We’ve covered the idiocy of anti-vaccinators quite a bit here at the Banter, largely out of the goodness of our own hearts. Not vaccinating your kids puts everyone else in danger, so our relentless mockery of the likes Jenny McCarthy is sort of like a public service (okay, maybe that’s not entirely true – ridiculing celebrities who have confused themselves with doctors because Oprah Winfrey likes them is always fun). But seriously, the anti-vac movement does pose a real threat to public health, and taking a serious stand against irresponsible parents is absolutely necessary in preventing outbreaks of easily preventable diseases.
Russell Saunders (a pseudonym) is a pediatrician in New England and columnist for The Daily Beast is doing his bit to help isolate those who refuse to listen to the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are totally safe:
When parents of prospective patients come to visit my office to meet our providers and to decide if we’re the right practice for them, there are lots of things I make sure they know. I talk about the hospitals we’re affiliated with. I tell them when we’re open and how after-hours calls are handled. On my end, I like to know a bit about the child’s medical history, or if there are special concerns that expecting parents might have.
And then this: I always ask if the children are vaccinated, or if the parents intend to vaccinate once the child is born. If the answer is no, I politely and respectfully tell them we won’t be the right fit. We don’t accept patients whose parents won’t vaccinate them.
It may seem harsh, but as Saunders goes on to point out, why would you even bring your child to a doctor if you believed they were engaging in something harmful to your child? This would be like going to a Reiki healer for advice about a hernia. You may think they’re full of crap when it comes to energy fields surrounding the body, but boy do they understand organ protrusion through the fascia!
The relationship between new age health nuts and doctors is much the same as libertarians and government. Just as libertarians are first in line for government handouts when they lose their jobs, New Age health nuts will come running into the doctor’s office when ginger tea and acupuncture doesn’t cure metastatic cancer or a crippling autoimmune disease. Perhaps if they knew most mainstream doctors would turn them and their children away if they refused to vaccinate their children, they might do the right thing and ensure little Jimmy can never infect his classmates with meningitis.
It is worth repeating again: There is no serious evidence that that the major vaccinations cause autism or pose public health risks. If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you bear responsibility should they get seriously ill or infect others with diseases that have been preventable for decades. You now run the risk of being isolated by real doctors who refuse to cater to your unsubstantiated, non scientific and highly irresponsible decisions.
So get your damn kids vaccinated.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.