When did it become acceptable to take medical advice from celebrities? Has society degraded so much that celebrity worship and obsession clouds the legitimacy of actual medical advice from a doctor?
Celebrities preaching advice about vaccinations, extreme diets and alternative medicine don’t have the expertise to advise us on anything and for the people following along, it’s not about being healthy and having kids best interests in mind – it’s about an image and how people see them.
Their actions are symbolic of a reckless disregard for the truth and a reckless disregard for science and technology. The consequences of not vaccinating kids are far more grave in some circumstances. Right here in Alberta, Ezekiel Stephan, a 19 month old baby boy that died after contracting bacterial meningitis and whose parents, David and Collet, have been found guilty of failing to provide the necessities of life. The reason? They opted to use a combination of peppers, garlic, horseradish, natural remedies and medical advice from WebMD over taking their child to a doctor, even after a nurse advised them to do so after physical tests for the child being inflicted with meningitis were positive.
The parents also chose to take the advice of a naturopath, where on a trip to pick up some suggested natural remedies, the boy had to be put in the back of the vehicle on a mattress because his back and neck stiffness was so extreme that he couldn’t sit in a car seat. And the death of this child could have been avoided by administering a vaccine – once at 4 months and the other at 12 months, which is suggested by Alberta Health Services. But these parents had never taken their child to see a doctor – in fact, they didn’t believe that their sons symptoms were extreme and as a result of relying on the Internet, believed that he had viral meningitis and not bacterial meningitis, which he was diagnosed with and is the worse of the two. Bacterial meningitis can also be treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids.
There has been a real transgression from respecting the advice of trained and qualified professionals, to taking the advice of someone that did something funny on tv that one time. This faction of society is caught up with being trendy, rather than doing what’s logical and backed by experts. And their choices aren’t about lifestyle, or protecting kids, it’s about promoting an image and how people see themselves.
David and Collet Stephan have now been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life in their son’s death, but how many more children will have to die before the science skeptics realize that vaccines and doctors save lives?