/cons of various formulas, the best bottles, etc? (again, sincere question) If not, then i would ask why not?

 

I have to admit i was a little uneasy about seeing there was going to possibly be a forum devoted to supporting vaccination. But since i dont post on the vax forums i decided to stay out of the argument.
 

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#9 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 08:19 PM
 
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Since Mothering's official position on vaccines is that it supports informed choice I believe that there is absolutely a place here for vaccinators just as there is a place for non-vaxers.

Why does this topic keep coming up over and over again, just in different locations - didn't we have this same discussion last month in the vaccines forum?
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#10 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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I agree with LilStar. 


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#11 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 10:04 PM
 
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Vaccine propagandists have done a great job packaging the argument for vaccinating as a public health issue (ie your kids may harm others if you don't vax), so there tend to be a lot of passionate voices trying to persuade, threaten, shame, or coerce vax questioners into getting in line. On the other hand, the public interest arguments for circ just are not as convincing, especially for children, because the potential harm that could be done to others requires an intentional act of a sexual nature, rather than (as with VPDS) being an unknowing viral victim simply sharing space with others. Pro-circ people exist, of course, but a large number of them are folks trying to validate their own decisions, not trying to ridicule and vilify people who act differently. It is a relatively safer decision to deny giving voice to a less passionate crowd. To shut out pro vaxxers would piss off too many people.

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#12 of 121 Old 09-26-2012, 11:36 PM
 
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Informed choice has been discussed over and over.  It's nice to have a place where we can discuss vaccines and decide what is best for us.  As for circ, no similarity in my opinion.

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#13 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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1. Because there may actually be some benefit to vaccination. 

2. Amputating useful body parts is not a medical intervention, it's purely cultural.

I

 


Sure, that's the general consensus here. But what about in real life? The AAP recently changed its position on this, stating that the medical benefits of RIC do, in fact, outweigh the risks.

Let's face it...in the real world, the "pro" propaganda on both vaccines and circumcision is about equal. Doctors will gladly perform either intervention, and most will not share mothering.com's (and the rest of the developed world's) view that circumcision is unnecessary surgery.

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#14 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess my concern is that the choice to vaccinate, in the selective/delayed board, is given unnecessary validation. I am in full support of informed consent and open dialogue concerning vaccine issues, but a place to support the choice seems as uncalled for as a place to support routine infant circumcision. "I'm not Vaccinating," on the other hand, supports the biological norm of children and related discussion.

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#15 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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Sure, that's the general consensus here. But what about in real life? The AAP recently changed its position on this, stating that the medical benefits of RIC do, in fact, outweigh the risks.

But they still don't recommend it and they do recommend vaccines.

 

Keep in mind that the AAP is simply a trade organization.  They are there to protect their members, not your children.  They are fighting to protect their member's revenue stream.  Vaccines and circumcision do both of those things. Note that in their recent statement, they are practically begging to continue 3rd party reimbursement for their genital cutting services.


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#16 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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I guess my concern is that the choice to vaccinate, in the selective/delayed board, is given unnecessary validation. I am in full support of informed consent and open dialogue concerning vaccine issues, but a place to support the choice seems as uncalled for as a place to support routine infant circumcision. "I'm not Vaccinating," on the other hand, supports the biological norm of children and related discussion.

Why do the mothers here at MDC who, after their own research and reflection, have chosen to vaccinate on whatever schedule suits their family not deserve validation for their choice?
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#17 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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Why do the mothers here at MDC who, after their own research and reflection, have chosen to vaccinate on whatever schedule suits their family not deserve validation for their choice?

 

You could say the same thing about circ/CIO/formula feeding/elective c-section/spanking.

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#18 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I guess my concern is that the choice to vaccinate, in the selective/delayed board, is given unnecessary validation. I am in full support of informed consent and open dialogue concerning vaccine issues, but a place to support the choice seems as uncalled for as a place to support routine infant circumcision. "I'm not Vaccinating," on the other hand, supports the biological norm of children and related discussion.


And I guess you don't understand that altering boys cripples men. There's a huge host of grown up men problems after having been cut as a baby. It is irreparable harm.

Select vaxing my children doesn't even come close to that.

I would completely flip out if MDC supported any discussion of routine infant circumcision. But hosting a safe place to voice my concerns over the Guardisil vaccine is NEEDED.
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#19 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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You could say the same thing about circ/CIO/formula feeding/elective c-section/spanking.

Except Mothering's position regarding vaccines is that it supports informed choice, the same cannot be said for the other things you list.
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#20 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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Except Mothering's position regarding vaccines is that it supports informed choice, the same cannot be said for the other things you list.

 

And isn't that a bit hypocritical?  That informed choice is valid for one aspect of parenting and not others?  That altering a baby's foreskin is wrong, but altering their immune systems is fine.


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#21 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 10:05 AM
 
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And isn't that a bit hypocritical?  That informed choice is valid for one aspect of parenting and not others?  That altering a baby's foreskin is wrong, but altering their immune systems is fine.


