AFTER WORKING ON THE VACCINE BOARD to get rotavirus vaccine approved, Dr. Paul Offit sold his patent on a rotavirus vaccine for millions. Now, after ignoring nearly fifty years of research pointing to toxicity, and specifically, neurotoxicity of aluminum (an adjuvant used in most vaccines), Dr. Paul Offit has now enraged the faithful.
Before we look at this statement in detail, I must confess that as an evolutionary biologist, I have always let the Constitution be my guide for religious rights. I would die for my country if anyone tried to take away the faithful’s right to express their beliefs. I am a scientist, and also a parent.
Paul Offit and Dr. Pan have decided that it’s a good idea to try to take away parent’s rights and try to make the issue one of ‘children’s rights’. Unfortunately for them, they do not know the power of the parental instinct to protect one’s children.
Children have a right to have parental protection from the state.
Here is his Offit’s statement:
“Hi. My name is Paul Offit. I am talking to you from the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Today I want to talk about an article that recently came out in the journal Pediatrics, titled ‘Frequency of Alternative Immunization Schedule Use in a Metropolitan Area,’ by Steve Robison and colleagues in Portland, Oregon. These authors looked at the choice by parents to separate, delay, withhold, or space out vaccinations in the Portland metropolitan area from 2003-2009. They found a 4-fold increase, from about 2.5% to 10% of parents, who made this choice during those years. The parents were making this choice because they could. With this article as background, I thought we would talk about vaccine exemptions.
There are 3 ways to exempt yourself from vaccines. The first way is a medical exemption. For example, a person may have a contraindication to getting a vaccine. Some people are allergic to gelatin. Gelatin is used as a stabilizer in the chickenpox vaccine and in the nasal spray influenza vaccine. That would be a reasonable reason not to get a vaccine.
If Dr Offit would take time to actually read the literature on aluminum neurotoxicity, as assigned to him, he would realize that medical exemptions may apply to all people. There is a medical basis for concern over acute, dose-dependent aluminum neurotoxity. Low-dose, chronic exposure also causes neurotoxicity. In fact, parents, here is your medical exemption:
“Numerous studies in the biomedical literature has shown that aluminum is a serious neurotoxicant, and I am concerned that the increase in the number of vaccines over the years in the pediatric schedule have made the total dose of aluminum for my child unsafe. There are times in the schedule where the dose exceeds the FDA’s limit. I refuse to accept your recommendation of this vaccine for my child based on a medical exemption.“.
A second way people can exempt themselves from vaccines are the so-called philosophical or personal belief exemptions. Twenty states allow that kind of exemption. I would argue that these exemptions are misnamed. First of all, the notion that vaccines are a ‘philosophy’ is inaccurate. Philo means love, sophos means wisdom. Exactly where is the wisdom in saying that it is better not to get vaccines than to get them?
Well, Dr. Offit, since you asked, here are your two reading lists from last week. Please do try to do your homework before coming to class next time.
The term ‘personal belief’ is also incorrect in that vaccines are not a belief system. Religion is a belief system. Religion is a faithbased system. Science and medicine are evidence-based systems. They are data-based systems, not beliefs. If you want to feel better about vaccine use, I think one needs only to look at the roughly 20,000 studies that have evaluated the safety or efficacy of vaccines, or the hundreds of studies that have looked at what happens when you combine vaccines and give them at the same time to feel confident that, in fact, there are data to support that choice.
Here, he is misinformed and thereby misleading the public. There are not 20,000 studies that show vaccines are safe. Among those that have been conducted, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine rejected 17/22 as fatally flawed. There are current four major controversies involving fraud in vaccine safety research, including the revelation of fraud in hiding results showing association between vaccines and autism. And no, Dr. Offit, there not “hundreds” that have studied combination effects. In fact, one of the papers assigned to you has called for such research, and the research that has been done points to compounds that interact with unknown biological effects.
He is also playing fast and loose with words here. “Have evaluated” does not mean “Have concluded”, and “Looked at what happens” does not mean “no findings of toxic synergy”.
The third way one can exempt oneself from vaccines are so-called religious exemptions. Forty-eight states have them. I would argue this also does not make a lot of sense. The first vaccine was Edward Jenner’s vaccine in 1796. The New Testament was written around 100 AD, the Old Testament between 1400 and 400 BC, and the Qur’an around 600 AD. All those texts were written well before vaccines existed, so not surprisingly, they never mention or predict them. I also would argue that it does not make sense to say, ‘It is my religious belief that a child not get a vaccine,’ and therefore a child should be left with less protection under the law.
He is about to become an expert in Constitutional Law, which he is not:
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the so-called Equal Protection Clause, states that a child or anyone should be equally protected and implies that this is independent of a parent’s belief system. If the child is exposed to harm, that child should have equal protection. For example, if a Jehovah’s Witness parent says, ‘I do not want my child to get a lifesaving blood transfusion,’ the parent does not have the freedom of religion to practice that because of the 14th Amendment.
No, the 14th Amendment states that individuals are entitled to equal protection from the state. The courts that decided Equal Protection and took away Religious Exemptions are not the final word – the parents can always home school. Further, vaccines against childhood diseases are not life-saving treatment.
What is interesting — and I do not think most people know this — is that the 2 states that do not have religious exemptions are Mississippi and West Virginia, states you would not necessarily pick. The reason these states do not have a religious exemption is because both states’ Supreme Courts said that it was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. I think we should call these exemptions what they really are. Let’s not sugarcoat this choice. We should call them the ‘I do not want to get vaccines because I have read a lot of scary things about vaccines and I am afraid that they might hurt my child, and I am not so sure I believe in pharmaceutical companies or the medical establishment or the government, so I do not want my child to get them’ vaccine exemption. That would be, I think, more honest. Thanks for your attention.’
Dr. Offit, your condescension to the parents of the United States will be your undoing. Many of these parents are better informed on the scientific literature than you know. And they know their legal rights: Even laws that require mandatory vaccines do not supercede parental consent laws.
Here, Dr. Offit, is another reading assignment for you, from 51 authors on the Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Committee on Bioethics (2011):
“Under US law, minors are generally considered incompetent to provide legally binding consent regarding their health care; parents or legal guardians are empowered to make those decisions on their behalf, and those decisions are considered legally binding.”
Take it up with your colleagues, Dr. Offit, and quit picking on the parents and children who expect you to “First, do not harm”.
Plain and simple, children have the right to have parental consent, Dr. Offit. This is a children’s right issue for protection from the State. History has proven that the state will neglect and abuse the individual in the name of “the greater good”. My research in the vast literature on the genetics of autism and on vaccine safety has led me to conclude that some people – a larger percentage than we are aware – are susceptible to injury from vaccines, and have mutations that make preservatives and adjuvants particularly unsafe for them. We should be spending time and money finding biomarkers of susceptibility, not arguing and shoving medical practices down people’s throats.
Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Committee on Bioethics (51 authors). 2011. Consent for emergency medical services for children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 128(2):427-33. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1166.
Dr. James Lyons-Weiler is author of “Ebola: An Evolving Story” and “Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research“, and “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism“. He is also President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge (IPAK). IPAK is a pure public charity dedicated to providing impartial interpretation of research results without the influence of profit pressures. You can support IPAK with donations via the web. Your generous support will help Dr. Lyons-Weiler and his colleagues continue their efforts to keep the public, including Dr. Offit, informed.
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