Rethink Health  - June 2009

News through the Good HealthKeeping lens

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Vaccines Compulsory?

Although the Department of Health continues publicly to assert that vaccines should remain a voluntary option, the BMA this week debates a proposal to make MMR compulsory.

Kites like this have been flown before, but it distresses me that any doctor would ever entertain such an idea. To impose by law upon a perfectly healthy child a vaccine which carries a small but real risk of harm, against a disease which a healthy child will ride out perfectly well, is negligence of the duty of care. The effect, across a population, is bound to include a number of adverse reactions which may or may not clear up.

Furthermore, to impose simultaneously three live vaccines representing diseases that can never naturally co-habit the same body, is to raise the bar unnecessarily and unacceptably. The combination is less efficient and requires two doses at least, whereas given singly one of each provides reliable protection for 1-2 decades. As if this were not enough, it is inappropriate to the point of negligence to impose vaccines against rubella and mumps a full decade before these diseases pose any threat, and deprive the victim of an opportunity of life-long protection from harmless natural infection at a safe age (before the onset of puberty).

It is just as extraordinary that the public has not risen in outrage against these monstrous arrangements, even when technically optional. Pressure to accept has been relentless, for decades. The supine acceptance by our public health officials of whatever the vaccine manufacturers wish to sell has been a scandal since the mid 1980s.

I am no longer in a position to help parents who have reservations about all this. It is time for politics. If no robust objections are registered against what is happening by a sufficient proportion of the public, then we shall get whatever the power-that-be want us to have. And it will be no more than we deserve.

MPs - particularly now - reckon one personally written letter expressing a strong opinion on any subject is worth about 250 votes. Write to yours, and tell him what you think. Tell him of her the Department of Health agenda is bogus and contrary to the interests of healthy children. Assert that if vaccines become compulsory, so must state -funded vaccine damage compensation.

Because the truth is we have been running on good home hygiene and decent nourishment for the past century. If you are prepared to put in those vital assets, nobody has the right to insist you take part in measures that insult your intelligence, cannot help your child's health and may conceivably harm it.

Bowel Cancer Screening

A new national screening programme has just been introduced, enabling men and women aged 60-69 (up to 75 in some areas) to have tests on three stool specimens to detect any traces of blood. I received the invitation, but Pamela did not though we are registered with the same GP and both over 60.

The kit is simple enough to use and reasonably hygienic, though a bit daunting in prospect. Much depends on producing a sufficient but not excessive specimen each time. A negative result is not as reassuring as you might hope, since it is hedged with warnings that no test is 100% reliable and things may change with time.

I cannot get very enthusiastic about this campaign. There are lots of words on paper to digest, spread across three letters. These are not phrased for easy reading. I would far rather stress the diet and behaviour that will minimise the risk of developing bowel cancer in the first place.

We have known for decades that a fibrous diet based on vegetation and fruit is a powerful defence against malignant change in the skin of the bowel, which comes into close contact with the contents of your meals. Overcooked or burnt meat is risky - just as well the weather seldom encourages us to barbecue. There is evidence to suggest that dairy produce from high-yilding cattle adds risk, because of the hormones it contains. Chemically treated food helps oestrogen - the womanhood hormone - to dominate other hormones, and produce a tendency to undisciplined overgrowth. All of these influences can be evaded, and doing so deprives you of nothing.

Our Replete product (5591 from Cytoplan) contains minerals and additional  antioxidants to reinforce your defences against cancerous development. We know that several minerals and antioxidants, when in the form of legitimate food (not as pure chemicals), deter or even reverse the sort of changes that may lead eventually to cancer of the bowel. But simply choosing ample vividly coloured fruit and vegetables, and eating large portions, guarantees a reasonable antioxidant intake.

This is not to say that the screening programme is a complete waste of time. If a relative has just been diagnosed with bowel cancer it would be natural and sensible to get yourself checked, too. There is a freephone number - 0800 707 6060 - to ask for a screening pack if you would like one, and have not been included. But once you know you are clear for the present, overhaul your diet to extend that confidence into the future.

Change of Clinic

On 29th June we shall be attending at Garrod House in Manby for the last time. After 1st July I shall be available for consultation at Frank Morgan School of Flying, 13a Hall Way, Humberside International Airport, Kirmington, North Lincolnshire DN39 6YH. Our telephone numbers and address for correspondence - 21 Brewers Wharf NEWARK NG24 1ET - remain the same. Appointments will be available, provisionally, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, starting 7th July.