After 15 years of researching and writing about health, I believe more than ever that we must support medical freedom and that it is never right to try to coerce medical treatments.
I’m not a medical doctor.
I’m a journalist, researcher, and book author.
But medical doctors, academics, researchers, and parents contact me every day for a variety of reasons. Often they would like me to write about something related to medicine or science that they want the public to better understand. I also get daily inquiries from parents who have questions about medical freedom, vaccine safety, safe vaccination, and vaccine requirements for school or daycare.
Last week I got a call from an MD based in North Carolina.
A 4-month-old baby (not in this doctor’s care) died just **a few hours** after getting his 4-month shots.
The baby was bleeding out his eyes and his penis.
The baby’s pediatrician told his parents that their son died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and that his death “could not be vaccine-related” because the baby “had tolerated his 2-month shots just fine.”
The doctor who called me was outraged and disheartened by his colleague’s dismissal of the possibility that the death might have been due to vaccines.
He and another medical colleague, both of whom prefer to remain anonymous for now, have a theory about why the baby might have had such a gruesome and lethal vaccine reaction.
I’m currently investigating what happened.
At the same time, as I wrote in this post about the anti-parent hysteria that has been dominating the headlines lately, lawmakers in several states are trying to limit medical freedom and take away the parents’ right to choose how and when to vaccinate their children.
These lawmakers would like to abolish medical freedom when it comes to vaccine choices.
People who don’t have children often don’t understand why anyone would not want to follow the CDC childhood vaccination schedule.
It seems illogical to them, like not wanting to wear a seatbelt.
Why would anyone prefer not to get preventative care?
Isn’t preventative medicine the best kind there is?
I believe vaccines are a valuable and important tool in the medical toolbox.
I lived and worked in West Africa, both in the early 1990s (I worked for Africare Niger where, among other things, I coordinated the literacy component of a child survival campaign) and then again in 2006-2007 (on a Fulbright award from the United States government).
Living and working in Niger, and traveling to several other countries in the Sahel, I saw firsthand how people can suffer terribly from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The second time I lived in West Africa, I brought my family with me.
Our children were 7, 5, and almost 3.
Because of our time there, our family has had vaccines against diseases that many Americans have never heard of, including yellow fever.
I was eager to get all the vaccines we needed to travel safely, and grateful they were available.
Yet if you look on-line you will read that I am “a rising star in the anti-vaccine movement” and a “dangerous … quacktivist.”
Considering my children have received vaccines, and I am often the most vaccinated person in the room, you now know that those insults are inaccurate.
I find it particularly bizarre that people would call or consider me “anti-vaccine.”
I’m a vaccine safety advocate, yes.
But I’m not anti-vaccine.
Many of the smartest voices in these vaccine debates support judicious vaccination.
If you believe in the safe and necessary use of antibiotics, and even if you choose not to take them yourself, does that make you “anti-antibiotic”?
Of course not.
Trying to polarize the discussion into “pro” and “anti” vaccine is counterproductive.
The issue is not vaccines, per se, the issue is vaccine safety and safe vaccines.
While I support vaccination, I do not support mandatory vaccination.
I do not believe any medical intervention should be legislated.
I believe we should educate people about vaccines and then trust them to make the best decision for themselves and their families, not try to force them into compliance.
I believe we should listen to parents.
If parents are choosing not to do certain vaccines, they must have good reasons for this choice.
Let’s find out what their reasons are.
Perhaps some of the vaccines are unnecessary or done at the wrong time, as these doctors believe.
I believe in medical freedom.
Perhaps some children, like the baby boy who died last week in North Carolina, cannot be vaccinated safely.
We need to identify those children in advance to avoid the tragedies that so many families have already experienced.
Here are just a few: Hannah Poling, who became severely autistic after her toddler vaccines, and this 13-year-old girl who died five days after getting the HPV vaccine, and this 19-year-old, Chandler Webb, who became severely ill the day after the flu vaccine and also died.
