It is disconcertingly difficult, and painful, to comprehend and actually accept, that a revenant of “Dark Ages” fear and ignorance, still persists in the minds of many people, regarding the salubrious and responsible societal practice, of vaccination of the young against the onset of serious and potentially lethal disease.
History demonstrates that prior to the development and practice of vaccination, childhood deaths were legion. Tolls for diphtheria, measles, mumps and other early-onset illnesses, were no less than astronomical. Earlier periods in literature, routinely speak of families, who had lost multiple young children to diseases, especially, but not limited to, diphtheria and measles.
With great kudos to scientists and clinical physicians, childhood vaccines were developed, improved and thereafter, routinely and responsibly administered, resulting in an immense decline in the onset of childhood maladies, cases of childhood disability and death. These vaccines proved to be effective in averting the scourge of diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, chickenpox, influenza, and other tragic and dangerous diseases. Today, schools and institutions wisely require, as protective policy, prior to enrollment, the child’s official health record, attesting to the responsible program of vaccination.
For modern informed families, it would be unheard-of, to fail to have their young children routinely vaccinated. In fact, such omission would be frowned upon by society, as irresponsible and hazardous to the child. We would, describe such behavior, deservedly as, child abuse and its consequent mortality as “filicide.” Such irresponsibility, threatens not only the child, but others, the most critical being young cancer patients, prohibited from vaccination, and those suffering from diseases characterized by immune deficiency. Every creditable hospital, clinic and licensed health practitioner, including, for example, the notable Mayo Clinic, has consistently and mandatorily promoted, regular programs of vaccination for the young.
The persistence of the “Dark Ages,” superstitious belief, that vaccination causes autism, was debunked years ago, such false supposition, having been officially withdrawn, long ago, by its former proponents. The denial of any child’s right to good health and an opportunity for a normal life, upon the ignorant repetition of this hobgoblin-type fear, is nothing short of classic child abuse. The advent of tragedy is easily preventable, and the inherent, moral and legal responsibility of the parent. We see its omission as akin to irresponsibly, permitting a young child to play on a heavily trafficked boulevard.
There is yet, another despicable, pseudo-sanctimonious group of people, who defend their atavistic position against vaccination, upon purported religious grounds. Before reviewing this ludicrous defense, we would restate, the well- established, constitutional principal that no freedom (such as the freedom of religion) is without limit; and that the (constitutionally) legal limit of any and all of our freedoms is at the point, where it causes harm. The denial of a simple procedure, to ensure a child’s freedom from disease, is not a denial of religious liberty; there is no religious liberty to cripple your child, nor to perpetrate child abuse. There is no ascribed, benevolent Deity who would favor ill health and childhood disease; and no “religious” right to harm, only religious travesty.
Empirical experience has shown that the practice of simply waiting for natural cure, is extremely hazardous; mumps easily leads to deafness, polio to paralysis or death, measles to pneumonia.
We find it to be unspeakably unjust, that the health and life of children should be threatened by their own parent’s obstinate ignorance; accordingly; in a proper case, we feel, in the best interest of the young child, that society execute its moral authority, as well as its protective responsibilities, and enforce the health and safety of the child by legal process.
ADDENDUM: We are vehemently opposed to recent suggestions that unvaccinated children be officially denied admission to parks and other places of public assembly; the implementation of the suggestion is impractical, logistically, but most significantly, such policies would improperly smack of Nazi mentality and apartheid type exclusion.