to think it's not terribly helpful to keep referring to parents who haven't MMR'd as "whack jobs"...

(865 Posts)
MsGillis Thu 25-Apr-13 13:01:03

..or morons, or unfit parents, or up there with people who drink and drive?

I appreciate that people have very strong feelings around the subject, but I think that we need to understand that there are a significant number of parents who didn't/haven't vaccinated, not because they are crystal waving nutjobs, but because they are actually scared shitless and paralysed into indecision?

Surely there are ways and means to communicate information, and arrogantly shouting about how one person is right and anyone who disagrees is all kinds of nobhead is not going to be conducive in opening up reasonable dialogue?

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 17:55:23

spink yes I think different povs is fair.

I would agree that name calling is not helpful and it is best to try and discuss matters calmly.

Spink Tue 30-Apr-13 16:16:04

WhenSheWas, it looks as though this is just something we will continue to see from different povs.

I'm another past research scientist & supervise doctoral rx now as part of my nhs work. There are clearly well informed people on both 'sides', maybe an indication that it isn't very clear cut...

seeker Tue 30-Apr-13 15:50:36

Sorry- what I meant is that nobody is saying that parents who connect regression with MMR are stupid. Clearly some of the people in the c&p s you did are stupid. Anyone who believes in homeopathic "vaccines" is stupid. Anyone who thinks that vaccines don't work at all, ever, is stupid. Anyone who thinks, as someone I know does, that their child won't get nits because they aren't vaccinated is stupid.

But stupid for thinking that your child's regression is linked to MMR? No- never stupid.

LaVolcan Tue 30-Apr-13 15:25:32

Nobody is saying that parents are stupid.

The whole thread began as a discusion of 'whack jobs' or stupidity in a less polite form.

Then - all quotes from this thread:

"It's stupid, it's selfish,"

"Unfortunately their stupidity impacts innocent people too"

"some people who refuse to vaccinate clearly are negligent and stupid."

"don't get me started on the stupidity of the "immunity through infection is better" argument. The whole point of immunity is not catching the disease, surely"

"Nevertheless, continuing to link MMR and autism is stupid."

"But the right to free speech most certainly covers abusing you for your decisions, be they sensible or stupid."

I don't think you can say that nobody is saying that parents are stupid because a number are, and this doesn't include the offensive posts which got deleted.

Thanks temp you're right. Giving up. And I'm pleased that most docs I've met are like you. smile Thank you.

You really can't imagine being in the situation of having an at risk child can you? The researchers have given pretty good indications of the sort of children who might be at risk. My three all wave pretty big red flags. But you think I should just ignore that because they're not definitely at risk. You rarely get definite answers by the way. If your child has their first ever seizure a few days after vaccination you're not going to know for sure whether further vaccinations would put them at further risk, you have to make the decision without full knowledge.

If you really won't accept that some children inhabit a grey area where there is no established best practice then we're never going to agree. I will continue to assess vaccinations decisions on the risk/benefit ratio to my children and will continue to use the most up to date research relevant to them to do so.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 14:45:02

I'm not equating doubts about vaccination with a belief in homeopathy. My point was simply there are lots of controversial issues and a better understanding of science in thd general population would be a good thing.

seeker Tue 30-Apr-13 14:44:26

,Oh the irony of you accusing me of personal attacks. And as the parent of a child who regressed it sounded very much as if you were saying we are all too stupid to recognise the reasons for a regression (not quite the same as 'stupid' full stop)"

Nobody is saying that parents are stupid. nobody. But it is surely impossible to say for certain what caused a regression- just because a parent says says what they think the reason is doesn't mean that is the reason.

tempnameswap Tue 30-Apr-13 14:41:14

But there is far more grey area on this one WhenSheWas than any of those examples. It is really insulting to those of us who are actually informed and scientifically minded - there is overwhelming evidence that climate change exists, there just simply isn't any information that all vaccinations are safe for all children at all times. This is a fact.

Give up Saintly - you know have made decisions for your child based on the best available advice, evidence and, dare I say it, instincts. I don't see how that is either whacko or stupid.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 14:39:01


they think there's good evidence so there's no evidence yet.

they can't identify exactly which ones yet so the group that might might be at risk can't be identified yet.

