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theletch1

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I heard this reported on the radio while at work last night and wanted to get opinions from folks here. It bothers me that a governmental agency can knock on a parents door and order that parent to medicate a child for a behavioral problem. This is not a life saving drug, it's a medication that makes the child more compliant to those around him. For the conspiracy theorists among us...how long until mandatory psychotropic drugs are ordered for the masses?

Dad Investigated for Taking Son Off Meds
ABCNews.com - June 07, 2004
When Chad Taylor noticed his son was apparently experiencing serious side effects from Ritalin prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he decided to take the boy off the medication. Now, he says he may be accused of child abuse.

In February, 12-year-old Daniel began displaying some symptoms that his father suspected were related to the use of Ritalin.

"He was losing weight, wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating," Taylor told ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV in New Mexico. "[He] just wasn't Daniel."

So Taylor took Daniel off Ritalin, against his doctor's wishes. And though Taylor noticed Daniel was sleeping better and his appetite had returned, his teachers complained about the return of his disruptive behavior. Daniel seemed unable to sit still and was inattentive. His teachers ultimately learned that he was no longer taking Ritalin.

School officials reported Daniel's parents to New Mexico's Department of Children, Youth and Families.Then a detective and social worker made a home visit.

"The detective told me if I did not medicate my son, I would be arrested for child abuse and neglect," Taylor said.

A spokesperson for New Mexico's Department of Children, Youth and Families told KOAT-TV that they could not comment on the case but confirmed that a social worker had visited the Taylors. John Francis, a detective for the Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety, said that Taylor was not threatened but told KOAT-TV that parents could be charged in situations like his.

"People can be charged with child abuse, child neglect or various other crimes involving a child," he said.

More Kids on Antidepressants

Taylor is among many parents facing a dilemma over whether to medicate children who suffer from mental disorders. A recent study by Express Scripts Inc., a medical benefits management company, found antidepressant use increased 49 percent among consumers younger than 18 between 1998 and 2002. Preschoolers up to age 5, the study found, were the fastest-growing users of prescription antidepressants.

Some parents have been concerned about overmedicating their children and the potential short- and long-term effects of the drugs. Some have wondered whether their children would receive the most benefit from medication or talk therapy.

Despite these concerns, experts say parents should never take their children off medication without checking with the child's doctor.

"I would never recommend that anyone take themselves or their children off prescribed medication without first consulting their doctor, particularly if they're taking multiple medications," said Jay Reeve, senior psychologist at the Children's Inpatient Unit at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, R.I.


What Is the Best Approach?

There has been debate over whether medication is more effective than psychotherapy in treating children and adolescents with serious mental illness. A study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health found the antidepressant Prozac helps teenagers battle depression better than talk therapy. But the study also found a combination of the two methods produces the best results.

Experts agree that a combined medical and psychotherapeutical approach could be the best way to battling depression in teens and adolescents. But the approach depends on the severity of the illness.

"Medication can be a very helpful component of treatment for children and adolescents with depression, but medication alone is rarely an adequate or sufficient intervention," said Dr. David Fassler, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont's College of Medicine.

"It should only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, individualized to the needs of the child and family," he said. "Most children and adolescents tolerate medication well, with minimal side effects. But all children taking medication need to be monitored closely to make sure the symptoms are improving and to identify any potential problems or reactions."

The Children's Challenge

Doctors say treating depression in children - especially young children - is difficult because they generally are not able to explain their feelings or give sophisticated answers to questions about their moods.

Unlike teenagers and adults, they sometimes cannot link events in their lives to their feelings - or at least eloquently explain how an experience affected them. Most often, children lash out, showing signs of trouble either through various kinds of misbehavior or through drawings at school.

"Generally speaking, the younger a child is, the more difficult it is to diagnose the illness," said Reeve. "It's safe to say the younger you go, the more difficult it is to distinguish one disorder from another."

Children's general lack of sophistication plays a role in the difficulty in determining whether they suffer from a mental illness and whether they would benefit from medication, psychotherapy or both. Some critics argue that many primary care physicians are not adequately trained in diagnosing illnesses in children.

