The State 1; Homeopathy 0.

It didn’t happen in the US, but it’s still a start …

Girl, 8, to get vaccination shots after court overrules mum

The Victorian mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was resorting to homeopathic methods to try to protect her child against disease.  But the court heard that in 2010, the girl’s father allowed his new wife to take the girl to a medical centre, without her mother’s permission.

Good to hear that the father knew enough about homeopathy to understand that it doesn’t do anything, and that his daughter’s only hope was to take her to a hospital for proper treatment.

There she was immunised for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C.

He said he wanted to protect her from infectious diseases, and he was also concerned the child of his new wife, who is now pregnant, could contract a disease from an unvaccinated child.

And this is one of the larger concerns about parents who”opt out” of vaccinations for their children without any solid reason:  they’re going to endanger everyone else in the process.  The problem is that as long as there’s even some residual doubt about the supposed “dangers” of vaccination, there will always be people who will believe it regardless of the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

It does sound like the mother was interested in feeding her the right foods, building up her immune system, and things like that; however, the problem with diseases like pertussis, rubella, measles, and smallpox is that while having a healthy immune system may help somewhat, these diseases will still kill you unless you take precautions against them.  There’s a reason why we didn’t respond to outbreaks of these pathogens by getting people to go vegan or something.  A more powerful and effective response was needed.

And now we live in a day and age where we feel as if your choice of lifestyle and beliefs about the efficacy will hold sway over diseases that have wiped out millions.  I tell you something, those little bugs don’t give a rip about what you believe.

The parents must now ensure that the girl receives all vaccinations recommended for her age and in future.  In her ruling, made on October 19, the judge was critical of the father’s attempt to secretly immunise the girl, saying it reflected poorly on his attitude to parenthood.  She said the mother had openly followed a homeopathic immunisation program and had acted in what she thought were her daughter’s best interests.

Again, what you think is in your child’s best interest don’t mean anything if it’s not backed up by any scientific or medical evidence.  It would be like praying over your dying child … sure, you think it will help, but that doesn’t make it so.  To see that the judge was “critical” of the father’s course of action – when it’s clearly the only one that would get his daughter out of danger – makes me think that the legal system gives far too much weight to the beliefs of the parents, especially if one of them will believe whatever the hell they want.

Parents of almost 31,000 children have recorded a conscientious objection to immunisations, compared with 4271 objectors in 1999.

The numbers are getting worse here too.  There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence to show that vaccinations are effective in preventing disease.  There is none to show that it causes, say, autism … despite what Jenny McCarthy might think.  Yet even in light of this, people will convince themselves that magical hand-waving, sugar pills, and distilled water diluted to 10^100 concentration will fix what ails them … and what we know will work won’t.

This is the reason why I am just as critical of nonsense like homeopathy, Reiki, and so-called “energy” work and the snake oil salesmen who peddle them.  Not only is it ineffective but it will sometimes keep people from seeking out real treatment, thus endangering everyone around them in the process.

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This entry was posted in Dr. Bob's House of Crap, generic skepticism, Science Marches On and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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