Connect with us

Health

Spanking Your Child Can Have Negative Effects on Their Personality & Lower Their IQ

When it comes to disciplining children, physical abuse has been proven to have longterm detrimental effects on their mental health.

Published

on

It’s natural to wonder how we became the person we are and where, or when, our insecurities and fears first took root. More often than not, we turn to our childhood for answers and try to determine when certain seeds were planted that inspired doubt or hesitancy in our personalities. As we grow older, we come to better understand our childhood environment as we get to better know ourselves and our family relationships. We may come to realize that certain habits of our parents marked on our home and shaped how we handle the world today. Simply put, how you were raised directly impacts the person you become, whether you recognize it or not.

advertisement - learn more

Some new parents may harbour fears about this very fact. In some cases, they don’t want to be like their own parents, but they also don’t want to spoil their child. New parents seek all forms of alternatives, all forms of raising a child in the best possible way they can, and when it comes to punishment in particular, there are plenty of schools of thought. You may say to yourself that you were hit as a child and turned out fine, but that was your norm, and it’s difficult to pin down just how it affected you. Research suggests this kind of punishment does leave a mark, however.

The late Dr. Murray Straus dedicated his life to better understanding the negative effects that corporal punishment has on the psyche of a child and how it can affect them as an adult. Having authored hundreds of scholarly papers and 15 books, including Behind Closed Doors and Beating the Devil Out of Them, he is an internationally recognized sociologist and founded the very field of family violence research. Dr. Straus was the co-director of the Family Research Laboratory and a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. 

Spanking and IQ

A relatively new study by Straus explores the link between spanking and IQ. Supported by the University of New Hampshire and presented by Straus, along with Mallie Paschall, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, to the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in 2009, it reveals a troubling trend. “All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen,” Straus says. “The results of this research have major implications for the well being of children across the globe.”

The duo studied samples of 806 children ages two to four and 704 children ages five to nine and then retested both groups four years later. The IQs of children between the ages of two and four who were not spanked ranked five points higher compared to those who were spanked in their same age group. Children who were five to nine years old that were not spanked were 2.8 points higher in IQ four years later compared to their spanked counterparts.

“How often parents spanked made a difference. The more spanking the, the slower the development of the child’s mental ability. But even small amounts of spanking made a difference,” Straus reveals.

advertisement - learn more

Nationally

Straus and colleagues collected data on corporal punishment in 32 nations among 17,404 university students who experienced spanking when they were children and found lower national average IQ in nations where spanking was more prevalent. Those whose parents used corporal punishment on them even into their teen years showed the strongest link between the behaviour and their IQ. Their data determined two explanations for the relation of corporal punishment to lower IQ:

  1. Corporal punishment is extremely stressful and can become a chronic stressor for young children, who typically experience corporal punishment three or more times a week. For many it continues for years. The research found that the stress of corporal punishment shows up as an increase in post-­traumatic stress symptoms, such as being fearful that terrible things are about to happen and being easily startled. These symptoms are associated with lower IQ.
  2. A higher national level of economic development underlies both fewer parents using corporal punishment and a higher national IQ.

This research doesn’t surprise me. When a parent chooses to discipline in the form of abuse or aggression, it can only display to the child poor conflict resolution skills, as the outcome for ‘bad behaviour’ is only determined by the abuser and implemented physically rather than by verbally engaging the child and helping them to realize why their acts were not appreciated or accepted.

According to Straus:

The worldwide trend away from corporal punishment is most clearly reflected in the 24 nations that legally banned corporal punishment by 2009. Both the European Union and the United Nations have called on all member nations to prohibit corporal punishment by parents. Some of the 24 nations that prohibit corporal punishment by parents have made vigorous efforts to inform the public and assist parents in managing their children. In others little has been done to implement the prohibition. . . .

