Respectful Insolence

The real “evidence of harm”

I haven’t written before about the tragic case of Katie McCarron, the three year old autistic girl whose mother killed her in May 2006. It’s an incredibly sad tale, and others have covered it better. However, the trial started last week, and on Friday there was some testimony that suggests an effect of all the antivaccination fear-mongering that blames autism on either mercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines (a contention against which strong evidence was published just last week, to add to all the other studies that show no link between thimerosal and autism) or vaccines in general. Indeed, this latter claim appears to be the new tact that antivaccinationists are starting to take, now that evidence against the involvement of thimerosal in autism causation is so strong that even zealots are having trouble defending the hypothesis that mercury in vaccines cause autism.

I’m not going to rehash those arguments here (at least not much), because, as far as I’m concerned, there’s already far more than enough evidence to refute the contention that mercury in vaccines is a major cause of autism. I’m more interested in considering a consequence of all this antivaccination hysteria that is seldom discussed outside of discussion boards frequented by parents of autistic children. I’m talking about guilt. I’m talking about guilt so severe that, when coupled with her depression, it drove Karen McCarron to kill her daughter:

PEKIN, Ill. - A woman accused of killing her autistic daughter testified yesterday that she attempted to suffocate the 3-year-old with a pillow three days before she succeeded with a plastic garbage bag.

Karen McCarron said she couldn’t go through with it using the pillow. When prosecutor Kevin Johnson asked her how long she held the bag over the toddler’s head soon after, she replied about two minutes – until the child, Katie, stopped struggling.

In a videotaped confession played in court Thursday, McCarron said she began having thoughts of hurting her daughter a year before the May 2006 slaying but put them out of her mind. On the day of the killing, though, the thoughts were stronger than ever.

“They were so intense,” McCarron said.

McCarron, 39, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder, obstructing justice, and concealment of a homicidal death. She was found mentally fit to stand trial, but a medical specialist hired by her attorneys has said she was insane at the time of the killing.

The trial resumes Monday.

McCarron, a former pathologist, testified that she felt responsible for Katie’s autism because she allowed the child to get vaccinated.

It “brought me a great deal of guilt,” she said.

According to a different news account:

She said “it was unbearable. I felt I caused Katie’s autism. I felt vaccinating her would not help her. It brought me a great deal of guilt.”

That’s right, guilt. Bombarded by the unrelenting message from the mercury militia, antivaccinationists, and the pseudoscientists who enable them, McCarron believed that vaccines caused Katie’s autism. Even though she was a former pathologist and should have known better, she believed the message, another example of how medical training is not necessarily a guarantee of being immune to such ideas.

Of course, McCarron is an extreme case, and there appeared to have been a significant element of mental illness involved in her decision to commit murder. Even so, her case is illustrative of the real “evidence of harm” that comes from the rhetoric of equating autism with “mercury poisoning” or “vaccine injury.” It’s not just the fear of vaccines that such rhetoric produces, fear that leads parents to avoid vaccination even if they have to lie about their religion to do it. It’s not just the problem of the vaccination rate plummeting below the level necessary for herd immunity in response to this sort of rhetoric, leading to the return of previously controlled diseases, as the measles have returned in the U.K. in the nine years since Andrew Wakefield unleashed trial lawyer-backed pseudoscience claiming that the MMR vaccine causes autism and autistic enterocolitis. Rather, it’s the guilt that racks each and every parent who comes to believe that vaccines caused their child’s autism.

