Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Limits, Example #1

California has a problem with people who have decided it's within their freedoms to not have their kids vaccinated. Now they have a measles outbreak.

I'm willing to go on record as being in favor of mandated vaccinations. Are they risk free? No, not completely. I am also in favor of speed limits, stoplights, and bans on drunk driving, largely on the same grounds, even though P.J. O'Rourke makes a wonderful argument to the contrary.

But in both cases, the risk to others is what establishes the limit on the behaviors I am free to choose to engage in.


drjim said...

And besides dim-bulb, gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free "parents" who insist on exposing their spawn to all manner of easily preventable diseases, we also have here in The People's Demokratic Republik of Kaliforniastan all manner of third-world illegal aliens invading, bringing with them poor hygiene and diseases that were eliminated 50 years ago in the former USA.

And thanks for the link to the O'Rourke article. He's one of my favorite writers.

Arthur said...

"...the risk to others is what establishes the limit on the behaviors I am free to choose to engage in."

Um, who determines the 'risk'? If it's the same ones crying about 'microaggressions' and 'triggering', you will be free to do everything your rulers tell you to. That doesn't sound like a good policy.

ASM826 said...


I would say that it is shared. Like red lights. The agreement we all stop at red lights puts roughly the same limits on, and provides roughly the same protection to, all of us.

The coming utopia you're speaking of is going to be filled with bad policies.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

I was the attendant for a polio kid when I was in college. He was a few years older than me, and polio found him before the vaccine made it to everybody. He could feed himself, type, brush his teeth, but someone had to do everything else for him. I'm darn glad I was vaccinated.

Arthur said...

Who's talking utopia? I'm going by the old maxim - "any time a rule/law is proposed, imagine it being enforced by your worst enemy".

I'm not anti-immunization, I'm simply saying that your policy as stated is right now being used as a plan of attack against everyone in the US by the EPA and every other regulatory agency out there.

Aaron de Bruyn said...

ASM826: I disagree. The basis of law is "If you haven't harmed anyone or damaged their property, you have done nothing wrong".

I have run a red light before.
It was 2 AM in a small deserted town where I could see for miles in each direction at a 'T' in the road.

I sat there, looking at a red light for ~2 minutes. Nothing. I eventually figured the light was broken, checked for traffic all around me, signaled, and then ran the red light.

Sure enough, there was a cop hidden in the bushes. (I'm guessing this happens a *lot* in this small town.)

He pulled me over and said "Didn't you see the red light?".

"Yeah. I sat there for 2 minutes and finally figured it was broken, so I cautiously continued on."

He didn't issue me a ticket.

When news articles trumpet headlines like "Turns Out We Were Completely Wrong About How Pluto Looks", I'm disconcerted that someone would willingly force another human being to become a lab experiment.

Not to Godwin the post, but Nazi doctors thought they knew the solution to various medical 'problems' and got the government to enforce their current 'best practices'.

Doctors used to think Physiognomy was legit ~150 years ago.
150 years before that, we had tests for witches.

Hell--10 years ago, I was taught that you had to do 10 chest compressions and 2 breaths for CPR, then it changed to 15/1 (if I recall correctly), and now they are telling people to just do chest compressions.

For decades, we have been told that Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, etc...were save. Oops--*new* research says they aren't... (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fda-strengthens-warning-that-nsaids-increase-heart-attack-and-stroke-risk-201507138138)

How long until people realize that vaccines aren't safe?

Remember Measles before all the vaccine hype?

It's FACT! (until tomorrow when we find a new fact that disproves our old fact...but don't worry--the trumpet will be blaring about just how awesome 'modern day medicine' is.)

On the insert included with every vial of MMR it has a section called "Adverse Reactions". One of the items listed specifically says:

"Death from various, and in some cases unknown causes has been reported rarely following vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been established in healthy individuals (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). No deaths or permanent sequelae were reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R-U during 1982-1993."

Sounds great. I'm all for the government forcing an increased possibility of death on to someone.

