Thanks to Autism News Beat, I’ve found the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode Vaccination in a streaming form. I have two warnings. First, if you’re not familiar with Penn & Teller, you should be prepared for lots of profanity, including liberal use of the F-word. There is also one scene with a topless woman near the end. If you’re easily offended, then you probably shouldn’t watch. You have been warned. Second, you have to hit the arrow directly in order not to go to the website hosting the streaming video:

I have to say, I’ve rarely seen a more visually effective way of portraying the benefits of vaccination than was shown in the opening scene of the episode. It was particularly effective how it pointed out that, even if vaccines did cause autism in 1 in a 110 children, the risk-benefit ratio would still favor vaccination.

I was also pleased that, for the most part, Penn & Teller got the science right. Oh, there was the occasional niggling omission, such as saying that mercury was removed from vaccines in 1999 when in reality thimerosal-containing vaccines were ordered removed from vaccines in 1999 and, because existing stocks didn’t expire until then, it wasn’t until the end of 2001/early 2002 that thimerosal-containing vaccines were off the shelf and childhood vaccines other than the flu vaccine contained no more than trace thimerosal. Penn & Teller did get it right, however, to emphasize that, if mercury in vaccines did cause autism then autism rates would have begun to plummet by now. It’s also very simplistic to ascribe the beginning of the anti-vaccine movement to Andrew Wakefield’s infamous (and now retracted) Lancet paper in 1998. The anti-vaccine movement existed long before Wakefield ever thought to take cash from a trial lawyer to produce “science” to support his lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. I do, however, understand how hard that would have been to explain in a half hour show and still have time to get to the meat of the issue. It was also particularly amusing how they portrayed themselves in the introduction as just the “C-level, self-righteous, celebrity talking head nutjobs” to counter a certain well-known C-level celebrity nutjob (Jenny McCarthy, in the slim case that you can’t guess) who’s been promoting the scientifically discredited myth that vaccines cause autism.

One character the producers managed to persuade to agree to show up on camera is Wendy Callahan, Co-Director of Vaccination Liberation and the director of the Florida chapter of Vaccine Information and Liberation. Her website, Vaccine Information, is a cornucopia of anti-vaccine craziness, including parodies of pro-vaccine posters, links to articles about quackery like homeopathy, and posters labeled “pharmageddon” that show children fleeing from syringes with skulls and crossbones on them. In her very first segment, she labels parents who vaccinate as “child abusers” and says, “you can’t poison yourself into health.” Particularly amusing was Penn & Teller’s deconstruction of the dreaded “toxin” gambit, in which Ms. Callahan said, “These ingredients don’t belong in a vaccine. They belong in a Satanic ritual.”

I’m still not sure why they’d use formaldehyde in a Satanic ritual. On the other hand, why is Ms. Callahan so afraid of DNA? Geez, every cell in her body has DNA in it!

Another anti-vaccine loon on the show is named Carl Buzz, and, boy, oh, boy this guy can bring home the crazy. He’s the guy who was featured on the preview video I posted last week. What amazed me about this guy is how he so effortlessly and seriously claimed that, before around 1945 (which to him was when vaccines were started), there was no cancer. There was no cancer in dogs. I wonder how Carl explains William Halsted’s radical mastectomy for breast cancer then. He did, after all, develop this operation in the 19th century. That’s just a wee bit before 1945.

One interesting aspect of this show that I hadn’t expected was that our old friend, pediatrician to Jenny McCarthy’s son Evan, Dr. Jay Gordon showed up right there before the five minute mark. There’s nothing new in what he says in the show to anyone who’s been a regular reader of this blog for more than a year or two. Search for his name on this blog and, in particular, read my posts about him entitled Dr. Jay Gordon: Will you please stop claiming you’re not an antivaccinationist? and Dr. Jay Gordon: No vaccines needed, just quit eating cheese and ice cream to get an idea of the sorts of nonsense about vaccines that Dr. Jay routinely spews.

Or just listen to Dr. Jay on the show. He first shows up in what I assume to be his Santa Monica practice location, complete with the expected pictures of animals on the walls that any self-respecting pediatrician must have. He also spews a large amount of his usual blather, in particular ignoring all the lessons we’ve tried to teach him right here on this blog about confusing correlation with causation. More shockingly, around the 11 minute mark, Dr. Jay opines:

Children should not be vaccinated. This is very much at odds with the mainstream medical point of view, which says that there’s no connection between vaccines and autism. I think that that is a flat out lie.

Whoa. Is it really true? Did Dr. Jay just say flat out that he doesn’t think children should be vaccinated? It sure sounded that way. However, over on Autism News Beat, Dr. Jay is backpedaling:

I spoke moderately, listened to their promises about how the issue would be presented and felt sad that they cut off the beginning of my sentence: “[I’m certainly not saying that) children should not be vaccinated.” I’m not thrilled with Andy Wakefield’s choosing his control subjects from a birthday party or some of my allies repeating “antifreeze” comments.

Leaving aside my irritation that Dr. Jay, who himself parroted the “formaldehyde in vaccines” lie until I gave him a blog beat down for it and who apparently doesn’t even try to correct Jenny McCarthy when she parrots the “antifreeze in vaccines” lie, I really hope that the producers of Penn & Teller didn’t play fast and loose with Dr. Jay’s quote, as he claims. I can’t really tell, but if he really did say what he claims he said and his segment was edited to make it sound as though he said the opposite, that’s a big problem. It is, however, easily provable one way or the other; all we need is the tape of the interview leading up to that statement.

Even if Penn & Teller did go too far in “creative editing,” while such an act would deserve condemation, it still wouldn’t excuse Dr. Jay from much of the other nonsense he spews in the show, for instance, his claim that children who were developing normally became autistic right in his office after shots. Seriously, Dr. Jay said that between the 11:00 and 12:00 mark. With apologies to my audience, I call bullshit on that, just as I do on a lot of other things that he says, in particular his support of the utter nonsense that Jenny McCarthy produces on the topic. In fact, I say to Dr. Gordon right now (because I know he’ll come whining here soon) that one of my favorite lines in the entire show was this:

Dr. Gordon’s support has helped to legitimize McCarthy’s amazing transformation from Playboy model to public health expert.

I’m also quite happy that we now have Dr. Gordon on record as taking responsibility for his supporting parents who don’t want to vaccinate, as he explicitly does in this show. I agree with Penn and Teller. I hope Dr. Jay gets everything he has coming to him for that decision.

So what do I think overall about the show? Mostly, I liked it. It’s very blunt in a way that too few people are willing to be blunt about the quackery and pseudoscience that is the anti-vaccine movement. I had a few minor quibbles about how factual information was presented. but none of them detracted from the basic message about vaccines. My only big concern is whether Dr. Jay’s claim regarding his quote being creatively edited is true. Looking at what is there, though, I’m not sure I entirely buy Dr. Jay’s claim, quite simply because of what follows, in which he says “This is very much at odds with the mainstream medical interview.” In any case, the show hit most of the right notes, made most of the right points, and made them in an in-your-face style that shows just why the anti-vaccine movement is “bullshit.”

Comments

  1. #1 ANB
    August 18, 2010

    OK, stupid question # 2: is there any other vaccine that works after you’ve been exposed to the virus? ‘Cause I’m drawing a blank.

    According to this Immunization Action Coaltion page, post-exposure immunoprophylaxis for Hep B works.

    http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_hepb.asp

    Administration of a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine is required for effective post-exposure immunoprophylaxis to prevent perinatal HBV infection. Although infants who require postexposure immunoprophylaxis should be identified by maternal HBsAg testing, administering a birth dose to infants, even without HBIG, serves as a “safety net” to prevent perinatal infection among infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers who are not identified, because of errors in maternal HBsAg testing or failure in reporting of test results.

    The incubation period for the Hep B virus is about 90 days.

    I have also read that there is evidence that post-exposure prophylaxis works for measles and varicella.

  2. #2 Chris
    August 18, 2010

    It also is recommended for Hepatitis A:

    The new CDC recommendations published in October 2007 (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5641a3.htm), state that hepatitis A vaccine is preferred over immune globulin (IG) for postexposure prophylaxis for persons age 12 months-40 years who have recently been exposed to hepatitis A virus (HAV) and who have not previously received hepatitis A vaccine. Previously, IG was preferred. Persons age 12 months-40 years should receive a single dose of single-antigen hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (0.02 mL/kg) as soon as possible after exposure. For persons older than 40 years, IG is preferred, although vaccine can be used if IG is unavailable.

  3. #3 stratosphere
    August 19, 2010

    Dr Jay Gordon Has Jumped on the Celebrity Diet Bandwagon Joining Kirstie Alleys Organic Liaison Advisory Board
    I guess hes still chasing Celebrity quackery!
    he is listed as an advisor on Kirsties site ..shilling her crappy Scientology detox diet.

  4. #4 Lola
    August 20, 2010

    The concern about vaccines involved the side effects. It has nothing to do with Autism.

    Update: Vaccine Side Effects, Adverse Reactions, Contraindications, and Precautions Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

    Summary

    This report provides updated information concerning the potential adverse events associated with vaccination for hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. This information incorporates findings from a series of recent literature reviews, conducted by an expert committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of all evidence regarding the possible adverse consequences of vaccines administered to children. This report contains modifications to the previously published recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and is based on an ACIP review of the IOM findings and new research on vaccine safety. In addition, this report incorporates information contained in the “Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices: Use of Vaccines and Immune Globulins in Persons with Altered Immunocompetence” (MMWR 1993;42{No. RR-4}) and the “General Recommendations on Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)” (MMWR 1994;43{No. RR-1}). Major changes to the previous recommendations are highlighted within the text, and specific information concerning the following vaccines and the possible adverse events associated with their administration are included: hepatitis B vaccine and anaphylaxis; measles vaccine and a) thrombocytopenia and b) possible risk for death resulting from anaphylaxis or disseminated disease in immunocompromised persons; diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DTP) and chronic encephalopathy; and tetanus-toxoid-containing vaccines and a) Guillain-Barre syndrome, b) brachial neuritis, and c) possible risk for death resulting from anaphylaxis. These modifications will be incorporated into more comprehensive ACIP recommendations for each vaccine when such statements are revised. Also included in this report are interim recommendations concerning the use of measles and mumps vaccines in

    1.

    persons who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus and
    2.

    persons who are allergic to eggs; ACIP is still evaluating these recommendations.

    INTRODUCTION

    Immunization has enabled the global eradication of smallpox (1), the elimination of poliomyelitis from the Western hemisphere (2), and major reductions in the incidence of other vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States (Table_1). However, although immunization has successfully reduced the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccination can cause both minor and, rarely, serious side effects. Public awareness of and controversy about vaccine safety has increased, primarily because increases in vaccine coverage resulted in an increased number of adverse events that occurred after vaccination. Such adverse events include both true reactions to vaccine and events coincidental to, but not caused by, vaccination. Despite concerns about vaccine safety, vaccination is safer than accepting the risks for the diseases these vaccines prevent. Unless a disease has been eradicated (e.g., smallpox), failure to vaccinate increases the risks to both the individual and society.

    In response to concerns about vaccine safety, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established a no-fault compensation process for persons possibly injured by selected vaccines (3). The Act also mandated that the Institute of Medicine * (IOM) review scientific and other evidence regarding the possible adverse consequences of vaccines administered to children.
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00046738.htm

  5. #5 shawmutt
    August 20, 2010

    Any press is good press for Dr. Jay. This isn’t the first show he’s been on and then whined about being taken out of context or lied to.

  6. #6 shawmutt
    August 20, 2010

    Any press is good press for Dr. Jay. This isn’t the first show he’s been on and then whined about being taken out of context or lied to.

  7. #7 shawmutt
    August 20, 2010

    Any press is good press for Dr. Jay. This isn’t the first show he’s been on and then whined about being taken out of context or lied to.

  8. #8 shawmutt
    August 20, 2010

    Any press is good press for Dr. Jay. This isn’t the first show he’s been on and then whined about being taken out of context or lied to.

  9. #9 triskelethecat
    August 20, 2010

    @Lola: do you have a point to make? No one here denies that vaccines can have side effects, those side effects may injure some children (the Vaccine Court was created for that) and that some people should not be vaccinated. Long copy/pastes without any point are simply trolling. (but at least you DID have the courtesy to give your reference)

  10. #10 triskelethecat
    August 20, 2010

    This is really frustrating. Since I have to sign on for Pharyngula, it uses the signon name. The previous post by triskelethecat was mine. MI Dawn

  11. #11 Jay Gordon
    August 20, 2010

    Hi–

    I lost ten pounds with Kirstie’s stuff. Not being paid but I am happy to advise my friend of nearly twenty years. And, no, I am not a Scientologist even though it certainly makes as much sense as most other religions. (Wait! You threw the incredibly great Richard Dawkins under the bus. Should I be honored when you treat me the same way?) And, yes, I end up on “celebrity bandwagons” often enough; I live in their hometown.

