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False balance in reporting the case of a local mother jailed for contempt of court for reneging on an agreement to vaccinate her child

Rachel Bredow is antivaccine and doesn’t want her children vaccinated. Her ex-husband disagrees. When Ms. Bredow violated a court order to vaccinate her child, she was thrown into jail for contempt of court. Unfortunately, our local media have not exactly covered themselves in glory covering this story.

I sometimes like to write about things happening in my neck of the woods that are relevant to the kinds of things I normally blog about every day. This habit of mine dates back at least to the days when investigative reporter Steve Wilson of our local ABC affiliate used to lay down fear mongering barrages of nonsense about mercury in vaccines that would have made Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. proud if he ever knew about them. Then there was a report on “orbs” seen in photographs where the reporter speculated whether they were actual spirits. Then there’s the periodic fascination with veterinary quackery that pops up on local newspapers and media from time to time, including reiki and acupuncture for Fido.

This time around, it’s about vaccines. It started a week ago, when I saw this headline on the website of one of our own local news stations, basically Wilson’s old stomping ground WXYZ, Metro Detroit mom could be thrown behind bars for not getting son vaccinated. Now there’s a clickbait title if ever I saw one, guaranteed to inflame antivaxers andeven a lot of people who aren’t antivaccine with the image of overweening state power throwing a mother in jail to force her to vaccinate. Hell, ad a couple of apocalyptic adjectives, and this could be a NaturalNews.com headline! Watching the video of the report and reading the text made me wonder if the malign influence of Steve Wilson’s antivaccine “reporting” is still hanging around the WXYZ newsroom, even nearly ten years after he left.

So here’s the story:

Basically, Rebecca Bredow and Jason Horne are divorced. Horne wants their children vaccinated. Bredow doesn’t. A week ago, the case was in court, and Bredow was ordered by the judge to vaccinate her children within a week or face jail. (Spoiler that will surprise no one. She didn’t vaccinate her children and yesterday was sent for jail for contempt of court. More on that in a moment.) Now, try not to grind your teeth as you read the first passage of the story:

If you have kids, their health, their safety is your top priority. However, what if doing what you think is best, could land you behind bars?

A Metro Detroit mother is facing jail time because of her beliefs when it comes to vaccinations and her kid.

“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” says Rebecca Bredow.

This isn’t putting the reporter’s finger on the scale (or producer’s or whoever’s responsible for this framing). It’s dropping a brick on the scale on the side of the mother. She’s basically painted as a martyr for her beliefs, and the portrayal continues throughout the entire story. In the video, there is even a voiceover during the interview, “Wow. Rebecca Bredow, what a position this parent has been put in.” Elsewhere, the reporter, Andreana Isom, intones, Some may label this metro Detroit mother as overprotective, stubborn, strong, or…all of the above.” Seriously? That voiceover was about as unprofessional as anything I’ve ever seen, on local or national media. As I watched, I felt a bilious gurgling in the back of my throat.

Then I saw this:

Rebecca tells 7 Action News that she and dad made the decision to space out and delay some their little ones vaccines.

“It wasn’t until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines,” she says.

Rebecca hit the books, educated herself, she says, on the research, literature and studies. She concluded that waivers were the best way to go, the best for her baby boy. After all, the state of Michigan offers that option, explains Joel Dorfman.

“We’re fortunate in the state of Michigan that’s still permitted, still allow religious, personal and medical exemptions for parents who chose to delay, to skip a vaccine to make various choices,” says Doorman.

Rebecca and her ex-husband do not see eye-to-eye. Their conflict has become a court battle.

According to court documents. the child’s father wants their son vaccinated. Rebecca makes it clear where she stands on the issue.

A bloggers at the antivaccine blog Age of Autism or Thinking Moms’ Revolution couldn’t have portrayed Bredow more heroically themselves. Heck, just look at Ms. Isom at the end of the story, basically touting how brave Ms. Bredow is, about how she will fight going to jail, in order to be there for her children. Gag me with a spoon.

Come to think of it, I’m rather surprised that I haven’t seen anything on antivaccine websites about this case, although I expect that will change now that this story has made national news and even international news, with a report on the BBC, which tells a different tale:

Rebecca Bredow would not let her nine-year-old be immunised after initially agreeing with the father to do so.

Her ex-husband has now been awarded temporary primary custody in order to get the boy the jab.

Michigan parents are legally allowed to skip or delay their children’s vaccinations due to personal beliefs.

But Bredow fell foul of the law because she reneged on agreements with her former spouse dating back to November 2016 to have the boy immunised.