Consider what they are told by the people pushing the message that either mercury in vaccines or, now that more and more studies have been done that have failed to find a link between thimerosal and autism have been done, that it is the vaccines themselves. They are told that the vaccines caused their child’s autism, that it could have been avoided if they had only not vaccinated. Yes, there will be the disclaimer that “you didn’t know and it’s not your fault,” but who wouldn’t blame himself or herself for a child’s autism if convinced that vaccines really did cause autism? But it’s more than that. The whole “biomedical” movement also tells parents that, not only are they responsible for their child’s autism, but they are responsible if their children remain autistic. In other words, if they don’t embark upon the “biomedical” interventions that are claimed without any good scientific evidence to “cure” autism, interventions like chelation therapy, gluten-free diets, and even chemical castration, they are even more guilty in that, according to the antivaccinationists and biomedical proponents, they are denying their children a chance to be “normal.”

Worse, as “evidence” of how they have the power to reverse their child’s autism, they are treated to glowing testimonials of how allegedly effective these modalities are, testimonials that neglect to consider that autism is a condition of developmental delay, not developmental stasis. Normal progress is attributed to whatever woo du jour to which the child is being subjected. On the ridiculous end of the scale, we even have bubble-brained idiots like Jenny McCarthy saying that she has “cured” her child of autism and that if she were to let up one bit on her regimen of supplements and various other “biomedical” interventions (or got him vaccinated) he would become autistic again. Against this backdrop, for parents who fall into this culture, simple acceptance of their child’s autism is tantamount to an admission of defeat and is not tolerated. The combination of guilt over being told that their vaccinating their child caused his autism and the message that there is a “cure” leads all too many parents to exhaust their savings going from “therapy” to “therapy,” trying to “fix” their child. When combined with mental illness of the sort Karen McCarron apparently had, it can lead to the “ultimate” fix:

Karen McCarron said she killed her child hoping to “fix her” and give her peace in heaven.

“Maybe I could fix her this way, and in heaven she would be complete,” she said on the tape.

Or, even more bluntly:

“When you were suffocating your daughter, did you think you were killing her?” Wolfe asked McCarron.

“No.”

“Who did you think you were killing?”

“Autism.”

Never mind that, according to Katie’s grandfather, Katie was a “beautiful, precious and happy little girl.” To McCarron, Katie had become autism, something that had to die.

Comments

  1. #1 Ruth
    January 14, 2008

    Some Fundamentalists have killed their children because they thought they were possessed by demons(and their preacher told them meds for schizophrenia were evil). Autism has become demonized, which justifies whatever torture and death is required. Anti-vaxers are zealots that no CDC study can sway.

    My daughters autism has been tough at times, but she is also a funny, loving child, now growing to beautiful womanhood. I don’t know how independent she will be as an adult, but to say her life is worthless because of autism is a sin against our common humanity.

  2. #2 Citizen Deux
    January 14, 2008

    Your best quote;

    Even though she was a former pathologist and should have known better, she believed the message, another example of how medical training is not necessarily a guarantee of being immune to such ideas.

    Most people have a stong desire to live in a peaceful, harmonious world. In matters of their children, they often project their own feelings, failings and insecurities onto them and also absorb whatever condition is currently affecting the child.

    Munchausen’s by Proxy is an opposite extreme in which the parent actually supports an illness in the child as a means to draw attention to themselves. It is indeed frightening, thought not surprising, that a trained scientist was unable to detach herself from serious psychological issues enough to understand them as her own feelings of depression and worthlessness.

  3. #3 alexa-blue
    January 14, 2008

    The perception of causality is a quirky thing. It seems to me that there’s a significant problem with guilt for parents who have unwittingly passed on to their child a genetic disease, and I’m unconvinced that anti-vaccine types increase the guilt load on parents whose children are stricken with autism. In fact, one might be tempted to explain the popularity of this particular form of crankery by noting that it actually alleviates the guilt parents feel themselves by providing an avenue to transfer blame to the deceptive physicians, med-pharm industry, profit motive, etc, who were responsible for pushing the vaccines on trusting parents, present anecdote notwithstanding.

  4. #4 daedalus2u
    January 14, 2008

    I have written a blog about the physiology of acute psychosis and infanticide. I see the ability as a necessary “safety valve” that all mammals must have and do have.

