Respectful Insolence

Here we go again.

If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s all about the ad hominem. Failing to win on science, clinical trials, epidemiology, and other objective evidence, inevitably anti-vaccine propagandists fall back on attacking the person instead of the evidence. For example, Paul Offit has been the subject of unrelenting attacks from Generation Rescue and other anti-vaccine groups, having been dubbed “Dr. Proffit” and accused of being so in the pocket of big pharma that he’ll do and say anything for it. I personally have been accused by Jake Crosby of a conflict of interest that isn’t, based on conspiracy mongering and an utterly brain dead argument (which is much like every other argument Jake likes to make on this issue). Steve Novella, Paul Offit, Steve Novella, Amy Wallace, Trine Tsouderos, and others were portrayed as cannibals sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast of baby. Meanwhile, anti-vaccine luminaries invoke the pharma shill gambit with abandon and try their best to smear journalists who write about how anti-vaccine views are endangering herd immunity, journalists such as Trine Tsouderos, Amy Wallace, and Chris Mooney.

Sometimes, however, karma, fate, God, or whatever you want to call it throws the anti-vaccine movement a bone, and, like a starving dog, inevitably the anti-vaccine movement tears into it. So it was about a year ago when an financial fraud investigation was being undertaken in the case of Poul Thorsen, a Danish investigator who had contributed to two large Danish studies, one of which failed to find an association between the MMR and autism in the immediate wake of Andrew Wakefield’s falsified data suggesting such an assocation and one of which failed to find an association between mercury in the thimerosal preservative in vaccines and an increased incidence of autism. At the time longstanding anti-vaccine loon Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tore into Thorsen with abandon before he was even indicted or charged (he was only under investigation at the time) as though, even if he actually did commit fraud, such fraud in any way invalidated the two large studies with which he had been involved. As I pointed out at the time, Thorsen was not a major player in these studies. He was not the first author (usually the one who did the most for the study and is the corresponding author). He was not the last author (usually the senior author in whose laboratory or under whose funding the study was carried out). He was in the middle of the pack of authors for both studies, which places him clearly as not being the primary author or investigator for either of these studies. For both articles the primary author was Kreesten M. Madsen, MD, who was both first and corresponding author for both studies. Of course, if studies this large really were Thorsen’s babies you can bet that his name would not have been relegated to fourth or sixth on the list of authors in either study. Basically, Thorsen’s position in the author lists of these two papers indicates that, whatever leadership position he may have held at Aarhus University and in its vaccine studies group, he clearly was not the primary contributor for these studies, and they were not his studies primarily.

In the wake of the commencement of an investigation of Poul Thorsen, not surprisingly the anti-vaccine movement struggled mightily to elevate him to being the prime mover and shaker of the Danish studies. The reason was obvious: They wanted to discredit “inconvenient” studies that did not support their belief that mercury in vaccines causes autism. I was an ad hominem attack, plain and simple, because the primary argument was not against the data or the studies, but against the man. It’s a form of poisoning the well or guilt by association. It’s the same thing as if I were to point to physicians who have defrauded Medicare or insurance companies and argue that all science-based medicine is thus somehow suspect. Unfortunately, this sort of tactic frequently works–which is why propagandists without moral qualms about smearing their opponents frequently use it.

It’s also why, when I saw this article last night, I knew that it wouldn’t be long before Age of Autism and other anti-vaccine minions would be swarming. And it wasn’t. The anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism was on it within a couple of hours after the stories started appearing. You’ll see why from this excerpt:

A Danish man was indicted Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly concocting a scheme to steal more than $1 million in autism research money from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The indictment charges Poul Thorsen, 49, with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and the money laundering counts each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

The federal government also seeks forfeiture of all property derived from the alleged offenses, including an Atlanta residence, two cars and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

This is how Thorsen is accused of having done it:

Once in Denmark, THORSEN allegedly began stealing the grant money by submitting fraudulent documents to have expenses supposedly related to the Danish studies be paid with the grant money. He provided the documents to the Danish government, and to Aarhus University and Odense University Hospital, where scientists performed research under the grant. From February 2004 through June 2008, THORSEN allegedly submitted over a dozen fraudulent invoices, purportedly signed by a laboratory section chief at the CDC, for reimbursement of expenses that THORSEN claimed were incurred in connection with the CDC grant. The invoices falsely claimed that a CDC laboratory had performed work and was owed grant money. Based on these invoices, Aarhus University, where THORSEN also held a faculty position, transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts held at the CDC Federal Credit Union in Atlanta, accounts which Aarhus University believed belonged to the CDC. In truth, the CDC Federal Credit Union accounts were personal accounts held by THORSEN. After the money was transferred, THORSEN allegedly withdrew it for his own personal use, buying a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and Audi and Honda vehicles, and obtaining numerous cashier’s checks, from the fraud proceeds. THORSEN allegedly absconded with over $1 million from the scheme.

If Thorsen is convicted, I have no problem saying unequivocally that he should go to prison for a long time. As was pointed out in this Reuters story about the indictment, research dollars are a precious commodity. In fact, with the recent budget battles and cuts in Washington, government research grants haven’t been this hard to come by for 20 years, and there’s no sign of improvement in the situation in sight; it will likely be several years before things get better, if they ever get better at all. So, I’m as pissed off as anyone to see a researcher abuse research funds by, if the indictment is correct, buying a home and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Of course, having had to deal with the bureaucracy that oversees my grants, I really don’t understand how it is even possible to buy a house and a Harley using grant funds. Every major expenditure (for me, at least) is closely tracked and matched to the approved budget. I can’t even envision how, even if I wanted to try to misuse grant funds, I could even find a way to do it. I really can’t. To me, if Thorsen really did abuse his research funds this way, it points to a serious accounting and oversight problem in his university that allowed such chicanery to occur.

Be that as it may, reading between the lines I do find one bit of information that might explain some things about the Danish studies. Madsen was the first and corresponding author, but it’s pointed out that Thorsen became principal investigator of the CDC grant in 2002. That doesn’t help AoA at all, though. I went and looked up the two articles again:

The NEJM article lists its funding sources as:

Supported by grants from the Danish National Research Foundation; the National Vaccine Program Office and National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National Alliance for Autism Research.

This article was, however, published in November 2002. Given that it takes months, sometimes even a year or more, for a manuscript to go from submission to publication, this work had almost certainly been completed and was in the publication pipeline before Thorsen took over as principal investigator of the CDC grant. The pediatrics paper, which was published after Thorsen went back to Denmark, lists its funding thusly:

The activities of the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre and the National Centre for Register-Based Research are funded by a grant from the Danish National Research Foundation. This study was supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute. No funding sources were involved in the study design.

That’s right. The Pediatrics thimerosal study was not even funded by the CDC! Even if it were, given that large epidemiological studies take years to carry out, it probably was in the last leg of its analysis when Thorsen showed up anyway. Even worse for the “guilt by association” crowd, all of the fraudulent charges to the grant are alleged to have occurred between 2004 and 2008, as described above–well after the Danish studies were published.

Of course, none of this stops the merry band of anti-vaccine loons over at AoA from opining:

We have written several articles about Dr. Poul Thorsen (4th from the left in the back row with his CDC colleagues), whose research known as “The Danish Study” is quoted extensively to “debunk” the autism vaccine connection. The mainstream media was silent when he disappeared. Here are some of the posts we’ve run on the topic along with today’s article in the Atlanta Bizjournals below. Will they give Thorsen “the Wakefield treatment” now, or have they been given their marching orders to look the other way?

Talk about flaming, supernova-grade stupid! Thorsen has already been treated far more harshly than Wakefield ever was! He’s been indicted on criminal charges; all that happened to Wakefield is that he was struck off the register of licensed UK physicians, and then only after a ridiculously long (two and a half year) hearing by the British General Medical Council. He just had a couple of his papers retracted, the most prominent of which being the Lancet paper from 1998 for which strong evidence was found that he had falsified data. In the meantime, he had moved to Texas to make big bucks applying his woo to autistic children, at least until the scandal led even his friends kick him out of the practice. Thorsen faces decades in prison if convicted of these crimes.

My guess right now is that Thorsen is praying for “the Wakefield treatment.” It was so much less harsh than what he faces if he is convicted of defrauding the federal government. My other guess is that Thorsen would gladly take the “Wakefield treatment” over the possibility of 20+ years in a federal prison.

Finally, it can’t be reiterated enough that these fraud charges have nothing at all to do with the scientific validity of the Danish studies. Over the next week and during the trial, you can count on propagandists at AoA to try to use this case to try to convince people that the Danish studies are somehow hopelessly tainted, even though Thorsen actually didn’t contribute much to them, and that, by association, all the evidence that supports the safety of vaccines can also now be brought into question.

Comments

  1. #1 René Najera
    April 14, 2011

    I will never be able to get this question in over at AoA after my permanent banning from there by Kimmie Stagmom. So I’ll ask it here:

    If Thorsen is to be given the “Wakefield treatment”, is that an acceptance that Wakefield is a fraud and should be facing criminal charges for his actions?

    Just askin’, as the kids say.

  2. #2 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    He stole over $1million in autism research money.

    Is anyone mad at him? Anyone? Do you even care? More concerned with the vaccine image and how it looks to joe public?

    What about all those people who want to shut down vaccine/autism research. They claim that limited resources are wasted that could be spent on finding a “cure” or other causes. Any of those resource sensitive people angry? Why not?

    The wasted resource canard has been invoked. Speak up.

