November 25, 2021

Anti-vaxers, risks, side effects, and the power of medicine

A popular antivax theory says: "vaccines have possible side effects and risks, and nobody is willing to take the responsibility, you must even sign a disclaimer".

So let me tell you a story about risks and side effects, about the power of medicine, and the importance of the "signature".

On a beautiful February afternoon in 2014, I was taken to the hospital for a serious medical emergency. And there's this doctor that puts a disclaimer in my hand to sign. Well, imagine me in the ER, drugged through all channels, naked and ready for surgery, but - professional reflex, I start reading the bloody paper. It said I agree to the surgery, and I take full responsibility for everything that might happen. And I panic: "gosh, I am too drugged to read this, so what happens if I don't sign?"

To which a serene and humorous doctor says: "Oh, if we don't operate on you right now, you're going to die."

I signed the paper instantly (she did explain after, that my chances of survival with the operation were typically at 90%, but pretty much zero without it).

They operated, they saved my life.

Yada-yada-yada, now I'm a strong believer in medicine.

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