I heard a story about parents bringing in their child to be immunised against measles.

These parents, on principle, were anti-vaccination - or, at least, opposed to the MMR vaccination, which is designed to protect children from measles, mumps and rubella.

However, it turned out the parents were also very "anti" the idea of taking time off work to look after their child if anyone at their child's school contracted the measles.

You see, schools usually have a policy that unvaccinated children have to go home if there is a risk of catching something at the school.


Historically, "refuseniks" had it easy. They relied on every other kid being vaccinated against disease, so they didn't have to.

However, it seems these principles go out the window if it becomes legally necessary to stay at home with your child because your school won't allow them in.

Visiting British academic Dr Ben Goldacre said the medical profession and the drug companies have to take some responsibility for the "facts" of how medicine works.

He argues, if evidence-based medicine is done behind closed doors, it paves the way for quacks to walk in and exploit the public's fears.

He makes a good point in that I generally trust a person in a white coat telling me something is good for me.

I don't know how it works, and the argument of requiring a medical degree sounds a bit pompous. It can be explained.

Conspiracy theorists and quacks have been around for a long time and their behaviour isn't about to change.

There are also a lot of people who will have their beliefs and ignore the evidence.


They have a different relationship to the truth, as Dr Goldacre says.

If you want your children to live, get them vaccinated. If you want the best chance of being cured, go to a doctor.

If you want to try something that makes you feel a bit more comfortable about life, the universe, and everything, then, sure, homeopathy's an option. T

hey'll probably tell you how it works in great detail.

But according to Dr Goldacre, it's a pity medical science doesn't do the same.