So now it becomes more clear. Horne and Bredow divorced in 2008 and shared parental custody, although Bredow was the primary caregiver. When they were married, apparently they were of the “Dr. Bob” Sears ilk of vaccine-averse, in which they wanted to “space out” the vaccinations. Reading between the lines, the father remained in that camp, but the mother became more and more antivaccine as the years went by and she did more of her “own research.”

Sadly, even the BBC report indulges in false balance of a sort I thought to have been mostly banished from reporting on vaccines and autism in recent years, quoting a woman to whom I refer as the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). In the case of the WXYZ ABC report, the false balance comes in interviewing a representative of a local antivaccine group, Joel Dorfman, without identifying him as such:

Rebecca hit the books, educated herself, she says, on the research, literature and studies. She concluded that waivers were the best way to go, the best for her baby boy. After all, the state of Michigan offers that option, explains Joel Dorfman.

“We’re fortunate in the state of Michigan that’s still permitted, still allow religious, personal and medical exemptions for parents who chose to delay, to skip a vaccine to make various choices,” says Doorman.

Actually, Dorfman is (very) briefly identified in the video in a “blink and you’ll miss it” caption as being a representative of Michigan for Vaccine Choice, but not in the accompanying online article.

So, yesterday, having failed to vaccinate her child, Bredow appeared in court again, as described in this Detroit Free Press story, Ferndale mom jailed for refusing to vaccinate her 9-year-old son, where we also learn that Bredow lied about claiming a religious exemption:

The court initially ordered the immunization Nov. 16, 2016, but it still hasn’t happened. In between, Bredow cited religious objections.

But Horne’s attorney said in court pleadings that the religious objection was phony arguing that both Bredow and her current husband, Gary, “testified that they do not practice the tenets of any organized religion,” and calling a waiver document the couple filed with the child’s school “a convenient lie.”

Bredow said in court pleadings that her ex-husband has long known of her objection to vaccines and is only making an issue of it now because she’s been attempting to collect back child support.Last week, McDonald issued an ultimatum, to Bredow.

“You have seven days to get your child vaccinated,” McDonald told Bredow Sept. 27. “If not, you will appear here Wednesday and if you have not, I’ll send you to jail. Let me say it one more time, you have seven days. It’s ridiculous. Don’t make me do that.”

But when Bredow appeared in court today, the child still had not be vaccinated, and McDonald made good on her promise and ordered Bredow to jail.

First off, I don’t understand why Bredow would have lied about religious belief to claim a religious exemption, given that Michigan allows personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. In any case, the story sounds complicated. It also sounds as though Bredow either lied to the judge when she promised to vaccinate or later reneged on a promise to vaccinate. Either way, judges do not take kindly to that; so it’s not surprising that Bredow is now spending a week in jail for contempt of court.

But what of Bredow’s claim that Horne is only pushing the vaccine issue now because she has been trying to collect back child support? Certainly divorce and custody battles are often complicated, and it’s rare that there aren’t…issues…on both sides. Who knows? What I do know is that the reporting of this case has been sensationalistic and full of the false balance that used to irritate the hell out of me back in the day, when seemingly any story on vaccines would inevitably have an antivaxer interviewed for “balance.” Unfortunately, the Free Press falls prey to this same trope:

Horne will have temporary custody of the child with an opportunity to get the boy vaccinated, a prospect that alarmed Joel Dorfman of Michigan for Vaccine Choice, a group that advocates for parents’ rights to refuse vaccines.

“If this child is injured as a result of being given eight immunizations, who do you think is going to take care of the child?” Dorfman told the Free Press. “The judge?”

I’ve discussed Michigan for Vaccine Choice before. It was one of the sponsors of a visit from Del Bigtree, producer of the antivaccine propaganda movie VAXXED, in which Bigtree got—shall we say?—a bit overwrought, basically calling for armed rebellion against the government for forcing children to be vaccinated. Basically, Michigan for Vaccine Choice is rabidly antivaccine. Unfortunately, local media have elevated its status to that of a legitimate advocacy group, treating it not as the crank group that it is but as a group whose views are as valid as those of scientists and physicians who cite the evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

Meanwhile,. antivaxers are sliming Jason Horne with memes like this:

As an aside, I can’t help but mock the man, Joseph Sikora, for posting things like this:

Dude, it’s “laboratories,” not “labratories.”

And this is his profile pic:

You get the idea.

Basically, local antivaxers are attacking Horne in a most despicable manner by claiming that the reason he wants his child vaccinated is because, if that child dies, he won’t have to pay child support any more. Yes, they really are that depraved. Meanwhile, local antivaxers protested outside the court hearing.

