Sometimes, as I sit down to write a blog post, I have no idea what I’m going to write about at first. Fortunately, it’s rare that I truly have zero idea what I’m going to write about. Usually, there are options, and I don’t know which one I’m going to pick. Sometimes, however, something happens that demands that I write about it. Either that, or it’s something that I know my readers will want me to write about and will be disappointed if I do not. Unfortunately, in this case, the timing is such that there’s been nearly a full day since the announcement of this particularly stupid decision (and I know you know what I’m talking about, even though I haven’t explicitly stated it yet) that everyone and his grandmother has already blogged about it. I have a highly demanding day job; so I have to wait, to the point where I’m already bored with this story, having seen endless Tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts that I perused just over lunch earlier today, with more having poured in over the several hours since lunch. At this point, should I even bother?

What the hell? Why not? After all, my ego tells me that whatever all those other bloggers have to say is as nothing compared to the awesomeness that is Orac’s ability to dissect antivaccine nonsense, and few have followed the antivaccine “career” (such as it is) of Jenny McCarthy.

By this point, anyone who gives even a part of a rodential posterior about the antivaccine movement has already heard that the producers of the daytime chat show (I love the British term; so posh) have made an enormous, bone-headed, idiotic mistake on par with hiring Colin Baker to play the sixth Doctor back in the 1980s. No, much worse. Colin Baker didn’t promote dangerous pseudoscience, and, I hate to admit, I did occasionally like his portrayal of my favorite Time Lord. Yes, I’m referring to the hiring of Jenny McCarthy to be a regular on The View.

I can’t help but point out right here that it’s been very clear to me over the last couple of years that Jenny McCarthy has been making a conscious effort to—shall we say?—deemphasize her antivaccine crankery. Oh, sure, she still shows up every year to bask in the adoration of the antivaccine faithful at their yearly Autism One quackfest and even did it just this May. But the rest of the year she’s nowhere near as visible promoting “her” organization Generation Rescue as she used to be a few years ago. Indeed, other than last week’s post about the speculation that she might become a regular on The View it’s been a long time since I’ve written a post that was primarily about something Jenny McCarthy did. This post defending Andrew Wakefield in 2011 might well have been her most recent appearance as “star” of a post by me on this blog. Sure, I’ve written posts that have mentioned her secondarily, but it’s been at least a couple of years since she was the primary recipient of some of Orac’s not-so-Respectful Insolence. Heck, even when a bill was being considered in California to make it harder to obtain non-medical exemptions, it fell to Saturday Night Live alumnus Rob Schneider to bring the stupid home and step up—or, if you prefer, down—to be The Official Celebrity Antivaccine Idiot rallying opposition to the law. Not so long ago, that job surely would have fallen to Jenny McCarthy, but she was nowhere to be seen. Even Chuck Norris is outdoing Jenny McCarthy in laying down flaming swaths of antivaccine stupid these days. No longer do we get such brilliant statements from Jenny McCarthy as:

Examples:

  • “Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism.”
  • “Following bio-medical treatment — which is basically changing the diet, giving vitamins and supplements and detoxing the body from metals or candida — and he recovered. And the reason the medical community has such a hard time with this is because we are treating and healing a vaccine injury … this is truly a revolution.”
  • “People are also dying from vaccinations. Evan, my son, died in front of me for two minutes. You ask any mother in the autism community if we’ll take the flu, the measles, over autism and day of the week. I think they need to wake up and stop hurting our kids.”
  • “The reason why [the medical community] is reluctant to talk about it is because there’s such a huge business in pharmaceuticals.”
  • “I look at autism like a bus accident, and you don’t become cured from a bus accident, but you can recover.” — She said in a Time magazine profile, The Autism Debate: Who’s Afraid of Jenny McCarthy?
  • “Let me see if I can put this in scientific terms: Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen.”

And let’s not forget her famous rant in the TIME Magazine article mentioned above:

I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their fucking fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s shit. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

No more, but I don’t believe McCarthy has changed her views. Her silence on autism and vaccines is very much more likely to be part of a plan to resurrect her career. It’s apparently all worked. Jenny McCarthy has become “respectable” enough to land a high profile gig on The View. Or maybe I should say that she is no longer disreputable enough to be denied such a gig. It used to be that the only jobs she could land were low-budget direct-to-video gigs, starring in video games, and other sundry bottom-feeding entertainment jobs. Memories are clearly short, though. She soon started appearing in a recurring guest role on Two and a Half Men and landed a spot as a cohost of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve. Eventually, somehow she got some guest shots on The View, and now she’s a regular. Hiding her antivaccine proclivities has served her well. Five years ago, she was leading antivaccine cranks in marches on Washington demanding that politicians “green our vaccines.” In 2013, she’s the new cohost of The View.

So what’s the big deal? Everyone deserves a second chance, right? If McCarthy keeps her yap shut about vaccines while she’s on The View, then who cares? To some extent, I can understand and partially agree with that view. There are plenty of performers with political or other views that I find odious whom I nonetheless find entertaining enough to watch. Nor does hiring someone to be on a coffee klatch that provides infotainment by discussing the issues of the day in a light, fluffy, frothy morning brew of a show, even more forgettable as a typical summer blockbuster imply that ABC agrees with her views. After all, the woman she is replacing, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, has some—shall we say?—questionable views, but this is different. Jenny McCarthy’s views endanger children by encouraging parents not to vaccinate. Sure, McCarthy denies to high heaven that she has told parents not to vaccinate, but she has a history of spreading the sort of misinformation that frightens parents, claims that vaccines cause autism. I’ve been writing about it for years.

Jenny McCarthy’s ignorance of science and antivaccine views are perhaps best encapsulated in this video, in which she parrots easily debunked antivaccine misinformation claiming that vaccines contain aborted fetal tissues, ether, and antifreeze, none of which is accurate. She blames autism on children reaching a “toxic tipping point” and claims that autism can be healed by various “detoxification.” If you want to see an example of sheer, unmitigated antivaccine stupid, watch the videos below. The antivaccine crank blog originally posted this video, but took it down, apparently out of embarrassment. But YouTube knows all, and I hope that as many people as possible watch these videos and read my deconstruction of them here:

Pay particular attention to the part where McCarthy tries to give a discourse on neurology. As I wrote at the time, I rather suspected (and still do) that the shock would cause poor Steve Novella to clutch his chest with crushing chest pain if he tried to watch it, as she describes neurons as the “kings” and the glial cells the “chefs,” which, according to her, can “morph into Rambo” and fight off Iran and Iraq. In fact, she even describes it and acts it out. Her analogy? Allergies change the “chef cells” into “Rambo cells,” and the “king cells” starve.

Painful.

