Here we go again with yet another case of religion-inspired child neglect in which lack of medical care led to the death of a child. This time, however, the authorities actually appear to be ready to bring the hammer down on the parents.
Antivaxers frequently try to appeal to antiabortion activists by claiming "fetal parts" are used in vaccines. In Michigan, they're trying to enshrine such deceptive efforts into law in Michigan Senate Bill 1055, which would mandate "informed consent" regarding vaccines for which fetal cell lines are used to grow the virus. In reality, this would be misinformed consent and a strategy to frighten parents out of vaccinating.
Orac has heard some really silly arguments by antivaxers against vaccines in his time blogging. Indeed, he thought he had heard them all. He was wrong. Did you know that the Bible didn't mention vaccines? And that pharmaceuticals are sorcery? Brittney Kara tells us so!
Yesterday, Orac discussed a widely hyped new scientific finding of a "new organ" known as the interstitium, , in which the Neil Theise and his co-authors suggested that their findings might "explain" acupuncture. Today, Orac realizes that the woo goes much, much deeper. Deepak Chopra, anyone?
In the US, there is an unfortunate attitude that the parents own their children. When the parents are religious zealots belonging to a church like the Followers of Christ, which believes in prayer instead of medicine, the results are tragic. Unfortunately, we as a society value religious freedom more than children.
The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film’s promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she “doesn’t take a side” about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, “not taking a side” is taking a side, and that a film’s bias is often more evident in what is not shown and told than in what is.
Much of the belief system that undergirds antivaccine views is rooted in superstition. That's why it's not a coincidence that antivaxers frequently speak in terms of contamination due to vaccines as a cause of autism and all the other conditions for which antivaxers blame vaccines and ritual purification in the form of "detoxification" as the treatment. These beliefs very much resemble religious beliefs, and antivaxers project them onto pro-science advocates.
When you're in an exam room with a patient, sometimes you're forced to contemplate uncomfortable questions.
Back in the day, I used to write posts with titles like When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California. I even wrote a followup, When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California, 2014 edition. The reason, of course, was that California was one of the epicenters of vaccine hesitancy as well as the home to some high profile antivaccine-sympathetic physicians, such as Dr. Bob Sears (who’s known for making Holocaust analogies about bills tightening school vaccine mandate requirements) and Dr. Jay Gordon (who’s known for continuing to claim, against all evidence, that vaccines cause autism). Of course, it was …