Physicians urge government to let parents make vaccine decisions

News Desk

A prominent physicians’ organization that strongly opposes mandated vaccines is urging the federal government to let parents make medical decisions for their children.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ letter to the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions comes amid a new attack on opponents of mandatory vaccination because of minor outbreaks of measles.

AAPS Executive Director Dr. Jane Orient argues regulation of medical practice is a state rather than federal function.

“After being fully informed of the risks and benefits of a medical procedure, patients have the right to reject or accept that procedure,” she said. “The regulation of medical practice is a state function, not a federal one. Governmental preemption of patients’ or parents’ decisions about accepting drugs or other medical interventions is a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy, and parental decisions about child-rearing.”

Critics of mandatory vaccination point out the nation’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $4 billion in damages, the doctors said.

“The smallpox vaccine is so dangerous that you can’t get it now, despite the weaponization of smallpox,” AAPS said. “Rabies vaccine is given only after a suspected exposure or to high-risk persons such as veterinarians. The whole-cell pertussis vaccine was withdrawn from the U.S. market, a decade later than from the Japanese market, because of reports of severe permanent brain damage.”

They noted that a threat to public health is being used as a rationale for mandatory vaccines.

“But how much of a threat is required to justify forcing people to accept government-imposed risks? Regulators may intervene to protect the public against a one-in-one million risk of a threat such as cancer from an involuntary exposure to a toxin, or-one-in 100,000 risk from a voluntary (e.g. occupational) exposure. What is the risk of death, cancer, or crippling complication from a vaccine? There are no rigorous safety studies of sufficient power to rule out a much lower risk of complications, even one in 10,000, for vaccines. Such studies would require an adequate number of subjects, a long duration (years, not days), an unvaccinated control group (‘placebo’ must be truly inactive such as saline, not the adjuvant or everything-but-the-intended-antigen), and consideration of all adverse health events (including neurodevelopment disorders),” the letter said.

While measles are “probably the worst threat … because it is so highly contagious,” the letter poses a question to lawmakers.

“Are potential measles complications including death in persons who cannot be vaccinated due to immune deficiency a justification for revoking the rights of all Americans and establishing a precedent for still greater restrictions on our right to give – or withhold – consent to medical interventions?

“Clearly not.”

Patients know there are complications from vaccines, even routine shots like the MMR, because they “are listed in the manufacturer’s package insert.”

“Even disregarding adverse vaccine effects, the results of near-universal vaccination have not been completely positive. Measles, when it does occur, is four to five times worse than in pre-vaccination times, according to Lancet Infectious Diseases, because of the changed age distribution: more adults, whose vaccine-based immunity waned, and more infants, who no longer receive passive immunity from their naturally immune mother to protect them during their most vulnerable period,” AAPS advised lawmakers.

“Measles is a vexing problem, and more complete, forced vaccination will likely not solve it. Better public health measures – earlier detection, contact tracing, and isolation; a more effective, safer vaccine; or an effective treatment are all needed.”

They point out how the government has stacked the deck against individuals, with a blanket immunity from product liability for vaccine makers, “enormous conflicts of interest involving lucrative relationships with vaccine purveyors,” that research into adverse effects is quashed, and the fact that “vaccines are neither 100 percent safe nor 100 percent effective.”

Liberty rights, AAPS pointed out, are unalienable.

“Unvaccinated persons with no exposure to a disease and no evidence of a disease are not a clear or present danger,” they said.

Politico reported Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had a similar message in the Senate this week.

He said government-mandated vaccines would infringe on personal rights.

Paul, a physician, said he and his children are vaccinated and that he believes the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks.

“But I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security,” he said.

According to Science magazine, the nation’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends which vaccines Americans should receive.

Critics of mandatory vaccination have been coming to that group’s meetings in recent months, posing some uncomfortable questions.

The doctors there recently faced a question from Nicole Mason of Jacksonville, Florida.

“How is a vaccine that caused my son’s intestines to fold in on itself and almost die safe and effective?” she asked.

Dozens of vaccine critics now routinely attend meetings.

The ACIP chairman, Jose Romero of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said he sees such criticisms as “the new normal.” And ACIP officials adopted new rules threatening the public with ejection if the committee doesn’t like what they’re doing.

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