I've already said if you could identify the at risk group (I feel the need to point out again that there is no evidence mmr causes autism) and if you could then prove there actually was a risk of regression to these patients then no don't give them the mmr.
Your question is entirely hypothetical and I've answered it before.

<insert> *you thought before (a)

Oh the irony of you accusing me of personal attacks. And as the parent of a child who regressed it sounded very much as if you were saying we are all too stupid to recognise the reasons for a regression (not quite the same as 'stupid' full stop)

No I didn't say you enrolled because there would be a personal benefit I said you enrolled because (a) it was safe and (b) your child might gain some benefit from it? If those conditions were not met why on earth would you enrol in anything. Presumably if you thought there was no benefit then you would have assured yourself that the risk was absolutely minimal. It was you who said you did it for society, not me.

I was a research scientist as well - although I find medal waving a bit tiresome.

Whenshewas - but people who work in this field are already saying they think there's good evidence that some children are more at risk even if they can't identify exactly which ones yet or exactly why. Are you really saying if you had a child you knew to be in the group you would happily vaccinate just because no-one can tell you that they're definitely at risk? Wow.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 14:05:03

temp I think what cherries means is a general understanding of scientific principles.

There are many contentious issues eg

Homeopathy - a few people insist water has a memory
Climate change - lots of people do not accept this
Evolution - creationists and intelligent design much more of a big deal in

magdalen Tue 30-Apr-13 13:54:08

I would have thought it goes without saying that I made an informed decision to enrol my child in a clinical trial. The people running the trial were also, as one would expect, extremely hot on the "informed consent" issue, what with them having little babies having injections and blood samples taken as part of their trial. I am a scientist, and was a research scientist before my daughter was born, so this is actually something I know something about. For you to so rudely suggest I enrolled in this trial because there must obviously be some personal benefit involved says more about you than me. For you to then accuse me of irresponsible behaviour towards my child is just frankly insulting and unpleasant and, put simply, really nasty behaviour.
On top of your earlier unsupported accusation that I called the parents of autistic children "stupid", it seems to me you have decided personally attacking me is a good idea. I'd rather you stopped, it adds nothing to this debate.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 13:53:29

But it supposedly doesn't work - according to you don't pretend I'm just making this up. The mmr is safe and there is no evidence it causes autism. Now if one day it is shown there is a small sub group who are affected and we are able to identify this subgroup - then yes of course they should be tested and an alternative found for this subgroup.

And can you really not understand that some children are more at risk from the vaccination than from the disease. Do you just not understand that, or are you simply pretending such children don't exist

There is no evidence that the subgroup you are worried about is at risk from regression caused by mmr.

I'm not anti safe vaccination, we have safe vaccination. I'm very much pro it.

And can you really not understand that some children are more at risk from the vaccination than from the disease. Do you just not understand that, or are you simply pretending such children don't exist?

But it supposedly doesn't work - according to you. You're the ones whinging about a low MMR uptake (although I keep pointing out the only paper looking at uptake found uptake with paid for singles was 94% for measles).

Why are you so anti safe vaccination for all children? I don't get it. It does sound rather as if you don't give a monkeys about children at higher risk from vaccination.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 13:32:20

Of course it would lead to a lower uptake. Just spreading the vaccines out alone would mean it would be harder to achieve coverage (it's more difficult organising 25 jabs than organising 5 jabs and because it will take longer to immunise children would be left at risk of disease for longer).

Telling parents they need to speak to a specialist re the individual risks makes it sound like there are huge flaws in the current vaccination program (which there aren't).

Even if you could achieve complete coverage the cost would be enormous.

1) companies would have to reapply for licences of single vacs, that's not a huge cost but it would cost more.
2) if we give out singles to everyone (or a lot of people opt for them) that costs more money in terms of staff available to administer the, staffing costs in the nhs are one of the biggest costs.
3) everyone needs to get advice from their GP as to what would be the best option for them. Again huge cost in term of man hours needed to chat to all these worried parents.
A) would there be any point speaking to a GP about vaccines, probably not as most GPs don't have specialist knowledge about immunisation. So all the GP would do is repeat nhs policy.
B) so GPs aren't suitable to administer this advice. Therefore parents have to go to specialists in immunology. We don't have enough which means the nhs would need to train hundreds more doctors to be able to give this advice (massive massive cost).

