Parents are actually staging pox parties to infect their children with wild chickenpox. They have an open Facebook group to help each other do this. If that isn't far enough, they're buying, selling and shipping via the postal service, infectious, virus-contaminated waste in an effort to infect their children. To say nothing of the risks to people with compromised immune systems like anyone undergoing chemotherapy, or anyone who has had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
Blogger Mike the Mad Biologist says:
The only difference between this and bioterrorism is intent, which given the health risks holds very little importance.I have to follow this up with a giant WTF??
How anyone could think infecting a child with unattenuated live measles, mumps or rubella virus is safe? This is nothing more than child abuse through microbiology.
I had chickenpox as a kid, along with all the usual "childhood" disease (measles, mumps, chickenpox, even German measles); the only vaccines I recall getting were smallpox and the polio vaccine, when the oral Sabin vaccine first came out. I remember going to the doctor when my brother had one of them - mumps, I think - and being the one who got the shot. I must have been 4, and really felt abused. (I think they gave me gamma globulin to reduce the severity of the infection). In my mind, the vaccinations are tremendous advancement, and given the choice of getting a vaccination or sick, I always get the vaccine (which reminds me - it's getting past time I should get my flu shot this year!) . There has been a buttload of misinformation on vaccines and autism since a paper linking them by Andrew Wakefield was published in the UK and later retracted (short pdf).
Actress Jenny McCarthy has been so vocal about this issue, that someone has put up a Jenny McCarthy Body Count page to track the number of preventable illnesses and deaths caused by her convincing parents not to get their children vaccinated.
I have neither the time, space nor inclination to get too much more involved with this. The risks of autism from vaccines are not at all clear or large; the risks of dying from these diseases are both clear and larger than the vaccine risks. Children used to die of these every year before the vaccines became so widespread. The idea of deliberately giving your child these illnesses and exposing them to the risk of complications or death, sounds exactly like "child abuse through microbiology" to me.