    Oh, you don’t really care about autism or vaccine victims do you? You just care about the protection of the mass vaccination program.

  3. #3 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    I’ll just assume he’s not the only dishonest scientist who lacks integrity. I’ve seen no scientific evidence that scientists are more honest and ethical than any other profession. And I’ll assume this is not the only ongoing case of researchers bilking the federal taxpayers out of their money. And I’ll also assume that it has happened in the past with people NEVER getting caught.

    But remember. Don’t trust the scientist. He may let you down. Trust his numbers. Numbers can’t lie.

  4. #4 triskelethecat
    April 14, 2011

    @little augie: OK. You just proved you have NO reading comprehension. What part of

    If Thorsen is convicted, I have no problem saying unequivocally that he should go to prison for a long time. As was pointed out in this Reuters story about the indictment, research dollars are a precious commodity. In fact, with the recent budget battles and cuts in Washington, government research grants haven’t been this hard to come by for 20 years, and there’s no sign of improvement in the situation in sight; it will likely be several years before things get better, if they ever get better at all. So, I’m as pissed off as anyone to see a researcher abuse research funds by, if the indictment is correct, buying a home and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

    don’t you understand? (bolding mine)

    Are we mad at him for embezzlement? Yes. Infuriated. Does it invalidate the research that was done? No, because he had little or nothing to do with the actual research anyway.

  5. #5 daedalus2u
    April 14, 2011

    Thorsen only diverted $1 million. How much did Wakefield cause to be wasted by researchers trying to duplicate his fraud? How many children died from Thorsen’s theft of $1 million? Multiple children have died from vaccine preventable injuries after Wakefield created a panic with his fraudulent publications.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    April 14, 2011

    More “flaming, super-nova grade stupid” ( @ AoA, 4/13/11)

    NJ’s own LKH (NJCVC)appeared on the John Gambling Radio Show ( 4/12/11; w/ guest host, former NY governor, David Patterson, on tape @ AoA). This radio station is heard all over metro NY- illustrating how woo gets circulated around like air pollution.

    The host was sympathetic and cited “experts” like Null who “warned us” about vaccines decades ago. The guest was, unfortunately, just pathetic, citing every time-worn anti-vax trope you’ve ever heard in *record time*- and shilling her book. I listened for about 13 minutes: even *I* have limits.

  7. #7 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Innocent until proven guilty – regardless of his profession.

    I’ll get just as upset the moment you lamblast Andrew Wakefield for his fraud.

    Deal?

  8. #8 Jen
    April 14, 2011

    Umm, Dr. Wakefield didn’t commit “fraud” and all the posturing, twisting of facts, bias from Brian Deer and pharma connections and false indignance the GMC and BMJ tried to throw at him didn’t amount to an actual crime worth any time, never mind the “Wakefield treatment.” Hopefully Thorsen is investigated fully and gets what he deserves. His co-author’s shitty study may or may not be dragged into question but that is a separate matter.

  9. #9 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    dedjilusue:

    Thorsen only diverted $1 million. How much did Wakefield cause to be wasted by researchers trying to duplicate his fraud?

    I don’t know? Do you? How much? How much of it was federal money?

    How many children died from Thorsen’s theft of $1 million?

    How many died as a result of Dr. Wakefield’s publication. Citations. You’re not too bright are you?

    Multiple children have died from vaccine preventable injuries after Wakefield created a panic with his fraudulent publications.

    Non sequitur.

    Uh, you’re are confusing correlation with causation. You know, that overused saying that technology based medicine people are fond of.

    Just for shits and giggles I’d like for you to scientifically prove that any died as a result of Dr. Wakefields publication. More people died of measles in the 10 year period before his publication than in the period after his publication.

  10. #10 Composer99
    April 14, 2011

    I wonder what part of “studies published in 2002″ and “Thorsen embezzlement took place in 2004-2008″ the ugh troll is having trouble understanding.

  11. #11 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Jen – you really are dim aren’t you? When medical fraud is committed, it can be referred to the criminal courts if warranted (if a person or persons suffered injury or death), but is also handled primarily by the medical boards – hence either the suspension or revocation of a license to practice.

    Wakefield was found guilty through a thoroughly vetted process & then he decided not to appeal, even though that was his right – wonder why that was?

    If Thoreson is guilty – so be it & he’ll get what he deserves. But you are a two-faced hypocrite by not holding your own “demigod” to the same standards.

  12. #12 Beamup
    April 14, 2011

    I’ll just assume he’s not the only dishonest scientist who lacks integrity. I’ve seen no scientific evidence that scientists are more honest and ethical than any other profession. And I’ll assume this is not the only ongoing case of researchers bilking the federal taxpayers out of their money. And I’ll also assume that it has happened in the past with people NEVER getting caught.

    I’m surprised to hear myself saying it, but I actually agree with all of this. But I don’t see the relevance.

  13. #13 Todd W.
    April 14, 2011

    If Thorsen is found guilty, hell yes I’ll be pissed off at him. With research dollars as precious as they are, his actions, if true, are unconscionable. He should definitely be punished if guilty.

    That said, even if the claims against him are true, they have no direct bearing on the research of which he was a part. Anti-vaccine types, however, will likely argue that since he was dishonest in this regard, in what other things was he dishonest? While a reasonable question to ask, without any evidence, it is merely, as Orac points out, poisoning the well.

    If anyone wants to say that Thorsen was dishonest in his science, then provide evidence to that effect.

  14. #14 Todd W.
    April 14, 2011

    Oh, and for the record, Jen, what do you call making up data, intentionally changing data, purposefully leaving out inconvenient data (negative PCRs, too great a time between vaccine and symptoms, etc.) and misrepresenting the data if not scientific fraud?

  15. #15 ArtK
    April 14, 2011

    Oh, and for the record, Jen, what do you call making up data, intentionally changing data, purposefully leaving out inconvenient data (negative PCRs, too great a time between vaccine and symptoms, etc.) and misrepresenting the data if not scientific fraud?

    My guess is either: 1) “Trumped-up charges with fake evidence intended to silence the lone voice of Truth”; or 2) “Merely a temporary lapse in judgment, having no bearing on the Truth of the cause”; or 3) “I worship at the feet of Saint Andy and he can do no wrong.”

  16. #16 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    http://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/pharmaceutical-ghostwriting-trend-mars-credibility-research-negatively-impacts-patient-safety-4014.html

    “Ghostwriting was also integral in generating positive reports on Neurontin, Zoloft, Paxil, and Fen Phen, all drugs which were later found to have undisclosed or underreported side effects.”

    “Ghosts in the Machine details the ways in which ghostwriting harms patients, including: influencing physician prescribing habits using inaccurate or incomplete data, suppressing negative data from less successful clinical trials, manipulating results by selective reporting of data, creating a demand for off-label uses for drugs and identifying “new” diseases (designed to support sales of a specific prescription) and their miracle therapies.”

    Of course none of this really happened because SBMers have an ideology that pharma science is “science” based medicine. And that doctors are “science” based medicine trained. Their reality is the ONLY reality so it just never happened because it couldn’t have happened.

    Merck did this with Vioxx. Are you absolutely certain they didn’t do this within their vaccine division. Can you assure the public that the vaccine division, which has a revolving door with government, has better integrity than it’s other units?

    Ok let’s do a body count. How many did these drugs kill? How many did Dr. Wakefield kill?

    If you were truly concerned about human lives and not about your ideology then their would be no question as to who is the fraud.

  17. #17 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    So let me get this straight – you don’t have a problem with Wakefield conducting fraudulent research?

  18. #18 Todd W.
    April 14, 2011

    Hmm…I wonder if augustine ever gets itchy building all his strawmen.

  19. #19 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Two can play at this game –

    Since Wakefield has been found guilty of “cooking the books” on his research, I can only conclude that all anti-vaccination activists are unethical and also guilty of the same or similar fraudulent behaviors, at all times and in every single circumstance.

  20. #20 Beamup
    April 14, 2011

    Let’s also ask: How many people benefit from drugs? How many people benefited from Wakefield’s fraud? (Excluding the quacks who victimized autistic people and their parent by charging them for useless/dangerous treatments.)

  21. #21 Chris
    April 14, 2011

    Jen:

    Umm, Dr. Wakefield didn’t commit “fraud”

    Even if he didn’t commit fraud in doing the research, the now retracted paper was just a case series of a dozen children, and actually states that no association was found. The first hint of fraud was at the press conference where Wakefield said that the MMR (a vaccine that had been used in the USA for almost thirty years) should not be used and the vaccines be split up when he had no evidence to support that statement.

    It is fraud to claim something from a paper that is not written in the paper.

    Jen again says:

    His co-author’s shitty study may or may not be dragged into question but that is a separate matter.

    Please provide evidence of that assessment of those studies from a qualified source. Opinions by MBAs do not count. Thank you.

  22. #22 James Cole
    April 14, 2011

    If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s all about the ad hominem. Failing to win on science, clinical trials, epidemiology, and other objective evidence, inevitably anti-vaccine propagandists fall back on attacking the person instead of the evidence.

    Never a truer word said. I commented on the Age of Autism blog yesterday and one of the first comments in response was someone asking me if I was the James Cole who worked for Maxam Neutraceutics. (I’m not.)

    Someone else (earlier on) in the same comments section had claimed that the person who had made a BBC documentary that covered Wakefield’s MMR hoax was linked to Rupert Murdoch.

