2015 Douchebag of the Year is… Heather Dexter!

As we did for the 2014 DB of the Year award, first, I’d like to tell you about a very good thing that happened in 2015.

We had Senate Bill 277 pass in California, doing away with religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination requirements for children to go to public school. If a parent doesn’t want to vaccinate their children, that’s all fine and well. However, their children are not allowed to endanger all other children by going to public school. Fair is far, right? Though there have been challenges to the law, it will likely make it through any challenge since the US Supreme Court has ruled time and again that States have the authority to compel vaccination in order to protect the health of the population.

Now, on to our winner…

With 31.9% of the vote, Heather Dexter is 2015’s Douchebag of the Year.

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We had a large slate of candidates this year, so she didn’t take the majority, but she took a big chunk. How could she not? She allowed her children to go through months (MONTHS) of whooping cough in the name of anti-vaccine, anti-medicine, anti-science activism. Oh, she tried to cover her ass with the Quack Miranda Warning, but she still deleted the post and acted as if it never happened.

The internet is forever, though. And, so, Heather Dexter is, now and forever, 2015’s Douchebag of the Year. Bad job, Heather. Bad job.

You asked. I answer.

If you can stomach it, go watch this video on YouTube. Go ahead and go over. I have plenty of things to get done while you come back.

Are you back? Good.

In the comments section, I asked some questions of the person who posted the video. Some of them made it through, others were censored out by the video’s owner. However, she did pose this last reply to one of my comments:

I’m not sure what you are so upset about. Certainly there are far “worse” videos and articles out there than this one - asking parents to do their own research. This is my vaccine injured daughter’s personal you tube page. if you want to say something, you can make your own video or write a blog or whatever you would like. on this page, all factual comments will be approved. And why the anger? we can all stay calm. This video isn’t going to change the world. (unfortunately).

Let me tell you what I’m so upset about.

It’s not so much “anger” as it is a righteous indignation. Through your lies – because that’s what they are – you aim to do away with one of the most successful public health advances in human history. You see autistics as damaged and autism as something to be feared to the point where you think it will be okay to allow serious and deadly diseases to make a comeback. Have you seen a baby gasp for air when they have whooping cough? Have you seen the delirium and suffering in a child with measles encephalitis or bacterial meningitis?

You haven’t.

You haven’t because anyone with one shred of humanity would advocate for the one medical advance that is keeping those things in check – at least until your side wins and we no longer have herd immunity. Your statements are dangerous, mis- and un-informative, and based on bad science and innuendos. And I will not be respectful or calm in the face of such a threat to our kids. Even if vaccines did cause autism, as you claim and no scientific evidence supports, I would rather my child be autistic than either dead or the harbinger of deadly things for other.

Here’s a video I found to respond to you as well:

The world is less safe tonight

Some people aren’t looking for anything logical, or reasonable. They can be bought, be bullies, but they can’t be reasoned or negotiated with. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

Imagine for a second that you are a parent who has lost a child to a horrible disease. Pretty painful, right? Now, imagine that you are being harassed time and time again because you are doing your best to keep other children from dying a similar death. Imagine that people who don’t know you personally nor had any involvement in the medical treatment of your child publish article after article claiming to know all the details of your child’s illness and blaming you for the death of your child. And then imagine that they do this over and over and over and over and over, even after you have asked them to please stop.

Think about it for a second, then keep reading.
I bring your attention now to this post and this other post and this other one as well (thanks, Hank, 22MAR13) by “Reasonable Hank”. In those posts, Hank clearly documents the continued harassment of a family in Australia who lost a daughter to pertussis (whooping cough). The harassment comes from an anti-vaccine organization that claims that the girl in question either did not die from pertussis or, if she did, it was from being vaccinated, or from not being breastfed, or from medical incompetence, or something.

The truth is that the vaccine against pertussis is safe and effective. Is it 100% safe and 100% effective? No. Nothing is. A brand new jet flying hundreds of passengers right now over any part of the world is not 100% safe nor 100% effective. The water you will drink today will not be 100% safe nor 100% effective. Yet the vaccine is the best shot we have at keeping this disease at bay.

Many people from many scientific backgrounds – and even laymen – have tried to explain in very simple terms to the anti-vaccine advocates in question how the pertussis vaccine works, why it works, and how it can help provide protection to those too young, too old, too weak, too sick, or otherwise unable to be vaccinated. But these anti-vaccine people are not willing to listen to reason. They’re not willing to look at any facts. They live in their own version of reality.

And the world is less safe for it.