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Dr. Paul Offit: Anti-Vaccine Parents Should Not Be Given Legal Protection Of Religion

By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Dr. Paul Offit, author of Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine spoke with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT midday host Dom Giordano about his new book and the outrage that he has seen as of late directed against people who chose not to vaccinate their children.


"I've never seen this degree of anger directed at parents who are not only choosing to put their children at risk but those who they come in contact. It was the Disney outbreak. I think people were really upset about that."

Offit feels that not only should we do something about these people, but it is not even that difficult to eliminate them once and for all.

"It's a legislative fix. Oregon had a faith healing group called 'Followers of Christ Church' which again did not believe in modern medicine and chose prayer instead antibiotics for bacterial meningitis, for prayer instead of insulin for diabetes, and then they changed the law. They said if you're going to do that, if you're going to put your child at unnecessary risk then you are going to go to jail and you're going to lose your remaining children. When that happened then this group, 'The Followers of Christ Church' started getting health care for their children. It's a legislative fix."

Though he is aware that some people believe that it is part of the parent's religious rights to not have to vaccinate their children, Offit does not feel that they should be given that kind of protection, especially with all of the child graves that he has seen in some communities that have become comparable to what was seen in the 1700s.

"I think it's awful not only that it happens, but that we allow it to happen and we don't have to allow this to happen. When people put their children at an necessary risk, it's not a religious act and it shouldn't be given the legal protections of religion."

Offit stands behind the discussion already being had in states across the country to put and end to it all.

"If you look at states like California, Oregon, or Washington state and now even Pennsylvania and Vermont, legislators are considering eliminating the philosophical exemption to vaccination because it doesn't make any sense."

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