SBS

I was a bit angry yesterday. I’m never happy when I see the overarching narrative that prescientific and pseudoscientific beliefs are equivalent and worth doing clinical trials on them. But the irritation I feel when I see examples of journalists credulously swallowing that narrative whole and regurgitating it in mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal is nothing compared to the anger that is provoked when I see one of the worst antivaccine lies of all being promulgated by a person known for promoting it.

The person is Christina England. The tactic is trying to blame the injuries of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) on vaccines. It’s a tactic that is not new. Indeed, it’s a tactic that so shocked me when I first encountered it about 13 or 14 years ago that it prodded me to look more deeply into the misinformation promoted by the antivaccine movement and to appreciate the harm it causes. The first such case I learned about was a man named Alan Yurko, who, as you might recall, was a man who was convicted of shaking his girlfriend’s baby to death, producing a classic sad case of SBS. As a result, he became a hero of the antivaccine movement, which latched on to his story as an example of SBS being a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury. It’s a lie that has been used to try to exonerate child abusers all over the world, fortunately with little success thus far. Indeed, one antivaccine group, SaneVax, has even published a guide to blaming the deaths of children on “vaccine injury.”

Unfortunately, England’s at it again. Yesterday, she published an article entitled Families Ripped Apart By False Accusations of Child Abuse – Vaccine Injuries Often to Blame:

There are a growing number of parents who have been falsely accused of child abuse. Many of these cases only occur after parents mention that their child first became ill after they received a routine vaccination.

Over the years as a journalist exposing these issues, I have been asked to help dozens of families worldwide who have lost their children or are losing their children as a result of false accusations. I spend many hours sifting through paperwork and engaging with a small number of brave professionals who are willing to give up their time and experience to help in these difficult and complex cases.

She’s even included a video, which is hard to watch because it is so vile:

The video starts out with statistics on how many families are accused of child abuse in the U.K. under a surprisingly inappropriate bit of music with a beat that’s entirely too peppy for the subject matter. One would expect dirge-like music for such a topic. Shazam tells me that the tune is “They” by Jem. I suppose the lyrics, in which Jem repeatedly apologizes (“I’m sorry we do this”) and asks whether we “live like this” because “ignorance is bliss” are meant to be a commentary on the topic, but it’s a distracting bouncy pop tune. In any case, at about the 1:00 mark, the video’s text states:

Many of these cases turn out to be false allegations of child abuse. The families they affect may never be the same again. Real families torn apart. Innocent parents falsely accused of child abuse. Their children put on child protection registers, taken into foster care, or adopted. Some of these babies who have died as a result of a cot death or brain hemorrhages.

Families like these.

This might be true. After all, any human institution makes mistakes. On the other hand, England provides no statistics for what percentage of these thousands of cases turn out to be false allegations. In any case, you can tell where this is going right off the bat. England is going to blame vaccines for the findings and injuries characteristic of SBS in order to make the claim that these parents were falsely accused of harming their babies and it was the vaccines all along that hurt them. It’s the same narrative that was “pioneered” for the baby killer Alan Yurko and that has been honed over many iterations in an attempt to keep child killers from having to face justice. That’s just how strong the hatred of vaccines is; people like Christina England are willing to see child killers walk free if they can find a way to blame SBS on vaccines.

First up are Zabeth and Paul Baynes, who, it is claimed, were accused of shaking their baby to the point of calling brain bleeds but were ultimately shown to be innocent later. Statements by them about how they suffered are prominently featured, and, no doubt, if the story is as represented, it’s hard not to feel some sympathy for them for being falsely accused. Oddly enough, no mention of vaccines is made at all for this couple. Curious to find out exactly what the heck happened, I did a bit of Googling. This story, for instance, basically says the same thing and alos mentions nothing about vaccines. It’s not at all clear to me why England included this case, which appears to indicate that the Baynes were not well-served by the Canadian justice system but doesn’t even have the usual weak correlations that people like England use to try to “prove” that SBS is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury.

Indeed, even this more detailed version of the parent’s version of the story doesn’t implicate vaccines, although the parents try hard to do it even though it was clear that their baby was having significant medical problems for many weeks before vaccination. We also learn that the baby had Glutaric Acidemia type I, an inherited disorder in which the body can’t process certain amino acids properly, leading to elevated levels of lysine, hydroxylysine, and tryptophan, leading to the accumulation of these amino acids and their intermediate breakdown products, which can damage the brain and other organs, leading to mental retardation. These babies are often born with macrocephaly and can suffer what is called an “encephalopathic crisis,” which is basically what it sounds like. But of course it had to be the vaccines. It’s always the vaccines with people like this.

Next up are Mike and Elizabeth Bruce, whose baby Cameron, it is stated, became “ill after routine vaccinations.” It’s not described how soon after these “routine vaccinations” Cameron became ill, but the story states that the baby died “a few days later,” and her parents were found innocent of any wrongdoing. It’s actually hard to find much about this case, but apparently Cameron was a twin, and the twins were born eight weeks prematurely and “fought hard to live.” Both ended up dying, which suggests to me that there was something wrong with them because being born at 32 weeks, while premature, is still highly survivable with modern neonatal ICU care. In any case, as tragic as it is, this story isn’t any more convincing an example to convince anyone that SBS is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury.

None of the other examples are particularly convincing, either. For example, Ja’Nayjah Sanders gets the usual “vitamin C deficiency” treatment in which it is claimed that SBS is due to scurvy caused by vaccines. Jordan Arroyo died nine weeks after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine, for the most tortured attempt to demonstrate correlation, much less causation, ever. Worse, Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, whom we’ve met before multiple times in the context of his specializing in—shall we say?—reinterpreting autopsy results to blame vaccines (as he did for Alan Yurko) or deflect blame from HIV (as he did for Eliza Jane Scovill. England is even shameless enough to include the case of Tanya and Elwood Sadowski, which I discussed in detail more than once. Again, this is not a convincing case.

As unconvincing as all these cases are as support for England’s belief that vaccines cause a syndrome like SBS, I did learn something new. At around the 3:35 point, it’s revealed that Christina England herself was accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Gee, why am I not surprised by this revelation? Why am I also not surprised that she believes her son had an adverse reaction to the MMR. The video states, “Sadly, no one read the evidence.” Could it be that they did read the evidence but that it wasn’t convincing? So little information was given. Basically all we learned was that England believes she was falsely accused of Munchausen by proxy, which might or might not be true given how hideously difficult it is to prove the syndrome. It’s at least as likely that the authorities just couldn’t prove it. I have no practical way of finding out definitely, given that all that’s on the web that I can find are variations of England’s version of her story.

In any case, once again, through England’s writing, we learn just how low antivaccinationists will go. They’ll make the completely unscientifically supported claim that vaccines cause a syndrome that can be confused with SBS, apparently not caring that the end result that would occur if anyone believes that lie is to thwart justice against child abusers whose abuse results in the death of children.

Comments

  1. #1 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2014

    She does go on and on about the time when she was accused of trying to make everything about her.

  2. #2 The Grouchybeast
    November 5, 2014

    Social Services can’t win for losing. I’d never claim that they’re perfect, of course they aren’t, and any system needs to be continually examined and improved. But they have an unresolvable dilemma. If they take action at a level that gives false positives then they’re pilloried in the press for breaking up families. If they act at a level that removes the chance of false positives, then some children suffer the consequences and they’re pilloried in the press, again. It’s all easy meat for the tabloids, who don’t actually have to solve the problem of inventing a system that can detect abuse AND predict future risk with 100% accuracy.

  3. #3 Orlac not Orac
    November 5, 2014

    There is a difficulty in that SBS is far from the definitive condition that it has at times been presented as. In the UK it has became a legal rather than a scientific reality and this does leave it open to question. Of course invoking vaccine treatment as an explantion for a brain damaged child, and worse still as a defence in a criminal trial, is beyond cynical. However with a history of wrong convictions in child abuse cases and some appalling lapses in child protection, in the UK the whole field is toxic – and so fertile ground for the anti-vaxers.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7283998.stm

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727713.600-doctor-gagged-for-doubting-shaken-baby-syndrome.html

  4. #4 Helianthus
    November 5, 2014

    They’ll make the completely unscientifically supported claim that vaccines cause a syndrome that can be confused with SBS

    A syndrome which includes creating bruises looking remarkably like the shape left by adult hands brutally holding a baby.
    These vaccines are so nasty, I tell you.

