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12-19-2008 12:01 AM
battymama Very interesting thread! i just got through it!

Paigec- you are a very wise women, you have put into words a lot of what i feel and think, but much more eloquently then i ever could. Your little girl is so lucky to have you as her mum I agree whole hartedly with what you say about aneed to educate on how to educate ourselves. I grew up with a mother who always encouraged and at times forced me to question, to never be afraid to ask the question and to not take the first answer either. This led me to my home birth, and to non vaxing and to lots of other changes in my life, as simple as using henna dye rather then chemical. But a lot of people dont know what questions to ask, they dont even know there is a question let alone how to get answers! For example my cousin recently had a baby who is 2 months younger then my Penelope, i was seeing hime recently after his 4 month shots, now this baby is not well, he is not breastfed, has had to have sugery on this stomach valves that had further complications, has continuous colds and minor infection, as well as alergies and intolerences and skin problems, he is very frail and yet they vax him on schedual, he looked very sick afterwards. But my cousin didnt know what the shots were for, i dont mean that he didnt know what diseases they were, i mean he had no idea at all what they did! all he knew is that the baby needs thier shots. How do you combat that sort of ignorance? how can these people even know where to start?

Vaxines make me so angry! the thing is i am not anti vaxine, i am pro informed choice and consent, and i just dont see that happening. Take my example, how is that an informed choice on my cousins part?

As a disclaimer i am a bit of a conspiracy theorist with slight leanings towards anarchy (good traits in a mother? ) but i really think this is a huge experiment on the part of big pharma and goverments. I am not sure about in the US but in OZ the highest rates of non vaxing are in the upper middle classes and higher, mainly in "well educated" families. Seems to me that this could be away to keep the unwashed masses in their place.
12-18-2008 08:17 PM
1littlebit : vaccines (and pharmaceuticals in general) are capitalist jokes... in a capitalist economy the company would have to prove their product is safe and effect... but the big bad pharma doesn't have to do that... it is just assumed their products are safe and effective...and we know its not b/c they have such a stellar track record... so um.. i wonder why that is.
12-17-2008 05:51 AM
ema-adama
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaigeC View Post
Amen! I was blogging about this a few weeks ago. Why, in a society where criminals are innocent until proven guilty, does the burden of proof rest on the shoulders of a small child and the parents instead of on the syringe full of questionable substances and the company that put it there?

We have the justice system we do because we feel that the risk of letting a guilty person go free is preferable to denying the rights of an innocent man. Why then do we prefer that some innocent children be collateral damage (at worst, or lab rats at best) to the system.
I have been thinking very similar thoughts
12-17-2008 01:17 AM
PaigeC
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
If you're trying to disprove that vaccines are necessary and healthy, that's sort of a complicated, mucky way of going about it. The way I look at it, I don't need to disprove their conclusions- I need to start at baseline- my healthy child- and prove to myself why I *need* to inject something into her. Not the other way around.
Amen! I was blogging about this a few weeks ago. Why, in a society where criminals are innocent until proven guilty, does the burden of proof rest on the shoulders of a small child and the parents instead of on the syringe full of questionable substances and the company that put it there?

We have the justice system we do because we feel that the risk of letting a guilty person go free is preferable to denying the rights of an innocent man. Why then do we prefer that some innocent children be collateral damage (at worst, or lab rats at best) to the system.
12-15-2008 03:08 PM
Sileree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku
What about soap? We all use soap to fend off disease, we don't really question handwashing. But people make money of soap, it has side-effects (eczema), it's preventing us from getting sick and thus allowing us to strengthen our immune system.
Different soaps have different benefits and risks (i.e., those with anti-microbials and those without.) And I can buy hand-made soap from people who live in my area.

I don't agree that not getting sick strengthens the immune system in normal, healthy people either. Does not exercising improve cardiovascular health?
12-15-2008 03:05 PM
bri276 well, there is a bit of a question for some people about whether they've actually removed all the thimerosal like they said they did. there's really no oversight or proof of this other than their word. I don't know one way or the other, but I wouldn't doubt if there are teeny tiny traces in a couple of the "thimerosal free" vaccines. Teeny tiny is the scientific term, btw.

