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Early on in our marriage, my husband and I made the decision not to vaccinate our children. Our oldest received two rounds of shots before I read my first book and decided to delay any more vaccines. The more I have learned about vaccines, the more justified I have felt in this decision.
But the debate continues to rage, and fueled by this amazingly ignorant piece by Cathy Seipp at NRO, I have been involved in a little debate on the comments section to her blog. I thought I would share a little bit from the original piece as well as the various responses to my points here on my own blog.
Here is her piece that showed up at National Review Online (Which I read a couple times a week, and absolutely love – I think Victor Davis Hanson should run for president!)
And a couple quotes from the article:
One mother and bad trends.
I love L.A., but every so often I come across something that makes me think maybe people here really are crazier than average.”
…”And yet even now, too many selfish and medically illiterate parents are sending children to school unimmunized against basic childhood diseases like measles and mumps.
They refuse to expose their children to the miniscule risks of vaccination, gambling that the herd immunity of other, vaccinated children will keep them safe. Most of the time it will: responsible families assume all the risks, while irresponsible ones benefit. But it’s a narrow margin of safety, and if enough children in a community are unvaccinated, herd immunity disappears and everyone is in more danger, because vaccinations aren’t 100-percent effective.”
And from a blog post on Cathy’s World titled Precious bodily fluids
“Still, I was a little surprised a couple of days ago to see that Roger Schlafly (son of Phyllis) had noted, disapprovingly (about my column last week) that “National Review supports compulsory vaccination.” Wait, I thought, aren’t irrational fears about vaccines a lefty thing? Then I remembered the old hysteria about fluoridation. There was indeed a time and place when people talked about fluoridated water as a Communist plot without laughing. And I am indeed old enough to recall this personally.”
And my response to this paragraph…
You said at the end of your blog entry…
“Still, I was a little surprised a couple of days ago to see that Roger Schlafly (son of Phyllis) had noted, disapprovingly (about my column last week) that “National Review supports compulsory vaccination.” Wait, I thought, aren’t irrational fears about vaccines a lefty thing?
Then I remembered the old hysteria about fluoridation. There was indeed a time and place when people talked about fluoridated water as a Communist plot without laughing. And I am indeed old enough to recall this personally.”
I was not surprised that Phyllis’s son made some negative comments about your piece. Calling parents fears about vaccines irrational completely dismisses the facts of the matter.
I have been following the story for sixteen years, and after reading Robert Mendelsohns How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor and a couple other books and articles, we made the decision not to vaccinate.
I knew we had rounded the corner on this whole debate when Phyllis made the decision to take on big pharma in this September 5th Eagle Forum Column from 2001. Since then she has been a consistent voice on exposing the lies, distortions, and conspiracies of the vaccine industry.
Rep. Dan Burton, not exactly a leftist, has also been a voice in the debate. If you will just google “Dan Burton Vaccine” you can find many of his public statements and other information, like how the vaccine industry has attempted to shut him up.
Here are some of his own words
“We have learned that a majority of parents whose children have late-onset or acquired autism believe it is vaccine-related. They deserve answers. We have also learned that the parents have been our best investigators in looking for both causes of autism and for treatments.
It has been parents who have formed non-profit organizations to raise research dollars to conduct the research that the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH have neglected to do. We have heard from many of these parents in the past, Elizabeth Birt, Rick Rollens, Shelley Reynolds, and Jeanna Smith, to name just a few. Each of these parents had healthy babies who became autistic after vaccination.
I might have been like many of the officials within the public health community – denying a connection – had I not witnessed this tragedy in my own family. I might not have believed the reports from parents like Scott and Laura Bono, Jeff Sell, Jeff and Shelly Segal, and Ginger Brown, who came to me with pictures, videos and medical records. I might have been like so many pediatricians who discounted the correlation between vaccination and the onset of fever, crying, and behavioral changes. Because both of my grandchildren suffered adverse reactions to vaccines, I could not ignore the parent’s plea for help. I could not ignore their evidence.
