November 21, 2008

Paul Offit Acts As A Spokesman For The AAP

This is a pretty good local news report on alternate vaccine schedules featuring Dr. Bob Sears who advocates breaking up the MMR and giving no more than two shots at a time.

But the most interesting part of the piece was this statement:

"The I Team asks the American Academy of Pediatrics why they are opposed to different vaccine schedules. Infection disease specialist Dr. Paul Offit responds on its behalf, saying, " delaying those vaccines, all you're doing is increasing the period of time during which children are susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases with out any benefit."

Paul "100,000 vaccines at once are safe for babies" Offit is a vaccine millionaire. Having him speak on behalf of the AAP is analogous to having the president of Merck speak on behalf of the AAP. This is completely inappropriate.

Now I and others in our community have railed against the ethical breaches and the revolving door between Pharma, government, Pharma non-profits and professional medical associations, but this move demonstrates that there is no door any more.

Having a vaccine patent holder (again not disclosed in the story) represent the AAP shows complete boundarylessness. Offit can apparently represent CHOP, Merck, AAP, CDC/ACIP, and the best interest of children, and there are no conflicts of interest, because, as he claims, he is a good guy and only has the good of children in his heart.

He is an infectious disease specialist who writes a book on autism, even though he does not treat autism, that clears him, his associates and his profession of any culpability in the autism epidemic?

This is just crazy. Do we allow lawyers to represent both opposing litigants in a case? Do accused bank robbers get to be the judge or jury at their own trial?

If you went to the bank tomorrow to deposit your paycheck, and found that all your accounts were empty, and the bank responded to your astonished and urgent demands to know where all your money went with, "Good news sir! We have audited your accounts, and ourselves, and we have exonerated ourselves of any wrongdoing! We found that you never had any money in these accounts. So you can feel safe going ahead and depositing your next paycheck"... there is not a chance in the world that you would say, "Whew! Good thing that is straightened out. Here is my hard earned paycheck!".

Again... do they think that people are really this stupid? Do they really think this continued madness will work long term?

And again... I call out to you wise pediatricians out there who are members of the AAP. Rise up, take back your profession and bring ethics and integrity back to pediatrics.

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