    All mammals nourish their offspring using milk generated by the mother’s body. If that metabolic load is unsustainable, the mother can either shed metabolic load and perhaps reproduce another time when conditions are better, or continue down an unsustainable path until she and all her offspring die. What is the “evolutionarily optimal” course of action when the metabolic load of lactation is not sustainable?

    I see infanticide under specific conditions of maternal metabolic stress just as much a “maternal instinct” as making milk and loving your child. A brutally harsh decision that a “successful” mother must be capable of making. A brutally harsh decision that evolution has configured females to make via postpartum psychosis.

    Some may find these ideas upsetting. They were upsetting to me in figuring them out, in writing them down, and in explaining them to those who don’t want to accept that they might be valid.

    http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/2007/08/low-nitric-oxide-acute-psychosis.html

    I am not trying to defend infanticide, but rather to understand it so it can be prevented.

  5. #5 NeverTheTwain
    January 14, 2008

    “To McCarron, Katie had become autism, something that had to die.”

    Orac, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but that closing sentence was both heartbreakingly astute and marvelously put. To me it expresses precisely what this incident–and many others of less terrible result–was really all about. Bravo.

  6. #6 Dad #7426935
    January 14, 2008

    Orac, get ready for the carrion feeders who will start circling because of your post. You will be accused of using a girl’s murder to further your political aims. I don’t even know what that really means since you’re a scientist, but they’ll accuse you of it anyway. You’ll be accused of being callous and egotistical when those circling your blog are the ones who have twisted epidemiology, lied about science (rhymes with Dr. and Mr. Liar), warned parents to jump at bogus treatments, and blindly leapt into snake oil in an effort to shift blame away from their own genetic code.

    The rest of us parents of autistics have gotten over the blame game – it’s our fault and we can deal. Yep. Our genes, our kids. I love mine to the bottom of my heart. No conspiracies, no backdoor deals by some government-pharma coalition. I don’t need any of that bunk to see reality.

    Right after Katie was killed, the Evidence of Harm crew got on the horn and expressed sympathy for the mother. Nice.

    Dadeulus – thanks for not stooping to blame NO.

  7. #7 DuWayne
    January 14, 2008

    This is kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of scenario though. On the one hand, definitively pinning down the mechanisms that lead to autism, especially if they are in fact genetic, would shut up at least some of the anti-vaxers. OTOH, it could lead to a significant tendency towards aborting autistic or likely autistic fetuses.

    This actually came up in a discussion of eugenics that I had at my own blog, with an aspy reader and occasional poster at my blog mentioning how much he likes being him, aspergers and all. While I am not entirely averse to potential parents making this sort of decision, it is rather frightening to contemplate a world without the neurodiversity that autism, among many other neurological “disorders” provides.

    Probably a rather hypocritical statement on my part, after making the decision (with my partner) that we would terminate the pregnancy if the tests had shown our then fetus had down syndrome, but there it is.

  8. #8 daedalus2u
    January 14, 2008

    Dad #7426935, low NO is how the metabolic stress state is signaled. If NO gets low enough it will make anyone and everyone psychotic. How a person behaves once they are psychotic is idiosyncratic. How they get there is not.

  9. #9 vlad
    January 14, 2008

    I doubt that ASPD is going to show up as simply as Down Syndrome. I really doubt that it’s a simple sequencing problem like Down Syndrome (I’m butchering the terminology sorry). I think they will be able to tell which children are predisposed to ASPD but not a cause and effect determination. I think that genetic screening will help because then the parents can (if they so choose) be fully prepared to deal with the problem and have all the supports ready. If you are ready to deal with ASPD you can go a long way to mitigating it, even to the point of lose of diagnosis with milder cases, seen it happen personally and not with all of that Biomed crap push by Anti-vax.
    Being ready makes a huge difference.