My only grandson became autistic right before my eyes – shortly after receiving his federally recommended and state-mandated vaccines. Without a full explanation of what was in the shots being given, my talkative, playful, outgoing healthy grandson Christian was subjected to very high levels of mercury through his vaccines. He also received the MMR vaccine. Within a few days he was showing signs of autism.”
It would be refreshing to see the conservative blogosphere take on this topic, and conduct healthy debates. Rather than personally attacking those of us who are attempting to be whistleblowers, why not take a couple hours to conduct the research??? And then honestly report what you have found?
Comparing us to Communist conspiracy cranks is simply an unfair stereotype.
Only parents who have lived with the horror of a normal healthy child gradually turning into a screaming, feverish, hysterical maniac who bites and kicks when touched understand the day to day nightmare that is being inflicted on babies and children. Please take your own head out of the sand, get the facts, and have the courage to write the truth.
And in response to Cathy’s Blog entry on Witch doctor medicine I wrote:
“Parents are the ones who have to live the day to day life with their little ones, not doctors, social workers, or judgemental conservative writers.
SO, if parents decide that Medicine does not have a whole lot to offer to them and their kids, then I believe they should claim their rights and make the choices they believe are healthiest.
I completely support the parents in the article and the difficult choices made for and in behalf of their kids. From reading the comments to this blog entry, I’m wondering if some here would be for the licensing of children? You can only have a baby if you are; healthy enough, mentally well enough, etc etc…
NO ONE in society questions mothers who take anti-depressants during pregnancy to “prevent” post partum depression, or mothers who request lots of drugs during the birthing process, or mothers who choose to forego breastfeeding in order to bottle feed. All of these choices have terrible effects on childrens health and well being.
When are parents and their doctors going to be investigated and held up as neglectful in public for engaging in these damaging practices???
The parents in the Witchdoctor Medicine blog entry made the difficult choices and gave their little girl a gentle home birth, nurturing care at the breast, and a loving toddlerhood during her sojurn on the earth.
Who of you has the right to judge these choices?
Linking up natural mothering with witches is an old tactic of the Medical profession. “Don’t want those home birth midwives cutting into our business… cha ching cha ching $$$”
I’m saddened that an otherwise intelligent writer felt the need to stoop to that level in her labeling of alternative medicine.
I’m a conservative politically and love reading National Review, but conservatives overall need to get educated on what is happening to mothers and babies right now. It is open season on women in the delivery rooms – with the c-section rate skyrocketing, more vaccinations than we have diseases, and toxic, deadly drugs like Cytotec being administered for induction of labor….
Get educated Conservatives…or our future posterity will just be a bunch of autistic, brain damaged imbeciles who have no ability to think, provide for themselves, or grow up to lead healthy, happy lives. And we the people will foot the bill for the privledge of using all that medicine.
Politically Conservative mother of five non-vaccinated, gently birthed, breastfed, and holistically nourished children.”
Considering the recent advances in diabetes, cancer and heart disease medicines by the big pharmaceutical companies and their researchers, I wish them all the friggin’ profits they can get!
They’ve saved many millions of lives (I know they’ve saved three – mine, my five-year-old daughter’s and my wife’s).
And my response back:
“I wish them all the friggin’ profits they can get!”
That’s cool, I have no problem with anyone CHOOSING to use medicine, and paying for the right.
But I also claim my right NOT to use medicine with my family, and get quite annoyed when people start spewing about Medical Neglect when they learn the details of my lifestyle.
Medical Neglect is an interesting term. Sort of a heads I win, tails you loose proposition. Use my medicine or I will get the courts to “force you to have a c-section, irradiate your childs cancer with chemo, or take psychiatric medicine” But if you refuse?? I’ll just take your child away, or force you to have a c-section, or force you to be under house arrest while you take your psyche meds.
It’s win, win and WIN again for Big Pharma, and the fact that we have conservatives who write about parents who choose not to partake as being “neglectful” is just too much for this freedom loving momma to take.
Live and let live. As a believer in evolution, I see all of this pseudoscience as protecting one of the few remaining areas where evolution hasn’t been stymied in our otherwise advanced society. Let people believe what comforts them. It’s hard enough dealing with zealots that want to impose their ideas on the rest of the world.
