Pregnancy

Federal Judge Refuses Bullsh*t Arguments And Rules Against Vaccine Deniers In NYC

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nyc-vaccine-rulingA federal judge ruled in favor of a New York City policy that allows schools to ban unvaccinated children from attending classes if another student has come down with a vaccine preventable illness. A lawsuit was brought by three families who felt their rights had been violated. How long can we let parents turn a blind eye to public health? This ruling is a step in the right direction.

Two of the families in the suit felt their First Amendment right to religious freedom and their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law were being denied. The third plaintiff, Dina Check, claimed the city improperly denied her 7-year-old daughter a religious exemption. Here’s what Check has to say about her reason for refusing vaccines:

“Disease is pestilence,” Ms. Check said, “and pestilence is from the devil. The devil is germs and disease, which is cancer and any of those things that can take you down. But if you trust in the Lord, these things cannot come near you.”

What the… seriously? So parents with children who legitimately cannot be vaccinated because they are immunocompromised have to worry about crumbling herd immunity because people like Check think they are “protected” by god? This is one of the things that drives me most crazy about religious zealots; they think God is all knowing and invented everything – but not vaccines. Maybe, just maybe “God” invented these vaccines to protect you, dummy. Why wouldn’t one of the most significant medical accomplishments in, ever, not be given the thumbs up by your God?

From The New York Times:

Among the 25 people who contracted measles in New York City between February and April this year, two were school-age children unvaccinated because of parental refusal. When one of the children, who was being home-schooled, contracted the measles, city health officials barred that child’s sibling, who had a religious exemption, from attending school. The sibling eventually contracted measles as well. Health officials credited the decision to keep the second child out of school with stopping the spread of disease in that community.

To back his decision, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn cited a 1905 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a fine for a Massachusetts man who refused to be vaccinated during a smallpox outbreak. Upholding the five dollar fine in that case helped establish the government’s right to enforce vaccination requirements as a matter of public health.

So now, not only will vaccine deniers in NYC be not adequately protecting their children against disease, they will be possibly forcing them to miss school.

Ohio, which granted more than three times as many religious and philosophical exemptions to kindergarten students last year as it did in 2000, is struggling to contain a measles outbreak that has recently spreadto 339 Amish people who were largely unvaccinated, the state health department said.

A city with a population like New York has an even more intense obligation to consider the public’s health and safety – and I’m glad to see that they are doing that.

(photo: Nejron Photo/ Shutterstock)

156 Comments

  1. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    June 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    “Disease is pestilence,” Ms. Check said, “and pestilence is from the devil. The devil is germs and disease, which is cancer and any of those things that can take you down. But if you trust in the Lord, these things cannot come near you.”

    What the… seriously? So parents with children who legitimately cannot be vaccinated because they are immunocompromised have to worry about crumbling herd immunity because people like Check think they are “protected” by god?

    Silly Maria. If only those people would also recognize the power of The.Lord™ they too would be protected from pestilence and their immunocompromised children would not have to worry about it. It’s not her fault–it’s the fault all those unbelieving heathens.

    • UterineDudebroWhoLikesOlives

      June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      You are a “wicked prophet” so you should know. 🙂

      Sometimes I just can’t….even….

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I only speak the wicked truth. 😉

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      June 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      So one has to extrapolate that this woman believes that all of the people throughout history that have died of diseases had it coming because they weren’t righteous enough. So scary.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Yeah….and what’s her thought about babies who get cancer? Are the babies not righteous enough? Did those naughty babies let the devil in their little hearts? STUPID.

    • Katherine Handcock

      June 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      My husband knows what the extremist answer is to that: No, the baby is innocent. But someone in the family let the devil in their hearts, and this is the punishment.

      Because that totally sounds like the kind of thing a loving, compassionate God would do.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      You must stop with this. You almost broke my eyes as they slammed into my skull!

    • Katherine Handcock

      June 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hey, the truth hurts. In that it makes you want to facepalm yourself into oblivion.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Actually, it made me want to gather these people into a group and shuffle them to the nearest insane asylum, where they will all be force-vaccinated, and then locked up so their words cannot poison the Earth any longer.

    • Katherine Handcock

      June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      That works too.

    • brebay

      June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      How can you not worship one who tortures children to punish their parents. All hail the drug cartels!

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      That’s a natural conclusion to come to, I think.

    • Maria Guido

      June 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      It is VERY scary.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Yeah, because there definitely wasn’t any disease back when Jesus was roaming the Earth. Except…wait…I definitely recall a story about leprosy. Funny thing about the bible to these types of people…. it is great and THE WORD until it says something that contradicts their “preachings” and suddenly, we just sweep that part under the rug like it doesn’t exist.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Well, you see, those lepers did not believe hard enough.

    • Alex Lee

      June 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Good call on the trademark. God isn’t a businessman, (s)He’s a business, man.

      Got mumps? Pray harder.

