Homeopathy regime is rejected as judge tells parents to immunise child

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A JUDGE has ordered a couple to immunise their eight-year-old daughter according to government health guidelines, in a rebuke to the homeopathic regime pursued by the mother. 


But the father will shoulder the cost of doing so. 

The mother had sought in a injunction in the Family Court to stop the father and his partner from immunising the child without her written permission.

She made the application after discovering that her daughter’s stepmother had secretly taken the child to a medical centre to have her immunised against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C.

Previously, the mother had been arranging homeopathic vaccines.

She told the court that she adhered to a ”simple and healthy way of life”, that included eating organic food, using non-toxic cleaning products and sending the child to a Rudolph Steiner school where the toys were made from natural products such as wool, wax and silk.

Most parents at the school focused on ”building up the immune system of the child through homeopathics”, she told the court.

But when the girl was five, she contracted whooping cough, and the father and his new partner became concerned that she was not vaccinated, possibly placing their new baby at risk.

Written By: Harriet Alexander
continue to source article at smh.com.au

34 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a tribute to the success of vaccination that some people now
    perceive the risk of vaccinating to exceed the risk of going without.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but as I recall, the lowest risk for an individual is to be the only  un-vaccinated one in a vaccinated population.  Minimal risk of ill effects from the disease , and no risk of ill effects from the vaccination.

    So the sensible (selfish) thing to do is be the only one not vaccinated, and freeload on the immunity of the surrounding population.  This has nothing to do with believing in any other form of protection, be it homeopathy or Holy Water.

    But for this to be true, requires that Everybody Else gets vaccinated.

    But if everyone followed the above “sensible” course, nobody would be vaccinated and the risk of contracting the original disease increases.  

    So, the anti-vaccination crowd clearly have it wrong.  They should be preaching vaccination for all, while privately avoiding it themselves, in the time honored tradition of “do as I say, not as I  do” that we know from preachers and evangelists the world over.

    It’ s heartening to see a sensible response from the court in this case.

  2. Vaccination ≠ immunized. It just means you got a shot.

    With any vaccination there may be those who do not achieve a protective response. The reasons for that are many. I’m not even sure if your theory is strictly plausible with today’s technology (protective titers are not always perfectly known) but nevertheless, it’s highly impractical to construct any type of effective public health policy based on it.  

    The best policy is for everyone to follow the rules for their risk group. 

    Mike

  3. She made the application after discovering that her daughter’s stepmother had secretly taken the child to a medical centre to have her immunised against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal C. 

    Oh, the Wicked Stepmother…

  4. Where do they get their homeopathy degrees? They take an actual certificate from an actual doctor and shuffle it into a stack of one thousand pieces of blank paper.  Then they randomly select one sheet from the stack to remove and shuffle it into a new stack of one thousand pieces of blank paper. They repeat this process ten times and then randomly select one sheet from the final pile to hang on the wall. It contains the “memory” or “essence” of the certificate thereby transmogrifying the actual knowledge from a trained physician into the homeopathic knowledge of the practitioner.

  5.  SomeDude –

    “Where do they get their homeopathy degrees?”

    My thoughts exactly until I moved into our new house and down my street is a homepathic practitioner with various degrees in science”  I didn’t believe this so looked up uni websites and to my horror found that indeed in this country you can get a science degree in Homoeopathy.   Proving once and for all that deregulating Universities was a bad idea.

  6. I hadn’t thought of this before, but lets think about the other side of “water memory”.

    Approximately 60% of the human body is water.

    Some of that water has, at some time in the past, been part of the body of a person or animal which has died from disease.

    Therefore, according to homeopathy, the human race is doomed.

    … unless homeopathy is wrong.

  7. Deregulation has little to with it – German universities are basically run by the states they are in, yet still offer enough degrees in applied quackery. The foundation in the link is one of the main proponents of homoeopathy, founded by a German president and his “doctor” wife no less.

    http://www.carstens-stiftung.d
    Sorry the link is in German, but the universities should be recognizable.

  8. But surely, all opinions are equally valid; just because something has been proved doesn’t mean that people aren’t free to disagree with the findings.

    Does it?

    I mean there are some things I don’t understand at all, but in a democracy I must be at liberty to express my opinion about them.

    What ever is the world coming to! It wasn’t like this when my father was a boy I can tell you.

  9.  From Stafford Gordon,
    “just because something has been proved doesn’t mean that people aren’t free (to) disagree (with) the findings.”

    No, not free,    there is a price to be paid, sometimes it is the life of your firstborn.

    (Sorry to put words in your comment)

  10. ”simple and healthy way of life”, that included eating organic food, using non-toxic cleaning products and sending the child to a Rudolph Steiner school where the toys were made from natural products such as wool, wax and silk.
    Most parents at the school focused on ”building up the immune system of the child through homeopathics”, she told the court.
    never mind ruling on vaccination, isn’t there a compulsory sterilization case to be answer here?

  11. Thanks for pointing out my omissions old-toy-boy, I’ve just corrected them.

    Apropos of the comment itself: you’re response was a tad literalist, so I guess that my little effort fell on stony ground.

  12. That’s also why I can drive at 200 kph, because of all the other members of society following the rules. I’m a very sensible driver, plus it probably won’t be me that dies – I have a very big truck! 