    The fact that this person had written just one article for a publication that Murdoch had sold four years previously didn’t seem to trouble them. Blogged here: http://jdc325.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/anti-vaccinationists-competing-interests-and-conspiracy-theories/

    In my experience, the claims of anti-vaccine campaigners to have uncovered competing interests usually relate to interests that are (a) extremely tenuous or (b) non-existent.

  23. #23 wintermute
    April 14, 2011

    The first hint of fraud was at the press conference where Wakefield said that the MMR (a vaccine that had been used in the USA for almost thirty years) should not be used and the vaccines be split up when he had no evidence to support that statement.

    Bear in mind that he had a patent on a single measles vaccine (and it was the measles component that he thought caused autism). And he was being paid by lawyers to prove that vaccines caused autism at the time. And he had a deal to supply machines to test for GI abnormalities to hospitals across Britain (which would be in greater demand, if someone were to claim that the MMR vaccine interacted with GI problems to cause autism)…

    The fact that he stood to become very rich by getting the results he got seem… convenient, no?

  24. #24 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    “Two can play at this game -”

    Larry, you need to talk to antifax.flurf.net about your strawmen. You’re playing the wrong game.

    Let’s also ask: How many people benefit from drugs?

    Are you trying to divert attention away from pharmaceutical fraud and death cover up by rationalizing a benefit vs. risk ratio? That is very congruent with the mindset a mass vaccination proponent. Always trying to sweep the deaths under the rug in the name of greater good. Doesn’t feel so evil that way does it.

  25. #25 wintermute
    April 14, 2011

    Are you trying to divert attention away from pharmaceutical fraud and death cover up by rationalizing a benefit vs. risk ratio? That is very congruent with the mindset a mass vaccination proponent. Always trying to sweep the deaths under the rug in the name of greater good. Doesn’t feel so evil that way does it.

    Whereas you are trying to sweep all the deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases under the rug in the name of a lesser good.

    “Sure, I may have caused tens of thousands of deaths from measles and polio, but I stopped that one guy from having a slightly sore arm!”

  26. #26 Chris
    April 14, 2011

    wintermute:

    Bear in mind that he had a patent on a single measles vaccine (and it was the measles component that he thought caused autism). And he was being paid by lawyers to prove that vaccines caused autism at the time.

    Except that was not known at the time of the press conference announcing the paper. The big hint that something was not kosher was when he was making a statement not supported by the paper.

  27. #27 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Thought you’d bow out less than gracefully on that – so you’re rationalizing Wakefield’s fraud? So, it’s okay – just so long as he or his ilk does it, right?

    Nice to have you finally admit that you’re all for shoddy science.

  28. #28 Catherina
    April 14, 2011

    Augustine: the $750’000 that Wakefield cashed in from the UK lawyers were from the Legal Aid fund as far as we know. That would be ALL “federal” money that could have gone to worthy law suits.

    But I think we don’t really get anywhere comparing Wakefield with Thorsen. Wakefield was PAID to “find” results supporting frivolous law suits against vaccine manufacturers. If allegations against Thorsen are correct, he is just a thief. That is a huge qualitative difference.

  29. #29 AMR
    April 14, 2011

    Does the indictment not state quite clearly that he stole DANISH money by falsifying invoices from the CDC? The crime happened in Atlanta because that was where he carried out the crime? It sounds like quite an elaborate scheme and I would be interested to know where he got the reports and results from the CDC which he submitted against the invoices. Did he fake them or just take data from the CDC, already paid for, relable it, and submit it?

  30. #30 Scott Cunningham
    April 14, 2011

    James Cole

    Someone else (earlier on) in the same comments section had claimed that the person who had made a BBC documentary that covered Wakefield’s MMR hoax was linked to Rupert Murdoch.

    Fun fact. There’s no point playing the game “six degrees of Rupert Murdoch” because everyone who ever bought, sold or was paid to do anything gets back to him in four or less. He owns shares in everything.

    For example, “That sleeping cat that fell down became famous using video sharing technology owned by a media company partially owned by Rupert Murdoch! Shill!”

  31. #31 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    winterminute

    Whereas you are trying to sweep all the deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases under the rug in the name of a lesser good.

    Are all deaths from “vaccine preventable diseases(propaganda term)” actually vaccine preventable?

    Take influenza for example. Tell me what you think about that. There are some major holes in that vaccine propaganda campaign, but the modus operandi is the same in spite of the glaring weaknesses.

  32. #32 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Okay – let’s try this again:

    Take Smallpox for example – a disease that killed more humans in recorded history than all wars combined.

    So, you’re saying you’d be fine if it was still around. You’re also saying you’re fine with Wakefield’s fraud.

    Pro-disease, pro-fraud – thanks for clearing that up.

  33. #33 wintermute
    April 14, 2011

    Are all deaths from “vaccine preventable diseases(propaganda term)” actually vaccine preventable?

    Take influenza for example. Tell me what you think about that. There are some major holes in that vaccine propaganda campaign, but the modus operandi is the same in spite of the glaring weaknesses.

    I think this comes down to a matter of semantics. No, a vaccine won’t reduce the death rate from a vaccine preventable disease to zero, so not all deaths are preventable by vaccine. But we know that use of the vaccine (and, yes, this includes the influenza vaccines) reduces them by a lot.

    Durning an influenza outbreak, once you adjust for age, prior health and other factors that can skew the results, you find that people who have not been vaccinated against the current strain are far more likely to die than those who have been. And when the vaccinated do get infected, it frequently seems to be an unvaccinated carrier that gave it to them, so that (even though I make sure my shots, and my kids’ shots are up to date) it makes sense for me to encourage those around me to also get vaccinated.

    Does that answer your question?

  34. #34 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    Durning an influenza outbreak, once you adjust for age, prior health and other factors that can skew the results, you find that people who have not been vaccinated against the current strain are far more likely to die than those who have been.

    Citations?

    And when the vaccinated do get infected, it frequently seems to be an unvaccinated carrier that gave it to them,

    again, citations?

  35. #35 wintermute
    April 14, 2011

    I’m at work right now, and can’t provide citations immediately, but I’ll try and get them for you when I get home, if someone doesn’t beat me to it.

    But I will note that you asked for my thoughts on the subject, not for science facts. Granting, for the moment, that my thoughts might not be in accordance with evidentiary data, do you have anything to add?

  36. #36 triskelethecat
    April 14, 2011

    AND, once again, little augie goes off with ad hominems and straw men and doesn’t address my comment. But that’s OK because we already know augie can’t deal with facts. He’s so sure that we would defend someone accused of theft because we attack his god who was PROVEN to have given fraudulent results. You are wrong, augie.

    @Jen: don’t you ever give up? Wakefield’s fraud was proven and his license was removed. If Andy had honestly felt he’d had a bum rap, he would have appealed instead of running away. Point out ONE place where Orac, or any of us have defended medical fraud. And remember, fraud is knowingly lying about results. NOT mistakes that occur. NOT information figured out later (unless that information is hidden away). We don’t defend Wakefield because he LIED about his results. There were no leaky guts,no measles in the gut, and no kids who “overnight” developed autism from the MMR (which, recall, has NEVER contained thimerosal).

    Wakefield lied about his data, therefore he has committed scientific fraud. Thorson supposedly stole money. While it may have made the funds unavailable for the research (which was OVER by the time he did the supposed theft, remember), it does NOT change the results of the studies in which he is a named author.

  37. #37 Anonymous
    April 14, 2011

    augustine always asks for citations. But he never gives any. Or if he does, it’s usually from biased sources. Isn’t that unfair? Why doesn’t he ever give citations from some place like Nature or Scientific American? Of course, he normally just gives out opinion and plays the conspiracy gamble. Guess you can’t cite fiction.

  38. #38 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    But I will note that you asked for my thoughts on the subject, not for science facts.

    Well you’ve clarified then. It was your opinion. No need to hunt for something that doesn’t exist.

  39. #39 Sullivan
    April 14, 2011

    The main difference between the Thorsen studies and the Wakefield studies is….Thorsen was right. His team’s work was replicated. Andrew Wakefield’s studies have not. Wakefield’s assertions that MMR was related to autism, made in the video at his press conference, wasn’t even supported by his own data–even if it wasn’t fraudulent.

    Wakefield got off with losing a license even he admitted he didn’t need.

    Am I angry at Poul Thorsen? Assuming he is guilty, I am furious at him.

    I await AoA applying “The Thorsen Treatment” to Andrew Wakefield. I expect to wait a long time.

  40. #40 Lynxreign
    April 14, 2011

    @38 augie

    Is that why you never bother looking for anything supporting what you say here?

  41. #41 wintermute
    April 14, 2011

    Well you’ve clarified then. It was your opinion. No need to hunt for something that doesn’t exist.

    Just because I can’t immediately verify that my opinion id correct doesn’t mean that it isn’t. At the very least, I’m convinced that supporting my first point will be trivial; the second one is based more on anecdotal data, and I’m less confident about it, but it’ll still be worth looking for, just so we know either way.

    Of course, feel free to provide counter-evidence, sugesting that the flu vaccine does not reduce the rate of infection, serious side-effects or death from flu. If you’re right, it’ll be easy for you to find the evidence, right?

  42. #42 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    Of course, feel free to provide counter-evidence, sugesting that the flu vaccine does not reduce the rate of infection, serious side-effects or death from flu.

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001269.html

    “Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.”

    “The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.”

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004876.html

    “Due to the general low quality of non-RCTs and the likely presence of biases, which make interpretation of these data difficult and any firm conclusions potentially misleading, we were unable to reach clear conclusions about the effects of the vaccines in the elderly.”

