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Andy Wakefield exonerated because John Walker-Smith won his appeal? Not so fast there, pardner…

I sense a disturbance in the antivaccine crankosphere.

Actually, maybe “disturbance” is the wrong word. Unabashed whooping it up is closer to correct. High-fiving is perhaps a better term. Or maybe partying like it’s 2005. The question, of course, is what is the inciting event was that sparked such widespread rejoicing in the antivaccine world. I’ll give you a hint. It has to do with the hero of the antivaccine movement, the man who arguably more than anyone else is responsible for the MMR scare that drove down MMR vaccine uptake in the UK to the point where measles, once vanquished, came roaring back. Yes, we’re talking about Andrew Wakefield, whose incompetent and now retracted research launched a thousand biomedical quacks. (Actually, that’s probably an underestimate.) However, we’re not talking about Andrew Wakefield directly. Rather, we’re talking about Professor John Walker-Smith, one of the co-authors of Andrew Wakefield’s now rightly discredited 1998 Lancet paper. The anti-vaccine crank blog is going wild with the news that Professor Walker-Smith has succeeded in his appeal of the General Medical Council’s decision that he should be struck off the medical record along with Andy Wakefield:

A High Court judge quashed the finding of professional misconduct against Professor Walker-Smith, who had carried out some of the tests for the controversial paper that suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Mr Justice Mitting also called for the reform of the General Medical Council’s disciplinary hearings after the lengthy battle by Professor Walker-Smith to clear his name.

The Wakefield paper prompted a nationwide scare over the safety of the jab after the study of 12 children was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

On AoA, we’ve been treated to some articles with titles like this:

The full ruling can be found here. Let’s dig in, shall we? As usual, what the antivaccine movement is promoting and what is in the ruling are not necessarily the same thing. If there’s one thing that’s obvious from the outpouring of verbiage from various antivaccine blogs, Twitter feeds, and press releases, it’s that the antivaccine movement somehow thinks that this decision exonerates Andrew Wakefield, too. Let’s disabuse them of that delusion right now, shall we? According to Mr. Justice Mitting:

At a press conference, which Professor Walker-Smith did not attend, convened to accompany publication, Dr. Wakefield stated publicly the view which he had previously expressed privately to Professor Walker-Smith that he could no longer support the giving of MMR vaccine. The joint view of Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch, stated in a letter to Dr. Wakefield on 21st January 1998, was that it was inappropriate to emphasize the role of MMR vaccine in publicity about the paper and that they supported government policy concerning MMR until more firm evidence was available for them to see for themselves. They published a press release to coincide with publication stating their support for “present public health policy concerning MMR”. Dr. Wakefield’s statement and subsequent publicity had a predictable adverse effect upon the take up of MMR vaccine of great concern to those responsible for public health. There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked.

Correct. There is no respectable body of opinion supporting Wakefield’s hypothesis that the MMR is somehow linked to autism or the entity Wakefield made up called “autistic enterocolitis.” It’s rather annoying that Mitting would refer to it as a “body of opinion.” One can only speculate that it’s his legal background that leads him to use this particular phraseology. No scientist would. Scientists would (and do) point out that not only is there no good scientific evidence supporting Wakefield’s hypothesis, but there is a lot of evidence that falsifies his hypothesis. There’s a reason why Wakefield is viewed with such contempt in the scientific world. Actually, there are multiple reasons, not the least of which is that Wakefield is an incompetent scientist willing to commit research fraud to provide evidence for trial lawyers to use in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers, a plot that Brian Deer uncovered and described in excruciating detail and with excruciatingly detailed documentation. This ruling says nothing about that; it’s primarily about methodology and Mitting’s legal ruling that the GMC didn’t adequately explain the rationale behind its findings that Walker-Smith committed professional misconduct. Mitting’s decision also relies a lot on his clearly poor understanding of medical research issues. (More on that below.)

It’s a simple fact, though, that Mitting’s decision regarding has nothing to do with whether Wakefield is a fraud or a pseudoscientist or not. Nor does it have anything to do with the question of whether vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccine, cause autism, as much as Wakefield’s many apologists would like to convince people otherwise. In fact, as I’ve pointed out before, Wakefield’s being struck off the British medical registry has nothing to do with the validity of the science. Even if Wakefield had prevailed and been allowed to keep his medical license, his claimed findings that vaccines cause autistic enterocolitis and/or autism would have been just as bogus. Legal rulings are not science. They can be based on science, but often they are not. It’s nice when they don’t go against science and nicer still when they resoundingly agree with science, but such is not always the case. To try to argue that a legal ruling such as the one regarding Professor Walker-Smith exonerates Wakefield is an even worse folly than arguing that his being struck off necessarily proves he is a quack. He’s an antivaccine quack based on science; it matters not what the courts say.

Admittedly, I haven’t paid much attention to Professor Walker-Smith. Back when I wrote about Andy Wakefield being struck off, I said very little, if anything about Walker-Smith. The reason, of course, is that I viewed the Walker-Smith decision as being at best peripheral. I didn’t know enough about him to decide for myself whether the GMC decision was justified or not. Still, it’s useful to look at the court’s decision to see why it concluded that Walker-Smith didn’t deserve to be struck off.

The first thing that needs to be considered is a dichotomy. John Walker-Smith appealed the GMC decision. Andrew Wakefield did not. Why not? It’s hard to say. Was it because he was too busy being the medical director of the quack clinic Thoughtful House in Texas? After all, at the time he was already making plenty of cash without a medical license. There was no need for him to appeal, which would cost a lot of money and effort. He had already left England anyway, his reputation trashed long ago. In contrast, Professor Walker-Smith appears to have had more reason to fight. He had stayed behind and, unlike Wakefield, who had never been particularly respected, Walker-Smith had been highly respected in his field. There was a lot more motivation for him to try to salvage his reputation.

In any case, here is the conclusion of the appeal decision:

For the reasons given above, both on general issues and the Lancet paper and in relation to individual children, the panel’s overall conclusion that Professor Walker-Smith was guilty of serious professional misconduct was flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion. Miss Glynn submits that the materials which I have been invited to consider would support many of the panel’s critical findings; and that I can safely infer that, without saying so, it preferred the evidence of the GMC’s experts, principally Professor Booth, to that given by Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch and by Dr. Miller and Dr. Thomas. Even if it were permissible to perform such an exercise, which I doubt, it would not permit me to rescue the panel’s findings. As I have explained, the medical records provide an equivocal answer to most of the questions which the panel had to decide. The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed. It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician. Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.

As you can see, the decision all boils down to the question of research and whether Walker-Smith thought he was doing research or actually treating autistic children using interventions that were clinically indicated. If the interventions were clinically indicated, then it could be argued that he did not commit professional misconduct. If the interventions were done with the knowledge that they were being done for research purposes rather than to treat the children, then Walker-Smith is guilty of misconduct. The reasons, of course, are the lack of ethical committee approval yet, as is discussed in the decision:

At the heart of the GMC’s case against Professor Walker-Smith were two simple propositions: the investigations undertaken under his authority on eleven of the twelve Lancet children were done as part of a research project – Project 172-96 – which required, but did not have, Ethics Committee approval; and they were clinically inappropriate. Professor Walker-Smith’s case was that the investigations were clinically appropriate attempts at diagnosis of bowel and behavioural disorders in children with broadly similar symptoms and, where possible, treatment of the bowel disorders or alleviation of their symptoms. The GMC’s case was that he was conducting research which required Ethics Committee approval. His case was that he was conducting medical practice which did not. Accordingly, an unavoidable and fundamental question which the panel had to answer was: what is the distinction between medical practice and research?

In light of this introduction, what follows is profoundly contradictory in that the judge acknowledges that what Walker-Smith did could be reasonably viewed as research, but exonerates him because it could also be viewed as therapeutic:

The panel made no express finding on this issue and cannot have appreciated the need to do so. It was not helped by the premise upon which the GMC’s case was founded. There was a good deal of evidence, to which I refer in greater detail below, that Professor Walker-Smith and his team were undertaking what any reasonable body of medical practitioners would categorize as research – but also that he intended and genuinely believed that what he was doing was solely or primarily for the clinical benefit of the children. When such an issue arises, a panel will almost always have to determine the honesty or otherwise of the practitioner.

Justice Mitting then lists facts supporting and negating the proposition that what Walker-Smith was doing was research. I must admit, I find some of the “facts negating’ to be questionable. Particularly bizarre was Mitting’s listing of a fact that no parent other than one was required to sign the consent form in the proposals submitted to the Ethics Committee or in the revised form approved by it. Well, duh! That was part of the problem, now, wasn’t it? You know? Doing research without having obtained adequate informed consent from the parents?

Also rather odd was Mitting’s other reasoning that “none of the five clinicians involved in the investigation of the Lancet children who gave evidence to the panel considered that they were following Project 172-96.” So what? The children’s information and clinical histories ended up being used in Wakefield’s Lancet paper. I suppose one could argue that Walker-Smith was an unwitting dupe of Andy Wakefield an therefore was not guilty of research professional misconduct, but, if that’s the case, it’s hardly flattering to Walker-Smith. it’s also hard to imagine what clinical indications existed to subject these children to lumbar punctures. As a clinician, I always had a hard time figuring out how Wakefield, Walker-Smith, and the rest justified doing lumbar punctures on these children.

The implications of Mitting’s ruling are frightening in their potential. Think about it. Basically, if his ruling stands, it’s hard not to wonder whether it’s open season on human research subjects in the UK. As long as the physician can construct a quasi-legitimate-sounding rationale that he can point to aside from a research protocol for doing research-related tests on human subjects, he apparently doesn’t need to get ethical approval anymore. He can cite Mitting’s ruling that, as long as he doesn’t think he’s doing research–even if that is incorrect–then he’s not, and the GMC can’t do anything about it. So much for the Helsinki declaration! Similarly, his “any reasonable physician” test fails spectacularly as well, at least in the way he applied it. “Any reasonable physician” would not subject autistic children to a battery of invasive tests including lumbar punctures for dubious clinical reasons. Those tests were quite correctly judged by the GMC to have been ordered for research purposes rather than for routine clinical care. Autism quacks in the UK have good reason to rejoice. As it stands, one has to wonder whether they can now get away with essentially anything.

Of course, none of this stops the antivaccine movement from lapsing into full mental jacket conspiracy mode. For instance, our old friend Ginger Taylor, speaking for the Canary Party, issued a press release:

“It is quite obvious to me that James Murdoch, Brian Deer and GlaxoSmithKline orchestrated the smear attack on Dr. Andrew Wakefield,” said Ginger Taylor, executive director of the Canary Party. “A judge has now ruled that the GMC hearings were a farce. Parents are waiting for journalists to find their spine and start some honest reporting on the character assassination of doctors that is blocking medical treatments for vaccine injured children, and the role that GSK and Merck may be playing to protect their profits on the MMR vaccine. The Canary Party honors and stands by doctors of integrity like Prof. Walker-Smith, who continue to fight and defend their hard-won reputations for going the extra mile to investigate and improve the chronic, difficult-to-treat cases that now permeate our society.”

Uh, no.

I do love the conspiracy mongering, though. From my perspective, Judge Mitting’s decision strongly implies that, rather than being involved in Wakefield’s professional research misconduct, Walker-Smith was an unwitting dupe. Neither conclusion speaks particularly well of Walker-Smith, but I suppose it’s better to be an honest dupe than a dishonest research cheat. Personally, I’d rather be neither. No matter how hard the antivaccine movement tries to spin this as some sort of exoneration of its hero Andy Wakefield, it’s not.

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]

538 replies on “Andy Wakefield exonerated because John Walker-Smith won his appeal? Not so fast there, pardner…”

I find Justice Mitting’s reasoning quite flawed in many respects. This is just one of them:

He refers several times to the “Bolam” test, which say that someone is not acting with negligence if they are doing what any other reasonable and responsible doctor would do. He seems to have decided that the justification for doing these invasive procedures was sound, because the clinicians (ie WS) said so, but their justification for many of the later cases seems to be of the nature: “We suspect this child needs these investigations because we have already seen a few children who we have investigated and found they had something wrong with their bowels”.

But we know that in no case was a lumbar puncture abnormal, and we know that the evidence for inflammation of the bowel was weak or non-existent in many cases (though at the time I can understand why the clinicians thought they might have been “onto something”).

But Justice Mitting ignores the wider implications of his ruling. The pertinent question is “What would other resonsible doctors have done?” according to the Bolam criterion, and he fails to realise that faced with a child with autism (several of whom had aspergers rather than severe autistic problems) and bowel problems (which included constipation in at least one child, and which we know is extremely common in autistic children), that other pediatric specialists would NOT be referring these children for a battery of investigations including MRI head scans and lumbar punctures under general anaesthetic, colonoscopy with 10 biopsies, and barium meals and followthrough examinations.

There was nothing inherently unusual about these autistic children, except that their referral was engineered on the back of the MMR litigation.

Does Justice Mitting think autistic children need to undergo these tests then? If so, then the job to be in is clearly radiology or pediatric gastroenterology, since one child in 100 will need assessment.

The Bolam test also applies to clinical negligence, which is distinct from what might constitute “professional misconduct”. No-one accused WS of being negligent in his investigation of these children, so why even bring Bolm into it?

From my perspective, Judge Mitting’s decision strongly implies that, rather than being involved in Wakefield’s professional research misconduct, Walker-Smith was an unwitting dupe.

Poor old Walker-Smith has hardly walked away with his reputation unsullied – he either didn’t know (and should have done) what was going on with research he was co-operating in and lending his name to, or he was complicit in unethical practices. Judge Mitting has concluded that there was no evidence to contradict the former proposition.

It’s important to understand the context of the decision – the Judge was not ruling on Walker Smith, he was ruling on the GMC’s quasi legal processes. The Judge has no power to ‘exonerate’ Walker Smith, rather he has ‘tried’ the GMC and found its decision in the case of Walker Smith to be ‘unmet’, and further that in general, aspects of the GMC’s procedures are unsatisfactory. The effect is that legally Walker Smith should not have been subject to the sanctions imposed upon him because the GMC preffered a weight of evidence which in Law, it was not entitled to do.

The decision does appear to leave UK medical research with a serious regualtory problem, that is: any clinician is absolved of the need to gain ethical approval for research, where all the research subjects are claimed to be recipients of necessary treatment – this in a circumstance where the clinician can claim protection of her/his own independent clinical judgement for the treatment prescribed. This is clearly open to abuse.

Successive UK Governments have failed to provide a modern legislative framework for medical registration and professional practice, the Walker Smith case is just another example of how inadequate the present system is.

IVI

If there’s one thing that’s obvious from the outpouring of verbiage from various antivaccine blogs, Twitter feeds, and press releases, it’s that the antivaccine movement somehow thinks that this decision exonerates Andrew Wakefield, too.

Further than that: JB Handley thinks that this will somehow help in Wakefield’s defamation lawsuit against Deer, even though the lawsuit is about an article which has nothing to do with the GMC hearings.

Can you Hear The Silence,?? Orac your Blog reads as if you have been slapped in the face with a shovel.. Messiah Deer has spun you all lies by association and supporting his lies you are all implicated…Shame on you all…

I see many articles/One time friendly Deer reporters now turning on Deer this one yesterday eh!get dug in..why dont ya!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/mar/06/2

“Brian Deer’s subsequent investigations were great journalism, but largely irrelevant to any scientific question about MMR; yet he seems to see himself as the hero of the story, once declaring in a bad-tempered Guardian piece that, “13 years passed before I slayed the MMR monster.” The monster was long since dead of course, its twitching corpse dutifully held aloft by a legion of crappy hacks for St. Brian to stick his sword into.
The irony of Deer’s pursuit of the MMR dragon is that it reinforced the mistaken belief that Wakefield and his study ever mattered in the first place. A debate that should have been about the weight of scientific evidence became instead a personality contest. Deer’s investigation of Wakefield was informed by the same flawed world-view that led to the scare in the first place; the belief that personalities, bold statements and single studies matter more than evidence, context and consensus.”

Queerfish you have queered my pitch exactly. Thankyou. Your explanation completely supports the reason for Wakefield’s defamation case against Deer and Godlee, namely that it is founded on fraudulent and more importantly, malicious allegations, against him personally.

@One Queer Fish:

Can you Hear The Silence,?? Orac your Blog reads as if you have been slapped in the face with a shovel..

The Unix word count utility “wc” clocks Orac’s post at 2,480 words, which I’d hardly consider “silence”. Or are you so used to Orac’s wordiness that nothing less than 10,000 words will do?

I see many articles/One time friendly Deer reporters now turning on Deer this one yesterday eh!

In the article you link, the author doesn’t say (or even imply) that Deer got any facts wrong about Wakefield’s misconduct. Instead, the author criticized Deer for putting too much importance solely on Wakefield and not putting enough importance on the scientific consensus about MMR.

@patricia:

Your explanation completely supports the reason for Wakefield’s defamation case against Deer and Godlee, namely that it is founded on fraudulent and more importantly, malicious allegations, against him personally.

The BMJ article which deer wrote and the editorial which Godlee wrote weren’t rehashings of the GMC hearings, so a GMC decision being overturned has no bearing on the defamation lawsuit.

OQF: Your ramblings are somewhat in line of a global warming denialist who insists that it is “crumbling” – or indeed those of a quack or quack apologists who insists that [pick your euphemism for quackery] is the new wave of “Science” which is brushing aside the tired old ways. “Can you hear the slience” – really? What nonsense.

Why on Earth should we care what other journalists/columnists say about Brian Deer? Especially when they appear, as the one you have quoted does, to be entirely wrong?

Mathew cline

“The overturning of the GMC decision has no bearing on the defamation lawsuit….” I wonder about that.

Now that Brian Deer and his supporters have been utterly discredited – by bringing this malicious and entirely unfounded case to the GMC in the first instance – they are shown up for what they truly are, lackeys of a corrupt Public health authority and the pharma industry. Such actions don’t exactly enhance their credibility in AJW’s case I would have thought.

@patricia

Umm, patricia? Could you please point to anywhere in the judgment that states that Deer’s reports are false or malicious? Again, if you’ll note, the judgment is about Prof. Walker-Smith and the GMC. Or, more specifically, about how the GMC administratively went about their actions with regard to Prof. Walker-Smith. You seem to be reading far more into the judgment than is actually there.

@patricia: Obviously, you have reading comprehension problems, so I’ll try to make this simple.

This does not mean Wakefield did not commit fraud in his research

All this means is that Professor Walker-Smith was found by the court to not have exceeded his authority (oops – big word – sorry) as a physician who performed procedures on the children.

It does not mean Wakefield didn’t lie about the results, lie about the cause, or hide his own conflict of interest. It doesn’t mean ANYTHING about the article Wakefield wrote that 10 of the 12 authors (including Walker-Smith) repudiated (oh dear, another big word. Sorry).

I don’t think Dr. Godlee or Mr. Deer have anything to worry about, except maybe finding your bile disgusting. They certainly haven’t been discredited. Try again, dear.

Todd
and MIDawn dear,

Where have I stated that AJW had been exonerated by this overturning of the GMC Tribunal conclusion? Only Orac has done that, my dear Dawn.

I have said that thw whole case should never have been brought in the first place. As indeed Judge Mitten has emphasised in his quashing of their verdict.

And I have said that it was only brought by the persistence of an “award winning” so called journalist and his supporters in the Government and in the pharma industry through malice and fear. Fear of profit loss and fear of the loss of credibiltiy on the part of the Governments Health department. The malice lies clearly at the door of a certain so called “award winning” journalist.

@patricia

Again, I ask, where in the judgment (available in full here) is there anything supporting your statement that “thw whole case should never have been brought in the first place”?

Just like there is nothing in there indicating that Deer was discredited or that his actions were malicious, there is nothing in the judgment stating that the actions by the GMC should never have been brought in the first place.

The judgment really is about how the GMC presented and supported its case, not whether it should have been brought.

“Fear of profit loss and fear of the loss of credibiltiy on the part of the Governments Health department.”

Oh dear Patricia. You do realise that we in the UK have (just about) a National Health Service where everything is free at the point of use. What profits exactly?

I’m confused – I thought Wakefield didn’t matter? Why is AoA & the crank-sphere harping that this someone clears Wakefield? (I mean, I know why – the hypocricy is deafening).

Orac writes: “The first thing that needs to be considered is a dichotomy. John Walker-Smith appealed the GMC decision. Andrew Wakefield did not. Why not? It’s hard to say.”

I believe it was in the Mitting’s decision that was written that W-S had insurance coverage to cover the High Court appeal, but Wakefield did not.

Anyone else see anything along those lines?

Another thing I note in the judgement – the case summaries for 10 children of the “Lancet 12” give the timelines between vaccination and development of symptoms of autism.

#1: Jan 94 to Nov 95 (22 months)
#2: Nov 89 to Feb 91 (15 months)
#3: Mar 91 to June 92 (15 months)
#4: not stated
#5: Apr 90 to Mar 91 (11 months)
#6: Jun 83 to May 94 (12 months)
#7: Nov 95 to July 96 (8 months – convulsions, child NOT autistic)
#8: Jan 95 to Jan 95 (2 weeks)
#9: Oct 91 to “mid 93” (20 months)
#10: Feb 94 to Oct 94 (8 months)
#11: not stated
#12: According to parent was 18-24 months later

What did Wakefield claim?

That for 8 children the average onset of autistic behaviours was only 6.3 days after MMR, enabling him to make a temporal link incriminating the vaccine.

There appears to be some major discrepancy.
I know that for some of these kids there may be an argument that symptoms were present from a time earlier than the first documented suspicion, but still….
We also know through Brian Deer’s efforts that Wakefield heavily massaged the timeline data in the Lancet publication to arrive at a close temporal association, which supported his unwarranted notions about MMR.

@particia:

Such actions don’t exactly enhance their credibility in AJW’s case I would have thought.

Deer’s personal credibility has nothing to do with a defamation case, as tried in Texas. Wakefield has to establish that Deer either knew or suspected that he was wrong about what he wrote in the BMJ article. And the BMJ article had nothing to do with the GwMC hearings.

I have said that thw whole case should never have been brought in the first place. As indeed Judge Mitten has emphasised in his quashing of their verdict.

So far as I can tell, the judgement written by Mitten said:

1) The GMC placed more weight on the expert testimony against Walker than the expert testimony for Walker.

2) The GMC failed to consider that Walker ordering a test for research purposes didn’t preclude him also ordering the same procedures for medically indicated purposes.

Nothing about “thw whole case should never have been brought “.

@Proscientifica

The only mention of Wakefield’s appeal is this:

It ordered that the names of Dr. Wakefield and Professor Walker-Smith be erased from the register of medical practitioners. Both initially appealed, but Dr. Wakefield has subsequently abandoned his appeal.

The judgment says nothing of the reasons why Wakefield abandoned the appeal. Insurance is not mentioned anywhere in the decision.

AJW’s supporters are whooping up a storm because they conflate issues, jump to un-warranted conclusions and dismiss evidence ( and people) they don’t like- which appears to be their usual mode of thinking when writing about research et al.

Rather than going all psychological and looking at their motivations I think I’ll just focus on one person. AJW had the opportunity to appeal and didn’t. Think about it: if you were unjustly found guilty of something you didn’t do, lost your professional status and were disgraced because someone made up stuff about you, wouldn’t you appeal? Wouldn’t you stand your ground? He comes from a well-to-do family, is married to a doctor, had friends and supporters- he’s living in posh digs and raising funds now, as we speak- it can’t just be money.

Also he could have sued the BMJ, Deer and Godlee in the UK. Why didn’t he do that? Might have been easier legally. Maybe he figured that he couldn’t win either case in the UK. Perhaps his present case is a way to garner attention and lift flagging interest in his cause.

Wakefield is still a fraud. Deer’s reporting is still valid and helped to uncover that fraud thereby preventing harm to children the world over. W-S had no vaccine COI. Wakers did. Clearing W-S of poor judgement does nothing to move Wakers out of the cesspit he dug, filled and jumped in all on his own.

And another thing……

Justice Mitting displays incredible arrogance. The GMC fitness to practice panel was constituted from 3 medical experts and 2 laymembers. In the GMC panel documentation they commented that the Lancet article was aimed at general readership (ie general medical readership, rather than specialist gastroenterologists or another subspecialty)

What does Justice Mitting do, but erroneously assume because it was described as being for “general” readership that it was aimed at non-medical readers, ie people like him. He uses this to justify his own odd interpretation of what were the “consecutive referrals” of the Lancet children, rather than using the standard interpretation placed upon this phrase by practising clinicians.

“157 On the premise that the panel was right to find that the Lancet paper was addressed to the general reader and that it was the interpretation of the general reader which mattered, I am as well qualified as the panel to construe its meaning. Further, I am entitled to and do, apply the familiar canon of construction used by judges in construing documents: to read and construe the whole document, not just selected words. Thus construed, this paper does not bear the meaning put upon it by the panel. The phrase “consecutively referred” means no more than that the children were referred successively, rather than as a single batch, to the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology. The words did not imply routine referral.”

What arrogance and pomposity.

Sorry, Justice Mitting, but the entire Wakefield construct was that these were “routine”, run of the mill patients consecutively referred by GPs and not pre-selected in any way.

This is what the GMC found:

First, in a published letter in response to correspondents who had suggested that there had been biased selection of the Lancet children, Dr Wakefield stated that the children had been referred through the normal channels, a response which was dishonest and irresponsible. He provided an inaccurate statement which omitted relevant information when he knew that the description of the population in the study was being questioned by the scientific community.
Second, at a meeting of the Medical Research Council, the Chair, Professor Sir John Pattison referred to the seriousness and importance of the implications of Dr Wakefield’s research and its major public health implications. At that meeting and on the issue of bias in generating the series of cases, Dr Wakefield stated that the children had come by “the standard route”, a response which was dishonest and irresponsible.

In the light of that evidence, Justice Mitting’s conclusions about this seem bizarre, to say the least.

It is absolutely no surprise that AoA et al are reacting in this way to the news. It’s completely consistent with their support of the entire vaccines-cause-autism notion, and their general approach towards expanding knowledge: if an item offers any support whatsoever, no matter how tenuous, for their premise, it is enthusiastically embraced. If it doesn’t, it is either ignored or enthusiastically repudiated. If an item does both, its support is championed while the rest is totally ignored.

Never mind whether or not this decision had merit; it has absolutely zero bearing on Brian Deer, Wakefield’s lawsuit against Deer, Wakefield being struck off, the merits of Wakefield’s “research”, etc. But they ignore that. They see everything through the filter of vaccines causing autism and a massive conspiracy to suppress that information; thus, everything they see is interpreted in that light.

You all remember the case of the kid who Walker Smith declared should be “not for MRI or LP”?

Paradoxically, this fact was used to help exonerate WS. Justice Mitting stated that this demonstrated WS was acting in the interests of the child, and not fixed to a research protocol.

What happened?

The child, who was under WS’s direct clinical care, ended up having an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture anyway. So who was to blame for that? Ummmm… no-one it would appear. We should just forget they ever happened. They weren’t research, and nor was this action professional misconduct on the part of the clinician in charge of the case.

