Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missionary Department Letter

Here it is, a jpeg of the Missionary Department’s response to the letter on vaccinations for missionaries. The name and address of the sender have been blacked out to protect the sender’s privacy.

Now I can’t tell anyone what to do for their mission or their health. Whether or not you wish to be vaccinated is your decision and I think that people should have the freedom to choose to be vaccinated or not be vaccinated.

However, if I were going to serve a mission, I would personally do the following: I would find a doctor whose views are congruent with my own (the internet makes this easier; or other natural living forums can be great places to get some referrals) or I might try seeing a naturopathic doctor or a sympathetic osteopath. I would write and sign a personal statement saying that I am exercising my right as stated the in Missionary Department’s letter to refuse any and all vaccinations. My statement would probably read something like this:

Per the policy stated in the accompanying letter from the Missionary Department’s Health Services, I (Name), am exercising my right to refuse any and all vaccines associated with a Latter Day Saint Mission. I understand that this may limit my options of locations for my mission call and am agreeable to this condition.

First and Last Name
(Signed) First and Last Name

Depending on legal counsel, I may even include language stating that I will hold the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints harmless if I contract a vaccine preventable illness in the mission field.

Since most of the application process for missionaries is online now, documents can be scanned and uploaded to the online application. I would take my statement and a copy of the letter to my physician or naturopath and have him or her scan and upload the documents to the “Optional Documents” section of the application underneath the heading that says “Physician’s Examination”. (In this section, the physician can upload any confidential information or other “other documents pertinent to this missionary’s recommendation”.) If for some reason there was a problem with adding the documents to the online application, I would simply send the letter and personal statement to Church Headquarters addressed to the Missionary Department.

Other ideas I might try if I were putting in my papers:
  • Get a thermographic breast scan in place of a mammogram. (There are some naturopaths who do these.)
  • Get a blood titer test to measure antibodies for diseases and thereby prove immunity. If I couldn’t find a doctor who would do this for me, I would probably look into ordering my own through osteopath Sherry Tenpenny’s site.
  • Or I might get a homeopathic prophylaxis for some diseases. I would look for a certified homeopath through the Council For Homeopathic Certification’s website to do this.

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