AVN DEFENDS FREEDOM OF CHOICE
The Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. (AVN) deplores the recent
decision by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission in
upholding an illegal act of discrimination by the Maroochy Shire
Council who had denied two children a place in child care because of
their vaccination status.
These children's parents, Greg Beattie and Jacqui Butcher, made an
informed choice that the best way they could protect their children's
health was by not vaccinating them. Since vaccination is not
compulsory in Australia, this decision was within their rights. We
can only assume that the Inquiry Commissioner, William Carter, Q.C.,
judged in favour of the Council as a result of the awful pressure the
medical community can bring to bear when their interests are
threatened. If this was the case, we would like to offer him our
sympathies and say that we understand why he may not have voted as his
conscience demanded, but rather gave in to political expediency.
The Council's contention in this case was that unvaccinated children
can put vaccinated children at risk. Not one of the expert witnesses
sponsored by the Council was able to show anv evidence that this was
so. In fact, Mr. Beattie was able to show documentary proof from
refereed medical journals that children who have received live-virus
vaccines such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, etc. can
contract these diseases themselves or transmit them to those they are
in close contact with. Despite this, the 50% of Australians who have
chosen not to vaccinate their children have not demanded that
vaccinated children be excluded from child care centres, preschools
Mr. Beattie says that he will appeal this decision if funds can be
raised to cover his legal expenses. Anyone wishing to contribute to
this cause is urged to contact the Australian Vaccination Network on
(066) 871-699 or P0 Box 177, Bangalow NSW 2479. They can also write
to us at P0 Box 9086, Manly West, QLD
4179. Unless this decision is overturned, the rights of every
Australian parent to make informed choices about the health of their
children or themselves is in grave peril.
If we were talking about excluding children with AIDS from schools,
the country would be up in arms. Instead, we are talking about
excluding perfectly healthy children whose parents have chosen to keep
their health intact by not vaccinating them.
The AVN warns that a very dangerous precedent has been set by
Commissioner Carter and that we must all get together tc ensure that
our rights as parents and Australian citizens are not abrogated.