Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mandatory vaccination

This is an issue that involves competing questions of public safety, civil liberties, and parental rights.


  1. Thanks, Steve. :-) Good article.

    I think the individual rights vs. state authority issues over vaccination also play out on a much wider scale. Both sides can run amok.

    Regarding state control or authority, I think one extreme is non-medically trained "public health officials" or "administrators" who overstep their knowledge-base or experience-base to make significant medical decisions which can poorly affect everyone. For example, euphemistically named "guidelines" control the vast majority of what oncologists can and cannot do - i.e. the NCCN Guidelines. Oncologists are often given very little leeway as far as what type of chemotherapy they can or cannot recommend administering to their patients, at what dosage, for how long, etc. If they don't strictly adhere to the NCCN Guidelines, then the oncologists won't get reimbursed by insurance companies. Or worse get malpractice law suits against them.

    Also, public and private health officials are slowly having anesthesiologists (who are doctors) replaced by nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) since it's apparently cheaper to hire two or three or four or even more nurse anesthetists and have one anesthesiologist supervise all of them at the same time. And the anesthesiologist takes on the brunt of the medico-legal liability in case anything goes wrong. God forbid there's more than two concurrent OR emergencies the nurse anesthetists can't handle since there's only one anesthesiologist to help out.

    There's a movement among doctors to try to get back into health administration, to fight for their specialties and medicine as a whole and take back the authority and control that health administrators, hospitals, insurance companies, and the gov't have taken away from doctors and dictated to doctors how they "should" and "should not" practice medicine. But it may be a case of too little, too late. Practically speaking, it's just really hard to be both a doctor and an administrator since doctoring alone takes up so much time. (Although there are also doctors who have sold out.)

    And of course this is true in other fields. Like, say, the NSA watching our every move, etc. Maybe the tv show Person of Interest is on the right track.

    I guess all these things are signs of the times.

  2. If I can draw an analogy, atheists are sort of like "free riders", living as they do, in a God-created world, off the borrowed moral capital of centuries of Judeo-Christian ethical laws and statutes. They rely on herd immunity in that, while many will outwardly profess atheism, most will not follow through on their worldview to its logical conclusion.

  3. Comments by Maher on how little he trusts the medical field. Most illuminating are his comments about how geology (with reference to global warming) is more trustworthy than pharmacology. Why? "It's a rock." Says Maher. The human body, he says in contrast, is infinitely more complicated. What about evolution then Mr. Maher? Always fun watching atheists try to patch the holes in the sieve that is their epistemology.