In Canada, if you are a nurse and openly promote antivaccination views, you can lose your license.
I think that should be the case in the US (and the world, ideally).
If you are antivax, I believe that shows an unacceptable level of ignorance, inability to critically think and disregard for the actual science of medical treatment, if you still want to be a physician or nurse (or NP or PA or RT etc.) (And I believe this also should include mandatory compliance with all vaccines currently recommended by the medical science at the time.)
Just by merit of having a license, you are in the position to be able to influence others, especially young families who are looking for an authority to tell them how to be good parents. Being antivax is in direct contraction to everything we are taught in school (and practice) about how the human body works.
When I was a new mother I was "vaccine hesitant". I was not a nurse or have any medical education at the time, I was a younger mother at 23 with a premature child and not a lot of peers for support. I was online a lot from when I was on bedrest and I got a lot of support there. And a lot of misinformation. I had a BA, with basic science stuff, but nothing more My children received most vaccines (I didn't do hep B then I don't think) but I spread them out over a long period. I didn't think vaccines caused autism exactly, but maybe they triggered something, or that the risks were higher for complications and just not sure these were really in his best interest - and I thought "natural immunity" was better. There were nurses who seemed hesitant too, and Dr. Sears even had an alternate schedule and it seemed like maybe something wasn't perfect with vaccines then. My doctor just went along with it, probably thinking it was better than me not vaccinating at all and if she pushed, I would go that way.
Then I went back to school after I had my second.
As I learned more in-depth about how the body and immune system worked, as I got better at critically thinking and learned how to evaluate research papers, I realized just how dumb my views were. I made sure my kids got caught up with everything they hadn't had yet (hep B and chicken pox) Once I understood it well, everything I was reading that made me hesitant now made me realize how flimsy all those justifications were. They are like the dihydrogen monoxide type pages extolling the dangers of water. Or a three year old trying to explain how the body works. It's laughable wrong and at some level also hard to know where to start to contradict - there's just so much that is bad, how far back in disordered thinking do you really need to go?
Now, I'm all about the vaccinations - with covid, I was very unsure whether they'd be able to make a safe one, but once the research came out, evaluated by other experts, then I'm on board 1000000%. I got my pfizer three days after it came out in the US.
I say all this to demonstrate the potential influence of medical professionals on parents (which is when many people become antivax) and they have a professional duty to do no harm, and ignoring science about vaccines does harm. There are lots of hesitant parents that might be like I was, still reachable in reality, and having medical professionals say any of it gives it a lot of weight. If you don't want to believe in medicine, that's fine, you don't get a license to practice it. (or associated licenses) People are not entitled to their professional licenses. I think it should include quackery too while we're at it, but antivax is a good place to start.
Health care professionals with licenses should lose them if they openly promote antivax views. It shows either a grotesque lack of critical thinking, lack of understanding of the body, lack of ability to evaluate research, which is not compatible with a license, or they are having mental health issues and have fallen into conspiracy land from there. Either way, those are not people who should be able to speak to patients from a position of authority.
I couldn't find holes in my logic, but I'm biased as a licensed professional, so I open it to reddit to find the flaws I couldn't :)
edited to add, it's time for bed for me, thank you for the discussion.
And please get vaccinated with all recommended vaccines for your individual health situation. :)
I hate hearing people say, "oh, he bought a Corvette because he's balding and needs to feel younger." No. No no no no NO. As someone who's never earned much money because I made the spectacular decision to do what I love rather than what was lucrative, I'm finally in a position in my late 30s where I can actually save up to buy my dream car.
I get it if cars aren't important to you. I get it if you dislike the impact they have on the environment. I get it if you think sports cars are too expensive and a hassle. I get it if you see a forty something guy in a BMW M3 and assume he's compensating for something. But realize that automotive enthusiasm is a huge part of life for a lot of people, and can often be the biggest connection they have to family members or friends.
As a car enthusiast, I look forward to increased electrification for a lower carbon footprint (and ridiculous torque for better acceleration). I accept that my budget will have to increase for a cool exotic car and decrease for other pursuits. It's worth it to me. Just like you might enjoy collecting stamps or having a closet full of nice clothes. It's also the first thing I talk about when I call my dad since he used to race cars and motorcycles in the 70s. We bond over cars and car news.
So the next time you see some guy with graying temples and a widow's peak driving a Ferrari, understand it might be the realization of a dream from childhood and try to, you know, not crap on that dream because it's not YOUR dream.
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