"There are so many providers that are dispensing antidepressants to children and teens without appropriate knowledge and skills to administer these medications, as well as without accompanying cognitive-behavior therapy, which is critical in the improvement of depressive symptoms," said Bernadette Melnyk, founder and chairwoman of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practictioners' Keep Your Children/Yourself Safe and Secure Campaign.

She said many doctors do not evaluate children for depression. "In a recent survey of over 600 providers from 24 states across the country, we found that many providers are not screening routinely for depression in children."

Doctors also sometimes misinterpret behavior that stems from depression as a symptom of attention deficit disorder.

"Many children with depression also are being misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder," Melnyk said. "Younger children with depression often present differently than older children. That is, they are most likely hyperactive and restless, versus sad and depressed."

Do Your Homework

For parents, mental illness in kids can be frightening, especially if their children are having suicidal thoughts or showing suicidal behavior. In severe cases like these, immediate medical intervention can save lives and a subsequent combined medical and talk therapy could be the best remedy. Still, every case is unique and treatment strategies should fit a child or teen's individual needs.

But sometimes parents panic when they see what they believe are adverse side effects in their children after they begin taking medication. To avoid any misunderstandings or rash decisions, experts recommend that parents do their homework. Thoroughly research mental diseases and treatments and consult the child's physician about the disease and potential side effects of medication. It also helps to know the qualifications of the child's doctor.

"Parents need to be advocates for their children," Fassler said. "They need to ask lots of questions, and they need to get as much information as possible about both the diagnosis and the treatment options."

Meanwhile, Chad Taylor remains convinced that he has made the right decision for Daniel. He says his son is acting like himself again, but officials are continuing to monitor Daniel's case.

Taylor told KOAT-TV he is not putting Daniel back on Ritalin, no matter what the consequences for himself may be. "Yeah, I'll go to jail for it," he said. "I'll go as long as I have to go."

To see more on this story, go to http://www.ABCNews.go.com

Copyright 2004 ABCNEWS.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
 

Bob Hubbard

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Someday, society will learn that not everything is cured by a pill. Until then, we will continue to hear stories like this.
 

loki09789

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Kaith Rustaz said:
Someday, society will learn that not everything is cured by a pill. Until then, we will continue to hear stories like this.
Once your child as been diagnosed and is eligible for special needs within the school system and such and you have complied with the doctors diagnosis/treatment (whether drugs or what ever) then your actions indicate that your child 'needs' this treatment in order to develop and function in the world to the utmost potential. Because ADHD/ADD are being considered handicaps in the same category as blindness, downs syndrome.... it falls under the same consideration for child safety. If the ADHD boy was in a wheel chair or needed insulin and his father refused to provide these things it would be considered abuse/child endangerment. That is the blanket mentallity that these ADHD/Depression drugs are falling under.

Do I agree? Not in all cases. Do I think that there are other options than taking the child off the drug entirely? Sure. In teacher training ADHD was one of the areas we had to be orientd on. The drugs are not the 'silver bullet' that the media likes to lead us to believe the medical community is promoting it to be. Generally, meds are part of a how behavioral management system of token rewards, consitency of environment, self management/regulation training appropriate to the age/developmental level.... but meds are not the ONLY thing that is prescribed by Docs - they also 'recommend' (but can't mandate) that the parents seek training programs on the topic that includes some of the above mentioned things that can help a genetically predisposed impulsive child out.

The father could have consulted with the doctor for an alternative to Rit. (Aderral, Stratera... lots of choices) that might be more balanced for his son. If he is dead set on keeping his child off drugs, he could seek out schools specifically set up to manage ADHD/ADD children - and have proven to be very successful by really establishing the best environment possible. The problem is that they are not common and probably very expensive. Also, the father could (if he hasn't already) seek some of these parenting programs/support networks (some on video and support networks that are set up like this forum) that can help him understand and offer him ideas/options he might not know about.

I would be interested in seeing what the end results are.
 
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rmcrobertson

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Clearly, some of these kids need their drugs. Problem is, all the studies I've seen on this say that the kids who really, really need their drugs are a minority of the kids who actually get them.

