Vaccination:A Conversation Worth Having
By BILL MAHER - BILLMAHER.COM
Added: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to mark for the link.
Open Letter from Michael Shermer previously posted here
While America is still in the grips of swine flu mania, let me use this opportunity to clear up a few things about my beliefs concerning the flu shot, vaccines, and health in general. I do this because there is obviously a lot of curiosity about this subject of vaccines -- it comes up in every interview I do these days, and I've been finding that people, including doctors, are privately expressing a skepticism that is still not very prevalent in public. I feel like I've become a confessor for people who want someone to be raising questions about vaccines.
But I don't want the job. I agree with my critics who say there are far more qualified people than me -- its just that mainstream media rarely interviews doctors and scientists who present an alternative point of view. There is a movement to stop people from asking any questions about vaccines -- they're a miracle, that's it, debate over. I don't think its that simple, and neither do millions of other people. The British Medical Journal from August 25 says half the doctors and medical workers in the U.K. are not taking the flu shot -- are they all crazy too? Sixty-five percent of French people don't want it. Maybe its not as simple as the medical establishment wants to paint it.
Vaccination is a nuanced subject, and I've never said all vaccines in all situations are bad. The point I am representing is: Is getting frequent vaccinations for any and all viruses consequence-free? I feel its unnecessary and counterproductive to try and silence people with condescension. Michael Shermer wrote me an open letter and felt I needed to be told that "vaccinations work by tricking the body's immune system into thinking that it has already had the disease for which the vaccination was given." Thanks, Doc, I thought there might be a little man inside the needle. Yes, I read Microbe Hunters when I was eight, I have a basic idea how vaccines work.
That's not -- or shouldn't be -- where the debate is.
[UPDATE] A couple of other good links
Peter Singer - The Scotsman Comments
Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk women’s lives for the sake of the unborn
Ruth Williams - TheScientist Comments
Double helix showing coplanar alignment of standard base pairs.
CLAUDIA DREIFUS - New York Times 15 Comments
Carson C. Chow deploys mathematics to solve the everyday problems of real life. As an investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he tries to figure out why 1 in 3 Americans are obese.
- - MedicalXpress 27 Comments
Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system
Christopher Badcock, Ph.D -... 3 Comments
Neurons Mirror the Diametric Mind
Schizophrenics amplify neuronal mirroring, autistics reduce it
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How thinking about death can lead to a good life
Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death – say walking by a cemetery – could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.
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