Nevertheless, there is evidence that attitudes favoring corporal punishment and actual use of corporal punishment have been declining even in nations that have done little to implement the law and in nations which have not prohibited corporal punishment,

Personality

A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan claims that children who get spanked are more likely to “defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties.“

And this study was more comprehensive than most. Researchers explain “it is the most complete analysis to date of the outcomes associated with spanking, and more specific to the effects of spanking alone than previous papers, which included other types of physical punishment in their analyses.” This study is based off of a meta-analysis of 50 years of research involving over 160,000 children.

The analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking — an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities. When any parent chooses to spank their child, more often than not his or her intention is to create long-term obedience, but in reality, it only creates immediate obedience. “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children,” says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Undoubtedly, parents only want what’s best for their children, so their intention of course isn’t to cause long-term harm through what they’ve always believed to be an appropriate form of discipline. That’s why it is vital for all parents to recognize the impact they could unknowingly be having on their offspring.

“The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children. Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do.”

— Co-author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work

Most people would say that there is a clear distinction between physical abuse and spanking, but both were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength. As Gershoff explains, “our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree,” and “no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking and ample evidence that it poses a risk of harm to children’s behavior and development.”

Another problem with spanking is that the cycle of harm is most likely to continue. The study explains that adults who were spanked as children were more likely to support physical punishment for their own children.

Unfair Situations

Researchers with Tamagawa University and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan published a paper in the journal Nature Human Behavior that describes possible implications for those who suffer from depression relating to unfair situations. As reported by Medical XPress:

In the study, volunteers were asked to play a video game in which rewards were offered—some of the volunteers were given more than half of the rewards, some were given less than half, and a third group got the same as other players. As the volunteers played the game, the researchers watched blood flow in the brain courtesy of an MRI machine. The researchers focused on the amygdala and hippocampus because they have been associated with  in people. They report that the way those brain regions responded when players felt the game was unfair toward them offered a reliable means for predicting depression levels in those people a year later—and that was regardless of whether the volunteer had scored as a pro-social person versus an individualist on a test before playing the . They also found that among the brains of volunteers who received more than their share, they could only predict depressive levels in pro-social people.

I find this information to be relevant because, from the perspective of a child, when an adult resorts to physical punishment to amend an issue, the child is likely to feel that something took place that wasn’t right or fair in regards to how a person is to generally be treated. While I agree more research should be done to investigate these suggestions, I think we inherently know that abusing a child, in any way, is wrong, and we don’t need research to prove this.

“It is time for psychologists to recognize the need to help parents end the use of corporal punishment and incorporate that objective into their teaching and clinical practice. It also is time for the United States to begin making the advantages of not spanking a public health and child welfare focus, and eventually enact federal no ­spanking legislation.”

– Dr. Murray Straus

Gentle Parenting 

What does this approach look like?

Rebecca English wrote an article in The Conversation that provides some tips for parents looking to take a different approach to discipline.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

Here are a few steps that parents take to encourage a partnership with their children:

  1. They start from a place of connection and believe that all behaviour stems from how connected the child is with their caregivers.
  2. They give choices not commands (“would you like to brush your teeth before or after you put on your pyjamas?”).
  3. They take a playful approach. They might use playfulness to clean up (“let’s make a game of packing up these toys”) or to diffuse tension (e.g. having a playful pillow fight).
  4. They allow feelings to run their course. Rather than saying “shoosh”, or yelling “stop!”, parents actively listen to crying. They may say, “you have a lot of/strong feelings about [the situation]”.
  5. They describe the behaviour, not the child. So, rather than labelling a child as naughty or nice, they will explain the way actions make them feel. For example, “I get so frustrated cleaning crumbs off the couch.”
  6. They negotiate limits where possible. If it’s time to leave the park, they might ask, “How many more minutes/swings before we leave?” However, they can be flexible and reserve “no” for situations that can hurt the child (such as running on the road or touching the hot plate) or others (including pets). They might say: “Hitting me/your sister/pulling the dog’s tail hurts, I won’t let you do that.”
  7. They treat their children as partners in the family. A partnership means that the child is invited to help make decisions and to be included in the household tasks. Parents apologise when they get it wrong.
  8. They will not do forced affection. When Uncle Ray wants to hug your child and s/he says no, then the child gets to say what happens to their body. They also don’t force please or thank you.
  9. They trust their children. What you might think of as “bad” behaviour is seen as the sign of an unmet need.
  10. They take parental time-outs when needed. Before they crack, they step away, take a breath and regain their composure.