    Regarding Penn and Teller: When the topic is bottled water or sex, editing for comic effect might be OK. They chopped words out of my sentences and did voice overs of different questions than the ones I was answering.

    Even when we all disagree here at RI, we try to be honest. I have readily accepted your advice and knowledge and learned.

    Penn and Teller are clowns and they handled a serious topic in an irresponsible way. Give them the back of your hand as any scientist and honorable person would.

    Best,

    Jay

  12. #12 Science Mom
    August 20, 2010

    Regarding Penn and Teller: When the topic is bottled water or sex, editing for comic effect might be OK. They chopped words out of my sentences and did voice overs of different questions than the ones I was answering.

    They didn’t edit you mid-sentence and what you provided as an alternate explanation for editing what came before, “children should not be vaccinated”, does not parse with the rest of your (clearly) unedited statement. Why don’t you provide time stamps and examples of your accusations of voicing over alternate questions.

    Penn and Teller are clowns and they handled a serious topic in an irresponsible way. Give them the back of your hand as any scientist and honorable person would.

    You have said you are familiar with P&T’s schtick prior to going on the show. What, exactly, did you think they were going to do? They got the basics right and simply let the anti-vax ‘spokespeople’ speak for themselves. If you don’t care for how you came off, then perhaps you should be more selective regarding your media appearances. And no, ‘somebody had to do it’ doesn’t cast you as a shining martyr for the cause; you wanted to do it.

  13. #13 Chris
    August 20, 2010

    Jay, you still need to change your website to get rid of the errors in regard to vaccination that were discussed above.

    Plus, you need to tell everyone to stay away from scam artists like the Geiers, Bradstreet, Doctors Data and every vendor on Jenny McCarthy’s “Let’s Go Shopping” page on Generation Rescue.

    Until you do that, you will also be considered a clown.

    Lola, you forgot on crucial thing in your big cut and paste: the relative risks between the vaccines and the diseases. Since pertussis is now epidemic in California you should tell us how the DTaP and Tdap have more risks than pertussis.

  14. #14 Scott
    August 20, 2010

    Regarding Penn and Teller: When the topic is bottled water or sex, editing for comic effect might be OK. They chopped words out of my sentences and did voice overs of different questions than the ones I was answering.

    Bullshit. According to you, then, you said

    “[I am not saying that] children should not be vaccinated. This is very much at odds with the mainstream medical point of view which says that there’s no connection between vaccines and autism. I think that that is a flat-out lie.”

    Even leaving aside the rhythm of the quote, which makes it QUITE clear that “children” was the beginning of a sentence, this would be utterly incoherent, even ludicrous. Whereas what they did quote is consistent, both internally AND with everything you’ve said over the years.

    There is only one credible interpretation. Penn and Teller quoted you accurately, and your denial is a flat-out lie.

  15. #15 Prometheus
    August 20, 2010

    Call me Pollyanna, but I’m willing to accept that “Dr. Jay” said “…under one year,…” prior to “children should not be vaccinated…”, pending release of the unedited tape.

    Of course, that still leaves children under 12 months old vulnerable to diphtheria, tetanus (tetanus neonatorum, anyone?), pertussis (the bulk of pertussis deaths are in children under 12 months old), hepatitis B (95+% chance of chronic hepatitis B in infected infants if they aren’t vaccinated) and polio. But, heck, those are all mild childhood diseases, aren’t they?

    I think what “Dr. Jay” is banking on is that “the little people” and lumpenproletariat (i.e. not celebrities) will continue to vaccinate their children in order to protect the kids in his practice.

    However, even after the “correction” submitted by “Dr. Jay”, his statement effectively eliminates the MMR vaccine as a potential concern, since that isn’t given before 12 months except in unusual situations. So, I guess “Dr. Jay” is admitting – albeit very indirectly – that the MMR doesn’t cause autism, right?

    The quote I want to see “Dr. Jay” explain is the one where he describes seeing children become autistic immediately after receiving a vaccination. That one didn’t have any evidence of editing that I could see. So, “Dr. Jay”, are you claiming that you witnessed a child becoming autistic minutes after receiving a vaccination?

    I’m definitely not holding my breath waiting for an answer.

    Prometheus

  16. #16 Scott
    August 20, 2010

    Call me Pollyanna, but I’m willing to accept that “Dr. Jay” said “…under one year,…” prior to “children should not be vaccinated…”, pending release of the unedited tape.

    Where has he claimed saying that? On Autism News Beat (linked in Orac’s original post) he said

    I spoke moderately, listened to their promises about how the issue would be presented and felt sad that they cut off the beginning of my sentence: “[I’m certainly not saying that) children should not be vaccinated.”

    So saying elsewhere that it was preceded by “under one year” would be extremely, shall we say, TELLing?

  17. #17 Chris
    August 20, 2010

    Scott, I believe the “not vaccination children under twelve months” is a reference to one of Jay Gordon’s websites. Some of which are quoted much earlier in this thread.

  18. #18 Orange Lantern
    August 20, 2010

    Scott, that’s exactly right. On ANB he claimed it was something like “I’m not saying that…” and later, up above in comment 54 on this very blog he said the “sense of it” was something like “My point of view is that during the first year of life…”

    The story changed from a 180 degree edit to an edit that makes the claim mildly more outrageous.

    I think it’s very telling.

  19. #19 Prometheus
    August 20, 2010

    Scott & Orange Lantern,

    What I wrote was based on claims “Dr. Jay” has made on this ‘blog (#54). After reading your comments, I checked what “Dr. Jay” has written elsewhere and find that he makes yet a different claim.

    How surprising!

    Frankly, Penn and Teller’s editors had no need to distort the words of “Dr. Jay” in order to make him look like a fool. After all, it’s not as though “Dr. Jay” hasn’t made a fool of himselfon this very ‘blog – with no editing at all.

    Maybe we should ask – nicely, politely, respectfully – for “Dr. Jay” to clarify which “correction” is the correct one. Did he say (deleted words in italics):

    [1] “My point of view is that, during the first year of life, children should not be vaccinated.” (as “Dr. Jay” claims in comment #54 above)

    This would at least be consistent with the next sentence out of his mouth, even if it does leave the MMR vaccine “off the hook” for autism.

    or did he say:

    [2] “I’m certainly not saying that children should not be vaccinated.” (as he claims on “Autism News Beat” ‘blog, referenced by Orac above)

    The problem here is that it would be inconsistent with the next sentence, where he says “This is very much at odds with the mainstream medical point of view, which says that there’s no connection between vaccines and autism.”

    There is, of course, a third alternative: “Dr. Jay” can’t remember what he said, but he doesn’t like the way he came across on the show, so he’s going to claim that his words were “taken out of context”.

    It is telling that his first “clarification” was [2] (the inconsistent one) and he later “re-clarified” his statements in a way that was more consistent with his stated “philosophy” – not to mention being more consistent with his next sentence. It’s almost as though he went back and watched the video again and realised that his first “clarification” didn’t work….

    It would be fascinating to compare his answer(s) to the unedited tape.

    Prometheus

  20. #20 Jay Gordon
    August 20, 2010

    As always, you guys are classy as can be. I can see why you might enjoy Penn’s work.

    http://revision3.com/pennpoint/handjobs

    Everybody here knows I dislike and distrust the current vaccine schedule. Everybody who’s been here a while also knows that I give vaccines in my office, disagree strongly with the Geiers’ Lupron therapy and that I am willing to listen to your opinions and appreciate them.

    My words were edited, my answers to one question were then framed to look like answers to another question and the cheapest of editing tricks were used to make me look even sillier than you think I am. It is unethical journalism and violated the agreement the producers stated in their communications.

    No, I don’t remember my exact words. I did not anticipate what they would do and for that I confess great naivete. I can tell you that the first part of a sentence was edited out to, literally, reverse the meaning of my answer.

    Prometheus, no I have not witnessed what you described within minutes of vaccination.

    Your persistence in making “science” sound like a monolithic way of doing things makes you sound less intelligent than most of you probably are. Science changes year. Methodologies are questioned and conclusions changed. (Maybe someday someone will read these archives and brand me the sanest most scientific person on the site.)

  21. #21 Dedj
    August 20, 2010

    “No, I don’t remember my exact words.”

    And here lies the problem.

    You can’t remember what exactly you said, but what you are known to have said is entirely consistent with how you are percieved here, and holds to that consistency even if we take away the context provided by the question.

    Your provided explanations are contradictory and inconsistent with the follow on sentence. There appears to be no frame skip in the video, which would indicate that it was said as a single passage. You appear to have admitted it was a singular passage.

    Your follow on sentence is entirely inconsistent with your claim that you actually meant the reverse. You have provided no explanation for how this is so.

    “Methodologies are questioned and conclusions changed.”

    Using heirarchies of evidence that you don’t subscribe to. You can’t claim personal anecdote as superior data and then turn around and rely upon the very schema and methodologies you disdain (only when they go against you mind) to berate another person.

  22. #22 LW
    August 20, 2010

    Dr. Gordon, I’ve asked you about rubella several times on this blog, but you have not answered. So I’ll ask again, another way. 1) what percentage of your patients do you vaccinate against rubella? 2) do you warn your unvaccinated female patients, or their parents, about congenital rubella syndrome?

  23. #23 Orac
    August 20, 2010

    Dr. Jay,

    You still haven’t addressed one thing you said that was definitely not edited. You claimed that you saw children who were developing normally become autistic right in your office after vaccination. I called bullshit on that in my post, and I call bullshit on that claim now.

  24. #24 Dangerous Bacon
    August 21, 2010

    So, according to our intrepid researchers, Jay Gordon has now come up with two different versions of what Penn & Teller’s show supposedly edited out of his comments, while still acknowledging that he doesn’t remember what he said.

    Poor Jay is disappearing further down the rabbit hole with every update.

    Jay says: “Your persistence in making “science” sound like a monolithic way of doing things makes you sound less intelligent than most of you probably are. Methodologies are questioned and conclusions changed.”

    Jay, can you remind us – are you actually a physician? Sneering at science makes you sound like something else entirely. We know that the practice of medicine still employs a certain degree of “art” in addition to science, but the art aspect does not equate to illegible squiggles.

    It is flamingly obvious to anyone with decent critical thinking skills that in a field so overwhelmingly dependent on scientific knowledge, one employs the best science available to supplement one’s clinical skills. One does not shrug one’s shoulders and say “Well, the science could change one day and I’ll be right, so whoopee! anything goes!!”

    In my own specialty (pathology) criteria for a particular diagnosis change and evolve over time to reflect new discoveries and relevant clinical research. Knowing that does not permit me to arrogantly toss out the current standards in favor of some unproven and dubious theory that suits me better. Though it might be fun to be a Brave Maverick Doctor, it would actuallly be doing a grave disservice to patients.

  25. #25 Militant Agnostic
    August 21, 2010

    Ace Equipment Rentals – how can we help you?

    My name is Jay Gordon, Brave Maverick Doctor and I have fallen in a hole. I’ve been digging for hours with this shovel but I keep going deeper.

    How big a ladder do you want? A 30 foot extension ladder is $20 a day plus deposit.

    What would I want a ladder for? How much do you charge for a backhoe?

  26. #26 Rogue Medic
    August 21, 2010

    I would like to see the unedited video released.

    I think that some people will start making a big deal about, Oooh, look what they left out, but that is just the way editing works. Editing is leaving things out.

    What will be apparent to objective observers is that the more Dr. Gordon talks, the worse he looks.

    Dr. Gordon does not often provide us with isolated embarrassingly wrong statements. Dr. Gordon generally provides us with a series of embarrassingly wrong statements.

    Calling Penn and Teller clowns is just silly, since Dr. Gordon’s behavior makes some three ring circuses appear subtle. Penn and Teller are entertainers, who happen to use provocative entertainment to educate.

    If Penn and Teller were part of Dr. Gordon’s three ring circus, would Dr. Gordon be complaining that he is shocked to find clowns in his circus? No. Dr. Gordon would praise their innovative methods of education.

    Dr. Gordon’s focus on anecdotes does not suggest any credibility or expertise.

    I don’t know who would need to give permission to release the video, but I think that releasing the unedited video is the only way to satisfy people about what Dr. Gordon actually said.

    Did they edit that statement in any of the ways that Dr. Gordon suggests? I don’t know, but I don’t see why they would have to for two reasons.

    1. Dr. Gordon has made similar statements before.

    2. Dr. Gordon openly endorses people who have made these statements.

    I would like to see Dr. Gordon behave responsibly by criticizing those who discourage vaccination.

    I would like to see Dr. Gordon develop an understanding of science.

    Like Prometheus, I am not holding my breath.
    .

  27. #27 Kristen
    August 21, 2010

    I finally got to watch this episode. Dr. Jay, in my opinion was quoted correctly. It doesn’t sound like he was in the middle of a sentence. But, like I said, that is my opinion.