  5. #5 reasonablehank
    Australia
    November 5, 2014

    Christina England is first and foremost an anti-vaccination activist. Then, she is a chemtrails conspiracist. Sometime after those things she is a journalist.

  6. #6 Chris Hickie
    November 5, 2014

    From The National Center on Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (http://dontshake.org/sbs.php?topNavID=3&subNavID=27)

    Based on a North Carolina research project published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August of 2003, approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse every year.

    That’s a horrible number to ponder, especially as they also note on another page that “Over 300 babies a year die from being shaken in the United States.”

    I would like to think that a retrospective cohort study could put this ridiculous allegation of a link between vaccines and SBS to rest.

  7. #7 Michael
    November 5, 2014

    @The Grouchybeast- to be fair, a lot of life is like that. Parole officers, for example- if they’re too hard on the parolees, people will complain that they’re sending people people back to jail who might never reoffend but if one of the parolees rapes or kills someone, they’re blamed for not sending him to jail.

  8. #8 Mrs Grimble
    November 5, 2014

    Social Services can’t win for losing

    I don’t know about the US situation, but here in the UK our Social Services have to abide by strict confidentiality laws which mean they can’t publicly give their reasons for taking away a child. These laws, however, don’t seem to apply to the childrens’ parents; they’re free to give press interviews about how the evil social workers dragged away kiddies from their loving families.

  9. #9 e canfield
    November 5, 2014

    With the increasing information about concussions, *of course* the brain damage *must* be from vaccines, rather than somebody shaking a child like a dog shakes his rope toy.

  10. #10 Shay
    November 5, 2014

    Christina England is first and foremost an anti-vaccination activist. Then, she is a chemtrails conspiracist. Sometime after those things she is a journalist.

    Two out of three, anyway.

  11. #11 RW
    South Carolina
    November 5, 2014

    this reminds me of the argument about vaccines causing autism and how readily people are willing to believe that when the Doctor who made that claim actually altered the data to fit the claim.

  12. #12 Brian Deer
    November 5, 2014

    Must be a thin week if you are critiquing a website called “Medical Kidnap”. Bound to be barking.

  13. #13 Dangerous Bacon
    November 5, 2014

    “Christina England is first and foremost an anti-vaccination activist. Then, she is a chemtrails conspiracist. Sometime after those things she is a journalist.”

    There really needs to be a term other than “journalist” to describe people like Christina England, Dan Olmsted, Bill Sardi and the parade of dementos who post as “citizen journalists” on NaturalNews. It’s degrading to real journalists to be classed with these bozos.

    As for people who claim shaken baby syndrome is actually vaccine injury, they deserve a spot on the lowest rungs of hell, right next to attorneys who specialize in defending people who commit Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

  14. #14 brewandferment
    November 5, 2014

    are there any other causes that may result in an apparent SBS when it really isn’t? I read of one case where two different MDs had opposing claims at trial: one said SBS, the other said sepsis. If there are such causes, how unlikely are they?

  15. #15 MikeMa
    November 5, 2014

    @Dangerous Bacon
    The term for those non-journalists is already in wide use: ‘hack’. It describes their work and their attitudes nicely.

  16. #16 Rich Woods
    November 5, 2014

    @DangerousBacon #12:

    right next to attorneys who specialize in defending people who commit Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

    Everyone has a right to a legal defence.

  17. #17 JGC
    November 5, 2014

    Brewandferment, if the case you’re thinking of is that of Adrian Thomas he was initially convicted of his 4 month old son’s death in 2010. The conviction was overturned on retrial when the second judge ruled a videotaped confession inadmissible due to excessive coercion. In both trials his defense attorneys argued the child’sdeath was due to sepsis rather than head injuries.

    Note that the prosecutors didn’t assign the child’s injuries to shaking but to their being thrown onto a bed several times.

  18. #18 martin
    November 5, 2014

    Well, patients with glutaric aciduria type I are prone to subdural bleeding, even after very minimal trauma. It is assumed that the tendency to bleeding is due to stretching of bridging veins associated with rapidly developing cerebral atrophy. Several cases where parents were wrongly suspected of child abuse have been described, see eg:
    http://adc.bmj.com/content/80/5/404.full
    GA type I is a plausible explanation for the first case, but there is no link to the vaccines.

  19. #19 Eric Lund
    November 5, 2014

    Everyone has a right to a legal defence.

    Sure, but if I correctly infer from DB’s post that Munchausen-by-proxy defense is an actual legal specialty, that’s pretty sick and twisted. It implies that there are lawyers actively looking for such cases, and not just a generic defense attorney, or even one who specializes in defense against charges involving children (which is bad enough, but at least it’s a common enough crime to support specialist defense attorneys in all but the smallest US states). Admittedly, I don’t know how one might (inadvertently or otherwise) simulate the symptoms of Munchausen-by-proxy, whereas generic child abuse charges are sometimes fabricated (there have been several prominent ritual satanic abuse cases in the US which were subsequently shown to be false charges).

  20. #20 Zabeth Bayne
    Canada
    November 5, 2014

    I’m the Zabeth Bayne featured as one of the parents in Christina England’s article. You are correct in that our case was not a vaccine related case but in reading it it appears she did not say that ours was. You should find in googling the numerous accounts available online that our case was based on an accidental injury in the home involving an impact injury between our one son and our baby. It was misdiagnosed as abuse and after extensive time in court process I am thankful to say our four dear children were returned. I do appreciate that there is great controversy in both the medical and legal arenas regarding shaken baby syndrome but personally can say from experience that these symptoms can and are misdiagnosed as in our case. It is a horrible experience for both the parents and children alike to endure such separation and I do pray that one day there will be less mistakes made in diagnosing these issues.

  21. #21 brewandferment
    November 5, 2014

    @JGC–yeah, that’s the case. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed that SBS injuries and other abuses causing brain trauma would appear the same–but do they? and is sepsis a rational explanation or is it a case of a paid consultant torturing data etc to make it cast reasonable doubt.

    @Eric Lund #19 funny you should mention fabrications–have you been over to SBM today to read the False Memory Syndrome discussion?

  22. #22 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    November 5, 2014

    Zabeth:

    I am very relieved to hear there was a positive outcome in your case in the end. Injury or death of a child is horrible enough; to then be accused of abuse and lose your children is an excruciating thought. Thank you for coming in and sharing your story.

    You are right that Englund was careful not to explicitly say your case was vaccine injury, but I think she was relying on people not to dig into the case enough to find that out, so that she could imply it. She has never been above misusing other people’s stories to suit her arguments.

  23. #23 EBMOD
    November 5, 2014

    As an optometrist, we are in the center of this debate. The reason is that when a child suffers blunt trauma to the head, quite often the retina’s bleed profusely and the inside of eye looks like hamburger. Please see my links below for pictures of their retinas. If you are not familiar with what the inside of the eye SHOULD look like, see my second link.

    There is no way that vaccines are causing this bleeding inside the eye. It is from trauma. Period. Of all the tropes that anti-vaxxers are pushing, this is probably the one that angers me the most. What a horrible situation all the way around.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=shaken+baby+syndrome+retina&espv=2&biw=1680&bih=949&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Z6laVN3iCa3xigKauIDYBw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

    https://www.google.com/search?q=shaken+baby+syndrome+retina&espv=2&biw=1680&bih=949&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Z6laVN3iCa3xigKauIDYBw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=healthy+retina

  24. #24 EBMOD
    November 5, 2014

    I should add that a retinal exam is a highly accurate way to determine whether or not a child has been beaten. When the bleeding is seen, it is almost pathgnomonic for SBS. Just to clarify, these bleeds are NOT caused by a child falling and hitting his head. It takes an object impacting the child’s skull at over 35 mph to do this, which would require a child falling about 20-25 ft onto its head.

  25. #25 lilady
    November 5, 2014

    @ Martin: Testing for Glutaric Aciduria Type I is now part of the Newborn Screening Panel. Scroll down to see the results of newborn screening for this metabolic disorder, on subsequent births:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nbslabbulletin/bulletin.html

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2014

    here in the UK our Social Services have to abide by strict confidentiality laws which mean they can’t publicly give their reasons for taking away a child. These laws, however, don’t seem to apply to the childrens’ parents

    That did not seem to be the case in Canada. When Zabeth and Paul Bayne tried to win back custody of their child, the authorities took that as evidence that they were dangerous and used it as an excuse to take their other children into custody too.
    If Zabeth is still reading this thread, I’d like to pass on sympathy, except that words have failed me.

