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“We need to catch that cold!”: Antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers vs. public health

Antivaccine activist Del Bigtree posted a rant denying the severity of COVID-19, blaming the chronically ill for having made themselves vulnerable to severe disease through their lifestyle choices, and urging the young and healthy to “catch this cold”. His rant shows exactly why COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and antivaxxers have such an affinity for each other and resist public health initiatives.

One of the happy delusions that many in the science-based community (including, at least somewhat, myself) and mainstream press have held over the years that has been punctured by the arrival of COVID-19 is that one main reason that antivaccine beliefs persist is that we’ve forgotten the toll that the diseases against which we vaccinate. If, for instance, measles returned with a vengeance, or haemophilus influenza type B, or polio, antivaxxers would see the error of their ways, and resistance to vaccination would diminish. How many times have you heard this argument? How many times have I suggested this? It’s a comforting thought. However, truth be told, it is also one that makes us, as science advocates, feel a bit smug and confident. That’s not to say that there isn’t a grain of truth in this idea, particularly for the vaccine-hesitant, but for hard-core antivaxxers, it has been a comforting myth. But why is it a myth? It seems so obvious, so rational, to think that the return of deadly diseases would knock some sense into antivaxxers’ heads. So why have antivaxxers aligned themselves with COVID-19 deniers and conspiracy theorists in the most emphatic way possible, with a number of COVID-19 lockdown protests being organized by antivaxxers? Let me provide some perspective as someone who’s been following the antivaccine movement for nearly two decades and writing about it regularly for over 15 years. I will admit that these are my observations, and that there isn’t a lot of research, but perhaps I can provide some ideas for actual research and action regarding public health.

Before I go on, I feel obligated to point out that the evidence that this idea that, if only antivaxxers could see the pain, suffering, and death caused by infectious diseases, antivaxxers would come to their senses, was revealed fairly clearly to be a myth long before COVID-19 hit the US earlier this year. As I described a little over a year ago, you have to do is to look at the reaction of antivaxxers to the numerous measles outbreaks that have occurred over the last decade in areas of low uptake of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. (As an aside, in this age of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard for me not to be almost nostalgic for times when measles outbreaks were one of my main concerns. That’s not to downplay the severity of measles. Anyone who’s read my work, either here on this blog or over at my not-so-super-secret other blog should know that I do not downplay the severity of measles.) I could mention how antivaxxers reacted to the measles outbreaks among Somali immigrants in Minnesota, a reaction that involved denial of their culpability for fear mongering about MMR as a cause of autism and of the severity of measles. Basically, they doubled down on their antivaccine propaganda. Measles in Samoa? The same thing. Antivaccine “thought leader” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote a pseudoscience- and misinformation-filled letter to the Samoan Prime Minister, while antivaccine activists doubled down promoting fear mongering about MMR. Meanwhile, across the US, in response to the measles outbreak in Brooklyn, antivaxxers denied responsibility, even though they had promoted fear mongering about MMR. Basically, if you’re surprised that antivaxxers have allied themselves with COVID-19 deniers, you haven’t been paying attention. The unholy alliance between antivaxxers and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists is a natural fit.

I’ve alluded to the affinity between antivaxxers and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists before, but at the time I focused on how both of their ideologies are rooted in conspiracy theories, such as the notion that 5G somehow predisposes to (or even causes) COVID-19, that glyphosate predisposes people to COVID-19, that COVID-19 was created in a laboratory and is a “plandemic” designed to provide a pretext for authoritarian control, or that the flu vaccine predisposes people to COVID-19. Basically, COVID-19 has been a magnet for medical conspiracy theories, which is why antivaxxers have launched a pre-emptive disinformation campaign on a COVID-19 vaccine that does not yet exist.

Hostility towards public health

So, what is the other commonality between antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers and conspiracy theorists? Think about it, and I suspect you’ll come up with the same answer I did: An unrelenting hostility towards public health. This hostility towards public health interventions manifests itself with a refusal to take responsibility to do anything that decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Think about it. For example, how many times have we seen antivaxxers denying the very concept of herd immunity, at least due to vaccines? (They like to claim that “natural herd immunity,” gained through a large percentage of the population getting a disease, is far superior, even though such immunity cannot be achieved without mass suffering from a large percentage of the population getting an infectious disease and might not even be a thing.) Here’s another way of putting it: How many times have you heard antivaxxers making the argument that, if vaccines work, you shouldn’t be worried about their unvaccinated children? How often have you heard them reject any responsibility whatsoever for any children other than their own, dismissing the concerns of parents of children with cancer or other conditions that leave them immunosuppressed and unable to take certain vaccines? Some of you might even recall antivaxxers dismissing vaccines as important and then saying they’d just quarantine in the event of an outbreak. Contrast that to what antivaxxers are doing now, protesting against lockdowns, refusing to wear masks, refusing to abide by social distancing, and, in essence, claiming that COVID-19 is no big deal.

Del Bigtree: “We need to catch that cold!”

A week and a half ago, a prominent antivaxxer, Del Bigtree, whom you will likely remember as the genius behind the antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary, VAXXED, demonstrated this hostility towards reasonable public health interventions in a segment from his online video show, The Highwire With Del Bigtree posted on June 19.

Here’s the video as posted to Facebook:

And here’s a version of the video as posted by The Real Truther, with a fascinating counterpoint at the end:

And on YouTube:

It occurred to me as I watched this video that there’s one other characteristic that antivaxxers share with COVID-19 deniers: Victim blaming and an utter lack of concern for those with chronic health problems. (In the case of antivaxxers, there is one exception. They do care about children whose chronic health problems they think they can blame on vaccines, but from my perspective they only care about them insofar as they can use them to blame vaccines for autism, autoimmune diseases, sudden infant death syndrome, diabetes, and the myriad chronic health conditions that have led antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to falsely claim that today’s generation is the “sickest generation“, all due to vaccines.) Look at the title of Bigtree’s video, WE NEED TO CATCH THAT COLD!

Bigtree starts out by claiming that COVID-19 has a “death rate” of 0.26%. (One notes that he doesn’t cite a source.) Even if that is true, he seems oblivious to the law of large numbers and unconcerned that, if one million people catch the disease, that means 2,600 dead and that if 100 million people catch the disease (as could happen) that means 260,000 dead. He then goes on to claim that it might only be one-fifth that, again, without citing the evidence. He then goes into a despicable diatribe, which, in case Bigtree memory-holes his rant, I am transcribing extensively because it is a near-perfect distillation of antivaccine “thinking” and the “screw the old and infirm” attitude that many COVID-19 deniers express:

What is the group that is really at risk? Let’s be honest about this and say something that might get me some trouble here, but let’s be honest. That group is very well known. It’s people over the age of 65—not just because you’re over the age of 65, but you’re sick with other diseases. You have heart disease. You have COPD. You have diabetes. You have issues, many of those issues coming from the fact that you didn’t treat your body very well while you were on this planet. And I want to talk about this for one minute as we close this down. That 0.26% are the most sick among us, and I have nothing against you. Go ahead and bubble wrap your house. Lock yourself in your basement. Go and do what’s necessary.

But here’s the problem. When you were my age, you were most likely eating food and fast food and Doritos and drinking Coca-Cola, which you’ll never find in my home. You were eating that all the time. You probably were drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages and really liked to party and enjoyed your cigarettes and said to yourself, “You know what? It’s more about the quality of my life right now. I don’t care if I live to be 100 years old. I want to enjoy my life right now. I like the finer things in life. I like good rich food. I like smoking a cigarette once in a while. I like to drink my drinks.” And you know what? Good on you! That’s the United States of America. No problem, that, some of my best friends think like that. It’s great, and they’re fun to hang out with. That’s perfectly OK.

But here’s what’s not OK. When you reach that point in your life where now your arteries are starting to clog up, your body is shutting down, and the alcohol is eating up your liver, and you have diabetes, or you have multiple COPD, you have asthma, you can’t breathe, all the cigarette smoking has finally caught up with you, you have heart disease because of the way you decided to live your life in the moment, here’s what you are now. You are pharmaceutical-dependent. You did that to yourself, not me. You decided that the moment mattered, and now you find yourself pharmaceutical-dependent, which is really what that 0.26% is, and that’s OK too. Thank God there’s drugs out there! There’s drugs that allow you to eat the Philly cheesesteak even though your body knows it hates it, but, go ahead, take the Prilosec. What difference does it make? Drug yourself! Drug yourself! Get through the day! Don’t exercise! Maybe just attach an electrode and see if a little electricity to the stomach will give you the abs you want.

Come on! Grow up! You made choices! And now that you’re pharmaceutically dependent, here’s what you don’t get to do. You don’t get to say I have to take a drug to protect you. That’s what this is. You don’t get to say I have to wear a mask and suck in my own CO2 to protect you. You don’t get to say I have to lock myself in a basement and destroy my career and take away my own ability to feed children because you are pharmaceutical dependent. You lived your life. You made your choice. And thank God we live in the United States of America so you don’t have to worry about grocery police standing outside a grocery store saying, “Really? You really need four liters of Coca-Cola? You really need four bags of Doritos or Chitos or Fritos or whatever the heck it is, little cupcakes with synthetic icing on them? You really need all that?” Because we could go there. We could go there. If we’re really going to get into each other’s schiznit, that’s what we could do.

Or could we live and let live? Eat all the Twinkies you want! Drink all the bourbon you want, and smoke as many cigarettes as you want, and when you find yourself pharmaceutical-dependent I will go ahead and say thank God the drug companies are there for you, but you do not get to make me pharmaceutical-dependent. You do not get to put me in the way of Heidi Larson, who wants to eradicate natural health and natural immunity and make us all pharmaceutical dependent.

Heidi Larson, for those of you who don’t know who she is, is the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, a group dedicated to combatting vaccine hesitancy. When last we saw her elsewhere, she had put her foot in her mouth most spectacularly by ignorantly discounting how much education about immunology and vaccines a typical physician in training receives, which leads me to just what the heck Bigtree means by “pharmaceutical dependent”. After all, you might think that no one is telling him he has to take a medication to protect others. All he’s being asked to do is to wear a facemask when in public around other people, to abide by social distancing guidelines, and to wash his hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently. These are hardly onerous requests; yet they’ve produced an extreme backlash. Think about it though. What Bigtree is doing when he says, “You do not get to make me pharmaceutical-dependent” is that he is signaling to his followers that he is preemptively refusing a coronavirus vaccine before one has even been approved by the FDA. Of course, he’s also refusing to wear a mask and social distance—I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not refusing to wash his damned hands—but primarily he’s saying he refuses to be vaccinated against coronavirus once there is a vaccine. Larson’s job at the WHO is to develop strategies to increase public confidence in vaccines and combat vaccine hesitancy and antivaccine views. That’s why Bigtree mentioned her.

At this point, let me emphasize how extremely judgmental Bigtree is in this video, his disclaimers of “Good on ya!” and “It’s OK!” to those with chronic diseases notwithstanding. He’s contemptuously blaming people with chronic diseases for being chronically ill. There is, of course, a small kernel of truth buried in his rant in that, yes, lifestyle matters when it comes to chronic disease. Smoking does hugely predispose you to lung and cardiovascular diseases, for example. Overeating does predispose to obesity, although it is way more complicated than Bigtree’s version of it, which, boiled down to its essence, demonizes those with obesity as fat slobs who lived their youth and middle age overindulging without a care in the world for what their “choices” are doing to their body. Those who’ve struggled with weight problems know that you can’t just flip a switch and bring your weight under control, just as those who’ve become addicted to, for example, alcohol or tobacco, can’t just flip a switch and stop drinking and smoking, even though they know their addictions are having adverse effects on their health. Then there are poor people who live in food deserts, where access to fresh, healthy food is very limited and fatty, calorie-dense processed or fast food is almost all there is (or at the very least so much less expensive than healthier choices that the poor have little choice but to choose it given their limited resources).

This sort of attitude is very typical of antivaxxers and is born of how much antivaxxers believe in alternative medicine and “natural” treatments. It’s also, I’ve noticed, very typical of COVID-19 deniers, many of whose attitude seems to be, “Screw the old and chronically ill, I need to golf and get a haircut!” Indeed, this attitude started to take root fairly early in the pandemic, when a number of politicians of a certain political bent (you know which one) argued in essence that we need to sacrifice grandpa and grandma in order to save the economy. Fortunately, this is not an attitude shared by most Americans, although it is de facto policy in too many parts of the country.

I once coined a term, the central dogma of alternative medicine, to describe the belief that we have near-total control over our health through lifestyle, such as diet, activity, exercise, and a Secret-like belief that wishing makes it so. Antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers share that mystical, magical belief system in which they are healthy entirely because of their choices, and they (and their children) are not at risk of horrible outcomes due to infectious disease because of their choices. It never occurs to them that age is a major risk factor for death from COVID-19 and that people can’t do anything about how old they were when the pandemic hit. Similarly, it never seems to trouble antivaxxers like Bigtree or COVID-19 deniers, the vast majority of whom are white and at least middle class if not affluent, that COVID-19 has exacted a much worse toll on African-Americans and other people of color, who are far more likely to suffer severe disease and die. (Yes, I’m going there.)

Bigtree goes way farther than that, though. He goes deep into the realm of very dangerous advice. After laying down an obvious lie in which he states that he does “care about his pharmaceutical-dependent friends”, and says that the only thing he can do for them (other than hoping for a “vaccine unicorn”) is to catch “what is just a common cold”. Of course, COVID-19 is far worse than “just a common cold”. The common cold doesn’t kill 120,000 Americans in less than four months and nearly a half a million worldwide in six months. It just doesn’t. Influenza hasn’t done anything like that in over 100 years!

Bigtree goes on to claim that for over 97% of us COVID-19 is so mild that you won’t get a fever or even know that you have it, claiming “it’s a common cold for 99.74% of us”. This is a gross exaggeration. The rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 has been notoriously tricky to estimate, given that often there’s no longitudinal testing to see if those who are asymptomatic when tested go on to develop symptoms. In reality, the percentage of cases of COVID-19 that remain asymptomatic is probably 30-50%, and these people with asymptomatic infection can still transmit the disease. Also, there is a growing body of evidence showing that masks do decrease the rate of transmission of COVID-19 to other people, as I discussed a couple of weeks ago. Since then, there’s even more evidence suggesting that masks work to prevent the spread of COVID-19

None of this stops Bigtree from saying:

So here’s what we do. Let’s go outside. Let’s take off our masks. We’re not on drugs, and we don’t need to be on drugs. Let’s catch this cold! Whether or not it’s just the 20% of us and maybe we’re not even in that category, let’s give it a college try to catch this cold, so that we can protect the pharmaceutical-dependent amongst us!

At this point it’s hard not to retort: You first, Mr. Bigtree. I’m sure one of your fans out there has COVID-19 right now and would be willing to hang out with their hero in a small, enclosed room for hours and cough in your face as much as it takes for you to acquire SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. What are you waiting for? Do it for the “pharmaceutical-dependent”! Lead by example! Record yourself on video doing it!

I’m being sarcastic, of course. I would never wish COVID-19 on anyone, not even someone as odious and harmful to public health as Bigtree. I note that Bigtree just turned 50, so he’s entering the age range of elevated risk. Whether Bigtree believes it or not, if he were actually foolish enough to take my sarcastic advice, I’d actually feel terrible if he turned out to be one of the minority who develop disease severe enough to require hospitalization, even worse if he were among the smaller minority who end up needing mechanical ventilation, and worse still if he were one of the probably fewer than 1% who die of COVID-19.

Perhaps the best retort, though, is what The Real Truther did in editing Bigtree’s video. During the last minute and a half or so of The Real Truther’s version, there are shown a series of photographs of people who were young (or, at most, middle aged) and otherwise healthy who died of COVID-19, the youngest of whom was 22. He also added a soundtrack of somber piano music. Brilliant. And in case that’s enough, SFGate published a story recounting the damage done to young people who have survived severe COVID-19, including kidney failure requiring dialysis, shortness of breath that persists for many weeks, the need for chronic oxygen, multiple relapses, and other complications.

The consequences are potentially dire

As I’ve documented for a long time, antivaxxers are hostile to the very idea of public health, other than letting nature take its course and producing “natural herd immunity” at a horrific cost in terms of suffering and death. If you don’t believe me, consider how in recent years they have manifested their hostility towards public health interventions not just in the form of resistance to school vaccine mandates, but in proposing laws and regulations that would make it more difficult for local health authorities to prevent and respond to outbreaks even leaving aside the issue of vaccines. For instance, in my own state, antivaccine-sympathetic legislators proposed a law that would have made it much more difficult to remove vulnerable unvaccinated students from school in the middle of an outbreak and removed a lot of flexibility to respond to outbreaks. More recently, a chickenpox outbreak at a high school in my state revealed that antivaxxers were not being entirely truthful when they claimed they’d comply with reasonable self-quarantine orders, as parents protested the order to keep their children at home. Meanwhile, antivaxxers have joined COVID-19 conspiracy theorists in portraying contact tracing and quarantine as “subjugation.”

That rhetoric is having terrifying consequences, too, as public health workers have come under attack, with harassment and threats, leading an alarming number of them to resign to protect themselves and their families or to be fired for standing up for public health:

Emily Brown was stretched thin.

As the director of the Rio Grande County Public Health Department in rural Colorado, she was working 12- and 14-hour days, struggling to respond to the pandemic with only five full-time employees for more than 11,000 residents. Case counts were rising.

She was already at odds with county commissioners, who were pushing to loosen public health restrictions in late May, against her advice. She had previously clashed with them over data releases and control and had haggled over a variance regarding reopening businesses.

But she reasoned that standing up for public health principles was worth it, even if she risked losing the job that allowed her to live close to her hometown and help her parents with their farm.

Then came the Facebook post: a photo of her and other health officials with comments about their weight and references to “armed citizens” and “bodies swinging from trees.”

It’s not just harassment and political resistance. Being overworked and stretched thin because of how inadequate many states’ public health infrastructure was before the pandemic play a role too. A week and a half ago, Ohio health director Dr. Amy Acton, who had made national news for her science-based approach to COVID-19 and public health, resigned, due to a burnout from overwork and dealing with protesters and resistance, for example:

Acton’s experience was no different. Protesters, some armed, showed up at her home in the Columbus suburbs several times. Her neighbors counter-protested in her front yard and put up “Dr. Amy Acton Fan Club” yard signs. Acton was given security detail, an unusual step for a cabinet member.

It’s hard to blame Dr. Acton for deciding that she couldn’t take it anymore. Nationwide, a number of health directors have either retired, quit, or been fired in the face of harassment, resistance, and the unhappiness of politicians:

This isn’t just happening in California. Ohio’s state health director, Amy Acton, resigned last week after facing legal challenges to her authority and protests in front of her home. Wisconsin state health director Jeanne Ayers was asked to resign in early May, at a time when COVID-19 cases in the state had surpassed 10,000, and top officials would not say why.

“Things have gotten ugly,” said one Northern California health officer who asked not to be named over personal safety concerns. “The health officers are kind of in this position where everything that everyone is angry about is the health officer’s fault.”

The official described death threats received by email and on social media as well as protesters showing up to their home. “It … makes you feel that there is nowhere that’s safe.”

No one argues that there isn’t a difficult tradeoff to be made between public health and economic interests. However, the hostility towards public health interventions goes beyond anger at the economic consequences of lockdowns. Wearing masks and contact tracing, with targeted quarantines, are thought to be our best options to be able to emerge from lockdowns and revive the economy, and yet the unholy alliance of antivaxxers and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists feverishly resist these measures, too.

Truly, it should surprise no one that antivaxxers have joined COVID-19 deniers in their conspiracy theories or that they loudly proclaim opposition and resistance to any COVID-19 vaccine, even though a COVID-19 vaccine is many months, if not years, away. When you boil it down, both groups share a profound resistance to taking the least bit of responsibility for anyone but themselves and a tendency to blame the victim. They fail to understand that personal health can’t be separated from public health. It’s no wonder that the US has had more cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country in the world.

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]

323 replies on ““We need to catch that cold!”: Antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers vs. public health”

I still shake my head at a local politician who claimed we needed to let people get COVID to promote “herd mentality.” The poor satirists don’t stand a chance anymore.

Uh, no, I live in the US. A local politician literally said that the solution to COVID was “herd mentality.”

I will add the same politician claimed that pools shouldn’t have been closed, because the chlorine from evaporating pool water would kill any virus in the air.

@ Terrie

“I will add the same politician claimed that pools shouldn’t have been closed, because the chlorine from evaporating pool water would kill any virus in the air.”

That’s a fantastic example of Idiocracy-level motivated “reasoning”. If one could call that “reasoning” in any way…

@Denice, next to Trump, a racoon with mange looks like a scholar and a gentleman with stylish hair.

@Denice Boris Johnson looks like what you’d get if you ordered Donald Trump from Wish.com

@Denice Boris Johnson looks like what you’d get if you ordered a Donald Trump from Wish.

I think Texas – Del Bigtree’s new home – embodies your point about the consequences being dire right now. Having him there certainly won’t help.

I used his statements in a presentation last week about imposing tort liability for misinformation that causes disease. I think it’s a good example of something that could, potentially, give rise to liability, if it causes harm to others – though for those who get sick because they directly followed him, there may be issues of whether their reliance on him is justifiable and whether they assumed the risk. But for those they infect, less so.

@ Prof Dorit:

re ” imposing tort liability for misinformation that causes disease”

Now that’s a concept I could get behind!

Of course, I don’t know the legal underpinnings but it has always boggled my mind that alt med providers, natural health websites and anti-vaxxers could get away with doing so. There are so many offenders, too numerous to mention but they first, attempt to get followers to discard standard SBM advice and then, provide dodgy alternatives.

And people DO follow them. Some of this is done in the open ( see PRN for many examples of faux medicine) such as anti-vax scare tactics, frightening parents about vaccines. Del has become a leader in this effort, others like Stop Mandatory Vaccination and Natural News have many followers.

I think they can be so cavalier about giving advice because someone would have to prove that the misinformation led to the harm and that those who followed it were not forced but chose to do so.
How could this be done ?

It’s tricky, in part for the reasons you point out – showing causation – but even in cases where that’s not an issue, courts hesitate to impose liability for speech, and ironically, especially for mass media or widespread speech. But there are torts on point, and it really depends on the circumstances.

How much detail do you want? They did record the presentation, and I can ask for a link, but that’s almost an hour long.

Interestingly, in cooking circles, there’s questions on who is responsible for dangerous videos — the viewer, the content creator, the platform? The common example is a “cooking hacks” clickbait video that suggests dipping strawberries in actual bleach to turn them white that Youtube has basically shrugged and said it doesn’t violate their policies.

What is it about bleach that brings out the urge to endanger the public?

At least one case found that the publisher of a book of a fad diet that led to deaths was protected by the First Amendment.
The case did not address the author’s liability, since plaintiff – the reader’s widower – only sued the publisher.

I saw a fascinating deep dive into those “hack” videos (by an Australian cooking YouTuber who’s husband is a retired investigative journalist) and weirdly they seem to all be made in Russia and very, very occasionally there will be a video (not a “hack” video but a “news” video by the same channel) that will have weird anti-US and pro-Russia stuff in it.

The debunker is the channel How To Cook That, and while I take all YouTube videos with a grain of salt, it does raise an interesting question.

How should such legislation handle the original statements on wearing facemasks: that if you weren’t sick, you didn’t need to wear one. Dr. Fauci later admitted that wasn’t true, but that it was deliberate misinformation intended to lower the demand for masks, making more available to health care professionals. While the intentions might have been good, I’m afraid that government officials putting out deliberate misinformation does a lot of damage to the public trusting what they say.

It’s not legislation, it’s tort liability through the courts. And that’s a good question, and one of the reasons to approach such liability with caution. In the case of the government, you may have trouble bringing a claim because of governmental immunity. Handling bad messaging by government is generally done by political tools, not the torts system.

More broadly, you would have to show negligent misrepresentation or intentional one. It would depend on the specific content and actions. And yes, I realize that’s vague. Tort liability often works through pretty vague terms.

@Dorit: You would have to show negligent misrepresentation or intentional one. It would depend on the specific content and actions.

I’m curious if Dr. Fauci’s/the CDC’s original advice regarding mask wearing would be actionable? What do you mean by ‘political tools’ are available to the public regarding false information being put out by officials?

@ Beth,

If that was actually the concern they could have diverted the masks intended for retail to healthcare providers at the source.

How could he not have the foresight to realize how dangerous that message would be? That’s not the sort of message you just take back, unless you are a complete narcissist who thinks the common folk are eating out of your hand.

I’ll get ribbed again for saying this but I stocked up on masks in January, when we were still being told we (US residents) were not at risk from COVID because we don’t eat bat soup & there was “no evidence of person to person transmission” & retail was pretty much already depleted of PPE. He’s lying.

It was not “deliberate misinformation”. At the time there was minimal evidence that universal mask wearing would be helpful and the focus was more on making sure people stay home as much as possible while we tried to get a handle on the situation. As more evidence has become available, and also as more masks have become available, it makes sense now to recommend them for interactions where strict 6′ distancing may not be possible. Describing it as “deliberate misinformation” is in itself deliberate misinformation.

@PF: Here is quote from Dr. Fauci in answer to the question: Why did it take so long for officials to tell us to wear masks?

“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” he explained to me.

https://www.thestreet.com/opinion/fauci-interview-coronavirus-sports-investors

I do think public communications have often been poorly handled. Remember, though, that as with so much else about this virus, information about mask-wearing is changing quickly, with new information supplanting the old. What really annoys me is how public-health statements don’t acknowledge the current state of research underlying their recommendations, and they ought to note when their recommendations are based on robust vs. weak evidence. You will always have instinctive, reflexive distrust of public health authorities from some–always–but you could increase the confidence of many, I think, by trying your utmost to be clear about what is and is not known at any given time.

However, we also have to note that our education system has failed many of our citizens, some pretty drastically. It cannot be easy crafting a message that is true, not misleading, and still understandable to the millions who cannot read above a 6th-grade level, or have extremely minimal knowledge of science.

@Heidi You wrote: “However, we also have to note that our education system has failed many of our citizens, some pretty drastically.”

Please stop blaming our education system. Most anti-vaxxers are well-educated, well-spoken, and well-read. It’s one of the biggest problems us vaxxers have to overcome. I live in Orange County, CA (yikes!) and I teach 2nd grade at a Title One school. Somehow, the low-income, poorly educated, Taco Bell cashiers in my life understand that vaccines and wearing a mask are important. It’s the computer programmer, the nurse, the teacher, the self-made businessman, and the engineer (I can go on and on) that can’t seem to get with the program. Why? I have an opinion based upon my life experience but I’d love to see some research.

I think Dunning/Kruger married Confirmation Bias and gave birth to a bunch of over-confident, self-centered, spoiled brats (mostly Boomers in my experience) . People attribute their success to their own decision making and intelligence. They think they’re special and really good at life. They think people who have faced hardships such as poverty, drug addiction, illness, tragedy, etc…are somehow responsible for their own hardships. These people don’t think, “I’m luckier”. They think, “I’m smarter” and “I deserve more.” So when the mask question came up, they were offended at the inconvenience and confident that nothing bad would/should/could happen to them. Then they saw videos like “Plandemic”, “Dr. Kelly Victory”, “Bakersfield Doctors” etc..being shared by their facebook friends and it just confirmed their belief.

It’s interesting to me how people who believe in making ‘evidence-based decisions’ so easily throw around unsubstantiated generalizations like, “our education system has failed many of our citizens.”
Thanks,
Polly

“the engineer (I can go on and on)”

Yes! They seem to think if they are good at one thing, they are good at all things. Like someone who thinks their doctorate in statistics makes them an expert in epidemiology…. even though they work with carbon fiber structures. Which do not need to comply with the Belmont Report.

“(mostly Boomers in my experience)”

This Baby Boomer thinks that luck is a major part of my good fortune. And even though I was an engineer, at least I know what I do not know.

@ Polly Fleming

“Please stop blaming our education system. Most anti-vaxxers are well-educated, well-spoken, and well-read. It’s one of the biggest problems us vaxxers have to overcome.”

I would tend to agree. You can be trained to be smart by an education system that succeeds at it, also personally succeed in life, and yet have no intellectual backbone in terms of philosophy of science and philosophy of morality, that backbone that would make you value — and not bow in front of — authority when based on legitimate expertise. Like a Brainy Monarch.

“In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or engineer.”

-Bakunin

(That’s coming from an anarchist.)

@ JP

“(That’s coming from an anarchist.)”

Yes. It’s from God and the State if I remember correctly.

See? Even (former) hedgies sometimes do know their classics.

God and the State is a great read, by the way. Short, punchy, not something that it is excusable not to have read. In my point of view, anyway. (And of course, one need not agree with everything one reads, that goes without saying.)

A few scientists in Bakunin’s offsprings, if I remember well too.

Another anarchist (turned bolshevik though) that I believe also is a must read is Victor Serge.

Another anarchist (turned bolshevik though) that I believe also is a must read is Victor Serge.

Not somebody I was really familiar with, thanks. It does look like, despite going over to the Bolshevik side, he held on to an anti-authoritarian/totalitarian viewpoint. (Although he’s dead wrong about the October “revolution” not being a coup.)

A lot of the early Bolsheviks were genuine revolutionaries; it seemed like the group with the best shot at actually staging a revolution. And a lot of those original Bolsheviks fared very poorly as things become more and more authoritarian.

Oh wow! That’s mightily packed! I’ll go back and focus on the one section that intrigues me most.

Bigtree must be neighbors with Wakefield now. I wonder if he’s thrilled that Texas is experiencing a resurgence?

Dr Fauci spoke yesterday about a potential vaccine not being entirely helpful because so many would refuse to get it. Prescient, no?

As I said in the post, my retort to Del’s “We need to catch that cold!” is: You first. I’m sure we can find fans who have COVID-19 now who’d be happy to hang out in a small room sans mask with Del for several hours, you know, to make sure he gets a nice big inoculum of coronavirus.

My friends who have COVID are already suffering enough, don’t you think, putting them through several hours of DB would just be insult to injury :/

Orac writes,

“Heidi Larson, for those of you who don’t know who she is, is the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, a group dedicated to combatting vaccine hesitancy.

@ Orac,

I think the pharmaceutical industry does a good job of disclosing vaccine contraindications, is there a Vaccine-Contraindication Confidence Project for those who aren’t vaccine hesitant? Please respond.

That’s another trope of theirs: YOU are responsible for your health, and any health issues you have are because of something YOU did (or didn’t do). He ignores the role of genetics in disease, and other factors beyond one’s control.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a lung and liver disease also known as “genetic COPD”, runs in my family. I’m MZ. I have living family members who are SZ. I have a dead great uncle who died in his early 40s from emphysema who was ZZ. (M is the good gene, Z the bad gene, S the so-so gene. It’s codominate, though MZ is normally considered low risk if you avoid potential complicating factors).

No amount of “healthy living” is going to increase the Antitrypsin serum levels of any of us. And since we still don’t know a ton about COVID 19, no one has any idea if people who are MZ are at greater risk, though people who are SZ or ZZ almost certainly are.

Oh, and at least 20 million people in the US are MZ, and most of them don’t know.

I saw it noted on reddit that maybe the big policy mistake was telling people that casual cloth or paper masks are worn to protect others. “Know your audience”, advises some dude on reddit.

My employer was hinting at me today that there are popup drive-through free testing events here now. For well over a month, it was ‘The Criteria’: symptomatic, and been to China, or been in contact with a confirmed case, or some other suspiciously specific event at a place where I was never at with I person I’d never seen. But for months one still needed a doctor’s referral — This was never going to work, It took over a week for people to get the results (I don’t know if that is still the case).

The dashboard shows South Korea with ~12,000 cumulative cases to date and 282 deaths. And, to contradict Dumbp, we are not #1 in testing. We’re #26 per capita. So much for American knowhow. This is a travesty. This is Cthulhu with all the squiggly bits bowed back towards it’s ‘face’. I’m fearful of what form contact tracing would even take now should Nero finally decide it might be a good idea.

I saw on CNN yesterday cars snaked throught a parking lot and far up the highway awaiting a test. They waited hours*. But what really alarmed me were the testers wearing cheap dust masks such as I have here for sanding. These dinky things had two little skinny elastic peices stapled to the same spot at the midline! If I saw that here, I would be very hesitant to get tested.

*This is rediculous; set up testing stations in people’s neiborhoods or within walking distance. For those without cars or a driver’s licsence, who wants to sit on public transit with bunches of people that think they might have Sars-CoV-2?

Mmm. Think of all the pirates in that hair ship. I guess you could spray it with soapy water before taking it off.

“This hostility towards public health interventions manifests itself with a refusal to take responsibility to do anything that decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission.” — Orac

I’m very much hostile towards public health in general, but not that dumb… Even if one decides to root in for the virus, it’s obviously not a fair fight if Humanity screws up its fighting chances in such a dumb manner.

But what strikes me when reading Del Bigtree’s diatribe is that one of the very reasons I am against public health in general is that I am very much against a specific ideological component in public health as viewed by the public. And in the words of Del Bigtree himself:

“But here’s what’s not OK. When you reach that point in your life where now your arteries are starting to clog up, your body is shutting down, and the alcohol is eating up your liver, and you have diabetes, or you have multiple COPD, you have asthma, you can’t breathe, all the cigarette smoking has finally caught up with you, you have heart disease because of the way you decided to live your life in the moment, here’s what you are now. You are pharmaceutical-dependent. You did that to yourself, not me.”

That last sentence: “you did that to yourself, not me”. One can decide to read it in the words of Del Bigtree. Or one can also read it in quite a lot of positions of members of the “medical establishment” when they speak their minds openly. That specific bit of ideology that is intent on punishing people violating the “health pact” binding, allegedly, citizens to their health system. The pact that, in fact, no one signed in order to relinquish their rights to their personal life choices on the grounds that they recognise that they are themselves dumber than dumb. That infantilisation of both patients and citizens.

One can read it in Del Bigtree’s words. Or one can read it in the words of quite some people advocating public health policies with a punitive twist. Or in the words of Del BigTree… Bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet.

Beth: “How should such legislation handle the original statements on wearing facemasks: that if you weren’t sick, you didn’t need to wear one. Dr. Fauci later admitted that wasn’t true, but that it was deliberate misinformation intended to lower the demand for masks, making more available to health care professionals. While the intentions might have been good, I’m afraid that government officials putting out deliberate misinformation does a lot of damage to the public trusting what they say.”

This is not only a lame attempt at a tu quoque, it’s a distortion of the reasons public health officials including Dr. Fauci were not advising mask use for the general public as of early March.

Yes, there was a genuine concern that members of the public would buy up N95 and surgical-grade masks that were in short supply, denying them to health care workers on the front lines dealing with sick people. Add to that doubts about how effective simple masks and cloth coverings would be in limiting/preventing infection and initial lack of knowledge about the ease with which asymptomatic infection could spread, and it’s understandable why mask/face covering recommendations evolved over time.

“Fauci explained the early advice against masks by saying: “The public-health community — and many people were saying this — were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.”

N95 masks are higher-grade equipment than ordinary masks and mainly used by medical workers.

He added that the government did not want healthcare workers “to be without the equipment that they needed … We were afraid that that would deter away the people who really needed it.”

The government also knows more about the effectiveness of different types of masks than it did at the beginning, he said.

“Now we have masks, and we know that you don’t need an N95 if you’re an ordinary person in the street,” he said. “We also know that simple cloth coverings that many people have can work as well as a mask in many cases.”

http://businessinsider.com/fauci-mask-advice-was-because-doctors-shortages-from-the-start-2020-6

There’s no comparison between public health professionals’ statements about masks, and Del Bigtree essentially saying that older people don’t deserve consideration in this pandemic because they brought their chronic conditions and vulnerabilities to Covid-19 on themselves, so tough luck.

Oh, and Beth? You’ve been dodging this for days, but how about enlightening us regarding your claim that you’re not an antivaxer because you support some vaccines but not others? Which vaccines do you endorse? It’s a simple question.

A DB,

"He added that the government did not want healthcare workers “to be without the
equipment that they needed … We were afraid that that would deter away the people
who really needed it.”

Do you believe him on this? I don’t. If this were the real concern they could have gone straight to the source to divert the N95’s & surgical’s from retail to healthcare facilities.

And April, March & even February would have been too late. There were no masks available for the consumer in retail & it wasn’t healthcare facilities or providers buying them from Walgreens or Ace Hardware. They were out by the end of January. Bought out in bulk.

In Walla Walla, in the great state of Washington, there were fairly recently “Covid parties,” similar to the “chickenpox parties” which have been a topic in this blog before, in which people would gather together to all catch the coronavirus. (I also recall “chickenpox lollipops.”)

