Respectful Insolence

Naturopaths and vaccines

I realize I’ve been remiss. After all, three or four weeks ago, I pointed out that the week of October 7 to 14, this very week, was going to be Quackery Week. Well, it wasn’t actually I who first declared this week quackery week. It was actually our very own U.s. Senate, which, as I pointed out, passed S.Res.221, which declared:

A resolution designating the week of October 7 through October 13, 2013, as “Naturopathic Medicine Week” to recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.

Given that the vast majority of naturopathy is quackery, particularly given that naturopathy schools require the teaching of The One Quackery To Rule Them All (homeopathy) and the naturopathic board examination tests candidates on that very same quackery, it only made sense that Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013 is, in fact, Quackery Week. Thanks, Senator Milkulski!

So here we are, nearly three days into Quackery Week, and I haven’t written anything about naturopathic quackery. Then, last night I saw a comment on my not-so-super-secret blog lacking in both pseudonyms and (as much) Insolence as you are used to seeing right here. In it, a naturopathy apologist responds to a comment pointing out the tendency of naturopaths to be antivaccine by insisting that “LICENSED ND’s” don’t advocate “for or against” vaccines but rather “give the patient information to objectively decide for themselves by weighing the risks of both.” Hoo-boy. When I read that, it was like throwing the proverbial red meat in front of a starving pit bull. Even more interesting, this particular person cited a link to a post on the blog of a Montana naturopath named Erika Krumbeck, who opines All naturopaths are against vaccinations, right?

Well, that’s a bit of a straw man argument. Not a promising start. No one that I know of says that “all” naturopaths are against vaccinations. We do, however, say, based on copious evidence, that most naturopaths tend to be antivaccine to one degree or another. Krumbeck begins:

Continuing on the hot-button issues in the field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is that of vaccinations. Once again I’m going out on a bit of a limb with this one, because I’m presenting my personal views and not necessarily those of the profession as a whole. I can, however, share my experience of what I’ve seen most naturopaths advocate…

So all naturopaths are against vaccinations, right? Certainly there are vehement opponents of vaccination amongst naturopathic physicians. Conversely, our community of physicians also has a group who are vocal supporters of rigidly following the CDC schedule. Most naturopathic physicians, especially those who specialize in naturopathic pediatrics, take a third stance, which I call the knowledge-based approach.

Krumbeck seems very eager to reassure her readers that she really and truly isn’t antivaccine and that she even goes so far as to vaccinate her children. Good for her! Unfortunately, if she’s like most other naturopaths I’ve encountered, her “knowledge-based approach” is in reality an example of what I like to refer to as “misinformed consent.” You can see it right here in her paragraphs above through her use of false balance. Sure, she tells us, there are naturopaths who are rabidly antivaccine. It’s nice that she’s admitted that. But, she assures us, there are naturopaths who are “vocal supporters of rigidly following the CDC schedule. Now, personally, I’d love to meet these naturopaths who try to out-Offit Paul Offit, but I’ve never encountered a naturopath who advocates “rigidly following the CDC schedule.” Ever. And I’ve looked. If they exist, they appear not to blog or maintain websites. Whenever I see what naturopaths have to say about vaccines, it’s either a whole lot of easily shot down antivaccine tropes, or it’s a mush, wishy-washy false equivalence between the antivaccine and pro-science-based medicine viewpoint much like Krumbeck’s blog post.

Even in her blog post, you can see that she’s trying desperately to follow the fallacy of the golden mean, also known as the argument to moderation the “middle ground” fallacy. You can tell from her post that this is what she is doing by how she characterizes antivaccine naturopaths as “vehement opponents of vaccination” and these mystical magical (and probably nonexistent) pro-vaccine naturopaths as “vocal supporters of rigidly following the CDC schedule.” Having thus set up the two sides as unreasonable and rigid, she then portrays herself and “most” naturopaths as taking a “third stance.” She even goes so far as to characterize this stance as being “knowledge-based.” Of course, given what passes for “knowledge” about vaccines among naturopaths, what Krumbeck is most likely really recommending to her patients is a “misinformation-based” set of recommendations, resulting in what I like to call “misinformed consent.

The fallacy of moderation is a fallacy because it assumes that two opposing viewpoints are equally, or roughly equally, valid and that therefore the “truth” is likely to lie somewhere between the two extreme positions. An excellent quote on this particular fallacy comes from Cenk Uygur, of The Young Turks, who said, “If CNN did sports reporting, every game would be a tie.” He was referring to the tendency towards false balance and the closely related fallacy of the golden mean. Or, you can look at it this way. The underlying assumption in this fallacy is that extreme positions are generally never reasonable or correct, which leads to the assumption that the “correct” view must lie somewhere between the extreme positions. While this sort of reasoning can work reasonably well in politics, in science it is only reasonable if two positions have roughly the same amount of scientific evidence and experimentation to support them. In the case of the antivaccine movement versus supporters of science-based medicine defending vaccines, this is most assuredly not the case. The evidence supporting the “adverse reactions” claimed by antivaccinationists to be due to vaccines (autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, asthma, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, and more) are actually not caused by vaccines. The evidence showing no link between these conditions and diseases and vaccines is overwhelming, while the evidence supporting the antivaccine position is either nonexistent or pseudoscience.

