Sunday, August 24, 2008

You can't vaccinate against ignorance...

even if you can legislate against it:
Authorities are still searching for a Sydney couple who are in hiding after refusing to have their newborn baby vaccinated against hepatitis B...

The mother of the four-day-old baby boy has had the virus for several years and doctors say the child runs a high risk of contracting it unless he is immunised within days.

The New South Wales Department of Community Services has taken out a Supreme Court order to force the parents to immunise their child, but has so far been unable to locate the couple...

The parents, who are from Croydon Park in western Sydney, believe the illness can be managed more effectively than any potential damage from the vaccine.

The couple believes aluminium in the vaccine could cause the baby more damage than contracting hepatitis B.

What deluded and ignorant pr!cks. Even if it was the case that aluminium in vaccines was shown to cause harm, which it hasn't been - moreover it's aluminium hydroxide (I'd love to know if these parents take antacid tablets or use anti-perspirant deodorants?), it would still be a False Dilemma. Statistically the chances of the un-immunised baby getting hep-B is far more significant than any perceived risk of side effects from the vaccine, and the consequences of hep-B are far more significant:
Professor David Isaacs from Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital, said yesterday that the child's rights were being ignored...

He said if a baby gets hepatitis B at birth he or she will become a chronic carrier of the virus.

"About a third of those chronic carriers will die young from cancer of the liver or cirrhosis of the liver ... this is a horrible disease," he said.

Note the article has a big picture of a needle and refers to aluminium, not aluminium hydroxide (the equivalent of talking about the chlorine in all our food, instead of sodium chloride). What type of message are they trying to send? The more appropriate image would have been the following:

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UPDATE: (7th Sept 2008)

The baby's still not vaccinated and the New South Wales Supreme Court has not let the case go for legal reasons, as opposed to scientific ones:

Today, the department asked the court to dissolve the order saying a lesser order for the parents to present their child for medical assessment may encourage them to come forward.

But Justice Paul Brereton declined the request, saying the court should not back down to those who put themselves above the law.

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