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The Case for Vaccine Choice

LilipohExcerpted from LILIPOH

Author: Joseph Cooney, MD
Issue: Winter 2016: Biodynamic Food & Farming - Issue #82, Vol. 21

We’ve had many conversations with parents regarding their concerns over the decision of whether or not to vaccinate their children. They are actually quite torn about it. On one hand, the medical world makes the argument that you are either crazy or selfish not to vaccinate. Vaccines help us avoid acute illness and, in doing so, lower death rates. It’s a no brainer, right? Not necessarily, because on the other hand, these parents hear about the association with declining acute illness in childhood and the growing chronic illness, allergy, and immune dysfunction in children and adults. They simply want what’s best for their child and they’re not sure what to do. How can we resolve this? Now with mandatory vaccination being advanced in some places, the issue is begging for review and reflection.

But arent vaccines accepted by scientific consensus?

The fact that vaccine policy is generally accepted as safe and effective today does not protect it from being subjected to a shift in the field that will change the scientific consensus. Nor does that fact protect it from being subjected to scrutiny or debate.   The medical world often makes the mistake of not recognizing which conclusions are firm or not. Many a young doctor in training hears the tale of the sage physician who warned the upstart doctors that “half of what we know now is wrong, we just don't know which half.” 

Experience plays this shifting field out in modern medicine. A major example in my career is the reversal of the decades-long recommendation for women to take replacement hormones at menopause. We thought we could improve on nature with our science. Now replacement synthetic hormones are discouraged because the natural state of menopause was found to be protective against breast cancer and heart disease. The list of therapeutic interventions that were once accepted but are now defunct is long enough to give one serious pause. For crying out loud, it took science decades to reach consensus that tobacco was bad for your health. Furthermore, bottle feeding with formula was once thought of as 'scientific' and modern and superior to breast feeding. 80% of women stopped breastfeeding during that time in the last century. The modern day reversal of this trend is a signature event for the movement of rediscovery of nature's deeply complex and wholly inclusive quality. Nature knows best. 

Many herald vaccines as the number one public health achievement of the 20th century and attribute the longevity shift over the century to them and antibiotics. However, the great advances in life expectancy are far more attributable to public health interventions like sanitation, labor laws, providing clean water, and hygienic measures than to medical advances, vaccines, or any internal intervention. One report estimates that medicine can claim only 3% of the improvement in longevity. Moreover, it should be remembered that modern medical intervention comes with risk. A landmark study from the Institute of Medicine in 1999 estimates death from errors in hospitals as high as 98,000 lives per year. In fact, other researchers identify the healthcare system as the third leading cause of death per year when additionally considering deaths from prescription drugs and unnecessary surgery. Because the healthcare system is a for-profit system, we are invited to gloss over the facts. Intervening in the public health by taking on environmental projects to make society more habitable is warranted and welcome. However, when entering the sacred sphere of the body, it is most prudent to proceed humbly, conservatively, and with many questions. 

Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many.” –Phaedrus (Roman poet)

Rudolf Steiner held the premise that several of the typical childhood illnesses are essential for the development of the growing child. If we avoid all of the typical childhood illnesses, our organism is unchallenged and doesnt gain whatever it would from facing and overcoming the illness. This notion challenges the core of the mainstream argument but a lot of people can connect with it intuitively, and its supported by scientific data.

We can observe that, as the acute inflammations of childhood are avoided, chronic immune disorders take their place. The 2007 asthma guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services show that certain infections in childhood reduce the incidence of asthma: measles and hepatitis A amongst them. When these are avoided with a vaccine, the asthma prevention is lost. Almost everyone gets exposed to hepatitis A in developing countries. The usual immunity rate is 90%. Most interesting, children under 6 usually have no symptoms at all with an infection of hepatitis A. Complications are rare in hepatitis A at all ages. Survival rate is greater than 99.9%. Asthma, on the other hand, is increasing in incidence, carries with it substantial morbidity, is a major financial burden to the healthcare system, and has links to autism. 

Read more here.

Comments

Grace Green

Very interesting point, Ronald Kostoff. I believe my "autism" was initiated in infancy by a particularly nasty set of vaccines; my ME diagnosis was precipitated by horrendous state-induced stress along with accumulating mercury poisoning from dental amalgams; and my thirty years of allergies have completely disappeared since refusing local anaesthetics at the dentist. They, of course, still blame coincidence!

Ronald Kostoff

"We can observe that, as the acute inflammations of childhood are avoided, chronic immune disorders take their place. The 2007 asthma guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services show that certain infections in childhood reduce the incidence of asthma: measles and hepatitis A amongst them. When these are avoided with a vaccine, the asthma prevention is lost."