Welcome to bizzaro world.

I’ll remember this little ruse anytime I want to do something unwarranted to a patient for any reason, such as underhand research. I’ll just write in the notes “Don’t pluck out Mrs Brown’s left eyeball”, and then quietly arrange for it to be done, and the eye sent to my friend’s lab where he is doing eyeball research. When I appear in court, the fact that I expressly stated it should not be done will totally exonerate me from any blame or responsibility.

I have to say something about *malice*: if you look through alt med sites, that idea the medical establishment, the government and the media are compromised *malign* influences seems to be tossed around a lot. Getting closer to home, it appears to be a frequent taunt hurled at our esteemed ( and often steamed) host and many regular participants, yours truly included. Why is that?

If someone doesn’t agree with you, does that make them malicious? How can you attribute personality traits and judge the worth of people you don’t know? Is it possible that they may have come to a different conclusion than you did because they have a different perspective, different information and they *don’t dismiss information* because they don’t like the messenger?**

Alt med leaders engender distrust of critics to rally their own followers- how can you trust evil compromised miscreants? Looking closely at why people might support SBM ( not AJW) might reveal that they have reasonable concerns and are working towards fixing _something wrong that they saw on the internet_- that might hurt people.

** and JB doesn’t like me: oh goody!

Clearing W-S of poor judgement does nothing to move Wakers out of the cesspit he dug, filled and jumped in all on his own.

I don’t think W-S was even cleared of poor judgement. My reading of the judgement is that the GMC did not sufficiently explain their reasoning for finding him guilty of professional misconduct serious enough for him to be struck off.

I agree with Orac about the lumbar punctures not being clinically indicated. I was taught that an investigation is only clinically indicated if the results could lead to a change in the management of the patient. Fishing expeditions – doing a wide range of tests with no clear idea of what differential diagnosis you intend to confirm or exclude – are not considered to be clinically indicated, especially when a test is invasive and carries significant risks, like lumbar puncture. The potential benefits of an investigation must outweigh its risks.

I don’t see how the results of any of the tests Walker-Smith ordered on CSF could have led to a change in the clinical management of a child with suspected autism, unless an underlying condition like meningitis was suspected, which was not the case. I don’t see how the benefits of the CSF tests done could possibly outweigh the risks of lumbar puncture.

For example in research studies CSF from autistic patients has been examined and elevated cytokine levels have been observed. This is interesting, and has increased our understanding of developmental disorders, but doesn’t change the way that autistic patients are managed. This would have required ethics committee approval and informed consent.

By this measure lumbar puncture in autistic patients can only be a research tool. It looks to me as if the judge didn’t properly understand what “clinically indicated” means, and the important distinction between clinical practice and research in this case.

Whatever way I look at it, this makes Wakefield look even worse. He did not have the excuse of carrying out clinically indicated investigations as his contract forbade him from doing any such thing. Whatever tests he ordered or carried out were research, and required ethics committee approval which was clearly not the case.

It seems Deer” only sings when he thinks he is winning” gone to ground (eh! no surprise)..

Simply and firstly Dr Wakefield’s paper never claimed a link between autism and MMR…What it DOES report is a link between bowel disease and ASD. That finding still stands and is now endorsed by paediatric gastroenterologists worldwide. JWS and his team were the first to investigate and report on this. The GMC decision – which is now DISCREDITED – did untold damage to the continuing work on this issue…it simply follows that Deer,Godlee and perpetrators of the lies and fanning the lies should be held to book, and kicked up the arse so hard they never sit down again…happy days guys…happy days a discredited GMC once again..

Simply and firstly Dr Wakefield’s paper never claimed a link between autism and MMR

His press conferences did.

What it DOES report is a link between bowel disease and ASD.

That he made up – the patients in question had no bowel disease.

That finding still stands and is now endorsed by paediatric gastroenterologists worldwide.

[citation needed]

JWS and his team were the first to investigate and report on this.

First to make up lies about it, you mean.

The GMC decision – which is now DISCREDITED – did untold damage to the continuing work on this issue…it simply follows that Deer,Godlee and perpetrators of the lies and fanning the lies should be held to book, and kicked up the arse so hard they never sit down again…happy days guys…happy days a discredited GMC once again..

How exactly does a conclusion that Walker-Smith believed he wasn’t doing research (all the ruling really says) have any of those implications?

So let me get this straight: Mitting’s opinion states that Walker-Smith should have known he was doing research, but he is off the hook because he claims (plausibly enough to convince the judge, even though few doctors or scientists would be convinced) that he was treating the patients? That’s definitely in exploding heads territory. And I agree with Orac about the consequence of this ruling: that it effectively guts any consent requirement for human subjects in the UK.

As for his “body of opinion” remark: Mitting is drawing an analogy between judicial precedents and peer-reviewed literature. There are some similarities between the two, e.g., reference points for explaining your reasoning to your peers (be they judges or scientists). But there are important differences: judicial precedents are often binding, but peer-reviewed research can be and sometimes is explicitly rejected when new evidence contradicts the earlier published result. I would say Mitting is mischaracterizing the peer-reviewed literature in a way that many people trained in law but not science would mischaracterize it.

The ruling clearly does not exonerate Wakefield. The key to the ruling is that judge felt Walker-Smith believed that what he was doing was primarily therapeutic and not research, but about Wakefield, the judge said this:

“Facts supporting the proposition
a) It was Dr. Wakefield who first perceived a link between behavioural and gastrointestinal disorders and between both and measles/measles vaccines. As a researcher, he was, throughout, principally interested in testing his hypotheses.”

The High Court said the decision was “flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”.

Ruling, Mr Justice Mitting stated: “The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed.

“It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician.

“Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.”

You lot have a brain cell between ya! yeah!!na!thought so just keep taking the pharma dollars trolls

One Queer Fish, could you please learn the English language before you post again?

“Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.”

Wow, what a ringing exoneration! So the GMC made the error of ruling on the factual basis that Prof. Walker-Smith carried out research under the guise of therapy, without considering the possibility that somehow Prof. Waler-Smith might have actually believed that there was a therapeutic rationale.

Todd
Once again you have twisted my words. I did not write that Judge Mitten in his conclusion said that the case should not have been brought. I stated that by overturning the GMC’s ruling and by finding it full of “errors, misstatements and inadequate reasonings”, he emphasised my belief that it should never have been brought in the first instance.
It was Deer’s twisted interpretations and flawed research which led directly to the GMC’s faulty case. And as the case against Prof JWS has been judged to be full of holes – it can justifiably be said that the case against the other 2 doctors could well have been similarly exposed during appeal by them. As to why AJW did not appeal I have covered this over and over before on this site. But to reiterate in brief. AJW was advised by his Attorny’s to drop his case against Deer (insufficient time to prepare)and that proved to be extremely costly, as a consequence of which his insurers would not/could not, fund another even more costly appeal against the GMC decision, which in point of fact would have been a case against the Government and the Pharma industry, all rolled into one neat little ineffectual, easily manipulated umbrella Institutional vehicle called the General Medical Council.

I think it is Denice who appears to be also under the illusion that because Andrew Wakefield is in her words “posh” – then he is automatically also extremely wealthy. I wish. And no doubt so does Andrew.

Miss Grace

I am a UK citizen. And I do know about th good old NHS. The Profit I was referring to was that of the Pharmaceutical Industry who have a massive influence and vested interest in all cases involving vaccine injury.

Mathew cline

Godlee and Deer are being sued for defamation, slander (a nasty one IMO) and libel, heinous libel in fact. Well if that isn’t all wrapped up in malicious intent(my words not the Judge’s) I don’t know what is babe. I would have thought this GMC case, which was wholly instigated by Deer and his employer’s and which has now been oveturned pronto by a High Court for being basically unsound, doesn’t exactly bode well for Deer’s credibility.

That’s all folks.

OQF has to be a Poe-troll. No way someone can directly cite the ruling like that (assuming that this is, in fact, what he is doing) and fail to realize this has nothing whatsoever to do with Brian Deer or Andrew Wakefield.

Right? Right?

Now I just had an exceedingly crappy, awful thought: although the outcome for JW-S has no bearing on the fate of AJW, I realise that not all people think like I do- those who link vaccine and autism ( and AJW fans) might interpret the result as a harbinger of advantageous events to come- is it possible that this ruling may in-directly assist in enriching the coffers of the Andy Fund? While many people may support underdogs, don’t others like to bet on whomever they perceive as being likely to win- like in a horse race? I’d love to see a dated graph of contribututions in 2012.

just keep taking the pharma dollars trolls

I’ve heard of all kinds of trolls, but I’ve never heard of a pharma dollars troll. Or is our genius (who has more than one brain cell between her) missing a comma here and there?

Compose99

Wrong! Wrong!

You none of you get it do you. It is NOT that AJW has been exonerated by this case being overturned. It is that the case (which was aimed at discrediting all 3 doctors) has been found to be built on unsafe and unsound and inadequate and mistaken foundations. That finding is enough simply to discredit the GMC Tribunal altogether. It cannot stand.

And for those who still cherish the idea that the Lancet children were all fixed cases – as someone else poetically put it – drink this in folks!

“It is in its findings on the clinical issues of the Lancet children that the most numerous and significant inadequacies and errors in the determination of the panel occur. In no individual case in which the panel made a finding adverse to Prof. Walker Smith did it address the expert evidence led for him, except to misstate it. The issues to which this evidence went, were of fundamental importance to the case against him. Universal inadequacies and some errors in the panel’s determination accordingly go to the heart of the case. They are not curable….the panel’s determination cannot stand”.

@ Eric Lund

So let me get this straight: Mitting’s opinion states that Walker-Smith should have known he was doing research, but he is off the hook because he claims (plausibly enough to convince the judge, even though few doctors or scientists would be convinced) that he was treating the patients?

It’s my reading, too. In short, Mitting ruled that the GMC failed to provide evidence enough of the doctor’s guilt.

If I was merciful, I would say everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. It is, after all, the basis of a fair trial – innocent until proven guilty.

If I was mean, I would file this case in-between Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“I didn’t assaulted this woman, it was consensual”) and Richard Virenque (“Illegal drugs were given to me without my knowledge or my own will”).

Patricia (dear)…you already “tried” these same arguments at LB/RB and you were already told that your “arguments” on behalf of Wakefield have nothing to do with W-S’s court case.

Your continued support of your *hero* and the reasons “why Wakefield didn’t appeal the GMC ruling” were shot down at LF/RB…

“Denice you ask why AJW didn´t appeal. The answer is twofold.

a)He didn´t have the funds to do so. He was advised to drop a suit for defamation against Brian Deer as there was insufficient time to prepare for his defence. As a result of the Judge´s decsion not to allow his counsel to persue this defamation case, (it was a very costly decision), AJW´s insurance would not fund an appeal against the GMC decision to remove his licence to practice in the UK.

b) Of equal importance in deciding not to appeal was the fact that he did not need the accreditation to practice in a clinical capacity; his work is in research in an academic capacity (and had been for many years), unlike Prof JWS.”

BTW, “dear”, which reputable research institute would ever employ a physician whose license was revoked due to serious medical misconduct?

I see that the OQF Troll is back…with his brain droppings and his feeble attempt to derail this thread.

@patricia

You have a bit of spittle still on your lip. Now, do you care to actually address any of the points that I made in response to you, rather than some straw man blather you think I said?

he GMC’s case was that he was conducting research which required Ethics Committee approval. His case was that he was conducting medical practice which did not. Accordingly, an unavoidable and fundamental question which the panel had to answer was: what is the distinction between medical practice and research?

Which begs the question, why did the Lancet authors claim they had ethics approval?

“Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust”

The paper includes subheadings “clinical investigations” and “laboratory investigations”. Were these approved or not? The paper doesn’t say, “we didn’t need ethical approval because these were all clinically indicated”.

His hospital considered this work a research project. Ari Zuckerman at the Royal Free wrote a letter to Prof. Walker-Smith

I am reassured that the children with autism are investigated according to the clinical need and their clinical management. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to obtain ethical approval if, as I understand it, Andy Wakefield is collecting cases for report by publication, which is therefore a research project

Todd
I did answer in great detail but that post never made it to the site. I don’t know where it went. I shall try to rewrite it if I can find the impetus and the energy. I may have left out my address details.

Didn’t know you cared Todd….

“That finding is enough simply to discredit the GMC Tribunal altogether. It cannot stand.”

If that were true, why are only 10% of appeals granted? If the court finds that the GMC is corrupt or whatever other label you wish to use, why are so few appeals being granted?

Frankly I would expect people to trumpet the fact that the court allows so few appeals through.

The court certainly thinks the GMC needs to change procedures. But “it cannot stand” is an amazing stretch. Likewise “discredit altogether”.

Just to say that the Lancet Paper should now be reinstated pre-GMC decision .Richard Horton , he took the decision without discussion with authors after the GMC decision was made public to remove the paper. It would be entirely appropriate I think – to demand he takes action now to reinstate the paper and issue an apology. I note the attacks on the messengers rather than on the subject matter …very commendable and true to PHORM, pharma trolls more dollars please Pharma “what a good job I just did”..pat on the back …or a shovel in the face from me..

@Heliantus

It’s my reading, too. In short, Mitting ruled that the GMC failed to provide evidence enough of the doctor’s guilt.

Slightly more nuanced than that I think. It was more to do with the balance of evidence and that the GMC tribunal failed to give adequate weight to Walker Smiths’s own claims (which he was qualified to make as a clinician), and that therefore the Tribunal was wrong to determine that the evidence weighed against Walker Smith to the degree that would allow the test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to be made for the charge of professional misconduct to have been met.

One of the very unfortunate consequences of the judgement is that it effectively approves of collusion between parents and clinicians in subjecting vulnerable children to unnecessary investigations where the parents are determined tests are needed and the clinician finds it advantageous in providing research material under the guise of clinical need. It might be considered to border upon a charter to accede to Munchausen’s By Proxy vicariously delivered by iatrogenia.

My esteemed Lilady

No one has “shot me down” on LBRB as you so graphically put it. I must say your name suits your literary tone. Shades of the saloon bar?

You ask “what reputable research institute would ever employ
a physician whose license had been revoked due to serious medical misconduct?” Someone who has unbounded admiration for a man who was prepared to put his head above the parapet in a high profile battle zone, a man who was even prepared to flush his own career down the toilet, (Wakefields own words not mine), in order to stand by his belief in the necessity for safe vaccines in an unsafe world of profiteers and politicians with vested interests, perhaps?

Now that is what ah too would call a real man Lilady!

Regarding lumbar punctures (LPs), I was taking a look around to see when an LP is clinically indicated. Generally, it is to confirm a bacterial, viral or fungal infection due to a diagnosis of meningitis, encephalitis or syphilis; to help with a cancer diagnosis; or to get more information on an inflammatory condition of the central nervous system. I was not able to find anything indicating that it is standard of care for treating gastrointestinal disorders, nor is it indicated for the diagnosis or treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

Wakefield and company were investigating a new, never-before-seen diagnosis and were gathering data to investigate and prop up that diagnosis. By definition, that means that any LP would be for research purposes, rather than clinical necessity. I could, of course, be wrong in my assessment of the standard indications for LPs and welcome a physician knowledgeable in such procedures to correct me, but, as Orac and others already noted, it seems that Justice Mitting erred with regard to any of the LP bits.

While there are many questions I would like to ask JWS in the presence of Judge Mitting, there is one question that gets to the heart of the GMC decision. What was the justification for doing LP’s (not to mention MRI’s and bowel biopsies) on autistic children? The answer: there is none … other than speculative research. That being the case, it is quite clear that JWS knew that these tests were for research and not treatment. There is no medical justification for the tests done on these children and I find it hard to believe an IRB approved this research. This is not as the the judge would have you believe, a matter of mindset. There is no way JWS believed what he was doing was therapeutic or anywhere approaching the standard of care for autism evaluation or treatment.

L.P.`s who is talking about that.. the position should at least revert to where it was prior to the GMC findings and which it has been tested very thoroughly by Judge Mitting…you can`t argue with a decision from a High Court Judge it is the highest law in the UK…you lot need a reality check with non Pharma earth one day soon..

for those who claim this appeal exonerates Mr. Wakefield, I suggest you look at the GMC findings. Specifically, look for those charges which were found to have been “serious professional misconduct”.

The costing proposal set out costs in respect of the investigation of five children. It covered each child’s four-night stay in hospital with colonoscopy, MRI and evoked potential studies. Dr Wakefield admitted that the funding subsequently provided by the Legal Aid Board had not been needed for these items because these costs were borne by the National Health Service as the patients were being admitted as NHS patients.

The Panel found that Dr Wakefield had a duty to disclose this information to the Legal Aid Board via Mr Barr. It was dishonest and misleading of him not to have done so. The Panel concluded that his intention to mislead the Legal Aid Board was sufficient on its own to amount to serious professional misconduct.

With regard to nine of the eleven children (2,1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 5,12 and 8) considered by the Panel, it determined that Dr Wakefield caused research to be undertaken on them without Ethics Committee approval and thus without the ethical constraints that safeguard research. Ethical constraints are there for the protection both of research subjects and for the reassurance of the public and are crucial to public trust in research medicine. It was in the context of this research project that the Panel found that Dr Wakefield caused three of these young and vulnerable children, (nos. 3, 9 and 12) to undergo the invasive procedure of lumbar puncture when such investigation was for research purposes and was not clinically indicated. This action was contrary to his representation to the Ethics Committee that all the procedures were clinically indicated. In nine of the eleven children (2,1, 3, 4, 9, 5,12, 8 and 7) the Panel has found that Dr Wakefield acted contrary to the clinical interests of each child. The Panel is profoundly concerned that Dr Wakefield repeatedly breached fundamental principles of research medicine. It concluded that his actions in this area alone were sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct.

In regards to his connection with work with the Legal Aid Board (LAB) for funding and his work with the litigation, the GMC found that Mr. Wakefield should have revealed his involvement to the ethics committee at his hospital:

However, given the importance of an Ethics Committee’s reliance on the probity of an applicant, the Panel determined that this was a failure by Dr Wakefield and his actions amounted to serious professional misconduct.

In terms of his patent:

Dr Wakefield was insistent that his involvement with the new patent had not given rise to any prior need to disclose. Despite the clear terms of the patent, he did not accept that the invention was envisaged as an alternative vaccine to MMR. He acknowledged that he had envisaged the use of transfer factor for at least a proportion of the population and that he had a financial and career interest in its success, but he said that it did not cross his mind to disclose it, and even with hindsight he insisted that there was a reasonable argument, as he put it, for non-disclosure. The Panel considered that his actions and his persistent lack of insight as to the gravity of his conduct amounted to serious professional misconduct.

In regards to his work with the “transfer factor”, where child 10 was given this “therapy”.

Dr Wakefield’s actions were contrary to the clinical interests of Child 10 and an abuse of his position of trust as a medical practitioner. The Panel considered these to be serious departures from the standards of a registered medical practitioner and concluded that these amounted individually and collectively to serious professional misconduct.

With regards to the famous birthday party blood draw:

Dr Wakefield defended the ethical basis for the taking of blood at a birthday party contrary to the experts who gave evidence to the Panel and who strongly condemned this action. The Panel determined that his conduct fell seriously short of the standards expected of a doctor and was a breach of the trust which the public is entitled to have in members of the medical profession. It concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious professional misconduct.

There isn’t much overlap between those findings and those of Prof. Walker-Smith. Even if one throws out the charge of performing test not clinically indicated for research purposes (parts of which I believe would likely still stand. For example, calling for tests when he did not have clinical responsibilities), Mr. Wakefield still would have been found guilty of “serious professional misconduct”.

BTW Todd

I do not have any spittle on my lip. That is not a very nice thing for a gentleman to say to a lady.

I will now attempt to summarise my lost post.

Did the judge say anywhere in his judgement that the case should never have been brough to court? Answer No, he did not. And I never stated otherwise. I did however say that as he had proclaimed in his Judgement that the case was full of “errors, inadequate reasonings and wrong conclusions” I said that this view emphasised my belief that the case as such, should never have been presented in the first place. It was an unprofessional and wholly inadequate case presented by a bunch of amateurs with insufficient legal expertise. Oh, and since the whole case had been perpetrated in the first instance solely by Brian Deer and his cohorts, it therefore challenged their credibility in pursueing their twisted and wrongful interpretation of events. My words not Judge Mitten’s.

Have I missed out stuff?

@One Queer Fish:

Just to say that the Lancet Paper should now be reinstated pre-GMC decision

The Lancet’s editors on the retraction:

… it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al1 are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.

Neither of those two things (consecutive referrals or ethics committee approval) were contradicted by the judgement, so The Lancet has no reason to undo the retraction.

Moderation,

there is much discussion of lumbar punctures on day 13 of the GMC hearing transcripts.

He was able to produce a number of papers using lumbar punctures. Except they were all research projects.

Q You were asked particularly about the lumbar punctures. You have made it clear to us that it was not your decision that they should be included, but Mr Miller particularly asked you about a Medline search that you had done as to whether lumbar punctures were done on children with autism and you said that you had, indeed, done that and you have turned up some results. You referred in particular to Gilberg, is that correct?
A And I think I have shared those results with the GMC solicitors.

Q Yes, you did indeed. Those were all research projects, were they not?
A Yes. (Pause) I should not try to defend the lumbar puncture because I was not the person who tried to order it. What I am trying to defend is the logic that might lead a doctor, listening carefully to parental concerns, to conclude that a lumbar puncture is a worthwhile investigation. But it is not for me to say lumbar punctures were indicated. I am thinking more about the inherent logic and whether we use that sort of logic in ordinary practice.

The Royal Free doesn’t do them as a rule for autistics:

“We do not, in child psychiatry at the Royal Free, do lumbar punctures in our assessment of an ordinary child with autism without any other clinical hypothesis. ”

http://wakefieldgmctranscripts.blogspot.com/2012/01/day-13.html

patricia:

In your reply to me you cite part of the ruling, a part which appears to be carefully snipped either by yourself or by your source (Age of Autism, perhaps?). Let me quote the full section:

It is in its findings on the clinical issues in the individual cases of the Lancet children that the most numerous and significant inadequacies and errors in the determination of the panel occur. In no individual case in which the panel made a finding adverse to Professor Walker-Smith did it address the expert evidence led for him, except to misstate it. The issues to which this evidence went were of fundamental importance to the case against him. Universal inadequacies and some errors in the panel’s determination accordingly go to the heart of the case. They are not curable. Unless the remainder of the panel’s findings justify its conclusion that Professor Walker-Smith was guilty of serious professional misconduct, its determination cannot stand. [Emphasis mine]

The section of the ruling you are clearly misrepresenting specifically pertains to the GMC panel’s findings against Walker-Smith.

It also seems fairly clear in the judge’s ruling that Walker-Smith had serious reservations about aspects of Wakefield’s behaviour (as per his communications to Wakefield regarding the litigation in-progress, noted in paragraph 6 of the ruling and his & Dr Murch’s letter to Wakefield expressing their concerns over his publicity regarding the 1998 paper as noted in paragraph 7).

So I am confident that my conclusion about the ruling not being applicable to Wakefield’s GMC ruling or Brian Deer’s investigations stands.

Just to say that the Lancet Paper should now be reinstated pre-GMC decision .

All the justice found was that the GMC did not have sufficient evidence to conclude that Walker Smith believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment. That’s all. That fact isn;t sufficient to require Lancet reverse it’s retraction of the publication, in light of the facts that

1: 10 of the paper’s 12 co-authors of the paper have requested its retraction

2: Wakefield demonstrably committed scientific fraud by misrepresenting or otherwise altering the medical histories of all 12 of the subjects the paper addresses (five of which showed developmental problems before receiving the MMR vaccine and three of which never were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder)

3: Wakefield failed to inform the Lancet’s editors of serious conflicts of interest (the fact he was being paid by lawyers to manufacture evidence to support of a class action suit, the fact that having patented an alternative vaccine and incorporated a company which he would have accrued considerable financial gains if confidence in the existing MMR vaccine’s safety were undermined, etc.)

This ruling and some of the comments on this blog, especially patricia’s, illustrates the profound disconnect between the point of view of science (or at least working scientists and those who try to use science in their daily work like physicians) and the law (which is more familiar to journalists like Brian Deer and the general public).

I keep thinking back to Dr Paul Offitt’s comment after Dr Andrew Wakefield was struck off by the GMC. He said (if I remember correctly) words to the effect that: from the point of view of science, it doesn’t matter if Wakefield’s work was fraudulent, the science was wrong.

That is, well done research after the Lancet paper had failed to confirm Wakefield’s results showing that those results were most likely incorrect. Whether they were honest or fraudulent was irrelevant to whether the results were correct.

A scientific assessment of how reality works is based on a consensus of experimental results which are consistent with each other. It doesn’t stand or fall based on any one experiment.

However, a legal assessment of guilt (which is what the general public sees every night on TV crime shows) depends on a lot of separate pieces of evidence all fitting together to show proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If one or two of those pieces of evidence are removed from the puzzle (whether they are incorrect, misinterpreted or just fail to meet legal standards to be admitted as evidence), the case to prove guilt may collapse.

This can be seen in the efforts of those who support the vaccine-autism link. There has been very little effort to do good research to prove the scientific truth of that link (and what has been done is mediocre at best). Wakefield himself declined to try to do that.

Instead there are lots of attacks on individuals like Paul Offitt, Brian Deer and Paul Thorsen with the hope that this will show that their evidence against the vaccine-autism connection (or Andrew Wakefield) is wrong, hence exonerating Andrew Wakefield, hence proving the truth of the Lancet paper, etc.

Their argument is a giant house of cards, but they keep trying to build it up anyway.

For more discussion of the science versus fraud angle, I suggest these two blog posts from a year ago in January:

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/01/misdirected_criticism_by_someone_from_wh.php

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/01/british_science_accused_in_the_wake_of_t.php#more

And for a follow-on discussion of the issues in coping with fraud in science, I suggest these posts from last August:

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/08/in_which_i_disagree_with_brian_deer.php#more

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/08/scientific_fraud_and_journal_article_ret.php#more

“We wish to make it clear that in [the 1998] paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon [the] findings in the (1998) paper, according to precedent.”

from Retraction of an Interpretation by Simon H Murch, Andrew Anthony, David H Casson, Mohsin Malik, Mark Berelowitz, Amar P Dhillon, Michael A Thomson, Alan Valentine, Susan E Davies, John A Walker-Smith (10 of the original 12 authors; John Linnell could not be reached)

Do read the subject matter before comment please..

All this can easily be cleared up. JWS can come out and give his medical justification for LP’s, MRi’s and bowel biopsies. All these evaluations have very specific indications, and if JWS believed he was preforming a therapeutic evaluation, he can easily give the indication for their use. If he cannot then the GMC was right to discipline him.

@ Patricia dear, you just shot down your own argument about why Wakefield didn’t appeal the GMC decision…and inadvertently shot down Wakefield’s pending lawsuit against the BMJ, Godlee and Deer, claiming defamation and loss of potential earnings.

What are the clinical indications for performing a lumbar puncture, dear?

“Now that is what ah too would call a real man Lilady!”

