By Barbara Loe Fisher
I am grateful for the blessings that I have had in my life, including the hard times, when I learned that faith and hope can overcome fear and doubt.
Adversity can make us stronger but it is also an opportunity to feel and offer compassion to others to ease their suffering.
Journalists often profile individuals, who are suffering from adversity: the earthquake survivors in Haiti;7 the victims of hate crimes;8 children living in poverty dying from starvation and neglect.9
These stories of human suffering are reminders of why we should listen to our conscience 10 and act in compassionate ways to lessen the suffering of others.
The ability to have compassion for others is an antidote to cruelty, inequality, injustice, and tyranny.
Valuing Individual Life, Freedom & Compassion
America was founded by immigrants who had personally suffered oppression and adversity, and knew how important it is to treat individuals with respect and compassion.
There is a ringing endorsement in the U.S. Declaration of Independence for the individual's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,11 and in the Constitution for the right to freedom of speech and personal religious beliefs.12
Perhaps it is that fundamental appreciation for the value of the individual, which is part of our history and culture that has taught us to value conscience and compassion.
Vaccine Injured Not Treated with Compassion
So it is sad to see what happens in America today when babies, children and adults react to vaccines and become permanently injured or even die.13 14 15 16 When healthy people suffer complications from infectious diseases, they are treated with compassion.17 18 19 20 But when healthy people suffer complications from vaccination, often they are not treated with compassion.21 22 Many times, vaccine victims 23 24 25 are victimized all over again by those who deny the reality of what happened 26 27 28 or use a utilitarian 29 30 31 rationale to dismiss them as acceptable losses in the War on Infectious Disease.32 33 34 35
Media Failing to Protect Vaccine Injured and Safety Advocates
In the past decade, this persecution of a growing minority of vaccine-injured citizens has been facilitated by the fourth estate,36 the free press, which has historically served as a check and balance on inequality and injustice in America.37 The vital function of a free press, ensured in the U.S. Constitution, is failing to do what it could do to protect the health and lives of the vaccine injured38 39 or defend freedom of speech for citizens calling for inclusion of vaccine safety and informed consent protections40 in public health policies and laws,41 42 43 while the chronic disease and disability epidemic destroys the health and economic stability of our nation44 45 46 47 48 and the public health community has no answers, so the band plays on.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Vaccine Safety Science Gaps
The Institute of Medicine issued an historic report this year that acknowledged there is not enough quality vaccine science in the medical literature to determine whether or not many of the vaccines routinely given to children and adults cause more than 100 different types of brain and immune system dysfunction.49
These are serious inflammatory brain and immune system disorders, which are part of the exploding chronic disease epidemic in America, and range from heart and blood disorders to strokes, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, GBS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes and encephalitis that can lead to seizures, learning disabilities and autism.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Individual Biological Susceptibility
In that historic report, the Institute of Medicine also acknowledged there are pre-existing biological susceptibilities that can make some individuals more vulnerable than others for suffering harm from vaccination, such as genetic variations; age or developmental stage at the time of vaccination; coinciding illness or other environmental exposures.50
If one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and mandates are putting an unknown number of biologically susceptible individuals at risk for injury and death, why do so few doctors care or want to do something about it?
Doctors Denying Medical Care to Families
It is disturbing to watch doctors, who we have always believed to be the most compassionate among us, coldly turn away families questioning the government policy of giving children 69 doses of 16 vaccines.51 52 Families wanting to choose or delay vaccines, are being denied medical care even if children have experienced previous vaccine reactions or have become chronically ill and disabled after vaccination and could be made sicker if more vaccines are given.53
Doctors Tell Employees: Get Vaccinated or Be Fired
It is shocking that health care professionals are being threatened by doctors running hospitals and medical facilities that, if they do not obey orders to get an annual flu shot, they will be fired 54 55 56 - even if they are pregnant; have had previous vaccine reactions or have medical conditions that could be made a lot worse if they get more vaccines.57
Doctors Strip Parents of Legal Right to Make Vaccine Decisions for Minor Children
It is hard to accept that doctors we have trusted are pressuring our elected state legislators to pass laws stripping us of the legal right to make medical risk decisions for our children so minor children can be given vaccines without a parent's knowledge or consent.58 59
Pharma Funded Doctor Associations Attack Vaccine Safety Advocates
It is frightening to know that medical trade associations and doctors taking money from drug companies60 61 62 63 are mounting disinformation campaigns to demonize vaccine safety advocates64 and censor public access to information about health and vaccination so the American people cannot make fully informed vaccine decisions.65
Mainstream Media Facilitates Public Attacks on Advocates
And it is tragic to witness the mainstream media facilitating the public attack on vaccine victims and those calling for a move away from one-size-fits all vaccine mandates66 67 that punish individuals, who are biologically vulnerable to vaccine reactions in part because of the genes they inherited.68 69
Vaccine Makers and Doctors Giving Vaccines Shielded from Liability
In 1986, Congress passed a law acknowledging that vaccines can and do cause brain and immune system damage and that more should be done to protect individuals from vaccine injury and death.70 In that law, Congress shielded drug companies selling vaccines and doctors giving vaccines from civil lawsuits when someone is seriously injured or dies after being vaccinated.