The fallacy of the golden mean leads Krumbeck to write this howler:

The knowledge-based approach is based on educating the parents to make an informed decision on which vaccines to administer, and allows parents to choose the timeline. Naturopathic doctors clearly list the risks of each vaccine, based on actual scientific evidence, not heresay or celebrity endorsement. Physicians also clearly state the risks of each disease, and the potential consequences of not vaccinating. Parents are informed of which age group benefits from each vaccine (meningitis and pertussis are typically more deadly in early infancy), so they are aware of appropriate timing. Parents are given the CDC guidelines and explained the rationale behind the CDC schedule’s timing. Physicians will often point toward alternative vaccine schedules if the parents are so inclined (like Dr. Sears’ vaccine schedule).

The drawbacks to this approach are somewhat obvious – Yes, this explanation takes time! This is another reason why office visits to a naturopathic pediatrician are double or triple the length to a conventional pediatrician. It also requires intelligent and responsible parents to weigh many options and make difficult decisions, especially if they decide on an alternative vaccine schedule.

I do particularly like that bit about “intelligent and responsible parents.” The not-so-subtle implication on Krumbeck’s part is that her patients are clearly “intelligent and responsible,” which is why she can use this approach with them. Meanwhile, later in her blog post, Krumbeck proudly refers to “informing” parents before they “blindly follow a physicians recommendation to use a certain vaccine schedule.” Good physicians inform their patients and don’t dwell on issues with vaccines that aren’t issues. Unfortunately, Krumbeck appears not to be one of those practitioners. For example, she has a webinar (for only $29) that she calls Vaccines Demystified. I wasn’t willing to spend $29 to see what’s in it, although there is an introduction on her YouTube channel:

In the two minutes or so, there’s nothing particularly objectionable, but it’s hard not to get the impression that the answers to the questions she asks are not particularly science-based, even as she brags about having read over three hundred journal articles and abstracts. I can see one area right in the introduction in which I sense some downplaying of the risks of not vaccinating. She keeps emphasizing telling the “actual risks” of your child getting the disease. One wonders if she points out that these risks are so low for some diseases precisely because of herd immunity due to vaccines. She also takes pains to mention that this is “not a pro-vaccine or antivaccine lecture.” That tells me right there that the appeal to moderation will play prominently in her video.

The same sort of appeal to moderation is at play in this post, Aluminum in vaccines, which features this section from her “Vaccines Demystified” video:

It’s basically a whole lot of tropes about aluminum in vaccines wrapped in what I like to call the fallacy of false ignorance. This is not the same thing as the more commonly used appeal to ignorance. By “false ignorance,” I mean making a claim that science doesn’t know something or that there is no evidence, when in fact science does know and there is evidence. This technique is at play all over the post, such as in this passage:

So is there any safety research?

No. (Dr. Erika laughs ironically. Sigh.)

So there is a little bit of research in preterm infants about exposure to aluminum via parenteral feeding. We know that infants fed with parenteral nutrition (contaminated with aluminum) retained aluminum up to 75%. More than 10 days of exposure meant that they had neurological problems. They are also going to have bone problems as adolescents (that is very well researched at this point).

Later, she writes:

It’s quite possible that the aluminum content in vaccines is completely safe. However, it is also possible, given the lack of research, that aluminum as an adjuvant is not the best choice. What is clear is that there is concern in the scientific community, as well as calls for research on safety and the development of other adjuvants.

It doesn’t help that Krumbeck cites execrably awful—or is that awfully execrable?—papers by Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw, whose antivaccine proclivities are now well known and have been documented on this very blog multiple times (for example, here, here, here, and here). Christopher Shaw even featured prominently in an antivaccine propaganda film, and examples of the sorts of pseudoscience and nonsense these two investigators routinely lay down are included in the links I just cited. Krumbeck even mentions the nonexistent ASIA syndrome.

To be fair, Krumbeck appears not to believe (or at least not very strongly) that vaccines cause autism, and that is a good thing, a veritable rarity among naturopaths, in my experience. Indeed, she wrote a post entitled It’s time to move beyond the autism/vaccine debate, in which she states:

As a physician specializing in pediatrics it is frustrating to continue to hear the conversation centered around vaccines causing autism. I believe we are doing the autistic community a disservice by continuing to wage a war of words regarding autism and vaccines. Though no study has looked at the totality of vaccines, at least the MMR vaccine/Autism link has been emphatically disproven in literature.