  27. #27 NZ Sceptic
    November 5, 2014

    Orac – you’re famous and well worth an espresso apparently!
    The English translation of this piece is quite cute!
    http://www.sciencepresse.qc.ca/blogue/2014/10/08/vacciner-nest-violer

  28. #28 lilady
    November 5, 2014

    Zabeth: I’m sorry that you and your husband were unfairly accused of child abuse. I hope that you have opened the links Orac has provided to see how Christina England and other anti-vaccine, anti-science individuals have assisted child batterers and child murderers to game the criminal justice system.

    I’d like to suggest that you contact Christina England to have her remove your case from her video…she’s not the type of person you want to be associated with.

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2014

    the Baynes were not well-served by the Canadian justice system
    The Minister responsible for Children and Family Development appears quite sanguine about the situation, and merely wishes that more parents would go through mediation — i.e. admit guilt and try to convince the MCFD that they have reformed.

  30. #30 Eric Lund
    November 5, 2014

    i.e. admit guilt and try to convince the MCFD that they have reformed

    That sounds suspiciously like legal systems in certain other countries.

    I get that the Ministry is in a no-win situation: of course many of the people who are accused of child abuse will insist on their innocence, and there is a risk that when the charges are well-founded the accused will also be abusing other children in the household. But certainly in the US, and undoubtedly in other countries as well, there is a presumption of innocence in criminal matters. If Canada is one of those countries, then the Ministry is inverting that standard.

    There are often less drastic remedies available: place the kids with grandparents, if possible. Separating kids from families should be a last recourse or an emergency recourse, not SOP.

  31. #31 dingo199
    November 5, 2014

    There really needs to be a term other than “journalist” to describe people like Christina England, Dan Olmsted, Bill Sardi and the parade of dementos who post as “citizen journalists” on NaturalNews. It’s degrading to real journalists to be classed with these bozos.

    Script confabulators?

  32. #32 dingo199
    November 5, 2014

    Orac…. a “chirurgien sceptique”.

    Good ring to it.
    When I am asked for my profession, I sometimes reply or write: “Bon viveur”.
    Things always sound much better en francais.

  33. #33 Narad
    November 5, 2014

    But certainly in the US, and undoubtedly in other countries as well, there is a presumption of innocence in criminal matters. If Canada is one of those countries, then the Ministry is inverting that standard.

    Ahem.

    The actions of child welfare agencies are independent from the criminal law system.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    November 5, 2014

    @ dingo199:

    Your appellations are quite apropo.
    I generally say that I’m a counsellor but most of the time, I think ‘scoffer’ would be more truthful ( but not while I work)

  35. #35 Shay
    November 5, 2014

    Dingo – Everything sounds better en francais.

    Except cursing. Cursing sounds better auf Deutsch.

  36. #36 sadmar
    P.O. Box P. Oed
    November 6, 2014

    This vomit inducing story ought to be promoted in the loudest voice possible by pro-immunization advocates as it has the potential to thoroughly undermine the anti-vax mythology in the public mind. ‘Anti-Immunization Wackos Embrace and Enable Child Abuse!’ And as evidence of just how vile this is, we add the cynical explotation of Zabeth and Paul Bayne, whose case England clearly knows had nothing to do with vaccines at all.

    A lot of people advocate stuff that isn’t supported by science. Most of the public, frankly, couldn’t give a rats ass about scientific validity — ‘so such and such is unscientific, what else is new?’ But the anti-immunization pond is full of genuine scum. Some regular folks have to put up with enough scum they’ve become desensitized and just look out for #1. Others though being cursed with scum they can’t get rid of, will gladly sign on to work against other scum they might actually help undermine or defeat in recompense.

    Orac began yesterdays post: “They are winning.”
    I think he’s right. Where’s the discussion about why and how they are winning and what is to be done to reverse the tide? RI and SBM seem to help, but not anywhere near enough. WHAT are they winning? I’d say it’s the battle for “hearts and minds”, and I’ll suggest they’re winning because they understand the heart is the key to the mind. As long as skeptics insist on leading with the mind, they will continue to lose.

    The irony is that most SBM advocates don’t write their blog posts in an ‘objective’ or ‘rationalist’ tone modeled on the discourse of science. They preach. Orac especially is a master of vivid, punchy, righteously pissed-off prose. Not just the choir, alas, but the congregation is pretty small. Am I wrong to think the affront expressed on RI and SBM is fundamentally moral? If so, might not more traction be gained with a general audience of not-scientists by appealing to THEIR moral sensibilities more directly?

    Hit them in their hearts. That will open their minds.

  37. #37 Krebiozen
    November 6, 2014

    Cursing sounds better auf Deutsch.

    An elderly (and charmingly naive) German lady of my acquaintance recently told my wife and I that German has no swear words. We hadn’t the heart to disabuse her of that belief.

  38. #38 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    When someone asked me once what my job title was at a former company, i replied in all seriousness “Whipping boy”.

    I also described our ‘corporate culture’ as “Last one out, turn off the lights”.

  39. #39 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    It seems that the misinformation that you spout is a large part of the problem. Retinal hemorrhages, even multi-layered confluent hemorrhages with retinal folds and retinoschisis, can have many other causes. Most of the literature on this subject was written by Alex Levin, who assisted the now discredited/stricken Dr. Charles Smith in Toronto. Somehow, he went through not just unscathed, but unquestioned.

    Retinal hemorrhaging is most likely caused by a rapid increase in ICP, similar to Terson’s syndrome. It’s very disturbing to me that so many optometrists/ophthalmologists still cling to this concept that RH is pathognomonic (or nearly so) for abuse.

    A worthwhile article on this subject was written by Dr. Peter Cummings and is available here: http://cambridgemedicine.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/inflicted-pediatric-head-trauma-forensic-pathology/ I have discussed this article with him, and last I knew, he was preparing for publication within a major peer reviewed journal.

    As someone who is now assisting The Innocence Network in SBS cases, I hope that your diagnoses will be more circumspect in the future, before more innocent lives are lost to our prison system.

    I would also urge everyone to familiarize themselves with the Jennifer Del Prete case, the most recent case to be overturned regarding the “diagnosis” of SBS. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/05/shaken_baby_syndrome_in_the_courts_a_judge_finally_calls_the_diagnosis_an.html

  40. #40 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    Assuming you are still here, just as a general question, why would retinal hemorrhaging continue to evolve long after the original ophthalmologist’s examination? If the RH is “from trauma. Period.” then wouldn’t the blood clot? Why does it continue to worsen in so many of these cases that end up on the medical examiner’s table?

    Also, you’re the first optometrist that I’ve heard of who consults in these cases, but perhaps I’m just regionally challenged, what we call ophthalmology is called optometry elsewhere.

  41. #41 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    Jeremy, neither of the links you provides evidence that rapid increase in ICP is the most likely cause in all cases of retinal hemorrhage. May I ask what evidence supports this claim, and what percentage of all cases of retinal hemorrhage have been found to have been caused by rapid ICP increase in the absence of physical trauma?

    And finally (to ensure we’re all on the same page) do you agree that there is no evidence suggesting a causal association between routine vaccination and the symptoms associated with SBS?

  42. #42 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    And finally (to ensure we’re all on the same page) do you agree that there is no evidence suggesting a causal association between routine vaccination and the symptoms associated with SBS?

    Surely you jest.

  43. #43 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @JGC
    (This is the author of the article responding in the comment section.) http://neuropathologyblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/retinal-changes-in-inflicted-pediatric.html

    When we begin talking about percentages, we run into an obvious problem of circular references. A friend of mine answered the question as follows, on her blog:
    These studies typically start with a series of patients seen at the authors’ hospitals over a period of time. Not infrequently, researchers studying accidenbabySilhouettetal injury simply remove from the study any cases of presumed child abuse, with the stated goal of limiting the study to verifiable accidents. The filtering out of abuse cases is typically done by the local child abuse team, or sometimes by the authors. The problematic result is that, if a child comes in with a serious injury and a history of a household fall during the study period, the case is diagnosed as abuse and therefore never appears in the data. This self-fulfilling sorting algorithm also taints the studies that attempt to describe for physicians how to recognize child abuse—for an on-line example, please see http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=348423.”

