Dad Won't Allow Girls to Take Any Medication Because it Makes Them 'Weak'

Richard Lanigan
ITV Good Morning Britain

Although the debate over whether to vaccinate your kids rages on, one father from London has taken his public distrust in modern medicine one step further. Richard Lanigan and his wife, Janette, have chosen not to give their three daughters any medication -- not an ibuprofen for a fever nor antibiotics for an infection. Lanigan, a retired chiropractor, believes that his kids are healthier living without the crutch of medication and plans to keep his kids "safe" by avoiding them.

  • Richard and Janette decided together to never medicate their daughters for any reason and are standing by it.

    According to The Daily Mail, 61-year-old Lanigan and his wife won't allow, twins Molly and Isabelle, ages 14, and younger daughter Eloise, 11, to take any medicine because they believe it strengthen their immune systems. They also say that they don't believe in ingesting unnatural substances. 

    Speaking with The Daily Mail, Lanigan said he feels "the evidence clearly demonstrates that you can strengthen children's immune systems by allowing them to play in the dirt when they are young and get infections. I strengthen my girls' immune systems by allowing them to get diseases."

    The dad told reporters that by allowing his daughters to deal with disease without medical intervention, he is helping nature to take its course. "I look at my children and they deal with illness quite well," he said. He added, "If you look at how we've evolved, humans became stronger by getting illnesses. The process of natural selection meant the strongest survived."

    Lanigan said that he believes relying on vaccinations and medications could create a "weaker species," and that he could "live with natural selection, even though it seems pretty harsh."

    He told reporters that instead of using medicinal pain relievers, he and his wife rely on things such as ice and flat Coca-Cola to treat the girls' aches and pains. 

    "Ice is the most effective anti-inflammatory and pain relief for my kids. You don't see them popping pills," he said. "But there's no money for the pharmaceutical industry in frozen water, so they encourage people to take drugs."

    He also said that once when his daughter had a stomachache, he gave her flat Coke because the acid in the drink kills bad bacteria in the stomach. He said he then let her sleep in the bed with him and his wife. 

    "I try and take the common-sense approach to health care and think about how our bodies work. If my girls got hit by a bus, they'd be going to A&E [the emergency room] -- that's what emergency medicine is good at. But they're not so good at health care. If they were, we wouldn't have the rise in autoimmune disorders and chronic illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes we're seeing," he said.

    He even told a story of how when his youngest daughter was born, all three of his children contracted whooping cough -- an illness that can be fatal if left untreated in small children. But the dad claimed that because he wife was breastfeeding their newborn, it was Janette's breast milk that helped his baby fight her way through. 

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  • But since speaking out, Lanigan has received major pushback.

    The anti-vaccination advocate appeared on Good Morning Britain on August 7, and the host of the morning program questioned his stance on modern medicine. "Why do you think you know more than doctors?” Kate Garraway asked. 

    "Why would they know more than me?” Lanigan responded. Lanigan then explained that he himself was a rectal cancer survivor who turned to alternative medicine to help see him through his harrowing ordeal. The dad said he had decided not to continue with chemotherapy when his cancer came back in 2012, saying he instead, "consumed 60 grams of cannabis oil over a three-month period. Not only am I alive [today]" he said, "I am free of cancer."

    When he spoke with The Daily Mail, Lanigan reiterated his stance on vaccinations for kids. "'I just don't believe children are healthier with vaccines," he explained. He said none of his three daughters had been vaccinated for mumps, measles, rubella, or retrovirus because he believes that the health care system should focus on nutrition and exercise instead of meds.

    "The medical profession needs to be thinking about why children develop severe adverse reactions to what were once normal childhood illnesses," he said, though he clarifies that he is not "antidrugs." "You definitely need them in some cases," he conceded. 

    But Lanigan is sure in himself because his daughters have mostly been healthy throughout their lives, "I must be doing something right because it's unusual to have children who have never needed antibiotics," he explained. 

  • In his TV interview, the dad even went as far as to say that rubella, an infection that children are usually vaccinated against, is "not dangerous."

    Lanigan said rubella, also known as German measles, is only dangerous to pregnant women and revealed that none of his daughters have been vaccinated for the disease. 

    He then pulled out a pamphlet from the British Medical Journal to support his claims. "In 1959 there was a measles epidemic with 60,000 cases in the first two months," Lanigan said. "The advice from the British Medical Journal at the time was 'Don't panic' because complications are extremely rare. Now it's described as a killer disease. That is not true unless your immune system is compromised or you live in the third world."

    But host Garraway quickly pointed out that 1959 was a long time ago and that the research into vaccinations (and rubella in particular) have evolved exponentially since then. 

  • Viewers of the morning program had mixed reactions to the interview. Some disagreed heartily with Lanigan and his antimeds beliefs.

  • And one person remarked on his "breathtaking ignorance."

  • Other viewers took the dad's side. One person tweeted that it was a job well done.

  • And this mom said that she regrets vaccinating her four kids. "Good on you," she wrote.

    "We all know that children who play in the dirt and go to playgroups have stronger immune systems and are less likely to develop autoimmune disorders," Lanigan told The Daily Mail. "If my kids' bread dropped on the floor I'd pick it up and put it back in their mouths." But recently, this dad admitted, he allowed his 14-year-old twins to make a decision that might surprise people who have been following him.

    "The twins recently had vaccinations to go on a school trip -- I let them make that decision," he explained. His daughters had never had a shot before the trip and Lanigan said that although he respects his daughters' desire to travel abroad, "If I had known that they would have to have the vaccinations to go on the trip, I probably would've said no."

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