They forgot to mention their conflicts of interest.
This after having the CBS Evening News expose their serial nondisclosure of their financial ties to vaccine makers only ten days ago!
From Jane Johnson director of DAN!, whose account of the event was on AOA this morning when I asked if the Axis disclosed their financial ties to vaccine makers:
"Not a peep. Amanda referred, vaguely and defensively, to 'following the money trail,' but if you hadn't seen Sharyl Attkisson's CBS news piece you wouldn't have known what she was talking about. She made an analogy to Boeing investigating airplane safety that was mystifying--I'm still trying to remember what she said and make sense of it. There was no mention by anyone else that they make a penny off of anything relating to vaccines."This the day after Paul Off it made a statement to Inside Autism claiming that he discloses his vaccine profits.
"Do we ever hide information? Of course not. I have declared my potential conflicts of interest regarding my relationships with Merck on the development of the Rotavirus vaccine ever since I was on the (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) starting in 1998. Every time I’ve written an article, whether it was for the New York Times or the New England Journal of Medicine, I’ve declared that, because I’m not ashamed of it. Quite frankly, I’m proud of it. I’m the co-inventor of a vaccine that’s currently in five developing countries and clearly has already made a difference in this country."Apparently he was not proud enough of his patent this morning to mention it to the press covering the event.
Don't miss the part where Offit flip flops on CBS's story on him.
First Attkisson lied:
“Did (reporter Sharyl Attkisson) lie about whether or not we provided materials? Of course,” said Paul Offit"But when pressed for specific errors, he only can object to the "tone" of the story.
"Asked whether any specific facts in the story were wrong, he said it was primarily the tone he objected to. But he did say that the hospital owns the patent, not him (though he received a share of royalties from it). Also, when Attkisson noted that he had been quoted as saying children could safely take up to 10,000 vaccines at once, “what I actually have said is at least 10,000. It’s probably closer to 100,000."So I guess Attkisson did get one thing wrong... Offit's claims of vaccine safety are WAY crazier than she gave him credit for.
Posting the video again:
Hi, my name is James and I am a 4th year medical student at the University of Tennessee. I am very interested in this topic both as a parent of a beautiful 6 month old boy and as a future physician. I would like to discuss this further with anyone who would like to. I do not wish to be inflammatory or anything of the sort, but I have fundamental disagreements with your premise for this blog. There really is no hard evidence (that I have read, and yes I have read your blog entry on the subject of evidence) that implicates our current vaccines and autism spectrum disorders. Thimerosal has been removed from all of our infant vaccines, and hasn't routinely been used since before 1999. despite removing this from the vaccines the rate of ASD has not dropped. I agree that environmental factors can and probably do play a role in ASD, but I do not know what these factors are and I think that delaying or avoiding vaccination of our children is not the answer. I have lots more to talk about but don't have the time. I would like to continue this discussion however. I would like to know more about where you are coming from and maybe you can learn more about where I am coming from, but most of all I feel this is a good learning opportunity to help me discuss these issues with my future patients and help them to make informed decisions regarding their own and their children's health care. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't rationally discuss these things, don't you think?
James... are you kidding?! We are THRILLED when people in the medical field want to have earnest discussions about this! I would be happy to discuss this as long as you like.
Where do you want to start?
email me firstname.lastname@example.org
"Thimerosal has been removed from all of our infant vaccines, and hasn't routinely been used since before 1999. Despite removing this from the vaccines the rate of ASD has not dropped."
Let me go ahead and start here.
First Thimerosal is not the only problem with vaccines, just the most obvious potential offender.
I will just touch on this as background, and then move on.
The symptoms of mercury poisoning in children are all seen in children with autism with the exception of blindness and kidney problems. From the CDC's fact sheet on Hg poisoning in children.:
"...brain damage, mental retardation, incoordination, blindness, seizures, and inability to speak. Children poisoned by mercury may develop problems of their nervous and digestive systems, and kidney damage."
But that is a whole other discussion, so I will set that aside for now.
More germane to your point, Thimerosal was not removed in 1999.
At the end of 1999 someone at the CDC figured out just how much thimerosal kids were getting and spoke up. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry announced that it would voluntarily begin removing it from vaccines, but no recall was ever issued, so while many claim that it was removed from vaccines in 2001, no one actually knows when it came out.
My older son was born in Sept 2000 and got full dose mercury shots. His pediatrician insisted that there was no more mercury in vaccines and yet gave him a full dose mercury shot. (Even though he was a preemie. He now has verbal tics and sensory issues)
My younger son was born in the spring of 2002 and was of the first birth cohort to get lower dose or "trace amount" mercury shots. (We know all this because after our kids were diagnosed, we got their shot records and started looking up lot numbers.) But the "trace amount" of mercury in his first Hep B vaccine was still over the EPA limit for a child of his weight (that resulted in three months of fevers and inconsolable crying, and two years of constipation until we put him on the GFCF diet. We have battled his GI problems since he got that shot, and GI dysfunction is an symptom of mercury poisoning. When we tested him at two we found that he had both mercury and lead.)
From about that time until now, many doctors have assumed that the shots that they were giving were Hg free, but we have many parent reports of finding them in their docs offices.
Many docs don't read the vaccine package inserts and don't actually know what they are giving. They just read the CDC blurb on the shot.
Parents would insist that they be shown the vaccine package insert, the doc would begrudgingly show it to them and they would all discover together that there was mercury in the shot.
The latest report that I got was from someone finding full dose mercury shots with expiration dates in 2007.
In addition, at the same time they were taking thimerosal out of children's shots, they started giving flu shots, most of which are still full dose mercury, to pregnant women. So while children got less of it, they started getting it in the womb. The earlier the exposure, the worse the damage.
I know two women, both with twins, whose children went into distress after their pregnancy flu shot.
One mom had one baby have problems, but recovered and both twin girls (fraternal) were born typical. The one who distressed in the womb had a vaccine regression in her first year, but recovered, then regressed into autism after her shots in her second year. They had two warnings that she should not have been vaccinated, but docs didn't take it seriously. (She drowned three months ago as a result of her autism).
The other mom got the flu shot, both of her twins went into distress, one died in utero, the other has autism.
(The flu shot is not safety tested on pregnant women, yet the CDC recommends it for pregnant women and will not even state a preference that they get Hg free shots.)
So we won't really know what the reduction of thimerosal will do to autism rates until about 2010, and even then it will be tainted because of the flu shot.
What we may be seeing, and this is totally an anecdotally based observation on my part, is that children born in the 1990's who were getting the full dose shots are more severely impaired than children my son's age and younger. More kids that are fully non verbal, and more severely physically and intellectually debilitated. (Contrast Jenny McCarthy's son with Dan Marino's son to get my drift)
So while we may not be seeing a quantitative reduction, we may be seeing a qualitative reduction.
But that will need a few more years to see if that is what is happening as well.
But one of the problems we have with mainstream medicine is that they are basing their autism decisions almost solely on epidemiological studies and ignoring what is going on in the bodies of our individual children, even though NIH said in 2004 that if there is a subset of the population who are sensitive to mercury, epidemiological studies will not pick up on that (even as they declared the vaccine debate over and told everyone to look somewhere else).
As far as the mercury theory goes, it is that our children have an impaired detox systems, so what goes in, stays in. They are not just accumulating what is in vaccines, but from every other source and when we chelate these kids, out come the metals, mercury chief among them.
So I think a good place to start would be to find out if you have gotten an understanding of what the proposed (and confirmed) biological mechanisms are that the vaccine/autism hypothesis are based on. Because if not, the studies on the "no evidence of any link" page won't mean much as they don't have a context to fit into.
Have you merely been taught that "Autism" is a behavioral disorder, or do you know about the toxicological, GI and autoimmune features of "Autism"? Are you still under the impression that what is diagnosed as "Autism" is one disorder, or have you heard that it is likely between two and God only knows how many physical syndromes?
Where are you in the process of learning about autism?
Where are you in the process of learning about vaccines?
