It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly seven years since I started a recurring series that I like to refer to as The annals of “I’m not antivaccine.” Indeed, this will be the 23rd entry in this particular series, whose purpose is to analyze why you shouldn’t take it seriously when certain antivaccine activists deny that they are antivaccine. Not surprisingly, examples of reasons why we should not take the denials of these people seriously include their tendency towards the most histrionically exaggerated analogies and metaphors, such as saying there is “no such thing as a safe vaccine,” and likening vaccines to human trafficking, assault, rape (I wish I were kidding about this, but I’m not), the Holocaust, and, of course, Nazis, Nazis, Nazis. That’s not even counting examples not included in my little series of antivaxers likening vaccines to Nazis capturing Anne Frank, while likening themselves to likening themselves to Aragorn leading the last remnants of the warriors of Gondor and Rohan in an assault on the Black Gate of Mordor and a woman who is more upset by a web page refuting the vaccine-autism link than she is by child pornography.

You get the idea, and that’s not even counting the often violent and apocalyptic rhetoric of the antivaccine movement.

This time around, it’s Ginger Taylor. We’ve met Ginger Taylor before, although not recently. She is one of the more annoying antivaxers, thanks to an annoying combination of self-righteousness and Dunning-Kruger. Now, what caught my attention was a headline over at the antivaccine crank blog known as Age of Autism. The title was Medical Board Water Boards Vax Injured Child. Basically, it’s the story of Ms. Taylor’s reporting of her child’s pediatrician to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine because, in her deluded opinion, he failed in the standard of care because he didn’t evaluate her child for “vaccine injury.” In this case, the “vax injury” Ms. Taylor is talking about is autism, and we already know from copious studies that vaccines don’t cause autism, or, if you want to be a scientific pedant, the vast preponderance of evidence has failed to find an association between vaccination and autism, to the point that provisionally it is reasonable to conclude that there is no connection, barring new evidence so compelling that it forces us to reassess our previous conclusions. So, of course, there is no medical malpractice or failure ot live up to the standard of care if a physician decides not to work up a newly diagnosed autistic child for “vax injury.” In fact, the standard of care would dictate that the doctor not waste time, effort, and scientific tests in such a fruitless evaluation. To liken the medical board’s action to “waterboarding,” a form of torture, is a metaphor rivaling previous antivax metaphors likening vaccination to rape, the Holocaust, and human trafficking:

NOTE: You might think that headline is all wet. But think about it as you read this intense post by Ginger Taylor. She decided to take her pediatrician to the medical board for failure to evaluate him for vaccine injury. She lost. Chandler lost. We lost. Again and again we’re subjected to a Niagara Falls of denial, lies, cover up, push back and refusals by the medical community tasked with OUR VERY CHILDREN’S FATES. We’re drowning in vaccine injury. Water boarded. There is NO Geneva Convention for us. For our kids. Take the poison. Drink from the “be a good Mommy bottle” without any idea what’s inside or what will happen. Shut up. Roll up your kids’ sleeves. Choke.

Now, in fairness, it doesn’t appear that Ms. Taylor herself used that comparision. Whoever wrote the post introducing Ms. Taylor’s article revealing how she abused Maine’s reporting mechanism to report her child’s physician to his state medical board for doing something that was not at all outside the standard of care is the one who decided to “spice up” the article with a reference to waterboarding. Since the post is listed as being posted by “Age of Autism,” I presume that it’s Kim Stagliano, who took over as managing editor after the unexpected death of Dan Olmstead earlier this year. (My condolences to the AoA crew and all of Dan’s friends. Seriously. Olmstead was deluded when it came to his unrelenting belief that mercury in vaccines causes autism, but, unlike (say) J. B. Handley, he always struck me as an OK guy otherwise. R.I.P.

But back to the wingnuttery. What is Ms. Taylor’s story? She details it on her own blog in her usual over-the-top manner:

Two weeks ago, in my letter to the Johns Hopkins Journal, Narratives in Bioethics, I made public the fact that I had taken Chandler’s pediatrician before the state medical board for failing to evaluate him for a vaccine injury. It was a journey that started two years ago, and I am just now wrapping up.

Here is both the short version of the story, and the very long version for the true die hards.

This is the question I before the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine:

What is the duty of a physician to his patient when a parent reports a suspected vaccine injury?

Their answer…

The doctor has no duty to the patient.

Well that is their implied answer. What they really did was just make up an excuse to close the complaint and not answer the question at all. But in their refusal to answer the complaint that a physician had failed in their duty to investigate a vaccine injury claim, they establish the standard of care.