All my whats were [email protected]

I suppose the idea was that if you caught the disease, you would get immunity like with chickenpox. Never mind that you might die from it and spread it to who knows how many other people. Walla Walla, maintaining its reputation within the state. And so much for blaming the flare-ups in WA on the dirty Mexicans, which of course has been a thing on the gold side / dry side. (I’m right adjacent to Eastern Washington; the climate here is definitely more similar to the West side, but you meet a lot of folks with politics similar to the East side.) Of course, people don’t take into account that migrant laborers are forced into awful labor conditions like being packed into meat processing plants, or working in fields and orchard jobs where they’re provided with living conditions that consist of basically shacks all gathered together with who knows what kind of sanitation conditions.

Well. Fuck. All we know right now is that they are just going out and spreading it. ‘Heard immunity’ is starting to sound like “at least your gran gran won’t die by cops” if you attend this party.

I don’t think there are many (or any) documented cases in the US of a positive coming back a positive again some time later, but a Chinese serological study shows a great decline (up to %81) of a particular type of antibody after a couple months. It is noted that the one in question may be effective at very low levels, but still.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0965-6

And, I’m hearing more and more that the damage is long lasting, even permanant in any age group. We need paradigm shifting mask education — funny how the KKK never had a problem with them but suffocate under a paper surgeon’s covering. I’ve been thinking for awhile that the only way to get to the disease state is to breath it.

Step up, tech. Make them comfortable, make them stylish; active cooling would help — There is already a Japanese outfit that incorporates a mic, amp, and speaker to unmuffle your voice and even provide translation services through your phone (via bluetooth).

My state is actually requiring masks now. I still don’t understand how you’re supposed to wear a mask when you go out to a restaurant; I suppose you just wear it when you go in and out, which seems totally useless. Really good for the employees, who are essentially being forced to work to keep their jobs to make a living, since if they “can work,” they can’t get unemployment.

Idk, it’s incredibly frustrating and just feels totally dystopian. I’m trying not to give into total misanthropy when I see pictures of people out and about in lines and crowds and sh!t, often almost all without masks. “Idiots, morons, sociopaths,” I catch myself thinking.

I think people are getting the idea that things are getting okay and getting better, and I can see where they’re getting it; things wouldn’t be opening up otherwise, right? And of course everybody desperately wants this to be over and to go back to normal.

And humans are such social animals. You see other people doing it, etc. And it really isn’t normal or natural for everybody to be cut off from human contact for so long; it’s like separating ants from the rest of the hive, sort of, not that humans are really at all like ants… but the hive thing is actually sort of apt.

As far as the active resistance to masks, at least part of it has to actually be anti-Asian racism, I think. You see East Asians on the news, and even in this country, wearing masks when they’re sick, to avoid getting other people sick. And tbh a lot of people code East Asians as effeminate, which is anathema to a certain strain of American “culture.”

Personally, I’m very tempted by the mask I saw that says “Spaceballs the Face Mask” on it. But I love a good nerdy reference.

And tbh a lot of people code East Asians as effeminate, which is anathema to a certain strain of American “culture.”

LoL, this Nevada councilman:

https://i.imgur.com/npBXaK1.jpg

David Bowie 👍 But those lifelike prints that are a seemless continuation of one’s own face are a little too uncanny for me.

I want a geek mask which incorporates some kind of detector fine mesh where then an oled pixel sparkles when a droplet strike is detected — maybe finallly a use for graphene?

I really think it would be educational for many if my mask were twinkling around when someone speaks to me.

JP, I am right there with you on the restaurants thing. Like, yes, you wear your mask to the table, and yes your waiter is wearing a mask the whole time, and yes in theory the tables are 6 feet apart, but I’m still like, no.

There’s too much risk and frankly, how can I enjoy eating in a restaurant if I’m mildly freaking out the whole time?

The last time my SO and I went out to a restaurant before the shutdown we were so incredibly uncomfortable and on edge that we couldn’t enjoy the food at all.

So we haven’t been out again, and won’t for a long time. And I scream a little on the inside every time my in-laws tell us they’ve been out to dinner with their anti-mask friends.

@ JustaTech

You also have to accept to some extent that life needs to go on too.

Not wearing a mask is not being anti-mask. It’s simply that it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to go freaking out. I see rather few people wearing masks around here. Except people working in restaurants. Most people do not wear them, or only at work. Or in public transportation. Social distancing is overall applied, but somewhat flexibly; not really rigidly. I think there is a part of fatum that one has to accept to live with. Not everything can be controlled. Freaking out doesn’t help that much.

In the end, people should likely be more focused on not making it worse for those most vulnerable rather than freaking out for themselves. Exposing oneself to coronavirus is not a risk one should willingly take, but not a risk one should expect to be ritually protected from by virtue of wearing a mask. Apotropaic masks? That’s shamanism.

It’s about protecting the weak. Not so much as protecting onself. Or at least, I do not believe one should put too much personal hopes in that.

Seems there’s a new pig flu virus on the block, moreover… oh well.

@F68.10

You might take a look at the current COVID-19 statistics in the US. The situation is nowhere near comparable to anywhere in Europe; we have about a third of the cases in the world. So, yeah, things are probably quite a bit more laissez faire where you’re at.

@F68.10

but not a risk one should expect to be ritually protected from by virtue of wearing a mask.

It is more reassuring if you got a good’n

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170005166.pdf

Mine is folded double then rolled up. leaving the only identifier displayed, “Oreck” 83055-01

Breaths easy, no heat, but condensation in the clear facepiece, made from a clear grapefruit juice top and foam window sill seal, in cooler climes. Funny looking, af. Until everybody wears a covering; I’ll continue to wear this.

https://www.amazon.com/Oreck-Genuine-HEPA-Vacuum-Magnesium/dp/B0113FLTZK/

@ JP

I know the situation is not the same. But all the same, I do not believe it is a situation where one should encourage hypochondriacs to be hypochondriacs. So-called superchondriacs.

I’m quite well aware, though, that you seem to have the opposite problem in quite a segment of the population…

@F68.10:

I’m personally not really freaking out, merely unsettled. But JP is right, the US has had a huge upswing in the past week or two and things are getting better not worse.

I know masks are not talismans. This is something I mutter to myself regularly when I see people wearing them incorrectly (on chin, not covering nose, etc). It’s also something I mutter to myself when I see people bicycling around with their helmet tied to their backpack rather than on their head.

Masks are a form of PPE. For my work I use a reasonable amount of PPE because I work with human blood. The first thing you learn working with human materials is the concept of Universal Precautions (sorry if I’m repeating what you already know), where the safe way to proceed with your work is to assume that every single sample you work with has every disease known to humanity. (Or at least, all bloodborne pathogens.)

I also know that in all instances PPE is the last resort when it comes to safety. Long before you’re talking hard hats or gloves you should have done everything possible to remove the hazard. Is there a safer chemical to use? Can we build a roof over the workers to keep things from falling on them? Do we have to use a needle for this step or can we use something blunt?

In the case of COVID my first line of defense is to stay away from other people as much as possible. And when I can’t stay away (or when I choose to not stay away), then I apply PPE and hand washing. Those are the (only) things that I can control.

@ JustaTech

“I know masks are not talismans.”

Good.

I guess my reaction is essentially due to the fact that I know the mentality of “hypochondriacs” inside out. Met quite a few them since the beginning of the pandemic (plus the “usual suspects” in my “social circle”…). Seems like they now have an excuse to believe their behaviour is normal… I just can’t stand them.

But I guess I’m oversensitive… Though I confess having gone sternly the opposite way of hypochondria over the years. Do not know if there is a word for it… Contracting a disease is not something that bothers me in the least. So I kind of have to make an effort out of my misanthropy to abide by these prophylactic rules.

things are getting better not worse

Found the Project For A New American Century.
.
.
Hypochondriac? I think germophobe is a better word.

“What’s the matter Eddie, does it frighten you?”
“Frighten me? No Frank, I think startled is a better word.”

@ Tim

“Hypochondriac? I think germophobe is a better word.”

I’m talking about the real hypochondriacs. The ones that didn’t need the pandemic in the first place to be so… I “once” “met” a World Champion. Remember the Novichok? When someone says to you, with a very anxious facial expression, that you ought never to touch things in the wild urban jungle because it might, you never know, be Novichok… then you know you’re in front of a World Champion.

Not in front of a “germophobe”.

@F68.10

Ok. but a hypochondriac thinks he has got it (believe me, I know. I am one.) and a germophobe does not want to get it.

There could be a language barrier here, …., I can’t think of the appropriate video, but this has been the coronavirus messaging in the US:

It’s also something I mutter to myself when I see people bicycling around with their helmet tied to their backpack rather than on their head.

This isn’t so much of a problem with people who bicycle on the sidewalk. I presume it’s a defense against being clotheslined by pedestrians. I keep myself to telling them to get off the sidewalk or obstructing their path, unless they sneak up on me from behind, in which case all bets are off, as my hearing isn’t great and I’ve been jumped and beaten by that method, with some residual PTSD.

as my hearing isn’t great and I’ve been jumped and beaten by that method, with some residual PTSD.

I can’t recall whether or not you got to keep the beer.

A friend of mine in grad school who grew up mainly in Chicago and would go back to visit claimed that people there were better about having bells on their bikes and using them; different neighborhood/s, maybe. Not that one should ride on the sidewalk anyway, but bells would help, at least. (Although I often walk around with headphones, so not much help there.)

I’m also very touchy about people coming up on me from behind. It’s more of an extreme startle/shout response, though.

@ Tim

“Ok. but a hypochondriac thinks he has got it (believe me, I know. I am one.)”

And when your doctor disagrees with you, are you bent on proving him wrong? Or not?

And when your doctor disagrees with you, are you bent on proving him wrong? Or not?

I have not had a ‘doctor’ for the past eight years over his unwillingness to continue hydroxyzine. I have no GP. I’m purely botanical, now— and I gave that up because reasons.

@f68.10

I ‘fired’ my doctor over his unwillingnes to continue hydroxyzine.

I have not had a GP for eight years. This has been problematic, here in the states.

Subsequently, I became involed with some unscrupulous providers of herbs and stuff. The (stuff), which I did not realize was part of the deal, royally fucked me up for a few days.

@ Tim

“I ‘fired’ my doctor over his unwillingnes to continue hydroxyzine.”

I hate antihistaminics.

“I have not had a GP for eight years. This has been problematic, here in the states.”

Here, you have the right — in general, not always in practice — to choose your doctor. But you do not have the right not to have a doctor.

“la seule liberté du patient consiste à choisir son médecin” / “the only freedom a patient has is to choose his doctor” — paragraph 27 of this article on so-called “medical paternalism”, the french ideology in medical matters.

Consider yourself lucky to have the right to fire a doctor.

@ JP

Well, you know, most people have normal relationships with medicine. So, even if the law is the law (what I’ve quoted is the spirit of the law, for actual legislation on the topic, I’d have to dig in, but that’s the spirit) most people never feel the brunt of this kind of legal obligation. And most people who do feel the brunt of it do not have the sense to understand that it’s written in the law…

So, in the sense of Dangerous Bacon’s characterisation of conspiracies: everything is in the open; it’s written black on white. So it’s not a “conspiracy”. But in reality, people who do understand that it’s written black on white are seldom: doctors and some patients. Other people live their life under the illusion that there is no obligation whatsoever, because they do not feel the brunt of it. And they believe that anyone who would claim that there is this authoritarian streak in french medical law is a conspiracy theorist. Because you see, their doctors are so gentle with them…

Google Translate did not work. But if you translate that article in English, and read it through, you may discover some… hum… not exactly “liberal” philosophical positions on medical matters. For instance articles 31 of a 1947 law and 34 of 1955 law state (things have somewhat changed, allegedly… somewhat…) that deceiving a patient on the nature of his illness is endorsed by the legislation. In 1979, it has been changed from “deceiving” to “lying by omission”. So there is, undoubtedly, progress. Moreover, all this talk in the article about “sacrality”, “religious duty” of the doctor, “trust-faith in the doctor as stemming from a theological tradition” kind of makes me tingle. Moreover the article 30 of the law of 1947 enforces a total authority: “After having made a solid diagnosis implying a serious decision, all the more if the life of the patient is in danger, a doctor must strive to impose the execution of his decisions.” That’s the law in 1947. May have changed a bit, you know… Like this progress I mentioned before from “deceiving” to “lying by omission”. So, as would say Joel, no black and white thinking…

But back to your question. In essence, yes. In the sense that if you decide to opt out of medical treatment, if you refuse to see a doctor, that alone is justification for sectioning in mental hospitals. To put it simply and squarely. Because, in itself, not agreeing to see a doctor is evidence of a danger to yourself (in theory, they have a point… but reality is not always theory… which is my point). So they essentially can pull off this trick relentlessly until you submit. That’s the spirit of the law: you can choose your doctor. You cannot opt out of medical care. So, yes, you have to go the doctor.

Maybe one day, someone will delicately explain to them that forcing Munchausen-related patients to go to the doctor isn’t the wisest of moves… And moreover, that choice of doctors you supposedly have vanishes de facto in psych matters. And all the more in my specific family environment.

And in my case, I discovered in my records that no one ever asked me anything as to whether I refused to to see a doctor or not. “Someone else” told this tall tale, repeatedly, in order to keep me under her overzealous medical authority. Lies become truths, and decades later prophecies become realities.

Now, there always are situations where you have to force care on someone else. But the moment you make it an uncriticisable ideology that you solidly bake into the law in this manner, you’re in trouble.

But back to your question. In essence, yes. In the sense that if you decide to opt out of medical treatment, if you refuse to see a doctor, that alone is justification for sectioning in mental hospitals. To put it simply and squarely. Because, in itself, not agreeing to see a doctor is evidence of a danger to yourself (in theory, they have a point… but reality is not always theory… which is my point). So they essentially can pull off this trick relentlessly until you submit. That’s the spirit of the law: you can choose your doctor. You cannot opt out of medical care. So, yes, you have to go the doctor.

Whether or not this makes you a danger to yourself is, to me, philosophically and ethically beside the point. I personally don’t think that being a danger to one’s self is grounds for forced care or imprisonment. You have cancer and you don’t want treatment, even if it means you’re going to die, that’s your right. IMO. In fact, this is the case in this country; kind of disturbing that it isn’t in France, tbh.

I mean it’s all kind of a philosophical/ethical can of worms when you start thinking about “danger to one’s self” being inherently symptomatic of illness. If refusing cancer treatment makes one a danger to one’s self (it does), why isn’t that considered irrational self-harm in the US and grounds for forced treatment while, if being a danger to one’s self is (actually or supposedly) symptomatic of mental illness, it is?

The situation in France does seem to be some sort of a Catch 22, or something analogous to it. In fact, it’s even a bit Soviet; there was a period, post-Stalin, where, instead of sending dissidents to the Gulag, they would instead be sent indefinitely to psychiatric hospitals, since to question the validity and righteousness of the Soviet state was clearly a sign of insanity. In France, apparently, protesting against medical care itself is a sign that one is unwell.

@ JP

“Whether or not this makes you a danger to yourself is, to me, philosophically and ethically beside the point. I personally don’t think that being a danger to one’s self is grounds for forced care or imprisonment.”

Given that wanting to make my own choices of academic orientation has been considered as endangering myself, it should be a no-brainer as to where I stand on the issue.

“You have cancer and you don’t want treatment, even if it means you’re going to die, that’s your right. IMO. In fact, this is the case in this country; kind of disturbing that it isn’t in France, tbh.”

Well, here is an article on the topic. Bottom line: 1. Consent is required only if you’re “lucid”, as per a non-legally binding “advice” from the Ethics Coucil. In essence, I’ll forever be denied that right. 2. Family can decide for you. Gee! Feels like I’m married to Mommy! 3. And the icing on the cake: “Pour faire face à cette épreuve, il est important de bénéficier d’une aide par un psychologue du service — surtout s’il a une formation de psychanalyste, car les raisons du refus peuvent être autant conscientes qu’inconscientes” — “To face this ordeal, it is important to benefit from the advice from a psychologist — all the more if he is a psycho-analyst…”

In 5 words: Fuck you, whacko! We decide.

“The situation in France does seem to be some sort of a Catch 22”

It is. At least to me. Cannot find any way to tolerate it.

“In France, apparently, protesting against medical care itself is a sign that one is unwell.”

Cannot find any data that would contradict that statement. But I’ll keep looking out for that unicorn.

@F168.10

Bottom line: 1. Consent is required only if you’re “lucid”, as per a non-legally binding “advice” from the Ethics Coucil. In essence, I’ll forever be denied that right. 2. Family can decide for you. Gee! Feels like I’m married to Mommy! 3. And the icing on the cake: “Pour faire face à cette épreuve, il est important de bénéficier d’une aide par un psychologue du service — surtout s’il a une formation de psychanalyste, car les raisons du refus peuvent être autant conscientes qu’inconscientes” — “To face this ordeal, it is important to benefit from the advice from a psychologist — all the more if he is a psycho-analyst…”

In 5 words: [email protected] you, whacko! We decide.

Yeah, it’s a similar situation for me with regards to psychiatric care, although not formally set out in law, as I mentioned somewhere a while back. Actually, point 1 is enshrined somewhere in law, I’m pretty sure, although it would take me a little while to track it down, but I did go to the psych ward voluntarily once (clearly I was in a very bad way if I actually went to the psych ER of my own accord and went voluntarily), and they brought me the papers that I signed and said something about it being my own choice since I was lucid or rational or whatever. Which is to say that if the psychiatric profession decides that you’re not, then it’s not up to you. I imagine that might be the case for care other than psychiatric – say, the case of refusing cancer treatment – but I haven’t heard of it happening, and I can’t really imagine it would.

My family isn’t legally allowed to decide about medical care for me, but in practice that’s not really the case, or at least their word is taken very, very heavily over mine. And once you’ve been declared insane one time, you’re forever suspect.

But, like, my family can’t make non-psychiatric medical decisions for me, though, and I’m not compelled in any way to go to the doctor regularly or follow medical advice or so on. It wouldn’t be a smart idea not to, since I do have health insurance (and the issue in this country is more that people don’t have access to medical care, but I also would have major problems with people being forced to accept medical care, obviously), but it’s not required in any way. And nobody’s going to force-feed me statins or anything (I’m on the borderline, but I’ve gotten my BP down to a good level at one point and I think I could again.)

The only exception (that is, forced outpatient medical care) was when I was on an LRA, which was essentially outpatient commitment, for 90 days after being let out of a psych ward after a suicide attempt; I mean, it was that or the Eastern State Hospital. (Many thanks to a weekend psychiatrist in the psych ward there who agitated for me.) The (inpatient, at least) mental health system in WA is incredibly atavistic and adversarial.

Well, I mean, there were people in the psych ward there who had made garden variety suicide attempts (ha) who were in and out pretty quickly, but I was in there for ages; it was a long, unremitting, severe depression, and I wouldn’t stop being suicidal. (Stubborn!) But I don’t see how sending somebody in that state to the GD Eastern State Hospital is going to help matters in any way.

fuck me running

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been organizing “COVID parties” as a game to intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States. She said she recently learned of the behavior and informed the city council of the parties occurring in the city.

She said the organizers of the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19.

“They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” McKinstry said. “They’re intentionally doing it.”

https://abcnews.go.com/US/alabama-students-throwing-covid-parties-infected-officials/story?id=71552514

own this libs. and now I am thowing up and ruining my last remaining bits of teeth.All my spitoons are full. I’m out.

Isn’t Del’s position essentially eugenics? Given that his preferred solution is a population cull that will sweep up many surprising people, with unrealised susceptibility, as well as the obviously vulnerable.

And at the same time they are complaining about a depopulating agenda by Bill Gates, who wants to stimulate vaccination?
Depopulation by vaccines (not really something one should worry about) is bad.
Depopulation by letting vunerable people die is good?
I can’t really wrap my head around it.

@ Orac,

As an antivaxxer I would obviously disagree but I have recently learned I do not speak for many of them.

Having the knowledge about genetic vulnerability to cytokine storms from vaccines, without applying that knowledge (pre-screening) & vaccinating en masse, regardless of that knowledge for the greater good is not that great. It’s not just eugenicist; it’s genocidal.

It will eventually result in a population that can only tolerate vaccines. Or is dependent on them.

As a non-responder to the MMR who has been frequently exposed to Measles, Mumps & Rubella without becoming infected (& STILL not showing antibodies); I have to wonder if the term “immune-compromised” is wrong. Maybe I am “immune-advantaged”.

Pre-screening prior to vaccination gives you the best of both worlds. The people who can be immunized would feel safer knowing so & uptake would increase. Those that can’t would be exempt, possibly have innate immunity & vaccine injury/death would become a distant memory. Apply the knowledge.

Of course this wouldn’t make any sense to those who still think SAE’s & death are only occurring in 1 out of every 1 million doses.

@CK:
For the thousandth and last time: if a licensed vaccine was capable of causing a fatal cytokine storm in a specific person, then any actual infection would undoubtedly kill the patient immediately.

Therefore your argument does not hold up to even basic logic.

For your entertainment:

Thinking Moms Revolution, yesterday ( the site is mostly inactive of late)

To Mask or Not to Mask:
by Dr Cammy Benton who thinks that we should declare a truce because there is “good evidence” on both sides. Interestingly, her only other post ( archives) is called “Why Smart Doctors Don’t get Flu Shots”. So I imagine she’s fair and balanced.

In the real world, even freedom friendly enclaves like AZ and TX are demanding that citizens totally relinquish their rights and put on masks.
*Give me liberty or give me death!” why not have both?

We may have uncovered new shibboleths to discriminate amongst partisans because of Covid:

— Masks are protective or not
— Dr Fauci is a hero or a villain
— Bill Gates is the Devil or an overly rich guy
— the CDC or some dude who rants on twitter is your best medical advisor
— viruses are your friends or not

@ Denice,

You will alienate your potential allies if you assume this. If you want people to be receptive to a covid vax I wouldn’t make those assumptions.

I know a few provaccine people who are anti-mask. I know many more provaccine people who are anti Fauci & newly; anti CDC.

They are anti Fauci primarily due to the mask lie & the constant flip-flops. Anti CDC because of the contaminated test kits.

They largely do not entertain Bill Gates theories.

The CDC & Fauci will be touting any new covid vax & insulting the provax by lumping them in with the antivax will lead to lower confidence & lower vaccine uptake.

“I know a few provaccine people who are anti-mask. I know many more provaccine people who are anti Fauci & newly; anti CDC.”

Sure you do.

No doubt antivaxers are dreaming that the pandemic will swell their ranks, but the reverse is far more likely, especially after an effective vaccine becomes available and antivaxers lead the charge to refuse it, prolonging sickness, death and shutdowns.

And how exactly does CK know these things? Did she do a survey?
Did a little bird tell her?

At any rate, I’d sooner take advice from my semi-feral black cat who at least has the sense to know to keep quiet.

I know a few provaccine people who are anti-mask. I know many more provaccine people who are anti Fauci & newly; anti CDC.

Are they Samoan?

Having single, childfree people who can work from home & live alone, without underlying conditions, in their 20s & 30s, voluntarily exposing themselves intentionally isn’t that bad of an idea (as far as contributing to herd immunity goes). The issue is that they would have to quarantine for a month afterwards. That 2-week recommendation is wrong, it needs to be 4 weeks.

Like literal stay at home but I don’t think 20-30-somethings are going to be compliant with that.

“single, childfree people who can work from home & live alone, without underlying conditions, in their 20s & 30”

In our minimum wage, service economy, that’s about, what, three people?

Single, childfree people who can work from home and live alone have, IMO, a moral obligation to do so in order to reduce the potential vectors as much as possible.

It’s certainly what I’m doing.

(From a more selfish standpoint, the chance of having a stroke, a heart attack, lung scarring, kidney issues… hey, I have booze and an xbox, I’ll stay home.)

Plus, if you live alone, there’s a greater chance of not receiving help if you need it. For people who always complain there aren’t enough studies of vaccine safety, antivaxxers are being awfully quick to offer people up to a disease that we know very little about.

I know previously healthy people in their 20’s and 30’s who unintentionally contracted COVID and have been debilitatingly sick for 3-4 months, unable to walk up a flight of stairs or take a shower without severe shortness of breath and fatigue. Sure, some people just get a bad cold and then they’re fine, but right now we have no idea why some people get SO sick and others don’t….it is not solely because of age or underlying health issues. So no, no one should go exposing themselves or anyone else on purpose. And we also don’t know what kind of immunity develops or how long it lasts, antibody levels seem to drop quickly but that doesn’t necessarily mean immunity isn’t there…but it will take a while to gather that data.

I don’t know if you can read this pass the pay wall https://www.theaustralian.com.au/weekend-australian-magazine/how-covid19-almost-claimed-the-life-of-joe-tannous/news-story/0fac22305a1be83e2a17d42a9d6eebce

It is basically the story of a 49 year old, fit and on the make within politics, who became the first Australian patient intubated for COVID-19, was put in an induced coma for 10 days and nearly died.

It is a chilling read:

“Joe Tannous missed the last week of March. He did not witness those discombobulating days when the menace of Covid-19 meant the sealing of state borders and the closure of playgrounds. He can give no first-hand account of the social and economic upheaval that erupted then, when hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, when Depression era-like lines wound around the blocks surrounding Centrelink offices nationwide, and when those who still had work were ordered home.

While the nation held its collective breath as inconceivable and difficult ­political decisions were made, Tannous was at first breathless and then unconscious. At 49, he was one of the earliest, most serious, and most ­unexpectedly critical ­victims of a virus that would choke the globe. Nothing in his background ­suggested he might so nearly succumb. A non-smoker with no under­lying medical issues, he was healthy and he exercised regularly. Yet here he was in late March in an induced coma, isolated from the bulk of humanity for their sake as much as his, a tube down his throat about the best chance he had of reaching his 50th birthday the following month.”

The more I read about the effects of COVID-19, the less I am willing to catch it.

When the first suggestion of working from home arose, I took it and worked from home for 14 weeks. I also limited the time I spent interacting in person with other people so that I would not become an unwitting spreader of the disease. If I stayed home, it allowed other people who did not have the same luxury as I did to go to work a little safer. For the same reason, I got my flu vaccination early this year, so I wouldn’t become an unwitting spreader of the flu.

For those anti-vaxxers like Christing Kincaid who think I should go out and get infected with COVID-19 to promote herd immunity. She can f… right off. Hypocrites that argue against vaccines like the measles vaccine, don’t get any free passes. I am going to hunker down and wait for the vaccine to turn up and you can count on me being first in line to get it. And yes I do put my money where my mouth is in that I applied to be part of a vaccine Phase 1 trial here.

Proposed amendments to a couple of memes Denice posted:

“Why Smart Doctors Don’t get Flu Shots” should be changed to “Why Unemployed Doctors Don’t Get Flu Shots”, seeing that it’s a general rule that hospital-based physicians and those with admitting privileges either get flu shots to protect their patients and others in the hospital, or find work elsewhere (if they can).
Bill Gates is the Devil, or an immensely rich guy whose foundation has done more good than the millions of his drooling detractors could ever aspire to.

One of the happy delusions that many in the science-based community (including, at least somewhat, myself) and mainstream press have held over the years that has been punctured by the arrival of COVID-19 is that one main reason that antivaccine beliefs persist is that we’ve forgotten the toll that the diseases against which we vaccinate. If, for instance, measles returned with a vengeance, or haemophilus influenza type B, or polio, antivaxxers would see the error of their ways, and resistance to vaccination would diminish. How many times have you heard this argument? How many times have I suggested this? It’s a comforting thought.

Yeah, the one thing that really punctured this illusion for me was the realization, upon hearing about that book Melanie’s Marvelous Measles (if that wasn’t just a fever dream) is that anti-vaxxers are quite literally pro-disease. Including diseases like measles. Yay, hooray! The measles! It’s so healthy and good for you! You should catch it on purpose because you’ll get all kinds of special natural immunity from it! Given that the death rate is .2% in measles, if it did come roaring back, not many anti-vaxxers’ kids would die from it, and if they did, of course they would find something else to blame it on.

Eh, I’m alive. After a fashion. And my head’s on more or less straight, or at least about as straight as it’s usually on when I’m “sane.”

The depressive slump is pretty awful, but it feels a little bit less acutely brutal than it did for a while, so maybe I’m coming out of it a bit. But you know, I’m not a stranger to the condition:

It’s a bit depressing realizing you’re going to have to fit your future/plans/etc. around this sh!t, but so it goes. (1.) I’ve kind of adopted a life philosophy of “welp,” at least for now. (In the sort of resigned tone.) Have a manic episode and [email protected] up your life in a few ways? Welp. End up back at square one (if not a little worse, in situational terms)? Welp.

Nah, I’ll figure something out. It won’t be overnight. Wouldn’t be anyway, with the pandemic going on.

(You can’t use freaking asterisks on here anymore, it’s obnoxious.) Total sobriety would probably help with the course of things; I mean, it is the ideal, and it’s about the only thing I do wrong that’s in my control. But hey, nobody’s perfect. There is a cruel irony to the fact that alcohol and bipolar seem to go so hand in hand for some reason (alcohol in particular, actually, I figure it’s some brain chemistry thing – actually tobacco smoking is really prevalent as well), and that it’s a bad idea.

In the Netherlands, the amount of vaccinated people seems to be rising, which I consider a good thing. Even though we have our share of idiots, who are against vaccinations. One of them is also someone who is downplaying Covid-19 and advertising against the lockdown and social distancing and promoting Hydroxychloroquine, even after it was proved not to work. He stated they didn’t try it in combination with zinc, which was what they should have done.

Anti-Mask League? 1918? Those FB K’s are time travelers — And here I thought this whole time that the filter material might also trap “my own germs” from being breathed back in.

I suppose some people wash up with stupid shit and some of those germs wised up and learned to flee Dawn Antibacterial with chloroxylenol and jumped ship to get breathed back in (I don’t really think that).

This comment is directed at Del. “We need to catch that cold”? Are you volunteering yourself to assume a risk to benefit other people? Or are you asking children and other younger people to assume it?

In any case, if it’s a great idea to assume a small risk to yourself in order to benefit others, why are you so vehemently against vaccines?
Your views are inconsistent.

At this point, antivaxxers are indistinguishable from death cultists. As an asthmatic 30 year old, I’m terrified.

I made the mistake of visiting a grocery store the other day. When a group of three unmasked* patrons lined up directly behind me as I was checking out and put their food on the belt, instead of standing at the sticker marked 6 ft away, I politely asked them to give me some distance and instead of honoring the request they started looking for a fight. They followed me and my husband out the store, mad dogging us, and then hopped in their car and circled us twice, hollering and flipping us off.

I was genuinely afraid a stranger was going to physically attack us because I had the audacity to ask for 6ft of space. I thanked my lucky stars they didn’t pull a gun out, and now I know that if I ever venture out into public in the immediate future again, I can’t even request space without risking assault. What a time we live in.

*Which goes against the governor’s mandate in my state

I feel like the “freedom” being promoted is the freedom to be a raging asshole. I’ve seen multiple comments online about how people with disabilities should just go ahead and die, because they’re a burden on society anyway.

A bit late but I just saw Bigtree’s video. WOW. And this guy is allowed on mainstream platforms? In the UK we dont seem to get hit by too many like him. I am sure there are plenty out there though. Bigtree is eloquent however which makes his odious comments more dangerous. I detect a real partially hidden anger that erupts on occasion in his delivery. Nasty piece of work meethinks.

Looks like Jay Gordon has hunkered down somewhat after getting blasted back in March for selling scarce Covid-19 test kits to hundreds of wealthy patients at $250 each (profits supposedly going to support a “Christian medical mission”).
His website is currently running articles promoting hypnotherapy and “vegan bone broth” to boost the immune system, which should be about as useful as the immune-stimulating advice of fellow antivax pediatrician Paul Thomas, who in his book urged people to “laugh a lot”.

I have to say that I am opposed to the making of broth from vegans’ bones. Mind you they are exceptionally numerous in California so perhaps a cull is not an entirely unreasonable proposal if the broth is hypothesized to have a health benefit. It’s important to respect the views of both sides.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “Having the knowledge about genetic vulnerability to cytokine storms from vaccines,”

Obviously you ignore what I and others have written. First and foremost those vulnerable to cytokine storms means their bodies overreact to even SLIGHT infections. Given the average person, including infants, are exposed to up to 3,000 microbes per day, that is, full strength microbes and that vaccines contain either killed or highly weakened microbes, it is ABSURD to continue to focus on vaccines; but then again, that is all you do. Think about it, a few killed or severely weakened microbes in a vaccine vs up to 3,000 full strength microbes.

And I repeat for the umpteenth time, your daughter who died of SIDS was extremely premature and very low birthweight, both linked to high probabilities of apnea and respiratory distress, which anyone but you would understand are considered major causes of SIDS. Add that she also had a cytokine disorder, so even an extremely weak microbe, given she was exposed to up to 3,000 would elicit both an overreaction of cytokine and up the probability of apnea and respiratory distress. You seem to have decided to completely divorce yourself from reality and live in your one fantasy world.

As for some provaxxers are not for masks, one reason could be that they, like many others have not really developed their thinking on either issue. One can form an opinion without doing ones homework. If someone, no degree required, reads history of infectious diseases, a bit about how the immune system works, and how airborne infections work, then one would hope they would be consistent; but there are other reasons for vaccine and/or face masks. If one vaccinates only to protect oneself, not to reduce risk of spreading to others, and then one is “young and healthy” so, not worried about being infected and not caring about others, then no mask. Or if one exaggerates idea of rights, again can choose to vaccinate and not wear a mask. However, numerous Supreme Court Justices have said “The Constitution is NOT a suicide pact.” that is, rights are NOT absolute. In the case of public health, wearing a mask is a MINOR inconvenience.

And as I’ve written before, regardless of how much evidence exists and will be developed, you will always focus on vaccines. Not rational, not scientific, just plain SICK

Christine-I must be missing something. Are you suggesting that all of these 3000 different microbes to which we are exposed have a roughly equal ability to produce in the susceptible person some harmful response or effect? I always believed that vaccines were produced to enhance immune defences against ‘dangerous’ microbes which must be in a minority. Your clarification on this matter will be greatly appreciated…

@ Beth

Yep, the early message about face masks was unfortunate; but it changed and has been consistent, very consistent from public health officials. Politicians, another story. So, you fixate on what happened in the beginning. Well, I can go through history of lots of innovations, developments in technology, medicine, etc. and find instances where the beginnings were not all that auspicious. Once more you fixate, showing your need to paint things in black and white, to find fault. Yet, if Trump had listened to public health experts only two weeks earlier, most experts agree that of the 125,000 lives lost, over 80,000 would still be alive.

And you still haven’t even posted titles of a couple of the texts from courses you claimed you had in research methodology and/or philosophy of science. I would love to have your abilities in math; but not by sacrificing my abilities in causal reasoning, critical thinking, and research methodology. As an extreme example, in 7th grade we had one semester of art and one of music. I got a D in art and an A in music, so one can be excellent in one subject, doesn’t translate into others.

And, as I and others have asked, which vaccines to you absolutely support?

@ Joel

“Yet, if Trump had listened to public health experts only two weeks earlier, most experts agree that of the 125,000 lives lost, over 80,000 would still be alive.”

That’s indeed the main sticking point.

“I would love to have your abilities in math”

Don’t be so sure about that. It can be a pain understanding things no one else does.

“I got a D in art and an A in music, so one can be excellent in one subject, doesn’t translate into others.”

Very true. Though I must say that these kind of discrepancies seems to me to arise from lack of interest in some other topics. Not necessary lack of ability. The only thing I was interested as a kid was maths and history. That’s where I got the highest marks possible. Just couldn’t stand literature and philosophy, however; physics was boring me to death; chemistry did not interest me; neither did biology; etc… That was due to the way it was taught (for literature and philosophy specifically so), and a lack of understanding of the importance of these, at the time I was a kid. This has radically changed over time, as my worldview changed. Which means I do consider myself rather knowledgeable in some of these domains nowadays, though I have no documents to back up that claim. And I do not believe I would personally value such documents if I had to get them anyway.

@ F68.10

Believe it or not, I also got highest marks in history and MATH, both in high school and college; but the history came easy, the MATH, especially calculus, required devoting a huge amount of time, buying books that worked through problems, and spending time in professor’s office. And some subjects that I may not have been interested in, became interested because the professor was so good and others that I was interested, less so because professor was BORING.

I did like philosophy, at least some, not reading the pre-Socratics, though amusing; but epistemology, causal thinking, and political philosophies.

My problem nowadays is that I am interested in so many different subjects; but suffering from insomnia, which affects amount of time I’m alert and my memory, so have to re-read some things, have a pile of articles and books that I probably will never get through.

Because of Black Lives Matters, rekindled my interest in racism, Social Darwinism, and Eugenics Movement, so I have dozen books on subject and hundreds of articles, some I read years ago and am re-reading, some, though have owned a long time, finally reading. Nice to know that Social Darwinism and Eugenics, though begun in Europe, it was Americans who ran with it, e.g., racism, prejudice/mistreatment of various ethnic groups, etc. Some of the research is almost hilarious in the twisted interpretations of data; but frightening in that people believed it.

