Free Immunization? What About Freedom of Choice?

By Fred Barge, DC, PhC
Last year my column in the July 19, 1992 issue of "DC" was "Immunization and Unity." I talked about the vaccination issue in respect to chiropractic professional unity. Certainly with the ACA's recent pro-vaccination stand, last year's column was almost irophetic, and if you read my column in last month's Dynamic Chiropractic, you realize I addressed this matter thoroughly.

Today with President Clinton's strong emphasis on immunization, we may be faced with the prospect of the government providing free (we know who pays) immunization for all children. I also have heard rumblings that federal law may endeavor to make the immunizations compulsory. The issue will then present itself with a great deal of poignancy. Now that the ACA condones such practices, where will you stand when the vaccinators come for your children, my friends? Will they be forced against your will to have this filth injected into their unadulterated, chiropractically-nurtured systems?

Let us go beyond the question of right or wrong. Let's get down to a basic issue, the one issue we have always collectively espoused and supported regardless of our individual opinions: freedom of choice. Yes, regardless of whether or not a chiropractor used a colonic irrigator, an adjusting gun or just two hands, collectively we have always stood for freedom of choice. Where will we stand now? Only the ICA clearly states its position and champions freedom of choice in all matters of health care. At this juncture in our embattled history, it is irresponsible to espouse a "live and let live" philosophy.

As we step forth to declare our opposition to compulsory vaccination, I can hear the medipractors pleading with us plaintively. "Hush, hush," they will say, "let's not look ridiculous, everybody believes in immunization. Be quiet Barge, do you want us to come off looking like a bunch of religious radicals? Shut up Barge, let the Christian Scientists, the health food advocates, and the new-age practitioners fight this one. We're accepted now -- let's not rock the boat."

Don't nauseate me ye gutless wonders, ye practitioners of double standards. It is time for all of the groups you speak of to look to us as their champion. Let us fight for the rights of others as we once asked them to fight for us. Can you not remember? We went to the public, our patients, the legislators; we did not ask them to accept chiropractic, we beseeched them to allow the public freedom of choice. Is it any different now that we are on the inside looking out? Have we fought so long that we have forgotten what the fighting was for? 'Tis now that our true stature will reveal itself. Will we take the 30 pieces of silver? Trade long-term significance for short-term acceptance and "sell tomorrow for cheers today?"

'Tis time now to stand up and be counted, to insure our future and the "greater things to come." Prepare for the day when our truths will be acknowledged by all. So what if the majority of the profession wants us to go the other way?

"Let us not limit these greater things to come. Let us have the distant vision of the eagle, heed our ways with forward outlook, and perhaps let the uninformed majority fall by the wayside. But let us move forward and upward, unafraid; place our trust in the high power above and beyond and within us, in our decisions in getting sick people well and staying well, chiropractically."

-- B.J. Palmer, DC, PhC

It is time to strike out against the medical establishment, not cave into it. They will come forth to persuade us with public sentiment on their side. Vaccinations are good for people. Would you chiropractors stand against the common good? Under the guise of doing good, they will sweep the medipractor along with them as they did the ACA, and you know, my friends, "hell hath no fury like do-gooders running amuck." So before they come for you with a compulsory AIDS vaccination, mandatory for all "gatekeeper" and "primary provider" physicians, before they come for your children with "free" immunizations, stand up and be counted. Let chiropractic continue to be the champion of freedom of choice of physician. And that physician is not the government. Vaccination, right or wrong, is not the only issue. The other issue is our freedom of choice. Let's fight for the rights of all people, not only ourselves.

"It is a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man's."

-- Mark Twain

"Enuf Said,"

Fred H. Barge, DC, PhC
LaCrosse, Wisconsin

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