The standard of care for reported vaccine injury is… medical negligence. (also blame the mother, but that is just SOP with autism moms now isn’t it.)

Thus again proving my assertion, Mainstream Medicine does not take vaccine safety seriously.

She also includes much of her copious paperwork. Truth be told, she would have served herself better if she hadn’t included so much of what she wrote. For instance, she states that she treated her son with alternative therapies and then:

We continued to treat him via alternative means, as our pediatricians were not familiar with the diagnosis and offered little insight when we brought it up. Even though we had reported to them that he fit the diagnostic criteria for the condition, none of them commented on it or seemed interested.

In January of this year, as we had exhausted our funds for alternative treatment, I went back to our pediatrician, Dr. Smith,and asked him to do a formal evaluation of our son for pertussis vaccine induced encephalopathy. I discussed the condition with him and gave him several resources to draw from.
He said he would look into it and get back to me.

One can only wonder what Ms. Taylor expected Dr. Smith to do to “evaluate” her son for “pertussis vaccine-induced encephalopathy,” especially nearly 12 years later. There are no characteristic findings of a vaccine-induced encephalopathy that can “prove” that it was the vaccines that done it. It’s not surprising that Dr. Smith was confused. He had no idea what the hell Ms. Taylor wanted of him, and, if she told him of the alternative therapies that he used, he probably wisely wanted nothing to do with any of them. Indeed, he mentions in his response to Ms. Taylor’s complaint:

My understanding is that over the years, Chandler’s family has tried alternative treatment that has been expensive and strained the family’s resources (e.g., hyperbaric oxygen therapy, chelation therapy, Vit B 12, antifungal, homeotoxicology, audiovidual sensory learning center, OT, PT, ST and Magnetic Resonance Therapy ). As stated in the complaint, after exhausting their funds for alternative treatment, in January 2015, Ginger Taylor came into see me, Chandler’s pediatrician, and asked for a formal evaluation for pertussis vaccine induced encephalopathy.

Quackery, quackery, quackery. Homeotoxicology? That’s homeopathy, The One Quackery to Rule Them All. Sometimes homeotoxicology is also called homotoxicology. Either way, it’s homeopathy combined with detoxification pseudoscience, and, as such, it’s utter quackery. Chelation therapy? Dangerous and potentially deadly quackery. Hyperbaric oxygen for autism? quackery. You get the idea. What the paragraph above indicates is a whole lot of treatments that are not supported by science and were, unfortunately, very expensive. Basically, Ms. Taylor was scammed by quacks. Also, Dr. Smith comes across in his response as a responsible, reasonable pediatrician who tried his best to do right by Ms. Taylor and her son. However, Anything less than buying into Ms. Taylor’s world view was insufficient.

None of this stops Ms. Taylor:

I then had him pull up the HHS web site on the computer in the office, read him the diagnostic criteria for pertussis vaccine induced encephalopathy, and point out my son’s symptoms that met the diagnosis. I then discussed with him my understanding on how other cases had began being investigated, such as doing an evaluation of mitochondrial function.

He again told me that he would look into it.

It is now December and he has yet to contact me to move forward with a formal evaluation for this brain injury, or to refer me elsewhere to have Chandler evaluated.

In actuality, Dr. Smith did “look into it”:

When Ms. Taylor brought Chandler into the office on 3/16/15, her stated reason for the office visit was follow-up for his autism. As I indicated in my note for the 3/16/15 office visit, Chandler was reported to be doing well. Frankly, I was feeling manipulated by Ms. Taylor and it seemed like she just wanted to get me to agree to certain things. Nevertheless, she was requesting help for an unanswered questions and suspicions about mitochondrial disorder and my plan included referral to a mitochondrial specialist in Boston.

After the 3/16/15 appointment, I contacted a mitochondrial specialist, Dr. Williams [NAME CHANGED], at Boston Children’s Neurogenetics program, and spoke with her about evaluating chandler. She told me that she would not do a mitochondrial work-up unless there was some medical problem other than autism indicating it. She suggested Chandler see and autism specialist at the Autism Spectrum Program at Children’s as an alternative if his parents wanted further evaluation.

