Brief Outline: For DTaP/IPV/Hib' Followed recommendations of the health professionals. For MMR' Gathered information from the media, and talked to friends who were doctors. His own experience of working with children with learning difficulties informed their decision.
Background: At time of interview' married, Twins, 18 months old. Parent's occupation' Mother- Barrister, Father- Teacher. Ethnic background' White-British.
Acknowledge and explain all the risks involved with immunisations, rather than dismiss parent's...
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Father' I think that they have to empathise with the difficulty of making a decision under the kind of glare of media speculation. Suffice to say I think they probably presented it as a kind of considered decision to be made rather than an inevitability. I think if they'd presented it as an inevitability I think people who maybe think they're informed and are worried will then recoil from that. So I think they should present it as something that is to do with, you know, it's a considered decision rather than a kind of inevitability. And I think probably it's probably best if they relate their own sense of dilemma and research and some of that uncertainty in it all.
I think if a doctor presents it as a certainty and is blas' and brash and confident, over-confident, that would certainly make me recoil and think twice. Because it would make me feel they're selling it to me rather than giving me the facts, which I'm sure the facts can be disputed otherwise they wouldn't have been a scare. I'm sure the facts are that actually you can't say categorically that it doesn't cause autism. So if someone were to tell me, maybe statistically this and this and this, but if they were to be very persuasive and very categorical that would make me recoil from any clarity about what I actually was going to do.
The scientific basis of the research study was dubious and had conflicts of interest.
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The issue later on about MMR was not a difficult one really. I suppose a sort of political conviction about public health and the need to be part of collective good health and obviously our own children. Not to say I wouldn't, you know, I care obviously about my own children's health. And also having felt as though the main proponent of some of the difficulties with MMR and autism etc was actually the institution which he worked for, which I understand was the Royal College or maybe not, no, maybe a central London hospital anyway, that had very, very significant links with a producer of an alternative set of immunisation possibilities. So I felt as though there was kind of insider dealing and it was all very dodgy that kind of research.