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“Health fascism” in Australia? The anti-vaccine loons think so

Although The Amazing Meeting is now over, my vacation is not, at least not yet. My wife and I decided to take an extra couple of days off before winging our way home tomorrow. Originally I had planned on posting “reruns” for a couple of days, but something popped up that I felt obligated to comment on. I knew this was coming, thanks to the inimitable Australian skeptic and promoter of science-based medicine Dr. Rachie, with whom I shared the podium both for the Science-Based Medicine Workshop and on a panel on Saturday at TAM. She told me that something would be coming on Monday (Australian time, and, as Dr. Rachie put it, Australians live in the future), and it sure did. (As an aside, I also learned from industry insiders that Jenny McCarthy has actually taped the pilot for her new Oprah-sponsored talk show. I was very happy to learn this good news from Dr. Rachie as a remedy to the depression I felt after learning that Jenny McCarthy may very well soon be gracing our airwaves.)

I was too tired last night to blog it (I am still in Vegas, after all), but I’ll try to lay down a bit of discussion right now, before we head off to breakfast and then to Hoover Dam. The story is about the Australian Vaccination Network, which, for those of you not familiar with it, is pretty much the Australian equivalent to Generation Rescue or the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) here in the States, and it’s entitled Anti-vaccine group accused of harassing, misleading parents. The first part of the story shows why AVN is pretty much just like Generation Rescue and NVIC:

The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has compiled a damning report into Australia’s most prominent anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).

The HCCC accuses the AVN of providing inaccurate and misleading information and selectively quoting research out of context to argue against vaccination.


Yes, indeed. These are the same sorts of things that GR and NVIC do all the time. However, I’m a bit concerned. It appears that Australia may have an even loonier bunch of anti-vaccine zealots than we do here in the States:

The report has also noted accusations that the AVN harassed the parents of a child who died of whooping cough last year, after they advocated the importance of childhood vaccination.

On the other hand, maybe not. After all, the anti-vaccine movement recently tried to harass me, but I don’t have a child who died of whooping cough, and I don’t know that even GR would do something like this:

Dana McCaffery died of whooping cough in March last year.

She was 32 days old – too young to be vaccinated against the disease also known as pertussis.

What her parents Toni and Dave did not realise was that they lived in an area with one of the lowest rates of childhood vaccination in the nation, and one of the highest rates of whooping cough.

The McCaffery’s live just a few kilometres from the headquarters of the AVN.

They say they have been harassed by the AVN since their daughter died, and that the AVN has made repeated claims that Dana did not die of pertussis.

“Our daughter wasn’t even buried and it began,” Ms McCaffery said.

“It began the day before her funeral, it began with phone calls to the health department to get her medical records contending she didn’t die of pertussis .”

An email from Paul Corben, the director of Public Health at the North Coast Area Health Service, backs up Ms McCaffery’s claims.

In the email, Mr Corben says Ms Dorey called him on March 12 seeking details of Dana’s death and accusing him of misleading the public by attributing the cause to pertussis.

Ms Dorey denies the claims. She repeatedly says Dana “supposedly” died of pertussis, but the McCaffery’s say that is an “offensive statement”.

“It’s the most offensive statement because I watched over five days my beautiful daughter suffer the most agonising death,” Ms McCaffery said.

“Then to be put in a position where I have to prove that she died of pertussis that’s even crueller.”

Mr McCaffery says Ms Dorey is “she’s diminishing the fact that pertussis can and does kill”.

“It is going to lead to someone making a decision that could put their baby or their family at risk and that’s not right,” he said.

The McCaffery’s have made their own complaint to the HCCC about the AVN.

Although it’s been my observation that GR routinely tries to downplay any outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases, I’m unaware of any case where it’s actually targeted the parent of a child who died of a vaccine-preventable disease for harassment of this type. All that can be said is that Ms. Dorey is despicable beyond all belief, a truly vile human being.

