By Erin K Costello
As much as I feel as though there’s a dead horse taking my beatings, I can’t ignore the dangers in failing to respond to MAM and the imagined sleight she claims to have now suffered over the Ohio House of Representatives HB559 proposed legislation. There’s a lot to cover so I’m going to just jump right in.
“#2: It requires families to get a doctor to sign off on excemption forms, afer a conversation on the “risks and benefits” of vaccines, before they can exercise their right to skip some/al vaccines and attend public school.”
MAM! This week brought to you by the words “vaccine, vaccines, and vaccinate.” No, seriously! Click on these words in her blog post and you’ll be directed here, to an Amazon page selling her book titled A Practical Guide to Children’ Health.
Moving on! What MAM is referring to here is an Ohio state house bill titled HB559. This bill calls for several changes, but the change that has MAM all worked up is making it a requirement for AVers to discuss their health care choices, and their choices regarding the health care of their children, with a qualifying medical practitioner before making such choices. The nerve of Ohio legislature!
“Then, yesterday, when I created a post about the issue and encouraged people to get involved (on Facebook), it was removed for “violating community standards!"
This. Is. Perfect. Let me explain. Yesterday MAM put up a post singling out a woman who represents Ohio AAP. MAM posted her name, position, and email address while asking her followers and members to seek her out on-line to “educate” this woman. She literally called upon her army to go and harass this woman for doing her job, but I guess that’s just “get[ing] involved” in MAM’s mind. It was removed because myself and several other page admins reported the post as harassment. Looks like Facebook agreed. What does this have to do with HB559? Not much.
“#1: Doctors are NOT “Authority Figures"
Except that they are. They are authorities on medicine and health care.
“Under ideal circumstances, families and doctors partner for health care, with the doctors giving expert opinions and advice, and families ultimately making their own decisions. It’s called informed consent.”
I wonder if she realizes she used the word “expert” in this statement while describing the doctors? If the doctors provide “expert opinions and advice,” but the parents, having no expertise this area, refuse this expert advice and make a choice that is not in the best interest of the child, how is that informed consent? That would be willful misinformed consent.
“Under this law, families effecively do need a doctor’s permission to make this decission, and it will further the already-existing imbalance of power that exists."
I can’t help but notice that this bill doesn’t remove the parent’s right to religious or personal exemption (like it probably should), but helps to ensure that the parents understand the consequences of this choice. Wait! Would that be informed consent?
Imbalance of power? Informed consent is not a power struggle. It’s insisting people are accurately informed of their choices and the risks their choices may bring. Surely someone who routinely says “when you know better, you do better” would not have an issue with obtaining more knowledge regarding their choices.
“(Far too many people are already afraid not to take their kids to every single well visit, or to refuse/disagree with treatment options, for fear that doctors will call CPS and get their kids taken away.)"
If they fear this then it’s because they are either knowingly disregarding a law protecting children, or it’s because their legal research is much like their medical research, grossly inaccurate and incomplete. Whereas there are laws protecting children from medical neglect , there are no laws mandating children be vaccinated. If there were such mandating laws then submitting a bill to amend the exemption requirements would be pointless since exemptions wouldn’t be allowed.
“There is no requirement for what this conversations has to contain, except risks/benefits of vaccines, and “risks to the community.”"
Well, she’s got me there. The risks/benefits of vaccines, and the risks to the community are the foundational requirements of the proposed patient/doctor discussions. That is what informed consent entails after all.
“For most doctors, this well be a lecture/fear-mongering, where they say things like this:
“Vaccines are safe and effective. The science is settled. If you do not vacvcinate, your child may get horribly sick or even die of these very deadly diseases. You are placing the entire community at risk by not vaccinating, because your child could spread illness around. Reactions are mild and extrememly rare, like one in a million.”
It’s not really fear mongering though if it’s true. Also, she literally just said that “Vaccines are safe and effective” is a statement made with the intent to arouse fear from the public.
“Unfortunatly, none of this is true. (See this for more..)”
OMG, I shit you not, she just referenced herself as the source for herself. The “See this for more” is a link that brings you to a post she made a few weeks ago. It just so happens that we also made a blog post regarding this piece by MAM.
“Some doctors even deny that reactions are possible."
Doctors deny that which is false. They are taught how to read and interpret scientific data. It is this data that teaches them, or rather informs them, what affects vaccinations could or are likely to cause, both good and bad.
“(Not to mention they call thousands upon thousands of parents liars when they report reactions.)"
Surely if this unforgivable behavior was occurring by medical professionals she would have evidence, except that she doesn’t.
“What if parents visit these doctors and are bullied over their decision?"
Well, if they are then maybe it’s because their decision is based on incorrect information, and is not reached on behalf of the best interest of the child. It’s quite hypocritical though to label informed consent as “bullying" when informed consent seeks to inform parents, rather than misinform parents.
“There is no provision for parents to see an alternative practitioner outside of Western medicine, who may be more likely to agree with the parents’ beliefs."
Asked and answered! Well, sort of. She’s correct, there is no provision for alternative practices. She also points out a big reason as to why that is by admitting such practices would be more likely to agree with the parents’ “beliefs,” rather than the science. Also, alternative medicine practitioners are not doctors, they are not board certified by the AMA, they do not havre to meet the same licensing requirements, nor are they allowed to prescribe medications.
“Some familes may not have an existing relationship with a doctor. Some may have doctors who do not agree with skipping vaccvines who will refuse to sign the paper"
This is a risk parents take when they prioritize their desire for self importance by insisting their “beliefs” are more important than the health care needs of their child(ren). If you believe that a person, such as yourself that has no medical training and/or background, shouldn’t be expected to adhere to the expert medical advice of a doctor, then how can you demand a doctor, who attends school for almost a decade then trains for years to even be allowed to work in this profession, to agree and sign off on with your ignorant choices?
