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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MMR caused this case of autism

Ever notice that science fetishists love to point to the courts when it suits them, then quickly reverse course and point out that that the law isn't science when it doesn't?
At nine months old, Valentino Bocca was as bright as a button. In a favourite family photo, taken by his father, the baby boy wriggles in his mother’s arms and laughs for the camera. His parents look at the precious picture often these days. It is a reminder of their only son before they took him on a sunny morning to the local public health clinic for a routine childhood vaccination.

Valentino was never the same child after the jab in his arm. He developed autism and, in a landmark judgment, a judge has ruled that his devastating disability was provoked by the inoculation against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). The case of Valentino Bocca age nine from Rimini Italy has reignited the debate over a possible link between the MMR and autism after a judge ruled his disability was provoked by the jab.

The judgment in a provincial Italian court challenges the settled view of the majority of the medical profession — and could have profound implications in Britain and across the world. Valentino’s parents, Antonella, 44, and Maurizio, 43, have been awarded £140,000, to be paid by Italy’s Ministry of Health and they plan a civil action against the Italian government that may get them £800,000 more.... The judge’s view has since been endorsed by Italy’s High Court of Law (the equivalent of our Supreme Court) which ruled that the Italian government must pay compensation to children damaged by any jabs given under the Ministry of Health auspices — even if they are not compulsory ones.
The problem faced by the pro-vaccine camp is twofold. First, what passes for the science on this issue is dreadful and really should not be described as science. The same scientific community that didn't hesitate to give syphilis to black men and performed experiments on Jewish concentration camp internees is suddenly claiming that it would be terribly unethical to allow children to remain unvaccinated or even push back the vaccine schedule a few months in order to gather meaningful scientific evidence on the safety of vaccines and the vaccine schedule. Statistical surveys of populations are not proper science, and furthermore, have absolutely nothing to do with whether one individual will be negatively affected by a vaccine or not.

The constant bleating that "no scientific evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism" has been found is so irrelevant and misleading as to be dishonest. I doubt there is any scientific evidence between a punch in the nose and death either, but there is no question that people have been killed by a single punch before because people have seen it happen. For some reason, the process of simple observation that everyone believes is perfectly reliable when one person punches another in the face suddenly becomes not only unreliable, but downright anti-scientific when one person injects various foreign substances into a child. I have personally witnessed an infant scream and immediately collapse into unconsciousness when given a shot, and I absolutely defy any moronic scientist to claim it was not the result of the vaccine being administered. Fortunately, there were no ill effects apparent after the infant regained consciousness, but after witnessing that, I would no sooner permit any child of mine to be vaccinated at such a young age than I would permit someone to hit me in the head with a hammer... no matter how many statistical surveys are presented by scientists claiming that there is no scientific evidence showing any link between being hit in the head with a hammer and autism.

Second, the legal standard is "beyond a reasonable degree of doubt". And it is well beyond a reasonable degree of doubt that certain vaccines have caused autism in some children. Very few vaccine skeptics are saying that no children can be vaccinated against anything or that all vaccines are intrinsically evil - although the whole fetal tissue thing on which some vaccines are based is, quite clearly, evil on its face - but most parents are not complete idiots incapable of recognizing when their normal child suddenly loses speech and motor abilities that it previously possessed, or linking it to probable causes. In fact, the awareness that vaccines are, beyond any reasonable degree of doubt, responsible for autism and other damage is precisely why Congress passed a law removing vaccine makers and administrators from legal liability.

It is far beyond the current state of biological science to claim one particular administration of a vaccine did not cause one specific case of autism and any honest scientist would admit it. Can you imagine if other culpable parties began to try defending themselves using the "no scientific link" defense? Science simply doesn't work that way, especially "science" that is nothing more than statistical analysis, and those who attempt to appeal to science in such fashion are guilty of dishonesty, empty propaganda, and the abuse of science.

Anyhow, this is a welcome outcome and I hope that the threat of being financially ruined by their victims will force Big Pharma to spend more effort in improving the safety of their products than in lobbying the various governments to mandate more vaccines and providing them with additional protection from liability. Science is not the law, nor should it ever be confused for it. We don't need scientists to determine if a specific vaccine has harmed a specific individual any more than we need them to determine if a specific individual has robbed a specific bank, in fact, scientists should not be involved in the legal discussion at all given their shoddy faux-science and oft-demonstrated biases on the matter.

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63 Comments:

Blogger Markku June 20, 2012 8:49 AM  

I have personally witnessed an infant scream and immediately collapse into unconsciousness when given a shot

The official Finnish vaccine information lists unconsciousness as one of the expected side-effects. It is even listed in "common side-effects" as opposed to "rare side-effects" list.

