Vaccines as an exemplar of a decision framework

Vaccines as an exemplar of a decision framework

This is not an article about mRNA vaccines, thank heavens. That would be controversial, and I don’t do controversy, as you all know.

Well, OK, just a bit. But sometimes controversy is the opposite of what we need, which is commonality.

In my family right now, as in your family too I might guess, there are ongoing debates around healthcare decisions. The longstanding title of this newsletter is Future of Communications, not Future of Medicine. What I would like to offer to you is a “decision framework” that was the product of some heated discussions about my own children. It comes from a neutral place, and this is conceptually similar to where journalism is meant to begin from.

The social tension we feel is due to different geopolitical paradigms, which result in different outlooks on what constitutes a fact or a rational inference. All parties are typically deeply entrenched, and stubborn about change. Sometimes we cannot wait for events to resolve these differences, and have to make collective progress despite such vigorous disagreements.

By focusing on the meta level, we can find common ground on which we do agree. What is the underlying nature of the choice we are jointly facing, even if our personal selections diverge?

This has allowed progress to be made in my own family, because it does not depend on persuading the other party to change their position. We don’t have to agree the detail of what is relevant data to inform the choice, which authorities to trust, or how to deal with uncertainty. We only have to document the structure of those matters relevant to the choice, yet possibly in dispute. At this higher order level we can build confidence that the other party retains some rationality, at least according to our own paradigm.

I have fleshed out my raw notes into something approximating lucid English, and elaborated them. Strictly speaking this is not the original framework as agreed, but it is more coherent and complete. I repeat that this is not a guide to healthcare choices regarding mRNA vaccines. It is merely an exemplar of a decision framework, so you can work from this neutral conceptual starting point, whatever the decision you face.

This case study is in the context of a daughter who is very nearly 18 years old, hence neither parent has the ability to withdraw consent, neither in law nor in practise. I hope you find it useful, and can repurpose the approach to other areas of controversy that result from media-driven schisms. The future of human communications includes being able to listen and understand why we are angry at each other, not just slam the phone down in disgust when we have not “won” the debate with our preferred version of “the facts”.

Participation in lateral flow testing for Covid is the child’s own authority to consent to (not the school, parents, or government). We as parents support her in this choice and accept the outcome, even if we differ with each other, and disagree with her choice. This is conditional on informed consent being given.

We are offering a neutral decision framework merely to inform; we are not telling our child what to do. There are multiple independent healthcare choices (mask, test, vaccine) but they are coupled; one naturally leads to another. Each has a benefit vs cost (certain price + uncertain risk) tradeoff.

The vaccine is a life-changing irreversible decision with potential ruin risks (both ways). It is not required to agree or understand “big picture” society stuff to make a medical choice such as this. There is agreement among the extended family that there are concerns about mRNA vaccines and we would not recommend the vaccine at present for children. Therefore the contested matter is consent to the test, and whether this sets an unwelcome precedent that leads to potential future harm.

The heart of the issue is whether you see the choice as a conventional medical one (so the lifesaving vaccine is the result of the virus), or a criminal one (so the virus is the result of the depopulation vaccine). In the former case it is a question of analysis: taking a general set of principles that are well understood and drilling them down to a specific person and product. The relevant authorities are peer reviewed journals like PubMed and government advisors. In the latter case it is a question of synthesis: taking a diverse set of poorly understood data points, some of which are “upside down” or incorrect, and making a big picture sense of them. The relevant authorities are whistleblowers and dissidents.

In both cases there is a tension between the perceived interests of the group and individual. It is long established that there are legitimate interests of the collective versus the individual in healthcare, and we have seen this play out with quarantine of ships, leper colonies, TB treatment, and isolation of those with dangerous mental health problems. The individual also has legitimate interests against the collective. The Nuremberg Code is an example in the context of medical experiments that might be justified as being of benefit to the collective, yet come at the expense of the individual.

The tension between individual and group rights is central to vaccination debates, since contagion (both of the disease, and some vaccines via viral shedding) automatically create social externalities. In terms of risk management the onus for the safety case is on the party proposing the intervention (via positiva) rather than doing nothing (via negativa). The overriding concern ought to be the avoidance of ruin risks (death, sterility, serious disability).

There are both de jure and de facto safety issues. In the case of mRNA vaccines, they are experimental (de jure). It is also possible to have a licensed “safe” (de jure) vaccine that has gone through clinical trials suffer a manufacturing defect and (de facto) be unsafe. The testing kits have de facto safety concerns โ€” such as ethylene oxide as carcinogenic sterilisation agent with residue, and contamination from live viruses in manufacturing.

There are risks of deliberate harm in healthcare. In the case of conventional medicine, these are relatively uncommon. Rogue doctors are a problem, but most are not intentionally injuring their patients; iatrogenic danger is ordinary and accepted. In the case of systemically criminal medicine, the worst case outcome is genocide. There are precedents of governments, NGOs, and industry causing widespread knowing harm in relation to contagious diseases and/or medical interventions, e.g. Tuskegee experiment.

Genocide is a recurring theme in human history, with those who make the law often abusing that power; statue law is not a guide to morality โ€” cf slavery, which was “legal”. Vaccination is presented as being pro-social, and many engage in it on an altruistic basis, even it it risks harm to themselves. In the case of criminal medicine, this altruism is misplaced and potentially results in catastrophic individual and societal outcomes โ€” especially with mandatory vaccination.

There is no direct financial cost of the test to the family. The known fixed cost of the test is possible pointless self-isolation in event of a false positive. There is little personal risk from Covid as a disease to children, and testing does little or nothing to change the chance or outcome of catching it. Masks are similar: there is a physical health risk (e.g. bacterial pneumonia), but this is containable by minimising use and sticking to clean self-made masks. The main risk of masks is psychological and spiritual: unwitting participation in occult rituals or social engineering programmes.

The lateral flow test itself has minimal health benefit; the personal benefit is social comfort from conformity and compliance. The downside of conformity is a hit to conscience if you make the wrong choice, and catastrophic risk in cases of the collective making coerced or unwise choices (as with genocidal depopulation). “First steps are fateful”, so it becomes easy to take a murderous vaccine if you self-justify the less risky mask and test on the same basis.

“Fraud vitiates everything”: if one part of an enterprise is fraudulent, the long-established default in law is to assume it all is, and a contract can be repudiated. There is evidence of fraud in the PCR testing and the categorisation of Covid deaths. The extension of vaccines to all, when the risk is heavily skewed by age and comorbidity, is also not endorsed by medical science. There are senior level whistleblowers in industry and academia alleging criminal intent with mRNA vaccines.

Testing itself is unlikely to be an unrecoverable risk; a poor choice can probably be corrected later. There is a residual risk of the testing being used covertly to administer vaccine or other nanotechnology against the will and interest of the patient.