It’s never a good thing when divorced parents fight over custody issues. The child always loses. In this case, the addition of antivaccine beliefs only makes it worse, as the child’s health care hangs in the balance. I suspect that this is only going to get uglier. I also predict that antivaccine groups will latch onto this case to portray vaccine mandates as fascistic assaults on American freedom. Cue Mike Adams. You know it’s coming. I’m only surprised it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe by the time this post goes live, it will have.

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]

60 replies on “False balance in reporting the case of a local mother jailed for contempt of court for reneging on an agreement to vaccinate her child”

I saw this on Google News. There was a link to an article by the Washington Times. Even that was riddled with false balance.

As far as I know, Washington Times is still owned by the Moonies and is the farthest thing I can think of from being a source of anything resembling legitimate news. It’s a rich trove of crankery and quackery and has had some truly scary facsimiles of health and medical “news.” Unfortunately a few desperate pseudo-journalists who obviously need a steady paying gig give it cover so that it’s hard to tell that its “news” is coughed-up propaganda from the Unification Church or whatever front group now owns it.

In her court statement Bredow referred to being prolife. Note that the fact that she doesn’t belong to an organized religion doesn’t make her statement a lie: the question is whether her personal faith is against vaccines. And who knows? She may have bought into the “aborted fetal tissue” myth.

Still seems her main issue is buying into anti vaccines myths about safety, of course.

I think several of them think religious objections are a stronger claim because of the first amendment.

Maybe Bredow, and hopefully others, will learn that they are court orders, and not court suggestions.

IN this case it seems the dad the dad’s actual access to and time with the child was very limited. One of the thing his lawyer asked, and the judge said she will decide that another time, were more rights in that area, more time together.

It looks like the child will be vaccinated. The comments in the places where I’ve read this story, were almost 100% in favor of vaccination, which I found encouraging. As far as this ex family? IMO, it’s another case of two people hating each other more than they love the child.

“Prolife’ usually is code for ‘I don’t give a rip for living children.’ I expect people not to care about other people’s kids, but this mom takes it a step further. In my opinion, neither parent should have custody. Hopefully the rest of the child’s family isn’t as bad.

Reviewing the usual cesspits of woo and anti-vax, I notice that none of the usual suspects is yet writing about this but wait…
@ ginger taylor retweets @ Katie wright with wxyz.

So they’ll soon be up and at ’em

There seems to be quite a difference in the coverage that Orac links and the coverage that Stuartg links yet it seems to be the same station.

Am I misreading the TV stations or is the WXYZ newsroom in open civil war?

BTW, labratories are much worse than laboratories. Labratories are members of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador who hail from Labrador.

If this woman is worried about the health of her child she wouldn’t be in front of a judge for this. I just talked with my doc (I work in a health center) about a rash that my step-daughter has, she is 10,000 miles away in Thailand. Luckily, it is a fairly simple heat rash.

I am 10,000 miles away and I am worried about heat rash and this woman won’t protect her child from diseases that could kill him. I know who I think is the better parent and I haven’t even held my step-daughter yet (can’t wait for Nov 20th).

jrkrideau; My back yard used to be a labratory, I had two black labs.

Come to think of it, I’m rather surprised that I haven’t seen anything on antivaccine websites about this case, although I expect that will change…

It has.

Over at the Bolen Report, Kent Heckenlively calls Bredow ‘the bravest woman in America’, and compares her to Rosa Parks.

Also, it seems he has a new White House petition. This was started 18 Sep, and has a whopping 299 signatories.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/five-year-moratorium-childhood-vaccines-0

Sticking to your beliefs isn’t a virtue when you’re wrong, Mrs. Bredow.

“I’m just doing what I think is best.” So are suicide bombers. So what?

The mother is getting a lot of support in West Michigan (Grand Rapids area) from a mix of anti-vaccination folks, but also from our infestation of libertarians. Their comments range from “vaccines are bad” to “I don’t know about vaccines but children are the property of their parents” bit — the latter means, apparently, that parents can do whatever they wish because they own the child.

While I didn’t see this story emerging yet on NN (mostly they’re too busy whooping up a Las Vegas shooting conspiracy), there IS a devastating article on BABY FORESKINS being co-opted by Big Pharma to make vaccines.

NN tells us that a baby boy dies every two days in the U.S. from complications of circumcision, including when “their little lungs burst from crying”.

Horrible!*

*the CDC says cirumcision-related deaths are extremely rare, with zero such deaths in one recent year for which they analyzed stats. But we know that’s just a coverup. 🙁

@Politicalguineapig #11: “Prolife’ usually is code for ‘I don’t give a rip for living children.’

