We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

28 November 2007

Freedom of what??

I was shocked when I read on Veronika's blog, this piece about the Maryland (US) school authority forcing parents to have their children vaccinated or risk being imprisoned. Apparently, there is no law in Maryland stating that vaccination is mandatory and yet the school authority is strong-arming parents into compliance 'for the public health'. Among the included required vaccines is the chicken pox, which is a relatively new vaccine, and does not fall into the deadly childhood disease category. In fact the chicken pox vaccine does not confer lifelong immunity, like actually acquiring the disease does. So if you obtain the vaccine as a child, and get chicken pox as an adult, watch out indeed, as it might turn out twice as serious for you.

But I'm not writing this to get into a vaccine debate, I'm writing it about the state of affairs in America, concerning freedom. I also read on newstarget a piece from last year about a teen called Abraham Cherrix in Virginia who refused chemotherapy as a treatment for his cancer, instead opting for an herbal/dietary approach and was ordered (forced against his will) by the court (after Virginia social services took the family to court) to have treatment. He since won the 'right' to proceed with his preferred method of treatment. In a country that claims all manner of freedoms, it begs the question, do you have freedom to own your own body? Ultimately it is only ourselves that can protect our own health both body and mind and we should be asking serious questions about the government's 'protection' of our common health, especially in a country where vaccinations and pharmaceuticals are big business.

You won't get the chicken pox vaccine here, because its not deemed necessary and the NHS won't pay for it. Whether you are pro-vaccine or not, you should still be asking questions and finding out the implications for yourself. Its not just the doctor's job (and the doctor certainly won't know everything), not when it concerns your own body (or that of your children), and we certainly shouldn't assume the benevolence of companies like Merck, etc. Because if what they are doing was entirely for the benefit of the common good/health, or for science, then shouldn't they be non-profit corporations?

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