And you might start, not by coming at it from the autism angle, but via the vaccine angle by asking yourself these two questions:
1. Do vaccines cause autoimmune disorders and neuro-inflammation?
2. What is "Vaccine Induced Encephalopathy"?
(Sorry if you are already ahead of where I am talking atcha. I hate to sound all talk downie to you, but I am making an assumption from your "thimerosal gone since before 1999" that you have only gotten the party line and not explored the issue much. Let me know if I am way off.)
And a question for me about this.
"There really is no hard evidence (that I have read, and yes I have read your blog entry on the subject of evidence) that implicates our current vaccines and autism spectrum disorders."
What would constitute "hard evidence" of an autism vaccine connection to you? What are you looking for? What question properly tested would be convincing to you?
And thanks for undertaking a real discussion on this. I wish more doctors (and the docs who gave my son his debilitating shots) were as interested as you are.
I totally agree with what you are saying Ginger about the difference of types of exposure in different age groups. This is what I have been thinking...my 11 year old (born in 1997) received all the mercury and has AS and Sensory Integration. Now, my 17 month old (different fathers, who was fully vaccinated up to one year) has mysterious "asthma/reflux/allergy" problems. With no family history for any of these health problems. My nephew is allergic to everything (again, no history). My best friend's daughter has a rare immune system condition (you've guessed it, no family history). Really, why does it seem like so many kids are so sick these days?! The nurse (when explaining to us how to give the baby asthmatic Flovent treatments - a whole other subject) mentioned how both of her grandkids have to do them stating there's "no history of it in our family either!". strange how so many of these "genetic" problems are popping up with no family history. Somehow this doesn't make sense to me!
Yeah, little family history here either - no autism or developmental disorders at all. Yet we're all experiencing various allergic/ autoimmune/ neurological type problems in my immediate and extended family now - those of my generation & our children. And age seems to be a factor in how it manifests.
James, I was 5mos pregnant when I had a dental amalgam replaced - time of peak brain development for the baby in utero. I can still remember spitting out tiny bits of metal from my mouth as I walked out of the dentist's office to my car.
That son - now 10yrs old & diagnosably PDD-NOS - was speech delayed, echolalic, pragmatic speech impaired, watched the light play thru his hands endlessly, loved watching balls roll & car wheels over & over again and trying to talk to him was like trying to reach thru a fog to find him. I could go on, but you get the idea: he has no trouble fitting in with the general diagnostic picture of autism.
My background is in pharmacy - certainly that doesn't make me a genius, but it does mean that I have a little more education & experience in the field of medicine than the average. I poured thru studies at PubMed. I read thru the EPA's report on mercury as well as the work of Dr. Philippe Grandjean studying the effects of mercury on children in the Minimata disaster. I looked at the arguments of both sides.
My son's symptoms correspond closely with those recorded for fetal mercury exposure. (Not toxicity, mind you, but exposure - a difference that those opposing seem to have trouble noting)
Just recently, a court ruled that the FDA has been delinquent & must ensure that pregnant women are warned against the possible hazards of mercury exposure to their developing baby. Too late for us, but there has to be sufficient credible evidence of the risk to earn a "black box" type warning.
My question in all this is - if mercury exposure from a dental amalgam is capable of generating autistic type symptoms in my son, then what is so difficult to believe about another source of mercury having the same capability?
And if it is so unbelievable that thimerosal could have this effect, why doesn't Dr. Grandjean - who has spent most of his life studying the effects of mercury on the children of Minimata & elsewhere - support that view?
Instead, he & a group of physicians in the same line of study, released a warning approx. a year ago about the risk that all of our environmental toxins, esp. lead & mercury, pose to the neurological development of our children.
Grandjean also said he was not sure that we would ever be able to definitively answer the questions about what damage each toxin is specifically capable of because everyone of us is full of a wide assortment & there's no way to sort out & separate which is doing what. That's before you even venture into the realm of synergistic toxicities which complicates the whole mess exponentially. So it's difficult if not impossible to design a study to zero in specifically on mercury & autism when there are so many other potential toxins capable of doing similar damage. [Look at the work in the Faroes for example - Faroe Islands: Message from the Sea ]
How extensive a role mercury plays in the total population of autistic kids is a mystery, but that some kids are mercury damaged is not a huge leap of faith to anyone who has looked at its track record. [Dr. Alan D. Clark's Note to Medical Professionals]
Additionally, the immune systems of these children are often already showing signs that they are either weak or damaged and to further challenge those systems with multiple vaccinations & their toxic ingredients is irresponsibly risky - at best.
There are a fair number of credible doctors and scientists who consider the evidence reasonably worthy of this concern - it's not as pat an issue as the CDC, AAP & others keep insisting - please take a look for yourself.
P.S. I have 5 children - there's not time or space to share all their problems, but my oldest developed tics around age 4, not long after receiving that shot series and now at 16 yrs qualifies for Tourette's. The first 4 all have attention problems - the 5th who is unvaccinated has shown no sign of any neurological issues though he shares the same food intolerance issues as his siblings (I have thyroid issues - it all corresponds). The studies that are used to discount thimerosal in relation to autism - despite not having been specifically designed for that purpose - have shown a distinct correlation between thimerosal and tics as well as attention deficits even after all the "adjustments" get made.
Please read "Evidence of Harm" by David Kirby. I speak first as a grandfather of an autistic child and second as a brother to two M.D.s. It's one thing to prove it unsafe and another to prove it safe. If we don't know then we fail the primum non nocere principle. At what point will evidence be available on epidemiological studies for many neurological diseases? We have to use the "canary in the coal mine" - that being the animal studies. We do know that mercury damages human brain cells and we do know that vaccines can be used without mercury as a preservative. Finally when we calculate the number of these massive mercury molecules at "trace levels" or "below detectable levels" such as a level of 25 nanograms - we still get trillions of molecules injected into the bloodstreams of babies. The primum non nocere principle is not followed.
hey it's james again
I don't have time right at the moment to address as many things as I would like to.
first, I have tried to email you at that address before I posted my first comment but it was rejected by either my mail server or yours, I can't tell which.
I appreciate the points that you all are making and believe me I am trying to research the subject to the best of my ability. as I am sure you can understand it is difficult to read much of the non "main stream" medical literature when your future depends on knowing the main stream medical literature. there is an awful lot to learn, it is not dissimilar to trying to take a drink from a fire hose. I have my second round of board exams next month....
having said that I am very interested in this subject. Vaccines have been one of the great success stories in medicine in the last 100 years. the disease burden of polio has been nearly eliminated and smallpox has been completely eradicated (so much so that we no longer give this vaccine to anyone, with rare exceptions) the smallpox vaccine as I understand had many adverse effects. I have never seen a case of measles encephalitis and I pray I never will. and the incidence of invasive haemophilus influenzae infections in children has decreased by more that 95% since the introduction of this vaccine. these are all devastating diseases, and sometimes I think we forget just how horrible these things were. I personally have seen a case of influenza encephalitis this year at the local children's hospital. and this girl will probably never do anything again she is 12 yrs old and neurologically devastated. now I am not saying that if she had received a flu vaccine that this absolutely would not have happened but her chances would have been better.
On the issue of genetics. the topic is so immensely complex that I do not pretend to know everything on this subject, indeed the more I learn the less I think I know. but this is something I wanted to address. We know immensely more about genetics now than we did 20 years ago (remember we are only about 45 years removed from watson and crick describing DNA's role in heredity) and so many things that were passed off and simply "you've got this thing" are now known to have a genetic basis. that being said you do not have to have a family history of something in order to have a genetic predisposition to certain things. when 2 peoples genetic information is combined to form a new being the results are (to say the least) unpredictable. and throe in something as complicated as the immune system and well, things can get pretty crazy.
ginger, I will try and answer some more of your questions at a later time. thank you for you honesty and politeness.
We also now know that genes can be triggered on & off. I have no doubt that my family is suffering because we have some genetic vulnerability that others do not. However, as becomes apparent from our family history, there is something setting them off (or on) in a way that never happened before.
