It might sound ridiculous, but “potty
parity” is an issue…
The article “Survival
of the Richest” by John Easton (April/03) makes some
interesting points, both with respect to the interaction of medical
technology with personal behavior as well as the influence of
social status and education on health.
However, the most interesting topic was
the effect of social efficacy, “community-level prevention
that attempts to change social environments.” Somehow that
sounds a lot like “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Werner Zimmt, PhB’47, BS’47, PhD’51
of the Richest” misrepresents a number of public-health
issues. Quarantining an immunized animal for months to guard against
rabies is not “overzealous,” it is in fact poor public-health
practice that doesn’t conform to accepted recommendations.
As for “mandatory vaccination,” every state allows
exemption from childhood immunization based on either medical
or religious grounds, and some allow them on a philosophical basis
as well. The option of “the wealthy buying their way out”
does not exist. Courts have repeatedly upheld school vaccination
requirements as being of benefit to society because of their key
role in preventing disease outbreaks.
Sorry to throw a wet blanket on an otherwise
informative article, but in the future I would suggest that the
author (and others tackling public health–related topics)
seek opinions of public-health practitioners. They may be as close
as your county health department.
John Iskander, AB’86