I think sometimes it's about the approach you take to "researching". If you're trying to disprove that vaccines are necessary and healthy, that's sort of a complicated, mucky way of going about it. The way I look at it, I don't need to disprove their conclusions- I need to start at baseline- my healthy child- and prove to myself why I *need* to inject something into her. Not the other way around. The other thing is not to group them all together. There are no "vaccines" or "immunizations". There is hep B, varicella, MMR, dtap, Hib, etc. One by one by one. I start with the disease. If we're not worried about the disease, the only type of "research" necessary to do on the vaccine is read why it's recommended, then fact check that recommendation against the actual numbers of children harmed by the disease. For that reason, chicken pox is welcome in my household. I haven't bothered reading the package insert for varivax because it's a non-issue- I don't care what's in it, because I'm not concerned about the disease.
12-15-2008 03:05 PM
Sileree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku
Canada's Food Guide tells me what food to eat, should I go research debates among nutrionists about whether it's right?
I would personally. If Canada's food pyramid is anything like America's, it was influenced by several industries. Grains are not the food group to eat the most of to be healthy, imo. This comes from research into the government's food recommendations' conflict of interest and human evolution.
12-15-2008 02:59 PM
tinyblackdot Daycare
Doctors Pressure
Death?
Family Pressure
Sick Family Member
12-15-2008 02:59 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
Logical, straightforward and not too intimidating at first glance.

But when you look at say reported reactions, do you look only at the official reported reactions or do you look at the contested ones too (when parents claim a reaction and doctors deny it)?

When you research disease treatments, do you have to read medical journals to get the latest expert debate about treatments?

How does this process end?

Even just looking at official reactions gives you lots of info (VAERS) And VAERS and the CDC admit that at BEST 10% of reactions are reported.

Disease treatments I usually go to old parenting or nursing books. There ARE no *new* treatments for the measles for example.

-Angela
12-15-2008 02:56 PM
Murihiku Thank you, rainashine.

I feel I shouldn't have hijacked this thread, which began way back in '06 with the question "In light of recent threads, I've begun to really wonder why people who truly research decide to vax?" I haven't truly researched at all. This thread is for posts like the excellent one from carriebft. So, I'll shut up now.
12-15-2008 02:36 PM
rainashine
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
Re the list of ingredients: do I need to research whether these ingredients are in vaccines, or does everyone including the manufacturer agree and admit that they are in there? That is, is there any controversy or disagreement about whether these ingredients are in vaccines?
The ingredients are agreed upon and listed in the vaccine inserts. They are not trying to hide what in them. The disagreement is if the amounts are harmful. There may be some disagreement on some of them but there are enough out in the open to make further research (on ingredients only) unnecessary IMO.
12-15-2008 02:26 PM
Murihiku Thanks PaigeC for a great post. That's very interesting about polio, in particular.

The conflict of interest in scientific research is of course a huge problem. It's amazing that scientists were ever able to prove (if it's really proof) that breastmilk is good and smoking is bad, considering the market forces they were up against. I guess it took a lot of time and persistence to do so. But I'm not an expert in the history of science either so I'm not sure how long.

Still, why do we question vaccines and not other things? Canada's Food Guide tells me what food to eat--should I go research debates among nutrionists about whether it's right? What about soap? We all use soap to fend off disease, we don't really question handwashing. But people make money of soap, it has side-effects (eczema), it's preventing us from getting sick and thus allowing us to strengthen our immune system. How about traffic lights? I trust those to keep me safe and I have no idea how they work.

Yes, all this is a rationalization of my fear and laziness when it comes to vaccine research. If anyone's read all my silly posts so far, sorry for using up precious minutes of your time that could have been spent on actually researching knowledge rather than arguments!
12-15-2008 02:15 PM
Murihiku
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
By research, I mean as close to primary as possible.