The problem appears to be a practical one: a) drug companies are pushing the hell out of these drugs for ADD/ADHD (gotta love that free market system!); b) consumers (and I mean consumers, not parents) go in and demand drugs for themselves and for their kids; c) most physicians have no idea how to properly evaluate and prescribe for these kids, and they don't take the time to find out; d) a lot of these drugs require careful monitoring and titrarion of dosages, and most kids don't get it; e) some parents do have irratgional fears that don't get addressed (similarly, ever talked to some yutz who won't have their kids vaccinated?); f) these kids also need lots of behavioral work and psychotherapy, and they don't get it because it's expensive.

Apparently, we have a majority of kids on drugs who don't need them, and of the ones who really, really do need their drugs, the majority are way over-medicated. Lovely.

We also have an enormous population of fat, out-of-shape, whiny kids who never get to go out and run around screaming till they fall in the creek, like kids are supposed to be doing, because we're too lazy, too stupid and too cheap to arrange a society reasonably. Brilliant.

Rule 1: Make sure you find a good physician. Know what you're doing. Demand careful diagnosis, treatment and management...and contemplate the ugly fact that people have apparently got so weird that they actually need to be told such things.
 

OUMoose

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rmcrobertson said:
Apparently, we have a majority of kids on drugs who don't need them, and of the ones who really, really do need their drugs, the majority are way over-medicated. Lovely.

I think you could almost make that a blanket statement across society. People like to think that their doctor knows exactly what someone needs and exactly how to administer it. "Well, they went to med school for how long and he/she should just know!" That's not how things work people. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If the doc gets on you about it, it's time to find a new doctor.
 

shesulsa

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rmcrobertson said:
some parents do have irratgional fears that don't get addressed (similarly, ever talked to some yutz who won't have their kids vaccinated?); f) these kids also need lots of behavioral work and psychotherapy, and they don't get it because it's expensive.

Apparently, we have a majority of kids on drugs who don't need them, and of the ones who really, really do need their drugs, the majority are way over-medicated. Lovely.

Rule 1: Make sure you find a good physician. Know what you're doing. Demand careful diagnosis, treatment and management...and contemplate the ugly fact that people have apparently got so weird that they actually need to be told such things.
I'm the mom to a special needs kid and would like to speak on some of these issues - first of all, federal law states that a parent must approve of an IEP (individualized education program) or disapprove in writing within a certain time period. If the meds are included in the IEP, it's a whole different, legal ballgame, especially if the school district was involved in the diagnosis of the child. Kids like this need a special pediatrician - most pediatricians and internists are not trained to deal with these special cases. There are alternatives to Ritalin, both pharmaceutical and nutritional, to aid this boy. What people with developmentally/learning challenged children need is a DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN - they are extremely hard to come by and very expensive and insurance won't pay for certain disorders like, say, autism. This man needs to find a different doctor for the boy or...dare I say it??? move to another school district or state.

It's much much harder than one might think to get even ADEQUATE care for these kids and most parents who are not independently wealthy live with whatever they can get, stay up at all hours of the night learning how to be medical professionals themselves, travel the globe interviewing professors who have done extensive research that proved helpful but was ignored by the general medical community because it did not involve large drug companies. It's honestly the biggest challenge I shall ever face as a human - I've been attacked, been through many deaths in my family, lost friends to drug abuse, been through spousal and child and sexual abuse, had a cancer scare, lost 90% of my relatives to it, been divorced, moved far...nothing can compare to this challenge of caring for my son and seeing to it that others don't abuse the privelage of normal intelligence and neurological operating systems.

As for your opinion on non-vaccinated children - with all due respect, when you have witnessed a child convulse, seize, and stop breathing from having an innoculation administered, you might change your mind...I did.