As someone who is generally Pro-Life, I don’t appreciate this statement. I don’t actually know any pro-life person who doesn’t care about children; the vast majority of them volunteer at children’s (and adult) charities/have adopted children/have foster children/fight for legislation to protect born children.

I’m not trying to get into a debate on this topic, at all, but really, this is quite a wide brush you’re painting with, and it doesn’t describe any of the people I know who believe abortion is wrong.

As for this woman and the media portrayals for her, it’s sadly not surprising. The media no longer even pretends to be unbiased. Portraying this woman as some kind of freedom fighter when she’s actually borderline abusive–using her son’s health and life to score points against her ex-husband–is SOP for them. I like how they don’t really bother to go into what made her switch from “delayed vaccine schedule” to “no vaccine.” Couldn’t possibly be the level of fawning attention she’s received for her ridiculous anti-science stance, could it?

As I pointed out on another site, it wouldn’t be as sensational if the header of the article is “Mom jailed for refusing to comply with custody agreement”.

As much as I hate the constant complaints about “fake news,” it does seem like practically everything is considered to be prospective clickbait by desperate MSM editors, the ones who actually write the headlines.

Over at Yahoo News, you’ll be happy to hear the comments have been overwhelmingly in favor of the correct narrative — this isn’t a “evil government forcing vaccinations” story, it’s a “woman makes promise to court and to the father of her children, is given a year to take care of it, reneges, and is surprised this has consequences”.

Ms. Mantooth: “I don’t actually know any pro-life person who doesn’t care about children; the vast majority of them volunteer at children’s (and adult) charities/have adopted children/have foster children/fight for legislation to protect born children.”

Obviously that does not include the congress critters who were trying to strip maternal and pediatric health care to almost nothing. The poster child for the legislature that care more about the fetus than the living people is the state of Texas. Though it seems they are trying to address:
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/health-care/2017/09/29/effort-save-lives-texas-maternal-mortality-task-force-identifies-death-risk-factors-new-moms

Still does not excuse them from what they did to Planned Parenthood:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1511902#t=article

Oh, I have seen that guy with the memes pop up elsewhere. He also claims that its the water in the vaccine “viles” [sic] causing the poisoning of babies. He seems to think that there are 26 x 0.5 mL vaccines administered at one time.

I doubt WXYZ is anti-vax per se. This strikes me as a faux Fox (faux Faux?) attempt to mine the vein of ‘evil big guvmint usurping parents and jailing anyone who dissents from their socialist agenda’ ideology for the purpose of, as Orac says, mere clickbait. I’d say the give-away is that the ‘news item’ just grazed by the child support allegation and focused on the judge, where the AVs are demonizing the Dad, who after all, is the one who took the kid to get his shots.

The relationship between total anti-vax and delayed schedule is kind of interesting. Without a delayed-schedule-willing pediatrician, the Dad may have joined the Mom in denying the child immunizationb. OTOH, while the Dr. Bob-ish approach seems to have satisfied the Dad, it seems to have acted as a sort of ‘gateway drug’ of full-on hard-core anti-vax for the Mom.

20 MI Dawn

“Mom jailed for refusing to comply with custody agreement”.

Worse, it should be “Woman jailed for contempt of court”.
That was not a happy judge.

Calli Arcale’s version is better than mine but to long for a headline for TV or newspaper.

“NN tells us that a baby boy dies every two days in the U.S. from complications of circumcision, including when “their little lungs burst from crying”.”
If this was true, there wouldn’t be many Jews or Muslims left in the world..

Dorothy Mantooth: I tend to think actions speak louder than words. The prolife movement, the people you know, put Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and numerous other bad actors in charge. Your group doesn’t fight for health care or believe that maybe babies and their families need food. And the work at baby scoop centers i.e. crisis pregnancy centers does not impress me. And then there’s the Pearls and the rehoming problem you guys have.
What would change my mind is if prolifers conceded that women have rights (like voting, working, and expecting to be safe outside the home) rape and abuse are bad things, and that the price of health care might be a factor in what medical care women might access.
Well done on the bearing false witness front though. Just like the commandment said.

@sadmar:

The relationship between total anti-vax and delayed schedule is kind of interesting. Without a delayed-schedule-willing pediatrician, the Dad may have joined the Mom in denying the child immunization

I’m not entirely convinced that Jason Horne is antivaxx. From where I’m standing, while they were married, Horne went along with Bredow, but after they divorced Horne didn’t go down the rabbit hole and in fact moved back to rationality. That is, assuming he was antivaxx in the first place, which I’m far from sure about.