    On a more positive note; watching the Rybell’s (spelling?) at dinner, their son saying “monsters vs aliens” just made me smile so big. That is how Gabriel talks, always preoccupied with his current train of thought. It feel an instant camaraderie when I see other reasonable parents who are doing the best for their children without resorting to anger and finger-pointing.

  28. #28 Science Mom
    August 21, 2010

    My words were edited, my answers to one question were then framed to look like answers to another question and the cheapest of editing tricks were used to make me look even sillier than you think I am. It is unethical journalism and violated the agreement the producers stated in their communications.

    I’ll try to make this simple. Dr. Jay, please fill in the blank with what you think you said and what will mesh with the rest of the statement:

    “__________________ Children should not be vaccinated; this is very much at odds with the mainstream medical point of view which says that there is no connection between vaccines and autism and I think that is a flat-out lie.”

    It will be like playing Mad Libs.

    Prometheus, no I have not witnessed what you described within minutes of vaccination.

    But you said you did: “I have seen children, face to face who were developing normally until they got shots, at least a few times it happened in my office, where very shortly after they received a vaccine, they developed symptoms of autism and then became autistic.”

    Do children stay in your office for days, weeks, months? Is it not safe to assume to believe that if you were face to face with these children who developed ‘symptoms of autism’, in your office, that this didn’t happen within minutes?

  29. #29 Jay Gordon
    August 21, 2010

    To address LW first: I vaccinate none of my patients against rubella unless they have very unusual travel plans. Rubella no longer poses a threat to American women and children. The CDC declared this over five years ago.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/03/22/rubella_wiped_out_in_us_cdc_says/

    I would like to see unedited tape, too. I’ll take a try this weekend but I doubt they’ll release it because now they have me looking foolish and the unedited version will make them look unethical. Which choice do you think they’ll make?

    Orac, I have seen a few children who received vaccines elsewhere come to my office just days later with signs and symptoms of autism. Their parents and doctors have confirmed the temporal relationship.

    I have seen another few children who received vaccines in my office who developed autism with close temporal relationship to vaccinations.

    I have had dozens upon dozens of parents transfer to my practice who have told me that their children were developing normally and became autistic with close temporal relationship to vaccination.

    I have had contact with thousands of families with stories similar to that last group. If, however, you thought I was saying that I have seen children receive a vaccine in my office and develop autism five minutes later right before my eyes, you have misunderstood me. You do always have the last word, though, but I have no reason not to tell you the truth.

    Prometheus, Rogue, I can only defend my own words and actions. There are certainly people who agree with me about this topic–vaccines must be safer, more judiciously administered and will continue to contribute to large problems in children unless something’s changed–who make immoderate statements and even inaccurate statements.

    You may appear on this website with people who are intemperate and inaccurate and you have no obligation to defend them. I stand by my friends and allies but do not always agree with every one of their ideas or words.

    I continue to enjoy these exchanges with all of you and respect that your defense of the current vaccine schedule and vaccines in general is meant in the best interests of children. My words and actions have the same intention. We just have very different experiences and interpretation of the science involved.

    Best,

    Jay

  30. #30 Orac
    August 21, 2010

    Orac, I have seen a few children who received vaccines elsewhere come to my office just days later with signs and symptoms of autism. Their parents and doctors have confirmed the temporal relationship.

    I have seen another few children who received vaccines in my office who developed autism with close temporal relationship to vaccinations.

    But, Dr. Jay, that’s not what you said on P&T:BS! This is what you said: “I have seen children, face to face who were developing normally until they got shots, at least a few times it happened in my office, where very shortly after they received a vaccine, they developed symptoms of autism and then became autistic.”

    Your story keeps morphing. Why on earth are you surprised that I think your memory is faulty, and you’re demonstrating massive confirmation bias and selective memory? Remember, we are all prone to it. The difference between skeptics and someone like you is that skeptics know they are prone to such cognitive shortcomings and try to guard against it.

  31. #31 Toad
    August 21, 2010

    “I vaccinate none of my patients against rubella unless they have very unusual travel plans. Rubella no longer poses a threat to American women and children. The CDC declared this over five years ago.”

    Welcome to the 21st centurty Dr. Gordon. Let’s be as straightforward as possible:

    Air travel works on a two-way basis. Inbound passenger contagious with Rubella + unvaccinated persons = increased risk of infection/outbreak.

    Since you seem to trust the CDC declaration, would you please explain the CDC’s actual recommendation for Rubella vaccination? Does not vaccinating support the reduced threat of Rubella, or erode it?

  32. #32 a-non
    August 21, 2010

    Dr. Gordon,

    Let’s start with this quote:

    But Americans still must vaccinate their children, and women who might get pregnant must still ensure they are immune because the disease exists elsewhere, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

    That quote is from the link you provided in your previous post, Jay. The second paragraph of the article, in fact. And I’m sure, as a doctor, you realize why that’s true, correct?

    Well, do you? And please don’t tell me it’s part of the CDC’s grand “vaccine global conspiracy”.

    Now to the rest of your post:

    Orac, I have seen a few children who received vaccines elsewhere come to my office just days later with signs and symptoms of autism. Their parents and doctors have confirmed the temporal relationship.

    I have seen another few children who received vaccines in my office who developed autism with close temporal relationship to vaccinations.

    Again, this is an astonishingly breathtaking statement – that you’ve seen temporal relationship between the onset of autistic behaviors and vaccinations. And it must be in a statistically significant percentage of your patients (i.e., more than you’d expect by chance) for you to keep bringing it up.

    So why isn’t this information, which completely changes the way everyone thinks of the autism/vaccine debate, published in a credible medical journal?

    Why haven’t these other doctors you cite published their findings anywhere?

    And please don’t give me the usual excuses about “not having time” or that not being your focus. If what you’re saying is true, you have a responsibility to make that information available to the broader medical community.

    When you just say it’s true and don’t bother to back up the assertion with evidence, you just look like another quack shouting in the wind.

  33. #33 Dangerous Bacon
    August 21, 2010

    Jay said: “I would like to see unedited tape, too. I’ll take a try this weekend but I doubt they’ll release it because now they have me looking foolish and the unedited version will make them look unethical. Which choice do you think they’ll make?”

    Such outcomes are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of what an unedited tape shows, Jay will still look foolish, as he does here, on his website and in other venues.

    As an aside, from my own experience in a previous life working as a reporter, I know it’s not unusual for people after an interview to react with “My God, I didn’t say (can’t believe I said) that!” I had cases where interviewees flat-out lied about comments they’d made to me. Just recently we had golf reporter Jim Gray furious at Corey Pavin after Pavin was quoted as saying that Tiger Woods would be invited onto the Ryder Cup team, then later denying that he’d said it. My strong suspicion in that case is that Pavin realized he’d take flak for announcing the decision prematurely and took refuge in the “he misquoted me” gambit.

    Jay’s ever-changing stories do not promote confidence in his version(s) of the truth.

  34. #34 squirrelelite
    August 21, 2010

    As of January 2010, the CDC is still recommending a first Measles Mumps Rubella vaccination no sooner than 12 months old with a booster at 4-6 years of age.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5851a6.htm?s_cid=mm5851a6_e

    Adult vaccinations are not recommended unless they lack evidence of immunity (vaccination or prior infection) or have other medical, lifestyle or occupational risk factors.

    Vaccinations for younger adults (less than 50) like child vaccinations are covered under the VICP.

  35. #35 Chris
    August 21, 2010

    Dr. Jay:

    To address LW first: I vaccinate none of my patients against rubella unless they have very unusual travel plans. Rubella no longer poses a threat to American women and children. The CDC declared this over five years ago.

    Does this mean you have never used the MMR vaccine in your office? Since Merck no longer provides single vaccines, do you also deny children protection from measles and mumps?

    Have you heard of this really great invention called air travel? It means that someone can go quickly from one part of the world to the next! Diseases can also travel.

  36. #36 Ace Equipment Rentals
    August 21, 2010

    Jay Gordon – where do you want us to deliver that backhoe?

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    August 21, 2010

    Orac, I have seen a few children who received vaccines elsewhere come to my office just days later with signs and symptoms of autism. Their parents and doctors have confirmed the temporal relationship.

    This reminds me of the plaintiffs in the Vaccine Court Autism Omnibus case who presented before and after video evidence to support such a claim. The before vaccination video clearly showed signs of autism. This clearly indicates the ability of people to fool themselves.

    Also doesn’t Jay realize that parents transferring to his practice amounts to huge selection bias? His total lack of a basic understanding of statistics and science is appalling.

  38. #38 Todd W.
    August 21, 2010

    @Dr. Jay

    I am rather surprised and, frankly, disturbed that you do not vaccinate any of your patients against rubella. You certainly must be aware that rubella is a cause of autism, right? I mean, among the other nasty things that can result from rubella infection during pregnancy. As other have pointed out, even if your patient is not planning on traveling anywhere that rubella is a risk, the wonders of modern technology mean that rubella may come to them.

    Further, if rubella were absolutely not a risk to Americans, why, do you think, the CDC would still recommend vaccination against it? I really am curious, Dr. Jay, why you would put children at increased risk of CRS.

  39. #39 LW
    August 21, 2010

    The CDC warns in the 2010 Yellow Book that all unimmune international travellers are at risk of contracting measles, mumps, and rubella, regardless of where they travel. The link is to the page on measles, but the next page is mumps, and rubella is easily located. The CDC does not say that immunization is advised *only* in the case of “very unusual travel plans”. But of course, wise Dr. Gordon knows better.

    Incidentally, does anyone know what age range the good doctor treats? I couldn’t find that information with a google search. I’ve been assuming he was like my pediatrician when I was a child, who treated patients pretty much up to puberty. But if the good doctor is just a baby doc, maybe the children go on to other doctors before suffering too many years of risk.

  40. #40 Zoe
    August 21, 2010

    Actually Penn DID go to clown school…

  41. #41 augustine
    August 21, 2010

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/whooping-cough-strain-now-immune-to-vaccine/story-e6freuy9-1225828959714

    “THE bacteria that causes whooping cough has mutated, eroding the protection provided by the vaccine now given to children, scientists warned yesterday.”

    Vaccine fail! Again.

    Also could anyone give the vaccination status in the media sensation of california whooping cough? Were the parents vaccinated previously? Were the siblings? The babies COULDN”T get vaccinated, so that wouldn’t support the vaccine compliance agenda. How many vaccinating adults are protected? What is the effectiveness of DTaP? What is heard immunity levels for pertussis?

  42. #42 Jay Gordon
    August 21, 2010

    @Orac “Shortly” as in within days or a week or two. That could have been clearer, I agree.

    @Toad Nice username, Toad. I do not trust the CDC completely. I just wanted to point out that they declared the rubella eradicated in the USA. Once a disease is that rare–close to zero cases, actually–one must turn one’s attention to possible known side effects, albeit very rare side effects. Rubella vaccination in American meets that model.

    @a-non Nothing I have said about my experiences rises to the level of statistical significance, nor have I aggregated my anecdotal experiences into an organized set of data. I am merely contributing my experiences as a part of this experience. My experiences certainly do not negate the RCT studies but I continue to aver that even with conformation bias, Dave, and what you term “selective memory”–not saying you’re wrong, by the way!–my collection of anecdotes is a valuable part of the debate. Ignore them if you choose: Read other people’s posts and not mine. And, no, I have neither the time, expertise nor desire to try to collect these anecdotes and to publish, a-non. Can you imagine the opprobrium that would be heaped upon me?! Actually, I think it would be irresponsible to do that just as I think that “one-size-fits-all” is irresponsible vaccination policy. There are children, families, countries where the risk/benefit analysis argues strongly in favor of the present immunization routine.

    @Dangerous Bacon Nice to see you, old friend. No, in this case it’s not a reporter’s notebook or their word against mine. If the raw footage is released, you’ll see it was edited to change the sense of what I said and in at least one segment, to reverse the meaning of the entire conversation.

    @Chris Actually, there have been children in my office who received the MMR. Their special circumstances or their parents very strong wishes easily superseded my wish to withhold the shot. I’d guess this happens once or twice/year.

    @Militant Agnostic By the way, were you part of the group who threw Richard Dawkins under the bus? I understand science and statistics very well, thank you. I am aware that an attorney might ponder why there seem to be so many criminals in this world . . . I do not claim statistical significance, lack of bias or the ability to quantify and publish. I merely claim to be in possession of lots of experience and years of observation. (Oh God, there I go again!)

    @Zoe Yes, I knew that. They are actually very clever. I respect their success but they made a mistake handling this episode the way they might have previously handled the episodes entitled “Talking to the Dead,” “Alien Abductions,” “Sex, Sex, Sex,” “Ouija Boards,” and other frivolous topics. They are most definitely not qualified to present this issue and they failed miserably.

    Best,

    Jay

  43. #43 Toad
    August 21, 2010

    “I do not trust the CDC completely. I just wanted to point out that they declared the rubella eradicated in the USA.”

    So, I’ll ask again Dr. Gordon. Please try to answer the actual question. Does not vaccinating support the reduced threat of Rubella, or erode it?

