Down the street at Penn State Hershey Medical Center a battle is brewing. Mama vs. Hospital.
Mama was planning on a home birth, but ended up at the hospital, delivering her bebe in the ambulance. What follows is a tale of evil nurses and hospital politics and ends with a social worker that clearly had a bone to pick with home birthing, non-vaccinating mamas. Where does the vaccination problem come into play? Mama refused a Hep B vaccine until she and her daughter could be tested and also refused a Vitamin K vaccine. She had every right to refuse the vaccines, but the result was the newborn baby being taken away from the mama and mama and papa sleeping in the parking lot of the hospital.
It reads like a soap opera doesn't it?
So the question is...
Whose side are we on? Well, my first instinct is to be completely, fully on the mama's side. I am the mama's side. In every respect, the mama was abused and I fully support her suing the hospital for all they are worth (remind me to give birth somewhere else next time around, right??)
My only issue comes with the vaccinations. Let me get this straight before I dive in. I think it should be a PARENT'S decision whether or not to vaccinate. However, I've thought about this a lot. A LOT a lot a lot. Especially with having three children of my own, I've thought about the issue of vaccination and decided to have my children vaccinated. Why? Mainly for their sake (I can't delude myself of the real threat certain diseases cause - hello polio!), but also for the sake of others. I see a very big problem with the "herd" mentality of everyone's child being vaccinated (except yours) and thus safe. That's my opinion. ...and to be honest, it has little to do with the story above because it was completely, utterly wrong what happened to this mama. Vitamin K is NOT the polio vaccine. After reading the comment section in Sarah's blog however, the vaccination issue came front and center for me.
I worry that sometimes we forget how horrible these diseases were. I worry that we consider these diseases "were" diseases instead of "are". They could come back. All we have to do is vaccinate no one and polio can come back. That scares me. The death count of children under 10 a few generations ago scares me. I don't think we should be fighting about it, but I do think we should be talking about it. I certainly don't think hospitals and social workers should have the last say and have the right to kidnap a newborn child based on a mom's refusal to vaccinate.
What are your thoughts? Where should the lines be drawn?
If you comment here or elsewhere, please be kind, polite and respectful.
Want the whole story? The Healthy Home Economist has a more in depth look at the story.