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005187.html

    “We conclude there is no evidence that vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs.”

  43. #43 The Founding Mothers
    April 14, 2011

    Augie, ever heard of Google Scholar? Google Scholar ‘Influenza vaccination rates study’. Over 56,000 articles come up.

    First page, this nice study comes up: Hak et al (2005) http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/165/3/274, based on a study of >75,000 people.

    “Conclusion: Persons with high-risk medical conditions of any age can substantially benefit from annual influenza vaccination during an epidemic.”

    By ‘substanstantially benefit’, they include not dying.

    Google Scholar is free to use, and links to all paper abstracts. Go on, give it a whirl.

  44. #44 Todd W.
    April 14, 2011

    @wintermute

    Heh, I figured augustine would cite Cochrane reviews.

  45. #45 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    Antifax.flurfer.net

    Heh, I figured augustine would cite Cochrane reviews.

    And…??? What’s the problem? Do you have a problem with cochrane? Is this just a simple ad hominem because you have no substance to counter with?

  46. #46 JayK
    April 14, 2011

    What’s wrong with Cochrane reviews? I’ve looked for some kind of controversy and I haven’t turned anything up.

  47. #47 squirrelelite
    April 14, 2011

    @Todd W,

    Given the apparent philosophical leanings of the current crop of influenza reviewers at Cochrane, that’s not surprising.

    Since in augustine’s reasoning, even one negative outcome from a positive intervention (i.e. vaccination) is worse than the thousands of negative outcomes that would have occurred if that intervention had not been used, it is probably (another word augustine does not understand) hopeless to try to reason with him. But, it is still useful for the benefit of people on the fence who come here looking for information.

    Actually, just getting augustine to cite published medical literature is a major achievement.

    I was pretty sure I had read a recent blog post pointing out that the studies cited by augustine were limited to cases where the net benefit was minimal and set aside all the other cases where the benefit was much more significant.

    I didn’t find one, although I did find one Cochrane review, Vaccines for prophylaxis of viral infections in patients with hematological malignancies, by Cheuk DKL, Chiang AKS, Lee TL, Chan GCF, Ha SY, which noted that:

    Inactivated influenza vaccine might reduce upper and lower respiratory infections and hospitalization in adults with multiple myeloma who are undergoing chemotherapy, or children with leukemia or lymphoma within two years post-chemotherapy.

    The closest I could come was Dr Mark Crislip’s October review of a February 2010 update of augustine’s third link.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=7714#more-7714

    I noted that he disagrees with their conclusions.

    While noting that “pooled data from three C-RCTs showed reduced all-cause mortality in individuals >/= 60.”, they go on to say “The key interest is preventing laboratory-proven influenza in individuals >/= 60, pneumonia and deaths from pneumonia, and we cannot draw such conclusions.” No, it is not the key interest. Most deaths from influenza are secondary deaths from exacerbation of underlying medical problems. All-cause mortality is an important endpoint, especially if you are the one dying.

    I also thought the following quote describes augustine (and a few of our other favorite trolls) quite well:

    I get the sense that those who rail against the morbidity and mortality of modern medicine are the same who would decry mandatory vaccination, even though it would improve the safety in the hospital that they so fret about.

    More of a lurker than a particpant, but still an interested reader,

    SquirrelElite

  48. #48 Composer99
    April 14, 2011

    Mark Crislip at SBM indicates there may be some issues with Cochrane flu reviews.

    Some of Mark’s best supporting links are in the comments.

    Todd W. may have additional suggestions as to why Cochrane flu reviews may be less than stellar support for the troll’s claims.

  49. #49 squirrelelite
    April 14, 2011

    @augustine,

    Q1, “And…??? ” doesn’t even count.

    Q2, “What’s the problem?” is merely rhetorical.

    For Q3, “Do you have a problem with cochrane?”, try reading my previous comment. Better yet, do a search on Cochrane at Science-Based Medicine and read a lot of the articles.

    The Cochrane Reviews are the current epitome or at least the most publicly visible exemplar of Evidence-Based Medicine, which places randomized controlled trials at the highest level of evidence. The problem with that is that it places well established science at a much lower value level, not much above mere anecdotes and suppositions. The result is a lot of reviews of scientifically dubious interventions like homeopathy and acupuncture that can only conclude, to borrow from one of your sources, “High quality RCTs are required”.

    Science Based Medicine attempts to address this weakness by giving more weight to well established science.

    Q4, “Is this just a simple ad hominem because you have no substance to counter with?” perfectly describes about 90% of your comments.

  50. #50 Lisa R.
    April 14, 2011

    It is often claimed that CDC wanted the early vaccine-autism studies to come out a certain way. If they were paying for results, Thorsen wouldn’t have needed to embezzle.

  51. #51 lilady
    April 14, 2011

    Augie is constantly cherry-picking that same Cochrane Reivew about Long Term Care Facilities Residents. This time he omitted an important word, which I have added for clarity and which changes the entire meaning of the sentence.

    “We conclude that there is no evidence that ONLY vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs.”

    The sentence following the sentence that Augie misquoted… then states that other interventions such as hand washing, masks, early detection through testing of nasal swabs, anti-virals, quarantine, restricting visitors and asking health care workers with influenza-like illnesses to not attend work might protect individuals over age 60 in Long Term Care Facilities.

    Augie, you cherry-picked this same article a few days ago and I provided you with an article from the MMWR that documented that the “other interventions” mentioned by Cochrane, really do work in Long Term Care Facilities:

    MMWR January 29, 2010 Outbreak of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Among Long Term Care Facility Residents

    The MMWR article details outbreaks in three states (Colorado, Maine, New York) in large long term care facilities where every recommendation as detailed in the Cochrane Review to contain an outbreak of influenza was implemented, from first diagnosis of a case to last diagnosis of a case.

    Colorado: contained within 10 days

    Maine: contained within 5 days

    New York: contained within 9 days

    Augie, stop cherry-picking, stop deliberating misquoting and stop re-posting your cherry-picked deliberately misquoted citations.

  52. #52 Todd W.
    April 14, 2011

    Whenever someone with anti-vaccine leanings questions the efficacy of vaccines, they inevitably focus on the influenza vaccine (admittedly one of the weaker vaccines, but that’s dependent on how well it matches in any particular year and what is the uptake rate of the vaccine) and for evidence they always cite Cochrane Reviews.

    Squirrelelite already beat me to the punch on the reviews. While they do make some valid points, they also have some shortcomings, as noted by Mark Crislip over at SBM.

  53. #53 squirrelelite
    April 14, 2011

    Thanks, lilady,

    It was probably your response that I was thinking of and looking for.

    I also noticed the “only” word being omitted in augustine’s misquote, but forgot to mention it.

  54. #54 JayK
    April 14, 2011

    Thanks guys, I do a lot of research so I’m always looking for ways to add to my abilities to get quality information. I really appreciate your pointers and answers.

  55. #55 Polly
    April 14, 2011

    Wakefield vs. Thorsen? Are you f*cking joking? Parents of children, falsly labeled as autistic, kept bringing theie kids to Wakefield because of their extreme GI dstress. He just happened to confirm their worst fears, iatrogenic injury. Thorsen? He’s a f*cking crook. A fraud of the worst kind. He’d make a good politician. Maybe he could go to work for AAP.

  56. #56 Lawrence
    April 14, 2011

    Wow Polly – I can’t imagine how all of those Wakefield supporters were so mistaken about his stance regarding vaccines & autism….so the whole thing was just some giant misunderstanding?

    Glad you cleared that up – now you just need to go tell the rest of the Wakeheads that they can go home now, right?

    Of course, I’ll be holding my breath that any of our resident trolls will take you to task for denying their core belief.

  57. #57 lilady
    April 14, 2011

    Thorsen padded his expense account…nothing more and nothing compared to Andy’s fraudulent “research” and Andy’s conflicts of interest (developing of a single antigen vaccine and “hired gun” professional “witness”) to enable parents to score big time money from vaccine manufacturers.

    Andy never presented any evidence to the British General Medical Council before the Council “struck him from the register”. He could have asked for additional time to mount a defense of the charges, but didn’t. From a distance now, in the United States, he has launched invectives against the Council… against vaccine manufacturers…against the Lancet…against the BMJ…against Brian Deer, yet has failed to appeal the decision of the Council.

    Polly, why don’t you fund-raise for Andy and his family to enable him to return to the U.K. to appeal the decision of the Council?

  58. #58 Militant Agnostic
    April 14, 2011

    I’ll just assume he’s not the only dishonest scientist who lacks integrity.

    It would be safe to assume that all dishonest scientists lack integrity. Andrew Wakefield would be one example.

  59. #59 Harold
    April 14, 2011

    Anyone else seen a big, page-covering “click here to answer this survey” box show up on the blog?

  60. #60 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    squirrel

    Given the apparent philosophical leanings of the current crop of influenza reviewers at Cochrane, that’s not surprising.

    There can’t be philosophy. Only data. Right, science bloggers?

  61. #61 augustine
    April 14, 2011

    Nurse Barney Fife (aka lilady),

    This isn’t about Dr. Wakefield. It’s about pro vaccine researcher Paul Thorsen. Did he f#$K up or not?

    No amount of Dr. Wakefield talk will help you answer that question.

  62. #62 lilady
    April 14, 2011

    Just keeping you honest, busted one.

