My friend Doug loves his son more than anything. Malaki, his son is 4 years old and has been dealing with his diagnosis of Leukemia for the past 2 and a half years. Malaki goes to karate, plays soccer, and goes to public school. He has friends that ride the Toronto subway, play sports, and catch colds. They may even catch the measles if unvaccinated. They will be ok with some bed rest and medication. They may even pass it to their friends. One of those friends could be Malaki. If Malaki gets it, things may not go so well for him. In fact Malaki will not be ok if he gets the measles because his immune system cannot handle it and his risk of contracting pneumonia, brain damage, and dying are heightened exponentially.
Vaccination has become a dirty word as of late thanks to those who believe that it causes Autism. This, of course, has not been proven, and is only speculation. The measles has also become somewhat of a dirty word recently because it has made a bit of a comeback. Some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children because of the Autism urban myth.
When parents make this choice, based on theory and celebrity ‘specialists’ such as Jenny McCarthy who blames vaccinations for her son’s Autism they may be exercising their parental freedom for their own kids, but for kids like Malaki, they are doing nothing but extraordinary harm. In fact, they are taking his life into their own hands based on a speculative correlation.
As Doug says in a recent interview with the Toronto Star, ““One of the things that makes me very upset and scared is the number of people who believe something on the Internet, rather than listening to the advice of Toronto Public Health or Sick Kids Hospital. One of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century has been the elimination of these diseases for our kids.”
So, in essence, what we can gather by the recent influx of anti-vaccinators is that death is more favorable than a potential for a developmental disability. The mere thought of a child being ‘different’ from the norm is worth the risk of the measles and all of its complications. It is worth the lives of young folks such as Malaki.
Perhaps anti-vaccinators should look deeply at their own motivations for not vaccinating their children with an antibody that has been developed by those individuals that have spent so much time trying to make our children healthy. Perhaps they should also look at why the influence of celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy outweigh the facts. Or perhaps they should look at the fact that Autism is a dirtier word than Death. Perhaps that is the problem right there.