Over the weekend, a lot of readers sent me links to Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s appearance on Larry King Live. (If you can’t stand watching the embedded video of the segment, the transcript is here.) Fortunately for me (and, I hope, you), a “friend” of mine has written a comprehensive takedown of not just the nonsense spewed by Jenny and Jim, but of a new “study” released by Generation Rescue purporting to show that nations with low numbers of mandatory vaccines have low levels of autism. Of course, it shows nothing of the sort.
Find out why at Science-Based Medicine.
Given that there was so much misinformation packed into a ten minute segment that there was no way for a single post to cover it all, feel free to help out by picking your favorite bit of nonsense and deconstructing it in the comments below.
Also check out these glorious additional deconstructions of J.B. Handley’s nonsense:
- JB Handley – Poorly Informed or Outright Liar?
- One Handley Turd I Left Out (this latter one rips apart Handley’s claims about autism epidemiology in Sweden, Finland, and Norway)
76 replies on “The Jenny and Jim antivaccine show on Larry King Live”
I wish that they would have given more talk time to Dr. Max Witznitzer of Case Western.
Dr. Healy was the “Why can’t we all just get along” representative stating things like “no one is against vaccination”.
My apologies to Orac for being one of the panic stricken gate guards that electronically ran to his vestibule and alerted him; “Orac! The Woo Queen known as McCarthy is again attempting to breach the outer wall of the science castle”.
To which I got a reply, something to the effect, “I can’t watch, it is frankly too much for me to take.”
I could barely tolerate the hand holding by the desparate yet sincere celebrity couple. I almost lost dinner that night.
I addressed some of the statements JB Handley made here and here.
It’s tough to say the dumbest thing ever on Larry King, it’s a high bar, but I do believe that Jim has vaulted far over it.
I read your deconstruct on your site.
Did you catch some of Dr. Witznitzer’s responses. he responded to Handley’s “Are you familiar with the UC Davis study” to which Dr. W. responded and addressed the flawed nature of Handley’s citing. Unfortuntely only within the very small time frame given. Not to mention trying to deconstruct the all over the map statements by four vigilante panelists as Orac referred to.
I wonder how the counterpoint panelists are or were selected in this case. I should contact the Larry King Live Show and ask.
KING: When the other doctors are here and they will be on the other side in a while after you leave …
CARREY: Grab them and stab them for me? This is my nickname …
Patrick @ 1:42 pm: Yeah, the lad has issues.
Meanwhile, Mr. UltraMind Solution’s been wooing around, too, shilling his book: http://www.salon.com/env/mind_reader/2009/03/12/mark_hyman/index.html
When all science and scientists are “discredited” (metaphorically stabbed, a la Jim Carrey), who will they turn to for development of all those so-called “safe” vaccines?
Ah, I get it–no one. I guess all our children will just have to survive all those really nasty diseases. I mean, if it was good enough for my grandfather, it should be good enough for my grandson. Right?
While we’re at it, let’s all go back to horse and buggy.[/snark]
JB Handley will be just like John Best in a few years. Ask John why his son is still autistic even after years of chelation, and God knows what else, and John will explain that it’s a gradual process and that his son is getting better every day.
If only the rate of recovery could be plotted so we can see the intersection between improvement and no longer autistic. Is it it 2 years? 4? 10? 30?
I’m also wondering if Jenny’s plan for preventing autism includes chelation before or during pregnancy the way JB had his wife detoxify before getting her pregnant again.
KING: Isn’t the problem here, Jenny, that people sometimes listen with one ear are going to panic. And not vaccine at all?
MCCARTHY: Probably. But guess what? It’s not my fault. The reason why they’re not vaccinating is because the vaccines are not safe. Make a better product and then parents will vaccinate.
Like Botox injections for your wrinkles?
Well I certainly commend your “friend” for watching all that. I’m afraid it’s more than I could bear to watch even a minute of that stupid.
HANLEY: Did you see the January study from UC Davis using California’s numbers that said unequivocally there’s been a clear rise, it’s not do to diagnostic substitution.
WIZNITZER: Mr. Hanley, you’re misrepresenting the study. I read it. Actually they stated that diagnostic substitution was one of the reasons why that rise is occurring. More importantly, that is not an epidemiological study. That is looking at a database. If you look at the documents from the department there, they tell you not to be used for epidemiological —
Needless to say, trying to hold a debate within such a venue (Larry King Live) does not do this subject justice, but maybe its a start?
That Gorski guy is always taking your ideas and posting about them at SBM. Some friend. I notice some guy named Lipton or something does the same thing to PalMD. You guys should send out takedown notices or something.
