For me, any discussion about Pro-Vaccine VERSUS Anti-Vax is irrelevant, because to me, the "anti-vax" position, as currently defined, doesn't actually even exist. I say this because the label "anti-vax" is a term that is now synonymous with "anti-science." I'm yet to meet a single person who doesn't believe that science is real, valid, and valuable.
If one position points out the flaws in the existing vaccine supportive scientific research (which requires an understanding of that science), and then they go on to debate that vaccine supportive scientific evidence further using different scientific research (which requires an understanding of that science as well), how exactly does that make this group, "anti-science." This makes no sense. The doctors, scientists, and researchers who I look to, to educate myself on this situation, they show me the vaccine supportive research papers (which I've read many of), and they show me the opposing scientific research papers that back up every single argument they make (which I've also read many of). We've read the science, we use it, and we value it, so how exactly are we "anti-science?" To me, because the label "anti-science" is invalid, it's counterpart "anti-vaxxer" can't be valid either.
Personally, I try to avoid labels in general, but when referring to the positions in this debate, labels will need to be used from time to time. As a result, I've chosen the label "pro-choice" to refer to the group of people who are questioning vaccines. For me, this label acknowledges the fact that the doctors and scientists who I'm learning from, they advise that it's our individual responsibility to look deeply into the science presented by BOTH sides, weighing all the evidence, BEFORE making a medical decision. Medical ethics requires that a patient be informed about a medical procedure, that patients be informed about the benefits, the risks and the alternatives. This ethical standard dictates that a patient must NOT be pressured into making a medical decision one way or another by a doctor, that the patient must be able to choose freely what is individually right for them. Only after a patient has been fully informed of the benefits, risks and alternatives, can a patient then consent, accepting a medical procedure or treatment. This practice is called "informed consent." Currently, pro-choice doctors are saying that when it comes to vaccination, true informed consent is not being offered to the public. These doctors explain that the risks of vaccination are being downplayed significantly, or denied completely, they explain that alternatives are not being explained or offered, and in various communities and countries, many different pressure tactics are being used to coerce and force people into getting vaccinated.
I will say that I believe the intent of vaccination is most obviously admirable. The original goal to protect everyone from experiencing certain illnesses, to protect the weak, to protect our children, to protect the herd, to protect humanity, that intent is truly noble. I’m grateful that so many people feel the desire to protect each other. Whether you’re strongly pro-vaccine, strongly pro-choice, or like the majority of people who are somewhere in-between, I think we can ALL agree that every single one of us has a desire to possess good health and quality longevity, for ourselves, for our children, for our family, friends and neighbours, and for future generations. I hope you might choose to focus on that commonality when reading all my future articles.
About our differences: The pro-vaccine believe there’s no question that vaccines save countless lives with little or no risk, whereas the pro-choice believe there are very serious vaccine safety issues which are being ignored and denied, and which are causing significant harm within groups of people. Again, the positions are nearly irrelevant because ALL PEOPLE are completely UNIFIED in EXPECTING to be provided with safe medicine that results from ethical high quality science. Recognizing that we have that exact same expectation, we need to start working together from that unified front.
All I can ask is for the pro-vaccine group to be willing to hear the safety concerns that the pro-choice have, by CHOOSING to LISTEN TO US, instead of choosing to only listen to the pro-vaccine groups who explain our concerns “on our behalf.” If you listen to us, you might truly see how unified we are on our shared desires and expectations. If the concerns of the pro-choice could be addressed so that the quality of medicine and science improves even further, beyond the high standard that the pro-vaccine see it already holding, what is the harm in that? And if you can see that it might be possible that medicine and science aren’t perfect, yet, can you also see that your effort and your voice might help us to advance things much more quickly? All it would take to get there, is for you to hear us out. I hope you might be willing to do that.
CONTINUE to the next post here: Introduction - Part 3