  44. #44 Chris
    August 21, 2010

    What evidence, Dr. Jay, do you have to withhold the MMR? Why should parents have to have strong feelings about it?

    Did you vaccinate with the MMR thirty years ago? (next year it will have been in use for forty years) Or did you decide to believe Wakefield’s fraudulent research?

    Is this reluctance to vaccinate part of a plan to get more paid hours by treating sick children?

  45. #45 Dangerous Bacon
    August 21, 2010

    Jay: “Actually, there have been children in my office who received the MMR. Their special circumstances or their parents very strong wishes easily superseded my wish to withhold the shot. I’d guess this happens once or twice/year.”

    Speaking of raw footage, I wish we had video of concerned parents with “very strong wishes” having to talk Jay Gordon into following American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC guidelines and giving their children vaccines.

    In this case, Jay is absolutely right about mommy warriors being a lot smarter than physicians.

  46. #46 a-non
    August 21, 2010

    And, no, I have neither the time, expertise nor desire to try to collect these anecdotes and to publish, a-non. Can you imagine the opprobrium that would be heaped upon me?! Actually, I think it would be irresponsible to do that just as I think that “one-size-fits-all” is irresponsible vaccination policy

    I want everyone to read what Jay Gordon wrote in response to me.

    Read it again.

    Basically, what Jay Gordon is suggestion is that he might have evidence that our “one-size-fits-all” vaccination policy *is* a problem, yet doesn’t want to do the due dilligence necessary to provide that information to the public.

    And do you know WHY he doesn’t want to share that information? Because he thinks he would be ridiculed. (which is what opprobrium means)

    Is Jay suggesting that the mainstream medical establishment would ridicule him? If he put his findings in a decent medical journal and they held up to scrutiny, Dr. Gordon would be famous beyond measure. He would have been able to do what all of other purveyors of the autism-vaccine argument have never been able to do – put together research that actually suggests that there’s a possible connection between the two.

    I certainly doubt that Generation Rescue would ridicule him. They’d be doing cartwheels over the fact that a real, valid paper actually made their case.

    No, if I had to guess, I’d say that Jay isn’t willing to compile his findings because if he looked real hard at them he’d find out he was wrong. And once he realized he was wrong, he’d have to sort out in his own mind whether he wanted to be deliberately deceitful when it came to this topic.

    Some folks in the anti-vax movement have already obliterated that bridge, but perhaps Jay Gordon hasn’t. As long as he doesn’t know for sure, he can sleep at night thinking that he’s doing the right thing by these kids. Moving the goalposts and suggesting that we need “more research” means that he can continue to mingle with the Generation Rescue celebrity crowd with a clear conscience while dissuading parents from vaccinating their children.

    If it were me, and I was making the conscious decision to go against the recommendations of pretty much every mainstream medical organization, I’d want to make sure I was right. If not for the greater good, then at least for my own peace of mind.

  47. #47 augustine
    August 21, 2010

    [Is Jay suggesting that the mainstream medical establishment would ridicule him? If he put his findings in a decent medical journal and they held up to scrutiny, Dr. Gordon would be famous beyond measure.]

    Just like Ignaz Semmelweis? Yes after his peers persecuted, belittled, and ridiculed him. And after he was dead. No matter how concrete his evidence is.

  48. #48 Chris
    August 22, 2010

    Actually I think it is because he gets more money from taking care of kids with pertussis, measles, influenza and mumps than he gets from giving vaccines. Just think about it. Sicker kids go to the doctor more, which means he makes more money.

    He doesn’t take insurance, which have this nasty habit of trying to reduce paying out by pushing preventative medicine like vaccines. So if kids are sick, he gets billable hours.

  49. #49 titmouse
    August 22, 2010

    I love you, a-non. You say what I’d say if I weren’t perpetually trapped in ScienceBlogs spam filter.

    IP filter shenanigans. No one ever fixes.

  50. #50 a-non
    August 22, 2010

    I just watched the video.

    The anti-vaxers are scary.

  51. #51 Pablo
    August 22, 2010

    Re: Jay

    There is also the fact that as of now, he can throw out the “It’s not clear so we can call it plausible” justification. If he tried to publish, and when it got rejected or filtered off into some low class hack journal, the gig would be up for good old Dr. J. He could no longer hide behind the pretense that he has a lot of quiet support among his peers. He would just be another failed quack.

    And he knows it.

  52. #52 Jay Gordon
    August 22, 2010

    @Chris “Actually I think it is because he gets more money from taking care of kids with pertussis, measles, influenza and mumps than he gets from giving vaccines. Just think about it. Sicker kids go to the doctor more, which means he makes more money.”

    You are too amazingly unintelligent and low-minded for anyone to take you seriously.. Please raise your hand if agree with this reprobate in his thoughts that my motivation for vaccinating sparingly involves my desire to take care of my sick or dying children.

    In toto I believe I have seen 4-5 people with mumps in the past ten years, no children or adults with measles, a few cases of whooping cough each year and countless families with influenza, none of whom needed hospitalization or anything but supportive care.

    There is far more money to be made selling and administering vaccines than treating illness. I can’t believe I deigned to answer a statement like yours, Chris. You’re an embarrassment to the panel of assembled scientists in this room.

    Research and publication are full time jobs–ask Orac–and pediatricans in private practice can rarely pull this off. I include myself in that large group. I am a clinician who takes as much time as possible to write. I will participate in some reserach this year, but quite peripherally.

    @a-non and @Bacon Parents have the right to ask for or demand vaccines. Also, special circumstances dictate a deviation from what I would do with the majority of my kids and families. That’s an easy concept and pretending you don’t “get it” is disingenuous.

    By the way, if we blame Jenny for measles, can I blame you for this?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/4-Kids-Die-After-Vaccination/articleshow/6390002.cms

    No, I’m a scientist and I know better than to blame the “one size fits all” camp for this aberration.

    Have a very nice Sunday,

    Jay

  53. #53 Jay Gordon
    August 22, 2010

    Too many typos! I’ll try one more time.

    J

    @Chris “Actually I think it is because he gets more money from taking care of kids with pertussis, measles, influenza and mumps than he gets from giving vaccines. Just think about it. Sicker kids go to the doctor more, which means he makes more money.”

    You are too amazingly unintelligent and low-minded for anyone to take you seriously.. Please raise your hand if you agree with this reprobate in his thoughts that my motivation for vaccinating sparingly involves my desire to take care of my sick or dying children.

    In toto I believe I have seen 4-5 people with mumps in the past ten years, no children or adults with measles, a few cases of whooping cough each year and countless families with influenza, none of whom needed hospitalization or anything but supportive care.

    There is far more money to be made selling and administering vaccines than treating illness. I can’t believe I deigned to answer a statement like yours, Chris. You’re an embarrassment to the panel of assembled scientists in this room.

    Research and publication are full time jobs–ask Orac–and pediatricians in private practice can rarely pull this off. I include myself in that large group. I am a clinician who takes as much time as possible to write. I will participate in some reserach this year, but quite peripherally.

    @a-non and @Bacon Parents have the right to ask for or demand vaccines. Also, special circumstances dictate a deviation from what I would do with the majority of my kids and families. That’s an easy concept and pretending you don’t “get it” is disingenuous.

    By the way, if we blame Jenny for measles, can I blame you for this?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/4-Kids-Die-After-Vaccination/articleshow/6390002.cms

    No, I’m a scientist and I know better than to blame the “one size fits all” camp for this aberration.

    Have a very nice Sunday,

    Jay

  54. #54 MI Dawn
    August 22, 2010

    Why, no, Dr Jay, you can’t blame the vaccines for that WITHOUT PROOF THE VACCINES WERE THE CAUSE!! You don’t know the children’s prior health, you don’t know if the vaccines were the cause, you don’t know if the Vitamin A drops may have been the cause. So, again, you can’t blame the vaccines until you know they are the cause.

    Next question?

  55. #55 Toad
    August 22, 2010

    Which vaccines were they? Were they properly stored, transported, administered? How old were the children? Do they know that the vaccines themselves were the cause?

  56. #56 Todd W.
    August 22, 2010

    @Dr. Jay

    MI Dawn and Toad already hit some good points. It is impossible to determine from that news article what was the cause of death. The implication is that it was the vaccine, since that is the prominent factor. Some other underlying medical condition in those children could be a factor. There could have been some physical injury before or shortly after the vaccine was administered. The children may have ingested some sort of poisonous material. The vaccines may have been stored improperly and consequently become contaminated with bacteria or fungus.

    And, yes, it is possible that the vaccines, in proper condition, did cause the four deaths. However, without further information and investigation, we cannot conclude that the vaccines were to blame.

    @Everyone else

    Did anyone else notice that Meryl Dorey plastered some…ahem…inaccurate info in the comments on the article Jay linked to?

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    August 22, 2010

    Jay says: “I am a scientist”.

    Um, no, Jay. You have contempt for science, remember? Your experience countermands the scientific basis of medicine. Remember, you said in a previous post:

    “Your persistence in making “science” sound like a monolithic way of doing things makes you sound less intelligent than most of you probably are.”

    Before Jay gets on another high horse about his remarks being taken out of context, it’s quite likely that Jay does respect science – those parts of it that conform to his personal prejudices and fit with his practice model.

    As to Jay’s vaccines-cause-death link, an even worse hazard for children has been making the news lately – pediatricians. There’s that pediatrician in Delaware indicted on 103 counts of child molestation. And here’s a horrific story about a pediatrician charged in a fatal child beating.

    By Jay Gordon’s cherry-picking logic, it’s unsafe for children to be anywhere near a pediatrician.

  58. #58 squirrelelite
    August 22, 2010

    This link from the same source, which is cross-linked from Dr Jay’s link (at least for now) states the children were given measles, BCG, and Hepatitis B vaccinations as well as the Vitamin A drops.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Four-children-die-allegedly-after-being-vaccinated-/articleshow/6388110.cms

    It notes that:

    “The government has ordered an inquiry into the incident and more information would be known only later.”

    Since there were similar incidents at three other sites, the results of that inquiry should be very interesting.

  59. #59 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    August 22, 2010

    @Dangerous Pork Product I agree: Pediatricians’ offices are usually filled with sneezing children. Stay away when you can.

    Scientific facts and knowledge are interpreted differently by different–honorable–people. I count most of you among these scientists of honor. Then, of course, there are the illogical members of this site.

    Jay

  60. #60 Science Mom
    August 22, 2010

    @Dangerous Pork Product I agree: Pediatricians’ offices are usually filled with sneezing children. Stay away when you can.

    Reducing yourself to infantile derogating of someone’s username? How honourable.

    Scientific facts and knowledge are interpreted differently by different–honorable–people. I count most of you among these scientists of honor. Then, of course, there are the illogical members of this site.

    Spoken like a true demagogue. There is only so much interpretation that the scientific consensus lends itself to. Of course, one can cherry-pick to suit one’s own confirmation biases can’t they?

    Jay

  61. #61 Todd W.
    August 22, 2010

    Jay, what’s wrong? You’re engaging in so much veiled insult and condescension. It’s rather out of character for you, especially considering how much you complain about it when other people insult you in some manner.

    Suffice to say, Jay, your attempt to say, “See! Vaccines iz teh eeevil!” has fallen flat. You jumped the gun, making baseless assumptions from limited information. It is that kind of thinking that gets you ridiculed time after time.

    We get it. You don’t like vaccines. You waste no opportunity to denigrate vaccines, which just makes your protestations that you are not “anti-vaccine” ring all the more hollow.

    Let’s get some things answered, straight out, if you can manage to not waffle and equivocate.

    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about chelation as a treatment for their autistic child?
    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about testing their child for mercury as a cause of autism?
    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about the risks of not vaccinating their child?

    We’ll just keep it to those three, for starters. Now, we have you claiming that you are a scientist, so please also provide the scientific basis for your recommendations.

  62. #62 Prometheus
    August 22, 2010

    Quoth “Dr. Jay”:

    “Scientific facts and knowledge are interpreted differently by different–honorable–people.”

    True enough. There are also interpreted “differently” by people who are impaired by received dogma, by those who are ignorant and by those who simply don’t understand.

    Being “honorable” or even well-intentioned does not prevent someone from being wrong.

    “Dr. Jay” looks at the lack of data showing an association between autism and vaccines and at the studies that have failed to show said association and “interprets” the data to mean the exact opposite of what researchers in the field have concluded.

    There are two possible interpretations to this data:

    [1] “Dr. Jay” knows more – based on his 30 years of experience as a general pediatrician – than dozens of people who research autism.

    [2] “Dr. Jay” is suffering from the arrogance of ignorance.

    There may be other interpretations that “honorable” people may draw from these data, but these are the two I’ve come up with.

    Prometheus

  63. #63 Jay Gordon
    August 22, 2010

    Going for 300.