      That’s the first time I’ve read the devil is germs. Her first yeast infection must have been so traumatic.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      A yeast infection would be enough to do it. I think you’ve actually shown me a side of this woman I can feel sympathy for! 😉

    • Alex Lee

      June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Also, if someone could write a children’s book “Her First Yeast Infection” – that would be great.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      It’s a niche in the market that has yet to be filled.

    • Katherine Handcock

      June 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      I’m afraid to search now, because given what I have found searching for titles for A Mighty Girl, there’s a possibility this already exists….

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Scary…

    • Momma425

      June 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I haven’t had a yeast infection reciently, but I’m pretty sure those ARE inventions from the devil.

    • Alex Lee

      June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      #holymonistat

      ok. that’s terrible. I apologize.

    • The Hero of Akron-Canton

      June 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      It’s the joke about the guy who is standing on his roof during a flood and turns down a rowboat, a bigger boat, and then a helicopter because he’s waiting for God to save him and then when he drowns and asks God “Why didn’t you save me” God’s response is “Hey dumbass, I send you two boats and a helicopter”

      except in real life and with babies’ lives.

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      June 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      They used to tell that joke at the church I went to when I was a teenager, and that was the first thing I thought of when I read this.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      June 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      I laughed at that joke, right up until the last line, which brought it all crashing down into horrible reality…

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      I use this all the time. Because some of my more…fervent…friends will say “I am going to stop worrying and just pray to Him for help!” But they’ll pass up the 3 jobs they are offered or the slightly dorky man who is very nice. I’m like what do you think He is doing sweetheart?

    • tSubh Dearg

      June 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      As I read the start of the article that exact joke came to my mind. Along with the one about the lady praying to win the lottery and asking God on her death why she never did. “Well you never bought a ticket!”

  2. Spongeworthy

    June 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Something tells me Dina Check’s daughter hears a lot about her “dirtypillows”. It’s impressive that in one line, she managed to make me be completely terrified of her.

  3. Katherine Handcock

    June 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    On behalf of the not-crazy religious people, a) I apologize and b) I am seriously pissed. Every time people wring their hands and ask “Why don’t people go to church anymore?” I want to point to things like that and say, “Well, when you preach about compassion and love and empathy and then tell people that cancer and measles is punishment for those who aren’t righteous, that’s what happens.”

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Extremists from any population ruin it for everyone. The Check lady really drives me bonkers because she’s basically saying that people who get sick aren’t good Christians or are of the devil or some craziness. None of the “normal” Christians I know believe any of that and are more like “get my kid vaccinated, I’m not trying to ask God to save my kid from stuff He has given us a way to prevent!”

    • 2Well

      June 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Besides, many of the heroes of the Bible got sick or otherwise suffered. Paul had a “thorn in his side” whether that was illness or the more recent theory of homosexuality I heard (not that being gay is suffering but it’s not like he felt safe to act on his sexual urges and instead felt doomed to a life of celibacy.)

  4. SA

    June 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Call me crazy, but if you were choosing the unvaccinated route for your child wouldn’t you WANT to keep them out of school during an outbreak. Apart from the crazy lady of course.

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Maybe the crazies think that their kids are already protected? Like the ultra-religious types think “there is no way my kid is going to contract disease because he is righteous and pure and God will not give him measles” and the ultra-crunchy think “well my child eats only organic chia seeds and agave nectar and unlike those Dorito-munching vaccinated sheeple, so clearly her immune system is superior and will protect her.”

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I know one who thinks that because she breastfed her unvaccinated children, they will experience any disease we vaccinate against as nothing more than a minor cold.

      Measles? Just a sniffle. Whooping cough? Just a sniffle. Polio? Oh, that one never existed in her mind, just a plot cooked up by the government to manipulate all us sheeple.

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      That is terrifying.

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      As someone who will be starting medical school in the next few months, these are the types of patients that are truly going to test my self-control. I can handle people who have legitimate concerns and are asking questions about vaccines because they are at least coming to a credible source and are hopefully looking for some reassurance, but the type you described have already made up their mind and are basically telling me that my entire education and the education of every medical professional and scientist is a sham, and that they some how know better by reading some crap on the internet.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Don’t miss class on the days when they teach you about how to get kick backs for everything and let you in on the secret medical conspiracy to poison everyone and make MILLIONS! while doing so.
      I missed those days of class, and now I’m just a regular pediatrician pushing vaccines because I think they are important based on science… I’m such a fool!

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Shh! You’re letting the cat out of the bag. Now it is only time before one of the “enlightened” comes along and reveals modern medicine for the scam that it is!

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      This is mind-numbingly stupid, but even if she believes this…what about other children? I can’t even wrap my head around how selfish these assholes are.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      She’s very clear about how she doesn’t give a flying fuck about other inferior children whose shitty mothers didn’t care enough to use their tits properly. Yet somehow she expects the entire world to care about her speshul snowflakes.

      We aren’t friends, in case you couldn’t tell. LOL

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      What kills me about people like that is the inherent laziness of it all. So if I breastfed I don’t have to worry about education, diet, saving for college, family vacations, relationships, clothing, verbal/spatial/social skills… all of a sudden every single parenting issue I’ll ever have is magically fixed by breastmilk? Good to know.

