Immunization

Immunization Is It Your Choice?

An Inumization picAn Inumization pic

The responsibility of parents should be to care for their children and the state must be most reluctant to step in unless the safety of the child is involved, so when it comes to Immunization where should we hang our hat? I was asked this recently and here is my reply. The Conclusion first: In Summary there is a strong case that immunization is wise and helpful to public health. However it is the job of government clearly and convincingly, with all the facts, have the population to embrace the immunization programs they are promoting from time to time. If the government is unable to convince the population to immunize from a health risk by the facts then the case for that immunization program is faulty and is questionable at that point of time. The only pressure on a person to immunize should be the clear fact of the case for immunization over the case of not immunization and the health risks of one over the other. If the argument is weak to have people to choose immunization then there is no right to increase the pressure by exclusion or withdrawal of a financial benefit. It is wise for the government to engage in the process to understand the reason for people choosing not to immunize and to with factual argument engage the framework of the decision being made and not to expect all to be compliant without serious discussion on this important and potentially health altering decision. The Government must permit the right of a person or persons with all the known facts to choose a different approach immunization.

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The Reply Dear xxxxxx Thank you for the email and the chance to explain a complex and difficult public policy position and I will walk you through the process to the decision that I have recommended for the CDP to adopt. There are basically two positions and they are: to be immunized or not to immunize and they are about personal choice and community responsibility and getting the balance right for all concerned. The wrong direction may take away personal freedoms and also could see real health concerns as potentially there could be an epidemic around the corner. So where should responsibility lie with the state (the community collective) or the individual? That is the real question we must address and address it with a Godly discernment as I see it. The Bible speaks of both corporate and individual responsibility as well it cautions on both; as to the cautions of individual it can be seen the refrain in the Book of Judges the expression “They all did what was right in their own eyes” while an example of endorsement is seen in the Book of Daniel where Daniel and his 3 friends chose to oppose the state sanctioned directive and prayed to the God of Israel and refused to bow to the pagan god. So through this process we have to find wisdom – that is Godly wisdom in action as can be applied to this situation. The two examples above demonstrate that it is the morality that is important in the decision processes as to whether the state should determine the actions of the individual or if the individual ought to place themselves out side of the state’s decision process and still remain within the community. In the case of immunization the principle is to inject a person with a substance that will potentially create antibodies within the subject person so that when the disease attacks the subject person the antibodies will protect the subject person. The injected substance has a risk factor of some side effects and it is often the single biggest concern to most who do not want to immunize is the concern about the potential side effects. The moral issue is if the state wants all to be immunized then there should be certainty that the side effects are in ALL CASES have to be at or close to mild. However there are cases where some of the side effects are extremely debilitating and therefore the moral position at least with some immunizations is questionable to say the least. So until the state can guarantee there is virtually no side effects it is immoral to demand all to be immunized. The moral position is for the government to fully inform every one of the whole situation – that is the best of the benefits and the worst of the potential side effects and all in between. It is only then that a government is acting in a moral way. The government by compelling all to be immunized without the certainty that is demanded by the immunization sceptics is seen to be assisting the big drug supply companies to make huge profits and this is something of serious concern needing full disclosure in our very corrupt world. We have seen that when money is able to be virtually printed because of the huge potential compelled market that is virtually guaranteed by a government the truth can be often compromised. Politics as it is today is more about appearance than about truth, and that is the problem. We need to see that there is a distance between the deal and the research so that the evidence can be more and more certain than currently is the case. Each immunization program has a different risk factor and benefit factor and so it is imperative that the risk and the benefit factors of both be fully disclosed to all the population and that the science involved be fully available so the people can be full informed to the extent that they would like to be informed. There has been some discussion on the exclusion of people from certain places or situations when they are not immunized. The moral dilemma here is the extent of social pressure on a person or group of persons to comply with something which may bring harm to the person that the pressure to comply is applied; I think it is not wise. There are some people because of their personal health situation that they need to be in a more protected environment and it is wise that arrangement for their protection be seriously considered and that may be necessary to exclude contact from some non-vaccinated person from where the person of more fragile health regularly be. It is not wise to make a general exclusion of non-vaccinated persons from the general population as such and therefore it should never be supported in any way; for only those of fragile health are at risk. In the case of an outbreak of a certain epidemic it is wise to exclude non-vaccinated persons from the epidemic area for the duration of the epidemic outbreak. There has been a decision to consider excluding certain financial benefits from a family of non-vaccinated persons. This is an appalling development of unreasonable and a morally indefensible position of any government as this is a huge pressure on a person or family to comply with doing something that may be harmful to their health. The linking of funds to families that are designed to assist them to have them comply with a government directive about immunization is immoral and cannot be supported by the Christian Democratic Party. In Summary there is a strong case that immunization is wise and helpful to public health. However it is the job of government clearly and convincingly, with all the facts, have the population to embrace the immunization programs they are promoting from time to time. If the government is unable to convince the population to immunize from a health risk by the facts then the case for that immunization program is faulty and is questionable at that point of time. The only pressure on a person to immunize should be the clear fact of the case for immunization over the case of not immunization and the health risks of one over the other. If the argument is weak to have people to choose immunization then there is no right to increase the pressure by exclusion or withdrawal of a financial benefit. It is wise for the government to engage in the process to understand the reason for people choosing not to immunize and to with factual argument engage the framework of the decision being made and not to expect all to be compliant without serious discussion on this important and potentially health altering decision. The Government must permit the right of a person or persons with all the known facts to choose a different approach immunization.

Tel: (02) 9633 3255 or 1300 667 975 Fax: (02) 9687 5848 ABN 57 658 075 121
Email: headoffice@cdp.org.au Website: www.cdp.org.au
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