Now that is what I would call a disgraced former practicing physician, dear.

-FTFY

@OQF #53:

you can`t argue with a decision from a High Court Judge it is the highest law in the UK

The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are both able to overturn High Court decisions. But then you’ve already demonstrated you know nothing and are unable to do even basic research.

@patricia

Your story seems to be morphing. You said

Did the judge say anywhere in his judgement that the case should never have been brough to court? Answer No, he did not. And I never stated otherwise.

Yet the bit I was responding to, you stated:

I have said that thw whole case should never have been brought in the first place. As indeed Judge Mitten has emphasised in his quashing of their verdict.

Earlier, you also stated this:

Now that Brian Deer and his supporters have been utterly discredited – by bringing this malicious and entirely unfounded case to the GMC in the first instance – they are shown up for what they truly are, lackeys of a corrupt Public health authority and the pharma industry.

You have yet to show anywhere in Justice Mitting’s decision that Deer’s work was “entirely unfounded” or malicious or that what he found has been discredited. As I pointed out before, this ruling is primarily about how the GMC went about its work and the conclusions drawn from the evidence as it relates to Prof. Walker-Smith; it says nothing about the evidence itself, nor does it really address Prof. Walker-Smith’s innocence or guilt.

Let me put it this way: suppose a man robbed a bank. The police put together a case, charge the man and bring him to court. They present their evidence, and the judge convicts the man. He appeals, and the appeals court finds that the evidence that had been presented did not rise to the level of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The appeals judge overturns the conviction and the man is free to go. Nothing has changed the fact that the man did in fact rob a bank. The appeals ruling is an indictment of the shoddy work of the police and attorneys general, but does not actually address the real guilt or innocence of the man.

Justice Mitting’s ruling is along these lines.

The retraction of the interpretation is often misquoted as being most of the authors disowning the paper (as posts above) . The data within the paper holds true. Wake up call for you Pharma whores…

Denice has a theory that being “posh” means you are also automatically wealthy. I wish.

There is no doubt in my mind that Andy Wakefield unleashes in some people a tsunami of jealousy and resentment. Just for being educated, erudite. And so they absolutely revel in his downfall and cannot get enough of it.

Couldn’t be because he is also goodlooking and nice could it? No. Course not.

I have a comment on the legal/scientific issue in moderation.

Meanwhile, for those who make think a lumbar puncture is just another medical test which is a nuisance but no real harm done, I will offer an illustrative anecdote.

I have been medically diagnosed with a seizure disorder for 35 years now. Fortunately, it is relatively minor and well controlled by medication.

However, in order to diagnose that condition and decide on an effective treatment plan, I have had two lumbar punctures or spinal taps. The second one, about 20 years ago, went fairly easily. Medical testing technology had improved and they didn’t need to draw very much fluid and there were no significant ill consequences.

The first one was quite the opposite. I was advised beforehand that removing the spinal fluid would cause stress on the ganglia(?) that support the brain and might cause a severe headache and that I should lie still for 24 hours and not move or raise my head. (I wonder how you would get an autistic child to comply with that?) But, I did that after the procedure on a Friday. Saturday I felt all right and started raising my head and sitting up for a while. Then I started getting headaches, which got worse and worse and worse. And pain medication had to be authorized by a doctor, most of whom were gone for the weekend and no one seemed to figure out that I might need it on a regular basis. I think I talked them into giving me something 2 or 3 times. By Monday, the headache was still excruciating and I was driven to a commercial airport for a flight home. I didn’t have money or time to buy medicine and missed a flight connection and had to wait in an airport for several hours waiting for the next flight and trying to rest my head on the awful airport “couches”.

Finally, I got home and could buy some aspirin and really lie still on a comfortable bed and start to recover.

This is only an anecdote, and the probability of such a severe side effect is probably low.

Perhaps it was indicated for child #7 who had convulsions, but why a medical professional would risk inflicting it on a patient to diagnose or treat a bowel disorder is beyond me.

The retraction of the interpretation came out before it was discovered that Wakefield made up the data within the paper. You cannot therefore credibly claim that it means the data is instead correct.

patricia, do you realize that the only actual issue in the ruling was whether Walker-Smith considered what he was doing research? How exactly does that stretch to the extents you’re claiming? I want a specific chain of reasoning that leads from “Walker-Smith didn’t think he was doing research” to “That finding is enough simply to discredit the GMC Tribunal altogether. It cannot stand.”

Oh Todd I see where you are coming from!
The Judge didn’tsay that the Professor was innocent of all charges! Just that those charges were unfounded and mistaken and lacking in evidence and reasoning and that therefore…

Umm sorry Todd, don’t get it…..

“The retraction of the interpretation came out before it was discovered that Wakefield made up the data within the paper. You cannot therefore credibly claim that it means the data is instead correct.”

Where does The Highest Court in the UK ,London High Court Judge Mitting dispute the paper and its data?

Now why is it, that the highest court in the UK did not discover that??answers on the back of the postage stamp please…to Brian Deer ,he told you all so that, the data was flawed…

@patricia

I don’t know how to simplify it further for you, patricia. Do go back to the original documents and read them. Try thinking things through for yourself after doing so, rather than going with what the authors at AoA/JABS/SafeMinds/etc. tell you.

Oh, and as to the spittle comment, I made that because your post had a tone of inchoate rage.

Cynical Pediatrician

Wrong The paper does not link Autism just bowl disease..try again you have all been lied and lied to by Deer

See my comment 28

“Simply and firstly Dr Wakefield’s paper never claimed a link between autism and MMR…What it DOES report is a link between bowel disease and ASD. That finding still stands and is now endorsed by paediatric gastroenterologists worldwide. JWS and his team were the first to investigate and report on this. The GMC decision – which is now DISCREDITED – did untold damage to the continuing work on this issue…it simply follows that Deer,Godlee and perpetrators of the lies and fanning the lies should be held to book, and kicked up the arse so hard they never sit down again…happy days guys…happy days a discredited GMC once again..”

..Sucker for wanting to believe it in the first place…

The fact that Wankerfield was paid to commit gross fraud and manufacture data is entirely independent of Mitting’s ruling. Or the entire GMC process, for that matter.

@OQF – so Wakefield wasn’t paid by a Solicitor filing suit related to vaccine injuries?

I can’t help but suspect that, if you had some actual EVIDENCE to contradict Deer’s findings, you’d present it. But you are apparently unable to do so. Nor is Wankerfield.

Lawrence great tact if you could get OFFIT but the point of fact is simply the data stands and it is reasonable to reinstate the staus quo prior to the GMC decision..you need pharma free time to think for yourself rather than asking Messiah Deer for advice,time is on our side…

The status quo before the GMC decision was that Wankerfield was a liar, a fraud, and a killer of children. So yeah, pretty much unchanged there.

Patricia:

I said that this view emphasised my belief that the case as such, should never have been presented in the first place. It was an unprofessional and wholly inadequate case presented by a bunch of amateurs with insufficient legal expertise. Oh, and since the whole case had been perpetrated in the first instance solely by Brian Deer and his cohorts, it therefore challenged their credibility in pursueing their twisted and wrongful interpretation of events. My words not Judge Mitten’s.

Who are Mr. Deer’s cohorts?

Have I missed out stuff?

Why, yes. Did you even read the articles I posted at LB/RB by Dr. Elliman, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Goldacre? Go back and look for the links (they are printed in red on that blog), and read them. Look at the dates and tell us if they come before or after Mr. Deer’s articles.

In summary, Patricia and OQF, Wakefield’s “research” was deemed wrong and insignificant before Mr. Deer came to the party. That little paper should have faded into the shadows, but it did not due to idiot journalists. While all the time you and friends became fanboys and fangirls of a psychopath (who are often very charming on the outside).

Beamup

Comment 34 ..

The High Court said the decision was “flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”.

Ruling, Mr Justice Mitting stated: “The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed.

“It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician.

“Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.”

You lot have a brain cell between ya! yeah!!na!thought so just keep taking the pharma dollars trolls

If you draw this to its natural conclusion (collusion by Deer and Godlee) it would be reasonable to expect the same yard stick has been applied to Deer’s lies. which will no doubt unfold in the coming year…Evidence well Deer denying bowl disease when mothers hold up pictures of kids aged 15 weighing 5 stones…now is that denial or what. but that’s of the subject matter..Mitting has delivered one massive blow to you Pharma whores and you deserve it. royally so..

The retraction of the interpretation is often misquoted as being most of the authors disowning the paper (as posts above) . The data within the paper holds true. Wake up call for you Pharma whores.

The data within the paper does not hold true: Wakefield demonstrably misrepresented or otherwise altered the medical histories of all 12 subjects.

@ squirrelelite: Your headache following your first L.P. is more commonly reported in medical journals.

There is no medical justification for performing L.P.s on a child who has a seizure disorder absent meningeal signs (meningismus)…except in the case of an infant who presents with a FUO (fever of unknown origin); infants do not show the classic meningeal signs. Other children who present with FUO and who have severe cerebral palsy may require a L.P. because classic meningeal signs are “absent” as well.

Why did the parents of the children in the Wakefield study consent to these multiple painful invasive procedures?

Why do these same parents continue to support Wakefield…since the GMC ruled that he committed egregious “serious medical malpractice” on their children?

@OQF-
One of Wakefield’s key claims was that measles virus caused lymphoid hyperplasia in the gut which led to developmental disorders, such as autism; he also claimed that this sequence correlated with administration of the measles mumps rubella vaccine.

To quote from Wakefield’s own abstract:
“Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children.”
“Behavioural disorders included autism (nine)[out of 12]”
“We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.”

Are you suggesting that the words “autism” and “measles” in the abstract were typographical errors? That they do not mean what we think they mean? That the inclusion of information regarding administration of the MMR vaccine was an purely incidental and irrelevant detail?
Have you even read the abstract or paper?
In any case, whatever you might think his paper says, his claims have been disproven by other researchers.

It’s one thing to claim an interesting hypothesis. It’s another to keep beating a dead horse.

Who are Mr. Deer’s cohorts?
If they are not gleaming in purple and gold then they are not real cohorts.

@Once Queer Fish:

Lawrence great tact if you could get OFFIT but the point of fact is simply the data stands and it is reasonable to reinstate the staus quo prior to the GMC decision..

Repeating myself:

The Lancet’s editors on the retraction:

… it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al1 are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.

Neither of those two things (consecutive referrals or ethics committee approval) were contradicted by the judgement, so The Lancet has no reason to undo the retraction.

As indeed Judge Mitten has emphasised in his quashing of their verdict.
My words not Judge Mitten’s.

I am left to speculate whether Patricia is on such familiar terms with Mr Justice Mitting that she has her own pet name for him, and her own pet title.

If you draw this to its natural conclusion (collusion by Deer and Godlee) it would be reasonable to expect the same yard stick has been applied to Deer’s lies.

Let’s cut to the chase: what statements has Brian Deer published regarding Wakefield himself or his retracted Lancet paper that constitute lies?

Be as specific as possible–in fact, provide direct quotes with attribution.

As I have notice John Stone has just posted …says most of the Pharm Whore questions…that have been plied to me..if not let me know…kind regards OQF

High Court findings on Prof John Walker-Smith regarding the Wakefield “Lancet” paper
8 March 2012
I note from BMJ’s statement regarding the Wakefield libel suit reported in the Guardian in January [1]:

“Despite the findings of the GMC’s Fitness to Practice Panel and his co-authors having publicly retracted the causation interpretation put forward by the Lancet Paper, it would appear from the Claim filed at court that Mr Wakefield still stands by the accuracy of the Lancet paper and his conclusion therein, thereby compounding his previously found misconduct.”

In view of the fact that Sir John Mitting in the High Court has now entirely overturned the findings of the GMC regarding the Lancet paper, BMJ may like to consider whether they have not built on sand [2].

[1] Ian Sample, ‘Andrew Wakefield sues BMJ for claiming MMR study was fraudulent’ Guardian 5 January http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/05/andrew-wakefield-sues-bmj-mmr

[2] Prof John Walker-Smith vs GMC before Mr Justice Mitting, judgement 7 March 2012 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.rtf

Competing interests: Son was a patient of Prof Walker-Smith

“…Sir John Mitting in the High Court has now entirely overturned the findings of the GMC regarding the Lancet paper…”

You realize that this is an entirely false statement, right? Did you even bother to read the decision?

Careful with the hyperbole. Leave that to the anti-vaxers.

I don’t consider it hyperbole. The death of children from measles was a predictable outcome of his actions (if one presumes he’d be listened to). And it has indeed come to pass, when it likely would not have sans Wakefield.

You all just argue amongst yourselves …obviously now implodding..Cheers to Brian

HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

@93

I was thinking the same thing:

In view of the fact that Sir John Mitting in the High Court has now entirely overturned the findings of the GMC regarding the Lancet paper, BMJ may like to consider whether they have not built on sand

The Lancet paper was not on trial, nor the results contained within. The ruling is about Prof John Walker-Smith, whether he was doing research or treating children. In the first case the GMC ruling stands, in the second case he felt the GMC ruling should be overturned.

Nothing about the actually validity of the Lancet paper.

Todd

I am quite surprised by your delusional images of me in an “inchoate rage”. Wow. I don’t do rage on these forums. I laugh a lot. And sometimes I feel close to weeping. With depression. So much angst here and venom.

Patricia, did you read the articles by Dr. Elliman, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Goldacre that I linked to on LB/RB? What were the dates and what did they say? Do they support Wakefeild’s hypotheses?

@95 – OQF

You have an interesting view of the world … as if disagreement is a terrible thing. Do you agree with every statement and tactic used by anti-vax proponents? I’m guessing you must or you’d be a hypocrite.

@Beamup

I agree that measles deaths due to the fear of MMR that came about as a result of Wakefield’s shameless self-promotion can be laid squarely at his feet and at the feet of the media that eagerly lapped up his drivel. However, be careful with wording lest someone accuse you of saying that he directly killed kids with his own hands.

I left a comment here comparing the charges where Mr. Wakefield was found guilty of “serious professional misconduct” and Prof. Walker-Smith was found guilty of the same (pre appeal)

It’s stuck in spam-trap land, but it is also here:
http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2012/03/walker-smith-wins-appeal/#comment-400745

Note that there is little overlap. Should one say that the appeal negates any areas where there the charges against Mr. Wakefield and Prof. Walker-Smith overlap, one is left with a number of charges against Mr. Wakefield which still would stand.

@ Todd W:

OK, I can buy that. Would you be happier with “indirectly brought about the death of children from measles?”

OQF, answer Lawrence’s question. Or let me restate that: what was the financial relationship between Richard Barr and Andrew Wakefield? Should it have been listed as a conflict of interest on the still retracted Lancet paper?

(Beamup and Todd, I have also learned by reading MMR vaccine—worries are not justified that children were also given less effective and possibly more dangerous single mumps vaccines due to Wakefield’s evidence-free suggestion at his press conference. It is interesting the things you learn while searching PubMed.)

@patricia

Apologies if I misread the tone of your comment at #40, though quite interesting that you would suggest that I am delusional, rather than simply mistaken.

And again, sorry that I was unable to boil Justice Mitting’s ruling down simply enough for you to understand. I just really don’t know how to make it any more plain.

You Pharma whores all contently digress into other matters when the subject matter is has kudos…suc as my comment

Comment 34 ..
The High Court said the decision was “flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”.
Ruling, Mr Justice Mitting stated: “The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed.
“It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician.
“Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.”

Just how is Deer Brian going to de-frock this it come form the Highest Court in the Uk from the highest Judge in the UK so does Deer Brian know better…Hear The Silence???

OQF:

You have manifestly failed to provide a clear line of evidence & logic showing that the success of Walker-Smith’s appeal and the ruling provided follow to any kind of vindication of Andrew Wakefield. All you have done is spammed this comment thread with inchoerent rants and quote-mines of the ruling.

As such, there is no reason to seriously address your claims or comments.

@Composer99: I’ve had OQF killfiled for ages, and was quite surprised to see him crawl out of the ooze for this post; he hasn’t been around for a while.

@Chris: I doubt patricia will read your links. She doesn’t want to read anything that proves St Andy used fraudulent data, and any research that disagrees with him was done by Big Pharma, anyway. Her insult to lilady nearly led me to killfile her but I wanted to see how far she’d go.

Com—POSER 99

Keep taking the pharma meds and dollars they do well for ya!
wouldn’t want you out in mainstream life .Stay in your one bed , bed sit posting ,it work’s for ya…as all the main bloggers on here are..

MI Dawn ..

Never heard of ya! despite your self apported slayer..

mind you Deer never heard of Mitting better watch out…

Great how the subject digress when the trolls cant argue the points ..la!la! fingers in mee ears but i can still read

@108 – OQF:

Somehow you manage to both get it, yet profoundly not understand. It boggles the mind.

You quote from 34 from the appeal decision:

“It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician.

This is exactly what I and others have said in previous posts. The court had to decide on whether Prof. Walker-Smith was doing research or believed himself to be be acting simply acting as a medical doctor and providing treatment.
One can agree with the judges interpretation of Prof. Walker-Smith or not.

What it does NOT say, is that the research in the Lancet paper was correct, nor that Wakefield didn’t manipulate data, nor that Brian Deer’s article in the BMJ is incorrect.

I’m starting to think that you might not understand the word silence. Perhaps you think it means “not hearing agreeing opinions”?

It also does NOT say that Wakefield did not do research unfaithfully … he still didn’t get ethical committee approval and had undisclosed COIs.

Patricia’s fangirl effusions about Wakefield are really skeeving me out. “He’s so nice! So good looking! So erudite! A real man! If you don’t admire him like I do it’s because you’re just jealous!”

It is best to just ignore the OQF Troll…he’s proven himself to be an ignorant, devoid of argument Wakefield fanboi.

@ Mi Dawn: Please don’t killfile dear Patricia…I’m having some perverse fun with her.

Patricia dear, why don’t you provide the medical justifications for Wakefield ordering painful, invasive tests on his study participants?

And so the very High Court In London never picked up on any of these points ..bunch of pharma whore jokers that you all are digress to anything but the matter…Deer has mis-lead you all…take the dollars and run!!run!!!John Wayne is Big Leggy…

no pharma big hitters want a hit?

bring it on??

Deer about ..not a chance…run run run..but you all cant hide..

So OQF keeps on rolling along.

I remember the last time OQF tried to hijack a thread, yet I cannot determine the motivations behind the troll’s inane postings. Is it his undying (and unwarranted) devotion to the disgraced doctor or, his immense jealousy of Brian Deer’s superb investigative journalism skills?

Ugh, the anti-vaxers didn’t waste any time in claiming that this exonerates Wakefield, did they? If it does, then why didn’t the good judge just go ahead and clear Wakefield also? I mean, if it’s the just thing to do, then why not go ahead and do it regardless of a Wakefield appeal or not? If a convict is found to be innocent in the course of the appeal of another person, does the convict have to appeal for justice to be done?

I’m thinking not.

Let me further discuss the so-called *posh* theory**:

I don’t think AJW can feasibly claim poverty as the reason he didn’t pursue an appeal and/ or sue his detractors in the UK.
He is not impoverished. I can quote Todd W. @ RI ( who looked it up): his house in Austin is worth, IIRC, 900K. USD.
He comes from a family of physicians, is married to a doctor, had worked for many years ( he’s over 50), has friends and supporters and probably has investments- like most professional people do.
Most tellingly, he is able to raise funds now- which he is doing for his American lawsuit.
So in my book, he’s posh- better off than most. He wears expensive clothes ( see photo AoA). And as to jealousy: ‘fraid not. I’m (at least) semi-posh myself: I live as I choose, do meaningful work and have never been in trouble of any sort- but I could certainly raise funds if I were in his predicament- needing to appeal an unjust judgment; even if I *were* broke my cohorts and cousins would come to my aid. Plus, I’m better looking than he is. Seriously.
Lighten up, Patricia, we aren’t your enemies.

** that has got to be a gift from the heavens to me. And I thank my lucky stars for it.

Agree with the premise that the exoneration of W-S does not equate to the exoneration of Wakefield.

What it does do is demonstrate that in the view of Mitting, the GMC got it wrong for W-S, that W-S should not have been struck off and accordingly that finding by GMC is quashed.

Worrisome for some, delightful for others, is that the Mitting ruling demonstrates as well that the GMC is fallible.

Now I can recall reading ad nauseum statements by Mssr Deer that Wakefield is guilty to the “highest evidentiary standard.” Well, now, maybe not. Not exonerated, to be sure, but found guilty by a panel that publicly and spectacularly screwed the pooch in a similar related case.

To those who disagree with Mittig- get over it, or file an appeal. Quit whining and quibbling, it is most unseemly. Don’t allow yourself to resemble a bunch of
AoAers petulantly stamping your feet because you disagree with a procedural ruling.

@lilady: never fear. If I killfile patricia, you will still see her. And even better, I’ll get to read your intelligent responses without having to read her inane blather first.

@DT35: Yeah, patricia’s Waker worship is rather creepy, I think… she sounds like a teenager drooling over the Beatles.

@ Ren: It is similarly analogous to a criminal trial, where a man indicted for an armed robbery is able to *prove* that he was unaware that the guy he accompanied into a liquor store was actually going to rob the owner. Said “innocent” bystander claims he had no knowledge that gun in the glove compartment that the robber put into his pocket, and the ski mask that his friend donned upon entering the liquor store, were going to be used in an armed robbery.

Meanwhile, the actual gun-toting robber sits in jail after having been found guilty. The evidence against him (video surveillance, his fingerprints and his DNA on the gun), is overwhelming.

Why would the convicted armed robber and his supporters think that his friend’s beating of the rap, exonerate him?

@lilady

Why would the convicted armed robber and his supporters think that his friend’s beating of the rap, exonerate him?

Because they’re against any and all forms of vaccination due to a misguided, misinformed world view where “everyone is on the take” (to paraphrase Jake) and “western medicine”, chock-full of evidence, is sorcery while “natural medicine”, chock-full of magic, is the Truth™. That’s why.

(What’s the over/under on how much time until someone at AoA posts a comment stating that we’re calling Wakefield an armed robber?)

Given how willing the Wakefield apologists are to completely make up stuff not contained in, or even implied by, this ruling, I wonder why they bothered to wait for this before saying all of the nonsense offered above. They could have just as easily, and logically, picked up a 2010 copy of Cat Fancy and said “How do you explain THIS, Brian Deer? It PROVES that all of the Pharma Whores were conspiring to slander Wakefield!”

Yes it does, Queer Fish. The eyes of that marmalade on page 42 are especially damning.

@ Ren: If only…AJW’s “crime” was an armed robbery and, if only…AJW didn’t *double-down* on the bullshit of *all vaccines-causing-autism pseudoscience*, I wouldn’t be so harsh on him.

The man is a public health menace; responsible for the deaths of children from vaccine preventable diseases.

Comment 34 ..
The High Court said the decision was “flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”.
Ruling, Mr Justice Mitting stated: “The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed.
“It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician.
“Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.”

Just how is Deer Brian going to de-frock this it come form the Highest Court in the Uk from the highest Judge in the UK so does Deer Brian know better…Hear The Silence???

Where do I refer to Dr Wakefield or Mr Wakefield so as you know Mr in surgical terms is a higher title than Dr ,Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (chartered 1505),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fellowship_of_the_Royal_College_of_Surgeons

..going back to 1505 when America was still running around with fuck knows what John Wayne would tell ..ya!! John Wayne is big Leggey get wise pharma whores..

I see John Stone’s queer parrot fish is back. yawwwwn..

126 Autismum

Andrew Wakefield does have a lovely, posh voice. It makes all his lies sound so nice.

The fish agrees. According to queer parrot fish..

#246 OQF [“As Andrew Wakefield’s defenders circle the wagons” thread -Jan 2011]

Simply. anyone who met AW would rapidly form the impression within a half-hour, if not just minutes, that he is a good person, who really had the children’s interests at heart and had has nothing to hide.

Very surprised to see only one instance of each of its posts here. On the thread above it decided that repetitively spamming the same comment gave its regurgitations some credibility. Shame I can’t stay and play today.

Autismum:

Andrew Wakefield does have a lovely, posh voice. It makes all his lies sound so nice.

Personally I find his voice smarmy and, frankly, he is very creepy.

Proscientifica:

Now I can recall reading ad nauseum statements by Mssr Deer that Wakefield is guilty to the “highest evidentiary standard.” Well, now, maybe not. Not exonerated, to be sure, but found guilty by a panel that publicly and spectacularly screwed the pooch in a similar related case.

Guilty or not, Wakefield is still wrong. Several studies and several reviews of his work showed he was wrong before and after Deer came on to the scene. Here are some papers for your perusal:

Arch Dis Child. 2001 Oct;85(4):271-4.
MMR vaccine–worries are not justified.

Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):2026-9.
Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association.

BMJ. 2002 Feb 16;324(7334):393-6.
Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study.

Mol Psychiatry. 2002;7 Suppl 2:S7-8.
Autism and MMR vaccination in North London; no causal relationship.

And an award winning article by Dr. Ben Goldacre: MMR – Never Mind the Facts. Now what do you notice about the dates of all of those articles?

Just how is Deer Brian going to de-frock this it come form the Highest Court in the Uk from the highest Judge in the UK so does Deer Brian know better…Hear The Silence???< ?i>

The Right Honourable the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, President of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom — previously Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales — will be very sad to learn of his demotion.

No disagreement that the researcher Wakefield may have his facts wrong, that the syndrome he postulated in Lancet may not exist.

No disagreement that he is not exonerated.

Peer review is the process by which science advances. I for one am grateful that Lancet accepted the paper for publication. The paper was offered to be refuted or replicated, thus far is has not apparently been replicated and it may in fact be refuted along with retracted.

So Wakefield exposed his hypothesis to the rigors of scientific examination and the process has unfolded. Along the way, he,like W-S, was found guilty of nefarious activities “to the highest evidentiary standard.”

Mittings case by case review of each Lancet child’s journey is meticulous. Reminds me of the story of the seven blind men and the elephant. This episode has become a Rorschach test for one’s view on vaccine safety. People see in it what they want to see, or are pre-disposed to believe. Science, I fear, has been left in the emotional dust.

Just how is Deer Brian going to de-frock this it come form the Highest Court in the Uk from the highest Judge in the UK so does Deer Brian know better…Hear The Silence???

The Right Honourable the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, President of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom — previously the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales — will be desolated to learn of his demotion.

Proscientifica:

You do realize that Wakefield really did commit fraud, right? And that he really did engage in public statements, based on his 1998 Lancet paper which were not supported by the paper, right?

As such, he can hardly be said to have legitimately exposed a hypothesis of value to the rigours of scientific examination?

What I’ve gleaned from AJW ( from photos, audio and video):
he seems a master of image management- carefully presenting himself as a sincere, caring person. The desired impression is meticulously honed: the right gestures, expression and clothing accompany his sounding *concerned*. It’s studied and rehearsed like an actor playing the role of an especially dedicated doctor: someone you want on your side. Oh where have I seen this act before?

