eLetters: Vaccination: the wider picture?
In response to: Vaccination: refuting the refusals

Peter Morrell
Email: peter.morrell@tesco.net
Affiliation: Hon Research Associate, Staffordshire University, UK
Posted on: October 13, 2000



In your editorial 'Vaccination: refuting the refusals’ [1], various assumptions are made about the nature of those who are opposed to vaccination. The reasons listed in the article are 'philosophical’, 'complex’, 'wistful’, and 'religious’, about 'safety and efficacy’, 'objections based upon government interference’ and that it is 'unnatural’.

In broad terms, your editorial is correct in stating that many anti-vaccinators are opposed for religious and political reasons and this was also the case in the 19th century [2]. As they require little further discussion, and their objections are self-explanatory, therefore, that leaves those based on efficacy, philosophy and nature. Let me explain why I am opposed to vaccination and why I have had none of my four children immunised for anything, all of whom are healthy. I am not opposed on religious grounds because I am not conventionally religious as a churchgoer.

My objections are that it does not work; it is unnatural, that the human race has survived healthily for countless generations without them and that homeopathy provides a better alternative that is both safe and effective [3]. Yet, I am not typical because many of those who oppose vaccination know nothing about homeopathy, and as you say, they object for political or religious reasons, that lie beyond the scope of medical practice. However, once you use homeopathy and can rely on it, as I have done for over twenty years, then one can see the dangers and pitfalls of vaccination as another Russian roulette game not worth the risk. Your article signally fails to even mention the very real risks of vaccination to the health of some children. Though these risks are very small, they can be serious. How can any parent adequately assess such a complex topic when they are not given the risk factors of vaccine damage, as well as what you call the benefits? Most parents, like most clinicians, do not have homeopathy as a fallback position from which they can rationally object to routine vaccination.

Much of the medical rhetoric on this subject is rooted in beliefs. I make no apology here - it is rhetoric and they are beliefs. Doctors essentially believe the pro-vaccine propaganda and just keep repeating it like a mantra without looking at the facts. It is like a form of voluntary brainwashing. In truth, every major infection for which vaccines exist was originally in massive decline before a single vaccine was introduced. This certainly applies to Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, Whooping Cough and Measles. A graph showing this, for the USA and TB, is shown in Leavitt and Numbers, p.6, and for Diphtheria on p.8 [4]. They clearly show that TB was all but extinct before vaccination was even introduced. The same pattern holds true for Diphtheria. Similar data can be invoked for the UK and all these infections [5].

'Deaths from infectious diseases have declined dramatically, mainly because of improved water supply, sanitation, adequate food supply and birth control. Immunisation programmes have played a part, but graphs show these [diseases] were declining before the immunization programmes began.' [6]

Evidence in the statistics for USA and UK, show the same pattern in data for Scandinavia, France and practically any other place you wish. This decline was probably based on improved nutrition and hygiene as much as anything else. Infectious diseases in general have declined massively since 1900. Disease today consists largely of chronic conditions, which are amenable only to allopathic palliation [suppression] rather than true cure. There are even those today [7] who believe that chronic ill-health like diabetes, cancers, allergies, multiple sclerosis and asthma, which are all increasing in real terms in developed countries [8], are exploding because of the suppression of infectious diseases with antibiotics and vaccines. And why not? It makes as much sense as any other theory. Once you have fully appraised the theory of disease suppression, then your perception of modern medicine changes radically. It then becomes clear that it does not cure disease, it merely suppresses symptoms and that doctors since about 1900 have been increasingly seduced into believing that the removal of symptoms is the same as cure:

“...whereas the 19th century physician approached a patient with a predisposition to physiological holism, 20th century therapeutics transformed the doctor into a specialist whose knowledge encompassed some specific symptom...” [9]

By continuing to remove symptoms on this basis, without any regard to the nature of whole organism functioning, so the innate impulse towards ill-health, which lies within us all [what I term the 'primary disease’], is still present, untouched by chemical drugs and will still find expression, in modern terms, if not through infections, then through more chronic and serious ill-health, which we see becoming rampant throughout the developed world.