Any way, I wonder if Beth will even respond, e.g., give a couple of the books from courses she claimed she had on research methods and/or philosophy of science AND which vaccines she whole-heartedly supports.

@ Joel

“Believe it or not, I also got highest marks in history and MATH, both in high school and college;”

I have no reason to disbelieve you. I am not a doctor.

“I did like philosophy, at least some, not reading the pre-Socratics, though amusing; but epistemology, causal thinking, and political philosophies.”

That’s indeed where the real meat is.

“My problem nowadays is that I am interested in so many different subjects; but suffering from insomnia, which affects amount of time I’m alert and my memory, so have to re-read some things, have a pile of articles and books that I probably will never get through.”

Just keep in mind that you won’t take your knowledge to your grave. More important to put some sense into people’s head when you’re growing old than it is to accumulate knowledge, at that point. But I guess you’ve already figured that out.

“Because of Black Lives Matters, rekindled my interest in racism, Social Darwinism, and Eugenics Movement”

Yes. I saw you change some of the focus of your posts. Now I know it’s because of that. Must say, from this other side of the pond, that some US elements have been spilling over in our public discourse too, recently, and I do not believe it’s that much of a good thing. We’re replicating here some of the ideological elements of the recent events in the US, and importing that discourse on social realities that are not the same will backfire. In the words of Our Uncle Tom: “No one stopped me from getting on a bus because I’m black! […] So we invented ourselves an illusory life. As if the cops were tearing our heads apart wherever we went! So we were told fantasy tales that myself I have never lived while living 33 years at La Grande Borne! 33 years I’ve been told fantasy tales! I haven’t said all cops are angels, but that’s not true: I haven’t been lynched, we haven’t been done such and such. At one point, one has to stop lying.” (That being said, La Grande Borne is not the nicest place to live. Its architect should be castrated… and we also do have both police violence and violence against the police, but very seldom something as crazy as George Floyd. Just saw the footage yesterday. Jaw dropping.)

“Some of the research is almost hilarious in the twisted interpretations of data; but frightening in that people believed it.”

Even more frightening is the fact the people onto which “research” was applied had no say in the matter.

“Any way, I wonder if Beth will even respond, e.g., give a couple of the books from courses she claimed she had on research methods and/or philosophy of science AND which vaccines she whole-heartedly supports.”

Well, I believe she sees no obligation to respond. Saying that it would be a good idea if a huge chunk of this population took this specific vaccine should nonetheless indeed be doable for her: answering this question in the abstract is not forfeiting her right to oppose vaccination on principles of liberty and personal choice. Maybe she could state that on measles. Dunno. That’s a guess…

It’s not that the story on masks changed as more information was available. I believed them when they said masks weren’t necessary. I now believe that masks are necessary. The problem was that our government officials deliberately misinformed us because they wanted to manipulate the demand for masks. This is devastating to maintaining public trust in what they tell us. The current administration is filled with people who have little regard for telling the truth. It’s now clear that extends to appointments in public health administration.

“And, as I and others have asked, which vaccines to you absolutely support?”

What do you mean by “absolutely support”? I’ve answered similar questions more than once. I support them all in terms of people who want to get them should be able to. I’ve discussed which vaccines I get for myself and my kids and ones I don’t. How has that not answered your question?

@ Beth

FIrst, you support vaccines for those who want to get them. Obviously you don’t care if those who don’t want to get them infect other people. So, you don’t feel yourself part of a community. Obviously you don’t understand infectious diseases, etc. You are contemptible. As I wrote in another comment, rights aren’t absolute, we live in communities, as Supreme Court Justices have said: “The Constitution is NOT a suicide pact.”

Second, you keep focusing on a very few early statements and, actually, the need to get them first to medical personnel and first responders is and was a good strategy. The fact that they screwed up and allowed people to purchase masks and hoard them is another story. So they weren’t “deceiving the public” but expressing an important strategy, that they failed to follow through on. Something you fail to understand.

And apparently our government still has not managed to get production to a level where N-95 masks available to the public. Hopefully, they will be available soon, price-gouging not allowed, and stores will restrict quantities per customer until supplies reach a high level.

As for losing faith in government, that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic my many years and Trump’s Presidency has just increased the number who distrust government. Anyone who has taken the time to study history, really study it, knows the dishonesty of our government going back throughout history. Whereas previous governments, Democrats and Republicans have managed or tried to conceal their dishonesty, to some extent Trump is refreshing in that he wallows in it. And, there have been honest/decent members of both parties; but I’m referring to the overall trajectory of history.

And you still avoid explaining how your mathematics allows you to make comments that don’t pass minimal scientific validity. You claimed you had taken courses, so why not at least give names of a couple textbooks you used. Not that it will prove you actually learned anything; but at least you did take the courses.

JAH: “Obviously you don’t care if those who don’t want to get them infect other people. So, you don’t feel yourself part of a community. Obviously you don’t understand infectious diseases, etc.”

No, That doesn’t follow at all. It only means I place different values on the importance of vaccination as opposed to the importance of allowing people to decide for themselves what goes into their bodies. I don’t support bans on the sale of large quantities of soft drinks. Do you think that means I’m pro-obesity and pro-diabetes?

JAH: You are contemptible.

Why do you hurl insults at those who disagree with you?

JAH: As I wrote in another comment, rights aren’t absolute, we live in communities, as Supreme Court Justices have said: “The Constitution is NOT a suicide pact.”

I quite agree. We live in communities and we must sacrifice some rights and/or freedoms for the good of the community. We disagree regarding whether vaccination should be a choice for the individual, as it currently is.

JAH: “Second, you keep focusing on a very few early statements and, actually, the need to get them first to medical personnel and first responders is and was a good strategy. ”

No, what I’m focusing on is their deception about why they were not recommending masks. Something that Dr. Fauci has admitted to. I quoted him earlier in this thread.

Do you not understand that deception is a serious problem for government officials? That such behavior undermines the public trust? Yes, this problem preceded COVID-19, which is one reason public health officials aren’t getting the co-operating they need from the public with regard to stay-at-home orders, social distancing, wearing masks, etc. The only way to fix this problem is to consistently be absolutely honest with the public and not try to mislead them. But that isn’t what our government officials are doing, so the problem is getting worse, not better. Insulting people who don’t believe them isn’t going to help matters because it doesn’t acknowledging the source of the problem, much less try to correct it.

JAH: And you still avoid explaining how your mathematics allows you to make comments that don’t pass minimal scientific validity.

You seem to have difficulty understanding the difference between claiming something is false versus claiming it’s not known to be true. Acknowledging uncertainty is not scientifically invalid. Claiming certainly when it is not supported by adequate scientific evidence is.

JAH: “You claimed you had taken courses, so why not at least give names of a couple textbooks you used.”

I’ve already told you that due to an injury, I don’t have access to the places my old texts are stored and won’t for a while yet. I certainly don’t remember the titles and authors from so many years ago. Further, I’m not interesting in giving you that information. If I were to do so, I think you’ll just inform me that they don’t count for some reason, or are inadequate, or that I don’t understand them.

SHOULD WE LET THE VULNERABLE DIE?

Well, I can’t speak for anyone but myself and friends; but I would love for my grandparents, parents, and other friends to have lived longer. And for even younger people who had diabetes, asthma, etc. I wonder if those stating that such people are burdens have really thought it through. Don’t they care about their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents? Don’t they know some younger person with, for instance, diabetes, who they like; but is vulnerable. As for burdens, it wasn’t a burden to help my parents as they got older. It was love.

And our politicians lie, for instance about Social Security. They claim it a substantial portion of the Federal budget, yes and no. As an analogy, imagine you have two kids and both sets of grandparents create a bank account for their college; but put your name on it because nervous that when kids reach early adulthood they may misuse the funds. Then the kids start college, tuition, room and board, etc comes to $25,000 each. Your income is $50,000; but now you are spending $100,000 per year. So, yep, in one respect 50% of your expenditures; but comes from a totally separate source. Well, Social Security comes from the FICA tax, a totally separate tax. However, there is the Trust Fund, perhaps the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. Reagan lowered taxes on corporations and the wealthy based on economist Arthur Laffer’s curve which predicted if lower taxes will generate more revenue, people purchasing more, companies spending more, so will actually get higher taxes. Didn’t work that way and our deficit shot up. At the time the Social Security Commission had predicted SSA would have a shortfall in so many years. Well, there was two ways to deal with that, the first and fairest to increase the cap, highest income paying SSA and/or increasing the FICA tax maybe 1/10th of a percent the year before the shortfall or create a Trust Fund. Well, the Trust Fund was created, so those in middle and working class saw the FICA tax skyrocket. What was done with this money? It was loaned to the government to cover current expenditures and, in turn, the Trust Fund received Treasury Bonds. So, middle and working class were covering part of the current government expenditures which “lowered” the deficit. Well, not really. It turns out that when one branch of government loans money to another, not considered debt. In other words, the Treasury bonds held by the Social Security Trust Fund are not included in the National Debt. So, Reagan appeared to lower the national debt. Now, finally over 35 years later we are starting to use the Trust Fund; but, this was, again money put into a separate account. The problem is that since we keep lowering taxes on corporations and the wealthy, it is the middle class and working class that have serviced the Trust Fund, e.g, interest paid of Treasury Bonds, and it is from their taxes that the Trust Fund is being used to start to cover SSA. Since the Middle and Working class haven’t really seen much gain over the past 30 years, taxes can’t be raised on them, so the only alternative is to lower expenditures, e.g., infrastructure, welfare, etc to cover the buying back of Trust Fund treasury bonds.

So, if we do as mainly Republican politicians want, that is, begin taking from Social Security, paying out less, it will be as someone taking monies from the bank account the grandparents created for the grandchildren. Middle and working class Americans paid the FICA tax, just one more example of our, especially Republican, governments dishonesty and greed.

And I won’t go into the details; but Social Security could be easily saved by a few changes, not increasing retirement age (if increase retirement age, fewer jobs for next generation and for academics OK; but for workers who have worn out their bodies horrible); but increasing the CAP on income. It is actually less today in inflation terms than it was in 1980. And a small FICA tax on capital gains, after all, for many this is their income. However, the bottom line is people on SSA are NOT burdens, it is their money that went to previous generation, their children and grandchildren’s FICA tax that will go them, and who, in turn will receive if mainly Republican’s don’t convince us to destroy it.

And, by the way, my dad’s taxes paid for my public school and university and, though I never had kids, my taxes paid for next generation, etc. This is how communities and nations work, unless one lives in the lies of Libertarians and many other politicians who really aren’t against taxes and government programs, just want others to pay the taxes and the programs to benefit them, not others.

If you hear anyone rant that we should let the vulnerable die, ask them if they have any family, e.g., parents, grandparents still alive and if they love them? If my friends and loved one had lived another 10 years, it would still not have been enough.

And being vulnerable to COVID-19 because of age and/or comorbidities, doesn’t mean if get COVID-19, died from the age and/or comorbidity. For instance, if life expectancy for someone 75 is, say, 8 more years, then even if old, it is the COVID-19 that killed them. Can be said about any comorbidity, e.g., diabetics can live many years if watch diet, exercise, etc.

ADDENDUM ON SOCIAL SECURITY

People pay into SSA their entire working lives; but what they pay doesn’t go into a “lock box”; but goes to older generation. Well, when you deposit money in a bank, they don’t keep the money you deposited; but loan it out to others, so if you withdraw money, it is others who either recently deposited money or others paying back a loan. In other words, not really that much different from paying your FICA taxes and later receiving SSA.

Beth has “answered similar questions (about which vaccines she supports and which she doesn’t) more than once”).

Sorry Beth, but I don’t recall you ever posting this information, despite repeated requests to do so. Could you please spare a couple minutes of your time to indicate which vaccines you think are valuable and which aren’t , or at least tell us where you’ve posted this?

As for health officials causing a “devastating” lack of public trust by allegedly being deceptive about the need to wear masks: seeing that the level of ongoing deception practiced by antivaxers is several orders of magnitude worse than what you ascribe to Dr. Fauci, can we then agree that there should be zero public trust in anything antivaxers say?

@ Beth

You write: “It’s not that the story on masks changed as more information was available. I believed them when they said masks weren’t necessary. I now believe that masks are necessary. The problem was that our government officials deliberately misinformed us because they wanted to manipulate the demand for masks. This is devastating to maintaining public trust in what they tell us. The current administration is filled with people who have little regard for telling the truth. . . No, what I’m focusing on is their deception about why they were not recommending masks. Something that Dr. Fauci has admitted to. I quoted him earlier in this thread.”

Yet the only quote you gave was:

“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” he explained to me.”

So, where does it state it was a lie? I’ve been following this pandemic from January and there was a very short supply of masks and even months later health care and first responders were lacking them and/or using substandard ones. In addition, early on, before COVID-19 had gained a foothold in the U.S. one can make a reasonable argument that the need for masks by the general public was NOT certain. In addition, you seem to be confusing our current administration with our public health officials, who, on the whole, have been quite consistent about masks and social distancing. Of course, someone like you will find the exceptions. So, unfortunately, as studies have shown, many Americans reject science, have little understanding of science, etc. so they may listen to politicians who say what they want to hear.

As for your take on vaccines, you write:

“It only means I place different values on the importance of vaccination as opposed to the importance of allowing people to decide for themselves what goes into their bodies . . . We disagree regarding whether vaccination should be a choice for the individual, as it currently is.”

And what do you base this on, an extensive study of pandemics, of epidemiology, of infectious diseases, of immunology and how vaccines work? Nope. Just your personal “values”. Well, if you actually had learned the aforementioned, you would NOT, that is, if you consider yourself intelligent and reasonable, emphasize personal choice. Anyone who understands epidemiology, infectious diseases, and vaccines understands that, though they don’t confer 100% protection, they usually decrease severity of disease, decrease the risk of hospitalization, decrease the risk of death AND decrease the risk of transmission, especially to those vulnerable due to autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, comormidities, unknown genetic predispositions, etc. and the risks to those being vaccinated, that is risk of severe adverse reactions, is minuscule.

You write: “I don’t support bans on the sale of large quantities of soft drinks. Do you think that means I’m pro-obesity and pro-diabetes?”

Neither do I support bans, though I do support increased taxes which studies have shown will reduce consumption. It is interesting how our government subsidizes sugar growers and other unhealthy foods; but not fruits and veggies. However, you miss one major point, the person who consumes “large quantities of soft drinks” doesn’t put anyone else at risk. Are you really that illogical?????

You write: “You seem to have difficulty understanding the difference between claiming something is false versus claiming it’s not known to be true. Acknowledging uncertainty is not scientifically invalid. Claiming certainly when it is not supported by adequate scientific evidence is.”

What uncertainty are you talking about, the benefits vs risks of vaccines? If so, you really are displaying a high level of IGNORANCE, ignorance of the history and current status of infectious diseases (just a plane flight away), ignorance of the history of vaccines, ignorance about how vaccines work, ignorance about research methodology, so you really can’t judge the research that has been carried out and continues to be carried out on vaccines and ignorance of the fact that there have been almost 40,000 published papers on vaccine safety, not all research studies, some reviews, some editorials; but most studies. So, just as I brought up in a previous exchange with you, we don’t have “certainty” but at some point the overwhelming evidence must be acted on and it is that vaccines confer an exponentially greater benefit for both the individual and the community compared with the rare, albeit serious risks.

Are you also against quarantine laws where a person returning to U.S. from place with serious epidemic is either placed in a facility for a couple of weeks or ordered to stay at home (the latter not usually successful)? I think for the vast majority of people that two weeks in quarantine at a facility far worse than a quick jab that in the vast majority of cases will result in a sore arm for a day or mild fever, controlled easily by tylenol, or some other short term mild reactions.

You write: “I’ve already told you that due to an injury, I don’t have access to the places my old texts are stored and won’t for a while yet. I certainly don’t remember the titles and authors from so many years ago.”

First, I don’t remember you mentioning an injury or that your books were stored away. What I remember you writing was that you weren’t going to give me book names because you didn’t want to continue exchanging comments. I also recall you suggesting you could post your transcript, which would contain course titles. So, are your transcripts also in storage? Mine are in a filing cabinet.

Bottom line, is you have NOT shown any understanding of vaccines, infectious diseases, etc., you cite one quote that doesn’t state what you claim, you fail to understand the difference between mainly politicians and public health experts, you fail to understand the early history of COVID-19 in U.S. and finally, again you resort to the word “certainty,” a clear indication of your lack of understanding of science. So, feel free to keep making a fool of yourself. I find this amusing, if it weren’t that too many people think like you and the possible damage/harm to innocent third parties.

Yep, the Trump administration is a nightmare; but our governments, Fed and States, knew they needed to build up stores of equipment and resources for an eventual pandemic, some did; but then allowed to close due to budget constraints (penny wise, pound foolish), decades ago; yet, on the whole didn’t and allowed for-profit industries who already making good profits to increase profits further by outsourcing almost all personal protective equipment and most drugs to other nations, which not only put us at risk of shortages; but compromised safety.

Doesn’t change that you just don’t want to admit you DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

JAH: So, where does it state it was a lie?

I didn’t say it was a lie. I called it deliberate misinformation. The quote is Dr. Fauci admitting it. This type of behavior is why so much of the public is not going along with the recommendations. They don’t trust public health officials to be telling them the truth.

JAH: And what do you base this on, an extensive study of pandemics, of epidemiology, of infectious diseases, of immunology and how vaccines work? Nope. Just your personal “values”.

Yes, my personal values. Having a different set of personal values will lead people to weigh the various costs and benefits of any particular decision differently. It’s an important distinction from disagreements about facts.

JAH: Well, if you actually had learned the aforementioned, you would NOT, that is, if you consider yourself intelligent and reasonable, emphasize personal choice. Anyone who understands …. risk of severe adverse reactions, is minuscule.

A popular argument: If you are intelligent and reasonable, you must agree with me. If you don’t, then presumably you aren’t. A softer version of the disparaging personal remark.

While the risk may be miniscule, my personal value require that the individual is the one calls the shot, so to speak, regarding whether or not the risk is worth the benefit to them. This is not an outlandish personal value, but one that is very common.

JAH: What uncertainty are you talking about, the benefits vs risks of vaccines? If so, you really are displaying a high level of IGNORANCE,…

Now you are back to your tried and true approach of insulting your interlocutor. It is, of course, a staple of self-delusion to think that because someone disagrees with you, they must be ignorant (or stupid) to realize why your interpretation is correct.

JAH: we don’t have “certainty” but at some point the overwhelming evidence must be acted on and it is that vaccines confer an exponentially greater benefit for both the individual and the community compared with the rare, albeit serious risks.

I agreed with you on this for some vaccines. Those are the ones I get. It is your extension of this conclusion to ‘vaccines’ as if that were true for all vaccines. It’s not.

JAH: Are you also against quarantine laws where a person returning to U.S. from place with serious epidemic is either placed in a facility for a couple of weeks or ordered to stay at home (the latter not usually successful)?

Not in general.

JAHL “I don’t remember you mentioning an injury or that your books were stored away”
How odd, as you replied to that comment. I guess you don’t pay much attention to what I write.
https://respectfulinsolence.com/2020/06/19/becker-and-blaxill-use-covid-19-to-claim-vaccines-cause-sids/#comment-430175

JAH: “Bottom line, is you have NOT shown any understanding of vaccines, infectious diseases, etc., you cite one quote that doesn’t state what you claim, you fail to understand the difference between mainly politicians and public health experts, you fail to understand….

More disparaging personal comments. By the way, that quote was an admission of what I claimed which was deliberate misinformation not lies. Apparently you didn’t read my post.

JAH: I find this amusing, if it weren’t that too many people think like you and the possible damage/harm to innocent third parties.

And now you move into the strategy of demonization by accusing me of damage/harm to innocent third parties that might result from my writing down my disagreements with you.

I find you amusing as well. I’m glad we entertain each other.

@ Beth

“Yes, my personal values. Having a different set of personal values will lead people to weigh the various costs and benefits of any particular decision differently. It’s an important distinction from disagreements about facts.”

This is indeed a very important distinction.

It’s also nonetheless also a necessity to collectively come to agreements as to how we should manage collective and competing interests. Everything can be discussed, and every position criticised. Including personal values. But that exercise follows different rules than discussions about facts.

Beth- I along with many others contributing to these exchanges would really appreciate your telling us which vaccinations have your approval such that you have your children vaccinated with them and those in which you don’t have such confidence and of which you disapprove. Also your reasoning for your differing evaluations of the various regularly used and medically approved vaccines would be most welcome.
Would you agree that if you choose to not partake of the medical treatment of a vaccine that is considered by a vast consensus over a range of many authoritative disciplines to be both efficacious to the individual AND to society as a whole, for several reasons including preventing putting some others at risk, then you have to accept the imposition of being separated, isolated, excluded, quarantined or whatever from the general population in may areas where you may interact with them?

@Leonard Sugarman which vaccinations have your approval such that you have your children vaccinated with them and those in which you don’t have such confidence and of which you disapprove.

I don’t disapprove of any.

With regard to which ones I declined for my children, in 1988, we declined the oral polio vaccine for our newborn daughter and requested the killed polio vaccine. That’s now standard practice, but it was a deviation from the recommended schedule at the time.

In 1999, I decline the Hep B vaccine and the Rotovirus vaccine for our newborn son because both were new recommendations at the time. In general, I’d rather wait a few years to allow any problems unidentified prior to use to be found and corrective action taken. I delayed the chicken pox vaccine for the same reason.

I don’t bother with the flu vaccine for myself since I moved to a research position with little contact with other people. I just don’t have much exposure to the flu and given the low efficacy of the flu vaccine most years, I don’t feel it worthwhile for me. That doesn’t mean I disapprove of it, only that I don’t care to use it at this point. If my lifestyle were to change and once again place me in contact with large numbers of the public, as when I was teaching, I would likely go ahead and get it.

Would you agree that if you choose to not partake of the medical treatment of a vaccine that is considered by a vast consensus over a range of many authoritative disciplines to be both efficacious to the individual AND to society as a whole, for several reasons including preventing putting some others at risk, then you have to accept the imposition of being separated, isolated, excluded, quarantined or whatever from the general population in may areas where you may interact with them?

I would agree that society has the right to place restrictions rather than putting others at risk. I disagree that not being vaccinated is placing others at risk and I would argue against such restrictions being put in place for our current vaccines. You are only a risk to others if you are contagious for a disease. Vaccination lowers the risk that will occur, but does not eliminate it – i.e. you can be vaccinated and also be contagious for diseases like the flu, or pertussis. Not all vaccines are for easily communicable diseases either. There is no reason to restrict the movements of someone who has not been vaccinated for Hep B or HPV when we don’t restrict the movements of people who are positive for that disease. If you want to discuss restrictions, you need to specify the disease and the restrictions you think are justified for not being vaccinated for that disease.

@ Chris Preston,

"For those anti-vaxxers like Christing Kincaid who think I should go out and get infected with COVID-19 to promote herd immunity. She can f… right off."

I believe I said voluntarily but I’m starting to change my mind on that thought anyway. What do you plan on doing if there is no vaccine?

IDK, christine kincaid but I’ve been brushing me up on some

Z nation:

some Children of Men:

and whatever this is:

What do you plan on doing if there is no vaccine?

Washing my hands properly, social distancing and avoiding ignorant people like you.

New York City has 24,000 deaths so far and has not got even close to community immunity levels of people infected. It may take years to get there. The 1918-20 influenza epidemic ran for a little more than 2 years. Only about 35% of the population needs to be immune for community immunity to influenza to work. The 1918-20 influenza infected about 1/3 of the world’s population at the time. COVID will need between 80 and 83% of the population with immunity (on current estimates of Ro being around 5.7). That is, nearly everyone is going to have to catch it before it stops circulating. That will result in at least 2 million deaths in the US alone.

That is what you are asking for.

Well, we know what Christine is going to do if there is a vaccine. Not taking it and stimulate others to do the same, because she and the other antivaxxers will keep thinking vaccines are worse than the disease.
As long as there is no vaccine, I keep social distancing. And if there is a vaccine I still keep away from people like Christine.

@ Chris Preston,

Staying away from people like me? If there is no vaccine? While staying away from people in general may not be a bad idea; I’ve been masking since January & pulled my son out of school before they closed. I have been extreme-distancing; have only been out for groceries 3 times since March.

I suppose you would have a hard time finding someone like me to be around anyway; I’ve done much better at this than most.

More than 35% of people in most states get the flu vaccine. Has that worked? By your rational; travel vaccines are worthless, because people get them to protect themselves in unvaccinated populations endemic with VPD’s; not to contribute to herd immunity in those populations.

@ Beth

You write: “I didn’t say it was a lie. I called it deliberate misinformation. The quote is Dr. Fauci admitting it. . . By the way, that quote was an admission of what I claimed which was deliberate misinformation not lies. Apparently you didn’t read my post”

And you wrote earlier: “No, what I’m focusing on is their deception about why they were not recommending masks. Something that Dr. Fauci has admitted to it.”

I guess we speak two different versions of English as I don’t see a major difference between “deliberate misinformation”, “deception” and a “lie” and again, I don’t find the quote you used contains any admission of a deception. As I explained and you refuse to even consider, we had a vast shortage of masks and it was extremely important that healthcare personnel and first responders get them as soon as possible. Yep, probably thanks to Trump, they screwed up; but getting masks to health care personnel and first responders was a good intention.

You write: “Yes, my personal values. Having a different set of personal values will lead people to weigh the various costs and benefits of any particular decision differently. It’s an important distinction from disagreements about facts. . . A popular argument: If you are intelligent and reasonable, you must agree with me. If you don’t, then presumably you aren’t. A softer version of the disparaging personal remark. While the risk may be miniscule, my personal value require that the individual is the one calls the shot, so to speak, regarding whether or not the risk is worth the benefit to them. This is not an outlandish personal value, but one that is very common.”

No, not agree with me; but agree with literally 10s of thousands of studies on vaccines and overwhelming support for them among medical scientists and public health experts virtually around the world. So, your personal values clash with all medical science and public health recommendations. And despite myself clearly explaining the benefits of vaccines, you don’t even admit you could be wrong in your personal evaluation of them and your communal obligations. I mean by my personal explanation, including references, even a meta-analysis that you said you weren’t aware of.

As for “one that is very common”, yep, and so is many other negatives, e.g., racism, anti-semitism, anti-Muslim, etc. The fact that, unfortunately, we have a scientifically illiterate number of people, that they don’t understand the Constitution, that rights are not absolute, that they refuse to accept that COVID-19 has so far killed six times what flu does in a year and is continuing, that many claim OK because only older people and/or those with comorbidities, as if their lives don’t matter, etc. so glad you identify with them.

And you write: “And now you move into the strategy of demonization by accusing me of damage/harm to innocent third parties that might result from my writing down my disagreements with you. . .I agreed with you on this for some vaccines. Those are the ones I get. It is your extension of this conclusion to ‘vaccines’ as if that were true for all vaccines. It’s not”

Not your writing down; but clear admission that you have refused some vaccines. While some vaccine-preventable diseases put more people at risk than others, with some vaccine-preventable diseases, what in most cases are mild diseases, can still be devastating for some and I doubt you have done the homework. Every time you go to a supermarket, any place, you put others at risk because there are always those with autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, genetic predispositions, etc. You refuse to admit that in a society, taking that minuscule risk is something decent people do. I repeat, first, you have given NO indication whatsoever that you have really researched any or all vaccines and the diseases they prevent and second, your ignorance of the fact that the minuscule risk of vaccines is far outweighed by the risk to vulnerable people.

So finally you got one thing right (even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily), you did write:

“My textbooks are all either in my university office or my basement office at home. Neither of which I have access to because I broke my leg a few weeks ago and currently only leave the main floor of my home to get treatment for my broken leg. I don’t plan to be in my university office again until after the pandemic has passed.”

But even if you listed a couple of books, all it would do is give one example that sometimes you are honest. Even if you took a course or two, it could mean they were required, not your choice or you even did well in them; but that was decades ago. I took umpteen courses in research methods, philosophy of science and loved them; but, despite a lacklustre career, I have actually used/applied what I learned over more than four decades, and continue to review old books and read new ones, just as I’m currently reading a new edition of an immunology book. So, yep, I forgot you explained why you didn’t have access to the books. Oh well, can’t remember everything; but thanks to 40 years using and continuously reviewing and read new related, I still do quite well.

As Chris wrote: “Beth is the embodiment of motivated reasoning. Yes, she has a PhD in statistics, but she works in the manufacturing sector. It is all engineering, and carbon fibers are not subject the Belmont Report. She may have taken a bio-statistics course a long long time ago, but she has never had any training in the ethics of any animal testing, and definitely nothing on human subjects.”

So, it is clear you have not worked in anything remotely related to medical science, public health, epidemiology, etc.

And you wrote: “I would disagree that vaccines have been “shown not to cause SIDS”. There is research, but like most research, it’s not as conclusive enough to make such a broad statement.”

We went through this over and over. Despite many well-done studies by different researchers, on different populations, etc. one can NEVER prove a negative; but when one has so many strong studies, at some point a consensus is reached; but people like you and Christine Kincaid will NEVER change your minds, regardless of how much research has been done and how much will be done in future. One example, CK said vaccine studies only on premies in hospitals, so turns out, not true, vaccine studies done on premies not in hospital. Did that phase her? Nope. And on and on it goes.

So, basically, you think your personal beliefs should outweigh international research and consensus, that you have the right to decide if and when you put others at risk and your belief somehow, whether you spelled it out or not, that unless one proves a negative then it is possible, says it all.

As far as I’m concerned you are DESPICABLE, not because of the position you take; but your refusal to even consider that you might be wrong.

JAH: I guess we speak two different versions of English as I don’t see a major difference between “deliberate misinformation”, “deception” and a “lie” and again, I don’t find the quote you used contains any admission of a deception.

Yes, there are differences between them. For example, it’s possible to misinform people by merely neglecting to include important information. When the experts responsible for informing the public deliberately neglect to include it in their regular briefings to the public, I see it as deliberate misinformation. Nor am I the only person who sees it that way.

JAH: As I explained and you refuse to even consider, we had a vast shortage of masks and it was extremely important that healthcare personnel and first responders get them as soon as possible. Yep, probably thanks to Trump, they screwed up; but getting masks to health care personnel and first responders was a good intention.

Good intentions don’t negate misleading the public. While their intentions might have been good, the deliberate misinformation on that matter costs them public trust and respect for their authority. The mask shortage was a temporary problem. Lack of public trust leads to an unwillingness to accept and follow their recommendations which is a long term problem.

JAH: No, not agree with me; but agree with literally 10s of thousands of studies on vaccines and overwhelming support for them among medical scientists and public health experts virtually around the world.*

But I’m not disagreeing with 10s of thousands of studies. I’m disagreeing with you. We are disagreeing on values, not on the facts or studies.

JAH: So, your personal values clash with all medical science and public health recommendations. And despite myself clearly explaining the benefits of vaccines, you don’t even admit you could be wrong in your personal evaluation of them and your communal obligations. I mean by my personal explanation, including references, even a meta-analysis that you said you weren’t aware of.

I don’t disagree with you regarding the benefits of vaccines. I’m more than willing to accept I might be wrong about the facts, but I don’t think I can be wrong about what my values are. You can disagree with my values and claim that communal obligations supercede my own preferences, but that’s a disagreement about values not facts. You can try and convince me I should change my personal values, but your only attempts at doing that have been to shame and denigrate me for them. Not convincing.

JAH: As for “one that is very common”, yep, and so is many other negatives, e.g., racism, anti-semitism, anti-Muslim, etc. The fact that, unfortunately, we have a scientifically illiterate number of people, that they don’t understand the Constitution, that rights are not absolute, that they refuse to accept that COVID-19 has so far killed six times what flu does in a year and is continuing, that many claim OK because only older people and/or those with comorbidities, as if their lives don’t matter, etc. so glad you identify with them.

I previously agreed with you that the rights are not absolute, remember. You need to explain why the risks of diseases to public health when vaccines are available outweigh the right of the individual to consent to medical treatments. Racism and COVID-19 have nothing to do with this issue.

JAH: * Not your writing down; but clear admission that you have refused some vaccines. While some vaccine-preventable diseases put more people at risk than others, with some vaccine-preventable diseases, what in most cases are mild diseases, can still be devastating for some and I doubt you have done the homework. Every time you go to a supermarket, any place, you put others at risk because there are always those with autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, genetic predispositions, etc.*

This risk is quite miniscule as I haven’t come down with the flu since I stopped getting vaccinated for it. On the other hand, I have had multiple colds and was diagnosed with walking pneumonia a few years ago and would have been contagious for those. People who fit into your categories should, presumably, be taking protective measures for themselves to avoid all potential diseases, include ones that we don’t have vaccines for.

JAH: You refuse to admit that in a society, taking that minuscule risk is something decent people do. I repeat, first, you have given NO indication whatsoever that you have really researched any or all vaccines and the diseases they prevent and second, your ignorance of the fact that the minuscule risk of vaccines is far outweighed by the risk to vulnerable people.

Correct. That’s your value judgement and I don’t share it. I think that you have no right to force a miniscule risk on one set of people (those who don’t want to be vaccinated) to reduce a miniscule risk for another set of people (immune-compromised). Further, getting vaccinated does not eliminate the risk to others, it reduces it by the effectiveness of the vaccine.

JAH: We went through this over and over. Despite many well-done studies by different researchers, on different populations, etc. one can NEVER prove a negative; but when one has so many strong studies, at some point a consensus is reached;

Correct. You can’t prove a negative. Consensus is not the same thing. We keep going over it because you apparently suffer under the delusion that repeating the same facts to me over and over will eventually result in my changing my values. While I’m willing to change my mind based on new facts that I didn’t already know and are pertinent to my choices, I’m not going to change my mind based on you not agreeing with my values.

JAH: So, basically, you think your personal beliefs should outweigh international research and consensus, that you have the right to decide if and when you put others at risk and your belief somehow, whether you spelled it out or not, that unless one proves a negative then it is possible, says it all.

I think that I have the right to decide for myself what medical treatments I consent to. You do not have the right to decide that for me. I believe there is an international consensus on that value BTW.

The discussion about ‘prove a negative’ issue is related to people who made claims that went beyond what is supported by the evidence and your insistence that there is a consensus and those claims are valid. I disagreed with your claim of consensus existing and that if it does, it makes those claims valid.

JAH: As far as I’m concerned you are DESPICABLE, not because of the position you take; but your refusal to even consider that you might be wrong.

Yes, I understand you despise people who don’t agree with your values regarding vaccines. I can live with that.

@NARAD: I’m not following what that link has to do with what I posted. Nothing there about the CDC. All it had was that with respect to managing the COVID crisis, back in April Dr. Anthony Fauci had a higher approval rate (78%) than the political individuals/groups asked about.

@ Beth

I realize that you will twist whatever I write and accept this; but I am not writing for you; but for others monitoring this exchange.

You write: “When the experts responsible for informing the public deliberately neglect to include it in their regular briefings to the public, I see it as deliberate misinformation. Nor am I the only person who sees it that way.”

As I explained and you ignore, early on it wasn’t certain that COVID-19 would break out in U.S. or how extensive and the U.S. isn’t the only nation that prioritized Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers and first responders. As for others seeing it as you do, doesn’t mean you or they are right.

You write: “Good intentions don’t negate misleading the public. While their intentions might have been good, the deliberate misinformation on that matter costs them public trust and respect for their authority. The mask shortage was a temporary problem.”

It wasn’t deliberate misinformation and you think “The mask shortage was a temporary problem.” Wow! Talk about ignorance! There are still hospital personnel making homemade masks, etc. And this is months after what you consider “deliberate misinformation.” Since other nations did the same in prioritizing healthcare personnel and first responders and on the whole their populations didn’t seem to have a problem with it, you just keep reading into what happened yours and others who want to put a negative twist on things. By the way, public polls show Anthony Fauci getting higher ratings that just about anyone else.

You write: “But I’m not disagreeing with 10s of thousands of studies. I’m disagreeing with you. We are disagreeing on values, not on the facts or studies. . . You can disagree with my values and claim that communal obligations supercede my own preferences, but that’s a disagreement about values not facts.”

Your values make it clear that you believe that you don’t need to sacrifice for anyone else, unless you feel like it. So, yes, our values diverge because I was raised to believe I live in communities and can’t just think of myself. In fact, Rabbi Hillel, a Jewish sage from the 1st Century BC said: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me; but if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”

You write: “I previously agreed with you that the rights are not absolute, remember. You need to explain why the risks of diseases to public health when vaccines are available outweigh the right of the individual to consent to medical treatments. Racism and COVID-19 have nothing to do with this issue.”

You really do have problems understanding. I used racism as analogy for your citing that others agree with you “As for “one that is very common”. My point was that just because a number of people think along the same lines doesn’t make it right. Guess you missed this one.