  63. #63 Dr. Free-Ride
    April 15, 2011

    It strikes me that cases like these illustrate precisely why serious scientists ought not to fabricate, falsify, plagiarize, steal, or otherwise break faith with funders, their fellow scientists, and/or the public. Now a paper with Thorsen’s name in the author line (whatever the position) will be subject to extra scrutiny.

    That’s not inappropriate: if he was honesty impaired 1n 2004 and caught for it, he may well have been honesty impaired in 2002 or earlier. And, if his coauthors listed him as an author on a paper, presumably they had some level of trust in his contribution to what was published. (If he didn’t actually make a contribution to what was published, listing him as an author would be dishonest.)

    Would those coauthors trust Thorsen now? Maybe not so much. And it will certainly be a bother for them that their honest work also gets extra scrutiny because someone they collaborated with turned out to be less committed to playing by the rules.

    Ethical conduct: a good strategy to keep the conversation focused on the empirical data!

  64. #64 Pareidolius
    April 15, 2011

    Well Augie, we won’t know if Thorsen fucked up or not until his trial is over. And even then, we will only know that he fucked up financially, not scientifically. Wakefield was proven to have fucked up both ways.

  65. #65 JB Handley
    April 15, 2011

    Orac:

    Anyone trying to understand if you are a well-meaning scientist with an opinion or a two-bit shill need only read this piece, it’s pathetic. Over and out, JB

  66. #66 ChrisKid
    April 15, 2011

    @60: You ask if Poul Thorsen screwed up or not. The answer is, yes, he did. But it had nothing to do with the research in which he was involved. Yes, if the charges are true, he had his hand in the till, badly. But theft is not fraud, and it doesn’t change the research results.

    But let me ask you this, pretty much off topic. Why do you always insist on leading with childish insults? Do you really think that helps your argument? What are you trying to accomplish here, and doesn’t that behavior negatively affect your purpose?

  67. #67 L
    April 15, 2011

    I am really surprised that the Danish media has not picked up on this, there is only one older article regarding Poul Thorsen, even though right now there is a media***t storm about another disgrace for the scientific community, namely Milena Penkowa, a neuroscientist who not only pocketed some fund money and money from a neuroscience association she was treasurer of, but faked her research, demonstrated proficiency with photoshop, weaved a tangle of lies, and blamed an innocent student of taking the money. In the older article they, quote the principal authors of both vaccine papers Thorsen was involved in saying that he had no input other than being a reviewer.
    Milena was considered a superstar researcher before all this, an icon for women researchers, and she ruined it all for us. Now comes this guy along and feeds the trolls. This makes me so mad.

  68. #68 Lawrence
    April 15, 2011

    Well, we’ve definitely confirmed two ethically-challenged individuals through this discussion –

    1) Wakefield for his confirmed fraudulent research & methods
    2) Boring Troll for omitting key information from cited studies (just the stuff that didn’t support its own warped philosophy)

    Thorsen will get his day in court & we’ll see what the results are.

    Unlike our resident trolls (and great fly-by-night postings by the wonderful JB) we don’t base our conclusions on “facts not in evidence.”

  69. #69 Eleanor
    April 15, 2011

    What an absolute, first class, top of the league scumbag. The abosolute tosser. I really hope he gets lots of time in jail for this.

    The journal and co-authors on the papers need to go through his contributions with a fine-toothed comb; cheaters will cheat. Given what this guy is accused of, would you trust him to have run any experiments or analyses he was charged with? I’m certain the final conclusions of the papers will stand given his relative contribution, but let’s not sweep any of this under the carpet. I think we have the right to expect a notice from the publishers outlining exactly what his contribution was, whether it has been verified by the other co-authors, and what the implications are on the final papers.

    (OK, so benefit of the doubt, he hasn’t been convicted yet)

    the whitterings of the AoA, meh, same old, same old. The body of work points elsewhere, guys, how about helping for a change instead of flogging this particular dead horse?

  70. #70 Eleanor
    April 15, 2011

    What an absolute, first class, top of the league scumbag. The abosolute tosser. I really hope he gets lots of time in jail for this.

    The journal and co-authors on the papers need to go through his contributions with a fine-toothed comb; cheaters will cheat. Given what this guy is accused of, would you trust him to have run any experiments or analyses he was charged with? I’m certain the final conclusions of the papers will stand given his relative contribution, but let’s not sweep any of this under the carpet. I think we have the right to expect a notice from the publishers outlining exactly what his contribution was, whether it has been verified by the other co-authors, and what the implications are on the final papers.

    (OK, so benefit of the doubt, he hasn’t been convicted yet)

    the whitterings of the AoA, meh, same old, same old. The body of work points elsewhere, guys, how about helping for a change instead of flogging this particular dead horse?

  71. #71 Hey Zeus is my Homeboy
    April 15, 2011

    Handley,

    You ought to know pathetic – how’s the RNA Drops cure, the Butter’s stinky goo cure, the chelation cure, or the HBOT cure going these days? I haven’t heard your “neener neener neener, we’re busy curing and your kids are stuck in a pharma/government-induced poison trap” mantra lately.

    You ought to know shill – how’s the bathtub chemistry industry treating you these days?

    Over and out? Save it for someone who’s actually served.

  72. #72 LW
    April 15, 2011

    Quoth Orac,

    “If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s all about the ad hominem.”

    And right on cue, here’s JB Handley,

    “Anyone trying to understand if you are a well-meaning scientist with an opinion or a two-bit shill need only read this piece, it’s pathetic.”

  73. #73 Todd W.
    April 15, 2011

    JB actually said something true. All one does have to do is read Orac’s piece to see that he is a well-meaning scientist with an opinion. Glad you’re finally coming around, JB. Pretty soon, your social skills will be just about middle-school level. Baby steps, JB. Baby steps. We’ll make a pleasant person out of you yet.

  74. #74 Kristen
    April 15, 2011

    If this man took money meant for Autism research he is a despicable scumbag, end of story. But he hasn’t been convicted yet and I don’t know enough about the facts to make a judgment on him (that is why we have “judges”).

    Regarding “his” study. I will illustrate: I have an associate who is listed as an author on a study. Do you know what he contributed? He weighed shrimp and recorded weight change over time. If he committed a serious crime some years later, I doubt his shrimp-weighing skills would be called into question.

    I don’t defend this man in any way and if he is found guilty nobody could possibly think less of him than l. But it doesn’t call into question the data. This studies findings have been replicated. It’s easy to jump all over this and say ‘everything he touched is tainted!!’ if you disagree with the the data. But if the findings of this study were to support the antivaxers agenda we would hear either crickets or defensiveness.

    Why this is even an issue is beyond me. It is a complete non-issue. He is listed as a minor contributor. I have no reason to defend this man, in fact I have every reason to despise him, but the data is not in question.

  75. #75 Dangerous Bacon
    April 15, 2011

    I’ve said it all along: if we could just establish that someone on the Beagle was smuggling rum, we’d have disproved Darwin’s theory of evolution.

  76. #76 G
    April 15, 2011

    @71

    Not only will yasko’s rna drops cure autism, they’ll make you live longer too! Heard she sells magnet beds now too, that can cure autism right?

  77. #77 augustine
    April 15, 2011

    Nurse Barney Fife

    Augie, stop cherry-picking, stop deliberating misquoting and stop re-posting your cherry-picked deliberately misquoted citations.

    Well, well, well. Just like Barney Fife, seems you jumped the gun in what you thought was a “aha, I’ve caught you” moment. But you messed up. No need to apologize. I already know you are extremely biased and that affects your ability to stay objective. Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to science.

    Nurse

    This time he omitted an important word, which I have added for clarity and which changes the entire meaning of the sentence.

    No sir. I didn’t. But thanks for the slander attempt anyway. I copy and pasted the authors words. I’ll do it again in case you missed it. Straight up copy and paste.

    “We conclude there is no evidence that vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs. “

    Nurse Barney:

    The sentence following the sentence that Augie misquoted… then states that other interventions such as hand washing…

    Wrong. The sentence following the one I cited is as follows

    “High quality RCTs are required to avoid risks of bias in methodology and conduct, and to test these interventions in combination.”

    Here is the link again in case you want to read the ENTIRE article and digest the meaning of it. Take your vaccine blinders off and read objectively please.

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005187.html

    Let me comprehend for you since you are having a difficult time.

    The authors put the qualifier “only” in the sentence you quoted because the variable they were concerned with was influenza vaccination. They didn’t look at co-interventions.

    “This review did not find information on co-interventions with HCW vaccination:”

    But the authors believe these co-interventions MIGHT work and therefore suggest high quality controlled testing to provide evidence for workers. Apparently because it too is lacking.

    Maybe there are some studies but they are in conjunction with vaccines which muddles the confidence of conclusions drawn. I don’t know. But this review states that vaccination, as an independent variable, does not effect specific outcomes.

    If you want to claim there are then you need to perform some. Because currently they don’t exist.

    Sorry for the condescension and pet names but ORAC says that Science Based Ridicule is the only way I can get through to you people.

  78. #78 lilady
    April 15, 2011

    @ Augie: I used your linkage and read the last paragraph that you quoted and you deliberately misquoted it by leaving out the word “only”. I then (paraphrased) the following…and concluding sentence in the article, concerning other interventions to contain outbreaks in long term care facilities. I then referred you to an MMWR article that showed these “other interventions” worked in three states during the 2009 influenza outbreaks.

    Are you dyslexic…in addition to being a nasty troll?

