Saturday, June 9, 2012

Disaster in the Making: More Oregon parents not having kids vaccinated

The move among parents to resist vaccination for children is depressing on many levels.  The worst part is realizing how, given that all too soon we're going to have plenty of problems getting the tax revenue necessary for maintaining first-world levels of public health in the first place, some parents are voluntarily creating non-vaccination issues to boot.

There's no easy answer.  Our legal systems treat children as little more than pets, items of property.  Thus, the property owners (aka parents) can refuse vaccinations of their "property" without consequence to themselves, but with plenty of consequence to others, and sometimes to the non-vaccinated children.

For good reasons, we've got seatbelt laws, and laws that forbid letting kids ride in the back of open pickup trucks.  But the law makes it easy for parents to claim a religious scruple against vaccination of their children.  What's the difference?  There used to be lots of arguments about how seatbelts made certain crashes more dangerous.  Of course, those arguments are mostly bunk, like the arguments about vaccinations.  But if we let parents expose their kids to serious and occasionally fatal diseases through failure to vaccinate, why can't parents decide whether their kids should wear a seatbelt?