  10. #10 vlad
    January 14, 2008

    daedalus2u: Can you link me to data that shown NO behaving as a controller for a psychotic state rather then an indicator? If you boost NO levels artificially will someone come out of the psychotic behavior? Also lets use ASD, will the symptoms lessen when they are placed on NO therapy? I don’t doubt that you have found something useful and may help understand human metabolic processes, but look at the R. Feynman quote.

  11. #11 isles
    January 14, 2008

    I’m glad you wrote about this. Too often people frame their fears about vaccines as a matter of “better safe than sorry.” What happened to Katie shows that blaming vaccines for things they couldn’t possibly have caused is NOT the cautious, reasonable thing to do. It creates its own totally unnecessary risks – most obviously the return of vaccine-preventable diseases, but also pejorative attitudes toward individuals perceived to be “toxic” from vaccines and, most horribly, the consequences of unrealistic expectations for reversing “vaccine damage” such as those that motivated Karen McCarron.

  12. #12 daedalus2u
    January 14, 2008

    Vlad, If you look at my most recent blog I discuss the recent paper on resolution of some ASD symptoms with fever. I think this is directly related to the very high NO state that can occur during immune system stimulation due to expression of iNOS.

    Fever therapy was used to treat psychosis (and other things) 75 years ago. It was reported to work, and was the “standard of care” for a number of neurodegenerative diseases for decades.

    I have Feynman’s quote on the front page of my blog. It is something I work very hard at in everything I do.

  13. #13 DuWayne
    January 14, 2008

    vlad -

    Actually, we were warned that while there aren’t conclusive studies, there was a heightened possibility that our son might fall onto the spectrum. I have extremely severe ADHD and am also mildly bipolar. On top of that, my biological father was diagnosed aspy, contacting me for the first time in years, to suggest that I look into it for myself and my first child.

  14. #14 DLC
    January 14, 2008

    Ultimately Ms McCarron has to bear the burden of responsibility for doing murder. That said, the people blamed her for “giving her daughter autism” through the mechanism of getting the child vaccinations deserve the lion’s share of the blame for guilt-tripping her to the point she believed the only reasonable course of action was to kill her child.

  15. #15 Rjaye
    January 14, 2008

    What I especially found awful about this case was the woman didn’t even have physical custody for most of the time.

    Plus, the testimonials seemed to indicate Katy was fairly high functioning. She could talk, she walked, she played with other children…She seemed to not have the sensoral issues with touch and hugging other autistic kids have.

    This situation is just madness. This woman can’t even claim every day stressors…just her own guilt over her child’s autism. And no matter what “caused” the autism, odds are she couldn’t have prevented it if she wanted to.

  16. #16 Azkyroth
    January 14, 2008

    I see infanticide under specific conditions of maternal metabolic stress just as much a “maternal instinct” as making milk and loving your child. A brutally harsh decision that a “successful” mother must be capable of making. A brutally harsh decision that evolution has configured females to make via postpartum psychosis.

    …….and your evidence that this incident was related to metabolic stress would be……..?

    You DO have some, right? I mean, you DO have some evidence that your babble about the supposed adaptive nature of infanticide is a better explanation of this tragedy than the conjunction of self-blame, untreated mental illness, and the sick-logical results of belief in a paradisical afterlife, right? You’re not REALLY a pathological narcissist using this tragedy as yet another excuse to once again promote your dubious speculations on natural philosophy with regard to point barely even tangential enough to round up to plausible deniability of a topic hijack, are you?

    Right?

  17. #17 Azkyroth
    January 14, 2008

    (Having consulted one or more neurotypical friends on the tone of my post above, it occurs to me that I probably should have been more explicit about the “he does this* chronically and it’s more obnoxious than usual in this context” aspect of my motivations for posting that. x.x)

    (*”this” being entering an ongoing discussion, paying lip service to the topic of the thread, then segueing into promoting his ideas and his blog whether they’re actually on-topic beyond the “keyword” level or not).

