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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I read an article written by Dorit Reiss as a guest post on Skeptical Raptor that I thought could make for an interesting discussion. It was about whether SB277 discriminates against unvaccinated children or not.

Let me just point out right off the bat that a person can be both against SB277 (in part or in whole) and disagree that the bill is discriminatory against those who choose not to vaccinate. They are not mutually exclusive so please lets not make assumptions about members' opinions on the bill in general based on their views on this one specific point.

Discussion of whether we supports the bill as a whole is a violation of the forum guidelines, so lets not bait new members/lurkers who may be unaware of the rules into violating the forum rules by asking and try and keep this thread on the topic of discrimination.

Here is the link and I'll post the relevant part (She also goes into why it is not segregation, but maybe that should be a separate thread depending on how this goes...)

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skep...uirements-neither-discriminate-nor-segregate/

"Requiring vaccination before a child can attend school is not discrimination:

School immunization requirements – with or without exemptions – certainly treat families whose children do not get the required vaccines (or, when applicable, show immunity in other ways) differently than others. It’s a distinction. That doesn’t make it discrimination.

Most, if not all laws, draw distinctions. Government benefits programs distinguish between qualified applicants who meet the requirements and those that do not. Criminal law distinguishes between those who fulfill the elements of a crime and those that do not, and impose sanctions on the former, but not the latter.

Laws draw lines. That’s what most of them do. And not every line drawing is discrimination.

Discrimination is drawing arbitrary lines. Treating cases that are similar on the relevant points differently. For example, race is not a relevant to someone’s ability to vote, and using that classification serves no legitimate interest. Or for many other activities.

There are several classifications the state offers special protection to – often because of historical experiences demonstrating animus and unfounded prejudice against these groups. Some categories to consider are race, alienage, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

But a group whose sole unifying feature is a choice to engage in behavior that can impose risk on others has never been acknowledged as a protected category. And that is what the group of non-vaccinating parents are. That’s because the risk behavior poses to others is very often a relevant characteristic. Though there may be disagreements on the proper role of government v. market, and of the federal government v. states, the potential of government having a role in regulating risk is not in debate.

Unvaccinated individuals are at higher risk of diseases themselves, and if there are high numbers of them, the community is at higher risk of outbreaks (pdf). Preventing the risk of disease is a traditional role of government. The power to quarantine the sick was used by governments for centuries.

Schools have children close together, vulnerable to outbreaks, and protecting them from outbreaks is important. Since school immunization requirements were adopted by various states and locales, courts have upheld them consistently. An extensive analysis of that jurisprudence is beyond the scope of this article, but it’s clear that the state has extensive power to require immunization before school.

Those requirements are based on real risk that is the result of a choice. One that goes against expert opinion, and that can harm others. Not on an arbitrary attribute.

In short, treating non-vaccinating parents differently from parents who vaccinate on schedule is a distinction based on well supported risk creating behavior. It’s not discrimination.

Just as a state is not required to give a medical license to someone who did not go to medical school without that being discrimination, and a state may fine those who jaywalk but not those who don’t without that being discrimination, a state may refuse entry to its schools to children not vaccinated against diseases health experts deem dangerous – and it’s not discrimination."

So for discussion, do you agree or disagree with her points?
 

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An immediate and obvious problem is that not all of the required vaccines connect to any sort of herd immunity. Tetanus is a poster child for this.

If the basis of excluding children is that they are more likely to spread the particular illness than the vaxed children, ONLY vaccines that provide effective immunity (prevent carriage and transmission) could be justifiably required to attend school.

I've got more thoughts, but no more time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
An immediate and obvious problem is that not all of the required vaccines connect to any sort of herd immunity. Tetanus is a poster child for this.

If the basis of excluding children is that they are more likely to spread the particular illness than the vaxed children, ONLY vaccines that provide effective immunity (prevent carriage and transmission) could be justifiably required to attend school.

I've got more thoughts, but no more time.
Tetanus is in a combination vaccine so it is not possible to avoid it without avoiding pertussis and diphtheria but for the sake of argument let's pretend it wasn't in a combination and there was an exemption for that one particular vaccine.

You'd agree it wasn't discrimination to require the rest?
 

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No, I was just pointing out that the argument presented actually provides grounds for kicking out several currently required vaccines. That doesn't convince me that the argument is based on careful analysis. Instead, I'm thinking...sloppy!
 
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The problem that jumps out at me with this argument is that we have compulsory schooling laws in effect. It would be different, for example, if kids weren't REQUIRED to attend some sort of school...then at least if the child weren't vaccinated, they just wouldn't attend....it might be difficult for the parent, but at least they would have choices. (And I know that homeschooling is often a viable option, but not for everyone)

I liken it to this Obamacare thing. I get fined if I don't have insurance. PERIOD. No option. The only way I can avoid either having insurance OR be fined is to die.

