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  • Advertising Human Biohazards

    Posted by Shannon Love on May 6th, 2009 (All posts by )

    James Randerson, whose 11-month-old Daughter caught the measles because idiots refused vaccinations [h/t Instapundit] observes:

    The decision by many of my neighbours not to vaccinate their children is on a par with the drunk who decides to get into his car to drive home. It is a personally reckless action that also endangers the lives of everyone else on the road. Society should view the MMR refuseniks with the same degree of scorn.

    My libertarian leanings make me hesitant to force people to medicate themselves, but on the other hand Randerson is absolutely correct when he states that unvaccinated people are an active danger to innocent bystanders. 

    How do we resolve this conflict of rights? With clothing!

    When you become infected with a dangerous pathogen, your body turns into a biological-weapons factory and delivery system. The pathogen multiplies within your body and then escapes to attack others. Worse, with viral diseases, the body sheds more viruses before symptoms appear than after they do. People can infect others even before they realize they are ill. One contagious individual can infect hundreds of others just by going through his daily public routines. 

    If someone intentionally infected themselves, then went out into public, we would consider that a criminal act. How then should we regard someone who refuses to assume a trivial risk to protect the health and lives of others? 

    If people have a right to chose not to vaccinate themselves then others have a right not to risk being infected by the unvaccinated. I modestly propose a compromise.  

    People can refuse to vaccinate, but in turn they must always wear some form of easily visible emblem that will let others know they present a hazard. I would suggest a vest with a bright dayglow biohazard symbol on the front, back and shoulders. 

    Problem solved. People can stagger about with medieval levels of medical prevention if they wish, and the rest of us who prefer to live in the 21st Century can avoid them for the potential plague-carrying vermin they are. Everybody is happy. 

     

    31 Responses to “Advertising Human Biohazards”

    1. Jose Angel de Monterrey Says:

      I think the analogy of the drunk fellow getting into his car is a good illustrative story. Same goes for those refusing to use protection when having sex.

      For some reason, years I decided not to use Norton Anti-Virus in my pcs anymore, nor any other anti-virus. I thought that browsing safely by avoiding piracy and porn sites was enough. Then I learned my lesson the night I spent trying to get rid of a virus my son infected my laptop via his little harmless usb memory. You have to vaccinate. Always.

    2. setbit Says:

      Shannon, I share your frustration over the growing health hazards of unvaccinated children, but I think it’s fair to ask what forces are driving the anti-vaccination movement and why it has gained so much momentum.

      The simple fact is that most of modern medicine is driven by legal, financial, and political considerations, with solid clinical science in fourth place, sometimes a distant fourth place. Much of our common medical practice is without solid clinical justification, and parts of it are proveably harmful. The absurd percentage of births by c-section and the recent push for mandatory HPV vaccinations are only two of the more outrageous examples that leap to mind.

      So in effect what people are being asked to believe is, “Yes, our medical system is rife with liars and incompetents, but it turns out they’re essentially right about vaccinations.” Do we have any right to be surprised by the fact that that’s a hard sell with some people?

      The article you link is particularly telling. Someone writing in The Guardian is quoting the UK National Health Service to assert that vaccinations are safe and effective. Seriously would you believe one word of that article if it wasn’t telling you something you already know to be true. Would you honestly trust the NHS for relating to your health or the health of your family?

      Unless and until the medical establishment can show itself to have some semblance of credibility, we’re going to continue have a certain percentage of people who reject it out of hand, with the attendant individual and public healh problems.

    3. Dove Says:

      Unstylish clothing isn’t much of a solution. For starters, you’d have to distinguish between the many possible diseases and vaccinations available. And I don’t know how effective it’d be, given that disease might spread anyway via commonly used objects. Seems to me like more of an angry suggestion to shame people than an earnest comment on the problem.

      I think the natural solution is to force the non-immunized to cumulatively pay for all of the health care costs related to the disease, including death benefits for fatalities. Folks suffering from a preventable disease would receive a voucher from the goverment for some large percentage of the cost of medical care, which would be passed onto the general populace as a special tax from which those who are immunized would be exempt. That would allow each individual to trade off the severity and risk of disease against the bother, cost, and perceived side effects of vaccination.

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      An interesting sidenote – as part of the admission to the private school I send my children to they insist on knowing the vaccinaion history of the child. I don’t know if they would do anything about it if you were behind or didn’t immunize the child, but just them asking makes me think that the child may be refused admission if they didn’t have the proper vaccinations.