    BTW, none of the “other interventions” mentioned in the Cochrane Review article are “innovative”….they have been in place for years in hospitals, long term care facilities and in group homes…as contained in their Infection Control Manuals and implemented and monitored by ICNs (infection control nurses). Local health departments- divisions of infectious disease control and State health departments assist these institutions to “contain” any infectious diseases. But, you wouldn’t know about any of this…that’s why lightweight Cochrane Review articles are available for trolls to cherry-pick.

  79. #79 augustine
    April 15, 2011

    @ Augie: I used your linkage and read the last paragraph that you quoted and you deliberately misquoted it by leaving out the word “only”.

    Are you retarded? Are you that dense? As Chris would state, Are you an idiot?

    I’ll give it to you AGAIN! COPY and PASTED. No delete button. No backspace. No altering.

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005187.html

    “We conclude there is no evidence that vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs.”

    You are wrong. It’s that simple. You’ll be wrong again. And you are wrong because of your unscientific bias.

    You’re a former local county nurse with a Barney Fife complex. The Cochrane reviewers are independent world influenza experts of the literature.

    As usual per SBM style. Don’t like the evidence? Proceed with the ad hominems.

  80. #80 ArtK
    April 15, 2011

    Lilady & Augie,

    Approximately the same sentence appears in two places in the page augie linked to. Once with the “only” and once without.

    From the summary:

    We conclude that there is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia, and death from pneumonia in elderly residents in long-term care facilities.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Now, from the abstract at the bottom of the page:

    We conclude there is no evidence that vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs.

    Pretty serious editorial problem going on here, since the presence or lack of the “only” changes the meaning significantly.

  81. #81 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 15, 2011

    You’re a former local county nurse with a Barney Fife complex. The Cochrane reviewers are independent world influenza experts of the literature.

    As usual per SBM style. Don’t like the evidence? Proceed with the ad hominems.

    Hahahahahahahahaha!

    Once again< Augie, you crack me up.

  82. #82 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 15, 2011

    Well, shit, the last half of my sentence got eaten. It should read:

    Once again, augie, you crack me up!

  83. #83 Dedj
    April 15, 2011

    In other words, augie isn’t being dishonest about the content of the paper, he simply did not read it and would thus not know where he went wrong.

  84. #84 augustine
    April 15, 2011

    Pretty serious editorial problem going on here, since the presence or lack of the “only” changes the meaning significantly.

    It’s not an editorial mistake.

    Here are the options: Vaccinate only, vaccination and other co-interventions, Non-vaccinating interventions.

    If one vaccinates but also used multiple other interventions then it would be impossible to say that it was one or the other that was the main factor.

    This review was for vaccination only. The authors put the qualifier “only” in there because they believe that the others might make a difference in the specific endpoints stated. But those need to be studied in a high quality controlled trial to rule out bias and confounders.

    I’m pretty certain that even in the “vaccination only” studies that there was some handwashing going on.

    Also

    “There are no accurate data on rates of laboratory-proven influenza in healthcare workers.”

    “The three studies in the first publication of this review and the two new studies we identified in this update are all at high risk of bias.”

  85. #85 Kristen
    April 15, 2011

    augustine,

    Are you retarded?

    Do you realize that using this word in this way is unacceptable? Or are you just being a bigoted ass? This word has a medical definition and is highly offensive in the way you used it.

  86. #86 Composer99
    April 15, 2011

    ChrisKid:

    The ugh troll, if you consider him to be some sort of nihilist, is the genuine article.

    Apart from that? Total waste of cyberspace.

  87. #87 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 15, 2011

    Or are you just being a bigoted ass?

    Augie a bigoted ass? No way!

  88. #88 lilady
    April 15, 2011

    @ Chris: Augie “specializes” in offensive remarks.

    @ Augie: I do find your remarks about mentally impaired individuals personally offensive. My recently deceased wheelchair-bound son was profoundly mentally retarded, spastic quadriplegic, with a partially controlled grand mal seizure disorder. He also suffered from pancytopenia which result in immune suppression and frequent internal bleeding episodes.

    Aside from the grief I felt through his many hospitalizations for theses disorders, I found joy in being his mother and every one who ever met him was touched by his pleasant disposition and his giggles and smiles. He was non-verbal…I never heard him say “I love you mommy”, but I knew it my heart that we shared that special love. After he died peacefully in his sleep, the donation of his corneas enabled two blind people to see the world through his eyes. The donation of his heart valves healed broken hearts…he is alive to me in my heart and soul and lives in the people who benefited by his presence in life and those who received his corneas and cardiac valves.

  89. #89 Kristen
    April 15, 2011

    Lilady,
    Your story is beautiful. It made me cry, in a good way. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  90. #90 augustine
    April 15, 2011

    I do find your remarks about mentally impaired individuals personally offensive.

    1st of all, do you really consider Chris to be a mentally impaired individual? I don’t think you do. I also don’t think you are personally offended. You and Kristen would have more credibility with that statement if you weren’t so harsh on others yourselves. So spare me your emotional sensitivity manipulation.

    This word has a medical definition and is highly offensive in the way you used it.

    So does idiot, moron, and imbecile. I don’t see you lambasting any of your fellow bloggers for using those terms. You’re only selectively offended.

    insolence – the trait of being rude and impertinent; inclined to take liberties
    insolence – an offensive disrespectful impudent act

    Somehow, just somehow, I don’t think there are any sensitive types on here that are regular posters. Well, maybe, David “alphabet” Andrews. But that’s about it.

  91. #91 augustine
    April 15, 2011

    djd

    In other words, augie isn’t being dishonest about the content of the paper, he simply did not read it and would thus not know where he went wrong.

    You meant lilady.

  92. #92 ArtK
    April 15, 2011

    @augie

    Pretty serious editorial problem going on here, since the presence or lack of the “only” changes the meaning significantly.

    It’s not an editorial mistake.

    Ah… reading comprehension failure again. Did I say “mistake”? No, I said “problem” and did so deliberately. I can’t tell the reason for the discrepancy, and I’m not going to speculate on its source.

  93. #93 dedicated lurker
    April 15, 2011

    So does idiot, moron, and imbecile.

    A hundred years ago they were, auggie. They’re not medical definitions anymore.

  94. #94 Kristen
    April 15, 2011

    You and Kristen would have more credibility with that statement if you weren’t so harsh on others yourselves. So spare me your emotional sensitivity manipulation.

    So does idiot, moron, and imbecile.

    A hundred years ago they were, auggie. They’re not medical definitions anymore.

    It isn’t a manipulation. You can use any insult you want, except for those that denigrate others, especially knowing there are so many of us here with children who have neurological issues of one sort or another.

    When Kim Stagliano asked us to sign a petition for her daughter many of us did. Why? Because our differences don’t matter when it comes to the kids.

    The one good quality I thought you had: you never went “there”, insulting the children. I appreciated that. Now, knowing you did, you defend your choice of words. It speaks volumes about you.

  95. #95 Narad
    April 15, 2011

    The ugh troll, if you consider him to be some sort of nihilist, is the genuine article.

    Augustine’s not a nihilist in any non-cartoonish sense (i.e., rejecting ontology). He doesn’t even understand that a proper sad sack routine requires one to (1) inspire some sort of pity and (2) have a supply of even more pathetically ghoulish friends to run away and crow to about how one “showed those people.” Imagine Shirley Phelps left to her own devices.

  96. #96 Mandrellian
    April 15, 2011

    Augie-Troll’s rationalisation of using “retarded” as an insult and his subsequent, callous dismissal of the clear offence it caused to the mother of an impaired child says a lot more about his character than anything he’s ever written/regurgitated about vaccines.

    Given this revelation of tragically weak & gratuitously, purposely offensive character, any hypothetical ad hominen he were to attract from now on, such as, say “pig-ignorant hyperdogmatic agenda-driven anti-knowledge paranoid conspiracy-mongering copy-pasting fuckwitted knee-jerk shill for unproven & disproven non-medicine & defender of frauds, con-artists, celebrity idiots and dangers to public health”, would be well-earned.

  97. #97 ChrisKid
    April 15, 2011

    Augustine:
    I believe I asked you a question, which you have yet to answer.
    Here’s another. You regularly complain here about the atheistic bent of this site, and often use ‘atheist’ as an insult of sorts. Given that, and a few other indications in your posts, I get the impression you are a Christian believer of some stripe. As a Christian myself, I keep wondering if you have given any thought at all to the way you’re presenting yourself here. What is it you’re showing?

  98. #98 augustine
    April 16, 2011

    Kristen:

    The one good quality I thought you had: you never went “there”, insulting the children. I appreciated that. Now, knowing you did, you defend your choice of words.

    HOLY estrogen, Batman! Lilady is not a defenseless little child who can’t handle personal insults. She is a retired senior citizen with an attitude.

    You’ve been on this board long enough and seen enough insults. Spare me the clutching the pearls routine that others have seen to latch on to.

    Don’t get nasty(not necessarily you) and then turn around and act shocked when someone throws it back into your face.

    But I digress. For the record I don’t think I’ve used the SBMer fondness terms like idiot, dunce,stupid, moron, jackass, quack, etc., before. So I can hold off on the “retarded” term if it culturally offends you. But don’t say I “insulted a child” by painting the picture of someone looking down, pointing, and lambasting a crying handicapped child.

    I guess I didn’t get the Draconis memo about only using politically correct insults.

  99. #99 augustine
    April 16, 2011

    Back to the discussion at hand. Lilady appears to be incapable of learning her mistake. She didn’t bother to read the entire article.