To make my decision, I looked at things like numbers of cases of diseases, ingredients in vaccines, reported reactions and side effects, disease treatments and stats, etc.

-Angela
Logical, straightforward and not too intimidating at first glance.

But when you look at say reported reactions, do you look only at the official reported reactions or do you look at the contested ones too (when parents claim a reaction and doctors deny it)?

When you research disease treatments, do you have to read medical journals to get the latest expert debate about treatments?

How does this process end?
12-15-2008 02:13 PM
Murihiku
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
this is probably not a particularly popular view point and i get that... but honestly? i look at vaccines and the first thing i think is...gee golly gosh look what happens when a company is not required to prove the safety and effectiveness of its product .... since you know... the pharmaceutical companies all have our best interests at heart.

the second thing i see (this is the not so popular part) is that its a great way to lead to the extinction of our species. we thrived for an incredibly long time without vaccines. now vaccines are being attributed to the eradication of diseases that were more then likely eradicating by significantly improved hygiene... food, water, personal waste etc.
Vaccines are compromising our immune systems in many ways. first of all children are not getting the illnesses that once helped build up their immune systems. secondly vaccine 'immunity' is not transmittable from mother to child through breast milk which means we are creating a dependency on vaccines.

my decision to not vax has very little to do with the possible vax reaction... it has significantly more to do with the damage vaccinations are doing to the human race as a whole.
Ooh, a big can of worms here! I certainly see the persuasiveness of this argument. I wonder though: DH and I both were corrective lenses, but we've had two children anyway. They will probably have poor eyesight. Most people I know have imperfect eyesight. We're all having kids and breeding it into them. Maybe as a species we're moving on into the post-human? I mean we are damaging the eyesight of the human species as a whole.

This is a big huge ethical argument and if it's going to be part of my decision about whether or not to vax I'm going to have to do a huge amount of reading and thinking and getting horribly depressed.
12-15-2008 02:11 PM
Murihiku
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
I hear your points and I understand where you're coming from. When I first found this board, we were planning to selectively vax. After doing enough reading and thinking, however, I am now strongly anti-vax. Maybe I can offer some information from that perspective.

I feel that as my child's mother and primary protector, it is my job to do whatever research necessary to determine whether a medical procedure is necessary. Just as I wouldn't allow him to undergo major surgery without seeking another opinion or two, I won't blindly allow him to be injected with materials that have proven links to a wide variety of serious immediate and long-term health problems. I have to be convinced that the risk of a vaccine reaction is outweighed by the risk of the vaccine-available disease.

For me, the choice became very clear when I read the ingredients of the vaccines. I don't need an expert to tell me that shooting aluminum, live viruses, formaldehyde, bovine and simian DNA, human DNA from aborted fetal cells, and other scary things into the body of a small child is probably not a good idea. I wouldn't allow my son to ingest those things, or even handle them unsupervised, but I'm supposed to believe the "experts", almost all of whom have a direct financial or otherwise vested interest in promoting vaccines for personal profit, when they tell me it's okay.

Expert opinion is valuable, but it's no replacement for critical thought. The "experts" promoted Thalidomide, leaded gasoline, the oral polio vaccine, and countless other dangerous things as completely safe. It was only after untold damage had been done that they admitted their mistakes.

I won't let my son be one of those mistakes. That's my job as his mother, his protector, the custodian of his little mind and body. Vaccines are dangerous, untested, and linked to harmful, even fatal conditions in children. I firmly believe that a few decades from now, they will be relegated to the dustbin along with other shameful medical horrors like Thalidomide and routine frontal lobotomies.
All really good points, thank you. And I find the narrative of your last paragraph a truly compelling one.