Blogger Vox June 20, 2012 8:52 AM  

And yet, you beat someone into unconsciousness with your fists and suddenly it's a bad thing....

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) June 20, 2012 8:55 AM  

After the garbage the science establishment pushed in the form of ridiculous global warming/climate change models as real science, I am very skeptical of whatever comes out of a scientist's mouth.

They have proven time and time again that they are shills for the government and deserve to be treated with contempt.

Anonymous Stilicho June 20, 2012 9:02 AM  

We take a dim view of sexual abuse of children in this country, and rightfully so. Currently in the news is the trial of alleged serial abuser, Jerry Sandusky, on 51 counts of sexual abuse of minors and the case in Texas where a father came upon a man sexually abusing his daughter and beat the abuser to death (no charges are being filed against the father). At the same time we let doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the state abuse children without consequence in a manner that can have far worse effects than sexual abuse.

Anonymous Anonymous June 20, 2012 9:04 AM  

Fatherhood is fast approaching for me, so I will throw this out to Vox or any of the other fathers on here:

Did you give your kids any vaccines? Are some vaccines more dangerous than others?

Appreciate any responses, as well as any links to good websites for more info.

Anonymous DT June 20, 2012 9:07 AM  

Can you imagine if other culpable parties began to try defending themselves using the "no scientific link" defense?

Oh the possibilities...

* There is no scientific link between government worker unions and bankrupt governments.

* There is no scientific link between feminism and cat ladies.

* There is no scientific link between wars in the middle east and dead soldiers.

* There is no scientific link between Obama and Obama's birth certificate.

But I wonder how I might use this excuse?

* Your honor, there is no scientific link between my robbing that bank and money missing from customer's accounts.

Anonymous Paul Sacramento June 20, 2012 9:07 AM  

I think the key issue is that IF vaccines can be made better and safer, why aren't they?
Those that have seen the effects of some of the disease that kids get vaccinated for understand the must of vaccines, but everyone agrees that vaccines MUST be as safe as possible.
Honestly, even ONE child suffering is one TOO much, especially when we can make it so that NO ONE has to have lifer altering complications.
One hopes that "hitting them where it hurts" forces the pharmaceticals to fix this. One hopes that this case does indeed establish a precedent around the world.

Blogger Dan Hewitt June 20, 2012 9:23 AM  

Anon,

I have two. The first only had a Tdap shot just before starting school. The second hasn’t had any. Both are healthy and don’t seem to be plagued by allergies and frequent colds & infections like their peers do. Perhaps when they get older they will get more vaccines (obviously MMR is out of the question).

There is a small chance that your child will get sick from a given vaccine. There is a small chance they will get sick from a given disease. You have to make the call yourselves whether the probability of the former is greater than probability of the latter.

The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears is a good resource, despite the fact that he’s pro-vax.

Anonymous Stephen J. June 20, 2012 9:44 AM  

"It is far beyond the current state of biological science to claim one particular administration of a vaccine did not cause one specific case of autism and any honest scientist would admit it."

If that is the case, it is also far beyond the current state of biological science to claim one particular administration of a vaccine *did* cause one specific case of autism, isn't it?

I have no investment in scientific consensus for its own sake and, as the parent of an autistic son, have more than a little personal stake in the issue, but I have to point out here that:

(a) Correlation is not proof of causation (or, to be fair, of non-causation);
(b) The vast majority of vaccinated children do *not* develop autism or other conditions on the spectrum;
(c) No reliable data on autism frequency in non-vaccinated communities exists as a counterpart control study, that I know of;
(d) There is a clear, demonstrable and soundly verified genetic component to autism-spectrum disorders (witness the vast majority of the sufferers being male);
(e) There is no clear and demonstrable mechanism proposed yet, that I know of, by which vaccinations induce autism-spectrum disorders, other than the thiotimeral mercury poisoning thesis (and thiotimeral was removed as a vaccine component back in 2001) -- as opposed to a punch in the nose causing death, where many possible clear and demonstrable mechanisms like bone splinters in the brain do exist.

(If anyone has links to published data that fills in some of the knowledge gaps I admit above, I'll gladly peruse them.)

A judge in Italy is an official appointed by the same government that has been driving that nation into collapse, and I doubt he or the lawyers who argued the case knew any more of immuno-related molecular biology than the statisticians of which you're (rightly) skeptical. To assign his decisions equal weight with actual scientific (or even rigorously tested statistical) evidence strikes me as highly suspect.