“Many do not know they can opt out today.”
If AV parents are unaware they can opt out, or are unable to learn they can opt out, then I’m not so sure they should be solely trusted to make such important health decisions on behalf of another person, especially on behalf of a minor. If they are unable to obtain opt out rights through their research efforts, then how can these same research efforts provide the information needed to make an informed decision about vaccinations?
“#4: Families May Be Bullied and Lied to About Exemptions……Many parents have vaccinated reluctantly, believing there is no other option."
I agree that doctors should not lie to parents regarding their legal options. However, there’s no evidence provided to back up this alleged possibility. I also refer to the paragraph above.
“It reminds me of an old Berenstain Bear book, where the prinicpal kept changing the rules and making them tougher and more specific in an attempt to control the students. It didn’t work and everyone was miserable."
Wait! Did? Did she really refer to a children’s book about a human-like family of bears as evidence showing why this is such a bad idea? It is moments like these where I question the legitimacy of MAM and begin to wonder if she’s nothing more than poe.
“The state has no right to make medical decisions for anyone, nor to bully or coerce people into making certain decisions."
I can’t help but to notice how this entire posting is centered around MAM and her parental rights. What about the community’s right to be protected from your irrespobsible choices? What about the bullying being done to children and pediatricians by AV parents? The only rights here that matter are the rights of children. Every child has a right to avoid needless pain, suffering, and even death from vaccine preventable diseases, in spite of their parents’ beliefs. How is this major political and societal issue regarding the welfare of our children, never discussed by AVers on behalf of our children?
“The CEO of the Ohio AAP has been very public in this fight. She wants HB559 to pass, and has used her personal profile to call out “anti-vaxxers” as liars and bullies, among other things."
According to their mission statement Ohio chapter of AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has a duty to “promote[s] the health, safety and well-being of children and adolescents so they may reach their full potential.” They do this through “advocacy, education, research, service, and improving the systems through which they deliver pediatric care.” According to their own mission statement, their CEO is doing exactly what she’s been employed to do. She’s advocating for the welfare of children, and she’s (attempting to anyways) educating the public with correct information, and denying the false information.
What about MAM’s post here, along with several Facebook posts she made over the past couple days (featured below)? Arent’ these examples nothing more than bullying tactics? Disputing beliefs, even openly on social media, are not bullying techniques. They are simply attempts to correct information that is misleading at best, and just plain wrong at worst.
“Naturally, the community opposing HB559 is not happy about being portrayed in such a manner."
Then stop behaving in such manner.
“They have posted respectfully on the public AAP page about their dissension (comments are deleted and people are banned)"
AAP has every right to censor their page by removing lies and the liars who post them. You may have the right to free speech but you don’t have the right to an audience of your choosing.
“[in regards to opposition testimony concerning the bill] Almost all the reps left when it was their [anti-vaxers] turn, and several of the ones who stay actively laughed at the parents or looked bored and seemed not to be listening."
From what I could learn some representatives did leave and miss comments. Those who stayed were; "Rep Kent, Rep Gavarone, Rep Butler, Rep Ginter, Rep Sykes, Rep Edwards who was briefly present & spoke with constituents afterward & apologized for other commitments, Rep Romanchuck, Rep West who wasn't present but spoke with OAMF members after the meeting & apologized for other commitments,” according to the Facebook page Ohioans Opposing HB559. Here is a list of all representative members of the Ohio State Health Committee. As you can see about half the members are reported to have left, not almost all.
As for laughing, as unprofessional as that may be for an elected official, it’s not disallowed. Especially not when they listened to opponents spout their scientific backrounds as reasons to be listened to, only to then insist their religious beliefs trump scientific data, or argue this bill is a bad idea because doctors can be mean and belittling, or tout how our immune systems are perfect, just as they are, and don’t need man’s interventions that contain human DNA. Basically this committee had to sit and listen to all the typical AVer hyperbole and talking points, only they were expected to do so and show no signs of frustration or amusement.
[regarding Ohio AAP CEO] (She, like most of the staff, is not a medical professional in any capacity. Her backround is in jounalism and PF. I felt this necessary to point out, because she has no credentials to be pushing vaccines, nor to be condescending towards those who oppose them."
A CEO (Chief Executing Officer) is defined as “the executive with the chief decision-making authority in an organization or business,” according to Webster’s. It’s a managerial position in business, not a health care position in medicine. She represents those which make up the Ohio chapter of AAP. Those who make up this chapter are Ohioan pediatricians. Furthermore I’d like to point out that no one pushes a medical opinion more so than MAM, no one is more condescending than MAM against those who are in disagreement, nor does anyone have less credentials regarding the discussion of vaccines than MAM has, yet she won’t shut up about her vaccination beliefs.
“But they silenced me."
This 4 word sentence is the true motive behind the creation of this post. She types this after a few paragraphs whining about her harassing post being removed by facebook as though it were some deeply damaging human rights offense directed at MAM. And that is the real issue here. MAM was undermined, and done so publicaly on social media for all witness. Narcissim won’t stand for this.
MAM then wraps up the post by instructing her readers what they can do and how they can try and prevent this bill from passing. Basically she asks Ohioans to contact their representatives, but she also asks everyone, those in and out of state, to contact the AAP by flooding their staff and board of directors with (fraudulent) studies, anecdotes, and demanding they oppose the bill. But since she adds the word “respectfully,” the harassment by out of state citizens is acceptable to MAM. She was sure to request that everyone else share her post regarding this bill with “everyone” in efforts to cause the post to go “viral.” She doesn’t ask that the proposed bill be made widely known and shared, but that HER post be widely known and shared. After all, nothing brings in the sales like some Facebook drama and claims of victimization.