At least she recognizes that the MMR/autism link has been “emphatically disproven.” There’s also lots of other research that fails to show evidence of a link between vaccines and the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal or any relationship to the vaccine schedule. For a naturopath, though, admitting that the MMR doesn’t cause autism is major progress. Be that as it may, there is one bit of hilarity here, and that’s that Anne Dachel—yes, that Anne Dachel—overseer of the flying monkey brigade of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism didn’t like seeing a naturopath deny a link between vaccines and autism. She was also shocked to see a naturopath deny a link between vaccines and autism, so much so that she dive bombed the comment section of Krumbeck’s article, dropping her usual turds of antivaccine misinformation the same way we’ve seen her do so many times before. It’s also very useful in that it leads Krumbeck to drop the facade of not being antivaccine to some extent, if only for a moment. She cites Natasha Campbell-McBride, who believes in an incredibly ignorant and pseudoscientific version of the common “gut-autism hypothesis” so beloved of antivaccinationists and believes that vaccines are the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” with respect to autism.

Krumbeck then defends herself:

As a physician I am much more concerned about the aluminum-containing vaccines like DTaP, PCV and HiB which I think place a greater strain on the body’s ability to detoxify. It is incredibly unfortunate that no study has ever been performed comparing the full CDC schedule of vaccines vs. unvaccinated children. It is also very concerning that the latest Cochrane review for the MMR vaccine states that safety data is lacking (though they did state that there is no evidence to support an MMR-autism link, since that is one thing that HAS been studied).

So no, I am NOT a “pro-vaccine” physician, though I am also in no way an “anti-vaccine” physician. There is much that needs to be worked out in science. Physicians like myself need to educate our patients to weigh the pros and cons of vaccinating vs not vaccinating. These vaccines were developed for a reason – to save parents the anguish of potentially devastating diseases. Some are more severe and more common than others, and some are much more likely in certain situations.

As I said, Krumbeck demonstrates the fallacy of moderation in spades. She also spews common antivaccine tropes about aluminum, a demand for a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study, the apparent belief that the experts who develop recommendations for the vaccine schedule for the CDC don’t actually consider the prevalence of diseases when formulating recommendations.

Yes, in trying to argue that naturopaths aren’t all “antivaccine,” Not-A-Dr. Krumbeck demonstrates that at least one naturopath sure does spread a lot of antivaccine-leaning misinformation .

Comments

  1. #1 Carl
    October 9, 2013

    Enforced neutrality…

    ATTENTION! BEFORE BEGINNING ANY OPERATION, ALL SURGEONS MUST READ BROCHURE B5642 REGARDING THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF HAND WASHING AND MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION TO WASH OR NOT TO WASH THEIR HANDS.

    (and don’t forget the bilingual policy… ACHTUNG! DAS DUMKOPFEN MIT UNZERTANSIEZE FUR WASHEN DAS GUFINGERGRABBENMITZEN…)

  2. #2 palindrom
    October 9, 2013

    It occurred to me while reading this that the phrase “rabidly antivaccine” has a nice …. irony to it.

    As a heads up, I got a flu shot the other day and had some chills and malaise following — my wife heard that a couple of nurses at her hospital reported the same, so 3 x anecdote = data. I’d much prefer this to an actual flu, and take comfort in the idea I must have some rip-snortin’ immunity as a result, but if this is common we can expect quite a bit of whinging from certain circles.

  3. #3 Dangerous Bacon
    October 9, 2013

    Krumbeck, who is a naturopath, not a “naturopathic physician (got her ND degree at Bastyr) hasn’t given up on the vaccines-cause-autism meme. She just thinks we should look at additional alleged causes. Her biggie is the evil Tylenol:

    http://www.mtwholehealth.com/2013/07/just-say-no-to-tylenol-acetaminophen-causes-autism

  4. #4 AnObservingParty
    October 9, 2013

    You linked TV Tropes. Be still my heart.

    I don’t like this. At all. meningitis and pertussis are typically more deadly in early infancy While it may be true, it’s belittling the risk of that disease in early adulthood, how even though those older individuals may survive meningitis, they are often left terribly maimed. My bestie is deaf from meningitis at 16. I remember the panic when a girl in undergrad–who lived in the dorms–was diagnosed and every one of her contacts was put on prophylactic rifampin and she lost her foot. Anecdote, I know, but there’s something to be said when someone who grew up in the 90s has two close experiences with a VPD. She’s also belittling the fact that while pertussis may be more likely to kill you when you’re an infant, you are just as capable of spreading it as an adult. When people discuss risks, they have to follow it up with a “because of vaccines. It’s rare today because of vaccines. But before vaccines…” This doc sounds to me like someone who is more concerned with keeping her customer base than presenting facts, as wishy-washy as it is. I think a lot of the “equal sides” crew is very concerned with that. The parents keep coming back because they’re being told what they want to har. Special Snowflake Syndrome.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 9, 2013

    the apparent belief that the experts who develop recommendations for the vaccine schedule for the CDC don’t actually consider the prevalence of diseases when formulating recommendations

    If they didn’t consider prevalence of a disease, then we might see yellow fever, cholera, BCG, rabies, anthrax, adenovirus, Japanese encephalitis, plague, typhoid and perhaps even smallpox vaccines on the schedule. Of course, since they do consider disease prevalence, we don’t.

