Many people have commented on the last two posts and I would spend all of my day on Facebook answering the issues raised by individuals so let me just cover a few the larger issues and accusations raised.
1.Does Big Pharma have a vested interest in promoting their products?
Yes and I have often spoken out against the immorality of keeping medicines unnecessarily expensive. But that does not mean all their products are useless. Quite the opposite which is why they have such leverage.
2.All medical treatments – including alternative treatments- involve some risk. You are entitled to informed consent and you should ALWAYS discuss possible side effects with your medical practitioner. Unlike our economic system conventional medicine operates on what is good for the many not the few.
If for some reason you or your child fall into a rare category in which taking a particualr medicine or having a particualr vaccine would be dangerous then of course you need to discuss alternative courses of action with your doctor.
3. Do you have a right to decide what will be put into your body or done to it?
Yes of course. I’ve previously said so. You are completely protected from the kind of ridiculous suggestion that one person made (and I deleted) that the State can rip out your kidneys and sell them to someone else. Good grief.
Infectious disease however, as I tried to point yesterday, creates the issue of what to do about people who refuse medical treatment that works for the great majority in stopping the spread of a disease.
So, there comes a point where the law recognises your individual right to choose is superceded by the Public Good.
I illustrated that what the law provides in terms of inoculation
1.The Medical Officer of Health can order a person to be innoculated 2. Can order a person to be isolated at home.
Now, you can shoot the messenger but the message remains.
Namely you have a moral (and legal) obligation to society not to infect other people with a life threatening disease.
If you are against vaccination in principle then so be it. The particular problem for you , in times of epidemic, then becomes how do you keep your unvaccinated self and/ or children safe?
And the problem for society becomes – what do we do with you if you or a member of your family catch the disease, you become a threat to the health of the community and you reject the publicly offered treatments?
Our nation’s doctors and nurses are not all involved in some giant conspiracy to do you harm. If you have questions and concerns – ask your medical practitioner .
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.