To reverse your analogy, it is tantamount to claiming that because you believe money was in a bank before a particular man went in, and cannot find it after he left the bank, you can justly convict him of robbery without needing to verify whether (a) the money was actually there in the first place, (b) nobody tunnelled in through the basement and took it, or (c) the money burned up in a fire that the bank manager didn't notice happening. (Maybe it was a Greek bank.)

Blogger Markku June 20, 2012 10:09 AM  

(a) Correlation is not proof of causation (or, to be fair, of non-causation);

This tells me that you are simply parroting something you have heard. Correlation doesn't prove causation only because the causation may be reverse of what you think, or the two things may have a causal relationship to the same third thing. Can you give any credible scenarios where autism actually causes vaccination, or some unknown factor that causes autism, also causes vaccinations? (Except possibly for some conspiracy theories, in which the unknown factor is the New World Order)

Blogger Markku June 20, 2012 10:11 AM  

An example of the second group is the fact that there is a correlation between ice cream consumption and number of deaths by drowning during the summer.

Anonymous stg58 June 20, 2012 10:11 AM  

"but most parents are not complete idiots incapable of recognizing when their normal child suddenly loses speech and motor abilities that it previously possessed, or linking it to probable causes."

So, Stephen J, a parent who witnesses this phenomenon shouldn't believe their lying eyes? Do you actually have children, or are you here to sow stupidity?

Anonymous re allow anonymous comments June 20, 2012 10:20 AM  

are there any sympathetic pediatricians out there? is there a black market in fake vaccination records?

Anonymous The other skeptic June 20, 2012 10:27 AM  


The same scientific community that didn't hesitate to give syphilis to black men


What are you referring to here?

As I understand it, no one, except the men them selves, and their sexual partners, infected anyone with Syphilis.

While Wikipedia is far from free from propaganda, see Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The claim is that the experimenters withheld treatment, even after effective treatments had been discovered, although in the early days (1930s) the treatments were almost as bad as the disease.

Anonymous III June 20, 2012 10:27 AM  

Just trolling the net and found this for those interested:


Vaccinated children have up to 500% more disease than unvaccinated children

Anonymous The other skeptic June 20, 2012 10:31 AM  

From that Wikipedia article:


For the most part, doctors and civil servants simply did their jobs. Some merely followed orders, others worked for the glory of science.


Where have I seen that defense advanced before? I am sure I will remember it ... I don't think it was accepted on that occasion.

Anonymous Wendy June 20, 2012 10:34 AM  

Do you actually have children, or are you here to sow stupidity?

Well, he did manage to spell thimerosal wrong. He not correct about thimerosal being removed from vaccines in 2001 as well. (From FDA: "Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1)." (My emphasis)

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 10:34 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nate June 20, 2012 10:35 AM  

"are there any sympathetic pediatricians out there? is there a black market in fake vaccination records?"

There are sympathetic doctors but they are rarely found among pediatricians. For example in TN we actually had to change doctors because the one everyone had recommended turned out to be a vaccine nazi.

I've never known any that would falsify anything... but you can find some that will respect your choice and not badger you about it.

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 10:35 AM  

If getting punched in the face means I don't get polio than put on the brass knuckles

Blogger Nate June 20, 2012 10:36 AM  

"If getting punched in the face means I don't get polio than put on the brace knuckles."

Really?

So you say this in full knowledge that 99% of those who get polio have no symptoms at all? Right?

Anonymous Wendy June 20, 2012 10:36 AM  

He's not correct. I miss being able to edit comments.

Anonymous Daniel June 20, 2012 10:40 AM  

The other skeptic - I think it is fair to guess he's referring directly to the U.S. - Guatemala experiments or Neisser's experiments, not the Tuskegee study.

Those were direct infection studies, where they did more than just refuse penicillin to sick patients.

Anonymous the abe June 20, 2012 10:40 AM  

Appropos:

Finnish study finds H1/N1 vaccination makes children 13 times more likely to develop Narcolepsy

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9171414/Swine-flu-vaccine-linked-to-sleeping-disorder.html

Blogger SarahsDaughter June 20, 2012 10:41 AM  

@Travis

Because potentially dead is better than rare polio, got it.

Similar logic to aborting Down's children. Dead Down's children suffer less than living Down's children (and they're a lot less hassle). (Sarcasm)

Anonymous The other skeptic June 20, 2012 10:48 AM  

Daniel said:

The other skeptic - I think it is fair to guess he's referring directly to the U.S. - Guatemala experiments or Neisser's experiments, not the Tuskegee study.

Those were direct infection studies, where they did more than just refuse penicillin to sick patients.


Ahhh, now I understand. An interesting parallel between participants in WWII.