    Actually, I would agree with your assertion that there is no good evidence of a causal association. There is anecdotal evidence that may suggest an association, but I’ve never found it particularly compelling and generally try to steer away from that debate. But, by that same token, I cannot say that it cannot cause the symptoms associated with SBS, either, especially since we still do not understand the underlying mechanisms that cause the SDH and RH.

  44. #44 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    Jeremy Praay-

    The key is that these findings are being found in infants and toddlers. By leaving that qualifier out, that is where your confusion is coming from.

    It is NOT misinformation. Yours is an argument from ignorance.

    “Retinal hemorrhaging is most likely caused by a rapid increase in ICP, similar to Terson’s syndrome. It’s very disturbing to me that so many optometrists/ophthalmologists still cling to this concept that RH is pathognomonic (or nearly so) for abuse.”

    And where in the blue hell did you pull that from?

    In an adult, you are absolutely correct that retinal bleeding is not pathognomonic for trauma.

    Diabetic retinopathy doesn’t develop until a child in their teens with DM1, usually in late thirties to early forties with DM2.

    Proliferative macular degeneration, artery/vein occlusions, hypertension and blood dyscrasias/cancers can also cause bleeding. But again, you will never see any of those except for leukemia in children, and the leukemia causes a very different looking type of bleeding. Not to mention that the child will test positive for leukemia, which makes differential diagnosis from SBS fairly simple.

    I will agree that if there is MINOR bleeding in the eye, it is possible to misdiagnose leukemia or something else as SBS. However, the images I linked to show the extensive, severe, bleeding that is present in SBS. This is not a trivial difference.

    If you google those terms for retinal images, you will see that the bleeding is generally no where near as extensive. In fact, suble miroaneurysms and dot/blot hemes can easily be missed in minor cases of disease.

    Note that these are all independent of increased ICP. Furthermore, increased ICP presents as a ‘popping out’ appearance of the optic nerve head (see my link below), NOT bleeding of the retina. I work at a pediatric clinic and in the past several months have had to refer several children out for what turned out to be elevated ICP, or true papilledema. None had ANY bleeding whatsoever. While the retina CAN bleed alongside papilledema, that is seen in elderly people suffering an attack of Giant Cell Arteritis or some other vascular disease. Note that the youngest GCA patient on record is 55. It is exclusively in older people.

    http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/eyeforum/cases/papilledema-grading.htm

    “If the RH is “from trauma. Period.” then wouldn’t the blood clot? Why does it continue to worsen in so many of these cases that end up on the medical examiner’s table?”

    And this is because you obviously have zero experience and training in retinal disease. In our retina, there are many layers. The blood supply for it is located in two locations either superficial to the retina which feeds the innermost 1/3 of the retina, and vessels embedded in the very middle layer. These vessels in the middle are what typically hemorrhage. Since it is intraretinal, the blood doesn’t have anywhere to really go. It tends to be sucked up via capillary action along the ganglion nerve fibers, which is why they often appear striated and stretched in the direction of the nerve fibers in the retina.

    Once that blood is there, it typically takes weeks if not months to resolve. So it is clotting. it just has nowhere to go once it is in the interstitial space. Had you ever managed even a single patient with a retinal hemorrhage and watched it over time, you would know this.

    If support the work of the Innocence Project, but I ask that you stop spreading such misinformation immediately. Your arguments are woefully inadequate and you are simply adding to the misinformation by speading completely offbase BS.

  45. #45 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    I should also add that traumatic retinal bleeding is NOT caused by a child tripping, falling, and ‘bonking’ his head. It takes much higher levels of force. Another reason why the retinal bleeding is so telling. You pretty much have to be punching the child as hard as you can to do this.

  46. #46 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    And yet another thing, Terson’s syndrome is associated with subarachnoid hemorrhages. Which are usually caused by trauma. So any sudden increase in ICP is secondary to the subarachnoid bleeding, not simply increased ICP manifesting alone such as in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.

  47. #47 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    So your position is that even though circular references prevent use from determining what percentage of all cases of retinal heorrhaging result from rapid increase in intracranial pressure unrelated to abuse, more than 50% of all cases of retinal hemorrhaging must be caused by rapid increase in intracranial pressure unrelated to abuse (that is, after all, what would be necessary for elvated ICP to be the ‘most likely’ cause as you claim)?

    How exactly does that–we can’t know but we don know–work, exactly?

    But, by that same token, I cannot say that it cannot cause the symptoms associated with SBS, either, especially since we still do not understand the underlying mechanisms that cause the SDH and RH.

    And again, we simultaneously don’t>/i> understand the mechanisms and do understand the mechanisms, enough to conclude the most common mechanism by which retinal hemorrhage occurs is rapid increase in ICP?

    If you want to argue taht retinal hemorrhage of itself is insuficient to be diagnostic of physical abuse including shaking I think there’s evidence to support that position. If you want to argue that retinal hemorrhage should not be likely to have been caused by abuse I don’t think your position is supportable.

  48. #48 JGC
    Oh, and BTW?
    November 6, 2014

    I notice again that neither of the links you’ve provided support the claim that most likely cause of retinal bleeding is rapid increase in ICP unrelated to abuse or other trauma.

  49. #49 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Sigh…
    “PS: My early hypothesis is that these injures can be seen with very severe, very rapid increases in ICP.” But yes, it’s a hypothesis, as we still do not have proof either way, just assertions by prominent physicians.

  50. #50 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    ““PS: My early hypothesis is that these injures can be seen with very severe, very rapid increases in ICP.” But yes, it’s a hypothesis, as we still do not have proof either way, just assertions by prominent physicians.”

    And what percentage of those severe, rapid increases of ICP do you think are being caused independent of trauma?

  51. #51 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    And finally (to ensure we’re all on the same page) do you agree that there is no evidence suggesting a causal association between routine vaccination and the symptoms associated with SBS?

    Actually, I would agree with your assertion that there is no good evidence of a causal association. There is anecdotal evidence that may suggest an association, but I’ve never found it particularly compelling and generally try to steer away from that debate.

    Uh-huh.

  52. #52 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Is Dr. Cummings completely wrong? Mostly, I was parroting his hypothesis and showing his results.

  53. #53 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    “Is Dr. Cummings completely wrong? Mostly, I was parroting his hypothesis and showing his results.”

    Most likely yes. Not going to respond to my large post above where I addressed your critiques of my first post?

  54. #54 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @JGC
    I was searching for “ICP” or “intra,” so I missed it originally, but I knew I had seen it somewhere. But anyway, yes, it’s in the original link. Perhaps that’s why you missed it as well.

    “This led me to think hard and examine the literature further. I now think that retinal hemorrhages and folds are likely the result of sudden and severe increases in intercerebral pressure.”

  55. #55 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @JGC
    Frankly, I get tired of posting links and then being told that nothing in my link supports the concepts that I just stated (rapid ICP -> RH and RH is not a good indicator of abuse). Both of those points are made quite plainly in the article. As far as not being a good diagnostic indicator of abuse, that’s the entire point of the article.

  56. #56 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    ” I get tired of posting links and then being told that nothing in my link supports the concepts that I just stated (rapid ICP -> RH and RH is not a good indicator of abuse)”

    That is because your assertions are an argument from ignorance and are wrong. I posted above why retinal hemorrhages in children are a very different thing that retinal hemorrhages in adults. This isn’t something that is poorly understood as you claim.

    I must say I find it alarming if you are working on the Innocence Project. If you are applying the same standard to those cases that you espoused here, then you are helping people who ACTUALLY DID ABUSE THEIR KIDS get away with it.

  57. #57 Lawrence
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD – maybe he got the name of the organization wrong…perhaps he’s working for the “Getting Away with Murder” Project.

  58. #58 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    “maybe he got the name of the organization wrong…perhaps he’s working for the “Getting Away with Murder” Project.”

    LOL, indeed. I do find it odd that he called me out specifically, but now refuses to acknowledge my rebuttal and seems to be prefer pretending I don’t exist.

  59. #59 doug
    November 6, 2014

    I somewhat reluctant to bring this up, but:
    Is there an association with late-onset vitamin K deficiency bleeding and retinal bleeding? Late VKDB presumably can result in quite rapid rise of ICP, so with impairment of clotting would seem to be a double whammy if rise of ICP really is an issue. The age range where this is a potential problem is pretty limited.

    My bad eye, recently promoted to being my good eye due to the shenanigans of the former title holder, will attest to non-traumatic (and very minor, in my case) retinal bleeding.

