YWCA Westfield, New York
March 14, 2001
L.R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D.
VACCINATIONS: PUBLIC GOOD VS. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
I would like to thank Ms. Bruner for inviting me to speak to your group tonight.
I would like to begin by telling you a little about the organization that I represent and the ethics and principles that we believe in and support. As Ms. Bruner has told you, I am the Immediate Past President of the AAPS which stands for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. We are a national medical organization representing thousands of members in every specialty and in every state. We also have an associate category of membership with a substantial number of patients and other interested citizens who share our beliefs. AAPS was founded in 1943 and its principal mission then remains the same as today, namely to protect the patient-doctor relationship. We believe that the highest quality medical care takes place when patient and physician are allowed to pursue medical care, free from the intrusion and interference of government, insurance companies and HMOs. Unlike the advocates of Big Government and socialism, we believe that patients are intelligent and fully capable of deciding on their own medical care as opposed to having a government bureaucrat decide what is "best for them." We strongly oppose government bureaucrats and HMO clerks practicing medicine on our patients. We believe in the Oath of Hippocrates, the U.S. Constitution and in the free market system we have here in these United States of America. We are opposed to all initiatives that would diminish your freedom, liberty and ability to choose the doctor, hospital and medical care of your choice. In short, we believe in freedom and individual responsibility, concepts upon which our great nation was founded.
Education of patients, legislators and other physicians is also one of our top priorities, and I have made some literature available tonight for those of you who are interested in reading more about the topic of government mandated vaccinations. I also put out a little pamphlet that I wrote for the AAPS in 1998 entitled Medicare Cake Walk that explains how the government's Medicare program really works. Most people, including most physicians, really have no idea how this program operates.
Although the topic this evening is vaccinations, I would like to make it clear from the outset that I am not an expert on vaccinations and I will not be discussing the indications, potential benefits, timing and side effects of various vaccinations. And, I will not be discussing individual non- published cases. I would also like to make it clear that AAPS is not opposed to vaccinations. Vaccinations have clearly been very effective in reducing or eliminating some very deadly diseases during the past century. The question I want to address tonight is: Who should decide what you put into your body?
I would like to begin by telling a little story. The story begins with the FDA which has a little known advisory committee known as the ACNF - Advisory Committee for Nutritional Food. And their mission is to promote the most nutritional diet in the interest of the public good. After a period of study and deliberations, they came up with Recommended Daily Amounts of each type of food to include at least 3 servings of meat per day, preferably Big Macs, Whoppers and Chicken Dinners. They've called this optimal diet FAD which stands for Federally Approved Diet. They have published their FAD diet and other recommendations in a special government report. Before long, your state legislators took note of this official government report and acting in what they felt was the public's best interest, they passed a law which made the FAD diet mandatory. And, just to make sure that all citizens follow this government approved diet, the law mandates that neither you nor your children can attend school (including college) unless you eat the government's FAD diet.
So, one day during a class discussion on nutrition your daughter or granddaughter happens to mention that she and her family are.....VEGETARIANS. Well, within a few days her parents receive a very threatening letter from school officials which makes it clear that the little girl will be expelled from school unless her parents start feeding her the FAD diet. School officials also make it clear that if her parents are particularly stubborn in refusing to comply with the government-mandated FAD diet, that Child Protective Services will be called and they will likely take the little girl away from her parents based on "NUTRITIONAL NEGLECT" of a child.