Just a few weeks ago, this was in the news:
Healthful Lifestyle Teaches Prostate Genes to Behave Garbage in = Body damage > Garbage out = Body can heal
That actually sums up the whole biomed argument as it relates to autism, too.
You will be hard-pressed to find people on this side of the issue who deny that there have been considerable benefits to society from vaccines. Most of us are objecting to the quantity & quality of the immunization schedule and the idea that a baby whose immune system is not even sufficiently functional yet should be stuck full of garbage that is more likely to damage them than the disease that we allegedly all need protection from (ala Hep B).
Even before all our problems turned up and we were doing the vaccines on schedule, my pediatrician agreed with me that the Hep B didn't make a whole lot of sense for the general population and we skipped it. The next year the AAP put out their recommendation & he had to support it or lose his membership.
I fixed the email problem so that address will work now.
And please... feel free to take all the time you need to investigate this properly. Just keep coming back with your questions and concerns.
And keep in mind, I am not making the arguement that vaccines don't prevent illnesses and that they have not done good, but that they have ALSO done irreparable harm to some (and even killed people) and the medical community, because of the their love affair with vaccines, overstates the benefits and is working overtime to ignore the damage that is being done.
Safety and efficacy are two different things, and even if vaccines were 100% effective and gave everyone clear skin and healthy, manageable hair to boot, that does not mean they are safe for all children.
And the idea that they will cause life long debilitation and even death in some is not disputed in the medical field.
But CDC et. al. want EVERYONE to have them, with out any screening to see which children are vulnerable to damage or death. And when vaccine injury does occur according to what HHS own guidelines on what a vaccine injury is, doctors are not trained to recognize them, adamantly deny that very obvious vaccine reactions are in fact vaccine reactions, and don't treat the child who is suffering.
So the medical establishment can continue to claim that serious vaccine damage occurs in only one in a million cases. Because most are never recognized and never reported. It may be that the number is somewhere approaching 1 in 6.
It is an industry that is policing itself and does not even want to properly investigate whether or not the autism epidemic (and the epidemic of other childhood illnesses like asthma, diabetes, arthritis, peanut allergies, egg allergies, cancers, etc.) is an iatrogenic phenomenon.
I was born in 1969 and of all the people I knew up through college, and we were quite the social family, met one girl who was blind, one boy who had seizures, one guy at another high school who would have been diagnosed as Aspie, one friend with ADD, my shy husband and one family who had a baby die of SIDS. That is over a span of 24 years.
Juxtapose that with the children I know today APART from my role as an autism mom.
I had was a part of a little posse of three girls in Jr. High. (they were identical twins, models, dad was a square jawed helo pilot, NO health problems in their family). Now all three of us have disabled children. Me and Jamie have autistic sons, Janie's children all have Type 1 Diabetes.
The bible study of 5 women that I was in when I got pregnant (I was the first to have a baby). Two of us have children with full autism diagnosis, one has a son who I believe is on the spectrum and has sensory integration disorder, one has a daughter with serious asthma and excema, and the last one has healthy kids, but stopped vaccinating according to the schedule when she saw how sick our kids were getting.
I live on a street with 22 houses, there are three children with full syndrome autism on our street.
Which is why I am so happy that you are willing to take a real look at all this!
I am constantly making appeals for wise doctors to rise up and take back their profession. I am hoping that your visit here is a trend.
Two points in response to your last note:
First, "I have never seen a case of measles encephalitis..."
Are you sure? Have you seen a child with autism who regressed after MMR?
A known side effect of the MMR is actually contracting the measles, a known outcome of measles is measles encephalitis, a know outcome of encephalitis is neurological damage. The Vaccine court is currently considering the Cedillo case in which a child diagnosed with autism, who regressed after MMR had measles strain virus in her cerebrospinal fluid.
So why, when we know the disease can cause outcome X, do we reject the idea that the live virus vaccine for the disease can also cause outcome X?
One thing that gets to me is the admitting that rubella exposure to a fetus causes autism, while believing that exposure to live virus rubella vaccine in the first year of life could not possibly cause autism.
But all that is for later.
Second, let's be clear from the start, most cases of autism likely do have a genetic component. It runs in families. My family has not history of problems like this, but my husbands family has ADD, dyslexia, autoimmune problems, food intolerances, a few people I think might be on the very high end of the spectrum, etc. And in high school, my husband, (although now a super hot, TV producer and neighborhood politico) was the super skinny, AV Geek who could barely hold a conversation with anyone outside his immediate family.
Pretty much everyone who is taken seriously in this debate agrees that it what is diagnosed as autism has a genetic base with and environmental trigger (as you mentioned before).
Are my husband and my son actually the same genetic guy, but daddy only got 10 shots in infancy starting at two months of age, while baby got mommy's mercury body burden from her disintegrating mercury filling, her rhogam shots, brain made more vulnerable by terbutaline mom was given during pregnancy, vaccinated with Hep B at two weeks, before his due date, and continued to be vaccinated for between 5-7 diseases at every doctors visit until he regressed at 18 months?
Is the genetic predisposition not for alternate neurological wiring, but instead for an impaired methylation process which results in an inability to produce glutathione, which results in the accumulation of toxic metals? When that mercury crosses the blood brain barrier and oxidizes to form inorganic mercury and gets trapped in the brain, destroying neurons, causing the immune system to dispatch cytokines to repair the damage (which never stops because the mercury just stays there) causing low grade, persistent neuro-inflammation resulting in the symptoms of autism?
And if all this is taking place, wouldn't even a mild anti inflammatory like Omega 3 fish oil and interventions like chelation, remove the offending metals and minimize neuroinflammation and thereby mitigate those "autistic symptoms"? (Just a hint, it is and they do).
one more thing, this studies that we reference in this are not just of the "alternative nature", it is from NIH, Harvard, UVA and lots of reputable sources and even CDC itself.
So go study for those exams and get to this when you can.
And don't be surprised that we are nice to you. Hell... we carry your books to class if it will give us time to talk to you and we will baby sit your kids if it will give you time to read research.
a few more things.
"Safety and efficacy are two different things, and even if vaccines were 100% effective and gave everyone clear skin and healthy, manageable hair to boot, that does not mean they are safe for all children."
could not possibly agree more. the problem is identifying what kids are susceptible to these things. you mentioned before that the use of population based epidemiological studies is problematic, which it is, but this is where we are as a medical community. I am well aware that not all treatments are beneficial for all people. for instance if you had come to see my after a heart attack I would be remiss (and legally liable) if I did not put you on a statin (cholesterol medication like lipitor for example) because these drugs have been shown to reduce mortality after a heart attack. But what if you are one of the people who experiences rhabdomyolysis (rapid muscle breakdown) due to this drug and go into acute renal failure and die. did I do the wrong thing? based on the population study, no I did not. but for YOU I did do the wrong thing, but there was no way to know that at the time. What we are getting at here is individualized medicine, the holy grail if you will. My med school talks about this all the time. this is the future. It will be great when you come to me after that heart attack and I can look at your genetic profile and say, oh, you are predisposed to have an adverse reaction to this drug that I would have put you on in an attempt to save your life, lets do something else.
This is, I think, what we are really talking about here. not whether some kids have adverse outcomes associated with vaccines (clearly some do) but how to identify those who will and either not give them said vaccines or give them an alternative (i.e. more expensive) vaccine that they are more likely to tolerate.
