Respectful Insolence

Even Boopsie gets it:

i-5c60dedd3b5e01114c4c8c511f9809d8-doonesburypreview.jpg

it’s good to note how those holding anti-vaccine viewpoints are being increasingly viewed as punchlines. That is how it should be.

Comments

  1. #1 jenbphillips
    February 20, 2011

    Excellent. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see the antivax legions become as marginalized as, say, the moon-landing denialists.

  2. #2 redacted
    February 20, 2011

    What a wonderful sight to wake up to…
    that is all that needs saying really.

  3. #3 MikeMa
    February 20, 2011

    I’ve already printed this for inclusion on the break room wall along with several other pro-vax funnies. So far, no vandalism except where I post comics marginalizing Palin.

  4. #4 red rabbit
    February 20, 2011

    And yet, it continues: new mom, granola to the core, who I have managed to convince that vaccinating her child with routine vaccines is safe; when I say flushot, because your baby is too young, and there are outbreaks and people are dying, so we need to vaccinate the healthy adults to reduce transmission rates, she balks at vaccinating herself.

    Head asplodey.

  5. #5 Lynn Wilhelm
    February 20, 2011

    I actually got to read Doonesbury in the paper this morning. Thought of you right away, Orac. Knew you’d be happy.

  6. #6 lilady
    February 20, 2011

    You made my day! I nominate Trudeau for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

  7. #7 SC (Salty Current)
    February 20, 2011

    Just putting this in the newest thread in case no one’s mentioned it: Dateline NBC tonight at 7 (Eastern) is about Suzanne Somers’ promotion of CAM.

  8. #8 lilady
    February 20, 2011

    @ SC (Salty Current) I spotted the preview on Somer’s CAM for cancer treatment and it’s going to be a double-header…Andrew Weil is scheduled as well on Dateline NBC tonight

  9. #9 Orac
    February 20, 2011

    Gonna have to DVR it. No time tonight. I’m working on a grant. Fear not, though, there is something for tomorrow. It’s just that I don’t have time tonight to watch Dateline and the write something up for tomorrow.

  10. #10 lilady
    February 20, 2011

    Orac, we knew we could count on you. Whilst you are busy on your grant, your minions will be taking detailed notes. BTW, Dr. Susan Snyderman interviews Somers in the preview I saw.

  11. #11 SC (Salty Current)
    February 20, 2011

    Wait…was she at home or at a restaurant when the Valley Fever struck?

  12. #12 SC (Salty Current)
    February 20, 2011

    Four daily coffee enemas!

  13. #13 SC (Salty Current)
    February 20, 2011

    They just showed this blog!

  14. #14 Narad
    February 20, 2011

    Yah, hilarity, or something like it, @:55.

  15. #15 G.D.
    February 20, 2011

    I nominate Trudeau for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

    … but for the love of the world, make sure you include his first name “Gary” when you submit the nomination.

  16. #16 Chemmomo
    February 20, 2011

    BTW, it’s Garry. Two R’s. I’ve always (since starting reading his strips back in the 80s when I was in high school) found the spelling odd, or I would not have noticed. Various on line bios note it’s short for Garretson.

  17. #17 Iason Ouabache
    February 20, 2011

    Was there a time that Trudeau wasn’t reality based when it comes to vaccines? I seem to remember a strip making fun of Creationism/Intelligent Design from about 5 yeasr ago that implied that vaccines were good.

  18. #18 tresmal
    February 20, 2011

    Iason Ouabache: Are you thinking of this?

  19. #19 DLC
    February 21, 2011

    I don’t often read Gary Trudeau, but this was funny.

  20. #20 Sid Offit
    February 21, 2011

    Doonesbury, as relevant as a paleolithic cave painting

  21. #21 Sid Offit
    February 21, 2011

    I can’t wait till Archie and Jughead weigh in.

  22. #22 Helen Rainey
    February 21, 2011

    My third child was severely adversely affected (with bowel obstruction) immediately AFTER consuming the Rotateq oral vaccine (even the doctors admitted to it being the direct cause) when she was born 3 years ago.

    Before this incident, I vaccinated with blind faith and didn’t question the good doctors even for a minute as tray after tray of multiple injections would end up inside my kids.

    I don’t care what you guys say on this blog page (I’m not a doctor nor a scientist but I do know my child better than any doctor that spends less than 3 minutes with me and then sends in the nurse with the tray full of neuro-toxic JUNK to jam into my kid’s muscles.)

    Whooops! Don’t forget to sign that legal disclaimer/release form first, lady.

