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Vaccinations: Informed Consent, Efficacy and Strengthening Immunity

Written by Arlan Cage, ND, Lac   
Thursday, 01 March 2007 00:00
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Informed Consent The principle of Informed Consent has its roots in millenniaold medical ethics, and in modern times has become codified as law. Federal regulations require that doctors tell patients in advance the nature of the medical treatment they are recommending, the risks involved, and whether or not there are alternative methods of treatment. Doctors must also give their patients an opportunity to ask questions. This is often referred to in medical circles as the PARQ Process: Procedures, Alternatives, Risks, and Questions.

The official position of the Naturopathic profession, as stated by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, is precisely this:

All physicians should obtain from parents signed informed consent by providing printed information describing the risks of the infectious diseases, the risks and benefits of childhood vaccinations and other options. Consent forms describing such information should be provided in a manner which would allow responsible parents to make informed decisions regarding the vaccination of their children [emphasis added].

VaccinationsUnfortunately, the proper level of informed consent is not always given by parents, who are often pressured into vaccinations by health care workers who fail to tell them their legal rights. It is therefore imperative that parents inform themselves. The purpose of my website is to make people aware of issues and information that may not have been available anywhere else, and to provide resources for further investigation.

Efficacy of Vaccinations

Keep in mind the goal of widespread vaccination programs was, at first, very noble—to eliminate infectious diseases and the suffering and death they caused in days gone by. As they have been implemented in modern times, however, most vaccinations fall far short of this goal for several reasons.

First, vaccinations do not impart permanent immunity from the diseases they vaccinate against. Most modern studies show that a high percentage of people who were vaccinated as children have no stored immunity by the time they reach their late teens or early twenties. When exposed to the diseases at this later age, they usually have a much more serious case of these illnesses, which can be fatal more often than when the diseases are acquired naturally as children.

Second, most epidemic-level outbreaks of the various diseases our society is vaccinating against are taking place among fully-vaccinated children. Even in the short-term, where vaccinations have been effective at reducing disease incidence, the immune effects are not universal and more and more children are getting sick anyway. In other words, children are being exposed to the risks of vaccination without the benefits of either short-term or long-term immunity. In roughly the last 30 years, for example, every case of polio in the US has been among previously-vaccinated individuals.

Third, the risks of side effects from vaccinations now appear to be higher than the risks of serious side effects from the naturally acquired childhood diseases. Additional epidemiological research is needed in this area, but the preliminary findings point in this direction. This will become more apparent when the actual long-term side effects of an altered, hypo-functioning or malfunctioning immune system are included. This will include conditions such as auto-immune diseases and cancer, all of which are now at epidemic levels in the US and elsewhere where vaccinations are widespread.

Fourth, the entire philosophy of vaccinations overlooks the crucial importance of actually catching the various childhood diseases as part of the normal development and training of our immune systems. Without ever being properly trained and allowed to exercise itself, we can never be fully certain that our immune system will be able to do its job throughout our lifetime.