Can it really be a coincidence that the very countries that have the most serious levels of modern chronic disease are also those where infections are low and drug/vaccine-use is highest? Can it also be a coincidence that the very healthiest people can be found in those countries that exhibit little or no chronic maladies, very low use of drugging and vaccines, also have higher infectious disease rates? [10]

“Multiple sclerosis, a disease...which thousands of people are suffering from in the western world...is entirely unknown to Africans, Asians or South Americans, who have not had the 'benefit' of the excellence of western medicine... mental disorders of a severe nature...are almost unknown in these groups that have not had the 'benefit' of modern medicine and vaccinations... the model suggests that all these chronic diseases...are the result of wrong intervention upon the organism by conventional medicine. It claims that the immune systems of the western populations, through strong chemical drugs and repeated vaccinations, have broken down and finally admitted the diseases deeper and deeper into the human organism...in short, this model claims that conventional medicine, instead of curing diseases, is actually the cause of the degeneration of the human race.” [11]

Clinicians should read Vithoulkas’s book [7] and soberly assess these ideas for themselves, and then perhaps think again, of what modern drugs and vaccines might really be doing to the health of humanity. That is also why I am opposed to the routine use of vaccinations for all children. The 'progress’ they confer on whole populations could well prove to be illusory and dangerous in the longer term.

In June, in Washington, I met and interviewed George Vithoulkas at a conference, about his views on modern disease [12]:

“The American people are using such drugs excessively and therefore they are the first in line to lose their health for good. It is scary to see the explosion in the form of epidemics, in chronic conditions, like Alzheimer, Diabetes, Asthma, Neuromuscular diseases, like Multiple sclerosis, Collagen diseases, Allergic conditions, Panic attacks, Anxiety states, Phobic states, insanity etc, and all these in the western world almost par excellence, while undeveloped countries do not have them...[13]

Those who wish to read his views on this important subject, should read the interview in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy [14], which is due out later this month. To some, his ideas might initially sound incredible, but on deeper reflection, they could be dynamite, and their application could signal a major turning point for the medicine of the future.

Peter Morrell
Hon Research Associate
History of Medicine
Dept of Sociology
Staffordshire University UK



[1] ../../../cmaj/vol-163/issue-7/0801.htm  

[2] See Richard H Shryock, 1936, The Development of Modern Medicine, Univ. Pennsylvania Press, USA, pp.255-6

[3] info on homeopathic immunisations see: http://www.empiricaltherapies.com/  See: http://www.dse.nl/smits/english/pvs/  

[4] Judith Leavitt, and Ronald Numbers [Eds.], 1978, Sickness and Health in America, Univ Wisconsin, USA [5] see Margaret Stacey, 1988, The Sociology of Health and Illness, Unwin, London, pp.131-5

[6] Stacey, pp.134-5

[7] see G Vithoulkas, 1992, A New Model for Health & Disease, North Atlantic Books, USA; ISBN: 1556430876

[8] See, for example, Time magazine, The Diabetes Explosion, 4 Sept 2000, vol. 156, No. 10 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/0,3266,53419,00.html see also Intergenerational 20 year trends in the prevalence of asthma and hay fever in adults: the Midspan family study surveys of parents and offspring, Mark N Upton, Alex McConnachie, Charles McSharry, Carole L Hart, George Davey Smith, Charles R Gillis, and Graham C M Watt, British Medical Journal, 8 July 2000; 321: 88-92

[9] Regina M Morantz-Sanchez, 1985, Science and Sympathy, Women Physicians in American Medicine, OUP, New York, pp.261-2

[10] Vithoulkas, 1992, GV Interview, P Morrell, JAIH, January, 2001.

[11] Extracted from 'Acceptance Speech to the Swedish Parliament at the Presentation of the Right Livelihood Awards' to George Vithoulkas, 1996 http://www.thehomoeopath.ndirect.co.uk/articles/george.htm  

[12] AIH Conference and Hahnemann Monument Re-Dedication 21-25 June 2000, Washington DC.

[13] Extract from forthcoming interview with GV by P Morrell, JAIH, Vol. 93.4, January 2001

[14] Contact details: AIH, 801 N Fairfax St, Suite 306, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA www.homeopathyusa.org  



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