Today, there is a five-year-old boy in the ICU of a major hospital. He has been on life support for the last week and his doctors say that now, all they can do is wait for his immune system to respond. He has chicken pox and is going to die. His parents do not believe in vaccination. This is a true story, verified by multiple Department of Health sources. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, I cannot publicly disclose any further information.
His anti-vax parents have expressed doubts due to research they did via the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (formerly Australian Vaccination Network), an organisation that continues to report a direct causal link between vaccinations and autism. This link has been repeatedly debunked as false; furthermore the author of the original “study” has been exposed as a fraud and has been stripped of his medical registration.
The AVsN have been stripped of their charitable status due to irregular fiscal records, the founder of the AVsN, Meryl Dorey, has a history of threatening and harassing the families of children who died as a result of whooping-cough, and their influence on the north coast of NSW has led to a resurgence of measles, a disease they claim boosts a child’s natural immunity (despite a child mortality rate of up to 10%).
The varicella vaccine has been available in Australia since 2000, and while the pre-vaccine mortality rate was low (accounting for an average of 1500 hospitalisations and up to 16 deaths annually), the admission rate for chicken pox at participating hospitals dropped by 70% after the introduction of the vaccine. Since then, the mortality rate has averaged 1 – 3 deaths annually, and approximately 80% of hospital admissions for chicken pox are unvaccinated children.
Since the introduction of the varicella vaccine in the U.S. in 1995, not one death due to chicken pox has been recorded in vaccinated children.
The facts are simple; chicken pox does not have to be a fatal disease, yet an innocent five-year-old is dying because of the lies being spread by the AVsN (amongst others) and the gullibility of his parents. Despite the readily available proof that vaccinating their son would have saved his life, they continue to argue that the doctors have misdiagnosed him because ‘chicken pox doesn’t kill people’. They would rather bury their heads in the sand and believe the misinformation spread by the AVsN than accept what is being presented to them by their son’s doctors.
For me, this raises a very important question; does ignorance remove culpability? Surely there is a point at which child endangerment comes into the argument. When their son dies would the DPP consider a prosecution centred around involuntary manslaughter? It’s not a stretch to see their guilt in this. They have chosen to ignore the facts available, and their choices have indirectly caused their son’s death. Willful ignorance is not a defence. Neither is stupidity.
At what point is criminal action taken against Meryl Dorey and the AVsN? Their lies have caused the deaths of countless children, and the endangerment of far more; they address their role in this so-called “debate” in a section of their website titled ‘Legal Mumbo-Jumbo’, I shit you not. Despite their conversational lack of professionalism, thousands of Australian parents continue to turn to the AVsN for serious information about vaccination.
The media have taken up the fight against the anti-vaccination movement, yet continue to give Dorey and her cronies equal air-time for the sake of “balance”. The NSW government enacted legislation to push more parents into vaccinating their children, yet left a loophole open for conscientious objection to a child being vaccinated on the grounds of personal, philosophical, religious or medical belief. Which, in effect, means the legislation does nothing. The “No Jab, No Play” law failed because the government, once again, was more interested in keeping up appearances than enacting a policy that could genuinely save lives.
When the hell are people going to wake up? I’m not making a call for action, I’m not looking to overthrow the government, I’m asking for common sense laws that exist to protect to the general public. The most basic function of any government is to serve the people, not to pander to minority groups or agenda-pushing self-absorbed scumbags obsessed with furthering their profile and spinning conspiracy theories.
Personally, I’d like to see lives saved and children protected. But then, some people just want to watch the world burn.