At its forthcoming conference, the B.M.A. is to debate the motion that children who have not been vaccinated against measles should not be allowed to attend schools and risk the lives of other children. No jab, no school.
This has naturally provoked the rearguard of the anti-MMR lobby, but also raised the predictable outcry that this sanction would limit something called 'parental choice'.
The moral choice facing the parent is depicted as being one of individual freedom versus subservience to the 'greater good' - to which all vaccinated children are offered as a statistical sacrifice. This is an entirely fake distinction. A polarisation contructed to paralyse collective instincts and blind us to the fact that they generally act in the interest of the individual, not some abstract impersonal entity called the state.
The actual choice facing parents is whether to send their children unprotected into an environment in which it could contract a possibly deady disease. Statistically, an unvaccinated child is far more likely to be permanently harmed by a measles epidemic than by the MMR vaccine. And the more children who go unvaccinated, the more likely such an epidemic becomes. So for the responsible intelligent parent, there is no choice. It is not a choice between the good of The State and the good of the child, but only of the good of the child. An objectively selfish decision, as most co-operative decisions tend to be.
'Choice', as in so many misuses of the word, is purely for idiots. And as idiots, their statistical children would possibly not benefit from any schooling they would be forced to miss.