You quote me: “Every time you go to a supermarket, any place, you put others at risk because there are always those with autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, genetic predispositions, etc”

Your response: “This risk is quite miniscule as I haven’t come down with the flu since I stopped getting vaccinated for it . . . People who fit into your categories should, presumably, be taking protective measures for themselves to avoid all potential diseases, include ones that we don’t have vaccines for.”

So, you judge others by your own experiences. First, many people have genetic predispositions they aren’t aware of. Second, just because you didn’t get the flu, doesn’t mean others have your same HLA (look it up). And there are those who get vaccines; but their immune system doesn’t respond sufficiently, so they think they are protected. And finally, when vaccine-preventable diseases are circulating, how should vulnerable people protect themselves, not go to supermarkets, not take walks. As I wrote, you have NO knowledge of medicine, epidemiology, infectious diseases, so your position is based on ignorance and self-serving rhetoric.

You write: “I think that you have no right to force a miniscule risk on one set of people (those who don’t want to be vaccinated) to reduce a miniscule risk for another set of people (immune-compromised). Further, getting vaccinated does not eliminate the risk to others, it reduces it by the effectiveness of the vaccine.”

Given your not having studied the subject, your claim that one minuscule risks equals another is just wishful thinking. Up to 50% of American population have some comorbidity and/or genetic predisposition. You justify your position with ignorance. And, yep, vaccines don’t reduce risk to individual or others by 100%; but they usually reduce severity, risk for hospitalization, risk for death, and risk of infecting others.

You write: “Correct. You can’t prove a negative. Consensus is not the same thing. We keep going over it because you apparently suffer under the delusion that repeating the same facts to me over and over will eventually result in my changing my values. While I’m willing to change my mind based on new facts that I didn’t already know and are pertinent to my choices, I’m not going to change my mind based on you not agreeing with my values.”

First, I explained that the consensus is based on multiple studies, including up to 40,000 papers on vaccine safety. Second, I actually gave you a meta-analysis. Consensus in this case is overwhelming scientific evidence. Using your approach, regardless if another 100 studies were done, you won’t change. As for can’t prove a negative and consensus is not the same, yep, if consensus was just a bunch of people agreeing on something; but when numerous studies find no association with SIDS, ASD, etc. that is science.

The fact that you don’t understand this or don’t want to says it all. Nothing, despite what you claim, will change your mind.

You write: “think that I have the right to decide for myself what medical treatments I consent to. You do not have the right to decide that for me. I believe there is an international consensus on that value BTW.”

Actually having lived in Sweden, in Canada, in Japan, and several other nations and until some of my friends passed away, keeping in touch, the vast majority accept a communal responsibility. In fact, Sweden has not needed to mandate vaccinations in kids because up to 95% of parents do it because they trust public health authorities. And, again, vaccines aren’t a medical treatment, they aren’t treating a disease, they are a public health measure. You do know that the chlorine in water can cause over many years, perhaps one case of cancer in several million; but without chlorination, we would again have cholera, typhoid, etc. and thousands of deaths, so if you ever drink municipal water, you have taken into your body a public health measure, not a medical treatment, with a very minuscule risk.

You write: “Yes, I understand you despise people who don’t agree with your values regarding vaccines. I can live with that.”

As I’ve explained, your “values regarding vaccines” are based on ignorance, so, yes, I despise people who out of ignorance make decisions that can harm innocent third parties. If you, for instance, lived on a large ranch and believed you could hold your liquor, I have NO problem with you driving, speeding, whatever; but not if you are driving on a public road.

I repeat the key to your ignorance, that you don’t understand the difference between a scientific consensus based on a large number of well-done studies, plus also biological plausibility and consensus on other types of issues. I will give you an example maybe you having studied some statistics will understand. Statistical significance doesn’t mean importance, what the term means to lay people. I don’t understand why it was first used, probably because Fisher used it for making important decisions. It simply means that the probability that some unmeasured variable influenced the outcome, the result is, for instance, only 5%, p = 0.05. So, you confuse the lay use of consensus with the scientific one. Are you a climate change denier? The consensus of climate scientists is it is real and mainly due to human activity. A consensus built on almost 100 years of research, research involving numerous different scientists; but it is “only” a consensus.

So, you are DESPICABLE, someone who out of ignorance ignores risks to innocent third parties, someone who doesn’t understand what minuscule means.

By the way, you said you won’t be going to your office until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Well, while one can’t be certain, having studied pandemics and keeping up with this one, you may not be returning to your office for sometime. On the other hand, most rational people would simply put on a mask, keep their distance, and go to their office. Of course, eventually there will be a vaccine; but whether you will get it or not????

And once more, vaccines are not medical treatments, they are public health measures, just like chlorinated water, like requiring a working smog device on your car, etc. And a simple jab is not a major sacrifice anymore than wearing a mask in public though many think it is infringement on their freedom, their values. So, such a modest thing like wearing a mask is a challenge to people’s values. What a sick society we live in and you fit right in.

I’m curious, when you broke your leg, was it a fall, did you hit your head????

I will say openly that I skimmed these two long comments and have not read them thoroughly because this is a somewhat hectic week – I had two papers to finish and submit, and am working on preparing my online courses for fall, while kids are starting to attend a socially distanced swimming class, and my son’s online classes ended.

But I will say generally that apart from government immunity, showing negligent misrepresentation requires showing two things –
A. Misrepresentation. This is where some claims against anyone can run into trouble – for example, even some anti-vaccine claims are going to raise questions: were they misrepresentations? When NVIC, for example, gives a number of VAERs reports as evidence of risks but does not spell out the limits of VAERs, are they misrepresenting?
In my article on this I used the anti-vaccine claim that MMR causes autism exactly because it’s an easy case: there’s so much data on MMR and autism that it should be easy to prove that saying MMR causes autism is misrepresenting the facts. That will be true of some other claims – like COVID misinformation. It will be a harder case for others. I think the comments above suggests that it will be hard to show a misrepresentation – as opposed to just bad messaging – by the government on masks.

B. Negligence: unreasonably misrepresenting the fact, as opposed to just an error, a disagreement on what’s right, or reasonable choice to message something in a certain way. That, too, would have to be shown.

@NARAD: I’m not following what that link has to do with what I posted.

Color me unsurprised. In other news, I am not an acronym. I’ll get to the rest when I’m not on mass transit.

JAH: As I explained and you ignore, early on it wasn’t certain that COVID-19 would break out in U.S. or how extensive and the U.S. isn’t the only nation that prioritized Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers and first responders. As for others seeing it as you do, doesn’t mean you or they are right.
I actually agree that PPE should be prioritized in that way. My complaint is not about the prioritization but that government officials were not honest and upfront with the public in a timely way, but instead deliberately delayed confirmation of the value of masking in order to manipulate the public. That you and they do not see this as a problem with regard to retaining the trust of the public is, IMO, a root cause of people choosing not to accept and/or act on their recommendations. When public authorities deliberately mislead, they do not deserve our trust.
JAH: Your values make it clear that you believe that you don’t need to sacrifice for anyone else, unless you feel like it.
For things that are voluntary, like blood donations and vaccinations, that’s a true statement. I daresay you feel the same, making the voluntary sacrifices you feel like and not those you don’t.
JAH: Given your not having studied the subject, your claim that one minuscule risks equals another is just wishful thinking. Up to 50% of American population have some comorbidity and/or genetic predisposition.
Originally you described them as you put others at risk because there are always those with autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, genetic predispositions, etc.
Now you saying this group is up to 50% of the population? Could you provide some citations for this claim? Because people with autoimmune diseases and undergoing chemotherapy is a tiny proportion of the population that might be impacted in the manner you describe.
I’m not sure what you mean by genetic predispositions, etc but if that is nearly 50% of the population, then there’s ~50/50 change that I am among them. If there is some reason they can’t be vaccinated, can you explain what it is and provide a link to support that? If they can be vaccinated, why is the rest of the population obligated to be vaccinated to protect them? If I am part of that group, wouldn’t that negate your implied obligation for me to be vaccinated?
JAH: Actually having lived in Sweden, in Canada, in Japan, and several other nations and until some of my friends passed away, keeping in touch, the vast majority accept a communal responsibility. In fact, Sweden has not needed to mandate vaccinations in kids because up to 95% of parents do it because they trust public health authorities.
Now you actually touch upon the issue I find compelling. In the USA we once, but no longer, have such trust in our public health authorities. This is because in the USA our public health authorities and regulatory agencies appear biased towards and heavily influenced by for-profit corporations in the health care industry. As a result, many Americans do not trust their recommendations. This lack of trust is exacerbated by situations as discussed above. If you want to Americans to follow the CDC’s advice the way the Swede’s do, you need to advocate for them to have more honesty and curtail industry influence.
JAH: Are you a climate change denier? No.
JAH: By the way, you said you won’t be going to your office until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Well, while one can’t be certain, having studied pandemics and keeping up with this one, you may not be returning to your office for sometime.
I’ve been quite fortunate in that I can work from home and my conferences and other meetings have all moved to the internet. I may never return to my university office. It’s possible that I will retire before the pandemic ends.
JAH: And a simple jab is not a major sacrifice anymore than wearing a mask in public though many think it is infringement on their freedom, their values.
Actually, a jab is a major sacrifice while facemasks are not. A major difference between them is that masks are taken on and off and only need be worn in public places. You can’t be vaccinated when you go out in public and unvaccinated at home. A vaccine is a violation of bodily autonomy if it’s mandatory and consent is not required.
If vaccines are not mandatory, then you have to persuade people. It isn’t that hard to do – as you point out, in Sweden 95% of people get their recommended vaccines – if the public has trust in the recommendations of the public health authorities. It’s the lack of trust in the USA that leads to the low level of compliance. Which takes us back to that issue I keep harping on. Mandates will lower trust in authorities, which is another argument against them.
BTW, IMO requiring a covering on your mouth and nose in public is no more a violation of personal freedom that the requirement that your genitals be covered in public. I’ve argued for the use of masks in other spaces. Remember, I agree with you that we all have to sacrifice some personal freedoms for the good of the community. Our difference is regarding vaccines, not the general principle.
JAH:I’m curious, when you broke your leg, was it a fall, did you hit your head????
It was a bicycle accident and no, I didn’t hit my head.

@ Beth

“Actually, a jab is a major sacrifice while facemasks are not.”

Come. On.

“A vaccine is a violation of bodily autonomy if it’s mandatory and consent is not required.”

Yeah. Well, no. Seriously. Vaccines are a violation of bodily autonomy, and prison is OK? I mean, when I hear that, I do wonder whether or not antivaxx activists (talking in general, Beth, not targeting you) oppose the death penalty. My little finger tells me that, weirdly enough, this might not be the case.

This risk is quite miniscule [sic] as I haven’t come down with the flu since I stopped getting vaccinated for it.

⁎Golf clap⁎ Give it time — the last time I worked the numbers (with uniform mixing, IIRC), it was about once every 20 years.

@Narad, 20 years? Man, did I beat the odds. 4 times by the time I was 18. (4, 7, 12 ans 17). All doctor confirmed. I have damage to my teeth my dentist says is of the type caused by high fevers. Guess what the only high fevers I’ve had were from? Antivaxxers like to complain about shots, meanwhile, I’m subjected to drilling in my teeth.

Despite many well-done studies by different researchers, on different populations, etc. one can NEVER prove a negative

Of course, many have been. Newtonian physics does not predict the perihelion precession of Mercury. The halting problem is not solvable. Etc.

Beth said “Actually, a jab is a major sacrifice while facemasks are not.”
F68.10 responds: Come. On.

Seriously. Yes. I’m surprised that you don’t agree that an injection of anything without consent is a major sacrifice. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. I’m saying I think it’s wrong when it does.

Beth said “A vaccine is a violation of bodily autonomy if it’s mandatory and consent is not required.”
F68.10 responds: Yeah. Well, no. Seriously. Vaccines are a violation of bodily autonomy, and prison is OK?

I’m not sure where prison came from. What did I say that gave you the impression I think prison is OK?

Is the choice between vaccination or prison? That would definitely be a violation of bodily integrity.

Or do you mean prison in general? That’s certainly a violation of human rights, but it’s also an accepted method of punishment for crimes in our society. People aren’t sentenced to prison without first having a trial to establish their guilt which is a somewhat different situation. I also realize that our society regularly punishes poor people with prison prior to conviction by setting setting an unaffordable bail for minor offenses. Innocent people plead guilty just to get out of prison because it’s cheaper and faster than fighting the charges. I’m against that too, but it’s rather far off topic.

I’m being sarcastic, of course. I would never wish COVID-19 on anyone, not even someone as odious and harmful to public health as Bigtree.

Well, I’m not a fan of “schadenfreude,”, but a bit of merited karma sometimes leavens the loaf.

And he still don’t seem to want to wear a facemask, because it is the work of Satan that made him get it, to slow down his church.

“No one ever got sick at any of our rallies, to include me. Start a church, and I get sick,” said Walters. “I got it because Satan deemed to get it. Because he wanted to quiet my work, to slow down the building of a church. That’s what this is about. But the world won’t see that.”

He sounds like many antivaxxers. “You won’t see it, because then you’d have to admit you were wrong” type logic.

@ Joel

“So, your personal values clash with all medical science and public health recommendations.”

Well, in some sense, it does. Mine too do clash violently with “medical science and public health recommendations”. It’s not because they do severely clash that I have to deny that we landed on the Moon.

We landed on the Moon, and my values clash with medical science.

Coronavirus kills, and my values clash with medical science.

Does medical science have “values”, by the way?

Discussions about values are not the same as discussions about facts. You may hold my leg all day long about the science of coronavirus or whatever vaccine, if I’m bent on dying, that won’t make me budge one iota. Should I deny science that I do not deny in order to explicitly make the point ab absurdo that there is a clash of value? Do I have to claim that the Earth is Flat to explain to other people that I do not care about satellites? Do I have to support scientology to make it clear that I have a problem with coercion?

Not. The. Same. Discussion.

@ F68.10

You seem to miss the point. Beth has made it clear that her values decide which vaccines she will or will not use. Well, I know people who deny that alcohol impairs their driving ability, their values, their opinion; but society says otherwise. However, if they own a large ranch and only drive on it, they can be as drunk as they choose. My point is that at some point when overwhelming evidence shows that Beth puts others at risk, then whether the law mandates it or personal choice, one is part of a community. As part of a community, sometimes one has to sacrifice personal values. Beth doesn’t seem to think so or she just allows her lack of knowledge about immunology, epidemiology, the vaccine-preventable diseases, and the people at risk to allow her to stick to her “values.” Though not the same thing there is an old phrase: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Well, ignorance of the risks she poses to others is NO excuse for focusing on her values.

And it is worse as she has made it clear that no matter how much research has NOT found an association between vaccines and SIDS, that it is not proof, lacks certainty, that vaccines can’t cause SIDS. In other words, she rejects science because nothing I can think of can ever “prove” no association between vaccines and SIDS.

@ Joel

“You seem to miss the point.”

Your point perhaps, but it seems I did get that specific point Beth made quite well.

“As part of a community, sometimes one has to sacrifice personal values.”

Yes. Sometimes. And that itself is a values issue. It needs to be argued in a specific way to have a chance to make Beth think twice on that one. For the moment, she seems to place utmost moral value of personal freedom. Well, not exactly, as she has made provisions for infringement on personal freedom. To convince her, one needs to examine why she made these provisions, because it witnesses that there does exist some values she puts above personal freedom; and work from there.

“Beth doesn’t seem to think so or she just allows her lack of knowledge about immunology, epidemiology, the vaccine-preventable diseases, and the people at risk to allow her to stick to her “values.””

It’s tough to evaluate someone’s knowledge when that person doesn’t talk much about that (though she doesn’t need to have in depth knowledge: most data are publicly available, and I’m quite sure she won’t be bitching much about them). But yes, she has values, and for the moment, it trumps what she knows or doesn’t know. Note that there also is a downside to allowing other people to claim that some social values Are Above personal freedoms. Quite a lot of prejudices and religious nonsense can hide behind that. “Enjoigning Good and Forbidding Wrong” is one of the most terrifying slogans I’ve ever heard.

“Though not the same thing there is an old phrase: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Well, ignorance of the risks she poses to others is NO excuse for focusing on her values.”

That’s where I disagree. Freedom of conscience is fundamental. The law can restrict actions, and I do not believe Beth would personally indulge in illegalism. But the moment freedom of conscience, which includes “values”, is infringed upon, that becomes a serious issue. She has every right to have whatever values she wants and argue them. Not the right to opt out of vaccination if mandated. And we have every right to try to convince her otherwise. And the point she makes that her values can shift her appreciation of vaccination is a legitimate one. As it is for everyone. It’s precisely because people do not have the same values that, in the end, we vote. Even if it is for Trumpwork Orange.

“And it is worse as she has made it clear that no matter how much research has NOT found an association between vaccines and SIDS, that it is not proof, lacks certainty, that vaccines can’t cause SIDS.”

Not necessarily. We’ve already been, Beth and me, over this specific point before. To which she acknowledged (Becker and Blaxill post, June 20, 2020) that there is a methodological discrepancy between “searching for the truth” and “taking action on available evidence”. This is a decision theory issue under different utility functions (or analogous), depending on whether you’re a statistician merely “searching for the truth” or pondering whether or not you should take a vaccination for yourself, or whether you’re a medical doctor in the administration who has to take the responsibility whether or not to enforce vaccination based on available evidence. It’s a no-brainer that there are no a priori reasons that both decisions should coincide, and that’s precisely why so much emphasis is placed in “medical skepticism” on the question of “not being able to prove a negative” (which goes a tad beyond “not being able to prove a negative” in a formal statistical setting): because it’s decision under uncertainty (not that much in the case of vaccines, but in the rest of medicine, it can indeed be). Now, she may be wrong on other aspects, but on this specific methodological point, I perfectly see where she’s coming from…

“In other words, she rejects science because nothing I can think of can ever “prove” no association between vaccines and SIDS.”

That’s a non sequitur. As explained before, she doesn’t have the same point of view on methodology for rather sound reasons. Whether she is masquerading her disregard of factual claims under this veil of methodological hair-splitting is another matter. But the methodological hair-splitting is legitimate in itself. Heck! Staying on the topic of SIDS, with a bit of bad faith, and in your words, I could claim that nothing I can think of could ever “prove” that there is no association between factitious disorders and SIDS. You know: we can never prove a negative…

Let’s play!

Not the right to opt out of vaccination if mandated. And we have every right to try to convince her otherwise.

r/holup. I was anti-vaccine. I was a troll here. I came around. But this ‘operation warp speed’ is troubling. Past vaccine attempts for SARS made it worse for the recipients.

I don’t plan to be an ‘early adopter’ — I’ll stick to my HEPA and when the beer store here tells me that is no longer allowed, then I’ll be a stealth karen and contact their distributor, the governor, uncle ****, and the microbrewery and mention how they don’t rotate the stock right.

@ Tim

Didn’t know the “r/holup” stuff. I guess that it is a misunderstanding because where I live, it is mandated, and I have no problem with it. So, yeah, I do endorse the right of society to mandate it. I’m just saying that it must come from a social agreement. That doesn’t make me antivaccine. It just makes me someone living in my country…

Now, perhaps, in North America, the issue is different and I should watch my wording more carefully. If there is consensus as to not mandate but to keep it somewhat voluntary, then, yes, we have to convince others to take vaccines. But whether or not it is voluntary or mandated, the issue to me is the same: it must come from social consensus. Either social consensus to voluntarily take it or social consensus to say, well, too bad for those who do not agree: we mandate. Or social consensus to be stupid, in which case, well, freedom is also the right to be stupid.

Joel: “…vaccines confer an exponentially greater benefit for both the individual and the community compared with the rare, albeit serious risks.”

Beth: “I agreed with you on this for some vaccines. Those are the ones I get. It is your extension of this conclusion to ‘vaccines’ as if that were true for all vaccines. It’s not.”

Which vaccines fall into these separate categories in your opinion? R.I. readers would like to know.

Inform us.

@ JustaTech,

"@CK:
For the thousandth and last time: if a licensed vaccine was capable of causing a fatal cytokine storm in a specific person, then any actual infection would undoubtedly kill the patient
immediately."

What if those specific people function with innate vs adaptive immunity?

@ Christine Kincaid

“ugh I said that wrong.”

Something starting with “what if” like this is going to have a hard time on RI.

@ Christine Kincaid

Since you don’t really understand the immune system, including the locked in reciprocal interaction of the innate and adaptive immune systems, again, you are just grasping at straws.

And you continue to avoid the fact that your daughter who died of SIDS was extremely premature and very low birthweight, alone with up to a 50% risk of apnea and respiratory distress and you continue to avoid that the studies on kids with overreactive cytokines found that the overreaction could be elicited by slight infections and given kids exposed to up to 3,000 full strength microbes every day, full strength, together with risk for apnea or respiratory distress and the odds are high on the cause of her SIDS. I would be willing to bet if further info on your daughters genetics, etc found a risk of 80% SIDS you would still focus on vaccines.

As you said, you rely on your gut. So, you are IRRATIONAL.

And, as I’ve pointed out over and over again, I have refuted with science, logic, and references a number of claims made by you and you just ignore this and come up with something else.

You need help!

@ F68.10

You write: “As explained before, she doesn’t have the same point of view on methodology for rather sound reasons.”

Bull shit. She uses the word consensus as lay people use it, though it means something quite differently when called scientific consensus. As with Christine Kincaid, no rational scientific argument will change her mind. And there is a difference between personal values and people like Beth. She claims that others agree with her, which doesn’t mean she is right anymore than when racists can find blogs that support their position. I would be willing to bet that if there were some scientific way to trace origins of an infection to the nearest source and someone whose path she crossed died from a disease that she was found to be an asymptomatic carrier, a vaccine-preventable disease, and the person who died had an autoimmune disease, her reaction would simply be that person should not have gone shopping. Beth is, unfortunately, a representative of many people, those who are extremely self-centered, the world revolves around them, and if they decide to think about others, it is their decision and their decision alone. If everyone thought that way, we would have anomie, total societal disintegration; but, people like Beth ignore that others who don’t have her extreme form of self-centeredness, are the reason she has succeeded, etc. There will always be people like Beth. I think of people who are against taxes and government; but actually hypocritically are subsidized in one way or another by others taxes and often want to impose their values on others. Doesn’t include PUBLIC HEALTH. You can twist and play with philosophical words; but the bottom line is, even you would be in real trouble if everyone thought like Beth. In other words, she is a parasite on a society where some people don’t just focus on their own needs. I repeat, she is a parasite. And, given you defend her, perhaps, you, to some extent, identify with her.

So, her differing approach to methodology is NOT for sound reasons. She rejects scientific methodology when she fails to acknowledge the difference between the layman’s use of consensus and scientific consensus. She denies any responsibility to others when she basically says they have NO right to be in public if they are vulnerable, that she need not take any responsibility.

And, given she devotes a lot of effort into responding to me, if she actually did understand some immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, I doubt she would withhold it.

She also has made it quite clear that she agrees with CK, ignoring that I’ve pointed out that every claim CK has made, I’ve refuted, including references. So, if Beth agrees with CK, then she accepts that CK practices a Gish gallop and ignores when she is proven wrong. Just one example is CK first claiming no research on vaccines and premies, then when pointed out studies, CK then said; but only in hospitals, when pointed out done as outpatient, NADA. And she keeps harping on cytokines, innate immune system vs acquired, not realizing that if one didn’t work correctly, person wouldn’t survive, they are a team and actually both the innate and the acquired/adaptive use cytokines. I could go on; but your need to bull shit with philosophical phrases is both tiresome and annoying. You seem more interested in trying to impress with how erudite you are than confronting a simple problem, that Beth, regardless of what she says, believes the world begins and ends with her. As for vaccines being mandatory, as I pointed out, for instance, Sweden doesn’t need mandatory laws because the vast majority trust public health and Swedes have built a good society by balancing the individual and the community. Whereas, the U.S. is a deteriorating society where people like Beth are increasing, little to no sense of community. There is really NO difference between her position of a little jab and those who refuse to wear masks, claiming too much CO2. So a one second jab is horrible, well, having to wear a mask for hours, what is the difference? Not much, especially given that Beth refuses to accept that SIDS isn’t caused by vaccines, so, she actually believes vaccines much much much more dangerous than they are. She certainly won’t develop SIDS or ASD from a flu shot.

I hope you don’t bother responding because I am getting sick of you and your exaggerated attempts of fake intellectualism.

@ Joel

“Bull shit. She uses the word consensus as lay people use it, though it means something quite differently when called scientific consensus.”

That is not the point I was treating. I believe I made that explicit.

“Beth is, unfortunately, a representative of many people, those who are extremely self-centered, the world revolves around them, and if they decide to think about others, it is their decision and their decision alone.”

That’s true, from what I perceive.

“Doesn’t include PUBLIC HEALTH. You can twist and play with philosophical words; but the bottom line is, even you would be in real trouble if everyone thought like Beth.”

Not more than I am now, but thanks for your concern.

“And, given you defend her, perhaps, you, to some extent, identify with her.”

I do not really tolerate argument by association. I am saying that hair-splitting has its uses. There are some points she is making that are valid. Some that are not. And overall, the points she makes do not cut it in my view: in my (not so many) interactions with Beth, I focused on the values issue, if you’d care to notice.

“So, her differing approach to methodology is NOT for sound reasons.”

Sorry. There is a fundamental issue that is not addressed. I’ve explained what it is and referenced the post where Beth acknowledged it. It’s explicit. Whether it’s treated or not in your discussions with Beth is not my problem.

“She rejects scientific methodology when she fails to acknowledge the difference between the layman’s use of consensus and scientific consensus.”

Again. I have not treated that specific point in my comment.

“She denies any responsibility to others when she basically says they have NO right to be in public if they are vulnerable, that she need not take any responsibility.”

She hasn’t phrased things that way, as far as I’ve read things, but I agree that it is a logical consequence of her position; though it also seems to me that you are laying it a bit thick.

“And, given she devotes a lot of effort into responding to me, if she actually did understand some immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, I doubt she would withhold it.”

Again: she need not necessarily have it to hold her positions. We all take decisions on incomplete information. And indeed, throwing science at Beth is likely to have little effect. That’s precisely the point I am making when I am claiming that it is explicitly, at least she claims, a values issue. I suspect it is a bit more than a values issues, though, but it’s going to be rough to dig in her mind as she indeed is not exactly answering questions such as Dangerous Bacon’s.

“She also has made it quite clear that she agrees with CK, ignoring that I’ve pointed out that every claim CK has made, I’ve refuted, including references.”

If you’re referring to her invitation to contact her through her website, I do not believe that can be equated with “agreeing with CK”. On SIDS, she hasn’t agreed. But has not opposed. I’d find it quite hard to agree with CK on SIDS, anyway… CK’s issue is obviously a much more personal issue that she retrofits in the science.

“So, if Beth agrees with CK, then she accepts that CK practices a Gish gallop and ignores when she is proven wrong.”

CK makes so many mistakes that I wouldn’t even call it a Gish Gallop… A Gish Gallop is supposed to be replete with purposeful deceit and fallacies that one should untangle one by one. With CK, it’s projection of her personal issues in the literature. I do not call that a Gish Gallop.

“Just one example is CK first claiming no research on vaccines and premies, then when pointed out studies, CK then said; but only in hospitals, when pointed out done as outpatient, NADA. And she keeps harping on cytokines, innate immune system vs acquired, not realizing that if one didn’t work correctly, person wouldn’t survive, they are a team and actually both the innate and the acquired/adaptive use cytokines. I could go on;”

Yep. I saw that too. Made her remark that her “what if” on “innate”/”acquired” was off the mark by quite a long shot. Did you see that?

“but your need to bull shit with philosophical phrases is both tiresome and annoying. You seem more interested in trying to impress with how erudite you are than confronting a simple problem”

Yeah? Well deal with the paper I linked in. That’s a primer. I’m not interested much in vaccines: not my priority. We all have priorities… You want topics I’m interested in? I gave you one. The rest I do not care that much. Pump you all full of vaccines, parsley, or lead, for all I care.

“I hope you don’t bother responding because I am getting sick of you and your exaggerated attempts of fake intellectualism.”

Too bad. “Fake intellectualism”. Yawn… I can be pretty much more brutal when it comes to “fake intellectualism”. But this distinction between values and facts, that’s something that needs to be addressed more seriously than it usually is when it comes to quite a number of social issues. And vaccines are the least of my worries there. Will keep an eye on how you handle Beth. I find that interaction interesting.

@ F68.10,

"CK makes so many mistakes that I wouldn’t even call it a Gish Gallop… A Gish
Gallop is supposed to be replete with purposeful deceit and fallacies that one
should untangle one by one. With CK, it’s projection of her personal issues in the
literature. I do not call that a Gish Gallop."

Gish-Galloping is actually what I feel is done to me here when Joel posts meta-analysis of reviews that cite other reviews & I have to go back 4 generations to find one actual study out of what becomes thousands of citations.

I swear, I wasn’t antivax when I started looking at actual studies. It was due to being a SIDS parent that I spotted what was wrong & they ARE wrong. My personal position changed because I had no choice based on what I saw. When I started reading I didn’t WANT to think vaccines were causing SIDS. But they are.

If I could communicate better & actually use my computer for an hour without interruption I could show you. I know I could.

Gish-Galloping is actually what I feel is done to me here when Joel posts meta-analysis of reviews that cite other reviews & I have to go back 4 generations to find one actual study out of what becomes thousands of citations.

I’m somewhat sympathetic to the style complaint, but this is just silly as a whole. The odds of your actually reverse-engineering any particular meta-analyses like so many coprolites are in epsilon-delta territory.

Joel-consensus has the same general meaning whether used by laymen or the scientific community. The difference is in context and validation. As we will all agree the scientific consensus has an infinitely more substantive backing than probably any consensus conceivable by the layman.. It’s the best we have..
Also vaccination with all it’s associated disciplines is a medical treatment-prophylactic-as well as a social health measure . No need for semantics.
Also your erudition is substantive and you do not seem shy in displaying it to all who wish read what you have to say. It is unreasonable to criticize others, such as F68.10, for displaying those very same characteristics as your own. Disagree with what he may have to say but don’t put him down for saying it.

@ Leonard Sugarman

“It is unreasonable to criticize others, such as F68.10, for displaying those very same characteristics as your own. Disagree with what he may have to say but don’t put him down for saying it.”

That’s OK. I do not mind anymore. When you’ve been accused of being the Devil Incarnate for so many years, you can take a modicum of “fake intellectualism” bashing. Anyone is welcome to spit at my face any time.

@ Joel,

"Just one example is CK first claiming no research on vaccines and premies, then
when pointed out studies, CK then said; but only in hospitals, when pointed out done
as outpatient, NADA"

I’m sorry; can you post that study again? All’s I remember seeing were a bunch of meta-analysis of studies with a hundred citations that all led to reviews of other multi-studies .

I need to see THE study with THE raw data & I can tell you what they missed & how it was flawed. Not regarding the math but the methodology, with the RAW data.

Because I have never seen a study that was THE actual study where I can’t spot the error but I have to see the study. Not the paper that seeks to define the consensus based on these other studies that reviewed 100 other reviews.

It’s possible that I missed a post too. I am taking care of a very large & very autistic child; my laptop is literally yanked out of my hands up to 20 times a day.

@ Leonard Sugarman

I disagree with your take on consensus. Yep, scientific consensus is based on substantive evidence, not opinions/values, etc; but it is a leap, a qualitative difference when you add the word “science” to consensus. The point I was trying to make is that Beth has made clear that almost nothing will change her mind, that there is NO substantial difference between run-of-the-mill consensus and scientific consensus. In a way it is like convicting someone of a crime on hearsay versus on DNA, CCTV, etc. So, in one way, you are right, both involve some group of people agreeing on something; but I wanted to make it clear that there is a MAJOR QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE.

And Beth keeps claiming that Fauci misled the American people; but hasn’t provided one source. The comment where she used a quote from Fauci simply explained why they prioritized masks to medical personnel and first responders, didn’t mention any admission of deception. I’ve challenged her several times and she just keeps repeating her belief without substantiation, though I’m sure she can find some blog that says the same. And she ignored that the same approach was used in many other nations. And finally, she said the shortage was short-lived, well even in April there were complaints about shortages, months after Fauci’s original position and I found some articles that there is still a small shortage and with the resurgence of COVID-19, more shortages projected.

So, bottom line is Beth has made it clear that she will reject anything that disagrees with her “values”, so, as I wrote, even if hundreds more studies showed the value of vaccines & refuted association with SIDS, ASD, etc and, showed the risk, especially asymptomatic carriers (estimated, for instance, that 1/3 of those infected with flu are asymptomatic) to vulnerables, Beth has made it clear her values trump everything. And what is Beth’s values, basically that she and she alone, no consideration of community, no deference to even the best science, but she and she alone decides. In other words, she is an extremely self-centered selfish person. And the fact that she claims never to have had flu, doesn’t mean she wasn’t an asymptomatic carrier, so, who cares about others. Well, when I was growing up we had epidemics of polio. At the time it was estimated that 1/100 of lab confirmed cases became permanently paralyzed, now some studies find 1/200, so I guess Beth would say she got it, no paralyses, so who cares about others.

And I disagree with F68.10. It isn’t about “values”. At least how I read what Beth means by values, which as I just wrote is that she and she alone decides without any consideration of others, without any consideration of “scientific consensus” which, as she has made clear several times, doesn’t “prove”, doesn’t show with “certainty” that vaccines can’t, for instance, cause SIDS. So, again, she see scientific consensus as not based on close to overwhelming evidence; but just another group agreeing on something.

And, as I wrote, unfortunately, more so in U.S. than a number of other nations, we have many like Beth, self-centered, knowing their “rights”; but not accepting that with rights come responsibilities. As for vaccines being a “medical treatment”, semantics. As my poor analogy of chlorine in water being a preventive public health measure; but I prefer to emphasize that “treatment” refers to dealing with an actual medical problem. Semantics; but with Beth and those like her, I think emphasizing the public health aspect important.

And, for someone afraid of a minuscule risk from vaccines, we live with substantial risks from everyday things, e.g., driving cars, food (e-coli even found in refrigerated cookie dough), and many others that are 1,000 fold more likely. I was almost killed at 7 years old coming home from day camp. A nurse, late for work, barreled through a stop sign and broadsided the car I was in. According to witnesses it rolled over three times. Ever since I started driving, I drive paranoid, make sure brake linings, tires, etc. always top condition. Don’t listen to radio, check around continuously, and, drive as little as possible; yet just a few days ago, someone with cell phone up to ear changed into my lane on freeway without looking. I saw it, saw no one in other lane and pulled over. So, I could have been killed just going to Blood Donation Center. And by the way, I don’t enjoy donating blood. Several times the rather large needled wasn’t inserted well and it hurt and my arm was sore and blue yellow for several days; but I keep going because they claim each donation saves up to 3 lives, so a bit of pain is worth it. The difference between me and people like Beth. And I do brag about donating blood and over the years it has gotten over dozen others to donate.

I will just summarize, “values” for Beth means she comes first, second, third . . . She also made it clear that if someone is vulnerable, then they are responsible for what happens to them, not Beth if she turns out to be an asymptomatic carrier. And I pointed out that many people have genetic predispositions they are unaware of and that kids with autoimmune diseases, undergoing chemotherapy, seniors, etc. should be able to go to supermarkets, parks, etc. There are always risks; but responsible compassionate people can reduce these risks by reducing risk from vaccine-preventable diseases by getting vaccines. As the old saying goes: “Don’t worry. You will never get out of this world alive”. Yep; but we can try to delay the inevitable.

With Fauci it is just the same as with other virologists. When confronted with unknown virusses, one changes a bit when more gets known about it. In a way, I think that is how science works. If knowledge gets expanded, one changes according to the evidence. That doesn’t mean people have lied earlier on, they handled according to the evidence at hand.

On the other hand, anti-vaxxers never change their mind. Vaccines are bad, period and no amount of evidence will change this.

@ Joel

“she and she alone decides without any consideration of others, without any consideration of “scientific consensus””

The main beef I have with this notion is the way I’ve seen it applied on individuals such as myself, bullying me to accept outright lies as true, shaming me and more for years for wanting to have healthcare that is truly independent from what the rest of my family was spouting on me. The inability to break away from lies has viciated forever my perception of what “scientific consensus” means in the eyes of people who use it as a weapon: I am not a bonsaï.

If “scientific consensus” means what I’ve witnessed it to mean, then do me a favour: give me a lobotomy nice and quick. Do not push me into a DIY attitude: sticking a rigid pen in my nostrils, and giving a neat and sharp perpendicular headbutt on a table.