    I even ask these docs in the white lab coats, “WHY do we have to sign off on these forms if these vaccines are so perfectly and utterly (and unquestionably SAFE???) They never give me an answer. Never.

    Their silence has always been my answer.

    When pressed by me, they simply state that they are a fully vaccinating practice and that one cannot decline, delay or heaven forbid “pick or choose”.

    My kid can build her own natural immunities as opposed to the artificial ones marketed by the big pharmaceuticals. {Hey, I guess those yachts in the south of France don’t power themselves on just good looks alone. There’s MONEY to be made here people!! Chop chop, scare parents half to DEATH that their children will DIE if they are not vaccinated with 50+ vaccines by the time they get their first pimples.}

    I’m 43. I think I had a total of 3 or 4 vaccines in my entire life. Did I keel over? No. Did any of my peers?? No. I mean, what gives with the ever increasing number of injections?

    I just like to point out that I smell a rat here!! And YES, perhaps I am WAY wrong here but at least I allow room for someone to prove me wrong, something you guys on this page seem to have the inability to do. You guys here sound just as “crazy” as the anti-vaccine crowd ever has in your blind allegiance to “the cause”.

    The ones who claim to have cornered the market on “the truth” are the very ones I run away from the fastest and the hardest.

    Lots of people on your board here claim to ask for evidence. My infant writhing in abdominal pain for 3 days straight post Rotateq was ALL THE PROOF I NEEDED. But of course, you guys would write it off as some kind of coincidental anomaly that I’m WRONGLY attributing to the vaccine. Please allow me to say “hogwash” to you then.

    I’m no doctor but I’m not stupid either.

    All the anti-vaccine crowd has ever asked for in this debate is to be left alone and not forced into a “no choice–it’s the LAW” situation when it comes to this ever-growing, ridiculous amount of vaccines that are being doled out.

    Let’s face it, it’s a “live and let live” or “live and let DIE” conclusion no matter what side of the debate anyone chooses to stand on.

    I always try to see things from BOTH perspectives which is why I visited this forum tonight. But what I see here is just as ugly, narrow in scope and dismissive as anything the anti-vaccine crowd has come up with.

    I’m going with the guys who simply ask for the FREEDOM to decline. I’ll take that “risk”. Thank you for your time.

  23. #23 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 21, 2011

    Garry Trudeau has strong family connections to infectious disease and immunology research.

  24. #24 novalox
    February 21, 2011

    @22

    Wow, so many lies, insinuations, ad hominems, and utter stupidity packed into one post.

    You say you’re not stupid, but your post doesn’t support that view at all.

  25. #25 Diane
    February 21, 2011

    Helen,

    I’m so sorry your child had to suffer with bowel obstruction. I’m a mother of small children myself, and I know how awful and terrifying it is to watch your child suffer and be unable to help.

    I furthermore understand your fear at vaccinations. I share it, though for a different reason. I’m a vaccinologist (Ph.D., not M.D.), and I cringe every time I give my children vaccinations because I know more than I care to about the rare but terrible side effects that do sometimes occur. I agree with you that many doctors do not make clear the difference between very safe and 100% perfectly safe. You are absolutely right that vaccines are not 100% perfectly safe. But they are very safe, as in, safer than putting your child in a car and driving to the grocery store.

    And you’re right, too, that your child can build her own natural immunity. But she could suffer tremendously, and perhaps even die or cause someone else to die before she does. There is a reason why we don’t have polio or smallpox epidemics anymore, and that reason is vaccines. There is a reason why 2010 was the worst year for whooping cough in California in more than 60 years, and that reason is that the whooping cough vaccination rate has gotten too low. Nearly everyone who died of whooping cough last year was an unvaccinated infant, almost all of them infants under three months who were unvaccinated because they were too young. If the adults and older children in the population had been vaccinated, the infants would never have been exposed and they wouldn’t have died.

    This is why your freedom to decline vaccinations is limited. Because it is a public health issue. Because somebody else might die because you are not willing to take a very, very small risk. Not because someone is getting rich off vaccines. NOBODY gets rich off vaccines. Doctors lose money, because they are not adequately reimbursed. Vaccine companies break even because the government essentially insures them, and the government loses money because they pay for all the medical care for anyone injured by vaccines. There is NO MONEY in vaccines!

    You are angry, I think, because you had to watch your child suffer. I understand that, but I think you are drawing the wrong conclusions from it. The fact that your child had a vaccine and soon afterward became sick does not in and of itself prove anything. About 0.05% of infants get obstructive bowel disease for unknown reasons; the only way to distinguish cause from coincidence is by doing a study. Forgive me, but your experience is NOT “all the proof you need.”