ASM826 said...


You said, "...The basis of law is "If you haven't harmed anyone or damaged their property, you have done nothing wrong"..."

That may be the starting basis, but I would suggest that there are any number of laws that are based on risk to others, not just actual harm. If I drive drunk and get home safely, I have harmed no one. It is still illegal to drive while impaired due to the added potential risk to others and their property.

This imposes a burden on people who like to drink, be it for social reasons or their worship of Dionysus. As a group, we have passed a law that accepts that, and are willing to have force used to enforce it.

Anonymous said...

I realize there are a lot of strong feelings on this. Here are a few of the facts I have gleaned:

1. Not all vaccines fight polio. Just because polio vaccine worked really well does not mean all other vaccines are equally safe, effective, or even a good bargain. They should not all be riding the coat tails and good will of Polio and get an automatic mandatory status based on the success of Polio vaccines.

2. Herd immunity and "risk to others" is nothing like stop lights. It is transfering risk from one person to another. Some people are intollerant to vaccines, so they ar exempt. And instead of them living at higher risk, due to their own genetic defect, my healthy kids are expected to assume added risk for their benefit. No thank you.

3. Parents, even stupid parents, should always be the final arbiter of what is best for their children. I have seen way too many times the government mandating something , "for my own good" that was very much not good for me, but was financially VERY good for someone else, at my expense. (*cough* Obamacare *cough*)

4. All medical treatments including vaccines, should be given a very critical review by the patient (or guardian) and be evaluated both on the potential risks and benefits. This is why you can't even watch a cialis commercial on tv without having to hear 30 seconds of govenment mandated fast talking about all the risks. But line your kids up at the public school to vaccines and who is reading the list of risks and deciding if they are worth it?

5. Some people are always exempt. It makes no sense to me that we as a society argue about religious exemptions to vaccines (or home schooling), but ignore expemtions to parents who faithfully investigate the options and rationally decide against it. It makes no sense to me that people can simply say they are intollerant to vaccines and get exempt, but everyone else will be forced to find out if they are intollerant... by trial and error.

6. Measels are making a comeback in the USA because of unrestricted immigration from 3rd world countries, where universal vaccination is not practiced, not because of Amish and other vaccine-o-phobes. The solution here is not permitting sick people to cross our borders, and requiring visitors to be vaccinated. We used to do this, back when we cared about our immigration policy.

ASM826 said...


I do not think that I would agree that parents are always the final arbiter of what is best for their children. A recent case comes to mind of a mother that was using a vegan diet for a very young child. The child was being injured by lack of essential nutrition.

Religious minorities that would allow a child to die rather than receive a blood transfusion are another example.

This does intrude on freedom of religion and parental rights and it may be that your interpretation of freedom comes down on the other side of the question.

Certainly our society has decided that a woman's freedom to not be pregnant trumps any rights that the developing fetus had.

It gets murky on the edges.

Graybeard said...

ASM286 - It gets murky on the edges. Didn't someone just say the problem is always when rights collide?

I'm conflicted on this, because of the implication that all laws are eventually enforced by people with guns. The other side of that, of course, is that you have no rights that you're not personally willing to defend with your life. I don't want to see SWAT teams in shootouts with parents over the right to vaccinate children.

There could be a 10 or 20 page response that could be written here. Even combining the two longest replies you have here leaves out too much.

Personally, I get vaccines whenever possible. I'm of the age where I had measles, German measles, and mumps - not a vaccine. I recall getting the oral polio vaccine, probably in 1960, or '61, which seems to be around the time widespread administration to children first started. I get a flu shot every year, I've had a pneumonia vaccine, get a tetanus booster every five years, and more.

In other words, I generally come down on the pro-vaccine side. But if that whole scenario of armed teams administering mandatory vaccines and having shootouts with those who refuse should ever come to pass, I'm more likely to be on the side shooting back than side saying "take your vaccine".

Paul Bonneau said...

This sounds like one of those, "I'm all for liberty, but..." arguments.