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 10:52 AM  

Nate-It's actually 95%. That said, the good thing about such a punch is that it comes with quite a package, Measles-Mumps-Rubella. How about small pox; would you honestly want to take that chance? The fact is your living in a society that has vaccinated so the chances are zero,that is unless someone spreads such diseases to your kids because they didn't vaccinate their children. If your child spreads whooping cough to my infant boy, I should be able to punch you in the face.

Anonymous Daniel June 20, 2012 10:56 AM  

Travis Kurtz
If getting punched in the face means I don't get polio than put on the brass knuckles.

Obviously you have never been punched in the face.

Paralysis from polio incidence, after contracting poliomyeltis: one to five in 1000.

Death incidence from blow to head with brass knuckles*, after contracting said punch to face: 14 in 1000. [Journal of Combatitive Sport].

So, not only are you more likely to be paralyzed from a blow to the face (esp. w/ brass knuckles) vs. after contracting the polio virus, but you are more likely to die from a punch than to be paralyzed following contraction.

You are a terrible gambler.

*Using bareknuckle death statistics - so brass knuckles would obviously be a higher incidence than that.

Anonymous E. PERLINE June 20, 2012 10:59 AM  

The reptilian brain is superb at setting the body's natural rhythms. When the clock-like intelligence of the reptilian brain interrupts the development of the reasoning brain, that is autism.
Whether the disorder is caused by incomplete brain development, or faulty upringing. or a chemical, I don't know. One never gets any government grants if his thoughts are too original.

Anonymous III June 20, 2012 11:00 AM  

As I sit in my PPO clinic waiting for the nurse to call my name, usually around 30 min to an hour, I watch as pharmacy sales people walk in and out the front door hawking their wares. On almost ever occasion that I visit the doctor, I am invited to take some pill of which I always decline... usually starting with a fee sample. Pharmacy-doctor relations are big business. And the bottom line is $$$. Most physicians today work in a turnkey corporate environment. Here, take this, you'll feel better, I'll feel better, and the pharmacy industry will feel better.

Anonymous VD June 20, 2012 11:04 AM  

A judge in Italy is an official appointed by the same government that has been driving that nation into collapse, and I doubt he or the lawyers who argued the case knew any more of immuno-related molecular biology than the statisticians of which you're (rightly) skeptical. To assign his decisions equal weight with actual scientific (or even rigorously tested statistical) evidence strikes me as highly suspect.

So are you suggesting that the Italian justice system is wholly incapable of judging cause and effect and should shut down or simply refrain from attempting to judge cause and effect in the case of pediatric vaccines? Furthermore, from whose observations is that "rigorously tested statistical evidence" gathered? Who are the people making the observations that provide the basis for the statistics being analyzed?

Anonymous artie June 20, 2012 11:07 AM  

I would be glad for some advice. We will be getting our first child early August. I'm a vaccination sceptic but can't decide yet what will be best for our child in term of vaccination. My wife is cautious too, but not as sceptic as I am and would follow the 'minimal' vaccination schedule proposed by the Swiss government (this schedule is not as agressive as others, but still consists of several shots DTP, Hib, IPV in the first year (usual 2, 4 6 month interval), and one MMR shot right after 12 months).

What are other screptics proposing that one should do? And how can I convince my wife the be ever more screptic about it?

I know, I will have to decide for myself. I only seek advice.

Blogger SarahsDaughter June 20, 2012 11:08 AM  

"If your child spreads whooping cough to my infant boy, I should be able to punch you in the face." - Travis

How will my child have access to your infant boy before the scheduled dose (2 months)? A germ infested daycare? And should the almost 50% likelihood of my vaccinated child suffering pertussis still spread pertussis to your vaccinated child, I will punch you back.

Anonymous SouthTX June 20, 2012 11:14 AM  

"and the case in Texas where a father came upon a man sexually abusing his daughter and beat the abuser to death (no charges are being filed against the father)."

We own a small ranch in that county we plan to move to once retired. I told my adult son the sherriff and DA gets my vote even if they are a democrat.

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 11:16 AM  

So I guess the question is...which would you rather have small pox, polio, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, whooping cough...reintroduced into our society and have less autistic children or would you rather have the society we have now? Obviously the vaccine group could try to find better vaccines with less side affects and wait longer, nevertheless these are the two main camps to pick from.

Anonymous stg58 June 20, 2012 11:26 AM  

Travis Kurtz, the vaccine industry has never been able to establish that their vaccines eliminate any of those diseases. Can you prove to us that those vaccines prevent children from contracting MMR, Whooping Cough, etc?