So even if the moving from a standard nhs policy to a everyone gets there own individual advice policy didn't result in a drop in vaccination rates (which it would, vaccines are more spread out) it costs about 10 times what the current system does.

The nhs is currently trying to save money any which way it can. It makes no sense to change a policy that works for one that has no medical basis whatsoever and would cost a fortune.

I know people are worried but you have much more to fear from the diseases vaccinated against than the vaccines themselves.

tempnameswap Tue 30-Apr-13 13:27:16

Um Cherriesarered - which aspect of science do you think we should all be taught exactly? Given that there are plenty of immunologists and paediatricians and GPs who accept that there are issues with multiple vaccines for some children. There is no special scientific fact/study in existence that can tell us that all vaccines are safe for all children at all times.

Saintly talks a lot of sense and is clearly well informed as are others on this thread. Yes there are people still erroneously claiming that there is a significant risk of autism from MMR but there are others who are measured and educated (in science and ethics and life) who are saying that their personal circumstances make the decision less obvious.

Spink Tue 30-Apr-13 12:28:42

WhenSheWasBad well I can't see that it would necessarily lead to a lower vac uptake.

If people were making fully informed choices & guided by health profs to information relevant to them presumably people who are afraid but uninformed now may have more vaccines than they are currently having?

I wonder if this gets lost because often those who raise questions about vaccines are labelled 'anti (all) vax (at all times)'. Which isn't really the full picture.

Oh stop getting hysterical. An individual approach just means a GP being able to say something like 'this child has a history of seizures so might be better off without a pertussis containing DT & polio hib' & so in an so forth. It was perfectly acceptable to do that when ds1 was a baby - easily organised - GP's were allowed to used their clinical decision making skills. It worked for years - & if such a system were still in place I'd have no complaints about the vaccination programme.

I have no idea why you'd be anti such an approach tbh unless you really don't give a monkeys about children more at risk of vaccine damage than your own.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 10:52:06

Urgh just re read your last post. An individual approach to vaccination. I'll be honest that scares the shit out of me. It would probably cause the biggest drop in vaccine uptake since Wakefield (actually it would probably be much worse). Outbreaks would occur all over the country and people like spero wouldn't dare set foot out of the house.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 10:43:52

saintly a reminder of what you said about vaccination policy.

So immunisation policies can only be made for populations and if there's good evidence that a subgroup are more likely to have immune dysfunction we just ignore it because the 'right' sort of statistics haven't been done yet? Obviously they've used statistics to ascertain the differences between autistic and control groups (& siblings who share features with the autistic group)

It does sound rather as if you don't see any need to alter the schedule because YOU have an average child with no concerns so why should anyone else be?

It sounded like you arguing against the vaccine schedule, if you weren't and you accept the current policy makes sense then fair enough.

When I have not been talking about policy - I have been talking about factors you should take into account when deciding to vaccinate your child. I have no opinion on anyone else's decision. FWIW my personal decision making was made exactly as outlined by spink, which is why my decisions changed after ds1.

In terms of policy I believe an individual approach to vaccination should be taken so for each vaccination it should be considered what is in the best interests of the individual. That's it. No more no less. This would fit in well with the development of genomic medicine & I expect to see all drug administration to become more personalised over the next few decades. It wouldn't be that difficult to take an individual approach now - allowing GP's the room to make their own clinical decisions (eg by being able to give single vaccines spaced out) would be a start. This was perfectly easy for them to do for many years (in fact could have been easily arranged for ds1 with no fuss or bother) so I don't think there needs to be huge barriers or an expression of how difficult it is. It's not.

In terms of vaccine trials. You misunderstand me. Magdalen said she put her child forward for a trial 'for society' and no other reason - rejecting my suggestion that she put her child forward because she assumed taking part was safe. If she/he vaccinated her child 'for society' while assuming it was unsafe then I don't think that's great. I think we can both agree it's unlikely that even he /she would have made that decision though.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Tue 30-Apr-13 09:22:28

bubbly you either haven't read or haven't understood the recent posts between saintly and I. They were about how vaccination policy should be formed (no saintly did not say no vaccines for everyone).

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