    5. david foster Says:

      setbit is correct that people have reason to distrust much of the medical establishment. However, if a person knows anything about the history of science, he should be able to understand the importance of vaccination for himself, without taking it on faith.

      I’d hazard a guess that to most high school graduates–even to most college graduates–the names “Edward Jenner” and “Louis Pasteur” would result in a blank look.

      Much of the vastly-increased resources thrown at public education over the last 50 years were motivated by the assertion that we are now living in a more scientific and technological society, and people need to understand something about these areas to fulfill their roles as citizens, in addition to earning a living. The schools were happy to take the money, but have generally shown little interest in seriously pursuing science education for the masses.

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      Dove,

      <iI think the natural solution is to force the non-immunized to cumulatively pay for all of the health care costs related to the disease, including death benefits for fatalities.

      So, your solution is to let them kill people and then pay blood geld in compensation? Personally, I’m going to go for the option that doesn’t end up with my children dead and me with reimbursement check.

      I’m not alone in this preference. I think this a fatal flaw in a lot of libertarian ideas that try to maximize freedom by relying on reactive punishment or compensation. That looks good on paper but it hinges on the idea that people will choose to accept the suffering and death of their loved ones in order to protect the freedom of others.

      There is also the question of how one compensates another individual for the life of their child. Personally, there isn’t any conceivable amount of compensation, not even ownership of the whole of the earth and all its people, that I would view as fair exchange for the life of one of my children.

      Even if we did establish some set tables of blood geld, the possibility exist that a single individual could infect and maim or kill dozens or hundreds of people. It is unlikely that any one person will have enough assets to cover all the damage they caused.

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Sebit,

      The simple fact is that most of modern medicine is driven by legal, financial, and political considerations, with solid clinical science in fourth place, sometimes a distant fourth place. Much of our common medical practice is without solid clinical justification, and parts of it are proveably harmful.

      I think that is an exaggeration. It is true that every possible combination of drugs and techniques that might be used in a clinical setting have not been rigorously tested but for the most part each individual drug or techniques has been fairly well tested.

      This isn’t to say that their isn’t a lot of legal, financial or political noise in the system but when if you look at why a doctors decides to use a specific drug or technique, they usually do so on the basis of scientific testing. This is especially so in the case of vaccination where even a lay person who picks up a couple of history books can see how incredibly effective vaccinations are.

      I think that most people who reject vaccination do so because they are prone to conspiratorial thinking. They reject all the scientific evidence about vaccinations because they believe a conspiracy exist to fabricate fake evidence.

    8. david foster Says:

      The relationship of vaccination and disease incidence seems like it has to be strongly non-linear. If just a few people skip their vaccinations, then they are unlikely to catch and transmit the disease–given that the disease has been largely suppressed by earlier and widespread vaccination initiatives. As the % of the unvaccinated grows, however, the chances for unvaccinated person catching it and transmitting it to another unvaccinate person will grow sharply. It would be easy to model this, and I bet epidemiologists have done so.

      From a public policy standpoint, the significance is that you *can’t* safely say “well, 5% of the people are already skipping the XYZ vaccine and there have been few incidences of the disease, so I guess vaccination isn’t really all that necessary.” To steal an analogy from a famous advertising man, this would be like concluding that “the train is moving along nicely at 60mph, so we really don’t need the locomotive anymore.”

    9. anonymous (fred lapides) Says:

      easy enough to be scornful of this or that, but there is sufficient evience, aside from vested interests, that vaccines do in fact work:

      http://www.fda.gov/fdac/reprints/vaccine.html

      now you can be a nay sayer for anything via the govt: but then is it that much safer to disregard each and every thing you see, read, learn about from health organizations? You trust your doctor:? he is inundated by drug reps, daily and on and on.

      The question, clearly raised here is what to do about those who refuse vaccinations if we believe in them?

      I would suggest that if you decide you don’t want them, fine.But your unvaccinated kids can not go to the public schools that we taxpayers pay for. that gives you a choice and allows public constraints to be followed. My child (high school) not allowed to use cell phone in school. Is this an infringement on her liberty? If so, then I should put her in a private school that allows cell phones or home school her. The public school systemn has made a decision and either I abide or go my own way. I still have choice that way.