  18. #18 The Christian Cynic
    January 14, 2008

    To be fair, as a parent of a child who is only mildly on the spectrum (linguistic delays), I find myself feeling a twinge of regret in having him vaccinated, and that is despite the fact that I am fully cognizant of the sheer lack of evidence to the contrary. Thinking it to be genetic is not a matter of regret because it was largely out of my control – he is certainly too much of a joy to wish he hadn’t been born – but if I would have done something or allow something to happen to him, that would be another matter altogether. And he’s not even that severe! So I can fully understand how someone could become susceptible to this kind of suggestion, even if they (should or do) know better.

    What isn’t comprehensible to me is how someone could become so detached from their child that they would rather take the child’s life. This case has sickened me from the moment I read about it. Autism might be a bad thing – I wouldn’t mind seeing my son improve beyond the label – but it doesn’t stop your child from being your child and a worthwhile human being at that.

  19. #19 daedalus2u
    January 14, 2008

    Azkyroth, so how do you understand it? Demons? Witchcraft? How do you propose to prevent it? Punish mothers who kill their children harshly? How many mothers do you think will be deterred from killing their children because they fear being punished harshly? Would fear of being punished harshly have deterred Andrea Yates? Would fear of being punished harshly have deterred the mother who cut the arms off her infant? Would fear of being punished harshly have deterred Karen McCarron? If the only suggestion you have to prevent maternal infanticide is to treat such women harshly, I am afraid that idea has been tried already and it has failed. Do you have a better idea? An idea that might work?

    When people are in desperate situations, they do desperate things. Things that are not always predictable or rational. That is the nature of humans in desperate situations.

    We know that people in desperate situations cannot be deterred.

    Autism Speaks has glorified the killing of autistic children by making a movie (Autism every day) where parents of autistic children talk about doing exactly that. Killing their autistic children.

    http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2007/12/ransom-notes-and-autism-speaks-partners.html#links

    The nature of bullying is precisely to put people in desperate situations. That is why NTs do it. Put someone in a desperate enough situation and they will have a breakdown. They will become psychotic. Sometimes that entails becoming violent. Sometimes not. Bullying is one of the primary NT and ASD interactions. NTs bully ASDs. Why? To invoke a meltdown. To put the ASD individual in a desperate situation. That is what Autism Speaks tries to do, that is what Evidence of harm tries to do, that is what the Curebies try to do. That is the nature of those opposed to the Neurodiversity concept.

    I know nothing about the details of this specific case. It is too upsetting for me to try and learn them. I do know that there is nothing I can do to bring Katie McCarron back. All I can do is try and prevent future cases of infanticide. I would like to do what I can to prevent mothers from killing their infants. What I can do is quite limited. Linking to my blog where I discuss the physiology of acute psychosis as I understand it is a small something I can do. If you don’t like that, then you can ignore it. You can blame it on demons, on religion, on “mental illness”, or on what ever you want to blame it on.

    Pretending that you understand physiology well enough to know that I am wrong without having read my blog about it might be a mark of the arrogance of ignorance. Orac has a recent post about it. Maybe you should read it and consider if it applies to you.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/01/another_example_of_the_arrogance_of_igno.php

  20. #20 Azkyroth
    January 14, 2008

    I repeat: do you have any evidence that “metabolic stress” of the sort you describe as a motive for infanticide in mammals in general had anything to do with this case, or that your speculation about the genetic underpinnings of generalized behavioral concepts is either A) applicable to this case or B) a better explanation of any case than its competitors?

    As for how to prevent it: I don’t know. But I have every reason to believe you don’t either.

  21. #21 Kassiane
    January 15, 2008

    Linking the killing of Katie McCarron and an utterly without backing hypothysis is revolting. COMPLTELY. REVOLTING.

