Friday, February 06, 2015

The ethics of arrogance ...

Arthur Caplan wrote an opinion piece that should send shivers down the spines of us all ... regardless of our views on vaccination. 

It's part of the dangerous encroachment into the relationship between healthcare provider and client - a relationship that necessarily should remain private. We all live with choices that others make - for good or for ill, vaccination is just one of them, it isn't the only one. 

Driving providers and patients into an underground relationship is not good for anyone

It's an absolutely stunning display of arrogance to demand conformity or else. Medical "evidence" and science have an amazing way of changing through the years - and the persistent pursuit of truth by "heretics" has benefited us all. 

Consider Semmelweis, who was hounded by his peers for insisting upon the simple task of hand-washing prior to delivering a baby with a resultant plummeting of childbed fever or sepsis, which saved so many women. 

Or consider stomach ulcers and the lengths to which the researcher who discovered H. pylori went before his theory was considered and incorporated into treatment (he was later awarded a Nobel Prize in 2005). 

Decades before research vindicated them midwives knew overuse of episiotomy was bad for women and generally not necessary. Conventional wisdom held that it prevented pelvic floor damage and protected the baby's brain ... and then we actually did the research, which demonstrated episiotomy increased risk of worse damage than spontaneous perineal tears and gasp! the perineum isn't dangerous to a baby's brain!

The bromide "once a cesarean section, always a cesarean section" was mainstream practice ... and then we actually did the research and "discovered" that VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) is a relatively reasonable risk to take for most women with a history of previous cesarean birth. 

For years it was assumed that saturated fat was bad and caused heart disease. Now that is being challenged and it seems inflammation is implicated in heart disease, and well, many other health problems as well ... oh, wait - what happens after vaccination? Inflammation

These are just a few examples of health care providers who were considered "crazy" for not passively accepting the prevailing medical dogma. They held minority positions in the face of unrelenting peer pressure and were ultimately proved right.

It's amazing what we find out when we try to find answers to questions. 

Apparently a significant portion of our population is asking questions about vaccine safety and efficacy - in due time we might all benefit from listening to this minority's concerns ... after all, it's happened before - the precedents are almost too numerous to list, so it would be prudent not to be too arrogant or presumptuous about "settled science".  

Many want more information about a product that has been described as "unavoidably unsafe"  ... a product so "safe" it is legally shielded from any liability - which essentially removes any motivation for a manufacturer or provider of said product to make it any safer ... a product which is incredibly lucrative because its use is mandated by law ... a product which is recommended by experts who have financial conflicts of interest with the manufacturers ... a product embroiled not just in controversy about safety and efficacy, but allegations of fraud (Paul Thorsen, mumps/Merck fraud lawsuit, #CDCwhistleblower). 

Many aspects of medical care are fraught with various degrees of risk vs benefit, and that is no different for vaccines - all should be free to determine which level of risk/benefit with which they are willing to live. Subjecting people to forced medical procedures is something that would make Dr. Mengele proud - he perfected this. Let's not follow his lead. 

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