Re the list of ingredients: do I need to research whether these ingredients are in vaccines, or does everyone including the manufacturer agree and admit that they are in there? That is, is there any controversy or disagreement about whether these ingredients are in vaccines?
12-15-2008 02:07 PM
Murihiku QUOTE]

The only thing I am invested in is the health and best interest of my child.[/QUOTE]

That's the biggest investment there is: more than standing to gain monetarily, more than hoping to be proved right, more than advancing one's career, the desire to choose the right option for our children is likely to cloud our critical thinking with emotion.
12-15-2008 12:56 PM
stayo22 I would never vax my child. For me, it is just a gut feeling that something is inherently wrong with vax's. I strongly feel that we are trading massive auto-immune diseases for immunity to minor diseases. It just isn't a fair trade-off in my opinion.

Here is what burns me up - we have UMPTEEN foundations for breast cancer, childhood diseases, and parkinsons - are you seriously telling me that none of these foundations can add two and two together and come up with the answer that it is the vaccines that caused some of these? Lately all these St. Jude ads have been on tv and it just makes me mad. And maybe I am wrong, maybe it's not the vaccines...but at least do a study following non-vax'ed kids and see if they get childhood luekemia/diabetes/etc or follow adults who never receive the flu shot and see if they end up with parkinsons? I KNOW this would take time but there is no time like the present to get started. It is so upsetting to me that science/media/mass population is over looking the obvious.
12-15-2008 11:45 AM
mammom
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaigeC View Post
Does this thread rock or what? What a great place for intelligent women to discuss! My turn to chime in.
PaigeC, your POST rocks! Thanks for that great info!
12-15-2008 10:06 AM
carriebft
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowerofnada View Post
In my strong opinion, that is impossible. I don't believe anyone who says they researched and still chooses to vax. I just don't. I think they're lying. I honestly do.
well, you are wrong. I have researched (and I still do to keep up with new findings) and I choose to do some vaccinations. I read everything I can find on this, including all primary sources, esp when reading an article or a study that relies heavily on its sources.

I think to say that people who vaccinate at all have not researched dismisses the millions upon millions of family situations that there are out there. You cannot possibly know them all.

Plus, even the research comes to different conclusions sometimes: take the Pertussis vaccine for example. Some research shows it can help prevent transmission, other research says it may not be able to help transmission. SO, if someone does this vaccine because they feel the studies showing it does outdo the ones that show it does not, does it mean that that person does not research?

I think it just means they have different things affecting them, their life, the way they make decisions, etc...they obviously researched. They just came to a different conclusions than someone else who may look at the same material.

I think claiming they are lying ignores the ability to see the same information and make different choices based on millions of reasons (values, worries, family, events, current state of family health, traveling, etc)


Anther point is that someone may have a different system of risk/benefit analysis that leads them to choose some vaccines and not others. Does this mean they did not research?

I read everything I could/can on MMR. I even read through/listened to the entire omnibus autism cases you can get on the net. I read all of Wakefield's research. I read the research countering his. I read everything I could on effectiveness of the vaccine. I read the information provided here and elsewhere on nonautism worries concerning this vaccine. I came to the conclusion that, for us, the benefits outweighed any risks (and, after reading all these sources I saw little risk as I was not convinced by the autism/wakefield stuff)

Yet you dismiss this as simply lying.
12-15-2008 05:43 AM
PaigeC darn, i always forget...subbing.
12-15-2008 05:42 AM
PaigeC Does this thread rock or what? What a great place for intelligent women to discuss! My turn to chime in.

Since "research" came up I want to be forthcoming that I am a research scientist (for the US government no less). I don't say this because my opinion means more but I find it removes some of my fear of making my own decisions. My mother often feels inadequate to interpret information and I think this is how public schooling makes people feel. Science and Math are *hard* and only smart people can understand them (leading to the MD's are God complex). We don't train our children to be savvy non-scientists. So, if any one out there is unsure of your ability to understand the scientific literature - don't be scared! You CAN know this! Be confident and persistent and it will become clear.

I also state my profession to point out that I'm not a crazy conspiracy theorist. I work for the government and boy can we be stupid but I don't believe that everyone working for the government is evil.