If it’s true that some children cannot be vaccinated safely, we must find out why.
No matter what you believe about vaccines, I think we can all agree that children at risk of vaccine injury or death should not be vaccinated.
A 40-year-old mom of three who was born and raised in Oregon recently sent this letter to her state representatives to explain why she feels parents must have the right to medical freedom.
She gave us permission to publish an edited version of her medical freedom letter here on www.JenniferMargulis.net.
This mom prefers to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy.
I’m publishing the letter, which is quite long, in the hopes that it will help people better understand what families experience, why being against coerced medicine is not about being anti-vaccine, and the importance of preserving medical freedom in Oregon.
To my lawmaker:
In June of 2001 I gave birth to a healthy, robust 9 lb 9 oz baby boy at home with the attendance of a midwife.
He was so calm after birth that I was concerned that he wasn’t crying.
The midwife assured me that he was fine, and indeed he was.
In fact, as I got to know this small person, I learned that he was incredibly laid back and content by nature.
He was a very good nurser and slept well from the beginning.
I guess you could say we were blessed with an easy baby.
At three months of age, I took him for his first set of immunizations with a local family practice doctor. I explained that my family had experienced several adverse reactions to the pertussis vaccine and asked that we give him the shot containing only diphtheria and tetanus.
The doctor’s office assured me that was what they would give him and I held my son while they administered the shot.
Within a few hours, my normally content and happy boy was screaming inconsolably for the first time in his life.
Not just fussy, mind you.
He was screaming and arching his back in agony.
I tried bathing him, feeding him, distracting him, etc.
After many hours of this I called the emergency room at our local hospital, who was also affiliated with the doctor who administered the vaccine that day. They admitted to me that he was probably having a reaction to the vaccine.
I asked if they could please do something to ease his distress. They told me I could bring him in if he had a seizure or lost consciousness but they could not do anything for him at the moment.
I asked if my son would be his normal self after this and they told me that all I could do is “Ride it out and hope for the best.”
I felt so helpless.
I held my son and cried with him that entire night and the next day.
Eventually, after several days he was seemingly more himself again.
It was at that point I was going through the paperwork they sent home with us and saw that they had given him the DPT shot, as they had it recorded on his vaccine records. I felt angry and betrayed that they had knowingly lied to me and overridden my decision as his mother.
I immediately changed doctors, as my trust was destroyed.
I continued to vaccinate my son on a delayed schedule with a doctor that was willing to listen to me and work with me.
In 2003, I gave birth to my daughter, a healthy, perfect 8 lb 9 oz baby with a head full of dark hair.
This time I birthed at a hospital with the help of a midwife on staff, due to insurance coverage and costs.
I had another uncomplicated natural labor and delivery.
Before coming to the hospital I had written a birth plan and placed it in several locations throughout my hospital room, including on the door, notifying all caregivers that I would be birthing without pain relief, that I would be rooming in with my new baby, that I wanted skin to skin bonding time after birth, and that no vaccines were to be given, as I would be doing it at our pediatric office immediately after leaving the hospital (I wanted to have them administered by someone I trusted).
After the baby’s arrival, I was able to have a peaceful time of bonding with her.
She was calm and content.
One of the nurses claimed that he needed to do a PKU and it could not be done in the room. I hesitantly agreed to let him take her for a few minutes. About 15 minutes later the nurse returned with a screaming infant.
My daughter continued to scream without stopping for the remainder of the time that I was in the hospital, and even after being released the following day.
I remember the nurses kept offering to take her so I could get some sleep.
I kept thinking that maybe the PKU had hurt her, as they took quite a large chuck of her skin, but I did not seem to be able to ease her discomfort.
When we took her to our pediatrician the next day, he had her hospital records and mentioned that she had already had the hepatitis B vaccine.
I was livid.
I did not sign a consent for that and a medical professional had once again knowingly violated my right to make medical decisions for my child.
Those two situations created a deep feeling of mistrust toward the medical community.
