Friday, April 11, 2008

Dear Prudence

If there are anecdotal stories of people living in a building that's about to be demolished, prudence (in the form of plain old-fashioned care for fellow human beings) demands that we investigate thoroughly before detonating the explosives. To ignore reports from those folks close to the building, who claim they've seen homeless families going in and out of it, would be callous, dangerous, and just plain wrong. Hopefully the project foreman would order an extensive walkthrough of the property on the day of scheduled demolition.

So it is with anecdotal stories of parents who are claiming their children have been harmed by vaccines. If the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics were prudent, they would thoroughly investigate the claims of these families before administering any more vaccines. This is what I would do, if I held the key to safeguarding America's children. Why are we, as a nation, even risking it one more day??

When I watched the
video clip on WJLA of Hannah Poling's case, the images of happy, alert, healthy children descending into isolated, tormented shells of their former selves struck me like a punch in the gut. There is no way I would even want to subject my child to that risk. Isn't having measles a better option? Or the flu, or even mumps? ... I wasn't so sure about polio and life in a iron lung, but I was determined to find out. (By the way, polio, I have found, does not actually equal "iron lung." Only 0.04% of polio exposures lead to this fearful yet overexaggerated fate. That's straight from the Merck Manual - a doctor's reference book. Click here.)

As with many decisions, there is a logical path to weighing the costs and benefits. My questions at the outset, were:

1) Is autism truly a cost of childhood vaccination? (I found very quickly, YES. Though you won't hear that straight from most doctors, the AAP, or the government.) See,, and/or just to whet your palate.

2) What is the gravity of the risks of not vaccinating versus the risks of vaccinating? (I am still digging through the data, but so far am pretty sure neither measles nor mumps nor rubella are even worth vaccinating against, considering the 20 year history of parents' reports of MMR causing great harm to their children. More on those diseases, and others, later...)

3) Will my child be allowed to go to school if he is not vaccinated? Does the law tell me I must vaccinate? (First, yes, he can, at least in PA. All it takes is a signature. And second, no, it is not the law. I'm not sure yet where the command comes from, but for now, it isn't in the law. Let's hope our elected leaders preserve our right to make our own medical decisions.)

And so, I am on this path. Trying to collect enough information as a lay person to protect my child's health because the government does not appear to be doing so -- at least, not to the extent that I would like. Stay tuned.


Brenda Z. said...

Hi- I just found your blog via the NVIC blog. Anyways- I'm enjoying it so far:-) I was just wondering out of complete curiosity (and if you don't wanna answer that's totally fine!) if you have any spiritual/religious beliefs (in God and a Creator) and if this has come into play at all in your research and journey? I just hadn't seen anything relating to this topic in your posts yet and I was wondering if that was an issue for you in your decision making process?

Sara said...

Hi Brenda,
Thanks for coming by :) Yes, as a matter of fact, I have pretty orthodox views of God and would consider myself Reformed in theology. I am praying regularly for the Lord's guidance in all this. I would say the way it affects my actions the most is that I believe my husband and I (not the government or my doctor) have a God-given right to make the decisions that are best for my son. More importantly, I have a God-given DUTY to do so, and cannot ignore the evidence that harm could result. I hope this project leads to clarity on the topic for my husband and me as well as anyone who happens to read it. BTW, I used to know a Brenda Z. at the public policy org. I worked at in Washington... you wouldn't happen to be her, I wonder? Just a thought! :)

Tom said...


I just found you and your blog tonight on Adventures in Autism--I'm a regular reader there, and have been for years.

You might want to take a quick peek at Age of Autism, too (

There are lots of parents there; most of us vaccinated and we now have a child with autism.

Some are recovered, some are recovering, some are not.

There are lots of bigger issues that tie in with this, too. Brenda Z., your comments about spiritual/religious beliefs was especially meaningful to me, because I find that to be a big part of the journey I'm on. . .and it wasn't before.

Terri Lewis

P.S. I also like to check in at "Something Beginning With A" (the link is at Ginger Taylor's blog).

Sara said...

Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I have checked out Age of Autism a few times and they do have some great info. I am so new to this whole issue and truly respect the experience of those who have been informing themselves about it for years. It's just too bad that the medical community could spare Americans much grief if they were more up front about the risks, and trusted us to make our own decisions. I pray God leads you in all the right directions for your family. Thanks again for coming by.