    But let’s grant you the point, and say that your child is one of the few who did get seriously injured from the vaccine. It does not follow that vaccines are bad. It just means that the science is limited; we don’t know how to make the perfect vaccine that will protect people with no chance whatsoever of side effects. That is part of what I study myself; how to make a better vaccine. You and I both want a world in which vaccines are perfectly risk-free.

    Please don’t say “I didn’t get vaccines and I’m fine.” It makes you sound stupid, and I don’t think you’re stupid. The CDC has numbers on the rates of many infectious diseases. Go and look at them, and see how the number of deaths and serious illnesses goes down once the vaccines are introduced.

    Helen, again, as a mother myself, I am so sorry that you and your child suffered as you did. But I think that you have come to a counterproductive conclusion. A world in which people refuse vaccinations is a world in which many more people will suffer unnecessary illnesses. I hope you read my post and think about what I have said, and change your mind on the value of vaccination.

  26. #26 K0ilar
    February 21, 2011

    While we are at funny topics relevant to the blog,I present you with “New Age Medic: a Project Reason 2011 Video finalist”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWBKsdrLqJM

    Have a nice day!

  27. #27 dt
    February 21, 2011

    @22 Helen, you ask for us to prove you wrong.
    I’m quite willing to have a go at pointing you to better information than you seem to have had, but can you be a bit more specific about which viewpoints you would like proved wrong (you cited so many different issues it’s hard to know where to start).

  28. #28 Andyo
    February 21, 2011

    Helen,

    I just like to point out that I smell a rat here!! And YES, perhaps I am WAY wrong here but at least I allow room for someone to prove me wrong, something you guys on this page seem to have the inability to do.

    What would it take to “prove” you wrong? You say you don’t trust scientists and doctors, and evidence doesn’t matter to you. Who’s being dogmatic?

  29. #29 Adam
    February 21, 2011

    I don’t care what you guys say on this blog page (I’m not a doctor nor a scientist but I do know my child better than any doctor that spends less than 3 minutes with me and then sends in the nurse with the tray full of neuro-toxic JUNK to jam into my kid’s muscles.)

    I think I’ve identified the problem. Mummy knows best and to hell with what the overwhelming evidence or the legions of doctors who have dedicated their professional careers to eradicating childhood illnesses think about it.

    The sad part is you’re putting your child at further risk this way. Her “natural immunity” only comes from suffering horribly a potentially fatal disease. And as the name suggests many children don’t survive, or come out crippled for life.

    Perhaps you should step back and wonder if anything you’re saying or doing makes any sense at all.

  30. #30 Pablo
    February 21, 2011

    How does one develop “natural immunity” to things like polio, measles, and rotovirus? By catching the disease, of course.

    So when Helen says she wants her kids to get “natural immnity” instead of getting vaccinated, she is effectively saying she would rather they get the disease than to get the vaccine.

    As a parent of two little ones, I get distressed enough. When one has a little cough (like he does now). The thought of him catching whooping cough scares the crap out of me. How could anyone wish that on their child? But that is what Helen is saying – shed rather her kids have whooping cough than the vaccine.

  31. #31 Agashem
    February 21, 2011

    Will Helen ever let her children travel to Africa? India? Eastern Europe?

  32. #32 Pablo
    February 21, 2011

    If she refuses to vaccinate, I’d hope she never even brings them to the bloody grocery store. My kids might be there, and even though they are vaccinated themselves, I’d prefer not to expose them.

  33. #33 sharon
    February 21, 2011

    @Helen, I’m really sorry to hear about your child. Must have been very scary for you. I’m not sure which country you are in, but where I am in Australia we are given a sheet with a long list of possible side effects prior to receiving any immunisations. Our cildren are also seen by a doctor to check temperature, and any signs of illness prior to getting the all clear to proceed. It seems to me this kind of transparancy should be standard practice worldwide, and I am surprised that wherever you are this did not occur. No one claims vaccines carry no risks. But overstating the risks can also have detrimental effects.

    In my experience anti vaxers do not ask simply to be left alone to make their own (often misinformed) choices. Some tend to be rabid in their beliefs, clutching to conspiracy theories that erase any trace of credibility, and actively work to frighten parents. Here in Australia we have a particularly good example called the Australian Vaccination Network. They actively promote avoidance of all vaccines including tetanus, Whooping Cough ( a disease that has recently killed babies here) and instead recommend high doses of Vitamin C should you step on a rusty nail. Now you say you are not stupid, so surely you can understand how incredibly dangerous that kind of advice is?