This is a very important point, and addresses the fundamental issue of vaccination impact. I addressed it in my eBook, showing examples of how vaccines contributed to myriad diseases in the long-term. The quote above is another variant of the 'hygiene hypothesis', which states that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms (such as the gut flora or probiotics), and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. In particular, the lack of exposure is thought to lead to defects in the establishment of immune tolerance. The hygiene hypothesis has also been called the "biome depletion theory".

Vaccination is the medical analog of the Wall Street mentality, of emphasizing quarterly profits over long-term institutional viability. In some sense, it parallels the use of recreational drugs, where feeling good in the short-term is bought at the expense of long-term health.

If, in fact, this variant of the hygiene hypothesis is correct, then the short-term high antibody results of these vaccine clinical trials are negative findings for long-term health, not positive as promulgated. We may be seeing a shell game, where the high antibody titers always advertised in the clinical trials are the 'shell', and the potential long-term adverse effects (which are almost never examined in these trials) such as diabetes, etc, are the 'pea'. What about the potential fatal childhood diseases the vaccines purportedly prevent? If many of the horror stories we hear about children dying from childhood infectious diseases could have been prevented by eliminating the myriad contributing factors to these diseases presented in my eBook, then even the short-term supposed need for vaccines is diminished greatly.

As far as autism is concerned, I still believe vaccines are one contributing factor among many. Which is the 'straw that breaks the camel's back'; who knows? Here, for example, is an interesting article on the link between wireless and autism (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/emerging-link-between-wireless-autism-peter-sullivan). We need to get out of these silos, which emphasize vaccines as the dominant cause, or EMFs as the dominant cause, or glyphosate as the dominant cause, or.... I believe it is the combinations of contributing factors that have lead to the massive disease increases we are seeing, not only of autism but the myriad non-communicable diseases as well.

leah

Really enjoyed this article.
Lately I have been reading a number of articles in the New York Times and elsewhere about how people need to get over privacy concerns and have all medical records consolidated so that more diseases can be solved. This sounds crazy to me, but everyone else seems on board. So far these people have produced such success stories as the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world. Do we really need to give them more to work with? Anyone who even seems to raise a question is vilified.

kapoore

There is nothing more mystifying to me than a doctor who advices patients to take vaccines that contain neurotoxins like aluminum that are known to find their way into the brain. Why would we be willing to fill our children's brains with aluminum that has been associated with such diseases as alzheimer's, ALS, and multiple chronic fatigue type symptoms. Recently I read that aluminum is found attached to sperm and is present in men with fertility problems. It is associated with breast cancer because breasts with cancer contain the most aluminum. Why are we burdening our children's organs with this metal? It has been called insidiously unsafe. Why can I a lay person read science papers on aluminum and doctors don't. Aren't these doctors among our best and brightest?

Why is it that I know that there is genetic variability in response to vaccines and yet doctors prescribe a one size fits all vaccine schedule. How can doctors watch as their patients descend into post vaccination encephalitis and shrug it off as a coincidence...too bad. The media keeps claiming that anti-vaxers are under the spell of mass hysteria induced by Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, and yet they and the doctors seem to be under the mass spell of the CDC. So they seriously believe that some of these childhood diseases are more lethal than autoimmune diseases, or brain swelling? They see their patients health degrade vaccination after vaccination and it doesn't bother them. What is going on?

Linda1

EXCELLENT article. So many good points. I hope this is widely read. Thanks to Dr. Cooney and to AOA for posting.

Bob Moffit

"Many a young doctor in training hears the tale of the sage physician who warned the upstart doctors that “half of what we know now is wrong, we just don't know which half.”

The people would be far better served if "upstart doctors" followed the "sage" advice of the American Medical Assoc regarding "informed consent"

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion808.page?

"The patient’s right of self-decision can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an informed choice. The patient should make his or her own determination about treatment. The physician's obligation is to present the medical facts accurately to the patient or to the individual responsible for the patient’s care and to make recommendations for management in accordance with good medical practice. The physician has an ethical obligation to help the patient make choices from among the therapeutic alternatives consistent with good medical practice. Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor, unless the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent. In special circumstances, it may be appropriate to postpone disclosure of information, (see Opinion E-8.122, "Withholding Information from Patients").

Physicians should sensitively and respectfully disclose all relevant medical information to patients. The quantity and specificity of this information should be tailored to meet the preferences and needs of individual patients. Physicians need not communicate all information at one time, but should assess the amount of information that patients are capable of receiving at a given time and present the remainder when appropriate. (I, II, V, VIII)"

Obviously .. the AMA itself no longer follows the "sage" advice of those who practiced before them.

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