Recently I was invited to a perfectly civilized barbecue and managed to find myself screaming the words, “how dare you punish your children with cancer because you’re afraid of sex!” Screaming back at me was, “What about the deaths?” Huh? What deaths?
I am, by all accounts, a deeply flawed woman, and had the hostess been anyone other than who she is, she might have decked me. Some of these parenting issues become hot buttons before we realize it. The immunization debates rankle many. I live in a neighborhood where illegal immigrants with unknown backgrounds routinely care for young children. I see childhood vaccines as prudent. I understand waiting a few extra months, but skipping them altogether seems foolhardy to me.
My daughter is nine. I have two years to come up with a decision regarding Gardasil. There have been studies but how do you read a study? I see that there have been deaths within a certain time frame of Gardasil having been administered, but have the deaths been linked to Gardasil? Since we already know I’m a horrible lunch guest, can I remind you that people die every day?
Google Scholar is a good starting point to do your research. In order for a study to be meaningful the sample size must be quite large. One reaction in a hundred isn’t particularly meaningful, but 1,000 reactions in 100,000 is a meaningful 1%. Who administered the study? Drug companies would clearly show bias, they have no good reason to publish studies contrary to their business model. Was there a double blind control group? Typically papers worth reading are peer reviewed and, let’s face it, all universities are not created equal.
I hope you’re not too disappointed that today I’m presenting more questions than answers. I don’t have the answers for this one, but I do have the luxury of time. I’ve got two years minimum and a few more if I like. I want to know what you are doing, or plan to do. Please comment or write your own post and leave a note in the comments. I’ll read it, I promise.
Because even though I’m an easily baited asshat when I’ve had a glass of wine, I’m a voracious reader and quite in awe of my readers. Share the knowledge.
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Jessica Gottlieb is raising two children in Los Angeles, and she writes about it at her blog. This is an original post to EcoChildsPlay.