From a dyphtheria toxoid allergic mother of a vaccine-injured son, partially vaccinated toddler and unvaccinated daughter.
 

loki09789

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OUMoose said:
I think you could almost make that a blanket statement across society. People like to think that their doctor knows exactly what someone needs and exactly how to administer it. "Well, they went to med school for how long and he/she should just know!" That's not how things work people. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If the doc gets on you about it, it's time to find a new doctor.
It isn't the individual doctors as much as the HMO/corporate model of medical practice. Look at the direct advertising of the drug companies to the patient: Stratera, Allavert, Rogaine, Livetra, ..... all being marketed to us so we can "ask our doctor if drug 'x' is for you", when we don't have any clue about this stuff. I agree that we are in charge of our health decisions, but are you going to find a new doctor when he won't prescribe drug 'x' that you want to try because the commercial made it sound so good ("may cause itching, anal leakage, blue tongue, third eye growth.....")? I don't think that is the flip side of irrationale as well (not saying that you are implying this, just showing that it can get crazy at either end of the spectrum).

I really hope this doesn't turn into another "ism" bashing thread where "all doctors" or "the medical profession/industry as a whole" is an immoral monster leaching off of the common folk. I think that there are good doctors and good clinicians (doctors who don't deal with patients) out there. I think there are benefits to the medical structure - but it ain't perfect either.
 
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MisterMike

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As for your opinion on non-vaccinated children - with all due respect, when you have witnessed a child convulse, seize, and stop breathing from having an innoculation administered, you might change your mind...I did.

Good for you! If only the damn state schools didnt mandate chicken pox vaccines :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Someone should tell these people to go pump viruses into their own kids. Of course they are making money off of it all, so why not...
 

Taimishu

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I am afraid I would tell the authorities to take a hike and ask the doctor for alternative drugs/therapy.
There is too much interferance by the powers that be and not enough help. Do as you are told and sod the poor kid. In medicine there is not just the one drug but a variety and alternatives should be tried. When non medical people get involved there is a lot of heavy handed treatment of parents and "we know best" from very minor (usually unmarried, no children) officials.

Parent usually know what is best for there kid and should be left alone to do it.

David
 
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rmcrobertson

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First off, all drugs are given on a "calculated risk," basis--are the risks of not medicating much higher than the risks of medicating? No doctor can guarantee individual outcomes for any drug, med or vaccination: they can only tell you what the statistical likehood of problems is.

And since you ask, yes, I have seen kids convulse and stop breathing--during the year I worked as a respiratory tech in Children's Hospital, Denver, among other places.

As long as we're conversing in such a vein, ever taken care of a kid or adult who survived polio? A kid with whooping cough? I have. Mostly, though, they're hard to find. Know why that is?

What I've never even seen, or hardly ever heard of in an American hospital, is a kid dying of, say, diptheria or typhoid. Hm. Why is that, again?

I happen to have been of the generation that got either the Salk or the Sabin vaccine back around 1956 or 1957, about the first time they appeared. Ya know what? parents and doctors thought it was a frickin' miracle, and they were right. (They took smallpox vaccinations for granted by then, though I also got one of those.) Try looking up the stats on polio rates in this country around, say, 1940 and you'll understand why. And try checking on the inoculation rates in third world countries, and the infant/child mortality rates.

Or if that don't float your boat, look up what happens to a devloping fetus exposed to "German" measles--which I had, as a kid, because there were no vaccines.

No doctor can guarantee that a kid will not have a bad reaction to a vaccination. What they CAN guarantee is that if you don't vaccinate 100,000 kids, so maany will die of this, so many will die of than, and this many will be crippled in one way or another.

it is irresponbile not to vaccinate your kids. Drugging them into immobility is another question altogether.
 

shesulsa

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"First off, all drugs are given on a "calculated risk," basis--are the risks of not medicating much higher than the risks of medicating? No doctor can guarantee individual outcomes for any drug, med or vaccination: they can only tell you what the statistical likehood of problems is."

Yes, and the "calculated risk" is always quite acceptable - as long as you're on the right side of the "=" sign.

As long as we're conversing in such a vein, ever taken care of a kid or adult who survived polio? A kid with whooping cough? I have. Mostly, though, they're hard to find. Know why that is?

As a matter of fact, my children have all survived whooping cough and yes, I have cared for chilren who survived polio. And though they are "hard to find", there are children who contract these diseases through their vaccinations.

And since you ask, yes, I have seen kids convulse and stop breathing--during the year I worked as a respiratory tech in Children's Hospital, Denver, among other places.