@ F68.10

Since I don’t know what the “scientific consensus” related to you was about, I really can’t comment; however, even among “scientific consensus” there are those based on extensive solid evidence and, not so much nowadays; but years ago, grandfathering in things. With, for instance, vaccines, as I’ve written, there are up to 40,000 papers on vaccine safety, several thousand placebo-controlled randomized trials and numerous reviews and meta-analyses, including a number of in-depth reviews of the U.S. Institute of Medicine, all available online for free. In addition, one can simply read books on history of many of the vaccine-preventable diseases.

As for lobotomy, the person who “invented” them actually received a Noble Prize in Medicine; but this was in the 1940s just as randomized trials were taking off and long before becoming “requirements”. And often they just took an ice pick, put in corner of eye, stuck in and moved around. I wouldn’t recommend one.😀

You probably aren’t interested; but there is a fascinating book on history of lobotomies: Elliot S. Valenstein (1986). Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness.

So, though I don’t know your age, I assume you are not young, so, maybe what was called “scientific consensus” was before the advent of systematic reviews and meta-analyses” became the norm and before there were a large number of well-done pieces of research. If so, you are condemning something for what happened years ago. If so, I can list all the mistakes/problems historically with almost anything in medicine; e.g., the first heart transplants were catastrophic; but I’ve met several who have lived 20 years with one, including someone who actually ran marathons. Again, I don’t know when the “scientific consensus” concerning you happened. There is also an old saying: “The exception proves the rule.” So, the treatment you rejected based on “scientific consensus” may have been an exception compared with the overall number of “scientific consensus” that confer far more benefit than risk.

Also, any good “scientific consensus” allow for outliers, that is, patients who have something that differs from those the consensus of research was based on. Any good doctor can/should deviate from consensus if they have a good reason. I mean if they can clearly explain why they are deviating, not just their “gut level” experience. The human body is quite complex and despite how much we know, it will probably be decades before we come closer to, for instance, being able to design all treatments based on genome sequencing.

As I even wrote to CK, yep, in a world of seven billion people, could be some weird genomes, very few, that vaccines work weirdly; but given it would be virtually impossible to screen for every possible genetic anomaly and given that, for each extremely rare case, vaccines provide overwhelming benefit, both to individual and group, the risk is infinitesimal and, also, if not vaccinated, if they have this rare genetic anomaly, highly likely they will succumb to the vaccine-preventable disease, unless herd immunity; but if many stop vaccinating, the herd immunity disappears, and both those with the extremely rare genetic predisposiion plus many more will suffer. And, I am only hypothesizing there may be such a rare predisposition, also quite possible there isn’t one.

But, if one listens to you about scientific consensus, without you qualifying your particular case and when it occurred, we will rely on people like Beth who think their “values”, that is, their self-serving unscientific reasoning, devoid of any responsibility to others will dominate society and then we will all be worse off for. it.

ADDENDUM

A good scientific consensus statement, at least the ones I’ve looked at, includes either a link or reference to the literature review, information synthesis, or meta-analysis it was based on. I usually check them out so I can judge how many research studies, how well done they were, etc. But, bottom line, again I can’t judge your personal experience; but overall a “scientific consensus” is much more trustworthy than most other types of consensus and, as I explained, they don’t mandate one follow them; but a good doctor who knows his patient, can deviate from them; but should give a compelling reason.

@ Joel

“But, if one listens to you about scientific consensus, without you qualifying your particular case and when it occurred, we will rely on people like Beth who think their “values”, that is, their self-serving unscientific reasoning, devoid of any responsibility to others will dominate society and then we will all be worse off for. it.”

That indeed is a big problem. Both ways. 1. We cannot afford scientific consensus to be belittled on dubious grounds, and 2. We also cannot afford people instrumentalising scientific consensus to push forward their moral agenda, abusively confusing values with facts in public discourse. (They cannot utterly be divorced, though, but the articulation of them currently is unsatisfactory to me.)

I’m not that old. And to me, “scientific consensus” tends to be quite synonymous with “gut feeling”, from what I observed. That’s one of the reasons I’m furious against the notion. I mean, apparently, it’s quite OK to “wonder”, based on scientific consensus, whatever that means (sigh…), as to whether or not I’m at risk of unearthing corpses at night. When I hear that — and I did hear it, face to face; which is precisely the point where I stopped arguing, bewildered, just some time before I landed on RI; and definitely dropped all faith in medicine, which was pretty pretty low beforehand — sorry, I have a problem. One can justify only so much by pigeonholing people into the “scientific consensus” of whatever whacko-psych category one’s “gut feeling” feels like doing so.

What worries me is that anyone, doctor or patient, scientist or politician, can go crazy from 0 to a 100 on the topic of medicine. And I have no trust in almost anyone on the matter: the enemy of my enemy is just one more person who might knife me in my sleep. And luckily, in all this nonsense, we have something to hold on to: scientific consensus. Weirdly enough…

@ Narad

I’m not that familiar with the Tropicália genre, though I’ve listened to some Gilberto Gil in my younger days. But I’m “hip” to some instrumental funk-like music at times. Recently had a crush on Khruangbin.

F68.10- I derive my main understanding of the meaning of ‘scientific consensus’ from two of Thomas Kuhn’s books; ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ and ‘The Essential Tension’.If you were to do likewise and ignore ‘amateur’ interpretations of this concept it may save you from a great deal of angst.Happy reading!

@ Dangerous Bacon

I love it! ! ! Looked a lot like our “intuitive genius” “malignant narcissistic” President???

“Intuitive genius”??

At least he is jenious enough to not wear a mask over that orange spackling compount he glops on. The condensation from that blowhard would be just…

–Lemon curry?
–It is a bit runny sir.
— I don’t care how fucking runny it is. <– ohh, he cares though

@ F68.10

You heard it, scientific consensus; but did they back it up with actual studies? Did you check them out? Anyone, even some medical doctors, can claim to be acting on scientific consensus, doesn’t mean it is so. There are even a few small medical groups claiming some consensus; but without any substantial evidence. So, your anger at scientific consensus doesn’t really say much. As I wrote, scientific consensus over the past decades has developed, along with stronger research methodology, to require to be based on solid studies.

In addition, though you obviously are quite intelligent, your discourse is tainted with bitterness which ends in gross exaggeration and gross overgeneralization. I suggest trying to remember what the claims about scientific consensus were and try to search the internet (including only the date you heard them and before as they may have changed since then), even the waybackmachine and see if you can find the specific consensus statement(s). You might be surprised that they weren’t based on a number of methodologically sound studies; but anything is possible; but the overwhelming majority of science consensus statements over the past three decades are built on a solid base, despite what you choose in your idiosyncratic bitter personal experiences to believe.

As for “as to whether or not I’m at risk of unearthing corpses at night. When I hear that — and I did hear it,” Wow, what type of doctor said that, a psychoanalyst, a discipline based not on solid scientific research; but various people’s personal experiences, hypotheticals, etc. How would such a statement even be remotely related to scientific consensus on vaccines, face masks, etc based on, for vaccines, 10s of thousands of studies, and face masks 100s of studies.

@ Joel

“How would such a statement even be remotely related to scientific consensus on vaccines, face masks, etc based on, for vaccines, 10s of thousands of studies, and face masks 100s of studies.”

It very obviously is not. That’s the point. I’m fed up with people hiding their motivations behind science. I’ve already done the work determining what is BS and what is not BS in my story; 10 years ago or so. And that’s why I came to the conclusion that the very main driving force behind my hospitalisations and sicknesses is a specific person’s weird take on medicine. (“You must suffer to be healthy” is a cute slogan with an admirable feminine twist, isn’t it?) The vast majority of my medical issues are (or rather were, now that it’s too late) in the head of another person. That’s why I’m annoyed. And I’m annoyed at scientific consensus because all the BS and lies are couched in medical language that “seems” to relate to “science” when it really relates to phobias and obsessions in another person’s head. And it’s not only psych-related. What was the big deal with this fluor poisoning as a toddler? Well, it was the nonsensical controversy about fluoridation of water that got warped in that person’s head. Now, good luck trying to prove that your illness(es) really is in the mind of someone else… You know what stands in the way? “Scientific consensus” embedded in the “standard of care”. Moreover, what’s your word worth against a doctor that cares for you? None. Zilch. Nada. That’s why I do not have a beef with scientific consensus per se (although on psych matters, a lot could be said if we weren’t faced with the scientology gambit endlessly…) but mostly with the way it is used by some people to deny other people any form of decision-making on their own. Which could in time have hedged the damage. And which very obviously is a different position than the antivaxx my-body-is-my-own position, a nuanced fact that I do intend to stress to the utmost extent, with the required level of rhetorical exaggeration. Because I’m really annoyed at the confusion of concern when it comes to consent.

“In addition, though you obviously are quite intelligent, your discourse is tainted with bitterness which ends in gross exaggeration and gross overgeneralization.”

So… bitter? Yes. More than bitter. Exaggeration? What exactly is “exaggeration”? Is it merely a matter of rhetorics? Or also matter of semantics? I’m fine with rhetorical exaggeration: without language that detonates in the mind, people just. do. not. get. it.

Moreover, again, I do not care about being “intelligent”. What I do care about is that people less intelligent than me have no way out the same shit I endured, and are most of the time not even able to understand it. They’re trapped in that fiction of “scientific consensus” that they’re force-fed when they’re old enough to understand it. And it can get bloody. That’s what I care about. Not vaccinations. But I do care about connex topics. For instance, by the mere fact that CK has a connection to SIDS, which is a topic that semi-indirectly concerns me, I have other reasons to interact with people than merely vaccinations. Because diagnostic categories are interlinked in not always so obvious ways. And I do not intend to hurt her whatever she may utter on vaxx, or on SIDS: there indeed are, to me, deeper issues I wish to discuss, and these happen on the sidelines of the vaxx “debate”. Same with Beth. Same with you.

The vast majority of my medical issues are (or rather were, now that it’s too late) in the head of another person.

Have you considered tossing ontology overboard?

@ Narad

“Have you considered tossing ontology overboard?”

You kind of repeatedly make this comment on ontology. Perhaps by that you mean that you’re advocating for an instrumentalist view of science. Dunno.

In the end, all this is now too late. I have given up and do not care about me any more. Maybe that answers your question.

@F68.10:

Nah, Narad is our resident Kleptonian. He could probably do a better job of pointing you to the relevant sections of Millbrook or other writings, or explaining the general philosophical concept. Solipsistic nihilism is what Kleps called it, although you can find the same general idea under other names elsewhere.

Hey, we have a Discordian, a Kleptonian, and a Zen Buddhist / Lokean. Actually, Uncle Smut is of the Theravadan persuasion, although we both flagrantly violate the precept against intoxicants. (It is not a drinking problem, it is a time honored cultural tradition.)

Could be philosophically fun.

@ F68.10

You write: “I came to the conclusion that the very main driving force behind my hospitalisations and sicknesses is a specific person’s weird take on medicine. . . And I’m annoyed at scientific consensus because all the BS and lies are couched in medical language that “seems” to relate to “science” when it really relates to phobias and obsessions in another person’s head. . . Moreover, what’s your word worth against a doctor that cares for you . . . They’re trapped in that fiction of “scientific consensus” that they’re force-fed when they’re old enough to understand it. ”

So, you base your entire position on ONE doctor, “a specific person’ weird take on medicine.” So, where does science-based consensus enter the picture? I’m sorry; but you are obsessed and seem incapable of understanding what I wrote, namely that a scientific consensus is based on a strong foundation of research. The religion Scientology uses the word science; but certainly isn’t based on solid scientific research. The religion Christian Science contains science and again isn’t based on solid scientific research. And one can find doctors claiming their position is based on some scientific consensus; but that consensus may be simply based on some agreement within a group. As “what’s your word worth against a doctor that cares for you?, well, in the U.S. and in Sweden and in Canada one has the right to get a second and third opinion and one can go to the medical library and look up research articles or, nowadays literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses on the web. One doesn’t have to be an expert to find out if they even exist.

Years ago, starting late 19th Century, the treatment for breast cancer developed into radical mastectomies, over time more and more tissue, lymph glands, etc were surgically removed, basically maiming women. No research was done. In fact, to my knowledge, not even data on survival rates. The French, on the other hand, often used lumpectomies, minimally invasive surgeries. An American doctor in Detroit decided to do a randomized clinical trial comparing survival between radical mastectomies and lumpectomies. Breast cancer surgeons did everything possible to sabotage his research, to destroy his career. The study took much longer than originally planned because due to other doctors it was difficult to find patients; but, in the end, lumpectomies were found to do just as well. This was 60 years ago. And this doesn’t mean that all women with breast cancer should be treated with a lumpectomy; but the point is that an entire group of doctors with NO research basis fought against research. However, and it still may happen; but, as I wrote, since the advent and increased requirement for solid research, over the past three or more decades a scientific consensus means based on solid science. Yep, homeopaths will claim it and some grandfathered in procedures; but you are DEAD WRONG that one should not trust science consensus. People can call things whatever they want to; but one can, for instance, go to webpage of American Academy of Pediatrics and find their scientific consensus statements on various diagnoses and treatments, ALL linked to or with reference to the information synthesis and/or meta-analysis it is based on.

I’m beginning to think that you not only are embittered by your experiences and your current circumstances; but, unfortunately, you are IRRATIONAL

As for your link to video on Munchausen by Proxy, first it is quite rare, and second it is NOT something that has been extensively researched using scientific methodology for reasons I won’t go into, so, good for you, you found something that as I wrote, “The exception proves the rule.” What does a rare, controversial diagnosis have to do with large studies of cancer treatments, vaccines and infectious diseases, face masks and social distancing? Like CK and Beth you are grasping at straws. Would you like me to make a list of 100 scientific consensus statement in medicine that are based on solid research evidence? Forget it, I’m not going to get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because as with CK and as with Beth you obviously have made up your mind.

@ Joel

“So, where does science-based consensus enter the picture?”

It enters the picture because essentially, when you’re trapped in a lie, the consensus bases itself on a lie. And when you put psychiatry on top of it, the “consensus” essentially is that you have to shut the fuck up.

Simple.

“I’m sorry; but you are obsessed and seem incapable of understanding what I wrote, namely that a scientific consensus is based on a strong foundation of research.”

And that is precisely why I’ve been bitching about the scientific literature that was presented to justify these fantasies: it’s not based on a strong foundation of research. And I nevertheless have to shut the fuck up and be manhandled because I dare criticise what is presented as the consensus. It seems I got things fairly straight. That you are unable to differentiate the scientific consensus that you define and the notion as it is used on patients is very much worrisome.

“The religion Scientology uses the word science; but certainly isn’t based on solid scientific research. The religion Christian Science contains science and again isn’t based on solid scientific research.”

And when Mommy has an Erdös number of 2 with the leading (ahem…) “researcher” in the field, that’s a bit different than waving Scientology and Christian Science at me to drown the fish.

“And one can find doctors claiming their position is based on some scientific consensus; but that consensus may be simply based on some agreement within a group.”

Now you’re starting to get it! Congratulations! It’s precisely why I’m bitching about that.

“well, in the U.S. and in Sweden and in Canada one has the right to get a second and third opinion”

I’ll have to ask Mommy. The last time I dared criticise her, she blew a fuse, went fuming, and shouted “Don’t you dare criticise my discipline!”. Hissed, shouted, cringed and fumed, more precisely. Also got threatened with lawsuits because I dared to ask for my records… She’s fond of lawsuits.

“I’m beginning to think that you not only are embittered by your experiences and your current circumstances; but, unfortunately, you are IRRATIONAL”

I do not care much what you believe.

“it is NOT something that has been extensively researched using scientific methodology for reasons I won’t go into”

Aaaahhhh…. Too bad. I’d really wish you to explain to me how solid the epidemiology is. Would really like to know your opinion…

“What does a rare, controversial diagnosis have to do with large studies of cancer treatments, vaccines and infectious diseases, face masks and social distancing?”

Because it piggy-backs on them to justify just anything. You asked. I answered. The fact that you do not understand that I’m discussing about how the notion of consensus is used, not about your obsessions, is, again, very much worrisome.

“Like CK and Beth you are grasping at straws.”

Yes. Of course. Would you please oblige with this lobotomy? Now that we know what the real “consensus” is?

“Would you like me to make a list of 100 scientific consensus statement in medicine that are based on solid research evidence?”

Not required. I’ve already done that search on most allegations that are in my records. Starting 10 years ago. Not fond of the exercise. Bad memories.

“you obviously have made up your mind.”

No. Doctors have made up their mind. And they never have taken the bother to deal with criticism. NEVER. We can go through almost all checklist of “warning signs” of that condition. They match. Then we can go on to diagnostic criteria of that “concept”. There’s flux on the matter. Seems D. Rosenberg diagnostic criteria as laid out in 2003 are the most evidence-based.

Now where’s that graveyard that I should desecrate tonight?

@ F68.10

Sorry; but you are IRRATIONAL. What individual doctors tell you is not what scientific consensus is. You refuse to accept that. And you brought up fluoridation of water out of the blue? Your mind just jumps around. In fact, trying to understand you is really impossible. I’m not even sure that your claims are even reality based. If you are trying to say that your mother was guilty of Munchausen by Proxy, that she intentionally caused you harm and then found some doctors who went along with this, I’m truly sorry; but to generalize from this to scientific consensus just reflects more on your bitterness and irrationality than anything else.

As for “Doctors have made up their mind. And they never have taken the bother to deal with criticism. NEVER. ” Yep, that’s why we have peer-review, why groups like Cochrane Collaboration review areas of medical science, why we have reviews by Institute of Medicine, why research grants are applied for and often approved to test medical procedures. So, do individual doctors make up their minds and refuse to change them, of course; but you confuse medical science with the foibles of SOME individual doctors. And, as with CK, Natalie White, Beth, and others, you irrationally refuse to even consider you may be wrong.

By the way, though this webpage is called Respectful Insolence, Orac, also Dr. David Gorski, is one of the editors and founders of its sister webpage, Science-Based Medicine. Since the goal of both webpages is to further scientific thinking, scientific methodology, etc. why do you bother posting here when you obviously don’t really believe in the goals of the two webpages. Are you just looking for a venue to rant and rave, to vent your anger and your bitterness?

You probably won’t answer; but are you under the care of a psychiatrist currently?

“Are you just looking for a venue to rant and rave, to vent your anger and your bitterness?”

I resemble that remark.

@ Joel

“Sorry; but you are IRRATIONAL. What individual doctors tell you is not what scientific consensus is.”

Mommy is the Scientific Consensus. Mommy is the State. Mommy is the Police. Mommy is My Doctor. Mommy is My Psychiatrist. Mommy is Right and All Her Kids Are Whackos. And She Writes Papers On That. That End Up In Official Policies Of My Government. On Very Intelligent Kids That Are Whackos In Disguise.

Are we clear on the concept?

“And you brought up fluoridation of water out of the blue?”

Perhaps because there is a document out there where she tampers with the hospitalisation report in her own handwriting. You know, a diagnostic criterion of That Diagnostic Entity That Shall Not Be Named. Fluor intoxication with no fluor because the fluor is in her mind. The report states that tests were negative. Medical intervention consistent with some behaviour of medical child abuse. Toddler style.

“Your mind just jumps around.”

And the colour of the signature of that document is different from the colour of what of is written in my mother’s handwriting. Seems the pens of that doctor also have a tendency to jump around. Must have lost his blue pen when he switched to black to sign the document…

“If you are trying to say that your mother was guilty of Munchausen by Proxy, that she intentionally caused you harm and then found some doctors who went along with this, I’m truly sorry;”

Yep. And I’m also saying that doctors, whatever the literature they may write on it, have a very poor understanding of the phenomenon. It’s not only controversial. It’s heavily misunderstood. And I believe we should agree on these two last sentences.

“but to generalize from this to scientific consensus just reflects more on your bitterness and irrationality than anything else.”

No. The claim is indeed the following: it piggy-backs on scientific consensus. It can piggy-back on pretty any much nonsense, pseudoscience included. That is not the point of contention. The point of contention is that it becomes much more of lockjaw when it piggy-backs on what is considered the scientific consensus in the environment in which that kind of behaviour operates. Which is different from your notion of scientific consensus. But you and me understand it. The rest of world that deals with this kind of nonsense doesn’t really understand the nonsense in which they engages anyway… so all we’re doing here is splitting hair in the most ridiculous way. But I can go on if you so wish…

“So, do individual doctors make up their minds and refuse to change them, of course; but you confuse medical science with the foibles of SOME individual doctors.”

No. The trapping is absolutely systematic. No. Way. Out. Not Some… All. And no, it’s not only a question scientific consensus. It’s also pretty much a question of medical ideology, and of sacralisation of health and healthcare. It operates like a Cult in these situations.

“And, as with CK, Natalie White, Beth, and others, you irrationally refuse to even consider you may be wrong.”

Yawn… Spent 10 years wondering about many things on these topics. Spent years trying to ease the fears of my daughter about medicine because of the horror story she went through seeing her dad caught in this. I have absolutely no lesson to receive on the topic. It’s not as if I suddenly woke and chose that diagnostic criteria as something sexy I’d wore around.

You, on the other hand, have not answered the question on the solidity of the epidemiology. Nor have you explained the reasons why science has “trouble” studying this “entity”. And moreover, you have no clue on my deepest thoughts on the topic. So before claiming you can read my mind, I believe a little humility is in order, and I’d seriously advise to start reading the literature on the topic if you want to be able to sustain an argument on that matter.

“Are you just looking for a venue to rant and rave, to vent your anger and your bitterness?”

Are you asking the question to me or are you asking the question to yourself? There is an answer but it’s a long-winded one.

“You probably won’t answer; but are you under the care of a psychiatrist currently?”

Ah… yes… maybe I’ll just take a trip to Mommy’s practice. More seriously: I am terrorised whenever I see the sign of a drugstore and I avoid medical care like hell. Which, by the way, are signs that are pretty much consistent with my claims, and documented in the literature: there is no real thought given to the topic as to how one can live with this and still find medical care: there only is this ideology Care = Good that we are supposed to swallow without questioning to get into the role of the Good Patient. Did seek it for years, and it systematically backfired in horrendous ways, and one of the trappings is indeed negotiating with this reality in such a way as to become a Munchausen patient yourself… The day I find a psychiatrist that doesn’t give me the stereotypical “tell me about your mother”, I’ll tell you. For the moment, I’m a bit sick and tired of being beaten up, locked in solitary confinement, and systematically asked, as if they cared, what I do think of my mother with all the other annex bullshitting. I think there is a point where one has to accept that roughly 4 decades of systematic psychiatric treatment boils down to a spectacular failure in all measurable aspects.

But I guess you, like many others, just cannot let go… How sweet. How caring. Just do not believe you’re a saviour in any way, m’kay?

Dude! Fuck, I apologize. The Freud riff is on me.

Hope you’re not sick of this (and if you are, I might know a little tiny bit of something about it from personal experience):

@ F68.10

I’ll make this short. Though at times you have contributed to the discussion, it is now quite obvious that you are decompensating. Obviously whatever psychiatric treatment you have received has not helped or, perhaps, you were even worse before. No way for me to know. I’m sorry for you; but you need help.

And, yes, I am unhappy; but for very different reasons. I am unhappy that my nation has 5% of world’s population and almost 25% of people in prison, mainly minorities, an estimated 100,000 TOTALLY INNOCENT; but many others given prison sentences far in excess of any other civilized nation. I am unhappy that compared to many other nations we have the worst health care system, many getting little to no care, while for-profit companies get ever richer. We do have excellent doctors; but so do other nations; but our system is rotten to the core. I am unhappy that, though there are also good police officers, that we have one of the most brutal police forces among developed nations. Police kill, on a per capita basis, far more than many other nations. I am unhappy that we have the highest murder rate, by far the most mass killings, on a per capita basis than many other advanced democracies. And I am unhappy that we have so many science illiterate people, not just not understanding vaccines; but public health in general, including currently face masks and physical distancing. I was raised to believe in community, something in short supply in the Unites States. And we have, perhaps, one of the most corrupt political systems in the world, billions of dollars spent to win elections, billions spent on lobbyists, and on and on it goes and I’m unhappy that people like you have not received the care you needed, though it is also possible that nothing would have helped you, genetic disorder???

@ Joel

“I’ll make this short. Though at times you have contributed to the discussion, it is now quite obvious that you are decompensating.”

I just love it when people ask for something, some question, details, or explanations. And then do not like the answer.

There is nothing new in the statements I made. I simply do not phrase them this way usually because people do not enjoy hearing taboo things. But if things need to made explicit black on white, sorry, I’ll use as strong a language as necessary.

You feel I’ve been decompensating? I find myself rather mellow and soft-spoken. When it comes to big time, major league bullshit, I can believe you can stand in awe in front of everything I could say on the matter. Most of it based on evidence. Evidence-based bullshit. Evidence, that, of course, like Christine, if you allow me the comparison, will likely never be enough for you…

So basically: if you do not like the answers, do not ask the questions. “Decompensating” is a poor excuse of a notion to justify not taking the answers into account.

“Obviously whatever psychiatric treatment you have received has not helped or, perhaps, you were even worse before. No way for me to know. I’m sorry for you; but you need help.”

Find me a shrink who is ready to be video-taped when confronted with the evidence. Fed up of sleazy schmuks who are intent on bullshitting their way through the evidence. They have to be recorded. And shamed. And their reluctance to face the facts and give credence to incriminating material out of ideology must be exposed. Added condition: find that shrink in my country so that he is subject to my own legislation on “confraternité”/”brotherly behaviour”. This way, it will be very much obvious that the evidence I will provide collides with his legal obligation not to criticise a colleague. His legal obligation to be White Knight of Medicine. I want to record on camera the guy twitching in his chair between the anvil of the law on “confraternité” and the hammer of a publicly recorded humiliation.

That would help: exposing these sniveling shits.

“genetic disorder???”

If you have evidence that Munchausen by Proxy is a genetic disorder, I’d be very curious to know about it. But perhaps you were insinuating something else? Does the idea of Munchausen by Proxy make you uncomfortable? Is it something that you want not to believe?

Dealing with denial is a topic that goes a tad beyond ridiculing flat earthers.

@ F68.10

I didn’t say Munchausen by Proxy was a genetic disorder. What I said is that whatever problem you have may have a genetic component. Even if you suffered from Munchausen by Proxy doesn’t mean it alone is responsible for who you are today. And this is a waste of time. You have decided that your experiences, your filtered interpretation of them is dead on, while I rely on both years of education and experience and looking at scientific consensus statements. That is a major difference, science methodology involves data, methods, etc. that can be presented to large groups of people, evaluated, criticized, replicated, while you rely on your subjectivity, so, obviously, it is clear that you reject science. And, unfortunately, people less traumatized that you do as well. Just a couple of examples. In the U.S. the overwhelming science shows that had we implemented testing, tracing, masks, and physical distancing just two weeks earlier, of the 125,000 dead, 70 – 80% would be alive. Unfortunately, politics, emotions, vested interests, Trump science. In the 1980s, President Reagan ignored the science and delayed acting on AIDS for six years, resulting in 10s of thousands of unnecessary deaths and Reagan withheld monies from the WHO because they were distributing condoms in Africa, leading to millions of deaths.

As for the “the idea of Munchausen by Proxy mak[ing me] uncomfortable. Nope, not in the least. However, it is rare and sometimes abused, e.g., lawyers, etc. I am no more uncomfortable with it than with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. all various manifestations of abnormal behaviors, some with genetic components, some with genetic predispositions, and some mainly from environmental, e.g., toxins, abusive parents, etc.

Unfortunately, you have made it clear that you rigidly believe your subjective experiences outweigh science, so, again, I ask you why you are posting on a webpage that is for, as its sister blog, for Science-Based Medicine? The vast majority of those following this blog, as I do, just see you, as CK and others, as prime examples of people who really don’t understand science, and, even if they do, reject it.

So, now back to reading new edition of Immunology text, much more valuable than wasting my time responding to you, though I hope others following this exchange will benefit from what I write.

Again, I’m sorry you are so bitter, that you have a poor grip on reality, and can only hope that, maybe, you will eventually get the help you need. Unfortunately, I feel you will reject it.

@ Joel

“What I said is that whatever problem you have may have a genetic component.”

Is that like to say that it’s OK to rape women because they wear skirts? I’m pretty sure you do not see the analogy, but from where I stand, the analogy is quite explicit.

“Even if you suffered from Munchausen by Proxy doesn’t mean it alone is responsible for who you are today.”

Munchausen by Proxy patients are normal people like anyone else: they age and get overall sicker over time, as anyone else. But the iatrogeny doesn’t help. It would be a bit ridiculous to ask for someone claiming Munchausen by Proxy that he’d be in perfect health, among all the abuse he suffered through, as if there were some kind of SuperHuman Criterion that would differentiate true Munchausen by Proxy cases from others. That’s obviously not the case. Mortality is substantial and iatrogeny is massive. Thanks for the news.

“And this is a waste of time.”

Oh! Is it? I heard that medicine is science, and that it corrects itself by admitting its mistakes. The Heart of Criticism being the Heart of Science being the Heart of Medicine. Well, MBP is a blind spot. Clearly a blind spot. I do not believe it is useless putting some light on that blind spot.

“You have decided that your experiences, your filtered interpretation of them is dead on”

What is factual is that what you are obliged to defend if you wish to deny my MbP claim is that my mother’s experiences, her filtered experiences of them, is dead on.

Do you see how the knot gets tied in these situations, Joel? Do you understand that you lack epistemological tools to discriminate between the two above paragraphs? Do you understand that you are making statements that are not based on sound reasoning? Do you understand that the only thing that makes you believe that you are not irrational is that you put more trust in what a doctor says than in what patient says, no matter how clearly he exhibits MbP symptomatology?

Of course not. Would be surprised if you would.

“while I rely on both years of education and experience and looking at scientific consensus statements.”

You cannot diagnose MbP based only on epidemiological criteria. These are anecdotal situations, that needs to be addressed anecdotally. This is not vaccines. That’s where the state of the research is as of today on the matter. The best proxy for MbP because of the wider pool of patients is factitious disorder itself. This is still in the process of classification in order to run epidemiological tools a bit more seriously. There are preliminary results on epidemiology, but it does show a 1:100 ratio of diagnosis capability between France and the UK on factitious disorders. These data come from Bass an co. You cannot run epidemiology seriously because you cannot detect, and you do not report these cases. Well, at least not in France: that 1:100 ratio…

Keep trying to educate me on the epidemiology…

“That is a major difference, science methodology involves data, methods, etc. that can be presented to large groups of people, evaluated, criticized, replicated, while you rely on your subjectivity”

I rely on the data in my records essentially, which are big time ballooney. I rely on the warning signs published in the literature, the diagnostic criteria and stuff like that. Being able to run epidemiologically-based detection program on this is currently an illusion. If you want published material on the topic as to how things could be done to improve the situation, doctors do not do much on work on the topic, for reasons I could go into. But the only available research on possible improvements is done by M. Wahi and co., an epidemiologist who also claims MbP.

Keep trying to educate me on the literature an play your science game with me…

“so, obviously, it is clear that you reject science.”

What is clear is that medicine rejects MbP as a situation were something should be done. As per work by Jureidini. Science rejects us. Not the other way round. Get your facts straight: we have no other option than asking science to do its job.

“And, unfortunately, people less traumatized that you do as well.”

When it comes to discussion of MbP, I am not going to get distracted by tu quoque kind of fallacies. Nice try, Joel. Won’t work.

“As for the “the idea of Munchausen by Proxy mak[ing me] uncomfortable. Nope, not in the least.”

Oh? Great.

“However, it is rare and sometimes abused, e.g., lawyers”

If you want to talk law and medicine, we can. It’s quite illusory that you can expect monetary compensation for medical malpractice in France. Your argument falls flat. This is not the US.

“etc. I am no more uncomfortable with it than with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. all various manifestations of abnormal behaviors, some with genetic components, some with genetic predispositions, and some mainly from environmental, e.g., toxins, abusive parents, etc.”

We’ll see, Joel, we’ll see. We’ll see if your claim of being fine with MbP holds water.

“Unfortunately, you have made it clear that you rigidly believe your subjective experiences outweigh science”

Then give me the science on the topic. I have mentioned the diagnostic criteria by D. Rosenberg in 2003. What have you proposed yet? Nothing. Pick your diagnostic tools of your choosing, show me the paper on the topic, and we’ll go through them. I even give you the choice of your sources, so that you cannot accuse me of cherry-picking. Try cherry-picking Pankratz. He may fit your views. Assault me with science, Joel. Beat me to the ground with it. Flay me with it. I’m waiting… perhaps because it is on my side…?

Messieurs les anglais, tirez les premiers!

“so, again, I ask you why you are posting on a webpage that is for, as its sister blog, for Science-Based Medicine? The vast majority of those following this blog, as I do, just see you, as CK and others, as prime examples of people who really don’t understand science, and, even if they do, reject it.”

We’ll have this discussion another time. It will be too long here. Just be patient and you’ll get your answers, big boy, White Knight of Science. Just be sure you really do have the science on your side. Would be a shame if you didn’t… just saying…

“Again, I’m sorry you are so bitter, that you have a poor grip on reality, and can only hope that, maybe, you will eventually get the help you need. Unfortunately, I feel you will reject it.”

Well dam right I will reject it. I have criteria that needs to be satisfied before accepting help. In France, E. Binet made a nice presentation of how to deal with MbP patients. I fit the bill so well that you may well start taking advice from his expertise as to how to manage a return to healthcare of MbP patients in suitable conditions. In fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do for quite a long time, to no avail. The bottom line is that as long as you do not get recognition of MbP abuse, you cannot get “safe space conditions” that allow you to benefit from healthcare, as it continues the cycle of abuse.

So get your facts straight, start reading the science, then come back to talk to me with more sensible ideas as to how I could benefit from healthcare in sensible conditions, without the threat of abuse infinitely continuing. Because that is what is at stake. Not your fantasy about me being a science-denier, the specific kind of nonsense that I’ve been fed for ages, Mommy being a raving psychiatrist having had a very peculiar take on the issue. Fed up with the Scientology gambit.

Now get to work: start reading the literature before throwing the word “Science” at me.

@ F68.10

From Wikipedia Factitious disorder imposed on another (another name for Munchhausen by Proxy): “During the 1990s and early 2000s, Roy Meadow was an expert witness in several murder cases involving MSbP/FII. Meadow was knighted for his work for child protection, though later, his reputation, and consequently the credibility of MSbP, became damaged when several convictions of child killing, in which he acted as an expert witness, were overturned. The mothers in those cases were wrongly convicted of murdering two or more of their children, and had already been imprisoned for up to six years.[42][39]
One case was that of Sally Clark. Clark was a lawyer wrongly convicted in 1999 of the murder of her two baby sons, largely on the basis of Meadow’s evidence. As an expert witness for the prosecution, Meadow asserted that the odds of there being two unexplained infant deaths in one family were one in 73 million. That figure was crucial in sending Clark to jail but was hotly disputed by the Royal Statistical Society, who wrote to the Lord Chancellor to complain.[43] It was subsequently shown that once other factors (e.g. genetic or environmental) were taken into consideration, the true odds were much greater, i.e., there was a significantly higher likelihood of two deaths happening as a chance occurrence than Meadow had claimed during the trial. Those odds in fact range from a low of 1:8500 to as high as 1:200.[44] It emerged later that there was clear evidence of a Staphylococcus aureus infection that had spread as far as the child’s cerebrospinal fluid.[45] Clark was released in January 2003 after three judges quashed her convictions in the Court of Appeal in London,[45][46] but suffering from catastrophic trauma of the experience, she later died from alcohol poisoning. Meadow was involved as a prosecution witness in three other high-profile cases resulting in mothers being imprisoned and subsequently cleared of wrongdoing: Trupti Patel,[47] Angela Cannings[48] and Donna Anthony.[49]
In 2003, Lord Howe, the Opposition spokesman on health, accused Meadow of inventing a “theory without science” and refusing to produce any real evidence to prove that Munchausen syndrome by proxy actually exists. It is important to distinguish between the act of harming a child, which can be easily verified, and motive, which is much harder to verify and which FDIA tries to explain.”

So, where do I stand?

In this case, the science is not solid, so, my personal take is that Munchausen by Proxy may exist (but I would NOT publicly claim it was solid science); but is rare. I envision three possibilities and variations of them:

One. a very psychologically disturbed parent or guardian that harms a child to get attention, not actually with any animosity towards the child.

Two. a child with a rare genetic disorder that manifests with various minor problems and a parent or guardian who, out of genuine concern but also overreacting, seeks medical care and doctors, not recognizing the genetic basis of the problem(s), treat as best they can; but exacerbate it.

Three, a child with a rare genetic disorder that manifests with major problems, the parent or guardian reacts properly, seeking medical help; but, again, due to it being a rare genetic disorder, the care given, focusing on the symptoms, doesn’t help and may exacerbate the problem

So, when I suggested you may have an underlying genetic disorder, doesn’t mean that your parent didn’t still use it to get medical attention and didn’t mean that your parent, out of pure concern for you, didn’t overreact, or that your parent reacted appropriately, nor that the doctors who may have focused on symptoms (same symptoms can represent different problems, including rare genetic ones); but, the treatments you received were unhelpful or even exacerbated your problem. And, of course, there are bad doctors.