Now, take for example, car insurance. In some states, drivers are required to have liability insurance in order to drive. If you don't agree with that, you can opt out of car ownership. Yes, it would be a pain, but you *could* move to a walkable town/city, or use public transportation, or work from home, or whatever. But you have the CHOICE to not have a car.

We don't have the choice to not have health insurance anymore (without paying a fine).

Anyway, my point is that, aside from the vaccine thing, this isn't fair BECAUSE of the compulsory schooling laws. (I would add that I don't think there should be compulsory vaccine laws either....)
 
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This is so laughable! Discrimination who cares? It's doesn't matter in the end one bit. Is Dorit correct - NO! Has she ever been? NO!

I find the PRO Agenda is simply clueless!

I personally feel vaccines prevent, prevent the ability to reason and understand. Amazing what it does to ones's mind.

For those who cling to the even word of Paul Offit and Dorit Reiss, and think that everything the two of them says is true and accurate I guess those will not see one thing wrong here with this either. It goes hand in hand.

Simply lessons in history and the US law tell us that throughout our history (US here) ANYTIME one group and/or minority has faced "discrimination" it has reversed in the long run. Be it legally or thought social pressure. That seem to be greatly missed in the minds of the PRO side. AIDS, HIV+ - the 80's and the exact same thing with schools. Apparently lessons (and money) were lost on some!

And NO, this isn't like the ACA either. Being required to have health insurance does not mean one NEEDS TO USE IT!


Legally this is one state. What one state wants as it's state law doesn't mean much now of days.
Legally this country has had "legal" state laws that discriminated (not always thought of in the minds of those state residents) but guess what? We have "circuits" and when a law goes into effect that may not be "legal" injunctions are immediately taken by circuit courts, and later those get challenged and end up in the Supreme Court ------ gay marriage/state laws anyone? Really if one thinks this will just fly and all the other states will just follow suite, I guess one will buy into anything! It's all about the "challenge" and that is one thing that is 100%, unlike vaccines!

Again, if the PRO Agenda wants to cling to the every word of someone (Dorit) who can't even "legally" practice law in this country, that in it self IMO is so telling!! :lol

As to the track record of accuracy on state requirements/laws, Dorit simply doesn't have one! That too should, but apparently does not, show how correct she is regarding this! Again - :laugh
 

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The reason I'm bringing the ACA into it, was simply comparing it to say, mandatory auto insurance.

With the mandatory auto insurance, you can choose not to have it, by not having a car.

The ACA, if you choose not to have it, you have to pay a fine. True, I could just not USE the insurance. But I still have to PAY FOR IT.

Anyway, the only reason I'm bringing all of THAT up, was because I was making the point that it's a trap...if they make VACCINES mandatory for school, and if SCHOOL in mandatory, then people suddenly have no choice.

I don't agree with it at all. I'm all for homeschooling (I have one still at home), but it isn't a choice one should be forced to make because they're choosing not to vax and the school won't let them in, you know?

And you know, the whole ACA thing is strikingly similar, really. We can't afford to pay for insurance, so we are FINED...and mind you, I don't mind affordable CARE, what bothers me is that we're all being forced to pay the INSURANCE companies--not for CARE, but for insurance. So we're feeding millions of tax dollars into the insurance companies' pockets. Kind of like vaccines and companies like Merck. :serious:
 

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The reason I'm bringing the ACA into it, was simply comparing it to say, mandatory auto insurance.

With the mandatory auto insurance, you can choose not to have it, by not having a car.

The ACA, if you choose not to have it, you have to pay a fine. True, I could just not USE the insurance. But I still have to PAY FOR IT.

Anyway, the only reason I'm bringing all of THAT up, was because I was making the point that it's a trap...if they make VACCINES mandatory for school, and if SCHOOL in mandatory, then people suddenly have no choice.

I don't agree with it at all. I'm all for homeschooling (I have one still at home), but it isn't a choice one should be forced to make because they're choosing not to vax and the school won't let them in, you know?

And you know, the whole ACA thing is strikingly similar, really. We can't afford to pay for insurance, so we are FINED...and mind you, I don't mind affordable CARE, what bothers me is that we're all being forced to pay the INSURANCE companies--not for CARE, but for insurance. So we're feeding millions of tax dollars into the insurance companies' pockets. Kind of like vaccines and companies like Merck. :serious:
Personally don't see it as the same as the ACA.

Go ahead an pass a law that will cost a state more money to enact and defend because IT WILL GET CHALLENGED!!

Let the costs add up! and add up and add up! and add up up UP!

Requiring schooling for all and excluding a groups no matter how small will cost a district and over all that will hurt.