  6. #6 Chris Hickie
    October 9, 2013

    Oh my, it’s an XX Dr. Bob clone who realized she didn’t have to have an infamous dad or do all the yucky med school stuff to dupe parents on vaccines while making money selling “information” to them.

    Sorry, but Krumbeck is flat our wrong. As a real physician of children (aka pediatrician) my parents who vaccinate are the ones who are intelligent and responsible. The parents who don’t vaccinate have the intelligence and responsibility of a sack of hammers. My newly implemented “no vaccines = no come to my clinic” policy has been received very favorably, and I’m done wasting my time trying to convince parents who believe the muck those like Sears and Krumbeck spew.

  7. #7 Chris Hickie
    October 9, 2013

    oops, “our” should be “out”.

  8. #8 AnObservingParty
    October 9, 2013

    and perhaps even smallpox vaccines on the schedule Unfortunately Todd, there are a lot of anti-vaxxers and alt-schedule proponents who do think small pox is still on the schedule.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2013

    I have seen NotDoctors recommended as being superior to SBM physicians by the likes of Mike Adams, Gary Null and denizens of TMR, AoA and the Vaccine Machine**. Amongst the latter three, the fact that they often scoff at vaccines may be why their services are so prized.

    To be honest, I think that anything with the word “nature” or “natural” will get these people excited and enthusiastic.
    Really, it’s akin to creating a new grocery product – a breakfast cereal or a new crunchy snack-and naming it “naturo-” this or “naturo-” that. It captures a particular demographic.

    ** the Vaccine Machine facebook is fast becoming the go-to guide for ‘prentice anti-vaxxers and their immediate superiors who provide invaluable educational services to whomsoever steps on board.The page boasts 31K friends.

  10. #10 rork
    October 9, 2013

    Didn’t like that Krumbeck seems to not be concerned with a calculation of what is a best strategy for the community, only for the individual. There’s something like a prisoners dilemma game going on with vaccination. Enough cheaters, and lots of people loose.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    October 9, 2013

    For example, she has a webinar (for only $29) that she calls Vaccines Demystified.

    Maybe it’s just what I’m seeing in my spam folder, but when I see the word “webinar” I think “scam”. Most of them (and from Orac’s description I would include this one) aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

  12. #12 ebohlman
    http://turnipsandpotatoes.wordpress.com
    October 9, 2013

    These vaccines were developed for a reason – to save parents the anguish of potentially devastating diseases.

    This is really telling. It’s all about Mommy and her feelings, not about the kids who get them and are spared from early death, lifelong disability, and general misery.

    Someone either here or at NSSSOB recently opined that a lot of the autism “biomed” parents seem to regard motherhood as an identity rather than a role or job. I think they were right, but the phenomenon is hardly confined to autism parents; it seems to be a general trend affecting upper-middle-class (since they’re the only ones who can really afford to act on their beliefs) parents in the English-speaking world.

    I think that somewhere in the course of the Mommy Wars, we magically slid from the (IMHO reasonable) position that motherhood is just as generally socially valuable as paid work to the (IMHO crackpot) position that motherhood is every bit as demanding of time, effort, and ability as the pursuit of a professional or executive one-percenter career. (IMHO, this logically implies that most women aren’t cut out to be mothers, and it also focuses the light away from whether or not mothers are adequately compensated for the domestic work they do).

    Combine this attitudinal shift with an increasing trend toward risk aversion, and being a Good Mommy comes to mean either obsessively worrying about negligible risks to your kids or being harshly judged by your peers for not doing so. My old HS classmate Lenore Skenazy, who runs http://freerangekids.com, has often written about how “mompetition”, when combined with the need to create illusions of control, leads to parents viewing their kids’s maturation as something to grieve rather than something to appreciate, and much of this is driven, not by a selfless concern for one’s kids but a selfish concern for being judged well by one’s peers. Thus a mother may feel that she doesn’t measure up if she doesn’t devote a substantial chunk of her (already very limited) time to looking into both sides (the reality-based side and the fantasy-based side) of vaccination before letting their pediatrician vaccinate her kids.

    Well, that’s just my (childless male) take on it.

  13. #13 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2013

    “Christopher Shaw was even featured prominently in an antivaccine propaganda film.” Orac

    I just viewed part of Null’s latest ( sickly) effort in antivaccine filmaking- it was available for free for a few days, the name escapes me at present**- trust me, it was awful-

    Lucija Tomljenovic is featured and will probably be used to good effect by the antivaxxers because she creates a positive impression- she’s good looking, rather young and has soft spoken, mildly accented speech- just their style.