Knowing what I know even from just reading Ms. Taylor’s writings about vaccines online and observing how she reacts to criticism, Dr. Smith’s account rings true to me. It’s also rather surprising to me that Dr. Smith actually went beyond what I would expect a pediatrician dealing with an antivaccine parent to do. For instance, he wrote a letter for both of her children asking them to be excused from school vaccine mandates because of “past uncertainty about vaccine injury” and copied Ms. Taylor on the letter. He also contacted the power company and asked it to restore her power based on medical grounds because of Ms. Taylor’s son’s autism. This does not in the least sound like a pediatrician who is negligent or who ignored Ms. Taylor’s concerns and requests to me.

To be honest, after reading Ms. Taylor’s account, I found myself far more sympathetic to Dr. Smith’s situation than to hers. Yes, I understand as much as someone who doesn’t have a child with autism can how difficult it is to raise such a child. Yes, I know it’s really, really hard. No doubt Ms. Taylor will say that my empathy for Dr. Smith derives from the fact that I’m a physician. Maybe so, to some extent, but of course I’m not a pediatrician. I take care of primarily adults and, occasionally, adolescents. That’s because I’m a breast cancer surgeon. Be that as it may, I, too, have been subject to at least one frivolous complaint about me to my state medical board over something I wrote about a patient of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who was not pleased that I discussed her case based on publicly available information that she herself had posted to various social media sources. So, yes, I’m sympathetic to physicians harassed by people with an ax to grind who make frivolous complaints to state medical boards.

Unfortunately, Ms. Taylor is the Dunning-Kruger effect personified. Worse, she has a vindictive streak, so clearly demonstrated by her having abused (in my opinion) the process for filing a complaint to her state medical board about a physician whose only crime was to try to do the best he could for her son. By her actions, she demonstrates once again that she is antivaccine. After all, to her it’s all or nothing. Dr. Smith wasn’t sufficiently solicitous of her deluded beliefs. As a result, she tried to punish him for it. Fortunately, she failed. And, to whoever decided to liken the reaction of the Maine state medical board to “waterboarding,” you are a twit.

Also, I fully expect to write part 24 of this series.

Comments

  1. #1 brian
    February 15, 2017

    One of the comments on Taylor’s article at AoA went like this: Ginger, I suspect that part of the problem is that the members of the State Medical Board likely view yours as a complaint that your pediatrician failed to investigate a problem that . . . they believe doesn’t really exist.Just so.

    • #2 Orac
      February 15, 2017

      Exactly. If anything, I was impressed with Dr. Smith’s ability to deal with a parent like Ms. Taylor, who is clearly one of the most difficult sorts of parents to have to confront: Spouting antivax pseudoscience, shoving papers in front of him that she clearly doesn’t understand, and expecting him, after her having provider shopped from a selection of quacks mixed with the odd real doctor here and there, to validate her choices and sign off on a work up that isn’t medically indicated.

  2. #4 Dorit Reiss
    February 15, 2017

    What surprised me is that the board went as far as it did, demanding answers to some of her complaints. That makes the attack on it even less justified.

    And yes, I’m also sympathetic to the doctor who comes across as very caring.

  3. #5 dingo199
    February 15, 2017

    What is the motivation for Ginger Taylor to get this referral for evaluation? Surely it is irrelevant so long after her child developed his problems?
    Is she still gunning for VICP compensation? If so surely she can submit a claim and take things from there? And why did she not submit a claim earlier if that is what she is wanting?

  4. #6 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 15, 2017

    Orac writes,

    Olmstead was deluded when it came to his unrelenting belief that mercury in vaccines causes autism, but, unlike (say) J. B. Handley, he always struck me as an OK guy otherwise. R.I.P.

    MJD says,

    R.I.P. = Respectful Insolence Perpetrated

    @ “Refrigerator Orac”,

    Dan Olmstead was a gifted communicator who helped educate the world about the potential hazards of Thiomersal in vaccines.

    – Rest in Peace –

  5. #7 Tamara Griesel
    Wisconsin
    February 15, 2017

    I know what the equivalent to waterboarding a toddler looks like and vaccination ain’t it.

    Hint: It’s brushing the teeth of a kid with cocksackie and profusely bleeding gums. So…any work being done on getting a vaccine for that family of viruses?

  6. #8 Eric Lund
    February 15, 2017

    Even assuming, arguendo, that Chandler had encephalopathy, how would a doctor determine all these years later that it was induced by the pertussis vaccine? Granted we’re only seeing part of the medical history here, but when did Ms. Taylor start making this claim about her son’s condition? There are other things that might cause encephalopathy, and which I would think (IANAD) are more likely to do so than the pertussis vaccine, especially if the encephalopathy had developed recently.