The bottom line is, we are the ambassadors for our children. They look up to us, they depend on us, and they can only assume we will make the best possible decisions for their safety and happiness. I believe we owe it to them to do our own research and to be proactive in creating a dialogue with them, gauging their reactions and responses to discipline, and, most of all, being patient. Being a parent is an endless process of growth and transformation for you and your child, so let’s make it a beautiful one.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

cards

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Health

Try This DIY Foot Reflexology Before Bed For The Best Sleep Ever

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A DIY foot reflexology technique that promises to help you have a good nights sleep.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you sleeping as well as you want to be sleeping? If not, try out this quick technique to see if you can improve your sleep.

A good night’s sleep? Do you even remember what that feels like?

When my partner and I agreed to move into a newly remodelled loft condo in the historic Hudson’s Bay building in downtown Victoria, we were thrilled by a few interior features: double bathroom sinks, heated tile floors, west-facing (hello sunsets!) and massive floor-to-ceiling windows that were original to the condo’s historic structure.

But while we were busy celebrating our brag-worthy new pad (we might have danced, once or thrice..), there was a nasty secret waiting to reveal itself – those god-forsaken windows.

Being historic, the gigantuous glass panes were nowhere near soundproof, and to make matters worse, we happened to be 4 stories above the busiest road in Victoria, as well as the busiest bus stop *bangs head on desk.* Of course, we found out the hard way, awakening every morning at 7:30am to the abrupt sounds of monster trucks revving, hydraulic squeals, and other obnoxious, penetrating traffic clatter. Even tightly jammed ear plugs proved futile against the noise.

Long story short, quality sleep is few and far between for me these days, so when I came across a Mind Body Green article titled “DIY Foot Reflexology For Your Best Sleep Ever by world-renowned Holistic Reflexologist Laura Norman, I was ecstatic, to say the least.

For all of you insomniacs, light sleepers (me), stress cases, caffeine addicts, and overthinkers out there, here is something you can try before bed tonight, outlined by Laura Norman, to help you get a more rejuvenated night’s sleep. Enjoy!

advertisement - learn more

DIY Foot Reflexology By Laura Norman

“By stimulating reflex points on your feet, hands, face and ears, reflexology subtly impacts the whole body, affecting the organs and glands. A simple reflexology routine that works on just the feet can help you or a loved one to drift off to sleep naturally. There are nearly 15,000 nerves in your feet alone, one of many reasons that foot reflexology is so calming, soothing and effective.

reflexology

Reflexologists use a map of the feet where all the organs, glands, and corresponding parts of the body are laid out. The toes reflect the head. The ridge beneath the toes on the top part of the ball of the foot is a natural shoulder or neck line. The ball of the foot reflects the chest. The arch mirrors the digestive organs, and the heel and ankles contain reflexes for the reproductive system. The inside curve of each foot (where we find the spinal reflex) corresponds to the actual curves of the spine.

Using the chart above, here’s a 15-minute routine in four easy steps that you can incorporate into your bedtime ritual:

1. Relax the feet, one at a time, with simple relaxation techniques: pressing and squeezing, lightly slapping, or gently kneading — whatever feels good. Finish by pressing and holding your thumb on the solar plexus point of each foot for 5-10 seconds each.