Even today with advances in genomics, you may or may not have a rare genetic condition that still couldn’t be found; but if it were, the question still would remain how much of your parent or guardians reaction was possibly to get attention or just a legitimate or overprotective reaction out of genuine concern for you.

Since I do NOT have access to your medical record NOR any way of knowing about your parent or guardian, just your bitter, subjective picture, all I can say is, yep, I believe (despite lack of hard scientific evidence) that rare cases of Munchausen by Proxy exist; but that many, as described above were NOT, either more or less genetics or a parent of guardian using it to avoid a more serious criminal prosecution for intentionally harming their child. And I do not rule out bad doctors; but separate bad doctors from doctors who keep up with SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, who, when unsure, consult with colleagues, etc.

However, the bottom line is your comments are IRRATIONAL. What I do know from my previous training in Psychology is that the more serious the mental disorder the less likely the person admits it. And from your recent comments, unfortunately, my personal opinion is that you have major psychological problems, whether from childhood trauma and poor medicine, a combination of genetics and the aforementioned, or pure genetics, I am in no position to decide.

@ Joel

“From Wikipedia Factitious disorder imposed on another”

Yes, thank you for the information. I’ve edited Wikipedia on MbP, with references and such. Specifically the french one, which was replete with psycho-analytic bullshit on the topic. Thank you for praising the kind of work I did engage in. Much appreciated. In fact, I did try to model the french page along the lines of the english one.

“So, where do I stand?”

You stand way besides the point. The Sally Clark trial is only a mediatic component of this huge nonsense. And you have no clue where I stand on the topic. And no, that topic cannot be summed up merely by the case of Sally Clark. The reality of MbP is not the mediatic one. Focus on Lacey Spears or Waneta Hoyt if you wish, the reality of that kind of situation is much more mundane. It only becomes spectacular once revealed. So you’re suffering from some kind of optical illusion due to the nature of this “entity”.

“In this case, the science is not solid”

What precisely is not solid? Pretty much anything is not solid when it comes to MbP. Never denied that. What is solid does exist however, but to get into that topic, you’d have to dive into the epidemiology. The science. Not mediatic nonsense. Come on, do me a favor and start cherry-picking Pankratz so that we can move on.

“so, my personal take is that Munchausen by Proxy may exist”

May? That’s cute. Not enough evidence to your taste about its existence? Or maybe you want to start bitching about the semantics of what is a syndrome?

“(but I would NOT publicly claim it was solid science); but is rare. I envision three possibilities and variations of them:”

I do not claim that the science is solid. In fact, you’d find some kind of acknowledgement among victims themselves that the science is not solid. Which precisely is the big problem. Thank you for making my case.

“One. a very psychologically disturbed parent or guardian that harms a child to get attention, not actually with any animosity towards the child.”

That’s a very very first approximation. That’s what you get when you read the literature. When you live through it, you take the literature with a pinch of salt and very very dark humour.

“Two. a child with a rare genetic disorder that manifests with various minor problems and a parent or guardian who, out of genuine concern but also overreacting, seeks medical care and doctors, not recognizing the genetic basis of the problem(s), treat as best they can; but exacerbate it.”

Ah, yes… The Doctor Are Good People Who Are Just Fooled Gambit. Then why does data by Loïs Krahn at the Mayo Clinic show a rather disproportionate amount of people working in healthcare that do engage in factitious disorders (on self in the article…).

“Three, a child with a rare genetic disorder that manifests with major problems, the parent or guardian reacts properly, seeking medical help; but, again, due to it being a rare genetic disorder, the care given, focusing on the symptoms, doesn’t help and may exacerbate the problem”

Can happen. But that “differential diagnosis” is not what I’m talking about.

“So, when I suggested you may have an underlying genetic disorder”

That’s why when I started to get care on my own, all the somatic tests I passed were considered fine. Consistently. The doctor wasn’t understanding why I kept bitching asking whether or not he was certain. He believed I was trying to bullshit him. Where in fact I was trying to get him to acknowledge that the rest of my records was bullshit. These people obviously severely lack communication skills.

“doesn’t mean that your parent didn’t still use it to get medical attention”

Good. We’re starting to get somewhere.

“and didn’t mean that your parent, out of pure concern for you, didn’t overreact”

Good. We’re starting to get somewhere.

“or that your parent reacted appropriately, nor that the doctors”

You mean my grand-father? My grand-father doctor? The one who did my vaccinations among other things? Starts feeling incestuously kinky, doesn’t it?

“who may have focused on symptoms (same symptoms can represent different problems, including rare genetic ones); but, the treatments you received were unhelpful or even exacerbated your problem. And, of course, there are bad doctors.”

Ah yes. The There Are Bad Doctors Gambit. Mommy plays it every time to deflect responsibility. Did I tell you she’s big on lawsuits? Seems like a classic trope in these situations.

“Even today with advances in genomics, you may or may not have a rare genetic condition that still couldn’t be found;”

Stop thinking that MbP is all about mitochondrial diseases. It’s not. People can even fake flies burgeoning in their kid’s ears. As in India. It’s dependent on cultural context.

“but if it were, the question still would remain how much of your parent or guardians reaction was possibly to get attention or just a legitimate or overprotective reaction out of genuine concern for you.”

Either way, I do not give a fuck anymore about this kind of hair splitting. Things have gone way overboard over time.

“Since I do NOT have access to your medical record NOR any way of knowing about your parent or guardian, just your bitter, subjective picture, all I can say is, yep, I believe (despite lack of hard scientific evidence) that rare cases of Munchausen by Proxy exist”

Good. Now quantify the yearly incidence. You’ve got data coming from all over the world. Mostly english speaking country, though. You may have a shot with data from New Zealand. You’ve got data from Rome in clinical settings that’s intriguing and that I take with a pinch of salt. The best epidemiologic-like research seems to be done in London on this topic. On factitious disorder on self, you’ve also got data coming from Finland that’s rather interesting methodologically. That’s a few pointers in the literature on the topic.

“but that many, as described above were NOT, either more or less genetics or a parent of guardian using it to avoid a more serious criminal prosecution for intentionally harming their child.”

This is what doctors care about with MbP. “Genetics”. “Criminal prosecution”. The reality is not that one. That’s the reality when it hits you with an official letter coming out of the blue. When you live through it day by day, you’re quite insensitive to Doctor’s Plight.

“And I do not rule out bad doctors; but separate bad doctors from doctors who keep up with SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, who, when unsure, consult with colleagues, etc.”

And systematically fail to detect MbP. Yes, I know. Abiding by science is no guarantee not to be fooled by MbP. That fact should be obvious given the literature on the topic.

“However, the bottom line is your comments are IRRATIONAL.”

And you do not know the literature with which you attempt to shame me. So start getting down to business if you want to be on top of the game. If you do not know the literature, how can you make that claim? That specific point is made repeatedly on RI against antivaxxers. Well let me tell you: it’s not a one-way street.

“What I do know from my previous training in Psychology is that the more serious the mental disorder the less likely the person admits it.”

Are you talking about MbP? Yes, I do agree that it’s very tough to make someone acknowledge she’s been lying so outrageously. It does come out of her mouth at times. Some kind of qualified confession… Denial indeed is a very real thing.

“And from your recent comments, unfortunately, my personal opinion is that you have major psychological problems, whether from childhood trauma and poor medicine”

No shit! How does that differ from MbP? Tell me. Showcase your power of logical discrimination…

“a combination of genetics and the aforementioned, or pure genetics, I am in no position to decide.”

Well, no genetics explicitly involved. Tough luck for you. But nice try.

You have my sympathies growing up in what was clearly a bad family environment. Not much else I can do or say regarding that.

I wanted to compliment you on your expansive English vocabulary. I presume it is not your native language, but I have twice now had to resort to seeking a dictionary definition for a word I was unfamiliar with. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary.

Also, thank you for disputing some of Joel’s ludicrous overgeneralizations of my stances. When he calls someone irrational, I always remember that the measure of rational numbers within the real number system is zero. We have a lot to learn from the irrational. It should not be dismissed as unimportant simply because it is difficult to deal with.

@ F68.10

You write: “Is that like to say that it’s OK to rape women because they wear skirts? I’m pretty sure you do not see the analogy, but from where I stand, the analogy is quite explicit.”

So, aside from saying it is rare, where did I say it was in any way, shape, or form OK?

You write: “Oh! Is it? I heard that medicine is science, and that it corrects itself by admitting its mistakes. The Heart of Criticism being the Heart of Science being the Heart of Medicine. Well, MBP is a blind spot. Clearly a blind spot. I do not believe it is useless putting some light on that blind spot.”

Except, rather than a rational review of the literature with quotes and detailed references, in addition to explaining your actual experiences, so go off on rants of science, condemning consensus science, etc, accepting that being rare, with limited resources, getting research funds and researchers can be problem as it is with various genetic disorders, doesn’t mean it is a blind spot and certainly doesn’t mean that the areas that good research has been carried out should be condemned. Totally irrational.

You write: “Do you understand that the only thing that makes you believe that you are not irrational is that you put more trust in what a doctor says than in what patient says, no matter how clearly he exhibits MbP symptomatology?”

Not what I said. Actually if I were involved in research on subject, I would carefully listen and record what each patient says, get hold of their medical records, look at any literature review, perhaps run MRIs, genomic tests, other labs, etc. I would neither ignore the patient nor the doctor. But if I had many cases to look at and both the literature, the medical records, and the doctors gave one side and the patients another, I would probably go with the former. I have seen too many examples of how patients and people in general get things wrong. As I’ve said and you ignore, science requires that data, findings be viewable by others, whereas subjective individual experiences can’t. A prime example is CK, who ignores all the risks her daughter had for SIDS, ignore when she claims something, that I refuted it with references; but in one respect she is more honest than you, she admitted she goes by her gut, not her rational brain.

You write: “You cannot diagnose MbP based only on epidemiological criteria.”

And, where did I say that? You continue to attack straw men. And, in fact, even good epidemiology also looks at other sciences, e.g., labs, clinical records. Epidemiology was a major contributor to smoking and bad health; but studies of exposing lab animals to smoke in general, etc. were also part of the picture.

You write: “These are anecdotal situations, that needs to be addressed anecdotally.”

Anecdotes can lead to hypotheses, nothing more, nothing less; but once hypotheses are developed, then labs, MRIs, medical records, and a host of other factors are looked at.

You write: “Keep trying to educate me on the literature an play your science game with me.”

Again, where did I say this? I have NOT tried to educate you on your condition; but simply pointed out that your bitterness, your irrationality, etc lead you to grossly overgeneralize to and condemn science.

You write: “If you want to talk law and medicine, we can. It’s quite illusory that you can expect monetary compensation for medical malpractice in France. Your argument falls flat. This is not the US.”

I wasn’t referring to lawsuits; but to innocent parents or guardians being convicted and jailed (see my previous comment)

You write: “So get your facts straight, start reading the science, then come back to talk to me with more sensible ideas as to how I could benefit from healthcare in sensible conditions, without the threat of abuse infinitely continuing. . .Mommy being a raving psychiatrist having had a very peculiar take on the issue.”

I have entered this exchange, not to help you personally get health care, beyond my purview; but to counter your extremist irrational attacks on science, something you continue with. The object of this blog and her sister blog, Science-Based Medicine, is to look at the science, not offer individual therapy recommendations.

And finally, what was you statement about fluoridation of water about? Back in the late 1920s, early 1930s, a dentist noticed almost no cavities in his patients. He began to investigate. As it turns out it was found that around the United States where water had natural levels of fluoride, cavities were rare. In some places if too much fluoride, the teeth were slightly discolored; but no evidence of any other harm to health. So, in the U.S. we began to add fluoride to water. Obviously, careful about the amount as anything can be dangerous in high doses, e.g., iron, even water. As the 15th Century Italian Paracelsus said: “the dose makes the poison” or in modern terminology, homeostasis, our bodies finely tuned to a range of minerals, chemicals, etc. In any case, with the addition of fluoride to water systems, the incidence of cavities plummeted.

When we have festivities in central park in my home town there is always a table condemning fluoride as a communist plot, at least before fall of iron curtain. When I point out that naturally fluoridated water has existed around the world for millennium, they just get angry and ignore me. But, given your rants and raves, attacking me for things I didn’t say, gross irrational attack on science because of your experiences with a rare disorder, how did a couple of sentences on fluoride get into the picture? Just one more example of just how irrational you are.

If this wasn’t taking time away from my reading, and I didn’t feel sorry for your suffering, this would be amusing, like arguing with a member of the flat earth society.

I also should remind you that this blog is home-based in the U.S. and Canada, not France and not Europe, so any problems that may exist in France or Switzerland with medicine and/or law, not relevant to vast majority of readers, though I believe your position is also distorted.

@ Joel

“So, aside from saying it is rare, where did I say it was in any way, shape, or form OK?”

You did not. But you downplayed the issue by essentially claiming that if it’s done out of good intentions or genuine errors, then there is nothing to see. Roughly. Which is rather typical but besides the point: it all is about “good” (and distorted) intentions and genuine “errors”.

“Except, rather than a rational review of the literature with quotes and detailed references”

I gave you pointers to the literature. It’s hard to deny it. On such posts, I avoid making links as when it goes over two links in a comment, it goes into moderation. Pick one of my claims, call bullshit on it, and you’ll be delivered the link. Ask and ye shall receive.

“in addition to explaining your actual experiences, so go off on rants of science, condemning consensus science”

I believe we went over this. The fact that you do not acknowledge that I am bitching over how consensus of science is applied in specific cases, notably regardless of values involved within it, is more than telling. If there is one place where the value/fact distinction comes sharply in focus, it is precisely when it comes to MbP.

“accepting that being rare, with limited resources, getting research funds and researchers can be problem as it is with various genetic disorders, doesn’t mean it is a blind spot”

Qualify your statement. If it is not a blind spot, then do you claim that the epidemiology is solid? Still waiting for your take on epidemiology.

“and certainly doesn’t mean that the areas that good research has been carried out should be condemned. Totally irrational.”

Strawman. Big big big strawman. Love it. Thanks for the gem.

“Not what I said.”

OK. Then explain how you came to the statement under contention. Otherwise I call bullshit on your denial.

“Actually if I were involved in research on subject, I would carefully listen and record what each patient says, get hold of their medical records, look at any literature review, perhaps run MRIs, genomic tests, other labs, etc. I would neither ignore the patient nor the doctor.”

That’s a starting point. I wouldn’t proceed exactly that way, given the multifaceted denials involved in both doctors, patients, and caretakers. You should have a look at that Rome study. If you can’t find it, do ask.

“But if I had many cases to look at and both the literature, the medical records, and the doctors gave one side and the patients another, I would probably go with the former.”

Ah… There we go. Perfect. Mommy = Doctor can play her games. Sweet.

“I have seen too many examples of how patients and people in general get things wrong.”

Yeah? Well you’re going to have to explain how a Normalien can be a High-School Dropout. I’m still waiting for explanations on that one. It’s going to be a tough sell…

“As I’ve said and you ignore, science requires that data, findings be viewable by others”

Mmhhh… yes. I never denied that. But I would say the same about caretakers’ allegations. Do you believe that caretakers’ allegations should also be “viewable by others”? Or are these allegations supposed to be axiomatically true, and retrofitted into what you would call “data” and hence “science”? I have a problem there. Explain to me why any claim I may make should be viewable by others, while caretakers’ allegations should be allowed a free pass from inquiry.

“whereas subjective individual experiences can’t.”

Nor can telepathy. That’s precisely a point I am making through and through. When a caretaker lives 200 miles away and decides on her own “subjective individual experience” or her “gut feeling” that here kid=patient suffers from this and this, it clearly flies in the face of your assertion. Give me a break with your bullshitting. Every pseudo-methodological assertion you may serve me can be symmetrised to make the case of MbP. So be careful which argument you choose: because if you use it, I can use it too.

That’s how one cuts through bullshit and Gish Gallops.

“A prime example is CK, who ignores all the risks her daughter had for SIDS, ignore when she claims something, that I refuted it with references; but in one respect she is more honest than you, she admitted she goes by her gut, not her rational brain.”

Tu quoque fallacy + projection on the methodology I applied. Again: please keep delivering these gems of denialism.

“And, where did I say that? You continue to attack straw men.”

Then do not use epidemiology to deny or minimise its existence. For now, it’s case studies that currently are building up to be treatable by epidemiology, and there are epidemiological results that you’re not free to deny. If you acknowledge that, then we’re on to a good start. If that was a straw man, sorry, but if I go back on your statements, I believe I can make the case that this straw man, if it is one, is perfectly excusable.

“And, in fact, even good epidemiology also looks at other sciences, e.g., labs, clinical records. Epidemiology was a major contributor to smoking and bad health; but studies of exposing lab animals to smoke in general, etc. were also part of the picture.”

That’s a distraction from the topic at hand. I do not see what value that paragraphs adds to the discussion. But thank you for acknowledging that MbP cases can be looked at from more angles than epidemiology. Notably the cumulative structure of medical records over time. Thank you for giving me methodological ammunition.

“Anecdotes can lead to hypotheses, nothing more, nothing less”

Not in the case of MbP. You are dealing with individual situations. And you have to make a judgement call on large anecdotal evidence. And this involves looking at falsifications. As per D. Rosenberg 2003 diagnostic criteria. Anecdotes are not “hypotheses”: George Floyd is not a hypothesis. Anecdotes are poor evidence of epidemiological statements. That’s how you should rephrase your statement. And anecdotes are not necessarily true, but not necessarily false either.

“but once hypotheses are developed, then labs, MRIs, medical records, and a host of other factors are looked at.”

So, when you evidence falsifications in records, you keep looking on for more tests? That’s the bottom line you do not seem to get: all these are precisely a distraction. Look for the tamperings. Look for the falsifications. Look for the lies. When you find them, reinterpret your labs, MRIs, and other shit. Because it means lies can hide there. If you build lies upon layers of truthes and lies, you get pure bollocks in the end. That’s what you do not seem to understand. And what doctors are not willing to either. Because they value Health Above All. And at one point, one needs to say “Stop!”. At that point, it becomes a clash of values. A severe one. One that you are dismissing on the basis of “labs, MRIs, medical records, and a host of other factors.” Because you’re behaving like Christine: always looking for the little data that may allow you to pull whatever shit out of your hat to reassure you that things are all right. That’s how that abuse manifests. By lack of critical thinking, and reluctance to admit fabrications even when they are blatant.

“Again, where did I say this?”

Come. On. You keep saying that I reject science. Do I need to quote you on end?

“I have NOT tried to educate you on your condition; but simply pointed out that your bitterness, your irrationality, etc lead you to grossly overgeneralize to and condemn science.”

Then you completely misunderstand me and psychologize my argument. Deal with the science, and deal with the facts. That’s what I’m telling you to do from the beginning.

“I wasn’t referring to lawsuits; but to innocent parents or guardians being convicted and jailed (see my previous comment)”

Yes. I know that there also is this outrageous problem. I believe I have bitched more than once about the Rachel case when it comes to autism, have I not? Didn’t I bitch around claiming that that concept makes Brave Defenders of Science blow a fuse and conflate “I claim Munchausen by Proxy exists” with “I defend psycho-analysis” and “Rachel is an ugly bitch that made her kids autistic”? I did bitch around with this. I know the problems that happen when raising this entity in the conversation or in courts. Perfectly well. And yes, if you want my full opinion, I do not believe that doctors are good in any way at detecting MbP: they do not detect the right situations and project their own fantasies in that diagnostic entity and wrongfully convict other parents. And that is patent in the Rachel case. Tell me something I do not know. What does it change to my position?

“I have entered this exchange, not to help you personally get health care, beyond my purview; but to counter your extremist irrational attacks on science,”

Oh! Extremist! Now you acknowledge that you do claim that I reject science, which you tried to defend yourself against a few paragraphs above. Delicious.

What are my “extremist irrational attacks on science” aside you strawmaning my stance on “scientific consensus” because you want to infuse with whatever moral values you feel should be dominant with disregard to other’s opinions on the matter? The point we were having with Beth. That’s not extremist. It’s pretty much mainstream to defend that distinction. But, of course, in medical matters, the fact that whatever jerk may instrumentalise the consensus to further his agenda for a Therapeutic Society (a notion that you yourself have lambasted multiple times) by hysterising any notion of disease to whatever ludicrous extent, that’s OK. We should not talk about values. It’s science.

Gimme a break with your irrational stance on morality. (See, I too can use the word “irrational”… so I’d advise you to start playing it a bit more low-key… out of courtesy.)

“something you continue with. The object of this blog and her sister blog, Science-Based Medicine, is to look at the science, not offer individual therapy recommendations.”

Did I ask you to cure me???? WTF! Then do your job, hall monitor! Look at the science.

“And finally, what was you statement about fluoridation of water about?”

My statement is that the water fluoridation nonsense is something that stuck in my mother’s head for quite some time. That she kept bitching about it on end. One of her many medical obsessions and hysteria. And yes, all available evidence I have point to a fluor fetish that manifested in a fake fluor intoxication with no fluor. As per the tests that came out negative. But to be on the safe side, doctors still carry out the detox intervention. Classic manifestation of the way MbP works. This alone does not sign MbP (or perhaps it does? You tell me…). But over time, that kind of nonsense does build up to something ugly.

“Back in the late 1920s, early 1930s, a dentist noticed almost no cavities in his patients. He began to investigate. As it turns out it was found that around the United States where water had natural levels of fluoride, cavities were rare.”

I do not give a fuck about that. Because it’s entirely besides the point. You are falling in the MbP trap by engaging the discussion in this direction. There was NO FLUOR INTOXICATION. You’re just agitating ideas in your head to divert yourself from the issue at hand.

“But, given your rants and raves, attacking me for things I didn’t say”

OK. Point them out. I believe I can point out more strawmaning on your side. We may count points if you’re bent on this kind of etiquette.

“gross irrational attack on science”

Tell me which one precisely. If you do not, you’re going the earn the PRATT acronym at this one. I have no patience for science-shaming any more.

“because of your experiences with a rare disorder, how did a couple of sentences on fluoride get into the picture? Just one more example of just how irrational you are.”

Just one more example of how bonkers MbP really is. The worst aspect being that you are ready to deflect any irrationality of anything that my caretaker is doing and stuck it on me. The fluoride nonsense is her nonsense. And it motivated a specific episode, among others, of MbP abuse. So again, before claiming that the “irrationality” is my head, have a look around, and look at what’s going on in the head of caretakers.

“If this wasn’t taking time away from my reading, and I didn’t feel sorry for your suffering, this would be amusing, like arguing with a member of the flat earth society.”

Yes, very much, I have that same feeling when discussing MbP with almost any doctor. Fascinating how amusing it is. Hilarious. Also hilarious that you are able not to engage in any way with the science and that you laugh at doctors torturing kids. Not me specifically. We may have a long-winded discussion on humour:

“I also should remind you that this blog is home-based in the U.S. and Canada, not France and not Europe, so any problems that may exist in France or Switzerland with medicine and/or law, not relevant to vast majority of readers, though I believe your position is also distorted.”

Ah! Yes. Science is a national matter. Science differs from country to country.

Don’t you have better arguments?

F68.10- Much of medical practice IS a national matter. Medicine although grounded in science of many disciplines also has components that depend on human judgments with no real science basis; an art. It seems you have been badly treated by the ‘art’ and possibly not the science.This is very common.
In your prolonged dialogue with Joel there seems to be a great deal of discussion that deals with medical ‘science’ as if that is representative of other scientific disciplines. I assume it is with ‘medicine’ and some of it’s practitioners with whom you have a serious grievance.

@ Beth

Have you notice how F68.10 rants about Mommy this, Mommy that, is grossly exaggerated language, etc. So glad you sympathize with him and agree with him, one more nail in your coffin showing you aren’t a rational, open-minded person. You missed that he accused me over and over of statements I didn’t make, showing he is delusional. You missed that I did NOT claim expertise or even interest in his disorder; but that, whatever his personal experiences have been, he assumes that they automatically can be generalized to science. And you have missed that I clearly pointed out that there is little scientific research on his disorder; but an overwhelming mass of research on vaccines. His entire world centers on his subjective experiences of his particular disorder. Obviously, your rejection of science and public health makes it obvious you would support each other.

And you missed that I think you are a self-centered ignorant person who refused to accept any responsibility for others, who made it clear that you could care less if you happen to be an asymptomatic carrier and infect some vulnerable person, after all, they should take precautions, like starving to death rather than risk going to a supermarket. If you aren’t married, perhaps, you might consider after your leg heals to move to France. I think you and F68.10 would make a perfect couple.

You are DESPICABLE.

@ Joel

“Have you notice how F68.10 rants about Mommy this, Mommy that, is grossly exaggerated language, etc.”

You know what? I did notice it too! Maybe I should refer to her as Doctor? Oh, the irony…

“So glad you sympathize with him and agree with him, one more nail in your coffin showing you aren’t a rational, open-minded person.”

Argument by association. Stop engaging in fallacies all day long, Joel. You are starting to be ridiculous.

“You missed that he accused me over and over of statements I didn’t make, showing he is delusional.”

Which one? You did repeatedly claim I reject science. Do I need to quote you?

“he assumes that they automatically can be generalized to science.”

Which kind of is a mainstream point that MbP literature makes: that it does piggy-back on science. So if you have a problem with the MbP literature, please state so clearly, so that we may unambiguously start coining the “denier” sticker on your forehead.

“And you have missed that I clearly pointed out that there is little scientific research on his disorder”

And I gave you reference on the matter. There is quite some research done on it. You should look it up before claiming it does not exist. I gave you pointers.

“but an overwhelming mass of research on vaccines.”

Which is precisely another domain. Why do you conflate them?

“His entire world centers on his subjective experiences of his particular disorder.”

Which is perfectly natural. There is literature on the side-effects of standard torture. You should look it up. Doesn’t mean I neglect the rest of the world. But yes, I have an axe to grind, and I do not believe that you can make the case that it is illegitimate. But please try to do so. I’ll enjoy the exercise.

“Obviously, your rejection of science and public health makes it obvious you would support each other.”

Your manifest irrationality on the values / fact distinction is clear-cut. Pot calling the kettle black.

“I think you and F68.10 would make a perfect couple.”

I do not think so. Please stop trying to crawl under my skin. I’ve had enough of that specific kind of behaviour over the years.

“You are DESPICABLE.”

And you are irrational.

“I have an axe to grind”

Finally. I was begging to think this was clarinet practice.

Who will it be? Who will come out with their souls intact? Despicable vs. Despicablee. Who is who? Who made you? Who stays back at the bunker and makes the sandwiches? Is the scene dead (64kb challenge; why use many byte when few byte does)?

@Narad: Not how it works, Toonces Really? There isn’t usually a need to post the actual evidence. Citations are typically considered adequate as opposed to posting copies. Not to mention, if I were to post the waivers how could you know I hadn’t photoshopped them without looking them up for yourself?

Howsabout you also get around to ciphering whether such waivers disqualify a member from voting, how and when, and what happens afterward

My recollection (it’s been more than 20 years) is that members were supposed to recuse themselves when voting on something they had a direct financial tie to. My point was that I had lost faith in their recommendations because I felt the entire committee would be biased because they all had filed waivers for conflict of interest for vaccine developers. If you don’t consider that evidence of bias, fine. It was for me.

Beth apparently would prefer that people with any knowledge of vaccines be filtered out.

Not what I said. Why distort my position? I’m comfortable with some (less than 25%) of committee members having those financial ties. More than a quarter, and the effects of unconscious bias become hard for the other members to tamp down.

Are you saying that only people with financial ties to the industry are knowledgeable and competent enough to sit on the committee? That was, IIRC, the argument for it being allowed at the time. It was not a persuasive argument then either.

JAH: Have you notice how F68.10 rants about Mommy this, Mommy that, is grossly exaggerated language, etc.
Have I mentioned that I don’t care for derogatory personal remarks in conversation? I believe I have. They only alter my opinion regarding the person who makes them.

JAH: So glad you sympathize with him and agree with him, one more nail in your coffin showing you aren’t a rational, open-minded person.
Because showing sympathy is not something a rational open-minded person would do? Because agreeing with him rather than you is not something a rational open-minded person would do?

JAH: You missed that he accused me over and over of statements I didn’t make, showing he is delusional.
I didn’t miss that you have accused me over and over of statements I didn’t make. Does that show you being delusional? In fact you makes some in the next paragraph. I attribute that to denial rather than delusion though. You belittle people to make their opinion seem less valid and avoid dealing with the point they are making.

JAH:You missed that I did NOT claim expertise or even interest in his disorder; but that, whatever his personal experiences have been, he assumes that they automatically can be generalized to science.
I didn’t see him saying they can automatically be generalized to science. I interpret him as saying that they illustrate the problems that can occur when a patients experiences are discounted in favor of the doctor’s denial. Another example would be dening that Christine’s child’s SIDS and her other Autism might have been triggered by a vaccination. You insist it’s not possible because of the (Ta Da) Scientific Consensus. Which isn’t as strong IMO as you claim it to be, but we’ve already had that discussion. In fact, we cannot know the true explanation and must accept some uncertainty as unavoidable.

JAH:And you have missed that I clearly pointed out that there is little scientific research on his disorder; but an overwhelming mass of research on vaccines. His entire world centers on his subjective experiences of his particular disorder. Obviously, your rejection of science and public health makes it obvious you would support each other.
Neither Christine nor F68.10 nor I are rejecting science and public health. Science and public health are not posting here. We are rejecting your claims about what science and public health can currently tell us about adverse reactions to vaccines. You confuse what you believe with rationality and scientific knowledge. They are not the same.

JAH: And you missed that I think you are a self-centered ignorant person who refused to accept any responsibility for others, who made it clear that you could care less if you happen to be an asymptomatic carrier and infect some vulnerable person, after all, they should take precautions, like starving to death rather than risk going to a supermarket. If you aren’t married, perhaps, you might consider after your leg heals to move to France. I think you and F68.10 would make a perfect couple.
You are DESPICABLE.

Oh, I haven’t missed what you think of me at all. I’ve simply stopped bothering to make it clear that your accusations are complete misrepresentations of my opinion. I just point them out as disparaging personal comments not supportive of your position or ignore them. I can tolerate you thinking ill of me because my opinions don’t match yours regarding vaccination and the risks that unvaccinated individuals pose to the rest of society. No skin off my nose as the saying goes. BTW, I’ve been married for more than 40 years and even if single, would probably be too old for F68.10. So I consider what you said to be a compliment, not an insult.

@ Beth @ Joel

“We are rejecting your claims about what science and public health can currently tell us about adverse reactions to vaccines.”

On vaccines, I do wish to say that I do not support that stance. What I say is that it is exceedingly difficult to get an opinion on a specific case. Joel does seem to make specific points that indicate that it can hardly by pinned on vaccines and I do tend to agree with that opinion. But I’m no expert on the matter. Anyhow, I do not see how it is legitimate to discuss a specific SIDS case with respect to epidemiology. Many things can happen. The point is that we cannot do without epidemiology, and for reasons I explained to Beth, up to now, it seems to me illegitimate to claim that vaccines can be incriminated on the basis of epidemiological evidence.

Anyhow, the issue being discussed with Joel has no relation to vaccines whatsoever.

Wished to make that clear.

Sorry for this informationless comment.

Beth- at some point we all have to trust the very best that consensual medical science is offering . Not blindly, or uncritically of course. Vaccines and vaccination is one such discipline. It has a vast history of many successes as against some minor ( although serious) failures. It is only by varied, expert investigation that the truth can be separated from fiction.The layman ( such as you and me) cannot do this anywhere near as well compared to the combined ‘wisdom’ of the many integrated and overlapping disciplines as are involved in vaccination.

@Leonard Sugarman

Beth- at some point we all have to trust the very best that consensual medical science is offering.
True

Not blindly, or uncritically of course.
Why are those who question vaccines, and perhaps decide against one or two, treated as if they have rejected the entire consensus and rejected all vaccines? Seems to me that’s what not accepting the consensus blindly looks like.

Vaccines and vaccination is one such discipline.
Disagree. The documented bias of those who made the official recommendations back in 1999 is what caused me to break away from following their recommendations without deviation or any further thought.

*It has a vast history of many successes as against some minor ( although serious) failures. *
True

It is only by varied, expert investigation that the truth can be separated from fiction. The layman ( such as you and me) cannot do this anywhere near as well compared to the combined ‘wisdom’ of the many integrated and overlapping disciplines as are involved in vaccination.
The consensus, as distilled into the recommended vaccine schedule, is for the population as a whole, not for individuals. I agree that they can do this better than laypersons. But laypersons, such as you and me, make decisions only for ourselves based on a more detailed knowledge of the risks and benefits that vaccination will provide us as individuals. I skip the flu vaccine when my personal risk of the disease is low but get it when my risk is high and I want the additional reduction in risk provided by the vaccine.

@Julian Frost Provide evidence of said bias

In 1999, all of the members of the CDC vaccine advisory committee had to file waivers of conflict of interest to sit on the committee.

@Julian Frost: Post the waivers. That was what I found researching it at that time. Look them up yourself if you are that interested.

@Julian Frost: Post the waivers. That was what I found researching it at that time. Look them up yourself if you are that interested.

Not how it works, Toonces. Howsabout you also get around to ciphering whether such waivers disqualify a member from voting, how and when, and what happens afterward.

Post the waivers.

Beth apparently would prefer that people with any knowledge of vaccines be filtered out. One could get a truly random sample, including street people in the pool (Lord King Fox, who used to peddle his wares outside a Starbucks on 53rd would pass my standards — he owned a van, and once gave me a stout bracelet), but this would be self-poisoning.

@ F68.10

You write: “And you do not know the literature with which you attempt to shame me.”

As I’ve explained and you don’t seem to understand is that I have made it clear that I am not an expert on your condition; but that you have made it quite clear that you subjectively because of your circumstances attack science in general. You keep missing this point. Are you that dense?

And you responded to the three possibilities I listed. I didn’t give a percentage for them and I didn’t claim they were valid, just my hypotheses; but I think reasonable as the example I gave of people being falsely convicted. I didn’t say what percentage, just examples of my hypotheses. And you obviously didn’t read carefully my quote from Wikipedia because it listed a couple of additional cases, so, not just the one and mentioned a number of other possible cases. Just more example of your delusional reading into what others write.

And you quote me: ““What I do know from my previous training in Psychology is that the more serious the mental disorder the less likely the person admits it.”

Your response: “Are you talking about MbP?”

No, I’m not talking about MbP but how you attack me for things I didn’t say, how you rant and rave about Mommy this and Mommy that, your overall delusional language, so I was simply pointing out that your are severely mentally disturbed and it affects your perceptions, the vast majority of your comments and that, though you admit you have problems from MbP you fail to realize just how irrational and delusional you are.

I’m so glad that Beth identifies with you.

@ Joel

“As I’ve explained and you don’t seem to understand is that I have made it clear that I am not an expert on your condition”

Then you have no right to start making the rather defamatory claims you’ve been making.

“but that you have made it quite clear that you subjectively because of your circumstances attack science in general.”

This is your psychological projection. And something I’ve witnessed in doctors for ages: Criticise Mo… Doctor and you are antiscience. Doesn’t matter that her claims and “science” have been thoroughly debunked by the White Knight of Science in France. Already gave the link to that in previous post.

“You keep missing this point. Are you that dense?”

I’m calling bullshit on you.

“And you responded to the three possibilities I listed.”

I told you what I thought of them. I do not see the specific point you are making. Be explicit.

“I didn’t give a percentage for them and I didn’t claim they were valid, just my hypotheses;”

They are reasonable first approximations. But not the full story.

“but I think reasonable as the example I gave of people being falsely convicted.”

And I am telling you: Sally Clark is a distraction. She binge-drinked herself to death, and that doesn’t change anything to the fact that she is a distraction on the topic. And she all the more is so because the medical world sees that as a crime, which is precisely the kind of black and white thinking that you attack. So stop bringing up Sally Clark if you’re not willing to engage with the literature.

“I didn’t say what percentage, just examples of my hypotheses. And you obviously didn’t read carefully my quote from Wikipedia because it listed a couple of additional cases, so, not just the one and mentioned a number of other possible cases. Just more example of your delusional reading into what others write.”

Look, Joel. I (re)wrote these articles on Wikipedia myself.

“No, I’m not talking about MbP”

I perfectly understood that. I was playing with your mind.

“but how you attack me for things I didn’t say”

Be explicit. So that we may have a chance to see what meat there is to your allegation.