  60. #60 lilady
    November 6, 2014

    Good grief. Jeremy Praay/Elloyd has his own reality and his own vocabulary:

    “I was searching for “ICP” or “intra,” so I missed it originally, but I knew I had seen it somewhere. But anyway, yes, it’s in the original link. Perhaps that’s why you missed it as well.”

    “This led me to think hard and examine the literature further. I now think that retinal hemorrhages and folds are likely the result of sudden and severe increases in intercerebral pressure.”

    http://www.trauma.org/archive/neuro/icp.html

  61. #61 herr doktor bimler
    November 6, 2014

    Actually, I would agree with your assertion that there is no good evidence of a causal association. There is anecdotal evidence that may suggest an association, but I’ve never found it particularly compelling and generally try to steer away from that debate.

    Last year must have been a rare exception:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/08/27/here-we-go-again-blaming-shaken-baby-syndrome-on-vaccines/#comment-281022

  62. #62 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @doug
    If we can believe Lucy Rorke-Adams, then yes, there is an association between vitamin K and RH.

    “When Lucas was admitted to Geisinger, an initial CT scan revealed thin subdural hemorrhages – blood just beneath the brain’s tough outer layer, or dura. A serious problem, and a possible indication of abuse.

    But two days later, Rorke-Adams saw, a second scan showed matters had gotten much worse. There was more subdural bleeding, and new areas of bleeding inside the brain, in the frontal lobes.

    Moreover, the bleeding in Lucas’ eyes got worse after an initial inspection, and his retinas developed folds that apparently were not present upon admission.”

    http://articles.philly.com/2007-10-28/news/24996310_1_tour-guide-lucas-latin

  63. #63 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Woops. Here’s the rest…

    “Lucas didn’t have the same illness as the Amish girl, Sara Lynn Glick, but his liver, like hers, seemed to have trouble using vitamin K. And he had an inadequate supply of the vitamin to begin with.

    Rorke-Adams wrote: “It is clear that he died because of the bleeding disorder and hence the manner of death is natural.”

  64. #64 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    “Is there an association with late-onset vitamin K deficiency bleeding and retinal bleeding? ”

    I think that that is a very good question, as this study supports that idea:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22115729

    And as you stated, this would only apply to true infants, not toddlers or children over a few months old.

    This study touches on ways to distinguish SBS from other causes of retinal bleeding:

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/5/961.full

    A few excerpts:

    “The importance of describing the hemorrhages adequately is paramount in ensuring accurate and complete differential diagnosis. ”

    “Describing RH adequately is critical for appropriate differential diagnosis, which requires a three-dimensional view of the entire retina with the indirect ophthalmoscope used by ophthalmologists,”

    “The incidence of RH in shaken-baby syndrome (SBS) is ∼85%9,10 but higher in children who have died versus unimpaired survivors.11 There is an association between severity of brain injury and RH severity. Rarely, RH can occur without intracranial hemorrhage or cerebral edema.12,13 Approximately two-thirds of victims have RHs that are too numerous to count and are multilayered. These RHs extend out to the retinal periphery, with no particular anatomic pattern, and cover the majority of the retinal surface.”

    “Macular retinoschisis, a result of vitreous traction on the macula,24,–,26 often with vitreous still attached at the apices of circumlinear traumatic retinal pleats (perimacular folds) that surround the schisis, seems to be almost uniquely associated with SBS; it has only been reported otherwise in the setting of 2 single cases of fatal head crush injury,27,28 fatal motor vehicle accidents,23 and an 11-meter fall.29 Even in these rare circumstances the lesions seemed somewhat different than those seen in SBS”

    “The incidence of RH in SBS is dramatically higher than in all forms of accidental blunt head injury, even lethal motor vehicle accidents. Hemorrhages are much more severe in SBS than accidental single-impact injury, with which hemorrhages are usually few and confined to posterior pole.”

    So the important thing is to quantify what the bleeding looks like. SBS leaves a very distinct looking retina as shown above, which is why I termed it ‘almost pathognomonic’ in my first post. Any retinal bleeding from VKDB needs to be carefully documented, fundus photos taken, etc to make sure an accurate diagnosis is made.

  65. #65 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @herr doktor bimler
    “Last year must have been a rare exception:”
    Indeed it was the exception. But if you read my comments, it’s pretty clear that the vaccine explanation has never been something I’ve espoused. My point to Dr. “Orac” was that the article that he quoted stating that vaccines could not produce SBS-type symptoms, actually stated just the opposite.

  66. #66 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler:

    “Last year must have been a rare exception:”

    And apparently the year before THAT as well.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/10/05/using-the-lie-that-sbs-is-a-misdiagnosis-for-vaccine-injury/

    I see now. This guy is crank. Thus the refusal to engage in any actual facts/logic regarding the issue.

    The fact he works at the Innocence Project (if he does) is deplorable. My respect for that organization just took a huge slide downward…

  67. #67 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @lilady
    I’m not sure what your point is… That I confused “Intracranial” with “Intercerebral”?

  68. #68 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    I would love to engage in logic!!! But every single time I get on this board, I’m met with personal attacks and asked to support insane notions such as vaccines causing bones to break.

    I still haven’t heard you address the article that I posted earlier. Not once have you mentioned Dr. Cummings nor any of his findings. I read your comments, but they are largely irrelevant and I don’t want to get derailed into 20 different conversations.

    Point blank: Is Dr. Cummings article completely bogus?

  69. #69 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    It’s obvious that we are not going to agree on much of anything here, and that you will hold fast to the medical dogma that you’ve been taught, and quoting Alex Levin to me is akin to showing Biblical quotes to an atheist.

    You, or at least your colleagues, are responsible for sending many innocents to prisons each year. This is something I oppose, and will continue to oppose. I am sorry that I cannot state my case any better than those that I referenced. If you believe Dr. Cummings to be wrong, I guess there’s no more I can say. You believe what you’re taught.

  70. #70 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    @Jeremy Praay

    “Is Dr. Cummings article completely bogus?”

    In the way that you are interpreting it, yes. However, I think you are misinterpreting that study.

    First, this is from the standpoint of a pathologist. The child has died and they are performing autopsy on the eye to try and determine cause. Not very useful for what I am referring to, which is a still living child who presents with those findings.

    I think that your error is specifically related to this quote:

    “This led me to think hard and examine the literature further. I now think that retinal hemorrhages and folds are likely the result of sudden and severe increases in intercerebral pressure.

    The literature regarding inflicted head injury is extensive and contradictory. In a modern forensic world were evidence based medicine has become vital, what is the pathologist to do? The question one should ask themselves is not ‘are these injuries inflicted or accidental?’ but ‘could these particular injuries occur in this particular child under these particular circumstances?’ This is not to say that the pathologist should disregard the classical findings; yes, abused children have subdural hemorrhages, cerebral edema, and retinal hemorrhage/folds. But is every child who has this constellation of findings abused? No. I treat every pediatric case as though it is a homicide until I can prove to myself that it is not.”

    To ‘quote the quote’ in order to highlight the important part you missed:

    ” yes, abused children have subdural hemorrhages, cerebral edema, and retinal hemorrhage/folds.”

    This is a ‘all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares’ argument. He is arguing (and simply asserting, not testing) the idea that retinal folds w/ RH is caused by ICP. However, sudden ICP can be caused by trauma, such as intracranial bleeding. Had he stated that IDIOPATHIC increases in ICP caused this, that would be a completely different thing. So again, I don’t think the article is bogus, I think your interpretation of it is. RH/retinal folds being caused by ICP doesn’t eliminate abuse from the picture as you have interpreted it.

    ” I read your comments, but they are largely irrelevant ”

    What in the hell are you talking about? I posted extensively on how the appearance and quantification of RH’s is what allows a strong inference of SBS to be made.

    You SPECIFALLY called me out with questions such as why the bleeding remains and changes well after the initial injury and I explained how the blood has nowhere to go and has to sit there until it is resorbed, which can take months in some cases, but have apparently ignored that as well.

    The reason you are receiving personal attacks is because you refuse to acknowledge when an idea of yours is discredited. You attacked me with arguments from ignorance. This makes you seem narcissistic and somewhat irrational.