2. On the bottom of each foot, “walk” your thumb up from the base of the heel to each toe (imagine your thumb is a caterpillar inching its way up your foot), then press these reflex points with the outer edge of your thumb or tip of your forefinger:

  • Head/brain (top of each toe) promotes clarity and positive thinking.
  • Pituitary or master gland (center of big toe) stimulates/balances hormone secretions of all other glands.
  • Pineal gland (outer side of big toe) secretes melatonin which controls our circadian rhythm/sleep cycle.
  • Thyroid (base of big toe) balances metabolism.
  • Neck/shoulders (ridge of toes) releases tension.
  • Chest/lungs (ball of foot) calms breathing.
  • Solar plexus/diaphragm (under ball of foot in the center) encourages profound relaxation and peacefulness.

If you have other particular areas of your body that are stressed, you can press the corresponding reflex area or point.

3. Apply the relaxation techniques again, and finish with another thumb press on the solar plexus point on both feet.

4. End with “breeze strokes” — lightly running your fingertips down the tops, bottoms, and sides of each foot in a feathery motion, barely touching the skin. Repeat this several times. It is very soothing to the nerves.

Reflexology transports you into a state of deep relaxation where you are open to suggestions you give yourself. This is a good time for a pre-sleep affirmation such as, A kind and forgiving world sings me to a peaceful sleep.

Also count your blessings and appreciate all of the good times in your day. Envision how you would like your next day to be.

Your bedtime ritual can include a nurturing exchange of reflexology mini-sessions with your partner. You can even use these same techniques to help your child go to sleep more easily. Sweet dreams!


Give Laura’s practice a try and let us know how it worked for you in the comment section below!

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

cards

Continue Reading

Awareness

Real Salt, Celtic Salt and Himalayan Salt

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was originally written by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P) (acupuncturist, doctor of oriental and pastoral medicine) and published at Greenmedinfo.com. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you know the difference between refined salt and unrefined salt?

This is what real salt looks like—we all know what regular white salt looks like—and we mistakenly think it is real salt when it is not. The fact is that refined white salt, such as commercial table salt is bad, very bad stuff. Unrefined natural salt on the other hand is good, very good stuff providing many health benefits.

Unrefined sea salt is healthy. The blood-pressure-raising effect of table salt can be due to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Real salt (of various kinds) contains plenty of magnesium and other important minerals, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.[1]

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.

Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much and you may then become overheated. This could result in a stroke or exhaustion as well as dehydration.

Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule etc., etc., until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.

Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine.[2]Most of the sodium in the body (about 85%) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.

advertisement - learn more

Dr. David Brownstein weighs in heavily on this matter saying, “Nobody makes a distinction between unrefined and refined salt. They ‘lump’ all salt together as a bad substance. This is a terrible mistake. There are two forms of salt available in the market place: refined and unrefined. Refined salt has had its minerals removed and has been bleached to give it the white appearance that we are accustomed to seeing with salt. It is the fine, white salt that is available at almost any restaurant or grocery store. Refined salt has been bleached and exposed to many toxic chemicals in order to get it to its final product. It has aluminum, ferrocyanide, and bleach in it. I believe this refining process has made it a toxic, devitalized substance that needs to be avoided.”

Link to book: http://www.drbrownstein.com/Salt-Your-Way-to-Health-p/salt.htm

“Unrefined salt, on the other hand,” Brownstein continues, “has not been put through a harsh chemical process. It contains the natural minerals that were originally part of the product. Its mineral content gives it a distinct color. The colors of unrefined salt can vary depending on where it is taken from. This is due to the changing mineral content of the various brands of salt. It is the minerals in unrefined salt that provide all the benefits of this product. The minerals supply the body with over 80 trace elements needed to maintain and sustain health.

Furthermore, the minerals elevate the pH (correct acidity) and lower blood pressure. Our maker gave us salt to use in our diet—unrefined salt—with its full complement of minerals. It should be the salt of choice. It is a vital ingredient that needs to be part of everyone’s diet.”

