Hey there, Dr Mark Reeves.
I read your opinion in the Nelson Mail on Stuff.co.nz today. Anti-vaccinators Immune to reason? (PDF here) Are you open to "discussion"?
You say, "The fear-mongering and negative publicity caused immunisation coverage to drop to only 30 per cent in the UK in 1975. There were 200,000 extra notifications in the UK over the next 15 years, and many possibly preventable deaths as a result. " That is incorrect, and you should know that. But if you don't know it, would you like to read the medical articles embedded in the whooping cough resource on this site? You say, whooping cough used to take many lives. You infer that it no longer does, because of a vaccine.
Do you know that whooping cough is endemic in this country, and has always been so? Do you know the historical data from NZ relating to both whooping cough deaths and incidence? You know then, that whooping cough deaths were pretty much zero before a vaccine was even used? If you do know that data, I'm surprised that you mentioned whooping cough. How many of the cases of whooping cough you see, are NOT fully and appropriately vaccinated?
Perhaps the PSU surveillance reports might realign your incorrect, beliefs, into evidence based fact instead.
If you would like to catch up on the whooping cough medical literature the system appears to have hidden from your sight, you can find it conveniently in one place on this website, handed to you on a plate.
Thoughtful parental decision making about vaccines doesn't revolve around listening to uncouth nasty intolerant loudmouths like Penn and Teller? I mean, do you seriously think that Penn and Teller..... contribute to educated, "informed choice"? As to this "argument"...."I don't need to get my kids vaccinated because you got your kids vaccinated" ...I've only ever heard that one, from a provaccine member of the medical profession. Parents aren't usually that stupid. Besides which, we sit back and watch vaccinated kids get these diseases like chickenpox, whooping cough - and even rubella (!!)... so we know that being vaccinated doesn't mean that much out in the real world where we live.
Your own medical code of ethics allows parents the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children. You know, "informed consent", not CONFORMED compliance?. Why is it that "choice" appears to be so offensive to you? Taxes may be the price to pay for a civilised society, but as far as I know, I'm not injected with taxes. Which reminds me. These vaccines which you say are free...., aren't free. They are bought with public taxes, so the only person injected with taxpayers' money will... be the vaccinated.
Contrary to your characterisations of those who don't vaccinate, medical studies shows that people who don't vaccinate, are more likely to be highly educated, with degrees, and many of them come from a medical background. There is no medical literature that characterises non-vaccinators the way you do.
Parents, who don't vaccinate their children, usually have brains and commonsense. These same parents also tend not to use paracetamol for infectious fevers, even though the medical system appears NOT to know the decades of medical literature, or the WHO bulletins which state that using paracetamol for infectious fevers is a "no-no". Most parents who come into a hospital and says no to paracetamol, are also treated like a criminal. I know, because these parents tell me all the things said to them.
Do you think, that the medical system's attitude of aggression towards parents who don't want to use paracetamol for infectious fevers just might be medical malpractice?
Have you noticed that most people who don't vaccinate their children, feed their children really well, and don't usually have either fat kids or couch potatoes? Have you noticed that most of the people in the corridors of Nelson Hospital where you work, are fully vaccinated? Have you looked at their lifestyles?
By your own admission, Dr Reeves, you spend your weekends mopping up after (presumably) fully vaccinated drunks, and refer 2 - 10 of them every weekend to the Nelson Marlborough Alcohol and Drug Clinic. You treat the alcohol issue with verbal kid gloves, yet these people use up far more taxpayer money than an unvaccinated kiddo who gets chickenpox, or even all of them put together.... . And no doubt, many of the drunks you treat on Friday, have been treated by you before.
I don't know WHICH Oliver Wendell Holmes you are quoting, but THE DR Oliver Wendell Holmes, was run out of medical practice. Why? Because like Semmelweis, for decades, he accused his colleages of the mass murder of birthing mothers and babies because they refused to wash their hands. To the day he left medicine, his colleagues refused to listen to him. I find it amusing that the Stanford University says that in his paper, he "convincingly" argued his case. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr Holmes wrote many papers on the issue (which I have copies of) , and he left the medical profession because he got sick of being slandered and bad-mouthed by his ignorant colleagues, They also called him a doctor "basking in the valorising limelight of affected iconoclasm"!
Holmes's peers allowed thousands of lives to be lost over several decades, because they wanted to protect a dangerous dogma. I see from the latest hospital surveys published in the medical literature, that many in the medical system are STILL having trouble understanding that washing hands is REALLY important. Why is it that there is a preference for a squeeze of squish, which is vastly inferior to good old soap and water?!!!
There is no breast milk bank in this country. Why is that Dr Reeves? The best way to make a real difference to the lives of New Zealand babies, children and adults would be for you to help set up a breast milk bank, so that women who can't breast feed, are referred straight away to a place where they can purchase what you know, and what your medical literature says, is - "the best." Breast milk.
It could be that the providers of breastmilk to such a bank, would be the long term breastfeeders, who know the importance of good nutrition, don't have obese kids - and chances are - don't vaccinate their kids.
The medical system namby pambies around pregnant women saying, "You know, breast milk is better for your baby..." Better ... than what? Formula is presented as the acceptable bench mark and breast milk is just a bit "better"?
Why not tell these mothers that babies who are formula fed are MORE likely to get depressed later in life.
Why not tell parents that formula fed babies will cost the nation big money because of their inability to control cholesterol levels.
Why not tell parents that by NOT breastfeeding, they are costing the nation millions every year in unnecessary government health expenditure for preventable infections?
Why not tell all these formula feeding mother in this country the things listed here which are all proven from YOUR own medical literature?
Is the reason that you don't get stuck into formula feeding parents, ... because you don't want to hurt their feelings?
But it's okay to offend parents with breastfed healthy, skinny, children because... they choose not to vaccinate them?
Why not tell parents that the VAST majority of the people you treat in ED are FULLY VACCINATED people who have their priorities wrong?
You offend parents - and by your own admission, your "friends" who don't vaccinate their children. Yet just maybe their children are much healthier than the average. Just maybe you never see their kids except for accidents.
Why might that be? Intolerant attitudes have so alienated non-vaccinating parents, that they are really motivated to gather enough knowledge to keep their children as health as possible, so their chances of seeing a doctor are minimal.
Next time you happen to see one of us - say with a child with a broken wrist, remember that you rarely see us because of our lifestyle. Think about that a bit.
It just might be that instead of reviling us, you might learn to respect us and our choices. And perhaps you might also apologise to those people who thought you were their ..... friend.
Hey there, Dr Mark Reeves.