I also encourage people to look at the sorts of signs that were carried by protestors at the rally that Jenny McCarthy led:

i-b8657678e6f861a6ef8b5ab26daf2eee-stoppoisoningchildren.jpg
i-01bf2076a666c83e7395930e23117bcf-collateral.jpg

i-be7df92cfb2efd85e091bad7a8583856-stoppoisoning.jpg

i-eb46e25b1358c109e4e2fee9059a8bb6-scary.jpg

i-394cf4f50a1a6bd40bb3276741afd76c-vaccineskill.jpg

i-fb77c1e5ee1f91022086d53c9f7a64e9-ffcd.jpg

i-b78b252023452f9f293b685b0290d668-vaccinespoisonedson.jpg

i-12a2c5f878dd3e2cab13c061702d3521-poisongovernment.jpg

i-42c69bf8f2c24c90a7cf7ed748ed3273-poisongovernment2.jpg

i-8d2fd398845e030a011c463c4d42690f-preservechildren.jpg

i-9e4cca60e7ca0873648bfa213599cc60-Stolentoxic.jpg

i-ca21a1e75b36876dcbaa828b173dd63f-childvaccine.jpg
i-a1f22dd40e5d4167911eacddd02546eb-wmd.jpg

More images can be found here. You get the idea. This is not just a matter of hiring someone with misguided ideas that are kooky but harmless. This is someone who has not only been an antivaccine activist and a leader of a rally on Washington designed to get the government to “acknowledge” that vaccines cause autism.

No doubt ABC will argue that that’s all in the past, except that it’s not. Not really. Jenny McCarthy still shows up every year at the antivaccine quackfest known as Autism One. Before, when she showed up, she was just a washed up former Playboy Playmate, comedienne, and actress with fringe views. Now she’s on a show with 3 million viewers broadcast nationally, which raises her status immensely. Before, when she showed up at the Autism One quackfest, no one outside of antivaccinationists and those of us who oppose them cared. Now, one can anticipate that her new status will allow her to raise the profile of the quackfest. Indeed, it will be interesting to see if McCarthy does the keynote for the 2014 Autism One meeting, as she has done for the past several years. Unless a ban on McCarthy appearing at such events is written into her contract, I don’t see how ABC could stop McCarthy from appearing there and raising its profile by her now magnified celebrity.

Even though The View is fluffy infotainment, it’s fluffy infotainment with millions of viewers, many of whom are young mothers who might be wondering whether it’s safe to vaccinate or not. If Jenny McCarthy is allowed to let her antivaccine freak flag fly again in this venue, the damage could be severe, as questions of science are presented as manufactroversies in which pseudoscience is presented as science. I’d be shocked if McCarthy’s antivaccine friends in Generation Rescue aren’t plotting right now to give her talking points and ways to work them into conversations on the show where they don’t sound out of place or forced, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her slipping such messages in every now and then. It might not even be noticeable to anyone without a deep knowledge of the antivaccine movement, at least not at first.

ABC, what have you wrought?

Comments

  1. #1 Bill Price
    Being nasty under my own name to Gordon and Wordpress
    July 21, 2013

    #581, Science Mom July 20, 2013

    @ Bill Price:

    ten to the 24th

    Notations for exponentials can be achieved with ^ so 10^24 seems to be accepted.

    Look at the context: I was explaining some medical/scientific concepts to “Dr” Gordon, concerning some meds he was using on his patients — meds about which he had expressed his own ignorance. He gives me no reason to conjecture that he is able to understand anything outside the bare minimum of mathematics, if that.
    Of course, 10^24 would work, as would 1.0E+24 (FORTRAN, C), 1e24 (Pascal, Smalltalk), @24 (Burroughs Algols) or even 10**24 (some FORTRANs). I personally prefer 10↑24, if the up-arrow character isn’t corrupted by WordPress.
    But the problem lingered: if “Dr” Gordon has to have a layman explain his homeopathic meds to him, would it be fruitful to use even the simplest math notation?
    #588 Narad July 21, 2013

    Notations for exponentials can be achieved with ^ so 10^24 seems to be accepted.

    10²⁴ sort of works, too, although Unicode is a frank slopbucket.

    I considered using unicode entities, but I tried that some time ago, and WordPress corrupted too many of them out of existence. Without preview, one can’t trust WordPress with anything.
    If I wanted to experiment more with WordPress comment corruption, I would try expressing Avogadro’s Constant using the Gnome ‘character map’ applet, like this: 6.02⨉10²³. It might work: you can see whether it did or not, but I can’t until I submit it. But finding the character in the character map and getting it into the comment is a pain, even if WP doesn’t mess it up.
    #590 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge July 21, 2013

    10<sup>24</sup> doesn’t work? 1024

    #591 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge July 21, 2013

    Guess not. Carry on.

    We’ve known for ages that WordPress corrupts most useful markup, like <sup>, into oblivion.
    #593 Narad July 21, 2013

    10<sup>24</sup> doesn’t work? 1024

    Of course not. That would require marginal WP competence.

    ;-). Or, if WordPress has corrupted the emoticon into an image, ;-‍).

  2. #2 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    July 21, 2013

    I’d still love to get a DC-area Happy Hour together for the Orac gang….

    I’ve never been in a gang, but if by DC-area you don’t mean Maryland…

  3. #3 Gray Falcon
    July 21, 2013

    Dear “Jay Gordon”, or whatever your real name is, how do we know you’re not a rival doctor trying to discredit the real Dr. Gordon by posting under his name? All your talk about posting under your real name seems like a rather specific denial.

  4. #4 LW
    July 21, 2013

    According to howmanyofme.com, there are an estimated 110 people named “Jay Gordon” in the United States. So this commenter might be perfectly non-pseudonymous and still not be Dr. Jay Gordon, Pediatrician to the *Stars*. Which is why it is so stupid to complain about people commenting pseudonymously.

  5. #5 Lawrence
    July 21, 2013

    @Johnny – I’m pretty sure DC-area includes Maryland…..downtown Silver Spring and Rockville are pretty nice nowadays

  6. #6 Agashem
    Anglophone Canada
    July 21, 2013

    Alain, peut etre dans le futur nous pouvons nous recontrer a Montreal. C’est rare que je visite la bas, mais c’est possible. J’aimerais bien ca……(apologies for not having access to a french keyboard)

  7. #7 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 21, 2013

    Frankly, given Jay’s record of FIFUDOS behavior, my guess for the comment credited to just “jay gordon” is that it really is Dr. Jay, but he wants plausible deniability.

  8. #8 Alain
    July 21, 2013

    @ Agashem,

    Sure, I’d be happy to meet you. You have my email?

    Alain

  9. #9 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    July 21, 2013

    I’m pretty sure DC-area includes Maryland…..downtown Silver Spring and Rockville are pretty nice nowadays

    Everything you say is true – but DC is 30 miles away from here, and Silver Spring and Rockville, while nice areas, are 40 or so.

  10. #10 Lawrence
    July 21, 2013

    @Johnny – ah, Baltimore is nice too….not to mention spots in Northern VA….

  11. #11 Jay Gordon (No initials)
    July 21, 2013

    @Bill Price I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    @LW My favorite other Jay Gordon is the lead singer for the band “Orgy.” I met him once. He’s a foot taller than I am and considerably wealthier.