      Also, I’m sorry, but as much as I actually do care about other kids (thus the vaccinations my son has always had), I’ll have a really hard time caring about yours if they kill someone I care about.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Ugh, at least she’s honest…I guess…

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      The ultra-crunchy crowd has gotten as bad as the religious crazies in some ways. I swear, it’s like, “Oh, you got cancer? That’s your fault for not drinking enough organic kale and breast milk smoothies.”

      I’ll be over here with my vaccines while y’all are praying/juicing away the polio.

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Ugh I know. I ran into someone on a different website who was trying to convince everyone that all disease is a result of your body being too acidic and that if you just ate fruits and veggies you would never get sick. Of course he poo-pooed every attempt by someone to explain how blood chemistry works and when asked to provide evidence for his theory he pulled the old “just google it yourself you the evidence is astounding.” Oh and he also said that radiation (for cancer treatment) made the blood more acidic because screw physics/chemistry/logic.

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Someone convinced my MIL that cancer is caused by too much sugar and acids. So for months she kept buying us special waters and breads and what not. Her friend was in the final stages of cancer and shortly before passing she rallied and was telling her about this diet she was on that was supposed to reduce the acid and sugars. I was like just. stop.

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I’ve heard the acid/sugar theory too. It makes me so sad. Like, if all we had to do to cure cancer was make a few simple dietary changes, don’t you think we’d be doing it? Don’t you think cancer would be eliminated by now?

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Don’t you think Doctors probably already looked at that? Ugh!

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Doctors want you to have cancer. Because conspiracy.

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Shit. I forgot about that! Thanks for reminding me. I don’t know how I could have let that one slip my mind.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      My MIL went through a phase like that. Her “doctor” told her that cancer eats sugar. First I rolled my eyes back in my head, then I was enraged that someone with a fucking bachelor’s degree was using the title doctor.

    • C.J.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      My mother had breast cancer and she rarely eats anything with sugar in it. She won’t even eat carrots because they have too much natural sugar. I really wish that was actually true!

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      I love that Google is considered valid research now. Don’t get me wrong: Google is a great resource, but I’m pretty sure I can use Google to find “support” for any argument I invent in my head.

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      My research professor in grad school said “any numbers can be spun any way the person writing it wants if they are clever enough with words, do not trust any single paper you read. Read lots of papers do lots of research and for God’s sake stay off Google, anyone can post anything on that thing!”

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      THANK YOU. Why do these people not know that if you Google something you’re just getting the most popular results, not the results that are more accurate?

    • Ro

      June 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Ugh… I hate it when people make claims, yet refuse to provide their own evidence. Sorry, but if you want to spout your bullshit, and expect anyone to take you seriously, you’d better provide some links.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      And they better not include “natural” in the URL.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      The organic craze makes my eyeballs bleed because something about these people makes it impossible for them to live and let live. They have to blow up my facebook with their weight loss and their juices and their OH THE HORRORS stories about GMOs and MSG or whatever else there is! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I have a friend of a friend on my facebook who entertains me with her “healthy” bullshit. Yeah, she eats mac and cheese and fruit snacks but they’re ORGANIC! She also drinks a whole lot of beer for someone who snipes at other people’s diets and lifestyles. Not that I don’t drink beer or eat mac and cheese but I don’t go around insulting other people for eating a different brand than I do.

      I laugh at her at least once a day. Her hypocrisy is so ridiculous it’s amusing.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      I have one who is doing some program and she posted before/after photos the other day. Her before photo was taken two weeks after giving birth to her first kid. I’m pretty sure that’s a little disingenuous! It would seem more believable for you to take a before photo, oh I don’t know, right BEFORE you started the program.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      But I bet it’s organic beer that she brewed herself from her very own wheat garden.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      LOL, it’s not. She once lectured me that the beer I was drinking contained CORN SYRUP. *GASP*

      I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the one she was drinking also contained corn syrup. I just laughed and walked away.

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      I have one friend who always posts memes like, “Every time you eat, you’re either healing yourself or killing yourself.” I understand we should try to be healthy, but I feel that’s a heavy burden to place on my guacamole.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      I’ve seen that one! I’ll take killing myself for 1,000, Alex. Because WHOOPERS.

    • brebay

      June 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Throw a couple slices of avocado on there and it cancels itself out.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Guacamole is avocado so therefore, healthy super food.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I’m almost more annoyed at the super-crunchy at this point. I can only see so many posts about toxins and cleanses and body wraps and the evils of aspartame before I lose it.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      These new body wraps are making me LOL for days. “LOOK AT THIS! You can lose 100 lbs after just one wrap!!” and all the people are like “BUY BUY BUY!” Seriously guys? Have we NO brain cells anymore?

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      They are pretty comical. Losing 100lbs in a day sounds super healthy to me! Please let me buy Saran Wrap from you!

