One of the societal tools used against those who chose not to vaccinate is the “don’t come crying” line.
This is best exemplified by Dunedin’s Dr Paul Trotman in his Sunday Star Times column (in the days when he was just ‘Dr Paul’ and no-one knew who he was) in which he said:
The Sunday Star Times printed a sanitised version of my reply, but naturally, I prefer the one I sent direct to Dr Trotman, and to the Sunday Star Times, which read:
30 June, 2007.
Dear editors and Dr Anonymous Paul,
Say we turn up under your nose at ER, after some cigarette smoking, junk eating, dunk-off-his-head lunatic tried to total our car. You note that our blood pressure is 120/60, yes, even in hospital! Our cholesterol is fine, no anaemia; apart from fractures, all tests check out squeaky clean. But then you see our vaccines are forty plus years out of date. You note that we both lived through polio and diphtheria era, and lived to tell the tale and that my unvaccinated father is 95 and still going.
You ask if we want tetanus shots, after all, we just might die tomorrow if we don’t. We politely say no, commenting that our deaths obviously haven’t been too urgent, especially considering that a tetanus vaccine doesn’t give “herd” immunity.
What are you going to think Dr Paul? Get pissy because we exercise client choice, or be nice, and say, “Yippee, here we have some healthy fit specimens who just might heal really quickly because they understand the value of decent food, are fit, don’t smoke, don’t drink and are pretty unlikely to get tetanus anyway?”
You talk about duty to society, and our most precious assets, which are actually ourselves too; for if we die, where are our children then? Let’s talk about the no-doubt-all-vaccinated, who really cost the country megabucks and die, because they won’t take any of your other advice to stay well.
In your column next week, will you take a humungous swipe at the thousands of people who daily constipate the corridors and wards of hospitals, draining our tax dollars mercilessly every year? It isn’t because they are protected by the rest of society. Our unvaccinated kids had the following in the late 80’s and 90’s: Mumps, measles, rubella, chickenpox, whooping cough and they have been exposed to diphtheria at least twice. The only time our kids would land up on your doorstep, Dr Paul, is with injuries. And no, we’ll pass on the tetanus shot thanks.
We view what you have to offer in much the same way as we view Pak’n’Save, where we take the fruit, the vegetables, the nuts, the basics without additives, flavour enhancers etc. We leave the junk food, cigarettes and booze to the others who frequent your corridors. Of course, you know, Dr “Paul”, that we wouldn’t dream of touching the “food” that passes for hospital nutrition, don’t you? Do you get your back up about hospital food too? I’d imagine, if you are really consistent in all your words of medical system “wisdom” regarding dereliction of clients/hospital and societal duty, you would have had laryngitis since the day you became a registrar?
If you really want to go down the Bush road of “either you’re with us or against us” why pick out the really informed clients who hardly every ask for your help?
Better still, perhaps you might like to offer those parents and the readers a public apology?
Ignoring all the errors, omissions of logic, and misinformation in Dr Trotman’s pro vaccine spiel, I could have said a lot more, like:
And while you no doubt moan about taxes being “needlessly” used to treat a disease for which there is a vaccine, at the same times as you gleefully use my taxes to treat all the people who are in hospital because they drink, smoke, eat crap, don’t exercise, (insert very long list here) and who constantly ignore all the rest of your advice, .... do you plan on excoriating them likewise, in your next column?
You can see why we have a “One Less” selective thinking mentality, when the doctors our papers pay salaries to, come up with selective morality like that.
It’s this line of emotive reactivity, which by-passes logical thinking, which resulted in the “flat-earthers” of past eras. The libraries of their day, were full of very expensive books replete with nonsense. The experts of Copernicus's day, didn't know that their prized texts of written dogmas, were most often a fistful of fallacies.
In that regard, I’d have to ask the question whether the average consumer of today has any better discernment, or analytic ability than the flat earthers of the past, in an era of supposed “advancement” and technological superiority, in which information is supposedly at our fingertips.
But then, no doubt the flat-earthers of today, would say the same about those who would question vaccines.
As to whether the medical dogmas of today are any better, history will be the judge.