Friday, January 30, 2015

Brilliant. Evil. Criminal?

More than 1 million people are expected to flock to downtown Phoenix for Super Bowl festivities.
Yeah, that's going to work out great, I'm sure.

Some numbers on the anti-vaxxers: In parts of California, the vaccine exemption rate for young children is at least 13% — higher than in Ghana, where it’s 11%. This hip trend comes with a body count, one frequently borne by the community at large, the youngest, weakest and least enfranchised of us. That's not just wrong, it actually manages to fit the definition of evil:
An evil is harm that is (1) reasonably foreseeable (or appreciable) and (2) culpably inflicted (or tolerated, aggravated, or maintained), and that (3) deprives, or seriously risks depriving, others of the basics that are necessary to make a life possible and tolerable or decent (or to make a death decent)” (p. 16).
To that point, members of the anti-vaxx movement might find themselves on the business end of litigation for gross negligence.
A strong argument can be that a prima facie case for civil liability exists under a theory of tortious negligence. There may also be the potential for criminal liability.

And don't go feeling safer just because you didn't go to Disneyland, or because you don't live in the West or Southwest. Anti-vaxxers are everywhere. And as Beth Kassab found,
The number of people who have found God in the past 10 years has risen dramatically.

Where we trust each other the least, and feel the highest sense of privilege, we are least inclined to care about the effect of vaccination exemptions.

And it's not just measles, though that is certainly the one I'm ranting about most this week. It's also mumps, whooping cough, polio, rubella, and other diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines. This interactive map shows the increasing foothold of these diseases in the U.S. Click through the years from 2008 to today and watch the spread of the diseases.