"The function of a civil resister is to provoke response. And we will continue to provoke until they respond. They are not in control. We are." (Mahatma Gandhi)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 2, No 19) August 5, 2002 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.
SPECIAL **IMMUNIZATION ALTERNATIVES** ISSUE
READERS' (VERY FREQUENTLY) ASK: "How can I enroll my children in school without having them vaccinated?"
FIRST, KNOW YOUR LAW V. R. writes: "I've decided to not immunize my 7 month old daughter. I will need to place her in child care and then school in a few years. I want to be prepared to have the correct paperwork completed before this takes place. My question to you is how do I find out the "immunization laws" for the state I live in?"
Being prepared is the way to go, and reading the law is definitely the first step. I do NOT maintain a database of which state requires what. And assuming you don't have tons of cash to shower on a lawyer, there is only one virtually free-of-charge method that I know of: call your public library and ask for assistance. Your State's laws usually are consolidated into an encyclopedia-like array of imposing volumes that are indexed in some rather complicated ways. So, ASK FOR HELP. Small libraries probably will not have a full set of your state's laws, but that does not matter. Your local public librarian can access any governmental archive or law library anywhere. College libraries are good resources, too.
Keep this in mind: you do not want ALL the laws. You only want to read your State's vaccination law as specifically regards school attendance. ASK FOR A LIBRARIAN'S HELP determining which parts of which volumes you need. Offer to pay the library's copying and mailing costs to have the immunization sections sent directly to your home.
SECOND, KNOW YOUR DOCTOR Mrs. S. B. writes: "There is a big sign outside my local school that says NO CHILD WILL BE ADMITTED TO THIS SCHOOL WITHOUT VACCINATIONS BEING UP TO DATE. My child's doctor told me I would have to find a new doctor if I did not agree to vaccinate. I am going to be registering him in public schools next month. I was hoping you could provide me with more information on how to do this with as little harassment as possible."
This article may help: http://www.doctoryourself.com/naturedoc.html
THIRD: KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: Vaccination is NOT legally required of every person. For entrance into public schools, yes, shots may normally be required. For certain jobs, yes again. Naturally the military requires them. But there usually are ways of getting around these individual regulations.
The simplest way is to take religious exception to vaccination on personal, moral and spiritual grounds. This is Constitutionally valid; remember that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. Of course I am not an attorney and I speak only from personal observation and research. There are two religious avenues to consider, and we have used them both.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP First, you can join a religious group that holds vaccinations in disfavor. If this is unacceptable or impractical, you can start a church organization that believes vaccinations are morally wrong. You can create a bona fide religious organization by first becoming a legally ordained minister. You can become a legally ordained minister through the mail for $25 or so from various churches. If such an "ordination mill" is legitimately state-chartered as a non-profit religious organization, the ordination they confer is useful. I do not assert that by-mail ordinations put you on a par with a graduate of Yale Divinity School. I do assert that they are legal. With such an ordination you can start your own religious group with your own set of doctrinal beliefs. These beliefs may certainly "forbid any serum, vaccine, foreign, unnatural or chemical substance of any nature to be injected or ingested into a church member's body for any avowed medical purpose whatsoever." Remember that Jehovah's Witnesses do not receive blood transfusions. Christian Scientists do not use medicines or surgery. Kosher dining has health benefits, and Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarian. You may help your body as well as your soul through your religious practices. In drawing up a church charter for your family, it might be worthwhile to consult with a person who has already done this successfully, or with suitably experienced legal counsel. I do NOT maintain any list of recommended counterculture churches, by the way. But they lawfully do exist.
PERSONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEF The second variant depends on your state's laws. Some states (such as New York, where we live) no longer require a designated church affiliation because to do so would probably be unconstitutional. Instead, parents or guardians must "hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary" to vaccinations (Consolidated Laws of New York, 1992, Article 21, sec. 2164, paragraph 9). This means that a simple affidavit stating those beliefs in one or two sentences may suffice. An affidavit is as simple as having both parents sign their two-sentence statement in the presence of a notary public. The notary will then stamp the paper, which now becomes a rather powerful document. Your bank or town clerk will likely notarize for little or no charge.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS Some school districts have asked parents for additional information about their religious views, probably as a test of sincerity. It is doubtful if the Supreme Court would look with favor upon such questioning of a person's religious conscience by any state agency. If you are contacted by the school or any other public body, it would be best to get any such request in writing. I would respond, however, orally and over the telephone. My personal response would be, "Are you questioning my religious beliefs?" It is unlikely that the school board's attorney would want them to answer "yes" to that question. If they do, get it in writing from the school board or superintendent, as the American Civil Liberties Union might be interested. If they say "no," then you are done.