    10. Robert Says:

      How about those that dont get required vaccinations must be home schooled. Along with a sign posted on the front door about what vaccinations have been given. Just another thought

    11. Shannon Love Says:

      David Foster,

      As the % of the unvaccinated grows, however, the chances for unvaccinated person catching it and transmitting it to another unvaccinate person will grow sharply. It would be easy to model this, and I bet epidemiologists have done so.

      Yes, this is called herd immunity (because it was first discovered in cattle. Once you drop below a certain threshold of the percentage of the population vaccinated, the disease can spread through the unvaccinated as quickly as it would if there had never been any vaccinations. The threshold is different for each disease.

      Measles, for example, is highly contagious. You have to vaccinate 98%+ of the population or any unvaccinated person risk infection. You can’t vaccinate against measles before 9 months so that means if only 2% of the general population is unvaccinated, an infant younger than 9 months stands substantially the same risk that would if no one was vaccinated. This is what got Randerson’s daughter infected and why measles outbreaks in non-vaccinated religious communities and hippy communes are still common.

      My daughter yanked her daughter out of a play group because one mother said she would not and had not vaccinated her older children. Each one of those children was a loaded gun pointed at my granddaughter.

    12. John C Says:

      The simple fact is that most of modern medicine is driven by legal, financial, and political considerations, with solid clinical science in fourth place, sometimes a distant fourth place. Much of our common medical practice is without solid clinical justification, and parts of it are proveably harmful.

      While I’m not sure how true that is for the world of vaccinations; I think that’s definitely true in regards to medical diagnosis/trauma/ER environments. I seem to recall Dr. Dean Edell bemoaning the fact that doctors no longer practice medicine – they prepare their defenses.

    13. setbit Says:

      I think that is an exaggeration.

      …if you look at why a doctor decides to use a specific drug or technique, they usually do so on the basis of scientific testing.

      There’s certainly a lot of room for argument for exactly how bad the situation is, but you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to conclude that the problem is common and pervasive.

      When we say that drugs or techniques are usually chosen based on scientific testing, that’s certainly true, but the cargo cult science that you often mention sometimes exists in medicine too. For example, is new, expensive, just-approved drug A really better than old, cheap, well-understood drug B? Do the broad, long term side effects of that procedure outweigh the narrow benefits that were tested for in the clinical trials? Is the treatment medically appropriate for this patient, or is the doctor prescribing it because the patient wants them to “do something”? Did that hospital patient die of an infection just because some idiot doctor or nurse didn’t wash their hands?

      These complaints may seem minor compared to the huge medical advances due to vaccinations, antibiotics, and modern trauma surgery. Yes, modern medicine saves countless lives, but it also kills a fair number of people in the the process, often needlessly. Office visits and other mundane interactions constitute the bulk of most people’s interaction with the health care system, and that’s usually where the problem is worst. It’s not hard to understand why many come away with the uneasy feeling that they’re dealing with quacks and/or liars.

      …even a lay person who picks up a couple of history books can see how incredibly effective vaccinations are.

      This, of course, is my cue to stop ranting about the medical establishment and start ranting about the educational establishment. It’s an excellent example of how multiple institutional failures interact so as to cause problems much worse than they could individually.

    14. Shannon Love Says:

      Setbit,

      I can’t argue with anything you’ve said in concept although I think I would weight them as having less of impact, less of scale that you would.

      I do this because I note that people who believe that vaccines aren’t necessary also believe other unrelated stupid things most of them unrelated to medicine at all. This is especially true when you eliminate people who refuse to vaccinate do to long standing religious beliefs. For example, people who believe vaccination is a conspiracy also believe 9/11 was an American conspiracy. I think their resistance to vaccination stems from a generalized paranoiac mindset in which everyone is lying them except from guy that runs a web site. I think this paranoiac mindset has a powerful emotional appeal because it lets a person view themselves as a uniquely intelligent and aware of, “what is really going on.”

      On the other hand the blizzard of conflicting medical opinion that an ordinary person sees on a daily basis doesn’t help. It creates an impression that the scientific and medical community don’t know what their talking about. The media doesn’t help because it tends to put one person on one side vs one person on the other side. They do this even one person represents an extremist point of view held by only one person in the entire world.

    15. Setbit Says:

      It creates an impression that the scientific and medical community don’t know what [they’re] talking about.

      Well that’s pretty much my point: some members of the scientific and medical community — sometimes very prominent ones — don’t know what they’re talking about.

