Poll: Nearly 2/3 of US parents won’t vaccinate their children against the H1N1 swine flu

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A doctor vaccinates a patient in a municipal vaccination centre in Nice, southeastern France, September 9,2009 (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of U.S. parents say they will hold off having their children vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu or will not get them immunized at all, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The findings, published by Consumer Reports, underscore one of the main challenges facing the Obama administration as it readies a massive swine flu vaccination roll-out — how to persuade the most vulnerable people to protect themselves against the new virus.

H1N1, which emerged last March and became a pandemic in June, puts children and young people at greater risk than the elderly for severe illness and death. Pregnant women and people with underlying medical problems such as lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk.

Consumer Reports, a magazine published by the nonprofit advocacy group Consumers Union, surveyed 1,502 adults by telephone from September 2-7.

Read morePoll: Nearly 2/3 of US parents won’t vaccinate their children against the H1N1 swine flu

Court denies mother all access to her children

A spokeswoman for Mothers 4 Justice, a pressure group, said: “When you consider what this woman was put in prison for, it is absolutely appalling. She was put in a jail with murderers and criminals.”


A COURT has denied the former wife of a rich City financier all access to their three children after she was found to be turning them against him.

In an extraordinary ruling, the woman, who was also judged to be too indulgent a parent, has been legally barred from seeing her children for three years. She was jailed for approaching one of them in the street and telling him she loved him in breach of a court order. She is facing a possible return to jail this summer for posting a video about her plight on the internet.

The woman judge presiding over the case justified banning contact between the mother and her children because they were being placed in “an intolerable situation of conflict of loyalties resulting in them suffering serious emotional harm”.

During supervised visits with her, the children made serious allegations about their father which were later shown to be unfounded. Social workers believed the mother was either prompting them to make the claims or they were saying them just to please her.

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National “DNA warehouse” bill passes

Passing the House of Representatives on a voice vote, S. 1858 has been sent to President Bush for signature. The Newborn Genetic Screening bill was passed by the Senate last December.

The bill violates the U.S. Constitution and the Nuremberg Code, writes Twila Brase, president of the Citizen’s Council on Health Care (CCHC). “The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research,” she states. “It does not require consent and there are no requirements to inform parents about the warehousing of their child’s DNA for the purpose of genetic research. Already, in Minnesota, the state health department reports that 42,210 children of the 780,000 whose DNA is housed in the Minnesota ‘DNA warehouse’ have been subjected to genetic research without their parents’ knowledge or consent.”

The federal government lacks the Constitutional authority as well as the competence to develop a newborn screening program, states Rep. Ron Paul, M.D. (R-TX). He states that all hospitals will probably scrap their own newborn testing program and adopt the federal model, whatever its flaws, to avoid the loss of federal funding.

“Drafters of the legislation made no effort to ensure that these newborn screening programs do not violate the privacy rights of parents and children,” Dr. Paul noted.

Ms. Brase has called on President Bush to veto the bill.

Additional information:

Source: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Oakland cops: Mind if we search your house for guns?

OAKLAND _ A six-month pilot program where Oakland police officers would knock on doors and ask permission to search homes for guns got the green light from the City Council’s public safety committee Tuesday night.
It goes to the full council Tuesday, when the council will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

The consent-to-search program, as it is called, is based closely on a similar effort launched in St. Louis in 1994 and on ongoing programs in Boston and Washington, D.C. The idea is simple: To ask parents for permission to search their homes for weapons their children may be hiding.

Under the program, officers would request permission to search homes for guns. Guns would be taken away, but officers would not pursue prosecution unless the weapon was tied to a crime.

The St. Louis effort fizzled after initial success, but Oakland’s Deputy Police Chief David Kozicki said that in Washington, police officers say they cannot keep up with requests from parents to search their homes. Such is the interest in the program, he said.

Councilwoman Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown), who is on the public safety committee, said she was surprised to hear that and hoped Oakland might see the same results.

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