    • pixie the Boozy Twerker

      June 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      One of my friends on Facebook sells wraps and does parties for them. It’s kind of amusing to see how she posts about the wonders of it and how people eat that shit up.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      I love the ones where they “guarantee” you’ll lose some crazy amount of weight, like 50 pounds. I had a cousin who was selling that nonsense and I asked her how she could guarantee that I’d lose enough weight to kill me (because losing 50 pounds would definitely kill me) and she blocked me. LOL

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Yeah, sorry, I want to hate aspartame but I also want an IV line of diet coke hooked up at all times.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Me too! I can’t quit you Diet Coke.
      Plus so many of these posts claim that as soon as they cut out aspartame, they lost 100 lbs, had no more arthritis/lupus/depression, and their hair and skin are so shiny!! Um, sure.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      LOL, I lost the last 10 pounds from my pregnancy by switching from regular soda to diet soda but when I tell some people that, they get foaming at the mouth angry about how I’m full of shit because, “DIET SODA MAKES YOU FAT!”

      It’s hilarious. I fully admit I have an issue with soda and switching to diet eliminated several hundred calories from my daily intake so it makes sense why it worked. I love how people get all worked up over it. It’s not like I eliminated vegetables and replaced them with diet soda. Regular soda isn’t exactly health food either.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      The funny thing for me is, the ones who lecture the most about the evils of diet soda also post recipe ideas that are like, chock full of crap. One posted an “article” about aspartame and then posted a recipe for tater tot casserole. Pretty sure weekly helpings of that are gonna do more damage than my 2-3 cans of diet coke a week.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      June 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Is my aunt on your friends list? Because I have been bitching about this exact thing to my parents about her doing this ALL THE TIME. Oh yeah, and pictures of aborted fetuses and horribly maimed animals peppered in there for funsies…

    • Ashley Austrew

      June 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Yeah, until you can prove to me that your fancy diet makes you immortal, I’m keeping my Coke Zero.

    • CCPat

      June 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Watch out for the ultra-crunchy infused religious crowd. I am a Christian, homeschool mom of nearly 20 years. We are just about finished homeschooling and I am so glad! Now you’re not only judged on your spiritual walk but the crunchy busy-bodies are judging whether you vaccinate, breast feed, have a home birth, etc. When my kids (now 21,19, 18, and 15 1/2) were younger it wasn’t like this! SMH!

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Yikes. That’s like 10 pounds of judginess in a 5 pound bag.

    • Dixie

      June 25, 2014 at 1:28 am

      Juicing away the polio….you are my new hero!

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Some of them want their children to contract these illnesses. They think that’s a preferable way to build immunity. I’ve met a few of those crazies.

      I’m just waiting for measles, mumps and whooping cough parties to start popping up, like the chicken pox parties before the vaccine.

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Oh God, these are the same types that don’t trust vaccines and educated scientists and physicians, but want to go online and purchase a lollipop licked by some kid with chicken pox and God-knows what else to be mailed to them to give to their kid, because that somehow sounds safer. (Luckily that bit of craziness got shut down, because what do you know, it is illegal to send infectious materials by mail without proper training and documentation).

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Oh my god! That was actually happening? I never heard of that. That’s a whole new level of crazy.

    • SA

      June 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      HA! I forgot about the licked lollipops! That is too gross, but I was sent to play with friends who had the chicken pox as a child…ahh, the goodle days.

    • Momma425

      June 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I went to a pox party as a child.
      Got all my other vaccines except that one.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Oh god, the pox lollipops! I remember seeing how people were looking for those on Facebook. People. YOU ARE SENDING DISEASE IN THE MAIL. STOP.

    • darras

      June 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Wait..What? This was a thing?

    • Spongeworthy

      June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Sadly, yes. People were trying to get lollipops licked by a kid who had chicken pox. It was so incredibly ridiculous.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I….WHAT?! That was a thing!? I have problems with both parents in this equation. Seller and buyer. Bunch of loons.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      How is it even possible to be that stupid..? Christ on a fucking cracker.

    • darras

      June 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

      “Whoop! My kid got measles! Quick! Come round, rub your kid on my kid! Spread the love!” That kind of party? 😀

  5. Kelly

    June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Are they seriously fighting for the “right” to spread their sick around?

    God forbid they have to be decent human beings and try not to infect others when someone in their household comes down with a serious, contagious illness.

    • Surly Canuck

      June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      THIS. These parents decided not to protect their kids from preventable diseases. During an outbreak, schools, you know the place where lots of kids congregate, should have measures in place to minimize the damage. Are they that anxious to have their kids develop a “natural” immunity that they will actively put them in harms way? I really don’t understand this.

  6. Larkin

    June 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    This anti-vaccination insanity seriously freaks me out when I think about sending my kid to daycare after he’s born. One of the things I’m planning to ask when we start interviewing places is what their vaccination policy is. Anywhere that’s cool with unvaccinated kids is a no-go for me. Urgh.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Mine is an in-home daycare and I’m 99% sure she wouldn’t have unvaccinated kids. One reason is because she wouldn’t want to deal with the hassle of the paperwork. I have been meaning to ask her just to make sure…but..yeah…that’s definitely something to think about in today’s world!