Perhaps that’s why the merry band of anti-vaccine loons at Age of Autism are so strongly supporting her. Martin Walker couldn’t resist posting a spectacularly over-the-top screed entitled Health Fascism in Australia. As a member of CFI, I found its introduction particularly hilarious, so much so that I had to pause to clean the coffee off my keyboard as I read it again. It’s just that funny:

The sinister Skeptics group, agents of what used to be CSICOP now the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) organised from the US and linked to the major corporate lobby groups, American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) and American Council Against Health Fraud (ACAHF), which is in turn linked to the Australian CAHF) are making ground in Australia. Supported by authoritarian ideological influences in government and Big Pharma, the Skeptics are running constant attacks on homeopathy, natural cancer treatments, those who question vaccination and those who support any form of alternative medicine.

With the present world fiscal crisis, all those linked to Big Pharma and Science are fighting a bitter battle to preserve drug company competitiveness. But where fascist influences in government and health with most force come together is in attacking anyone who speaks out about freedom of choice and expression in relation to vaccination.

Over the last year the international corporate lobby Skeptics, have been behind a campaign against the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN). In 2009, one of their trolls, a lay person with no standing in medicine or government complained about the web site of the AVN to the office of the State Government funded Health Care Complaints commission (HCCC) an organisation that accepts complaints against groups found be giving out false information about health.

Truly, the conspiracy woo is strong in this one. You know, I really wish we “sinister skeptics” did have that much power. But we don’t. In fact, it often seems as though we’re perpetually fighting a rearguard, losing action against various quackery and pseudoscience of the type that AoA so frequently advocates. I will admit, though, that it was a nice touch to include ACSH, given that I don’t particularly like ACSH and have complained about its pro-industry bias before. The whole corporatism thing so nicely dovetails with accusations of fascism:

This is the hub of Health Fascism happily embraced by the HCCC evidently supported not by the votes of their constituents but by Big Pharma. The pharma-skeptics and corporate science geeks, have pushed this censorious line in Britain and America. In Britain they went so far as to draw up a set of rules suggesting that no one other than scientists or doctors should be able to write anything, or say anything in the media; no lay person was to be able to hold a view on their own health or that of others. The next step after ruling that no one other than scientists can speak about health, is the bringing into force of fascism. No discussion about compulsory vaccination – force it on people, no discussion about alternative medicine – ban it, no discussion about what constitutes democracy – bring in scientific and evidence based politics and human behaviour.

Damn, I envy those Australian skeptics. They’re fascists with real power to use their jackboots to crush any dissent from the science-based medicine line that vaccines are safe and efficacious at preventing the deaths of babies like Dana McCaffery. I need a trip to Australia right away to study the dark arts of fascistic skepticism under the tutelage of people like Peter Bowditch. Unfortunately, for all his fascistic tendencies, Bowditch notes with sadness that the actual HCCC recommendations are less stringent than they should be in a science-based health care paradigm.

Fascism. Antivaxers keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

Enough blogging. Back to vacation. For one more full day, anyway.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

176 replies on ““Health fascism” in Australia? The anti-vaccine loons think so”

Notice that Ms. Dorey is complaining about a layperson stating an opinion on this topic. I suspect that this is the pot calling the kettle black. Even if she has a medical credential (an RN would be called “Ms.”), it’s rich that she’s the one calling “fascism” while trying to control who is allowed to speak.

Not surprising, though.

(I have no medical training either. But I have studied logic.)

I’m reasonably sure that every time I click on a link to AOA, my IQ goes down by a couple of points. I really need to stop clicking.

Meanwhile… wow. Ms. Dorsey is as despicable a human being as you’ll find. I wonder sometimes how people like her can live with themselves, until I remember they’ve actually managed to convince themselves that they’re right.

I’d definitely say that the AVN is a somewhat loonier version than what we have here in the U.S. I mean, Dorey was spreading David Icke’s whole Reptilian population control conspiracy about the H1N1 vaccine and “chemtrails”. But then, she is from the U.S. (sorry, Australia), so perhaps she’s not necessarily indicative of the Australian brand of antivaxer.

At any rate, yes, she is a callous, dangerous ignorant individual grasping at whatever straws can support her delusions.

Vicki- Meryl Dorey has *no* medical qualifications or credientials

on a side note- are RNs really called ‘Ms’ in the USA just because they are RNs?!

Here in Aust, I’m still a Miss even tho I’m an RN lol. (and it’s 3:30am here, I should be asleep but am still elated after our lateline report!)

Tabs
(Proud to be a member of Stop the Australian Vaccination Network- http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=76305414878)

@KittyB
Good on ya miss!

