Health Department Should Promote Best Practices

The Public Health Department should promote the best medical practices for our people

By Reed Thorley

So, our county commissioners, in their finite wisdom, have chosen a Public Health Department physician, who may be best known locally for extremist letters to the editor, who is also against vaccinations. The path that MDs take says, “First do no harm.”

I was reminded of my little childhood buddy in the ‘50s who had polio. One of his legs was about the size of my wrist. He got around pretty well with a leg brace, and as a child, I didn’t think too much about it.

It may be that today’s parents are too young to remember life when people lived in fear of diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria and others. The fact that we don’t live with that level of fear is that public vaccinations have reduced or eliminated many diseases. A recent exception is the scare, reported in the news, of measles exposures at a major airport recently.

Do the sensible people of the Flathead Valley really want a person who holds backwards opinions to be a medical leader, which could then lead to grievous harm to our children? Will crutches and braces become a good investment opportunities? The Public Health Department should promote the best medical practices for our people.

Dr. Ann Bukacek needs to make a public statement to clarify whether she can support this vital service, honoring her Hippocratic Oath, or she should step aside. The potential harm from these important decisions may not be obvious now, but there are diseases that could make a comeback if high levels of vaccinations are not maintained.

Reed Thorley

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