And my response:
I believe strongly in live and let live, but it is difficult to “live” when you have people like Cathy claiming that what you have chosen is “neglectful” and “selfish”.
As I said before, parents are the ones who have to “Live” with the long term results of medical or healthcare choices.
The parents in the article may have deep life long regrets about not choosing to have their daughter tested for HIV. Just as the parent who realizes after much gut wrenching research decides that the autism a child is afflicted with is in fact the result of immunizations. Or that the child is learning disabled because of the epidural, or that perhaps little junior will never reach his genetic potential because momma didn’t breastfeed.
All of us have to live with the life long consequences of choices made for and in behalf of our kids. I’m willing to live with my choices, because my research and years of painstaking searching have taught me what is needful to create a healthy baby and birth it at home gently. It galls me that some would flippantly diss that choice as neglect, when I could share dozens of research papers proving that typical medical care during pregnancy, birth and the early years does in fact cause a multitude of physical and emotional disease.
There are some aspects of alternative medical practices that can actively and significantly harm others. That is where I draw the line and believe live and let live no longer applies. One is immunizations where it isn’t just the un-immunized child at issue. Once the percentage of the population exceeds a certain threshold, one gets a self expanding epidemic instead of a self extinguishing infected cluster. Some, seemingly innocuous practices can become quite malignant. A great deal of harm was done to many families by the “facilitated communication” autism fad a decade or so ago. But if people want to sleep under pyramids rather than get treated for cancer or HIV its fine with me. I fly ultralights and ride motorcycles, both highly risky and choose to take those known risks for the pleasures recieved.
And another response:
It’s so ha ha amusing, reading your feelings about words like selfish and neglectful, when you have chosen to have FIVE kids. I will just assume that you alone are paying for all their college educations to become environmental geniuses and philanthropists to repair some of your own selfish actions.
Another commenter made the point:
Todd asks in interesting question: How many readers know Ms. Maggiore’s FULL story, or do they rely soley on the selective bits that Cathy presents?
I know Maggiore’s FULL story; I’ve argued against her and her supporters, seen her movie, and researched her background. I blogged the death of Eliza Jane last week, so please direct your dismissive arrogance my way, I can handle it.
Have you read Maggiore’s eulogy for EJ, where she claims the child had a death wish because she was uncomfortable in cold and dank Oregon woods? Are you aware that she refused the child competent medical treatment and that she still touts her “perfect health” on the Alive and Well website? Are you aware that Maggiore still claims that EJ never had an ear infection? Are you aware that the child was sick for three to five weeks before she was given antibiotics? Are you aware that breastfeeding increases the risk of HIV transmission by at least 15%, and by much more if it’s extended over a ridiculously long period of time?
Cathy Seipp may be a loathsome, parasitic, man-hating harpy with a bad peroxide job but she got the details of this story right (other than the ludicrous and immaterial observations on circumcision) as to whether Maggiore and her Age of Aquarius husband killed the child; they did.
And my response to Richard…
So my question is “what is your point?” On your blog you claim…
1. Maggiore is a 49-year-old HIV positive woman who believes there’s no connection between HIV and AIDS who’s written a book and made a movie about her battle with the scientific establishment.
2. Maggiore practices New Age “alternatives” in every sphere of life: vegetarianism, Waldorf education, Attachment Parenting, prolonged breast-feeding, Naturopathy, “intuitive healing”, Chinese herbal medicine, non-vaccinating, childbirth after 45, etc.
3. Maggiore gave birth to two children after she was 40 and HIV+, contrary to medical advice.
4. She refused to allow them to take AZT, contrary to medical advice.
5. She breastfed them both (for several years), contrary to medical advice.
6. She refused to have them tested for HIV, contrary to medical advice.
7. Eliza Jane came down with symptoms of an ear infection in the middle of April, and wasn’t allowed to take antibiotics until mid-May.
8. Two days after taking token antibiotic amoxicillin the child was dead.
9. Maggiore says the child wanted to die.
Ok, so all of these are true! So what!! Do we in America have the freedom to welcome children into our homes or not? Do we have the right to refuse medical care or not? Do we as parents have the right to give birth, nourish, treat, and make decisions for and in behalf of our kids or not?