    • SA

      June 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      We have an in-home daycare and I have to provide updated vaccination schedules after every visit. Of course she isn’t a hard-ass because I usually forget to bring it in for a few weeks, but I have no doubt she would not let a child continue coming without vaccines.

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Yes, mine is exactly that way! She requires DCFS approved paperwork after each and every shot visit, signed by the doctor. I even had to get the doctor send me a note that said a TB test wasn’t necessary. She’s a stickler, mostly because her DCFS lady is a major stickler and she doesn’t want to get in trouble, so that’s why I said I’m 99% sure!

  7. Ursi

    June 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I’d consider myself radically tolerant of people’s religious rights but after the news of the most recent measles outbreak my stance of *”sure, fine, whatever” and “Fine, but not in our schools,” has changed to “Won’t somebody please stop these people??”

    At least keep them out of schools, at the very least, keep other kids protected. If you have to practice your crackpot ideology please please please homeschool your kid.

    But really I’m starting to think that vaccinations should be mandatory, and a year ago I would have called that a violation of personal rights now… man, I don’t know.

    I just don’t know anymore. So many preventable deaths in children.

    • JenH1986

      June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      I’m with you. I’m more a live and let live kinda gal. But I’m beginning to think not vaccinating is akin to yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I didn’t care as much a couple of years ago because I didn’t take the movement seriously. Now that so many cities are seeing rapid increases in their unvaccinated population, the problem can’t be ignored or brushed off as crazy fringe lunatics doing their own thing in the woods.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      I feel like someone’s personal rights end when they threaten other people. Ear piercing? Circumcision? Makeup on toddlers? SAHM vs WM? Cloth or disposable? Religious or not? Breastfeeding or formula feeding?

      I couldn’t care less about any of these things. They affect your child and your family, so you do you. I may not agree with them, but it’s not my life, so it doesn’t matter if I agree or not.

      Vaccination, on the other hand, is a public health issue, and when you’re screwing with my kid’s health I reserve the right to tell you that you’re being a moron. I could care less if someone gets insulted. You’re essentially playing Russian roulette with a kid’s health, and if the worst thing that happens as a result of that is that you get called stupid on the Internet, you’re getting off light imho.

  8. LK

    June 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I am all for more moves in this direction. Keep them out of school. No religious exemptions period would be OK with me. These kinds of actions at least create SOME kind of consequences. Don’t want to vaccinate? OK, but you can’t put your kids in the public school system then. A lot of these kids don’t experience illness or experience them adn recover and it leads these parents to reason that everything totally cool as a result. If they are going to put society at risk, then I think society has a right to impose restrictions.

  9. Cruelty Cupcake

    June 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe this shit is real. Last week, I asked our new pediatrician about their vaccination policy (I live in a city with a very large anti-vax population) and he flat out told me he has a pretty high percentage of parents who either don’t follow the CDC schedule or opt out entirely and that he allows it because it’s “a personal choice” and otherwise they wouldn’t seek out medical care at all. Ummmmm, well wouldn’t THAT actually be their personal choice? I don’t fucking care if they take their family to live on a farm and die from preventable diseases, they aren’t taking my newborn with them. Obviously I have already found a new pediatrician with a strongly worded vaccination policy on their website, but it really fucking sucks that I have to worry about it in the first place. These people are animals and if they don’t want to be a part of civilized society, they should get the fuck out.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      That sucks. Glad you at least found that out about the pediatrician early on.
      My SIL is convinced vaccines caused her sons autism. I don’t even bother arguing because it is not worth it. Luckily her kids are old enough that they’ve already received all their vaccines so I didn’t have to worry when my guy was a baby. But she was constantly in my husbands ear when our son was a baby that we had to delay his vaccines, break them up, all that other BS. It really upset my husband. He took our son to his 1-year appt, and I told him to just talk to our doc a little about it. She was great, reassured him about everything, and talked to him about how they diagnose now and what they look for early on. He was never considering not vaxxing, but I’m glad our doc could just reassure him a little after my SIL’s crap.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      How sad that she can’t just accept her son the way he is. That’s really hard on autistic kids when they get older. It’s an integral part of their personality and a parent wanting to “cure” it or lamenting the “cause” of it is basically telling them they are less than or wrong.

      My son is autistic. I don’t blame it on anything partly because I’m educated but also because I don’t want him to feel defective.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I don’t disagree with you at all about accepting your kid as they are. I know that’s a big thing in the autism community, and I hate the anti-vaccine argument so much because it is like saying that they’re better off dead than autistic.
      I think it’s almost that she feels better having something to blame it on, if that makes sense. She also buys into the “all natural” movement when it suits her.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      It does make sense and I do get where she’s coming from. I know it can be hard to accept. I just hope she gets to that point before he’s old enough to pick up on it.