    Problems solved. ;-0

  13. Stafford Gordon

    Apropos of the comment itself: you’re response was a tad literalist, so I guess that my little effort fell on stony ground.

    Not quite!  – Take care!  – With your tongue so far into your cheek, a slight bump could cause an amputation!

  14. Vaccination ≠ immunized. It just means you got a shot.

    With any vaccination there may be those who do not achieve a
    protective response. The reasons for that are many. I’m not even sure if
    your theory is strictly plausible with today’s technology (protective
    titers are not always perfectly known) but nevertheless, it’s highly
    impractical to construct any type of effective public health policy
    based on it.  

    The best policy is for everyone to follow the rules for their risk group.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.   Especially the bit about “your theory”.  What theory?  Plus I’m not advocating anything about accepting a decline in vaccination, I thought I made that clear.   And what’s a “titer”?

  15. OHooligan

    I think Sample is saying; your assumption about everyone except you being immunized just because they were vaccinated is incorrect. Some who are vaccinated do not get any protection.

    These, and people who cannot be vaccinated, are the people who herd immunity is supposed to protect. Not some stupid lazy assholes who are counting on everyone else.

    “Your Theory” I think refers to the theory you posted vis-a-vis the idea that you can skip vaccination because everyone else is doing the work for you. Sounds like a good name for a theory authored by you.

    Not sure what titers are either though.

    The confusing bit about your post was the idea that there is some “risk” associated with vaccinations. It sounds like the same sort of risk as winning the lottery by buying a ticket. Go ahead don’t worry it’s not a real risk like crossing the road or being hit by a bolt of lightening.

  16. OHooligan,  I think Sample is referring to your ‘plan’ for being the only unimmunised individual in a population – because immunisation (as a technology/process) is imperfect in inducing 100% protection 100% of the time, you would still theoretically be at risk despite the herd immunity (and for environmental pathogens it would only protect you from person-to-person transmission, not e.g. tetanus, which you could get from scratching yourself outdoors in the mud).

    I’m guessing he’s being tongue-in-cheek about basing health policy on it since it would only work for the one person unimmunised

    As for titres (I’m British, get over it :P), have a peek at wikipedia – it’s a measure of concentration (in this case of protective antibodies) which describes how many times you have to serially dilute a sample before you can’t detect the thing being measured – generally, high antibody titres indicates a good immunisation response which should (but doesn’t always, as Sample points out) indicate a good response to future infection. It may take multiple exposures to get ‘good’ titres hence multiple immunisations for the same thing at intervals e.g. diptheria/tetanus/polio.

    On another note, I realise the girl in question got whooping cough, but does anybody else feel a bit uncomfortable that a judge is ordering immunisation? Life-saving treatment – maybe, withholding futile treatment against parental desperation – maybe. Or is it just that they’ve ruled that the father can make the decision unilaterally?

  17. Docjitters

    I too was surprised at the headline but after reading made the same assumption as you, the father is allowed to vaccinate whatever the crazy mother says.

    Thanks for the titers/titres clarification.

  18. Surely if something has been “proved” people are NOT free to disagree, they are however free to be wrong.

    You are entitled to your own opinion but not you own facts. 

    If we’re talking about a proven fact you are indeed bound by reality although of course free to talk crap all you like and you can even lie about your facts and the real facts but it does make you an asshole.

    This appears to be more appropriate for discussions about economic strategies, no one method is absolute, there are many ways to get out of a recession and some might be quicker/less painful, etc.?

  19.  alaskansee, I think Stafford Gordon is being sarcastic (as inferred above by Alan4discussion) regarding the idea that all opinions carry equal weight – they obviously don’t and as you say, you’re not entitled to your own facts.

    BTW, sorry to repeat over the top of your reply to OHooligan regarding exploitation of herd immunity – in my defence, I started writing before you published and hit post before I realised you’d already covered it.

    With regards to ‘risks’ of immunisation, the side-effects such as malaise, fever and rashes that can reasonably (and generally harmlessly) be expected in a small percentage and more ‘spectacular’ things such as febrile seizures (fits due to the fever response, NOT related to epilepsy or brain injury) will freak people/parents out big-style if they are not warned of the possibility. I suspect it’s scares over things like this that get equated with ‘what else aren’t we being told?’ which gets extended to e.g. autism and MMR – and I am still batting crap along these lines with middle-class well-educated Englanders over non-immunisation against anything. So immunisation administered poorly can have its own harms…

  20. The perils of internet comments, once more.

    To clarify:  the “freeload on herd immunity” strategy is NOT one I endorse, recommend, or apply.

    My main point was that it is a testimony to the effectiveness of vaccination that some people perceive the vaccination itself as being more risky than not being vaccinated.

    And thanks to Docjitters for explaining the rare, but nonetheless genuine, risks associated with vaccination.   Not “risk” in ironic quotes, alaskansee, but a genuine, measurable risk, even if it is of the same order of magnitude as the risk of winning a lottery.  

    Telling everyone “it’s perfectly safe” makes them distrust your message when one of those rare bad effects occurs.  Anyone remember that UK minister feeding Mad Cowburgers to his daughter? 

    But doing as GPs do, and telling their patients to wait around for half an hour, just in case a very-unlikely-but-not-impossible bad reaction occurs, that is good practice.

    Personally, I bet on getting vaccinated, as I imagine does everyone else on this forum.

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