By Tim O’Shea, D.C.
In every state of the union except two, parents have the legal right to exempt their children from all vaccinations. Whether or not anyone disagrees with their decision is immaterial to that right. In light of the social and political opposition to such a choice, parents who would embark upon such a course of action often have to face much greater obstacles than just learning about the dangers of vaccines. The parents can be victimized by uninformed people in authority who think they can enforce their own illegal opinions upon the public.
Dr. (name witheld) and Dr. (name witheld) recently found themselves in just such a situation. They have a nine year old son, (name witheld), who is in the fifth grade at a local school here in San Jose, California. On 27 Feb 01, they get a call from the principal of the school, with whom they have a good relationship. The principal informs them that they have a choice: either (name witheld) must be put back into the fourth grade class, or else he must be kept at home, indefinitely. Reason: (name witheld)’s teacher is pregnant and her ob/gyn has just informed her and the principal that being exposed to an unvaccinated child would place her fetus at risk of birth defects.
This is a reference to the extremely rare possibility of birth defects supposedly possible for a woman who contracts rubella in the first four months of pregnancy. The pregnant teacher had been vaccinated for rubella, with the standard MMR shot.
Not wishing their child to retrogress by being put down a grade, the parents opted to keep the child at home. For the next week they agonized about the situation, trying to find some legal or scientific way out of the dilemma. It was shocking and baffling to them that their child could be suddenly deprived of his education just because they had exercised their legal right not to vaccinate.
During this time the parents contacted the Santa Clara County Health Department to see what its stance was. The department responded immediately with a letter which stated that in all of Santa Clara County there have only been two cases of rubella since 1992, with the exception of a small epidemic that occurred in a local jail. Two cases in 9 years – in a county with over a million people.
The letter goes on to quote California Health and Safety Codes, Section 12035, that provides for a child to be excluded from school if he has been exposed to a communicable disease. And in this case, Santa Clara County Health Dept. stated that obviously “there is no reason to believe an exposure to rubella has occurred.”
Still the school persisted in excluding the child. The principal was relying on the incorrect and wildly unscientific opinion of the ob/gyn who had sent the school a letter apparently claiming that there was a high likelihood of birth defects from (name witheld) being in the same classroom with the vaccinated pregnant teacher. The parents were at their wit’s end, and were given no time estimate about how long this arbitrary and illegal exclusion was to continue.
Finally on 6 Mar 01, the principal called from school and informed the Drs. (name witheld) that (name witheld) could now come back to school because the teacher had left, apparently at the advice of the ob/gyn. It seems likely that the school’s lawyers had informed the principal of the school’s tenuous legal position in excluding a legally exempted and perfectly healthy child from attending school.
So now everything is fine, right? This family has to suffer great emotional trauma and the child loses part of his education while those in authority figure out what the law is. No harm, no foul, right?
Let’s take a closer look at what really happened here. The unconscionable situation that this doctor imagines he can arbitrarily impose upon these parents calls up two areas of concern:
Issues of Law & Issues of Science
Article 3 Section 6025 of the California Health and Safety Code reads as follows
“Any pupil age 18 months or older who has received all the immunizations – required for his/her age .. or who has documented a permanent medical exemption or a permanent beliefs exemption to immunization – shall be admitted unconditionally as a pupil to a given public or private elementary or secondary school, [or] child care center.”
This law is very clear. These parents have signed the California exemption form, as provided by state and federal law. These laws are not subject to interpretation by unilateral, arbitrary self-appointed guardians of the public health. The issues of exemption from vaccination have been decided in meticulous detail by the US Dept of Public Health, as well as by the state of California Department of Health and Safety, after years of study. This doctor seeks to place himself above state and federal law by imagining that he has had some new insight into the whole med-legal arena of immunization which heretofore has never occurred to any of the experts, and luckily he has arrived just in time to save us.
Such hubris is egregious enough in itself, but what is even more remarkable is that the school principal followed this ill-considered course of action without question, and immediately removed the child from the classroom. This action is a second, independent decision for which the school may now bear responsibility and liability for violations of these parents’ rights to education without discrimination.
Outside New York City there is an attorney named James Filenbaum, who specializes in cases involving violations of parents’ rights to exemption from immunization and in vaccine damages compensation cases. In a recent telephone conversation with Mr. Filenbaum, (845-357-0020), discussing the case of (name witheld) (name witheld), Mr. Filenbaum explained some of the possible dangers such a school may be looking at by relying on an incorrect and untenable medical opinion. For a school to deprive a perfectly healthy child of his legal right to education because of some highly speculative and very eccentric medical opinions may violate civil rights that are specifically defined in federal law (Federal Title 28, Section 1983).
The doctor’s position may be summarized as follows: he has the notion that since the teacher is pregnant, she is susceptible to getting rubella from the unvaccinated child, and thus of transferring the disease to her unborn fetus, resulting in a likelihood of birth defects. And this is in spite of the fact that the teacher herself has been vaccinated with MMR.
Trying to follow the logic of such reasoning is a daunting task. Since the teacher is vaccinated, shouldn’t that make her immune to the disease? If she is immune to the disease, what difference does it make even if this child gets the disease? Wasn’t that the purpose of the vaccine – to protect her from the disease? So now the doctor wants the child to be vaccinated with that same vaccine in order to protect the child from the disease, right? But if vaccination didn’t protect the teacher, why would it protect the student?