That being said there are three things I wanted to add to the conversation:

(1) Doesn't it strike anyone as odd the things that pharma chooses to invest their time and money in? Malaria kills tons more people than chickenpox. And, believe it or not, leprosy is still a huge problem. Why do they choose to work on chicken pox (measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, etc.) and not a truly epidemic disease? Why do we have drugs for erectile dysfunction but nothing to help ebola (there are trials in case you think i didn't do my research)? Is it because wealthy american consumers will pay for an erection but african villagers can't pay much for medication? This is what lead me down the no-vax path. Chicken pox? For real? Then I looked into the others and found them to be the same. Rarely complicating, self-limiting, acute disease that had one thing in common...a MARKET.

(2) But there are some vaxes for terrible things like polio - I thought to my self. Until I researched polio. I can't believe what I learned. Polio is also rather benign in nearly all cases - 99.5% have full recovery. Why was my image of kids in iron lungs and braces? On further research I was astounded to learn that polio had been around since ancient egyptian times as a relatively benign disease with occasional paralytic conditions. NOT an epidemic. That's right, CENTURIES of polio without epidemic rates. So what happened in the early 20th century? I invite you to do some research on organochlorine pesticides like PBC and DDT and how they created "polio-like" symptoms. Since polio was rarely diagnosed in a laboratory (to identify the virus) many cases of polio were in fact non-viral cases of severe pesticide poisoning. This "speculation" was nearly definitively proven, IMO in 1983 when DDT was once again allowed to be used in the US and a resurgence of post-polio infection skyrocketed.

(3) So this all lead me to this last point. I can't believe that every person working for the CDC is evil. I can't believe that every researcher at pharma companies knows they are doing harm. So what is wrong with our system? My experience working for a government research agency (not medical) is that they are filled with wonderful, intelligent, well-meaning people. Somewhere it goes wrong. I know my own agency - although tasked with a completely alturistic, pure-science task often has to contort what we do to benefit industry. It is convoluted but let me explain. My agency does pure, basic research - the kind that has no "market" - stuff that broadens the human understanding but doesn't produce anything. Congress (I'm going to generalize - I also don't believe that everyone in congress is evil), however, is influenced by the need to be re-elected. They do this through funding largely by corporations. Corporations fund politicians because they see that congressperson's voting record as a benefit to their bottom line. No one evil so far - it is just basic capitalism. However, this need causes congress to demand that basic-research agencies provide "benefit to industry" through technology transfer programs. (Google tech transfer for more info). Great idea! We research - we give patents to companies - American ingenuity advances. It all sounds good. What ends up happening is that our "rate of transfer" isn't fast enough (basic research is never fast) so congress cracks down. In the end, our "basic, not-motivated-by-the-market" research becomes more and more directed by the need to have a bottom line.

I'm sorry I'm getting so long winded here. The point is that science is not meant to be profit driven. It is the basic conflict of interest. Scientists do not want to be forced to do things faster, better, cheaper. They want to explore the unfound corners of the cosmos. When pressure makes them sales people they eventually lose site of the wonder that made them scientists. At this point you either get out or give in. It is a terrible condition.

Every researcher, lab, company, journal article has a bias and sometimes an agenda. All we can do is read all that we can and trust our instincts.

We can also teach our children, whether they excel in math and science or not, to be discerning consumers of science. In a specialized society like ours we can not afford to blindly trust the experts. It is our duty as people (let alone parents) to educate ourselves.

I am confident if you do this you will come to the conclusion that the current state of vaccinations in the US is sadly flawed and we do our children and the human race a huge disservice in continuing to blindly *tinker* with the natural balance of disease and immune response.
12-13-2008 09:31 PM
MountainMamaGC Having worked for big pharma i know all the little hoops they have to go through to get a product approved and beleive me when i say profit is the first thing on their mind. Are the vaccines gonna kill your child?, maybe not but they sure are gonna make a ton of money off any chronic illness your child may get. The saddest part is you cant even prove thats what got your child sick so its win/win for big pharma.

