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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a good unbiased article that addresses some questions I have always had to those who are pro-vaccine, such as, "What if your child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine (like this poor young girl in the article) and their life is sadly changed for the worst, as rare as you say those reactions are? Will you still believe vaccines are so safe? Would you continue to vaccinate?

Another question this article brings up is what if your young child/teen doesn't want to get a vaccine, (such as Oliver in this article), and is fearful of them, would you make them get one? What if they never want one? Would you force them to?

This article tells the tale of both sides. A woman who is pro-vaccine but has seen it damage her child and is now uncertain of her position.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150214-vaccine-family-doubt-measles-california/

"To Aquino, the debate over vaccinations isn't political, or even religious, as it is for many others who view immunizations warily. Twenty years ago, her daughter, Sophie Beglinger, received her first round of the diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) vaccine. Days later, Sophie developed spasms. The doctor withheld the second round of the pertussis vaccine because in rare cases, febrile seizures can be one of the side effects."

"For nearly 20 years, Sophie has had multiple grand mal seizures and hundreds of smaller seizures every day."

"For Aquino and her family, the doubts and fears linger to this day. "No doctor of Sophie's has said, absolutely not, it wasn't the vaccine."

Sophie's 13-year-old brother, Oliver—like any teenager—wants to be like his friends. And his friends are vaccinated against measles (most children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine before age six). But when Aquino told her son it was time for him to do the same, he balked.

"He's conflicted," Aquino said. "He sees what his sister is like, and it's not that far a stretch for him to imagine, 'What if that happened to me?'"
 

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This post from Louise Kuo Habakus really made me rethink a habit that I have. I really don't have to qualify everything I say with "I'm not anti-vaccine." It's just pitifully sad that too many of my opponents can't figure that out.


I have a favor to ask. Please stop saying "I'm not anti-vaccine."


This phrase has probably been uttered a billion times over the past month by a surprising diversity of people.


That's both good news and bad news.



It seems a lot of people are asking questions. Making observations. Expressing concern about something means you are engaging some critical thinking skills.
The bad news is that mainstream media is paid by people who want to slap you in the face, call you names, publish your address, and send you to jail. Read enough of it and you'll think that's what most people think.


Not even close.


When you say "I'm not anti-vaccine" what you probably mean to express is: "I have something to say. Please hear me out." And this is true whether you believe in all, some, or no vaccines.


So, rather than reinforcing a false narrative, let's start saying that instead.
 

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This is the part of the link in the OP that disturbed me the most. If you don't know your rights, you don't have them.

A 2014 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office faulted the NVICP for not making its existence more widely known, noting that from 2005 to 2010 the general public, attorneys, and health care professionals were unaware of the fund.
 

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No.
 

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And if you are not willing to fight for those rights, you do not deserve those rights.
 
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We do need to be aware that many of the comments are coming from interns working for PR firms who are told what to say and who have multiple identities.

Try an experiment. Go on to a popular news site that uses a system where you can be notified of responses to a comment. Put in a mild sort of comment, pointing out that without liability there is no reason for the manufacturers to be concerned about any product defects or shortcomings, for example.

Then see how many responses you get and how quickly. Also evaluate whether there are certain points that are stated over and over.

Is public opinion being manipulated? Are people being intimidated? Are minority voices being drowned out?
 

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Is public opinion being manipulated? Are people being intimidated? Are minority voices being drowned out?
Yes, yes, and yes. I'm not talking about people who have thoroughly researched their decision and decide to vax or not. For the weak-minded, fence-sitters, undecided, etc. there is a sense of security in following the majority, and they are the reason these internet provax spam trolls exist in the first place.
 

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Even though the conversation seems to have veered in another direction from these initial questions, I will respond with my personal pro-vax perspective.

some questions I have always had to those who are pro-vaccine, such as, "What if your child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine (like this poor young girl in the article) and their life is sadly changed for the worst, as rare as you say those reactions are?

First, it isn't me saying how rare these reactions are, it is the bulk of scientific research that shows this. It isn't just pro-vaccinating claiming it. But that aside, rare isn't never and if my child was the rare reaction, I would be upset. Just like any parent would be. Just like I am sure a non-vaccinating family would be if there child contracted Measles and died or became blind or suffered SSPE or other life altering changes, despite how safe they claim VPD to be, and how good their diet and how much Vitamin A they provided. No one wants their child to suffer.

Will you still believe vaccines are so safe?

Yes, because it isn't a belief. It is the overwhelming scientific consensus.

