By Darrel Crain, D.C.
“Science,” wrote Adam Smith back in 1776, “is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” He clearly made this remark before the advent of modern medicine. Recently a medical reporter worried, “Is medical science for sale?” To which someone replied, “No, the current owners are quite happy, thank you.”
“In the West, a major focus of scientific medicine has been the identification of external agents of disease and the development of weapons against them,” wrote Dr. Andrew Weil. As we all know, weapons are dangerous and can sometimes make the enemy stronger and more aggressive. Our predicament with antibiotics and drug-resistant bacteria springs to mind. When it comes to manipulating the complex workings of the human immune system, modern medicine is at a rather primitive stage, wielding metaphorical clubs to smash proverbial fleas. However, many scientists fear the public would become alarmed if it were generally known how little is understood.
Which brings us to childhood vaccination, easily the most emotional subject in our society next to religion and exposed breasts on television. No matter whether one is in favor of vaccination or opposed, the right to informed consent and the freedom to decide without coercion is the real issue. We call it scientific dogma when people cling to scientific claims that cannot be supported with facts. The defense of dogma resembles a playground where the loudest boy wins. A typical dogma debate goes something like this. One researcher stamps his foot and says, “Yes it does! It does! It does! It does!” The other side articulates the decisive opposing view, “It does not! You shut up!” And so on.
Vaccines are widely claimed to be responsible for wiping out death from childhood infectious disease, yet the death rate had already dropped 90-95% for all childhood diseases before vaccines even showed up. Since this stubborn historical fact is easily verified, one might wonder why the mythical version of vaccine history is so heavily promoted. It seems that improved sanitation, improved nutrition and antiseptic medical care deserve the credit, not shots. For some reason, our health leaders find this bit of history incomprehensible. All the yelling and jumping up and down about the grave necessity of vaccines obscures the noteworthy fact that vaccination is an invasive and potentially dangerous medical procedure.
“Nature cares nothing for logic, our human logic: she has her own, which we do not recognize and do not acknowledge until we are crushed under its wheel,” wrote Ivan Turgenev in 1867. Trying to understand the logic articulated by authorities in the health world requires some creative thinking. For example, measles and mumps are called “vaccine-preventable” illnesses. Silly me! I thought this phrase meant that being vaccinated would prevent getting the mumps and measles. I have since learned the opposite is true, getting the vaccine means you are more likely to become infected!
What a doofus I was, but I resolved not to be fooled again. When I read about recent chicken pox outbreaks and the chicken pox vaccine I was ready. The story said chicken pox still comes and goes, just as always, but with a difference. Aha! Could it be? Yes! Most of the kids who get chicken pox in these outbreaks now have been vaccinated to prevent it! One authority on the scene was quoted as saying (I am not making this up), “The infections may be a sign that the vaccine is working.” I am planning to create a lexicon on Vaccine-Speak to help the rest of us interpret such statements.
“With the discovery of new germs each year, the effort to find a specific drug to kill them all grows more futile. More and more research is revealing that diet, nutrition, environment, lifestyle, habits, attitude and stress have a profound effect on our immunity and resistance to disease,” noted Dr. Michael Schmidt. More parents these days are researching how best to promote the health of their offspring and are choosing to avoid vaccination. Why not use every natural means possible to build up internal resistance to disease instead? In California we retain the medical freedom to choose, although there are those who wish to rob us of our freedom.
The late Robert Mendelsohn, M.D., pediatrician for thirty years and author of the classic book, How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, had this to say: “The greatest threat of childhood diseases lies in the dangerous and ineffectual efforts made to prevent them through mass immunization.” Evidence is steadily accumulating that certain children are susceptible to brain damage and autism from standard vaccines, a view opposed by many health authorities. You might even say violently opposed.
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer wrote those words in the mid-1800s, just as a young obstetrician in Vienna, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, began imploring doctors to wash their hands between patient visits. Semmelweis claimed it would help stop the spread of death-causing disease. Doctors of the day furiously pointed out that they were gentlemen! How could a fellow doctor spread such vile, demoralizing superstitions? He was roundly denounced, vilified, persecuted and ultimately ruined. It was impossible for the hands of a gentleman to spread disease!
Today, of course, hand washing is accepted as a primary precaution in medicine, yet the failure of doctors to wash their hands still ranks as a major source of infection in American hospitals. Perhaps we need to remind some of these gentlemen to wash their hands before they come in from the playground.
Dr. Darrel Crain is a Family Chiropractor and Natural Health Writer practicing in San Diego, California. He is the President of the CCA San Diego County District and can be reached at 619-445-0100
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