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Normally I wouldn't bother listing some wimpy site selling stuff to the walking well and people with more money than sense, but ...
Child abuse (7/1/2012)
How would you feel if you heard someone laughing about how they had physically abused a child? How would you feel if you heard someone laughing about how they had sexually abused a child? Once you have considered those, how would you feel if you heard someone laughing about how they had exposed their child to a disease that still kills children around the world and sentences others to lives of pain and disability?
That was a message posted to the Australian Vaccination Network's Facebook page on November 30, 2011. It was not challenged or criticised by any of the members of the group. You will notice that Ms Elphinstone expresses amusement at the thought of her son getting chicken pox, caught because she "did deliberaltey (sic) expose him". See the "lol"? That means "laughing out loud".
My friend Ken McLeod was so offended by this admission of child abuse that he did what any responsible citizen would do - he contacted the authorities in Western Australia, where Ms Elphinstone runs an online business selling magic potions and nostrums. His first point of contact was the Minister for Child Protection. This would seem to be the logical place. I spoke to a friend of mine who used to do crisis intervention for the NSW Department of Community Services, and she said she would have no hesitation in taking action if someone was deliberately exposing a child to a dangerous disease. It would be treated in exactly the same way as a child in danger of physical or sexual abuse. Apparently things are different in Western Australia, and Ken received a letter saying that this particular form of protection for endangered children was not a concern of the Child Protection Department and the complaint would be flicked to the Health Minister. (You can see the Minister's reply here.)
It seems that deliberately endangering the health of children is no more important to the health authorities in WA than it is to the child protectors. You can see the Health Minister's reply here, but this paragraph bears repeating:
I have been advised by the Western Australian Department of Child Protection that this is not a child protection issue. The WA Department of Health believes that the existing approach of providing the public with accurate information on vaccine preventable diseases is the preferred strategy. Fortunately, people with extreme views on immunisation, such as those attributed to Ms Elphinstone, are in a small minority.
So there you have it. parents can freely abuse their children in Western Australia by putting them at risk of death or permanent injury provided they do the endangering by following an idiotic, anti-vaccination agenda. I assume the authorities aren't so cavalier with parents who refuse to put their children in approved car seats or who give them alcohol or other drugs. I hope that they take things more seriously if Ms Elphinstone decides to treat any serious illness her child acquires by using the useless products she sells off her web site.
How many children have to be put at risk, or be damaged or killed by preventable diseases before the health authorities recognise anti-vaccination campaigners for the dangerous, deluded fools they are and treat them like any other group that defies the rules and conventions of civilised society? I'm not laughing out loud, and neither should anyone else.
That child abuse thing (11/2/2012)
Back in January I mentioned a case of child abuse, where a naturopath boasted about exposing her child to chicken pox. Here is how the story was reported in the local paper, the Cambridge Post.
This did not please the anti-vaccinators, and here is what Meryl Dorey erstwhile (and perhaps still current) president of the Australian Vaccination Network had to say in a letter to the paper.
I love the headline: "Anti-vaxers reply on chickenpox". At least the paper is under no illusion about Ms Dorey's position.
Let's just give that letter the yellow marker treatment, shall we:
Stop the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) reported a WA mother to Child Protection Services (CPS) for doing what our mothers and grandmothers did - exposing her child to a benign disease of childhood so they would get natural immunity - a benefit vaccines cannot provide.
But the response of CPS and the government is the real concern.
Instead of laughing it off the government used this poor woman's situation to try to once again attack the AVN, a public health safety watchdog that has provided medically sourced information to Australian parents for more than 18 years.
It is because of the AVN that families can still access all government payments and send their children to school, pre-school and child-care centres whether they are vaccinated or not.
No, it wasn't "because of the AVN.
And isn't the rest of it a disgrace? People can claim benefits to which they are not entitled and send their pox-ridden spawn to schools and kindergartens to infect other people's kids. This is not something I would be proud of, but as you can see there is no yellow - this vileness is the truth.
According to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, since the vaccine was introduced in Australia, the rates of chicken pox have been steadily increasing.
First, The vaccine was introduced in 2003 and chicken pox has only been reportable since 2006. Here are the results:
Notice the huge increase, mostly due to doctors now being familiar with what the disease looks like. I had chicken pox as an adult and it was the first adult case my doctor had ever knowingly seen. Also note the steady increase between 2008 and 2010.
It would be expected that a newly-introduced surveillance system would show an increase in reported cases over time as doctors became familiar with what the disease looked like. By the way, there was one case in 2003 and 5 in 1997 (the two years prior to 2006 with reported cases), but to include those in the graph would cause my old stats teacher to come to my house with a machete.
If child protection can be called in because this mother tried to protect her child through natural immunity, what is next?
Child protection wasn't "called in". A clear case of child abuse was reported to CPS, they flick-passed it to Health who then washed their hands of it. And as for "what is next?" Perhaps parents "protecting" their children from sexually transmitted diseases by exposing them to adults with syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Then see what CPS does, and it won't be "Oh, that's OK". And the mother didn't try to "protect her child through natural immunity", she placed the child in a health (and possibly life) threatening position. I suppose if I pointed out again that the mother is a naturopath and therefore devoid of any medical knowledge I would be accused of ad hominem, but facts are facts.
Feel the love (29/9/2012)
In January I mentioned the disgraceful way that the relevant authorities had refused to take action over a clear case of child abuse, where a naturopath had expressed pride and amusement in her admission that she had taken steps to have her son infected with chicken pox. Someone was not pleased at what I had to say. Here is the complaint, followed by my reply.
From: erin phillips
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 23:21:42 +0800
That is slander and you can get in deep shit for that buddy. How bout you leave Wendy the fuck alone and worry about things you know about rather than babble on about shit you know absolutely nothing about. You are pathetic. Get a life you moron.
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