Thursday, August 18, 2011

LA Times: Sometimes Government Decree Has to Trump Personal Choice!

It always warms our heart to see the truly deserving facing public backlash. So when the LA Times editorial board issued this awful attack on parents who refuse to comply with vaccination mandates, we were delighted to hear that they sparked an angry reaction from many of their readers. And really, they should've expected it: when you advocate, essentially, for forced vaccinations, and ridicule the beliefs and concerns of those who opt against vaccines, you're likely to be called out on it.

The Times editorial is wrong on both science and ethics. On the science, it points to the Lancet's retraction of a landmark British autism study to argue that parents' vaccine fears are unfounded. Yet this is just as much an overreach as Dr. Andrew Wakefield's claim that a study of 12 children justified radical changes in vaccination practices. Vaccine toxicity is notoriously difficult to study, particularly in the case of a condition like autism, where diagnostic standards are still a work in progress. One way or the other, the proof isn't there. And on the ethics, the pertinent question is still whether the government has the right to forcibly medicate anybody against their will. As we've argued before, it's impossible to answer that question affirmatively without contradicting yourself.


  1. AnonymousAug 18, 2011 11:13 AM
    Regardless of the legality and morality of forced vaccination, the science on vaccines and autism is as settled as settled can be. Trying to use risk of autism as a point against mandatory vaccination just undermines your argument.
  2. GSLAug 18, 2011 11:18 AM
    Um, a case-control study constitutes "settled" science? Really? Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, just that this doesn't prove you're right.
  3. GSLAug 18, 2011 11:25 AM
    Also, detecting toxic effects of any pharmacotherapy requires far larger sample sizes than this study.
  4. randianAug 18, 2011 12:35 PM
    Diseases once thought conquered are on the rise again, in large part due to the influx of foreigners infecting the unvaccinated.