    @Dangerous Bacon Sincere apologies for not taking your username seriously. (Same to you Toad)

    @Todd W Chelation is a decades-old treatment for metal poisoning and if one believes that high levels of metals are causing a problem like autism it might be a reasonable treatment. As we all know, there was one reported disaster when the wrong chelation solution was used in a child with autism. I neither do chelation therapy nor am an expert. The science, however, is sound and the therapy is used in both pediatric and adult hospitals worldwide for poisoning from mercury, iron, uranium, arsenic and other metals. It has never been approved for the treatment of autism.

    Mercury I tell parents that I no longer completely trust mercury testing from certain labs because the high numbers used after “provocation” are then placed against a scale derived from non-provoked values. On the other hand, if no provocation is done, I think that testing for mercury is useful especially if it discourages people from eating certain fish. I believe that high Hg levels may contribute to autism but I doubt you think there’s been sufficient proof. I think there is easily enough evidence that mercury in vaccines is harmful in some way–official bodies have agreed–and it was removed from most shots over a decade ago for this reason. Poisoning has been proven to cause fatalities. This, of course, was disastrously shown at Minamata, by Karen Wetterhahn’s unfortunate death and elsewhere.

    http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/spring-2008-10th-anniversary-edition/remembering-karen-wetterhahn

    I tell parents that non-vaccinating increases the risk of contracting the diseases against which we could vaccinate. I tell them that in the case of pertussis, this is a very real risk but that the statistics about virtually every other vaccinable disease would show that the risk is extraordinarily small. I tell them that I take public health issues into consideration as should they but that my primary concern during their child’s office time is his or her individual health and that the current vaccination schedule is not safe enough. I also tell them that loud injudicious statements about vaccines being ineffective and extremely dangerous are irresponsible and inaccurate. If I have been guilty of that in the past I regret it.

    The scientific basis for all three of those answers is just as available to you on various search engines as it is to me.

    Best,

    Jay

  64. #64 augustine
    August 22, 2010

    Science Mommy:

    “Reducing yourself to infantile derogating of someone’s username? How honourable.”

    Stop clutching your pearls, mommy. It is perfectly consistent with the modus operandi of science blog regulars. Don’t act like your fellow vaccine coercion groupies don’t do it.

  65. #65 Jay Gordon
    August 22, 2010

    Prometheus, I thank you for your comments. During my time here with you and Orac and the rest, I have learned to speak more quietly because, while I personally don’t like the current vaccine schedule and have witnessed correlation between vaccines and autism, I can’t prove causation. Just correlation. The two are not the same and for me to state otherwise is unscientific.

    Being “honorable” or even well-intentioned does not prevent someone from being wrong.

    I’m afraid your statement might apply to both of us, Prometheus.

    Jay

  66. #66 Jen in TX
    August 22, 2010

    Just out of curiousity, Dr. Gordon, what are your thoughts and recommendations on acetaminophen use in the perivaccination period?

    Do you ever wonder if perhaps the 1987 ACIP recommendations on acetaminophen prophylaxis before DTP immunization might possibly have anything to do with the upsurge in autism?

  67. #67 AnthonyK
    August 22, 2010

    In toto I believe I have seen 4-5 people with mumps in the past ten years, no children or adults with measles, a few cases of whooping cough each year and countless families with influenza, none of whom needed hospitalization or anything but supportive care.

    Quite correct. Vaccinations work. When you were pracising, say 20 years ago, could you have made the same statements?

    There is far more money to be made selling and administering vaccines than treating illness

    Utter bollocks. Liar. Paid American Peaditrician – by the hour, by the treatment, by the illness. You’re a disgrace to the medical profession.
    And Penn and Teller got you exactly right.

  68. #68 AnthonyK
    August 22, 2010

    and have witnessed correlation between vaccines and autism

    Err no, no you haven’t. There isn’t any. As you should well know. Money. money, money, that’s all your medical degree is to you, isn’t it, Dr Jay?

  69. #69 Dangerous Bacon
    August 22, 2010

    Jay says: “Chelation is a decades-old treatment for metal poisoning and if one believes that high levels of metals are causing a problem like autism it might be a reasonable treatment.”

    Another classic example of Jay straddling the line and trying to be all things to all people.

    What’s your evidence that 1) “high levels of metals” are causing autism, 2) the treatments used by chelation enthusiasts are dropping any such levels into normal ranges, and 3) that autistic children are improving as a result? The search engines don’t provide me with such evidence, so please enlighten me as to what you may have found. And while you’re at it, please show us how you’ve deduced that routine immunization for flu is tantamount to causing Minamata disease.

    “I tell parents that non-vaccinating increases the risk of contracting the diseases against which we could vaccinate. I tell them that in the case of pertussis, this is a very real risk but that the statistics about virtually every other vaccinable disease would show that the risk is extraordinarily small.”

    Do you also tell parents that since the risk of contracting trichinosis from infected pork is extraordinarily small, we should stop enforcing regulations on the raising of pork and processing of meat? Since severe hotel/motel fires are a rarity, do you recommend canceling all the applicable fire codes and having sprinklers taken out of places providing public lodging?

    Do any of your scientific sources reassure you that we can stop immunizing kids against infectious diseases and not have to be concerned that those diseases will resurface and no longer be “extraordinarily rare”?

    Prometheus suggests that you may be suffering from the arrogance of ignorance. Since you obviously know better, plain old arrogance seems to be the case.

    By the way, have fun playing games with my username all you like. It doesn’t matter to me if you “take it seriously”.* What does matter is taking your patients’ health and public health seriously, something you’re not doing.

    *since you’ve been happily exchanging insults with various posters here, could we have a brief moratorium on outraged pronouncements about how badly you are treated when you’re just trying to having respectful conversations? Thanks.

  70. #70 maydijo
    August 22, 2010

    Uh, Jay – re: rubella – my MMR vaccine most likely saved my daughter from a lifetime of mental retardation after my idiotic SIL saw fit to bring her rubella-infected child to a family Christmas celebration when I was in my first trimester.

    If you are discouraging people from vaccinating themselves and their children against rubella, well, I sure hope you’ve got good malpractice insurance. I guarantee you, if my SIL’s actions had impacted my child, I would’ve taken her – and whatever moron gave her that advice – for everything she had.

  71. #71 Todd W.
    August 22, 2010

    @Dr. Jay

    Thank you for not answering my questions in a straightforward manner.

    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about chelation as a treatment for their autistic child?

    Your response was to discuss what chelation is and what it is used for. You failed to specify what you recommend to parents who inquire about chelation for their child.

    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about testing their child for mercury as a cause of autism?

    You said that you do not trust certain labs, but that you think it may be worthwhile checking for mercury as a cause of autism. So, if someone comes in asking whether they should test for mercury or not, what will you say? Also, since you brought it up, which labs do you trust and which do you not trust?

    * What is your recommendation to parents who inquire about the risks of not vaccinating their child?

    You said, in part:

    I tell them that I take public health issues into consideration

    Based on this, am I right in assuming that you also tell them about the effects of herd immunity and how their decision to vaccinate or not affects herd immunity? You said you would discuss the increased risk of infection, yet you failed to state what you recommend to your patients.

    and [I tell them] that the current vaccination schedule is not safe enough.

    Ah, so you scare them away from vaccinating. Please define for us what constitutes a “safe enough” vaccine schedule, and upon what you base this definition.

    The scientific basis for all three of those answers is just as available to you on various search engines as it is to me.

    No dice, Jay. I can search about all I wish, but that will not tell me which sources you are using. Now, kindly provide the scientific evidence that you are using as the basis for your answers (or non-answers, as the case may be).

    I also seem to recall that you still have not, despite many, many months since I first asked, provided the scientific evidence that any vaccine schedule you suggest is actually safe.

  72. #72 LW
    August 22, 2010

    Minamata disease is caused by poisoning with METHYL mercury. Vaccines contain minute doses of ETHYL mercury. That initial M makes a surprising amount of difference. Readers may be acquainted with the poisonous properties of wood alcohol (METHYL alcohol) which are somewhat different from the effects of grain alcohol (ETHYL alcohol). Hint:  METHYL alcohol will kill you if a small quantity is consumed (just four ounces will do it) whereas ETHYL alcohol is the active ingredient in wine. Comparing minamata disease to the effects of a vaccination is like comparing the effects of a shot-glass of wood alcohol to those of one drop of wine dropped in glass of water. It is absurd, dishonest, and insulting to the intelligence of the readers of this blog. Directing patients to the disaster at Minamata to instruct them in the perils of vaccines is obscene. 

    Karen Wetterhahn was a real scientist doing real research to find real knowledge about metal poisoning. She was accidentally exposed to a lethal dose of DIMETHYL mercury. Note that DIMETHYL is different from ETHYL. Dragging the tragic death of a scientist, who was trying to improve medicine, into the mud of a senseless campaign against vaccination is beyond obscene. It is vile. 

    Of course, in addition, a little googling will allow anyone who’s actually interested in the facts to learn the symptoms suffered by the Minamata victims and by Dr. Wetterhahn do not remotely resemble autism.  So there’s no actual reason to bring them up, except to dishonestly frighten people about the effects of “mercury”. Which is about as honest as illustrating the dangers of table salt by pointing to the use of chlorine gas in World War I.  Chlorine is chlorine, right?    

    I am appalled by Dr. Gordon’s comment, but not surprised.

  73. #73 Prometheus
    August 22, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon responds to “Dr. Jay”:

    “Prometheus suggests that you may be suffering from the arrogance of ignorance. Since you obviously know better, plain old arrogance seems to be the case.”

    I must disagree.

    “Dr. Jay” has not received any scientific education or training outside of what he might have received as a university undergraduate or in medical school. As someone with experience teaching both undergraduates and medical students, I can attest that they whilst they learn a great many facts (especially the medical students) about science, they do not learn much about how science is done. This was even more the case back when “Dr. Jay” was in school.

    And if “Dr. Jay” claims that he has educated himself in the sciences….well, his performance speaks volumes about the skill of his teacher.

    As a result, “Dr. Jay” is ignorant of how science is done (as he has demonstrated repeatedly on this very ‘blog) and believes – because of his ignorance – that his recollections of “correlation” (which would be more accurately termed “coincidence”) somehow counter all of the well-designed studies that have failed to find a correlation between vaccination and autism. If “Dr. Jay” were a scientist (as he claims), he would realise that his recollections of children becoming autistic after vaccination do not even rise to the level of anecdote, being more on the level of mythic legend or folk tale.

    I have tried – on numerous occasions – to explain to “Dr. Jay” that his “vast clinical experience” won’t be anecdotal data unless and until he goes through his records and compiles the dates of vaccination, dates of autism diagnosis etc. The fact that he willfully refuses to learn does not mean that he is not ignorant.

    Thus, he fits the definition of “arrogance of ignorance”.

    His ignorance of science doesn’t necessarily make “Dr. Jay” a bad paediatrician – there are many, many excellent physicians who are as ignorant of scientific method as he is. However, he is an extremely poor scientist, and he should stop pretending to be one.

    Respectfully,

    Prometheus

  74. #74 LW
    August 22, 2010

    Dr. Gordon opines that high mercury levels contribute to autism. I wonder what basis he has, then, for denying children the protection of the MMR vaccine. I believe he’s been advised, on this blog if nowhere else, that the MMR vaccine does not contain Thimerosal, has never contained Thimerosal, and *cannot* ever contain Thimerosal because it is a live virus vaccine, and Thimerosal would destroy its effectiveness.

  75. #75 Jay Gordon
    August 23, 2010

    Err no, no you haven’t. There isn’t any. As you should well know. Money. money, money, that’s all your medical degree is to you, isn’t it, Dr Jay?

    Utter bollocks. Liar. Paid American Peaditrician – by the hour, by the treatment, by the illness. You’re a disgrace to the medical profession. And Penn and Teller got you exactly right.

    Finally!! AnthonyK has figured me out. I looked at all the various medical specialties and said, “No general surgery, dermatology or plastics for me! I’m going into pediatrics where the real money is.” Then, I figured out, “I won’t sell vaccines to my patients, I’ll just let them get small pox and measles so I can make my fortune treating these illnesses.”

    Incredible, sir! I’ve been undone.

    ————————–

    @ToddW May I also say that you’ve frightened me with your threats. My secret? The Google and the PubMed. Look up whatever you want. You can find facts and literature to support any point of view voiced in the previous 272 posts. Anything. Again: http://www.google.com or http://www.pubmed.com and you can proceed from there.

    @LW Are you new here?

    @Prometheus One of those few here who I respect inspite of our huge differences of opinion. Yes, I am a far better clinician than a researcher. But, when you look up “scientist” the first citation is “a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences.” That’s me, regarding pediatrics and that’s you regarding your specialty. Cross over discussions are less fruitful because I can never hope to know your discipline as well as you do and I doubt you know the practice of pediatrics as well as I do. Not arrogance. Just a fact.

  76. #76 Militant Agnostic
    August 23, 2010

    Jay says: “Chelation is a decades-old treatment for metal poisoning and if one believes that high levels of metals are causing a problem like autism it might be a reasonable treatment.”