Dr. Witznitzer was correct in saying that Handley mischaracterized the paper. But both Handley and the Dr. were mistaken in that it had nothing to do with diagnostic substitution.
Jim doesn’t look to happy here. But these pics made me smile.
Well, this is an interesting moment for me. Obviously, I noted in 2007 that, after having been brought to the US to set up a litigation factory, like the one he was operating in London, my good friend Andrew Wakefield had been dropped from the omnibus hearing, and all his “research” papers expunged from the petitioners’ literature lists. Indeed, the petitioners couldn’t get far enough away from the guy. It was like he didn’t exist.
But now I see on the LKL clip that Ms McCarthy also appeared to dump Wakefield: the man who started this whole thing going with his rigged research for UK lawyers. And then I check the transcript and see that Mr Handley is also supporting MMR.
Does anyone know if there has been any kind of meeting, or decision taken somewhere, by which this new stance has come about?
They went to Katsuya? a SUSHI joint? But what about all the MERCURY in the tuna?!?!?! ZOMG Toxins! Whargarrrbbll!
As for that Larry King interview, I read the txn, and they give that autistic girl very much input. I am going to guess she petitioned to be on the show in order to tell Jenny to stuff it, and then they don’t let the gal talk/type! I could understand why the girl would be pissed. Jenny thinks she’d be better off dead than autistic!
Given the way that David Kirby and the whole gang at Age of Autism have teamed up to try to rubbish you personally and hype Andy Wakefield’s ridiculous response to you, J.B. must be still supporting Wakers. After all, AoA is his baby, and I doubt anyone could post something that seriously clashes with the antivaccine party line. My guess is that this is the reflexive “circle the wagons” mentality that happens whenever the antivaccine movement suffers a setback. After all, if JB and the AoA crew were to throw Wakers under the bus, then on what would they base their belief that vaccines cause autism? A major pillar supporting that belief would be gone.
No, they can’t afford to admit they were wrong and that Wakefield was not only in the pockets of lawyers suing vaccine manufacturer and that he was an incompetent scientist, but that he also committed scientific fraud. As for Jenny and Jim, I suspect they’re too scientifically illiterate to understand the issues involved.
Handley is clearly scientifically illiterate too, or he pretends to be rather well.
Carrey doesn’t look too happy.
(Sorry, but that was bugging me.)
I had the unfortunate and painful experience of watching this moronic spectacle. Larry King was fawning over these celebrities, and the cnn blog seemed to be planted with a bunch of anti-vaccine, autism parents. They had some nerve saying the AAP is motivated by greed. I laughed so hard at this, milk came out of my nose, and I don’t drink milk. Let’s compare pediatricians salaries to Jenny and Jim. The best thing that ever happened to Jenny is the exploitation of her child’s “autism:.
I love how they say that doctors aren’t listening to the parents about the vaccinations causing autism.
That’s irrelevant– most of the parents have very little to no understanding of the science at play. When they say “listening to the families” they mean acceptance of their subjective experience with vaccinations. Without any science to back up their claims, what the families have to say (about immunizations) are just opinions, which have no place in real science.
Furthermore, science /does/listen to those opinions– and they’re wasting research money trying to silence McCarthy’s nonsense because the public blindly follows her bullshit and won’t vaccinate their children. It’s a serious safety risk.
Money that could be going to fund genuine autism research is going to debunk her lies. It’s never enough– she’ll inevitably come back with some new garbage and money will be tied up in appeasing the thousands of parents who are terrified of their children developing ASD. But it’s futile; the public is distrusting of academia and intellectualism in general, and they’ll continue to follow these loons.
Yes, it was sort of strange to see JBH promoting the MMR. Especially so since I thought that Jenny McCarthy thought that her son’s vaccine injury was due to MMR, and that she healed him by dealing with his leaky gut problems (GFCF diet and yeast treatments were what she used, if I’m not mistaken).
I guess their argument has really solidified around “too many too soon”.
Sorry to ruin the pig pile on Jenny and Jim, but I saw the same show and thought Jenny, Jim, Dr. Healy and J.B. Handley came across well and made sense. The scientists and doctors on the other side were…wait for…arrogant, uncaring and wouldn’t even acknowledge that autism rates have risen. (Sounds like someone I know.)
However, post-Larry King, I asked the blogger above if he would support a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study as called for by Dr. Healy on the show. (I asked him to man-up and put his science on the line and try and settle this issue so everyone can move on.) And while he did not respond to me directly (that I am aware of) some of his sycophants, um readers, sent along links (and a few F bombs too. Stay classy, please) in which the blogger talked about this question and said no to these calls.
