A Sad Day for Medical Freedom: California Joins West Virginia and Mississippi in Removing Religious and Personal Vaccine Exemptions
As a board-certified pediatrician, I am embarrassed by the article, “FAAP helps change California vaccine law,” published yesterday, June 30th, 2015.
California State Senator Richard J. Pan, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), sponsored the bill, SB 277, that Governor Jerry Brown has just signed into law.
This law removes the informed consent process and takes the right to make medical, philosophical, and religious decisions away way from parents. If you decide in tandem with your doctor to forgo just one vaccine on the state-mandated schedule, your child will no longer be able to attend public or private school in California, and will also be barred from daycare.
Physicians in California will now no longer be allowed to fairly and honestly explain the pros and cons of various vaccines to families. With the state legislature making medical decisions for families by threatening to exclude children from school, the physician-patient relationship becomes irrelevant.
“I hope that it causes parents to receive information about vaccines, to have conversations with their pediatrician and other health care professionals and rethink why they had concerns about vaccines, (and) that they will become more open to listening to the actual science and facts and turn away from the misinformation that’s been peddled by too many people,” Senator Pan told the AAP.
The truth is that it is Senator Pan, Governor Brown, and many of my mainstream medical peers who need to “turn away from the misinformation that’s been peddled” to the doctors by the Centers for Disease Control, the AAP, and the pharmaceutical companies that profit enormously by this new program of forced vaccines.
Why do I say this?
I must be crazy, right?
Everyone knows that vaccines are “safe and effective.”
I am a pro-vaccine doctor.
I give vaccines in my office to children every single day.
It is true that many vaccines are very safe and very effective.
It is also true that some vaccines are not so safe, especially for some children, when given either to the very young, or when given in combination with many other vaccines.
Timing is everything when it comes to the safety and benefit of vaccines.
Consider the Hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease most often spread by sex workers, drug addicts, and through tainted blood products.
Twenty years ago, when my children were young, this vaccine was given to teenagers. This made sense, since one catches Hepatitis B from blood products (unprotected sex and sharing dirty needles with IV drug abuse).
In 2001, we started the routine vaccination of every newborn in America regardless of risk for Hepatitis B, despite the fact that less than 1% of American moms have Hepatitis B. The only way a baby can catch Hepatitis B is if the mom has Hepatitis B. We were told that we could have a population that grows up immune to Hepatitis B and potentially eradicate Hepatitis B from the world but no study had ever been done on the length of immunity of the Hepatitis B vaccine (vaccine-induced immunity often wears off, which is why some of the childhood vaccines require booster shots).
My obstetrician colleagues do an excellent job with prenatal screening. These days, we know ahead of time if a given mom has Hepatitis B or not. When a mom is Hepatitis B positive, vaccinating her newborn is medically indicated. In my practice if a dad has Hep B or if there is a possibility a caregiver may be a carrier for Hep B (a more common illness in Asia), I also recommend the vaccine.
The current program of vaccinating every newborn in America at birth, and repeating the Hepatitis B vaccine at 2 months and again at 6 months is lucrative for the pharmaceutical industry but flies in the face of science.
- We now have the long term studies that show that, indeed, the vaccine does not give lasting protection. Only a fraction of people given the shot as infants (24%) had lasting immunity as teenagers, which is when they would most need it. A minority of teenagers still had protection when they would most need it.
- There is evidence that the newborn series of Hepatitis B vaccine causes brain damage in some infants. This study (you can read it here… ) links the vaccine with increased autism when given to boys in the newborn period.
- The Hepatitis B vaccine contains 250 micrograms of aluminum, which far exceeds the safe dose of injectable (parenteral) aluminum that was recommended by the FDA. Guidelines specify not to exceed 5 micrograms/ Kg/ day (a newborn weighing 10.4 pound = 5 Kg should not get more than 25 micrograms.
In a letter to explain why he was signing SB 277 into law, Governor Brown wrote, “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.”
Governor Brown, you are correct overall but absolutely wrong in the case of the mandated Hepatitis B for newborns. Mandating vaccines is a mistake. Mandating Hepatitis B is criminal.
Our legislators, the CDC, the AAP, and doctors around the country need to understand that it is a reasonable, evidence-based, and scientific approach for parents (in conjunction with their doctors) consider each vaccine on a vaccine by vaccine basis for each of their children. Unless there is an ongoing epidemic of epic proportions (in which case there would be no need for mandates because parents would line up for necessary vaccines), there is no reason to try to force Californians to accept one-size-fits-all medical interventions that their children do not need.
Senator Pan and other lawmakers justify this law by citing the measles “epidemic” that occurred last year.
Yet many of those who were infected with the measles at Disneyland were fully vaccinated.
No one died.
No unvaccinated child in any school in California spread the measles to any other child.
Using a small outbreak of measles as an excuse to throw out informed consent and to strip intelligent tax-payers of their right to a public education and child care for their children is wrong.
This is an assault on medical freedom, informed consent, and the poor who cannot afford day care or home schooling.
Dr Pan says, “You can certainly choose not to vaccinate your child and there’s nothing in this law now that will make you vaccinate your child, however there is a consequence to that and you cannot endanger other children and other people through your decisions.”
Delaying the Hepatitis B vaccine until your infant is a teenager endangers no one.
Shall we also bar teenagers who have lost their immunity to Hepatitis B because they were vaccinated as newborns from attending California schools?
Shall we bar children who were not breastfed, since we know from literally thousands of scientific studies that formula-feeding compromises a child’s lifelong immune system and makes it more likely for him to succumb to (and spread) infectious diseases?
Of course that is ridiculous.
This law is ridiculous.
This idea of removing a parents right to decide what medical procedures are done on their children is ridiculous.
“Our success here in California can only be followed up by people willing to be bold and willing to take on the opposition toe-to-toe on the facts, on the science and not waiver.”
Well, Dr. Pan, this response is your toe-to-toe answer to your ridiculous bill.
I lean on science. You cannot pick and choose which peer reviewed articles you want to quote.
AAP President Sandra G. Hassink, M.D., FAAP, called the legislation, “a very positive step,” and said she hopes other states will follow suit.
Every parent in America, especially in California, and every doctor in this country needs to keep fighting against SB 277 and similar legislation across the U.S.
I am a doctor who supports children, parents’ rights, informed consent, and medical freedom. I hope you do too.