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I have been told by a number of individuals lately that my name has been mentioned several times on the internet as a physician in Greer, SC who is friendly to those who choose to not follow the recommended immunization schedule. I figured it would be appropriate for me to put in writing my view of immunizations.<br><br>
My view on immunizations starts with my philosophy that I believe in Freedom. I am totally opposed to the prevalent concept today that government knows best and therefore needs to control us and provide for us. I believe God gave children to parents and made parents responsible for making decisions regarding their children. As long as parents are demonstrating loving, thoughtful, responsible regard for their children, I am not going to override their decisions or demean them, even if I might disagree with their decisions. On the issue of vaccinating, if parents have thought about it and made their decision than I leave their decision stand without much discussion. If parents are up in the air, which is many, than we talk about it.<br><br>
The second premise upon which my view is based is that every decision we make in life has its risks and benefits. That is true in the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. There is risk in vaccinating and there is risk in not vaccinating and it is up to the parents to decide which risk/benefit ratio is better for their child.<br><br>
My personal view is that the benefits of immunizations outweigh the risks of immunizations. My four children are vaccinated and if I had young children today I would immunize them. The basis for this view is that the diseases against which we vaccinate are real and there is no question that if the entire population stopped vaccinating most of these diseases would again become prevalent. When a doctor tells a parent about the baby they have taken care of who was rigid as a board with meningitis, that is not a scare tactic, but what truly happens when a child gets haemophilus meningitis. Rooms full of people in iron lungs really did happen before we had immunizations against polio. The incidence of pertussis (whooping cough) is on the rise currently.<br><br>
I also know of the horrors of the child with autism or other serious neurological problem. I have personally witnessed the death of a 4 month old child hours after the child had their 4 month shots. There is risk on both sides of the equation.<br><br>
The difficulty with immunizations is there is no accurate data on their safety. I do not believe they are as safe as the CDC states, nor do I believe they are as dangerous as many who are opposed to them contend. All of the information out there is based on case reporting, which is the least accurate way to come to a conclusion. There is no question that adverse events related to immunizations is vastly underreported. On the other side, the pathology that is attributed to vaccines is often based on assumptions, not proven cause and effect. The fact that the government makes payments to "victims" of adverse immunization events does not prove a cause and effect any more than the jury saying OJ Simpson was not guilty proved he was innocent of killing his wife. The only way to get a true picture of the risks of vaccines is to run controlled studies of children being immunized and see if the incidence of neurological events, autism, etc is different between immunized and un-immunized children. Unfortunately this has not been done, nor will it be done. This is not because of a conspiracy by greedy pharmaceutical companies, but because it would take studies of many thousands of children over years to come up with meaningful data and the resources to accomplish this are not available. Even if we did this kind of study, it would only tell us statistical risks. It would not tell us what is going to happen to an individual child when we do not give it an immunization or do give it one.<br><br>
What then is a parent trying to make this decision to do? As I stated above, my view is that the benefits of immunization outweigh the risks. Even though we do not have accurate numbers on their risks I believe their danger is far less than the danger of being seriously injured in a car accident and we do not hesitate to put our children in a car and drive places because we believe the benefit of going places outweighs the very small risk of being involved in a serious automobile accident during that trip. I believe the risk of getting the disease is greater than the risk from the vaccine so I immunize. On the other hand, just like the risk of being in a car accident is real, so is there a real risk from immunizations. I believe it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion for parents to say the potential risks from the immunizations outweigh the risks that their children will come down with the disease against which they are being immunized and therefore they want to delay, select or avoid immunizations.<br><br>
What I recommend to many of my parents, who have concerns, is that they delay immunizing their child until they are 6 months or a year old. This allows the child to be more developed neurologically before the vaccine is introduced, thus reducing the risk from the vaccine. The downside to delayed immunizations is it increases the risk of the child getting the disease you are trying to prevent and on a practical level an older child is far more aware and fearful of being stuck with needles than is the infant.<br><br>
The bottom line is any conclusion on the matter of immunizations is a reasonable and understandable conclusion and I will respect and support whatever decision a parent makes.<br><br>
Keith Stafford, MD<br>
Greer, SC
 

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I'm curious ... how much education/training do you have in immunology and immunization? Do you <b>fully</b> explain to your patients the risks as well as the benefits of vaccinating, even if they aren't questioning vaccines? (That is, beyond giving them the standard VIS.)<br><br>
Are you trained and comfortable in treating diseases that are supposedly "vaccine-preventable"?<br><br>
Regarding the pertussis outbreaks we have seen in recent years - these outbreaks are occurring mainly amongst the vaccinated population (in schools), are they not?
 