Would you continue to vaccinate?

Would depend on what the reaction was, what caused it, and whether it was likely to recur. Obviously if it was an allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine, no I wouldn't give that again. Feribril seizures are a different story, because many things can cause them including the diseases the vaccines prevent against so the calculus is more difficult. I would consult with medical professionals on the pros and Cons. This is the case for many things. Flu Shots can trigger Guillan Barre syndrome in those vulnerable. However, the flu does too. So I would have to see what the professionals and my individual circumstances lead, I don't think it is as easy as I would or wouldn't.


Another question this article brings up is what if your young child/teen doesn't want to get a vaccine, (such as Oliver in this article), and is fearful of them, would you make them get one? What if they never want one? Would you force them to?

Depends on the age. For me if the child is over 12 (Give or take depending on the child but in general 12 seems to be a time)I would likely let them make their own decision. Under that, no, I don't think they have the maturity to take on major decisions. However, I would make that child live with the consequences as well. I would not lie on exemption forms and claim a philosophical, medical or religious exemption because our family doesn't have one. So if the child chooses to forgo the vaccine, that may mean that that child doesn't get to do things they want to in the future (sports, camps etc.) because the vaccine is required. So the child can start making their own decisions, but they have to live with the consequences as well.

My child right now is almost 4 so no I wouldn't let him make his own decisions regarding vaccinations, healthcare, diet, or anything of major consequences.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Will you still believe vaccines are so safe?

Yes, because it isn't a belief. It is the overwhelming scientific consensus.
Thank you for your very thoughtful answer in answering all of those questions. I really appreciated reading your response.

I want to discuss the one above: If you have witnessed firsthand someone experience a life-altering adverse reaction to a vaccine, how can it still be deemed safe, whether overwhelming scientific consensus proves it or not? Wouldn't you start to question that scientific consensus? Whether any literature indicates such a procedure is safe, can't you argue that's it's unsafe from what you have witnessed in that hypothetical experience, or at least the potential to be unsafe? Lastly, how can vaccines be determined completely safe when each individual reacts differently to them? One individual may have no first-hand reactions to the vaccine while another may almost die from one (as I mentioned in a previous thread, my brother could have died as a baby from the DPT shot). While you could argue it was safe for the first individual, it certainly wasn't safe for the second.

I just don't see how that claim can ever be made with 100% certainty when people have been injured by vaccines, whether acutely or chronically.
 

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With regards to consensus, especially scientific consensus, here is what some doctors and other thinkers have to say about "consensus":

Majorities are never a proof of the truth. – Dr. Walter R. Hadwen, 1896
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ― Henrik Ibsen
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” ― Bertrand Russell
“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of CONSENSUS, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.”
― Dr. Michael Crichton, MD
Vaccination is an 18th century method of disease control. Time to move on and fortify our immune systems. Why are the majority in favor of such backward thinking?
 

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With regards to consensus, especially scientific consensus, here is what some doctors and other thinkers have to say about "consensus":
I will probably regret this but the irony in this post is so meta it almost made my brain turn inside out. :lol

You quoted a bunch of 'doctors and other thinkers' in an effort to illustrate that listening to the advice and expertise of a bunch of 'doctors and other thinkers' is mistaken.

Also, if one doesn't derive conclusions from the preponderance of quality evidence then I'm not sure on what basis one would make any decisions at all.
 

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Why wouldn't anyone choose to make a quality decision based on common sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Also, if one doesn't derive conclusions from the preponderance of quality evidence then I'm not sure on what basis one would make any decisions at all.
But don't we use our own past experiences, knowledge of the subject at hand, and common sense when making decisions as well, not just scientific evidence, which many times is manipulated data anyway? I don't think it's a good idea to devalue our own thought processes to rely solely on what's fed to us.
 

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But don't we use our own past experiences, knowledge of the subject at hand, and common sense when making decisions as well, not just scientific evidence, which many times is manipulated data anyway? I don't think it's a good idea to devalue our own thought processes to rely solely on what's fed to us.
'Common sense' again...how do you define this?

The scientific method has built in checks by definition. The thing about scientific conclusions is that they open the door for more research, more questioning and certainly do not close the door on critical thought and analysis. Just the opposite, in fact.

Of course we use our own experiences to inform our decisions. Some of those experiences include enjoying the benefits the results of scientific research and testing. I mean, the fact that I can rely on technology like computers--which are the result of science--gives me some faith in that particular discipline.
 
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