To the Editor: Re ''Public Health Risk Seen as Parents Reject Vaccines'' (front page, March 21): Parental objections to vaccines highlight the fundamental ethical dilemma inherent in all public health initiatives: the often conflicting values of seeking better societal health and preserving individual liberties.Virtually any action taken in the name of public health -- such as mandating vaccinations -- cuts into the individual's right to make such a decision for him or herself.Going from sitting to walking required snapping that brace into place, which was not something that could be accomplished without being noticed.Having friends who had polio was not unusual when I was growing up.Thousands of cases a year were being experienced in the United States — peaking at 58,000 in 1952. Friends like mine who went on to have full and productive lives, even with leg braces and wheelchairs, were the lucky ones.For thousands of others, survival after the poliovirus meant life in negative pressure ventilator, an iron lung.
Since then, I have questioned the need for continued vaccination for the different diseases that dogs can come down with.
One question remains: Whom will they sue when their children die of preventable diseases? Carl Baum New Haven, March 21, 2008 The writer, a pediatrician, is director of the Center for Children's Environmental Toxicology at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.
To the Editor: When my nursing and crawling 6-month-old son went limp, refused to nurse and couldn't raise his head for 36 hours after his third diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus shot, you bet I educated myself about the true risks that accompany immunizations.
I am aware of reports that suggest that minimal vaccinations should be done; some that suggest no vaccines should be used at all.
Since I wonder if vaccines can be dangerous, I want to do as little as possible. I understand titers can also be done and wonder how you feel about these being done.
With guidance from a new doctor, I stopped all immunizations except for polio, knowing that the diseases my son would face were unlikely to kill or irreparably harm him and that if he contracted any of them, I would be able to care for him to ensure his recovery.