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Thanks for sharing your point of view Dr. Greer. It is hard for us patients to understand where doctors are coming from and their thought processes. You are appreciated for helping us with that!! Peace and Blessings,<br>
Michelle E
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>greersc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745475"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The bottom line is any conclusion on the matter of immunizations is a reasonable and understandable conclusion and I will respect and support whatever decision a parent makes.</div>
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Personally, I don't think a parent could ask for more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> A physician is as entitled to an opinion as I am. All I ask is tht my own views, conflicting as they may be with the MDs views, be respected. That's what I read above. I don't do well visits with my kids but this is the kind of Ped. I'd want if I did. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745716"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Personally, I don't think a parent could ask for more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> A physician is as entitled to an opinion as I am. All I ask is tht my own views, conflicting as they may be with the MDs views, be respected. That's what I read above. I don't do well visits with my kids but this is the kind of Ped. I'd want if I did. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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He's a FP, not a pedi.<br><br>
I've never, ever met a pedi who was as reasonable as that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
(we see an FP instead of a pedi for well baby and child visits as well as sick visits. We love him.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">)<br><br>
To Dr. Stafford:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When a doctor tells a parent about the baby they have taken care of who was rigid as a board with meningitis, that is not a scare tactic, but what truly happens when a child gets haemophilus meningitis.</td>
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Right. We get that. And I completely understand how distressing it must be to physicians to treat Hib meningitis.<br>
But my own personal problem with the Hib vaccine is replacement disease when you look at overall causes of meningitis. Same thing with Prevnar. While vaccine serotypes are eliminated, non-vaccine types fill in the ecological niche, and overall cases of invasive disease on a population level aren't changed.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The incidence of pertussis (whooping cough) is on the rise currently.</td>
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<i>Reported</i> incidence...not actual cases.<br>
James Cherry (generally considered the world's leading authority on pertussis) has done seroepidemiology that shows that the actual incidence has never changed. He says that the supposed "resurgence of pertussis" is primarily due to a greater <i>awareness</i> of pertussis.
 

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Thanks for coming to post on the vaccine thread! We really appreciate your view and it’s nice to hear of a MD who respects a parents’ right to choose what is best for their child.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I believe the risk of getting the disease is greater than the risk from the vaccine so I immunize.</td>
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This is difficult for me to understand:<br><br>
Here are some examples:<br><br>
There has not been 1 case of diphtheria since 2003 in the US<br>
There were 66 cases of measles in 2005<br>
There were 314 cases of mumps in 2005<br>
There were 11 cases of rubella in 2005<br>
There were 27 cases of tetanus in 2005<br><br>
These are just cases…..not deaths or complications.<br><br>
Vaccines are linked to autism (1 in 150 children have autism), asthma (1 in 13 school age children have asthma), allergies (close to 1 in 2 children have allergies), etc. I personally refuse to believe that it is better to risk the vaccine then the disease but that is just me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
Some may argue that if we all stopped vaccinating the death rates would go through the roof but many sources predict that this would not be the case since the disease rates were greatly decreasing before vaccines were even introduced. Who knows what would happen if we never even started vaccinating….we might live in a world with a very healthy population instead of a population plagued with autoimmune disease <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I agree 100% that we need a study of vaxed vs non vaxed kids but like you said….this will never happen. Until the vaccines are proven safe, I am glad there are doctors out there who respect our decisions to not vax.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>greersc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is not because of a conspiracy by greedy pharmaceutical companies, but because it would take studies of many thousands of children over years to come up with meaningful data and the resources to accomplish this are not available.<br><a href="http://www.cfmofgreer.com" target="_blank">www.cfmofgreer.com</a></div>
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I happen to disagree with this..................there are thousands of children that are unvaccinated NOW, and there have been for years. They have never come knocking to even pursue it. It would be a huge loss for them to tread those waters.
 