    I suspect Ms. Taylor did some research at Google University, found a list of symptoms that appeared to match her son’s condition and included the words “vaccine induced”, and assumed that this was the correct diagnosis without asking whether anything else might cause those symptoms. Dr. Smith, being a real doctor, recognized at once the implausibility of that diagnosis, and the state medical board agreed with Dr. Smith.

  7. #9 Lawrence
    February 15, 2017

    I guess they’ll just add “vaccine-induced” in front of everything nowadays…..

  8. #11 Mark Thorson
    February 15, 2017

    This sounds like a case of chronic Lyme disease. The child should be checked out by a Lyme-literate doctor. That’s how you get rid of these people.

  9. #12 brian
    February 15, 2017

    @Rebecca Fisher #8

    “RFK — what a knob”

    According to Kennedy, “A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) review published last month found that the ethylmercury in thimerosal is as profoundly neurotoxic as the heavily regulated methylmercury in fish.”

    Well, no it didn’t.

    Kennedy can’t even understand the abstract of the “Centers for Disease Control (CDC) review” that he cited. The brief abstract includes this punchline: “the difference in manifested toxicity of MeHg and EtHg are likely the result of the differences in exposure, metabolism, and elimination from the body.”

    So, ethylmercury is NOT as “profoundly neurotoxic as the heavily regulated methylmercury in fish” due “differences in exposure, metabolism, and elimination from the body.” In plain English that even Kennedy might understand, one thing might be as toxic as another, expect it is not.

  10. #13 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 15, 2017

    Not only has Ms. Taylor lost a competent caring paediatrician but she’s going to be hard-pressed to find another in her area. No decent paed will knowingly take her on as a client.

  11. #14 Dangerous Bacon
    February 15, 2017

    I checked the major network/online news sites, and so far there’s no mention of the groundbreaking RFK Jr./DeNiro press conference.

    It has been nudged out of the headlines by something having to do with Trump and the Russians, along with “Man Returns Van After Finding Corpse Inside” and “Ref Shoves Parent At High School Hoops Game”.

    Stop waterboarding our antivaxers!

  12. #15 Narad
    Corrupted-disk fsck hell
    February 15, 2017

    Again and again we’re subjected to a Niagara Falls of denial, lies, cover up, push back and refusals by the medical community tasked with OUR VERY CHILDREN’S FATES.

    Slowly I turned . . .

  13. #16 Daniel Corcos
    February 15, 2017

    @ brian
    I don’t know much in this field, but what do you think of this?
    https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/PublicHealth/ImmunizationSafety/Lucier.pdf

  14. #17 Keating Willcox
    between Emminster and Chalk-Newton
    February 15, 2017

    The use of “waterboarding” over “interrogation” is certainly the type of strong language that polarizes people on this issue.

  15. #18 Politicalguineapig
    February 15, 2017

    Wow. What a blinding display of ignorance and privilege. This is what I mean when I say anti-vaxxers are basically walkers of primrose paths. They never had any problems at any time until well into ‘adulthood’ so they proceed to throw temper tantrums at every bump in the road.

    Also, that’s some ingratitude on Ms. Taylor’s part. I hope she loses power again. I imagine she’ll have a fair bit of trouble finding another pediatrician after this. I’m glad she’s broke.

    Do we have any confirmation of Dan Olmsted’s death? Considering that most of AOA’s staff lies about EVERYTHING, I wouldn’t put it past them to have him lie low for a few months so they can manufacture a martyr story.

  16. #19 Politicalguineapig
    February 15, 2017

    Mark Thorsen: The child should be checked out by a Lyme-literate doctor.

    So, send her on to another quack?

  17. #20 Eric Lund
    February 15, 2017

    Not only has Ms. Taylor lost a competent caring paediatrician but she’s going to be hard-pressed to find another in her area.

    I don’t know what part of Maine she lives in, but this goes double if she’s anywhere north of Cumberland County (metro Portland). Upcountry Maine gets very rural very fast, and she may have quite a bit of driving to do just to find another pediatrician, let alone one who will take her children as patients.

    Geographically, Maine is almost as big as the other five New England states combined (the geographic center of the six is two or three miles over the NH border), and about half of its population lives in the two southernmost counties, Cumberland and York. Parts of I-95 north of Bangor have a 75 MPH speed limit, the only such highway east of the Mississippi River.

  18. #21 Narad
    February 15, 2017

    It’s not surprising that Dr. Smith was confused. He had no idea what the hell Ms. Taylor wanted of him . . . .

    ISTR that the doctor is a woman, but either way, I strongly suspect that what was wanted was delivered: a patsy to play a role in a cheap drama that had been scripted in advance.