Have there been double blind placebo studies to demonstrate the efficacy of those vaccines? Have we vaccinated one group of kids against those diseases and had a control group of non vaccinated kids?

Furthermore, which is worse, a kid who gets temporarily sick, or one that is permanently checked out for the rest of his life, needing his parents to care for him at the age he should be caring for them?

Anonymous Daniel June 20, 2012 11:31 AM  

artie
I would be glad for some advice. We will be getting our first child early August. I'm a vaccination sceptic but can't decide yet what will be best for our child in term of vaccination.

The guideline I used was: what is this attempting to vaccinate against, and how long has this vaccination been around? Mumps, Rubella and Measles aren't terrible, high-risk diseases. So I skipped that. Chicken pox is an obviously stupid vaccination. Have you ever heard of a) anyone dying from chicken pox or b) anyone getting chicken pox after vaccination? It is obvious it doesn't work and if it did, only prevents an annoyance.

Polio is low-incidence, low-risk, but since it can have such terrible complications AND because the vax has been used for a long time, I went with it.

No vaccinations when they are tiny, though, but we were able to shelter/cut off outside risks to the babies for 3 months. Some people, however, think that getting the baby out and about actually gives them natural exposure in safe ways so that their immune system develops. I think the only other one was Tdap.

I know plenty of unvaccinated kids and plenty of overvaccinated kids. Ultimately, I can't tell the difference. Obviously that's an anecdotal view. But I do know that crib death spikes around the recommended early vaccine times, so I figure better safe than sorry.

PS - I almost forgot: the first infant had pertussis after getting the pertussis vaccine. It wasn't a big deal for the kid, really - just persistent. But it can sometimes kill really little kids, so I suggest that you ask them for the kind of vaccine that doesn't accidentally give them the potentially fatal disease! ;-)

Blogger robwbright June 20, 2012 11:36 AM  

"Second, the legal standard is "beyond a reasonable degree of doubt"."

Not really. BARD is for criminal cases. In a civil suit, the standard is either preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing - depending on the type of case.

Preponderance is more likely than not - i.e. 51%.

Clear and convincing isn't actually clear at all, but it's somewhere around 80% likelihood.

In most tort cases, the standard is merely preponderance of the evidence. Thus, how O.J. was found not guilty under BARD and found civilly liable under preponderance.

There is no question in my mind at all that some cases of autism are - by a preponderance of the evidence - caused by vaccines. I've seen too many stories. You don't need scientific studies to win a civil suit, either - you just need one doc to testify and for the jury to believe that doc over the 10 docs that the vaccine manufacturer will call to testify.

Oh, wait. FedGov has given vaccine manufacturers immunity from suit in relation to vaccine adverse effects. That, my friends, should confirm to you that there are, indeed, a significant number of cases of adverse effects related to vaccines. After all, if it was 1 in a billion, there would be no need to grant the pharma companies immunity - they could afford to pay one claim

Of course, fedgov tries to make up for it by having taxpayers pay for the damages with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and making more than 2 billion in payments to parents for vaccine adverse effects. See here:

http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/data.html

Blogger Dan Hewitt June 20, 2012 11:36 AM  

And how can I convince my wife the be ever more screptic about it?

Have her listen to this.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/wp-content/uploads/278_Wakefield_.mp3

Blogger robwbright June 20, 2012 11:41 AM  

I have two daughters, ages 9 and 3. 9 year old has had exactly one vaccine - tetanous after she stepped on a rusty nail at age 6. 3 year old has had no vaccines at all. Both have been remarkably healthy. Occasional cold or flu in the winter and the 9 year old has had maybe 3 ear aches (usually after swimming). That's it.

Of course, we home school, so they're not around other kids as much and thus not exposed to the various diseases as much. On the other hand, if the vaccines are 100% effective, then they could be around the other kids 24/7 and never get a disease because all of the other kids are vaccinated... right?

My Board Certified Family Practice physician (30 years in practice) advocates some vaccines - but he believes that the current vaccination schedule is way over-vaccinating children. He has no objection to spreading out the vaccines, skipping the non-life threatening ones and waiting until the child is older before giving them.

A college friend is pretty high up in Merck, now. He's around this stuff all the time. He also home schools and he gives a very limited number of vaccines to his children. About 1/3 the recommended schedule.

Anonymous Daniel June 20, 2012 11:41 AM  

Travis Kurtz
So I guess the question is...which would you rather have small pox, polio, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, whooping cough...reintroduced into our society and have less autistic children or would you rather have the society we have now? Obviously the vaccine group could try to find better vaccines with less side affects and wait longer, nevertheless these are the two main camps to pick from.
False question. A kid in my eldest kid's class has whooping cough right now. We're all getting calls from the CDC about it. It's a joke.