  34. #34 augustine
    February 21, 2011

    Pablo

    If she refuses to vaccinate, I’d hope she never even brings them to the bloody grocery store. My kids might be there, and even though they are vaccinated themselves, I’d prefer not to expose them.

    Ignorance based on fear. This is not a very convincing argument for vaccines effectiveness. But it’s typical of a mass vaccinator’s belief system. A belief system housed in suppressed emotion.

    Expose them to what? You’re implying that unvaccinated equals infected and contagious. What a crock of baloney you’ve been propagandized to believe.

    What if they(the other children) have natural immunity? Is that good enough for your vaccinated children’s protection? You can never be to sure with those types of people though. But wait, natural immunity can’t be. The majority of unvaccinated will die if exposed to any pathogen. Third world numbers give us all the evidence we need.

    If you’re that scared then maybe you shouldn’t take them to the grocery store anyways. There may be germs in there that aren’t covered by vaccines… Or the other children’s vaccines may have failed.

  35. #35 Lawrence
    February 21, 2011

    he/she/it has got to be a Rand-Head – only a true-believe in Ann Rand would be arguing so much in favor of what’s good for the individual & say the hell with society as a whole.

  36. #36 Yojimbo
    February 21, 2011

    “I can’t wait till Archie and Jughead weigh in.”

    Sounds like they just did.

  37. #37 Roadstergal
    February 21, 2011

    a) Gerry Trudeau on The Colbert Report in December.

    b) Apologies for the major tangent, but I’ve gotten some excellent links from the Insolencians in the past. A friend of mine has an otherwise fairly sensible friend who’s fallen for the paleo ridiculousness. Is there a good, concise post a la Orac taking down the major points of paleo diet that a lazy gal can refer her to?

  38. #38 lilady
    February 21, 2011

    @ Helen. Your child had a case of interssusception and was treated by physicians and you state that the doctors told you it was related to a Rotateq vaccine, given to your child. The possible link between rotavirus vaccine is covered in the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) that should have been provided to you prior to the oral administration of the vaccine. If you live outside of the United States, I’m sure you were given a VIS-Rotavirus type of information sheet prior to the administration of the vaccine.

    Intussusception is a relatively rare condition that can occur in early childhood, and was reported in medical journals and seen by doctors, nurses and parents, long before the availability of vaccines to protect against the virus. Its causes are varied.. including tumor growth and twisting of the bowel because of a defect in the bowel wall.
    70-80 % of intussusception cases are treated without surgery in the hospital with a barium or air enema. I assume your child was treated this way. And, I am not minimizing your belief that your child’s intusussception is associated with rotavirus vaccine. One of my favorite sites for concise uncomplicated information about medical diseases and conditions is the “Cleveland Clinic”; I suggest you visit the site regarding intussusception.

    Prior to the availability of rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus was responsible for 400,000 physician visits, 55,000-70,000 hospitalizations and 20-60 infant deaths in the United States. In other countries with poorer sanitation and undeveloped health care to provide hospital support to dehydrated infants, the death rate was astronomical.

    Helen you are my child’s peer (she’s 40) and she received many more vaccines than three or four. During her first year of life she received 3 combined DPT vaccines (pertussis vaccine component was whole cell antigen), oral polio vaccine and individual shots against measles, mumps and rubella. In 1971 when she was one year old she received her smallpox vaccination…smallpox routine childhood vaccination was discontinued in the USA in 1972 and in European countries shortly thereafter. In the mid 1980s, when it was determined by the CDC that a very small number of children did not build up complete immunity against measles with the single shot, she received a measles booster shot. You and my daughters never had the benefit of other vaccines that protect infants nowadays from invasive bacteria illness. I worked in public health and before the development of these protective vaccines, I saw dozens of kids die from bacterial meningitis and septicemia and then saw the extraordinary decrease in cases, once the vaccines were available for infants and young children.

    In your adult years, you should have been receiving 10 year booster vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus and now new recommendations from the CDC include pertussis vaccine boosters as well, due to the number of outbreaks and deaths of young infants from this bacterial illness in the United States. I recently had a case of pertussis and in spite of early identification of the disease and antibiotics I suffered through weeks of chest-wracking coughs.

    This is an open forum (unlike other anti-vax websites) and you are free to post here at any time, but beware that most posters here have either a science based education or a self-taught in the sciences; we are not pharma shills.