As for foisting idiot Dorey on you (from the US), we got Ken Hamm, creationist loon in return (from down under) I think. Hamm just spreads stupid though, not death, so Dorey is really in a class by herself.

I hope the HCCC is collecting data and making graphs that show the incidence of vaccine preventable disease increases where vaccination rates are low. Publishing those graphs could help a lot.

Every time you click on an AoA article, an angel tears its wings off. Maybe.

(I’m also a member of the “Stop AVN” group on Facebook.)

KittyB–

No, RNs aren’t called “Ms.” because they’re registered nurses. They’re called Ms., Miss, Mrs., or Mr. depending on gender and preference. Fairly often, that comes out to “Ms.” in something like a newspaper article, though the nametag in the hospital may say “Mary” or “Mary L.” than
“Ms. Lee.”

Wow her post is amazing. She could have jumped into alien coverup’s and reptilian governments and i would have not even blinked.
She is bat sh#t crazy… to use the medical termanology

Science. SBMers keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

Methinks Dorey should read a few dozen books about civilian life in Mussolini’s Italy, Franquist Spain and Nazi Germany before she continues throwing around the term ‘fascist’.

The next step after ruling that no one other than scientists can speak about health, is the bringing into force of fascism.

Godwin, anyone?

In Britain they went so far as to draw up a set of rules suggesting that no one other than scientists or doctors should be able to write anything, or say anything in the media; no lay person was to be able to hold a view on their own health or that of others.
Complete news to me, and I’m in the UK. I think this stems from complaints from people like Ben Goldacre that hardly any newspapers nowadays use journalists with a science background to cover science and medicine stories; the result is a nearly-daily spew of breathless articles about some amazing new study or medical breakthrough that anybody with some science knowledge can see is total bovine testicles.
Equating public grumbles that journalists should write about subjects they’re familiar with to ‘drawing up a set of rules’ enforcible by law is paranoid craziness.

I am disgusted. That crazy antivaxxers would harass a family just to further their “vaccines are bad, not good!” party line. It also shows a pathetic desperation. Positively revolting.

“I’ll try to lay down a bit of discussion right now, before we head off to breakfast and then to Hoover Dam.”

You are such a party animal, Orac.

Am I the only one who questions the wisdom of laws against groups giving out “false and misleading” information against health? Yes, I realize that false and misleading information can kill but OTOH, there is the potential for laws like this to be misused.

Michael @ 18:
It’s a fine line. On the one hand, we need freedom of speech and diversity of opinion. On the other hand, it is irresponsible to shout “fire!” in a crowded theater (even if there really is a fire, because panicking the crowd will not help matters).

I’ve noticed that Australia has exported some especially aggressive cranks. It’s the homeland of Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, and at the beginning of the 20th century, it supplied the world with Alexander Dowie, father of the modern flat-Earth movement.
A major irony I pointed out a few days ago on an older thread: Anti-vaxxers expect us to take their word that if a child was diagnosed with autism after being vaccinated, then the vaccine caused autism. But they are skeptical whether outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are caused by not vaccinating.

@18
We already have laws against false and misleading health claims; the US FTC and FDA regularly whack all manner of quacks, cranks, and charlatans. Consult the Google for “quack miranda warning” for examples of how to easily skirt the regulations.

Given how slowly the FTC and FDA act and the number of absolute nutters in the US promoting a veritable dog’s breakfast of crap cure-alls, products, and advice, I don’t see that these laws have impeded free speech one whit. If they did, Dana Ullman would be breaking rocks with Gary Null on Rikers Island while Oprah shivved Jenny McCarthy for the last stale blueberry muffin from breakfast.

I’m unaware of any case where it’s actually targeted the parent of a child who died of a vaccine-preventable disease for harassment of this type
————————
What harassment? They called the health department. If the McCafferys want to use their child’s death to start a vaccination campaign, questions surrounding the death are legitimate.

From the article:

They say an AVN representative posted a message on Facebook urging them to “tell the whole story”.

“One day I hope the parents of this baby tell the whole story and are able to see how they have been used by a group of ruthless scumbags with alterior (sic) motives,” the Facebook post said.

“Then maybe they will be able to honour their child’s life with the truth.”

Mr McCaffery says the comment is “reprehensible”.

