Choices, Choices

It could be argued, that all things in life are about choice. From the most simple things throughout the day (‘Should I have a smoothie for breakfast, or granola?’) to the very complex (‘What will this medication/supplement do to my body, and what are the alternatives?’), our lives are made up of decisions we make from moment to moment, day to day, year to year. These are what decide the direction we take and the things we experience throughout the decades, yet choice is something so many people still take for granted – and something that unfortunately, in an area where it is absolutely imperative we retain our right to choose – that is being threatened more and more.

That thing? The right to choose whether or not we and our children are vaccinated.

We all want what’s best for our families, but different people have different views as to what that is. Some people choose to let their kids watch TV, others don’t. Some send them to daycare, others prefer to stay at home and take care of them themselves. Some take their babies to swimming lessons, others wait until they’re older. Parenting is about making endless decisions about what’s best for you and yours – but few provoke as much debate and as much hostility as the decision whether or not to vaccinate your child.

Many supporters of the IAS are of the view that, after endless research, vaccines are extremely risky and aren’t the road to good health for themselves or their families, and choose (that word again!) to utilise other natural, scientifically-verified methods of boosting immunity, often via things such as full-term breastfeeding, good nutrition, and the use of herbs and supplements when necessary. Other supporters have chosen to utilise vaccines as the main path to prevention of sickness for their families, but support us due to their belief in the importance of retaining choice in the matter and having information available to view prior to coming to any conclusion.

For me personally, the big thing is not only choice, but respect for other people’s decisions, coupled with the freedom of speech and information in order for people to come to their own conclusions and make their own minds up. Which is basically what the IAS is here for – to provide people with information they likely won’t otherwise get, in order for them to make their own minds up about what’s best for their children and their family.

Unfortunately, there are a small group of hard-core ‘sceptics’ who disagree with our views on this, and would prefer to see vaccination made mandatory and to silence any group who argues for informed consent. Which I find sad, because realistically most of us are on the same side in that we only want what’s best for our children, and their tactics are not the sort to win any respect or favours. Honey catches more flies than vinegar, as they say, and I’d much prefer to focus on the common ground we have in our concern for public health than to continually be forced to choose sides because they’d prefer to tell me what to do with my own body (seeing parallels with other debates here…).

However, some of these people are part of the wider medical community, and unfortunately have some influence over policy in New Zealand. Overseas, in Australia, there’s another campaign starting at present to dispel the information the pro-choice campaigners are disseminating, full of yet more half-truths and lies designed to turn any person who reads them against the right to choose and towards blindly vaccinating their children.

They say that we ‘spout lies’, that we ‘endanger children’, that we make people ‘blindly follow what we say without thinking’, and that it’s ‘only because of herd immunity that our children are safe’. To them, I say this:

Firstly, what we say is backed by scientific literature. Where relevant, we will provide links to that, and we actively encourage members to research things for themselves.

Secondly, if people blindly followed what they were told without thinking, they wouldn’t be researching the subject of vaccination at all – they’d be at their doctors’ office with their children’s sleeves rolled up being vaccinated. People who think critically are the ones who research both sides of this debate, and ultimately it is their decision, and only their decision, as to what they decide to do.

Thirdly, herd immunity is not only a myth (see neurosurgeon Dr Russell Blaylock’s critique of it here), but utterly laughable when analysed properly. If vaccines work so well, why are you so afraid of unvaccinated children? And if they don’t work that well, why get them in the first place? And why the assumption that unvaccinated children aren’t protected in other ways by prudent parents utilising myriad methods of immune bolstering?

The scary fact is, our right to choose is under increasing threat, via slick marketing campaigns and lobbying against groups like the IAS, and from behind-the-scenes lobbying for policy changes. IMAC’s Dr Nikki Turner’s ‘6-star plan’ is worth a read for anybody concerned about having our rights taken away in New Zealand – lucky for us, the Ministry of Health currently appears to be taking a more moderate stance on some of her ideas (such as ensuring doctors only give information to patients that supports the national ‘immunisation’ programme – a clear swipe at informed consent – and paying parents and providers to vaccinate their children, as well as hassling people who decline vaccines ‘in case they change their mind’).

http://www.immune.org.nz/sites/default/files/resources/Health_Committee__Inquiry_to_improve_immunisation__20110301.pdf

Parents who decline vaccines are already being targeted in such ways. It’s not uncommon now for people to have the ‘mobile vaccine unit’ turn up uninvited on their doorstep, with nurses knocking on doors with needles in hands ready to vaccinate the little rogues then and there!

In the United States, where vaccination is mandatory in some states, parents have literally been lined up at gun point in recent years and threatened with jail if they don’t vaccinate their children – yet there isn’t any support from these same people if anything goes wrong.

See: http://www.naturalnews.com/022267.html

Gunpoint vaccination is happening in Africa, too, as this case illustrates: http://www.examiner.com/article/gates-foundation-partner-forces-131-black-children-to-be-vaccinated-at-gunpoint

Over the Tasman, we’re seeing another push against choice and towards mandatory vaccination, with the publication of a book this week and multiple stories in the media about how dangerous groups such as the IAS are, blaming the deaths of children on us (nevermind that vaccination is no guarantee you won’t get the disease you’re vaccinated against anyway, as NZ statistics bear out – see the figures in the various individual disease reports from the Institute of Environmental Science and Health, contracted by the Ministry of Health to carry out surveillance on notifiable diseases in New Zealand, here: http://www.surv.esr.cri.nz/surveillance/surveillance.php). Opinion polls supposedly show over 90% support for mandatory vaccination in Australia (http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/deadly-outbreaks-feared-as-immunisation-rates-plunge/story-fnet08xa-1226523789892#ixzz2DEMLvPyP ), with yet more half-truths and emotional blackmailing in the media to scare parents away from properly investigating the topic – the implication being that if top scientists say to do it, well, they must know better and you’d be silly to argue with such authority, wouldn’t you?

Well, no.

Because ultimately, it’s your child’s life on the line. If anything goes wrong, it’s you who has to deal with the consequences of that decision. As their protector and guardian, it’s up to you to do your research and to come to your own conclusion – because, despite the air time these people get, there are just as many leading scientists sitting on the other side of the fence arguing against vaccination, in the same way there are people at every parent group arguing for and against.

People, it’s up to us to be vigilant and be aware of these moves towards the removal of choice. If you choose vaccination for your family, perhaps you won’t see it as such as a big deal, but put yourself in the shoes of somebody who feels differently – would you like to see your child injected, against your will, with something you know could potentially leave them injured for life, if not dead, with nothing you could do to stop it? What if it was any other substance you didn’t want being forced into your body against your will? Drugs, alcohol? How about something you’re highly allergic to?

For those of us who are aware of the myriad dangers of vaccination and feel very strongly that there is no way we would ever allow our children to be vaccinated, think about the implications of removal of choice. Look at the examples from Maryland and Malawi. Read the Six Star Plan.

Because more than anything else, this comes down to our simple right – guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – to choose what goes into our bodies. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s about choice.

We’re on an exceptionally slippery slope towards the removal of freedoms over our bodies.

It has the potential to kill and to maim.

And it’s more important than any of us could probably ever imagine.

Wake up.