  39. #39 Sid Offit
    February 21, 2011

    I’d hope she never even brings them to the bloody grocery store.

    Stay home Pablo, just order Domino’s

  40. #40 augustine
    February 21, 2011

    Lilolelady

    I recently had a case of pertussis and in spite of early identification of the disease and antibiotics I suffered through weeks of chest-wracking coughs.

    Maybe it was “vaccinated but apparently not vaccinated enough” people like you that caused little infants to die in California that Diane speaks about. How do we differentiate that since you had your hand on the murder weapon?

    Pertussis vaccine do not stop transmission.

  41. #41 Chemmomo
    February 21, 2011

    Helen@22,
    first off, I am sorry your child had the bowel obstruction. I how difficult it is to watch your child suffer.

    However, I think there are some things you need to think about some more.

    but I do know my child better than any doctor that spends less than 3 minutes with me

    Have you considered finding a new pediatrician? My pediatrician knows my kids pretty well, and has spent the time discussing all of my concerns about them, vaccine-related (and, yes, I’ve had some of those) and otherwise. If your concerns have been dismissed, seek care elsewhere. However, the vibe I get from your post isn’t that your questions weren’t answered, but that you didn’t like the answers given.

    I’m 43. I think I had a total of 3 or 4 vaccines in my entire life.

    This statement I find hard to believe. If you went to public school in the US during the same years I did (we are about the same age), you must have had the following vaccines: smallpox, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, mumps, measles, rubella. Check your immunization record. Or at least check your shoulder for the smallpox vaccine scar. Then ask yourself why your kids don’t have one.

    You say:

    I always try to see things from BOTH perspectives

    Here’s another perspective for you. You watched your child “writhing in abdominal pain for 3 days straight post Rotateq.” Last year, before the vaccine was available, I got to watch one of my children spike a fever for 7 days straight while infected with H1N1 flu. My perspective is that disease is worse than immunization.

    Finally, Helen, if you’ve read this far, again–I am sorry your child suffered an adverse reaction. I’m also sorry that you’ve allowed yourself to get caught up in all this hostility because of it. Adverse reactions do need to be taken seriously. Sadly, all of the hysteria and hostility generated by the anti-vaccine movement and the subject of the cartoon above has made getting taken seriously much more difficult. Real concerns can end up lost in all the noise. That’s what you really ought to be angry about.

  42. #42 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 21, 2011

    It’s a cartoon. A Sunday comic strip right next to talking animals and other non-reality-based topics.

    It will do nothing to diminish people’s fascination with her and her causes.

    I don’t agree with Jenny on everything but I continue to praise her for calling attention to the shabby treatment of children and families affected by autism. The causes of autism? We’ll know more over the years. The right these families have to better funding is unquestionable. Jenny’s done more to call attention to this than all the “science” bloggers in the world.

    Jay

  43. #43 Lawrence
    February 21, 2011

    Jay – was your support unconditional before or after she claimed her son was an “Indigo Child” and the next step in human evolution?

    And Jay, you are being disengenuous to the extreme here – not one of us has ever said that we are against funding for the treatment of autism (and the fact that most insurance companies won’t cover treatment is a crime) – but you and your supporters continue to demand additional studies on vaccines-autism, which pulls money away from far more promising avenues of both causation and treatment.

    Please reconcile those two for me, because I certainly can’t.

  44. #44 Ll
    February 21, 2011

    Isn’t it obvious that the thimerosol in the polio vaccine developed in the 50s became infectious and corrupted the bodily fluids of all the people working at NASA causing them to desire to fake the moon landings.

    It’s all connected, you see!

  45. #45 Lawrence
    February 21, 2011

    And just in case, I’ll qualify my statement on treatments – this doesn’t include chelation, chemical castration, quack stem cell injections, etc that our friendly neighborhood wackos are pushing – instead, I’m talking about speech & physical therapies, educational opportunities, and other assistance to families with autistic children – which should be covered by insurance, and isn’t.

  46. #46 Jen
    February 21, 2011

    Yeah, this cartoon is really hilarious. jenny’s kid had a bad vaccine reaction, resultant “autism-like symptoms” as vaccine court likes to call them, and some cartoon guy makes fun of that. Hilarious.

  47. #47 Lawrence
    February 21, 2011

    Jen – are you sure? I mean, Ms. McCarthy’s story has changed on numerous occasions – including symptoms, timeline, etc.