“To suggest that we’re being used by a group of people – that we’re not honouring our daughter’s life with the truth – is just reprehensible. They are terrible people,” he said.

Holy crap!

As one who works in the Australian health system I feel I must set the record straight. We are not heading toward fascism. Quite the opposite. According to an 88 year old woman I saw earlier today we are actually heading toward communism.

We are not heading toward fascism. Quite the opposite. According to an 88 year old woman I saw earlier today we are actually heading toward communism.

According to several prominent authorities [1], there is no difference. Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Unionism, Humanism, Darwinism, etc.: Indistinguishable.

[1] Limbaugh, Jirgal, et al, 2009

What harassment? They called the health department. If the McCafferys want to use their child’s death to start a vaccination campaign, questions surrounding the death are legitimate.

Not exactly a wagon to be hitching yourself to there sid; AVN’s actions have been reprehensible; they had it confirmed that the death was due to pertussis but pressed on anyhow. Having a death from pertussis in Australia kind of flies in the face of Dorey’s contention that there have been no deaths of pertussis in Australia for decades. Would you care to defend that statement as well sid?

@Science Mom

Looks like 16 deaths in 13 years. Not that scary.
—————–
…pressed on anyhow

Pressed on how? I’m just now hearing about this story. What’s been so reprehensible considering these people have put themselves into the media spotlight. And it looks like this pressing has brought to light one possible error in the prescription of the wrong antibiotic

Pressed on how? I’m just now hearing about this story. What’s been so reprehensible considering these people have put themselves into the media spotlight. And it looks like this pressing has brought to light one possible error in the prescription of the wrong antibiotic

You don’t try claiming that these people are essentially using their daughters death in some giant conspiracy. You dumbass.

The AVN is based in Bangalow, Northern Rivers, NSW. I don’t know if it’s related to the AVN being there (probably?) but the Northern Rivers has the lowest vaccination rates in the country – 79.6%, which is below the level required for herd immunity (http://holocenehominoid.blogspot.com/2010/06/travel-advisory-for-northern-rivers.html).

The Northern Rivers region roughly covers the top half of the white area on that map. I live a few hours south of there and have family who regularly go to the Northern Rivers to see their family. Could it be pure bad luck that their kids all contracted whooping cough (non-fatally) within the last year? As far as I’m concerned, the sooner AVN is shut down, the better.

Well, you know, Science Mom, a doctor has to sign that death certificate. And all doctors (with the exception of DAN doctors of course) are Big Pharma shills. So obviously you can’t believe a word any one of them says.

Actually pertussis was a really big problem here last year. Thankfully there haven’t been any deaths here where I live; but I attribute that largely to the fact that we have close to a 100% child vaccination rate in this particular corner of the country; and largely to sheer dumb luck, that none of these affected adults had close prolonged contact with small infants. (And surprise surprise, even with close to 100% vaccination rates, we have no higher rate of autism here than anywhere else in the country.) The problem is that, in adults, it just presents like a really nasty cold. It can last for several months, but most adults assume it’s the common cold and they’re just having a bad run with it. Important health reminder: Your pertussis shot does not confer lifetime immunity. Get a booster, save yourself from a nasty cold, and potentially save a baby’s life.

Sid, you are a sick bastard. Only 16 lives, who cares? With an attitude like that does anyone actually trust you enough to let you around their kids?

Fascism. Antivaxers keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

The problem is that, in adults, it just presents like a really nasty cold. It can last for several months,
———————–
Really?

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heic/id/pertussis/
Adult pertussis is under-reported, with many adult cases going unrecognized

Acute Bordetella pertussis Infection in an Adult
by S Smith – 1996 – Cited by 7 – Related articles
B. pertussis infection in adults usually presents as
a mild infection, sometimes only a cough.

NJDHSS, Communicable Disease Service: Pertussis
Older children or adults often have no symptoms or will only have mild symptoms

Sid Troll, what level of death from pertussis concerns you? Do you prefer the American stats:

Pertussis:
Year___Cases__Deaths__Year___Cases__Deaths
2000____7867____ 12___1950__120718__1118
2001____7580____ 17___1951___68687___951
2002____9771____ 18___1952___45030___402
2003___11647____ 11___1953___37129___270
2004___25827____ 27___1954___60886___373
2005___25616____ 39___1955___62786___467
2006___15632____ 16___1956___31732___266
Total_103940____140_________426968__3847

The death figures for 2004 through 2006 are from the 9th slide in this set.

