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Posts Tagged ‘guilt trips’

A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing. ~ Albert Einstein

I’m told as parent to trust my instincts, listen to my gut…but for some reason my parental intuition is irrelevant if I happen to question the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Then I’m supposed to turn off my brain and believe the popular belief of today despite my mind telling me there’s more than meets the eye.

This post is not an attempt to convince anyone that they are wrong and I am right, far from it. I do not judge you if you believe that vaccinating your child is the best route to go in combating disease. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the freedom to choose whether to vaccinate or not. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be guilt-tripped, bullied and shamed for not vaccinating your child.

I have experienced the judgement and heard story after story from friends and acquaintances. It typically sounds like this: your child is a health risk; I won’t let my kids play with your kids; you are ignorant; you’re paranoid; you’re doing your child a disservice; you’re being selfish by relying on everyone else to get vaccinated so that you don’t have to, and on and on it goes. I’ve even had a comment directed my way that included the words “daft-fucking pseudo-witch doctors” are pulling the wool over my eyes. And that’s just the straight up in your face stuff. Then there’s the more subtle, manipulative and self-righteous comments that are said with all the diplomacy in the world and saturated with condemnation, i.e. “…it really worries me when people choose their own fears over the community’s health.”

Speaking of fear, how about the fear tactics used to scare people into vaccinating such as a YouTube link that appeared one day on my Facebook feed showing a couple of well-known entertainers scolding those who don’t vaccinate. Don’t you know, it only takes 31 seconds to prove that vaccines are both safe and effective.

Why is it that almost every other health measure we encourage each other to question and even try available alternatives (i.e. natural-pathetic vs. antibiotics) but vaccination is infallible and indisputable? Clearly, it is disputable since there are medical professionals who advise that vaccines are not proven to be as safe and effective as claimed to be. Why aren’t these doctors acknowledged by the health authorities? Why don’t you hear more from them? Why do we not know more about what they have to say about vaccines?

You say you trust your family doctor. So do I and so did our parents and grandparents back in the forties when doctors told them x brand of cigarettes would ease throat irritation. They felt the same way you do today about  modern advances and having a better understanding of health and medicine but obviously there was still much that they were wrong about. Jennifer Doudna, a professor of Biochemistry, Biophysic and Structural Biology of U C Berkley wrote “The more we know, the more we realize there is to know.”

Advertisement: “A report on the findings of a group of doctors.*”

Advertisement: “A report on the findings of a group of doctors.*”

I take all this personally because one, it is dished out quite personally and two, I am assumed to have hopped on a fear-fueled band wagon rather than having based my decision from hours, weeks, months and now going on years of research. This assumption blows my mind, especially when it comes from people who know me, even friends. The very people who praise me for what a good mother I am and how I take such good care of my boys are some of the same ones who are quick to assume that I read one article that stated vaccines are linked to autism and am now basing my decision not to vaccinate on that.

It’s getting to me, people. I am tired of my decision being discredited, mocked, shamed. I am frustrated from being put in the ring again and again as people try to riddle me with guilt and insinuate that I am being a negligent member of society not to mention parent to my child.  I am exasperated that I have to defend my choices or else be seen as some crunchy mama who has her head in the clouds while she eagerly laps up any and all non-conformist viewpoints. I’m blown away by the double standards this nation imposes: tolerance and acceptance are crushed under the weight of mass media influence if interests aren’t aligned. Feel free to disrespect your neighbour in the name of what is accepted as the greatest achievement in modern medicine. That there, friends, is one dangerous attitude and if you don’t think it is, you might want to talk your doctor about how the track to nutrition got derailed and the health authorities accepted toxic ingredients such as Aspartame, Bisphenol A (BPA), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sodium Nitrates that are still found in our food and packaging.

As for me, I continue to strive for open-mindedness regarding vaccination and respect everyone’s decisions and all the more so if they are doing even a bit of research rather than vaccinating because “everyone else is doing it.” Just maybe it is possible to encourage respectful discussion amidst opposing view points if we’re brave.

* Journal of the American Medical Association 271 (1994): 1273–1275. [PubMed]

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