    Besides which, if the woman was truly psychotic she wouldn’t have pulled out of her first attempt with the pillow. She was just a selfish…fill in expletive here…who bought into the anti vax better dead than autistic CRAP that so called advocacy organizations promote on my and other autistics “Behalf”. No thank you. And I don’t need this NO thing either, it’s just more biomed BS that has no basis in fact. Just ask pubmed.

    If Karen McCarron thought she’d have consequences, she never would have brought Katie back to Illinois. But she didn’t. Anyone can look and see that parents of autistic kids who kill them get somewhere between made into heros (see what her support group, who are as individuals pretty disgusting, are doing) and a slap on the wrist.

    Really, what pathologist tries to overdose on TYLENOL?

  22. #22 Azkyroth
    January 15, 2008

    Linking the killing of Katie McCarron and an utterly without backing hypothysis is revolting. COMPLTELY. REVOLTING.

    I’d say “linking” is a bit strong. My objection was to daedalus using this atrocity as an excuse to advertise his blog, highlighting his personal speculations on a topic with no demonstrated relationship to the one at hand other than that of “keyword:’infanticide’”.

    Besides which, if the woman was truly psychotic she wouldn’t have pulled out of her first attempt with the pillow. She was just a selfish…fill in expletive here…who bought into the anti vax better dead than autistic CRAP that so called advocacy organizations promote on my and other autistics “Behalf”. No thank you.

    And I don’t need this NO thing either, it’s just more biomed BS that has no basis in fact. Just ask pubmed.

    Specifically, it’s more of that risible sort of speculation which attempts to reformulate the fact that it has not yet been disproven as an argument for serious consideration, even in the absence of actual supporting evidence.

    If Karen McCarron thought she’d have consequences, she never would have brought Katie back to Illinois. But she didn’t. Anyone can look and see that parents of autistic kids who kill them get somewhere between made into heros (see what her support group, who are as individuals pretty disgusting, are doing) and a slap on the wrist.

    I wasn’t aware of this. If that’s not hyperbole then something definitely needs to be done. Frankly, I think de-emphasizing the role this woman’s blind belief in a paradisical afterlife evidently had in her decision is a mistake, too.

    Really, what pathologist tries to overdose on TYLENOL?

    You’d think she’d have used mercury. It’s the quickest way to kill yourself, after all *eyeroll*

  23. #23 daedalus2u
    January 15, 2008

    A. No
    B. Yes. All cases.

    As I discuss in my blog, this is the exact behavior this hypothesis predicts for mothers and others under the influence of crack and other stimulants of abuse, and guess what, it is the behavior they exhibit.

    People under the influence of stimulants of abuse have particular behaviors. They are not “insane” because they are able to reason and to plan, but their values have become skewed. A way of looking at it is that they have an infinite discount rate. Future well being is infinitely discounted to the present moment. These are precisely the “values” one must have if one is in a near death experience running from a bear where to be caught is certain death. Any injury short of death is infinitely better than being caught. That is the “value state” that evolution has configured all organisms to be in under extreme “fight or flight”. Future well being is infinitely discounted to present survival. That is a state during which deterrence by fear of punishment in the distant future cannot work, and it doesn’t work. Fear of harsh treatment in prison does not deter drug abuse.

    The marketing plan of the various autism biomedical treatment providers is precisely to bully parents of autistic children until the parents are in a desperate situation and so are willing to do desperate things, such as pay good money for useless, dangerous, and harmful woo. That is why their rhetoric uses war and violence metaphors. Irrational use of violence metaphors trigger desperation the way that rational discourse does not. That is why politicians do the same thing. That is why fire and brimstone preachers do the same thing. They are trying to induce a state of desperation so the listeners will do desperate things that may feel right but are completely irrational. Whip up fear about the economy to avoid any action on the larger problem of global warming. Whip up fear about terrorists to avoid talking about universal health care. Whip up fear about going to Hell to get increased donations. Whip up fear of autism to get more donations. Make up bogey man of vast FDA conspiracies. Glorify being in such a desperate state that one talks about killing your child.