      I mean c’mon, probably half your posts represent an effort to sort out politically motivated or otherwise junk science from the real thing. Many vaccine skeptics are essentially trying to do the same thing, but failing. We shouldn’t excuse people who make foolish decisions that end up harming themselves and others, but we shouldn’t be surprised by them either, given the ambient BS level.

      And as far as the paranoid mindset goes, sure, bad ideas tend to cluster and to feed on the worst aspects of human nature. But those bad ideas have the most power when there’s a kernel of truth to them. People on the fence, who might otherwise recognize snake oil, get sucked in because the crazies make just enough sense that they don’t seem so crazy. To put it another way: When the going gets stupid, the stupid turn pro.

      So I guess I’m agreeing with you that it’s a matter of scale. But precisely because of that, I think it’s very difficult to draw a bright line between prescient skeptics and Luddite conspiracy theorists. It may take a mass outbreak of some vanquished disease like measles before the difference becomes clear to everyone.

    16. Shannon Love Says:

      Sebit,

      But precisely because of that, I think it’s very difficult to draw a bright line between prescient skeptics and Luddite conspiracy theorists.

      Well, you definitely have a point about mattes such as optimal nutrition in which people do see a lot of conflicting information about uncertain science.

      On the other hand, in the case of vaccination there is large amount of historical information available to the lay person. You don’t have understand the science to notice that people, especially children, don’t drop dead at the same rate they did a hundred years ago nor do they suffer from the childhood diseases of even their grandparents childhoods.

    17. sol vason Says:

      People who have AIDs should have the biohazard symbol tattooed on their foreheads, or at least wear a red “A” om their clothing. I like your idea.

    18. Shannon Love Says:

      Sol Vason,

      People who have AIDs should have the biohazard symbol tattooed on their foreheads…

      I don’t think that is necessary. AIDS is so difficult to transmit that it barely qualifies as a communicable disease. There was as suggestion back in the 80’s that people with AIDS get a discrete tattoo like marking on their body to warn potential sex partners that they carried a lethal sexually transmitted disease. The idea didn’t go anywhere because it would have been gay makes that predominately got the tattoos. Had AIDS been easily transmittable by heterosexual contact then we might have ended up with such a system.

      The success of vaccination means that starting roughly in 1955 we stopped using the draconian public health methods we used in the era of 1890-1955. It used to be routine quarantine entire families in their homes for weeks and mark their houses with yard signs and sings on the front door with the word “Quarantine” written in large red letters and then the disease’s name. My father’s family lived with such a sign for several weeks when my aunt caught polio during the great epidemic of 1951.

      The problem with the unvaccinated is that they can become the production and dispersal system for any one, or any combination of, the dozen some odd diseases that we vaccinate against. Unlike AIDS, these diseases are easily transmittable by surfaces, casual contact or air. You don’t have to stick a part of another person’s body inside you to get a disease like measles. You just have to walk past them on the street.

    19. sol vason Says:

      Passsengers on cruise ships porting in Africa are told that 50% of Africans have AIDs. But this incidence is not considered to be proof that the disease is contagious. I suspect a coverup.

      Polio, tetanus, cholera, typhoid, AIDs and small pox are deadly deseases. They warrant strong, even draconian public health measures.

      Chicken pox, measles and mumps are diseases that are generally harmless to children. Doctors in the 40s – 60s used to encourage children to get these diseases while they were children so that they could get a life time immunity. 100% of children who caught these diseases never got them again as adults.

      Today, thanks to immunization programs, we have millions of adults who have no immunity either because they were never vacinated, or because they were improperly vacinated with defective vacine, or because the vacination has simply lost its effectiveness. Today’s old folks all had these childhood diseases when they were children and today they are immune.

      Tomorrow’s old folks will no longer have this immunity. These childhood diseases are sometimes harmful to adults. I think it is foolish to sustitute a man made immunity for a lifetime natural immunity. Too many things can and will go wrong. Most likely is that immunization programs will cause a new deadly strain of chicken pox or measles or mumps to evolve.

      The same “scientific” bureaucrats that believe in Global Warming also have faith that the immunization for childhood deseases has absolutely no harmful side effects and is absolutely safe.

      Vacination for polio, small pox, tetanus, cholera, typhoid should be required. These are deadly diseases for which there are reasonably effective vacines. Compulsary vacination against harmless childhood diseases is foolish and should be ended if the vacine itself is harmful.

    20. Shannon Love Says:

      Sol Vasson,

      Passsengers on cruise ships porting in Africa are told that 50% of Africans have AIDs. But this incidence is not considered to be proof that the disease is contagious.