    The fact you supposedly work with the Innocence Project (do you really?) is alarming to many here since you seem to refuse to change your beliefs in light of overwhelming evidence. I strongly suggest you sit down and have a long conversation with yourself about how well you would be able to live with yourself if you helped spring an actual child abuser from prison…

  71. #71 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Dr. Norman Guthkelch, who has been called “The father of shaken baby syndrome,” stated the following during an interview in 2012. Perhaps he just wants people to get away with murder, too…

    “Although I’m perfectly well aware and accept that some people feel that I’ve changed my mind, I think perhaps it’s not I that have changed my mind, it’s that there has been a change in what is regarded as shaken baby syndrome. I still think that you can probably produce the triad of retinal hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage, and, if you like, brain swelling, by shaking. I do not assert that that is the cause of death when a child is left alone with a caretaker and allegedly, by the caretaker, nothing happens, [but] allegedly by the prosecution, the child was shaken to death. And I think we need to go back to the drawing board, and make a more thorough assessment of these fatal cases, and I am going to bet donuts to dollars – as I believe the saying is over here – that we’re going to find in every [case], or at least in the large majority of cases, the child had another severe illness of some sort which was missed until too late.”

  72. #72 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    “I am sorry that I cannot state my case any better than those that I referenced. If you believe Dr. Cummings to be wrong, I guess there’s no more I can say. You believe what you’re taught.”

    No, I believe what I reason out from the evidence given. Its a weak strawman to assume that everyone who disagrees with you is a mindless parrot who can’t think for themselves. I clearly stated how I think you are misreading Dr Cummings. if he were here, I’m pretty sure he would be appalled at how you are using his article and the errant conclusions you are drawing from it.

    Now, just to be clear. I think that people are wrongly convicted, with the most egregious example being
    Cameron Todd Willingham.

    However, swinging the pendulum to the opposite end of the spectrum does not good either. The goal should be finding the truth and setting innocent people free. Not setting people free simply because you have an ax to grind with the establishment.

  73. #73 EBMOD
    November 6, 2014

    “Dr. Norman Guthkelch, who has been called “The father of shaken baby syndrome,” stated the following during an interview in 2012. Perhaps he just wants people to get away with murder, too…”

    Ah, so just ignoring my response yet again and trying to change the subject.

  74. #74 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    The goal, obviously, is to set the innocent free.

    “I’m pretty sure he would be appalled at how you are using his article and the errant conclusions you are drawing from it.” To be clear, is it the notion that a rapid increase in ICP is a likely cause for the findings thought to be pathognomonic for abuse? Or something else I stated? If you let me know, perhaps I’ll ask him.

  75. #75 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    “Ah, so just ignoring my response yet again and trying to change the subject.”
    I posted first.

  76. #76 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    Okay, my apologies. I missed your post.

    I do want to make something crystal clear. I absolutely believe that RH can be caused by abuse, but I believe it is secondary, and I’m pretty sure Cummings article comes to the same conclusion, and he is suggesting a mechanism.

    My problem with your initial post is where you stated RH is virtually pathognomonic of abuse. Cummings is, I believe, more or less stating that if we actually look for RH and other signs thought to be clear signs of abuse, we may find them following many other causes of death.

    I hope we truly have not been arguing over that small detail.

  77. #77 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    @EBMOD
    As far as the RH getting worse after admission, that was an actual question. I’ve read conflicting views on that, even from doctors on the pro-diagnosis side of SBS, so I wanted to actually have it explained. You did. Thank you.

    As far as me working with the Innocence Project*, I’m not an attorney, and I’m not a doctor. I am assisting on a case of someone that I ask please not be mentioned here. If you search hard enough, you can probably find a name. And I have reviewed other cases, talked with the accused and their families, and have discussed this issue with many doctors and a handful of attorneys.

    * The Innocence Project usually handles only DNA cases, though this is changing, and it is an actual organization. The Innocence Network more broadly includes other projects/clinics which do non-DNA cases, such as cases of arson science, as in the Cameron Todd Willingham case you noted. SBS would fall under that category as well.

  78. #78 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    But every single time I get on this board [sic], I’m met with personal attacks

    Is it necessary to revisit your gender-bending SBM performance as the screamingly obnoxious ELloyd and “her” sulking return as “UncleHoot“?

    “Now that I’ve been ‘outed’ I suppose I have no reason to continue posting, as I will never be treated fairly.”

    and asked to support insane notions such as vaccines causing bones to break.

    Who’s asking you to do this? Did anyone make you give a big ol’ FB “like” to that “Vactruth” item? Or this one?

  79. #79 herr doktor bimler
    November 6, 2014

    the case of Tanya and Elwood Sadowski, which I discussed in detail more than once. Again

    I am sticking with my opinion from one of those earlier discussions:

    I will go along with the suggestion that “shaken baby syndrome” is a misnomer in this case, where the pathologist’s report is more consistent with a baby being beaten to death over a period of days or weeks. As Narad noted earlier, its appearance here is the outcome of plea bargaining.

  80. #80 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Hi Narad
    I guess I will openly respond to you, but don’t count on it again.

    I regret what I did at SBM, as I’ve stated before – several times actually. Dr. Gorski at SBM was personally attacking someone that I had met and whom I believed to be a genuine, caring person. It got under my skin, and I got carried away.

    My first appearance here, if I recall correctly, one or two posters kept asking me to explain how a vaccine causes a skull fracture.

    As for that link to my “like,” I am surprised, but good job stalking me, once again. I do believe in Elwood’s innocence, and I would imagine that I wanted to be supportive. I am aware that the families that I have known often accept the concept that vaccines cause SBS symptoms, and it’s not a point that I want to argue; it doesn’t help either way.

    In the past, I have publicly credited Dr. Gorski of SBM for getting me to look more critically at the vaccine issue. My public screw-up caused me to become more skeptical, and I regularly read SBM now, and occasionally post (though I’m never sure if they make it past moderation).

    My beliefs are evolving, and I’m not afraid to challenge my past beliefs.

    Can we be done with that now? Or are you and lilady going to bring it up every time, in an effort to discredit me? Perhaps I am a crank. But I have seen the devastation that these misdiagnoses have caused, and the bold arrogance with which doctors have testified.

  81. #81 NZ Sceptic
    November 6, 2014

    I’ve just deleted them but Herr Doktor Bimler’s name and personal email address were showing in the top two fields when I opened this post just now. It’s really weird and it’s happened before. I think he got to see my details. Is this a glitch you know about Orac? It could lead to serious problems for some posters!

  82. #82 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    I think I’m done posting here, because I think this is about to become more personal, and may possibly involve others that I hope will not be brought into the limelight. Narad’s Google skills are impressive.

    @EBMOD
    I’m going to continue reviewing what you have written, and I hope to learn something constructive from it.

  83. #83 Jeremy Praay
    November 6, 2014

    Hi Narad
    I guess I will openly respond to you, but don’t count on it again.

    I regret what I did at SBM, as I’ve stated before – several times actually. Dr. David G. at SBM was personally attacking someone that I had met and whom I believed to be a genuine, caring person. It got under my skin, and I got carried away.

    My first appearance here, if I recall correctly, one or two posters kept asking me to explain how a vaccine causes a skull fracture.

    As for that link to my “like,” I am surprised, but good job stalking me, once again. I do believe in Elwood’s innocence, and I would imagine that I wanted to be supportive. I am aware that the families that I have known often accept the concept that vaccines cause SBS symptoms, and it’s not a point that I want to argue; it doesn’t help either way.

    In the past, I have publicly credited Dr. David G. of SBM for getting me to look more critically at the vaccine issue. My public screw-up caused me to become more skeptical, and I regularly read SBM now, and occasionally post (though I’m never sure if they make it past moderation).

    My beliefs are evolving, and I’m not afraid to challenge my past beliefs.

    Can we be done with that now? Or are you and lilady going to bring it up every time, in an effort to discredit me? Perhaps I am a crank. But I have seen the devastation that these misdiagnoses have caused, and the bold arrogance with which doctors have testified.

  84. #84 Matthew Cline
    November 6, 2014

    We also learn that the baby had Glutaric Acidemia type I, an inherited disorder… But of course it had to be the vaccines. It’s always the vaccines with people like this.

    There was one commenter here who thought that diseases like Tay-Sachs might be caused by vaccines.

  85. #85 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    I guess I will openly [what?] respond to you, but don’t count on it again.

    I didn’t realize that you viewed your replies as some sort of dispensation.

    As for that link to my “like,” I am surprised, but good job stalking me, once again.

    “Stalking”?