Another issue that I think is at the heart of this matter is defensive medicine. this is what my classmates and myself call CYA (cover your ass) medicine. CYA medicine is not good medicine, but the legal climate we are in at the moment forces this issue. there is legal precedent (sorry I don't have the reference in front of me) for successful lawsuits against hospitals and physicians for failure to vaccinate. for instance one case is that of a chronic HepB mom whose child did not recieve the recommended dose of HBIG and HepB vaccine, which was at the time, recommended only for those kids whose moms were HBsAg positive. it was not known that this mom was HBsAg positive at time of delivery. so I think this is where the blanket recommendation comes from that all kids receive their first dose of HepB vaccine before leaving the hospital. I tend to agree that this is problematic, especially in premature or low birth weight neonates. but you can see where the AAP is coming from especially if you consider hospitals like the one I had my obstetrics training in. This is an inner city hospital ("safety net" facility) where a large portion of our moms had little or no prenatal care. so often we had no idea who was HepB positive and who was not. hence the blanket recommendation. I am not saying this is ideal by any means but this is where we are. to my (admittedly limited) knowledge, we simply do not have the technology to screen these kids. for one we don't have a good idea what we are screening for and two even if we did, where would the money come from. the hospital I mentioned earlier stands to finish this year 25 million in the red due to medicare cuts. this is not pretty but it is the reality of the situation.
oh and one more thing, you mentioned the apparent rise in conditions like PDD and food allergies as evidence of vaccine toxicity. but LOTS of things have changed since 1969. you are now supposed to put kids on their back to sleep to help prevent SIDS. but the recommendation used to be to place kids on their stomach. maybe sleeping on ones back causes egg allergies. this is clearly a ridiculous example but what I am trying to say is that so many things have changed in our environment that it is hard to point the finger only at vaccines as the culprit.
this is a copy and paste (sorry) from my "go to" place for current medical information Up to Date online. This is from an article specifically about MMR.
The inability to absolutely exclude an association between the MMR vaccine and autism stems from the limitations of the scientific method  , in which the null hypothesis (ie, that MMR vaccine does not cause autism) can be rejected or not rejected, but cannot be accepted. Thus, in strict adherence to the scientific method, one cannot accept the null hypothesis and conclude that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, because this would imply that the MMR vaccine never causes autism, something that cannot be proven. However, in its latest review, the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the IOM concludes that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism  .
Offit, PA, Coffin, SE. Communicating science to the public: MMR vaccine and autism. Vaccine 2003; 22:1.
Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. A report of the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy Press, Washington, DC 2004.
and yes I realize you are not big fans of Offit....
I think this helps explain some of the difficulties of "proving something safe"
Thought you'd like to see this quote from Amanda Peet:
Also, I hate to take up your time but my sister-in-law will soon be having a baby...is there a book or a website that will help her know what questions to ask her doctor about vaccines?
In our country you would make certain the patient was on a statin, but in Europe your first priority would be to get that patient on an omega-3 supplement.
Which is better? Well, here's my take. Cholesterol dysregulation is the equivalent of having a car alarm go off. Statins are the equivalent of shutting off the alarm without figuring out why it went off. So in all too many cases, the thief makes off with the car while at least you were no longer bothered by the troublesome warning symptoms.
As a practicing pharmacist for 15yrs, I got to see this attitude firsthand - almost everyone expects a pill to fix their problems. They have been trained to expect that. As the saying goes, heart disease is not a consequence of statin deprivation. Pills that fix one problem usually create new ones - but don't worry, they have pills for that, too.
Mainstream med is too pharmaceutically based and until that changes will never rise above being a disease management system as opposed to a true health system.
This is the same mentality from which comes the current vaccine industry, but even moreso, it is a situation where too many vital health decisions are being based on statistical analysis and dollar signs instead of concern for each individual & unique human being.
I think the Axis is continually shooting itself in the foot by opening their mouth. The truth will be made known to more and more people. It is only a matter of time.
I wanted to tell James that I also appreciate his interest in this matter. I wish more physicians would look at all the pieces of the puzzle.
First, I would like to say thank you for being open enough to try to understand where we are coming from, and for giving us the opportunity to share our reasons for why we feel the way we do about this issue.
I am the mother of two vaccine injured children (one of them with a documented reaction to his MMR/Varicella from his pediatrician).
I would like to read your responses at length, but I did want to alert you to a report from the NIEHS to Congress, who were given the task of reviewing the CDC's past epidemiological studies using the VSD (vaccine safety datalink). Some of these studies were the basis of the 2004 IOM report on the link between vaccines and autism, in which you made reference to in your last post. This report, and Julie Gerberding's concessions, are extremely important as the NIEHS found many "weaknesses" in these studies and found that many were not "useful" in disproving a link. The are the oft quoted studies that are cited by our public health officials and the media.
If you would like to view this report, I have posted the following link below:
My apologies, this is the link to the NIEHS investigative report to Congress:
"but LOTS of things have changed since 1969. you are now supposed to put kids on their back to sleep to help prevent SIDS. but the recommendation used to be to place kids on their stomach. maybe sleeping on ones back causes egg allergies."
The American Physical Therapy Association listed all the developmental delays caused by the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign today in their survey regarding Tummy Time:
Personally I think that the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign which began in 1992 has caused the Autism Epidemic. I think the decrease in tonsillectomies in the 1970's caused the ADHD epidemic of the 1980's. These two things now work in combination so that we have a huge number of children with sleep disorders, deformed heads, develeopmental delays, torticollis, plagiocephaly, strabismus, autism, adhd, add, etc. It's too bad.
I read your link anonymous and your argument is so unfounded that I will not even bother to respond other than to say that you should read your own link.
Sorry .. I have been working on a deadline and had no time to write.
Will be able to today.
You also might want to check out the discussion going on here. with another soon to graduate med schooler who has also come to parents like us as you have.
Sorry for the break.
"You mentioned before that the use of population based epidemiological studies is problematic, which it is, but this is where we are as a medical community."
But we don't have to be. Dr. Haley's suggestion is where we need to be going. Study the subpopulation that got sick. The medical community is as resistant to doing this as I am to jogging.
Re: your statins example...
You are comparing a healthy population, whose chance of death from a vaccine preventable illness is almost nil, to a very sick population whose chance of dying from heart failure is high.
And you are doing it without answering the question, "is the cure really worse than the disease".
If rhabdomyolysis was occurring in 1 in 150 patients, and death with out statins in 1 in 100,000, people would stop using the damn statins.
Statins are an attempt to save a life in serious threat. Measles was a common childhood illness before the vaccine was even invented. It was the subject of a Brady Bunch episode.
Because we do not have a true understanding of vaccine injury, we cannot rule out that vaccines are not causing the autism epidemic. As such, why are we using them so indiscriminately when we have not been threatened by a viral epidemic in more than a half a century?
I hear docs (John Poling for example) talk about seeing one or two cases of viral encephalopathy and how horrible it is. But where is the lamentation over the approaching 1% of the population of children who have autism?
My impression of Mainstream Medicine:
"HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! 127 PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN MEASLES IN THIS COUNTRY THIS YEAR! YES THEY ALL MADE A COMPLETE RECOVERY BUT WE HAVE TO FOCUS ALL OUT ATTENTION ON THIS AND GET EVERYONE VACCINATED NOW!
What? 1% of the population can't talk? Send them to speech therapy. Yawn."
When this is the response, combined with a healthy dose of CYA as you point out, why should parents trust vaccines?
But I have vastly strayed from the point. Sorry.
As I have mentioned... I am THRILLED that your school is pushing individualized medicine. Because really, any other kind is unethical. The patient in front of you is your client and if you are not doing what is in their best interest (not the interest of 'public health' or your pocketbook or career or ego) then you are violating your ethics as a doctor. (being a therapist I have been very sensitive to that. In our training we are to be constantly checking ourselves to be sure that the judgments we are making and the interventions we are trying are in the best interests of the client, and not a reaction to our baggage or meeting our emotional or psychological needs. We are to have accountability structures in place so we can have supervisors call us out if we are starting to do it. We KNOW it will happen, and it is our job to recognize it and stop it. So when parents report vaccine injury to the doc who administered a vaccine, and he blows it off, it makes me crazy.)
Your Hep B story is a good example of old adage that 'bad cases make bad law'. The correct thing to do would have been to tighten up screening and record keeping procedures to be sure that babies with Hep B moms get the shot, not to give EVERY child the shot!
Yes the legal climate is bad, but I propose that it is bad BECAUSE of CYA medicine, not that CYA is just a response to it.