So why are doctors, who are shielded from liability, so unwilling to treat vaccine injured children and their families with compassion or understand the need for people to have the freedom to protect themselves and their loved ones from vaccine injury?
Loss of Compassion Leads to Exploitation
When you enter the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., you see an inscription that says "The first to perish were the children…. From these a new dawn might have risen."71
The loss of compassion and, then, freedom in any society always begins with people looking the other way when those in power justify exploiting a vulnerable minority for what they say is the benefit of the majority.
NVIC: Three Decades of Defending Informed Consent Rights
It has been 30 years since the parent co-founders of our non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center, launched the vaccine safety and informed consent movement in America. We were parents of children, for whom the risks of vaccination had been 100 percent, and we took on the mission of preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.
That is still our mission.
Please consider sending a donation – no matter how big or small - to the National Vaccine Information Center so we can continue to fight for the freedom for Americans to use every government vaccine, a few vaccines or choose other preventive health care options for staying well. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at NVIC.org.
You can also visit NVIC's Vaccine Freedom Wall on our website and read the true stories told by Americans whose parental and informed consent rights are being violated in schools, doctors' offices, hospitals and state legislatures across our nation.
You can sign up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal and learn how to stand up in your state for the legal right to make informed, voluntary vaccine choices.
And if you or a loved one has suffered a vaccine reaction, injury or death, please consider going to our website to share your story on NVIC's Memorial for Vaccine Victims and make a report to the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system.
Compassionate Doctors Will Count and Minimize Vaccine Casualties
I hope that doctors developing, selling, giving and promoting the use of vaccines will stop to consider the way they are treating the vaccine injured and their families. I pray that they find it in their hearts to replace their fear, anger, doubt and prejudice with compassion and take positive steps to accurately count and minimize the numbers of vaccine casualties rather than dismissing them as a "coincidence" or unimportant.
- 1 The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. U.S. Charitable Giving Shows Modest Uptick in 2010 Following Two Years of Declines: Donations of 290.89 billion. June 20, 2011.
- 2 Godlasky A. How to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina. USA Today. Sept. 2, 2005.
- 3 Sydell, L. Donations to Haiti Pour In Via Text Message. NPR. Jan. 14, 2010.
- 4 Post T. Setting a Goal to End Poverty and Hunger in the United States. Bread for the World Institute. February 2009.
- 5 National Network to End Domestic Violence.
- 6 The Global Fund Welcomes U.S. Budget Allocation of U.S. $1.05 Billion for 2011. Press Release: The Global Fund to Fight ADIS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Apr. 18, 2011.
- 7 Hensel B. Haiti Quake Victim's Surgery Successful. NBC. Aug. 10, 2011.
- 8 Blair E. 'Ten Years Later," the Matthew Shephard Story Retold. NPR. Oct. 12, 2009. Stump S. Teen's Parents: After Suicide, He's Still Being Bullied. Today Show. MSNBC. Sept. 27, 2011.
- 9 Associated Press. Once again, children are starving in Ethiopia. MSNBC. May 20, 2008.
- 10 Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Definition of conscience.
- 11 U.S. History.org. Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.
- 12 U.S. History.org. First Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution: Bill of Rights.
- 13 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1985.
- 14 NVIC. Memorial for Vaccine Victims.
- 15 MedAlerts.org. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System Database.
- 16 Miller NZ,, Goldman GS. Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity? Human and Experimental Toxicology: Published online May 4, 2011.
- 17 PBS. American Experience: The Polio Crusade. Feb. 2, 2009.
- 18 Friedman E. Viagra Used to Treat Rare Meningitis Attack, Student Fights for Her Life. ABC. Feb. 5, 2009.
- 19 Sunseri G. Rick Perry's HPV Stance Grounded in Case of Heather Burcham, Who Died of Cervical Cancer. ABC. Sept. 15, 2011.
- 20 Yang L. Girl's Death Believed to Be Flu Related in Nassau. ABC. Mar. 1, 2011.
- 21 Wood RL. Vaccine Intolerant Child Wants Public Education. Gazette-Mail (WVA). Nov. 11, 2011.
- 22 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 23 Conrick T. Parents Find It Hard to Ignore Evidence of Vaccine Injury. Janesville Gazette (WI). Dec. 5, 2011.
- 24 Planinz T. Federal Court Awards Compensation to Boy Injured by Vaccines. Examiner.com. July 20, 2009.
- 25 HRSA. Vaccine Injury Compensation Award Statistics.
- 26 Offit, P. Vaccines and Autism Revisited: The Hannah Poling Case. New England Journal of Medicine 2008; 358: 2089-2091.
- 27 Wallace A. An Epidemic of Fear: How Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All. Wired Magazine. October 19, 2009.