    I do believe in Elwood’s innocence, and I would imagine that I wanted to be supportive. I am aware that the families that I have known often accept the concept that vaccines cause SBS symptoms, and it’s not a point that I want to argue; it doesn’t help either way.

    If you think the notion is “insane,” don’t you feel some obligation to point this out rather than punting with “it doesn’t help”? Have you ever even tried ?

    As for Sadowski, how do you divorce the innocence claim from Harold Buttram?

    My beliefs are evolving, and I’m not afraid to challenge my past beliefs.

    Can we be done with that now?

    Fair enough.

  86. #86 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    By the way, have you arrived at a conclusion about HIV and AIDS yet?

    2013 March 28:

    Having been labeled a “denialist” in the past, and since I seem to agree so strongly with Dr. Novella’s most recent posts (the others being clinical decision making, I, II, and III), I have to wonder if these types of statements can be used by detractors in regards to what some may consider established science. (e.g. AIDS)

    2014 February 12:

    If I may “just ask a question,” I have watched that documentary [House of Cards], and learned a great deal about AIDS denialism as a result. However, one of the points of the film was that HIV alone will not produce AIDS, but rather, requires a cofactor (or cofactors). I found that concept quite intriguing, and it may explain why some, like Magic Johnson, have not developed AIDS even after being HIV positive for more than 2 decades.

    I truly have no position on this issue, so I am honestly curious if this is also just smoke and mirrors, or if there may be some truth to it. Has this been disproved? Google U wasn’t very helpful.

    The latter, BTW, apparently did not merit an acknowledgment of the replies.

  87. #87 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    Jeremy, surely you realize that ” I now think that retinal hemorrhages and folds are likely the result of sudden and severe increases in intercerebral pressure” constitutes a statement of opinion and not evidence that increased ICP is the most likely caus of all cases of retinal hemorrhage?

  88. #88 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    Frankly, I get tired of posting links and then being told that nothing in my link supports the concepts that I just stated

    Then I suggest you choose the links you post more carefully, s that they do support your claims.

  89. #89 JGC
    November 6, 2014

    I am aware that the families that I have known often accept the concept that vaccines cause SBS symptoms, and it’s not a point that I want to argue; it doesn’t help either way.

    Nonsense. If those families either they believe their child was likely not a victim of abuse is because they “accept the concept” that routine vaccination is capable of causing the injuries characteristic of SBS, or simply believe that arguing they were caused by vaccines is an effective legal defense, and you’re doing nothing to point out that this is quite simply false, you’re actively aiding and abetting the abuse of children.

  90. #90 Zabeth Bayne
    Canada
    November 6, 2014

    I just looked at some of the comments here again today and wanted to thank those of you who have taken time to express your sympathy towards our family. Yes. Having your child injured is terrible enough but then to have your entire family removed and to not be able to be there for your child the way you should is beyond words. We are all just ever so grateful that our daughter is doing amazing today and is a normal healthy wonderful little girl. The tragedy that we had experienced has now turned into the joy and happiness of being a family again. As I know what it feels like to be wrongfully accused of something so horrid I have turned my focus into supporting those who are enduring what we did. I work with many of the nurses from the Legal Nurses Association in Vancouver BC now in an effort to make some positive changes in this area and provide some hope to others suffering. No one should tolerate child abuse in any form and no one should tolerate injustices in our legal system. Both cause harm and suffering to innocent parties. Thanks again for your compassion.

  91. #91 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    If those families either [] believe their child was likely not a victim of abuse is because they “accept the concept” that routine vaccination is capable of causing the injuries characteristic of SBS, or simply believe that arguing they were caused by vaccines is an effective legal defense, and you’re doing nothing to point out that this is quite simply false, you’re actively aiding and abetting the abuse of children.

    This is part of why I asked about the HIV trip. Jeremy shows up at SBM laying down the “necessary but not sufficient” routine and bizarrely claims that “Google U wasn’t very helpful.”

    I wonder whether this crude contrarianism indicates that his basic position is that all SBS convictions are presumptively wrongful.

  92. #92 Narad
    November 6, 2014

    ^ That second “link” should have been italics, sorry.

  93. #93 EBMOD
    November 7, 2014

    “I do want to make something crystal clear. I absolutely believe that RH can be caused by abuse, but I believe it is secondary, and I’m pretty sure Cummings article comes to the same conclusion, and he is suggesting a mechanism.”

    I would point out that in Cummings article, he doesn’t state anything about incidence. I don’t think it is unreasonable to think that there are those who have been falsely accused/convicted due to RH evidence. However, I think you are talking about a small minority. Also, it must be kept in mind that cases where a father was wrongly convicted, that abuse still could have happened and it was the wrong person who was blamed. I don’t think that Dr Cummings is saying that a large percentage or majority of SBS RH cases are being misinterpreted. I think that that is my concern, such as in reading Dr Guthkelch’s quote where he posits that the majority if not all were due to other disease.

    I am highly skeptical of that assertion and would love to see some truly scientific studies performed to determine the extent. But again, given how few pathologies can cause that in children, and how distinctive SBS RH’s tend to look if you are properly assessing things, trying to base overtunring convictions on unsupported assertion/speculation sounds like an out of the frying pan and into the fire situation.

    “My problem with your initial post is where you stated RH is virtually pathognomonic of abuse. Cummings is, I believe, more or less stating that if we actually look for RH and other signs thought to be clear signs of abuse, we may find them following many other causes of death.”

    And to also make sure we are communicating this well, I am not saying that if a child has a few scattered hemes that they should be diagnosed with SBS. I hope that in reading my expansion on the topic that it is clear that I think that SBS related RH’s are severe, extensive, and do have a typical pattern that can be used to differentiate them from disease.

    If the cases you have seen had people being convicted on a few minor bleeds, I would agree that that is bad medicine and bad science.

    “I hope we truly have not been arguing over that small detail.”

    The devil is in the details. In this case, it is not a trivial detail.

    Lastly, I just want to say that part of what brought the Willingham case to my attention was how he was a victim of bad, poorly done science.

    This will sound like a bit of an invitation, because it is. The BIGGEST help you could bring to those in the SBS Innocence Project is involve and embrace real science. Try to organize and fund a properly designed study.

    Science has the potential to be your biggest friend if justice is what you are truly seeking…

  94. #94 herr doktor bimler
    November 7, 2014

    Indeed, even this more detailed version of the parent’s version of the story doesn’t implicate vaccines

    This piece by Christina England was copy-pasted to Vactruth from ‘American Chronicle’ (subsequently deleted there), but the copy-paster didn’t bother with its internal links. Anyway, England blames
    (1) Domperidon;
    (2) Glutaric Acidemia type I;
    and
    (3) vaccines.

    Perhaps she read somewhere about the Rule of 3. It is a recurring pattern in her oeuvre.

    Freud’s parable springs to mind, from The Interpretation of Dreams, of the man who offered three separate defenses when accused by his neighbour of damaging the neighbour’s kettle (I returned the kettle undamaged; and anyway, it already had a hole in it when I borrowed it; and anyway, I never borrowed your kettle in the first place!). The effect is to undermine trust in *all* the defenses.

  95. […] vaccines cause autism, sudden infant death syndrome, and a syndrome that so resembles shaken baby syndrome (more correctly called abusive head trauma) that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for vaccine […]

  96. #96 Michael Bruce
    December 23, 2014

    What I can tell you is our son’s head swelled 1 cm in one day before he EVER left the hospital in the first place. I can tell you he had Sepsis. I can tell you terbutaline was used to stop labor and it is linked to Cerbral Palsy. I can tell you he had blood transfusion. I can he was born with respiratory distress. I can tell you I had a seizure after having a Typhoid vaccine. I can tell you his surviving twin was diagnosed with RSV a yer after having the vaccine and one week after having a flu shot which side affect can be upper respiratory tract infection which is a symptom that is used to diagnose RSV. I can tell you SBS is an allegation we should have never endured. I can tell you the vaccine did not help him did it? I can tell you that a baby with all these issues should not have all these vaccines when he is already going thru so much. So going thru that experience it is pretty hard not to believe the vaccines could have played a part but with so many other issues hard to say definitely. I would say that vaccines are not natural and God never intended us to inject disease into our bodies. Thank you for being civil regarding our case as we never deserved the allegations. We do not know everything about the drugs and vaccines we use otherwise we wouldn’t continue to research correct? Certain genetics or those predisposed with certain health circumstances could be prone to have a reaction that results in death. That is why Federal Vaccine Injury courts have given millions of dollars in admission and support of this. There has never been a vaccine study with an identical setting and health circumstance of a child like ours. We can’t say definitively that vaccines caused our son’s death but we can say definitively they didn’t keep him alive.