    • CW

      June 25, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Autism is a biomedical condition that some kids HAVE, not something they ARE. You don’t hear people with other biomedical conditions rejecting the search for a cure or claiming it’s “part of their personality.” My autistic daughter has good days, and bad days, so I can see the impact that her condition has on her. Some days she’s lost in her own little world, while other days I can more easily see the sweet, friendly little girl who she REALLY is. I pray every day for a cure that will allow her to finally break free from autism.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Man, that sucks 🙁 I feel badly for your nephew, tbh. I hope that if one of my children had autism I would be nothing but loving and accepting of them. It’s so insane to me how many people make these life-altering decisions based on one study from a doctor who was stripped of his medical license. Just insane.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      She loves him very much, I just think she needs someone/something to blame, you know? Which I get, even though I don’t agree with her. She has scaled way back on a lot of that stuff now that my son is over 2. Now she’s moved on to other ways to passive-aggressively criticize our parenting 🙂

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      That is a very difficult decision for a pediatrician to make. Our job is to care for kids… not that we don’t care about the parents, but my priority is helping a child to be as healthy and happy as possible. I cannot force a family to vaccinate (I wish I could!), and have some families who refuse, but I’d rather be able to offer them some degree of medical care so I can protect their child as much as I can.

      Your first doctor was correct in that they still need care too. I hate to see a child suffer because of their parents stupidity. If all docs refused, they would just not go to the doctor and that’s a bad thing.

      We have discussed the idea of having a stricter vaccine policy, but it’s just not feasable in my current practice at this time (though as it grows, it would be possible… and would be a lot less time wasted trying to convince these people.) But we are concerned with the unvaccinated infecting our other patients and do try to set the office up in a way to minimize risk. But, having offices that refuse to take unvaccinated kids is a good thing too… It’s a double edged sword from the physician perspective.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Your goal should be to care about the kids! As a parent, I’m not worried about myself at all. I guess the way I see it is that these parents are getting away with choosing to not vaccinate largely because pediatricians are allowing them to (that’s overly simplistic, I know). There just aren’t any consequences for them, they’re making this horrible choice that affects their entire community and it’s no skin off their back. If push came to shove, I really don’t believe they would forego medical care if they needed it…but if they did, well isn’t that a personal choice? It’s definitely more of a personal choice than choosing to not vaccinate.

      I would also hate to see another child suffer because of their parents’ ignorance, but what about my child? From my understanding, pertussis presents like the common cold at first. I don’t think most parents would knowingly infect their ped’s office with it (or maybe they would), but I could easily see them heading there thinking it’s no big deal. I don’t want my family to suffer (or die) because of their decisions and I’m very happy to have found a ped who refuses to accept this lunacy.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I’m glad you were able to find that pediatrician, I was just pointing out that it’s not as easy of a decision for us as doctors to make, as much as we’d like it to be. In a perfect world, I would have that policy at my clinic as well (or everyone who can would vaccinate.) As more and more of these diseases show up, it will be easier to push for a stricter policy.

      It is a parents personal choice to not seek medical care, but that can and will harm a child, which is who I care about. Or they will show up in the ER when it’s almost too late (not necessarily speaking of only vaccine preventable diseases) when regular check ups could have made a world of diffrence.

      I have a family with a very young infant who refuses to vaccinate… who even asked if they should seek out and infect their baby (BABY!) with chicken pox to build his immunity. Obviously I told them very clearly that it was a horrible idea. But they still won’t vaccinate. They didn’t want to come in for the next check up either becuase they don’t know why they should. (And probably becuase they know I’m going to bring up vaccinations again and again) It’s very frustrating.

      Some of these families can be convinced as they build a good relationship with their doc, so that is another reason to not blanket refuse to take those patients… but I know this family will never be convinced and I’m not all that sad that they will probably never walk through my clinic door again. But I do worry about their child.

      The sad thing is we are still responsible legally- if this kid gets pertussis and dies, despite the signed refusal waiver we get at every visit, the family could still sue me for not taking proper care and win… how the F does that work?

    • Kendra

      June 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Damn…that is a shitty position to be in. I guess I never really considered it from that angle. No matter how it boils down, the kids are screwed.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Yup… it blows majorly… all of the anti-vaccine/ doctor conspiracy stuff makes me soooooo angry…

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      WOW, yeah that is completely fucked up. It honestly seems like that would be even more reason to refuse them as patients though? Either way, it’s a terrible spot to put you in. Ultimately I see withholding vaccinations from your child as a form of abuse. It’s terrible that it happens, but it really shouldn’t affect my family or the rest of my community…I feel like a ped’s goal should be to help maintain herd immunity and look out for the good of all the children in the community, not just a few.

      I hope that as we inevitably see more outbreaks, peds will find it easier to start rejecting anti-vaxxers…I just hope too many children don’t die in the process.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      While we have more ability than say the ER to turn patients away (since the ER cannot refuse to see anybody, and we can’t refuse to take care of someone dying in our clinic lobby) it is still a difficult thing to refuse patients. Especially in a group practice vs a single private office. There is a board of some sort involved and legal involved in making that decision. And it has to be consistent across clinic locations.

      Then there is also the issue of the partial vaccinators- people who vaccinate but refuse specific ones like hep B or gardisil, what do we do with those people? or the delayed schedulers.