    @all “jay gordon” was typed with laziness about capital letters.

    @lilady I am truly sorry that AOA denizens slimed you. That behavior is inexcusable.

    @TBruce ORAC and others have explained well why people here use pseudonyms. The heat involved in vaccine discussions apparently leads not just to intemperate speech but also to intemperate behavior.

    By the way, the directors of the programs in the all four hospitals where I practice have been contacted by people who do not agree with me and think I should not be able to continue seeing patients at these hospitals. They have let me know about it. It has adversely affected my relationships with these hospitals although I continue to practice at each of them. I still refuse to use a pseudonym.

  12. #12 Lawrence
    July 21, 2013

    @Dr. Jay – given that you give horrible medical advice, it is not in a hospital’s best interest to be associated with you. I, of course, would never complain directly – as it is that type of behavior that the anti-vax folks love, but a simple search would give a hospital administrator all the information that he or she would need to know to make a rational decision about associating with a Doctor that knowingly endangers his patients.

  13. #13 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    July 21, 2013

    Dr Gordon (if this is indeed the real Dr Gordon) says

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    Yet, not knowing much about it doesn’t stop Dr. Gordon from recommending it to his patients. These are what can reasonably be called Dr. Gordon’s own words, not from articles he has linked to.

    drjaygordon.com/faq/traveling/firstaidkit

    I am a big fan of homeopathic remedies including teething tablets, arnica for wounds and pain, pulsatilla for earaches and sinus congestion and Boiron’s “Cold Calm” for scratchy throats.

    (you know where)/faq/medicalconcerns/earinfections

    I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.

    /alternative/herbal-treatment-of-depression.html

    Here is a link that goes into homeopathic remedies for depression. The info given is on postpartum depression simply because all of these are safe while nursing. They are all used to treat general depression as well, so they’re not specific for use for PPD.
    {link sniped to avoid moderation}

    How about a little different woo?

    /alternative/natural-treatments-for-colds.html

    The first thing you’ll want to do is boost your body’s immune system. Echinacea, 2 capsules 3 times per day, and Colloidal Silver are great immune system boosters.

    Colloidal Silver? Not as silly as homeopathy, sure, but these examples, combined with the “good” Doctor’s anti-vax ideas, expressed in his own words on his own website, should make any competent hospital administrator consider pulling his privileges.

  14. #14 Stu
    July 21, 2013

    Uh-oh, someone mentioned homeopathy. Now how do I not look like a total dunce to the science-literate, but still avoid from condemning snake-oil claptrap I have recommended for over a decade on my site?

    I know! I’ll just use more weasel-words! Nobody will ever notice!

    To wit:

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    Ten minutes of Google research should tell you all you need to know about homeopathy, Jay. It’s a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys. Since you love to Google for things, I strongly suspect you’ve known this for years and are again disseminating to make sure none of your *STARS* withdraw their *INDIGO SNOWFLAKES* from your practice.

    In essence, again, lying for money.

    the directors of the programs in the all four hospitals where I practice have been contacted by people who do not agree with me and think I should not be able to continue seeing patients at these hospitals

    What you do actively endangers children. You know this. The only reason you keep on lying is because it makes you money. Notifying hospitals you practice at that you do this is a civic duty (full disclosure: I did NOT contact anyone you do business with). Answer me this, Jay. Would you or would you not notify a hospital if you knew a doctor practicing there was openly advocating bloodletting and lead supplements?

  15. #15 Stu
    July 21, 2013

    @Johnny: THANK you for doing the trawling on that one. After the expedition I did a few days ago I just did not have the mental fortitude.

  16. #16 LW
    July 21, 2013

    @Jay Gordon (No initials):

    By the way, the directors of the programs in the all four hospitals where I practice have been contacted by people who do not agree with me and think I should not be able to continue seeing patients at these hospitals. They have let me know about it. It has adversely affected my relationships with these hospitals although I continue to practice at each of them. I still refuse to use a pseudonym.

    It took the hospitals this long to figure out that they should be concerned about Dr. Gordon? I feel lucky that I don’t live anywhere near California, as otherwise I’d have to try to find out which four hospitals those are so I wouldn’t accidentally go to any of them. I would worry that an antivax physician is unlikely to vaccinate himself or his staff against the flu and other diseases that would be very risky to vulnerable people in the hospital.

  17. #17 LW
    July 21, 2013

    Oh, for Dr. Gordon’s information and for any lurkers, homeopathy is Western. There is no non-Western culture that ever practiced homeopathy.

  18. #18 Stu
    July 21, 2013

    I did do a little bit more, and watched the trailer for Jay’s “105 minute multi-chapter streaming webinar”, which he still charges — wait, $8.99? I thought it was just $5? — for…

    Hang on. Seriously Jay? You charge concerned parents over a full hour’s worth of work to lie to them for an hour and a half?

    Saying things like

    A child may come home with a second or third virus and it may feel like illnesses are passed back and forth, but in fact exposure to a viral or bacterial infection often gives you life-long immunity.

    I couldn’t make it far past that. “Vaccines act differently”. “They create memory cells”. It’s so willfully stupid it hurts.

    You, Jay Gordon, are a scumbag. If you dislike me saying this anonymously, pick a time and place for me to tell it to your face.

  19. #19 LW
    July 21, 2013

    So Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, promotes colloidal silver. Why am I not surprised?

    Presumably he promotes argyria as a result of colloidal silver in ignorance just as he promotes homeopathy despite admitted ignorance of it.

  20. #20 Bronze Dog
    July 21, 2013

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    As previously mentioned, homeopathy is indeed “western” in origin. But that’s pretty irrelevant to us aside from its role in exposing Gordon’s ignorance and/or hypocrisy about the use of the word.

    One important note you can pretend you didn’t hear next time this comes up: Some of us consider the phrase “western medicine” to be a racist dog whistle, insulting to both Easterners and Westerners. Sure, science-based medicine may have gotten its start in one hemisphere, but who cares? There’s nothing inherently “western” about it aside from that historical accident. We do science to check against cognitive biases that are universal to humans.

  21. #21 LW
    July 21, 2013

    @Bronze Dog, yeah. I thought of mentioning the racist aspect of his words, but, well, everything about him is so loathsome that it’s hard to cover it all.

    Also, homeopathy makes no sense to those trained in science. Science is neither western nor eastern. And Dr. Gordon doesn’t appear to be trained in science.

  22. #22 Jay Gordon
    July 21, 2013

    @Stu @ORAC
    “You, Jay Gordon, are a scumbag. If you dislike me saying this anonymously, pick a time and place for me to tell it to your face.”

    OK, ORAC, you’re waiting for a place to ban, censure or warn a threatening poster? If this isn’t what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it.

    Stu, calm down.