    If one believed autism was caused by demonic possession then exorcism might be a reasonable treatment.

    If one believed that an autistic child was a “changeling” then Ordeal by Foxglove (giving the child a large does of digitalis and leaving them outside overnight) might be a reasonable treatment.

    The evidence that autism is not mercury poisoning is overwhelming.

    Jay says

    My secret? The Google and the PubMed. Look up whatever you want. You can find facts and literature to support any point of view voiced in the previous 272 posts. Anything. Again: http://www.google.com or http://www.pubmed.com and you can proceed from there.

    Try using Google Scholar instead for starters to exercise a little quality control. It will at least filter out the David Icke type sources. You are apparently confusing assertions by cranks with “facts”. Your argument is identical to that used by AGW denialists and HIV denialists. AGW denialists will dig up one contrarian climate scientist who doubts the consensus or one cherry picked picked piece of dubious data and claim that this outweighs the overwhelming consensus of the experts and the vast amount of evidence in support of AGW.

    We are used to anti-vax whackaloons supporting their “point of view” with pubmed citations to literature that actually contradicts their point of view. i.e. a member of the Mercury Militia will do a pubmed search using “mercury” & “autism” and then post a link to paper which shows there is no link between mercury and autism.

  77. #77 Todd W.
    August 23, 2010

    @Jay

    May I also say that you’ve frightened me with your threats.

    Hahaha. That’s funny, Dr. Jay. I assume you can point out where I have made a threat?

    My secret? The Google and the PubMed. Look up whatever you want. You can find facts and literature to support any point of view voiced in the previous 272 posts.

    Ugh! Let me put this simply, Dr. Jay. I am not psychic. No amount of my searching Google or PubMed or any other site, library or whatever will inform me of which sources you are using to support your position. And I will not deny that you can find opinions and literature to support any point of view voiced in this thread. I would argue that you cannot necessarily find facts (you know, truth, reality) that support certain views, but I’m willing to be shown differently.

    Now that you have sidestepped actually answering my questions, again, Dr. Jay, I guess I need to ask once more. Please provide the scientific sources that you use to support your recommendations. Oh, and please actually say what your recommendations are, since you still haven’t done that, either. And remember, I’m not psychic. I want to know what you use.

  78. #78 LW
    August 23, 2010

    No, Dr. Gordon, I’m not new. If I were new, I would have been surprised by your comment. Good of you, though, not to respond to my question about the MMR nor to defend your citing of minamata disease and Dr. Wetterhahn’s tragic fate to try to discourage vaccination.

  79. #79 pablo
    August 23, 2010

    I can believe Jay uses Google and PubMed as his sources. I mean, it’s not like he doesn’t know the scientific consensus on vaccines. He freely admits that his views are inconsistent with the consensus of ythe scientific community. He could very well be learning the consensus of the scientific community by reading the literature.

    He then subsequently ignores it, opting instead to rey on his super special own brand of science, which he learns from his 30 years of clinical experience and reinforces through google.

    How can you be the Maverick Doctor who Bucks the Establishment if you don’t keep tabs on the establishment?

  80. #80 Scott
    August 23, 2010

    Yes, I am a far better clinician than a researcher.

    Ironically, this might well be true. Even with deliberately leaving patients vulnerable to deadly diseases for absolutely no justifiable reason.

    After all, simple incompetence is “far better” than gross incompetence from a certain point of view.

  81. #81 Mu
    August 23, 2010

    My guess is there’s a google-antischolar function hidden somewhere, where you can filter search results for anything published in recognized journals or referenced in pubmed. Probably used the impact factor as secondary exclusion.
    mercury&autism -pubmed -IF>2

  82. #82 Vicki
    August 23, 2010

    Another thought on “unusual travel plans”: you’re also exposed to everyone who makes a connection at the same airport (you both stop for a burger, say, and sit near each other for a bit). One person flies from Africa to Montreal; they sit near me for a while, and then I fly to New York. Also, I took the Metro and a bus to the Montreal airport, and rode a crowded subway this morning. As far as I know, I’m not carrying anything contagious, but the whole point is that people often don’t know.

    Remember SARS? There were warnings based on any travel to or from two of the largest cities in North America.

    For some conditions, it should probably be the other way around: vaccinate unless you and your social circle, including coworkers and anyone who shops where you do, are unusually insular.

  83. #83 Orac
    August 23, 2010

    No, I’m a scientist and I know better than to blame the “one size fits all” camp for this aberration.

    Not this nonsense again!

    No, Dr. Jay. As we have discussed numerous times going back years, you are not a scientist. You have proven conclusively that you are not a scientist time and time again with your preferring anecdotes over epidemiology and clinical trials, your complete inability to recognize your own cognitive shortcomings (shared with all humans) of confirmation bias and confusing correlation with causation, and your repeated flagrant misinterpretation of scientific evidence and inability to accept that uncontrolled anecdotal evidence can very easily mislead even smart people if they don’t know why anecdotes so easily mislead–which you clearly don’t–particularly if you’re seeing only a small piece of the picture. Given that you’ve become the antivax-sympathetic pediatrician to the stars and woo-friendly Southern California clientele, you’re attracting parents to you who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism, giving you a skewed picture from the get-go.

    Please stop claiming to be a scientist. You are not one. I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings when this is pointed out, but just because you might not be happy about it is not a reason not to correct you when you make claims of expertise that are clearly unjustified. No, no, don’t pout. Learn from this. Learn why the way you look at evidence is not scientific. Learn about the cognitive quirks all humans share that lead us astray and how the scientific method can be used to minimize their effects on coming to conclusions. In short, learn the scientific method and the science–and not from AoA or the other anti-vaxers with whom you hang out. Learn it from real scientists.

  84. #84 Rogue Medic
    August 23, 2010

    @ 226 Dr. Gordon,

    -vaccines must be safer,

    Who is suggesting that vaccines are as safe as they possibly could be?

    Nothing is completely safe. Exposing people to significant risks, just to protect against an insignificant, or imaginary, risk is a mistake.

    We do know a lot about vaccine safety. One thing that we do know is that there is no good reason to believe that vaccines cause autism. Since there is no good reason to believe that vaccines cause autism, we should not continue to spend time on this thoroughly investigated and discredited hypothesis.

    The continued assertion that vaccines cause autism is bad for vaccine safety and bad for understanding autism. Since there is no good evidence that vaccines cause autism, in spite of a lot of research looking for this connection, continuing to claim that vaccines cause autism, is just denying reality.

    The resources available to study ways of improving vaccine safety are limited, so diverting time, money, and people to denying reality is a bad thing. The same is true of autism – diverting resources from research that may be productive is harmful to those with autism.

    Your claims are unsupportable.

    Autism research, just as any other medical condition, does not get as much funding as it should. Your claims discourage autism research.

    Who wants to give money to fund research, when the people calling for the research are loudly stating that they do not understand research? As long as the focus is on vaccines causing autism, you are discouraging autism research.

    more judiciously administered

    There probably is a better schedule for giving vaccines. I doubt that the current schedule is perfect.

    That does not mean that any modified schedule, based on the faulty presumption that vaccines cause autism, is even close to being as good as the current schedule.

    Using a discredited explanation to modify a science-based schedule is a bad idea.

    and will continue to contribute to large problems in children unless something’s changed-

    And that is a gigantic faulty assumption.

    If vaccines did contribute to large problems in children, the research by the many different organizations would have found something. The many different studies did not find any such contribution.

    You started commenting to state that you are not anti-vaccine. You follow that with comments showing that you do not look at vaccination objectively.

    You approach vaccines as if they are harmful.

    You repeatedly show that you approach vaccination with a very strong bias, even though there is plenty of well done research showing that vaccines do not contribute to large problems in children.

    This is one of the purposes of research – to eliminate, as much as possible – the influence of any kind of bias.

    Denying the validity of this research, in favor of what feels right, is denying reality.
    .

  85. #85 Bronze Dog
    August 23, 2010

    I’m eyerolling at the complete ignorance of why we consider science important. Here’s the situtation:

    Skeptics: Science is based on the idea that everyone makes mistakes, so we have to guard against those mistakes. Being human, we’re particularly prone to certain kinds of mistakes like confirmation bias, etcetera. Because we’re all human, we have to do all sorts of things to avoid those mistakes.

    Jay Gordon: No! I have gone beyond human limitations! I am a GOD! That’s why I can rely on anecdotes and my memory of them! I’m not like you puny mortals! I deserve to have my own brand of no-effort science because I am above you! I can’t make mistakes, therefore I should be able to skip all those hoops you want everyone to jump through!

  86. #86 triskelethecat
    August 23, 2010

    @Jen in TX: Hi, Jen. I guess I didn’t realize that was a recommendation in 1987. I did pre-medicate my daughters before DPTs back in the late 80s and early 90s but I don’t recall what I used! IIRC, I had samples from our peds for Advil as well as Tylenol (I may have even had baby aspirin liquid).

    Don’t know what Dr Jay will say; since he seems to advocate against vaccines in his office, he may not have an opinion. I’ll check back to see if he answers you.

    Hope all is going well with you, you’ve been absent from the forums for a while and I’ve wondered if you were OK.

  87. #87 Sauceress
    August 23, 2010

    So I’m reading through the comments and I start picking up what appears to be the strong odor of dirty socks…possibly combined with alcohol drenched breath…

    #244 augustine
    [Is Jay suggesting that the mainstream medical establishment would ridicule him? If he put his findings in a decent medical journal and they held up to scrutiny, Dr. Gordon would be famous beyond measure.]
    Just like Ignaz Semmelweis? Yes after his peers persecuted, belittled, and ridiculed him. And after he was dead. No matter how concrete his evidence is.

    #249 Jay Gordon
    You are too amazingly unintelligent and low-minded for anyone to take you seriously..
    Have a very nice Sunday,
    Jay
    Posted by: Jay Gordon 

    #251
    Too many typos! I’ll try one more time.
    J
    You are too amazingly unintelligent and low-minded for anyone to take you seriously..

    #257
    @Dangerous Pork Product I agree: Pediatricians’ offices are usually filled with sneezing children. Stay away when you can…..
    …..
    Jay
    Posted by: Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP

    261 #Jay Gordon
    Going for 300.
    @Dangerous Bacon Sincere apologies for not taking your username seriously. (Same to you Toad)
    Best,
    Jay

    #262 augustine
    Stop clutching your pearls, mommy. It is perfectly consistent with the modus operandi of science blog regulars. Don’t act like your fellow vaccine coercion groupies don’t do it.
    Posted by: augustine | August 22, 2010 8:32 PM

    #273 Jay Gordon 
    Finally!! AnthonyK has figured me out. I looked at all the various medical specialties and said, “No general surgery, dermatology or plastics for me! I’m going into pediatrics where the real money is.” Then, I figured out, “I won’t sell vaccines to my patients, I’ll just let them get small pox and measles so I can make my fortune treating these illnesses.”
    Incredible, sir! I’ve been undone.

    @LW Are you new here?

    So do we have a major, in the words of DLC, sock puppet theater here? Is my sense of smell out of whack? I have been in the lab a lot lately. Style and rhetoric? Opinions?

  88. #88 Sauceress
    August 23, 2010

    Either way…
    @ “augustine”
    You should cut down drinking and/or over medicating before you drown in it jack.

  89. #89 Composer99
    August 23, 2010

    @ Sauceress:

    I’m wouldn’t go so far to say that augustine is a sockpuppet of Jay Gordon.

    The former has a thing about equating philosophical skepticism with atheism, which Dr Gordon does not seem to share, at least not when be comments on this blog (I trust Dr Gordon will correct me if he does indeed have a thing for equating philosophical skepticism with atheism).

    And distorting names for personal amusement is a widely practiced technique, hardly unique to trolls or pediatricians with objectionable standpoints on the present state of evidence on, say, vaccines (although the trolls, at least, are very quick off the mark with such behaviour if augustine is any guide).

  90. #90 Science Mom
    August 23, 2010

    Science Mommy:

    “Reducing yourself to infantile derogating of someone’s username? How honourable.”

    Stop clutching your pearls, mommy. It is perfectly consistent with the modus operandi of science blog regulars. Don’t act like your fellow vaccine coercion groupies don’t do it.

    I owe Sauceress my thanks for bringing this to my attention; I guess I just don’t notice you any more augie, like the droning of a clock. I’m not surprised that you need this to be explained to you but Dr. Jay is repeatedly complaining about how meeeeaaannnn we are and is supposed to be a professional (notice how he always signs off). And in the same breath, speaks of honour whilst denigrating someone’s username.

  91. #91 Jen in TX
    August 23, 2010

    Hi Dawn,
    I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for an answer to my questions from Dr. Jay if I were you. He has ignored my questions to him about Tylenol in the past, and I fully expect that he’ll continue that trend.

    (I’ve been hangin’ around, by the way, just not posting lately-busy with other things, but thanks for thinking of me.)