  19. #22 Politicalguineapig
    February 15, 2017

    GT’s screed refers to Dr. Smith as ‘him’, but who knows, since she lies about everything.

  20. #23 Denice Walter
    February 15, 2017

    @ PGP:

    who asks if we have any confirmation Of Dan Olmstead’s death:
    I believe that someone linked to a funeral home ( probably at AoA).

  21. #24 Denice Walter
    February 15, 2017

    @ Rebecca Fisher:

    Thanks for linking to that. I suspected that it would be something of the sort.

  22. #25 Eric Lund
    February 15, 2017

    Peripheral to this post, but on the subject of autism: BBC News is reporting a paper published in Nature that claims autism can be identified in brain scans of infants as young as 6-12 months. The signs are there well before autism is typically diagnosed, and raises the possibility that autism can be mitigated through early intervention.

    The article also has this to say about the autism-MMR link claimed by Wakefield et al.:

    The study also pours further cold water on the debunked claims that the MMR jab causes autism.
    One of the reasons the link took hold was that autism tends to be diagnosed around the time that the vaccine is given to children.

    So it was “post hoc ergo propter hoc” all along.

  23. #26 Narad
    February 15, 2017

    GT’s screed refers to Dr. Smith as ‘him’, but who knows, since she lies about everything.

    It was a sloppy combination of redaction and misdirection. If one makes it all the ay down to what are described as the “findings” of “Dr. Jones,” Ginger dropped a stitch:

    “This complaint was reviewed by the Board, and questions were asked of the physician. In the response to our questions, the physician recognizes the mother’s concern, and, in hindsight, although the patient’s condition was not acute or urgent, she agrees she should have tried harder to notify the mother about a consultant’s recommendation.”

  24. #27 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 15, 2017

    Narad says (~#21),

    a patsy to play a role in a cheap drama that had been scripted in advance.

    MJD says,

    Ginger Taylor is fighting for her injured child.

    The Mother’s love for her child is unquestionable and the pediatrician was clearly open-minded. (one strike for looking into it)

    Simply speaking, it seems to me that Pediatricians may now be more concerned about “one strike and your out”. – Tayor Effect

  25. #28 Denice Walter
    February 15, 2017

    Now I’m going to really go out on a limb and speak overtly about something which I believe is being tiptoed around and spoken of in hushed tones. if at all..

    in my ( not so) humble opinion, many of those who perpetuate the mythos of vaccine damage via toxic substances ( Hg, Al, *latex*, dead monkey parts et al) DESPITE a lack of SB research and EXCELLENT SB evidence to the contrary. Some of these people -indeed- are aggrieved parents of children with ASDs for whom I have sympathy because I know that their lives cannot be easy; others like the late Dan Olmstead, have no children of their own but feel for the parents who must cope with this problem on a daily basis.( Others are medical/ pseudo- medical providers who may be sympathetic but who also seize upon fiscal opportunity.)

    They have problems with reality- for lack of a better term.

    Thus, I think we should acknowledge that some of them have psychological issues – or if you will- ‘problems adjusting’ to the changes ASDs have caused in their lives.

    When you believe in something that you have no evidence for and act as though that is a truth to be revealed .. well, we have terms for that situation and they’re not ‘medical innovation’ or ‘paradigm shifts’.

    A few of the stalwarts ( Taylor, Stagliano, the TMs amongst others) have centred their lives upon a myth and do their best to spread their ‘truth’ as a part time job or lifestyle.

    I think that sceptics should say this more often – it might cut into the stigma associated with unrealistic thought.

  26. #29 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 15, 2017

    So, send her on to another quack?

    He’s not serious; that’s his M.O.

  27. #30 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 15, 2017

    I don’t know what part of Maine she lives in, but this goes double if she’s anywhere north of Cumberland County (metro Portland).

    I believe she’s in or around Portland.

  28. #31 Young CC Prof
    February 15, 2017

    I feel really bad for the autistic kids whose parents are obsessed with finding cures for them, rather than advocating for appropriate education, making sure their needs are met, and helping them figure out how to be autistic adults.

    Your child is not vaccine-damaged, your child has a lifelong brain difference. Even if “the cause” is someday discovered, I doubt it will make much difference to your child.

    Accept it, move on, and help him learn to live with it.

  29. #32 Denice Walter
    February 15, 2017

    @ Young CC Prof:

    Agreed.