How many babies need to die before you care?

“Looks like 16 deaths in 13 years. Not that scary.”

Come Offit, Sid.

There were 17 pertussis-related deaths in the U.S. in one recent year (2000). Not as bad as in 1934, when 12,000 died. And not remotely as bad as the situation currently seen worldwide, when 350,000 a year die from this disease, largely due to the inavailability of vaccine.

And of course, antivaxers like Sid focus only on developed countries (poor nations are believed unworthy of consideration) – but even in developed countries there’s more than death from residual pertussis to concern us.

Infants under 6 months of age have a higher morbidity and mortality risk. Those under 2 months of age have the highest reported rates of pertussis-associated hospitalization (82%), pneumonia (25%), seizures (4%), encephalopathy (1%), and death (1%). The principal complications of pertussis are: apnea, secondary infections (such as otitis media and pneumonia), and physical sequelae of forceful coughing.”

Should we subject more children to the misery of this disease, potential long-term effects and death, and place adults (particularly those who are immunosuppressed) at risk by pooh-poohing the consequences of infection and trying to turn people against vaccination?

Sid and his buddies think so.

Ah Sid, Sid, Sid… the deliberate ignorance bit is really old. If you’re looking this stuff up, you know full well that it is young infants who are at risk of death (from apnea). You choose to focus on adults and older children because it conveniently supports your contention that pertussis is not dangerous. Polite people call this “cherry picking”. I call it “being a giant dick”.

Sid Troll:

Adult pertussis is under-reported, with many adult cases going unrecognized

That is an argument for more adults and teenagers to get the Tdap. I guess you did not realize you actually posted something pro-vax.

It looks like Dorey is a homeopathy supporter. Go figure.

How is this for a solution? If rich white Australians refuse to have their children vaccinated, their children are taken away and given to the Aborigines.

To clarify – ‘pertussis-containing vaccine’ does not mean it was a contaminated vaccine; it means the infants in question had recieved only one shot of the vaccine. Here, it is given at 2, 4, and 6 months, and again at 4 years. If the children in question recieved only 1 dose that would mean (most likely) they were between 2 and 4 months old.

Just to add some more information to the harrassment (as if it weren’t enough already)

Meryl Dorey sent her husband Ken Dorey to the home of the Grandparents of Dana McCaffery the day before Dana’s funeral. He extended his condolances and then said that Meryl would like to speak to the family about Dana’s death… the DAY BEFORE THEIR DAUGHTER’S FUNERAL.

Then! if that weren’t enough! after her outrageous, offensive, incorrect and ignorant e-newsletter about Dana and the nature of her death- and then an AVN member sent it to Dana’s Aunty… all before they had even had the funeral.

So Sid- screw you.

Jinxy- the reason the other families and their lost babies aren’t as public is because they chose not to be, and after how Dana’s family has been treated- can you really blame them?

Chris asked Sid troll

How many babies need to die before you care?

Based on Sid’s commenting record, I believe it would depend on the amount of melanin in the babies.

jinxy, the two babies had only had one vaccine each. They needed to have had at least three to become mostly protected. Even then the vaccine is really only 80% effective.

You seem to be playing the nirvana fallacy, that if it is not 100% effective, then it is not worth it. Which is quite wrong. It means that herd immunity is even more important. Again, the Tdap needs to be taken up by any adult who will be near children.

Here is a little educational video which explains herd immunity.

“There has been mountains of media exposure for Dana Mcaffrey but none whatsoever for the other two babies who were vaccinated.”
How about the “blackfellows” who died of H1N1, while David Burd and AoA were announcing that Australia had no flu epidemic?

“The Sinister Skeptics.”

Would they play Vaccine Fascists?

I love the fact that AVN complains about all doctors and scientists being tied to Big Pharma or part of the conspiracy, but then when someone who isn’t a doctor or scientist comments, then we get this – “one of their trolls, a lay person with no standing in medicine or government”.

I find myself compelled to ask: if it were a virus that killed you in a very painful manner over the course of about a month, and the vaccine prevented it in 99.998% of cases, would you still be calling it “health fascism” to force it on everybody ?