  48. #48 Chris
    February 21, 2011

    Jen:

    . jenny’s kid had a bad vaccine reaction, resultant “autism-like symptoms”

    Like the seizures her son had six months to over a year after the MMR vaccine. R..i..g..h..t

  49. #49 Gray Falcon
    February 21, 2011

    Maybe it was “vaccinated but apparently not vaccinated enough” people like you that caused little infants to die in California that Diane speaks about. How do we differentiate that since you had your hand on the murder weapon?

    If somebody who drives carefully gets into a car accident, does that mean driving safely is ineffective? If somebody else was in the car in them, is the safe driver responsible for their injury? If someone else who was driving recklessly caused the accident, wouldn’t they be responsible for failing to perform due diligence?

  50. #50 lilady
    February 21, 2011

    @ augustine. I’ve already taken you and your specious arguments and commentary apart on other posts regarding pertussis. After you maligned me and called me a liar and questioned my credentials as a trained public health nurse working in disease epidemiology, I provided you with the criteria used by the CDC for case surveillance, notifying the CDC of confirmed cases, probable cases and suspect cases of pertussis. I also gave you the site in the CDC Pink Book that is used to determine case status.

    Augie, we never heard back from you regarding your specific objections to the criteria used by the CDC, state and local health departments and infectious disease trained doctors and nurses… after you perused the full chapter in the Pink Book. I also told you that if you still had “suggestions” about the epidemiology of pertussis that you should communication your “suggestions” to the CDC. We at this site, are still waiting for your “suggestion” and are wondering how that communication with the CDC worked out for you

  51. #51 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 21, 2011

    “And just in case, I’ll qualify my statement on treatments – this doesn’t include chelation, chemical castration, quack stem cell injections, etc that our friendly neighborhood wackos are pushing – instead, I’m talking about speech & physical therapies, educational opportunities, and other assistance to families with autistic children – which should be covered by insurance, and isn’t.”

    Well said, Lawrence. Unproven treatments might not deserve insurance reimbursement until they can gather adequate data and studies, but the proven treatments do. Instead, there is constant distraction by the overblown vaccine/autism debate.

    If the accumulated brain power and literary talent on this site focused on the lack of reimbursement/lack of improvement link we might get somewhere.

    Jay

  52. #52 Lawrence
    February 21, 2011

    Okay Jay, now we are getting somewhere. So, I look forward to your follow up post admitting, in the face of all available scientific evidence, that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

    Well?

  53. #53 Augustine
    February 21, 2011

    Lilady

    I’ve already taken you and your specious arguments and commentary apart on other posts regarding pertussis.

    Uh, no you didn’t. Delusions are not fact. They are personal perceptions. Your opinion is not taken as fact.

    You could also say you did a “takedown” or you “debunked me” but it would still not change from the fact that it is merely opinion based in perception of yourself.

  54. #54 Orac
    February 21, 2011

    Instead, there is constant distraction by the overblown vaccine/autism debate.

    Perhaps you should tell Jenny McCarthy that and suggest that she persuade “her” organization (Generation Rescue) to stop promoting what you yourself call the “overblown” vaccine/autism idea. You seem to be on the verge of admitting that there is no link between vaccines and autism, but you just can’t give up your “feelings” and “personal clinical experience” and make the leap to accepting the science that is at odds with both of those.

  55. #55 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 21, 2011

    @44 Jen – I took another look just to be sure. I don’t see any mention of McCarthy’s son or her personal experiences in the strip. I do see a pointed criticism of her for popularizing “a bogus vaccine-autism link pushing a tiny, fraudulent study that was debunked years ago.” There is also a statement that she has hurt both “real preventative health care … and the Playmate brand.”
    I did not take that as making fun of her son’s autism or autism-like symptoms. Perhaps you can explain?

  56. #56 LW
    February 21, 2011

    “Instead, there is constant distraction by the overblown vaccine/autism debate.”

    It’s overblown because, of course, there is plainly no reason for debate. Dr. Gordon has spoken and it is time for everyone else to accept his word and stop wasting time with their epidemiology, their studies, and their basic scientific research.

  57. #57 SC (Salty Current)
    February 21, 2011

    Instead, there is constant distraction by the overblown vaccine/autism debate.

    *closes browser*

    *deep breaths*

    *more deep breaths*

    *returns*

    As I said many months ago, you, Jay Gordon, are a sinvergüenza.

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2011

    Sometimes all one’s “brains” and “talents” are engaged in pre-emptively alerting others to the *distractions and misinformation* that *prevent* focus on salient, real-world problems. As well as pointing out flawed and unserviceable ideas, thus rallying support for SBM.

