Recently I have been reminded of the controversy and inconsistency surrounding the role of vaccination in our world. Like many parents who conscientiously object to vaccinating their children, I have thoroughly researched the matter. We absolutely have to, as anything from encounters in the park with other parents to school enrolments can be a minefield. With the ominous enrolment of my son into a prestigious international school in Japan I took care to submit forms co-signed by my doctor, my husband and myself explaining my position. I received a letter back from the school explaining that they had, in the past, accepted exemptions of religious or family beliefs but considering the current state of the world, with SARS and bird flu the ‘State of Trustees committee’ was considering waiving these exemptions.

I was immediately struck by the seriousness of what I was reading. Had they really followed that through to conclusion and considered all the ramifications of such a proposal? Discrimination, for whatever reason, is discrimination! I pointed out that they should make this new ‘policy’ known in their application for enrolment handbook so parents are not foolishly misled into thinking their un-vaccine compromised children actually have a chance of being accepted at the school. They could make a statement such as “Perspective parents please note – we are not accepting students of such and such religion and those who are not vaccinated”

Contentious indeed! Beware – if well meaning Boards of Trustees and other officials are allowed to usurp the role of the parent in assuming that they know what’s best for our kids, they are taking the decision of whether or not to vaccinate out of the hands of parents. By doing this they are intimidating the entire democratic process and using it as a point of discrimination.

Here we risk the freedom our forefathers worked so hard for and jeopardize the basic human right to be able to reject any invasive medical procedure. In maintaining our rights to reject procedures we also should have the right to request medical procedures, thus entering the entire euthanasia debate.

It seems that at certain stages of our lives, childhood and the elderly being the obvious examples, certain officials would have us believe that we are obviously not lucid enough to make any medical decisions regarding own health and safety. Those closest to us, families and other loved ones, should have no say in the matter and in both of these circumstances they (anonymous officials) should intervene in the best interests of society.
I maintain in cases of vaccinating infants and palliative care that it is only loving family and those closest that have any right to decide what may or may not be in an individuals best interests.

Here we must be wary and tread very carefully. If we allow officials to intervene and discriminate against decisions parents have made in the best interests of their children, they will invariably consider their power omnipotent. They could start telling us how to deliver our babies, what to feed them and how to raise them. Unfortunately however they will not be considering the best interests, health and safety of your little gorgeous individual bundle. They will consider ALL children and the ‘benefits’ (usually only financial) to society as a whole. I could not entrust the health and welfare of my child to vaccine manufacturers and Government regulatory agencies. Here we enter the think locally not globally debate, it’s all tied in and it’s all insidious.

Discrimination is intolerance and intolerance is just a small step to war as we have daily evidence… I will not be bullied; we have to stand up for our freedom, our individuality, our beliefs and our families because in the end that’s all that matters.

Tread carefully. With love and tolerance

Postscript:
Since writing the above, I have received correspondence from the above mentioned school in Japan. They informed me that after several meetings they have decided that a ‘blanket exemption’ is unacceptable and although they will waive many of the vaccinations a mandatory measles and rubella vaccination (separately in Japan) is necessary for admittance. I have withdrawn my application for enrolment.