All the ruling does is force them to have a disclaimer admitting that they have no scientific backing for their craziness – they are still allowed to post or say whatever they want. The fact that they are screaming so loudly shows what they are really after – misleading parents.

Dorey has been digging herself deeper today in truly hilarious fashion, it’s so nice to enjoy the show rather than being enraged. Although I did honestly believe the Walker article was a Poe until I realised it was from AoA.

I had pertussis as an adult and it nearly killed me. I was off work for weeks and whooping for months. They didn’t have the vaccine when I was a kid and my Mum never mentioned that I was the one who didn’t get it then. You want to know what it feels like? Cough your lungs empty then clamp your neck shut. Anti-vaxxers want to do this your babies.

Since I was stupid enough to fall for the anti-vaccine rubbish my kids had pertussis too, heart-breaking how they fight for breath in the night. Since then we have been vaccinated for everything possible and I check the record every year to keep us all up to date.

@49. Yes, that is all the ruling does. But the accompanying report which is being quoted by mainstream media here in Australia is damning in it’s assertion that the AVN do not provide credible, accurate information regarding vaccination and are, in fact, an antivaccination organisation. It then goes on to point out the errors in the AVN’s infamous “10 Questions” information, as well as other information provided.
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission is a govt body and is subject to some very complex laws and red-tape just like all govt bodies. The fact that they looked at the complaints against the AVN, who do not provide health care nor have registered clinicians at the helm of the organisation, and decided that as the AVN provide health care information and advice they actually do come under the HCCC scope speaks volumes to me. If Meryl Dorey and the AVN were registered clinicians/providers then the recommendations would have been far stronger.
This is a start. Little steps. And a govt authority has investigated and stated the AVN are not credible and do not provide accurate information. This severely limits the access to the media as a “vaccine expert” that Meryl Dorey once enjoyed in this country.
As for her and her group’s actions re the McCafferys – her true agenda and persona has been exposed and she has been called to account.
More investigations with other government authorities are also currently underway as well.

I could barely get through the linked article.

There are not words in the English language to express how vile this woman is, and everyone else supporting her in harassing a couple who have lost a child.

She couldn’t even wait until after the funeral? She is disgusting filth. The whole month surrounding my son’s funeral was the worst, most unbearably painful time of our lives. The fact that there are people in the world who would ignore common decency and attack Toni and Dave McCafferty for trying to save other infants from their daughters fate, makes me sick.

I hope this is just the beginning of the anti-vax groups getting their actions exposed in the media. I love how Ms. Dorey tries to deny some of her more reprehensible statements, which shows that she knows what an inhuman monster she appears to be.

She is a slimy weasel and I hope public opinion lambastes the AVN for being the acrimonious bunch of ass-bags they are.

@Science Mom

Looks like 16 deaths in 13 years. Not that scary.

Leave it to you to simultaneously avoid the challenge and make yourself look like even a bigger wanker. Sixteen isn’t none now is it?

…pressed on anyhow

Pressed on how? I’m just now hearing about this story. What’s been so reprehensible considering these people have put themselves into the media spotlight. And it looks like this pressing has brought to light one possible error in the prescription of the wrong antibiotic

Dorey and her merry band of assholes harangued the McCaffrerys unmercifully. That you could defend Dorey’s actions speaks volumes. The antibiotic charge is complete tosh and demonstrates not only what little you actually know about pertussis but gleefully swallow and regurgitate whatever shite is fed to you. You’ve hit rock bottom and just keep digging.

Sid,
Maybe you are confusing Africa with Australia. We know you approve of deaths in Africa. Pretty insulting Sid.

These are preventable deaths Sid. With no autism downside based on surveys comparing high vaccine areas with low uptake areas. Statistically, if vaccine rates were over herd immunity levels, 15 of the 16 would not have died.

Dorey should be made to care for whooping cough infants and babies as part of her insufficient punishment for being a vile, classless asshole. You could certainly join her Sid.

Pressed on how? I’m just now hearing about this story…

Right — Sid Troll is coming in late, and hasn’t even bothered to get the full picture, but already he’s pretending he’s the authority. I guess that’s an indicator of how desperate he is to gloss over the visible evil done by others in his camp. What a worthless cowardly little shit.

