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Two scientists present their views on vaccinations.
Smoking tobacco causes cancer. It causessmall cell and squamous cell cancers of thelung, as well as oral and nasopharyngealcarcinoma, gastrointestinal carcinoma, and05cancers of half a dozen additional tissues. Itis highly correlated with the second leadingcause of death in the United States, and thedecision to not smoke reduces one's risk oflung cancer by more than half. This information10will surprise no one. It is, therefore,baffling that 1 in 5 Americans continues touse tobacco. Yet there is one behavior onthe rise that is still more contrary to humanhealth than smoking—and perhaps more15inexplicable as well, as it cannot be explainedaway by chemical dependence, nor by socialcustom. I speak, of course, of the decision tonot vaccinate one's children.There is apparently a belief among these20erring individuals that the ailments againstwhich the Centers for Disease Control recommendswe vaccinate are somehow lessserious than we, as a society, have been ledto believe. There is a belief, moreover, that25because these diseases are easily preventablethrough modern medical science, they must,implicitly, be easily treatable as well. Let usclarify this matter.Not long before it was eradicated by30vaccination, smallpox virus erased entirecultures on two continents, where fatalityrates rose as high as 90%. For those whosurvived, it was a cause of permanent, oftendebilitating disfigurement. Prior to the HiB35and DTaP vaccines, epiglottitis caused byHaemophilus influenzae, and diphtheriacaused by Corynebacterium diptheriae wereboth exceedingly common causes of deathin young children, largely because of their40tendency to develop rapidly and obstruct theairway. Death typically occurs well beforemedical attention can be accessed, and thus,in spite of all our modern medical advances,these diseases remain just as dire as they45were two hundred years earlier.We could continue this list. In the past,for instance, rubella was the most commoncause of congenital deafness, and mumpsa major cause of sterility. Children who50survived the measles, meanwhile, ran andstill run the risk of the virus reemerging yearslater as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis,a frequently fatal infection of the brain. Thepoint, however, is clear. Vaccination is neither55a conspiracy, nor merely a matter of modernconvenience; nor is it entirely without risk.But vaccination, plainly put, is the only effectivemedical intervention to safeguard ourchildren from some of the deadliest and most60virulent diseases known to man.
Let us dispense entirely with the fallaciesand the delusions; there is not an analyticallycredible source on the planet that will defenda link between vaccines and autism spectrum65disorder. But for many conscientious parentswho choose not to vaccinate their children,the decision is based not on delusion, butupon a simple, mathematical reality.Philosophically, medicine is premised on a70balance between beneficence, and nonmaleficence.That is to say, for a medical interventionto be deemed ethical and appropriate,the risks of not treating an individual mustalways outweigh the risks inherent in the75treatment itself. Risk accompanies everymedical intervention, and vaccination is noexception. Specifically, in a certain subsetof individuals, exposure to either the gelatinor egg protein components used to stabilize80vaccines can result in a life-threateninganaphylactic reaction. Additionally, so-called"live-attenuated vaccines", including thosefor varicella, rotavirus, and MMR, containliving strains of their corresponding pathogens85that, through genetic modification,have been rendered pathologically inert.Rarely, these attenuated strains may undergomutation, and revert back to their pathogenicforms. Immunocompromised individuals,90such as those infected with HIV, are particularlyat risk for this dangerous outcome.While it is true that adverse vaccineevents are uncommon, it is equally truethat, within the American population, most95diseases against which vaccinations protectare uncommon—more uncommon, in fact,than the incidence of adverse vaccine events.Thus, so long as the majority of the Americanpopulation remains vaccinated, an unvaccinated100individual will be well-protectedthrough a phenomenon described as "herdimmunity." The decision not to vaccinate,therefore, hangs upon an appreciation of thedynamic balance between beneficence and105nonmaleficence as it pertains to the individual.While some may argue that takingadvantage of such a strategy violates an ethicalobligation to society, one cannot help butwonder: when presented with the numbers,110will these individuals truly value the healthof society above that of their children? Theirmath, I would wager, just doesn't add up.
1. With respect to the author's argument as a whole, lines 1-12 ("Smoking . . . tobacco") most strongly serve to
2. The primary purpose of lines 19-27 ("There is . . . as well") is to
3. As used in line 30, the word "erased" most closely means
4. The author of Passage 2 would most likely agree that an unvaccinated individual would be most likely to survive
5. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
6. As used in line 61, the phrase "dispense entirely with" most closely means
7. What is the overall relationship between the two passages?
8. The author of Passage 2 would most likely respond to the final sentence of Passage 1 (lines 57-60) by stating that it
9. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
10. The respective attitudes of the authors of Passage 1 and Passage 2 toward parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are best described as
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