“how you rant and rave about Mommy this and Mommy that”

Oh! How curious! Then why do you tell me to seek help with people that are precisely the ones that bring that specific point on the table ad nauseam?…. You get me wrong Joel: I am bitching about doctors bringing Mommy on the table to deflect responsibility over any wrongdoings and any violation of consent they engaged onto my mother. This blame culture that most doctors endorse on the topic of MbP. The same persons who are telling me to HATE my mother are precisely the ones you’re asking me to seek help with. I have spent years and years trying to break free from that because I wish to solve a situation. The ones that are brewing hate and stopping that situation from getting solved are precisely the ones that you’re telling me should be the ones with which I should seek help.

Again, you are flat wrong on all and every aspect of the dynamics of this kind of situation. And, again, you are playing the “You have a problem with Mommy” card. So, yeah, that justifies the irony and the grossly exaggerated rhetoric I use. Because the ones I have a problem with are the ones that will. not. stop. And these are doctors.

So stop whining about me mildly deforming your claims when you are outrageously doing so.

“your overall delusional language”

There is a distinction between rhetorics and semantics, Joel. You should know it better than everyone else. Stick to the facts, to the science, and stop engaging in this psycho-babble.

“so I was simply pointing out that your are severely mentally disturbed”

Side-effect. See Kimberly Glazier for full synopsis of after-effects of that kind of situation. Thank you for making my point once more.

Truth is not a matter of whether or not the person that says something is mentally disturbed or not. It is a matter of whether statements map onto reality. So far, you have done nothing to discussing that point.

“and it affects your perceptions”

Ah. Yes. The psycho-bullshit that I’ve been living through for decades at the hands of Mo… Doctor.

“the vast majority of your comments and that”

Take examples of comments and debunk them. Slinging shit is so much more comfortable.

“though you admit you have problems from MbP you fail to realize just how irrational and delusional you are.”

Oh! Then prove it, big boy.

You’re out of your league.

“I’m so glad that Beth identifies with you.”

Again: argument by association. Irrelevant. And you should know it better than anyone.

Joel-if you are not an expert on the ‘condition’ of F68 how do you conclude that he is severely mentally disturbed. Are mis-perceptions and irrationality diagnostic of mental disturbance? If so then that may probably include most of the world’s human population.

@ Leonard Sugarman

“Joel-if you are not an expert on the ‘condition’ of F68 how do you conclude that he is severely mentally disturbed.”

Well, you do get “mentally disturbed” in these situations. That’s not the issue. The issue is that these kinds of situations are highly controversial. Individual reactions such as Joel’s are highly understandable and excusable. Collective reactions of the medical profession much less so. So do not blame Joel for his opinions on that matter, whatever they are.

“Are mis-perceptions and irrationality diagnostic of mental disturbance?”

This is a more serious question than it might seem at first glance. One of the problems is indeed that issues of treatment compliance are often very much conflated with notions of irrationality and also with the notion of danger to self. So these tend to be conflated in practice, and I also believe that they are conflated in theory.

“If so then that may probably include most of the world’s human population.”

Never try to use that argument in a psych ward. Never.

@ Joel

Sorry for the turn this discussion took. It was more or less inevitable. Take time to look back on it. I’m sorry that we’re not reading you anymore on RI since. Did not intend that.

@ Beth

You write: “When he calls someone irrational, I always remember that the measure of rational numbers within the real number system is zero.”

Once more you prove my point. Mathematics is a form of logic where one can “prove” theorems. The real world, public health, epidemiology, medical research is grounded in scientific methodology. There are various sub-methodologies; but all must follow certain rules. Obviously, as from your previous comments, e.g., “certainty” etc. you think like a mathematician, which is great when dealing with mathematical problems; but falls far short of dealing with the real world.

So, thanks for once more confirming my opinion of you.

@ F68.10

You write: “But you downplayed the issue by essentially claiming that if it’s done out of good intentions or genuine errors, then there is nothing to see.”

Once more you read into my intentions. On other topics, not this blog, I have clearly separated good intentions from harms done. If a doctor, with good intentions, carries out some procedure; but his intentions were NOT scientifically based, then he should lose a lawsuit. If, as happens in U.S. a doctor carries out a procedure, totally uncalled for, just to make money, he should be sued, lose his license, and potentially go to prison. I get sick and tired of your delusional interpretations of what I write.

You write: “I do not give a fuck about that. Because it’s entirely besides the point. You are falling in the MbP trap by engaging the discussion in this direction. There was NO FLUOR INTOXICATION. I do not give a fuck about that. Because it’s entirely besides the point. You are falling in the MbP trap by engaging the discussion in this direction. There was NO FLUOR INTOXICATION”

Since I asked you why you brought up fluoridation and you didn’t response, I wrote its history. Once more you are a delusional ASSHOLE attacking me. Since you didn’t respond to my question, it was an easy reason to simply explain its history.

You write: “Ah! Yes. Science is a national matter. Science differs from country to country.”

Again, you miss the point. I am not an expert on France; but have read she is a leader in research in immunology; but in psychiatry, most French, at least last time I read anything, still go to psychoanalysts, a treatment without any basis in science. I could also point out that a number of medical and support groups have given criteria for diagnosing MbP in U.S. I don’t know about France. So, the point is you keep complaining about your treatment in France and, given the French preference for unscientific psychoanalysis, that may partially explain your experiences and, yes, I took a graduate course in psychoanalysis and we had guest speakers that assured us it was based in science; but, being not shy, I asked if they could give any references. Nope. So, science doesn’t differ from country to country; but how much a health care system is based on science or even a subset of a healthcare system does differ.

You write: “Anecdotes are not “hypotheses””

Again, NOT WHAT I SAID. I said that from anecdotes we often develop hypotheses to do the research. You really are delusional.

And, quite frankly, without access to an independent appraisal of you, as far as I’m concerned, you could have obsessed, focused on MbP, when your condition caused by something else. But, again, your ranting and raving, using Mommy a dozen times in one comment and other gross linguistic distortions, tells me you really need help; but whether it is available or not, I have NO idea.

So, on the one had, I recognize that you are a human being suffering and would like to be sympathetic; but on the other had, I am only human and your comments, your claiming I said things I didn’t, your generalizing from one rare condition to science in general, as far as I’m concerned you are an ASSHOLE. As is Beth, who thinks because flu hasn’t affected her, to hell with others. In fact, she may have had flu asymptomatically and at some time in her life actually seriously hurt another innocent person; but, I doubt that would bother her. I wonder what would happen if Beth got a really serious case of the flu and ended up, perhaps, surviving; but needing ventilation in a hospital. Probably she would in future, perhaps, get flu shots; but not consider that asymptomatically she could give it to others. If the world was dominated by Beths, we would all be in trouble, including Beth. She is too close-minded to understand that, or, perhaps, she does and considers as long as many people feel an obligation to the community, she can do her own selfish thing.

@ Joel

“Once more you read into my intentions.”

Possibly. But then, refering to your July 4th 2020 12:52pm comment, in the first of the three points you make out of your interpretation, the usage you make of “psychologically disturbed parent”, “to get attention”, “not without actual animosity” tends to downplay the situation. In your second of the three points you made, you have an unfounded obsession with “rare genetic disorders” which shows you do not understand the entity, and talking about “minor problems”, “overreacting”, “best as they can” and “exacerbate” also does give the impression you are downplaying the situation. And in the third point, you again have this fetish on “rare genetic disorders”, which shows that you really do not understand the nature of the problem, and go into “excuses for the behaviour” on the epsitomological basis of confusing roughly everything based on mediatic situations such as epitomised by the Pelletier case. MbP is not about “rare genetic disorders”. It’s not only about toddles. It can be about adults and pets, for instance. What you are focusing on is the only thing you care about as a medical provider. And in doing so, you clearly are downplaying the issue. So, no, in fact I did understand you more than I thought I did. And I therefore double down on my accusation. See? Sometimes I do change my mind…

“On other topics, not this blog, I have clearly separated good intentions from harms done. If a doctor, with good intentions, carries out some procedure; but his intentions were NOT scientifically based”

Yeah. These last words show that you are living in your fantasy world. It is not a question of “scientifically based” treatment. It is a question of lies, deceit, forgery, exaggerations, and it may perfectly look on the outside as perfectly scientifically valid. You really have to get this basic fact straight in your head, Joel, if you do not want to be pushed into utter ridicule. The Lacey Spears case was not about “rare genetic condition” and “overreacting parent”. Intoxications reported in the literature do not tend to fit the pattern of “rare genetic condition” either. The manifestation of MbP as otho-rhyno-laryngological surgeries described in the litterature (this one will take a while to search if you call bullshit on me as I do not have the reference in my head handy) are not about that either. Well, more could be said of the interplay of the two, but you have a very selective take on the issue, that I perhaps should not shy away from calling denialism. Bring out Pankratz to your defense, so we can move on. And do not forget to study Eminson and Postlethwaite, a landmark theoretical paper on the matter. You may find ammunition there to defend your position.

“then he should lose a lawsuit.”

Joel. This. Is. Not. The. Issue. A two year old toddler does not sue his parent.

“If, as happens in U.S. a doctor carries out a procedure, totally uncalled for, just to make money, he should be sued, lose his license, and potentially go to prison. I get sick and tired of your delusional interpretations of what I write.”

Yeah, well you may get as sick as you wish. The paragraph above has nothing to do with MbP. Why do you keep moving the goalposts?

“Since I asked you why you brought up fluoridation and you didn’t response, I wrote its history.”

I explained from the very start that it was linked to a fake intoxication. Stop complaining that I am misrepresenting you if you cannot read straight. Buy glasses.

“Once more you are a delusional ASSHOLE attacking me.”

You are someone who disregards science and evidence on this matter because it suits your views. You = Christine.

“Since you didn’t respond to my question, it was an easy reason to simply explain its history.”

Which has no bearing on the reality of this notion. MbP feeds on anything. Why did she have this rickets and bone fetish? Fluor. So why do I care about its history? It’s pointless. The point is that she mixes everything in her head, looks at her kids, and say, “here it is!”. And off you go to the antipoison center. That’s the problem. The problem of the history of fluor is completly besides the point. So if you do masturbate on its history, you will miss the point I am making. So I do not believe that I am overly “attacking” you by reminding you to stay on the tracks of relevant argumentation. Grow a thicker skin.

“Again, you miss the point.”

And you miss the point again. If psychoanalysis is the scientific consensus in France, for whatever reasons, then MbP can take a psycho-analytic turn. If whatever issue is being fetishised in any country gets in the head of an MbP abuser, it can be recycled. That is precisely why, and I will make this point explicit till your ears whistle, that MbP has, to be operational, to piggy-back on scientific consensus. And that is why you have zero chance of detecting it by engrossing yourself in the “I’m a science-based doctor” mantra. It’s utterly foolish to think that way. And you do. From what I can judge.

“I could also point out that a number of medical and support groups have given criteria for diagnosing MbP in U.S. I don’t know about France.”

I tend to like Thomas Roessler’s point of view. It is sensible. In France, Binet seems to be doing a rather good job, from a somewhat EMDR-psycho-analytic point of view. But overall, I did mention this 1:100 detection ratio between France and the UK when it comes to factitious disorders (on self), didn’t I? I think that says it all.

“So, the point is you keep complaining about your treatment in France and, given the French preference for unscientific psychoanalysis”

Well look up the Rachel case. Think about it, and come back to me with your thoughts. Maybe then you’ll understand that it is not merely a personal matter, no matter what you may wish to believe about me in your distorted (on that matter) mind of yours.

“but how much a health care system is based on science or even a subset of a healthcare system does differ.”

Science will not immunise your system against MbP. You have to look at it straight into the eyes. Only then you have any hope of having a scientific way to deal with this. I mentioned Wahi and Bass. Look it up.

“Again, NOT WHAT I SAID. I said that from anecdotes we often develop hypotheses to do the research. You really are delusional.”

Where I am not delusional is that this argument is used to deny personal experiences. Glad that this is not the case with what you wrote. Or is it?

“And, quite frankly, without access to an independent appraisal of you”

And I am not willing to do you that favour. Stick to the science instead of my personal situation, hall monitor.

“as far as I’m concerned, you could have obsessed, focused on MbP, when your condition caused by something else.”

I’m not concerned by your concern. Much more concerned by your denialism.

“But, again, your ranting and raving, using Mommy a dozen times in one comment and other gross linguistic distortions, tells me you really need help”

Again: to make the point clear, and cristal clear, I do not shy away from stating things this way. Once you acknowledge these exaggerations as a first approximation of my position to avoid strawmaning, as strawman me you did, which motivated the exaggeration in first place, we may then move on to second and third approximations and more relevant details. If and only if you so wish. For the moment, stick with the exaggeration. You seem to have trouble grasping it in the first place.

“but whether it is available or not, I have NO idea.”

Well I do know that it is not. For various reasons.

“So, on the one had, I recognize that you are a human being suffering and would like to be sympathetic”

And I do not give a fuck about your sympathy. Sympathy is the workhorse of that kind of abuse. Spit on me. I’m more comfortable with that.

“but on the other had, I am only human and your comments, your claiming I said things I didn’t”

Be specific.

“your generalizing from one rare condition to science in general”

Were you the one bitching that I claim you said things you didn’t? Maybe you should have a look in the miror. As long as you do not see that you have no excuse to claim the moral high ground on such matters, I am going to humiliate you rhetorically with what you call “exaggerations” and “delusional language”. Mark my words.

“as far as I’m concerned you are an ASSHOLE.”

Yes. Thank you. You should add “terrorist”. It’s in my records after all. You now have your science-based alibi to declare me a threat to national security or whatever nonsense you may wish to pull out.

No exaggerations are too strong to despise me and spit on me if you are a Brave Defender of Medicine. Always funny to see you bitching about exaggerations in that context, but I digress…

“As is Beth, who thinks because flu hasn’t affected her, to hell with others.”

I stick to one topic at a time. Settle your scores with Beth if you so wish, but do not bother me with your nonsensical arguments by association, Rational Boy.

“She is too close-minded to understand that, or, perhaps, she does and considers as long as many people feel an obligation to the community, she can do her own selfish thing.”

And what you should start to sink into your head is that if MbP exists, it is precisely because if it did not exist, worried mothers would have a hard time getting care for their kids with oversuspicious doctors. MbP is a manifestation of that generosity, and that carefree attitude doctors have to seductive mothers tossing their kids around. So you should perhaps thank me for being a side-effect of that generosity you put above all other moral values. well… do not thank me: it’s perfectly natural.

@ F68.10,

I’m sorry about what happened to you then & I am sorry about what is happening now, here.

Bizarrely, my mom, who drove me crazy with her quest for “What is wrong with Christine” … had rickets & pectus excavatum & was fixated on fluorosis for several years.

I wasn’t allowed to drink tap water & actually had to fill & carry large bottles from a natural spring on Pikes Peak, to the car, down the mountainside, every weekend. Brutal in the winter; slipping on ice with my fingers going numb from cold.

What is incredibly ironic about this involves the history of fluorosis. It was discovered HERE, in Colorado Springs when Dr. Frederick McKay found the “Colorado Brown Stain” in 87.5% of the 2,945 children he examined in 1909. It wasn’t until 1931 that the reason was discovered: Pikes Peak’s rock formations contained the mineral cryolite, one of whose constituents is fluorine. Our natural water’s fluoride concentration is 2 to 13.7 mg/L of fluoride. Lol, all that spring water was the exact opposite of what my mom was trying to accomplish.

I’m not minimizing your experience whatsoever. Thankfully this was before my mom attained her PhD’s so her thoughts fell on deaf ears. Eventually she realized she was on the wrong path; she didn’t cling to it. It was a temporary fixation but I have some wild stories I could tell of all the doctors & mental heath professionals I had to see. That’s where my disdain for the “get help” advice comes from. That’s also why I believe autism is “new”. All that & not one diagnosis ever applied for a hyperlexic girl who ran in circles, flapped her hands & had ‘anger issues’ because nobody had ever seen it before. I fought that one too, when it started becoming prevalent enough for others to recognize it. Wasn’t until I saw so much of me in my severe son that I started to accept it.

You should look into patient descriptions in 19th Century sanitariums….plenty of folks there who fit the description of classic autism.

@ Lawrence:

That would be easy to find. Try Wikipedia autism#history. Actually, autistics were often diagnosed as MR ( relevant here) or as Infantile Schizophrenics.
Many were in institutions and thus, disregarded by the general public. I think that James Laidler covers how the numbers reversed ( Autism Watch) Also Matt Carey’s blog ( LeftBrainRightBrain)
Funny how scoffers don’t know this.

-btw-
Being away for 4 days, I missed you guys, even the complex arguments amongst Orac’s finest as above, But I didn’t miss anti-vaxxers at all- in fact, it was a relief to not read any of their nonsense” one of the reasons I didn’t bring a device ( hotel didn’t offer public computer – due to Covid; I won’t use a phone for this)

@ Denice Walter

“Being away for 4 days, I missed you guys, even the complex arguments amongst Orac’s finest as above”

I must say that I am not happy that Joel has not been commenting recently. Not necessarily on this thread, but on other comments as well. I do not intend this, if it is, to be a side-effect of such conversations.

@ Joel

Come back! I’m not here to specifically argue with you, so please keep commenting on more recent posts.

@Denice, Right? The current definition of autism wasn’t really a thing until 1980 and DSM-III. Doesn’t mean it never existed, just that we called it other things. Kids who “didn’t quite fit” weren’t really much of concern in terms of diagnosis in the first half of the 20th century, and even into the second half. My dad worked in the kitchen of a state “hospital” where people were institutionalized during the early 60s. It wasn’t uncommon to discover the “retarded” kids were actually profoundly deaf or had some other issue going on, because no one cared about disabled people.

I mean, hyperlexia was a concept first put forth in the late 60s, so why would it be associated with autism? That’s way too late for it to be considered in the DSM-II (1968), especially since autism was still considered a type of childhood schizophrenia.

I don’t watch TV on the computer, but Ron Santo just puts the whole thing into the rubbish bin, from my breif reading. In any event, Virgil Patrick Hughes had better get some better fucking treatment from Cooperstown the next time the Ford C. Frick Award comes around.

Beth- I have no difference with you if the vaccine(s) you wish to avoid, although perhaps coming highly recommended, for whatever reason, so long as your decision has no adverse impact on any other individuals in the population. Certainly this type of decision has been shown, many times over, and written about extensively on this blog,to have had serious deleterious effects on others. If you individually ‘suffer’ any negative consequences from your choices so be it. BUT often this decision may and does affect your own children, who cannot be considered your ‘property’ or outside the general population and cannot decide for themselves the prophylactic benefits of a particular vaccine..There are serious complex moral and practical issues when the parent makes such a decision for their child that flies in the face of the proven medical benefits. I cannot add to the extensive , comprehensive and mostly expert dialogue that has thoroughly explored these issues on Orac’s blog for a long time now..

Certainly this type of decision has been shown, many times over, and written about extensively on this blog,to have had serious deleterious effects on others.

There are anecdotes of such instances and there is much muttering about herd immunity but there is little scientific evidence to justify that the risks to others of serious deleterious effects of not vaccinating outweigh the risk of serious deleterious effects of vaccination. Both risks are quite small and, as typical for rare events, the probabilities are not well assessed.

There are serious complex moral and practical issues when the parent makes such a decision for their child that flies in the face of the proven medical benefits.

Serious complex moral and practical issues cannot be decided at a population level, but must be looked at on an individual level taking context into account. We start with the assumption that parents will do their best for their children and, when they don’t, we have laws that allow the government to intervene – i.e. J.W.’s who decline lifesaving blood transfusions for their child and parents who decide cancer treatments are worse than the cancer. With vaccination, to remove that decision from parents has serious complex moral and practical issues apart from the medical benefits. The sneering at issues like parental rights and medical freedom that occurs here does not, in any way, negate the abridgement of recognized human rights that would occur if parents were not allowed to decline vaccinations for their child.

Both risks are quite small and, as typical for rare events, the probabilities are not well assessed.

In other words, you’re hiding in the herd.

We start with the assumption that parents will do their best for their children

TINW.

With vaccination, to remove that decision from parents has serious complex moral and practical issues apart from the medical benefits.

The issue is having to homeschool.

@NARAD In other words, you’re hiding in the herd. Respectfully disagree. Hiding in the herd only works for some vaccinations. You can’t hide in the herd from tetanus for example. Further, it’s a self-correcting issue, the fewer people that vaccinate, the greater the risk of disease, making vaccination comparatively less risky.

TINW There is no we? I was referring to the somewhat elusive ‘social contract’. Our laws and policies start with the assumption that parents want what’s best for their children. It’s not always true, but that’s the starting point.

The issue is having to homeschool. That is not the only issue.

You can’t hide in the herd from tetanus for example.

That is the most pathetic attempt at diversion that I have seen in a very long while.

Further, it’s a self-correcting issue, the fewer people that vaccinate, the greater the risk of disease, making vaccination comparatively less risky.

Well, I guess that takes Kant off the table: Everybody should behave as you do.

There is no we? I was referring to the somewhat elusive ‘social contract’. Our laws and policies start with the assumption that parents want what’s best for their children. It’s not always true, but that’s the starting point.

You don’t say. I’m sure FASAB swear to think of the children! every time the do something. This is simply imbecilic.

The issue is having to homeschool.

That is not the only issue.

Well, I guess that takes care of that.

Beth-you may decide to abstain from certain vaccines in the ‘schedule’ BUT if it is shown that the abstention has resulted in a ‘significant’ increase in the incidence of the disease that the vaccine can protect against, the criticism heaped on you and like-minded others will be deserved.
Collective individual decisions to abstain from a vaccination may affect the population adversely as a whole. There are innumerable instances of these occurrences, profusely exampled on Orac’s blog along with his commenters..
You agree that ‘expert’ opinion can decide these matters better than the layperson yet you contradict this view with the assertion that you have more detailed knowledge ( than the experts) of the risks and benefits to the individual!. It is a ridiculous, nonsensical assumption that the experts are not considering individual cases in their trials and testing procedures., protocols
o one would ( or should not) qrarrel with your choices for the flu vaccine. But again, if influenza became more contagious and dangerous as say in 1919 then your choice should be curtailed by the ‘collective’ by mandatory isolation, quarantine and whatever means are available to protect others.
There may be aanecdotes about , say measles, but there is also meticulous epidemiological evidence also.
You may consider herd immunity to be an insignificant concept but many experts will differ from your view and providethe statistics, math, modelling and other evidence to sustain their view. Yours amounts to ‘mutterings’!
Again you take on yourself the cloak of a more enlightened wisdom about risks and benefits than those you have conceded know better!
The science of studying populations as whole ( epidemiology) is only one of many disciplines assessing effficacy, safety, risks and benefits. And this is done independently, world wide by many scientists and medics from varied countries.If they consensualy conclude after all these studies, not just ‘mutter’ or mswop stories, that there is no validity in the hypothesized risks or causal associations between a vaccine and a disease then that really is the best knowledge we have for the moment.

It’s not always easy to distinguish whether they are merely deceiving themselves or that they have deceived themselves into believing they can deceive others.

rs-this has the flavor of Donald Rumsfield’s ‘there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns;…that is to say we know there are things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns- the ones we don’t know…the difficult ones.

Would you like to hear about the industry that builds voting machines?

Oo-ee-oh.

No, I prefer details about the original question rather than hand-waving and trying to change the subject.

LS: Beth-you may decide to abstain from certain vaccines in the ‘schedule’ BUT if it is shown that the abstention has resulted in a ‘significant’ increase in the incidence of the disease that the vaccine can protect against, the criticism heaped on you and like-minded others will be deserved

IF is shown, then I’ll reconsider my opinion.

LS:* There are innumerable instances of these occurrences, profusely exampled on Orac’s blog along with his commenters.*

No, there are a few examples, repeated multiple times. There are also instances where vaccines had serious adverse effects. When we have accurate assessments of the rates of both instances, I’ll reconsider my opinion.

LS: You agree that ‘expert’ opinion can decide these matters better than the layperson yet you contradict this view with the assertion that you have more detailed knowledge ( than the experts) of the risks and benefits to the individual!.

I have more detailed knowledge of the risks and benefits to one individual – me. I know my family history, the rates of such diseases locally, my personal values, etc. Risks and benefits assessed on the individual level are more accurate for that individual than risks and benefits assessed on the population level.

LS:It is a ridiculous, nonsensical assumption that the experts are not considering individual cases in their trials and testing procedures., protocols

Good thing I’m not making that assumption then.

LS: o one would ( or should not) qrarrel with your choices for the flu vaccine.

I’m sure they would quarrel with my choices, just as you do. That doesn’t make them right and me wrong about my choices for myself.

LS: But again, if influenza became more contagious and dangerous as say in 1919 then your choice should be curtailed by the ‘collective’ by mandatory isolation, quarantine and whatever means are available to protect others.
Indeed. If influenza became more contagious and dangerous, I would raise my assessment of the benefit of the vaccination and make a different decision.

LS:There may be aanecdotes about , say measles, but there is also meticulous epidemiological evidence also.
I’m not sure what your point is here? Measles was a vaccine I agreed with the experts on the benefits being well in excess of the risks.

LS:You may consider herd immunity to be an insignificant concept but many experts will differ from your view and providethe statistics, math, modelling and other evidence to sustain their view. Yours amounts to ‘mutterings’!
I’d be happy to discuss those statistics math and modeling of the herd immunity equations in detail if anyone here wanted to do so. Looking into them is why I don’t consider it a good argument. So far, the discussions here on herd immunity are more like a faith-based belief rather than an understanding of the equations.

LS: Again you take on yourself the cloak of a more enlightened wisdom about risks and benefits than those you have conceded know better!
I think you misunderstand my argument. My point is that I know myself better than they do.

LS: The science of studying populations as whole ( epidemiology) is only one of many disciplines assessing effficacy, safety, risks and benefits. And this is done independently, world wide by many scientists and medics from varied countries.If they consensualy conclude after all these studies, not just ‘mutter’ or mswop stories, that there is no validity in the hypothesized risks or causal associations between a vaccine and a disease then that really is the best knowledge we have for the moment.

Yes, I look at it from the point of view of my own areas of expertise, which include math modeling and quality assurance. Studies are conducted to answer questions that vaccine producers want answered, not the questions that consumer’s ask. The regulatory agencies appear to have been captured by the industry. There are gaps in the literature regarding safety and risks from the consumer’s point of view.

Beth- it’s a good thing you are only considering yourself in these matters and are not extrapolating to others in the general population.It is not unlikely, although not your fault particularly, that others will use your reasoning and extrapolate to themselves and many more in the general population. It seems to me from all you argue that you know better ( or think so) for yourself alone than the varied experts in these matters. Here ends the saga.

There are gaps in the literature regarding safety and risks from the consumer’s point of view.

And back from the particular to the general. What are they?

Beth – what questions or issues of interest can be or are raised by ‘consumers’ that are not or cannot be considered by the experts? What particular questions have so far been ignored by the experts.? Are you really familiar and knowledgeable with the vast literature about the safety and risks involved with various vaccines and their uses?

@ Narad And Leonard Sugarman
LS: Beth – what questions or issues of interest can be or are raised by ‘consumers’ that are not or cannot be considered by the experts? What particular questions have so far been ignored by the experts.? Are you really familiar and knowledgeable with the vast literature about the safety and risks involved with various vaccines and their uses?

Beth: There are gaps in the literature regarding safety and risks from the consumer’s point of view.
Narad: And back from the particular to the general. What are they?

I’ve discussed this at length before, although I think that was on SBM, not RI. And this thread is deep enough I don’t want to start on a lengthy argument about it here. Let me just reference The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety, Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence and Future Studies published by the Institute o f Medicine https://www.nap.edu/catalog/13563/the-childhood-immunization-schedule-and-safety-stakeholder-concerns-scientific-evidence. This report does a very good job of delineating the gaps in research answering ‘stakeholder’ (parental) questions and recommending the necessary work needed to fill them. That was published in 2013. Research since then has yet to fill those gaps.

This is the bias I see due to industry influence over what studies get done. This recent paper explores the detailed way in which the causality assessment regarding Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) is biased against a finding of causality. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32269767/

That’s just one exploration of how industry influence results in research that fails to answer the questions parents pose. A parent asks what is the risk that this vaccine will harm my child in any way. That’s not the question that gets answered in expensive studies. It’s a question that only gets answered by independent researchers, like Mawson (see link) possessing few resources beyond his own industry, ingenuity and pocket book.
https://www.talkingaboutthescience.com/studies/Mawson2017.pdf

BTW, it’s not that experts cannot answer the questions that consumers have. It’s that they don’t. Consumer interests don’t drive research. Industry interests do. That is a clear sign of regulatory capture. It happens over and over and over in industry after industry. Would you like to hear about the industry that builds voting machines?

I’m not sure what your point is here? Measles was a vaccine I agreed with the experts on the benefits being well in excess of the risks.

So, have you had wild measles and obtained titers, have you had both doses, or is there some equivocal in-between?

This recent paper explores the detailed way in which the causality assessment regarding Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) is biased against a finding of causality. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32269767/

If you’re going to blandly resort to upchucking F1000 Research, you really need to be able to defend the underlying text on your own rather than doling it out as some sort of Zuni Fetish Warrior Doll.

That’s not the question that gets answered in expensive studies. It’s a question that only gets answered by independent researchers, like Mawson (see link) possessing few resources beyond his own industry, ingenuity and pocket book.

I’ll not belabor the obvious point that “like Mawson” excludes “summary judgment” Mawson. I will indulge in observing that you have taken a step down from the F1000 stable.

@Narad: Are you aware that your complaints about my links provide support for the point I was making regarding them? That industry heavily influences what research gets published. Scientists attempting to provide answers to the questions that parents face significant hurdles with regard to the resources available for them to conduct and publish their research. Where is the well-funded research providing answers to the questions parents have?

It’s a question that only gets answered by independent researchers, like Mawson (see link) possessing few resources beyond his own industry, ingenuity and pocket book.

It is illustrative of your mind set that you rely on retracted papers and those published in bottom tier pay to publish journals. When problems with vaccines are identified, the findings are published in major medical journals, not in junk journals.

I always read the phrase “independent researcher” as synonymous with crank. They almost always are.

Here’s an example of what Beth contemptuously refers to as “muttering about herd immunity” (from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center website):

“A growing number of parents are choosing to not have their children vaccinated for measles and other preventable diseases. However, some groups don’t have the option, such as infants under 6 months who are too young for the shot, some cancer patients and those who are immunosuppressed.

Those who have had a stem cell transplant typically lose the protection they’d acquired through prior vaccinations and need to be revaccinated, usually starting six months or a year after the transplant. But they can’t be given some vaccinations using a live virus for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, they are especially vulnerable until their immune sytems become stronger.

“Bone marrow transplant patients, for example, cannot get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine until at least two years after the procedure, and are therefore at high risk for developing life-threatening complications from measles,” said Pergam.

Fred Hutch and SCCA see approximately 500 transplant patients each year. “And we are not the only transplant center in the country,” Pegram said, “there are plenty of others.”

Many of these patients are at risk for measles if they encounter an unvaccinated person who has become infected. In order to protect the most vulnerable among us, Pergam said, the healthy need to be vaccinated.

Carl Krawitt, the California father of a 6-year-old boy with leukemia, is on a campaign to have immunization required at schools, with the exception of those who cannot get a vaccine for medical reasons, like his son, according to the blog The California Report.

In Washington state, Rep. June Robinson introduced a bill on Wednesday that would limit vaccine exemptions for personal beliefs. That same day, California lawmakers also said they would introduce legislation requiring all school kids to be vaccinated unless there are medical reasons prohibiting it.

“It’s very emotional for me,” Krawitt told The California Report. “If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that’s your responsibility, that’s your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies, then … your action has harmed my child.”

If Beth is going to keep complaining about the unfairness of labeling people antivaxers because they supposedly question only “one or two” vaccines, then she needs to be forthright and explain which vaccines she “questions” and which she supports.
Otherwise we’ll have to conclude that, like other antivaxers, she’s unwilling to go on the record with her belief that vaccines are bad, period, while hiding behind a false front of reasonableness.

I saw the post you mention.

She cited some vaccination of her kids 20 or more years ago but did not say which, if any, of those vaccines she currently supports.
This has a familiar ring. Numerous antivaxers claim to have gotten their children vaccinated in the past but have since become virulently antivaccine whether or not they think injury ensued. It may be a hint that Beth in this thread alone has termed vaccination “a major sacrifice” and a “violation of bodily autonomy”.

The closest she came to candor on the subject of vaccines good-or-bad was to note she did not find flu vaccine useful for her now, but avoided saying whether she supported flu vaccination in general.

Note that she also said in this thread (in response to Joel saying that vaccines offer exponentially more benefit than risk) that only some vaccines fit that definition and “those are the ones I get”.

So, which vaccines does she allegedly “get”? Simple question, but ooh, too risky to answer. If Beth was even tempted to acknowledge grudging approval of any vaccine, there’s be a record of it and her antivax buddies would be aghast. Best not to take the risk. 🙂

Dishonesty characterized by JAQing off (Beth’s specialty here and on SBM) is an offensive tactic. But she should realize she’s just shooting herself in the foot by repeatedly dodging the question of which if any vaccines she supports. Others, like pediatrician Paul Thomas have realized the utility of endorsing a select few childhood vaccines while urging delay or avoidance of all the others. That way they can occupy a serene “middle ground” between evidence-based medicine and loony pseudoscience, while simultaneously spewing a steady stream of antivax memes designed to steer people away from vaccines altogether.

Beth- Even IF it were true that a particular institution involved in all aspects of immunization etc, (for example the CDC). will not , although could, address the questions that consumers ask, via their many involved disciplines it nevertheless stretches credulity to unfathomable limits to suggest that those very consumer questions are not investigated by ANY of the other myriad communities, independent and world wide, in laboratories, universities, hospitals , biomedical centres, pharmaceutical companies and more. involved in all aspects of vaccination, individual and social health. It would need a world wide integrated conspiracy of unprecedented organization, headed by the industries you vaguely allude to. None of them would be allowed by whatever means to investigate what their authorities stipulated. Only the like minded and deluded could believe such nonsense! I know you didn’t use my words but they are a consequence of your views.If not then explain why not.

You’re right, Leonard.

I should add that if there ever were such an over-arching, world-wide conspiracy** as that which you describe, wouldn’t they also have the power, money and influence to SUPPRESS all research and information by brave maverick “scientists” like Wakefield, Shaw et al, “journalists” like Del Bigtree, Adams and Null and even anti-vax commenters who populate facebook and websites- both pro and con ( such as this)?

If they were paying Orac so much, why not a little more to shut up all contrarians?
And, at some point, wouldn’t a disgruntled employee/ slave have blown the whistle on their malfeasance as many have done with large corporations, religious groups and GOVERMENTS around the world?

** I ‘splained this to Jake in 2011 and he still hasn’t learned.

Denice- I know it’s like scratching each others back- but well put for the additional clarification of such a preposterous claim that consumer questions and interests are not in the melting pot of the many and varied possibilities of all things ‘vaccination’.research and development. These individual consumer concerns have been considered and answered ad infinitum here with numerous references to all sorts of research aimed at those very particular concerns.There is no special dialogue needed here between consumers and producers. Everybody has a consumer interest including those very scientists and personnel involved in developing safe and effective vaccines.

No, it does not require a world wide integrated conspiracy of unprecedented organization, headed by the industries. If you want to understand how such an effect can come about without a conspiracy or deliberate intent, I recommend Noam Chomsky’s “Necessary Illusions” or Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline”.

Denice: “If they were paying Orac so much, why not a little more to shut up all contrarians?”

I just found out that the Pharma-Gates-Masons-Offit-Coconut Grove conspiracy has started paying selected antivaxers $20 a word to post online*, so I’m demanding a raise to $50 a word.

JAQ-off of the weekend award goes to Beth for “Where is the well-funded research providing answers to the questions parents have?”

Golly, all those papers refuting a vaccine-autism connection and reaffirming vaccine safety and effectiveness must have vanished down a memory hole.

*the more doubts antivaxers sow, the greater the chance that enough children will go unvaccinated to spark increasing disease outbreaks and additional $$$ for Pharma from sales of antibiotics and other drugs. Follow the money. 🙂

If you want to understand how such an effect can come about without a conspiracy or deliberate intent, I recommend Noam Chomsky’s “Necessary Illusions” or Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline”.

Ah, the old rope trick. What can’t it do?

Beth- if you have substantive evidence that shows specifically how the world wide , INDEPENDENT, organisations that are involved in vaccine research and development are under an influence(s) , industry led, that allows certain important issues in the research to go uninvestigated literally everywhere then it should be put to us. Invoking Chomsky, who has some very interesting ideas about thought control and propaganda through the media and elsewhere particularly with respect to history and politics. He has nothing to say of value regards medicine , research into vaccines etc. It is not his field. Your extrapolation has no value in this area of discussion.He does know a little about language!
Senge’s aspiration in his book The Fifth Discipline to build ‘learning organizations’ where people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together seems to me to be exactly transferable to the ‘vaccine enterprises’. He also has nothing to say specifically about the medical research and development of vaccines..

Your thesis cannot withstand scrutiny from this amateur yet alone those more knowledgeable.