Well, I have finally been able to read the links and thought the entries were interesting, especially around “ethics” And I think this demonstrates a flaw with the blogger. Sure, he has many degrees and studied long and hard in medical school, etc. but in my opinion, taken from his posts and thought process, he is sorely lacking in understanding “ethics.”
One of the major reasons the blogger is against this type of study is one of “ethics” (Basically concerns over the study group not receiving vaccines to diseases that can be dangerous.) However, the blogger doesn’t seem to have any ethical problems advocating that children under two get all these shots without testing their collective impact. That is a slippery ethical slope the blogger is on. I would call that the “better sorry than safe” theory. Ethically you can’t test them all collectively but just put them out there and see what happens. Mind you, we are not talking about testing car wax that removes paint from cars when you use it but 36 vaccines full of live viruses, preservatives and God knows what, that are being injected into developing babies. (So I give the blogger a big ethics deduction right there.)
Then the blogger claims, all these vaccines have been individually tested for dangerous side effects and have not shown a whiff of autism or anything like that so in theory testing them all together isn’t something that is even needed. How the blogger can take that ethical jump is pretty amazing to me. You test each individually, but not as a group and you can say for a fact that this type of study will not show anything. And there is nothing to back this claim up, just conjecture. Wow. That is a pretty big leap of scientific faith. There are 36 vaccines now. I have heard there are 40 new vaccines in the pipeline. That will be 76 in total. I would think ethically, the blogger and others might want to test if there is a point when a developing child is over-loaded by vaccines. What is that number. Maybe after 30 vaccines, a child starts to develop side effects, maybe it is 32, maybe its 15. But in the blogger’s ethical world we won’t even test this one out. (So I give you another big ethics deduction.)
On a side note, I am not alone in this thinking as a bill was presented in Congress in 2007 calling for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study – Bill H.R. 2832. It had 22 congress members as sponsors including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, now the US Senator from NY and Rep. Dan Burton. Of course it did not pass and it is easy to say what a bunch of idiots members of Congress are and that they don’t know the issue. So if they are such idiots maybe big pharma will stop spending millions and millions on lobbying them. (Hello, the gift of the Vaccine Court.)
But most importantly, seeing this blogger brought “ethics” into the debate about vaccines and autism. I would be interested in hearing about any “ethical” concerns with the CDC. Why is the CDC, which is the chief promoter of vaccinations, involved in the process of determining if vaccines are safe. The CDC has a lack of independence from industry influence and this has contributed to a conflict of interest on its key panel for safety oversight. Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices have financial ties to pharmaceutical companies making vaccines. (Paging Dr. Offit, Dr. Paul Offit come on down.)
An ethical blogger like yourself, would advocate for a separate agency outside of the CDC to oversee vaccine safety issues, including research. Or is that some wacky idea. As you know the CDC has the cash as they conducted a study last week on pets tripping their owners.
(So major ethics deductions for the blogger regarding the CDC.)
By the way, these are my views and when you have a sick child, getting heckled in a blog is not the end of the world. There are more important things. I am simply posting this to let you all know the tide is turning on this issue. The people are voting with their feet and marching away from vaccines. And the more hate you send out there, the worse your side looks. You should try and work to solve all this instead of hating anyone who dares to questions you. Unlike others, I don’t mind jumping in the Lion’s Den and taking some heat from people who don’t agree with me.
“However, the blogger doesn’t seem to have any ethical problems advocating that children under two get all these shots without testing their collective impact”
I’m not aware of any place where Orac has advocated against testing of co-delivered, co-current and combination vaccines. If I recall correctly he has had to reference several studies which have done that, in order to disprove the notion that vaccines are not tested as composite treatment options.
He has also referenced several studies which look at less/more vaccine comparisons and found little to no increased risk. Again, no person has given a good reason why the “increased vaccine schedule = increased autism” would show up in a binary study, but not be indicated in studies that compare different exposure levels. If more vaccines = more autism, then more vaccines should = more autism.
You are making claims about him which, if you knew who he was and had a working knowledge of his postings here, would know are false and directly contradicted by his posting history.
Apart from the attempt at shoving words in Oracs mouth there really isn’t much to be saved from your mangled mess of a post, except this:
“The people are voting with their feet and marching away from vaccines.”
This is unfortunate as the people on the pro-vaccine side would much rather people ‘vote’ using their brains.