Dr. Brownstein says, “Years ago salt manufacturers decided that pure white salt is prettier than off-white salt and that consumers prefer pretty white salt. So they started bleaching it. They also added anti-clumping agents to increase its shelf life. The problem is that the chemicals added to keep salt from absorbing moisture on the shelf interfere with one of salt’s main functions: to regulate hydration in your body. The sodium chloride in table salt is highly concentrated, denatured, and toxic to your body. Ever put salt on an open cut? It burns!!!

Refined salt has the same effect on internal tissues and causes a negative reaction: your body retains water to protect itself, and your cells release water to help dilute, neutralize, and break down the salt. This loss of water dehydrates and weakens your cells and can even cause them to die prematurely. Natural sea salt is far superior to chemically-treated iodized table salts as it contains all 92 trace minerals, and it’s only 84% sodium chloride while table salt is almost 98%”.

All this adds up to one thing. Table salt, whether marine or not, is toxic—it’s poisonous to the body and is responsible, in great part, to the onset of many terrible diseases including thyroid and metabolic dysfunction.

In addition to sodium and chloride, Celtic Sea Salt® provides other nutrients that naturally occur in salt beds, including trace amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, iron and zinc.

In accordance with standards set by The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, independent analysis indicates that levels of heavy metals are non-detectable (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, mercury) or well below published safe limits in Celtic Sea Salt®. Perhaps most importantly, Celtic Sea Salt® is not exposed to refinement and bleaching used to manufacture typical table salt and there are no additives. Celtic Sea Salt® is harvested from the ocean using the sun, the wind and shallow clay ionizing ponds, a method passed down through the generations.

Many Americans over consume refined salt by eating processed foods, fast foods and canned foods with salt added. Celtic Sea Salt® is a good alternative as part of a healthier diet. Recommended use is a half teaspoon per day.

Himalayan crystal salt that is mined 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan mountain range was subject to enormous pressure over millions of years and is over 99% pure. The higher the amount of pressure the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure of salt. Many Himalayan salts are sold cheaply but are collected from higher up near the tops of the Himalayan Mountains instead of from the deeper mines. These salts contain more impurities, do not have the same structure and are not as easily assimilated by the body.

Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state and is a delightful pink color. People often state that they use less of this salt than of other types. Many sizes are available from 3 oz in a salt grinder to larger 1-kg bags (2.2 lb). Salt chunks are also available for making your own “sole,” which is a saturated solution of purified water with Himalayan salt. A specific recipe (see below) must be followed to make sole and results in a solution that has much less sodium than just adding salt to water would have. Daily use of sole is believed to stimulate the peristalsis of the digestive organs, balance the stomach acid, support the production of digestive fluids in the liver and pancreas, regulate the metabolism and harmonize the acid-alkaline balance.

Start Each Day with a Healthy Sole

The ideal way to use Himalayan Crystal Salt is in the form of a sole (so-LAY). Drinking the sole when you awake each morning is like getting up on the right side of the bed. It provides the energizing minerals you need daily to recharge your body, and it helps set the stage for a day of vitality.

Essentially, a sole is water saturated with Himalayan Crystal Salt. The sole contains about approximately 26 parts of salt to 100 parts of water. Prepare the water and salt combination in advance (see directions to the right). Each morning place a teaspoon of the sole mixture in a glass and fill with 8 ounces of pure spring water. Drink it immediately or sip it while getting dressed, checking emails or preparing breakfast. The water helps transport the electrolytes throughout the body to all the many places they are needed.

How to Prepare Sole

Sole is a mixture of water and salt. The object is to saturate the water with dissolved salt so it can’t hold anymore. You’ll know that you’ve created sole when there are undissolved salt crystals in the water. You can’t oversaturate the water with salt. The crystals will simply drop to the bottom of the container.

Place several Himalayan Crystal Salt stones or Himalayan Crystal Salt granules about an inch deep in a glass container. (A canning jar works well.)

Cover the salt with two to three inches of pure, spring water. Let the salt dissolve for 24 hours.