Money matters!

Saying it won't have a financial impact that great is alway an underestimate! When real costs really happen, that is when those who right now do not even have this on their radar will suddenly wake up---- and scream! And no, not everyone is going to sudden do on-line schooling either! Homebound is super costly $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ I say BRING it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Is it discrimination to restrict an HIV positive child from attending school?

My vote: Hell fing yeah it is!

Is it discrimination to restrict a child from attending school who was not injected with something that may prevent him from getting a disease that may spread to another child, vaccinated or otherwise.

My vote: Double hell fing yeah it is!
 

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Is it discrimination to restrict an HIV positive child from attending school?

My vote: Hell fing yeah it is!

Is it discrimination to restrict a child who was not injected with something that may prevent him from getting a disease that may spread to another child, vaccinated or otherwise.

My vote: Double hell fing yeah it is!
Attempting to "restrict" (sounds nicer) those who had AIDS/HIV+ were on the wrong side of history.

Within a very short time we are back to the same mentality! Again, wrong side of history because the lack their of-IMO :eyesroll

By the way, children still get inured in school and bleed! Just saying........and Oh, if those who are NOT up to date on EVERY vaccine still can attend school functions and still live in the community and interact with those same children!

Last time I checked, this silly bill does nothing from preventing those not up to date from attending school functions, plays, sporting events, etc!! and guess what - they can interact with OTHER children at those events too! ohhhhhhhh!!!

It's a joke, a big one too!
 

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Gee, I don't know. I don't really want my non vaxed kid to be shed on by a recently vaccinated MMR kid.

I think I'll just continue to home school. Too bad I have to pay for curriculum, enrichment, AND taxes for public schools that DISCRIMINATE against parental authority, autonomy and choice. I guess I don't get a choice on that either?

So, now I also have to pay taxes to support a school system that includes discrimination and hate for healthy children who have parents that have decided vaccination isn't right for them.

Ridiculous. A bunch of clever wordsmithing doesn't change the truth or the heart of the matter. I also find it a bit alarming that Dorit finds it appropriate to cite gov'ts in history that quarantine "sick" folk. Hitler "quarantined" people he perceived to be sick, by reason of ethnicity, and segregation is a pretty ugly history in our own nation. Racial segregation is no uglier than segregation for a falsely derived and fear producing witch hunt of non vaxxed kids.
 

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Let me just point out right off the bat that a person can be both against SB277 (in part or in whole) and disagree that the bill is discriminatory against those who choose not to vaccinate. They are not mutually exclusive so please lets not make assumptions about members' opinions on the bill in general based on their views on this one specific point.
While I respect the need to shy away from the debate on forced vaccination per forum rules, it's only fair to point out that Dorit Reiss is a fierce proponent of SB277 and was testifying front-and-center in favor of its passage. This fact is relevant in understanding her underlying bias.

Riddle me this one. Was barring Ryan White from attending school an act of discrimination? What about child carriers of Hepatitis B? Federal discrimination laws protect their right to be in classrooms. But should they? If we're going to shut children not vaccinated for and not infected with Hep B out of classrooms, shouldn't the government let Hep B carriers know that they are not welcome, as well?

ETA: Dorit claims in the comments that a child not vaccinated with Hep B is more likely to be an unknown carrier of the disease. I would like her to quantify the statistical chance of this happening. I suspect so miniscule that I'm going to spend my days worrying more about children toting guns than Hep B.
 

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Is it discrimination to restrict an HIV positive child from attending school?

My vote: Hell fing yeah it is!

Is it discrimination to restrict a child from attending school who was not injected with something that may prevent him from getting a disease that may spread to another child, vaccinated or otherwise.

My vote: Double hell fing yeah it is!
Of course it is discrimination.

The fact that the unvaxxed are not offered "special protection" means nothing to me in terms of ethics (which I care more about than laws).

There are many groups that do not have protected status that are discriminated against. Would anyone here argue that homosexuals should be denied work for example, based on their homosexuality? The law may allow for it, depending on the state, but that does not make it right.

Of course exclusionary school policies are unjust and discriminatory. Schools are not safe. There are children with behaviour issues in them. We have truancy laws and sick leave policies that encourage kids to go to school sick. Children with Hep . B are allowed in school, while children without Hep. B who are unvaxxed are not. Think about that. Justice involves fair treatment, which one could partly define by looking at how other groups (such as those with hep. B) are treated . NVers are not treated fairly, and are treated in a prejudicial manner.


dis·crim·i·na·tion
dəˌskriməˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: discrimination; plural noun: discriminations
1.
the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
 

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Tetanus is in a combination vaccine so it is not possible to avoid it without avoiding pertussis and diphtheria but for the sake of argument let's pretend it wasn't in a combination and there was an exemption for that one particular vaccine.
This is actually an argument that the policy is primarily based on discrimination.