Well, being vegetarians, a very bright and independent thinking group of people, the parents said "Hey, wait a minute.... this is the United States of America, not communist China. Government has no right to tell me what I put into my body or into my child's body." And these inquisitive vegetarians began asking some questions that made school and government officials very very uncomfortable. They asked "Who are the members of this government advisory committee on nutritional foods that have advocated that my child eat Big Macs, Whoppers and Chicken Dinners? And, will you show us the scientific data which supports their conclusions?" "If this is all being done for the public good, then the public should have the right to know who is making these decisions that affect everyone and what does the process entail?" Well, the government bureaucrats did not like this line of questioning one bit. Because, what the vegetarians found out was that the ACNF, the advisory committee on nutritional foods, was composed of representatives from..... McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. And, despite their request to see the actual scientific data that was used to develop this government-mandated FAD diet, the government refused to give this information to the vegetarians because members of the committee said that the data contained proprietary, trade secrets that were protected by patent and could, therefore, not be divulged to the public. It thus became clear to the vegetarians that there was something very rotten about the government's compulsory FAD diet. Can you imagine what this mandatory FAD diet would do for the sales of McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken? A government mandate which would require people to eat this FAD diet would constitute a guaranteed market, a veritable goldmine for the purveyors of red and white meat.
Now having told that little story, I want to emphasize to you that the story is pure fiction, but unfortunately it represents where we are today with government-mandated vaccinations. In New York State, you cannot attend school (including college) unless you comply with these state mandated vaccinations. It doesn't matter whether you think that these vaccinations are necessary, unnecessary, healthy or unhealthy, you must conform and comply. In New York State, you can claim a religious or health exemption, although as we will see later the government and school officials don't necessarily have to honor these exemptions, but there is no philosophical exemption available in New York State.
So, how does a vaccine go from manufactured product to government-mandated vaccination? Well, it's basically a three step process.
#1 The FDA has an advisory committee called Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) that determines if a vaccine will be licensed for manufacturing or not.
#2 The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has an advisory committee called ACIP, which stands for Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. They develop a list of recommended vaccines called the Child Immunization Schedule - the list of vaccinations they feel should be given to every child in the nation.
#3 State legislatures determine which vaccines will be made mandatory for all children in their state. In passing these mandatory vaccination laws, state legislatures typically follow the ACIP's recommendations.
So, who makes up this vaccination advisory committee? Well, just like the government FAD diet story, it turns out that this advisory committee is mainly composed of representatives from the pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control, in fact, routinely grants conflict of interest waivers to every member of this advisory committee. And, in a Congressional Hearing on vaccines which was conducted by Representative Dan Burton, one CDC official even commented that it is good to use the vaccine industry insiders on this official advisory committee because they are able to vote based on secret drug company information. What this does is it essentially allows these pharmaceutical companies to own the market for their product. And, their market consists essentially of every resident in the State by law. And, the public and independent scientists have been refused access to the scientific data that formed the basis of these government mandates because the drug companies claim that such disclosure would reveal protected trade secrets. Translation: the public is not allowed to see the data which purportedly proves the safety and efficacy of these government mandated vaccines. I think you can hear the underlying theme playing in the background here: The "trust us, we're from the government and we're here to help you" which really translates to "We're from the government, we're a whole lot smarter than you are and we can determine what is best for you better than you can." It's a very arrogant but typical attitude of many government bureaucrats.
So, that's the process by which vaccines are made mandatory. I would now like to consider the effect these government mandates have had on those who believe that government has no right to decide what you put into your own body.
In Utica, New York last year the parents of 77 students were threatened with expulsion from school if they didn't get their children vaccinated for Hepatits B within 2 weeks. Now, before I continue with the facts of this case, I need to digress for just a moment to tell you a little about Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver disease which is transmitted by contact with blood and certain bodily fluids. The most common way that people get hepatitis B is via IV drug abuse or by engaging in promiscuous sex both in homosexuals and in heterosexuals. If you do not engage in these activities and are not otherwise exposed to blood products, you will not get Hepatitis B. In New York State, Hepatitis B is now a required immunization for all Pre- Kindergarten children (daycare, nursery or Pre K) born on or after Jan 1, 1995. What do you think the chances are of a child less than 5 years old engaging in IV drug use or promiscuous sex? So, what message is the government sending to you when they make this Hepatitis B vaccine mandatory for Pre-K and school children? It's very clear. The government thinks that they know better than you as far as what is best for your children and grandchildren. And the government is essentially telling you that you people are too darn stupid to raise your children not to use IV drugs and not to engage in promiscuous sex. The government, of course, won't come right out and say it that way because people would be insulted and outraged, but make no mistake that is the government's message to you, the public.