If all the salt dissolves in 24 hours, add more salt to the container. The sole is finished when the water can no longer dissolve the salt and the salt crystals drop to the bottom of the container. There will always be salt crystals in the jar. It doesn’t matter if you have only a few crystals or many. The water is saturated and is now sole.

Cover the container to prevent the water from evaporating. Since salt is a natural preservative, the sole will keep forever. It can’t spoil or go “bad.”

The vibrational energy of the Himalayan Crystal Salt remains in your body for 24 hours.

A teaspoon of sole contains 480 mg of sodium, or 20% of the Daily Reference Value of 2400 mg based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Redmond Real Salt is mined in the United States and is another good unrefined salt that I also recommend. It can be used as a table salt and for cooking and is available in coarse and fine grinds and in a variety of sizes.

Real Salt comes from a mineral rich salt deposit formed by an ancient sea in Utah. It contains 62 trace minerals, and is without additives, chemicals, or heat processing of any kind. Real Salt’s unique pinkish appearance and flecks of color come from the more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals. The result is a delicate “sweet salt” flavor that you may not have experienced before.

Special Note: I was very disappointed to hear Dr. Max Gerson’s daughter Charlotte Gerson saying, “That sodium is never good, never in any form!” I have put Gerson in the best light in my writings and his organization does hold the high ground for organic raw juicing but there are some things they say that have no grounding in medical science or clinical reality. Talk to Dr. David Brownstein and he will tell you that often the first thing a patient needs is water and salt but its real salt not table salt he is talking about and prescribing for his patients.

I have written a full essay addressing this communication from Charlotte. And I have another essay on using seawater as a medicine and that will be seen in my Treatment Essentials book that is now finished and ready for publication on the 15th of February. To even think of discounting the medical miracles from the sea, which Charlotte is clearly doing, makes me shudder.


Resources

  • [2] These processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles, require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in the generation of these electrical signals. Too much or too little sodium therefore can cause cells to malfunction, and extremes in the blood sodium levels (too much or too little) can be fatal – http://www.medicinenet.com/electrolytes/article.htm

For more info from Greenmedinfo, sign up for their newsletter, here.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

cards

Continue Reading

Awareness

AMA Says Mature 12-Year-Olds Can Consent to Vaccination Without Parents

Published

on

At the recently concluded annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) in Chicago, AMA delegates adopted a doozy of a new policy. The powerful trade group agreed to develop model legislation that pressures state legislatures into allowing minors to “override refusenik parents on vaccination.”

In 2000, the Supreme Court reasserted the fundamental right of parents to oversee the care, custody and control of their children, a right recognized by states until children reach age 18. Where vaccines are concerned, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act—passed in 1986—legally requires health care providers to distribute vaccine information materials to the parent or legal guardian of any child to whom the provider intends to administer a vaccine “prior to the administration of such vaccine” [emphasis added].

Does it trouble the AMA that its pronouncement goes against legal precedent as well as social custom? Apparently unconcerned about “chipping away at parental rights,” AMA representatives are gung-ho about the organization’s new policy position. Not only do they want minors as young as 12 to be able to consent to vaccination regardless of their parents’ “flawed beliefs”—while still expecting parents to pay for the vaccines—they also believe that doctors should be the ones declaring a child “mature enough” to consent to vaccination. A question that anyone familiar with the AMA’s history should be asking is, why would we trust the AMA to make such vital decisions in parents’ stead?

… one-fourth of the AMA’s total revenues were CPT-related [the medical services coding system]—representing double what the organization received from membership dues. This gigantic conflict of interest, according to the Forbeseditorialist, makes the AMA more a tool of Washington’s interests than those of doctors.

Outsized influence

The AMA’s membership has been plummeting in recent decades. A 2011 analysis of its membership “woes” estimated that the Association captures just 15% of practicing doctors, down from 75% in the early 1950s. The AMA’s membership challenges do not mean that the organization lacks clout, however. In fact, the AMA has a variety of potent tools at its disposal to ensure that it “remain[s] relevant at the national level.” These include a political action committee and a vast lobbying war chest (with upwards of $20 million spent in 2018), all of which translates into outsized influence over both health care policy and public perceptions.