  100. #100 Kristen
    April 16, 2011

    You don’t get it, that’s fine. But that’s no different from saying: “by calling him a fag I was in no way insulting gay people”. It is an insult to mentally retarded people to use their medical designation as an insult. Clutching of pearls it may be, but you would be too if it hit so close to home.

    Not to mention your “HOLY estrogen, Batman” quip. I’ve come to expect misogyny from you.

  101. #101 lilady
    April 16, 2011

    @ Kristen: This retired senior citizen. is still licensed, is well respected in the medical community and only has an attitude when she is personally attacked.

    If you recall Augie started launching his invective a while back toward me when we were posting about the pertussis outbreak in California. I provided information about the epidemiology/investigation/containment of pertussis in exposed and non-immunized children and adults. I even provided the references used by public health physicians and nurses to properly investigate infectious diseases.

    Augie called me a LIAR.

    Since then, he continually has launched invectives against me as soon as I post.

    Yes, I find his “retarded” remark personally offensive; not just because of my son, but because it is a vicious attack on a group of individuals that are especially vulnerable…just par for the course for our resident troll.

    Our resident troll has been called out repeatedly about his very virulent racist, religious, sexist and xenophobic, remarks. He disparages any and all people who are educated, employed, productive and who work toward the common good of our society.

    The troll first posed the question to me:

    Where did YOU go to school?

    I in turn, posed the question to troll. Little ol nurse lady, Barney Fife nurse has lived long enough to know a scam artist when confronted. I then asked troll:

    Where are you gainfully employed?

    Other posters have asked the same question and troll just ignores them. We have our answers.

    BTW, I visited by son’s friend who is similarly disabled every week and I have temporary guardianship of him and I am there for him in between times…whenever he is in distress or is hospitalized.

  102. #102 Bruce Gorton
    April 16, 2011

    Posted by: Jen | April 14, 2011 11:15 AM

    The panel ruled that Wakefield caused three children to undergo lumbar punctures without clinical reason.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article7009882.ece

  103. #103 Chris
    April 16, 2011

    Since then, he continually has launched invectives against me as soon as I post.

    Join the club. He does that when he has been pushed into a corner. If he can’t pull a “gotch!” on you, he resorts to insults. Though his odd fascination with transgender issues is both weird and creepy (he started this after being told that I was not male for the umpteenth time).

  104. #104 Dangerous Bacon
    April 16, 2011

    “He disparages any and all people who are educated, employed, productive and who work toward the common good of our society.”

    And he insulted me too. :(

  105. #105 Chris
    April 16, 2011

    Dangerous Bacon, no need for the sad face. He needs to resort to insults means that you got to him to. It is something one wears as a badge of honor, just like how many of us consider our whale.to tribute pages (albeit, mine is under a former ‘nym).

  106. #106 Chris
    April 16, 2011

    Stupid lack of coffee… Second sentence should be “He needs to resort to insults because you got to him to.”

    Ignore the coffee deficit grammar.

  107. #107 lilady
    April 16, 2011

    @ Bruce Gordon: Thanks for Deer’s article. Lumbar punctures are clinically indicated to test spinal fluid for the presence of infectious diseases, elevated cerebral spinal pressure, presence of certain neurological movement disorders and to monitor primary or metastatic cancers. I presume parents signed a medical permission form to allow him to do this. Notice that Deer stated that there was no “clinical reason”…in the judgment of the doctors who were reviewing Wakefield’s work during the GMC hearing.

    You also provided me with the salary that Wakefield earned in the United States when he turned tail, didn’t appear to defend himself during the GMC hearing and chose to come to Austin Texas. Deer stated he earned 175,000 pounds sterling yearly as Executive Director of Thoughtful House.

    He was employed by Thoughtful House for six years and resigned immediately after the GMC struck him off the register. His total compensation for his six years tenure was $ 1,711,000 (USD). Nice haul for the disgraced Wakefield.

    @ Chris: Troll goes ballistic every time troll encounters anyone who adds to the discussion…based on experiences… based on science…based on education…based on actually working: all the attributes troll lacks.

  108. #108 Heliantus
    April 16, 2011

    Back to the discussion at hand. Lilady appears to be incapable of learning her mistake. She didn’t bother to read the entire article.

    And neither did you.

    About the “retarded” part, I’m afraid this has become (or has become again) the new hype insult among teenagers and young adults. The 18-y son of my best friend (OK, n~1) uses it quite liberally when talking about disappointing classmates.
    To my discomfort: my sister happens to be retarded.

    Reading this thread, and seeing how easily some words are exchanged, I just realized how much crap of this sort she should have had to wade through while in school.

    Words like idiot, imbecile, moron, cretin have a similar meaning, some of them were actually the term used in a medical setting. Except that they have been so over-used, they have been emptied of their original meaning.

    Not so “retarded”.
    Especially used on a blog where a good number of the posters have talked in the past about having disabled relatives, or being themselves on the autism spectrum.
    It’s like talking of rope to the family of a man who hanged himself.

  109. #109 ChrisKid
    April 16, 2011

    Augustine
    Are you simply ignoring me? Or is it because actually answering a reasonable question is more than you care to do here? I really am trying to give you a chance to be something other than the resident troll.

  110. #110 Kristen
    April 17, 2011

    Lilady,

    Augustine attacked me when he was new to trolling RI. He quipped about me having a lack of life experience. After I told him about my son with autism, my adopted teen who has PTSD from her earlier childhood and my son who died of a fatal birth defect he has been uncharacteristically cordial to me.

    I wasn’t reading or commenting here for a few months after my middle daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS so I guess I missed his downword spiral into full on, no holds barred troll.

  111. #111 augustine
    April 17, 2011

    After I told him about my son with autism, my adopted teen who has PTSD from her earlier childhood and my son who died of a fatal birth defect he has been uncharacteristically cordial to me.

    You’re not as nasty as Chris and Lilady. Those two together are like Heckle and Jeckle the talking magpies. They are smug and smart. If you disagree with their values then you are dumb. They simply can’t take what they dish out. They both have science blog weaknesses.

    “Heckle is slightly more cynical than Jeckle. Both of them treat their mutual enemies with threats and rudeness, but Heckle will usually make his intentions clear from the outset, while Jeckle will (at first) treat enemies politely in order to lull them into a false sense of security before unleashing magpie mayhem.”

    @chriskid,
    what question?

  112. #112 lilady
    April 18, 2011

    Kristen I had no idea of the grief you went through…so sorry. I love your postings, your intelligence and your advocacy. My kind of gal!

  113. #113 JakeS
    April 18, 2011

    I am really surprised that the Danish media has not picked up on this, there is only one older article regarding Poul Thorsen, even though right now there is a media***t storm about another disgrace for the scientific community, namely Milena Penkowa,

    This is actually not too surprising, for a couple of reasons:

    First, there is the nature of the allegations and the state of evidence. Thorsen is accused of embezzlement. Penkowa is convicted of embezzlement and accused of scientific fraud and of attempting to cover up her embezzlement by setting up a student. Although the sums of money involved are smaller, taken together the allegations against Penkowa are far more serious. Oh, and she also used her political patronage to maneuver herself into a prize for excellence in research. But that’s mostly a propaganda photo-op for public consumption, so I don’t think anybody in her field seriously begrudges her that.

    Second, there is the reaction of the suspects. Penkowa has been angling for a trial by media, counting on her political backers and personal charisma to save her. Or maybe just because she’s a narcissist who enjoys the attention. It can be hard to tell with right-wing poster girls like her.

    Third, precisely because Penkowa has political backers among the ruling right-wing coalition, l’affair Penkowa has political implications that Thorsen’s fairly straightforward alleged embezzlement does not.

    Penkowa’s patrons include the former minister of science and technology (V, ALDE), the former dean of the Faculty of Medicine (and current headmaster!) at her university (and aforementioned minister’s useful idiot and/or hatchet man at the university), and possibly the current dean as well (who enjoys the headmaster’s patronage, thanks to aforementioned minister’s university reform that abolished workplace democracy and instituted a semi-feudal management system). There are some really interesting facts bubbling to the surface about the then minister of technology trying to bury the story and the Faculty of Medicine quite conspicuously failing to rehire a postdoc who raised perceptive questions about her research ethics (questions which, as it turned out, were right on the money).

    Finally, Thorsen’s university has much better message control than Penkowa’s – they have fewer leaks, more professional counter-propaganda to bury bad press and generally more experienced and professional propaganda staff. (And Penkowa’s university maintains an independent in-house newspaper that has helped push the story. Thorsen’s university used to do the same, but its paper got converted to the usual toilet-paper quality corporate propaganda during the feudalisation reforms of the last decade.)

    – Jake

  114. #114 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 18, 2011

    Kristen, to Ugh-troll:

    The one good quality I thought you had: you never went “there”, insulting the children.

    He’s actually gone well beyond “there”; he’s willing to punish children based on his feelings about their parents:

    Your son is the last person that I would vaccinate my child for. Especially as nasty, self-centered, and intolerant as you are.

    Yup, you heard it: whether children receive protection from lethal vaccine-preventable diseases should be based on whether their parents are likeable. I wonder if this is how we can tell the “impostor Augie” from the real thing: the impostor doesn’t stoop to the same depths.

  115. #115 augustine
    April 18, 2011

    anteus

    he’s willing to punish children based on his feelings about their parents:

    Nice twist of logic to somehow equating my lack of vaccinating my child as a form of punishment for some other’s child.

    I have no authority over her child so it cannot even be considered punishment by definition even under your twisted communist values.

    whether children receive protection from lethal vaccine-preventable diseases should be based on whether their parents are likeable.