Just like one of the PP said, she puts scientist on a pedestal. Who is she to question the research. The government puts them on the same pedestal and has little questions either.

I was an analytical chemist and I worked with scientists and doctors. Beleive me these people are smart but they are human like you and me and just a cog in the big machine. They have a boss that pushes their agenda and there are top secret things that happen. Its possible to work on a research project and really have no idea what it is except for maybe an ID number. Research always involves a product and rarely a cure. Sometimes they will throw us a bone and cure some rare disease to give us hope. However there is little money to be made from making a drug for a rare disease, which is why they can afford a cure.

I know its hard to believe but we as mothers are smart enough to question what the doctors and scientists tell us. Take truth as authority, rather than authority as truth.
12-13-2008 08:35 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
One of my two main questions about not vaccinating (I may post the other later) is about the imperative "do your research". I have problems with this.

To me "research" into vaccines means primary research. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I've ever cultured anything in a petrie (sp?) dish. I'm also not a public health specialist, and have never gathered statistics on a disease.
By research, I mean as close to primary as possible.

To make my decision, I looked at things like numbers of cases of diseases, ingredients in vaccines, reported reactions and side effects, disease treatments and stats, etc.

-Angela
12-13-2008 07:04 PM
1littlebit this is probably not a particularly popular view point and i get that... but honestly? i look at vaccines and the first thing i think is...gee golly gosh look what happens when a company is not required to prove the safety and effectiveness of its product .... since you know... the pharmaceutical companies all have our best interests at heart.

the second thing i see (this is the not so popular part) is that its a great way to lead to the extinction of our species. we thrived for an incredibly long time without vaccines. now vaccines are being attributed to the eradication of diseases that were more then likely eradicating by significantly improved hygiene... food, water, personal waste etc.
Vaccines are compromising our immune systems in many ways. first of all children are not getting the illnesses that once helped build up their immune systems. secondly vaccine 'immunity' is not transmittable from mother to child through breast milk which means we are creating a dependency on vaccines.

my decision to not vax has very little to do with the possible vax reaction... it has significantly more to do with the damage vaccinations are doing to the human race as a whole.
12-13-2008 06:18 PM
Murihiku
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
Yes, personal experience does tend to influence us just as much and perhaps more than hard data and research.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply this of you specifically, JessicaSAR, but I know it's true of myself.
12-13-2008 06:18 PM
peainthepod
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
I've been thinking a lot about this lately and there's my very longwinded answer.
I hear your points and I understand where you're coming from. When I first found this board, we were planning to selectively vax. After doing enough reading and thinking, however, I am now strongly anti-vax. Maybe I can offer some information from that perspective.

I feel that as my child's mother and primary protector, it is my job to do whatever research necessary to determine whether a medical procedure is necessary. Just as I wouldn't allow him to undergo major surgery without seeking another opinion or two, I won't blindly allow him to be injected with materials that have proven links to a wide variety of serious immediate and long-term health problems. I have to be convinced that the risk of a vaccine reaction is outweighed by the risk of the vaccine-available disease.

For me, the choice became very clear when I read the ingredients of the vaccines. I don't need an expert to tell me that shooting aluminum, live viruses, formaldehyde, bovine and simian DNA, human DNA from aborted fetal cells, and other scary things into the body of a small child is probably not a good idea. I wouldn't allow my son to ingest those things, or even handle them unsupervised, but I'm supposed to believe the "experts", almost all of whom have a direct financial or otherwise vested interest in promoting vaccines for personal profit, when they tell me it's okay.

Expert opinion is valuable, but it's no replacement for critical thought. The "experts" promoted Thalidomide, leaded gasoline, the oral polio vaccine, and countless other dangerous things as completely safe. It was only after untold damage had been done that they admitted their mistakes.