A 2016 report on Capitol Hill lobbyists rated the AMA one of the top “movers and shakers” in Washington, ranking among the “select few [that] have shown an ability to get things done.” A former AMA president modestly admitted as much, stating that “What the AMA does, and does best, is in the advocacy arena.” An analysis of the top 20 health care lobbyists found that the AMA ranked the highest in terms of “all-time spending” and ranked number five in spending “among all lobbyists, regardless of industry.”

advertisement - learn more

The lobbying firms that the AMA hires are often the same as those used by the pharmaceutical industry. The AMA Foundation’s roster of high-level Corporate Roundtable members consists almost entirely of pharmaceutical industry members—including the four companies that manufacture all childhood vaccines in the U.S. (Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Sanofi). Drug company advertising also dominates the pages of the AMA’s flagship journal JAMA, even though many are “the very same drugs that are…killing tens of thousands of Americans each year, according to senior drug safety researchers at the FDA.” Nor does the AMA hesitate to provide a “seal of approval” for products and drugs—earning sizeable advertising fees—“despite the fact that the organization has no capacity to test such drugs.”

In 2011, Forbes pointed out that the AMA reaps huge financial rewards through its Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) medical services coding system, used by health care providers, payers, and facilities across the U.S. Given the CPT system’s importance to large public programs such as Medicare, the system essentially amounts to a “government-granted monopoly” and AMA “windfall.” In 2010, one-fourth of the AMA’s total revenues were CPT-related—representing double what the organization received from membership dues. This “gigantic conflict of interest,” according to the Forbes editorialist, makes the AMA “more a tool of Washington’s interests than those of doctors.”

The AMA also has a sordid history of racketeering. Economist Milton Friedman wrote some years ago of the AMA’s concerted attacks on chiropractors and osteopathic physicians, and in a 1987 antitrust lawsuit brought by chiropractors, the judge agreed that the AMA had conspired “to contain and eliminate a profession that was licensed in all fifty states.” The judge also decried the Association’s “long history of illegal behavior.” In the early 2000s, the courts again found the AMA (along with managed care companies) guilty of racketeering through manipulation of the AMA’s coding software.

Did the zealous school nurse who recently administered a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to an 11-year-old boy without parental consent—while telling the mother that all he got was an ice pack—follow “legal, ethical, and professional guidelines”?

Undermining parents

Efforts to circumvent parents’ involvement in their children’s health care have been underway for quite some time, notably in the reproductive health arena. For services related to contraception and sexually transmitted infections, health providers are only too happy to shout down parental objections, arguing that young people’s need for confidential medical services is “more important” than parents’ right to be informed of their child’s condition.

Now, researchers are laying down the train tracks to make the same case for vaccines. In 2014, top-tier adolescent health experts described parental consent as a “barrier to vaccination” and called for “strategies that increase the ability of unaccompanied minors…to receive vaccines within the context of legal, ethical, and professional guidelines.” Did the zealous school nurse who recently administered a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to an 11-year-old boy without parental consent—while telling the mother that all he got was an ice pack—follow “legal, ethical, and professional guidelines”?

AMA critics argue that the organization has spearheaded a push for a “totalitarian medical pharmaceutical police state” almost since its inception in the mid-1850s. While such rhetoric is strong, it seems clear that on vaccine issues, the AMA is only too willing to stake out a draconian policy position. After the AMA announced its intent to ignore parents’ wishes, one conservative writer underscored the contradictions: “So while individuals need to be 21 years old before they are allowed to drink, and 18 years old before they are allowed to purchase cigarettes and elect a president, children at any age can make a decision to partake in vaccinations, regardless of the associated risks, of which there are enough to warrant the need for a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.” Legislators tempted to jump on the AMA’s bandwagon might want to think twice before throwing parental rights under the bus in such a cavalier manner.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

cards

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Pod