It should not be necessary for you to attend any hearing or any other such intimidating appearance, nor should it be necessary for your children to in any way be singled out in school. My kids once or twice have been interrogated by a new school doctor or nurse. Questions included "What church do you go to?", "How far away is it?" and "How often do you attend?" I called the principal and politely complained. Believe it or not, even though he was cooperative, it actually took more than one call before the doctor and nurse desisted. Be prepared.
Landmark Religious Exemption Decision in New York (previously mentioned in DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 2, No 9) http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v2n9.txt The full print reference is: (Tokasz, J (2002) Judge forces school to accept girl. Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle, Thursday, Jan 31, p B-1)
MEDICAL EXEMPTION A completely different way to get around a vaccination requirement might be to prove to a medical doctor that your children would suffer a great health risk by being vaccinated. A possible allergic reaction to the shot(s) would be an ideal reason, although great susceptibility to side effects or a pre-existing high-risk condition could also be given as reasons. This is hard to do, for how do you prove one opinion (yours) against a doctor's opinion? The tendency would be for the physician to side with orthodoxy and public health policy because she might be called on by authorities to defend why she thought the child shouldn't be vaccinated. I know of a specific instance where a school district did in fact call a family doctor and ask for an explanation. The family doctor promptly backed down to authority, saying that the parents had requested his writing "shots contraindicated at this time" on the health forms. This approach, then, puts burden of proof on both you and the doctor, and will only be as strong as the weaker link. In the USA, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not wrong until proven right. Such pressure on physicians shows he strong bias of the medical establishment.
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION Still another way to avoid shots for kids might be to enroll them in a private, cooperative, or alternative school that does not discriminate on medical grounds. It might be possible for a group of concerned parents to create such a school to ensure freedom of choice for family health decisions. However, most private and parochial schools are subject to, and in enthusiastic compliance with, the same public health regulations as public schools.
Home schooling is certainly an option. Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society (1971) and the later works of educator John Holt are very supportive of home schooling and other alternative education environments. There are families in your community who teach their own children at home, and there are state education requirements that they must meet to do so. For example, you need to keep a daily lesson plan book to prove you had organized learning experiences. Education can be, and is, being done without inoculations. (After all, Abraham Lincoln managed to get all the way through law school without shots!) You can keep the government happy and your kids' minds open at the same time by home schooling. It is labor intensive, to be sure.
ARE UNVACCINATED KIDS "SITTING DUCKS"? Kids don't automatically just "get" all those so-called diseases of childhood. Nobody just "gets" a disease, nor "catches" one, nor is attacked by any nasty microbes for no reason. Illness has been said to be the censor pointing to a malnourished body. Just as insects eat weak crops, disease thrives in weak bodies. Artificially fertilized soils and chemically sprayed plants may yield healthy looking crops, but Nature is not fooled by appearances. That's why bugs eat cash crops so much and biodynamically, organically grown crops so little. It's the same with people. Artificially immunized, meat-and-starch fed, vitamin-poor kids are simply not going to fool Mother Nature for long.
If an organism isn't truly sound and thriving, nature sends disease. It's not a punishment; it's just nature's way of indicating weaknesses. We can strengthen our bodies with our natural diet of whole foods, supplement it with vitamins, eat no meat, and get the rest we need. Health is a natural, unavoidable result. It is the "nature" of Nature to promote health in us. Our kids are healthy and will continue to grow in health not because of injections but because of correct eating and naturally strengthened immune systems.