I won't let my son be one of those mistakes. That's my job as his mother, his protector, the custodian of his little mind and body. Vaccines are dangerous, untested, and linked to harmful, even fatal conditions in children. I firmly believe that a few decades from now, they will be relegated to the dustbin along with other shameful medical horrors like Thalidomide and routine frontal lobotomies.
12-13-2008 06:15 PM
Murihiku
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR View Post
I can see the logic of this argument, and I was there at one time, but the logic does not hold up when I think about much of my experience with the US medical establishment.

If I had simply followed the advice of my doctors, I would likely have ended up with medicated, intervention-filled births, perhaps even C-sections. I had to work very hard to research birth options, find midwives, fight tooth and nail not to be induced, given an IV, put on a fetal monitor, given labor "enhancing" drugs, room in with my child. If I had not spent hours researching I would have never found homeopathy (which as been fantastic for my family) or traditional foods. Unlike almost everyone else I know, I had three beautiful natural births (all refusing almost everything drs recommended), I have three very healthy children who are almost never sick. I have received moronic advice from pediatricians regarding breastfeeding, sleeping, antibiotic use (not all pediatricians, but again, I had to go through five pediatricians to find one who was open to listening to parents). So, I guess that fact that most experts recommend vaccination is not in and of itself sufficient reason for me to accept that course of action for my own family. Remember, most experts also recommended formula feeding a mere couple generations ago. IMHO, convention is not replacement for independent thought, regardless of how difficult research may sometimes be.
Yes, personal experience does tend to influence us just as much and perhaps more than hard data and research. I followed the advice of doctors, nurses, and a midwife for my two hospital births and ended up with two lovely, natural* vaginal births. I followed the advice of doctors, nurses, the hospital, and a gazillion public health leaflets to breastfeed and have two healthy children. I didn't have to work hard. Thus my personal experience does make me more inclined to trust the medical establishment in my country. From reading MDC I think I might have had a very different experience in the US and I feel angry that it's made so hard for you.

*By "natural" I mean unmedicated and without the use of forceps or other instruments.

I do agree with your last sentence; I've just been trained through my education to question the very possibility of independent thought. Of course I feel as if I've had plenty of independent thoughts myself in my life.
12-13-2008 06:01 PM
jessicaSAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
I currently vaccinate, but I may change my mind (that is, it is open to being changed).

One of my two main questions about not vaccinating (I may post the other later) is about the imperative "do your research". I have problems with this.

To me "research" into vaccines means primary research. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I've ever cultured anything in a petrie (sp?) dish. I'm also not a public health specialist, and have never gathered statistics on a disease.

Okay, so no primary research for me. "Do your research" probably means do secondary research, as in find out the facts gathered by those people who have done the primary research.

But I have no scientific training. I may read a report and not even know that I am reading it without the specific knowledge that would allow me to read it critically and ask the right questions. I'm actually trained to be a critical reader, but of Humanities texts, not scientific ones.

Speaking of Humanities texts, I worry that Alexander Pope's dictum "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" would prove true of me if I tried to "do the research."

Some of you clearly have a lot of knowledge, not a little knowledge. But it must have taken a lot of time and effort to get that knowledge. It's not that I don't have time, but I'm not sure I have enough time.

I believe that in our current civilization, we need experts who specialize in knowledge. I've read that "specialization is for insects" (Ha!) and people should be more self-sufficient and more like the Renaissance Man of old, but that seems very difficult in our current knowledge-dense culture. And of course on almost any scientific question experts disagree.

I could choose which expert to believe based on their assumptions, ideologies, and agendas. Here is where "It's all about money and a conspiracy between Big Pharmaceutical Companies and Government Agencies" is certainly an attractive reason to be anti-vax. But it seems to attractively simplify something that I suspect is more complex. (That doesn't mean it's not true of course.) It's also attractive to believe that the anti-vaxers have a disinterested desire to benefit humanity and have nothing to gain--but actually if you have chosen not to vaccinate you are invested in believing vaccines are harmful and useless just as if you have chosen to vaccinate you are invested in believing vaccines are harmless and beneficial. It must be difficult (maybe impossible?) for any human being to approach these research with an absolutely disinterested and open mind. I certainly distrust my own.