That the medical community is as much to blame for the adversarial posture between patients and doctors now as anyone. Because when they make mistakes, they don't tell the patient. Instead they hold a private morbidity and mortality session. You guys won't talk to us, but you will talk about us, and then lament that patients sue you after you have treated them with such disregard? It is the only recourse for those who want resolution? (of course tainted by those who would be opportunists). (Sorry for the collective "you", don't mean to make is sound personal).
Here is a proposal. When a mistake is made, tell the patient, do everything you can to fix it, tell them that you are sorry.
Stop acting like a corporation and be a person, having human relationships with your patients.
Do less, spend more time on it, do it right.
Get paid less. Provide better service.
We are a family that decided NOT to sue. My son reacted to the Hep B shot at birth, his reaction was reported, but not taken seriously. He was then vaccinated two more times with the shot, despite the contraindications to not use it again on him, and then given it a fourth time because of a record keeping error. That is when he regressed.
Clearly we could have sued. But we didn't, because we wanted our doctors to learn from what had happened and start investigating vaccine injury and its relationship to autism as you are doing now. So I wrote to my pediatrician, told him what had happened and told him I forgave him and was not going to sue him. I asked him to help me find out what was wrong with my son and partner with me in fixing it.
And his response was not, "ok... lets dig in and see what when on with your child and heal him". It was to call his lawyer and up his malpractice insurance. When I went back to him with Chandlers metal tests and autoimmune problems, he said he didn't really understand the test and it was clear that he was not interested in getting involved.
And to this day he is still telling patients that there is no vaccine autism link. He won't even look at the clear examples of it in his own practice.
So... Although they damaged my son for life, we forgave them and asked for their help, not just to benifit our son, but for their benefit and for the benefit of all the kids they would see after Chandler. So they could learn about what they had done and not make the same mistakes again. But they would have none of it.
It actually would have been more effective in getting the docs in that practice to learn from this if we had sued them because they would have actually been forced to look at his case and read the relevant research. He would not even read the Hep B package insert for the very vaccine he injected into my son, when I brought it to him with the important sections highlighted.
And he was not an evil pediatrician. He is a well respected, seasoned doctor, who was the first to give Hg free shots when they came available and does not even give Rota Virus shots because he thinks they are not necessary.
So this is how the GOOD doctors are behaving toward vaccine injury in cases where parents have come to them in kindness and humility, forgiven them for their mistakes and tried to educate them from their own materials, that they should already know.
He told me that he was taking his instructions from the AAP and to go to them with my concerns. I have been doing it for four years and they are as dead to our reasonable message as they possibly can be.
So no... I do not see where AAP is coming from. Rather I see it, and it is evil. They are choosing self preservation over the lives of children. Because that is what CYA medicine is.
As for the 'reality' of the situation... I do get that. But the solution is not to make new bad policy, it is to fix what is broken.
Our medical system has dealt with problems by jerryrigging with crap solution after another for so long that we are more jerryrigging than actual system.
Which actually might be a good analogy for vaccination actually. Instead of making sure children are well fed, in clean safe surroundings, getting lots of exercise, are free of man made and environmental contamiants and are living balanced lives (in which case their chances of falling seriously ill or dying when exposed to viruses will be low) we inject them with toxic chemicals, and the very virus, to keep them from dying, even though we know it will kill and mame some.
So what about just going back to helping nature do it's job by using all our technology to screen for things that would hinder the child's functioning and removing harmful things and putting in good natural nutrition that makes the system work well?
I am gonna stop here for now.. Talking about our docs reaction to Chandler's regression is just really upsetting.
Can we get back to these two questions?
"1. Do vaccines cause autoimmune disorders and neuro-inflammation?
2. What is "Vaccine Induced Encephalopathy"?"
Well said, Ginger! My son's doctor completely blew off my concerns about his speech development with a variation of that paternalistic stereotypic response, "don't worry, he'll outgrow it". He did absolutely nothing to check into my concerns so I found scant comfort in his disinterested reassurance but I had no idea where to turn at the time.
It was 3 yrs later that I went to a speech pathologist (a career that I did not even know existed before) who told me that he had a pragmatic speech disorder and was 2 yrs behind his peers. How much difference might 3 yrs of speech therapy made for him?
BUT they were quite diligent about his vaccines - even wanted to give him the new pneumococcal one that wasn't on the schedule yet (but was going to be). By that time I was finally cluing in that his already obviously impaired immune system (he got a fever if a microbe even looked at him sideways) did not need any additional challenges.
In pharmacy practice, there was a study done which clearly showed that pharmacists who screwed up & apologized to the patient or caregiver and tried to make amends rarely get sued. It's the ones that get defensive & go into denial that frustrate the patient or caregiver to the point that they feel they have to take outside action.
My personal observation, too, is that the pharmacists who always bragged that they never made a mistake were the ones who made the most. Pride really does make us blind (or as I so often remind my kids, sin makes us stupid).
You have to have a fair amount of confidence as a doctor - considering people's lives are in your hands. I think that's what makes them so vulnerable to pride and a god complex.
When I was doing a pharmacy internship, I was told by my preceptor (sort of like a mentor), who was definitely "old school", never to tell a patient that I did not know something because it would undermine their trust in me as a professional. Unfortunately, there is a degree of truth in that.
I was flabbergasted at how many people came to me for a pill to cure their colds (I thought everyone knew there was no cure) or got disgusted when I explained that the medical knowledge related to their problem was either not there or uncertain.
So I can see why doctors have a tendency to be, um, assertive shall we say? However, I believe that is not in the patient's longterm interest & encourages them to view the doctor's abilities unrealistically.
I am glad to see that there are a growing number of medical professionals who recognize the health benefit of a patient who sees doctor as partner rather than the paternalistic model from the past. (Studies of cancer patients show that they live longer in the newer teamwork model of medical care) We definitely need a paradigm shift here.
Any chance that you could find that apology study?
I write a lot about repentance, and the lack of repentance is at the heart of endless numbers of problems in this world.
The lesson that we have leaned (but failed to implement) from Watergate is that is it is the cover-up, not the crime, that tears at society.
For those earnest people who want to forgive and move on to deal with the challenges left behind, the lack of "Mia Culpa, I will clean up my mess as best I can" is a constant and recurring stumbling block. Both practically and emotionally.
Our family has been left to spend the rest of our lives struggling to deal with the consequences of someone else's mistakes. We are the earnest people who just want this to come to good for other children, but we can't even get that.
So in effect, when the CYA posture is taken, it is a throw back to the stellar rationale of the witch trials.
We are gonna give you the Heisman, and not disclose our mistakes or help you clean them up, because if we do, you might sue us and take our money. So if you are genuinely injured and in need from our malpractice and want to work to forgive us and earnestly want to partner with us in fixing the problem too bad. We are going to treat everyone as if they are malicious.
In other words, we are going to dunk you in the pond, if you are a witch you will save yourself (sue), and if you allow yourself to drown (forgive), then we will know that you were innocent.
The pride that prevents us from earnest repentance, that is, admitting guilt and cleaning up your mess, is probably the most deadly thing on this planet. I can't imagine that all the deaths from all the plagues has done more damage.
"you mentioned the apparent rise in conditions like PDD and food allergies as evidence of vaccine toxicity."
Well it is not so much evidence as a huge lead. No correlation does not prove causality, but it is a huge friggin' clue that we dismiss at our own peril.
"but LOTS of things have changed since 1969... so many things have changed in our environment that it is hard to point the finger only at vaccines as the culprit."
And you should also understand that we are not pointing the finger ONLY at vaccines.
What we are saying is that what is diagnosed as "Autism" is largely a toxic injury. Those toxins come from many sources (see the Texas mercury emissions study that show the closer you live to a coal plant the higher your chance of being autistic, the pesticide studies, my writing on genetically modified foods, etc...) but that vaccination is the BIGGEST BOLUS DOSE of those toxins (layered on top of all the other toxic exposures) injected straight into the body, bypassing the bodies natural defenses against toxic injury, and vaccine police does NOT take into account those other toxic exposures or even screen kids to see what their toxic burden already is before adding to it.
And frankly, vaccines ARE the sticking point. Modern Medicine will not take seriously toxic injury from environmental sources because if they do, they will have to halt the vaccine program.