I asked if you had seen this happen immediately after a child having received an innoculation - whole lot different when your child goes into shock and receives permanent brain damage from a vaccine he might have been allergic to.

What I've never even seen, or hardly ever heard of in an American hospital, is a kid dying of, say, diptheria or typhoid. Hm. Why is that, again?

Clearly, you believe that I am anti-vaccine - that is not the case. What I AM against is the lack of informed consent, the apathy for the children who DO react to vaccines in a bad way, the ignorance that all vaccines are all good and as long as YOU don't have to deal with the repercussions of the "calculated risk" everything is A-OK. I'm against the apathy of the Western Medical Community TESTING INFANTS BEFORE THEY ARE INNOCULATED WITH MULTIPLE STRAIN VACCINATIONS IN A SINGLE JAB. Perhaps if you're really interested in just how apathetic the medical community is toward this, I'll tell you the story of my foot injury and the lack of tetanus toxoid vaccines on the west coast.

I happen to have been of the generation that got either the Salk or the Sabin vaccine back around 1956 or 1957, about the first time they appeared. Ya know what? parents and doctors thought it was a frickin' miracle, and they were right. (They took smallpox vaccinations for granted by then, though I also got one of those.) Try looking up the stats on polio rates in this country around, say, 1940 and you'll understand why. And try checking on the inoculation rates in third world countries, and the infant/child mortality rates.

ibid

No doctor can guarantee that a kid will not have a bad reaction to a vaccination. What they CAN guarantee is that if you don't vaccinate 100,000 kids, so maany will die of this, so many will die of than, and this many will be crippled in one way or another.

Okay, how about testing for titers? Inherited immunity? Immune system intolerance? Liver toxicity? Have you ever seen what happens to those kids??? Oh, yeah, they're on the wrong side of that loving "=" sign of calculated risk.

it is irresponbile not to vaccinate your kids. Drugging them into immobility is another question altogether.

No - IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND HAVE NO EMPATHY OR CONSIDERATION FOR INFANTS WHO CAN STILL BENEFIT FROM VACCINATIONS WITHOUT HARMFUL EFFECTS IF THEIR DOCTORS, NURSES, P.A.'S WILL ONLY DO WHAT IT TAKES TO FIND OUT ABOUT ALLERGIES, INTOLERANCES, GENETIC MUTATIONS THAT PREVENT THESE CHILDREN FROM BECOMING PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY INSTEAD OF DROOLING, PUBLICLY MASTURBATING BURDENS ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM!!!

That said - This boy theletch wrote about has options and he should absolutely look into them. Western Medicine is good - very good - and if you can tolerate vaccination without brain damage or anaphylaxis, you should absolutely get them (except the chicken pox vaccine...ahem) but it is NOT the only answer.

HWARANG!!
 

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You CAN test for titers. If a child is documented to be immune, s/he does not need additional immunization for admission to school.
 

Phoenix44

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Oh, and by the way, if you're upset about the corporatizing of health care, remember: THE PUBLIC DEMANDED IT.
 
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rmcrobertson

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Yep. As long as we're slanging, try this: I take some of this to be expressive of ideology among an astonishingly-privileged class of Americans who are altogether unrealistic about what health care costs, and who insist that THEIR kids get everything, while others get nothing.

Be realistic: only so much money, only so many services, to go round. Sure, didn't think of testing blood titers--and what's that cost? How many kids don't get squat, so that the parents with the money and education and clout can get extra? Anybody planning on paying the tax/insurance costs? Nope? That's funny.

And as long as we're being scientific--got any stats on how reliable those titer analyses are? Any on how many kids per 100,000 fall ill anyway? Comparasions to vaccinated kid populations?

As for informed consent--MY parents were told, way back when. I've known about it forever. Parents sign a consent form; legally, they have to. Shouldn't they read it?

You had a terrible experience, and I am sorry that happened. I am afraid that it does not change the social and financial realities, nor the fact that Americans demand ALL the health care resources, and it would be a hell of a lot fairer to do the cheap vaccinations for EVERYBODY, rather than...well, you get the point.
 

loki09789

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Phoenix44 said:
Oh, and by the way, if you're upset about the corporatizing of health care, remember: THE PUBLIC DEMANDED IT.
NO, the public cried out for better management and better opportunity to medical coverage. No one said to build an HMO vertical and horizontal Kairetsu/monopolistic/cartel structure that puts specific drug companies in bed with specific medical companies along with specific medical supply companies....
 