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you say that the risks of vaccinating outweigh the benefits, and you also beautifully outline how we do not know all of the risks yet.<br><br>
how is it possible for anyone, with or without a medical degree, to do an effective, accurate risk-benefit analysis with the information that we currently have available? after your eloquent description, it is clear to me that any risk-benefit analysis becomes nothing more than a gamble, and i choose not to do that with my family's health.<br><br>
i do appreciate that you call for the study between vaccinated and unvaccinateed children to be done, yet am confused by your statement that this study will only show us statistical risks. isn't that the same for the current studies available on the safety and efficacy on vaccines?<br><br>
i also appreciate that you respect and support a family's decision to make an informed choice for themselves, as is appropriate since you are a paid consultant for the family, after all.<br><br>
thank you so much for posting!
 

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I wish you were in my state. I would LOVE if my ped were as reasonable and as respectul of parental rights as you are.
 
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Even though it may be a long shot, I hope, in my lifetime, to see such a study done. I have always wanted to be involved in the aspects of creating it, but since I am just one person, this remains only a dream. My children are unvaccinated as of yet, and I do know of two friends I have whose children either did not receive vaccinations or who vaccinations were delayed and unfinished. I have noticed that each of their children as well as my own seem a bit "different" from other children. They do not stare off into space as often, they seem to concentrate better, and to be less rambunctious and also appear to possess better decision-making abilities than their peers. However, this may be due to personality, because as a child I was like this, and I was vaccinated-however with much fewer vaccinations than my children would have been required to get had we been a vaccinating family. I do know of one family whose son is fully vaccinated and whose behavior is quite similar to my children's - so I believe that for some children, their bodies are very resilient and can withstand the onslaught of multiple vaccinations. Whatever the reason, it is imperative that a controlled study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children is done, because this is the only true way to somewhat of a picture.
 
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Wow, thank you for clarifying your stance. As a parent, I applaud your desire to share your views transparently with parents who are struggling to find providers that fit their family's value system.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CanidFL</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10746708"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Vaccines are linked to autism (1 in 150 children have autism), asthma (1 in 13 school age children have asthma), allergies (close to 1 in 2 children have allergies), etc.</div>
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Don't forget Type 1 diabetes - which has just EXPLODED in young children (even infants!) since the Hep B vax came on the scene.<br><br>
It was once nearly unheard of that a child younger than 15 or so would develop diabetes.
 
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I was told by more than one doctor that 56% of all doctors do not vaccinate their own children. If vaxes are so safe, why don't docs vax their own?<br><br>
This is a rumor that has persisted for three decades; in my own experience, I have known many for over five decades.
 