@Politicalguineapig: Clearly there is no point discussing anything with you; you’ve gone from telling me I don’t care about children to telling me I’m a liar, I don’t care about women’s right to vote and leave the house, and I think rape and abuse are a good thing (and you’ve backed that up with a study about maternal mortality and a study about contraception). I’m sure your assumptions make you feel very superior to me, and very convinced that you are a good person and I am a bad one, based on the extremely strong evidence of your feelings. (BTW, I’m not religious at all, and my feelings about abortion come from a very different perspective; I assume your comment about the “commandment” was referring to religion, but I’ll go ahead and disregard it, as I will any further rudeness and smugness you care to throw my way.)

Old Rockin’ Dave @26: “NN tells us that a baby boy dies every two days in the U.S. from complications of circumcision, including when “their little lungs burst from crying”.”
If this was true, there wouldn’t be many Jews or Muslims left in the world..”

The stupid never ends, does it? Do these people honestly think that if circumcision was killing almost two hundred baby boys every year in the U.S., it wouldn’t be news? Do they honestly think this can be happening but nobody knows about it except themselves? I’ve been alive for forty-four years, and have known a lot of people in that time, and I’ve never met a single one who ever even knew or heard of anyone losing a baby boy due to circumcision, least of all because they “burst their little lungs from crying,” which I assume was the M.E.’s official verdict on the death certificate. (How many uncircumcised babies have died from this, that Big Pharma haven’t told us about? Those baby-sleep-training people must have a LOT of deaths to answer for! There’s blood on their hands!)

Hi Dorothy,
I’m guessing you’re new here. Just wanted to let you know that PGP tends to express a lot of very black-or-white hand-line opinions here (in case you’re wondering why the rest of us aren’t responding).

The only incident I’ve heard of babies dying of circumcision was in a small, hard-line sect in NYC where the person performing the circumcision removed the blood with his mouth (eww), while he had an active herpes outbreak, which was transmitted to the babies, who died of the infection. It’s one of those memorable public health stories, mostly because it was so weird and so rare.

Completely off topic, but – – –

I was at the used book store, and I found, for the low, low, price of $.50, a copy of MJD’s book Vaccine Delivery and Autism The Latex Connection. It’s in surprisingly good shape. I suspect the original owner didn’t finish it.

I did my civic duty, and got it out of the store before someone gullable came along and bought it.

I’ve not had a chance to tuck into it yet, but, so far, I’m inclined to think friend Prometheus was just a little generous.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120222133346/http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=243

@ #32 Johnny

Ssshhhh. Mentioning “he who should not be mentioned” and has a sense of humor that makes my uhm. . . peculiar, singular, idiosyncratic tendencies seem commonplace is likely to cause the imp to appear.

I agree that the coverage has been sensationalized, and some groups have been purposefully misleading. If nothing else, I hope this story will lead parents to discuss these issues before having children. What I would like to know more about is what type of agreement about vaccination did the parents reach before they got divorced? Orac brings this up but then dismisses it with a “Who cares?”…not surprising. This would seem to be at the heart of the matter…if they had an agreement and now the father is going against that, that would seem to suggest that he is acting in bad faith. And if it really were true that this only came up after she had sought child support…would that change anyone’s minds?

What is very unfortunate for the child in this case is that since the mother did not comply with her original agreement with the court to vaccinate, now the child will be vaccinated on the court’s time. And clearly the court does not believe there is such a thing as vaccine safety issues, which is made perfectly clear when it ordered the mother to fully vaccinate the child within one week’s time.

David @34: It seems pretty clear to me that the father has not changed his vaccination position (not on schedule, but do get them) while the mother did change her position to “none”.

I think that it is highly unlikely that the court would actually expect or demand 8 years worth of vaccination in a week, but more likely wanted to start on the important stuff and have a plan in place with the child’s pediatrician to get the rest on the accelerated “catch up” schedule.

The point of a booster shot is to “boost” the existing immunity, therefore there must be time (usually several months) between the prime (first shot) and the boost.

PGP asserts that the father hates the child — of course, being PGP — and that the child should be seized from both parents and cast into the loving arms of the government.

I presume her reasoning (so to speak) is that if the father didn’t hate the child, he would have had him vaccinated without need of a court order.

Given the way the case is described, it appears that the mother had primary custody and therefore the legal right to consent to medical treatment. The father might very well have found himself in legal hot water if he had proceeded with vaccination over her objection. Now that he has primary custody, he can take proper care of the child.

@LW: “Now that he has primary custody, he can take proper care of the child.”

Right…by giving him all vaccinations in 4 days.

Mr. Foster, please tell us why that might be a problem. Please provide verifiable citations in the form of PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers.

If I had to pick the most unstable antivaxer, Joseph Sikora would be in my top there. Joel Lord and Erwin Alber from Vine would be the other two. That this group is hooking up with him is telling. He espouses ALL THE CRAZY. You name it.