      AIDS isn’t very communicable via heterosexual contact in most of the developed world. This is just a fact although the entire cause isn’t known. We do know that the AIDS virus attaches to lymphocytes via the same mechanism as the black death bacillus. People who descended from ancestors who suffered through repeated plagues have genes that defeat the mechanism. The black death only strike in regions of certain temperature ranges and places with lots of grain based agriculture and the subsequent rats. Europeans, people in the middle east, northern India and China suffered the black death and granted their decedents considerable resistance to AIDS. Sub-Sahara Africa never suffered the black death and no they’re paying for it.

      Chicken pox, measles and mumps are diseases that are generally harmless to children.

      Measles and mumps are not harmless, at least not by modern standards. I know older people who were left deaf or sterile by these illnesses. Measles had a death rate of up to 1% and it caused neurological damage in many more. When the entire population eventually contracts measles thats a lot dead people. Measles and mumps usually are worse in adults and in an era when everyone inevitably got them doctors did encourage everyone to get them as early as possible. That didn’t mean that they’re as harmless a chicken pox.

      Today, thanks to immunization programs, we have millions of adults who have no immunity…

      There is no evidence that is the case. Viral inoculations are usually 99.9% permanent. Measles can spread if less than 98% of the population is susceptible. If a lot of adults were wandering around with failed vaccinations we’d know very quickly.

      The same “scientific” bureaucrats that believe in Global Warming also have faith that the immunization for childhood diseases has absolutely no harmful side effects and is absolutely safe.

      That’s just a strawman. The side effects of immunization are well know. There are tradeoffs just like in anything else. Great waves of diseases used to wrack us and now they don’t. We know what works and what does not.

      Compulsary vacination against harmless childhood diseases is foolish and should be ended if the vacine itself is harmful.

      Chicken pox is relatively harmless except that produces shingles when people get old. Measles is not harmless. It used to be the most common cause of mental retardation and neurological crippling.

    21. Ginny Says:

      Iron lungs; children becoming adults in body and not mind who were in their mothers’ wombs during a measles’ epidemic: people not too much younger have not seen these terrible realities of my youth. Shannon, I appreciate your arguments. Now, apparently swine flu parties are aimed at a less controlled result than vaccines. (That would put us back into the world, say, of the late 1700’s, when those being inoculated socialized as the disease took hold.) OT on antibiotics: my siblings & I can thank the Army for experimenting with penicillin on a soldier in Hawaii in the early forties.

    22. sol vason Says:

      Harmless to CHILDREN. Chicken pox, measle and mumps are harmful to adults. That’s why we urged children to get these diseases as children. If they did, they grew up to be immune adults. Now adults are at risk because few have a natural immunity conferred by having the disease as a child.

      “Millions of adults”, in a population of 300,000,000, is only 1 or 2 %. 99.8% effectiveness assumes 100% perfection in manufacturing the vaccine. It assumes that the 100% vaccine is properly stored before use. It assumes that 100% of the doses are properly administered so that the recipient actually has a chance of developing an immunity. It assumes 100% of the target population are immunized. A 1-2% error rate under-estimates the number of the non-immune.

      Unlike small pox, there is no visible mark left by these vacines that indicates a vacination took place and took hold.

      Iron lungs were used for polio. I do not recall their use for treating mumps, measles or chicken pox. I knew several people cripple by polio, many marked by the pox but none cripple or killed by chicken pox, measles or mumps.

      As for partying during the plague. The royal court normally fled the city when plague struck and headed for a desserted section of the country where everyone worried whether or not the plague would find them. The custom began with the Black Death in the 1300’s. Some people party when they worry. Others mortify the flesh hoping God will be pleased. We don’t want to go back to those times when people lived in harmony with nature.

    23. Shannon Love Says:

      Sol Vasson,

      Harmless to CHILDREN. Chicken pox, measle and mumps are harmful to adults.

      No, USUALLY harmless to children which doesn’t mean that the overall impact on even a single individual is not insignificant. In children under twelve, measles, mumps and rubella have about 1% rate of serious complications i.e. death or permanent damage. That doesn’t sound like much but virtually every child will eventually catch all three diseases. This means any individual faces a 3% or a 1 of 33 chance of facing serious consequences from infection by just these 3 diseases.