  92. #92 Jay Gordon
    August 23, 2010

    Acetaminophen interferes with vaccines’ effectiveness and is no longer recommended.

    @ triskelethecat I don’t advocate against vaccines in my office, I exchange information with parents, and advocate strongly against the way vaccines are scheduled. Obviously, you know that I give fewer vaccines than most pediatricians do.

    You guys are getting awfully repetitive up there. And, no, I will not do your Google and PubMed homework for you. I’m too busy working.

    Let’s all stop at #300.

    Jay

  93. #93 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 23, 2010

    You guys are getting awfully repetitive up there. And, no, I will not do your Google and PubMed homework for you. I’m too busy working.

    Hahahahahaha!

    No, Dr. Jay. That juvenile trick won’t work. This is not our homework. It’s you that was called upon to do your work, by backing up the claims you yourself chose to make.

  94. #94 Todd W.
    August 23, 2010

    @Jay

    I don’t advocate against vaccines in my office

    Well, earlier you stated that you “vaccinate none of my patients against rubella unless they have very unusual travel plans” (emphasis yours), which means you also do not vaccinate against measles or mumps (since individual vaccines are no longer available), unless they have “unusual” travel plans. You tell parents that “the current vaccination schedule is not safe enough”. So far, that sounds an awful lot like you advocate against vaccines.

    And, no, I will not do your Google and PubMed homework for you.

    Okay, Dr. Jay, you owe me for the medical costs of getting my eyes back in place after they rolled skyward at this statement. Either you are really dense or you are intentionally avoiding providing your sources. My guess is the latter, as you probably do not have any sources to support your recommendations (which you still have not clearly stated).

    Once again, Dr. Jay, we are not psychic. There maybe the emphasis will actually get you to read that this time. As I said before, we can go look around all we want at Google or PubMed or wherever else, but that (more emphasis for you) does not tell us which sources you are using. Is that clear? I’m not asking you to do my homework; I am asking you to show your work.

    You see, it’s pretty simple. If we go out and find some article and list it here, asking if it was a source that you used because it seems to support your position, you can just say “Oh, no. I didn’t use that source”. Now, if you tell us what sources you used, then there is no guesswork.

    I’m too busy working.

    Ahhh, I see. See, I thought, since, y’know, you’re a scientist and all, that you would actually have relatively easily to hand the scientific basis for your recommendations. I mean, I’m no scientist, but I’m at least willing to provide citations to support claims that I make. But I guess it works differently for scientists, huh?

    A question to some of the other scientists here: do you generally provide citations for your arguments? I just want to make sure, since Dr. Jay seems to suggest that scientists don’t need to do that.

  95. #95 Orac
    August 23, 2010

    Did Dr. Jay actually pull the old “look it up for yourself” gambit? I can’t believe it. That’s about as pathetic as it gets, and I honestly wouldn’t have expected Dr. Jay to stoop that low.

  96. #96 Todd W.
    August 23, 2010

    @Orac

    Yeah…I think he did. I can almost imagine the following conversation with the good doctor:

    Dr. Jay: I have an invisible, fire-breathing dragon in my garage.
    Average Joe: Uh, okay. What evidence do you have for that?
    Dr. Jay: I’m not going to do your homework for you. You need to go find the evidence that there’s an invisible, fire-breathing dragon in my garage. I have work to do. [Exit SR]

  97. #97 Dr. Kay
    August 23, 2010

    You guys are getting awfully repetitive up there. And, no, I will not do your Google and PubMed homework for you. I’m too busy working.

    Translation:

    Science? What science? I’m supposed to bluff you into providing the studies. There must be evidence to prove that evidence is bad!!11!!?!!!

  98. #98 Todd W.
    August 23, 2010

    Just thought of a better analogy:

    [Dr. Jay hands in his math homework with only the problems and some answers.]

    Math Teacher: Jay, you need to show your work. How did you get these answers?
    Dr. Jay: It’s in math books. Look it up.

    [Math Teacher gives Dr. Jay a low score for failing to show his work, let alone getting the answers wrong.]

  99. #99 Dangerous Bacon
    August 23, 2010

    Jay says: “And, no, I will not do your Google and PubMed homework for you.”

    Well, this is just unfair and mean. All those articles that would change our minds, and Jay won’t share. Beyond that, Jay refuses to pass on his own utterly convincing evidence. He’s got all that fantastic, tantalizing data supposedly backing up his antivax claims but that he won’t reveal to the public, as mentioned in his “open letter on vaccinations” that was making the rounds of antivax sites awhile back:

    “I have watched children getting or not getting vaccines for thirty years. I won’t publish my data because I have none suitable for “peer review.” I can tell you that my very strong impression is that children with the fewest vaccines, or no vaccines at all, get sick less frequently and are healthier in general. I truly believe they also develop less autism and other “persistent developmental delays.”

    As Steve Novella notes, Jay has a surprisingly negative view of science (for someone who calls himself a “scientist”).

    “He reassures us that he has the data to back up his controversial claims, however. But nothing he can publish. We’ll just have to trust him. Notice the quotes around “peer review.” What does that mean? Is he denigrating all peer-review? This is not surprising. He is telling the public not to listen to science. Do not listen to the consensus of scientific opinion built upon published “peer-reviewed” data. Listen to his “very strong impressions.” He’s the guru. He knows best.”

    This is very typical behavior of alt med/woo enthusiasts in general when it comes to science. “Don’t believe it! Trust my anecdotes instead. Science is corrupt and crooked and wrong. Oh, and to prove my claims here’s an article I cherry-picked out of the Annals of Crockery. You can believe that science. But don’t trust the science that says I’m wrong.”

    A suggestion – perhaps Jay can take the time he spends name-calling and obfuscating on message boards, and use that to compile his “data” into publishable form. Medical Hypotheses or the Journal of Irreproducible Results might take it, for a small fee.

  100. #100 Militant Agnostic
    August 24, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon

    A suggestion – perhaps Jay can take the time he spends name-calling and obfuscating on message boards, and use that to compile his “data” into publishable form. Medical Hypotheses or the Journal of Irreproducible Results might take it, for a small fee.

    You forgot about JPANDS where Shaken Baby Syndrome is considered to be a misdiagnoses of “Vaccine Injury”.

    Perhaps Jay’s reluctance to provide links to his sources is because unlike the run of the mill antivax trolls we see here (who often do provide links when pressed), he is aware that they don’t support his conclusions.

  101. #101 Militant Agnostic
    August 24, 2010

    @Militant Agnostic By the way, were you part of the group who threw Richard Dawkins under the bus? I understand science and statistics very well, thank you. I am aware that an attorney might ponder why there seem to be so many criminals in this world . . . I do not claim statistical significance, lack of bias or the ability to quantify and publish. I merely claim to be in possession of lots of experience and years of observation. (Oh God, there I go again!)

    WTF does Richard Dawkins have to do with anything?

    I am the wrong person to play the experience card with. I got into my specialization of Pressure Transient Analysis (of oil & gas well tests) because very early in my career I discovered that what the engineers with 20 – 30 years experience were telling me was bullshit. They had memorized equations and techniques without understanding the theory and assumptions underlying them. One of my favorite lines from a movie comes from the The Flight of the Phoenix when the designer of the Phoenix (an airplane built from the wreckage of an airplane that has crashed in the desert) tells the pilot “you have experienced everything and learned nothing”.

  102. #102 Jen in TX
    August 24, 2010

    Acetaminophen interferes with vaccines’ effectiveness and is no longer recommended.”

    I can assure you that this practice is still occurring. Perhaps you could do more to spread the word? The overuse of acetaminophen is huge problem in this country, wouldn’t you agree?

  103. #103 Jay Gordon
    August 25, 2010

    Honestly, I had planned to quit at #300 but Militant Agnostic dragged me back for just one more. He/she says above:

    “I am the wrong person to play the experience card with. I got into my specialization of Pressure Transient Analysis (of oil & gas well tests) because very early in my career I discovered that what the engineers with 20 – 30 years experience were telling me was bullshit. They had memorized equations and techniques without understanding the theory and assumptions underlying them.”

    What a fantastic argument on “my” side! Above are a few dozen people who have never practiced medicine, a couple who have and no one besides me who has practiced pediatrics. Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you. That’s OK: Talk about something else like the equations and techniques you’ve memorized and leave the real battleground to those of us who’ve been there for decades.

    Thank you, Militant Agnostic.

    Yes, acetaminophen use is a problem. Glutathione loss is dangerous for children with fragile hemoglobin syndrome, autism and other medical conditions.

    Best,

    Jay

  104. #104 AnthonyK
    August 25, 2010

    Ah yes indeed. The only person here who makes money out of childhood diseases convinces himself that he has bested those who don’t – on the subject of vaccines!
    And all because he said what he really thinks on Penn and Teller (did you think you’d look good on a programme called “Penn & Teller’s bullshit” – come to that, do your think you’re looking good here?)
    Clearly, vanity vies with ignorance and greed to be Dr Jay’s
    worst sin…

  105. #105 Chris
    August 25, 2010

    I am between jaunts while on vacation and noticed this was never answered by Dr. Jay:

    Did you vaccinate with the MMR thirty years ago? (next year it will have been in use for forty years) Or did you decide to believe Wakefield’s fraudulent research?

    And don’t even mention mercury!

    Interesting how this all played out, while catching up on the comments I had a little jingle playing in my head.

    I will still think Dr. Jay does it all for the $$$$ until he comes up with some answers on the order of these (and remember, there is always pertussis and some ugly article in Salon about an LA doctor rushing into a hospital to take care of a pediatric patient never vaccinated with the DTaP):

    Economic Evaluation of the 7-Vaccine Routine Childhood Immunization Schedule in the United States, 2001
    Zhou F, Santoli J, Messonnier ML, Yusuf HR, Shefer A, Chu SY, Rodewald L, Harpaz R.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159:1136-1144.

    An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.
    Zhou F, Reef S, Massoudi M, Papania MJ, Yusuf HR, Bardenheier B, Zimmerman L, McCauley MM.
    J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.

    Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic.
    Chavez GF, Ellis AA.
    West J Med. 1996 Jul-Aug;165(1-2):20-5.

    Measles epidemic from failure to immunize.
    Dales LG, Kizer KW, Rutherford GW, Pertowski CA, Waterman SH, Woodford G.
    West J Med. 1993 Oct;159(4):455-64.

    So, until Dr. Jay responds with similar cites… we all know he will continue to refuse to practice preventative medicine to bolster his bottom line: because sick kids mean more cash!

  106. #106 Sauceress
    August 25, 2010

    Or did you decide to believe Wakefield’s fraudulent research?

    The following quote from Jay’s site offers a resounding answer to that question…

    http://drjaygordon.com/miscellaneous/autismone.html

    May 30, 2010
    AutismOne
    I spent Saturday at an incredible conference in Chicago. Any thoughts I ever had about wavering in my support of Andrew Wakefield have dissolved.
    Jay

  107. #107 Sauceress
    August 25, 2010

    #301 Jay Gordon

    Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you.

    Yes yes yes Jay…so you endlessly repeat.
    To wit..

    I’m not sure who invented the hierarchy which places anecdotal evidence at the bottom but I have invented a second hierarchy which places it higher. I have as much support for my hierarchy as you have for yours.

    So it logically follows that you must have, surely after 30yrs, by now built up a solid detailed hypothesis outlining a proposed mechanism of action underpinning your continuing implication of vaccines in the onset of autism?

    In the meantime, I’m sure “your” side will be reading the following news with the utmost satisfaction…
    Medicos fear measles timebomb

  108. #108 Sauceress
    August 25, 2010

    By the way, (sorry for the triple posting…so little time…so much to say :p), militant agnostic’s comment/experience certainly doesn’t translate on to research in areas of biochemistry, molecular biology or pharmacology. If you’re not keeping up on the latest information combined with the exponentially evolving techniques and technology employed in these areas…forget it.

  109. #109 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    August 25, 2010

    “What a fantastic argument on “my” side! Above are a few dozen people who have never practiced medicine, a couple who have and no one besides me who has practiced pediatrics. Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you. That’s OK: Talk about something else like the equations and techniques you’ve memorized and leave the real battleground to those of us who’ve been there for decades.”

    Those of us who work with Children know that when you see a Doctor stating this, you need to be afraid that some little guy is going to end up dead. You know, the kind of guy who sees “Little Adults”.

  110. #110 Sauceress
    August 25, 2010

    Arrrgh! “Medicos fear measles time bomb” was a wrong link.

    I can’t seem to find the original link again…but here’s another on the same story.
    Measles outbreak in northern NSW and Queensland

    Of course if there were any anti-vaxxers in that McDonalds their psychic abilities would have warned them to keep their kids away from others after they had moved on from there.

    Northern NSW being the AVN stronghold.

  111. #111 LW
    August 25, 2010

    Silly Sauceress! Why are you worried about the Children?