  59. #59 Dangerous Bacon
    February 21, 2011

    And once again, Jay Gordon flits away from having to justify his double-talk on the subject of vaccines (in Orac’s article and current discussion specifically referencing his beliefs), and alights in another discussion to engage in more drive-by foolishness.

    “I don’t agree with Jenny on everything but I continue to praise her for calling attention to the shabby treatment of children and families affected by autism. The causes of autism? We’ll know more over the years. The right these families have to better funding is unquestionable. Jenny’s done more to call attention to this than all the “science” bloggers in the world.”

    Jenny’s probably done more to divert attention and resources away from finding real causes and treatment for autism than any other single person.
    “We’ll know more” about the causes of autism? This from the guy who cofidently proclaims “Let me state simply, vaccines can cause autism”, or alternately “I have no proof that vaccines cause autism”? Will the real Jay Gordon please stand up? Talk about doubletalk.

    “Unproven treatments might not deserve insurance reimbursement until they can gather adequate data and studies, but the proven treatments do. Instead, there is constant distraction by the overblown vaccine/autism debate.”

    Fine, Jay. Stop “debating” somehing about which you have no proof (not to mention any substantive evidence), and focus on proven and unproven treatments. You’ve admitted here having second thoughts about chelation therapy for autism. How about putting in a section on your website advising parents about proven and unproven treatments for autism? (you can utilize the space now wasted on attacking those who disagree with you about vaccines, and fawning praise for Andrew Wakefield).

    And in case your response is that old chestnut about how one mustn’t be judgmental* and instead is obligated to be supportive of whatever parents do, think again about a physician’s obligation to provide wise counsel to his/her patients, and whether silence about quackery represents fulfillment of that obligation.

    *I’m reminded of John Boehner (R-OH)’s recent media interview in which he grudgingly acknowledged Obama’s citizenship and status as a Christian, but rejected the idea of telling birthers outright to stop claiming otherwise, saying that it’s not his job to tell Americans what to think. Actually it is his job (and he does just fine with it on other issues). It’d be nice if Jay Gordon recognized his own responsibilities as well.

  60. #60 Prometheus
    February 21, 2011

    #40

    “I don’t agree with Jenny on everything but I continue to praise her for calling attention to the shabby treatment of children and families affected by autism.”

    Maybe I missed that aspect of Ms. McCarthy’s “message” – was it part of “too many, too soon” or in the “toxins in the vaccines” message? Somehow, I don’t see those as bringing attention to the “shabby treatment of children and families affected by autism”.

    On the other hand, Ms. McCarthy has weighed in on the exploitation of these families by people selling treatments and “cures” of questionable utility at exhorbitant prices, not to mention autism treatment “consultations” at hourly rates that would make the most hardened member of the tort bar blush. Unfortunately, in those case, she has sided with the exploiters.

    Perhaps the commenter at #40 could point me to some references to Ms. McCarthy’s work improving the “shabby treatment” of people with autism and their families – I seem unable to locate them.

    Prometheus

  61. #61 sharon
    February 21, 2011

    For many of us outside the US Jenny appears as nothing more than a mouthpiece for an organisation that spreads misinformation and false hope. For my sins I sometimes read the blogs of mothers who follow Jenny/Generation Rescue. They believe they are curing their children ‘just like Jenny did’. Spending money they don’t have on pills and potions and unproven therapies. It is a depressing read.
    Dr Jay’s claims about Jenny read more like infatuation than fact.

  62. #62 LW
    February 21, 2011

    “For many of us outside the US Jenny appears as nothing more than a mouthpiece for an organisation that spreads misinformation and false hope.”. For many of us inside the U.S., too.

  63. #63 Militant Agnostic
    February 21, 2011

    Dr Jay’s claims about Jenny read more like infatuation than fact.

    Sounds like he is letting the little head do the thinking for the big head.

  64. #64 herr doktor bimler
    February 21, 2011

    In a sense, Ms McCarthy has indeed “called attention to the shabby treatment of children and families affected by autism” — if only by being the shabbiest, most egregious perpetrator of mistreatment, with her crusades to co-opt autism for her own family issues.

  65. #65 Matthew Cline
    February 21, 2011

    @augustine:

    Something you said from some time ago I’d like to ask you about (from this comment):

    I believe that most of the hardcore pro mass vaccine propagandists are atheists. Are there those that believe in a god who also push this belief system? of course. But you atheist know how incongruent their positions are when it gets to the core of it.

    Do you believe that people are weak and incapable of fighting pathogens? Do you believe that most of us will perish without prophylactic medicine? How do you know which individual will?