      This is called composite risk. You also have the people who don’t catch the diseases as children. Without vaccination there is no way to protect people 12 and older from the serious effects of these diseases. (Rubella is especially dangerous to pregnant women and fetuses) So, in an unvaccinated population, your can expect the composite risk of just these three disease to be on the order of 5% (1 in 20) and higher.

      Go talk to somebody who came of age prior to WWII. I guarantee that everyone of them personally knew of someone killed or maimed by one of these viral illnesses.

      In the measles outbreak in the hippy school in Berkeley, 40+ children were infected and five require hospitalization. Now extrapolate that rate to the entire population for three diseases. You talking about a major public health and health care cost problem.

      Then you balance that against the $15 cost for the MMR vaccination plus 50+ years of practical experience with their use and safety.

      Really, it’s a no brainer.

      It’s a major technical error to lump measles, mumps and rubella in with chickenpox. They are much more deadly illnesses by a couple of orders of magnitude at least.

    24. LotharBot Says:

      Shannon,

      “So, your solution is to let them kill people and then pay blood geld in compensation?”

      Incentives matter. The idea is not to let them kill people… the idea is to impose a cost that will push fence-sitters to make a decision. Get enough of the fence-sitters to vaccinate over the threat of monetary penalty and the problem dissipates.

      I suspect the majority of people who don’t vaccinate aren’t “true believers” in vaccine-autism links and such, they’re just people who think they’re being cautious and aren’t that worried about the diseases in question, especially since many of them expect the government health-care system to magically heal their kid for no cost if they get a disease. Impose the threat of a large monetary cost and you move a lot of those parents into the “I guess I’ll go ahead and vaccinate” camp.

    25. Shannon Love Says:

      LotharBot,

      Your suggestion is of course much more feasible than my modest proposal. I just wanted to point out that reactive nature of ideas based on the idea of compensation after harm is done. Such systems do maximize freedom but they also place the burden of physical suffering on innocent victims of other people’s stupidity.

      Placing what amounts to a tax on people who don’t vaccinate would be a far superior solution to making them wear day glow vest but it comes with its own social and political cost. For example, there are religious minorities who understand the risk of not vaccinating but who refuse to vaccinate based on mattes of conscience. If we establish a precedent that people who do not agree with the majority consensus on this or that issue can be taxed, it will expand over time to include people who are obese or who don’t eat “organic” food.

      The problem with vaccinations from a libertarian perspective is that they represent a classic free-rider problem. People who don’t vaccinate still receive the benefits of herd immunity without undertaking any of the risk of vaccination as long as the number of unvaccinated people does not reach a critical threshold. This creates an incentive for people to not get vaccinations. Your idea of a tax would work but it is also the classic collectivist response to the free-rider problem. My satirical idea is really a thought experiment for how to balance the right of people not to have their bodies altered against their will versus the right of others not be infected. It lets people control their body but it also to force others to interact with them if they judge it to dangerous.

      There might not be a practical libertarian solution to the problem.

    26. Anonymous Says:

      So Shannon, is your goal personal or olympian? Your 3% figure must be adjusted by the probability of catching the disease. In the event your statistics are accurate and no rounding took place and “serious consequences” are irreparable I would do the following:

      1. From the POV of a parent if I believe my child has a 3% chance of dying from this disease, I will pay $15 for the vacine if there is a 0% risk that the vacine will harm my child.

      2. However, if of the 100 children of my friends there are four children with autism, which they got after being vacinated, then I will pass up the vacine and take the 3% risk that my child will suffer “serious complications”.

      The Olympian goal asks me to sacrifice my children for the greater good. You do not percieve any risk to my children. I do. You claim my perception is faulty. You argue I should place the greater good of the State’s children above the health and safety of my children. In times past if you passed this law, I wouls take my children and move to another state. But now that option has been eliminated.

      These are 2 points of view. The individual view and the olympian view. As an individual I choose to maximize the utility of myself and my family. As an olympian I will cause 1 billion sparrows to suffer if their suffering will save the life of a single sparrow. Personal and olympian goals are seldom the same. They are part of the main issue – who is more important – the individual or the state, the herd or the cow, the bee or the hive (queen excepted).

      So now arises the question of fact. If the facts are known the decision is automatic. Sadly, there have been few times in history when the facts about anything have been irrefutable.
      In architecture form follows function. In politics, fact follows fiction. The Olympians not only create laws, they create the facts needed to get them accepted. I suspect many facts have been modified to enhance or justify the olympian point of view on vacination.