    Even worse, some of these militant anti-vax parents detail their children’s difficulties including documenting personal issues that are out of place outside of a clinical situation. They risk embarrassing their children ( who may read the posts at a later date) and focus upon DISabilities rather than abilities. I think That Kim has been particularly guilty of this.

    But others do similarly.

  30. #33 Mark Thorson
    February 15, 2017

    Hey, I’m not saying it is Lyme disease, just that it should be checked out by a Lyme specialist. Preferably a doctor who has a dark-field microscope in his office. That should get these people out of the EBM system.

  31. #34 Kathy
    United States
    February 15, 2017

    In reading Ginger’s actual blog post about this issue, she is clearly not being truthful. The doctor referred her to a geneticist for genetic testing for autism but she did not follow through with making an appointment. Likely, she still cannot accept the possibility that autism is genetic. She also instigated this “vaccine induced encepalopathy” issue only after funds had been exhausted for alternative treatments. Reading between the lines, that tells me she wants medical justification for the “injury” because she needs the money for treatments. Meantime, according to the doctor, Chandler is doing well. So, why does he need more treatments? Why does he need this mitochondrial diagnosis?

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2017/02/i-brought-my-doctor-before-state.html#more

    Also, in reading around her blog, her first post detailing Chandler’s autism notes that she did not notice changed in him at 18 months until he was older and went through photos and videos. So, again, she is being dishonest.

    This part of her response to the medical board is precious: “I respectfully request a retraction of the “anti-vaccine” epithet, by Dr. Smith, and insist that the term or associated terms not be used in these proceedings or by anyone in these proceedings in reference to me or my work again.”

    You reap what you sow Ginger!

    Finally, I wonder, is it even possible to diagnose encepalopathy 14 years after you think it occurred?

  32. #35 Narad
    February 15, 2017

    She also instigated this “vaccine induced encepalopathy” issue only after funds had been exhausted for alternative treatments.

    And, purportedly, to pay the utility bills. I’m sticking with my previous assessment for the time being.

  33. #36 Eric Lund
    February 15, 2017

    [Dr. Smith] also contacted the power company and asked it to restore her power based on medical grounds because of Ms. Taylor’s son’s autism.

    I missed this detail the first time around. Generally you have to go multiple months without paying your electricity bill for it to be cut off, so we can safely conclude that Ms. Taylor is either flat broke or a deadbeat.

    It’s possible Ms. Taylor doesn’t have health insurance. Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, is a world class jerk who has consistently vetoed the state legislature’s attempts to expand Medicaid under the ACA. Then again, even if she did have insurance it probably wouldn’t pay for the alternative treatments she has been seeking for her son. Either way, she may have been spending the utility bill money on useless treatments for her son. Or, like too many Americans, she has no emergency cash supply to get her through the crisis. Or, as I suggested above, she might simply be a deadbeat.

  34. #37 JustaTech
    February 15, 2017

    Young CC Prof @30: At least it looks like this kid was getting some real treatments along with the nonsense (“OT, PT and ST”).

    PGP @18: Just a heads-up, but in a lot of non-city places losing power also means losing water (if you have a well and septic rather than city and sewer) and maybe heat, which in Maine is no joke. This kid (and his siblings) shouldn’t have to suffer any more than they already do because their mother is deluded.

  35. #38 Narad
    February 15, 2017

    ^ Blockquote fail.

  36. #39 Narad
    February 15, 2017

    Generally you have to go multiple months without paying your electricity bill for it to be cut off, so we can safely conclude that Ms. Taylor is either flat broke or a deadbeat.

    Or engineering a situation.

  37. #40 herr doktor bimler
    February 15, 2017

    Preferably a doctor who has a dark-field microscope in his office. That should get these people out of the EBM system.

    As well as the live-blood analysis, a few tests from Doctors Data are in order.

  38. #41 herr doktor bimler
    February 15, 2017

    BBC News is reporting a paper published in Nature that claims autism can be identified in brain scans of infants as young as 6-12 months. The signs are there well before autism is typically diagnosed, and raises the possibility that autism can be mitigated through early intervention.

    “Reporting” implies some investigation. More accurately, the BBC was regurging a hype-inflated press release from Nature.
    Note that the study was looking specifically at 15 cases of autism spectrum identified as genetic in origin (i.e. infants selected as “high risk” by dint of an autistic sibling). That’s a rather narrow subgroup.
    So they ended up with a posteriori brain-scan differences that could ‘postdictively’ distinguish those 15 cases from non-autistic cases. Which is a fishing expedition… only dressed up with a “deep learning algorithm”, trained on only 15 cases, and not tested on novel cases who weren’t used in the training.