It may be that the real "sitting ducks" don't know it. An important article (backed by 68 references) by Neil Z. Miller appeared in the Spring 1994 issue of Mothering. Miller tells that Jonas Salk, M.D., credited as inventor of the first polio vaccine, had publicly stated in 1976 that the Sabin oral polio vaccine was worse than no good. Salk testified that the Sabin oral had been "the principle if not sole cause" of every reported case of polio in the United States since 1961." Miller adds that the Centers for Disease Control's own statistics show that between 1980 and 1989, "every case of polio contracted within the United States was caused by the vaccine." (p. 46)
In New Directions, Summer 1991, an article by John Riker tells us that there are actually three types of polio virus. "Types 1 and 3 were responsible for almost all the polio cases worldwide... as much as 97% of paralytic polio." The Salk vaccine, he says, is only truly effective against the Type 2 polio virus, which makes up only 3% of polio cases. And, Riker describes a Massachusetts Type 3"outbreak "in which there were more cases in the triple vaccinates than in the unvaccinated." (p. 24) A number of other studies cited also fail to show a protection advantage for vaccinated children. We have here evidence that undermines the well-publicized but statistically questionable merits of either the Salk injected or Sabin oral polio vaccines.
KEEPING KIDS SAFE AND HEALTHY Not getting vaccinations may actually be safer than getting them. Consider the DPT shot. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid out to parents of vaccine-disabled or vaccine-killed children, generally due to the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in particular. According to statistics compiled by the National Vaccine Information Center, in a 39-month period between July, 1990 and November, 1993, "1,576 children died from adverse reactions to common vaccines" in the U.S. (Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle, March 3, 1994). Most deaths were from the pertussis vaccine. This works out to 40 deaths per month. In unimmunized Great Britain, during a 24-month period (1978-1979) there were 36 deaths attributed to whooping cough itself. Even allowing for wide variation in sample dates and population, it is impossible to dismiss the fact that more American kids died from shots in one month than British kids died without shots in two years.
When our kids had a fever or cough, we grew to know what it was: a warning to take better care. We put them to bed with a temporarily all-fruit diet or a mostly vegetable-juice diet, saturation levels of vitamin C, and made them rest. They got better when they were toddlers, and my now-adult daughter and son still do not get any vaccinations. And they have never had whooping cough, nor polio, nor diphtheria, nor measles. Was it just dumb luck, or was it smart eating?
Although I have offered my family's personal vaccination viewpoint to the reader, I do not pretend to tell anyone to get shots or to not get shots. Immunizations, in my opinion, fail to offer adequate protection against illness while actually increasing the risk of mortality. Each parent must make their own decision based on all the facts they can gather. To assist in this search, I suggest reading any of the books by Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D. such as How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor (1984) and Confessions of a Medical Heretic (1979). A Shot in the Dark by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher (1991) focuses on the pertussis vaccine. I most earnestly recommend Vaccinations: The Rest of the Story (1993) published by Mothering magazine, which I think is among the most valuable of references.
A PERSONAL VIEWPOINT Of course I long ago joined the ranks of the anti-vaccinationists. A viewpoint like this sometimes gets you your fifteen minutes of fame. In a letter to Mother Earth News issue #85 (January-February 1984), I wrote:
"I do counsel people frequently on the pros and cons of vaccination. But I never tell anyone not to get shots or to get shots. I simply point out the alternatives that are available." Readers should keep in mind that careful study of the medical profession's own statistics fails to verify the very common and highly emotional viewpoint that vaccination has been the major factor in the reduction of infectious diseases. As in the above mentioned interview, I ask readers to make up their own minds by obtaining copies of the journal articles I recommend in the bibliographies of my books and the References sections of this website. Those who do so will be no less surprised than I was to discover that J.F. Edward, F.R. Klenner, W.J. McCormick and other major critics of vaccination are medical doctors.
"It is Dr. Edward, not I, who studied Canadian polio epidemics and concluded that polio is related to iodine deficiency. Dr. Edward then cured, as well as prevented, polio with small doses of iodine. The Manitoba Medical Review published his work in 1954, for any doctor or citizen to read. I cite his work, but hope you'll read his paper. It is Dr. McCormick, not I, who carefully reviewed the medical literature and showed, in tables and graphs, the dramatic decline in typhoid, diphtheria and whooping cough before inoculation/vaccination was available. ("The Changing Incidence and Mortality of Infectious Disease in Relation to Changed Trends in Nutrition," Medical Record, 1947.) It is Dr. Klenner, not I, who successfully treated polio for nearly 45 years with very high doses of vitamin C and with exceptional success (A Physician's Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine. R.J. Williams, ed., pp 51-59). It was a young Andrew Weil, M.D., not I, who criticized Koch's postulates and found fault in the entire germ theory (The Natural Mind, 1972)."
