Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Sometimes there is no compromise

Compromise is the path to peace. Which is great, until you come to an issue where compromise simply isn’t possible. For parents, there are many times in the lives of our children where we simply cannot compromise. The first being, should we become a parent, or not?

You can’t compromise on a yes/no situation. You become a parent, or not.

Having become a parent, there are times when we can compromise, and times when we cannot. You may choose to bottle feed… you may compromise by espressing milk, rather than bottle feeding with formula… or you may reject bottle feeding as lacking emotional bond between mother and child. However the possibility exists.

Often, parents face situations where one parent has strong views, and the other is ambivalent. Other times, both parents have similar strong views, and there are no real challenges. When each parent has an opposing strong view, there is conflict.

Vaccination is an area of childrens lives where compromise is quite a difficult path to tread. We either vaccinate our children, or we don’t. Few people who have a strong involvement in their childrens life will be ambivalent about this decision. Those of us who feel strongly that all children must be vaccinated will see that a vaccination program that is spread over a longer duration that is usual, is a fair compromise.

In Australia, a couple who divorced some time ago, have gone to court over the right of one parent to refuse vaccination for the child, compared to the right of the other to insist that child is vaccinated. Initial result is that a judge has supported the right of the parent seeking vaccination, in part to protect part siblings from illnesses those siblings are too young to be vaccinated against. Herd Immunity.

It is a challenging case. Myself, I am for Herd Immunity. Living in society engenders personal sacrifice as the cost of living in that society. We sacrifice personal freedoms on a daily basis, complying with social norms, to gain the protection, benefit and convenience that society offers us – protection from terrible illnesses being one of those protections, either in advance (through sanitation, vaccination and surveillance of outbreaks) as well as after the event, through the wonderful benefits of our hospital and healthcare system (however flawed they might be).

The magistrate has been swayed by the value of Evidence Based Medicine over “traditional” techniques which do not have the backing of “evidence” which will stand up under the Scientific Method. In a situation of vaccinate – or don’t – there is no middle ground between the black, and the white – grey is neither half black nor half white, having introduced “a little” foreign matter into our body we have introduced some of that foreign matter. If we fail to introduce the quantity which is shown to initiate an immunological response, all we have done is expose a child to risk without any opportunity of benefit.

Glad I’m not a judge.


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