Monday, September 30, 2013

Vaccinations and Grace

Here's a little of what Matt Walsh had to say to a critical person unhappy who attacked him for his decision to not vaccinate against Hep B:

I am not a “no vaccines at all” type of person, but I don’t think you’re in a position to ridicule those folks if you’re in the “any and every vaccine is automatically OK with me, and I’ll let the doctors give it to my child without doing any research about it beforehand” camp. ...

Kevin, let me do you a favor and give you a tip for the next time you decide to valiantly defend the honor of prescription drug companies and their miraculous vaccines: If you want to convince people like me — that is, people who aren’t terribly worried about gaining the approval of the peanut gallery — you best abandon the “get vaccines for the sake of the collective” argument. Call me selfish or narcissistic, but I don’t parent my children based on what I think my neighbors might want me to do. Parenting isn’t a democracy. It isn’t up for a vote. Never in a thousand years would I force my children to undergo a medical procedure simply for the sake of being a cultural team player. If you see it that way, please email me the next time you take your kid to the orthodontist. I’m going to need a vote before you make any decisions about braces or retainers.

Clint and I have researched carefully and decided which vaccines we would allow and when we'd allow those to be given to our children. It takes time to pour over information, cross reference, and track down sources. It takes courage to walk into a doctor's office and tell them you are not going to follow their plans for your child. Our regionally renowned doctor was impressed that we took the time and cared enough to educate ourselves concerning our children's immunizations. He did not feel threatened by our refusal, but was encouraged that we were proactive, thinking parents. We are among the few that have his home phone number. 

Like Matt, I don't care what you decide to do for immunizations with your children, but I do hope you take the time to research, learn the benefits and the risks, and make an informed decision based on what YOU think is best for your own child rather than go along with a schedule made up by someone else. I know, it takes some time and effort, and you are already very busy, but it is your child's health. Time and effort sacrificed for the well being of your child pretty much sums up parenting, doesn't it?

If you decide not to do a few hours research, that is still your decision. Vaccinating or non vaccinating is a choice we have, and consciously choosing our family's healthcare should remain a choice. Please allow the same grace to other parents as you expect for your own parenting decisions. 

Go here to read the rest of Matt's response.