For example, our kids get cholesterol checks at check up time. If they added a toxic metals test, then could not then, one minute later, inject the child they just screened with 1,000 mg of aluminum in his vaccines now could he.
That would be as silly as testing for cholesterol and then injecting that child with cholesterol.
Medicine HAS to stay in denial about toxic injury from almost all sources so that they can keep vaccinating.
Vaccines are NOT the sole cause of autism, but until their role is studied properly and addressed with out bias, NONE of the other environmental causes will be addressed either, because the denial of the medical community is just do damn strong.
The same problem with treatments. Chelation, GFCF diet, SCD diet, hyperbaric, antifungals, they all work! There are tens of thousands of cases of their success, (and 1100 documented cases of children loosing their autism diagnosis implementing them) but main stream medicine will not investigate them because if they work, they point the finger at vaccination as the big trigger.
Couple of things about your MMR comment.
1. I am not MMR girl. Chandler was actually a little behind on his shots when he regressed, so he never got the MMR (thank God). So the focus of my study has not been there. But this might be a good chance to dig through those.
2. If you don't know the history behind the 2004 IOM decision, it is important to get the back story before taking their word for it.
When you get Evidence of Harm, you will read the larger context, but in a nutshell: CDC asked IOM to give them a certain result, the exoneration of vaccines, and IOM did it. Transcripts of one of their first meetings show this:
Dr. Marie McCormick, Chairman of the Immunization Safety Review Committee, stated…
“[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis.”
(see page 33 of transcript but is viewed on page 34 of the pdf file above).
Kathleen Stratton, Ph.D., a member of the IOM Staff and Study Director of the Immunization Safety Review Committee, stated…
“We said this before you got here, and I think we said this yesterday, the point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is to pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn’t say compensate, we wouldn’t say pull the vaccine, we wouldn’t say stop the program.”
(see page 74 of transcript but is viewed on page 72 of the pdf file above).
Dr. Marie McCormick, Chairman of the Immunization Safety Review Committee, stated...
“we are not ever going to come down that it is a true side effect,”
although the committee had not yet considered any evidence on the issue of whether vaccines and autism could be associated. (see pg 97 of transcript but viewed on pg 95 of the pdf file above)
Dr. Kathleen Stratton, IOM Study Director of the Immunization Safety Review Committee, stated...
“Chances are, when all is said and done, we are still going to be in this category. It is just a general feeling that we probably still are not going to be able to make a statement,"
And this is before they looked at any of the evidence.
IOM President Harvey Fineberg claims that they did not mean what we thought it meant, but he can offer no other interpretation of what these statements meant other than the fix was in from the start.
I will get back to you on the actual studies.
On the top right of my blog there is a link to go to information on how to vaccinate more safely. There is the book in my book store by Stephanie Cave called What your doctor may not tell you about childhood vaccines. Dr. Sears has a book on it that I hear is good too.
Keep in mind, she will probably just get he standard line "benefits outweigh the risks, we recommend you vaccinate according to CDC schedule", and most docs don't have answers for the good questions that she might pose.
When you are vaccinating your child, you really are on your own in a sense. You are the only ones who will have to live with the consequences of the decisions, the docs won't. If you take advise blindly and there is a problem, they walk away, you and your child doesn't.
So I recommended spending a month researching a single vaccine, (for a single illenss, break up MMR into three individual shots for example) making a determination on that one vaccine and then giving or not giving that one vaccine, one at a time. Then having a titers test done to see if they need another dose of it. If you are satisfied, then go to the next one.
If she has specific questions, feel free to ask me.
It was probably at least a decade ago, but I can give you a link to something similar for physicians that discusses it with references at the end that look like they might be helpful.
"Talking About Harmful Medical Errors with Patients"
There is also a related op-ed page from a pharmacist that gives additional perspective on this topic. (I'm not sure I agree with it, but I don't really much agree with the auto insurance thing either)
"Viewpoint: Should a pharmacist admit fault after a dispensing error?"
I'll spare all the gruesome details, but I do think it's important to understand the negative impact that insurance has had on pharmacy in the last 2 decades to understand where the guy's pov is coming from.
The majority of insurance prescriptions do not even generate enough money to cover the costs of filling them. The amount of technician help that the pharmacist gets is hardly adequate & often reaches unsafe levels of demand. The whole setup begs for mistakes.
The state board of pharmacy where I live has said that pharmacists who feel their work environment is unsafe should report it to them, but they are largely composed of top executives from the major retail chains. How safe would you feel about complaining & would you really expect anything of significance to be accomplished by it?
All the best & most qualified pharmacists that I know have left community practice or left pharmacy entirely because of the stress & frustration. That's why there has been & still is a significant shortage of pharmacists. I imagine doctors & nurses are experiencing similar problems.
Again, that's not to say that I agree, but it does help to understand where they're coming from. There will always be people who see a medical error as winning the lottery - nothing will satisfy them but deep pockets. So, like you said - no point basing the general rule on the exceptions. I can't help but believe there must be a "best of both worlds" solution to this.
Ginger and James:
First Ginger, you are on such a higher level than me that I feel truly blessed to hear your advice. James, the discussion you engage in shows your compassion and interest to do the right thing. So I am compelled to humbly interject into this discussion.
Our first granddaughter was diagnosed with Autism, Speech Delay, Sensory Disorder, PDD, and epilepsy. Born in 1999 she received the full doses of mercury in her vaccines, including one for Hepatitis at birth. When our daughter first told us of her concerns about vaccine injury I was skeptical. But then after reading more, especially Evidence of Harm, I only see more of the same actions coming from unethical actors in our society.
When I began my career as an engineer, I was told the main goal of professionals is to be of service to humankind. The Code of Ethics for my professional organization, IEEE, starts with
1. to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;
2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;
3. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data;
Today I know that some my colleagues do not take this to heart. Look at the Challenger Shuttle explosion for example. Dr. Richard Feynman, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics, helped uncover the real cause for the Challenger Shuttle explosion. After massive efforts to cover up their mistakes at NASA Dr. Feynman�s quote is so apt for vaccine injuries. �Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.�
In the case of vaccine injuries, nature is not fooled and neither are the affected parents who network and continue their activism to help each other and to stop this epidemic. While the overall failure of some to act ethically is an outrage we all need to work together somehow to weed out the bad actors. It has been a learning experience to read both your posts. Thank you.
wanted to address just a couple of things. Ginger, you provide great arguments and I wish I had the time to address each one. (BTW, I received my copy of Evidence of Harm today and I intend to read it)
"The correct thing to do would have been to tighten up screening and record keeping procedures to be sure that babies with Hep B moms get the shot, not to give EVERY child the shot!"
I agree with you in theory but I must again remind you of the population I am referring to. I once delivered a baby in the TRAUMA bay at the hospital here in Memphis, because she was STANDING ON HER CAR in the parking lot with a head hanging out or her and the trauma bay was the closest place with an oxygen supply. as we delivered this child the "mom" looked as disinterested as someone getting a hangnail removed. I wish this were uncommon but it simply isn't. We simply can't round up everyone who is pregnant and make them get prenatal care. consistent prenatal care is the exception in the inner-city not the rule, i wish that it weren't so.
"Yes the legal climate is bad, but I propose that it is bad BECAUSE of CYA medicine, not that CYA is just a response to it."
This is the only thing that you have said that I totally disagree with. CYA medicine is not good medicine , it is expensive, is is inconvenient, etc. etc. There is a reason that half of the stuff that we do is so "we won't get sued" I also wish that this was an exaggeration, and maybe it is, but if so it is not a large one.
another thing that we discuss in med school is "how not to get sued" and the message that is being pushed is to talk to you r patient. I also believe that we should own up to our mistakes. after all, as long as medicine is being practiced by human beings is it unreasonable to expect that no mistakes will occur. the messaged being pushed (in my school at least) is to apologize for your mistakes, and the studies that I have seen back this up.