      It just sucks any way you slice it. And whether they come to my office or not, they are unvaccinated and in the world chipping away at herd immunity. If they are being seen somewhere, then at least there is a chance they might be convinced someday. But I think it’s going to take polio before that happens for most of them. (Or maybe something like smallpox even)

      A separate no vaccines clinic would be one way to keep those people away from others, but that would suck to have to be the doctor working that clinic and dealing with the crazies all day.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      I think I’ll just take my kids and move to a sparsely populated island.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      If only we could send the anti-vaccinators there instead… then they can spread all the disease they want, but they aren’t allowed to leave and infect the rest of us.

    • brebay

      June 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I think gardasil is a little different, unless they’re having sex in your lobby…

    • jane

      June 24, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Gardasil is only different in that that disease is not being spread in the actual lobby (as you pointed out). But if teenage patient A opts out and goes on to have sex with teenage patient B, and passes along HPV, and then teenage patient B has sex with C, D, and E, it might as well be the same thing.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      I agree on the HPV vaccine… I talk about it and recommend it at age 11, which is what the AAP recommendations are, but I don’t push it as hard at that age. But it’s talked about every year until they do it.
      But that’s the thing, if you have a blanket “We don’t accept patients who don’t vaccinate” where do you draw the line? It’s just extra complications to think about.

    • C.J.

      June 25, 2014 at 12:28 am

      Where I live the HPV vaccine is given at school in grade 8. My daughter is going in to grade 7 in September and I am already hearing a lot of parents arguing against it. They come right out and ask if you are planning to let your child get it. It drives me crazy. I have heard parents say they are just going to tell their child not to have sex, because that will work. Since my doctor and my nephew who is a public health nurse that mostly deals with vaccines both recommend it my daughter will be getting it. My nephew told me that they can’t give it at school if the parents won’t give consent but they can give it at the public health department if a child comes in themselves and asks for it. He said that a lot of kids are coming in on their own and get it. At least the kids are smart enough to want to protect themselves.

    • Daleth

      July 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      What do you do with the anti-HepB or anti-Gardasil folks? Who cares? They can’t infect your other patients with hepatitis B or cervical cancer. That’s where you draw the line: “Can their refusal to vaccinate endanger me or my other patients?” If yes, refuse them. If no, don’t.

      In other words, the ones you should be worried about are the ones who refuse vaccines for dangerous diseases that are transmitted through the air or by casual contact. So, measles, pertussis, etc. Those are the ones who can get your other patients sick–and frankly if I or my kid ever got sick that way, I would sue the doctor ASAP.

    • Daleth

      July 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      The family couldn’t sue you for malpractice if you hadn’t accepted them as patients in the first place. By accepting anti-vaxxers, you’re creating that problem for yourself.

    • LK

      June 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Part of me thinks pediatrician’s should just refuse care to anti-vaxxers, and I’m all “fuck yeah!” But then I think , OK, not all those anti-vaxxers are going to wind up at the same office with the same hippy pediatrician who totally supports their choice, and then you’ve just got a whole office full of people reinforcing their own horrible decisions.

    • brebay

      June 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I think there are enough D.O.s out there, (and probably more than a few MDs in NYC) who are anti-vax that they could at lest get basic care, and obviously the hospital will still treat them.

    • shel

      June 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      It’s sad that a doctor would turn their back on legitimate and well tested science that saves lives over and over again.
      🙁

    • Daleth

      July 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      I think if all docs refused, a lot of anti-vax parents would reconsider their position. Not all of them are morons; not all of them are completely paranoid. They just run in crunchy circles and believe the woo. If they were faced with the reality of having no doctor for their sick kids, a lot of them would probably get the kids vaccinated. As it is, doctors accepting them almost reinforce the BS by not calling them on it.

    • Momma425

      June 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      I have never understood why these parents take their kids to pediatricians in the first place.
      Look, if I am seeing a doctor and he says that he can cure my strep throat by waving his magic fingers in my general direction- I am not going to trust his medical advice and find a provider who I feel like is giving sound advice that I trust.
      When a provider recommends vaccines and the parent refuses, the parent is basically saying that they do not trust the provider’s medical advice.
      “I think the doctor is involved in a conspiracy plot with big pharma to get money,” = I don’t trust my child’s doctor and think s/he is advising something dangerous to patients in an attempt to make extra money.
      “I think my child will get autism if they get vaccinated, even though the doctor recommended vaccines,” = I don’t trust my child’s doctor, and s/he is trying to give my child autism.
      “I don’t religiously believe in vaccines,” = I am bringing my child to a doctor whose values and medical opnions don’t correspond with my values and beliefs.
      Why bring your kid to a doctor who you don’t trust? I just don’t get it at all.

    • Kelly

      June 25, 2014 at 12:44 am

      I don’t get it either. If they really think the doctor is a quack and trying to give their children autism or cancer or whatever they think the “conspiracy” behind the shots is about, why the hell are they even in his office in the first place?