- 28 Melnick, M. The Dangers of the Anti-vaccine Movement. Time Magazine. Feb. 24, 2011.
- 29 Business Dictionary.com. Definition of Utilitarianism.
- 30 White R. The Principle of Utility. College of Mount St. Joseph.
- 31 Gunn A. Peter Singer: The Most Dangerous Man on Earth? The New Doctor. Winter 2000.
- 32 Holland M. Reassessing Compulsory Childhood Vaccination. New York University School of Law. Sept. 1, 2010.
- 33 Field, RI Caplan A L. A Proposed Ethical Framework for Vaccine Mandates: Competing Values and the Case for HPV Vaccine. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 18(2): 111-24. June 2008.
- 34 New Award Winning Documentary: The Greater Good Movie. 2011.
- 35 Catsoulis, J. Movie Review of The Greater Good: Vaccines and Autism, Continued. New York Times. Nov. 17, 2011.
- 36 The Free Dictionary. Definition of the fourth estate.
- 37 Nelson J. The Civil Rights Movement: A Press Perspective. Human Rights Magazine. Fall 2001.
- 38 American Medical News. What Editorial Writers Are Saying About Vaccines. Sept. 11, 2011.
- 39 Banks N, Baker C. Selling Drugs as Scholarly Opinion. Office of Medical and Scientific Justice. July 2011.
- 40 Fisher BL, Wrangham TK. Comments to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee on the Vaccine Safety Working Group's Draft Report and Recommendations on the federal Vaccine Safety System. June 6, 2011.
- 41 Mooney C. Irrationality vs. Vaccines: Fighting for Reality. New Scientist. Jan. 13, 2011.
- 42 Khan A. Pediatricians decry in-flight vaccine-questioning ad on Delta. LA Times. Nov. 16, 2011.
- 43 Ropeik D. Vaccines & Fear: It is Time for Society to Say Enough Is Enough. Huffington Post. July 21, 2011. Also LA Times (July 18, 2011). Also NPR (July 18, 2011)
- 44 Bethell CD, Kogan MD et al. A National and State Profile of Leading Health Problems and Health Care Quality for US Children: Key Insurance Disparities and Across-State Variations. Academic Pediatrics 2011; 11(3S): 22-33.
- 45 Boyle CA, Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997-2000. Pediatrics. Published online May 23, 2011
- 46 Ostrow N. Autism Leads Rise in Developmental Disabilities in U.S. Kids. Bloomberg News. May 23, 2011.
- 47 Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Asthma Facts & Figures.
- 48 Mathews AW. So Young and So Many Pills. Wall Street Journal. December 28, 2010.
- 49 Stratton K, Ford A, Rusch E, Clayton EW, editors. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. National Academies Press: 2011.
- 50 Ibid. Page 70.
- 51 CBS Pittsburgh. Local Pediatricians Refusing to See Non-Vaccinated Patients. CBS-TV. Nov. 2, 2011.
- 52 Four Seasons Pediatrics Vaccine Policy. Four Seasons Pediatrics, Clifton, NY.
- 53 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 54 Matthews C. NY Health Care Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Flu Shots. USA Today. Sept. 29, 2009.
- 55 Fisher BL. Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next? NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Sept. 29, 2010.
- 56 Fox Phoenix. HealthCare Group: Get a Flu Shot or Get Fired. Fox-TV. Aug. 31, 2011.
- 57 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 58 Neale T. Calif. 12-year olds Can Get HPV Vaccine Without Parental OK. MedPage Today. Oct. 11, 2011.
- 59 Businesswire. NVIC Calls New CA Vaccine Law A "Violation of Parental Informed Consent Rights & Federal Law." Oct. 10, 2011.
- 60 Attkisson S. How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders? CBS-TV News. July 25, 2008
- 61 Orange County Register. CORRECTION re: August 4, 2008 article "Dr. Paul Offit Responds." April 18, 2011.
- 62 Center for Science in the Public Interest. Integrity in Science: Corporate Support for Health and Environmental Professional Associations, Charities and Industry Front Groups. July 2003.
- 63 Jacobsen M. Lifting the Veil of Secrecy from Industry Funding of Non-Profit Health Organizations. International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health 2005; 11:349-355.
- 64 Fisher BL. Advocacy Panel Statement to National Vaccine Advisory Committee at Vaccine Safety Working Group Stakeholder Meeting. June 13, 2011.
- 65 Businesswire. NVIC Calls Out AAP for Using Public Intimidation to Censor NVIC Flu Prevention Video Offered to Delta Travelers. Nov. 15, 2011.
- 66 Fisher BL. Using Fear & Prejudice to Attack Vaccine Exemptions. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter. Aug. 4, 2010.
- 67 Fisher BL. Amy Wallace & Yellow Journalism. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter. Sept. 9, 2010.
- 68 See Reference #45.
- 69 Poland GA. Adversomics: The Emerging Field of Vaccine Adverse Event Immunogenetics. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2009; May 28(5): 431-432.
- 70 NVIC. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
- 71 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Children's Tile Wall.