First of all, this doctor is creating undue hysteria by imagining multiple events each of which has only a remote possibility of occurring alone. The chances of them occurring in sequence is geometrically infinitesimal. Those events are
1. That the child will get rubella in the next few weeks, before the teacher becomes 4 months pregnant.
2. That the teacher would catch rubella from the child before he stayed home sick.
3. That the teacher would spread the disease to the fetus, and that would cause a birth defect.
Let’s look at the first one. The student is not sick now. In his county of a million people, there have been only two cases of rubella in the past 9 years. What are the chances that (name witheld) gets rubella in the next few weeks? Very small – much less than Maverick making an inside straight. Incidence of rubella in the US is now at its lowest rate in history. (Merck, p237) The rare dangers of a mother getting rubella during pregnancy are only in the first 16 weeks, as far as a fetus is concerned. (Merck, p 2185) The teacher is already at 12 weeks. So what are the chances of this healthy student being one of the two in a million cases of rubella in 9 years during the next four weeks? You couldn’t place the bet!
One can’t help but wonder – where would (name witheld) get the rubella from if all the other kids in the school are vaccinated? Doesn’t their vaccination work?
Now for the second event — the teacher catches rubella from the student. But how could that happen? She’s already been vaccinated. And let’s not forget the prime fact here: this child is totally healthy. It would take a lot more than medical paranoia to make him sick.
Finally the third event — birth defects. What are the chances? According to the latest edition of the Merck Manual, the chances of birth defects are less than 3% as a result of the mother getting the vaccine during early pregnancy. (Merck, p 2328) The chances of birth defects from the mother contracting natural rubella disease are so low they have not been calculated. No figure is even estimated in Merck.
So taking all three of these events together, they would all have to happen in sequence in order for this student to cause a birth defect in this teacher’s fetus. Such a likelihood is astronomically low. The chances are much greater that the woman would be killed in an auto accident during the same time period. It would make more sense to take away her driver’s license.
Let’s introduce some rational discourse into this overblown situation. Virtually all medical sources agree that rubella has historically been a mild, self-limiting disease of childhood which required no treatment. Most boomers got the diseases, had slight discomfort for a week, and now have full immunity for life.
In the early 60s, along came the MMR vaccine, a trivalent that was never tested as such. (Wakefield) Mendelsohn estimates an 85% immunity to this mild disease before the vaccine was introduced. So they needed a selling point – a big scare. Suddenly with no solid statistics of incidence, the remote possibility of fetal damage became the slogan that won FDA approval and inclusion into the mandated schedule. Since then we’ve never looked back.
All these shenanigans still wouldn’t be so bad if the vaccine were harmless. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Even Merck admits that the vaccine only confers immunity for “about 11 years.” That’s not immunity. Real immunity is for life. Real immunity is something only the human body can create after getting a disease. The problem with rubella is that the vaccinated can still contract rubella after the artificial immunity wears off. But by that time they’re usually adults, and the atypical version is a much more serous disease in adulthood.
Remember, atypical rubella is a manmade disease; it never existed before the vaccine.
The other problem with the vaccine is side effects. Here is a partial list of rubella vaccine side effects taken from the 2001 Physicians Desk Reference, page 1967:
Fever, Syncope, Headache, Dizziness, Vasculitis, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Thrombocytopenia, Leukocytosis, Lymphadenopathy, Anaphylaxis, Bronchiosopasm, Arthritis, Myalgia, Encephalitits, Paresthesia, Guillain Barre, Skin Rash, Burning at injection site, Death
Don’t believe this? Good. Check the references, and the rest of the discussion that follows in The Sanctity of Human Blood. You may be surprised to learn that we traded a mild disease that has been around for centuries causing very little trouble for a serious mutation that is doing its part in the de-evolution of the human genome.
The premier Australian researcher in the area of vaccinations is of course Viera Scheibner, PhD. Viera hammers home the most devastating side effect of
experimental vaccines like MMR and DPT. Worse than the above list of side effects, even including the occasional death, is the evolutionary cul de sac in which our disregard of the scientific method is enmiring us. Viera likens what vaccines are doing to overall human DNA – our genome – to making a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of something. Look at it after 10 generations. Then 50. Constant de-evolution, diluting, and weakening the DNA that took our species a million years to evolve. Truly messing with the good stuff.
So what do we learn from case of (name witheld) (name witheld)? It is hoped that we will learn the rules, the rules of law and the rules of science that come to bear on this situation. These parents had a sovereign right to choose not to vaccinate their son. Even those of us who may not agree with that decision had better agree at least to their right to make it. Because those personal freedoms that we do not defend are inexorably eroded away, day by day, by a thousand little media slurs, and a thousand shrugged shoulders. What would be the chances of the first 10 Amendments making it through Congress today? Slim to none. Most people don’t even know what the Bill of Rights is. We were the only country in the history of the world that would even consider placing all that freedom, all that power in the hands of the people. And now? Most Americans seem to think it’s fine to hand these hard-won, precious rights back to the government, because they’re too busy to educate themselves about the principles involved.
Study vaccines? That’s my doctor’s job. I can’t be bothered to learn what’s good for my children, and to demand it. Right to choose chiropractic care? That’s up to my insurance. I can’t be bothered to learn what’s good for my body, and to demand it.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Tim O’Shea, D.C.
Dr. Tim is the author of “The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is Not Immunization”
Click here to buy the book.
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