  23. #23 LW
    July 21, 2013

    Dr. Gordon says people say things on line that they wouldn’t say in person. Stu offers to say the same thing in person. Dr. Gordon demands that he be banned.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    July 21, 2013

    @ Dr Jay:

    Why would be Orac ban Stu?

    While he may indeed be speaking in a rough manner, he refers to “saying” and “tell”-ing it to you, not threatening violence or trying to get you into trouble. He says that he’ll tell you so in person so you can see who he is.

    Calm down, Dr.

  25. #25 lilady
    July 21, 2013

    Jay, how disingenuous of you to be engaging us in a dialogue about vaccines where you were accused us who use ‘nyms to post, of evil nefarious motives, while feeding your ego as the “go-to guy/expert” on a local radio station.

    Too, too bad that you now face censure from the hospitals where you admit your young patients. No Jay, I did not notify those hospitals, but I am delighted that your anti-vaccine, anti-science activities have (finally), been noticed by hospital administrators.

    You’ve overplayed your hand with this latest PR coup…time now, to face the consequences.

  26. #26 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    July 21, 2013

    Jay Gordon (the doctor who tries to ‘out-guess’ medicine science research) –

    You haven’t replied to earlier comments of substance, yet prefer to try poke people about pseudonyms, language, etc. – your crying wolf isn’t looking good.

    “There are children born with genetic predispositions to certain illnesses and medical conditions and vaccines may be one of the triggers causing overt disease. Those who claim 100% certainty of these causal links are just as unscientific as those who claim 100% certainty that there is no link at all.” – a lousy argument. In practice for many (most?) of these conditions they’re still better to get vaccines. You’re trying to “out-guess” medicine science based on Google University by the looks of it (like my noting that you claim about the nature and balance of vaccine evidence reveals that you’re overly relying on Google University earlier).

    “The original varicella vaccine was available for special use…” So? There’s a difference between medicines people opt in to use and those approved as part of large public health programs.

    “I’ll update my current thoughts and practices regarding vaccination as soon as I have time.” – if the website is out of date and has erroneous material the simpler, quicker and more honest thing to do is simply to take the website (or offending pages) down until you have time to fix it (or take it down permanently if you haven’t). It’s what responsible medical services do.

    “knowing someone’s story makes it easier to understand why they act and feel the way they do” – this is an excuse. If it’s about science it’s never about the person writing the material. As a point of reference, consider that peer review of scientific material is most often anonymous.

    “I’m also trying to figure out how knowing a person’s identity, available just by Googling them, is really “outing.”” – you don’t seem to understand the idea of respecting other people’s wishes: if people write using a pseudonym, that’s their wish – accept it. See LW @ #580 for more in a similar vein.

  27. #27 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 21, 2013

    Look at the context: I was explaining some medical/scientific concepts to “Dr” Gordon, concerning some meds he was using on his patients — meds about which he had expressed his own ignorance. He gives me no reason to conjecture that he is able to understand anything outside the bare minimum of mathematics…

    Ah, my bad Mr. Price. As we can see, you are correct by his own admission…

    @Bill Price I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    Note the use of “Western medicine”, clearly a pejorative. But I would like to ask Dr. Gordon why on Earth he would even dabble in homeopathy if he is so ignorant of it? Perhaps more of his desire to cater to his ‘more money than brains’ clientèle? Proffer himself as an ‘enlightened’ and avant garde physician?

    By the way, the directors of the programs in the all four hospitals where I practice have been contacted by people who do not agree with me and think I should not be able to continue seeing patients at these hospitals. They have let me know about it. It has adversely affected my relationships with these hospitals although I continue to practice at each of them. I still refuse to use a pseudonym.

    While I don’t particularly approve of this approach and wouldn’t use it myself in part because of what anti-vaxxers (the people you constantly defend and cater to) do to those who they view as enemies in retaliation for a perceived attack. In your case however, I don’t think this is entirely inappropriate as you are a treating physician and you clearly don’t practise ethically.

  28. #28 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 21, 2013

    As someone who works in the public service, I’ve usually found the people who insist on putting their letters after their name in every single communications are utter twerps. The ones who insist on people using their titles in front of their name if they’re something other than “Mr/Mrs/Ms” are even bigger twerps.

  29. #29 LW
    July 21, 2013

    At least homeopathy is relatively harmless — since it’s just water or sugar pills it won’t do any harm unless you use it instead of real medicine. But he recommends colloidal silver for colds!

    I can’t put it any better than Rosemary Jacobs (victim of a doctor who recommended colloidal silver for colds) put it:

    If NDs [naturopaths] had known as much about medicine as I, an educated consumer, do, they would have searched the medical literature before including anything in their formulary. If they had done that, they would have seen that: there are no studies showing that ingesting silver in any form or amount offers benefits; colloidal silver does not treat eye infections; taking silver internally or putting it in your eye can result in permanent discoloration.

    If NDs had checked common toxicology reference books, they would have seen that silver causes argyria. If they had looked at old pharmacology books, they would have found warnings about the uselessness and danger of taking it internally. If they had checked current ones, they would have discovered that those practicing scientific medicine discarded silver long ago.

    If NDs followed notices published by NCCAM, the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, or the FDA, they would have seen consumer warnings as well as the FDA rule in the Federal Register stating that silver cannot be used as a drug because ingesting it offers no benefits and is dangerous. If NDs had googled “silver” or “colloidal silver”, they would have learned all of the above. If they followed the mainstream media, they would have seen Paul Karason or me.

    Of course, she was talking about naturopaths. She didn’t realize that there was at least one person with an MD who likewise didn’t know as much about medicine as she, an educated consumer, does.

    I wonder if any of Dr. Gordon’s unfortunate patients have started to look a little blue … oh, well, it usually takes some years for the effects to become visible so perhaps they won’t realize the problem until they are permanently disfigured.

  30. #30 Curious Lurker
    July 21, 2013

    “As someone who works in the public service, I’ve usually found the people who insist on putting their letters after their name in every single communications are utter twerps. The ones who insist on people using their titles in front of their name if they’re something other than “Mr/Mrs/Ms” are even bigger twerps.”

    You mean something like this?

    R.N.,BSc-Nursing, Public Health Nurse/Clinician-Epidemiologist (retired)

  31. #31 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 21, 2013

    Homeopathy and colloidal silver? I would have bet money that my opinion of Dr. Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP couldn’t get any lower—good thing I couldn’t find any takers.

  32. #32 TBruce
    July 21, 2013

    @Curious Lurker:

    What part of “people who insist on putting their letters after their name in every single communications” did you not understand?

  33. #33 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 22, 2013

    Well Curious, that is the sort of thing I was talking about. However, I suspect you are making a clumsy indirect attack at lilady. By citihg her experience as a nurse and epidemiologist, lilady is pointing out why this is such an important issue to her. There may be a touch of “right, let’s talk qualifications and see whose are more impressive” but the difference is, lilady doesn’t do it just about every time she comments.