    Which is to say, the results are worthless.

  39. #42 Eric Lund
    February 15, 2017

    Just a heads-up, but in a lot of non-city places losing power also means losing water (if you have a well and septic rather than city and sewer) and maybe heat, which in Maine is no joke.

    As a northern New England resident, I’ll elaborate on this further.

    If your house requires a pump of some kind, whether a sump pump to keep your basement from flooding or a pump to bring in well water, it is a standard precaution in this part of the country to have a generator for standby power. Most houses have at least one of those two kinds of pumps, and many have both. (I’m one of the lucky ones: I’m on municipal water and sewer, and I have a dry basement.) Even many homeowners who don’t need a generator for either of those reasons keep one, because most furnaces require electricity to run, and not everybody has a wood stove to fall back on.

    The further out in the boonies you are, the more essential it is to have a backup generator. That’s because power outages can and do happen during severe weather (power lines in this part of the country are almost always above ground), and the more remote you are, the more likely you are to go several days without power (in extreme cases like the January 1998 ice storms it can be several weeks). For obvious reasons, the power company gives priority (after emergency services like hospitals and police stations) to areas with more customers.

    You don’t have to get very far out of the center of town to be somewhere that you have to get your water from a well. I live about a five minute walk from the center of my town, and I have municipal water. But the neighborhoods on the other side of the river from where I live (said river is one of the borders of my neighborhood) do not. And many towns offer no municipal water service whatsoever.

    A couple of times I have gone 2.5 days without power at home. My only backup heat source in that circumstance is a fireplace. It’s not fun to sleep in a house where the indoor temperature has fallen into the low 40s.

    Ms. Taylor might be OK without a generator if she lives within Portland city limits, or the central village of one of the neighboring towns. But if she’s out in the woods somewhere and doesn’t have one, she’s an idiot. (Which would be consistent with her anti-vax views, but her self-preservation and comfort are at stake here.) Or else she’s too broke to afford one.

  40. #43 herr doktor bimler
    February 15, 2017

    The standard of care for reported vaccine injury is… medical negligence.

    Same as the standard of care for Morgellons syndrome and electrosmog sensitivity.

  41. #44 Ren
    February 15, 2017

    Ginger at al continue to push the idea that somehow Hopkins is paying attention to them. It’s the Kellyanne Conway approach to telling tall tales. Mix truths with lies, thinking your audience is full of dunces, which, given AoA’s audience, it is. “Narratives Inquiry in Bioethics” is not a Hopkins Journal. It’s a journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press:

    “Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB) provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. Articles may address the experiences of patients and research participants as well as health care workers and researchers. NIB is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences. While NIB upholds appropriate standards for narrative inquiry and qualitative research, it seeks to publish articles that will appeal to a broad readership of health care providers and researchers, bioethicists, sociologists, policy makers, and others.” (http_s://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/narrative_inquiry_in_bioethics/)

  42. #45 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 15, 2017

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler (~# 40),

    Sometimes you make me laugh.

    Is a taste test the only investigation that you won’t criticize?

  43. #46 Dorit Reiss
    February 15, 2017

    I missed the point about Chandler doing well. That really raises a question how a diagnosis of encephalopathy – and as you all explained, years later it’s unlikely to be coming, and certainly not from the vaccine – would help him, as opppsed to his mom. What kinds of treatments would that lead to, and are they in his interest?

  44. #47 brian
    February 15, 2017

    HDB:

    FWIW, although it’s not clear why that paper merits publication in Nature, note that others have found unusual proliferation of neurons in unselected cases of ASD, suggesting that in cases like those examined abnormal brain growth and/or decreased apoptosis begins early in gestation:

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1104609

    This sort of brain enlargement has been associated with regression in ASD, so that the subset of children with ASD who apparently regress during the period when kids commonly receive postnatal vaccines–the sort of cases that anti-vaxxers stridently proclaim somehow prove that ASD is caused by vaccines–apparently started on a course of abnormal brain development months or years before their regression was recognized, and long before they were vaccinated.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250128/

  45. #48 Mark Thorson
    February 15, 2017

    You don’t fight magic with science. You fight magic with more powerful magic. That is, if you want to win. If you want glorious defeat, go ahead, use science.