My government encourages me to breastfeed, forces me to use a car seat, gives me good maternity benefits, legislates against smoking in a car with children in it (I don't smoke), and encourages me to vaccinate. It's hard to stop trusting that government and strike out on my own.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately and there's my very longwinded answer.
I can see the logic of this argument, and I was there at one time, but the logic does not hold up when I think about much of my experience with the US medical establishment.

If I had simply followed the advice of my doctors, I would likely have ended up with medicated, intervention-filled births, perhaps even C-sections. I had to work very hard to research birth options, find midwives, fight tooth and nail not to be induced, given an IV, put on a fetal monitor, given labor "enhancing" drugs, room in with my child. If I had not spent hours researching I would have never found homeopathy (which as been fantastic for my family) or traditional foods. Unlike almost everyone else I know, I had three beautiful natural births (all refusing almost everything drs recommended), I have three very healthy children who are almost never sick. I have received moronic advice from pediatricians regarding breastfeeding, sleeping, antibiotic use (not all pediatricians, but again, I had to go through five pediatricians to find one who was open to listening to parents). So, I guess that fact that most experts recommend vaccination is not in and of itself sufficient reason for me to accept that course of action for my own family. Remember, most experts also recommended formula feeding a mere couple generations ago. IMHO, convention is not replacement for independent thought, regardless of how difficult research may sometimes be.
12-13-2008 05:53 PM
Marnica [QUOTE=Murihiku;12792568]

but actually if you have chosen not to vaccinate you are invested in believing vaccines are harmful and useless.....
QUOTE]

The only thing I am invested in is the health and best interest of my child.
12-13-2008 05:13 PM
Murihiku I currently vaccinate, but I may change my mind (that is, it is open to being changed).

One of my two main questions about not vaccinating (I may post the other later) is about the imperative "do your research". I have problems with this.

To me "research" into vaccines means primary research. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I've ever cultured anything in a petrie (sp?) dish. I'm also not a public health specialist, and have never gathered statistics on a disease.

Okay, so no primary research for me. "Do your research" probably means do secondary research, as in find out the facts gathered by those people who have done the primary research.

But I have no scientific training. I may read a report and not even know that I am reading it without the specific knowledge that would allow me to read it critically and ask the right questions. I'm actually trained to be a critical reader, but of Humanities texts, not scientific ones.

Speaking of Humanities texts, I worry that Alexander Pope's dictum "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" would prove true of me if I tried to "do the research."

Some of you clearly have a lot of knowledge, not a little knowledge. But it must have taken a lot of time and effort to get that knowledge. It's not that I don't have time, but I'm not sure I have enough time.

I believe that in our current civilization, we need experts who specialize in knowledge. I've read that "specialization is for insects" (Ha!) and people should be more self-sufficient and more like the Renaissance Man of old, but that seems very difficult in our current knowledge-dense culture. And of course on almost any scientific question experts disagree.

I could choose which expert to believe based on their assumptions, ideologies, and agendas. Here is where "It's all about money and a conspiracy between Big Pharmaceutical Companies and Government Agencies" is certainly an attractive reason to be anti-vax. But it seems to attractively simplify something that I suspect is more complex. (That doesn't mean it's not true of course.) It's also attractive to believe that the anti-vaxers have a disinterested desire to benefit humanity and have nothing to gain--but actually if you have chosen not to vaccinate you are invested in believing vaccines are harmful and useless just as if you have chosen to vaccinate you are invested in believing vaccines are harmless and beneficial. It must be difficult (maybe impossible?) for any human being to approach these research with an absolutely disinterested and open mind. I certainly distrust my own.

My government encourages me to breastfeed, forces me to use a car seat, gives me good maternity benefits, legislates against smoking in a car with children in it (I don't smoke), and encourages me to vaccinate. It's hard to stop trusting that government and strike out on my own.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately and there's my very longwinded answer.
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