    ** “Fear and Loathing of Vaccines- chapter 6″?

  14. #14 ebohlman
    http://turnipsandpotatoes.wordpress.com
    October 9, 2013

    Let’s try again, with properly closed tags:

    These vaccines were developed for a reason – to save parents the anguish of potentially devastating diseases.

    This is really telling. It’s all about Mommy and her feelings, not about the kids who get them and are spared from early death, lifelong disability, and general misery.

    Someone either here or at NSSSOB recently opined that a lot of the autism “biomed” parents seem to regard motherhood as an identity rather than a role or job. I think they were right, but the phenomenon is hardly confined to autism parents; it seems to be a general trend affecting upper-middle-class (since they’re the only ones who can really afford to act on their beliefs) parents in the English-speaking world.

    I think that somewhere in the course of the Mommy Wars, we magically slid from the (IMHO reasonable) position that motherhood is just as generally socially valuable as paid work to the (IMHO crackpot) position that motherhood is every bit as demanding of time, effort, and ability as the pursuit of a professional or executive one-percenter career. (IMHO, this logically implies that most women aren’t cut out to be mothers, and it also focuses the light away from whether or not mothers are adequately compensated for the domestic work they do).

    Combine this attitudinal shift with an increasing trend toward risk aversion, and being a Good Mommy comes to mean either obsessively worrying about negligible risks to your kids or being harshly judged by your peers for not doing so. My old HS classmate Lenore Skenazy, who runs http://freerangekids.com, has often written about how “mompetition”, when combined with the need to create illusions of control, leads to parents viewing their kids’s maturation as something to grieve rather than something to appreciate, and much of this is driven, not by a selfless concern for one’s kids but a selfish concern for being judged well by one’s peers. Thus a mother may feel that she doesn’t measure up if she doesn’t devote a substantial chunk of her (already very limited) time to looking into both sides (the reality-based side and the fantasy-based side) of vaccination before letting their pediatrician vaccinate her kids.

    Well, that’s just my (childless male) take on it.

  15. #15 ebohlman
    http://turnipsandpotatoes.wordpress.com
    October 9, 2013

    Let’s try again, with properly closed tags:

    These vaccines were developed for a reason – to save parents the anguish of potentially devastating diseases.

    This is really telling. It’s all about Mommy and her feelings, not about the kids who get them and are spared from early death, lifelong disability, and general misery.

    Someone either here or at NSSSOB recently opined that a lot of the autism “biomed” parents seem to regard motherhood as an identity rather than a role or job. I suspect they were right, but the phenomenon is hardly confined to autism parents; it seems to be a general trend affecting upper-middle-class (since they’re the only ones who can really afford to act on their beliefs) parents in the English-speaking world (more so in North America than elsewhere, but it seems to be spreading).

    I think that somewhere in the course of the Mommy Wars, we magically slid from the (IMHO reasonable) position that motherhood is just as generally socially valuable as paid work to the (IMHO crackpot) position that motherhood is every bit as demanding of time, effort, and ability as the pursuit of a professional or executive one-percenter career. (IMHO, this logically implies that most women aren’t cut out to be mothers, and it also focuses the light away from whether or not mothers are adequately compensated for the domestic work they do).

    Combine this attitudinal shift with an increasing trend toward risk aversion, and being a Good Mommy comes to mean either obsessively worrying about negligible risks to your kids or being harshly judged by your peers for not doing so. My old HS classmate Lenore Skenazy, who runs http://freerangekids.com, has often written about how “mompetition”, when combined with the need to create illusions of control, leads to parents viewing their kids’s maturation as something to grieve rather than something to appreciate, and much of this is driven, not by a selfless concern for one’s kids but a selfish concern for being judged well by one’s peers. Thus a mother may feel that she doesn’t measure up if she doesn’t devote a substantial chunk of her (already very limited) time to looking into both sides (the reality-based side and the fantasy-based side) of vaccination before letting their pediatrician vaccinate her kids.

    Well, that’s just my (childless male) take on it.

  16. #16 Alia
    October 9, 2013

    To be optimistic – I just got my flu shot today and at the moment I’m doing some pro-vaccine propaganda on a local social media site.

  17. #17 eLiot
    rugby
    October 9, 2013

    Open up your mind. it isnt all just numbers and statistics and hard evidence. God. Slacking off naturopaths as quacks and yourselves offering nothing better. cant you unite at all for humanity as whole?

  18. #18 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 9, 2013

    Open up your mind. it isnt all just numbers and statistics and hard evidence.

    It isn’t? I’m sorry, I don’t see any reason to believe that. Unless you can show me some hard evidence supporting that premise.

