Friday, June 20, 2008

In Doctors We Trust? Part I

I love to read medical information-- be it on the internet or in medical diagnosis books. I never take my kids to the doctor without first looking up their symptoms myself and coming up with a probable diagnosis. Sometimes I'm right (like when Gavin had Fifth Disease) and sometimes I'm clueless (like when Maddie had pneumonia). However, I like to be informed.

The need for that has been plain to me lately as I've read a few fascinating books recommended to me by my sister-in-law (who had them recommended by her sister-in-law!). The first I read was How To Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor by Robert Mendelsohn. Written by a pediatrician, it details many common reasons parents bring their children to the doctor and why it is unnecessary. For example, he says that fevers-- even high ones-- are just the body's way of fighting infection so not only does a child not need to see a doctor, but they also need no medication to lower the fever as that counteracts nature's (God's) healing process. This book is filled with practical advice about ear infections (let them run their course instead of turning to antibiotics), well visits (just a way to get children in the office for the vaccines), headaches (find the trigger), the list goes on. There is also an entire chapter on vaccines that is one of the most straight-forward writings on the subject that I've seen. The chapter can be read in its entirety online by clicking here.

The main point I got from the book was the need to learn and inform yourself. A doctor, even a good doctor, can be wrong. I think many moms assume the doctor knows best just because he/she is a doctor so they don't take the time to learn the facts.

The second book I read was The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination I$ Not Immunization by Tim O'Shea. This book was entirely devoted to the great vaccine debate. The author (also a doctor) gives compelling arguments against vaccines. Most of what he says is referenced so you can check his facts. Some of the information I found to be a little kooky (out-there, what have you) and I even found one instance where he misrepresented a fact, but overall, the author gives lots and lots and lots of information about the history of vaccines and their dangers and the money behind it all. (Did you know the FDA does not have to test vaccines-- only approve or disapprove them? And that many members of the FDA and Congress hold stock in vaccine manufacturers--money that motivates them to get vaccines approved?) O'Shea also spends a good portion of the book showing how vaccines actually do not immunize (something that can only happen by naturally getting a disease) but often only delay a disease or cause it to turn up in a unnatural form.

For those worried about laws, O'Shea explains how vaccines are mandated, but not mandatory. Even though school systems often "require" them, there are still ways to be exempt. Isn't it nice that homeschoolers can avoid this hassel altogether?

Again, however you feel about this issue, it is so important to be informed! Blindly trusting what one doctor or the media or whoever is not always wise. Find out for yourself.

To be continued...

Please take a minute to leave your thoughts on this issue! I'd love to hear what you think.

In Doctors We Trust? Part 2


  1. I have heard of the first book you mentioned. I am very interested in reading it. The second one sounds very good.... The more I read and find out about vaccinating, the more confused I am.

  2. I worked in a hospital and a doctor's office during my high school years, and I agree that too many people go to the doctor too often. However, I am a firm believer in vaccinations. I feel that diseases such as measles and polio are too dangerous to risk not having some type of protection against them.

  3. Thank you for these rec. We really fought with our dr. about not getting our son his 12 yr vaccines. It was quite the ordeal. We do want him to have the vaccinations, but not so quickly and not all at once

  4. I have heard of the first book and have been meaning to read it, but not the second - I'll have to look into it. I have found that most people who have worked in the medical field are firm believers in vaccinations, no surprise considering the intense indoctrination (no offense intended) during schooling. I worked as a surgical assistant before becoming a SAHM and I have found myself naturally bent against the overuse of medications, vaccinations, etc after even just the little I saw.

    My father, who is also surgeon, now agrees that health care in the U.S. is driven more by the bottom dollar than the individual patient.

    I did know that about the FDA and it frustrates me that there is no requirement for long term testing. Doesn't that seem odd to anyone???

  5. This post was EXACTLY the kind of thing I love to read. Informed... unbiased, and helpful!!! I only wish ALL parents could be informed about what vaccines have turned into in the last 30 years. Its all about the money.
    But I also love to learn about how proer diet and exercise (often just regular activity for kids) can do SO much in preventing diseases...even cancer.
    I love to get more and more informed on these types of things..thanks for sharing your info. and links!!

    God bless-

  6. This is a great post. I'm definitely going to take a look at those books - I've been needing some information, especially regarding vaccines, for a while now. We've chosen to not vaccinate our son, but we have a lot of people (parents, close friends) who are concerned and often manage to cause us to (ever-so-slightly) doubt our decision. I know what I feel is right - but I recognize that it will definitely help to read more on the issue and to have solid answers as to why we do what we do (if only for our own sake!).
    We don't have health insurance right now, and haven't since we moved in December. Our son hasn't gone for a well baby exam since he was four months old (he's almost 1 now), and he has had fevers and colds and whatnot in that time. However, we have received counsel from trusted friends in the medical field, and most of them, like you said, explained that we really didn't need to take him in or use any medicine. It's amazing how equipped our bodies are to heal themselves! It's definitely taught me a lesson in taking medicine!
    Now we face a new problem - we are planning to get insurance soon, which means we will likely try to find a pediatrician in case we have an emergency. However, most pediatricians in our area actually won't accept children whose parents refuse to vaccinate! Ay-yai-yai!
    Sorry about the lengthy comment! :)


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