by Heather Fraser
Interim leader of the Alberta Liberals since Feb. 2015, David Swann, 66, emerged from political Siberia (resigned in 2011, leader since 2008) and landed in a late winter media storm surrounding a measles non-event. A number of Canadians, vaccinated and unvaccinated, had developed measles, stayed in bed and subsequently got better. None were in Alberta.
And yet, to solve the non-problem, Swann fingered the unvaccinated children and called for a law to forcibly inject them with the MMR vaccine. But failing to capture the political will for mandatory vaccination legislation that would strip Alberta parents (26% of them non-vaccinating) of the right to choose for their school aged children, Swann changed his patter in a March 19 statement to ‘mandatory choice’ — yes, mandoice or chandatory vaccination.
Measles occurs naturally every year in vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadian adults and children — all this year are likely to have life-long immunity. There have been no additional cases reported since March.
Back in March though, Swann chose not to question the efficacy of the vaccine or ask whether the vaccine itself might have spread the disease or even to make note that the MMR vaccine maker Merck is currently being prosecuted in the US for alleged fraudulent claims of efficacy. Rather, Liberal Swann capitalized on the frenzied and divisive media attack on unvaccinated children in a political exercise.
As a politician with a medical degree, Swann argued for mandatory vaccination by comparing it to wearing a seat belt — it is for the health of the individual. In this, Swann failed to acknowledge the invasive and injurious nature of injection and that vaccinations are not about individual health but rather an attempt to control the herd.
If vaccination was truly about individual health, there would be screening for underlying conditions, liver and kidney health, or mitochondrial dysfunction. There would be single vaccine options, delayed vaccinations and acknowledgement of and compensation for those invariably injured or killed by vaccines. There would be crucial follow up to determine long term outcomes such as epidemic allergy and autism.
But none of this exists due to cost and the aims of mass vaccination — which is about numbers and profit. As for compensation, the number of claims for injury would shock Canadians and raise even more questions in the minds of already desperately worried parents.
The fact is that while Swann would have laws to force children to consume one size fits all vaccines, he assumes no responsibility for any adverse outcome.
Neither doctor, government nor manufacturer take any legal responsibility for injury or death related to vaccines in Canada (some compensation in Quebec) — and there are many injuries that occur annually.
Vaccine injuries are documented by doctors in Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) reports available from Public Health Agency of Canada. Information on the type and severity of adverse outcomes is also provided by the manufacturer in the vaccine package insert.
According to Merck’s MMR II insert, clinical trial reports include: measles, pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, anaphylaxis, arthritis, encephalitis, encephalopathy, measles inclusion body encephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, aseptic meningitis, pneumonia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (cell death where skin separates from the body), deafness, optic neuritis, and death.
Mandatory vaccination demanded by Swann would require a serious challenge to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — forced medical procedures without the informed consent of the individual is unethical and illegal. It is heinous. The Nuremberg Code established in 1947 and the Declaration of Helsinki (1975) formed the basis of informed consent under Canadian law.
And so, Swann’s face saving, bizarre and oxymoronic ‘mandatory choice’ — a term that exists nowhere much less Newfoundland as he claims — places a bookmark in the discussion. It is saved for next year when again measles will pop up, people will stay in bed and they will get better. But as the only Liberal MLA in a landmark NDP Alberta government where 26% of parents have opted out of the MMR vaccination according to Swann himself, even chandatory vaccination would be an unpopular political platform.