SIR – Autistic Rights Together campaigner, Tim O’Leary, in his letter (Southern Star, 13/8/16) attacks me for complaining about the attempts to deny the Irish people the right to hear both sides in the debate about the pros and cons of vaccines. The film Vaxxed is, as Tim rightly says, ‘currently traversing the US’ and indeed it is also being made available in other countries.
Tim goes on to ask ‘do we want to return to the bad old days of oppression and ignorance?’ The answer is clear – nobody wants to live in an age of oppression and ignorance.
Oppression, according to the dictionary, is ‘the cruel and unjust use of power.’ Ignorance is defined as ‘lack of knowledge and information.’
Might I suggest that Tim and Autistic Rights Together are, however unintentionally, doing a great disservice to their cause. Vaxxed is a film that should be made available for viewing by everyone – particularly by parents and all those faced with the choice of whether or not to vaccinate.
Tim viewed it. Everyone should be given the same opportunity.
Everyone should have access to the knowledge and information that would enable them to make a fully informed choice, especially parents who must choose what’s best for their children.
By intentionally keeping people in the dark we are doing exactly what none of us today, including Tim O’Leary, wants to do, i.e. taking us back to the bad old days of oppression and ignorance, of lack of knowledge and information, and of our freedom to choose.