      BTW, I grew up when there was only 1 vacine – small pox. No miracle drugs. Just faith and dedication. My father was a doctor at a time when there were no specialists; as was his father and his grandfather. I went with him on housecalls and to see patients in the hospitals. I have had these diseases and seen them all many times. I claim no expertise but I know how tricky and frustrating medical research can be.

    27. sol vason Says:

      ANON is me

    28. Anonymous Says:

      “My libertarian leanings make me hesitant to force people to medicate themselves, but on the other hand Randerson is absolutely correct when he states that unvaccinated people are an active danger to innocent bystanders.”

    29. FeFe Says:

      I am so tired of people treating parents who prefer caution and not to accept a pay-to-play Big Pharma vaccine schedule as the Magna Carta like a beauty contestant who states her opinion that marriage is between a man and woman — just as Prez 0bama does.

      Since were in England for this lesson of tolerance, let’s speak of — recent headlines — my hesitation to forcefully stop people from praying in hospitals, but on the other hand, praying is so offensive to innocent bystanders.

      Therefore, people can pray, but in turn they must always wear some form of easily visible emblem that will let others know they present a moral hazard. Problem solved. People can stagger about with medieval levels of belief in G-d and parental rights if they wish, and the rest of us who prefer to live in the 21st Century can avoid them for the potential free thinkers they are. Everybody is happy, no? Perez Hilton will be so proud.

    30. FeFe Says:

      Furthermore, if the vaccines work, why is everyone who has been vaccinated deathly afraid of those who aren’t? I guess this means no family travels outside of the USA and Canada without ensuring hotel staff and tourist buses are filled with vaccinated people only. We wouldn’t want to mix with he wrong sort! Along these lines, Swine Flue could be the 21st Century example of herd immunity – reversed. The natives.are.revolting! (Should we hold our nose or have a Tea Party?)

      But shouldn’t you be kind to smokers since they are dying anyway, and paying for free child health care (S-CHIP) too? But not you. Paying your fair share is what 0bama’s hope and change stands for! You might consider taking up a collection, in the office say, for S-CHIP vaccines, ritlin and lithium, because it is for the children, and help your co-workers pay the extra health insurance premium as a smoker. Don’t mess with Sheriff Joe, because some parental rights are more equal than others.

    31. Shannon Love Says:

      Fefe,

      Furthermore, if the vaccines work, why is everyone who has been vaccinated deathly afraid of those who aren’t?

      Because like all real world solutions, vaccines are not perfect. Even with high levels of vaccination, gaps exist that make unvaccinated dangerous. In no particular order:

      (1) Infants: Many vaccines cannot be adminstered before the age of 1 years. This leaves infants completely helpless against the diseases.

      (2) Vaccine Intolerance: Some people are allergic to one or more vaccines. There only protection lays in not encountering and infected person. My niece and nephew are allergic to the whooping cough vaccine so they’re wandering around vulnerable to the disease through no choice of their own.

      (3) Vaccine failure: In an unknown percentage of the population the vaccine will either fail to provoke an immune response at all or will provoke only a weak one. These individuals have accepted the risk of vaccination without getting the protection. They can be infected by an unvaccinated free-rider.

      (4) Viral load: Related to (2) and (3). The speed at which an infection develops depends heavily on the initial number of individual pathogen organism that infect them. We often think of infection working in the way of one person infect two people who infect four who infect eight and so on. In the real world, people can encounter multiple infectious individuals receiving a dose of pathogen each time. This happens a lot in outbreaks in workplaces or schools. A person with a weak vaccination might be able to fend of the viral load from a single contact but might be overwhelmed by multiple exposures.

      I think that people do have the right to control what goes into their own bodies but I also believe that your right to swing your fist through air stops where my nose begins. The unvaccinated are exactly the same as someone who refuses to ever wash their hands after going to the bathroom. I think they have the right to choose to do that but I also think that right stops when they start touching things in the common space and smearing them with fecal matter. I shouldn’t have to put up with you getting sh*t on me and I shouldn’t have to put up with you spewing infectious pathogens all over me even if I am vaccinated. Your right to choose to be a walking biological weapons factory and delivery system ends when spew your bodies dangerous products all over me or the common space.

      If someone deliberately infected themselves with a dangerous pathogen and walked around infecting people, we would consider that a violent attack and consider it murder if someone died. Likewise, we should consider someone who walks around unvaccinated as criminally negligent if they infect someone.