  46. #49 herr doktor bimler
    February 15, 2017

    others have found unusual proliferation of neurons in unselected cases of ASD, suggesting that in cases like those examined abnormal brain growth and/or decreased apoptosis begins early in gestation:

    Oh yes. Nothing controversial there (though there are also studies that didn’t confirm the neural-pruning theory). The raw data in the Nature paper shows a small group difference in cortical surface area, volume, and thinkness — though with huge scatter around the group means, so the difference has no predictive or diagnostic value.

    Their innovation was to claim that they could use fMRI scans taken at 6 months, pumped through a neural network, to distinguish the cases diagnosed as autism-spectrum at 18 months. Trouble is that they could have taken any random subsample of 15 infants, and their Deep Learning algorithm would still have found some combination of fMRI voxel-activity that would distinguish those cases from the rest.
    It is all as irreproducible and meaningless as Neave’s “bio-markers of good dancing” junk science, with the difference that at least Neave is candid about the worthlessness of his papers.

  47. #50 Chris Preston
    Australia
    February 15, 2017

    Which is to say, the results are worthless.

    Well, not necessarily worthless, but completely untested.

    Although needing 40 features to make a prediction sufficiently accurate does rather suggest that it would fall apart completely on testing on another group of children.

  48. #51 Old Rockin' Dave
    February 16, 2017

    “The Mother’s love for her child is unquestionable and the pediatrician was clearly open-minded.”
    The second part of your statement is reasonable. It’s that first part that is questionable. It looks to me more a case of seeing autism first and her child second, based on the number and types of quack treatments. These can be unpleasant at best and potentially fatal at worst, and I am not sure what kind of love is demonstrated by putting a child through this, especially if the child’s autism diminishes his capacity to understand what all this unpleasant and frightening stuff is all about.

  49. #52 Old Rockin' Dave
    February 16, 2017

    Just a stray thought: Whenever I read one of these stories, it seems to always involve a son, and never a daughter. I am well aware that the ratio of autistic boys to girls is way out of balance, but could it be that vaccines are so sex-selective in their evil magic, or do the kind of people (mothers, it seems almost always, too) that are susceptible to every kind of autism quackery just aren’t bothered so much by having an autistic daughter?

  50. #53 Chris Hickie
    February 16, 2017

    Taylor writes in her “long version”:

    The Board sent me his response and asked me for further input. Because I was out of town when the letter arrived, I had one day to write my response. It took me ten pages to address his dishonestly, and the mud he had thrown in the waters, and get back to the point.

    Reading this “long version” is way worse than any mud one could throw in the waters.

  51. #54 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler (~# 40),
    Sometimes you make me laugh.

    My work here is done!

    Is a taste test the only investigation that you won’t criticize?

    Rest assured that I will also criticize anyone else’s tastes in beer.

  52. #55 Terrie
    February 16, 2017

    Looking at the table injury information, she fails to mention that they symptoms must start with 72 hours of the vaccine. How she expected a doctor to investigate her claims years after the face, especially when the vaccines were given by a different doctor, 12 years ago, in a different state. Typical anti-vax fudging of the situation, trying to make the impossible sound reasonable.

  53. #56 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2017

    @ ORD:

    I tend to beleive that you have something there:
    girls may not be so important as a source of self-esteem and thus their issues may not have stolen so mcuh from their parents’ dreams.
    UNFORTUNATELY.

  54. #57 Politcicalguineapig
    February 16, 2017

    ORD: Kim Stagliano seems to do a lot of wailing and teeth gnashing about her autistic daughters, though a lot of it boils down to ‘ohmygawwwd, they’ll never get marrried.’ I can’t tell if it’s because she thinks marriage is the only thing women can do, or if she was just looking forward to making the wedding day (s) all about her with the help of her husband the jellyfish.

  55. #58 JustaTech
    February 16, 2017

    PGP @57: If I am very generous with the benefit of the doubt to Kim (which she doesn’t deserve, but I’ll give her anyway for a moment), maybe part of what she means by “they’ll never get married” is “they’ll never have anyone else to depend on or to protect them against abusive caregivers.”

    I know that plenty of parents of children with severe disabilities worry about who will care for their children after they (the parents) have died. And women with limited ability to communicate (like Kim’s daughters) are at greater risk of sexual abuse.

    Now, given the things Kim says I think it’s unlikely that this is her driving concern, but it might be a small part of it.

  56. #59 Politicalguineapig
    February 16, 2017

    And I misspelled my own name. Oops.

  57. #60 Wzrd1
    February 17, 2017

    Frankly, I stopped at waterboarding.
    I’ll happily continue reading her drivel once she’s actually experienced waterboarding.
    Until then, she’s full of schmidt.