  34. #34 Narad
    July 22, 2013

    I would try expressing Avogadro’s Constant using the Gnome ‘character map’ applet, like this: 6.02⨉10²³. It might work: you can see whether it did or not, but I can’t until I submit it.

    Right, but that “works” because the glyphs for superscripts ‘2’ and ‘3’ (and ‘1’, in that order) are insanely* in different blocks from ‘4’ through ‘9’ and are basically guaranteed to render in typographically incompatible fashion. How the characters are inserted doesn’t matter.

    Oh, and the Unicode logo is jaw-droppingly bad design, which I suppose is at least one bit of consistency to be had from the effort.

    * I know what the rationalization for this is; it’s the pretense that Unicode itself is anything other than a truly giant mess built atop a fairly small mess that rankles me. L-rd knows how people would get along without a code point for a roman superscript ‘n’. (And make no mistake; once you start specifying “DOUBLE-STRUCK ITALIC SMALL I,” the jig is up.)

  35. #35 Bill Price
    July 22, 2013

    Science Mom, http://justthevax.blogspot.com/,
    July 21, 2013:

    Ah, my bad Mr. Price. As we can see, you are correct by his own admission…

    That’s Bill, to you, young lady 😉 and to all readers on the side of health vs the antivaxxers.

    #633 Christine (the public servant Christine),July 22, 2013

    By citihg her experience as a nurse and epidemiologist, lilady is pointing out why this is such an important issue to her. There may be a touch of “right, let’s talk qualifications and see whose are more impressive” but the difference is, lilady doesn’t do it just about every time she comments.

    In particular, lilady does not use her qualifications and credentials as part of her identity. She drags them out only when challenged. This can be contrasted with “Dr” Gordon, {alphabet soup}’s identity.
    Gordon seems to have dropped the alphabet soup, since he’s been called on it. Let’s see if that lasts until his next visit.
    We can also compare Gordon’s use of his alphabet soup with others, like Chris Hinkle: an easy way to make the comparison is to enter each name in the search box at the top of this page (or any other on this blog). A “Jay Gordon” search yields a bunch of results; a “Chris Hinkle” search yields none. Gordon doesn’t need to use his credentials – we are well aware of who he is, and a visitor will likely recognize his name from his celebrity connections. Chris Hinkle doesn’t post enough (unfortunately) to be immediately recognized by the all the commentariat and lurkers, and likely would not be known at all to the casual visitor. Hinkle’s credentials are useful, even though they’re not strictly necessary.

  36. #36 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2010/03/08/an-horrific-case-of-natural-health-treatment-of-cancer/
    July 22, 2013

    LW – “At least homeopathy is relatively harmless” – as long as it’s not delaying sound treatment and, with that, letting the condition advance, perhaps making it harder or impossible to treat.

    One possible example in NZ was a case I covered of an iridologist offer ‘natural’ treatment for a (massive) scalp cancer. Although I can’t formally confirm that treatment included (but was not limited to) homeopathic remedies, they showed a box of meds the patient was offered in a TV documentary – some looked to me to be local homeopathic remedies judging by the colour & design of the labels.

    (The patient eventually got surgery, including reconstructing part of the skull, but died some time later.)

  37. #37 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 22, 2013

    So now we have another example of Jay Gordon FIFUDOS: he recommends homeopathy on his website and then claims, here, that he doesn’t know much about homeopathy.

    I’ve been wondering, if we do start an RI wiki, would it be a good idea to have a special page for subjects like “Examples of Jay Gordon getting caught telling blatant untruths”? It might or might not, depending perhaps on whether the wiki is “a wiki for RI commenters” or “a wiki for science-based commenters who happen to be primarily RI readers”.

    Even if it’s decided not to be a good idea for the wiki, I think maybe it’s time to catalog all the many, many times we have caught Jay in what can only be utter stupidity, an utter disregard for the truth, or an utter commitment to simulate the previous two. This thread alone provides plenty of examples, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t include examples like Jay citing the Brady Bunch as evidence for the harmlessness of diseases, and claiming that measles is actually symbiotic with humans.

    If we assembled links to all these gems and posted them all in a comment, that comment would of course take time to clear moderation, but once it did, it would be easy one-stop shopping, every time Jay comes here and tries to pretend that his reputation should give him the benefit of the doubt.

  38. #38 LW
    July 22, 2013

    @Antaeus Feldspar, I’ve thought of making a “Best of Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP” as well.

  39. #39 LW
    July 22, 2013

    @Grant, don’t forget the ghastly case of Penelope Dingle, who died of untreated colon cancer under the “care” of a homeopath.

  40. #40 sheepmilker
    In other news:
    July 22, 2013

    “Royal Baby Fever Sweeps Britain”, luckily I seem to have been vaccinated against it.

    Dr. Jay’s Twitter handle is @JayGordonMDFAAP, pretentious, moi?

  41. #41 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    July 22, 2013

    LOL, Jay Gordon, if I were ever to meet you, I would break into my best Burgess Meredith

  42. #42 Chris Hickie
    July 22, 2013

    @ Bill Price, #635–There’s still not much out there, but you definitely won’t find much out there on me as “Hinkle” when my last name is “Hickie” (although usually I get lost under searches for the more common spelling “Hickey”). When I put my alphabet credentials after my name, it’s to make sure people know I’m opposing Gordon as a pediatrician and as a scientist, since, given his views and general sliminess on vaccines and woo, I don’t think he passes muster as either.

  43. #43 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    July 22, 2013

    @LW – dinna forget Health Canukistan has appwooved homeoquackish vaccines as safe and effective:

    Remarkably, at the same time as Health Canada focuses on influenza education, flu shots, and other proven prevention measures, that same body has licensed 10 products with a homeopathic preparation called “influenzinum.”[8] According to providers, in­fluenzinum is for “preventing the flu and its related symptoms.”[9]

    Homeopathic vaccines are available for other infectious diseases as well. Health Canada licenses homeopathic preparations purported to prevent polio,[10] measles,[11] and pertussis.[12]

    (emphasis mine)

    Let’s not forget malaria – in 2000 the EU reported over 15000 cases of malaria in returning travelers. How many ended up like this (from dcscience.net):

    “The fourth case was a 26-year-old man who visited Ghana and Burkina Faso in October and November 1994. He used China D-6 for prophylaxis. This is a homeopathic preparation of the bark from the cinchona tree. Not even trace amounts of quinine were found in the tablets with a very sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method. Four days after returning from Africa he fell ill with P. falciparum malaria ” (Quotation from Carlsson et al. J Travel Med. 1996 Mar 1;3(1):62. (PMID: 9815426)

    In another case of a patient who resorted to homeopathy “for two months she received intensive care for multiple organ system failure due to P falciparum .This case confirms the inefficacy of homoeopathic drugs for malaria prevention and treatment.”

  44. #44 LW
    July 22, 2013

    Speaking of The Greatest Hits of Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, here we have Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, on June 19, 2009:

    Orac, good call. No, I was not aware of all the “craziness” on whale.to and end up there when I turn down Elsevier’s kind offer to pay $30 every time I want to look at an article. I think I have been correctly and even civilly chastened from in any way linking to that site in the future. Thanks.

