by Bonnie P. Franz
For over 25 years I have been actively involved with the voluntary vaccination movement. The passage of time, increasing health problems, and changes in circumstances indicate that my involvement must change and, in a sense, I must "pass the baton on to a new generation."
As more and more people get involved in the issue--indeed, it seems the issue becomes new to each generation--I notice a large number "reinventing the wheel." And, as you shall see, some things never change. However, my hope is that we will get to the "tipping point" that follows through on true health care reform.
So, over the next few months, as I get my files in order, I will share some of the Information with you for you to use or pass on to others.
First, a frame of reference. Below are quotes I often use and are fitting for this 4th of July holiday:
1) "Unless we put Medical Freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship…to restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of Medical Science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a Republic…. The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for Medical Freedom as well as Religious Freedom."
Benjamin Rush, M.D.
Surgeon General of the Continental Army of the U.S.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
2) "In any truly democratic country opposition and the freedom to express opinions contrary to those of the majority are the breath of life, and it is thoroughly welcome for long-adopted practices to be submitted from time to time to critical scrutiny lest the accumulated weight of precedent is allowed to obscure the need for their discontinuance.
"My purpose in these lectures is not to battle or to join sides with the anti-vaccinationists, or to take up any partisan attitude, but to try soberly and honestly to present such information as we have on the hazards attending vaccination against smallpox and immunization against other diseases...
"The woeful record I present of the accidents attendant on immunization and the ways in which they have arisen will not be complete. Far from it in fact. Even if I had had time to comb the whole of the relevant literature, I should still not have been in a position to give a complete record. This is mainly because a large number of accidents--I suspect the majority--have never been reported in print, either through fear of compensation claims, or of giving a weapon to the anti-vaccinationists, or for some other reason. Admittedly most of the larger accidents have been reported, but even with some of these attempts were made to keep knowledge of them from the public...
"During the course of my reading I have come to the conclusion that no vaccine or antiserum can be regarded as completely safe. Some are very much safer than others, but no vaccine or antiserum that has yet been used has been free from complications or accidents of one sort or another. When possible, I have endeavoured to assess the degree of probable danger; but too often I have failed through lack of exact information on the number of persons affected and the number exposed to risk. Unless both the numerator and the denominator are known, quantitative assessments may fall wide of the true mark. Moreover, the risk, even for a single vaccine, is not uniform. It varies, among other things, with the immunological status and behaviour of the population concerned...
"With this in mind I propose to draw attention to the various complications and undesirable sequelae of immunization. They are numerous in both kind and frequency and I hope that the information I provide will sharpen the awareness of medical men to the potential danger of vaccination and cause them sometimes to think twice before incurring a risk that may well prove disastrous."
Sir Graham Wilson, M.D.
The Hazards of Immunization, 1967
The Athlone Press, Univ. of London
3) "Liberty can neither be got nor kept, but by so much Care, that Mankind are generally unwilling to give the Price for it."