Our woo-meisters also put on the airs of humane, altruistic interest to accent their cargo cult hoarde of faux science. They’re there to help you because you’re important. Costume and vocal qualities are fine tuned to create a quiet dignity and an aura of deep reverent thought. Salemen ( women) work on appearing trustworthy and knowledgable but woo-meisters take it to the next level: spirituality! Their motives are sacrosanct and the patient’s welfare is their utmost concern.

It’s stagecraft and skilled performance- developed over years: how can regular folk compete with this? I grew up around business people- perhaps I’m somewhat immune. These manipulations are easy to learn and easy to spot: look and listen carefully the next time you watch you-tube woo. Faux sincerity drips like honey.

Lilady

The man is a public health menace; responsible for the deaths of children from vaccine preventable diseases.

Evidence? Citations?
You make a claim? You back it up with evidence not libel. You’re supposed to be a critical thinker. You’re not.

Name one child, please, whose death was caused by Andrew Wakefield and how you came to this evidence.

Otherwise, sit back down and stop slamming your hands into the keyboard.

@Denice Walters:

Could you poison the well a little more with your fallacies?

What I’ve gleaned from AJW ( from photos, audio and video):
he seems a master of image management- carefully presenting himself as a sincere, caring person.

And exactly how do you know he’s not a sincere caring person? A hunch? An intuition? From looking at photographs?Is this what they taught you in your psychiatric classes or is this a special gift you acquired from childhood?

these manipulations are easy to learn and easy to spot: look and listen carefully the next time you watch you-tube woo.

Thanks for your fact free opinion! Good grief!

Lildady:

@ Mi Dawn: Please don’t killfile dear Patricia…I’m having some perverse fun with her.

Lilady, what you are experiencing is called Delusions of Grandeur. You have a skewed sense of self. I believe you overestimate your powers.

Just what I was thinking, Herr Doktor! Of course, since OQF approves of his ruling, it naturally follows that Mr. Justice Mitting should be Lord Chief Justice, even if reality has not quite caught up yet.

Though I note that this opinion is not quite universal. Googling around the internet to find Mitting opinions in other cases (his area of expertise is immigration matters), the first article that popped up described him as a “hapless buffoon.” How regrettable that writer lacks OQF’s incisive insight!

his area of expertise is immigration matters
I believe this has sometimes led him to order the release of scary brown people, in accordance with the actual law rather than with the desire of the authorities to hold those scary people in custody. It is therefore quite plausible that the British gutter press will describe him as a “hapless buffoon.”

Mitting is not the paramount judge within the High Courts (Queens Bench division) — that honour being reserved for the current Lord Chief Justice, Justice Igor Judge (privy councellor and Baron Judge) — Lord Justice Judge Baron Judge for short. I am not making this up.

The reason Wakefield did not appeal is quite simple. Following his GMC case, his attorney, Kieran Coonan, was consulted by the Medical Protection Society, which funded the case. His advice was that Mr Wakefield would be unlikely to win on appeal. The case against him was very different.

My impression is that many observers of the case came to believe that it was about “ethics” of invasive research. This was what the British lawmaker Evan Harris took up. This was a huge distraction. If you look at Deer’s investigation, he hardly ever mentioned the ethics of it. The case against Wakefield was over the integrity of the findings.

That was where the damage was done to Wakefield. I believe Wakefield will be devastated by the Mitting judgment, which comes to his aid in no way at all.

Many English judges loath the GMC and routinely abuse it in their judgments. Although, if you read Mitting’s judgment in isolation, you might think he was critical. Actually, his general criticisms of process are very muted, and remain focused on Walker-Smith.

Apart from “consecutive”, where Mitting has one view and the panel of five had another view, there is nothing for Wakefield to get his teeth into.

He ain’t coming back, that’s for sure.

Whoah. somebody stop the barge.
The Wakefield fans have forgotten that Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

@ augustine:

I have no idea whether AJW is a caring, sincere person or not- that’s not the issue: I am merely stating that he projects an assiduously maintained good front. I have a negative opinion of him because the evidence suggests that he manipulated data and the subject selection process, used un-warranted invasive tests on children, didn’t reveal his conflicting business concerns, wasted public funds et al.

-btw- You obviously haven’t been around the business world, have you? Many people make a decent living by training others how to speak, dress and act appropriately for careers. Candidates may track their progress by video prior to interviewing. Psychologists study impression formation also. Watch people who work on television news- you’ll notice they look and sound a certain way: it’s no accident, they’ve worked very hard on it.

You should really get out more: it’s a wide world and has all sorts of interesting people in it. Things aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface.

OQF: not quite sure if dumb as a post or drunk… please clarify.

Question: did any of the Lancet kids have bowel disease? I read a post here yesterday that suggested that the children did not have bowel disease, this from Mittig’s decision:

“On 15th October 1996, Dr. Pegg wrote to Professor Walker-Smith telling him that Project 172-96 would be discussed at the next meeting of the Ethics Committee. He set out his reservations and invited comments. He categorised some of the investigations as “high risk”, in the categorisation adopted by the British Paediatric Association in guidance published in August 1992, which advised that it would be unethical to submit child subjects to more than minimal risk when the procedure offers no or a slight or very uncertain benefit to them. Accordingly, he sought confirmation “that the child would undergo this regimen even if it was not in a trial”. He also raised a query about the consent form which parents would be required to sign before the investigations required by the study were performed on their child. This elicited a reply from Professor Walker-Smith dated 11th November 1996, the relevant part of which states:

“…Clearly this is an intensive regime with procedures that could be regarded as “high” risk although they are particularly used for the investigation of children with chronic inflammatory bowel disease. These children suffer from a disease with a “hopeless prognosis” in relation to their cerebral disintegrative disorder. They have often not had the level of investigation which we would regard as adequate for a child presenting with such a devastating condition. In relation to their gastrointestinal symptoms which will be present in all the children we investigate, these have often been under-investigated. We have so far investigated five such children on a clinical need basis, all in fact have proved to have evidence of chronic bowel inflammation. One child has already had a significant response to enteral feeding. Certainly there is a measurable benefit to the child:
i) establishing a diagnosis and excluding metabolic and other causes.
ii) commencing on a therapeutic regime.
This whole study is parent/patient driven as every case referred has been initiated by the GP by the parents of the child.
I can confirm that children would have these investigations even if there were no trial. I must make clear that we would not be investigating children without gastrointestinal symptoms.”

From the hearing:

“Despite the justified reservations of Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch about Dr. Wakefield’s hypothesis, they were both convinced that the investigations into the twelve “Lancet children” had been of diagnostic value for all of them and therapeutic value for most of them. On 14th October 1997, Professor Walker-Smith wrote to Dr. Salisbury, following a meeting at the Department of Health:

“On the issue of autism, I am completely astounded by the clinical features of these children with autism and bowel inflammation. Very often the gastrointestinal symptoms have been ignored by a succession of the doctors and the findings on ileo-colonoscopy appear to be quite distinctive. This seems to me a whole new syndrome which is in urgent need of clarification”.

From hearing, quote by W-S-

“In relation to your last comments, I am certainly doing nothing to pressure the family to see us. In fact my department is somewhat overwhelmed by the response of parents who believe that their children have autistic and gastrointestinal symptoms following MMR. I personally had no idea that there were such large numbers of patients in the community across the country where the parents had made this association…”

This comment made before Lancet 1998 published.

Don’t underestimate him, stu–I’ve known people to manage both simultaneously.

@One Queer Fish:

Where does The Highest Court in the UK ,London High Court Judge Mitting dispute the paper and its data?

And so the very High Court In London never picked up on any of these points ..

So, are you saying the Judge Mitting threw out every single little thing the GMC found, and Mitting basically did the whole thing over again, so if Mitting didn’t re-affirm a finding of the GMC that finding is out the window? For example, the GMC found that the referrals to Wakefield were non-consecutive, but since Mitting didn’t mention anything about the referrals, the GMC’s finding about non-consecutive referrals is out the window?

Proscientifica #149,

This comment made before Lancet 1998 published.

It was indeed, in response to a letter from Child J’s pediatrician to W-S asking him and his department to stop putting pressure on Child J’s family to ask him to refer Child J to W-S. When asked why he wrote in such stern terms this doctor explained:

Because the Royal Free team contacted me persistently regarding this young man. I could appreciate the family may have contacted them, but I, too, had spoken to the family about it and expressed my view. I might have expected the team to have taken my view and given some respect to my view, rather than persistently contacting me and recommending that I should make a referral to them.

One wonders how it was that a GP should be irritated enough to write to W-S asking him to cease and desist pestering the family, yet W-S is apparently unaware of any such pestering. It’s almost as if a member of W-S’s team was actively recruiting these children without W-S’s knowledge. This would explain why W-S is surprised at all these referrals appearing seemingly from nowhere. As the GP wrote:

I understand that Dr Wakefield has been continuing to send the family information. In particular he has been sending them information from a firm of solicitors who seem to specialise in litigation in relation to immunisation.

It certainly looks to me as if Wakefield was casting his net far and wide looking for children with autism and gastrointestinal problems that had started after MMR for this study, mentioning litigation that offered possible financial reward. Not surprisingly he found quite a number. This does not reflect well on either Wakefield or W-S. All quotes from GMC transcripts.

Proscientifica,

Question: did any of the Lancet kids have bowel disease?

Not inflammatory bowel disease by most gastroenterologists’ standards. Most of the biopsy findings, blood inflammatory markers, barium meals and endoscopy results were essentially normal, and were reported as such, except for Child 9, as I recall. The retracted Lancet paper was supposed to identify a new clinical entity, a collection of inflammatory changes in the bowel, W-S’s “whole new syndrome”, that were previously considered normal. Whether that syndrome actually exists or if it was merely an artefact of some sort is still not really clear.

As we have seen, Wakefield had put out the word that he was looking for autistic children with bowel disorders, so you would expect him to have found just that. What surprises me is that most of the biopsies were reported as normal by the routine histopathologists. Autism exists and bowel disorders exist, so there will necessarily be some individuals with both purely by coincidence, but none of the Lancet 12 seem to have had unequivocal inflammatory bowel disease.

The important question is whether bowel disorders are more common in autistic individuals than in non-autistic individuals and if there is any relationship between them, for example a common cause. That question is not answered by the Lancet study, and other evidence I have seen is contradictory. Some studies have found an increased incidence of inflammatory bowel disorders in autistic individuals, and some have not. More research is needed to establish if there is a link between bowel disorders and autism and if there is, what its significance might be.

Unfortunately the purported link between autism and bowel disease has become connected with Wakefield’s discredited study in many people’s minds, which I suspect may have made research in this area less attractive. It may be that an important discovery has been delayed because of this.

@Denice,

I have no idea whether AJW is a caring, sincere person or not- that’s not the issue: I am merely stating that he projects an assiduously maintained good front.

Assidious? Would you charactize drug companies, governments, or multinational corporations as doing the same? Or does their piousness shine through naturally?

I have a negative opinion of him because the evidence suggests that he manipulated data and the subject selection process, used un-warranted invasive tests on children, didn’t reveal his conflicting business concerns, wasted public funds et al.

Multinational drug companies have been caught repetitiously doing this and much much worse. Why aren’t you going on and on about their behavior. Why this one individual? Biased perhaps. Influenced by your particular view about the way the world should be? Philosophical agendas? Does your ideology about darwinistic technological progress or socialist values influence your bias?

-btw- You obviously haven’t been around the business world, have you? Many people make a decent living by training others how to speak, dress and act appropriately for careers.

Yes, I’m fully aware of what “scripting” is. Do you have any evidence that Andrew Wakefield is “scripted”? Or do you, again, want to go on your intuition and your unscientific feelings?

Even if he were, do you thing the CDC is above hiring PR firms and “scripting” their messages?

You should really get out more: it’s a wide world and has all sorts of interesting people in it. Things aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface.

You should watch the documentary “Toxic Sludge is good for you”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaMh8KGfkTM

Even though Orac has mentioned it before, let me give you a hint: It doesn’t support your authoritarian views.

Anonymous @ 158:

The “childhealthsafety” blog is hardly a reliable source; it is still claiming that Brian Deer is the “complainant” in the GMC case against Andrew Wakefield. “Complainant” is a specific legal role; even if Deer had made a specific, directed complaint about Wakefield, he did not become the “complainant” by doing so, any more than John Stone by using his blog to defend Wakefield in public became Wakefield’s “public defender.” Come back again when you have something we’d actually have reason to take seriously; that blog isn’t it.

@ lurkers: I am only responding to the ‘augurer’ for your entertainment.

First of all, who ever said that pharmaceutical companies were above suspicion- certainly not me- corruption is a part of human nature, and it rears its ugly head more frequently when big money is involved- which is why governmental regulations and serious journalism are necessary. That doesn’t mean these companies don’t produce useful products that help millions of people. Malfeasance by these companies doesn’t make AJW or any other woo-meister right.

The fact that I find AJW unsavory and what I think about his work are two different things: I’m a big girl, I can separate my feelings from what I know. However, his sales technique allows him to push his pseudo-scientific ideas on the public. And prior to ever reading any investigation about him, I suspected his project’s results based on my studies. And yes, I believe he fixed data et al. I’ve been reading about him for a very long time.

As for “darwinistic technological progress”,”socialistic values”, “philosophical agendas”- wow! I sound like a cross between Barack Obama and Tony Blair! Thank you!

The CDC gives out data-based information about public health: because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean it’s not real. I suppose you might call all education ‘propaganda’. Too bad for you, it’ll restrict how you function in the world and solve your problems.

Now about “toxic sludge”, you’ve come to the wrong person about that: you see, I’m older than you are and this issue has been around for many, many years- as a matter of fact, 2 of my older relatives( in 2 separate countries) have been advocates for the clean-ups of important rivers since the 1970s: industrial pollution of the environment and related issues are no news to me.

Lurkers, at that I leave you. Perhaps Julian’s response will be up by now. I think that A. doesn’t like smart ladies, I suspect he’ll not like a smart fellow like JF either.

I don’t necessarily agree with this ruling, but either way it made Walker-Smith look pretty incompentent.

Denice Walter

Now about “toxic sludge”, you’ve come to the wrong person about that: you see, I’m older than you are and this issue has been around for many, many years- as a matter of fact, 2 of my older relatives( in 2 separate countries) have been advocates

I don’t care how old and wise you think you are and perceive your self to be. You obviously didn’t watch or read “Toxic sludge is good for you”.

It’s not about toxic sludge at all. It’s about corporations, government, and their use of Public relations firms to frame a message to get people like you to think a certain way.

The “lurkers” should note your “jumping to conclusions” mistake for future reference.

Another disappointment for the vaccine poison lovers & drug fraud apologists was the ruling in Australia on the side of AVN (Australian Vaccination Network) against the HCCC ruling. Go the good guys! Can’t wait for Wakefield to come up trumps.It’s only a matter of time.

It’s not about toxic sludge at all.

I watched it and most of it is about processed sewage being relabeled as “biosolids” as a PR exercise. I think that’s a bit like a person unethically and fraudulently attempting to make large amounts of money out of a public health scare they have themselves orchestrated relabeling themselves as a caring, brave, maverick doctor.

It’s about corporations, government, and their use of Public relations firms to frame a message to get people like you to think a certain way.

That’s why it’s important to look at the evidence. I noticed that the video presented no evidence at all. They just complain the the water company calls it “biosolids, a natural organic fertilizer” whereas it’s really (according to them) “toxic sludge”. Whether it is toxic depends on how it is used and can be assessed scientifically. Whether it is sludge is a matter of semantics. Isn’t the term “toxic sludge” as emotionally manipulative as the term “recycled biosolids”? Aren’t both terms intended to get people like me(obviously aug*st*ne is too clever to be manipulated in this way) to think in a certain way? Never mind the PR, show me the evidence.

@Pegasus, I suggest you read the ruling. The only reason that the HCCC Order was overturned was because the HCCC failed to come up with proof that the AVN had influenced the medical decision of anyone. In addition, the revocation of the AVN’s license to fundraise by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing still stands.
W.R.T. Andrew Wakefield’s lawsuit, he sued Deer in the UK where the libel laws are a lot more plaintiff-friendly only to abandon it and pay Deer’s legal costs. It is a lot harder to prove libel in the US, and Deer being Deer will have hard evidence to back up his claims.

@ Julian Frost: Pegasus is just parroting what he reads on the notorious anti-vax websites. My guess is he is *so impressed* by the legal and science *journalists* at AoA.

But, the difference is each doctor had the opportunity to appeal the GMC ruling. Walker Smith appealed and Andy didn’t.

There was nothing in this recent court decision that in any way exonerates Wakefield.

Andy instituted suit (the first bite of the apple), against Deer in the U.K., discontinued it and was forced to pay all of Deer’s legal costs.

The GMC decision to strike Andy from the register was based on the egregious harm he inflicted on his developmentally mentally disabled patients, his lack of medical ethics by paying kids at a birthday party to draw their blood, his COIs and other charges…that constituted the GMC finding of “Serious Medical Misconduct”.

Wakefield left the U.K. a disgraced doctor whose license to practice was revoked by the GMC.

Wakefield alleges in his new lawsuit against the BMJ, Godlee and Deer, that he was defamed and his ability to earn money was a result of Deer’s articles, written after he was found guilty of all charges of “serious medical misconduct”, by the GMC. (The second bite of the apple).

If the case goes forward in the Texas State Court…or is heard in a Federal District Court, Andy will have to give sworn testimony during the “Discovery Phase” at an “Examination Before Trial”…and be subject to a criminal charge of perjury, if he lies.

No matter which court system hears the case, the “problem” of Texas’ Anti-SLAPP law will loom large for Andy. He will have to pay all the court costs for the three defendants and might well be assessed punitive monetary damages, if this lawsuit is deemed to be a frivolous lawsuit.

Poor Dr. Walker-Smith. Does anyone think he is looking forward to being subpoenaed and testifying once again…now in a court in the United States?

@ Krebiozen:

Obviously, auggie will do or say anything to discount my observations. He’s tries -like the woo-meisters I survey- to submit *proofs* that the government, corporations and media aren’t to be trusted therefore: ‘Don’t trust the *elites* ‘( *comme tu et moi*). Actually, the very film he mentioned has been used by natural health advocates to harp upon the same point. Which is certainly ironic as woo itself is bolstered by PR – it has to be, because it can’t claim data or consensus support.

Interestingly enough, one of the idiots I survey has been aided and abetted in his mis-educational campaign by a creator of *info-mercials* ( Steve Brown) – of all things! Shocking, isn’t it? And another person I write about used his computer background in create adverstising via e-mail- he even describes it in his bio website! An additional woo-meister maintains a large staff that spreads his gospel far and wide- if you look at his website, job descriptions are shown: they aren’t for nutritionists.

Basically, AJW is a miracle of PR himself: the guy is somehow able to walk around in public! After his public ( deserved) humiliation! He’s a walking, talking ad for himself and his own personal brand of woo! Which was my point to begin with!

Skeptics unite! Now rearrange those chairs as the water flows into the ship!

Gee, and I thought only 9/11 truthers suffered such cognitive dissonance.

Silly me.

Robert, can you please explain your rather odd comment?

Who is suffering cognitive dissonance?

@Orac:

Brian Deer and the BMJ have filed an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss Wakefield’s defamation case. Popehat has an article on it here.

Has any one sued Wakefield for malpractice or something like a class action lawsuit? He deliberately targeted MMR for his own financial purposes, committing fraud. I think one could agrue that his ‘Callous Disregard’ has led to those infant deaths from pertussis in California, the mumps outbreak two years ago in New York, and those dead Hib kids. Any one of those parents could easily blame him.

@ Julian Frost,

The ruling of the HCCC was not insignificant.The sceptics in Australia have been very disappointed by the HCCC ruling. Even Ken McLeod, one of the most outspoken sceptics,& the one who instigated the HCCC complaint,was quoted in one paper as saying he was very disappointed in the result.

The whole story about the AVN & WAkefield has not been given a fair go by the respective medias. The truth will one day come out.

Why is it that the parents of the kids involved with Wakefield have supported him through all this? Simply because he is not the evil incarnate being made out by the media & the medical profession.

I know one thing. Give me Dr Wakefield any day over Dr Offitt, the fool who stated that 10,000 vaccinations at once would cause no problems. Does he think everyone is gullible? Then again, he’s making millions out of the gullibility, isn’t he?

“The whole story about the AVN & WAkefield has not been given a fair go by the respective medias. The truth will one day come out.”

Haven’t you heard Pegasus, Wakefield was served with papers by the Defendants…they are seeking a dismissal. Andy will have to pay all court costs for the defendant and possibly punitive damages for bringing a frivolous lawsuit against the BMJ, Godlee and Deer…under the Texas anti-SLAPP Law.

“Why is it that the parents of the kids involved with Wakefield have supported him through all this? Simply because he is not the evil incarnate being made out by the media & the medical profession.”

Why don’t you read the accompanying 106 page document from Deer that is attached to the Motion to Dismiss? It is very informative about the possible “motives” of the parents who continue to support Wakefield. One might assume, after reading this 106 page document, that they were referred consecutively, that they *allowed* Andy to change the dates of onset of symptoms, to get compensation for their kids’ disabilities. The diagnosis of some of the children was not autism…until they *consulted* Wakefield. I’m fast approaching an opinion about some of these parents, that ignorance of the invasiveness and ignorance of the medical indications was not a factor, when they agreed to multiple blood draws, colonoscopies, MRI scans and lumbar punctures.

I almost wish that the case goes forward, so that the court can find Andy criminally guilty of perjury.

Pegasus,
The truth will one day come out? It has. Wakefield was hired by Richard Barr to find problems with the MMR Vaccine and paid over 435,000 pounds to do so. He subjected vulnerable children to invasive tests without the proper authorisation and, when the data from the tests didn’t fit his hypothesis, he cooked it.
As to why the parents of the Lancet 12 still support him, there are plenty of stories of people continuing to insist that someone who took them for a ride is an honest person, even in the face of rock solid evidence to the contrary.
Paul Offitt’s quote was that we were capable of dealing with 10,000 vaccinations in one day, not simultaneously. And he was talking about antigen load. Learn the definition of analogy. Finally:

Then again, he’s making millions out of the gullibility, isn’t he?

Those deafening bangs you just heard were the sound of Irony Meters all over the world exploding. Wakefield not only earned a fortune for his study, he tried to set up companies to profit from the health scare he engineered.

GO ANDREW WAKEFIELD!
Vaccines=Poison/Death and
global eugenics by the globalists

GO ANDREW WAKEFIELD!

Hahaha so now we have a literal Andrew Wakefield cheerleader. Where are your pom-poms, william?

@ Julian Frost

10,000 shots in one day, not in one dose? And that make a difference? 10,000 hits of formaldehyde? 10,000 hits of polysorbate 80? Antigen load? Give me a break. Imagine if Dr Mercola had said that 10,000 shots of his “elixir” would cause no harm? Imagine the outcry from the sceptics. But what happens when a vaccine lover says ridiculous things? All the right wing drug-lovers come to his defence.

The first thing the sceptics ask when someone criticises vaccines are : “are you doctor?” If not, you are woo, quack, etc. If yes, then you are of the lapsed faith not to be trusted. Still a quack.Fairness is not in the sceptic’s lexicon.

Paul Offit’s claim was that a child’s immune system can handle an antigen load equivalent to 10,000 vaccines per day, which he said in response to the claim that 10 vaccines in a day would overtax or overload a child’s immune system. He didn’t mean that a child could take 10,000 shots in a single day.

Pegasus, learn the meaning of the saying “The dose makes the poison”. Your body makes formaldehyde as part of the metabolic processes. In fact, your body makes more formaldehyde in just one second than is in the entire vaccination schedule. Yet we still live.
We are subjected to antigens each time we eat, drink or breathe. We survive. Yet somehow, a tiny quantity of antigens in an injection is regarded as “teh evilz”. You are using the toxins gambit. We’ve heard it before, and we’re most unimpressed.

“making millions”?

From depositions on Brian Deer’s declaration about Wakefields Venture Capital companies he hoped to use to make money:

It is estimated that the initial market for the diagnostic will be litigation driven testing of patients with AE [autistic enterocolitis] from both the UK and the USA. It is estimated that by year 3, income from this testing could be about £3,300,000 rising to about £28,000,000 as diagnostic testing in support of therapeutic regimes come on stream.

Now I’ve seen endeless moaning about “conflicts of interest” with Paul Offit making around $5 million from the patent on the life-saving rotavirus vaccine he developed.

But……… £28 million pounds…? ($40 million)
..Is he being serious?
And that’s not a “conflict”??

Just a few of the other things Wakefield did which were unconnected with the reasons behind the quashing of the Walker-Smith case:

The BMJ’s conclusion that Wakefield’s work was fraudulent plainly rested upon his covert and dishonest activities to create the appearance of a temporal link between MMR and autism. Specifically, but not exclusively, these included:
the concealment of the true source of the children as being from campaign groups and a lawyer, which created the grossest possible selection bias, fatally tainting the paper’s concluding interpretation;
the concealment of the predetermined goal of proving a “new syndrome”, which created the grossest possible observer bias;
the coaching of parents before they came to the hospital;
the representation of methods as findings;
the manipulation of the number of parental testimonies blaming MMR;
the baseless claim that all children suffered from regressive developmental disorders;
the omission of critical information, such as diagnoses of constipation and blood test results, that might have put peer reviewers, editors and readers on their guard;
and the alteration and/or intentional and uncorrected misreporting of individual children’s histories (such as in the cases of child 1, child 7 and child 11, set out proportionately in this declaration).
The paper also falsely claimed that the investigations children underwent had been approved by the Royal Free hospital’s ethics committee, an institutional review board.

(Brian Deer declaration)
And that’s just the basis for the fraud allegation. The professional misconduct GMC charges included a raft of other stuff, including the dishonesty about funding sources, the callous disregard in paying kids for blood tests for his research, his directing clinical tests even though he was not on a clinical contract and could not do so, etc etc.

As I often do, I have made a roundup of posts about both the UK high court’s ruling on Professor Walker-Smith and Brian Deer’s anti-SLAPP suit. I’ve included this post in the list, both at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (where the list will be static) “What the UK High Court’s Ruling on John Walker-Smith Means and Doesn’t Mean”,

http://thinkingautismguide.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-uk-high-courts-ruling-on-john.html

and at my own blog, I Speak of Dreams “UK High Court Quashed Rulings Against John Walker-Smith; Means NOTHING about Andrew Wakefield”

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2012/03/walker-smith-ruling-means-nothing-about-wakefield.html

I’ll continue to update the latter post daily.

IANAL, but my understanding of Walker-Smith’s appeal is that it succeeded solely because it created reasonable doubt (in Judge Mitting’s mind, at least) that W-S had the mens rea (guilty mind) necessary for his actus reus (guilty act) to constitute serious professional misconduct. In other words, nothing in the appeal disputes that what Walker-Smith was wrong; it simply suggests that he might not have known it was wrong.