OULobo

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I'm always leary when the gov. steps in to people's personal lives. The two most personal things I can think of are what is done in the bedroom and how we raise our children. I know the gov. is just reacting to outrage at the relatively few and overly publicized cases of abuse that happen in the US, but as always they are overcompensating. On top of it all they rely on doctors that don't always know what the problem is and when they do can't decide between them all on what is a good solution.

I know a lot of doctors as friends and the first thing they tell me when I talk about a possible medical problem to them is, "It could be X, but you should definitly see a specialist." Everyone expects every doctor to have every answer. The problem is that many people pressure their doctors for a medication or a cure all, and refuse to hear that it may be their own behavior that causes thier ill or it may not be an ill at all. My father used to hem and haw that they didn't have a pill to keep his toenails from turing green. The Dr. told him to wear better vented shoes and try to keep oils and solvents off of his feet. Dad refused to do it and still complained that he didn't have a super-pill to turn his nails the right color. How about people who have a viral cold, but insist on having antibiotics, even when they are told it will do no good.

I don't even want to get into the whole Ridilin thing. Every parent that can't face their own inability or unwillingness to handle their children instantly diagnoses the kid ADHD in their own head because they saw an episode of Dateline or know another child supposedly with it that acts this way, so it must be the case. Doctors loosely diagnose ADHD and prescribe Ridilin to the kid because the parent won't accept that it's bad parenting or lack of attention to the child, and won't leave without the stuff that calmed the neibor's hyper kid down.

I have a relative who is a nutjob and has ruined her child's life by raising him as a nutjob like her. When she couldn't cope with the behavior that she instilled in him and he started to have problems socially because of the unacceptable habits she taught him, she assumed that he must have ADHD or he was mildly autistic. The doc told her he was fine physically and that she needed to go see a shrink. The shrink told her he was fine, but when she wouldn't believe him he just labeled the kid ADHD and prescribed medication. In my opinion, he was just hyper like all kids and twisted from living with her. Now he's a good little pill popper for life like the pharasutical companies like and mom's happy she has a well behaved little zombie that just got his imagination and energy stolen from him.
 

heretic888

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and it would be a hell of a lot fairer to do the cheap vaccinations for EVERYBODY, rather than...well, you get the point.

The needs of the few outweight the needs of the many?? ;)
 

shesulsa

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rmcrobertson said:
Yep. As long as we're slanging, try this: I take some of this to be expressive of ideology among an astonishingly-privileged class of Americans who are altogether unrealistic about what health care costs, and who insist that THEIR kids get everything, while others get nothing.
Oh, I think I'm very realistic as to what my child gets and does not get...we are not privileged by any means...my husband is a laborer and is the sole bread winner for a family of five, thank you very much.

rmcrobertson said:
Be realistic: only so much money, only so many services, to go round. Sure, didn't think of testing blood titers--and what's that cost? How many kids don't get squat, so that the parents with the money and education and clout can get extra? Anybody planning on paying the tax/insurance costs? Nope? That's funny.
Okay, I'll make you a deal...I'll find out how many people are registered as having been injured/killed by vaccines and need some level of care for the rest of their lives, how much that costs the social security system per year, and how much a titer test costs per average number babies born per year, calculate it out and see what I find out for my state (Washington)....you do the same for yours, assuming we're not in the same state. I will provide the sources for my information and you provide yours and we can both verify each other's numbers. I know it will cost the government about $60,000 per year for a full-time caregiver for my son, let alone his medical care, food stamps and housing. Then, there's the law enforcement cost issues, etc.