    And here we are more than four years later and he finally got around to taking down some of his links to whale.to. 

    By the way, that page is a treasure trove of Gordonisms.

  45. #45 al kimeea
    enveloped in anachronistic inbred fetus ennui
    July 22, 2013

    @sheepmilker – ya me too, immune prolly because of the dusty old bint on our money. Squirt the whelp out and be done with it.

  46. #46 lilady
    July 22, 2013

    @ Curious Lurker: I always use lilady as my ‘nym and only add my credentials, when they serve a purpose. That’s the difference between me, the other nurses and physicians who post here and the pompous a$$ Jay Gordon.

  47. #47 Krebiozen
    July 22, 2013

    LW,
    I’m not picking on you particularly; this is something I’ve meant to raise for a while.

    Presumably he promotes argyria as a result of colloidal silver in ignorance just as he promotes homeopathy despite admitted ignorance of it.

    To be fair, you would have to consume thousands of times as much colloidal silver as most CAM proponents recommend to develop argyria. All the cases of argyria I have seen cited are either:

    1. People who were prescribed intranasal silver salts (usually silver nitrate) at high concentrations, such as Rosemary Jacobs, or

    2. People who tried to make their own colloidal silver by electrolysis using either tap water or salt water instead of the distilled water recommended, thus actually making solutions of silver salts with concentrations in the hundreds or even thousands of parts per million, and then drank literally gallons of the stuff, such as Stan Jones, the so-called ‘blue senator’.

    The colloidal silver still on sale in my local health food store* is (or claims to be) 5 ppm or 5 mg/L and the recommended dose is one 5 ml teaspoonful per day. This is within the EPA safe limits for chronic intake in drinking water**, and I think this is highly unlikely to cause argyria. I think it is highly unlikely to stimulate anyone’s immune system or do anything else beneficial either, of course.

    I entirely agree that taking colloidal or any other type of silver internally (topical silver is useful as an antiseptic, and as a treatment for burns) involves risk without benefit and should be firmly discouraged.

    However, I find the claim that colloidal silver taken in the doses normally suggested causes argyria uncomfortably close to the claims of antivaxxers that mercury in vaccines causes neurological damage. As we all know, dose matters, and I think we skeptics should be consistent about this.

    * Illegally I suspect, since I believe the EU has banned its sale, though the store owner simply shrugged when I mentioned it to him.
    ** The EPA chronic oral exposure reference dose for silver is 0.005 mg/kg, or 350 µg/day for a 70 kg person. A 5 ml teaspoonful of 5 mg/l (5 µg/ml) silver solution/suspension contains 25 µg of silver, assuming that the bottle actually contains what it says on the label, which is another issue.

  48. #48 Orac
    July 22, 2013

    You, Jay Gordon, are a scumbag. If you dislike me saying this anonymously, pick a time and place for me to tell it to your face.

    Stu: Just getting around to many of these comments from yesterday. That really does sound threatening even to me me, and, as much as it pains me to agree with Dr. Jay, in this case you really do need to take it down a few notches.

  49. #49 Marry Me, Mindy
    July 22, 2013

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    This is an interesting comment. It’s true, but what I am trying to understand is, why the restriction “to those trained in Western medicine”? Are there some people out there for whom homeopathy DOES make sense? I suppose so. For example, I guess homeopathy _could_ make sense to those who believe in magic, assuming that the concept of “magic” makes any sense at all.

    For whom else might homeopathy make sense?

  50. #50 Stu
    July 22, 2013

    Orac: no problem. The “to your face” only referred to Jay’s whining about anonimity, but out of context I can’t say I disagree.

  51. #51 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    July 22, 2013

    @Jay Gordon

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    Uh, Jay? As a physician, isn’t it your responsibility to know at least a little about what you prescribe for your patients? You know, like indications, contraindications, dosage amounts, etc. Of course, for homeopathy, you ought to know that it is more often than not nothing more than water, alcohol or lactose. Then again, there are things like Hyland’s Teething Tablets (you mentioned you like teething tablets), which had measurable (and variable) amounts of deadly nightshade (belladonna) in them.

    And regarding breast feeding, Jay, I’ve seen comments from you shaming mothers who do not breast feed, even if they are unable due to physical or medical reasons.

    Finally, Jay, if you do not like the type of responses you are getting, you may want to take a good bit of time for some introspection to see what you are doing that may engender such replies. You get the treatment that you earn. When you are caught misbehaving, own up, apologize and change. Don’t respond by whining about civility or tone; don’t try to distract by changing the subject; and don’t lie about things that you have said or done, particularly when there is evidence (in the very same thread!) to the contrary.

    Now, about Jenny McCarthy. Do you still contend that she is not “anti-vaccine”? Give us some evidence that that moniker does not apply to her.

  52. #52 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    July 22, 2013

    @Jay Gordon

    I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    Uh, Jay? As a physician, isn’t it your responsibility to know at least a little about what you prescribe for your patients? You know, like indications, contraindications, dosage amounts, etc. Of course, for homeopathy, you ought to know that it is more often than not nothing more than water, alcohol or lactose. Then again, there are things like Hyland’s Teething Tablets (you mentioned you like teething tablets), which had measurable (and variable) amounts of deadly nightshade (belladonna) in them.

    And regarding breast feeding, Jay, I’ve seen comments from you shaming mothers who do not breast feed, even if they are unable due to physical or medical reasons.

    Finally, Jay, if you do not like the type of responses you are getting, you may want to take a good bit of time for some introspection to see what you are doing that may engender such replies. You get the treatment that you earn. When you are caught misbehaving, own up, apologize and change. Don’t respond by whining about civility or tone; don’t try to distract by changing the subject; and don’t lie about things that you have said or done, particularly when there is evidence (in the very same thread!) to the contrary.

    Now, about Jenny McCarthy. Do you still contend that she is not “anti-vaccine”? Give us some evidence that that moniker does not apply to her.

  53. #53 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    July 22, 2013

    Yay, glitchy comment system! Apologies for the double post, everyone.

  54. #54 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    July 22, 2013

    Yay, glitchy comment system! Apologies for the double post, everyone.

  55. #55 RobRN
    July 22, 2013

    Kate sez: “god I love Barbara walters, the queen of journalism”

    But… Howard Stern is the KING of all media!

  56. #56 Stu
    July 22, 2013

    That was funny, Todd.

  57. #57 Marry Me, Mindy
    July 22, 2013

    Now, about Jenny McCarthy. Do you still contend that she is not “anti-vaccine”? Give us some evidence that that moniker does not apply to her.

    1) Jay taught Jenny everything she knows about vaccination
    2) Jay is not anti-vaccine (just ask him)
    3) Therefore, she cannot be anti-vaccine

    And Spock beat the computer at chess.

