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The late Spike Milligan once wrote “The Army works like this: if a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it”. I get the distinct impression that a small, but significant proportion of what passes for civilised (and supposedly educated) humanity also subscribes to this dangerous philosophy. From Wikipedia:

A pox party is a party held by parents for the purpose of infecting their children with childhood diseases, most commonly chickenpox, thus acquiring some immunity to the disease. According to the Washington Post, parents who expose their children to the virus in this manner believe that this method is “safer and more effective than using vaccines.”

Leaving aside for the moment the fact that “pox” as a generic term also includes smallpox and syphilis – would any sane parent deliberately expose their child to those? – how do these people justify their actions? Vaccination exists, is effective (greatly reducing the risk of contracting the disease, and attenuating the severity if you are unfortunate enough to contract it despite vaccination) and easily available.

The reasoning is simple, though rooted in strange logic and astonishing arrogance. Arguments advanced to justify a deliberate attempt to make your children ill include:

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