I agree with these doctors. You can agree with the ones you want.
More than one person has raised the question of how my children will be protected against disease if they are not vaccinated. I submit that vaccinations are found to offer little, if any, real protection against disease when you actually examine the records.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE RECORD According to New York City Department of Health director Dr. Morris Greenberg, polio fatalities decreased by nearly 90 percent from 1915 to 1955, before the polio vaccine was available to the public in 1955 (Howard Hillemann, in Clinical Physiology 2:2, 1960). How can we truly say, then, that vaccination got rid of polio? Toronto medical doctor William McCormick and Dr. Fred Klenner of North Carolina, also an M.D., both prevented and treated the childhood infectious diseases with large quantities of Vitamin C. Again in Medical Record (September 1947) Dr. McCormick shows a direct relation between these diseases and vitamin C deficiency. If vitamin C deficiency is the real cause of these illnesses, what are we doing emphasizing inoculations?
Vitamin C is a proven effective, natural antibiotic and anti-toxin (The Healing Factor, by Irwin Stone discusses that research in detail). My children were raised virtually vegetarian, because vegetarians statistically are less subject to infectious illness. When they were preschoolers, we gave our children 250 mg. to 500 mg. of vitamin C with each vegetarian meal. We did not have them inoculated; there are better ways.
"WHAT DOES A VACCINATION EXEMPTION LETTER LOOK LIKE?"
Well, it might look a lot like the one my children used:
It is my sincerely held religious belief that immunization is detrimental to the health and purity of the body, mind and spirit. Therefore, I respectfully request that I, (full name here) be allowed to attend school, namely (full name and address here) without being immunized.
______________________________________ (student's name)
__________________________ Mother _________________________ Father
Sworn to before me this _________ th day of _________________, 19___.
_____________________________________ Notary Public
I am a parent, not an attorney. Please do not expect me to provide you with personalized direction in such a matter as this.
J. L. writes: "I received an email that said, in part, that it's Florida law as of October 2001 that people may have to be vaccinated with, or without, exemption, by force, using POLICE, for small pox or any vaccines they deem necessary. To find the bill: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/session/index.cfm and key in "SB 1262" Here's a 40 page explanation: http://www.publichealthlaw.net/MSEHPA/MSEHPA.pdf "
Thank you for the heads-up. Who said this was going to be easy? Vigilance is the eternal price of freedom.
VACCINATION: COERCION OR CONSENT? K. H. writes: "When my daughter was vaccinated for school entry, I was young and uneducated about vaccines and was strong armed into it. After much reading and educating myself on vaccines since, I have stood my ground with both of my children. Finding a doctor who did not continually harass me was a feat in itself. The most useful info I have found is what you have provided. Can you offer any additional suggestions?"
Thank you for the compliment.
No one should order you to get shots for your kids or order you not to get them. A lot of people may try, however. I believe that the parents should decide.
Much more on the compulsive immunization controversy is posted at these excellent sites:
http://www.vaccinationnews.com http://www.whale.to/vaccines.html http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/vaccine.htm http://www.909shot.com http://www.thinktwice.com http://www.redflagsweekly.com http://www.vaccines.bizland.com/ http://www.vaccination.inoz.com/about.html http://www.avn.org.au/
PARENT-FRIENDLY PEDIATRICIAN PROTOCOLS WE'D LIKE TO SEE IF YOU **DO** CHOOSE TO VACCINATE I've asked my college students in health issues or health behaviors classes to consider what so-called "informed consent" for vaccinations actually comes down to.
Rather than shove a paper under Mrs. B.'s nose, with a needle in one hand and her baby in the other, informed consent perhaps should go something like this:
Six weeks before Mrs. B.'s well-child visit for her infant, Dr. C.'s office calls.
"Hi, Mrs. B. This is Dr. C.'s office. We'd like to remind you that we think your child should receive immunizations in about six weeks, and that we are sending you a packet of abstracts, or summaries, of peer-reviewed research on both the advantages, and the disadvantages, of vaccination. Please carefully review these materials. If you have any difficulty in the reading, or have any questions, please call me, Mr. D., personally. I will answer, or look up the answer, to whatever concern you have, or I will connect you with Dr. C. if you prefer direct discussion with her.