  58. #58 Jubilee
    July 22, 2013

    Dr. Jay, I’ve worked as a website editor for numerous professional entities, in both the medical and legal fields, and they would be appalled to let such ludicrous, misleading, and dubious links sit up on their company sites for a week, let alone months. It’s incredibly disingenous to act as if this was a mere housekeeping oversight. (Not that removing a link should require any in-depth IT knowledge to begin with, let alone checking where it leads in the first place.)

    I have much more faith in the consistent pseudonymous testimony of the commenters here than someone who speaks so disingenously under his own name.

    It’s also quite disingenous to pretend that outing someone on the internet, particularly a woman, has no threatening subtext. Of course, since you are not web-savvy enough to manage your website appropriately, perhaps you are ignorant as to the long history of threats of this nature. It still speaks poorly of you.

  59. #59 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 22, 2013

    At the risk of offending our esteemed host, I’m forced to absolutely disagree about Stu’s “threat” directed at Dr. Jay. Jay complains (correctly) that the anonymity of the internet leads people to say things that they wouldn’t say to your face—fair enough.

    Actually, my experience on the internet is that it’s a bizarre combination of macho swagger and pearl-clutching pusillanimity. This is most common among right-wing nut-jobs: They’ll dish out the most egregious abuse to anyone else, but if anyone calls them on it, or even quotes what they say back at them, they retire to their fainting couches—”Help, help, I’m being oppressed!”

    Dr. Jay simply complained about people saying things about him they wouldn’t say in person. All Stu did was say: “Give me a time and place and I’ll say the same thing to your face.” To call this a threat is really torturing the meaning of the word. First of all, all Jay has to do to avoid this fate-worse-than-death is not offer the time or the place.

    Secondly, offering you the opportunity to hear something you’ve already read is a “threat”? Seriously, there have been plenty of threats offered on this forum, but they’ve all come from antivaxers and woomeisters. Some of them have been carried out. To put Stu’s offer to tell Dr. Jay what he thought of him in person in the same category as the threats to people’s livelihoods and careers that have been made here is just ridiculous. What would be the worst effect on Dr. Jay of hearing Stu’s opinion in person rather than in writing? A hit to his self-esteem? Doesn’t seem to be possible.

    In any case, I agree the internet could profit from a little less bravado and empty abuse, but it could also profit from a little less faux pearl-clutching as well.

  60. #60 Orac
    July 22, 2013

    At the risk of offending our esteemed host, I’m forced to absolutely disagree about Stu’s “threat” directed at Dr. Jay.

    Of course, since this is my blog, my opinion with respect to such issues is the only one that matters. 🙂

    I also think you miss the point by focusing on the exact words rather than the big picture such a post conveys. Let’s just put it this way. I’m pretty inured to threats on the Internet, but even I was a little disturbed by Stu’s post.

  61. #61 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 22, 2013

    Of course your opinion prevails, oh great and beneficent overlord! Please don’t send the Lizard People after me!

    Apologies; I guess Dr. Jay’s smarminess annoyed me more than usual that time.

  62. #62 Stu
    July 22, 2013

    Reverend: like I said, if you took the comment in context (like you did), it was pretty obvious it was just a sneer at the pseudonym hissy-fit Jay threw; but I should have been MUCH more careful about including that context in the comment itself. On its face, without context, it’s very much in the “whoa, slow down, tiger!” category. Even I thought so when Orac quoted it.

    I’m not going to apologize for it, because in context it is obvious that it was not threatening at all; but I will exercise a lot more caution when I get salty to ensure context and intent are obvious.

    And of course, the blinkenlights are always right.

  63. #63 lilady
    Still on Probation????
    July 22, 2013

    @ Stu and The Very Reverend: Just watch your remarks before Dr. Jay puts you “on probation” on Orac’s blog.

    It’s kinda cramped here in the penalty box. Am I off “probation” now, Orac?

  64. #64 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    July 22, 2013

    Toronto Public Health is speaking out against the hiring of Jennypoo

  65. #65 LW
    July 22, 2013

    @Krebiozen, I do see what you are saying but …

    Dr. Gordon is a pediatrician, so I’d guess the nostrums he recommends would be given to children rather smaller than 70kg.

    You allude to the question of the actual contents of over-the-counter colloidal silver preparations. I’d hope the sellers are just fraudsters selling very expensive tapwater, but they might not be, and quality control on “alternative medicine” is pretty bad. Remember how Gary Null was poisoned by his own product?

    Dr. Gordon recommends colloidal silver to “boost your body’s immune system”. or your child’s body’s immune system, I guess. And if you boost it with a little silver, and still get colds or ear infections? Boost it some more, right? After all, silver is safe and natural and certainly not produced by those wicked Big Pharma types.

    Speaking of Big Pharma, you never know when they’re going to shut down the people who make competitive products like colloidal silver. Fortunately you can get the equipment and make it yourself ….

  66. #66 lilady
    July 22, 2013

    @ al kimeea: I’m impressed that you scooped the Dachel bot and her Media Updates. I’ve posted a comment there.

  67. #67 Lawrence
    July 22, 2013

    @Lilady – did my bit for public health over at the St. Louis editorial page…..

  68. #68 Narad
    July 22, 2013

    And regarding breast feeding, Jay, I’ve seen comments from you shaming mothers who do not breast feed, even if they are unable due to physical or medical reasons.

    *koff*I’mAdopted*koff* The best part, of course, of the retorts to this observation are WetNurseMilkBankYouPoorThing.

  69. #69 Politicalguineapig
    July 22, 2013

    Really, I don’t see what Jay is fussing about. I’ve learned to develop a fairly thick skin around the ‘net,’ though I use a neutral nym to make it harder to track me. He’d be laughed off Pharyngula- in fact, I’d pay to see him up against the commentators there.

  70. #70 Krebiozen
    July 23, 2013

    LW,
    I see your point too, my concern is that telling people they shouldn’t take colloidal silver because it will turn them blue is likely to alienate those who have been taking it for years, and who have not (yet) turned blue. They are then more likely to dismiss anything else we tell them. I think we should just point out it has no known benefits, and that large doses over a long period can cause argyria, leaving the hyperbole to the scamsters.

  71. #71 LW
    July 23, 2013

    @Krebiozen,

    I agree. Taking colloidal silver is like acupuncture: no benefit and a known serious risk. Some people may use acupuncture for years and never have a problem; others end up with a needle in a lung … or in their heart. Some people take modest amounts of silver and never have a problem; others think they’re taking modest amounts, but turn blue anyway.

  72. #72 lilady
    July 23, 2013

    @ Lawrence: I just got to view your comments on the St. Lawrence editorial page…top notch job…in spite of the bot and her cronies spamming. Too bad “I don’t do Facebook”…I would have posted there as well. 🙂

  73. #73 sheepmilker
    July 23, 2013

    Al Kimea has already mentioned that Toronto Public Health has weighed in against Ms. McCarthy. In Toronto’s own paper, The Star, the comments are overwhelmingly against her. Nice to see reason winning over celebrity!