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This is the same exact philosophy our FP has. He is pro-vax, but will NEVER push a vax on anyone. He, however, admits that most doctors DO use scare tactics- that they are taught to use them. They will talk about "the baby they have taken care of who was rigid as a board with meningitis" when in reality they have never taken care of a baby with meningitis, but they've been taught to say that to sway parents into vaccinating.<br><br>
I work for a FP who spent about 2 weeks learning about immunology/vaccinations. She will never look at an "anti-vax" point of view or the research behind it because she is so sure that what she was taught is the right way and only way to practice medicine while in the same breath saying that medicine is not a science, it's an art.<br><br>
Anyway, I have more to say but have to get my DS to preschool.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The only way to get a true picture of the risks of vaccines is to run controlled studies of children being immunized and see if the incidence of neurological events, autism, etc is different between immunized and un-immunized children. Unfortunately this has not been done, nor will it be done. This is not because of a conspiracy by greedy pharmaceutical companies, but because it would take studies of many thousands of children over years to come up with meaningful data and the resources to accomplish this are not available. Even if we did this kind of study, it would only tell us statistical risks. It would not tell us what is going to happen to an individual child when we do not give it an immunization or do give it one.<br><br>
Keith Stafford, MD<br>
Greer, SC</td>
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Ok....there is factual proof of immunized vrs non immunized....why do pediatricians like this refuse to acknowledge it....there are many practices that serve rather substatial populations that do not vaccinate. and i'm mainly referring to religious clusters....such as Omish. These kids don't have the nuerological and autoimmune disorders that vaccinated kids do....the only thing separating this in my eyes from being factual is the rubber stamp from our CDC and government.<br><br>
I don't care if your opinion is religious or conscientious....why do i or my children have to be force into taking an injection or a pharmecutical...<br><br>
what is this??? are we medical slaves to big pharma? Do they own our bodies? that we don't have a right to say NO to them? why are we being labled criminals because we choose not to participate? A threat to others?<br><br>
If people believe in the false idea of eradicating disease ...then we should all just jump off the bridge, because we have DNA and bacteria. The basis of life the very meaning of it, evolution cannot exsist without disease. I am not saying we should all suffer with sickness but we should not have to be forced to live in an unnatural way because some Corporations have a financial interest in controling our lives.<br><br>
As far as i'm concerned mr pedi..... shoot me with a gun before you inject me with that garbadge...as far as i know I still own my DNA....<br><br>
unless big pharma has already claimed the rights to our DNA,, which in fact some pharmecutical corporation have already started to patent human DNA.<br><br>
THIS IS A VERY SICK WORLD and im not talking vaccination here<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RightasRain</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10756933"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ok....there is factual proof of immunized vrs non immunized....why do pediatricians like this refuse to acknowledge it....there are many practices that serve rather substatial populations that do not vaccinate. and i'm mainly referring to religious clusters....such as Omish. These kids don't have the nuerological and autoimmune disorders that vaccinated kids do....the only thing separating this in my eyes from being factual is the rubber stamp from our CDC and government.</div>
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It's spelled Amish. And if you look at the lifestyle of your typical Amish child compared to your typical American/modern child, there is a VAST difference in so many things that I am not sure you can attribute the low levels of disorders to vaccines.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CanidFL</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10746708"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is difficult for me to understand:<br><br>
Here are some examples:<br><br>
There has not been 1 case of diphtheria since 2003 in the US<br>
There were 66 cases of measles in 2005<br>
There were 314 cases of mumps in 2005<br>
There were 11 cases of rubella in 2005<br>
There were 27 cases of tetanus in 2005<br><br>
These are just cases…..not deaths or complications.</div>
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<br>
I always think that doctors are referring to the risk of these diseases IF everyone stopped vaccinating as those case numbers would go up for many of the diseases. The risks ARE low in a primarily vaccinated population. But perhaps it is an erroneous assumption on my part to think that when docs, even this one, refer to risks that they are really meaning what the risks would be like if everyone stopped vaccinating.<br><br>
However, if they ARE referring to the risks in a currently vaccinated population, risks RIGHT NOW, they it does come across as rather absurd, huh?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>anewmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10757087"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's spelled Amish. And if you look at the lifestyle of your typical Amish child compared to your typical American/modern child, there is a VAST difference in so many things that I am not sure you can attribute the low levels of disorders to vaccines.</div>
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If that is the case i would imagine the obscene levels of toxin and other biological agents injected into the average american child and the average Amish child ...i believe vaccination is a substantial factor.<br><br>
I'm sure there nutritional status is another factor and the fact that they are not continually force fed antibiotics is also another factor but it's quite obvious...<br><br>
i couldn't imagine what other lifestyle differences could stand out beyond being injected with vaccines, isn't it obvious to everyone by now...the numbers of children who suffer after vaccination.... we all have genetic suceptabilities to something...we always will...it's how DNA works with the enviorment, but it's a big selling point for PHarma.<br><br>
there is no realistic point to saying that people have genetic defects or mutations..that is a marketing ploy to sell disease...<br><br>
we all have mutation and/or defects that will leave us susceptable to something....whether they will accentuate that to sell a vaccine or give and excuse as to why children and older adults have a certain reaction.... <it's bad medicine rarely grants 100% immunity, if any at all, and is NEVER 100% SAFE.<br><br>
just for the record...i don't like having forgein dna injected directly into my bloodstream and that alone should be sufficient enough of a reason not to be vaccinated for me or my children...not to mention the list of toxins in these shots. Most of these diseases are not all that threatening in normally healthy people with healthy natural immune systems... <---i haven't needed or been sick enough, nor anyone in my family in years to use pharmecuticals...though i would only as a last resort...and i am not including vaccination in that<br><br>
DOES THAT MEAN WE SHOULD ALLOW PHARMA TO HAVE A FIELD DAY EXPERIMENTING ON US? That means i should be injected with every vaccine they come out with....I Should be unquestionably agreeable with another vaccination for another disease i probably won't get...that i should give up my right to make medical decisions for me and my family that i should give those rights away to government and big pharma ...NOT
 
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