The other thing that you need to know about the Hepatitis B vaccine is that children under the age of 14 are three times more likely to die or suffer adverse reactions from the vaccine itself than they are to contract hepatitis B. And, I have personally spoken with parents of infants who have died shortly after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine, and they are understandably very upset that they weren't given the choice to refuse the vaccine for their child.
Getting back to the Utica, New York case, the parents of these 77 children were also threatened with Child Protective Services and were told that their children would be taken away from them and made wards of the state if they didn't immediately comply with these government-mandated vaccinations. They were accused of "child neglect" because they were not providing the medical care that the state felt would be best for them. And, I will tell you that Utica is not the only place in New York state where this type of thing has happened. It has, in fact, happened in our own community. And, as I mentioned earlier, there are medical and religious exemptions available in New York state, but school systems don't have to honor them and they sometimes rather arbitrarily choose not to honor them. And, taking your children out of the public school system unfortunately does not solve the problem if you disagree with the government. The state mandatory vaccination law applies to private as well as public schools. And, even the parents of home schoolers have been threatened with Child Protective Services for failure to comply with government-mandated vaccinations.
In the case of Utica, New York further investigation revealed the real reason why school officials were so heavy-handed and threatening toward the parents of these children. As it turns out, the ultimate goal had little to do with medical reasons and had everything to do with money. School officials told the press that if they didn't force these independent thinking people to comply, that the school system would lose a large amount of state funding.... and they weren't going to allow that to happen. I will also mention in passing that this same type of scenario frequently happens with other things like attention deficit hyperactive disorder where unless parents comply with giving their children the drug Ritalin, they can be threatened with Child Protective Services and the state might take their children away from them. Again, the underlying theme is government deciding what drugs and other substances you will be forced to put into your child's body. What you think, doesn't matter to the government.
I submit to you that you might expect this type of thing to occur in Nazi Germany, but most people don't think that this can happen in these United States of America.... but it does. Human beings should have the fundamental right to decide what they put into their own bodies. No one should be forced to take any medicine, medical treatment, surgery or vaccine against their will. To do otherwise is not much different than performing experiments on humans without their consent, something which the Nuremburg trials said was unacceptable when the Nazi's did such things during World War II.
So, I will close this evening with some of the same principles that I spoke of at the beginning of this talk. We believe in freedom, individual responsiblity and the ability of individual patients, in counsel with their private physicians, to determine what is best for them and for their families. We also believe that when you see something that is terribly wrong, that you need to stand up and speak out against it because no one else is going to do it for you, and if you wait too long it will be too late.
There was a clergyman in Nazi Germany a half century ago by the name of Martin Niemoller who said it best and I will adapt his famous quote to the present situation we face in this country today with respect to government-mandated vaccinations.
When they came for the vegetarians and forced them to eat meat I did not stand up and speak out because I was not a vegetarian
When they came for those who objected to government-mandated vaccinations I did not stand up and speak out because I was not opposed to vaccinations
By the time they came for ME There was no one left to stand up and speak out
Medical Sentinel, Vol 5 No. 2 March/April 2000, Special Issue: Vaccine Scene 2000 - Infectious Diseases and Immunization.
Official Vaccine Policy Flawed, Roger Schlafly, Ph.D., Medical Sentinel, Vol 4 No. 3 May/June 1999
The Phyllis Schlafly Report Vol 34 No. 7 Who Decides What Drugs Are Forced On Children?
New York State Immunization Requirements for School
Entrance/Attendance (including Daycare, Nursery, Pre-K); New
York State Dept of Health Bureau of Communicable Disease
Control/Immunization Program. Also, see New York State Public
Health Law 2164 which requires all 6th graders to be immunized
for hepatitis B.
Shots in the Dark, by Robert Pollock, Reason Magazine November 1994
Peoria Journal Star, 07/24/1997, Clinton announces new goals for immunizing chidren, President proposes tying federal money to state efforts.