  74. #74 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    OMFG!
    Today at TMR, Ms Prof,( who is supposed to be a psychologist) compares Jenny & the antivaxxers to Harry Potter & Cie , as both battle Dark Lords etc…

    The article is not short, unlike how her grasp of reality comes up.

  75. #75 lilady
    July 23, 2013

    Thanks sheepmilker, for the link to The Toronto Star blog…I’ve posted a few comments there.

    3-2-1 Waiting for Bob G. to critique my comments.

  76. #76 TBruce
    July 23, 2013

    Giggles @ 346:

    I’m late answering you, partly because autism is not in my field of practice and partly because several other commenters have ably dealt with it already. However, here’s a recent article from the Toronto Star describing the lack of support that adults with autism experience:
    http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/2013/02/05/groundbreaking_adult_autism_survey_reveals_mountain_of_unmet_needs.html
    I was also searching for a study that I recall that found the rate of retrospectively diagnosed ASD in British adults is about 1 /100, close to the rate seen in children. When I find it, I will provide the cite.
    As far as the severely affected individuals, I expect that they are cared for by relatives or in small institutional settings like group homes. Probably some are dead, since severely disabled people may be at higher risk for life-threatening complications such as aspiration, seizures and infections.

  77. #77 I Rony Meter
    July 23, 2013

    Denice Walter,

    so, she’s saying they live in a fantasy world?

  78. #78 Liz Ditz
    July 23, 2013

    TBruce, is it this one?

    http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/autism11

    Summary
    This report presents a new estimate of the prevalence of autism among adults aged 18 years and over. This was derived using data from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS 2007) in combination with data from a new study of the prevalence of autism among adults with learning disabilities, who are a key group to study because they could not take part in the APMS 2007 and have been found to have an increased risk of autism.

    The study was based on adults with learning disabilities living in private households and communal care establishments in Leicestershire, Lambeth and Sheffield. Whilst the study comprised a relatively small sample with limited geographical coverage and did not include the institutional population, it did include two non-mutually exclusive populations (people in communal care establishments and people with learning disabilities) which were not covered by the APMS 2007.

    The study demonstrates that autism is common among people with a learning disability and, in taking these into account, at 1.1 per cent nationally is slightly higher than the previous estimate of 1.0 per cent in the APMS 2007. Sensitivity analysis showed that the estimates for national prevalence produced by this study were relatively insensitive to inaccuracies caused by the limitations.

    Discussed here

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2012/02/01/estimating-the-prevalence-of-autism-spectrum-conditions-in-adults-extending-the-2007-adult-psychiatric-morbidity-survey/

  79. #79 Liz Ditz
    July 23, 2013

    And for those interested, an article at the Simons FoundationAutism Research Initiative (SFARI) on autism prevalence research around the globe:

    https://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2011/researchers-track-down-autism-rates-across-the-globe

  80. #80 JGC
    July 23, 2013

    Think it’s Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England by Brugha et al, found at

    http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=211276

  81. #81 TBruce
    July 23, 2013

    @Liz Ditz:

    Thanks, that’s the one.

  82. #82 Stu
    July 23, 2013

    @PGP:

    He’d be laughed off Pharyngula- in fact, I’d pay to see him up against the commentators there.

    Oh dear, that would be brutal — especially if he were to start in the Thunderdome. I picture two well-polished, empty loafers with wisps of smoke slowly wafting towards the charred ceiling. If this thread made Jay reach for a woobie…

  83. #83 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    July 25, 2013

    The Toronto Sun, yesterday ran an editorial portraying the issue as one of free speech not public health.

  84. #84 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratespeaks.com
    July 25, 2013

    @al kimeea

    Some good comments there. Was going to respond to one person, but then noticed that the comments are closed.

  85. […] group Generation Rescue for the last few years. None of this stopped ABC from foolishly hiring her to join the regular cast on The View beginning in a few short […]

  86. #86 dainis w michel
    earth
    September 26, 2013

    let me see if i am understanding your view:

    creating safe vaccines is somehow a stupid idea?

    “unmitigated anti-vaccine stupid?” so – no one is ever supposed to even ask what goes into a vaccine ever or they get called stupid by you?

    a pre-test like a blood test to see if the vaccine will cause harm is a bad idea?

    i think i understand your argument: human safety is a bad idea and anyone advocating medical and health rights is stupid.

    am i understanding you correctly?

  87. #87 Woo Fighter
    September 26, 2013

    No, you didn’t understand.

    Mr. Michel has a dangerous agenda. From an anti-vax campaign Facebook page last month, he posted:

    Dainis W. Michel: parental rights are parental rights. period. there is nothing more to discuss. please stop the debate. the debate is over. for better or for worse, outbreaks or not, these are parental rights. we can talk about the consequences of particular parental choices, however, parents have the right to vaccinate or not vaccinate, based on their own understanding of the facts. children have a right to be raised by their parents — and they are in the care of their parents — and vaccination is a choice made by parents. period.
    August 25 at 3:15pm

  88. #88 Woo Fighter
    September 26, 2013

    Mr. Michel has also set up a website to promote urine therapy and believes in the “30 Bananas A Day” diet.

  89. #89 Khani
    September 26, 2013

    #686 You can find out what’s in vaccines pretty easily. It’s not a big secret. You can find out how safe vaccines are pretty easily, too, with exact percentages of side-effects detailed in the CDC’s pink book, by number.

    #687 Children have rights too, and not dying of measles-caused encephalitis should be one of them.

  90. #90 Chris,
    September 26, 2013

    Mr. Michel: “a pre-test like a blood test to see if the vaccine will cause harm is a bad idea?”

    What test? Please provide a citation that there is even such a test or it is feasible.

  91. #91 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 26, 2013

    creating safe vaccines is somehow a stupid idea?

    Strawman, safer and more effective vaccines are constantly in the research pipeline. But I suspect your idea of “safer” is either just a talking point or you expect rosewater and sunshine in a syringe.

    “unmitigated anti-vaccine stupid?” so – no one is ever supposed to even ask what goes into a vaccine ever or they get called stupid by you?

    And in a single sentence you provided a glaring example of the unmitigated anti-vaccine stupid. We know every last excipient in vaccines. Why they’re even hiding right out in the open all over the interwebz.

    a pre-test like a blood test to see if the vaccine will cause harm is a bad idea?

    Do tell me braintrust, what is this blood test supposed to find? What are you looking for in the first place? Do you think it’s like a CSI episode where you drop a blood sample into a magic machine and tells you everything?

    i think i understand your argument: human safety is a bad idea and anyone advocating medical and health rights is stupid.

    No you don’t understand the argument because you have done nothing but talk out of your arse and set up strawman arguments. What medical and health rights don’t you have? Don’t want to vaccinate your children? Don’t but you also don’t get the benefits of fully participating in society and yes, we will think you are stupid for it. But you want everything don’t you? Typical self-entitled prat.

    am i understanding you correctly?

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