August 31st 2011, 10:35
Pity the poor parents who want to do the right thing when
it comes to vaccinating their child. Even suggesting that
they have concerns about side-effects can be likened
to questioning the existence of God to a 12th-century
pope-such is the doctor's belief in vaccinations.
Vaccines are medicine's greatest success story, or so
doctors are told almost from their first day at medical school.
With just a jab, children are protected from diseases that once
would have killed.
Apparently, vaccinations are just one of life's 'good things',
along with water and the Harlem Globetrotters. Any wavering
from the true path is met with the modern-day equivalent of
the stake-the General Medical Council-as Andrew Wakefield
found to his cost after merely suggesting that there may be a
link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
Even the burning of the occasional heretic doesn't dissolve
that flicker of doubt that many a thinking parent still has. And
this is the heart of the matter: can we trust our doctors to
always tell us the truth when they are vaccine zealots?
Flippant as it may sound, that is precisely the attitude of
the drug-company scientists and 'health guardians' who
attended a secret meeting to discuss the troubling findings
that vaccines were causing neurological problems in infants.
As one attendee said, vaccines are fundamentally good, so
anything and everything must be done to hide any hint that
And hide it they did. Within three years, data were
massaged, some children were eliminated from the study and,
hey presto!, a major problem became a statistical blip when
the data were finally published.
As our Special report this month amply demonstrates, when
zealotry replaces rationality, no amount of proof will sway you.
Scientists-if medicine was ever a science to begin with-
become brothers of a faith. And when that happens, children
can suffer permanent harm-or, as our article suggests, even
die-and it won't shake their fundamental belief. They have
been unfortunate collateral in a process that, ultimately, is
benefiting the majority, so sweep it under the carpet and keep
on reassuring parents who, anyway, just can't see the 'big
When you are a true believer, there is never a moment when
good ceases to be so.