"You have the right to accept shots, or to refuse shots for your child under the Bill of Rights of the U. S. Constitution. We earnestly believe that you should choose immunizations, but will also acquaint you with the simple legal options you have if you do not agree.
"Please call us back in about three weeks to schedule your appointment. Even if you decide to not immunize, we want you to know that we still want to have you and your child as our patients. You will be treated with friendliness and respect regardless of your position on vaccination."
Now that's informed consent.
Have you, or has anyone you know, ever received such respect?
READER'S ASK "I wanted to know if non-vaccinated children should have contact with just vaccinated children."
Like you have a choice? We live in a world brim full of viruses and bacteria and recently vaccinated kids. Contact is unavoidable, and not necessarily bad.
Exposure to "contagious" disease is well-known to physicians as a valid method of developing immunity. In a way, that's what a shot does. A limited brush with disease may serve a positive purpose. It is certainly no cause for panic. I have taught sick students at close quarters for years. My unvaccinated kids were never restricted with whom they could pal around with (not that you can do that even if you tried). We loaded them up with vitamin C and sent them out to play. Remember the key point: if your immune system is strong, germs are largely irrelevant. ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/germs.html By the way, I had a lot of fun writing this article in particular. It is a version of a speech I delivered to an anti-vaccination conference in Rochester, NY in 1999.)
B. T. writes: "If we say NO to vaccination, what do we say YES to? How do we build strong natural immunity?"
That's the **raison d'etre** of my website. To start you off: http://www.doctoryourself.com/DY_ch02_web.html
Treating viral illness naturally: http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html (Both of the above articles were written by medical doctors.) See also: http://www.doctoryourself.com/immune.html
Treating bacterial illness naturally: http://www.doctoryourself.com/whoop.html
What we fed to keep our weaned children healthy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/veggie_baby.html
How to get your kids to take their vitamins: http://www.doctoryourself.com/kidsvit.html
How Nature heals and drugs don't: http://www.doctoryourself.com/nature.html
THIS WEEK'S BIG, BIG REASON TO BECOME A VEGETARIAN "19 Million Pounds of Meat Recalled After 19 Fall Ill," by Elizabeth Becker, The New York Times (July 20, 2002)
"The Agriculture Department announced today a recall of 19 million pounds of ground beef that might be contaminated by the E. coli pathogen and that has found its way to grocery store shelves and home freezers around the country. The recall, involving meat produced by the ConAgra Beef Company, was announced after 19 people became ill in California, Colorado, Michigan, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming as a result of eating tainted hamburger... ""This action is being taken as a cautionary measure to ensure the protection of public health," Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said. "Public health is our No. 1 priority, and it is our No. 1 concern."
"Agriculture officials said that in all likelihood much of the meat subject to the recall had already been eaten.
"A detailed list of all the ConAgra wholesale products being recalled is on the Agriculture Department Web site, www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/recalls/prelease/pr055-2002.htm The department also has a special telephone information line for consumers, (800) 535-4555, during business hours.
"All the recalled items of beef trim and frozen ground beef were labeled "EST. 969" inside a U.S.D.A. inspection seal. Consumers who find recalled meat in their refrigerators can call ConAgra at (888) 742-0467.
"After the nation's largest recall of beef, 25 million pounds produced by Hudson Foods in 1997, Congress mounted an effort to increase the number of inspections and tighten safety standards in packing plants. The meat industry blocked that effort.
"The Agriculture Department does not have the legal authority to close packing plants with repeated health violations or impose fines. Every recall has to be voluntary.
"The department can act against defiant plants by removing inspectors and refusing to certify the meat.
"Some people who work in the meat industry complained today that the recall was far too broad. "We always want to protect the public's health, but I think this recall is excessive," said Rosemary Mucklow, executive director of the National Meat Association.
"Meat is contaminated in skinning and gutting, when the E. coli escapes from animals' intestines or from fecal material stuck to the skin and enters into the muscle meat sold as hamburger. The deadliest outbreak of E. coli contamination occurred in 1993, when the Jack in the Box restaurant chain sold hamburgers tainted with E. coli 0157:H7. Four children died, and hundreds became ill."
(End of abridged New York Times article. Read it all at http://www.nytimes.com )
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