Now, others have analyzed in far better detail than I can (because IANAMD, either) why Mitting’s idea that Walker-Smith could have not known that he was doing was wrong seems far-fetched. I’ll just point out that there is no way Wakefield’s state of mind can be determined to be innocent, from what Walker-Smith asserts about his own state of mind. Walker-Smith’s appeal can harm Wakefield, however; unless I misread, in several places W-S essentially asserts “I didn’t know that I was doing something that was in the circumstances inappropriate because I was relying on representations made by Wakefield about the circumstances.” Doesn’t sound like that’ll do anything helpful for Wakefield.

@Julian Frost,

10,000 antigen loads harmless? Who are trying to kid? How about you being the test subject & we’ll give you 10,000 antigen loads in one day? Harmless? You’d run for cover. Obviously Offitt has fooled many people.

The quality of a substance is never changed by its quantity. A drug is a poison. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

It’s simply not common sense to give a day old baby an injection (Heb B Vaccine) with strong chemical irritants in it, for a disease which it is highly unlikely to get.

10,000 antigen loads harmless?

Perhaps Pegasus lives within a plastic bubble and has no idea how many antigens impinge on a normal person in one week of normal life.

Pegasus:

How about you being the test subject & we’ll give you 10,000 antigen loads in one day? Harmless?

How many antigens do you come into contact with per day? What about the amount of antigens does a newborn come into contact with during vaginal birth? Did you know you have many times more bacteria in your body than you have cells?

Are you like Thingy in thinking that the world is sterile, and the only way you get infected is on purpose?

10,000 antigen loads harmless? Who are trying to kid? How about you being the test subject & we’ll give you 10,000 antigen loads in one day? Harmless? You’d run for cover.

Pegasus, do you know what an antigen is? I suspect that you don’t; referring to “10,000 antigen loads” a) as if that phrase had any meaning, and b) as if it meant the same thing as “an antigen load equivalent to that of 10,000 vaccines” strongly suggests that you have no actual understanding of what antivax claim Paul Offit was responding to, or what Offit actually said about what a child’s immune system could tolerate, or how one relates to the other. Are you in fact even trying to understand the terms you’re throwing around, or are you simply (and dishonestly) starting from the conclusion “Paul Offit is wrong about antigens” and trying to reason backwards from there to figure out what antigens are?

The quality of a substance is never changed by its quantity.

Water. Salt. Glucose. Potassium. Calcium. I could go on.

@pegasus

“The quality of a substance is never changed by its quantity.”

Sure it is, quorum sensing bacteria are an example.

Unvaccinated goons in an otherwise vaccinated population are another, as you get more of them they become more dangerous.

The quality of a substance is never changed by its quantity. A drug is a poison.

Funny how the manufacturers of Chlorox bleach haven’t figured that out. We use their directions when purifying drinking water during wilderness medical training.

@Pegasus:

The quality of a substance is never changed by its quantity. A drug is a poison.

Just to finish the dogpile on the rabbit, digitalis is a substance used to treat heart disease. At large doses, it can stop the heart. Paracetamol is an analgesic but if I swallowed two containers of paracetamol pills, my liver would fail.
The dose makes the poison.

“Just to finish the dogpile on the rabbit, digitalis is a substance used to treat heart disease. At large doses, it can stop the heart.”

Damn straight it can stop the heart. But, it saved my 5 lb. infant’s life, when I dosed him with Lanoxin through a feeding tube.

The dose makes the poison.

The dose doesn’t change the quality. But I agree it changes the effects.

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

There is nothing natural about directly injecting multiple chemicals, attenuated/live viruses & adjuvants into a one day old baby’s body, or for that matter, any body.

It simply defies belief that intelligent people can believe it is good “science”.

Then again, science today becomes nonsense tomorrow & vice versa. Medicine is very loosely termed “science”

And lastly, how often is the majority wrong? History is replete with such examples from all areas of life, including medicine. I honestly believe there will come a day when vaccinations are looked upon as something from the dark ages of medicine, when fear & voodoo dominated, & when the drug industry with all its avarice & fraud capitalised on medicine’s weaknesses & limitations.

@Pegasus – the vaccination program has reduced incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases by 95 – 99% (and eliminated two diseases entirely, while almost wiping out polio as well). Not exactly a bad track record & certainly better than the alternatives.

Smallpox alone killed more individuals than all of humanity’s wars combined – your arguments are unsupported and entirely irrational.

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

If you want to disagree with the sentences about antigen exposure that Offit and his co-authors wrote in their 2002 article, it would make more sense if you actually read the article first.

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

There is nothing natural about directly injecting multiple chemicals, attenuated/live viruses & adjuvants into a one day old baby’s body, or for that matter, any body.

It simply defies belief that intelligent people can believe it is good “science”.

How does not being “natural” preclude it from being good science? Are you claiming that every single thing that you would agree to be good science is “natural” and you can’t find any exceptions? Air travel? Buildings over five stories high? Combustion engines? Organ transplants? Which of those is “natural”?

See, the question we’re more interested in than “is it natural?” is “does it work?” Vaccines work, and neither arguments from personal incredulity nor complaints that they aren’t “natural” alter that fact.

Pegasus:

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

Did you never, as a child, fall down and scrape your knee? A few months ago, while washing up, I cut my thumb on my large kitchen knife. My hand was submerged in the sink and dirty water containing LOADS of antigens entered the cut. I had to put antiseptic cream on it to prevent an infection.
Your comments about “natural exposure” are laughable.

The dose doesn’t change the quality. But I agree it changes the effects.

And since the effects are what’s relevant, you’ve just obliterated your own claim by admitting this fact.

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

So the body somehow knows to react completely differently to antigens that come in via the puncture of a thorn, or a bee sting, than the puncture of a needle?

There is nothing natural about directly injecting multiple chemicals, attenuated/live viruses & adjuvants into a one day old baby’s body, or for that matter, any body.

Nor is there anything natural about the computer you’re typing on. See “naturalistic fallacy.” There is no reason whatsoever to believe that something “natural” is safe/good and something “unnatural” is unsafe/bad.

And lastly, how often is the majority wrong? History is replete with such examples from all areas of life, including medicine.

When we’re talking about a scientific consensus based on data? Well, I can’t think of ANY cases off the top of my head.

I honestly believe there will come a day when vaccinations are looked upon as something from the dark ages of medicine, when fear & voodoo dominated, & when the drug industry with all its avarice & fraud capitalised on medicine’s weaknesses & limitations.

There are also people who believe the earth is flat. Yours is just as ludicrous.

Pegasus, then explain very carefully your plan to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis in babies. Tell us exactly how the DTaP is more dangerous than those diseases, include how it is more toxic than tetanospasmin.

Instead of making statements on the evils, show you actually understand what you are saying. Tell us how we can better keep babies from getting sick from those diseases. Show what can be done to prevent this again: Diphtheria in the former Soviet Union: reemergence of a pandemic disease..

“I honestly believe there will come a day when vaccinations are looked upon as something from the dark ages of medicine”

You’re probably right, but until we develop genomic manipulation and nanomedicine, this will have to do.

Someday we will also look back and laugh at chemical-propelled rockets, as we traverse the galaxy with our antimatter-powered warp drives.

And lastly, how often is the majority wrong?

Much less often than the minority is.

Pegasus:

“It’s simply not common sense to give a day old baby an injection (Heb B Vaccine) with strong chemical irritants in it, for a disease which it is highly unlikely to get.”

How *likely* (using your common sense), would it be for a newborn whose mother is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus, to become infected and…how likely would it be for that infant to remain infected for a lifetime? (Hint: think about “vertical transmission”).

How *likely* (using your common sense), would it be for a young child to become infected with the virus through exposure to another infected child or an infected household contact and, how like would it be for the infected child to remain infected for a lifetime? (Hint: think about “horizontal transmission”).

How *likely* (using your common sense), would it be for anyone who is chronically infected with the virus to die from:

-fulminant liver disease?

-liver cancer?

Here’s a chapter from a hepatology textbook…don’t even bother with the “e” antigen or co-infection with the Delta virus.

http://www.hepatologytextbook.com/hep_chapt02.pdf

Also, antigens our bodies are exposed to come through natural contact/exposure.

The thing is, Offit et al. never stipulated whether an infant is exposed to antigens through contact, or natural punctures, or artificially. They were specifically making a point about the capacity of the human immune system to respond to more than one antigen at a time.

So Pegasus seems to be shouting about what he or she believes Offit said, without bothering to read his actual words, even though the paper is on the Internet and everything.
This isn’t very honest.

Lawrence,

The mortality of all infectious diseases was declining well before vaccination programs, in fact from 1890 on. It is mischievous to imply that vaccines were responsible for saving us from dying from infectious diseases. There are many medical doctors who admit this, & the facts bear this out.

Pegasus:

Did you understand the questions I posed to you about hepatitis B virus and the vaccine that provides protection?

Did you read the short chapter in the hepatology textbook that I linked?

Does your “common sense” trump the collective knowledge of researchers and infectious diseases specialists, about this blood-borne virus?

Tell me which “doctors” acknowledge that vaccines have not dramatically decreased morbidity and mortality? Please provide some citations.

Pegasus:

The mortality of all infectious diseases was declining well before vaccination programs, in fact from 1890 on.

Smallpox vaccination began with Edward Jenner in the late 18th century.

It is mischievous to imply that vaccines were responsible for saving us from dying from infectious diseases.

Even with the best treatment modern medicine has to offer, people still die from vaccine preventable diseases. Last year, a 22 year old woman in Australia died from Diphtheria. Her parents hadn’t had her vaccinated.
Vaccines helped us by causing the rate of infections to plummet, in most cases by over 90%. One of the other regulars has access to a table showing measles rates before and after vaccination was introduced. Even I was gobsmacked by how effective it was.

It is mischievous to imply that vaccines were responsible for saving us from dying from infectious diseases.

No, it is mischievous to ignore rebuttals and simply switch to new, albeit equally tired, talking points.

Pegasus, there are still babies dying from pertussis. Now please answer my question on how you would prevent that. Also read the article I posted on diphtheria in the former Soviet countries.

Pegasus said:

Lawrence, the mortality of all infectious diseases was declining well before vaccination programs, in fact from 1890 on. It is mischievous to imply that vaccines were responsible for saving us from dying from infectious diseases. There are many medical doctors who admit this, & the facts bear this out.

But what Lawrence actually said was this:

the vaccination program has reduced incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases by 95 – 99% (and eliminated two diseases entirely, while almost wiping out polio as well). Not exactly a bad track record & certainly better than the alternatives.

So who is being “mischievous” here Pegasus?
Lawrence, who quite correctly said that vaccination has reduced the incidence by 95-99%*, or you who tried not so subtly to indicate Lawrence claimed vaccination had reduced mortality and had “saved us all” (something no doctor I have ever encountered has claimed, ever)?

Straw man, goal post shift and non-sequitur all in a single sentence. Pegasus, you win the fallacy bingo internetz for your sterling (though lame) effort!

*http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/298/18/2155.abstract

There is nothing natural about directly injecting multiple chemicals, attenuated/live viruses & adjuvants into a one day old baby’s body, or for that matter, any body.

Know what else isn’t natural? Using a computer to argue with strangers on the Internet, yet here you are. Our entire modern lifestyle is completely “unnatural”, yet I seldom hear anybody arguing that we’d be better off going back to living in caves and revert to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle (trendy “paleo” diets notwithstanding.)

My larger point is that saying vaccination is dangerous because it’s “unnatural” is completely meaningless.

Pegasus: Another worshiper of the Walt Disney version of nature.

This is real life, not a feel good cartoon. Nature has good and bad points. Technology has good and bad points. The world is not starkly divided into black and white, no matter how much you crave that simplicity. It’s all about which treatments have benefits that outweigh their risks, not partisan loyalties to arbitrarily defined “camps.” This obsession with “natural” versus “artificial” is nothing but a distraction.

So, what do you suggest that has a better set of benefits and/or smaller risks than vaccination?

My larger point is that saying vaccination is dangerous because it’s “unnatural” is completely meaningless.

Exactly.
Let’s see what else is “unnatural”?
Well for starters, there’s antibiotics, hospitals and surgery. Flush toilets. Tubes of toothpaste. Man made electricity. Planes, trains and automobiles.

And lets see what else is “natural”: ricin, botulism, belladonna, measles, cholera, strychnine, deadly nightshade, hemlock, and on and on.

Pegasus, in case you forgot: Please explain very carefully your plan to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis in babies. Tell us exactly how the DTaP is more dangerous than those diseases, include how it is more toxic than tetanospasmin.

Clearly there’s good unnatural and bad unnatural, and there’s a simple test to tell the difference.

Is it something I like, like surgical anesthesia or distilled alcohol? Good unnatural!

Is it something I don’t like, like immunization? Bad unnatural!

Is Evan commenting on anything in particular, or is it just a really excellent example of bad trolling?

Chris, perhaps Pegasus thinks babies don’t get any infections (they all have maternal IgG)
See what I did there?

PS The Aluminati bragging rights are all yours. Kudos, big time.

Is’nt it fascinating the silence from the BMJ shills after the High Court ruling, all they have left is some internet blogs to discuss “science”. LOL? I’m going to get some popcorn. The british court ruling makes it next to impossible for the texas courts to throw out Wakefield’s case. I hope Walker-Smith and every Dr involved sues the crap out of them all GMC, BMJ. You poor sad creatures. Does it make you feel better to comment here on how brainless you really are?

Isn’t.

Wakefield is a proven fraud. 10 of the 12 co-authors of his paper retracted. So did the magazine it was published in.

They haven’t changed their minds. Neither has anyone else.

He’s still very much struck off, and still a lying scumbag who tried to make himself rich from phony scare stories and a juicy patent.

But hey – Big Pharma only thinks of the money!

I bet you £1000* Wakefield gets absolutely nowhere with his utterly frivolous lawsuit, except impressing thick little fanbois like yourself so much that you even use his disgraced laughing stock of a name as your own.

*I’m in the UK. Perfectly legal, I can set it up on Betfair if you like.

@Wakefield Troll:

Is’nt it fascinating the silence from the BMJ shills after the High Court ruling

If by “silence” you mean multiple blog posts showing why Walker-Smith’s successful appeal helps Wakefield not one bit, then yes.
The british court ruling makes it next to impossible for the texas courts to throw out Wakefield’s case.
Wrong again. The former involves a striking off, the latter involves a libel suit. And given that Deer and the BMJ have filed an anti-SLAPP motion, it’s not unlikely that it will be thrown out.

You poor sad creatures. Does it make you feel better to comment here on how brainless you really are?

Irony Meter goes BOOM!!

@Wakefield Troll:

Is’nt it fascinating the silence from the BMJ shills after the High Court ruling

If by “silence” you mean multiple blog posts showing why Walker-Smith’s successful appeal helps Wakefield not one bit, then yes.
The british court ruling makes it next to impossible for the texas courts to throw out Wakefield’s case.
Wrong again. The former involves a striking off, the latter involves a libel suit. And given that Deer and the BMJ have filed an anti-SLAPP motion, it’s not unlikely that it will be thrown out.

You poor sad creatures. Does it make you feel better to comment here on how brainless you really are?

Irony Meter goes BOOM!!

Never understood the ‘Big Pharma’ conspiracy on this one either.

One Queer Ranter obviously thinks all doctors are basically being bribed by drug manufacturers, even falsifying research to get rich. The bastards!

Yet when one of them is caught red-handed doing EXACTLY that (to the tune of £430,000), he’s the messiah!

God help any anti-vaxxer who ever has an enema, there would be nothing left of them.

(I think the anti-vaxxers are the real Big Pharma shills anyway. Vaccines are low-profit, less than 10% of drug sales, and prevent plenty of people needing hugely expensive emergency treatment. Big Pharma obviously wants them to fail, pays corrupt doctor £430,000 to fake some research… all makes sense.)

Well to be fair, it wasn’t actually BigPharma who paid Wakers the $750k, but the litigation lawyers/legal aid. Still comes to the same thing though – research falsification to distort the clinical literature base and generate yet more income.

What many people don’t realise is that Wakers wanted to become a BigPharma head honcho himself – even setting up venture capital companies to flog his fake cures and vaccines for MMR damaged children which had a forecast £26 million income.

If that isn’t Big, I don’t know what is.

Says Lawrence: the vaccination program has reduced incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases by 95 – 99% (and eliminated two diseases entirely, while almost wiping out polio as well). Not exactly a bad track record & certainly better than the alternatives.

Sorry DT – to say that vaccinations have resulted in up to 99% less incidence is an absolute hoot.Vaccinations were not even around when these diseases started to decline (circa 1890), due to improved social conditions, sanitation, refrigeration, less crowded housing etc. And these improvements were not for the main instigated by the medical profession.

The trouble with most sceptice is that they have almost psychotic emotional attachments to what falsely goes by the name of SBM.

Getting off vaccinations, where is the science behind mass prescribing a chemotherapeutic drug (fosomax) to asymptomatic women labelled osteopenic? Imagine if CAM practitioners were causing such devastating problems with their remedies to asymptomatic women? You would be calling for their necks, but not a word about fosomax from you.

Every year we hear more horror stories about the latest greatest blockbusters being sent to the black box or worse eg HRT, Vioxx, statins last week.

Do I ever hear from you guys about such non-science. What about the JAMA article 1999 stating over 100,000 Americans are killed yearly by properly-prescribed drugs (read Death by Prescription by Dr Ray Strand). Even if the subsequent study which refuted those exact figures was true, it still is admitted that tens of thousands perish at the hands of the Pharma-Medical love-affair with drugs every year. Admittedly, many people are very sick & elderly, but thousands are not in that category & are given drugs inappropriately, often causing death.

The drug company GSK just got fined 3billion for fraud. Which was one quarters profit- the cost of doing business. Was anyone jailed? Were they disbarred from doing business with the Fed’s? Any peep out of you guys?

Talk about irony meters.

No wonder people are becoming very disillusioned with modern medicine, & turning to people like Mercola, Adams et al.

@Pegasus:

Vaccinations were not even around when these diseases started to decline (circa 1890), due to improved social conditions, sanitation, refrigeration, less crowded housing etc.

Edward Jenner began his experiments with vaccination in 1796. That’s almost 100 years before 1890. Also, many diseases are airborne (e.g. Measles, TB, Smallpox, Chickenpox) and wouldn’t be prevented by better sanitation.

to say that vaccinations have resulted in up to 99% less incidence is an absolute hoot.

One of the regulars has a graph showing the rate of infection of Measles. 10 years after vaccination was introduced, the rate had fallen by over 90%.
You are a poster for the arrogance of ignorance.

I also point out that Pegasus has obviously not worked in an acute care hospital. Many of the in-patients I work with are well over 75 years. But many of the younger patients (think 50-60) are there from abusing their bodies. I am talking specifically about drinking into liver failure. Much more common than Pegasus could even imagine. I am not talking homeless drunks. One patient had a PhD – liver failure. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stabilize someone who’s liver has been shot to hell? Seriously, these people are teetering on the edge before they get into the medical system.
Get educated. Volunteer at your local hospital, see who is being cared for and see for yourself that these people are not dying wantonly due to drug overdoses. Seriously.

I’m beginning to suspect that Pegasus is just trolling for shits-&-giggles, and is not really as stupid and discourteous as his off-the-topic posts would have us believe.
Imagine my disillusionment.

@Pegasus – you really need to learn basic medical definitions and the difference between “incidence” and “mortality.”

Did mortality rates start dropping in the 1890’s – yes they did. I wonder why? Could it have anything to do with the better medical treatments, perhaps? Of course, we were able to keep people alive better once doctors had a better understanding of disease vectors, treatments became available (and better) at preventing or alleviating things like opportunistic infections (like pneumonia).

Now, did the “incidence” rate of infection drop too? In some cases, like with those disease spread by infected water sources, yes they did – as sanitation did get better. But for diseases that are airborne, this had no effect. It was only after the advent of the vaccines did these diseases see a decrease in “incidence” and in some cases, a decrease of 95 – 99%.

Now run along & try reading an actual medical text – might be useful (or not).

Pegasus:

Vaccinations were not even around when these diseases started to decline (circa 1890), due to improved social conditions, sanitation, refrigeration, less crowded housing etc.

Actually, crowded housing has *increased* since 1890, not decreased. And it’s increased a lot, allowing the human population to grow from under 2 billion (we hit 2 billion in 1927) to an estimated 7 billion today. Urbanization has been a major part of that.

But it is true that there have been greatly improved social conditions, sanitation, and refrigeration, along with a better appreciation for food safety and water quality, and these have drastically reduced the incidence of diseases such as cholera, which is spread predominately through contaminated drinking water. Cholera is nearly unheard of in America, but Haiti is now suffering a disastrous cholera epidemic due to a lack of access to clean water. But it doesn’t do much to help diseases which are airborne, such as measles or pertussis, and while you’d *expect* it to help reduce fecal/oral diseases such as polio, the results there are surprising — actual incidence of polio decreases dramatically, but not completely (as it is more contagious than cholera), and those who do get the disease get a much worse case of it. Sanitation is vitally important, but it actually made polio worse; it wasn’t until vaccination came along that polio was extirpated from developed countries. Diseases like rabies also cannot be eliminated through sanitation; sanitation can help, by reducing the attractants that bring wild animals into contact with humans and livestock and thereby reducing opportunities for transmission, but it can’t eliminate it — bats, for instance, are ubiquitous, and a fairly serious carrier of rabies due to the long period before an infected bat becomes symptomatic. I suppose you can hope for white nose disease to wipe them out, but then you’ll have to worry more about west nile disease and other mosquito-borne illnesses for which there is presently no vaccine, and no treatment beyond supportive care. Rabies cases have gone way down thanks to vaccination of domestic animals; they can’t wipe out the disease that way, but they do provide a major buffer between humans and the wild reservoir — most human rabies is transmitted from an infected domestic animal, so vaccinating them prevents that.

Getting off vaccinations, where is the science behind mass prescribing a chemotherapeutic drug (fosomax) to asymptomatic women labelled osteopenic? Imagine if CAM practitioners were causing such devastating problems with their remedies to asymptomatic women? You would be calling for their necks, but not a word about fosomax from you.

I don’t recall Fosamax specifically being discussed here, but I know some of Orac’s blogging buddies have tackled the thorny question of just what really constitutes osteopenia, or at least osteopenia worthy of treatment. There is very serious reason to be concerned that osteopenia is being overtreated.

That’s not to say Fosamax is worthless, though. It was developed out of experiments to counteract a very specific type of osteoporosis — microgravity-induced osteoporosis. Long-duration astronauts suffer considerable bone loss in space, and exercise with various resistive devices (such as the famous COLBERT treadmill!) seems to only partially mitigate this. Last winter, NASA and JAXA (the Japanese space agency) released the results of a trial they’d been doing using Fosamax on ISS resident crews. They found it helped considerably — 14 control astronauts suffered an average of 7% bone loss in the femur, and 5% in the pelvis. Those who did take Fosamax had an average of 1% loss in the femur, a surprising 3% increase in the pelvis, and very low urine calcium concentrations. (Astronauts tend to suffer a lot of kidney stones; the calcium from their bones has to go somewhere.) The downside? Effectiveness declined over time, which means it’s not yet ready to support a two-year mission, and it can’t yet eliminate the need for hours of exercise every day. (Exercise will always be needed — there’s no drug to counteract the effects of microgravity on the circulatory system and the muscles, for instance — but it could be more varied without having to focus so obsessively on the bones.)

So the drug does work, and for people facing actual osteoporosis, it can make a major difference in quality of life — and even life expectancy, since fractures in the elderly are so often the start of a major decline. But it’s usefuless in cases of mild osteopenia is not, in my opinion, demonstrated.

No wonder people are becoming very disillusioned with modern medicine, & turning to people like Mercola, Adams et al.

I for one do wonder about this–what are those people thinking?. The finding against Glaxo doesn’t speak at all to the safety or efficacy of its products–they were fined for tax violations involving transfer pricing between foreign and US subsidiaries of GSK)

By what rational arguemnt does it make sense to eschew a treatment that’s been shown to be both safe and effective following extensive pre-clinical and clinical trials, to instead embrace treatments that have either a) not been shown to be safe and effective or b) have actualy been shown to be unsafe and/or ineffective, because the company producing was fined for its accounting practices?

Pegasus:

Sorry DT – to say that vaccinations have resulted in up to 99% less incidence is an absolute hoot.Vaccinations were not even around when these diseases started to decline (circa 1890), due to improved social conditions, sanitation, refrigeration, less crowded housing etc. And these improvements were not for the main instigated by the medical profession.

I see you have refused to answer my question on your plan (with evidence) on how to prevent pertussis in babies. Well, how about my next question?

You are joking about the reduction of incidence, now you get to prove it. I have data from the American census from 1912 to the 1990s of measles incidence (also known as morbidity). Now tell me, with actual documentation, why the rates of measles in 1970 is only 10% of what it was in 1960? Do not discuss any other country, do not change the decade and do not discuss deaths (morbidity). Answer the question as it was asked. Here is the data:

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Now, really, why are measles rates in 1970 only 10% of what they were in 1960?

Now, really, why are measles rates in 1970 only 10% of what they were in 1960?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1919891/pdf/pubhealthreporig00027-0069.pdf

“For centuries the measles virus has maintained a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man. The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable constancy and only moderate severity. Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare.”

Incidence in 1970 10% of what it was in 1960? That’s easy–public school’s introduced New Math in the 1960’s. 🙂

Pegasus,

The trouble with most sceptice is that they have almost psychotic emotional attachments to what falsely goes by the name of SBM.

We do have a curious attachment to evidence and facts.

Getting off vaccinations,

You mean you want to change the subject because you are losing the argument so spectacularly?

where is the science behind mass prescribing a chemotherapeutic drug (fosomax) to asymptomatic women labelled osteopenic? Imagine if CAM practitioners were causing such devastating problems with their remedies to asymptomatic women? You would be calling for their necks, but not a word about fosomax from you.

You are not the first to come here and rant about Fosamax for reasons I do not really understand. Has Mercola or another CAM guru condemned it as an evil drug recently or something?

The thing about osteopenia is that it often leads to osteoporosis, which is also asymptomatic until the patient suffers a fracture. If that fracture is of the hip or the neck of the femur in an elderly person the consequences are very serious, with significant mortality. There are 329,000 hip fractures every year in the USA (PMID 18042916). Fosamax reduces the risk of hip fracture in post menopausal women with osteoporosis by 50% (PMID 11434454). It also reduces the incidence of fracture in osteopenia by about 60% (PMID 15757015) though you need to treat about 200 patients to prevent one fracture. The clinical benefits are clear even in osteopenia but it may not be cost effective.

Side effects are uncommon and generally mild. “Uncommon side effects that have been noted with wide clinical use include osteonecrosis of the jaw, musculoskeletal complaints, and atypical fractures. The numbers of events are small, and a clear cause-and-effect relationship between these events and bisphosphonate treatment has not been established.” (PMID 20173017).

This is a drug with few side effects that could prevent over 100,000 hip fractures every year, not to mention other fractures it can prevent. It sounds pretty good to me. Have I missed something?

Every year we hear more horror stories about the latest greatest blockbusters being sent to the black box or worse eg HRT, Vioxx, statins last week.