Get your own kid vaccinated if you think that's a good idea. You can then deal with the increased likelihood of autism, while the non-vaccinated can deal with measles. Either way you go, it's nobody else's business. Let Darwin handle it.

Glen Filthie said...

This is why I cannot abide libertarians. They are no better than liberals when it comes to matters scientific. This is not about your rights and freedoms - it is about basic health and hygiene, public safety and the safety of our children.

The anti-vax crowd are abusing science and common sense here. I've argued with them before and it's always the same: some obscure physician 'did a study' that PROVES vaccination is a hazard - yet none of these dummies has the background themselves to argue the case fluently. If some kid gets autism it just HAS to be the vaccine's fault...and whether it is or not is irrelevant. It's like listening to greasy hippies talk about the environment and quoting Al Gore (he got a Nobel, dontchya know!!!).

Unless you are willing to put in the time to learn about the subject - be safe and sensible and vaccinate your children.

STxAR said...

I believe with my whole heart that after fertilization, that ovum is human. They will grow and ultimately breathe, talk, hug, love and learn. They won't get anything else but nutrition, water and air. All that they will become, physically, is present in there.

Did you know that Rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis and rabies are grown on tissue from electively aborted babies? So, do I use the products of a dead baby, to the great profit of Merck, on my kids?

If you were killed without mercy, and I decided to grab your lungs to grow cultures with before you were sent off to the morgue, would that be okay? Especially, if I stood to make billions of dollars off your parts? It didn't just happen then, see the current news about Planned Parenthood (eugenics in the poor part of town).

There are many facets to this subject. Not just my rights, your rights, safety, liberty, etal...

Anonymous said...

AMS826. I didn't say parents were the best arbiters. I said they should be the final arbiters. Even if they are stupid. Even if they are evil or wicked. For me this is not some libertarian bullshit. IT is about a society that is sensible and has established laws derived from principle, not just the whims of judges and changing fashions. Parents exercise the rights of children on their behalf (to self defense for example). If they do it poorly, then the child suffers. This is an inexcapable fact of life all over the world. I am just applying it to vaccines.

I don't care about other people's children as much as other people do. The world is a big place and there are a whole lot of children suffering in it. Not my problem. My problem starts when some do-gooder in NY city decides that since some crack baby from guatamala didn't get Polio vaccine, my kid MUST get the new HIV/Herpes/HEPc vaccine, without regard to that vaccine being proven safe and effective and without regard to my child's actual risk of contracting any of those diseases.

That said, I am not an anti-vaxer. I am pro-liberty, and the right of parents to makes important choices for their kids is the most important liberty. I am perfectly fine with you deciding for yourself that your kids should be early adopters and get every new injection that comes along. But I reject your "right" to increase the risk on my kids to manage the risk on yours.

grendel said...

If the vaccines work, how is it that those who choose not to vaccinate are a threat to your vaccinated children, dumbasses?

Anonymous said...

It's not a dumbass thing. There are plenty of people who cannot be vaccinated. They depend on everyone else in society being vaccinated. Also, no vaccine is 100% effective, only "mostly effective". So, plenty of vaccinated people still get sick. Example: millions of people who got the flu vaccine will also get the flu. So, there are good arguments about the whole herd immunity thing. The proper counter argument is: How much extra risk are you entitled to force onto me to limit risk to you? This is the basic question in all of society. Your kids are special needs, so you get the government to turn over 90% of the public school budget to special busses, special teachers, special classrooms, special lunch menus, and the result is less of my taxes go to my kids.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@grendel: Even if someone gains 100% effective immunity from the vaccination, if they get sick from something else - say, strep throat, which is pretty common for children - their immune system is now weakened and unable to fight off a disease they were vaccinated for, such as measles. Their immunity has been temporarily compromised due to another illness.

They still won't get as sick, but it's still serious. They also then become contagious, and can spread it to others - like the kid who is unable to take the vaccine, or another classmate who also is sick with strep.