Submitted Date 04/13/2020

This was written on March 3rd, 2020.

The debate in Maine about vaccinations has been ongoing. The governor of Maine, Janet Mills repealed a bill for non medical exemptions of vaccinations. People then petitioned to get the bill rejected. Yes on Question #1 which will be voted for on March 3rd means the law would be repealed, no means it would not.

I worked in chronic pain medical research for 6 years. I experienced things that made me seriously question the medical field. I realized that statistics can be manipulated to "get the right answer" for whatever drug a pharmaceutical company is trying to sell. I remember in one of our studies we had two statisticians analyze the results coming up with two entirely different results. They were both considered correct. If you know anything about science, you should understand that we know very little. Even if we can make some assumptions about how things work, we should have a healthy degree of skepticism.

Some of the biggest breakthroughs have been because someone thought to question them. What I learned in science is the power of a good question. The question is much more important than the answer. If anything, an answer should simply lead to another question. I am proud to say our lab continuously pushed to show that improving function outdid taking any sort of drug for pain. Not surprisingly, we ran out of funding and had to close up shop. I don't even think the hospital has a pain research facility anymore, even though it boasts to be one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the country.

I do not have a medical degree. I do not have children either. The biggest debate seems to be around children. I do think that parents should have a right to say no to vaccines. I can imagine that I would want more than anything to protect my child. But if they do, they should also accept the fact that public schools will not allow their children to attend classes. It's like the saying, "I want to have my cake and eat it too"...Do what you want at your own risk, but if it puts other people at risk then you should pay the consequences for that.

There are so many things in this country that we agree on and abide by that are not perfect. Public education is a perfect example of this. We all seem to agree that education is good. Our property taxes go towards this. We have seen positive benefits from it. Yet, there is much room for improvement. There are people that opt out of mainstream education, and some probably go on to live productive lives. That is their choice though. And one could argue it is ok because it doesn't affect a mass population of people that made a different choice.

Gun control is an interesting one to compare the anti vax argument to. We have seen little, innocent children blown to bits in public school, yet, people agree that ultimately having the freedom to own a gun is more important than little children being blown to bits. There is the argument that if guns were at schools to protect children, the problem would decrease. There's all sorts of interesting arguments, and they are all based on the idea of personal freedom. I think this is where I differ. I believe in personal choice. But I also believe in altruism, and that our time is very limited on this Earth so we should work to make it a better place for those we are leaving it too. If that means that I cannot strap on my AR15 to head off to tutor children at the local public school, I can handle that. If getting a vaccine means I put something in my body by a pharmaceutical company that I am not a huge fan of to protect others from what can be a life threatening illness, then fine. Honestly, I'd rather take the poison than give a life threatening illness to someone else. Even if I don't know that someone else. People say that pharmaceutical companies make a profit off of vaccines. They do. They make more of a profit off drugs targeted towards mental illnesses for fake diagnoses such as "being shy". Because people keep coming back for these drugs. A vaccine is a one time deal. So profit is made most certainly. But not in the way profit is made from making up diagnoses to fuel people with drugs to treat things like "ADHD".

I think this may be an interesting question to think about. How do we protect all children versus how do I protect my child? I know that might be tough for a parent. A parent child bond is not one to mess with. I know that here, my theory based in Buddhist belief of everybody is a mother, everybody is a teacher/student will not resonate with a lot of people. And people can throw me under the bus for this. I do not have children. I cannot count on my hands how many times people have made comments such as, "You don't know life until you have children, you don't know what love is until you have children, etc." Or people act like you are a complete moron and you know nothing about taking care of another human.

I understand some of the horrible things that pharmaceutical companies have done. There have been many policies, companies, and individuals that have done bad in the name of good. I also understand all the work that researchers have done to try and answer questions that could drastically improve the quality of people's lives. I don't think you should necessarily blindly trust whatever your doctor says. I do think you should go in with good questions, and ask your doctor to explain to you what your concerns are. And they should certainly give or cite literature to back up what they are saying.

The dynamic between physicians and patients needs improvement. And this goes back to our health care system being based on profit. The vaccine issue is a systemic issue, a symptom of capitalism more than anything. I have had friends die because they weren't given proper medical attention. But I still think you should go to the doctor if you are in need of a doctor. I have been shafted by formal education in many ways, but I would still say you should go to school. Religion isn't the answer to everything, but I would still say it might be worth exploring.

When things are not based around profit, it becomes more about the process than an end result. People are horrified at the idea of socialism. Yet, the countries that practice this have a better quality of life than we do. It's because they ask the question, what is best for everybody? We should question the medical field, but there are better ways to do it than putting people at risk for communicable diseases.



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