Written by Onyx Hall, Staff Writer
Medicine has evolved over the past few centuries. It is important to understand why there was and is a need for such drastic advancements in medicine to begin with. Diseases that once plagued us such as yellow fever, smallpox, measles, influenza, syphilis, etc are now able combatable with advanced medical knowledge to stop infections from spreading and/or slow down the toll they take on the body. Vaccinations help build a person’s immunity to these diseases as well as many others.
In light of recent developments over the past century, there is still room for more advancements. There are so many things that medicine has not yet been able to fight; therefore, there is still a need for medical professionals and scientists to keep working and making more achievements. In contrast, there has also been the development of arguments and conversations against vaccinations. One of the arguments that has been presented in recent times is that vaccines cause autism. In an article published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the British former scientist and doctor Andrew Wakefield said that the vaccination created to combat measles, mumps, and rubella is found to have a connection to children having autism.
There have been numerous flaws in his conclusion seeing as though his research was funded by anti-vaccinators and he used flawed and unethical methods of research. By now the damage has already been done. People who believed this conclusion have kept themselves and/or their children from getting vaccinated as well, resulting in an outbreak. People’s access to technology and medical research online has also contributed to people being against vaccinations. Misinformed knowledge on the internet can be very persuasive, especially to people who may not have any background knowledge on the topic and/or do not fact check what they are reading.
The fact is that due to people being against vaccinations, diseases and infections have been coming back at a fast rate in the past 20 years. According to the same article, the United States has experienced an outbreak of diseases reportedly in 2008, 2011, and 2013. People obtaining false information based on unethical and fabricated data has become and will continue to be dangerous to the health of society. Although there is such a strong argument for getting vaccinations, people still have the right to refuse them. Medical ethics has professionals abide by the code of nonmaleficence and autonomy meaning they cannot force anyone to take medication and the people have the right to refuse it. Getting vaccinated is essential to keeping people healthy or else we risk starting at square one as far as quality of life and people’s safety.