These warnings are usually when a drug has been in use for a while and rare side effects in small subgroups of people become noticeable. It doesn’t mean that the risks of the drug overall exceed its benefits. The statin warning I think you are referring to, for example, are for a small increase in the risk of diabetes, a meta-analysis suggests 9%. There is also a possible risk of transient memory and cognition problems. The reduction in strokes and heart attacks from statins far outweighs these small risks.

Do I ever hear from you guys about such non-science. What about the JAMA article 1999 stating over 100,000 Americans are killed yearly by properly-prescribed drugs (read Death by Prescription by Dr Ray Strand).

You mean Lazarou et al 1998 (PMID 9555760)? It has been discussed here at length several times. You might use the search box top left. Short version is that he extrapolated from a few deaths mostly in the 60s and 70s to the entire US hospital population in 1994. Even if he was right (which he wasn’t) things have changed a lot in the last few decades.

Even if the subsequent study which refuted those exact figures was true, it still is admitted that tens of thousands perish at the hands of the Pharma-Medical love-affair with drugs every year. Admittedly, many people are very sick & elderly, but thousands are not in that category & are given drugs inappropriately, often causing death.

How many people’s lives are saved, or dramatically improved by pharmaceutical drugs? Be sure to include anticoagulants, diuretics, digoxin, antibiotics, antiretrovirals, immunosuppressants, thyroxine, insulin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy drugs for cancer. They are just the tip of the iceberg yet anticoagulant drugs alone save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

“Often causing death”? Fatalities in young and relatively healthy people due to adverse drug reactions or errors are rare enough to make newspaper headlines. This has happened a couple of times in hospitals I have worked at. It’s regrettable, and should never happen, but it certainly doesn’t happen “often”.

“Incidence in 1970 10% of what it was in 1960? That’s easy–public school’s introduced New Math in the 1960’s. :)”

No, no, no….the rates of measles in 1970 were only 10 % of what they were in 1960…”due to improved social conditions, sanitation, refrigeration, less crowded housing etc.”

In 1959, we all lived in mud huts, used filthy outdoor privies, bathed and drank water from the same stream and ate rotten food.

During the next decade, we all moved into houses with indoor plumbing connected to pure water and to municipal waste disposal systems. Edison invented electricity in that decade and someone started manufacturing refrigerators:-)

-FTFY Pegasus Troll

You had a mud hut?

Kids today got it easy–in 1959 we lived in a brown paper bag on the slope of a landfill. Every day we got up two hours before we went to bed, drank a glass of cold toxic waste and walked 2 miles to and from school, barefoot over ground glass.

Uphill, both ways.

JGC — and when we got home, our mum and dad would kill us and dance about on our graves. But you try to tell the kids today that, and they won’t believe you.

Krebiozen, don’t let Pegasus get out of answering on subject questions by changing the subject.

While I ignore him, I see Little Augie does not know what the difference is between morbidity and mortality . Even though I specifically said “do not discuss deaths (morbidity)”, he comes up with a “fatality is rare” quote. What an idiot.

JGC…our mud hut was on top of that landfill and every time you used that outdoor privy, the run-off landed in the simmering cauldron of rotten meat.

You had schools and you actually slept? While you were being educated I was sent to scavenge scraps of food and other detritus from that toxic landfill.

Kids today got it easy–

Even though I specifically said “do not discuss deaths (morbidity)”, he comes up with a “fatality is rare” quote. What an idiot.

Then I shall ask you to not use death as a sales pitch or scare tactic. Can you do that?

Are the insults really necessary to get your points across?

@ Chris:

While I’ve decided not to engage the creature: there’s something else he doesn’t understand ( amongst myriad other things)-you can use an anecdote to illustrate what we already know
from research-e.g. an illness is caused by a particular virus *and* Dr Wilson ( a real person) contracted it from an accidental needle stick.

Which leads to the rather obvious: if you’re citing the consensus opinion – all you have to do is say that- SBM knows that. Nothing controversial there- you have the entire body of literature. You only need to *prove* your points when you attack consensus. Suppose I say that depression has been associated with neuro-transmitters like serotonin, I don’t need to cites volumes that support this view but if someone says, “No. Serotonin has nothing to do with depression.” That’s an entirely different story.

Chris,

Krebiozen, don’t let Pegasus get out of answering on subject questions by changing the subject.

He’s not going to answer your question Chris. He can’t without admitting that vaccines work, can he? I just wanted to point out that even when he changes the subject he’s mistaken.

I know, but sometimes the question makes them go away. If he does not go away, we can continue to tell his he needs to prove his assertions. And good point.

He’s not going to answer your question Chris. He can’t without admitting that vaccines work, can he?

The question was about the measles vaccine and cases, not all vaccines and endpoint effectiveness.

And it’s the wrong question. It could be shown that arsenic is effective against a particular disease. The question is “is arsenic effective? Does the risk of arsenic outweigh the projected benefit of arsenic?”

The clinical question is “Does one need arsenic?”
That is debatable.

“For centuries the measles virus has maintained a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man. The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable constancy and only moderate severity. Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare.”

@ Chris…the Ugh Troll linked to a paper that was presented at a public health meeting in 1966, that discusses mortality associated with measles.

Here’s a picture of a Nigerian baby (circa late 1960s) who was not immunized and who required supportive medical care, because of measles:

http://www.vaccineinformation.org/photos/meascdc005a.jpg

“Late 1960s photograph shows a Nigerian mother and her child who was recovering from measles; note that the skin is sloughing on the child as he heals from his measles infection.
This child was among many who were cared for in camps set up during the CDC-led refugee relief effort during the Nigerian-Biafran war. Measles was a constant threat in these camps. Sloughing of the skin in recovering measles patients was often extensive, and resembles that of a burn victim. Due to their weakened state, children like the one shown here, need nursing care to avoid subsequent infections.”

-Source: Immunize.org

And my point is that the anti-vax folks keep thinking that mortality is what is important, when it is not. The incidence is what determines if vaccination is effective, plus even if a person survives measles there is a not minimal chance of permanent injury.

Hence, the reason I insist that they do not mention mortality.

Lilady of propaganda

Here’s a picture of a Nigerian baby (circa late 1960s) who was not immunized and who required supportive medical care, because of measles:

Did that kid live in a mud hut(like you sarcastically said you did)? What was his nutrition like? Did he have plumbing or clean drinking water?

Here’s a picture of measles vaccine damage. He didn’t recover.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1307095/Family-win-18-year-fight-MMR-damage-son–90-000-payout-concerns-vaccine-surfaced.html

Pegasus: Here’s another link to an outbreak of measles in Minneapolis, last year:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6013a6.htm

Put your “thinking cap” on and tell us why the index case and subsequent cases were not immunized against measles.

-Odd, isn’t it, that the Somali community in Hennepin County “opted out” of the MMR jab?

-Which disgraced doctor traveled from his home in Austin Texas to Minneapolis two times just before the measles outbreak to discuss the “MMR Vaccine-Autism Link”.

-Which disgraced doctor traveled from his home in Austin Texas to Minneapolis a third time, during the measles outbreak, to meet with Somali parents who “opted out” of the MMR jab?

-Did public health officials lie about the seriousness (morbidity), of the outbreak that resulted in hospitalizations of kids infected with measles?

Augustine, the reason nobody ever talks to you is because you have no understanding of the concepts of “evidence”, “risk vs. benefit”, or “maturity”. Until you start acting your age, you will not be treated as an adult.

How many people’s lives are saved, or dramatically improved by pharmaceutical drugs? Be sure to include anticoagulants, diuretics, digoxin, antibiotics, antiretrovirals, immunosuppressants, thyroxine, insulin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy drugs for cancer.

Or statins, or anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, for starters. Just saying.

For centuries the measles virus has maintained a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man. The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable constancy and only moderate severity.

This strikes me as a strong statement to make about a disease that a few centuries ago wasn’t even a human pathogen.

Wikipedia has more on this “moderate severity” over “centuries”:

In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed about 200 million people worldwide. During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii’s people. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population.

But Herr Dr Bimler, that was because none of them had flush toilets! It’s a confirmed medical fact that diseases spread through the airborne route like measles are entirely eliminated by installation of toilets.

And, it’s a “confirmed” medical “factoid” that improved sanitation (flush toilets, pure water) are responsible for the dramatic decrease in all vaccine-preventable diseases…even childhood diseases that are transmitted through the airborne/droplet route.

Another “confirmed” medical “factoid” is that improved sanitation is responsible for the dramatic decrease in vertical and horizontal transmissions of the Hepatitis B virus to newborns and young children.

Aren’t flush toilets wonderful?

And it’s the wrong question. It could be shown that arsenic is effective against a particular disease. The question is “is arsenic effective? Does the risk of arsenic outweigh the projected benefit of arsenic?”

The clinical question is “Does one need arsenic?”
That is debatable.

If arsenic was effective against some condition, yeah, one would need arsenic. By the way, arsenic is present in the human body in trace amounts anyway.

If arsenic was effective against some condition, yeah, one would need arsenic.

Just like a naive ideologue. Never question necessity or safety. This is called a lack of critical thinking.

You’re a good minion.

Augistine said:
“And it’s the wrong question. It could be shown that arsenic is effective against a particular disease. The question is “is arsenic effective? Does the risk of arsenic outweigh the projected benefit of arsenic?”
The clinical question is “Does one need arsenic?”
Hey Augustine did you know that arsenic compounds are used. It one of the treatments for African Trypanosomiasis, also know as african sleeping sickness. In cases you don’t know that’s caused by Trypanosoma brucei, a flagellated Protozoa. While the the drugs do cause serious side effects, the disease is more dangerous, and the benefits outways risk by a lot. The disease without treatment almost always cause death. The death is a painfull one. I’ll let you read about it yourself, and if you require evidence of this it’s pretty easy to find.

“Pegasus, then explain very carefully your plan to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis in babies. Tell us exactly how the DTaP is more dangerous than those diseases, include how it is more toxic than tetanospasmin”.

Your inane question above is typical of sceptic tactics. Pluck some ridiculous comparison (above) & then ask..”tell us exactly…” When the interloper refuses to waste his/her time, you then villify the person.It’s interesting to note you use the pronoun “us” not “me”.You surely are in a club ,& when someone opposes immunisation, you “club” them, metaphorically. “Show us…” How do you become one of “us”.

Nutritional influences have been largely ignored by modern medicine in infectious disease. The nutritional status of the host is critical in permitting or preventing viral & bacterial infections & nutritional inadequacies in the host allow the modification of viruses into more virulent forms. ( J Am Coll Nutr, 2001; 20:5 is just one of a number of references I could cite).

Regarding the measles question, I don’t know why the morbidity dropped, but I get the feeling you think you know ie vaccinations. Before I get excited by your belief, I would like to look at many other variables & co-morbidities during this time, plus other epidemiological evidence.It’s a lot like justifying mammograms. The main criteria has been ‘did breast cancer mortality decrease, stay the same or increase?’ The real question should be(& slowly the med. est. is waking up)’did all-cause mortality decrease, stay the same or increase?

“Actually, crowded housing has *increased* since 1890, not decreased. And it’s increased a lot, allowing the human population to grow from under 2 billion (we hit 2 billion in 1927) to an estimated 7 billion today. Urbanization has been a major part of that”.

You’re confusing houses with people. It was the people who were tightly housed in dwellings, that was the problem. This changed noticeably after WW1. There were more houses (urban) but less people in each house.

“You are not the first to come here and rant about Fosamax for reasons I do not really understand. Has Mercola or another CAM guru condemned it as an evil drug recently or something?”

Maybe they have, but so have a host of medical doctors, dentists & research scientists. In fact just a month ago my dentist commented how bad the bisphosphonates were, because he was the one seeing ONJ not the doctors, & he was appalled by the drug’s use in healthy women.Although anecdotal, he said that many of his colleagues shared his concerns.
FYI, it is coming under attack because oteopenia is normal bone loss with age, just like skin losing collagen,& it does not often lead to osteoporosis at all, if the muscles are strengthened & a low-acid diet adopted.Sarcopenia & an acidic diet is the cause, not a lack of chemo! The PubMed references re fractures have been disputed widely from many sources ( http://www.betterbones.com; drfuhrman.com; drmcdougall.com; Cochrane Collaboration etc.

The drugs only really increase the density of cortical bone, not trabecula bone. And just because bone density is increased, does not mean that bone strength is increased, hence the atraumatic mid-femur fractures. A dense bone does not necessarily mean a strong bone, in fact it can mean a weaker, more brittle bone.And this is exactly what’s happening.

And no, side effects are not uncommon. Why do you have to avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after taking bisphosphonates? Because it irritates the esophogus. In the mid 90’s when the drugs were released, they knew that esophagitis was a side effect. Now, they have upgraded the side effect to esophogeal cancer, because the drug’s effects long term are very different, & more serious, than the early studies revealed. Atrial fibrillation is another. These major illnesses are certainly not common, but they are sometimes fatal. Less life-threatening but much more common side effects are esophogitis & incapacitating bone pain.

These chemo drugs were originally indicated for serious bone conditions like Pagets disease & osteosarcoma, & that was fine, but of course the drug companies realised that more money could be made by widening the market to include healthy women (read Selling Sickness by Moynihan). And many of their advocates were doctors on the drug companies payroll.

I do think you have missd something, & recommend you look up the websites mentioned.

To be honest, the person on this thread that was justifying big pharma’s drugs & minimising the damage does sound like a great PR man for the drug industry.

And wasn’t it Dr Marcia Angell (20 years as editor of the NEJM)who said in her book that the medical profession had become subservient (their valet or handmaiden, I think was her term) to bigpharma.In other words, doing the bidding for the drug companies, what a freakin’ disgrace.

You cannot get a more scathing indictment of the medical profession than that. Selling out to bigpharma, OMG! And that criticism from a medico herself.

Modern medicine is great for a few things, but bloody dangerous for most things.Consumer, beware.

“How many people’s lives are saved, or dramatically improved by pharmaceutical drugs? Be sure to include anticoagulants, diuretics, digoxin, antibiotics, antiretrovirals, immunosuppressants, thyroxine, insulin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy drugs for cancer. They are just the tip of the iceberg yet anticoagulant drugs alone save hundreds of thousands of lives every year”

Well that depends on who you talk to. If you talk to people like Drs Fuhrman, McDougall, Ornish, Esselstyn, Diehl,Gordon,Esser, Welch,Ritchie, Klaper et al they will all say that the mortality & morbidity accompanying the present unnecessary polypharmacy approach taught to doctors is unacceptably high. Most of these guys use nutrition instead of drugs, but this is not taught at medical school. Ask any of them where they learnt the finer points of nutrition as a major intervention in most chronic diseases & they will in unison say after they left medical school, & not at CPD Courses!

The doctors I know are absolutely clueless about interventional nutrition, apart from the archaic macro-calorie approach to weight loss & a little tinkering with fat levels to try & poke around LDL’s.

Why is it that Esselstyn has written a book on reversing heart disease using mainly nutrition (with statins used in the occasional high-risk patients, but not routinely used in general)with phenomenal results, yet no doctors here have ever heard of him. As he quotes one of his surgeon colleagues when asked why he doesn’t use nutrition to obviate the need for surgery in his patients: “I earn $5 million a year from surgical proceedures, that’s why?”

Abba sang about it in the 70’s: money, money, money….

There is no question that drugs can sometimes save lives. But when the medical profession is largely controlled by the drug companies, who are controlled by their directors, who are controlled by their shareholders, then truth about the actual casualties is never accurately reported.It’s just not good for business.

While the the drugs do cause serious side effects, the disease is more dangerous, and the benefits outways risk by a lot.

Unbelievable. If you guys can convince yourself to say the words ” the benefits outway the risk” you can rationalize ANY medical procedure on any person even if you have to get the government involved to force it.

Do you need arsenic, Matt F?
Then how do you know if my children needs an MMR vaccine?
They don’t!

Pegasus, so you can’t or won’t answer my questions?

So I looked at your reference:
J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Feb;20(1):5-19.
Types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a critical review.

Now how exactly does dietary fat protect an infant from pertussis? I see many who claim a perfect diet will keep kids safe from disease, but this the first time that there was a claim that coronary heart disease (usually a disease of old age) has been considered the same as pertussis.

So are you suggesting that instead of breast milk, infants should get fish? Or does the mother eat the fish and plant based fats to protect a child from pertussis.

Oh, do educate us on to protect kids from pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus using only diet!

And you really did not know about the incidence rates of measles? And since you know what the answer should be, you refuse to answer with some hand waving about something else.

You are very amusing Pegasus, and not in a good way.

Unbelievable. If you guys can convince yourself to say the words ” the benefits outway the risk” you can rationalize ANY medical procedure on any person even if you have to get the government involved to force it.

So if a procedure has any potential for harm whatsoever, it shouldn’t be done? If that’s the case you must never do anything ever.

dedicated lurker:

So if a procedure has any potential for harm whatsoever, it shouldn’t be done?

I recently finished reading Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle. When insulin was first being used for diabetes, some died from getting too much as it was difficult to create supplies with consistent effectiveness and to balance with the patient’s own metabolism.

So in Pegasus’ perfect world those children with Type 1 Diabetes would just have to die. Some did survive for a while on a very restrictive diet, but sometimes they actually starved (the diet was as low as 500 Calories). So even that diet would not met Pegasus’ demands for 100% risk free criteria.

And to add: I would like to see more substance to Pegasus’ ranting. I see lots of words, but nothing to support her/his statements (like what mammograms have to do with measles morbidity statistics). Perhaps this is a person who likes to bloviate for no particular reason other to feel the keyboard go clickity-click.

So if a procedure has any potential for harm whatsoever, it shouldn’t be done?

I didn’t say that.

Dear Insolence visitor,

So as to give members of the scientific and autism commmunities a better sense of how Slapp suits can be used to harrass and intimidate journalists and media organisations, I have posted a photograph of the response from us necessary to deal with Andrew Wakefield’s latest vexatious litigation.

He will get his day in court, but you can imagine the burden it puts on us in terms of time, energy and, of course, the extraordinary cost.

http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-introduction.htm

Pegasus,
I wrote:

You are not the first to come here and rant about Fosamax for reasons I do not really understand. Has Mercola or another CAM guru condemned it as an evil drug recently or something?

You replied:

Maybe they have, but so have a host of medical doctors, dentists & research scientists. In fact just a month ago my dentist commented how bad the bisphosphonates were, because he was the one seeing ONJ not the doctors, & he was appalled by the drug’s use in healthy women.Although anecdotal, he said that many of his colleagues shared his concerns.

Sorry, I don’t believe your dentist sees enough people to accurately pick up a possible side effect that is so rare even large clinical trials of thousands of people have failed to reliably demonstrate a connection. Where is this “host of medical doctors, dentists & research scientists” anyway?

FYI, it is coming under attack because oteopenia is normal bone loss with age, just like skin losing collagen,& it does not often lead to osteoporosis at all,

Do you have any evidence for this extraordinary statement that osteopenia “does not often lead to osteoporosis at all?”

if the muscles are strengthened & a low-acid diet adopted.Sarcopenia & an acidic diet is the cause, not a lack of chemo!

Please, not this nonsense about an acidic diet and bone health again. It’s not true! High animal protein (so-called “acidic”) diets increase calcium absorption and excretion. Some have assumed that the increased urinary excretion means that an “acidic” diet dissolves calcium out of the bones and excretes it in urine. It doesn’t. Calcium isotope studies have proved this beyond all reasonable doubt, as have epidemiological studies that find a link between low protein diets and both low bone density and fracture risk, the opposite of what the “acid diet” hypothesis would predict.

The PubMed references re fractures have been disputed widely from many sources (www.betterbones.com; drfuhrman.com; drmcdougall.com; Cochrane Collaboration etc.

Sorry, I don’t consider those sources to be at all reliable. The betterbones.com website has an “Alkalize for Life” link on it which immediately tells me it is a quack site – it’s run by nutritionist and medical anthropologist Dr. Susan E. Brown. Why would I think she knows better than the experts when it’s not even her field of study? As for Drs. Fuhrman and McDougall, if that’s where you are getting your information from it explains a lot. What about Cochrane? You might take a look at this article about bisphosphonates that takes a careful look at the evidence and concludes that bisphosphonates are both safe and effective.

The drugs only really increase the density of cortical bone, not trabecula bone. And just because bone density is increased, does not mean that bone strength is increased, hence the atraumatic mid-femur fractures. A dense bone does not necessarily mean a strong bone, in fact it can mean a weaker, more brittle bone.And this is exactly what’s happening.

So how do you explain the dramatic reduction in fractures produced by these drugs? You are suggesting that alendronate actually reduces bone strength, yet the evidence shows it reduces both primary and secondary fractures by about 50%. That makes no sense at all.

And no, side effects are not uncommon.

I based my assertion on a review study that looked at several clinical trials comparing alendronate with placebo and with other treatments. A Cochrane review concluded, “For adverse events, we found no statistically significant differences in any included study.” What do you base your assertion on?

Why do you have to avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after taking bisphosphonates? Because it irritates the esophogus.

It doesn’t irritate the esophagus if you avoid lying down for 30 minutes after taking it. Not lying down for half an hour doesn’t seem too onerous to me.

In the mid 90’s when the drugs were released, they knew that esophagitis was a side effect. Now, they have upgraded the side effect to esophogeal cancer, because the drug’s effects long term are very different, & more serious, than the early studies revealed.

A Cochrane review found no difference in adverse events between 5 years or 10 years on the drug. Some cases of esophageal cancer have been reported, but there has been no links reported in any clinical trials, so we don’t yet know if there is a link or not, and if there is one it is very rare.

Atrial fibrillation is another. These major illnesses are certainly not common, but they are sometimes fatal.

They are so rare we don’t even know if they are caused by alendronate. In contrast there are 2 million osteoporotic fractures in the US every year and alendronate reduces the risk of these fractures by 50%. Remember many fractures have a very high mortality in elderly people.

Less life-threatening but much more common side effects are esophogitis & incapacitating bone pain.

Here’s Cochrane again on alendronate:

In general, the reported events were similar between alendronate and placebo. In particular, there were seven studies reporting ’any upper gastrointestinal events’ resulting in an overall RR 1.03 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.08) and two studies reporting ’esophageal ulcer’, resulting in an overall RR 1.16 (95% CI 0.39 to 3.45).

Notice these small increases are not statistically significant and they don’t even mention bone pain.

These chemo drugs were originally indicated for serious bone conditions like Pagets disease & osteosarcoma, & that was fine, but of course the drug companies realised that more money could be made by widening the market to include healthy women (read Selling Sickness by Moynihan). And many of their advocates were doctors on the drug companies payroll.

So how did they manage to manipulate the data to make it look as if alendronate reduces primary fractures by 50% in osteopenic women?

I do think you have missd something, & recommend you look up the websites mentioned.

I recommend you avoid websites that have a “Visit Our Store” button and stick to articles from peer reviewed journals.

To be honest, the person on this thread that was justifying big pharma’s drugs & minimising the damage does sound like a great PR man for the drug industry.

I’m afraid you sound to me like a gullible idiot who has bought into some unscientific nonsense designed to persuade you to buy someone’s product.

And wasn’t it Dr Marcia Angell (20 years as editor of the NEJM)who said in her book that the medical profession had become subservient (their valet or handmaiden, I think was her term) to bigpharma.In other words, doing the bidding for the drug companies, what a freakin’ disgrace.

I think you will find she was referring to the FDA. I don’t live in the USA, I live in the UK where the NHS is short of money and only uses drugs and treatments that are proven to be cost effective. Guess what? We use the same drugs, more or less, as in the US, including alendronate, though not for osteopenia, not because of side effects but because it is too expensive.

You cannot get a more scathing indictment of the medical profession than that. Selling out to bigpharma, OMG! And that criticism from a medico herself.

Except, OMG, it wasn’t a scathing indictment of the medical profession at all.

Modern medicine is great for a few things, but bloody dangerous for most things.Consumer, beware.

It’s so “bloody dangerous” life expectancy has been steadily increasing, infant mortality has fallen about as low as it can go, even disability-free lifespan is increasing and heart disease mortality in the UK has dropped by 50% in the past 8 years. That’s sarcasm by the way.

Oops, I did not know who dedicated lurker was quoting. I mostly skimmed Pegasus’ bloviating drivel, and noticed nothing of substance (ie: real evidence).

Augustine, the reason nobody ever talks to you is because you have no understanding of the concepts of “evidence”, “risk vs. benefit”, or “maturity”.

Well, that, and “long since having been killfiled for general swinishness.”

This will, I hope, be my last bit of verbiage on this OT subject.

Pegasus,

If you talk to people like Drs Fuhrman, McDougall, Ornish, Esselstyn, Diehl,Gordon,Esser, Welch,Ritchie, Klaper et al they will all say that the mortality & morbidity accompanying the present unnecessary polypharmacy approach taught to doctors is unacceptably high.

I know, I have read more of that sort of material than I care to remember. The problem is that they have little evidence to actually back up their claims that they have an alternative that will work in the real world. Their patients come to them because of their reputation and are highly motivated and willing to change their diet and lifestyle. My colleague who held a weekly lipid clinic in a poor part of London had to deal with people who were morbidly obese, who smoked and drank alcohol against medical advice, and despite warnings did not change their lifestyle. She prescribed statins and fibrates. What else could she have done?

Most of these guys use nutrition instead of drugs, but this is not taught at medical school. Ask any of them where they learnt the finer points of nutrition as a major intervention in most chronic diseases & they will in unison say after they left medical school, & not at CPD Courses!

Perhaps that because “the finer points of nutrition” are not based on any evidence?

The doctors I know are absolutely clueless about interventional nutrition, apart from the archaic macro-calorie approach to weight loss & a little tinkering with fat levels to try & poke around LDL’s.

As has been stated many times before, the best advice on nutrition is “Eat, not too much, mostly plants”. Anything more than that is usually designed to sell you something.

Why is it that Esselstyn has written a book on reversing heart disease using mainly nutrition (with statins used in the occasional high-risk patients, but not routinely used in general)with phenomenal results, yet no doctors here have ever heard of him.

I have heard of him, but he hasn’t published much, and what he has published has been criticised. He is in favor of a radical vegan diet which will lead to weight loss, which is probably the key to any success he has had, though less than 50% of his patients managed to stick with his regimen, which isn’t great compliance, and they took statins. Color me unimpressed.

As he quotes one of his surgeon colleagues when asked why he doesn’t use nutrition to obviate the need for surgery in his patients: “I earn $5 million a year from surgical proceedures, that’s why?”

He asked a surgeon why he doesn’t use nutrition? The clue is in the title.

Abba sang about it in the 70’s: money, money, money….

Yet surgeons in the UK don’t get paid any more if they do more surgeries, and they still do coronary bypass surgery, and angioplasty instead of cooking their patient a tofuburger. How can this be?

There is no question that drugs can sometimes save lives.

Sometimes? What planet do you live on again? You should spend a bit of time working in a busy emergency room or an intensive treatment unit, or even an anticoag clinic, and them tell me that.

But when the medical profession is largely controlled by the drug companies, who are controlled by their directors, who are controlled by their shareholders, then truth about the actual casualties is never accurately reported.It’s just not good for business.

