By Dr. Mercola | mercola
The ethical principle of informed consent means that you have the human right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention and be free to make a voluntary choice about whether or not to take the risk.
The right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself (or your minor child) is an inalienable human right because vaccination, like any medical intervention, involves taking a risk that could cause harm or even death.
There is no guarantee that receiving a vaccine (or any other drug) will not cause a complication and lead to serious injury – or that it will protect you from the disease it is supposed to prevent.
But across the United States, people are fighting for their right to choose not to be injected with vaccines against their will because vaccine exemptions have come under constant attack.
New Mexico is the Latest State to Cut the Philosophical Vaccine Exemption
All 50 states have enacted vaccine laws that require proof children have received a certain number of vaccinations in order to attend daycare, middle school, high school and college.
However, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and, until earlier this year, 18 states allowed a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination for children attending school.
Now, there are only 17 states that allow a personal belief exemption because this year public health officials in New Mexico changed the vaccine exemption form so that philosophical objections were no longer an option. The New Mexico Department of Health simply said they changed the form because the prior one allowed for “misinterpretation of the law.” From now on, parents will be required to state their religious beliefs in order to qualify for a non-medical vaccine exemption so their children can attend school.
Many U.S. States Tightening Vaccine Exemption Requirements
In the past two years, public health department officials and legislators in California, Washington and Vermont have made it harder for parents to obtain a non-medical vaccine exemption for their children.
While the original goal of lobbyists working for drug companies, medical trade associations funded by drug companies and state public health officials was to completely eliminate personal belief exemptions from the public health laws of those three states, parents organized and communicated with their legislators through the NVIC Advocacy Portal and were able to save the non-medical exemptions even though they have been severely restricted.
California and Washington states now require parents filing a philosophical belief exemption for their children to make an appointment with a state designated medical worker to obtain a signature verifying parents have reviewed “factual” information about the risks and benefits of vaccination. In Vermont, parents filing a philosophical exemption must sign a statement that they agree they are placing their child and society at risk for infectious diseases.
According to an article published in Nature,1 the Washington Department of Health wanted to make it harder to get a philosophical exemption because parents were simply choosing it out of convenience. It’s unclear where the evidence for this statement comes from, if it exists at all, but those, who choose to go against the grain and opt out of vaccination, do not face an easy road.
Harassment, intimidation and refusal of medical care are all commonly reported among those who “dare” to make selective vaccine choices. Plus, research shows that those, who opt out of one or more of the 69 doses of 16 vaccines that the CDC recommends children get, do not typically do it simply for “convenience.”
Most of the parents making independent vaccine choices for their children are very well educated and have poured countless hours of careful and studied reflection into this decision. They have refused to blindly trust what someone else says and have done their own research because they feel it is necessary to protect the health of their children – not because they don’t want to take the time to set up a doctor’s visit. It would be far easier to simply roll up their child’s sleeve and wait for the shot.
Disease Outbreaks Falsely Blamed on Personal-Belief Exemptions
The article then states that studies have linked personal-belief exemptions to increased incidence of disease like pertussis (whooping cough). But if you take the time to look into the truthfulness of that statement, you’ll see it simply does not hold up. Many outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough), measles, and mumps have occurred primarily in people who were vaccinated, and no one seems to be able to fully explain how that is the fault of those who are unvaccinated…
If the basic tenets of vaccinology were correct, these people should have been protected because they were vaccinated. Published studies into the outbreaks have revealed that a lot of the blame should be placed on ineffective vaccines – not on the unvaccinated minority. Consider:
- In 2010, the largest outbreak of whooping cough in over 50 years occurred in California. Around that same time, a scare campaign was launched in California by Pharma-funded medical trade associations, state health officials and national media, targeting people opting out of receiving pertussis vaccine, falsely accusing them of causing the outbreak.
However, research published in March of this year showed that 81 percent of 2010 California whooping cough cases in people under the age of 18 occurred in those who were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine.2 Eleven percent had received at least one shot, but not the entire recommended series, and only eight percent of those stricken were unvaccinated.
- The Washington State Secretary of Health also declared a pertussis epidemic on April 3, 2012, in response to a 1,300 percent increase in pertussis cases compared to 2011.3 Here, again, research has shown that the majority of people getting sick are up to date with their vaccinations,4 thus pointing toward vaccine failure as a cause.
Paul Offit Admits People are “More Compelled by Fear Than Reason”
The same article then goes on to say that growing disease rates are likely to trigger more people to get vaccinated, and quoted Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, as stating people are “far more compelled by fear than reason.”
Indeed, it appears many who oppose vaccine choice, as Offit openly does regarding personal belief exemptions, are banking on fear being a driving force to take away personal freedoms and the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.. Offit, who not only is very public about his belief that infants could theoretically safely handle 10,000 vaccines all at once, has a financial stake in the vaccine industry (he invented RotaTeq, a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine which is currently on the CDC’s vaccine schedule) and has served on the scientific advisory board of pharmaceutical giant Merck.
Offit’s personal beliefs about forcing people to involuntarily use vaccines, which violates the informed consent ethic in medicine, along with the inaccurate statements he makes about vaccine safety, are echoed throughout pro-forced vaccination propaganda, including that released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Vaccine Education Center at CHOP says it’s funded by endowed chairs and “does not receive support from pharmaceutical companies,” but it neglects to mention that the hospital indirectly benefits from drug company money that helps fund endowed chairs like Merck’s Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, which is currently held by Paul Offit.
And wouldn’t you know, their August newsletter peppers you with enough scare tactics – along with links to information on vaccine exemptions and states that allow personal belief exemptions – to leave readers convinced they need to do something to stop vaccine exemptions. This is the fear-based response Offit spoke of — but it’s far better to make your decisions based on reason…
Natural Herd Immunity is Not Achieved Through Vaccination
Many articles that berate vaccine exemption options and parents, who obtain personal belief exemptions for their children, use the argument that unvaccinated children are “weakening” herd immunity and, therefore, putting others at risk of disease.