Although it’s been my observation that GR routinely tries to downplay any outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases, I’m unaware of any case where it’s actually targeted the parent of a child who died of a vaccine-preventable disease for harassment of this type.

What continent is “bensmyson” from? I’m sure he/she would happily join such a pile-on.

@Mikema
Statistically, if vaccine rates were over herd immunity levels, 15 of the 16 would not have died.

As per usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about. There is no pertussis herd immunity due to the vaccines limited efficacy and people’s unwillingness to recieve boosters throughout their lives

PEDIATRICS Vol. 112 No. 2 August 2003, pp. 405-406

COMMENTARY
The Science and Fiction of the “Resurgence” of Pertussis
James D. Cherry, MD, MSc

Today B pertussis is circulating and causing disease in adolescents and adults of all ages and all have had previous infections and many past immunizations. There are about 1 million cases of pertussis in adolescents and adults in the United States each year and about 13% of all prolonged cough illnesses in adolescents and adults are attributable to B pertussis infection.8

——————————–

@DLC

if it were a virus that killed you in a very painful manner over the course of about a month, and the vaccine prevented it in 99.998% of cases, would you still be calling it “health fascism” to force it on everybody ?

Yes

———————-

@Kitty

Meryl Dorey sent her husband Ken Dorey to the home of the Grandparents of Dana McCaffery the day before Dana’s funeral

Had not seen this in the media reports. If true would certainly be out of line. Do you have a source/link?
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@Chris
How many babies need to die before you care?
Sid Troll, what level of death from pertussis concerns you?

What does that mean? I hear it a lot from your side. Does care/concern mean to do what YOU want and vaccinate. And force everyone else to do the same?

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@Sciencemom

Dorey and her merry band of assholes harangued the McCaffrerys unmercifully

You continue to avoid the issue – “harangued the McCaffrerys unmercifully” – how???

@Jack
Ah Sid, Sid, Sid… the deliberate ignorance bit is really old. You choose to focus on adults and older children because it conveniently supports your contention that pertussis is not dangerous. Polite people call this “cherry picking”. I call it “being a giant dick”.

Try reading the posts before you comment. I was responding to this:

The problem is that, in ADULTS, it just presents like a really nasty cold. It can last for several months,

@Sid Offit: Ms Dorey’s behavior and comments are linked in the main post by Orac. Click and read. In Kristen’s comment at 52, she links the the Australian ABC where they have a transcription of the program.

@Sid Offit,

Perhaps you could set a good example by demonstrating more awareness of the larger picture in your own writngs.

A few straight-forward answers to direct questions might help too.

@11

Awwww, what a cute attempt at immitation! You should take note of a couple of things, though, before attempting it again:

1) When Orac uses it above it is preceded by a lengthy takedown of the person using the word in question explaining how wrong they are and exactly why they are wrong. In this case, no one was really talking about science all that much, and if they did use the term incorrectly, I’m having a hard time finding it. If I’m wrong, enlighten me. Be specific and thorough.

2) The phrase is usually used when there is a specific word that is actually being used wrong (and often) by the party in question. If Orac had made a post in which he repeatedly used the word “science” to describe something that was clearly not science, and the commenters then did the same, your usage would be appropriate.

These handy tips might make your usage of the montoyaism more effective. As is, it seems like you were attempting to do a drive by egging in a vacant lot with a handful of pingpong balls.

AVN’s harrassment of this family was well documented
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I just see where they contacted the health dept

@Sciencemom

Dorey and her merry band of assholes harangued the McCaffrerys unmercifully

You continue to avoid the issue – “harangued the McCaffrerys unmercifully” – how???

Not even close sid. All of the supporting documentation has been linked to and discussed, not my problem if you need it spoon-fed to you. The onus is upon you to keep up and follow along.

Now, is 16 none? Is Dorey factually correct by stating that there have been no pertussis deaths in Australia? Is she justified in her tactics against these parents because they chose the road of advocacy? Rather hypocritical since Dorey claims to be an advocate. Why would she deny what she has done if she was so justified?

Sid Troll, you were the one saying it was “only” 16. Which is why I asked you how many kids have to die of a vaccine preventable disease before you care. Perhaps I should have said before you cared about the science and facts.

Which you don’t. Just like you don’t care when the sick and dying children are darker than bleached linen.