The medical profession is controlled by the drug companies? How does that work exactly? And at what point are clinical trials of a drug manipulated? It’s just that I have been involved in a couple of clinical trials, and I have never been able to figure that out. How are all the extra deaths covered up? Before or after blinding is removed? Clinical trials are monitored and serious adverse events have to be reported (in the UK, and I assume elsewhere), and if a drug does seem to be causing unexpected deaths it can and will be halted. This does happen not that infrequently, torcetrapib is just one example. What went wrong with the cover-up over torcetrapib? Why did Pfizer waste $800 million on the drug and the abandon it if it could simply have covered it all up?

I have posted a photograph of the response from us necessary to deal with Andrew Wakefield’s latest vexatious litigation.

My book is bigger than your book, therefore I’m right and you’re wrong.

If you talk to people like Drs Fuhrman, McDougall, Ornish, Esselstyn, Diehl,Gordon,Esser, Welch,Ritchie, Klaper et al they will all say….

Ah, the inevitable litany of heroes.

Posted by: Emily

But with very few exceptions, like Ornish, McDougall, Fuhrman, Klaper, Esselstyn, Sultana, Siegel, Koumantakis, Esser, Barnard etc, doctors know very little about the body’s innate capacity to heal itself.

It’s a tediously unoriginal script you’re reading from, Pegasus.

I have posted a photograph of the response from us necessary to deal with Andrew Wakefield’s latest vexatious litigation.

One of the better demonstrations I’ve seen of why anti-SLAPP (and anti-other forms of frivolous harassing lawsuits) laws are important. If he can necessitate that much response with that little work, well, it gets really effective to do so.

Pegasus seems to have little or no real education how medicine (and medical research) is actually done. For every one drug that makes it to market, there are dozens, sometimes hundreds of others that never see the light of day – if the FDA was as corrupt as the woo-meisters would like to have you believe, then this ratio would be reversed.

I didn’t say that.

So does a risk/benefit ratio ever come into factor? Because it’s not about merely saying there is a beneficial ratio; there has to actually be one.

Pegasus seems to have little or no real education how medicine (and medical research) is actually done. For every one drug that makes it to market, there are dozens, sometimes hundreds of others that never see the light of day – if the FDA was as corrupt as the woo-meisters would like to have you believe, then this ratio would be reversed.

The way I’d put it:

Big Pharma:
1. Get an idea.
2. Do extensive tests.
2a. If the tests result in failure, all the money spent goes down the drain. Oh well. That’s the cost of doing research.
2b. If the tests result in success, then release it to the market and watch carefully for bad effects that the tests might not have caught.
3a. If a really harmful and statistically demonstrable side effect does show up, recall the drug or put in a strong notice for vulnerable populations not to use it.
3b. If nothing bad happens, profit!

This, incidentally, is pretty much the terms of trust with nearly any medical claim. Big Pharma doesn’t get special treatment: We consider them more trustworthy because they’re willing to jump through those hoops, not because Big Pharma is part of our identity, contrary to the false framing alties are so fond of.

Big Altie:

1. Get an idea.
2. Experiment directly on the market. In other words, make customers pay full price (or even more, if you’re Burzynski) for the privilege of being experimental subjects for an unproven treatment.
3. If the consumers die, tell the skeptics it’s the patients’ fault for not believing hard enough. Let the buyer beware.
4. Profit!

The fact that many wannabe medical providers operate under this reckless model is why we don’t trust them. The fact that we don’t trust them is why they effectively allied under the big tent of “alternative medicine”: Artificially dividing medical claims into black and white camps allegedly playing out a melodrama is an effective marketing scheme for drawing in gullible people.

Narad:

It’s a tediously unoriginal script you’re reading from, Pegasus.

I’m wondering if we are not seeing the return of Emily, or her clone.

I find it fascinating that if we all adhered to a perfect diet then no one will ever get pertussis, diphtheria, measles or other infectious disease.

It’s a tediously unoriginal script you’re reading from, Pegasus.

Actual name-switching and sock-puppetry, or just cut-&-paste trolling?

I could spend all day countering the “drug em to fix em” mentality of you sceptics, but I have more important things to do.

I find it very amusing that if you criticise medicine & you are not a medic,perhaps you’re even a naturopath or chiropractor or whatever, then you are automatically disqualified because you are a quack who is unable to read.

If you happen to be a doctor, like Professor Richard Ablin, the inventor of the PSA test, & you happen to caustically criticise the medical profession: “the proliferation of screening reached a fervor which would not disgrace a medieval inquisition” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomearkers & Prevention: March 2012, then you are labelled from the dark side, & not to be trusted. Ablin also stated that the PSA test “was no better than a coin toss” & ” the results of PSA screeing had resulted in a tragedy of overdiagnosis & overtreatment in excess of million men in the USA”.

I suppose he has also lost the ability to read, like the unqualified quacks you deride.

Then we have the BMJ headline in 2002 : Who owns the FDA. The People or the Drug Companies?

And don’t tell me that this proves that the machine is working. It is fundamentally flawed, simply because Marcia Engell hit the nail right on the head. Yes, the FDA (you were right, it was the FDA) is the servant of the drug companies. The BMJ was right with their pointed question.

The medical profession has swamped its great contribution to our comfort by selling out to bigpharma.

The reason the doctors I mentioned get such great results is because they use drugs as a last resort not a first line & they understand the role of nutrition in the prevention & treatment of disease. Even if this has not been proven by rct’s, who gives a rat’s armpit?

Don’t worry about whether Fuhrman, McDougall, Ornish, Klaper et al has peer-reviewed evidence, just have a look at their results, for God’s sake!

Sceptics,drug-lovers/nature deniers that you are, just open your eyes to what is going on with the patient results at these clinics. Don’t wait for rct’s. It might be too late for you.

So many words, so little substance. And absolutely nothing that is on topic.

Be fair, Chris. Gish galloping is the only exercise some people get.

Oh, great. I am now remembering the person in the library who was furiously and loudly pounding the keyboard at the computer station. Who knows? It could have been Pegasus.

augustine this what you said
“Unbelievable. If you guys can convince yourself to say the words ” the benefits outway the risk” you can rationalize ANY medical procedure on any person even if you have to get the government involved to force”

Though you might have not have said those exact words you were definitely implying what dedicated lurker said. If not then I have no idea of what you mean because almost everything we do on a daily basis, whether it be medical or a daily routine carries some sort of risk. If you doubt it ask anybody whose had how miserable they were.
Though you are a troll I will actually answer you. No, I do not need arsenic I have not acquired Trypanosomiasis, nor will I probably ever acquire it because I will probably never find myself in sub-Saharan Africa but there are millions who need it because it is not a uncommon disease for several sub-Saharan countries.

Children require the MMR because all of those disease can be deadly the reason that you do not see that often in the US is the testimony to the effectiveness of the vaccine, and if people like you are successful in you campaign of misinformation these disease will make a comeback as they have already, but in a much larger way

In my comment #288 the sentence “If you doubt it ask anybody whose had how miserable they were.” Should be the the second sentence of the third paragraph. Stupid typing mishap.

Pegasus is sounding like Emily… The same reliance on nutrition and ‘natural hygiene’, the same reliance on books instead of papers and a few ‘authority’ doctors, the same continued attempt to suggest SBM doesn’t include nutrition and other concepts in their training, the ignorance of history and anti-vax stance, the Big Pharma/money gambit, the clause of SBM being useful for ‘some things’, the same idealistic view of the world…

Actually that sounds like most CAM proponents anyway.

… Er, nevermind, just saw #277. Glad to know Narad thought the same.

@ Beamup ( # 278):

I agree: he wasn’t able to show that he was correct by *data*, by *replication*, by *testimony* to the GMC or on *appeal* so he needs to *barrate* his critics. Anti-vaxx groups, like alt med providers, have an overly-friendly relationship with legal professionals which is achingly apparent if you look closely at the ‘VIP’ lists at their many websites. The fate and fortunes of AJW seem bound up with legal manoeuvring starting very early in the game. If you live by the sword, don’t be surprised if one day it’s turned against you. Hopefully, we’re looking at *le dernier cri* or the *last gasp*- if you pardon my translation.

Though you might have not have said those exact words you were definitely implying what dedicated lurker said. If not then I have no idea of what you mean because almost everything we do on a daily basis, whether it be medical or a daily routine carries some sort of risk. If you doubt it ask anybody whose had how miserable they were.

Do you suggest we live by some sort or David Gorski/Harriet Hall algorithm?

Though you are a troll I will actually answer you. No, I do not need arsenic I have not acquired Trypanosomiasis, nor will I probably ever acquire it because I will probably never find myself in sub-Saharan Africa but there are millions who need it because it is not a uncommon disease for several sub-Saharan countries.

But there are some die hards on here that can convince you that you ARE at risk. It’s only a plane ride a way.The risk is homogenous. We all need it, Or we’ll die or be maimed.

Children require the MMR because all of those disease can be deadly the reason that you do not see that often in the US is the testimony to the effectiveness of the vaccine, and if people like you are successful in you campaign of misinformation these disease will make a comeback as they have already, but in a much larger way

Oh foolish child, Can you tell me the risk of measles being dangerous to my child? You can’t? Yet you want to convince me that my child needs it? Is Measles more deadly than the arsenic “required” Trypanosomiasis?

Do you suggest we live by some sort or David Gorski/Harriet Hall algorithm?

Is Measles more deadly than the arsenic “required” Trypanosomiasis?

Which Trypanosomiasis? African or Chagas disease? Both can’t be spread by human to human contact, by the way. You have to be bitten by an infected insect, much like the bubonic plague.

Can you tell me the risk of measles being dangerous to my child?

How old is the child? Where do they live? What is their past medical history?

Oh, and what’s the risk of the MMR being dangerous to your child?

Dedicated lurker, though it doesn’t matter to Augustine as he obviously doesn’t know what the two diseases are, or understand vector borne diseases, i did say African Sleeping Skickness.I did not mention Chaga’s Disease since it is hard to treat a latent infection and most people live years with disease, as I am sure you know. While the one caused by T. brucei’s two human subspecies are acute disease. Though if you live on the border of US and Mexico you are at risk, so to Augustine there is a chance for us citizens to get a trypanosomiasis, though I can not remember what is used for treatment.

Keep plugging away Augustine, & remember that the majority is often wrong, just as the majority is wrong about vaccinations.You are doing well against these pro-drugging, nature-quarantined clubbers.

They still promote herd immunity but when you ask them to supply scientific evidence of its veracity, they get personal & call you quack, disease-vector, woo-meister etc.I’m still waiting for one person to prove to me that herd immunity is nothing more than woo in sheep’s clothing.

Herd immunity is total BS & is one reason among many why my wife & I have not vaccinated our children, & never will. Jay Gordon, Al Sears, Barbara Loe Fisher, Meryl Dorey, Jo Mercola, Missy Fluegge, Jenny McCarthy, Jeffry John Aufderheide, David Ritchie, Mark Donohue et al are all fighting the good fight. Health freedom. They all might have different views on health but they stand as one against the “do as I say cause I know what’s good for you & your child” brigade.

Modern medicine overall is slowly imploding, as much from self-harm ( see Professor Ablin, Dr Douglas Graham, prof Rob. Mendelson,Dr Fuhrman, Dr McDougall, Dr Ornish, Dr Esselstyn, Marcia Engel et al exposing the non-science BS & the harm that ensues from within), as from gradual public distrust & from increasing doctor dissatisfaction with their own band-aid suppressive pseudo-science propaganda. These whisleblowers & the flood of others will increasingly erode public trust, & not before time.

Then we have those who shoot themselves in the foot, like Dr John Dwyer from Australia who has organised the group ‘Friends of Science’in trying to kick altmed out of University courses. Every time he talks he embarrasses himself & more & more people just see through him as a bigot. He does his cause more harm than good. Another internal imploder.He needs vaccinating against foot-in-mouth disease.

Anyway keep up the fight for health freedom Augustine, even though you’re outnumbered. And remember, you can lead a camel to water, but getting the sceptics to see past their pseudo-science is like getting the same camel through the eye of a measles needle. Anyone for camel milk?

Which Trypanosomiasis? African or Chagas disease?

the one that you say arsenic is required for.

How old is the child?

Does it matter?

Where do they live?

Why? Is there a difference in risk?

What is their past medical history?

Again, Why? Is the risk different? how much difference?

Oh, and what’s the risk of the MMR being dangerous to your child?

In a relative percentage term what’s the risk of my child having a convulsive febrile seizure with the MMR as opposed to not having it at all? What if my child is named Hanah Poling but you don’t know that? How do you know what her risk is? Do you accept any personal responsibility? No you don’t. Will, orac,lilady(in her local county health dept.), Chris with no resposibility, or any other blogger? Certainly not. They’ll just haphazardly, irresponsibly blog away.

Does that mean that it affects the brain or is it just peripheral covulsive spasms?

How do you know this? because ORac told you so? James Randi perhaps?

Dawns on me that Pegasus is the poster formerly known as Emily. If the shoe fitz…

Pegasus, you should disclose your financial interest in the therapies you promote. You know, clinic income, seminars, CDs/DVDs, that sort of thing.

No, Pegasus, if you are claiming that herd immunity is “woo in sheeps clothing,” it’s your job to prove it. You don’t get to sit around and wait for the people you disagree with to “prove” things they never said.

“Health freedom”? Do you want the right to get a job in a restaurant and not wash your hands before handling food? Or to feed your children large quantities of laudanum if they’re crying at night?

You may have the right to kill yourself. You don’t have the right to kill strangers, or your underage children.

They still promote herd immunity but when you ask them to supply scientific evidence of its veracity, they get personal & call you quack, disease-vector, woo-meister etc.I’m still waiting for one person to prove to me that herd immunity is nothing more than woo in sheep’s clothing.

Sure, that’s easy. Herd immunity is actually a mathematical consequence of individuals developing resistance/immunity, so the proof is easy to do. Let’s postulate a disease called DF, dandelion fever, that is transmissible between humans and which people are 90% likely to come down with if they are exposed to it. There is also a preventative treatment called MDR, magic dandelion root, which reduces the chances of developing DF, if exposed to it, down to 5%.

Now, the disease spreads through contact between humans. This means that each act of transmission requires three things: 1) a person from group C, those who already have the disease and are contagious; 2) a person from group U, those who have not yet had the disease; and 3) an incident of contact between the two people.

If no measures at all are taken to intervene in the course of the disease, then it will take the following general course:
* group C will start out small; group U will start out very large; most contacts between people will be U-U, not C-U, and transmission will go slowly (from the standpoint of the general population).
* group C gets larger; group U is still very large; there are a lot of C-U contacts and 90% of them result in the U party moving to group C.
* C-U contacts actually start decreasing, for two reasons: group U is diminishing in size, and after a while, C people are no longer contagious, and they enter group A (already had the disease.) Contacts can be A-A, A-C, A-U, C-C, C-U, or U-U, and the onlycontact type that can spread the disease is C-U. The first four contact types are getting more frequent, and the last two getting less frequent; the spread of the disease is slowing down, and sooner or later it “burns out,” at least for the particular time and place.

Now, what happens if 80% of the population get the MDR treatment?
* group C starts out small; group U starts out very large; most contacts will be U-U, and of the C-U contacts that do occur, very few of them will transmit the disease. 20% of those contacts will give a 90% risk of moving the U party to group C, but 80% of contacts will give only a 5% risk. (.20 x .90) + (.80 x .05) = .22%. That means the disease is spreading only about one-quarter as fast as it was before, now that only 22% rather than 90% of C-U contacts result in transmission of the disease.
* group C is gaining people only a quarter as fast, but it’s still losing people to group A at the same rate. That means that a lot of U people who otherwise would have joined group C now simply stay in group U, because three-quarters of what would have been contacts with group C are now contacts with group U instead – and pretty soon, the population of group C is dropping so low that C-U contacts become rare, and the disease burns out.

Now, Pegasus, take careful note of something about the analysis we just walked through: not a single piece of it is conditional upon the MDR treatment being a vaccine. All we specified is that it was a treatment which reduced the chances of an individual developing a disease when exposed to it by a given amount. Any treatment which achieved that preventative effect would create herd immunity when used by a sufficient percentage of the population – whether it’s a vaccine, an herb (magic dandelion root), a special diet, it doesn’t matter. Which means that people who say “I don’t believe in herd immunity because I don’t believe in Big Pharma drugs; I believe in the power of good nutrition instead” have just told us that they don’t even understand what herd immunity is. It tells us that they probably reached their opinion, not by researching the issue, understanding the issue, weighing the evidence, and coming to a conclusion, but by saying “I’ll assume whatever mainstream science says is wrong and everything my favorite alt-med figures say is right.”

Now, Pegasus, we’ve noticed that you have a little … problem with changing the subject rather than admitting your talking points have been fully refuted. So what’s going to happen is that we are going to interpret change of subject as concession: if your next two comments (on this thread or any other) do not address the fact that herd immunity has just been proven to you mathematically, we will say “Pegasus has admitted that herd immunity exists and protects people against disease” from now on. Sorry, but it’s something you’ve brought on yourself.

You may have the right to kill yourself. You don’t have the right to kill strangers, or your underage children.

You are exactly right. You, or the government, does not have the right to kill strangers or children with their vaccines.

“It wasn’t OUR bullet that injured your child”. It was all of those OTHER bullets” seems to be the medical profession’s defense.

Pegasus,

They still promote herd immunity but when you ask them to supply scientific evidence of its veracity, they get personal & call you quack, disease-vector, woo-meister etc.I’m still waiting for one person to prove to me that herd immunity is nothing more than woo in sheep’s clothing.

Someone who is immune to a disease cannot catch it and spread it to others. If lots of people in a population are immune to disease, a person in that population who does catch that disease is less likely to come into contact with a non-immune person and give them the disease. That’s herd immunity. What bit of it is “woo in sheep’s clothing”? What bit of it do you deny? Or do you simply not understand how immunity works, like some of the trolls here?

I consider someone who denies the existence of herd immunity as being as ignorant as someone who seriously believes in a flat earth or in creationism. The overwhelming evidence supports the existence of herd immunity, and unless you don’t believe in antibodies, or acquired immunity (which would be nuts), I don’t see how you could possibly deny it.

I see she is still pounding the keyboard with idiotic ferocity, pushing out lots of words and absolutely no substance. Especially with this bit of illiterate brain dropping:

Jay Gordon, Al Sears, Barbara Loe Fisher, Meryl Dorey, Jo Mercola, Missy Fluegge, Jenny McCarthy, Jeffry John Aufderheide, David Ritchie, Mark Donohue et al are all fighting the good fight. Health freedom.

Health Freedom must be defined as “Belief instead of reality.”

the one that you say arsenic is required for.

African then. Arsenic is a treatment, however, not a preventative.

Does it matter?

Yes, for a variety of reasons.

Why? Is there a difference in risk?

Yes. If you live in Antarctica or the Sahara your risk is low. If you live in a place with a recent outbreak the risk is much higher.

Again, Why? Is the risk different? how much difference?

Of course. If the child has a chronic lung condition, or a primary immune deficiency, or a mitochondrial condition, or a condition that requires periodic use of steroids, the child is at greater risk. How much of said risk of course depends on the condition in question.

In a relative percentage term what’s the risk of my child having a convulsive febrile seizure with the MMR as opposed to not having it at all?

Not at all ever? Not much. Febrile seizures are common in small children, and are associated with any high fever, vaccine or no vaccine.

What if my child is named Hanah Poling but you don’t know that?

Then even if she never got the MMR she would be at high risk for febrile seizures due to her underlying mitochondrial condition.

Do you accept any personal responsibility?

For what, exactly?

Does that mean that it affects the brain or is it just peripheral covulsive spasms?

The high fever that triggers the seizure is associated with misfiring electrical activity in the brain. The motor activity that is impaired is a result of that. Oh, and 99% of children who get febrile seizures will survive without permanant sequelae, just like you are so fond of saying about the measles.

How do you know this?

These little things called books, which I use for an activity commonly refered to as “reading.”

I hadn’t heard of Dr. John Dyer and ‘Friends of Science in Medicine’. Judging by Emily/Pegasus’ insults I thought he and his group must be worth checking out, and he was. Thanks Emily/Pegasus!

Dyer is one of several doctors worldwide who are rooting out the unscientific nonsense, like homeopathy, iridology, reflexology, kinesiology, healing touch therapy, aromatherapy and ‘energy medicine’, that has crept into many universities. His work seems very similar to the admirable efforts of David Colquhoun, Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh to root out university courses in “pure gobbledygook” in the UK.

University administrators are often unaware of what idiocy has crept in through the back door in the guise of “bridging traditional knowledge with evidence based scientific medicine” and are often shocked when it is brought to their attention. Merely bringing what is being taught in their university to their attention is often enough to persuade them to take action.

Those of you who attend academic institutions where this sort of nonsense is taught might like to get hold of some particularly idiotic course material and send it to the university dean or equivalent. A covering letter simply asking if they are aware of what students are being taught in their name would be wise. Just a thought.

It’s a tediously unoriginal script you’re reading from, Pegasus.

Actual name-switching and sock-puppetry, or just cut-&-paste trolling?

Would “imitative archetype” be a contradiction in terms?

Jay Gordon, Al Sears, Barbara Loe Fisher, Meryl Dorey, Jo Mercola, Missy Fluegge, Jenny McCarthy, Jeffry John Aufderheide, David Ritchie, Mark Donohue et al are all fighting the good fight

Yes because when I want medical advice, I locate my local stripper/TV star/donations fraud/alt med ‘energy’ believer. When I want medical advice based in science and health freedom, I choose only those people who provide no evidence at all – why? Because of course, they confirm my biases and are just so much better than …. oh, I’m sorry you were going on about needing evidence for vaccines… I’m confused, do you want me to accept evidenced-only ideas, or non-evidenced ideas? You seem to want to do both…

Hey, you have another thing in common with Emily: you use the creationism tactics of attacking the science instead of providing your own and drop names like they were peer-reviewed papers.

Then we have those who shoot themselves in the foot, like Dr John Dwyer from Australia who has organised the group ‘Friends of Science’in trying to kick altmed out of University courses. Every time he talks he embarrasses himself & more & more people just see through him as a bigot. He does his cause more harm than good. Another internal imploder.He needs vaccinating against foot-in-mouth disease.

Being an Aussie, I think it’s a good thing. Universities promote plenty of CAM crap, and there are lots of little independent ‘institutes’ and ‘colleges’. I go past 10-20 just on the way to work, most of them Chinese woo. These days I play ‘spot the woo clinic’ as there’s so many I go past on my daily travels. It would be nice if there was more education based on proven ideas, rather than education based on unproven crap. Particularly when it comes to government-funded (ie. taxpayer funded) universities and colleges. It’s about time scientists stood up to it and fought back, particularly as it affects allocation of resources for their own programs which are diverted to less scientific ones. I applaud their guts and willingness to stand up to their employers. How “bigot” gets into the conversation I don’t know…

But hey, these guys threaten your potential income don’t they? You being a practitioner, educator and all round ‘pilot’. No wonder you don’t like them.

PS. You can go on about ‘health freedom’ all you like, but we as a society tend to get annoyed when people get conned. There’s a difference between being informed and making a choice, and being misinformed and making a choice. So now you get a little bit of Sid’s ideas and start acting like regulation’s a bad thing. We don’t teach kids creationism in Australia (well, not strictly true depending on your local RE classes which are currently being lambasted too), why are we teaching university courses on homeopathy?

Tell us again about germ theory, or maybe let’s talk about your issues with evolution… We’ve done the anti-vax dance already.

No Vicky it’s your job to prove it because you’re the one promoting the risky interventiion, not me. And part of your promotion/propaganda to the public is based on fear & coercion that if they don’t get shot then they are endangering others because of supposed herd immunity. You have to prove it first, it’s your theory, it’s your intervention.

Hand washing in a restaurant is a poor analogy. If I want a job there I will comply with the employer’s rules, end of story, whatever my views on hand-washing, germ theory etc. And I certainly don’t have the right to kill, & you don’t have the right to force medication upon anybody, & vaccines are medication which have the potential to main & kill.I have no objection to you getting vaccinated or your children, but then don’t force me to do what you do, because of some theory (herd).

Antaeus – you seem to forget that disease is multi-factorial, even infectious disease. It does not work mathematically. Disease cannot be broken down & explained mathematically, there are too many variabls & unknowns. You have the host, you have the microbe & the interface between the two is constantly changing. It is not mathematically predictable, as that interface is different between individuals & different for each individual at different times depending on their state of health. I totally reject your explanation.

Krebiozen- you should know better than that. There have been cases where people, ostensibly “immune” (shown through antibody titres) have caught the disease. Antibodies are just one aspect of a complicated mechanism called the immune system. BTW even Professor Karen Phelps, former head of the Australian Medical Association in OZ, has vehemently disagreed with John Dwyer over his misguided attempts to bully the universities. She stated proudly that her clinic uses acupuncturists, herbal therapists, naturopaths as well as conventional medics. She has debated him on air & it’s not a good look for old John. I suppose she must have lost her ability to read too, like all other quacks.

And noone has criticised the whisleblowers I mentioned- Dr Marcia Engell & Professor Richard Ablin, so I assume you agree with them. There is hope for common sense after all. I hear the implosion getting louder. Remember the motto: science today, nonsense tomorrow.

“Remember the motto: science today, nonsense tomorrow. ”

You’re giving us the nonsense today – will you be giving us the science tomorrow?

By the way, why does Orac let you post here. Do you think that you’re effective in promoting your position but that Orac somehow doesn’t realize that, or is Orac paying you to make anti-vaccine advocates look selfish and stupid?

@Pegasus – herd immunity was in place long before vaccines came around & yes, it can be expressed as a mathmatical equation. Again, try reading some medical textbooks for a change, your ignorance is showing….and your emperor has no clothes.

@Pegasus:

you seem to forget that disease is multi-factorial, even infectious disease. It does not work mathematically. Disease cannot be broken down & explained mathematically, there are too many variabls & unknowns.

Herd immunity is something that applies to, and happens at, the group level, so you don’t need to predict any individual person’s response to vaccines to predict its existence.

@Pegasus
While you saying disease cannot be expressed by Mathamatics, refers probably just to herd immunity, shows how much science knowladge you lack, and means nothing we say will change you mind, you might want to look up a major aspect of public health known as epidemiology. It’s all about statistics. You can look up incidence and prevalence, or any number of caculations that relate to disease.

Dedicated lurker

the one that you say arsenic is required for.

African then. Arsenic is a treatment, however, not a preventative.

Hence the problem with “preventative medicine” it’s given to everyone and it’s a crapshoot. The vast vast majority of people will not succumb to disease like chicken pox or measles but they are taught by fear that they will.

Yes, for a variety of reasons.

Don’t be so specific.

Why? Is there a difference in risk?

Yes. If you live in Antarctica or the Sahara your risk is low. If you live in a place with a recent outbreak the risk is much higher.

Is it just where you live or what type of person lives there? Why doesn’t EVERYONE who lives in a certain region get it and then die? What’s the difference?

Again, Why? Is the risk different? how much difference?