If one wanted to argue the policy concerned stopping the spread of disease, it would center on diseases for which we have effective vaccines and diseases that are highly likely to be transmitted in a classroom setting.

If you really wanted to make it about reducing the transmission of diseases, you would call for a separate tetanus vaccine. I understand that is no small feat, but one cannot insist on a vaccine for a non contagious disease while insisting that the policy is about group safety.

(oh, fwiw, I would still think the above is discriminatory, but I would have more respect for the policy makers if they did not try and insist on vaccines which have little to nothing to do with "herd immunity.")
 
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The concept that you can only discriminate against involuntary conditions, such as skin color, or more controversially, sexual preference, is a recent and modern one.

When Madison argued about the importance of protecting the rights of minorities, he was not excluding people who are members of a minority by choice. For example, religious beliefs are definitely a matter of choice, and from the point of view of members of other religions or the view of atheists, lots of religious beliefs are totally whacky. Consider practitioners of voodoo. Or the oddity of transubstantiation. The many sects who believe in reincarnation. The idea of angels. For anyone who finds someone else's beliefs bizarre or repugnant, it is just obvious that THEIR beliefs shouldn't have any special consideration. Truly obvious.

Which is why the US Constitution Bill of Rights has lots of bits to protect the weirdos, the outliers, and people who hold MINORITY OPINIONS. Fact is, just about every human being on the planet subscribes to some minority opinion or other and anyone who goes with the majority on all points is in a minority right there (and a dead bore). Imposing consensus reality is a sick idea. Especially around a medical intervention which has risks.

The idea that it is okay to discriminate over ideas, but not okay to discriminate over skin color is a logical absurdity.
 

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The idea that it is okay to discriminate over ideas, but not okay to discriminate over skin color is a logical absurdity.
:clap

I see the attack on vaccine choice as part of a broader, orchestrated attack on conscience rights.

"Oh sure. Of course we respect your beliefs! Unless you do A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K . . . . "

With all of this comes a form of discrimination against people who exercise their sincerely held beliefs.

I stand by a gay couple's right to get married, a Native American's right to use ceremonial peyote, a family's right to homeschool, a Mormon fundamentalist's right to polygamy, a parent or individual's right to refuse one or more vaccines, conscientious objections for the drafted, an employer's right not to cover contraception in a health plan, a family's right to seek a second opinion on their child's health issues, and a health care provider's right to refuse to perform or participate in abortions, circumcisions, sterilizations, assisted suicides, lethal injections, etc.

Conscience rights present some gray issues, and I'm going to draw the line somewhere. I just draw it with broader boundaries than, say, Paul Offit or our almighty government does.

Becoming a mother has transformed me into a wee bit of a Libertarian. Not totally. But in a lot of ways.
 

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Very well expressed. thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A lot of people are making points that are not relevant to the question of whether it is discrimination or not.

Again, you can be against the bill or have other issues with it while still disagreeing that it is discriminatory.

Also, you can't compare a child with HIV or other disease they can't control having to the choice to remain unvaccinated. That is the crux of the issue and why one would be discrimination and the other not.
 

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Completely overlooking the fact that people have the RIGHT to have weird beliefs.

If we only protect the rights of people for conditions they can't "help", then none of us have much in the way of rights, do we?

I think the vaccine issue should be handled similarly to the free speech issue. We've got free speech unless we yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

If someone is advocating actively spreading an extremely dangerous disease, that would be the equivalent of yelling fire.

Advocating that human beings have the right to turn down unwanted medical interventions is part of free speech. I think it follows that if it is a right to advocate...then it is also a right to actually turn down those medical interventions.

One that the AMA supports for their members, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Completely overlooking the fact that people have the RIGHT to have weird beliefs.

If we only protect the rights of people for conditions they can't "help", then none of us have much in the way of rights, do we?

I think the vaccine issue should be handled similarly to the free speech issue. We've got free speech unless we yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

If someone is advocating actively spreading an extremely dangerous disease, that would be the equivalent of yelling fire.

Advocating that human beings have the right to turn down unwanted medical interventions is part of free speech. I think it follows that if it is a right to advocate...then it is also a right to actually turn down those medical interventions.

One that the AMA supports for their members, by the way.
Right to weird beliefs? Very limited.

I may "believe" that wearing clothes is dangerous or unnatural, but that doesn't give me the right to walk around public naked. I'd get arrested for indecent exposure.

"I think the vaccine issue should be handled similarly to the free speech issue. We've got free speech unless we yell "fire" in a crowded theater. "

You know why you can't shout fire in a theatre? Because it could cause panic and endanger other people. Your right to free speech ends when it can harm others.
 
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