@Leonard Sugarman: if you have substantive evidence that shows specifically how the world wide , INDEPENDENT, organisations that are involved in vaccine research and development are under an influence(s) , industry led, that allows certain important issues in the research to go uninvestigated literally everywhere then it should be put to us.

I am talking about a systemic problem, not a conspiracy. What do you think evidence that shows this would look like?

I think that the lack of answers to the questions identified in the 2013 Institute of Medicine report I linked to earlier is evidence of that happening. It’s been 7, almost 8 years, since that was published but we still lack answers to those questions.

I also think it would look like the bias built in to the very definition of Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) used to track vaccine injuries around the world as described in the paper I linked to earlier.

… Your thesis cannot withstand scrutiny from this amateur yet alone those more knowledgeable.

The description you gave world wide integrated conspiracy of unprecedented organization, headed by the industries. is a straw man argument. Chomsky’s and Senge’s work both provide evidence that it is not necessary. While it’s true that Senge and Chomsky were not discussing medical research or the development of vaccines, their work is more general and just as applicable to the field of medicine as any other. My thesis, regarding their work, is that the medical industry is not uniquely immune to systemic problems developing. I presented evidence that this is the case in an earlier post and you responded by using the description quoted above.

Senge discusses how certain problems can affect an entire industry more easily than they can take root in a single institution. Both describe how our institutions create situations wherein different people will make similar choices based on systemic pressures. Different people in the same position will make similar decisions due to those pressures, so changing out the individuals will not make any headway in fixing the systemic problem.

They also both discuss how these people making similar choices can appear to require a ‘conspiracy theory’ but, in fact, that appearance of needing a large conspiracy to accomplish a result, such as the one you are claiming is needed, is an illusion. The pressures created by the system perpetuate the system without requiring conspiracies or even conscious coordination.

Oooh. So while science in other endeavors has inexorably expanded its knowledge base while discarding flawed evidence and imperfect theories, somehow immunization (according to Beth) has existed all this time in a strange bubble, trapped by “systemic pressures” that she can not elucidate but knows they are there.

Meantime, all those immunologists, vaccinologists, infectious disease experts, public health workers and physicians who endorse vaccination are too blind or scared to buck the “System”, willingly exposing themselves and their families to the horror of vaccines. Even though great fame, opportunity and even $$$ awaits practitioners who successfully upend the established paradigm, these millions of poor bozos clutch their syringes in fear, waiting passively for the inevitable day when the whole sordid truth comes out and Kent Heckenlively accepts their surrender.

Beth has us pegged. Better spend those $hillbucks while you can, a Reckoning is coming. 🙁

*Speaking of the IOM, hasn’t it repeatedly validated the safety of vaccines? Why yes it has, but the IOM is under the heel of nameless systemic terrors of which it dare not speak.**
**bonus $hillbucks to whoever can identify the old-time radio program inspiring that line.

@ DB:

SRSLY. The only people I hear invoke Chomsky in regards to SBM are scoffers at RI and Gary Null. There is a grand Illusion which no one can discern except for enlightened ones like them. Propaganda! Who are outside SBM and haven’t a clue but have vested interests- monetary and emotional ( either selling stuff, their brand or protecting their self-enhancing tales) against it. Everything is a fraud- except for me

Sure, there is no dissent and division in science and SBM because everyone walks in lockstep and NEVER challenges anything that is WRITTEN IN STONE and fixed forever. There is NEVER any change in programming- treatments remain the same for decades ( see ulcers, meniscus surgery, DCIS); no one EVER criticises standards at all EVER. New research NEVER changes anything. There is nothing adversarial at all.
There is no person named Ben Goldacre writing about pharma. No one- even Orac- ever discusses over diagnosis and over treatment. Or how different communities are treated unfairly. Or how different treatments may work or not ( see Covid) They are all one.

AS a new graduate I was courted ( by mail) by perhaps 15 schools of psychotherapy who wanted me to sign on as a colleague. I suppose they all preached the same gospel,
Freud, Neo-Freud, Jung, Skinner, CBT, RET whatever. All the same.

“The whole system is corrupt” idea reminds me of a guy who believed that I was accepted and later succeeded at “elitist” universities because:
of my last name, family money, my looks, being Jewish, bribery by my parents, fake recommendations etc etc.
while he was forced to go to a lower level place because of The System. It was fixed.

There is a grand Illusion which no one can discern except for enlightened ones like them. Propaganda!

Straw men are easy to construct and smash but they don’t go very far in persuading anyone but those who already agree with you. That is not how I read Chompsky, nor did I mean to imply it myself. What did I say that made you interpret it that way?

“Skinner”

A bell rings. A bunch of rats “are you fucking steupid? operant conditioning no longer flies with us.” Hand it off to CK so she can ineffectadbly bitch about it.

Beth- It is not for me to describe the nature of the evidence you need to substantiate your view. You present it and let others scrutinize it for errors. DB and DW have made a damning start .So Chomsky and Senge can detect and describe influences that do or potentially hinder medical research and development of some aspects of vaccines.Yet among all those hundreds of thousands of scientists and medics , among them no doubt some with brilliant intellects to match your authors, are unable to overcome or even understand these subtle ‘malign’ influences sufficiently to prevent whatever failures it is you are proposing.
Those very scientists have families and friends and themselves who have the same interests as your other ‘consumers’ in the success, safety and efficacy of the vaccines. It is in everyones’ interest to ‘get it right’; and most of the time they do.They are the experts and as you previousl agreed, know best how to proceed with their science.Their can be no universal theory that covers all aspects of human endeavour , particularly medical science. It would defies all we know about human progress if it were true.I like Karl Popper’s thesis of ‘trial and error, correct the errors and make progress.Now that process seems most true to me for the issues considered here and a lot more besides..

Leonard Sugarman: It is not for me to describe the nature of the evidence you need to substantiate your view.

Since you are the one asking for evidence, you need to describe what you consider evidence of my view. I have already presented evidence that I think supports it, which you ignored.

You present it and let others scrutinize it for errors. DB and DW have made a damning start No one has yet provided evidence of errors on my part, only straw men that inaccurately describe my views.

It is in everyones’ interest to ‘get it right’; and most of the time they do. Yes, I’ve agreed with this. It’s not in conflict with what I’ve been saying. I haven’t said the science is wrong. I’ve said it doesn’t answer the questions that many parents have. If you disagree with that, then provide scientific evidence that answers the questions identified in the IOM report I linked to earlier.

Their can be no universal theory that covers all aspects of human endeavour, particularly medical science. What I was trying to communicate was that the field of medicine is not immune to the problems that plague modern human institutions, such as regulatory capture. Consider the Boeing 737-max. Regulatory capture was identified as part of the problem, which occurred despite it being in everyones’ interest to ‘get it right’; and most of the time they do.

I like Karl Popper’s thesis of ‘trial and error, correct the errors and make progress. Isn’t that a universal theory that covers all aspects of human endeavour which you just claimed can’t exist?

BETH- I personally am ignoring that paper, IOM report, in the F1000 journal and leaving it for experts to consider. It needs to be published where it will have the best chance of being examined- a peer reviewed journal. Again you ignore my proposition that all the independent scientists and institutions, world wide are and are associated with others who are in fact the very consumers, parents, who ask questions. Your thesis proposes that there is not a wit among them who can ask the questions that you suggest have been asked and be addressed by scientific inquiry when those malign social influences are at work to suppress the work or the institutions behind it.. Pull the other one.I am not ASKING for evidence just suggesting you place what you havebefore inquiring expert minds which you say you have done. Does anybody believe you? Are they all dupes suffering ignorant delusions?
I agree that medical institutions are prone to some of the same inhibitory mechanisms that can affect other institutions also. After all they are all still humans who make the decisions. BUT scientific enterprises have devised the best, so far, methods of finding answers to their types of questions – you know- how the world of biology works, medicine , physics , chemistry- you name it
I made no claim for Popper’s ideas of ‘trial and error or’ conjecture and refutation’ as being universal. He , as you well know, was a philosopher of science and science is where it is most applicable. It is a self repairing mechanism and has worked wonders in the last few hundred years.. If you wish to think his ideas universal you may but if he were alive I suggest he would disagree with you. I do.

@Leonard Sugarman: BETH- I personally am ignoring that paper, IOM report, in the F1000 journal and leaving it for experts to consider.
The IOM paper was published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). IIRC, it was put together by experts for the CDC. I think you can find a link to it from their website.
It needs to be published where it will have the best chance of being examined- a peer reviewed journal. The IOM report is far lengthier than could be published in a journal. The papers I cited were peer reviewed.

Again you ignore my proposition that all the independent scientists and institutions, world wide are and are associated with others who are in fact the very consumers, parents, who ask questions. Your thesis proposes that there is not a wit among them who can ask the questions that you suggest have been asked and be addressed by scientific inquiry when those malign social influences are at work to suppress the work or the institutions behind it.
That’s a straw man argument. It is NOT what I am proposing. I’m sorry I’m been unable to communicate to you the concerns about systemic problems as something different from supposing the people working in the field have not the wit to ask those questions. They absolutely do and have. What they have not done is answer the questions with the sort of high quality research that they answer the questions the industry wants answered. I presume because they are unable to get the research funded to answer those questions properly. Which is a symptom of regulatory capture.

Pull the other one.I am not ASKING for evidence just suggesting you place what you have before inquiring expert minds which you say you have done. Does anybody believe you? Are they all dupes suffering ignorant delusions?
You previous said if you have substantive evidence that shows specifically how the world wide , INDEPENDENT, organisations that are involved in vaccine research and development are under an influence(s) , industry led, that allows certain important issues in the research to go uninvestigated literally everywhere then it should be put to us. Since I felt I had already done so via the previously cited report and papers, I asked you to explain what you think is required to show this. Your refusal to answer that or engage with the evidence I have already provided tells me that you are not actually interested in that evidence.
The idea that everyone must be dupes suffering ignorant delusions is your fantasy, not mine. That’s not what I think nor is it implied by what I’ve said.

I agree that medical institutions are prone to some of the same inhibitory mechanisms that can affect other institutions also. After all they are all still humans who make the decisions. BUT scientific enterprises have devised the best, so far, methods of finding answers to their types of questions – you know- how the world of biology works, medicine , physics , chemistry- you name it
Glad we can agree on this.

I made no claim for Popper’s ideas of ‘trial and error or’ conjecture and refutation’ as being universal. He , as you well know, was a philosopher of science and science is where it is most applicable. It is a self repairing mechanism and has worked wonders in the last few hundred years.. If you wish to think his ideas universal you may but if he were alive I suggest he would disagree with you. I do. I made no claim regarding a * universal theory that covers all aspects of human endeavour * either when I cited Chomsky and Senge to provide evidence that a massive conspiracy was not necessary to produce the results I was describing. I felt that what I had said was no less applicable to that charge that what you said about Popper. Perhaps we can limit ourselves to arguing what the other person has actually said now?

@ Leonard Sugarman @ Beth

“I made no claim for Popper’s ideas of ‘trial and error or’ conjecture and refutation’ as being universal. He, as you well know, was a philosopher of science and science is where it is most applicable. It is a self repairing mechanism and has worked wonders in the last few hundred years.. If you wish to think his ideas universal you may but if he were alive I suggest he would disagree with you. I do.”

Some reference material on that specific aspect of Popper’s thought. Review of Ian Jarvie’s book “The Republic of Science” on that topic.

@ Joel

I miss you.

Yes Beth, facts are always preferable to straw men. 😉

When are we going to get 100% safe and effective shields for our irony meters?

Beth- I will leave you with your thesis that the people working in the field , those consumers, do have the wit to ask relevant questions but have not answered them with the high quality research that they apply to the questions industry asks. It seems a tangled web of subtle conspiracies that those in the field if they could read such nonsense would laugh at. My amateur thesis is that those disciplines that work in the field of vaccination production and it’s uses leave no stone unturned to produce the safest and most effective vaccines possible. And they do so in general with a common humanity and empathy for the well being of everybody. Their successes are obvious to most of mankind from around Jenner’s day onwards ( Please don’t correct me with the knowledge that Jenner wasn’t the ‘first’; I know). I may not have answered your’evidence’ satisfactorily but you have received vast amounts of criticisn from several commenters who do so far better than myself.

I will leave you with your thesis that the people working in the field , those consumers, do have the wit to ask relevant questions but have not answered them with the high quality research that they apply to the questions industry asks. Thank you. That’s a decent restatement of my opinion.

t seems a tangled web of subtle conspiracies that those in the field if they could read such nonsense would laugh at.
There isn’t any conspiracy. Not one. Not even a subtle one. I’m not postulating any sort of conspiracy. I have no need of that hypothesis.

My amateur thesis is that those disciplines that work in the field of vaccination production and it’s uses leave no stone unturned to produce the safest and most effective vaccines possible. And they do so in general with a common humanity and empathy for the well being of everybody. Their successes are obvious to most of mankind from around Jenner’s day onwards

We’re in agreement with this. However, they are not the ones who determine which research projects get funded. They do the work they are paid to do (and no doubt occasionally submit project proposals to do such research), but those professionals have full time jobs and do not have sufficient additional time and resources to answer those questions discussed above without funding. A few independent researchers have done such research using their own time and money, but that research has not been able to obtain the same level of quality.

I may not have answered your’evidence’ satisfactorily but you have received vast amounts of criticisn from several commenters who do so far better than myself.

The way to answer my criticism is to show me research that answers those questions. No one here has done that. Complaining that I’m spinning conspiracy theories is only building straw men.

@ Beth

If you do not like the “conspiracy theorist” label, maybe you’d at least settle for “complacency theorist”?

Beth- OK lets not use the word ‘conspiracy’.Why would ‘industry’ or funding committees be careless or callous enough not to wish for the most safe, effective and least problematic vaccines. Again , ‘industry’ is composed of human beings with the same concerns about health and welfare as those consumers ‘outside’ of industry. There will be greater profit and benefit to all if the vaccines are effective.Of course there is a sociology of science, a community that has conflicts and problems, but to suggest that certain problems or issues are not researched adequately because of ‘industrial influencers’ is bizarre . This would have to be a universal problem.where even the leading researchers in there fields have no freedom of choice in recognizing, and researching adequately problems of vaccines. Safety, and efficacy are paramount to all and everyone.I suspect that your conception of unanswered or inadequately answered questions are from those ‘fringe’ consumers, you know- the rabid anti-vaxxers- who will keep asking the same questions until the answers are to there satisfaction, or shift the ‘goal posts’ to another question with the same psychology and not accepting the answers until it coincides with their conceptions.
The experts in their fields , related to vaccines are best positioned to recognize problems and issues and how best to deal with them. Not you, me or those malign individuals and groups who denigrate the whole enterprise or parts of it.
The successes of those experts is evident for all to witness or read about.They must be doing and done something right.
Name, exactly just two questions that have not or will not get funded for research or have been researched inadequately.. Explain or describe the origin or source of these two questions.. Since you seem to have an insight that is escaping these researchers or the ‘industrial’ leaders or those committees that decide on funding,, describe what or how this research should progress.to enable even better development of vaccines.. I know you may have done something similar already but try again.It is not satisfactory to invoke some economic theory of ‘regulatory capture’ to justify the concerns you are trying to raise.
Sorry about the prolixity but I haven’t had my first cup of tea yet.

@Leonard Sugarman: Why would ‘industry’ or funding committees be careless or callous enough not to wish for the most safe, effective and least problematic vaccines.

Why would Boeing or the FAA be careless or callous enough not to wish for the safest airplanes possible that won’t crash? Yet, the 737-Max was approved until two of them crashed. Systemic problems and regulatory capture (they are not independent) create conditions where safety concerns for consumers in the future are overridden by more immediate concerns such as costs or schedule requirements.

Name, exactly just two questions that have not or will not get funded for research or have been researched inadequately. Explain or describe the origin or source of these two questions.

The IOM report I referenced earlier gives more than just two such questions. Here are two that I have the most interest in:

What are the long-term cumulative effects of vaccines on our children’s health? (This is a paraphrase of one of the unanswered stakeholder questions identified in the IOM report linked earlier.)

How can we identify children who are susceptible to severe adverse effects of vaccines? (This was a question proposed by the former head of the NIH, Dr. Bernadine Healy https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=dr+bernadine+healy+cbs+interview&docid=608013261412109524&mid=161941BB6C5CEC59DE1D161941BB6C5CEC59DE1D&view=detail&FORM=VIRE )

“A few independent researchers have done such research using their own time and money, but that research has not been able to obtain the same level of quality.”

For those not familiar with Beth-speak, here’s a translation:

“A few antivax figures, sometimes with the aid of wads of cash from the Dwoskin Foundation, have produced deeply flawed research, subsequently soundly refuted and often retracted from the typically low-end journals that were the only ones foolish or venal enough to publish their tripe. Such “independent researchers” have on numerous occasions been hampered by medical board sanctions or outright loss of their medical licenses for ethical violations and other malfeasance, though true believers insist that wide-ranging PharmaIlluminati conspiracies a.k.a. “systemic pressures” are to blame.

Beth- I am certain that your two personal questions have been answered in great detail on this blog. It is obvious that the nature of the research required to answer one of those those questions is long term and epidemiological in nature and the other is an ongoing scientific process. I also know that they are addressed in detail by experts in the field. Do you wish me to name the books of which I have some familiarity that sustain my proposition? Not all aspects of vaccines and vaccination are possible to investigate with say the same intensity at all stages. Some stages of the development and utilization of vaccine development must have an immediate priority.i.e. immediate safety for the vast majority and efficacy..

@Leonard Sugarman: I am certain that your two personal questions have been answerd in great detail on this blog No, they have not. Please note that while these were the two questions you requested from me, they are not just personal questions of mine, but have been identified by professionals in the field as needing answers. Both were posed some years ago. Neither has been answered to date.

It is obvious that the nature of the research required to answer one of those those questions is long term and epidemiological in nature and the other is an ongoing scientific process. Yes, it requires a concerted effort and adequate resources to answer either. The lack of resources directed towards answering those questions is my point regarding it being an indication of regulatory capture and systemic problems that the people working in the field are not able to address.

I also know that they are addressed in detail by experts in the field. Do you wish me to name the books of which I have some familiarity that sustain my proposition?

Only if you are also willing to provide specifics regarding sections that provide those answers and details about how those questions are answered by those books. Otherwise, I have not much interest in tracking down a text only to discover that the ‘answer’ they provide is agreement with me that more research is needed.

Not all aspects of vaccines and vaccination are possible to investigate with say the same intensity at all stages. Some stages of the development and utilization of vaccine development must have an immediate priority.i.e. immediate safety for the vast majority and efficacy. No disagreement here, but the questions I posed – at your request – are both old enough that they could have been tackled and some progress made and published in the intervening years. All I see are well-funded studies that don’t attempt to answer those questions and independent researchers who have not the resources to achieve the level of quality as the well-funded studies.

All I see are well-funded studies that don’t attempt to answer those questions and independent researchers who have not the resources to achieve the level of quality as the well-funded studies.

Such as? (And for that matter, NIAID paylines still look pretty tight. Oh, wait, brave mavericks can’t be subjected to the actual grant process. And Big pHARMa has captured everything else, or everything, or something.)

they are not just personal questions of mine, but have been identified by professionals in the field as needing answers.

ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2XgOzjidaY

Lest we forget (actually, it’s Beth that “forgets”), the HMD (Health and Medical Division of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine) is an independent, non-profit body which has consistently supported the childhood immunization schedule. From the CDC:

“The HMD report, “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety” was issued on January 16, 2013. In it, the Committee expressed support for the childhood immunization schedule as a tool to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases. The Committee recommended using healthcare records data to continue to study the safety of vaccines. The Committee also reconfirmed a finding [PDF – 631 KB] of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) that said conducting a study requiring some children to receive fewer vaccines than recommended, as would be needed for a randomized controlled trial, would be unethical.”

Suggesting that the IOM has serious concerns about the safety of the vaccine schedule is dishonest.

In a similar vein, Beth’s demanding answers and specifics, when she has repeatedly evaded a simple question about which vaccines she supposedly supports and which she doesn’t, is somewhere between dishonest and laughable.

@ Dangerous Bacon

“HMD (Health and Medical Division of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine) is an independent, non-profit body”

Do not know much about the US on this matter, but just one simple question concerning this “independent, non-profit body”: are there only medical professionals in such institutions? or do patients have some kind of representation to raise issues themselves?

I must say, I have a very poor opinion of our own french Académie de Médecine and Pharmacie, which is extremely independent in the sense that it is completely embedded in our National State Worship Cult. And I haven’t been extremely happy to see reactions of our “independent institutions” when associations of patients such as Renaloo document and attempt to raise attention on financial fraud having the effect of delaying kidney transplants to keep people under dialysis. For financial gain. Seemingly. Not completely enthusiastic either when it comes to the exceedingly difficult process some patients undertook to put, finally, black on white, in the deontological code of doctors that it’s perhaps not the best idea to sleep with patients. I indeed remember all the sarcastic comments by wives of doctors that they should (gasp…) stop sleeping with their husbands… Look, sweetie: if there is something that you should avoid, it’s not fucking with your husband; it’s taking your husband for your medical doctor. And yes, that does mean no more coloscopy parties… my deepest and heartfelt condolences.

When I hear the word “independence” on the topic of medical institutions, pardon me, but I do scoff.

OK, this is not vaccines. But being independent is much more than a mere formal assertion of independence.

I do not care whether institutions are independent or not when these institutions have the power to tell (or put pressure on) our government to defund and blacklist associations like Renaloo when they document financial issues that leads patients to get their kidney transplants delayed. If that’s being independent, then that word has little value to me.

DB- thank you for that reply to Beth. Knowing that her two specific concerns have been discussed and answered comprehensively here on Orac’s blog and elsewhere I suspect that it matters not what evidence is brought to bear to show that these questions are not only her concern but that of the ‘communities’ of experts , individually and as part of institutions in many countries, that she will never be prepared to relinquish her attitude and beliefs that she already possesses.

Beth- you can see my short reply to Dangerous Bacon. You are content to quote a very long paper without specifics but not willing for reciprocation in the same vein. You throw in a line about ‘regulatory capture’ without demonstrating exactly what you demand of me.Of course ‘ more research is needed- that applies to all aspects of any discipline and particularly ‘medical matters’. Whoever has suggested otherwise?. I know who I will trust to formulate relevant questions and research protocols, and it’s not you. You raise fear and doubts where in fact for the vast majority vaccination is a very safe procedure. For the few that it is not so for a variety of possible reasons I have confidence but no certainty that gradually those biological problems will be solved.. Enough!

You’ve been very patient in trying to promote rational discussion, Leonard.

However, no matter how much evidence and logic is expended, it’s never enough to penetrate the mindset of a dogged antivaxer.

As our esteemed host might say, same as it ever was.

DB-I have not the extensive detailed background medical knowledge of Orac and regular commenters, such as yourself but I have sufficient knowledge generally to realize that Beth’s wishes will never be fulfilled as you also point out..The effect of her persistent argument will deliver the same fear, doubt and antagonism that is a characteristic of anti-vaxxers’ methods. Anyone can make a claim that more research is needed, possibly with some validity, but whatever IS occurring it’s never going to be enough. I know nothing of how funding is distributed but it’s just nonsense to me that knowing of these problems and issues the ‘authorities and experts’ are not doing their best to solve them and will continue to do so..The whole history of vaccination, some of which I have read , sustains me in that view.

@Leonard Sugarman You can see my short reply to Dangerous Bacon
I choose not to interact with that individual and don’t usually read his/her posts as they generally consist of little more than derogatory personal remarks and (apparently) deliberate misrepresentations of other people’s arguments.

You said Knowing that her two specific concerns have been discussed and answered comprehensively here on Orac’s blog and elsewhere First, I would like to remind you that those two questions were provided to you at your request and with links to the sources, again at your request, and those sources are considered experts in the field.
While it’s true that those types of questions have been discussed here and elsewhere, I have yet to see answers to those questions provided. Just as you have failed to provide any answers to those questions. You just gave an assurance that you know that they are addressed in detail by experts in the field.

You are content to quote a very long paper without specifics but not willing for reciprocation in the same vein. I’d be more than happy to give you section numbers and exact quotes if you requested them. You never asked for such.

You throw in a line about ‘regulatory capture’ without demonstrating exactly what you demand of me I’m not asking anything of you w.r.t. that subject. Why did you think I was making a demand?

Of course ‘ more research is needed- that applies to all aspects of any discipline and particularly ‘medical matters’. Whoever has suggested otherwise?
No one has suggested otherwise. What I was suggesting is that your texts might not contain any further answer than that and wanted you to verify that they had something further and what that was before I tried to find a copy. I’ve been disappointed by similar claims before.

I know who I will trust to formulate relevant questions and research protocols, and it’s not you. You raise fear and doubts where in fact for the vast majority vaccination is a very safe procedure.
Well, it’s unlikely that I would be the one doing that work, so you needn’t trust me on it. I don’t think raising questions should be perceived as raising fears and doubts. It’s the fact that answers have not been researched that causes fears and doubts.

For the few that it is not so for a variety of possible reasons I have confidence but no certainty that gradually those biological problems will be solved.. Enough!
I have confidence but no certainty that those problems could be solved. I lack confidence that they will be solved because…well, all the reasons I’ve been discussing on the course of this thread. If you wish to conclude our conversation, that’s fine. Thank you for the discussion.

Beth- It’s not that I don’t want to discuss things with you but i have limited capacities and desire to research sufficiently to become an ‘expert’ in the field. I strongly suspect that you will never be satisfied if sufficient knowledge were to develop to answer the questions you selected.There is never enough money to fund all medical research to everybody’s satisfaction. No need for elaborate hypotheses about why it is not distributed to your satisfaction, although I do understand the frustration that you may have, particularly if you have a ‘personal stake’ in solutions. Let’s leave it now and perhaps agree to differ.

@Leonard Sugarman I strongly suspect that you will never be satisfied if sufficient knowledge were to develop to answer the questions you selected.

If there were a few well-funded studies that attempted to answer those questions, it would go a long way to indicate that answers are being sought. As it is, I have yet to see anyone provide a single link to a study that has attempted to answer either of those questions that wasn’t done by someone outside the field. I think you should at least establish that there are such studies in existence before assuming that no amount of them would satisfy me.

No need for elaborate hypotheses about why it is not distributed to your satisfaction There is a need for some explanation for why such questions were recognized as lacking answers by experts in the field years ago and as yet no studies have been published to provide answers to them.

Let’s leave it now and perhaps agree to differ.
Okay

@Squirrelelite,
I may have overstated the equivalence you are making here. Yes, that was not accurately paraphrased in your previous post. Thank you for that acknowledgement.

Beth: What are the long-term cumulative effects of vaccines on our children’s health? (This is a paraphrase of one of the unanswered stakeholder questions identified in the IOM report linked earlier.) How can we identify children who are susceptible to severe adverse effects of vaccines?
Squirrelelite: Here is my personal response.
Research on vaccine effects has progressed from specific claims like DPT causes seizures or MMR causes autism to gathering large data samples to look for lower incidence and more general effects. One of the best of those is the ongoing KiGGS program in Germany. The first results of that were published in 2011.*
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057555/#:~:text=and%20unvaccinated%20children.-,Methods,by%20the%20Robert%20Koch%20Institute.

Thank you for the link. I always enjoy looking over the numbers and seeing what they done to analyze them. Let me note that since this was published in 2011, prior to the 2013 IOM report, it indicates that the experts writing that report did not consider this study sufficient to answer the stakeholder question from their report. (What are the long-term cumulative effects of vaccines on our children’s health?)

Squirrelelite:The evaluation showed that vaccinated children and unvaccinated children differed substantially only in terms of the lifetime prevalence of vaccine preventable diseases; as is to be expected the risk of such diseases is notably lower in vaccinated subjects.
This is to be expected. If they didn’t show lower prevalence of the disease vaccinated for, it would be an indication that vaccines don’t work. As it is, this supports the benefits of vaccination.

Squirrelelite:In the largest study in children and adolescents so far none of the often anticipated health differences—such as allergies and the number of infections—were observed in vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects aged 1–17 years.

Unfortunately, their statistical analysis is rather lean on details. In their computations, they used the median rather than the mean, but they didn’t explain why. They separated the children into different and unequal age groups, which reduces the number within each age category to so few that it’s very difficult to spot a statistically significant difference. They do acknowledge this in their paper stating: Because of the low proportion of unvaccinated persons in the population, the numbers even in the large KiGGS study are small, so that statistical evaluation—especially subgroup analyses—is hindered by small case numbers

Squirrelelite:The U.S. also has the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) which allows research into generalized and more open effects based on vaccination status and medical records.
Unfortunately, independent researchers are not allowed access to this database without meeting certain requirements and the costs to meet those requirements are prohibitive to individuals wanting to examine the numbers. This lack of transparency is a problem because no one can independently verify the published analysis results, much less perform new analyses using that database.

Squirrelelite:As far as I can see, the difficulties with answering these questions are mainly inherent in looking for low incidence, long-term numbers than with any systemic bias against doing such research. That is a major difficulty with doing the research. However, the USA, particularly with the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) you mentioned above, could be doing such research. But we aren’t.

Beth Clarkson- I think that I have confused you with Beth in our discussion.Let’s all of us hope , and we certainly expect, that the vaccines used at present and those developed in the future continue to have the marvelous results so far demonstrated.In the same vein let us hope that those not able to benefit from the vaccines are found solutions to their medical problems. We can agree to differ in our expectations of this latter hope.Thank you for your input.

I think that I have confused you with Beth in our discussion.

They’re the same; the grotesque quoting style is, ah, unique.

Yes, Leonard.

I did a long review of this article trying to find Beth’s two questions and all I found was a reference to the 200+ page book of the NAS report on Childhood Immunization and Safety.

There have been about 1500 papers on vaccine safety published in Pubmed each year since then. But apparently none of them answer Beth’s two questions.

I also found her statement that the risk of damage from the disease was comparable to the risk of harm from the vaccine that protects against it. This is the sort of reasoning that lead to 5700 cases of measles and 83 deaths in Samoa last year.

It is hard to disprove or even evaluate a claim that is not stated explicitly. But I’m sure Beth can continue to play her game of inverse Texas Sharpshooter.

Look at the wall and find a place where there aren’t any bullet holes yet and say “you haven’t tried to shoot here yet.”

sqirrelite- I am getting the impression that Beth Clarkson is a hard customer to satisfy and will continue to be so. Could you reference your review. Beth should show an interest. If she responds I look forward to seeing how she shifts some goalposts! I like your humor.

And if the wall is completely turned to dust, she will probably find a small piece of the wall and say “this hasn’t a bullethole, so you missed this.”

@squirrelelite

apparently none of them answer Beth’s two questions. If you feel I am wrong about this, perhaps you could link to a few that do answer those questions. So far, I haven’t seen them.

her statement that the risk of damage from the disease was comparable to the risk of harm from the vaccine that protects against it.

I have never made such a statement. I believe I said something about the risk of an unvaccinated individual passing on a VPD to an immuno-compromised individual was approximately the same as the risk of the vaccine. Is that what you meant. Not the same comparison.

@Beth,

I did another quick skim and found this quote:

July 2, 12:08 pm

I think that you have no right to force a miniscule risk on one set of people (those who don’t want to be vaccinated) to reduce a miniscule risk for another set of people (immune-compromised). Further, getting vaccinated does not eliminate the risk to others, it reduces it by the effectiveness of the vaccine.

I may have overstated the equivalence you are making here. But I note that for flu at least you prioritize your personal perceived risk over the probabilistic threat based on actual incidence of the disease.

And people who are too young to get vaccinated and those whose immune system does not respond to the vaccine are also at risk even though they have no choice or even act to protect themselves.

I also found this tidbit.

July 4, 9:03 pm

We are rejecting your claims about what science and public health can currently tell us about adverse reactions to vaccines.

Making sense of scientific research and other reporting methods like the CDC weekly reports and VICP results takes a lot of work and can be confusing, especially when you include sources like Mawson. But I wouldn’t outright reject those results a priori.

I did find the two big questions.

July 14, 10:54 am

The IOM report I referenced earlier gives more than just two such questions. Here are two that I have the most interest in:
What are the long-term cumulative effects of vaccines on our children’s health? (This is a paraphrase of one of the unanswered stakeholder questions identified in the IOM report linked earlier.)
How can we identify children who are susceptible to severe adverse effects of vaccines?

Here is my personal response.

Research on vaccine effects has progressed from specific claims like DPT causes seizures or MMR causes autism to gathering large data samples to look for lower incidence and more general effects. One of the best of those is the ongoing KiGGS program in Germany. The first results of that were published in 2011.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057555/#:~:text=and%20unvaccinated%20children.-,Methods,by%20the%20Robert%20Koch%20Institute.

On the basis of representative KiGGS data, 0.7% of children and adolescents aged 1–17 years from non-immigrant families in Germany have never been vaccinated.
• The evaluation showed that vaccinated children and unvaccinated children differed substantially only in terms of the lifetime prevalence of vaccine preventable diseases; as is to be expected the risk of such diseases is notably lower in vaccinated subjects.
• In the largest study in children and adolescents so far none of the often anticipated health differences—such as allergies and the number of infections—were observed in vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects aged 1–17 years.

A second round of results has been at least partly published as well.

The U.S. also has the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) which allows research into generalized and more open effects based on vaccination status and medical records.

Those results have yielded some effects like the small risk of intussusception from RotaTeq..

Studies from the United States and other countries show a small increased risk of intussusception following rotavirus vaccination. About 1 in 20,000 US infants to 1 in 100,000 US infants who get rotavirus vaccine might develop intussusception within a week of getting the vaccine. This means that between 40 and 120 U.S. infants might develop intussusception related to rotavirus vaccine each year.

Also, there is a small risk of GBS from the flu vaccine.

But as the timeline stretches out into the future, it becomes more and more difficult to conclude that a previous vaccine was the cause of a low-incidence effect.

The main long-term effect of vaccines is that more people live longer lives. There are indirect effects like more people dying from cancer in their 70s because they didn’t die from diphtheria as toddlers or influenza or pneumonia in their 50s.

We may eventually get to being able to do a DNA screen for specific vaccines and diseases. But first we need to identify an effect that happens more often from the vaccine than from the disease itself. I haven’t seen any noted in my 10+ years of reading about this field.

As far as I can see, the difficulties with answering these questions are mainly inherent in looking for low incidence, long-term numbers than with any systemic bias against doing such research.

@ squirrelelite

“But I note that for flu at least you prioritize your personal perceived risk over the probabilistic threat based on actual incidence of the disease.”

Well, it’s true that in some situations, you are, if you think personally, only making a minuscule collective difference by your personal action with a minuscule risk to yourself. Asking people to make, by their personal choices, a choice between infinitesimals is unlikely the best way to engage the average Joe on the matter. In fact, I, at one time, was in this “why are you bothering me with such nonsense” crowd, and that’s also why I do not appreciate the “you’re with us or against us mentality” on vaccines. I’d side anytime with the average Joe who believes that his car matters much more to him in his life than this debate.

Nonetheless, the inability to count on the average Joe to hedge infinitesimals by infinitesimals effectively is one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, that makes me endorse the right of governments to act on this matter. Hopefully not too coercively and not with an overly administrative mindframe; two topics on which I do not hold my breath…

That’s my main disagreement with Beth, it seems.

“While it’s true that those types of questions have been discussed here and elsewhere, I have yet to see answers to those questions provided. Just as you have failed to provide any answers to those questions…I don’t think raising questions should be perceived as raising fears and doubts.”

See Leonard, Beth is Just Asking Questions. We shouldn’t expect any more from her.

That was a lovely word salad, though. 🙂

Another perspective on the claim that long-term studies on the health impact of vaccination aren’t being done – from the CDC:

“Q: How do we know vaccines aren’t causing long-term health problems?”

A: “Observing vaccinated children for many years to look for long-term health conditions would not be practical, and withholding an effective vaccine from children while long-term studies are being done wouldn’t be ethical. A more practical approach is to look at health conditions themselves and at the factors that cause them. Scientists are already working to identify risk factors that can lead to conditions like cancer, stroke, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Thousands of studies have already been done looking at hundreds of potential risk factors. If immunizations were identified as a risk factor in any of these studies, we would know about it. So far, they have not.”

“We learn about a vaccine’s safety during clinical trials before it is licensed, and monitor it continually as millions of doses are administered after it is licensed. We also know there is not a plausible biologic reason to believe vaccines would cause any serious long-term effects. Based on more than 50 years of experience with vaccines, we can say that the likelihood that a vaccine will cause unanticipated long-term problems is extremely low.”

http://cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/parents-guide/parents-guide-part4.html

While antivaxers’ speculations about long-term detrimental effects of vaccination haven’t panned out, we do know more about long-term consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases. In recent years, we’ve learned about long-term immune system depression caused by measles, and that the deadly measles complication SSPE, while rare, is more common than previously thought.

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