    God. Slacking off naturopaths as quacks and yourselves offering nothing better.

    Science-based medicine extincted smallpox, bucko. I’ll say that again for the hard of thinking: science-based medicine completely wiped out the disease that caused somewhere around 300 to 500 million deaths in the 20th century alone. If you don’t think that’s a significant achievement, I freely invite you to get smallpox and see how you like it. If you do acknowledge that accomplishment, I invite you to name even one thing naturopaths have done that even approaches that – that, or take your thumb and plug your wordhole.

    cant you unite at all for humanity as whole?

    I don’t know whether you’re a troll or a Poe but either way, you’re too stupid to bother with.

  19. #19 eLiot
    October 9, 2013

    and you are the one who can judge my stupidity level based on what?

    on hard science evidence?

  20. #20 Chris,
    October 9, 2013

    eLiot, we can only judge you on what you write. And right now as we observe your grammar, punctuation, your evidence free comment and telling us what to do, it seems you need to spend a bit more time on your education.

  21. #21 Shay
    October 9, 2013

    And if not on your education, at the very least on your critical thinking skills.

  22. #22 eLiot
    October 9, 2013

    I am afraid to admit that I will not spend more time on education or critical thinking skills.
    Judge me by all means on whatever merit you wish.
    I do not know what would that serve.
    It says more about yourselves than me.
    I do not even know why there is a need to judge.
    What does it serve?
    Does that judgment contain any hard science evidence you are so much after?
    I do not think so.
    If my grammar, punctuation, education and other staff you see is lacking, was better, would you judge me differently?
    Again would that change of your judgment be based on hard science evidence.

  23. #23 Chris Hickie
    October 9, 2013

    If it makes you feel any better, eLiot, infectious diseases don’t “judge”. They are, however, opportunistic. If you are unvaccinated for any reason, you are a much more opportune host, independent of all else.

  24. #24 Chris,
    October 9, 2013

    eLiot: “Again would that change of your judgment be based on hard science evidence.”

    I am sorry but I cannot tell what you are trying to say. Do you have any scientific evidence? If so, please present it.

  25. #25 Khani
    October 9, 2013

    #17 Nothing better? Isn’t preventing children’s deaths better?

    I think it is. I like kids, and seeing tiny little gravestones in cemeteries makes me sad.

  26. #26 Ken
    October 9, 2013

    How clever of the Senate to schedule Naturopathic Medicine Week for the shutdown. It gives the naturopaths a chance to shine, since the CDC isn’t allowed to do anything about the salmonella outbreak.

  27. #27 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 9, 2013

    #22 – is that an example of concrete poetry, perhaps?

    If you’re not willing to try to make and defend an actual point, why should I bother with you?

  28. #28 THS
    October 10, 2013

    A bit obvious as a fix, but here goes: Naturopathic Medicine Weak.

  29. #29 lilady
    October 10, 2013

    Ken, the CDC has been working on those multiple salmonella outbreaks associated with contaminated chicken, since July. In fact, 30 CDC employees who were furloughed are back on the job.

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/salmonella-outbreak-forces-cdc-call-workers-despite-government-shutdown-259430

  30. #30 lilady
    October 10, 2013

    I’m seeing three posts from eLiot which are totally devoid of content, aside from his empty nonsensical jabbering extolling naturopaths and slamming science.

  31. #31 Lawrence
    October 10, 2013

    @Ken – wonderful, exactly how would a naturopath deal with salmonella (that wouldn’t make the situation worse)?

    And what authority do naturopaths have to contain and find the source of the outbreak – and put an end to it?

    Moron….

  32. #32 Dangerous Bacon
    October 10, 2013

    Is it true that “Naturopaths and Vaccines” is going to be the sequel to “Cowboys and Aliens”?

  33. #33 Scottynuke
    October 10, 2013

    @ Dangerous Bacon #32 –

    Only if it’s titled “Vaccines and Naturopaths,” since the Cowboys were the good guys…

  34. #34 JGC
    October 10, 2013

    Slacking off naturopaths as quacks and yourselves offering nothing better.

    Responding to the first clause, training in naturopathy includes the principles and practice of homeopathy. Homepathy has been shown not to work–in fact, in order to work pretty much everything we know about chemistry, physics and biology would have to be not only wrong, but spectaculary wrong. So yeah–the quack label is appropriate.

    Responding to the second clause, scence based medicine does offer something better: treatments that have been demonstrated to work and whose safety profile/side effects are understood.

  35. #35 Kiiri
    The Chilly Side of the Valley of the Sun
    October 10, 2013

    Thanks lilady for pointing out that CDC did manage to put the outbreak team back to work, thanks in part to the large Salmonella outbreak hitting the media. We in local PH appreciate that they can go back to work preventing illnesses and death. Now if we can just get everyone else back to work I will call it a win.