Measles-Mumps-Rubella are typically manageable, recoverable illnesses, so who cares?

The polio virus is on the march.

So, a) vaccinations are only artificially introducing viruses into the population, not the opposite, as you claim.

b) It is a false choice. Not vaccinating is not "introducing" diseases into a society.

c) Most sane parents would absolutely pick exposure to any of those viruses over autism, given the choice (which scientifically, just isn't how it works.) But the question is false. Vaccinating is not choosing not to get an illness, it is a choice that may or may not reduce the chances of getting an illness + a slight chance of known and admitted complications.

Everything regarding vaccines is a "best guess" sort of thing. The problem is with pro-vaxoids who can't conceive of doing absolutely everything Big Pharma lucratively "recommends" to the health care machine.

Blogger robwbright June 20, 2012 11:43 AM  

Interesting:

1000s of children in Cook County, Illinois - no vaccines and no incidence of autism - and virtually no cases of asthma:

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2005/12/07/The-Age-of-Autism-A-pretty-big-secret/UPI-68291133982531/

And this proving the bias of scientists in relation to vaccines... a couple profs reviewed numerous vaccine studies to determine what is actually scientifically known:

http://www.ane.pl/pdf/7021.pdf

Excerpt:

-----------------------------------------

"To summarize, of the 58 empirical reports on autism and heavy metal toxins, 43 suggest some link may be present, while 13 reports found no link. Even with the tendency for null results not to be reported, it cannot be said there is no evidence for a link between heavy metal toxins and autism: although the question may still be open-in sum, the evidence favors a link."

When we published our reanalysis of the data ... we were a bit surprised to receive many highly emotional responses, and some threats. We think the question of toxins and autism should be seen as broad, perhaps including but also transcending any link to vaccines. A recent empirical article against a link between vaccines and various developmental outcomes in the New England Journal of Medicine included a disclosure statement noting that seven of the authors had received fees from Merck, Kaiser Permanente and other pharmaceutical companies that may have or had an interest in disproving any link to thimerosal and/or mercury exposure and developmental disorders (Thompson et al. 2007).

First, it is important to be very clear that we do not believe that authors would purposefully change their data, or consciously misstate conclusions. Not only would this be unethical, but the stakes are very high. But this does not mean there is no bias; the bias would be subtle and far less nefarious than any sort of purposeful altering of data. If a person has publicly staked his/her career on a certain position being right, it may become harder to keep a truly open mind, even when new data become available and even when the original intent was to be objective.

A way this bias might manifest itself is an overstatement or slight misstatement of results. We feel that both sides have been guilty of this, and this happens when a person becomes so confident in the correctness of his/her own view that he/she no longer reviews evidence to the contrary. Unconscious bias may exist even in the best scientists...

For example, Paul Offit concludes that Thompson and others (2007) study “found no evidence of neurological problems in children exposed to mercury-containing vaccines” (Offit 2007, p. 1979). But is this really true? According to the article’s authors, they detected only a “few significant associations with exposure to mercury” (Thompson et al. 2007, p. 1281).

Of some interest to the question of early exposure and autism, “Increasing mercury exposure (in the first month of life) was associated with poorer performance of a measure of speech articulation.” (Thompson et al. 2007, p. 1281), although this finding is in need of replication, it is of interest since poor articulation occurs in those with autism (Shriberg et al. 2001).

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 June 20, 2012 12:06 PM  

I think that the vast majority of children have little to no risk at getting long-term side effects such as Autism or Asthma from even the most extreme vaccine schedule. However, it makes sense for parents to only administer the vaccines they feel safe doing, given the fact that most of the diseases they protect against are either just a minor annoyance for a few weeks or just simply near impossible to contract with simple lifestyle practices (like not having frequent, anonymous sex).

I believe that most people don't realize that while vaccinations may prevent a disease, there is always a chance you will get that disease. When I went to Uganda, I had to get some vaccines, which included a Cholera vaccine. Of course, they told me that the Cholera vaccine was only 50% effective and that I still had to avoid eating food that wasn't washed or cooked properly. So really, what was the point of it? I had to get them though if I wanted a Visa to get into that country.

As my wife is currently expecting, and prospects look good this time around after five miscarriages, we are currently looking into this as well. I think Daniel's comment was by far the most level-headed and I appreciate the advice people have. I definitely will not be administering vaccines early on to any child I have but I will be keeping an open mind about others.