These are not easy questions, especially when a child is dead, but to say “if only, if only…and then point the finger of scorn at this family does not answer the fundamental question…do we as parents have the right to raise our children as we see fit, or do we as parents have to do everything according to whatever the current medical dogma is, even if our own research has proven to us that certain practices and substances will in fact cause harm???
I just read a little blurb on Newsmax about heart problems being linked to early first trimester usage of anti-depressants in pregnant women. So by your logic, if those women who follow doctors orders now give birth to children who will suffer from heart disease, perhaps even DIE from it, then it is the PARENTS who must be blamed even if they trusted the pharma companies, their doctors and Brooke Shields who has been spewing for months that anti-depressants are gods gift to the depressed??? What about the babies??? What about their little hearts? What about those of us who choose not to partake and choose to use nutrition and natural healing when our babes are ill.
You can’t have it both ways, either parents are going to have the freedom to make health care choices, and perhaps make mistakes and little ones suffer from the consequences, or we have all just given up our rights of self determination and have now entered into the medical police state, where no matter what, doctor is god, and everything he says goes.
I choose to claims my rights of self determination for myself AND for and in behalf of my kids until they are of age, and you can just take your self righteous – “The parents killed her” and shove it where the sun don’t shine.
Nobody faults parents who made what science later discovers to be a mistake, or those who choose to forego the medical establishment’s recommendation if they are uncomfortable with it. But how can you claim it was reasonable to let your child’s infection go untreated? That antibiotics saves lives from infections has been proven many years ago.
What if a parent doesn’t believe cyanide causes death, and decides to inject some to her children? Is that one of those difficult choices you talked about, the ones we all face and have to live with for the rest of our lives?
And I replied:
It is the arrogance of the medical profession and those, like Cathy, who buy into every “truth” they proclaim and propogate who fuel my passion to speak in defense of parents who reject much of modern medicine.
When you look at the numbers from the CDC, medicine kills people by the tens of thousands every year, in what is called iantrogenic, or doctor caused death. Yet nobody faults the families who buy into medicine when a child is killed by doctors. No, those families are completely blameless, because they were under “competent” medical care.
Well, I wonder about those families and their blind obedience to a system whose bottom line is $$$money money money$$$. And as mothers and babies die in the process, and couples like my husband and I say “no thanks” and do as much for ourselves and our kids as we think is prudently possible, I just have to marvel at the double think that defines our medical establishment.
Everyone knows that medical malpractice suits are fueling a huge percentage of medical costs, proceedures, and the current abysmal c-section rate. So if I, as a consumer, choose to not get into the middle of the current pissing match being waged between the doctors and lawyers, and choose to give birth in the sanctity of my own home so that I and my child do not experience the cascading effect of “cover your medical butt” birthing proceedures…then I am suspect because I give birth at home???
No doctor would give me permission to birth at home alone as I have done for my last two pregnancies, if only for the reason that I have had a previous c-section, and they don’t feel safe “allowing” VBAC moms to give birth at home.
Well, so what? If I choose to take the risk and responsibility of giving birth at home, then it is I who have to live with the long term results of those choices, not the doctor. Yet if a mother dies during a hospital birth
from a rupture or too many drugs, or the baby dies from lack of oxygen or too many drugs, well, that family is absolved of all responsibility.
It is tempting to throw darts of scorn and judgement at a visible family whose child is dead and who bucked the medical professions “current medical orthodoxy”. They are easy targets.
But what about those families whose children die or are permanently maimed by current medical orthodoxy?? Do they also deserve to feel self righteous judgement tossed in their general direction???
I choose to withold most judgement, and live and let live. But I am appalled by the current birth statistics of our medical profession, and just have to wonder where it is going to end…..a 75% c-section rate?? The highest infant mortality maternal morbidity rates in the world?