    Measles is only contagious in countries where it is endemic. Antivax parents need not worry about their children catching measles unless they have very unusual travel plans. And after all, once a disease is declared “not endemic” in a country, like Great Britain, we can all heave a sigh of relief and stop vaccinating, secure in the knowledge that the disease can never become established in that country agan.

    Clearly this article is just fear-mongering to help greedy pediatricians make money by providing free vaccinations.

  112. #112 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 25, 2010

    If I understand Dr. Jay correctly, he’s claiming the following is an argument for his side:
    They had memorized equations and techniques without understanding the theory and assumptions underlying them.”

    1) Understanding the theory of what you’re doing and the assumptions underlying that theory is better than merely having equations and techniques memorized.
    2) (unstated premise)
    3) Therefore, Dr. Jay’s 30 years of practicing pediatrics makes him more of an expert on anything to do with pediatrics than his critics and means he understands “the whole vaccine/autism issue” where it “eludes” his critics.

    Apart from any other problems with the syllogism, the unstated premise must be either “One cannot practice pediatrics for 30 years without understanding the theory of what you’re doing and the assumptions behind it,” or “30 years of practicing pediatrics will give you an understanding of theory and its underpinnings.” Both these premises are easily disproven and Dr. Jay’s “fantastic argument” is, indeed, “fantastic.” In the “flight of fantasy” sense.

  113. #113 Pablo
    August 25, 2010

    Above are a few dozen people who have never practiced medicine, a couple who have and no one besides me who has practiced pediatrics. Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it.

    Not surprisingly, I interpret the facts a little differently. A few dozen people who have never practiced medicine, a couple who have, and they are the ones who have to teach the moron who has “cared for children for a long, long time” about vaccination.

    Kind of like how the people here schooled you about chelation and the stimulated urine testing, right Jay? Apparently, all your experience didn’t help you in that regard, either.

    BTW, how do you advise your patients these days when they tell you they want to do those procedures? For some reason, I’m guessing that despite the level to which your ignorant giraffe underoos were exposed, it hasn’t affected your practice one bit. Please tell me I am wrong…

  114. #114 Scott
    August 25, 2010

    What a fantastic argument on “my” side! Above are a few dozen people who have never practiced medicine, a couple who have and no one besides me who has practiced pediatrics. Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you. That’s OK: Talk about something else like the equations and techniques you’ve memorized and leave the real battleground to those of us who’ve been there for decades.

    It seems to have escaped your notice that you’re one of those who just memorize and apply without understanding. Given how many gross factual errors you make, any claims that you “get it” are laughable.

    My cats “get it” better than you do. At least by the standard that they’re not implicitly advocating mass murder.

  115. #115 Calli Arcale
    August 25, 2010

    I asked my dad for his opinion a while back. He did pediatrics for at least as long as Dr Jay (though he was a family practice doc, and did more than just pediatrics). He thinks the vaccine-autism connection is complete and utter baloney. In addition to having his patients get vaccinated, he also personally vaccinated all of his children (including me). We do have learning disorders in the family, but they are pretty obviously family traits; you can see them even in the grandparents.

    Experience is very valuable. But why restrict yourself to only your *own* experience, Dr Jay? The great and awesome thing about humans, which sets us apart from all other animals on Earth, is that we can share our experiences in a very deep way, that goes beyond teaching our offspring where to find water or how to fish for termites with a twig. We can share *abstractions*. Dr Jay, you are content to go with your own experience alone, but why limit yourself so? There are many thousands of other pediatricians in this country alone. You could benefit from their experience as well, thus transforming yourself from someone with 30 years experience to someone with the knowledge of centuries worth of experience. Granted, your approach is much more traditional. Go back a few hundred years, and professional knowledge was a tightly guarded secret handed down from father to son and master to apprentice, to protect the trade. But that seriously limited the potential for growth, because you could only learn from one person plus your own experience; by the modern model, you can learn from hundreds of people!

    But then, if you are content with your business model as it stands today, perhaps you don’t have much incentive. Not all doctors are motivated to improve; many think they’ve already achieved perfection, or are content with their current level of expertise, or are simply not capable of advancing further. It may be a variant of the Peter Principle, only in a field where there is not much of a promotion ladder.

  116. #116 Todd W.
    August 25, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    Dr Jay, you are content to go with your own experience alone, but why limit yourself so?

    Oh, but he doesn’t go by his experience alone. He also goes with the experience of the thousands of kids and families in his practice. Even though they “never practiced medicine [and have not] practiced pediatrics,” they, somehow, “really get it,” while we, being lowly skeptics, just don’t.

    I mean, what do they do that we do not? Oh yeah, they keep themselves unaware of the current science. If only we did that, too, then we could be as fabulous and all-knowing as Dr. Jay himself!

  117. #117 Pablo
    August 25, 2010

    Jay always reminds me of Steve Martin doing Theodoric of York on SNL

    Jay Gordon of York: Medieval Barber

    Hunchback: [ pulls Drunkard forward in a cart ] Is this Jay Gordon, Barber of York?

    Jay Gordon of York: Say, don’t I know you?

    Hunchback: Sure, you worked on my back.

    Jay Gordon of York: What’s wrong with your friend here?

    Hunchback: He broke his legs.

    Drunkard: I was at the festival of the vernal equinox, and I guess I had a little too much mead.. and I darted out in front of an oxcart. It all happened so fast. They couldn’t stop in time.

    Jay Gordon of York: Well, you’ll a lot better after a good bleeding.

    Drunkard: But I’m bleeding already!

    Jay Gordon of York: Say, who’s the barber here?

    Hey, he’s a doctor with all that experience…

    Joan: Dead! Dead! I can’t believe it! My little daughter dead!

    Jay Gordon of York: Now, Mrs. Miller, you’re distraught, tired.. you may be suffering from nervous exhaustion. I think you’d feel better if I let some of your blood.

    Joan: You charlatan! You killed my daughter, just like you killed most of my other children! Why don’t you admit it! You don’t know what you’re doing!

    Jay Gordon of York: [ steps toward the camera ] Wait a minute. Perhaps she’s right. Perhaps I’ve been wrong to blindly follow the medical traditions and superstitions of past centuries. Maybe we barbers should test these assumptions analytically, through experimentation and a “scientific method”. Maybe this scientific method could be extended to other fields of learning: the natural sciences, art, architecture, navigation. Perhaps I could lead the way to a new age, an age of rebirth, a Renaissance! [ thinks for a minute ] Naaaaaahhh!

  118. #118 Jen in TX
    August 25, 2010

    “Yes, acetaminophen use is a problem.”

    How do you know that acetaminophen use isn’t the problem?

    Again, I’ll point out that the ACIP recommended in 1987 that acetaminophen be used in tandem with DPT vaccinations for kids with a family history of seizures, based on one preliminary study. Subsequent studies have failed to find any benefit from this practice, and knowing what we know about the toxicity of acetaminophen, it is reckless and irresponsible for it to continue.

    Since that time, we have seen a huge upswing in children with ASD (as well as asthma, eczema and allergies, which have also been linked to acetaminophen.) A recent paper shows an increase in AD cumulative incidence beginning 1988-1989, one year after that recommendation was made. Throw in the Reye’s Syndrome warning in the years prior to that, which virtually eliminated acetaminophen’s competitor, aspirin, the increase in the marketing of Tylenol after the tampering scares in 1982 and 1986, warnings on aspirin and ibuprofen use during pregnancy, the increase in the use (and abuse) of acetaminophen containing narcotics, widespread ignorance of the dangers of acetaminophen overuse, and why oh why are you still droning on about vaccines, when there are certainly much more harmful substances to be worried about here?

  119. #119 Dangerous Bacon
    August 25, 2010

    Jay says: “Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you. That’s OK: Talk about something else like the equations and techniques you’ve memorized and leave the real battleground to those of us who’ve been there for decades.”

    “Those of us” like the vast majority of pediatricians, whose training and personal experience have taught them the value of vaccination, who reject a false vaccine-autism connection and who keep their own children fully immunized?

    Jay knows full well that’s he’s a fringe player out of touch with his own profession as well as its scientific basis. That’s why I can’t buy the “arrogance of ignorance” excuse.

    Going back to the Penn & Teller video, I was struck the other day by how, as he ages, Jay Gordon is coming to resemble a better known medical outcast. Look at Jay in the video and compare him to this fellow and see what you think.

    Separated at birth?

  120. #120 Pablo
    August 25, 2010

    Jay knows full well that’s he’s a fringe player out of touch with his own profession as well as its scientific basis.

    Come on, he even explicitly said so in the P&T show!

    He knows damn well what the scientific consensus among his colleagues is, and denies it. And then claims that he has special insight because he is a doctor, and dismiss our opinions (which agree with the consensus of his colleagues) on the grounds that we are only peons.

  121. #121 Militant Agnostic
    August 25, 2010

    Way to miss the point Jay – I learned that what I was being told by the experienced engineers was BS by reading the peer reviewed scientific papers and an SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) Monograph. The authors of these papers were well known names in the field of Pressure Transient Analysis and not fringe players.

    Calli @313 The Soaring Association of Canada’s magazine used to publish incident and accident reports in a feature called Crocodile Corner – The name came from a quotation of an African Chief who said “We have seen others eaten by Crocodiles and have learned from their experience.” There is something to be said for broadening you experience base to include other people.

  122. #122 Jay Gordon
    August 26, 2010

    “How do you know that acetaminophen use isn’t the problem?”

    Jen, I’ll go with that as evidence in need of investigation.

    Good thought.

    Jay

  123. #123 Todd W.
    August 26, 2010

    Oh, good. Dr. Jay’s still around. I was fearing that since we passed the 300 comment mark he wasn’t going to answer my questions.

    So, Jay, how about it?

  124. #124 Orac
    August 26, 2010

    Since Dr. Jay’s still around, perhaps he’d be willing to answer some of these questions:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/some_excellent_questions_for_reporters.php

    After all, if we think that science and health reporters should be able to answer those questions, self-proclaimed “scientist” Dr. Jay ought to have no problem answering them.

  125. #125 Scott
    August 26, 2010

    “How do you know that acetaminophen use isn’t the problem?”

    Jen, I’ll go with that as evidence in need of investigation.

    Possibly the single best demonstration yet (which takes quite a bit of doing) that Jay hasn’t the faintest clue what the word “evidence” means.

    He seems to have discarded the backhoe for digging himself in deeper, in favor of an oil-drilling rig.

  126. #126 Anonymous
    August 26, 2010

    Dr. Jay: “I lost ten pounds with Kirstie’s stuff. Not being paid but I am happy to advise my friend of nearly twenty years. And, no, I am not a Scientologist even though it certainly makes as much sense as most other religions.”

    Not-a-Scientologist-but is the world’s fastest growing religion.

    Lot of good ideas in Dianetics, eh? And that psychiatry, man, is it bullshit or what?

  127. #127 Chris
    August 26, 2010

    Well, he never answered whether or not he gave the MMR willingly between starting practicing pediatrics up to almost twenty later when Wakefield had his self-serving press release (which misrepresented what his study was, and caused a furor over a vaccine he did not really study).

    He really really needs to retire.

  128. #128 Scott
    August 26, 2010

    He really really needs to retire.

    I’d prefer thrown in jail, but retire would do.

  129. #129 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 26, 2010

    Until you’ve cared for children for a long, long time, you’ll never really get it. The whole vaccine/autism issue will elude you. That’s OK: Talk about something else like the equations and techniques you’ve memorized and leave the real battleground to those of us who’ve been there for decades.

    “We don’t need no steenkin’ evidence!”

    Every year in Canada, a few doctors get called up before their licensing boards because they are deemed to lack sufficient up-to-date knowledge to practice medicine safely. Their defense sounds remarkably like the above paragraph.

  130. #130 Chris
    August 26, 2010

    I gave up trying to tell him to get some continuing medical education credits, especially after some recent Dr. Crislip writings on the CMEs with added quackery.

    He did change his tone about HIV/AIDS after the death of child seen in his office. I just hope it does not happen to another one of his well-heeled patients before he understands how his stance on vaccines is so ridiculous.

  131. #131 Sauceress
    August 28, 2010

    #325
    Chris

    Well, he never answered

    I’ve noticed Jay never answers any questions unless he thinks he can somehow thread an anti-vaxx sales pitch into his answer.

  132. #132 June
    September 1, 2010

    Why did they show a topless woman at the end?

  133. #133 Todd W.
    September 1, 2010

    @June

    Why did they show a topless woman at the end?

    Almost every episode they do has some nudity in it. My guess is to appeal to the young male demographic. Also, they were driving home the point that one of the biggest voices of the current anti-vaccine movement is former Playboy model, Jenny McCarthy. So, they got their own Playboy model to tell people to vaccinate.

  134. #134 Carl
    January 8, 2011

    It doesn’t sound like Dr. Jay said half of a sentence before that quote.

    If he DID say “I am not saying ___”, then the rest of his statement wouldn’t make any sense (“at odds…” and “flat out lie…”).

    Sounds like he’s full of it.

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