  36. #36 Sara
    October 10, 2013

    I strongly endorse everything expressed by the childless male above (#12–cumbersome reply mechanism that won’t let me comment there).

    I am a childless middle-aged female and agree entirely that first-world narcissism of anxious middle-class English-speaking mothers projecting their thwarted needs for control onto hapless children is a modern scourge that dare not speak its own name. There are deep psychological, not purely ideological, issues at the root of this irrational conflict over adhering to known guidelines for protecting children from disease. Conflicts over the care of children have always been a means of working out one’s own psychopathology within a trend or zeitgeist.

  37. #37 Denice Walter
    October 10, 2013

    @ ebohlman:
    @ Sara:

    But then you both admit to being childless so what could you possibly know.

    I’m JOKING!
    I also am childless- entirely by choice- not a problem here at RI because its regulars are rather sophisticated.
    HOWEVER I’m sure that those @ AoA or TMR would react differently to us. Recently a new blog has appeared – ‘Nurture Parenting’- birthed naturally by Alison MacNeil and Louise Habakus et al- and it promises to be breathtakingly awful.

    I often refer to sites AoA/ TMR as futile attempts at group therapy for very frustrated, unhappy people who, rather than nudging each other towards more realistic coping strategies, reinforce each others’ fantasy systems as they lure each other further out to sea.

    One of the aberrations I perceive is trying to turn a biological/social role into a career- they give advice, they blog, they become warriors/martyrs, they take up political action, they declare a revolution, they criticise the field of medicine or immunology or whatever else is fashionably antivax, they write books, go on television, lecture etc.

    Perhaps they would have lived vicariously through their children’s triumphs- like so many tiger mothers- but their children’s diagnoses interfered with that plan so they use their children as stepping stones on the paths to glory by being advocates for them. Notice that they aren’t exactly thrilled with autistics who advocate for themselves like Mr Ne’eman.

    If their own idea of women’s roles is so limited would you expect them to think more realistically and flexibly about their children’s future roles?

    I’ve thought a lot about throwback roles for women ..maybe later on I’ll add some more.

  38. #38 thenewme
    October 10, 2013

    Speaking of Quackery Week, registration is open for Annie Appleseed’s “8th Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies conference.”

    Get your tickets now…it could be a sellout based on their all-star lineup. /sarcasm

  39. #39 thenewme
    October 10, 2013

    D’oh! Forgot the link…anybody planning to attend? Orac – need a Florida vacation…ahem, I mean *conference* to attend?

    http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/index.php/cancer-clinics/cancer-therapies-conference

  40. #40 lilady
    October 10, 2013

    thenewme: One of the presenters at that conference is this b.s. artist

    http://www.mbschachter.com/

    This is the same guy who was involved in a Laetrile cancer treatment case in NY State. Dr. Offit devoted several pages to that case in his new book, “Do You Believe in Magic?”

    http://www.quackwatch.com/search/webglimpse.cgi?ID=1&query=curable

    Lately, Dr. Schacter has expanded his practice *treating* kids for their autism. I tangled with one of his patient’s mommy a few months back and he has posted comments on AoA.

  41. #41 thenewme
    October 11, 2013

    Lilady,
    Hahaha, he’s FAR from alone in being a BS artist at that conference!

    Unfortunately, Schachter is credulously discussed a fair amount in breast cancer patient circles:
    http://community.breastcancer.org/posts/search?search_builderkeyword=schachter&search_builderauthor=&search_buildersource=&search_builderdate_range=&commit=Search

  42. #42 thenewme
    October 11, 2013

    Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here are a few examples. I could go on but I’m feeling nauseated just looking at these:

    – Marsha Valutis’ services include “sessions designed to help remove the Soul Mind Body blockages to your desired outcomes. May include interview/information gathering, intuitive reading, Divine Soul Healing Blessings/Soul Song Blessings, and identification of Soul Healing and Soul Power practices for your continued healing and transformation. ”

    -Jeanette Marshall and Linda Ditzler offer
    “Cancer Risk Assessment
    Cancer Nutrition
    Juicing & Blending
    Vitamins and Cancer
    Lifestyle Intervention
    Environmental Links To Cancer
    Laughter Therapy
    Sketch,Paint & Shoot
    Deep Breathing
    Medical Qigong
    Meditation
    Power of Music
    Power of Visualization
    Homeopathic Remedies for Cancer ”

    -Janet Galipo offers distant “energy treatments”
    “To understand what this means, we have to look at the energy based possibilities for healing. In the classical field, electromagnetic therapies such as Acupuncture and Reiki work well because there is interaction that produces an energy flow through the tissues that induces current, clears blockages, and helps to jump start the body.
    How is a Distance Treatment performed?

    Janet will assess when your body is ready to receive a session.
    During the session, a surrogate will be used. Your session will be audio recorded.
    You will receive an email with the audio-recording of your completed session attached.