On a side note, yes Chicken Pox is something just about every child can get over, but when you get older, you can develop shingles as a result. I have to be careful of it myself since I didn't get Chicken Pox until I was in the Sixth grade, much later than most.

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 12:08 PM  

Dan, follow up question to your comment,

"b) It is a false choice. Not vaccinating is not "introducing" diseases into a society."

Do you not think these diseases would come back if immunizations would not take place? Consider the strong decline in their numbers after vaccinations. Let's consider whooping cough, 8,000 deaths per year before the vaccine, that quite a high number.

http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccines/pertussis-whooping-cough

Anonymous stg58 June 20, 2012 12:15 PM  

Travis Kurtz,

You are assuming that the reason for the decline of the diseases in question is due to widespread vaccination.

Trick Question, did the Bubonic Plague decrease after widespread vaccination?

Blogger Spacebunny June 20, 2012 12:32 PM  

Consider the strong decline in their numbers after vaccinations.

In most cases there was a very strong decline before the vaccine was introduced. And Travis - the only known case of polio in the US in the last decade was caused by the vaccine.

Blogger RobertT June 20, 2012 1:03 PM  

Sometimes I think we would be better off if we burned all scientists at the stake. I am a big believer in research and observing patterns, but I am continually struck by the fact that out-and-out "science" is fraudulent, and every occupation or profession becomes more fraudulent as they get closer and closer to actual science. Perhaps the most honest professions are the least "scientific of all."

I notice people chatter about the details in these cases, but at some point everyone would be better served by backing up, taking a wider view and accepting what is surely obvious by now. Science, as it is practiced today, is pure bunk and more dangerous than dancing with rattlesnakes. And twice as deadly. The fat hypothesis has probably killed more people by now than any other cause since we started scratching our history on rocks and parchment.

Anonymous artie June 20, 2012 1:27 PM  

Thank you all for the good advice.

Blogger Nate June 20, 2012 1:44 PM  

"Nate-It's actually 95%"

No.. Sorry Travis... Its not. As stated previously... Polio results in paralysis only 5 times out of 1000.

So either you suck at math... or you've been lied to.

Anonymous Daniel June 20, 2012 2:56 PM  

Travis Kurtz
Do you not think these diseases would come back if immunizations would not take place? Consider the strong decline in their numbers after vaccinations. Let's consider whooping cough, 8,000 deaths per year before the vaccine, that quite a high number.

You may have missed it, but I had an infant who developed whooping cough following the vaccine. I have another child who had it in elementary school, despite having been vaccinated.

More importantly, pertussis death had reduced by nearly 80% before the development of the vaccine.

Childhood diseases had fallen by 90% between 1850 and 1940, well before the standard vaccination schedule.

People think life is great and safe nowadays because of vaccines, when it is clearly and provably great and safe because we have indoor plumbing and no longer make a thrice daily trip to an outhouse.

Any impact vaccines have had on death rates (good or bad) have been minimal compared to the drastic drop from the use of soap and running water and pennicilin and not eating tainted food.

This is better recognized in England, where polio had dropped off considerably before they implemented the vaccine.

You believe a myth: that life before vaccines in 1920 was noticably more deadly by way of disease for children than life after.

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 20, 2012 3:46 PM  

Daniel-Thanks for this last post; it's certainly worth looking into.

Anonymous RedJack June 20, 2012 3:54 PM  

Travis Kurtz


There was a whooping cough outbreak where I live in March. Dozens of kids got it, all were vaccinated. The index case was a vaccinated toddler who was thought to have caught it from a non symptomatic unimmunized stranger.

Or as our kids doctor said "BS".

Vaccinate your kids or not, do the research a bit. And look at the vet vaccination schedule, and why it is what it is.

Anonymous vikingkirken June 20, 2012 4:08 PM  

@Stephen J,

(e) There is no clear and demonstrable mechanism proposed yet, that I know of, by which vaccinations induce autism-spectrum disorders, other than the thiotimeral mercury poisoning thesis (and thiotimeral was removed as a vaccine component back in 2001) -- as opposed to a punch in the nose causing death, where many possible clear and demonstrable mechanisms like bone splinters in the brain do exist.

Actually, there are... two that I know of, possibly more.

When mercury was removed from vaccines, manufacturers replaced it with aluminum. Look up the symptoms of aluminum poisoning... it has some potent neurological effects, which can include inability to tolerate noise or bright lights; extreme emotional mood swings; speech problems; etc.

Second, many vaccines--including the MMR--are cultured on human embryonic fetal cells, and DNA fragments frequently remain. Human DNA injected into the bloodstream of another human has the potential to contaminate the host's DNA. Apparently, there are more vulnerable points on male DNA (vs. female DNA) where this can happen--DNA sections related directly to autism; I've read the science, but I can't recall the details at the moment.