I would gladly have sold myself on the street to raise the money for a titers panel, liver panel, immune panel and allergy test for my son if I had the slightest suspicion that what happened to him was a possiblity.

rmcrobertson said:
And as long as we're being scientific--got any stats on how reliable those titer analyses are? Any on how many kids per 100,000 fall ill anyway? Comparasions to vaccinated kid populations?
Not yet, but I can get it (see previous paragraph)...will you?

rmcrobertson said:
As for informed consent--MY parents were told, way back when. I've known about it forever. Parents sign a consent form; legally, they have to. Shouldn't they read it?
Absolutely, as did I...however what happened my kid happens every day and it wasn't on the list. In fact, I was supposed to take him to the emergency room if he demonstrated a fever over 101, exhibited odd behavior, refusal to eat, etcetera. I took him to the ER twice with a fever over 105, convulsions, explosive diarrhea, vomiting, refusal to nurse long, posturing. They told me it was a normal reaction to vaccines. Bulls**t - I am the poster child for vaccinations - never had these reactions and was never told this was a possibility (not on the contract I had to sign).

rmcrobertson said:
You had a terrible experience, and I am sorry that happened. I am afraid that it does not change the social and financial realities, nor the fact that Americans demand ALL the health care resources, and it would be a hell of a lot fairer to do the cheap vaccinations for EVERYBODY, rather than...well, you get the point.
Of course, vaccination should be available to everyone at the lowest cost possible - SAFE vaccination. It's the responsible thing to do. Especially if they are federally mandated, which they are (topic=mandated medication), you're Orwellian in your thinking...shoot them all and let God sort them out.

I'll have my figures in one week. You?
 
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rmcrobertson

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OK, fair enough, and again what happened to your son was an atrocity--one which apparently has as much to do with the crappy ER care and medical system that has resulted from a decade or so of, "privitization."

However, I have three questions: first, why do nearly all the sites that discuss titering focus on veterinary medicine? And second, if the titers are secondary to exposure--are you arguing for letting stuff like polio run around so kids can be exposed? And third--apparently the titer tests are no guarantee at all of immunity, either?

Thanks for the info; I hadn't know about the titers.
 
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rmcrobertson

Guest
This is from the CDC website; they also have some info on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Publications > Fact Sheets > General
What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations?
At a glance: In the U.S., vaccines have reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have many social and economic costs: sick children miss school and can cause parents to lose time from work. These diseases also result in doctor's visits, hospitalizations, and even premature deaths.


Figures and statistics updated August 2003
Polio* |* Measles* |* Type b (Hib) Meningitis* |* Hepatitis B** Pertussis (whooping cough) |* Rubella (german measles)* Varicella (chickenpox) *|* Diphtheria* | Tetanus (lockjaw) | Mumps

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Polio

Polio virus causes acute paralysis that can lead to permanent physical disability and even death. Before polio vaccine was available, 13,000 to 20,000 cases of paralytic polio were reported each year in the United States. These annual epidemics of polio often left thousands of victims--mostly children--in braces, crutches, wheelchairs, and iron lungs. The effects were life-long.

Development of polio vaccines and implementation of polio immunization programs have eliminated paralytic polio caused by wild polio viruses in the U.S. and the entire Western hemisphere.

In 1999, as a result of global immunization efforts to eradicate the disease, there were about 2,883 documented cases of polio in the world. In 1994, wild polio virus was imported to Canada from India, but high vaccination levels prevented it from spreading in the population.
Measles

Before measles immunization was available, nearly everyone in the U.S. got measles. An average of 450 measles-associated deaths were reported each year between 1953 and 1963.

In the U.S., up to 20 percent of persons with measles are hospitalized. Seventeen percent of measles cases have had one or more complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, or diarrhea. Pneumonia is present in about six percent of cases and accounts for most of the measles deaths. Although less common, some persons with measles develop encephalitis (swelling of the lining of the brain), resulting in brain damage.*

As many as three of every 1,000 persons with measles will die in the U.S. In the developing world, the rate is much higher, with death occurring in about one of every 100 persons with measles.

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases in the world and is frequently imported into the U.S. In the period 1997-2000, most cases were associated with international visitors or U.S. residents who were exposed to the measles virus while traveling abroad. More than 90 percent of people who are not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the virus.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 900,000 measles-related deaths occurred among persons in developing countries in 1999. In populations that are not immune to measles, measles spreads rapidly. If vaccinations were stopped, each year about 2.7 million measles deaths worldwide could be expected.

