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Op-Ed: Vaccination controversy creates furor in wake of measles outbreak

Ethics are in question in the debates over vaccinations.

Yesterday a father of an immune-compromised child declared that children who are not immunized should be banned from attending schools in California and has asked a school district to support such a ban.

And some doctors won’t take unvaccinated children as patients. Parents question whether doctors can do that. Legally doctors are allowed to make decisions about which patients they will treat and which ones they will not, according to some legal experts,as a doctor is not required to treat a patient unless under a contractual agreement to do so.

But what might be the ethics in recommending children not get vaccinated?

Vernon, Coleman, M.D., a retired physician, has declared parents should not have their children immunized.. He was interviewed by Ernest Dempsey, a writer who posted an article on a site called SOP. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Ernest: What are some of the major health risks associated with vaccines in general?
Dr. Coleman says many doctors and nurses claim that vaccines produce no side effects. This is scary, he claims. “The list of symptoms and illnesses caused by vaccines would fill a book. The biggest problem is brain damage and that is frighteningly common,” he alleges. “People who are vaccinated may be more likely to develop allergies and, because of the damage to the immune system, more likely to develop cancer. As vaccinations have become commoner so the incidence of both cancer and allergy problems has increased. The American Government has accepted that vaccines may cause autism though supporters of vaccine programmes always deny that this link exists,” he believes.

Dempsey has offered a number of articles in a variety of publications that question the authenticity of vaccinations, most recently in the months of December 2014 and January 15 of this year. He also takes exception to those journalists who report on medical groups encouragement of vaccinations such as the Centers for Disease Control.

But it is the evidence being used against vaccinations in general that one might examine, given the fact Coleman is embraced by many people who are among those who do not vaccinate their children. Among his 100+ treatises is “How to Make Your Doctor Stop Killing You.” His list of books include his take on everything from cross-dressing to oral sex.

His recent interview with Mr. Dempsey cites “the American Government” as accepting as fact vaccines may cause autism. However, the American Medical Association has said quite the opposite as have other organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, an American organization often cited as authoritative, representing American medical opinion: “Many studies that have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not associated with ASD. “

Furthermore, Lancet, the British publication that published research on the link between autism and vaccinations, retracted it due to what was considered fraudulent material and foundation used for the study. However, the original study had been left standing for a number of years before the retraction.

Vaccinations, however, continue to be questioned by alternative media outlets, such as the Age of Autism, that address the autism epidemic. Mr. Dempsey’s support of the premise that vaccinations remain responsible for autism and that the mainstream news is part of the problem in continuing to support vaccinations is clearly demonstrated in the comments of July 2014.

As for measles, in an article dated 2011 “Are Vaccinations Dangerous?” Dr. Coleman specifically discusses the measles vaccine, observing that the number of measles cases had grown after vaccines had been given in Great Britain. He refers to the disease as one of the “relatively benign diseases of childhood.”

The CDC, however, observes that one in every 20 children who get measles will contract pneumonia from it. One out of every 1000 will get encephalitis which can lead to mental retardation or deafness. And one or two out of every child who gets the measles will die from it.

Somehow that does not sound benign.

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