Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pediatricians and Hospital Tours

So, the last stage in this Baby Olympics Qualifying Rounds seems to be to pick a doctor, and to visit a hospital. We completed both last week with flying colors - we have a doctor, and we have a hospital, and we so totally have no idea what we are doing now.

The hospital looks great; the new tower is really well done, with very nice rooms and bathrooms. We are preregistered and so can go straight to the maternity ward, where everything is cool, calm and collected; we will not have to sit in the emergency room and be sneezed on while in labor. So good news there.

For pediatrics, we ended up going with the practice, recommended by many coworkers. The pediatrician there turned out to be a Cornell grad as well, so we fully expect to receive the "extra special" service, reserved for fellow alumni only. :) The practice seemed fine (pediatrician was actually able to quote some recent medical studies.... more that a lot of other doctors can do, amazingly). It seems that they are really bent on giving the child every vaccine that has ever been invented. They even vaccinize girls against HPV, which is great for Gardasil making more money, but probably is not the most critical vaccine to be giving just for the heck of it. With how much noise there is now around vaccinations, and especially with having a boy (boys seem to be more affected then girls), I would like to have a doctor who can intelligently pick out and discuss the minimum of vaccinations needed for the baby.

I think vaccines are necessary, and not vaccinating your child at all is, frankly, cheating. The rest of people in our society took the risk of vaccination complications for everyone's collective benefit: to stop a terrible disease. Measles, polio and chicken pox all came close to elimination that way. If you don't vaccinate your kid, you are taking advantage of other people's sacrifice and risk without taking on any risk yourself - you are cheating the system. And if everyone did what you do, the disease would come back in a second. It's not fair play. It's taking advantage of what others have done for you, in quite a selfish manner.

But, at the same time, some vaccines are more crucial then others. I would not dream of not vaccinating Wombat against measles or polio. I might ask for no-mercury vaccine, but he is getting a vaccine. The risk of disease is just so much worse then the risk of vaccine malfunction. But, vaccinating against non-fatal, non-critical sicknesses that seem to just make money for the pharmaceutical companies? I'm not sure if every kid must have every vaccine in the world. I mean, now there's even this:



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