Oh, and there is video of Dorey’s disgusting comments in the presence of the parents of the baby who died. She is reprehensible. It was what was quoted in the above news clip. She first denies it, and then says “and forgets about the children who died from the vaccine.” Except on the Channel 7 debate she cannot provide evidence of children dying from the vaccine.

Sid Offit @ #57 cites the article “The Science and Fiction of the ‘Resurgence’ of Pertussis by James D. Cherry, MD, MSc.

Highly recommended reading. Quote from the article:

The modest increase in reported pertussis is of concern but hardly deserves the title of “resurgent” disease because the rate of illness in the United States is still 50-fold less than in the prevaccine era.

Sid,
So you are saying the 16 deaths were guaranteed? Nothing could be done to push the adult booster uptake? AVN had nothing to do with adults not wanting vaccines? Interesting slant. I still think you & Dorey-ass ought to spend time with afflicted kids.

My Cherry Quote
There are about 1 million cases of pertussis in adolescents and adults in the United States each year

Your Cherry Quote
the rate of illness in the United States is still 50-fold less than in the prevaccine era.

If we did have 50 times more pertussis in the prevaccine era we’d have 50 million cases each and every year in a population of 150 million. Impossible. Highest prevaccine estimates I’ve seen point to the entire birth cohort – which is/was 3 millionish. Maybe he’s mixing reported cases with actual to get his 50 fold?

@Mikema

So you are saying the 16 deaths were guaranteed?

No. One could mandate that every man woman and child in Australia be vaccinated over and over to prevent ~1 death a year. It just depends on what type of world you want to live in

——–
AVN had nothing to do with adults not wanting vaccines?
Can there be no voice countering those of the medical establishment?

Besides, most of the health care workers/adults who don’t get the flu shot don’t fail to get it becausue of NVIC or AVN – they’ve probably never even heard of those organizations – so perhaps at the margin they could have an effect but I don’t imagine I’d be significant.

@Sid Offit

Perhaps you should have kept reading past the second paragraph from your link on treating pertussis. If you had you would have seen this (emphasis added):

For treatment of pertussis among infants aged <1 month (neonates), no data are available on the effectiveness of azithromycin and clarithromycin. Abstracts and published case series describing use of azithromycin among infants aged <1 month report fewer adverse events compared with erythromycin; to date, use of azithromycin in infants aged <1 month has not been associated with infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS). Therefore, for pertussis, azithromycin is the preferred macrolide for postexposure prophylaxis and treatment of infants aged <1 month. In this age group, the risk for acquiring severe pertussis and its life-threatening complications outweigh the potential risk for IHPS that has been associated with erythromycin. Infants aged <1 month who receive a macrolide should be monitored for IHPS and other serious adverse events.

While erythromycin is not recommended, it can be used, particularly in light of the fact that efficacy for azithromycin and clarithromycin, according to your link, is unknown in the <1 month old age group.

Sid:

Can there be no voice countering those of the medical establishment?

Interesting that the rate of vaccination around AVN is lower than for other (saner) areas of AU. You make it sound as if harassing parents of dead children is a reasonable voice countering anything. AVN are pigs. You should pick your battles more carefully.

@Sid Offit: (#67) You quote:

Under 1 month erythromycin not recommended.

First, those are USA guidelines, and Australia’s may be different. I haven’t been able to find them yet. Even in the USA, however, the Merck Manual says it may be used in infants >1 month. (It gives the preferred drug for under 1 month as Azithromycin) Neonate doses are based on weight per kilo in preference to age. If a baby weighs enough, they may be given a drug even if not “recommended” for their age. If they are 3 months old but under a certain weight, they may not be given a “safe” (for their age) drug.

Second, Dana WAS about 1 month old (medically, months go generally by 28 day periods, not necessarily calendar months when dealng with neonates/infants). So, her doctors may have decided to give e-mycin as the safest antibiotic for an infant her age and weight. Again, Australia’s recommendations may be different for treatment of pertussis in a neonate. They were trying to save Dana’s life, you know. They may have gone with the other drug in hopes of doing so.

Let me go on the record saying that “harassing parents of dead children” is bad. I’m not in favor of it. But I haven’t seen anything that falls into that category – quote with link would be nice. And I’m sorry but I don’t have the time to become an internet detective to find these horrible things. The group is making the charges let them produce the evidence.

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