    • Daleth

      July 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Seriously. I think pediatricians who accept unvaccinated kids should be held liable if their other patients catch diseases from those kids. It’s not his problem if the parents are idiots and wouldn’t get medical care otherwise. It IS his problem if he lets those kids cause illness, blindness, deafness, miscarriage and death in his OTHER patients.

  10. Youthier

    June 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    When we congregants with cancer, disease, what have you that ask for public prayer, the pastor always asks God to guide or bless the doctors’ hands. Because responsible religious people believe God gave us knowledge to teach doctors and develop medical knowledge. And I’ll be honest – I believe he throws miracles in once and awhile too but 99% of the time God is working through medical professionals.

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  11. Wine Sipping Raging Feminist

    June 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    So if diseases are caused by the devil, I guess the tiny infants who die of things like whooping cough and measles are just incredibly compact evil incarnate? STFU, lady.

    • brebay

      June 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      That’s what they get for screaming so much. Damn sinners. What part of “honor thy father and thy mother” do they think includes keeping them both awake for months?

  12. Rachel Sea

    June 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    You want to make religious or philosophical decisions in your own life fine, but your rights should end where my body begins. If you have 19 kids, or bottle feed homemade goat’s milk formula, or indoctrinate your kids into a stupid religious sect, I won’t agree with your choice, but I will defend your right to make it with my last breath. If you make a choice that hurts or kills other people, you should be criminally liable. If you don’t vaccinate, and your kid infects a baby with whooping cough, and they die, you should go to prison for murder. If you don’t vaccinate and your kid gives someone the measles and they become brain injured, you should go to prison for assault, and required to pay for their care, for the rest of your life. If you choose not to vaccinate, and your own kid gets sick, disabled, or dies, you should go to prison for child endangerment, abuse or murder.

    No exceptions.

    • CW

      June 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Why single out ONE parenting choice and not all the other ones? We don’t jail parents who smoke around their kids for child abuse, and smoking is MUCH more likely to actually result in harm to the child than skipping vaccines. We don’t jail parents who feed their obese kids junk food, and again that is FAR more likely to result in harm to the child than skipping vaccines. What about the parent who puts his/her child in an unlicensed daycare and that child gets injured or killed? And on, and on.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      The discussion was focused on religious or philosophical choices, not all bad parenting choices. Those are things which are definitely questionable, which might even warrant professional intervention if they cross a line into abusiveness, but (unlike failing to vaccinate) they are not choices that people are insisting they have a Constitutionally protected right to expose other people’s children to, and they won’t kill other people’s babies.

    • Daleth

      July 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Because those choices harm the bad parent’s own kids. They don’t harm OTHER PEOPLE. That’s the distinction.

  13. Warren Pacholzuk

    June 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Welcome the communist state known as the USA.
    Where the state now is comfortable with throwing the constitution out the window and forcing its citizens to accept medical treatments, against their will.

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      No one is making you get a vaccine for yourself or your child. You just cannot send your child to public school if you choose not to.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I wouldn’t bother. He’ll just make wildly sweeping statements about how we’re all judgmental bitches.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      June 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Oh, you.

    • Kelly

      June 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      You don’t have to accept medical treatments against your will. You just have to keep your children home from school while you have serious, contagious illnesses in your household.

      That’s pretty basic and reasonable.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      You’d think, right?

    • K.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Aw, you’re cute, trying to use “communist state” in a sentence and all.

  14. CW

    June 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    On the personal beliefs exemption that I file for my kids since we skip the chicken pox vaccine, I have to sign a statement acknowledging that the child may be excluded from school during an outbreak. That is a perfectly reasonable policy. But it sounded like the NYC judge wasn’t allowing a family to have a religious exemption in the first place, and that I very much disagree with. The decision on whether or not to vaccinate should be up to the parents, and with the decision to skip some or all of the vaccines comes the potential for exclusion during outbreaks.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      The part where you lost me was “the decision on whether or not to vaccinate should be up to the parents”. I don’t have a choice if my son gets sick thanks to an unvaccinated kid whose parents DIDN’T abide by the policy. And realistically, if a parent has a philosophy like “i don’t need to vaccinate because my kid is special despite the fact that EVERY child is special, because who cares about those kids”- do you honestly think they’re going to follow the policy?

    • K.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Let’s get something straight here:

      The judge was not overriding a parental rights to skip vaccines. That would be forcing the kids to receive vaccines. And he didn’t do that. In fact, he respected their religious objection and allowed the kids to remain unvaccinated.

      What he did is forced parents to be responsible for that decision and said, “If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, then they can’t put other kids at risk, so you forfeit your right to public school until they ARE vaccinated.”

      And really–anti-vaxxers are the most asinine people on earth in this respect because it’s like they haven’t yet grasped the basic concept that freedom does not equal getting everything you want.

  15. Atti Ann

    June 25, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I think unvaccinated kids should be kept away from everyone in the public, not just public schools. If the stupid parents choose not to have their kids vaccinated, innocent people don’t deserve to be exposed to illnesses that child might have. It should be illegal. These dumb non-vax people should be isolated.

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