"Get paid less. Provide better service."
really. do you really think that all physicians are rich? I'm all for providing better service, but do you really think that the physicians in question, the ones who administer vaccines, make oodles of money? Most pediatricians and family docs (I am going into Family Medicine by the way) make about 125,000 - 150,000 a year. these aren't exact numbers and it varies alot depending on where you practice. Because insurance reimbursement is so poor (you send them a bill for 500 dollars and they send you a check for 83.74 (acutual example)) and this money goes to overhead, building expenses, paying salaries and benefits for their office staff, etc. so to make a living they have to see 50 patients a day, I'm surprised that the service that they provide is as good as it is. I know for a fact that a family doc in my hometown make 85,000 a year. this is fairly poor compensation for the amount of training (7 years post graduate) that is required. Also I would like to remind you that the average physician leaves med school with 140,000 dollars in debt (actual figure). I personally know a new doctor who is 900,000 dollars in debt after buying his new practice on to of med school debt sure there are doctors that make LOTS of money, but those of us on the front lines of medicine don't make anything like that.
"So... Although they damaged my son for life"
can't know that. I weep that any child ever has to be anything less than healthy and happy, but there is no way to know that they damaged your son. I do not wish to be inflammatory.
I just want to say that the VAST majority of physicians are trying their best, despite the difficulties that we have discussed to provide the best care possible for you and your children. I know I am, and I will continue to do so. The physicians that I know can also be put in this category. as a family doc, there is more literature that comes out that one can possibly read, FP's rely heavily on consensus recommendations from organizations like the aap and others to attempt to provide that best care that we can. here is another actual figure, the half-life of my medical education is about 3.5 years, this means that in about 4 years, half of what I was taught will turn out to be wrong. I just wanted to try and let you in on the daunting task that faces the medical community, especially those of us on the front lines of care. I know that I am doing my best, and I am the only person I can speak for, but I suspect that there are many more like me who are doing their absolute dead level best to provide exceptional care.
"Instead of making sure children are well fed, in clean safe surroundings, getting lots of exercise, are free of man made and environmental contamiants and are living balanced lives"
dont we all wish this were the case. but we must deal with what is presented to us, and all too often we are presented with children that have been neglected, who do not live in anything resembling safe surroundings, and man made contaminants are as ubiquitous as air in our world. until these things change, we will have to try and treat what is presented to us. and do what is best for the greatest number of children
thank you for you comments
And there you have it: There is none so blind as those who WILL NOT see. Or read, in this case.
Thanks for trying Ginger, to deprogram those who are brainwashed by the AAP. The. Axis. Of. Evil.
James, do you know the monthly income of families of vaccine injured autistic children who have zero legal recourse because of the 3 yr. statute of limitations? For some, it is less than $1000 per month.
sure, some people make less than 1000 per month. Some people make 100,000 per month. I was under the assumption that autism does not discriminate based upon ones monthly income
I am a different anonymous. I hope you make good living and I hope you find fulfillment in healing people. What a great calling.
As Plato is quoted saying "I am the wisest man in Athens because I know I don't know." You seem willing to start there and so you are way ahead of the pack.
I was going to say the same thing to James.
Also... I have turned off anon commenting. It is too confusing.
"I read your link anonymous and your argument is so unfounded that I will not even bother to respond other than to say that you should read your own link."
James, the incremental increase in autism otherwise known as the Autism Epidemic is almost certainly due to the massive change in sleep position from stomach to back beginning in 1992. People who put their children to sleep on their backs remind me of the people who used to think the world was flat because that's what the Pope in Rome told them to think. Humans are mammals. Mammals should sleep on their stomachs. It's a simple as that. Infants who sleep on their backs get no Stage 3 and no Stage 4 NREM sleep (aka slow wave sleep). Combine the huge decrease in the number of children getting tonsillectomies with the huge increase in back sleeping infants and you have the incremental increase in autism cases known as the autism epidemic. Or, it could be caused by vaccines, aspartame, pollution, criteria expansion, etc. If you can't wrap your head around the fact that a position change can cause a physiological change then maybe you should rethink your career and do something that requires less intellectual ability. You have arrogance and hubris down like a good doctor but you have to work a little bit harder on the intellect party. Being condescending does not mean you are smart it just means you are condescending. You probably have to look up in a book what stage 3 and stage 4 NREM sleep actually are so I'll stop now.
"sure, some people make less than 1000 per month. Some people make 100,000 per month. I was under the assumption that autism does not discriminate based upon ones monthly income"
You dismiss my comments out of hand and yet you don't know the most basic fact that autism is diagnosed in children of upper-income parents who are older. You're a typical doctor: You're winging it. How about reading some studies and maybe thinking. You don't know the demographics of autism???? Get real. Quit being so arrogant and actually read some research. Hopefully, you'll never be anyone who is head of a department or is in charge of where research funding goes. Whoever kisses your butt or soothes your puny ego will get the money. Maybe you should go into a profession such as being a bus drive or a janitor. I feel sorry for your future patients. I'm sure everyone around you knows how nasty and arrogant you are. Hopefully, they realize how dumb you are too. I'll say it once and i"ll say it a thousand: The incremental increase in number of diagnosed cases of autism in the U.S. is caused by the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign. Bank on it.
I'm sorry that James' disbelief apparently upset you so much, but frankly your posts are the ones that are coming across as inflammatory & arrogant. You would probably have a better chance at convincing him if you spent more time explaining the basis of this hypothesis and less time insulting him. How many people do you know are open to what someone has to say after that person has attempted to stomp on them verbally? The saints are the only ones that come to my mind. ;-)
There is a reasonable link between vaccines & SIDS - in fact, there is yet another piece of slime brought to light in this article yesterday - "Olmsted on Autism: 1979 Wyeth Memo on DPT"
The studies that I have looked at regarding 'back to sleep' only show that it delays motor skill development. Can you at least post some credible studies or something a little more solid for your hypothesis than your say-so?
At this point, the evidence seems to credibly implicate vaccines in both SIDS & autism so, I'm sorry, but I also am thoroughly perplexed at how you arrived at the idea that body position could cause autism.
BTW, speaking of offending people unnecessarily, neither the Pope in Rome nor the Catholic Church has ever taught anyone that the earth is flat let alone demanded that her adherents must believe it.
I want you to know that your comments are truly upsetting and also how thankful I am that I will never meet you. I only hope that you can sleep at night with the amount of hate that must course forth from you at all times.
I am neither arrogant nor stupid, I think the fact that I am even trying to discuss these things in this forum says alot about my arrogance. I have a Bachelors degree in Biology with an emphasis in Microbiology and Immunology and a minor in Music, and will graduate in May with my Doctor of Medicine. I also have ADHD and mild dyslexia for which I have been treated for many years. I do not like to toot my own horn but I also feel I must defend myself against your unprovoked and exceedingly inflammatory remarks. I don't think that I have gotten where I am from "winging it"
Now to your argument. the article you linked only referenced motor delays that are attributed to children spending too much time on their back. specifically children who spent all day on their back, in child carriers and the like as well as all night on their back due to the back to sleep campaign. of course if you have your child spend all night on their back and then all day on their back then you can expect some problems. It seems to me that the article was saying that you shouldn't ignore your children and have them spend all day in a child carrier. tummy time is very important time and I would never deny it. it is critical to the development of the muscular system and helps the infant learn how to interact with his environment.
as to the demographics of autism, of course I am familiar with the typical autism demographic. I have read quite a bit on this subject along with countless others as my education has progressed.
I have also learned that I can learn something from anyone, no matter who they are or where they come from. I believe that everyone has something to contribute.
I also believe in the basic goodness of all human beings. I think that people are basically good, even though they may do bad things.
I have also learned to treat other humans with respect, a lesson you clearly need to read up on.
James, you initially wrote this about my first comment:
"I read your link anonymous and your argument is so unfounded that I will not even bother to respond other than to say that you should read your own link."
Then you followed up with this:
“I have also learned to treat other humans with respect, a lesson you clearly need to read up on.”