    Important to note: A “lack of permission” to balance may postpone your session. This can occur when:

    The client is participating in multiple therapies
    The client is still processing the last session (PaRama can take up to 6 months to process)
    The client is involved in an activity that may be contraindicated with BodyTalk such as exercising or eating.

    Rodrigo Rodriguez:
    “IBC Hospital’s general treatment approach is based on the next concepts:

    1. The uniquely individual biochemistry of the patient.
    2.The development of treatment programs (protocols) taking this unique individualized biochemistry into account.
    3. A multifactorial, integrative, succesive, restorative approach aiming at:

    Detoxification and dietary adjustment.
    Balancing of the neuro-endocrinological (hormonal) systems.
    Regulation and restoration of the various components of the immune defense system.
    An all-out attack on pathogens with the fullest possible range of modalities with an emphasis on natural, non-toxic methods.
    Exhaustive review of dental health to ensure the absence of infectious foci and the presence of mercury amalgams and other potentially toxic materials.
    Fostering of a healing psychological milieu.”

  43. #43 Sarah
    October 11, 2013

    Frequent lurker, but frustrated today. OT but related: why do so many docs involved in functional medicine jump on the anti-vax bandwagon?

    This was on my fb feed today: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11253/why-you-probably-dont-need-a-flu-shot.html

    Aviva Romm has written similarly about the flu shot.

    When I was on my peds rotation as a student last year, our service had two previously healthy toddler siblings with flu – one died, and the other was in the PICU with empyema for weeks. It was horrible. I’ll take any percent reduction in transmission compared to that.

    The above are the kinds of doctors that so many of my friends hope I’ll be one day. They say they “get it.” To me, they’re flipping scientific consensus the proverbial bird and threatening public health in order to promote themselves as a brand and sell overpriced supplements.

    Sigh. But anyway. Happy Friday!

  44. #44 Ken
    October 11, 2013

    Lawrence @31, my apologies for not including the “sarcasm” emoticon.

    But that is a good question: What indeed would be the naturopathic remedy for salmonella? Plenty of good fresh raw green vegetables? (insert sarcasm emoticon)

  45. #45 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2013

    Homeopathic doses of succussed lettuce.

  46. #46 Shwell Thanksh
    October 14, 2013

    “Physicians also clearly state the risks of each disease, and the potential consequences of not vaccinating.”

    Now I’m curious… do you suppose that Krumbeck also includes an explanation of the consequences to the *other children* that the child will expose themselves to as a potential transmission vector after ignoring the CDC guidelines?

  47. #47 Khani
    October 14, 2013

    #45 Shaken, not stirred.

  48. #48 Erika Krumbeck
    Missoula, MT
    November 6, 2013

    Dr. “Quack” Krumbeck here,

    Ummm….thanks for writing an entire article about me??

    To clarify a few points:
    Yes, there are a few naturopathic physicians who want the entire CDC schedule adhered to. Matthew Brignall, ND is one name that comes to mind. They are in the minority in our profession, I will admit. However, most naturopathic physicians who see children on a regular basis DO perform vaccinations.

    One of your readers commented about meningitis contracted in the teenage/young adult years. That is most likely NOT Haemophilus or pneumococcal meningitis, which are the two that are most dangerous in early infancy. I would never deny the fact that Neisseria meningitis is extremely dangerous in adolescence.

    I agree that some “anti-vax” parents in my practice can be incredibly uninformed (or sadly misinformed). I think that most parents, when they are aware of the real risks of not vaccinating vs. vaccinating WILL actually choose to vaccinate. Especially here in Missoula, where pertussis can be a real problem. But for all those parents who are “kicked out” of pediatric practices because they don’t want to vaccinate on-schedule – I am the one getting these folks vaccinated! It may not be on the CDC schedule, but many parents would never have vaccinated their children at all if they had not come to me.

    At any rate, this will be my only comment here (to avoid trolling). But I did want to invite you, Orac, or your readers to watch my webinar if you’d like (free of charge). The link is: https://www.udemy.com/vaccines-demystified/?couponCode=SCIENCEBLOG
    Enter code [redacted] to get it for free. I only have 5 of these, sorry.

    [Orac note: Because she said she only had five of these codes, I redacted the code. If you want to view her video, let me know. I might just view it myself; so that leave four.]

  49. #49 SeattleMama
    United States
    November 16, 2013

    Actually the first time I saw an ND debunk the autism-MMR link was September 2011 in an interview with Paul Offit in an ND-peer reviewed online journal: http://ndnr.com/pediatrics/updates-on-well-child-care-for-infants-and-toddlers/ Scroll down to the bottom.

  50. #50 SeattleMama
    USA
    November 16, 2013

    I guess the ND didn’t debunk anything — she merely attempted to give Paul Offit a voice in a community that usually adheres to an anti-vax philosophy so that he could debunk these myths.