Vaccination Consideration (6 of 9): Doctors Are Human Too

This is the sixth of nine reasons we’re going to explore for why we decided not to vaccinate our children. If you missed the intro to this series, please read it here. It contains groundwork critical for properly understanding my motivation for writing this series.

In this series we’ve been discussing why my husband and I decided not to vaccinate our children.  We know this seems a little (or maybe a lot) rebellious given its completely counter to what many doctors say is best for children.  Many would say that our decision to decline seems foolish or downright negligent. Some may even think it irreverent to question the medical status quo.  But is it really?

Doctors, though much better educated about medical things than most of us, don’t have it all figured out.  As a group they can determine particular practices are good and right only to find out later that they were horribly wrong.

In the early days of medicine, for example, doctors thought that cases of fever or inflammation were caused by too much blood in the body.  Leeches were used to remove this “excess” blood.  Leeches were also used to treat everything from headaches to hemorrhoids. Obviously, the medical community discovered somewhere along the way that they had been mistaken.

Now, we look back on that medical practice and laugh.  But if we had been around in those days we would have likely been right there with the rest of them in line to get our leech treatment, because when doctors prescribe medicines or recommend treatments we rarely question them.  But maybe we should be questioning things more often considering that recent “leech” examples abound.

The following video details major medical errors made in recent history in the field of obstetrics alone.  The clip is part of a documentary called The Business of Being Born.  Marsden Wagner, M.D., the former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization explains:

In light of this pattern, we’d be wise to carefully consider medical practices, however cutting-edge and effective they seem to be, before embracing them. And we shouldn’t feel as though we’re being irreverent for doing so.  Though we should be thankful for the counsel of doctors, we must remember that the Bible never instructs us to submit to their authority.  I think my friend Heather did a great job addressing this topic in a post on her blog:

Scripture tells us to submit to those who are placed in authority over us (parents, husbands, pastors, employers, etc.); however, we are not to simply submit to those who are so-called authorities.  As far as I know, doctors are not given any special authority over us in scripture; and although they are very knowledgeable and can advise us, we are not required to take their advice.  Sometimes it is detrimental to do so.  They are human after all.

I heard a popular speaker say one time, “If someone has a Ph.D. or M.D. and they learned things that were error (he was referring to medical students having few courses in nutrition and many more in drug therapy), then what do they have a Ph.D. or M.D. in?  Error.”

To tie this back into the topic of vaccines, I propose that vaccines might very well be a discontinued practice, or at least a greatly altered one, a decade or two from now. Even if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, there are plenty of reasons to think twice before subjecting our children to them, regardless of whether the majority of the medical community agrees that they’re a must.

Read the next post in this series here.

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