My dead sister, Arlyn, was someone I never met.
I was often told by my older brothers that I came about because my parents were chasing to have a girl in the family. Or that I came from a can of sardines.
Whichever came first.
According to the stories I heard growing up, however, my sister died as an infant due to an overdose of vaccines. All remaining 3 children never had any vaccinations since then.
And that was that.
I had measles, mumps, chicken pox, and all other illnesses growing up but something that most every other kid had during my time. You ride it out and you shook it off.
Of course, my youth was during the Ancient Times, when boys weren’t allowed to cry, and perhaps just about the time they crucified Jesus.
We were never vaccinated. We got sick. But we lived.
So all these recent stories of anti-vaccination and its link towards Autism awakened some deeply imbedded misconceptions I may have had.
I have two children.
One of them has special needs.
But it sure as hell didn’t come from the vaccinations.
And even though I never had any vaccinations growing up, I certainly wouldn’t deprive my children of scientific advancements made to protect them.
It wasn’t even discussed.
It was automatic, as reflexive as a sneeze.
But how did this anti-vaccination movement come about?
Never has one man done so much to endanger the lives of so many in such a short span of time.
King Herod supposedly slaughtered so many babies during his time, but at least it was confined to his kingdom.
Hitler killed so many people during his reign of terror, but at least it was confined to one race.
Sadam Hussein gassed so many people at the height of his power, but at least it was confined to his country.
So am I making excuses for the barbaric acts of these men?
But I am showing how the simple greedy act of Andrew Wakefield resulted in endangering the lives of our children, and the children next to them, and the minds of so many parents, that are now conflicted and divided about vaccination.
The fear that Andrew Wakefield had instilled to everyone had crossed barriers, race, religion, culture, economy, and even political beliefs.
It was far stronger than peace, had spread much faster than a disease, and has lasted much longer than love and hatred combined.
What Andrew Wakefield did was simple:
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.
“It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.”
Because, according to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds ($674,000) from (the) lawyers wanting to sue pharmaceutical companies by relating diseases and illnesses from vaccines.
And, despite his own admission, parents all over the world have taken their own opinion and belief — despite the glaring facts — that vaccination, indeed, is the cause of all these problems.
Thankfully, when my babies were born, we just immediately wanted the best protection they could get from illnesses that have already been identified, studied, and tested.
Is it expensive?
Is it necessary?
But it is quite ironic that while the rest of the world are begging for medicine and vaccinations, the West has gone on to this herd mentality of believing a flawed argument that is fast becoming a mass hysteria.
Vaccinations are tools we can use to help protect our children and, one thing is for sure, it is not the cause of Autism.
If we are to blame vaccines as the root cause of Autism, might as well blame this —
But what is sad is that when celebrities use their star power to spread this lie, particularly, comedian and former Playboy bunny Jenny McCarthy, who has become an advocate of anti-vaccination.
Don’t get me wrong, I do admire her dedication to protect her Autistic child, to make sense of something that is beyond the existing grasp of science … but when she raves her anti-vaccine vitriol … and start spreading fallacious lies that would endanger my children …
That is no longer funny.