Here are some links which discuss that in more detail:
http://www.jillstanek.com/vaccines-with-fetal-cells-caus.html
http://www.soundchoice.org/Images/Environmental_Factor_Linked_to_Autism_Prevalence_Changepoints.pdf

Anonymous The Great Martini June 20, 2012 7:40 PM  

Did you ever read Orac's response to your SIDS antivac post?

Anonymous Anonymous June 20, 2012 10:59 PM  

Does anyone know of a link between vaccins and primary immunodeficiency?

B

Anonymous oregon mouse June 21, 2012 1:01 AM  

(e) There is no clear and demonstrable mechanism proposed yet, that I know of, by which vaccinations induce autism-spectrum disorders, other than the thiotimeral mercury poisoning thesis (and thiotimeral was removed as a vaccine component back in 2001) -- as opposed to a punch in the nose causing death, where many possible clear and demonstrable mechanisms like bone splinters in the brain do exist

there is quite a bit of evidence that autism, ADHD/ADD, and chronic fatigue syndrome are all the same illness appearing at different stages in a patient's physical developement. The symptoms associated autism/ADD/chronic fatigue are triggered by chronic low level infection (sometimes multiple infections) by viruses such as cytomeglovirus, epstein-barr, streptococcus, etc. Vaccines enter into this theory in that they actually compromise immune function and inhibit the body from fighting off the infections completely. Vaccines are also contaminated with foreign DNA and live viruses. See the book "The Myth of Autism" and http://chronicfatigue.stanford.edu/

Anonymous oregon mouse June 21, 2012 1:19 AM  

If you are having problems finding open-minded pediatricians then check out general practitioners. We went through 3 pediatricians before settling on the same family doctor for all of us. I've since read (don't know how true it is) that the pediatrics specialty was basically invented to push vaccines. If your state allows naturopaths to write prescriptions, they are also a good option. Insurance normally won't pay for hem, however.

Anonymous Bluesman June 21, 2012 4:34 AM  

Nature has in place a mechanism for mammals to transmit immunities to their offspring: it's called breastfeeding. It is a mechanism of such sophistication that it staggers the imagination--like so much of what nature has brought to life.

Breastfeed. For two years. Or more.

Avoid elective surgeries and injections--these are a product of little more than medical fashion. If at all possible, avoid the cesspools commonly called "daycare centers."

It is so simple that every other thing that walks or crawls or flies over the earth understands and can get it right: love and nurture your child and let nature guide a process that is of her making.

When it is time for school, assuming you want to impose that on your child, there is plenty of time to meet legal requirements once the child's immune system has more fully matured.

Note that I consider nature a manifestation of God's will and intelligence, so I use the term not to make a atheist point, rather to make my point in a way that even an atheist can understand.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box June 21, 2012 4:44 AM  

Viva Italia!
Atleast they are discovering the high cost of denialism.

Blogger Vox June 21, 2012 6:13 AM  

Did you ever read Orac's response to your SIDS antivac post?

Respectful Insolence, right? No, I haven't read him for years, he's an idiot with serious reading comprehension issues. His take on the "Against a Fence" column was remarkably stupid. If he wants to debate me on vaccines, fine, I'll do it, but otherwise I have no interest in him. He has nothing new to offer.

Blogger Steve Trueblue June 21, 2012 7:18 AM  

Surprise possible cause of autism in UK article could possibly link to vaccines as triggers in some individuals.
Its about very dilute pharmaceuticals, anti-depressants, in our drinking water predisposing autism.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2155789/Autism-triggered-low-doses-anti-depressants-chemicals-water-supply.html

Anonymous Mazianni June 21, 2012 6:30 PM  

The instant someone quotes the Daily Mail or the Telegraph for anything vaguely science related, it becomes immediately obvious that that person isn't interested in figuring out the truth but only in winning an argument.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/05/science_in_the_telegraph_and_the_daily_mail_what_s_wrong_with_british_journalism_.html

(Not that I believe everything that comes out of Slate either .. just ignore Slate and google "daily mail telegraph science").

Anonymous Anonymous June 23, 2012 3:45 AM  

@ oregon mouse: "Vaccines enter into this theory in that they actually compromise immune function and inhibit the body from fighting off the infections completely."

Do you have any refs for this? I am someone with a primary immuno-deficiency and I am trying to figure out the cause. My body doesn't make enough B cells and I am extremely susceptible to infections. I am not sure anyone has ever discussed a link between immunodefiency and vaccine before so any help would be appreciated.


B

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