Based on your complete dismissal of my first comment I took that as arrogance. I apologize for not realizing that when you wrote “your argument is so unfounded that I will not even bother to respond” that that’s how you “treat other humans with respect.” Anyway, when infants are put to sleep on their backs they get no stage 3 and stage 4 NREM sleep (AKA Slow Wave Sleep). During the day the temporary memories children make are stored in the Hippocampus and then during SWS they are transferred to the neocortex for permanent storage. Since 1992 we have a whole generation of children who don’t get SWS due to being put to sleep on their backs. At the same time we have an autism epidemic since approximately 1992 and many of these children present an enlarged hippocampus. In addition, the demographics of the parents who are strong adherents of the Back to Sleep campaign (older parents who are well-off) is similar to the demographics of the parents of children who have autism. In addition, the reason back sleep causes babies to get little SWS is due to upper airway (UA) pharyngeal collapse which occurs at a 4:1 rate of boys to girls. This 4:1 rate is similar to the rate of boys to girls in the autism epidemic. I have no doubt that children overdosing on vaccines is probably a bad thing. I’m just saying that the more likely cause of the incremental increase in Autism known as the Autism Epidemic is caused by the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign. BTW, being a practicing Roman Catholic I didn’t mean to disparage the Pope. In fact, one of the reasons given in a recent scientific article as to why infants should sleep on their backs is because the Roman Catholic Church used to advise moms that babies should sleep on their stomachs. I guess their reasoning was that if the Catholic Church is for then scientists should be against it. As for tummy time, I’m all for it. But, since a child is not asleep and therefore won’t enter Stage 3 or Stage 4 NREM sleep it won’t have any impact on the negative effects of infants getting no Stage 3 or Stage 4 NREM sleep. Thus, it is my contention that the incremental increase in autism cases know as the Autism Epidemic is primarily caused by the “Feel Good”, “Aren’t we all wonderful trying to prevent SIDS”,”Anyone who doesn’t agree with us is a Luddite” program known as the Back to Sleep Campaign. Three secondary causes are the decrease in tonsillectomies, increase in air pollution, and the stroller/baby seat Container Culture. But, based on my own review of the evidence I feel that the most compelling answer to what caused the Autism Epidemic is the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign. It may have reduced the rate of SIDS but the Autism Epidemic I believe is it’s unintended consequence.
I have not read all the comments on this thread as we have had a few family emergencies this week so I am slacking on my hosting duties for this discussion.
But I want to post a reminder of my comments policy.
There are many places on the internet to aggressive and vitriolic arguments, but I want my blog to be a little bastion away from that.
Please make your points, but do it respectfully, apologizing if, out of passion, you cross the line and become personally hurtful (we all do it once in a while).
If you cannot restrain yourself from insults, give your target a few chances to redeem him or herself before hurling them please.
I only want to remove comments as a last resort, and only have done it in the past if people posted outright insults with out even making a substantive, relevant arguement.
I want this to be a place of learning and earnest exchange, and that can only come if we work to approach this with as much humility as we can muster.
Thanks for respecting the rules of the forum.
it's amazing how the tone of your post has changed! fascinating how changing one's tone can promote rational discussion, without resorting to name calling. I called your post unfounded because you have provided no foundation. the article that you linked does not seem to support your argument. please provide some evidence that supports you position and I would be more than happy to read it with an open mind.
I apologize to you James and Ginger. I'm too passionate about my theory which is weird because I have no relatives (that I know of) who are have autism or have died of SIDS. Plus, one of the difficulties with my theory is that it could quite easily be either proved or disproved as there is data currently available to do this (both at Boston University and the ALSPAC in the UK). I just want to build a regression model that compares the 2006 Part B Autism data for children between the ages of 8 and 14 (born between 1992 and 1998) and the National Infant Sleep Position(NISP) data for what position infants slept (back, side, stomach) between 1992 and 1998. Unfortuantely, I cannot obtain and IRB to access this data so it's very annoying that I know the data is just sitting their for me to test but I can't get my hands on it.
The autism data is On this website:
Under IDEA 618 Data Tables there is a bullet point that says
Child Count (2004) (2005) (2006)
I want to compare the 2006 Autism data by state to the sleep position data on this website:
The table I want to compare the autism data to is this one:
"Sleep position 1992-2006 (all races and ethncities)"
But, I need the sleep position data by state to build a statistically significant regression model and the data is only publically available for the nation overall and that's not enough data points to build an effective model. I was planning on analyzing infants born between 1992 and 1999 - 7 years of data. But, at the moment that means I would only have 7 data points.
But, if I had it broken down by state I'd have 350 data points (50 states times 7 years) and therefore could build an effective model which either proves or disproves my theory.
Unfortunately, I don't have an IRB and Boston University won't give
me their data until I get an IRB.
Again, I apologize for my negative comments I have said. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to can this theory as it's unlikely I will ever be able to test it and either prove it or disprove. Nonetheless, if I were born again I would hope that I was put to sleep on my stomach.
I found the following explanation of relative risk on Wikipedia.
"Relative risk is a ratio of the probability of the event occurring in the exposed group versus a non-exposed group...
In medicine, small effect sizes (reflected by small relative risk values) are usually considered clinically relevant (if there is great confidence in them) and are frequently used to guide treatment decisions. A relative risk of 1.10 may seem very small, but over a large number of patients will make a noticeable difference. Whether a given treatment is considered a worthy endeavor is dependent on the risks, benefits and costs."
When I look at the relative risk from data shown in Evidence of Harm at page 128, the Simpsonwood conference considered a relative risk of 1.69 of autism, comparing exposure of > 62.5 micrograms of cumulative mercury exposure to zero exposure, from Thimerosal. But that was after four series of analyzing the data. The first analysis, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, according to testimony by Lyn Redwood, http://www.safeminds.org/
testimonyfullfinal.pdf at page 5, shows the relative risk was as high as 11.00.
It's interesting, but then last year someone did something like that "proving" that the rise in autism coincided with cable tv so statistical data is not necessarily the solution.
Have to tell you though - I slept all my babies on their tummy (once I got them out of the hospital away from the nurse police). We have no family history of SIDS, but did have spitting up (milk allergy, of course, but didn't know it then) and even GERD so I was more worried about that.
I also preferred them on their tummy because... you'll like this... their startle reflex would keep waking them up when they were on their backs. So though I'm not persuaded that it leads to autism - esp. since my kids have the allergies & neuro-developmental problems anyway despite being on their tummies - but your post does make me wonder what affect the disturbed sleep might have on their metabolic development.
One of my kids has Tourette's & the melatonin pathway is definitely involved - not a cause, but a by-product and the endocrine/ immune system balance is messed up even more by it. Interesting angle.
well there is certainly one thing that we agree on, you may never find the answer to your question. I am certainly no expert on this subject but it seems to me that there are just too many confounding variables for one to isolate sleep position and development of ASD. and an IRB on a study like that would be very tough to get indeed.
I am certainly no statistician but I have had some training in med school concerning statistics, specifically as they relate to medical studies. relative risk is a very important number and right off the top of my head I can't remember ever seeing a relative risk of more than about 3.5 in any paper. a relative risk of 1.69 would certainly raise eyebrows ( meaning that you are roughly 1 and 1/2 times more likely to develop ASD in the exposed than in the non-exposed group) a very significant number. a relative risk that is reported as 11 also gets my attention, but for different reasons. that says to me that either one of two things is true. either the event and exposure (ASD and thimerosal in this case) are so intrinsically linked that one almost cannot occur without the other OR the study was so poorly done and the data is so skewed that an interpretation is impossible. An outlier of that magnitude is very unexpected and probably needs a second (or third) look.
let me just say that I have not looked at that study nor do I claim to have expertise in this area. I am just letting you know what my gut reaction is to that data, that's all.
The Redwood testimony addresses the bias applied to fudge the Relative Risk down.
Another issue is the distinction between an ER doc looking at relative risk for a single patient and a population of four million children born each year in the US. The USEPA relative risk of 1.000007 is more appropriate here. (see http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2008/08/gma-confirms-jenkins-comments-were.html)
and then add a safety factor of 100 at a minimum.
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