What obligations does a parent have towards their child. I think we can all agree that a parent is obligated to provide their child with food, shelter, and clothing. What about medical care? Funny that what first springs to mind if religious refrain. Parents who refuse blood transfusions or medical help believing their faith will heal their child.
Recently in Australia a judge ruled, over the child’s mother’s wishes, that the child was to get vaccinated. Part of the issue lies in the fact the child’s parents are divorced. The mother, was resorting to homoeopathic methods to protect her daughter from illness when the father allowed his daughter to be taken to a medical centre where she was vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C.
The judge, Justice Victoria Bennett, admonished the father for his attempt to secretly immunise his daughter, saying it reflected poorly on his attitude to parenthood. She went on to say the mother had openly followed a homoeopathic program and acted in the child’s best interest.
Clearly this judge is mistaken. How does homoeopathy work? It doesn’t.
Homeopaths believe that like should be treated with like. So, for example, to treat a cold they use a remedy based on onions, because onions produce the streaming eyes and nose typical of a cold.
But the controversial part of the theory is the principle that the more you dilute a remedy with water, the more effective it becomes.
On the other hand we know immunization works. It’s not debatable, it’s not open to interpretation, it is fact. Take smallpox; a scourge which would kill king and pauper alike, and leave survivors horribly scarred, is estimated to have killed 400,000 Europeans annually and caused a third of all blindnesses. A terrible disease which could wipe out entire villages.
We invented a vaccine and began a program of eliminating it. The last naturally occurring case of smallpox had been detected in October 1975 in a two-year-old Bangladeshi girl, Rahima Banu. We wiped it out because of vaccines. Not homoeopathy, not witchcraft, not power crystals.
The other major disease we’ve managed to almost eliminate is polio. I know personally people who had contracted polio in their childhood, so it’s not like these things are far far away.
This girls father clearly has better parenting skills than the mother. The mother might as well have swung a dead cat over the girl while chanting in tongues for all the good homoeopathy does. The father prevented his daughter from suffering the following diseases:
People will point out that there are reactions to vaccines and sometimes kids get sick. There is supposed to be! That is how vaccines work. You get a little sick so your body can develop the anti-bodies to the disease so that when the healthy full-blown virus shows up you already have defences. If you look up vaccines and death the top two sites are WHO and (for me) deaths and vaccines. Which one are you going to trust?
The mistake is thinking that because there is a ring of immunization that most people are surrounded by they are protected. I am immunized and (I assume) my friends, family and co-workers are immunized. So for a disease to be able to get to me it must pass through all those people. But if you live in a diverse major urban area (as most of us do) that ring of safety is compromised. How do you know that man, who just got on the subway and came from the Horn of Africa doesn’t have rubella? Oh crap, he just sneezed and touched that pole. You don’t know and so the only way to protect yourself is through immunization.
One of the most important duties of a parent is to protect their child and the judge made an error in judgement in admonishing the father for immunizing his daughter. Perhaps his secrecy in regards to his ex-wife was less than worthy but who knows what she is like. If the mother had issues with immunization and the father objected to homoeopathy then where would that leave the girl? In the same position she was in before, unprotected.