    Or do you believe that we were created stronger than that? Do you believe that the living body is endowed with intelligence or created from intelligence or is it just a soup of chemicals that need to be manipulated?

    In that case, wouldn’t a self-consistent theist never take a vaccine, no matter how severe the disease the vaccine was against? You refer to “pro mass vaccine propagandists”, but wouldn’t the same line of reasoning apply to an individual theist’s decision to take or not take any vaccine for any disease?

  66. #66 herr doktor bimler
    February 22, 2011

    If the accumulated brain power and literary talent on this site focused on the lack of reimbursement/lack of improvement link we might get somewhere.

    This comment presumes that commenters on this blog are not actively lobbying for better resources for autism. Where does this presumption come from? This is a website devoted to debunking pseudoscience… how does commenting here mean that people are not also focussed elsewhere on autism research and support?

  67. #67 Andyo
    February 22, 2011

    Lilady

    I’ve already taken you and your specious arguments and commentary apart on other posts regarding pertussis.

    Uh, no you didn’t. Delusions are not fact. They are personal perceptions. Your opinion is not taken as fact.

    You could also say you did a “takedown” or you “debunked me” but it would still not change from the fact that it is merely opinion based in perception of yourself.

    Posted by: Augustine | February 21, 2011 2:43 PM

    Reposted to note the blatant avoidal of answering the actual questions Lilady had, instead responding with a “uh, no, you didn’t” non-answer.

  68. #68 Heliantus
    February 22, 2011

    @ Andyo

    Reading this non-answer, I was myself thinking of the Black Knight:
    “Come back, I will bite your kneecaps off!”

    @ Matthew Cline

    Oh, I did not remember this pearl of wisdom from our contrarian troll.

    “Do you believe that people are weak and incapable of fighting pathogens?”
    No, we don’t, and we never claimed so. All mammals have cells dedicated to fighting pathogens. This is precisely why we vaccinate, because the response from these cells is stronger and faster the second time pathogens are encountered.

    “Do you believe that most of us will perish without prophylactic medicine?”

    Maybe not most, but a good number. Why let them die if we can avoid it?
    Well, archaeology and historical chronicles tell us that half the children, at least, died before puberty, until modern medicine times.
    And by modern, I include improvements in nutrition and sanitation.
    Although ancient Romans had a pretty good sanitation system (soap, hot baths and sewers were a staple of Roman culture) and good nutrition – the Mediterranean diet. That didn’t stop half their children from dying before age 5. Ever wondered why Octavus, the boyfriend of Cleopatra, was literally called “number 8″? What did happen to his older seven siblings?

    “How do you know which individual will?”
    Sadly, we don’t. And we never claimed we do. Hence mass prophylaxis.

    And why is vaccination at odd with Christian beliefs? For one thing, we are using tools that God provided us. I don’t remember Him forbidding us to take care of others. Quite the contrary, I believe.
    Also, we were designed before the Fall. There was no reason for God to make us microbe-proof, or tiger-proof. Or snake-proof (although this one would have been really handy).

  69. #69 Sven DiMilo
    February 22, 2011

    Doonesbury, as relevant as a paleolithic cave painting

    Must disagree. Trudeau is one of the true geniuses of our time, IMO.

  70. #70 tomas
    February 22, 2011

    @Heliantus, good overall points, but octavian (not octavus) definantly wasn’t Cleopatras lover. That was Caesar and marc Antony. Octavian was her enemy and later became the founder of imperial Rome.

  71. #71 tomas
    February 22, 2011

    @Heliantus, good overall points, but octavian (not octavus) definantly wasn’t Cleopatras lover. That was Caesar and marc Antony. Octavian was her enemy and later became the founder of imperial Rome.

  72. #72 Heliantus
    February 22, 2011

    @ Tomas

    Oh cr**, I should have checked. I knew I have them mixed up. You are perfectly right.

    Actually, Octavius could have been right if using the Latin name (but with a ‘i’, which I forgot, so still no cigar).

    I have to go read Roman history again, I’m obviously due for a refreshing course.

    As for the infant mortality in Ancient Roman time, it was fresher knowledge to me, so I stand by it. I was visiting a museum last year in France, and opposite a nice model of the local public baths of yore, there was a small coffin in display, not even one foot long. With a label about the one out of two children not reaching 5 years. It made quite a impression on me.

  73. #73 IDM
    February 27, 2011

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2168#comic

    Sadly, while abortion doctors were considered viable targets in South Dakota, anti-vaccers, who clearly endanger babies, won’t be subject to this.

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