@ Julian

Well, I guess my point is that agreeing to a delayed schedule isn’t being ‘antivax’, which really ought to be reserved for ‘none’ in the case of parent decisions. I take Orac’s position to be that publicly promoting a delayed schedule is broadly ‘antivax’ in the sense it still advances unsupportable fears about vaccines causing autism…

Of course i’m speculating that Dad MAY have opted for ‘none’ if ‘one at a time, over time’ hadn’t been available. He may have opted for on-schedule MMR. Or he may have, as you suggest, been leaning toward that himself from the get-go and just agreeing with Mom on an earlier provision from her he could live with.

I’m just willing to consider that physicians who accommodate vax-hesitant parents by providing a delayed schedule MAY be performing a public service at least some of the time by getting kids immunized before school age who otherwise wouldn’t be. But I’m also willing to consider that even just accomodating a delayed schedule, even if they do so quietly without any public advocacy of the practice, may harm public health at least some of the time by giving too much credence to vax fears. I’m just saying I doubt this is a black and white thing, and this case just MIGHT be evidence of that. (Or not…)

David Foster: Here in Mormonvile, Utah, the feed store carries vaccination kits for puppies, horses, and the like but, surprising though you might find it, no vaccination kits for people. For vaccines for people-children, there is this class of people with expertise in the ins and outs of that arcane subject: they’re called, around here, “pediatricians”. Part of their resources (should they need any) is information on how to deal with vaccination for people-children who’ve been abused by the likes of a Sears-type schedule, or even not having been vaccinated at all.

Such is the case even here in the quackery capital of the US. Is there any reason to believe that Michigan would not have the same advanced features?

What reality are you all living in? This woman was given one week which meant 4 business days to get her son fully vaccinated. Not started on some catch up schedule…”vaccinated”. Here is what the Judge said, he was very explicit:

“You have seven days to get your child vaccinated,” McDonald told Bredow Sept. 27. “If not, you will appear here Wednesday and if you have not, I’ll send you to jail. Let me say it one more time, you have seven days. It’s ridiculous. Don’t make me do that.”

At least in the video of the court, the judge referred to the language in the agreement of the parties, which addressed medically necessary vaccines. That’s not “give both MMR doses now together.” That does suggest “get him started on the catch up studies for the doses he missed” (since the judge also mentioned he was fully vaccinated up to a year of age).

It does mean give him several vaccines. But it doesn’t mean not separating out booster doses.

Ok…so all this talk of “false balance” aside. I think the concern is that whether or not the particulars of her decisions to not vaccinate were even mentioned, that is not the issue taken with those who disagree with Vaccinating their children. Its the fact that such a court decision can and may very well create some legal precedent to bar parents from choosing not whether or not to vaccinate. Anyone who says that isn’t a serious probability is just simply out of touch with the legalities associated with this case. Furthermore, author of this article seems to be very very biased in their views as though there is no merit to the claims by people who are opposed to the current vaccine schedule as dictated by the CDC. Most of these people are NOT anti-vaccine. They are mostly opposed to the current vaccination schedule that overload’s the children’s bodies with all sorts of chemicals at such an early stage of development. I just think the author of this article needs to tone it down a bit.

The judge can order fully vaccinated within a week, but I doubt the judge really meant to get completely caught up within a week.

In any case, the pediatrician is probably going to have the kid come in once a month over a two or three months to get all the first doses in, then follow the catch up schedule.

David is just being histrionic.

LW: I don’t think the father ‘hates’ the child and that’s not what I was suggesting. I was suggesting the judge award custody to a relative. The father didn’t seek primary custody in the first place, so why is that? And the fact that he didn’t notice the kid wasn’t vaccinated for seven years..well, that worries me. It suggests there are a lot of other things he might be oblivious to.

Dorothy: Wow, are you confused. The only reason for opposing abortion is a religious reason, or needing men to rule your life. (Which is religion in a nutshell, but I digress.)

Anyway, own your crap. You and your friends put the crazies in power, and you and your friend want to us to return to the baby-scoop days and the days of women dying in hospital or prison.

What it boils down to is who’s life is worth more. God says it’s the fetus, but I don’t agree. Just because you think your life is worthless, doesn’t mean you get to make that decision for every other woman.

Um, thanks those who mentioned that there is an actual catch up schedule. I kind of knew of that since to get the vaccines I needed to travel to South America when I was ten years old the Army meds gave them over a couple of months. But I was not sure how they applied since they included things like yellow fever and some other one that I forgot (typhoid?).