Research ethics have been clearly defined in response to past abuses of research subjects. Orac has mentioned this countless times. You don’t get to make up what you think the ethics should be. And a study that is likely to involve a bunch of children dying (in the unvaccinated arm) would be considered unethical.
Not to mention the fact that the unvaccinated “control” group would be completely aware of who they are. Hear that David? The placebo group would know exactly who they are – and that would completely destroy any shred of reliability in the results.
Why you ask? Well, I doubt you can find a parent that is perfectly fine with their child either getting or not getting a vaccination and being completely oblivious of the fact. No matter which side you fall on, I doubt very seriously that any pro-vax parent is willing to risk their child getting a vaccine preventable disease nor will an anti-vax parent be willing for their child to get one in the name of science. And they would have to face that option for such a test to proceed.
Like I said before, your special little snowflake of an idea isn’t quite so brilliant and obvious of a solution when it leaves the confines of your cranium.
Actually, Orac and Brian, I can see Jenny and Jim sweeping Wakefield under the rug — or at least shoving him in the priest’s hole — for the nonce. They won’t toss him under the bus just yet, but if Jenny can try to airbrush her recent “Indigo Child” past out of her biography, she’s certainly not above avoiding discussions of Wakers, at least until she thinks the heat’s died down.
“Stay classy, please”
This from an advocate of a Tuskegee Syphilis type study on children?
I repeat, fuck you, you unethical piece of shit.
Funny Dave,I haven’t seen much hating except a great deal coming from you; from your first post, really. I would love to read a dispassionate discussion of FACT but since you bring none to the table and spend most of your space in a flame style of post you need to bring the flame retardant underwear and stop bitching about staying classy.You’ve been no better than anyone here; Dan Burton? Please. And you’re ignoring the fact that your ” thiry-something theory” doesn’t even stand up to casual scrutiny when you consider that there are countries with similar schedules and less ASD as well as countries with fewer immunizations and similar rates of ASD.
36 vaccines? Really? For a child age 2 or younger? There is Hep B, Hep A (I live in Oregon where Hep A is endemic), Diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, strep pneumoniae, hib, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and rotavirus. I count 13 vaccines, of which one is an oral vaccine. Where does 36 come from? Oh… I think I see from where.
Hep B- 3 shot series
Hep A- 2 shot series
Diptheria- 4 shot series
Pertussis- 4 shot series
Tetanus- 4 shot series
Strep pneumoniae- 3 shot series
Hib- 3 or 4 shot series
Polio- 3 shot series
Varicella- 1 shot
Measles- 1 shot
Mumps- 1 shot
Rubella- 1 shot
Influenza- 1 or 2 shot series.
Rotavirus-2 or 3 oral doses.
Yeah… that’s what I thought. It’s all in what one is counting and choosing to count.
David M, since we are discussing ethics, please explain to me why it is ethical to propose a study that exposes a large cohort of children and those around them to a marked increased risk of death, brain-damage, blindness, paralysis, and deafness among other sequelae to demonstrate to you that they do or not have a higher risk of a non-fatal disease. Autism is not fatal. Each disease listed above can be and has been and will be. In fact, hib is making a comeback. Having never seen hib but having read about what it can and did to kids, I can’t believe that anyone would wish that upon his/her child.
I’ve seen Hib meningitis, pertussis and pneumococcal meningitis and would venture that none of these people have seen them up close or they wouldn’t be so glib….
Then you were wrong – as are they. Demonstrably and factually wrong.
They don’t “acknowledge” that autism rates have risen because the evidence doesn’t say they have! There is *some* room for a *small* increase in actual rates, but it’s quite conclusive that the overwhelming majority of the apparent increase is due to awareness, changes in diagnostic criteria, etc.
It’s not Orac’s “ethics.” These are standards developed by the entire worldwide medical community.
I daresay Orac *would* object to that. But since their collective impact *has* been tested, and those tests demonstrated that the benefits are incomparably larger than the risks, there is no ethical problem there at all.
You get a big understanding deduction right there for credulously parroting the lie that they haven’t been tested.
False. They have been tested BOTH individually and together, very extensively, with no whiff of autism or anything like that.
Again, this is a straight-up lie.
GR also spends millions of dollars on lobbying and propaganda – in fact, it’s their only reason to exist. Not like there’s any relevance to either point anyway.
Hmm, let’s see. Perhaps because determining whether they’re safe and then publicizing their results are part of the same thing? I mean, think about it. Your objection can be paraphrased as “the people studying whether they’re safe are the people telling us whether they’re safe!”