In the U.S., widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99 percent reduction in measles compared with the pre-vaccine era. If we stopped immunization, measles would increase to pre-vaccine levels.

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Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Meningitis

Before Hib vaccine became available, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. infants and children. Before the vaccine was developed, there were approximately 20,000 invasive Hib cases annually. Approximately two-thirds of the 20,000 cases were meningitis, and one-third were other life-threatening invasive Hib diseases such as bacteria in the blood, pneumonia, or inflammation of the epiglottis. About one of every 200 U.S. children under 5 years of age got an invasive Hib disease. Hib meningitis once killed 600 children each year and left many survivors with deafness, seizures, or mental retardation.

Since introduction of conjugate Hib vaccine in December 1987, the incidence of Hib has declined by 98 percent. From 1994-1998, fewer than 10 fatal cases of invasive Hib disease were reported each year.

This preventable disease was a common, devastating illness as recently as 1990; now, most pediatricians just finishing training have never seen a case. If we were to stop immunization, we would likely soon return to the pre-vaccine numbers of invasive Hib disease cases and deaths.

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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Since the early 1980s, reported pertussis cases have been increasing, with peaks every 3-4 years; however, the number of reported cases remains much lower than levels seen in the pre-vaccine era. Compared with pertussis cases in other age groups, infants who are 6 months old or younger with pertussis experience the highest rate of hospitalization, pneumonia, seizures, Encephalopathy (a degenerative disease of the brain) and death. From 1990 to 1996, 57 persons died from pertussis; 49 of these were less than six months old.

Before pertussis immunizations were available, nearly all children developed whooping cough. In the U.S., prior to pertussis immunization, between 150,000 and 260,000 cases of pertussis were reported each year, with up to 9,000 pertussis-related deaths.

Pertussis can be a severe illness, resulting in prolonged coughing spells that can last for many weeks. These spells can make it difficult for a child to eat, drink, and breathe. Because vomiting often occurs after a coughing spell, infants may lose weight and become dehydrated. In infants, it can also cause pneumonia and lead to brain damage, seizures, and mental retardation.

The newer pertussis vaccine (acellular or DTaP) that has been available for use in the United States since 1991 and has been recommended for exclusive use since 1998. These vaccines are effective and associated with fewer mild and moderate adverse reactions when compared with the older (whole-cell DTP) vaccines.

During the 1970s, widespread concerns about the safety of the older pertussis vaccine led to a rapid fall in immunization levels in the United Kingdom. More than 100,000 cases and 36 deaths due to pertussis were reported during an epidemic in the mid 1970s. In Japan, pertussis vaccination coverage fell from 80 percent in 1974 to 20 percent in 1979. An epidemic occurred in 1979, resulted in more than 13,000 cases and 41 deaths.

Pertussis cases occur throughout the world. If we stopped pertussis immunizations in the U.S., we would experience a massive resurgence of pertussis disease. A recent study* found that, in eight countries where immunization coverage was reduced, incidence rates of pertussis surged to 10 to 100 times the rates in countries where vaccination rates were sustained.*

*Reference for study: Gangarosa EJ, et al. Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Lancet 1998;351:356-61.
Rubella (German Measles)

While rubella is usually mild in children and adults, up to 90 percent of infants born to mothers infected with rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy will develop congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), resulting in heart defects, cataracts, mental retardation, and deafness.

In 1964-1965, before rubella immunization was used routinely in the U.S., there was an epidemic of rubella that resulted in an estimated 20,000 infants born with CRS, with 2,100 neonatal deaths and 11,250 miscarriages. Of the 20,000 infants born with CRS, 11,600 were deaf, 3,580 were blind, and 1,800 were mentally retarded.

Due to the widespread use of rubella vaccine, only six CRS cases were provisionally reported in the U.S. in 2000. Because many developing countries do not include rubella in the childhood immunization schedule, many of these cases occurred in foreign-born adults. Since 1996, greater than 50 percent of the reported rubella cases have been among adults. Since 1999, there have been 40 pregnant women infected with rubella....

I dunno. Looks worth it to me.
 
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