Just a heads up I’ve been lurking here for about a year now and have only just worked up the courage to comment.
Orac, I always appreciate the light you shed on these situations and you have showed me that not everything is peaches and cream in the world. I understand how hard it is living with chronic health issues and how it can be a knee-jerk reaction to blame it on the wrong thing. Keep up the good work sir

Back in 2010, I was back in a city where I met an antivax mother whose daughter, today, is training to be a veterinarian doctor.

I didn’t try hard enough on her mother but today, the vet doctor apprentice has to be all up to date regarding her vaccines.

I’m glad for that but doesn’t mean I can be glad for the whole situation as her mother is still antivaxxine; and has a second daughter who’s much younger.

Alain

@David Foster,

And clearly the court does not believe there is such a thing as vaccine safety issues, which is made perfectly clear when it ordered the mother to fully vaccinate the child within one week’s time.

NO. It mean you doesn’t care about the four year training medical doctor get after their bachelor degree plus the residency to make medical decision regarding peoples health.

Being a medical doctor include legal requirement which has been verified way before the current case was decided and which jurisprudence dictate that the current juge go along what any previous juge has decided upon the case of vaccines and, matter of fact, every fuck!ngh medical matter having legal incidence.

It ain’t for nothing that medicine must be based in science but will never be a science, part of that include legal matter but never is limited to legal matter. There’s much more to medicine compared with science and law.

Al

@JustaTech 31: Thank you. I wouldn’t say I’m “new” here, but I don’t comment often (I think the last time was a year or so ago) and only visit sporadically. I see what you mean now.

And I remember reading about that case when it happened! I guess the blood-removal-by-mouth is some very traditional/old practice rarely done anymore (thankfully). What a horrible thing–but as you said, it made national news because it was so unusual, so the idea that it’s an almost-every-day occurrence is ridiculous.

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@David Foster 34: I don’t think there’s any more evidence that the father is acting in bad faith than there is that the mother is, or rather, there is less evidence that the father is acting in bad faith, since the mother is the one who agreed to follow a court order and then reneged. And no, it doesn’t make a difference if it has anything to do with child support. The father wants the right thing done, and the mother is violating a direct court order because of woo beliefs. I don’t care about reasons in this case. The kid needs to be vaccinated. (And isn’t it possible that the father used to hold some anti-vax beliefs, but the recent outbreaks and deaths brought him to his senses? Isn’t that just as likely as it is that he decided to somehow “get revenge” on his ex by making her ensure their child’s health?

And I seriously doubt the judge meant, “Go have them give that child every shot he’s missed his whole life, or will ever need later, in the next week.”

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@Stan44: But there IS no merit to the claims of people who are opposed to the CDC’s current vaccination schedule. So why wouldn’t a doctor act as though that’s the case?

@Stan #44:

Its the fact that such a court decision can and may very well create some legal precedent to bar parents from choosing not whether or not to vaccinate. Anyone who says that isn’t a serious probability is just simply out of touch with the legalities associated with this case.

Um, no it won’t. Cases like these (where one parent wants the child vaccinated and the other one doesn’t) have come up several times. Every time, the Court has ruled that the child be vaccinated.
When both parents agree that the child should not be vaccinated, the Courts stay out of it.

@sadmar:

I’m just willing to consider that physicians who accommodate vax-hesitant parents by providing a delayed schedule MAY be performing a public service at least some of the time by getting kids immunized before school age who otherwise wouldn’t be.

Fair enough. But consider: Bredow started out “vaccine hesitant” and insisted on a delayed schedule, only to stop vaccinating altogether. One could just as easily argue the opposite: that providing a delayed schedule can lead to further doubts about vaccines and to a parent going the whole antivaccine hog.

@David, #42

The reporting here in New Zealand says the mother, via her attorney, agreed with the court in November to start vaccinating.

My assumption here is that she didn’t, and the court, in September, gave her yet another week to start the vaccinations.

She obviously didn’t follow the requirements of the court, hence contempt of court.

Since my wife is in jail and can’t clarify, she’s asked me to help make sure the truth comes out. So for starters, this is probably the most incorrect and inconsistent blog I’ve ever read. First off, SHE ISNT ‘ANTI VAX’ she openly says this in just about every interview. She is for ‘VACCINE CHOICE.’ Meaning, you want to vaccinate your children? Awesome! Do it!! But since it’s LEGAL to sign a waiver in Michigan for Religious or philosophical reasons, we like to keep that freedom to CHOOSE. There’s nothing ‘anti’ about wanting to excercise state law. The blog calls her Rachel. Her name is Rebecca. Then, you call him Jason, his name is James. And third, she NEVER signed anything or agreed to anything. And here’s the reality of this situation for anyone who actually is interested in fact vs fiction.