  97. #97 lilady
    December 23, 2014

    Is this you Michael Bruce and are these your twins?

    http://www.vaccineeducation.org/shakenbaby.htm

    I’m sorry that one of your premature twins died, but there are so many blatant errors in your post that I will just take one of your statements to put the record straight:

    “I can tell you his surviving twin was diagnosed with RSV a yer after having the vaccine and one week after having a flu shot which side affect can be upper respiratory tract infection which is a symptom that is used to diagnose RSV.”

    Your child never had a RSV vaccine, because none existed at the time of their birth and no RSV vaccine has ever been developed since their birth.

    “I would say that vaccines are not natural and God never intended us to inject disease into our bodies. Thank you for being civil regarding our case as we never deserved the allegations.”

    Where in the bible does it state that God is against interventions which no doubt saved the twins’ mother’s life and saved your one twins’ life?

    If you were unjustly accused of shaken baby syndrome, I feel sorry for you.

    BTW, which expert witnesses appeared at your trial which resulted in your acquittal?

  98. #98 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    My apologies he was given Synagis. He was however given a flu shot one week prior to being diagnosed with RSV. RSV is an upper respiratory tract infection and this is a reported side affect according to the vaccine insert. It was a reaction to the flu vaccine and not really RSV. We never had criminal charges against us. I can say I had my own serious reaction to a typhoid vaccine that no one else in my military training class had. I was also very premature and was only preemie my mother had that survived. I had an honest belief that vaccines could have contributed to our son’s death. I would think a healthy baby would be able to handle vaccines but a child with this many issues already may not have been able to handle it. I think that the pharmaceutical industry is not out for our health but for their bottom dollar profits. I can’t name one person who has been vaccinated that doesn’t one day die. We should have the right to take them or make the decision not to. I was not grasping for straws but I wanted to research anything and everything because I am not a doctor. Our son that passed had swelling of the brain before he ever left the hospital for the first time. We never deserved losing our son or losing his surviving brother while there was an investigation but we survived it. I can’t argue that vaccines definitively caused our son’s issues. At the time it seemed very possible based on what others told us and having had vaccines 2 weeks prior to the 911 call. Have a Merry Christmas sir.

  99. #99 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    Also in addition to Dr. Plunkett there was the hospital’s head neurologist and the delivering OBGYN doctor that testified on our behalf in family court. The one who initially declared SBS was one guy who was all 3 positions of NICU doctor, pediatrician and medical examiner–what an easy way to cover up your own mess with so many titles.

  100. #100 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    I am obviously not a medical professional. I can only base my thoughts on vaccines from my own reaction and from what I read. No offense intended to you and I am sure you have good intentions. exactly 6 years ago our surviving son left the NICU for the first time while his brother that passed remained int he hospital. This is always a tough time of year. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and hate to debate on a subject I’m really not an expert in. God Bless, Michael

  101. #101 LW
    December 24, 2014

    “I can’t name one person who has been vaccinated that doesn’t one day die.”

    I can’t name one person who hasn’t been vaccinated that doesn’t one day die.

    If you’re contending that every single person who is vaccinated dies promptly, well, with 95% vaccination rates in many areas, I do believe we’d notice.

    I’m sorry for your losses and what you’ve gone through.

  102. #102 lilady
    December 24, 2014

    Michael Bruce the only websites I have seen which claim that the flu shot has been implicated in RSV infections are those notorious anti-vaccine websites and Joe Mercola’s website.

    Joe Mercola is a snake oil salesman, who hasn’t seen a patient in years and who derives his considerable fortune by selling useless supplements/vitamins and $ 5,000 tanning beds to his credulous customers.

    Influenza viruses are completely different than the RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). RSV, which young children (especially premature infants) and the elderly are prone to contracting can be a killer and that is the reason why Synagis was prescribed to lessen the chance of your baby contracting RSV.

    http://www.cdc.gov/rsv/

    Flu vaccine shots contain only killed influenza viruses and you certainly cannot contract influenza, RSV or any other virus from the flu vaccine shot.

    If in fact, you actually read a flu vaccine package insert and saw RSV being reported as a consequence of a patient receiving a flu shot, it is mentioned in the package insert because of FDA requirements. Other vaccine package inserts have totally ridiculous claims such as deaths from gunshot wounds to the head, deaths from motor vehicle accidents and drownings and deaths from street drug overdoses being reported weeks or months after receiving certain vaccines. All those reports, including your report that a killed flu shot caused influenza or RSV are untrue.

    “I had an honest belief that vaccines could have contributed to our son’s death. I would think a healthy baby would be able to handle vaccines but a child with this many issues already may not have been able to handle it. I think that the pharmaceutical industry is not out for our health but for their bottom dollar profits. I can’t name one person who has been vaccinated that doesn’t one day die.”

    I suggest you reread your own statement and educate yourself about RSV and other childhood illnesses and how vaccines work to protect your children from serious, oftentimes deadly, vaccine-preventable-diseases. Everyone I know who has ever gotten vaccines, eventually dies…but not because of reactions to those vaccines…and usually not because of the diseases which vaccines prevent:

    http://vec.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/

  103. #103 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    If you reread what I have written I didn’t say the vaccine caused RSV..I stated that it caused upper respiratory tract infection which was misdiagnosed as RSV. It wasn’t RSV at all. Here is CDC that indicates the flu vaccine does and can cause upper respiratory tract infection. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm Don’t put words in my mouth please. Do you work for the vaccine industry? I would say we are one of the most vaccinated countries and our life expectancy is one of the lowest out of developed countries.

  104. #104 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    Is it not possible that, at best, the vaccines prevent us from dying from those diseases but cause residual gradual decline in our organs ect to cause us to die secondarily from so many vaccines?

  105. #105 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    I would be willing to be open minded about what you have to say if you would be willing to be open minded about what others have to say. Sometimes the reality is neither to one side or the other but in the middle.

  106. #106 Chris
    December 24, 2014

    Mr. Bruce: “the vaccines prevent us from dying from those diseases but cause residual gradual decline in our organs ect to cause us to die secondarily from so many vaccines?”

    By what mechanism? The vaccine only primes the immune system to help prevent actual infection. It most certainly does not cause anymore damage than the actual disease.

    I am sorry for your loss, but it is more likely your child picked up some random respiratory infection just by breathing. Just like most people pick up respiratory infections.

  107. #107 Michael Bruce
    December 24, 2014

    I can’t argue that point except it was 6 days after having a flu vaccine that he had the upper respiratory tract infection.

  108. #108 Chris
    December 24, 2014

    Then you had very bad luck. Premies have issues with their lungs and are more susceptible to lung infections. This is why so many die.

    My sister was born two months premature, but weighed about three pounds, over fifty years ago. She very seldom ever gets sick, so we assume her very robust immune system kept her alive. Her only health issue growing up was severe lactose intolerance, so no milk. She was very lucky.

    The influenza vaccine takes two weeks to become effective, and cannot cause infection itself.

    My son had seizures when he was two days old, and had had no vaccines. It was just bad luck. There is no other reason that can be found. He also has a severe genetic heart disorder, and a genetic screen for the known gene sequence for it came up empty. Again, just very bad luck.

    You also said: “I think that the pharmaceutical industry is not out for our health but for their bottom dollar profits.”

    Except that preventing diseases with vaccines denies them profits because it is very expensive to treat diseases like measles pneumonia and Hib meningitis.

    “I can’t name one person who has been vaccinated that doesn’t one day die.”

    That is because you can’t name one person who is immortal.

  109. #109 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    December 24, 2014

    @Michael Bruce

    Looking at the link you provided, upper respiratory infection is only listed for the Adenovirus vaccine.

    Most likely what happened is that sometime shortly before or after your son got the flu shot, he also was exposed to, and contracted, a completely unrelated respiratory infection. A case of bad timing, unfortunately.

    There is no known mechanism by which vaccines could cause deterioration in organ function, at least to any degree noticeable over a lifetime. If you feel that such an outcome happens, we’d be happy to see the evidence. But until such time, there’s no reason to believe that vaccines would do such a thing.

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