Posts Tagged ‘Denver Post’

Vaccination Education in Colorado

March 24, 2014

The Denver Post reports that legislation to encourage Colorado parents to have their children vaccinated has been approved by a committee of the Colorado House of Representatives.

A measure to better educate Colorado adults on the benefits and risks of vaccinating their children was approved by a House committee late Thursday.

The Health and Environment Committee’s 9-2 vote came after several hours of testimony, which at times blended into a debate over parental rights.

To date, Colorado kindergartners have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Current state law requires only a parent’s signature to claim a personal, medical or religious exemption from vaccination, with the majority of exemptions for personal reasons.

State Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, said he wants to make sure parents have all the information on vaccinations and “that they’re not just opting out simply because of convenience.”

Pabon’s bill focuses on the personal-belief portion of the law. It would require parents to complete an online-education course that discloses the benefits and risks of immunization if they choose to opt out for personal reasons.

Moreover, it would require parents to submit to schools a statement of immunization exemption that includes a signature from a doctor or representative of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“There are kids who can’t get vaccinated because they’re immuno-compromised and are being exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases. To add on top of that, older populations that have medical conditions are also at risk,” Pabon said. “We just want to educate parents.”

Some parents are skeptical of the need for vaccines, fearing that vaccines carry their own risks, while others simply don’t want to be required to take these extra steps for exemption.

Dozens of parents and doctors testified Thursday at the state Capitol both in support and in opposition to Pabon’s bill before the House committee.

In Colorado, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 85 percent of kindergartners entering elementary school in the fall of 2012 were vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR. That was among the lowest percentages. Mississippi and Maryland had rates near 100 percent.

Shawn Kelley and his wife, Susan, spoke out against the measure, saying their daughter received a “vaccine injury.”

“She had a brain injury from her MMR vaccine when she was a year old,” said Kelley, noting that the federal government confirmed the injury, and he presented the information to the committee.

Kelley said his daughter is also on the autism spectrum.

“For those people who say they’ve never seen any causality or anything like that, I would disagree,” he said. “This can lead to mandatory immunization.”

The argument by some that the bill makes vaccination mandatory was rejected by several lawmakers.

“You can still make the decision to not immunize your child,” said Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, a member of the committee.

Vaccination of children is important to Tom Birge, who has seen his daughter — now an adult — suffer through measles and mumps several times, because she has primary immune deficiency disorder that prevents her immune system from fighting diseases prevented from vaccines.

“She’s frequently sick, because people didn’t just get immunized,” Birge said.

I’m of two minds about this. I believe that the decisions regarding the welfare of children must rest with the parents and that the state ought not to usurp the role of the parents. In other words, it is not the role of the government to raise people’s children. Yet, the anti-vaccination people are endangering the health of not just their own children but other people’s children.
Vaccination is not completely safe and harmless. Nothing in this world is. There is no known scientific evidence that suggests any sort of a link between vaccination and autism, despite what Jenny McCarthy might assert. It is possible, however, that Jenny McCarthy is right. It is also possible that there are other health problems that vaccination may cause or make worse. The question is not whether vaccination is one hundred percent safe and effective. Nothing is. The question is whether vaccination is better or worse than the alternatives. Would you rather have your child face a one in a million chance of getting autism or one in a hundred chance of getting measles and dying.
It is a testimony to the effectiveness of modern medicine, including vaccination, that many people seem to have forgotten that “childhood” diseases like measles, mumps, or diphtheria are serious illness that can be fatal. The complacency that this success has engendered threatens to undo all the hard work that researchers have done to bring these diseases under control. This measure from Colorado is a step in making sure this doesn’t happen.
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Let Them Die and Decrease the Surplus Population

February 21, 2013

If there is anyone today who would echo Scrooge’s callous dismissal of the poor who wanted better lives, it might be the contemporary Green movement. I have long believed that the more radical environmentalists are motivated more by misanthropy than by any abstract desire to save the planet. You really don’t have to read too much of their literature before you encounter their anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-technological, and ultimately anti-human ideology.

Robert Zubrin knows this better than most. Last year he wrote a book titled Merchants of Despair, which tells of the excesses of the environmental movement. Yesterday, he had a column in National Review Online, rebutting an editorial in the Denver Post, written by Phillip Cafaro. Cafaro writes of the link between illegal immigration and climate change. Robert Zubrin’s answer is worth reading but I want to examine how Cafaro’s editorial shows the anti-human bias of the Greens. Here are some excerpts.

According to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s website, reforming immigration policy and combatting climate change are two of his key legislative goals.

But there is no evidence that the senator sees any connection between them, despite the fact that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified population growth as one of the two key drivers of global warming, and that most of the increase in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the past two decades has occurred due to population growth, while per capita emissions have remained relatively flat.

As can readily be seen, even at present immigration rates, the U.S. is on track for huge population increases during the 21st century, from a current population of 315 million to 524 million people by 2100. It is not clear how such increases can be accommodated in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Further increasing America’s already generous immigration rates, as proposed by Sen. Bennet, could add another 145 million people to our population. That increase itself is equal to almost half our current population. It would ensure that the U.S. more than doubles its total population by 2100, to 669 million people.

And make no mistake: Immigrants are not coming to the United States to remain poor. Those hundreds of millions of new citizens will want to live as well and consume energy at the same rates as other Americans.

All this suggests some obvious questions: What climate change mitigation measures does Sen. Bennet plan to put forward that could possibly equal the increased greenhouse gas emissions we would lock in by adding 145 million more new citizens to our population?

Now, my major concerns regarding immigration are assimilation and legality. I oppose illegal immigration simply because it is illegal. I bear no particular ill will for the immigrants but they are in violation of our immigration laws. I do not think it is wise to simply not enforce these laws. If there is a need for more immigrants in this country, than the laws should be changed. I oppose any sort of amnesty simply because I feel that it would be essentially rewarding people for breaking the law.

Having said all that, I have no problem at all with legal immigrants coming here and making a better life for themselves. It is my sincere desire that they do live as well and consume energy as much as other Americans. In fact, I wish that for higher standards of living all over the world. It shouldn’t be necessary to leave your home in the hope of having a decent life.

Cafaro feels otherwise. He wants the immigrants to stay home and stay poor. It’s necessary for them to stay poor and hungry in order to save the Earth. In fact, since there are really too many people, it might be best if they were to starve.

 


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