I figure most parents are doing the best darn job they can with whatever information they have at the time. If parents are guilty of crimes, then sure, prosecute them, and hold them accountable, but if not…and mistakes are made, or judgement is clouded, or IF THEY DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU WOULD DO THEM, and a child dies, well, let them grieve in peace, and you focus on your own health and your own family, and do what you think is best, and I will too, and hopefully the little ones won’t suffer too much in the process.
And then, personal attacks…
“Jenny is deranged and should be on meds.”
“Isn’t a child dying a legal thing, or am I getting them mixed up with dogs, where noone cares when or where?
Besides having some cute control issues Jenny, you’ve put me off milk for a week! GROSS!”
“Jenny is deranged and should be on meds.”
“Generally, a personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when examining another person’s claims or comments.
It is considered a personal attack when a person starts referencing a supposed flaw or weakness in an individual’s personality, beliefs, lifestyle, convictions or principles, and use it as a debate tactic or as a means of avoiding discussion of the relevance or truthfulness of what the person said. It works on the reasoning that, by discrediting the source of an argument, e.g. the person making it, the argument itself can be weakened.”
Please stay on topic….
Jenny; give it up. No one is buying your medieval view of neonatal/ pediatric medicine. There is literally no area of agreement of any kind. Therefore, hopefully, this thread will now die a natural death, something denied that poor little Eliza Jane.
Actually the Unassisted Childbirth movement is growing, and many parents are choosing not to vaccinate, and are using alternative healing and natural medicine.
I am not here to try to find agreement, I read Cathy’s piece off NRO the other day, realized she had a blog, and felt like chiming in.
I don’t care if you or anyone here buys into my world view. I came to my conclusions about birth, vaccines, breastfeeding, natural immunity, and healthy living after many years of research, study, and practice.
I don’t even claim that my way is the best way, I just claim that it is a valid alternative to the typical medical way of giving birth and raising children, and based on my own experience and observing the lives of families I know, this is a nice way to birth, nurture, heal, and raise a family.
Because I have so much in common with the family who makes up the story we are debating, I felt like chiming in and sharing my opinion. I thought that was the point of healthy debate. But as has been my experience in the medicine world, Conservatives behave like Liberals whenever anyone starts dissing their world view about doctors, medicine, anti-biotics, and vaccines. They just collectively put their hands over their ears and yell, “I can’t hear you”.
Heck we have TWO families who chimed in on this thread who have shared that they have autistic children. I know many families who have autistic children. One in particular has nine children, and all of the kids she vaccinated have autism to one degree or another and all of the younger ones who were not vaccinated are perfectly normal.
Now, maybe we are going to have a “new normal” where we start yelling that autism is good. I personally do not want the brains of my children damaged by poison, and so we have refused the vaccines, despite some of the most extreme pressure from family, friends, and doctors over the years.
But you know what? I have five children, and NONE of them are autistic. It is really the only study that means anything to me personally.
I find it intersting that rather than debate on the merits of the conversation you are just telling me to shut up, and others are personally attacking. And this is where it always ends when I start taking on these topics with fellow conservatives.
The medical positions are becoming increasingly indefensible. The medical statistics are the most damning parts of the whole conversation, and I’m just wondering when the American Public is going to get off its collective knees and stop worshipping at the alter of modern medicine?
PS And if anyone has the guts to respond intelligently to anything I have written, please feel free to privately email me, visti my web site or blog, or join in on one of the many debates I have participated in on this topic at Free Republic. You have all mostly responded the same way that my fellow freepers have responded, like the close minded lemmings you are.”
As of today no one has responded to this challenge to debate the topics discussed on their merits. I like to think though that some who read will do a little more digging for the truth on the topic of Vaccines, and I was really pleased to receive three emails from readers who said that my writing style and points were well taken.
This little debate was just a chilling reminder to me on how far we have to go to expose the truth in regards to modern medicines monopoly on the minds and hearts of families. And the media disinformation campaign continues…
Please, as a natural mother, take the time to get educated before you allow someone to shoot your beautiful child up with a bunch of toxic chemicals.
Here is a link to a column on Natural Flu remedies that I wrote shortly after all five of my kids were down with a killer flu a couple years ago.
Read the Introduction to this Blog