Perhaps the reader is one who has made up their mind about mandating vaccines and removing parental choice. Fair enough. The media has certainly scared enough people about the horrors of the unvaccinated for someone to take a negative and even judgmental stance toward those who choose not to vaccinate. But what if those who decided to refrain from vaccinations and even vote for choice were not all pseudo-science whack jobs? What if they were real people who had valid reasons for wanting to retain their right to informed consent? This article is to give faces to the stories of informed consent and perhaps add a little dose of humanity to the vaccine debate
What follows are four faces behind the debate. Two of the four faces asked for their names to be changed. One was afraid to provide a photo of either herself or her child. The name calling, shunning and the anger is strong against those who either do not vaccinate or choose not to follow the vaccine protocol recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A particularly sticky wick is the Hepatitis B vaccine, which the CDC requires be given in four injections before the child reaches age six. HepB is designed to prevent sexually transmitted disease. Some parents who have no problem with other vaccines resist that one, believing the risk far outweighs any supposed benefit at that age.
A parent of a child who was injured by vaccines and now claims an exemption for her child calls the firestorm against her and others like her “persecution by the unharmed majority.” But not everyone who resists governmental mandates for vaccines questions vaccine safety, and not everyone who questions vaccine safety has an injured child. Here are four stories to put with faces from those fighting for informed consent.
“I believe that informed consent is the foundation of our medical system. A patient must know all the risks and benefits of a medical procedure and they must be allowed to make the decision that is best for them, without fear of any sort of reprisal. Forcing a parent to choose to vaccinate their child under threat of losing the opportunity to send their child to school subverts informed consent because they are no longer really free to make the choice they feel is right. Every child has the right to an education without discrimination. No other developed country in the world subverts informed consent by excluding unvaccinated children from schools. I am shocked that any state in our great nation would choose such a path.” – Calli T., Oregon
“I have friends who lost their babies to vaccines. My own son is vaccine injured and currently going through one of the worst regressions … I was in tears this afternoon with his occupational therapist at his appointment today, which we will lose access to should [SB 442 in Oregon] pass. I have been up till 4 a.m. for the past two mornings trying to help him. It is our life. And I am so over being dismissed. Our children took one for the herd and then the HERD does not even want to acknowledge our children or let us tell our stories. Very hard time with this … For us right now…because I homeschool, because I follow a biomed protocol, because my son was abused by staff at a district school a couple of years ago and we are heavily involved with this (schools do nasty things to get parents to back off). I cannot publish stories and photos of my son … quite fearful of repercussions.” Ann M., Oregon
“Informed consent is a parent’s choice. I do what is best for my son based upon his family medical history. My son has dairy intolerances, allergies to medications, and a family history of neurological disorders and seizures. It is my choice to decide what goes into his body, what I feel is best to keep him healthy. Whenever I tell others about my stance on immunizations, it is always with fear. I have family that do not want us around. They make comments that their children are protected and they have nothing to worry about. If you have nothing to worry about then you should be okay with being next to others who are not immunized.” – Laura A., Oregon
This is a story of a little girl who Steiner Hayward would deny her final Senior Year in High School. That the Senator believes this innocent and disabled child poses some hypothetical threat to her classmates, despite the fact she has been in school for 11 years without as much as a whimper of threat to anyone. Despite the fact that she herself has an autoimmune deficiency that causes her to catch every upper-respiratory virus, pathogen, germ, and general crud from every other child who cannot seem to stay home when sick, but whom Steiner Hayward finds complete approval for their school attendance, while she would deny this one.
This is a tiny teenager, 4’11” and 90 lbs, thanks to her disability. A teenager that has never been anywhere without an adult, never spent the night at someone’s house, never been to the mall with other teenagers, never been to a movie or had other kids come to call on her, because she is odd, different; because she has Autism.
This is a little girl who despite her disabilities loves school more than life itself. As an only child, school is her only social interaction with other kids, school is where she can get the one thing she craves above all else, attention and praise. School is where she has learned to academically excel despite her disability because she needs the praise that comes with all that hard work. This is the little girl that found the gumption to try out for cheerleader and made it. She has cheered for the last 3 years on a varsity squad that coaches, teammates, and the entire school take great pride in making this be able to happen.
This is a little girl who, if this bill passes, will have her entire world come crashing down on her, because Steiner Hayward has decided to push the agenda of the medical elite at the cost of innocent children. There will be nothing for her; no school, and certainly no adult services since the waiting list in Oregon is years. This is the little girl that Steiner Hayward will destroy, break, and devastate as she walks away saying, “I helped the little children of Oregon.”
By Yvonne Aileen
Sources: Direct interviews with families
Image by European Commission DG E – Flickr License