I know my children intimately.
I know every cry, every expression.
I know which of my kids is always hot and which is always cold.
I know when they need a snack, or a nap, or a snuggle. I am their first meal, their biggest comfort and their best advocate and protector.
I would never knowingly put my child in harm’s way.
And since I no longer had blind faith in every doctor out there, I felt it was my duty to dig deep. To research everything, instead of just taking what I was told to do and blindly moving forward with it.
I owe that to my children.
And thus started my research about vaccine ingredients, infectious disease, and vaccine injury and death.
I read studies from both sides of the issue to make sure I had balanced information.
I learned about the MTHFR gene mutation and how people with that have trouble detoxing, which makes them more susceptible to vaccine injury.
Upon learning that, I had my children tested and all three of them are positive for this mutation.
I have spaced out my children’s vaccines over the years, refusing to overload their systems with too much at once.
We have given some vaccines and forgone others.
At the end of the day I know I have done my absolute best and I feel at peace with my decisions regarding vaccines.
In July of 2018 I was diagnosed with an incurable brain condition called Intracranial Hypertension.
I was told that I was at risk for blindness, deafness, stroke, and many other alarming things.
I experienced debilitating headaches, short term loss of vision, and episodes of passing out without warning.
It affected every area of my life. I was in and out of the emergency room being monitored every time I would go blind.
My neurologist prescribed a medication and when I began taking it, it completely diminished my quality of life.
It was then recommended that I undergo brain surgery to place a shunt in my head, constantly draining the cerebral spinal fluid, to decrease the pressure in my brain.
I began to research the brain and its ability to heal.
I started reaching out to other people who had this condition, finding some who had successfully put their condition into remission.
I made lifestyle changes such as dietary, exercise, weight loss, mediation, cranial sacral therapies, and more.
In January of this year I saw an incredibly intelligent neuro-optometrist at Oregon Health Sciences University, who explained to me that I had been misdiagnosed, and how he had come to that conclusion.
I was able to easily understand all he was explaining to me, and he commended me for being a self-advocate and for educating myself and making changes to try to help my body.
My new diagnosis was simply that my trapezius muscle was too tight, and causing all of the things I was experiencing.
The neuro-optometrist recommended that I continue with the things I was doing, while adding a few treatments to the list.
Within just a few weeks of the additional therapies, I can now say I am headache-free.
My vision is no longer shutting off, and I am no longer passing out.
I am hopeful to be able to re-establish my construction license and continue to build the business I had been forced to shut down due to my health.
I have my life back.
The point of my story is, doctors are human.
They are not infallible, and they make errors.
Sometimes those errors alter our lives forever, even though they are not made with ill intention.
Sometimes the patient (or mother) understands something better than a person who only sees us for 15 minutes in a medical office.
I am so very thankful for that second opinion from the neuro-optometrist.
And thankful that I trusted myself enough to refuse a risky and unnecessary surgery that could have caused me irrefutable harm.
I’m thankful for the medical freedom to do so.
I wish that same medical freedom for every person in Oregon regarding every medical procedure.
We have already been discriminated against due to my children not having 100% of the recommended vaccines.
We were denied service by our only local pediatric practice.
We now have very limited healthcare options.
And now Representative Mitch Greenlick would also like for us to also lose our right to a free and appropriate public education, based on my decision to make the best choices possible for my family.
My youngest has physical and neurological challenges and receives special services at public school.
Going to school and being around other children her age is an incredibly important part of her life.
It guts me to think of her being denied that, due to some tough choices I have had to make regarding what does and doesn’t belong in her body.
Please support a parent’s right to make the best choice possible for their children.
Please support medical freedom by voting against any proposed legislation to limit people’s medical freedom.
Readers: We successfully fought a bill to limit medical freedom in 2015 here in Oregon. California lost the same fight, unfortunately, and tens of thousands of families left the state because of the assault on medical freedom. Rally your troops, suit yourself up. It’s time to fight for medical freedom again.