I am writing in response to the May 17 article about vaccinations (“Maine data shows dangerous rates of unvaccinated students”). It is alarming that so many parents are choosing a possible death sentence for not only their own children, but also for the children of other families.

I cannot understand why people deliberately choose to put their children at risk, when medical science has produced a vaccine for some of the world’s deadliest diseases, such as polio and measles that just 40 years ago often killed children.

Many parents cite the vastly debunked British medical “study” linking vaccines to autism. Despite that study being proven false, that vaccines do not cause autism, that study should never have been a causation study in the first place — this is a matter of correlation. It is true that both vaccines and autism diagnoses are on the rise, but that is not because one causes the other. We are better now than we ever have been at diagnosing autism, and more parents vaccinate their children because they understand the dangers of not vaccinating their children.

In the summer, as ice cream consumption rises so does the number of drownings. Does ice cream consumption cause drownings? No, it is the summer heat that drives us to ice cream trucks and swimming pools, causing both.

The most troubling aspect of this situation, to me, is that parents would rather have a dead child than a living child simply because they believe vaccinating their children will “give” their children autism. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would rather have a healthy, alive child with autism than a child who died because of a perfectly preventable disease.

Miranda Nivus

Pittston