    Her child can get the Paul Offit recommended 10,000 vaccines. But don’t tell me I need to vaccinate my child for the hypothetical sake of your own. You will take no accountability for the health of my child yet you are willing to coerce or even force me to vaccinate. I know this to be true because I have seen time and time again when someone comes on here and says they’re child was injured by a vaccine. And the automatic response is attack. That doesn’t assure anyone that you have their child’s best interest at heart. It show’s them you are more concerned with vaccine compliance than any health outcome positive or negative.

  116. #116 Narad
    April 18, 2011

    Her child can get the Paul Offit recommended 10,000 vaccines. But don’t tell me I need to vaccinate my hypothetical child for the hypothetical sake of your own.

    Details, Augustine, details.

  117. #117 AnthonyK
    April 18, 2011

    idiot: you don’t have a child. You don’t have a decent education, or a real job – do you?
    Your are, in fact, wholly useless.
    You are no more than a sad, boring little religious twit, gooing up your keyboard with your ejaculatory self-congratulation.
    Why don’t you just go away?
    If you ever had anything interesting to say….no, counter-factual; dull from post 1.
    I’ve never seen anyone get publicly stupider before. Quite an achievement.
    I hope that you confine yourself to obsessive masturbation. Let’s keep your child virtual, eh?

  118. #118 JayK
    April 18, 2011

    Augie, as a researcher, I’m desperately trying to find a single confirmed case of vaccine caused autism, as it would greatly assist in trying to narrow down the spectrum and then have a new direction to focus some of my research. When these “parents” claim vaccine injury and then come up with the most bogus evidence and can’t even keep their stories straight, it gets frustrating. But what you call “attacking” in many cases is people like myself asking for evidence based arguments and evidence, something that so far has completely failed to materialize around all of these claims. It doesn’t help that we have someone like you that constantly plagues these forums with faulty logic and citeless random blatherings. Maybe YOU are the one making things worse?

  119. #119 dedicated lurker
    April 18, 2011

    If auggie really has a child that was premature and in an NICU (as he claimed in an earlier post) I find it interesting that he thinks vaccines are bad, but high-tech NCIUs with much more invasive procedures are good.

    Of course, he could have just made that up.

  120. #120 augustine
    April 18, 2011

    idiot: you don’t have a child. Your are, in fact, wholly useless.

    you ever had anything interesting to say….no, counter-factual; dull from post 1.
    I’ve never seen anyone get publicly stupider before. Quite an achievement.
    I hope that you confine yourself to obsessive masturbation.

    Athonky

    You are the finest SBM has to offer. With your amazing intellect, comprehension, and ability to transmit your ideas clearly across a room of scientists, you are the prized pupil. You speak for all SBMers. Orac should elect you “king of science blogs”.

    You are correct I don’t have A child. I actually have 2 fully unvaccinated perfectly healthy children.

  121. #121 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 18, 2011

    when someone comes on here and says they’re child was injured

    For God’s sake, stop this abuse!!!!

  122. #122 augustine
    April 18, 2011

    I find it interesting that he thinks vaccines are bad, but high-tech NCIUs with much more invasive procedures are good.

    Why?

    Do you think I have to accept either all of medical technology or none of it?

  123. #123 Lawrence
    April 18, 2011

    This can’t possibly be the same troll that constantly rails against medical “don’t you dare call it” science…..

    So, all of the wonderful technology, treatments, procedures, etc that went through the exact same vetting process as vaccines, in a NCIU is okay – but the entire vaccine program is bogus?

  124. #124 Narad
    April 18, 2011

    You are correct I don’t have A child. I actually have 2 fully unvaccinated perfectly healthy children.

    For that to be true, you’d need a carny job to snatch them from and a back yard for the cages.

  125. #125 dedicated lurker
    April 18, 2011

    Why?

    Do you think I have to accept either all of medical technology or none of it?

    Well, why is one good and the other bad?

  126. #126 AnthonyK
    April 18, 2011

    It’s very kind of you, augie, but (blushes) undeserved.
    So, you’ve got two children, eh?
    Do their parents know?

  127. #127 augustine
    April 19, 2011

    AnthonyK,

    Just curious. Are you from New Jersey? And are you kin to Snooki?

    You don’t seem like the scienceblogs type. You seem to be an emotional one. I don’t recall one single fact from you.

    Do any other science bloggers think AnthonyK is an exceptionally good science blogs poster? Is he a good example of science based medicine? Can anyone recall any facts he’s ever posted?

  128. #128 dedicated lurker
    April 19, 2011

    A person can’t be an example of science-based medicine; it’s a practice, not a state of being.

  129. #129 lilady
    April 19, 2011

    We now know that ugh troll gets TV reception in the cave and in addition to the endless loop of the Andy Griffith show, troll watches Jersey Shore….when he’s not poring over the Heckle and Jeckle comic books.

  130. #130 Gray Falcon
    April 19, 2011

    Augustine, did it ever occur to you that if innocent lives are being endangered by someone’s negligence, someone might actually feel justified anger over it? Logic doesn’t oppose emotion, it gives emotion a proper direction.

  131. #131 Graham Donnell
    May 6, 2011

    In response to the SCAREMONGERING of vets and vetinary nurses I had my dog vaccinated thinking I was being a responsible dog owner. My dog died 7 days later from adverse reactions to the vaccination.

    Now I research every treatment that my new dogs are offered. Thankfully some vetinary scinetists are actually honest and not in the pockets of the drug companies and tell the truth about vaccinations.

    My vet INSISTS that annual vaccinations are necessary to the point of telling me that I am being irresponsible in not complying with her wishes. The World Small Animal Vetinary Association in it’s 2010 report on the subject says that 3 years is the recommended time span for boosters.

    Animal owners have to filter through all the scaremongering!

  132. #132 Cant stop the DERP DERP DERP
    May 6, 2011

    I think it`s best that they(antivaxxers) just not vaccinate. Let their spawn perish. More for those of us who can actually think rationally and critically. Let evolution sort them out! :D

  133. #133 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 6, 2011

    In response to the SCAREMONGERING of vets and vetinary nurses I had my dog vaccinated thinking I was being a responsible dog owner. My dog died 7 days later from adverse reactions to the vaccination.

    Now I research every treatment that my new dogs are offered. Thankfully some vetinary scinetists are actually honest and not in the pockets of the drug companies and tell the truth about vaccinations.

    I think you left out a part of your story, namely, the part where it got proved that your dog’s adverse reaction to the vaccination was not just that, an adverse reaction to the vaccination.

    Without that, your story falls apart, because there is no deductive logic that leads from “my dog had an adverse reaction to a medication” to “most veterinary scientists are dishonest and in the pocket of the drug companies,” any more than there is deductive logic that leads from “I discovered that I have a peanut allergy” to “there is a conspiracy by Big Peanut.”

  134. #134 Beamup
    May 6, 2011

    I call Poe on Graham.

  135. #135 Guy Chapman
    June 5, 2011

    So let me get this right: Wakefield, the sole source for the MMR-autism idea, was found to have deliberately falsified data, but his resu8lts are still cited by the antivaxers as peerless and irrefutable science; Thorsen allegedly misappropriated funds in a research program in whose findings he played only a minor role, with no suggestion of *scientific* misconduct, and somehow this invalidates the entire scientific consensus on vaccination.

    Funny, now I write it down it doesn’t seem that compelling an argument.

  136. #136 Simpson Wood
    December 13, 2011

    The highly respected whistle blower Dr David Lewis recently reviewed the Wakefield files and concluded there is no fraud . And Doctor Andrew Wakefield has no case to answer . So what do you f(r)iends say to that ?

    Is it true the danish vaccine manufacturer SSL sponsored this Danish MMR study …..if so , that clearly invalidates this study to begin with , since it will be compromised fromt he start ?

  137. #137 W. Kevin Vicklund
    December 13, 2011

    And Dr. Dhillon, whose files Lewis reviewed, said that he didn’t make the diagnoses that Lewis said he did, which puts the possibility of fraud back in play.

  138. #138 herr doktor bimler
    December 13, 2011

    Is it true the danish vaccine manufacturer SSL sponsored this Danish MMR study
    Easy question. No.
    You could read the articles linked at the top of this post; they describe the sources of funding.
    Also there is no Danish vaccine manufacturer called SSL.

  139. #139 lilady
    December 13, 2011

    @ Simpson Wood: Haven’t you been reading the comments about Wakefield here. I for one, have been urging Wakefield to return to the U.K. to institute a motion to reinstate his medical license and to re-institute the law suit against Brian Deer…only if he is innocent, of course. Why hasn’t Wakefield done this?

  140. #140 Science Mom
    December 13, 2011

    The highly respected whistle blower Dr David Lewis…

    Why do your lot feel so compelled to attach superlatives such as “highly respected” or “prestigious” to your sources? There isn’t much that is respected about Dr. Lewis, especially now.

  141. #141 herr doktor bimler
    December 13, 2011

    I seem to recall that Dr Lewis’ involvement in the Wakefield saga (i.e. how Wakefield’s supporters hired his services) has been covered in this blog elsewhere:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/brian_deer_strikes_again_more_evidence_o.php

  142. #142 Chris
    December 13, 2011

    There is also more on Dr. Lewis here:
    http://biologyfiles.fieldofscience.com/2011/11/oh-what-tangled-web-we-weave.html

    (he actually fed John Stone stuff to post on the Nature article!)

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