child-receives-vaccination-shotIt’s not a secret that I have a kind of special hatey-hole in my heart for anti-vaccination wackos. I don’t understand how people can ignore the gravity of what they’re doing when they refuse to innoculate their kids against preventable disease, all in the name of junk science. I don’t think I ever really thought of this behavior as “abusive” as I did “deeply moronic and logically flawed”, but one Australian doctor does and after hearing why I have to say I can get behind what he has to say.

Dr. Michael Gannon is an OB/GYN and the President of the Australian Medical Association, and he clarified his comments in an interview on The World Todaysaying:

No, I don’t retract the language at all. This is not for one moment to diminish, you know, the horrific crimes put onto children in other circumstances but denying your child and denying its little cousins, its schoolmates and its friends, the clear benefits of vaccination is something which potentially impairs their future potential.

We should do everything we can to look after our kids.

You guys know how I feel about tossing about the term “child abuse”. It’s been used to decry everything from ear piercing to sending your kids to the park alone to feeding babies lemons and it really grosses me out when people dilute its meaning by applying it to shit it has no business describing.

But I think in this particular case it does, in fact, make sense, given the situation that caused Gannon to label it this way. In Perth, a Western Australian state, the rate of children going without vaccination – especially among affluent families – is on the rise. In news that is sure to shock and amaze you, so is the measles rate.

MICHAEL GANNON: Western Australia is the poorest performing state when it comes to childhood vaccination rates and overall we’re hovering around the 90 per cent mark.

. . .
We had four cases of measles in the whole of the state last year, we’re up to 33 already and we’re only in August. We’ve heard about some cases in metropolitan Melbourne recently. This is laziness and complacency on the part of parents and we need to try and get the message out there.

ANNA VIDOT: In Victoria health authorities yesterday confirmed an outbreak of measles among unvaccinated children at one Melbourne primary school.

ROSEMARY LESTER: So that’s three confirmed cases and a further two suspected cases at the Essendon North Primary School and we do know that these children have attended a variety of other community and sporting functions while they were infectious. It’s a concern that we may see further cases arising in the community.

In case you forgot, some of the possible complications that can come with a case of measles include; pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis, and oh yeah, death.

What’s weird is that every single anti-vaxxer I know is absolutely obsesses with the idea of doing things like breastfeeding and buying organic peas all in the name of giving their kids every possible advantage. It’s more worrying to them that there might be a few pesticides on an apple than the fact that their kid could become encephalitic and lose their sight or hearing or die.

You’d be arrested for not buckling your child into a carseat, but it’s totally fine to put them at risk for all of this other stuff? I think that given the uptick in cases, if you knowingly put your child at risk by failing to vaccinate, then yes, you are denying them medical care that they need, which is abuse or at least pretty clearly neglect.

Also, I’m pretty sure the parents of kids who are immunocompromised would appreciate it if you went on ahead and fucked yourself.

As I’ve said, I’m never a fan of hyperbole when it comes to things like child abuse. However, I think it’s time to stop treating anti-vaxxers like they are adorable little idiots by using nicer, more palatable words. This is a serious issue, so why not use the serious language it deserves?

(Image: CandyBox/Shutterstock)