Monday 13 April, 2015
The Northern Daily Leader Page 7
“No Jab, No Pay” Benefit Cuts
I am so passionate about this particular article, even though it is not a local item but a countrywide initiative, that I could not miss expressing my personal view. I do not believe that any child should be at risk of disease because a small number of parents decide not to vaccinate their child, and I certainly do not think that that the taxpayer should help to financially support these parents or their decisions.
I could not have been happier when I heard Prime Minister Tony Abbott announce a new plan to have all children immunised, except for those that had legitimate health or religious reasons. It will no longer be a choice that parents can make, if they do not have a medically recognised contraindication or belong to a faith that prohibits the use of such vaccines.
I spoke with a friend who is a Paediatrician today and he said that there were in fact a couple of contraindications for immunisation on medical grounds that must be taken into account and these included Anaphylaxis – being the most severe and potentially life threatening form of allergic reaction, and Immunodeficiency which is a state “where the immune system cannot fight infectious disease, or is absent altogether”. I then did a bit of research and found there were websites to support this.
The above listed medical grounds are extremely important and should always be taken into consideration, in conjunction with General Practitioners, Paediatricians and other health professionals. What Mr Abbotts new scheme will mean is that parents will no longer be able to decline immunisation on half-baked theorist views that immunisation is linked to Autism and other associated medical conditions, when there is no medical evidence to prove this. My Paediatrician friend said that it has been found that there is no correlation between immunisation and these conditions, and that in fact there have been medical indicators recently that linked Autism and associated conditions with a genetic basis.
Mr Abbott said on the “Sunrise” show this morning that the window for objecting to immunisation based on religious belief had narrow considerably and upon doing a fair bit of google research today I can understand why. I could not find even one religion that prohibits vaccination directly. There were many religions that prohibited the eating of numerous animal products or the use of blood products, but they did not condemn medical treatment made from animal sources. The surprising thing in my research was that religions relating to Islam, the Taliban and the Amish are amongst the religions not prohibiting vaccination, as was Seventh Day Adventist, Catholicism, Judaism and Jehovah’s Witness.
When all is said and done – the priority on everyone’s agenda is the safety of our children from diseases that can threaten their lives. I understand my passion FOR immunisation is as strong as other people’s passion AGAINST it, but I would like to think that I have learned a small amount about the subject today, and I fully support immunisation of all our precious children.
I would point out that this is not a political point of view, simply an ethical one.
My Friend – A Paediatrician