I don’t immunize my children. And before many of you start with the finger wagging, let me tell you: it wasn’t a decision I came to lightly. After agonizing and weighing the benefits and the risks, I decide against immunizing. Yep, there are a couple of vaccines that do I allow my kids to receive, but for the most part we are an immunization-free family.
For me, what it came down was the idea that I’m not willing to gamble with the health of my children. End of story. I’m okay with other people’s decision to vaccinate. I’m sure that they weighed their options the same way I did. And really, I don’t fault them for coming to a different conclusion than I apparently have. That’s the beauty of America — we don’t have to have the same ideas or practice the same brands of livelihood.
However, there is been a lot of debate as to whether or not the rise in autism has been spurred on by childhood immunizations. Most people seem to believe that there is no connection. But I think in some cases, there is. And I’m not the only one, either: perhaps the recent lawsuit against the federal government in which a family of an …
… autistic child earned a whopping 1.5 million may change a few minds on the topic of whether or not immunizations play a role — no matter how minor — in the childhood development of autism.
At nineteen months Hannah Poling was a normal toddler. At a doctor’s appointment, her pediatrician noted that she was alert and well-spoken. That very same day she received 5 different shots containing nine immunizations.
Hannah’s body did not react well.
“My daughter, who had been completely normal until getting nine vaccinations in one day, was suddenly no longer there,” said Terry Poling, Hannah’s mother.
Now, eight years later Hannah has permanent brain damage and autistic-like symptoms.
It appears that Hannah had an underlying cell disorder that her parents and doctor were unaware of. When coupled with the drugs in the immunizations she received, she was caused irreparable damage.
Though Hannah’s parents may be resenting the fact that they allowed their child to be immunized, it is a victory of sorts for certain people in that this is the first court case that has acknowledged a link between autism and immunizations. As for me? I’d say that this is some pretty heavy evidence pointing to the likelihood of the immunization-autism connection in some children.
I’m not arguing that people should stop immunizing — not at all. My hope and aim is that health officials find a way to diagnose underlying health risks similar to the ones Hannah had. That way children who are susceptible to having severe side effects from immunizations will be spared. I really believe this is the answer to avoiding future cases similar to Hannah Poling’s. No one’s saying to stop certain medical practices — it lies more with making educated decisions than anything else, and really, what’s more important than that?