The first ‘order’ was never actually ordered by the judge. Happy to post the transcripts from the court. The judge said that vaccinations would be discussed at an evidentiary hearing. However, the shady ass attorney wrote it in, knowing it would get stamped. So, when Rebecca filed a motion to FULLY VACATE the order, her attorney went in the back room, signed for her and said ‘don’t worry, you have the waivers for each year of school, they can’t force vaccines against state waivers.’ So of course, why wouldn’t one believe their attorney.. they’re all super stand up folks. Fast forward to December.. our 8 year old starts having horrible night terrors tells us that while in his fathers care, he’s been exposed to pornography repeatedly on all of his fathers devices since he was around 5 years old.. so, knowing that ‘were protected by waivers’ our FULL ATTENTION went to filing motions to change custody to protect this kid from an environment he didn’t feel safe in. THAT was the top priority. CPS did an investigation and the case was confirmed as a Category 3, with a preponderance of evidence that Our child was in fact exposed on numerous occasions and that he suffered from trauma. So CPS imposed a safety plan on good ole’ dad.. safety plan was ‘put passcodes on your devices.’
Think that happened? Nope. Our child was exposed again multiple times, resulting in one of the top child abuse psychiatrists in the state calling CPS and telling them the child ‘absolutely should not go with the father.’
So we take this to the court with a motion. They say ‘the child saw a doctor without the fathers permission and refused to hear anything.’
So now, his scumbag attorney says… hmmm.. how about we file another motion for vaccines, take some of the heat off of this pesky porn stuff that keeps coming up.
Meanwhile, the biological father is $8000 behind in child support.. and is using his NEW FOUND passion for vaccines as a way to distract the court, knowing it’s the ONE THING my wife wouldn’t do. (Even though he was on the same page for the previous 8 years)
Fast forward to September 22nd. The SIXTH time our son refused to go with his father because he said he ‘doesn’t feel safe’ and it takes 4 Madison Heights cops 2 1/2 hours of the child begging them to not making him go until finally a supervisor calls and says ‘you can’t force this kid to go.’
We take this to the court last Wednesday, and they ‘don’t want to hear it.’ They want to talk about fucking vaccines.
So finally, when the judge said vaccine or jail, my wife actually made an appointment.. and simply could it do it.
This man does NOT CARE about this child’s health. He doesn’t give a fuck. My wife, SHE cares, did the research, spoke to countless doctors and took the state required classes at the health department to be in FULL COMPLIANCE with the state. And for the record according to Michigan Law, ONE PARENT CAN CHOOSE EXEMPTION. ONE. so she did everything she was supposed to do.
So here we are, our child stuck with this man he doesn’t trust and doesn’t feel safe with, evades child support and a CPS case showing that he has a pretty severe porn addiction.. but let’s put Rebecca in jail. Sounds fair to me. Here’s the video from the 28th at the kids school. Dads a real stand up guy.

Yes, she didn’t follow the order. But according to state law, vaccines should’ve never been ordered in the first place.

And regardless of your stance on Vaccines, the state of Michigan gives us the right to choose. You want to live a fascist country that tells you what to do with your body.. fantastic. Maybe we should overturn Roe V Wade while we’re at it! For such a open free thinking community.. I’m shocked to see such a conservative approach to citizens having a right to choose.

I’ve ever read. First off, SHE ISNT ‘ANTI VAX’ she openly says this in just about every interview. She is for ‘VACCINE CHOICE.

No, her rhetoric that I’ve seen in several interviews clearly indicates that she’s definitely antivax. She rattles off every trope, the “I’ve done my research” trope, the “I’m not ‘antivax’; I’m pro-choice” trope; etc. In the WXYZ report, she goes on about what if her child were seriously injured by vaccines ordered by the judge. She clearly believes that vaccines cause autism and a variety of other problems that science clearly shows they do not, in fact, cause. The group speaking out for her, Michigan for Vaccine Choice, is an antivax group masquerading as a “vaccine choice” group, a very common camouflage. She’s very intentionally courted press narratives painting her as the Brave Mother Willing To Go To Jail To Protect Her Child From The Evil Vaccines. No, Mr. Bredow, although I cannot comment much on the accuracy of your other claims about Mr. Horne and acknowledged above that family disputes are messy, I can comment very clearly on this: Your wife is antivax. Period. Her claims otherwise are BS. Hell, she is willing to go to jail rather than submit to an order to vaccinate her son. That is about as hard core antivax as it gets.

Another analysis by an actual lawyer:

https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/michigan-mom-jailed-vaccines-ignoring-court/

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