I think its been said very well from others here....there are documented and significant benefits from vaccination (i.e. disease prevention) whether some believe that or not, while circumcision harms boys.  Even if some believe that there are medical benefits to being circumcised, the period of risk for these is not in childhood (thus negating the need for this to be done in infancy).

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#22 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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Sure, that's the general consensus here. But what about in real life? The AAP recently changed its position on this, stating that the medical benefits of RIC do, in fact, outweigh the risks.

 

That's not quite what they said. However, it doesn't matter, as they made NO case for the benefits of infant circumcision outweighing the risks of grown men still having their foreskins. They push infant circ, because they know that most grown men are going to react that same way ds1 did, when he found out about the practice of circ: "They cut of what? WHYYY?? That's the best part." Get them when they have no say, even though it makes no sense.

 

The illnesses for which children are given vaccinations are childhood illnesses. The debate is about whether this is a medical procedure that a given parent wants to have performed on their child. This decision isn't one where a parent can just say "I'll wait and see what he/she wants to do when they're older," because the child is in danger of catching the illnesses in question now, not later. I don't see circ as a valid preventive medical procedure, but even if I did, there is NO reason to cut the foreskin off a newborn, to prevent that boy from catching HIV when he's an adult. The surgery simply does not need to be done on an infant. There's no benefit to doing it routinely on an infant. Even if it prevented 50%, or more, of HIV cases (which it clearly doesn't, as the adult male population of the US is mostly circ'd, and HIV has been a big problem), performing in on an infant makes no sense. Maybe the guy's going to have super low libido and not even have sex. Maybe he's going to be a priest. Maybe he's going to have functioning brain cells and use a freaking condom.  Whatever his adult choices, he's not going to be having unsafe sex when he's a few days old, yk?

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#23 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But they still don't recommend it and they do recommend vaccines.

 

Keep in mind that the AAP is simply a trade organization.  They are there to protect their members, not your children.  They are fighting to protect their member's revenue stream.  Vaccines and circumcision do both of those things. Note that in their recent statement, they are practically begging to continue 3rd party reimbursement for their genital cutting services.


Many doctors recommend it, based on the medical literature.  The AAP's new stance only serves to strengthen the pro-RIC side of this (obviously, and unfortunately).


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#24 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do the mothers here at MDC who, after their own research and reflection, have chosen to vaccinate on whatever schedule suits their family not deserve validation for their choice?


This isn't about anyone "deserving" anything; it's simply about whether or not MDC should promote a medical intervention, which holds risks, performed on a healthy child.  That's not to say open discussion should not be allowed regarding vaccine issues.  But support and promotion?  I'm not sure.


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#25 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I guess you don't understand that altering boys cripples men. There's a huge host of grown up men problems after having been cut as a baby. It is irreparable harm.
Select vaxing my children doesn't even come close to that.
I would completely flip out if MDC supported any discussion of routine infant circumcision. But hosting a safe place to voice my concerns over the Guardisil vaccine is NEEDED.

 

And yet there's not really any proof that vaccines don't cause long term issues, is there?  It is a medical procedure with risks which are not well understood, performed on babies and children who cannot consent to such a risk. 

 

I honestly DO understand that altering boys cripples men...and that has what led me to this question/concern.  I would also flip out of MDC supported discussion of RIC.

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And yet there's not really any proof that vaccines don't cause long term issues, is there?  It is a medical procedure with risks which are not well understood, performed on babies and children who cannot consent to such a risk.

 

I think the point missing here is that vaccines also have the well-documented benefit of disease prevention in childhood, whereas circumcision does not.  As parents we conduct risk assessments on a daily basis.  Yes, there is a risk of a reaction to that vaccine, but there are also risks associated with vaccine-preventable disease and parents need to make a decision based on that relative risk assessment.  The distinction between vaccines and routine circumcision of infants in terms of risk assessment seems pretty obvious to me.   


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Because there is strong research that supports vaccination and very little research that supports circ.

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#28 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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This isn't about anyone "deserving" anything; it's simply about whether or not MDC should promote a medical intervention, which holds risks, performed on a healthy child.  That's not to say open discussion should not be allowed regarding vaccine issues.  But support and promotion?  I'm not sure.

Where exactly are they "promoting" vaccination in the forums, I personally have never seen such a thing here.
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#29 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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...is there a forum for moms who feed formula? (i havent looked, so i dont know...its a sincere question) The vast majority of kids do 'just fine' with formula just as most kids dont have obvious negative effects from vaccines. Is there an acceptable place on MDC to talk about the pros/cons of various formulas, the best bottles, etc? (again, sincere question) If not, then i would ask why not?

There is not an entire area dedicated to it but I've seen it come up in these forums:

Adoptive and Foster Parenting

NICU and Preemie Parenting

 

For the record, as an adoptive mom who used formula, I appreciated the bit of support I found here for it.

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#30 of 121 Old 09-27-2012, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post


Where exactly are they "promoting" vaccination in the forums, I personally have never seen such a thing here.

 

In the "selective/delayed vaccines" board.  It seems to promote vaccinating much in the same way an "I'm circumcising" board would promote circumcising.


Loving mother, Devoted Wife
emma1325 is offline  
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