Of course. If the child has a chronic lung condition, or a primary immune deficiency, or a mitochondrial condition, or a condition that requires periodic use of steroids, the child is at greater risk. How much of said risk of course depends on the condition in question.

The point of all of this is you don’t know and there aren’t any reliable pragmatic. In public health EVERYONE is treated as a number and they are considered the lowest of the low. The sickest of the sick. The worst of the worst. Of course it’s all about the vague risk vs benefit that can’t actually be quantified for any single individual.

In a relative percentage term what’s the risk of my child having a convulsive febrile seizure with the MMR as opposed to not having it at all?

Not at all ever? Not much. Febrile seizures are common in small children, and are associated with any high fever, vaccine or no vaccine.

You’re going to need a citation for that one. Peer reviewed. Showing unvaccinated children get convulsive febrile seizures at the same rate as children given MMR. There is plenty of peer review to suggest that you are wrong.

What if my child is named Hanah Poling but you don’t know that?

Then even if she never got the MMR she would be at high risk for febrile seizures due to her underlying mitochondrial condition.

Are you playing the “she would have ended up with brain damage even if she didn’t have the MMR vaccine” card?
That’s pretty unscientific of you.

Do you accept any personal responsibility?

For what, exactly?

For vaccine damage and failure? Of course you don’t. No skeptic would.

Does that mean that it affects the brain or is it just peripheral covulsive spasms?

The high fever that triggers the seizure is associated with misfiring electrical activity in the brain.

You must be a neurologist.LOL, Sorry I forgot. You’re just dedicated to lurking.

The motor activity that is impaired is a result of that.

More specific neurology or just lurking again?

Oh, and 99% of children who get febrile seizures will survive without permanant sequelae, just like you are so fond of saying about the measles.

Now you’re really lurking and getting away from mechanism of action of vaccine induced brain damage.

Oh, and BTW then why do so many parents use tylenol for fevers? Why exactly have they been scared to death about febrile seizures?

How do you know this?

These little things called books, which I use for an activity commonly refered to as “reading.”

There’s a book on Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, and the thousands of others whom are medically induced vaccine brain damaged? There’s a book that tells you how you can prove a negative? There’s a book that can tell you my child will get a chickenpox,HPV, or measles infections and be permanently injured?

But I digress. The question is one of epistemology. Your answer “I read” is not sufficient.

Herd immunity is not a “theory” that needs to be “proven”. It’s the simplest of simple arithmetic. If there’s no such thing as herd immunity, then there’s no such thing as a subcritical mass of plutonium, and any amount, no matter how small, will explode. The arithmetic is of exactly the same form. Pegasus, you’re a moron.

Herd immunity is not a “theory” that needs to be “proven”. It’s the simplest of simple arithmetic.

So show this simple arithmetic formula and where vaccine failure is accurately accounted, and the methods of which the accuracy is measured.

You could start with the Pertussis vaccine.

There have been cases where people, ostensibly “immune” (shown through antibody titres) have caught the disease.

So what? I didn’t mention antibody titers, I wrote “Someone who is immune to a disease cannot catch it and spread it to others.” Most but not all people who contract measles, for example, are immune to measles afterwards, and don’t get it again if re-exposed. Most, but not all, people who are vaccinated against measles are then immune. The mathematical model takes that into account, and it is effective at predicting that an outbreak of a specific disease will occur when immunity in a population falls below a specific level.

My son contracted pertussis as a baby and spent several weeks in the hospital because of an outbreak caused by a failure of herd immunity. In that case vaccination rates fell due to an unfounded vaccine scare and outbreaks occurred just as the mathematical model predicted. I suppose you would claim that the fall in vaccination rates and the subsequent increase in incidence and mortality was a coincidence.

Antaeus – you seem to forget that disease is multi-factorial, even infectious disease. It does not work mathematically. Disease cannot be broken down & explained mathematically, there are too many variabls & unknowns. You have the host, you have the microbe & the interface between the two is constantly changing. It is not mathematically predictable, as that interface is different between individuals & different for each individual at different times depending on their state of health. I totally reject your explanation.

Pegasus – Ever hear of the law of large numbers? Ever hear of Monte Carlo methods? I’m afraid your idea that being unpredictable in individual cases makes the spread of disease impossibly unpredictable at a population level is simply not true.

Do the numbers ever work out as neatly and roundly as they did in our example – 90% without preventative treatment, 5% with treatment? Of course not, but the principle of herd immunity is not dependent upon those numbers. Each person who contracts a disease is at the end of a long chain of person-to-person transmissions – Abel infects Betty, Betty infects Clara, Clara infects David, David infects Emily, and so on. The principle of herd immunity is that by giving preventative treatment to enough of the population, and thus making enough of those transmissions sufficiently unlikely to succeed, most of those chains will stop at earlier points, and people who would have been reached by those chains… now aren’t. Pretending that the principle doesn’t exist because disease is supposedly too unpredictable and “multi-factorial” is as foolish as saying “Well, no one can really know how any particular roulette spin is going to come out, so it makes sense for me to keep gambling every dollar I have!” You only need to know that the odds favor the house to know that continued gambling leads to greater and greater losses. And it doesn’t take a genius to see that a contagious population which loses members faster than “successful” infections can replenish those numbers is a population that’s going to burn itself out.

Not to mention that, since nothing about herd immunity is dependent upon the preventative treatment being vaccination, any alt-medders who say they don’t believe in herd immunity are really saying “Yeah, all that stuff we tell you about how a vegan, GF/CF diet will make your immune system super-special awesome and you’ll never get any of those nasty contagious diseases? Yeah, we don’t really mean that. If our prevention measures actually worked, then a sufficient number of people practicing them would create a herd immunity effect in the population. But herd immunity doesn’t exist, so therefore our product is bleh at best at doing what we claim it does.”

The Very Irreverent Battleaxe of Knowledge: Germ theory & Herd immunity theory, are just what their name states: theories, & have been named as such in medical textbooks. You may be believe in your theories & I defend your right to that. I believe strongly in different theories.

I believe in Lord Rutherford’s statement: that the only pure science is physics, all the rest is stamp collecting.

To call modern medicine a science is to denigrate the very term.

It is universally acknowledged that not all modern medical practices are science- based, even the most loyal sceptics would agree with that. So here’s a question for all the clubbers:

What percentage of medical practice on any given day would not qualify as science-based medicine?

Pegasus, Lord Rutherford died over seventy years ago. Even physics has gone beyond pure absolutes. Ever hear of string theory and multiverse concepts?

You are looking even more silly.

Emily/Pegasus, it is usually advisable that when you have dug yourself in so deep that you should stop digging.

“My son contracted pertussis as a baby and spent several weeks in the hospital because of an outbreak caused by a failure of herd immunity. In that case vaccination rates fell due to an unfounded vaccine scare and outbreaks occurred just as the mathematical model predicted. I suppose you would claim that the fall in vaccination rates and the subsequent increase in incidence and mortality was a coincidence”

No one would know for sure. There have been vaccination rates fall in many areas ( my own area for eg) yet there have been no outbreaks of any infectious diseases. It. is. not. predictable.

Matt F: epidemiology studies population trends or associations, & not causation. That doesn’t stop the vaccination proponents from laying blame on the unvaccinated when an outbreak does occur. How often do the puppeteers state for media fear-mongering purposes, all the while knowing what they say is pure conjecture: ‘the outbreak was caused by unvaccinated children’ (even if the rates of vaccination have been high). Are you saying vaccinated people can’t spread the disease?

My son contracted pertussis as a baby and spent several weeks in the hospital because of an outbreak caused by a failure of herd immunity. In that case vaccination rates fell due to an unfounded vaccine scare and outbreaks occurred just as the mathematical model predicted.

That’s a load of unscientific crock. I’m calling you out, Krebiozen and you’re going to lose. Pertussis is already known to have a high failure rate. You blaming the conscientious unvaccinated can not be supported. I guarantee it. Your “mathematical model” is a failure! Why don’t you produce it so it can be ripped to shreds? Not by the skeptics of course.

Pegasus:

Of course disease works mathematically! The whole sodding Universe does.

All biology is chemistry, all chemistry is physics, all physics is maths. How else do you think supercomputers can simulate new drug molecules or predict how a disease spreads (which they can do with incredible accuracy)?

Maths. Computers know no other language.

And if you “don’t believe in germ theory” (!), do try some raw chicken and let us know what happens…

Pegasus:

“epidemiology studies population trends or associations, & not causation.”

You must be kidding, or else you are clueless how an outbreak of a communicable disease is investigated. Do you honestly belief that media reports contain figures of new cases, without the input of the local and State health departments, whose trained epidemiologists actually investigate disease outbreaks?

Pegasus…care to comment on this MMWR article?

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6013a6.htm

Tell us how many of the cases were unimmunized, how many cases were laboratory confirmed and how many were epidemiologically linked to the index case.

Seeing that you are posting on this particular thread…which disgraced doctor “targeted” the Somali population in Hennepin County with his new “theory” of increased autism risk…following MMR immunization?

Pegasus:
You do know that the comments have a “Preview” button, right? I know I’m being pedantic, and from the strictly logical point of view, these errors do not damage your argument, but for cyring out loud! Really?

Al Sears, . . . Jo Mercola, … Marcia Engel

Who on earth are you talking about? If you can’t even get the names of your own heroes right, why I am supposed to take you seriously?

To everyone else: I don’t think that Pegasus is Emily. At least Emily could spell.

Once again, Pegasus: http://www.wikipeetia.org/Marcia_Engell

Well Chris, it’s amazing how much has changed in 70 years, I agree. I suppose what happened in 1798 is even more preposterous. And keep referring to me as Emily if you prefer, & I’ll call you Christine. Fair deal?

You haven’t answered my last question:
What percentage of medical practice on any given day would not qualify as science-based medicine?

First, my name is not “Christine.” You may have noticed that the comparison between you and Emily is due very suspicious similarities. Though, Chemmomo has a point, she could spell.

Oh, and your question is actually quite stupid and unquantifiable. I also have no obligation to answer any of your questions until you answer those I posed to you. Here, I’ll give you a break: explain exactly how babies can be protected from pertussis supported by real scientific citations.

PS. Peggy – your logic is wrong.

“It’s your job to prove it because you’re the one promoting the risky intervention, not me…”

Nope. The scientific consensus is that NON-intervention is the riskier option. Vaccines are not just safe, they are BETTER than safe. They actually save lives.

Sure, you disagree – but you cannot argue that the vast majority of the world thinks otherwise (hence vaccinations are routine).

Therefore, it’s your theory of ‘risky intervention’ that needs proving.

I guess you’d be happier if people still got smallpox, tetanus and polio. Or if a few million old people died of the flu each year.

The good old days before vaccines, hey?

What percentage of Pegasus’ posts contain not one iota of science, Chris?

Why don’t you answer my questions about the recent measles outbreak in Hennepin County, Pegasus? You’re the one who keeps blathering about your secret knowledge of medicine and science without any citations.

lilady:

What percentage of Pegasus’ posts contain not one iota of science, Chris?

Oh, about 0%. And as far as Chemmomo’s observation of Pegasus ability to spell, his/her last comment was signed as “Pegsus.” And yet he/she keeps digging.

Though to be fair, “Al Sears” is an alt-med peddler separate from Dr. Bob. I am amused by Mercola being given a sex-change and given the common nickname of “Josephine.”

Chris…just what is Peggy’s alternative to “germ theory”? And, what is Peggy’s alternative to “herd immunity”?

Mighty long on bullshit and short of facts and citations… our Peggy.

Pegasus @ 315:

I believe in Lord Rutherford’s statement: that the only pure science is physics, all the rest is stamp collecting.

Then ask Lord Rutherford (who also said anybody who talked about getting appreciable amounts of energy from nuclear reactions was “talking moonshine”) about the very simple arithmetic involved. An infected person can infect a certain number of other people while his disease is contagious, just as a fission neutron can cause the fission of other nuclei which release more neutrons, etc. etc.

You like physics. Congratulations! So do I! If each fission neutron of the ~2.5 (for plutonium) goes on to cause an average of more than one additional fission, the chain reaction will grow exponentially. Less than one, it will die out. You need to know the cross section (infectivity) of the reaction (disease) the density of the material, and its size (population), but given those easily measured values, you can calculate precisely how the reaction will go. The critical mass below which (susceptible population below which) the chain reaction (epidemic) will fizzle out can be exactly determined. The equation describing the two situations is identical. The experiment has been done. The subcritical mass doesn’t explode. Assemble a large enough mass in one lump (or reduce its surface area so fewer neutrons on average escape before reacting (fewer people can avoid exposure) and: “Boom!”

Isn’t experimental science wonderful? Not that it needed to be tested: The arithmetic is elementary. They dropped the bomb on Hiroshima without a test. Because it was uranium 235 and was all they had—but confidence was absolute. The math works.

Lilady: No, I’m not kidding, I’m very serious. The CDC account states : ‘The investigation determined that the index patient was a U.S.-born child of Somali descent’. How was that determined? Please furnish unambiguous evidence, not that I would attach any significance to it.

‘Measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. However, importations of measles from other countries still occur, and low vaccination coverage associated with parental concerns regarding the MMR vaccine puts persons and communities at risk for measles. Public health and health-care providers should work with parents and community leaders to address concerns about the MMR vaccine to ensure high vaccination coverage and prevent measles’.

How long had measles been eliminated prior to the CDC’s confident statement? One week? One month? One year?

So before 2000 there was no importation of measles? Were the borders sealed before 2000, allowing no importation? Or did they do double sprays on the planes with a secret brew from Locker 59 before they landed? There were areas in the States with lower vaccination rates before 2000 so how could the country be declared measles-free, as this is supposedly one of the main ’causes’ of outbreaks? Just maybe it’s a furfy!

What was the nutritional intake of the 13 like? How many of the CDC who recommended such drastic control measures had financial links to vaccine manufacturers?

Remember your germ theory- there is the host, the microbe & the interface. Multi-factorial. Much guesswork.

The report raises more questions than it answers, like almost all government reports on health. No wonder Professor Ablin gave the establishment a spray!

I for one, & I’m not alone, do not share your trust in the government agencies. I, like an increasing number of Americans, have a decided distrust, in fact. And I’m still waiting for your estimates of the percentage of modern medicine that you clubbers agree is not science/evidence based.

Centuries ago evil spirits were blamed for disease. Then we had bad karma. Then it was the humours. Then germs. Then stress. Then genes. Then the ubiquitous claim ‘you got a virus’. No wonder Dr Fuhrman titled his second chapter in SuperImmunity ” The Failure of Modern Medicine”. Have a read clubbers you might learn something.

The Very Irreverent Battleaxe of Knowledge: Germ theory & Herd immunity theory, are just what their name states: theories, & have been named as such in medical textbooks.

Wow, Peggy! You really marked yourself as ignorant with that one! “Theory” means “a possible explanation that we’re not yet sure of” only in casual conversation. In a scientific context, such as the one where you are now flailing out of your depth, it means a set of well-tested principles we are very sure of, that we use to make sense of further observations.

If you opened up a basic economics textbook, on the first page you might read something like “in basic economic theory, actors are classified either as sellers, who exchange a good or service for currency, or buyers, who exchange currency for a good or service.” Are you really lame-brain enough to think the word “theory” in that sentence means we are only guessing that some people sell things and other people buy them?? It means the opposite!

Seriously, newbie mistake there!

You’re going to need a citation for that one. Peer reviewed. Showing unvaccinated children get convulsive febrile seizures at the same rate as children given MMR. There is plenty of peer review to suggest that you are wrong.

I’m sure you have a citation for that.

For vaccine damage and failure? Of course you don’t. No skeptic would.

Because it’s not like there’a fund set up for compensation in cases of vaccine injury or anything like that.

Are you playing the “she would have ended up with brain damage even if she didn’t have the MMR vaccine” card?
That’s pretty unscientific of you.

No, I’m saying her condition puts her in a higher risk group than average.

You must be a neurologist.LOL, Sorry I forgot. You’re just dedicated to lurking.

So I can’t possibly understand the mechanism of a seizure unless I’m a neurologist?

Now you’re really lurking and getting away from mechanism of action of vaccine induced brain damage.

Is there something different about a vaccine induced febrile seizure versus a febrile seizure caused by something else?

Oh, and BTW then why do so many parents use tylenol for fevers? Why exactly have they been scared to death about febrile seizures?

Because a febrile seizure looks scary? Because high fever is uncomfortable and they don’t like seeing a child in pain?

There’s a book on Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, and the thousands of others whom are medically induced vaccine brain damaged?

No, but there are books about the general mechanisms of the conditions in question.

Pegasus @333:

How was that determined? Please furnish unambiguous evidence, not that I would attach any significance to it.

So, you’re not discussing this in good faith at all. Thank you for acknowledging that it is pointless for anyone to respond to any of your questions.

Pegasus @333: Why should anyone bother to give you evidence, since you have stated that you would not attach any significant even to “unambiguous evidence”?

Also, with regard to theory: that’s like saying that gravity is “just a theory” and being surprised every time you drop something and it hits the ground. The thing about a scientific theory is that it holds whether you believe in it or not. You don’t have to believe in gravity for things to fall in consistent ways when you drop them. And you don’t have to understand or believe in germ theory for a virus or bacterium to make you sick. Fortunately, that works both ways: denying germ theory won’t give you a case of smallpox.

Pegasus,

I’m still waiting for your estimates of the percentage of modern medicine that you clubbers agree is not science/evidence based.

Perhaps this article will answer your question.

Thus, published results show an average of 37.02% of interventions are supported by RCT (median = 38%). They show an average of 76% of interventions are supported by some form of compelling evidence (median = 78%).

It’s worth noting that a number of interventions are not amenable to RCTs as this would be unethical, and that the article was published 12 years ago. I think it is likely that evidence (and science) based medicine has become even more widespread since then. Dr. Steven Novella has said that:

My personal experience is that nearly 100% of the clinical decisions I make are based upon the best available evidence combined with plausible and rational extension of what is known. I can’t think of any time when I use treatments that are based upon nothing, or even nothing but anecdote.

Augustine,
You appear to still be arguing that vaccination (and indeed, any preventive medicine) is only of use to the people who will actually get the disease in question and suffer severe effects from it. Is there a test (other than an actual infection) that will tell who has a high chance of being injured by, say, Chicken Pox? If so, where is the evidence for said test? If not, why not?

Pegasus,

No one would know for sure. There have been vaccination rates fall in many areas ( my own area for eg) yet there have been no outbreaks of any infectious diseases. It. is. not. predictable.

If vaccination rates have fallen far enough the population is vulnerable, and sooner or later the disease will be introduced by an infected person from outside and there will be an outbreak. What you are suggesting is analogous to arguing that long, hot, dry summers don’t cause forest fires. They don’t, directly, but they leave forests vulnerable to fires if one is introduced.

Some reading for you. Firstly look at the table on this page for pertussis vaccination rates, cases and deaths in the UK between 1970 and 2008. Then read part 4 of this article which notes, of the scare caused by a paper published in 1974 that suggested (erroneously as it turned out) a link between DTP vaccine and acute neurological illness:

The impact of this controversy on immunisation uptake and disease outbreaks was staggering. By 1977, pertussis immunisation uptake was down from 77% to 33%, and some districts even recorded an uptake rate of just 9% (Swansea Research Unit, 1981). In terms of disease burden, at least four significant outbreaks of whooping cough occurred during the course of the vaccine scare. The first of these, in 1979, had 102,500 reported cases throughout the United Kingdom and an estimated 36 fatalities.

In case you wonder, the figures in the table don’t match those in the article because one refers to the whole UK and the other to England and Wales. My son, who couldn’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, got whooping cough in the UK in 1981 when there were 8 times as many cases as there were in 1973, the year before the scare story started (both were trough years before you pick up on that).

You will find it hard to persuade me there was no connection between the vaccine scare, the subsequent fall in vaccine uptake and the huge increase in cases.

Peggy: Here is the Measles Case Surveillance Guideline presently used in New York State, by epidemiologists while investigating a case or cases of measles. The CDC Measles Case Surveillance Chapter from the CDC Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance Manual is presently being revised for inclusion in the Revised Manual:

http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/providers/docs/measles_outbreak_control_guidelines.pdf

Feel “free” to critique any of the steps or any of the laboratory tests to confirm a case of measles, to epidemiologically link a case and how the “index” case is determined to be a particular case of measles, after the measles outbreak investigation is completed. But, you better have a link or links to citations from reputable sources…otherwise we might think you’re an ignorant citationless troll and bullshit artist.

Pegasus,

Centuries ago evil spirits were blamed for disease. Then we had bad karma. Then it was the humours. Then germs. Then stress. Then genes. Then the ubiquitous claim ‘you got a virus’.

Your grasp of history is as bad as your grasp of germ theory, I’m afraid. There are a few things wrong with your statement – for instance, a virus is classed among germs. Some diseases once thought to be caused by stress (peptic ulcers) are now known to be caused in the vast majority of cases by germs (Helicobacter pylori). There is a vast body of evidence going back to the 19th century that certain diseases are caused by certain germs, though clearly not all diseases are cased by germs.
If not, please explain the anthrax outbreaks of 2001.

After Peggy slogs through the Measles Case Surveillance Manual and provides us with his/her “critiques” and links to “alternative” measles case surveillance…the ignorant troll might want to peruse this report from the WHO. It details the eradication of indigenous measles in the Western Hemisphere:

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/2/134.pdf

This WHO bulletin shows that eradication of measles in Europe and the U.K. might have been accomplished…were it not for the activities of Wakefield, alternative “experts” and the credulousness of parents who are clueless about measles and the MMR vaccine.

@Pegasus – wow, you do have little or no knowledge of disease survelliance. After 2000, there were no more cases of “domestic” measles in the US – we were finding links to overseas exposure as the source cases for outbreaks (up to and including today as well).

These anti-vaccination parents seem to love to take their kids into areas of the world where measles (especially) is still endemic – and now with the growing outbreaks in continental Europe (particularly France, a very popular vacation spot), we will probably see an increase in disease imports, which makes it that much more important to keep up vaccination rates here to prevent the spread of measles here from abroad.

“Please furnish unambiguous evidence, not that I would attach any significance to it.”

Priceless.

Show me the proof, I’ll shut my eyes!

Another spectacular example of why anti-vaxxers like Peg are among the stupidest, yet most arrogant people on Earth.

Peggy, please explain your stunning contradictory position. If you don’t believe in germs causing disease (lol!), then why are you bothered about germs in vaccines?

Actually, don’t bother replying. Seen too much flying horse shit for one day.

PS. Hope you’re enjoying some harmless, germ-free raw chicken… Hey, why not serve it to un-vaccinated kids too?

You’re so dumb it hurts.

@ Lawrence: Case surveillance of any disease (vaccine-preventable or not), is not for amateurs.

Case surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases is “easy” compared to case investigation for a food-borne illness, vector-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus and tuberculosis case surveillance and containment.

Here is a short history of the Epi-Info (TM) computer program that was developed by the CDC more than 20 years ago that has now been adopted by other countries and by the WHO for enhanced case surveillance. Epi Info 7 (TM) is now available for case surveillance:

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/epiinfo/

Does Pegasus still think we in public health manage disease outbreaks and case surveillance, by “making it up as we go along”. Just what “alternative” epidemiological program does Peggy use?

Pegasus/Emily/D.F.:

I, like an increasing number of Americans…

Here’s an example of one of the insurmountable problems you face in attempting to persuade others here: You’re dishonest. As we both know, you’re not an American.

This sort of lie, coupled with your changing of identities and denial thereof, fatally undermines your credibility. Add in your concealment of your financial interest in the position you are espousing (e.g. CD/DVD sales, seminars, etc.), and there’s little reason to even consider your statements, as riddled with potential deceit and conflicts of interest as they are. And you apparently haven’t considered the effects on your co-workers’ and clinic’s reputations your deceitful behavior here could cause.

I direct your attention to the set of questions you have still failed to address in the Burzynski thread. Your continued evasions tell the fair-minded reader all s/he needs to know.

I will be off-line for a few hours…it should be enough time for Peggy to provide citations and links to his/her “alternative” germ theory and his/her knowledge of epidemiology and disease surveillance.

Too too bad, Pegasus, that you put your faith in bogus science, never got any education in science and are still supporting the defrocked doctor.

*There are too many variables*(and probably,too many notes)

Which isn’t my main point- woo-meisters frequently bring up physics- (search terms like quantum above )- you might wonder why. OK, I’ll tell you: not everyone studies physics and it sounds *impressive*! Native territory of geniuses and scientific revolutionaries- perhaps thinking that it might rub off, woo-meisters speak in hushed tones of Einstein.. Newton.. Rutherford.. Feynman.. They harp reverently on their own explorations in this sacred realm. We hear about quantum this-n-that and various entanglements.

I propose that physics is their “*science* of the gaps”- while postulating alt med hypotheses when they encounter an area they don’t understand they toss in terms nearly arbitrarily, hoping that no one will notice and that it makes them appear brilliant. Remember many of these people accept homeopathy.Which is based in physics and mathematics.

Everything we do involves multiple variables- whether you like it or not- here’s a real world example: there’s a huge drop in the market- stock prices are down to record lows. We know that they will most likely come back up – even a dead cat bounces if you toss it from a great enough height- so a wary investor chooses stocks that she believes are worthwhile despite their current abysmal level. She finds multiple indices that inform her which ones will soar- i.e. they’re not just dead cats bouncing- and buys at the low. There are loads of variables to consider and ways to discrimate which ones are the most salient- people do this for a living, you see. The buyer can’t know everything about the stock and the future but she can still make money.

Translating this scenario to vaccines: she has information about the current flu vaccine and herself- including her social and physical environment. Lots of variables again:putting everything together- risk of illness, health status, environmental factors- she sets a criterion about what level of risk is acceptable to her- just like she does in her market adventures: again she needn’t know 100% to make a reasonable choice.

OccamsLaser,
To be fair, the phrase “I, like an increasing number of Americans…” does not require the writer to be an American for it to be true. One may infer that the speaker is a member of the same class as “the increasing number of”, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

Mark M @344 Peggy shows almost a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Pegasus, I’m going to repeat my questions from #325:
Could you please explain (a) to whom you refer as

Al Sears, . . . Jo Mercola, … Marcia Engel

And (b) why exactly I should take anything you have to say seriously?

Your grasp of history is as bad as your grasp of germ theory, I’m afraid.

The invocation of karma wasn’t too promising on the comparative religions front, either. Bija niyama isn’t karma niyama.

Anyway, I should make perfectly clear that I don’t think Pegasus is Emily, and I should have been more cautious not to suggest otherwise. I was simply drawing a parallel to highlight the dully repetitive tropes and tactics that seem inevitably to emerge when antivaccine logorrhea is the order of the day. It’s as though there’s but one threadbare carpetbag of tricks that just gets handed around.

I’m not hiding, but I am running, so will make just a couple of points.

I don’t attach significance to the determination of the index patient because to me it is not relevant.

Now I see from the Burzynski link why I am being flatteringly linked to one Emily. Sounded like she spoke sense, although I need to brush up on her natural hygiene.

I look forward to scrutinising the links in the next day or so.