    If anyone is ever in such a mental state that one thinks killing a child would be a good thing, one should seek emergency medical attention immediately. That is what Autism Speaks should have done when those parents talked of killing their children. But no, that is good marketing. If parents of an autistic child become afraid they might become so desperate they will want to kill their child, think how much more they will donate, or be willing to pay for biomedical crap. My perspective is that any organization where the senior members are so dysfunctional they glorify killing children is using the wrong approach. An approach that is so wrong as to be worse than useless, it is actually harmful.

    If someone is in a mental state where they are thinking of killing their child, they need support, not harsh punishment. Fear of harsh punishment is likely to deter seeking help before acting on it.

    The only way one can “know” how another person is thinking and reasoning is to have an accurate Theory of Mind that pertains to that person and the mental state that person is actually in. If one has never been in a desperate situation, it can be difficult to appreciate how a person can behave when they are in one. Being ignorant of the Theory of Mind a person is using triggers the arrogance of ignorance Orac talked about, linked to above.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is what the “War on drugs” is. Politicians try to deter drug use with harsh punishments. It doesn’t work because the Theory of Mind the drug users are operating under discounts future punishment to nothing. Trying to deter drug use with punishment is (to the drug user) the same as doing nothing.

  24. #24 TheProbe
    January 15, 2008

    Hmmm…a day old and not one anti-vac liar sociopath commenting…makes one wonder if they may actually have a soul.

  25. #25 Dianne
    January 15, 2008

    Really, what pathologist tries to overdose on TYLENOL?

    Actually, Tylenol in overdose is one of the more toxic substances you can get on short notice over the counter. It destroys the liver over a period of 24-72 hours and once it’s worked there’s no going back. Never use acetaminophen to make a suicidal gesture.

    I’m struck by the similarity between this case and the Andrea Yates case: Both were examples of women who believed (or stated that they believed) that they were killing their child or children for her/their own good: so that they could be healthy or “better” in the next world. Shows the danger of belief in an afterlife as much as anything else, IMHO: If you believe that death is just an escape, why take killing very seriously at all? It’s just “liberating” the soul isn’t it? (Of course, most believers aren’t psychos, but belief can lend itself very easily to an excuse for those whose brain chemistry is not well balanced.)

  26. #26 Calli Arcale
    January 15, 2008

    A fair number of suicidal people have in fact used Tylenol to take The Only Way Out (as Chuck Shepard puts it); the more sophisticated ones take it with large amounts of alcohol, since that not only anesthetizes the victim, it interacts with the Tylenol, greatly reducing the lethal dose. I read about a study a few years ago which found that in some cases (small body mass, large amounts of alcohol), getting drunk reduced the lethal dose of acetominophen to very close to the maximum recommended daily dose printed on the bottle….

    (Bottom line there: never use acetominophen for a hangover. Same goes for ibuprofen, though it damages the kidneys instead.)

  27. #27 Kassiane
    January 15, 2008

    (sorry, I don’t know the html for quotes)
    < <<>>>
    < >

    http://www.thiswayoflife.org/murder.html

    That’s a list of a number of murders of autistics and the sentences they got or failed to get. It’s most likely incomplete because a lot of murders get pretty downplayed. I wish I was being hyperbolic, but I’m totally not. If you want to see statements from Ms McCarron’s support group, they’re called ANSWERS and can still be found in Google and the WayBack Machine in the newspaper archives.

    We’ve been SAYIN’ something needs to be done about this but getting people to LISTEN is another matter.

  28. #28 Kev
    January 16, 2008

    Final statements are being read today and the jury will retire. Lets hope they see through the NGRI twaddle and to decide to punish a murderer.

    And if people really want evidence of how low some anti-vaxxers will stoop, David Ayoub met a reporter at Katie’s wake to sell the story as a tragic mother snapping under the strain of having poisoned her darling child with vaccines. What a hero.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.