There are not 36 vaccines- Generation Rescue prior to McCarthy and Carrey posted full page ads in USA Today spewing this lie to the public. They added optional vaccines and prenatal. McCarthy and Carrey just continue to lie to the public. It’s sickening when one has to grossly lie to prove their point about vaccines, leading any to assume they cant find enough truth to confirm their claims about vaccines. Also, McCarthy said it was all about money- well, isn’t that also true of her latest book? Anyone see where the proceeds are going other than her bank account? And another thing, ‘pick and choose your vaccines’ is like picking and choosing when your child may die. Children don’t die from autism, but that can from childhood diseases.
There is no tide turning on this issue. A few of my neighbors who are just every day general public with kids, want to throw up when they seen Hollywood on TV. Not every one falls for their lies. McCarthy is a fad, and when she’s done using the autism community to fill her bank account, she’ll go else where. In the mean time, it’s truly sad how American’s follow Hollywood fly-by-night’s. For those who may not end up with ‘completely gone autism’, don’t bother buying McCarthy’s books, you’ll find IDEA 2004 IEP book much more useful and practical.
It is not unethical in the least when you have a viable sub-population of children who, because of the unethical treatment of Doctors who act like you morons, have parents who have chosen to keep them unvaccinated. Count how many among them are autistic and how many aren’t. No ethics questions involved because the parents are aware of the issue and have chosen to take the “risk” of not vaccinating their children against such “deadly and debilitating” diseases such as Varicella. It’s amazing that with that deadly disease around, the human race has been able to survive to the 21st century.
Varicella, Mr Hypocrisy? You think varicella is not a potentially deadly and debilitating virus? You must not be aware that it causes not one but two separate diseases that differ in severity.
In childhood, it’s Chicken Pox — which can leave scars on children for life. In adulthood it can resurface as Shingles. That one can appear anywhere on the body, including in the lungs and it can easily kill when that happens.
I’ve had Shingles. I was lucky in that it was only on my left shoulder — however for two full weeks I was in the worst pain of my life, all centered on that shoulder. Don’t even try to tell me that Varicella isn’t deadly and debilitating.
You argue from ignorance, Mr Hypocrisy — ignorance of science, disease and ethics.
Whether there are 36 or 200 or 4 vaccines it doesn’t matter. There is exactly zero linking them with autism. It’s just another ploy that “sounds good” when you repeat it enough to parents who are un-informed and scared.
But you see, Sue, you misunderstand science. Don’t you think the parents who don’t vaccinate their children might be different in various ways to parents from the general population? In some cases, they might be affluent parents who spend a lot of time on the internet, and who have greater odds of having diagnosed autistic kids. In others, they might be low income or negligent parents who don’t access health care at all.
Didn’t Generation Rescue already made a clumsy attempt at this? They found completely unvaccinated children were slightly but not significantly more likely to be autistic than fully vacccinated children. Why do you think that was?
That was even thought the selection bias of the survey most likely favored a positive association between vaccines and autism.
I’m rather appalled about this ongoing thread regarding a clinical trial with vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts. Vaccines are not drugs where we need to confirm their safety and efficacy. That’s been done. Now, the anti-vaccinationists, pseudoscientific woo-mongers want a double-blind study performed (they might not have required a double-blind, but I won’t be convinced unless it is).
So, let’s see how this will work. Let’s assume you can convince someone to fund this very expensive trial, although I would guess the two largest sources of funding, the pharmaceutical companies or NIH, would find this type of study highly unethical and wouldn’t, but let’s assume that you can. First, you need to recruit clinicians. I know a lot of physicians read and post here, so how many of you would participate? I wouldn’t, because the safety and efficacy of these vaccines has been shown beyond a reasonable doubt, and I would be placing a cohort at risk for extremely bad diseases. Polio is not a risk I would take!
Second, you need to recruit patients. You would have several groups of parents making the decision. There will be reasonably well-informed parents who think vaccines are critical to the health of their children. They’re going to say “go away.” There will be intelligent (I guess), well-educated woo-believing parents wouldn’t want to participate because their kids would get autism from all of these vaccines. And then there will be a group that would do anything their physician asks with few questions. That’s an unrepresentative (and highly over simplistic) grouping of participants.
The results from a such a study would be so flawed as to be useless and would continue the argument.
BTW, anyone that dismisses the seriousness of chicken pox apparently doesn’t read medical articles. Once someone gets chickenpox, the varicella virus remains latent in nerve cells, reappearing at random, painful intervals. In some cases, it can lead to post-herpetic neuralgia, a painful and chronic disease.
None of the diseases prevented by current vaccinations is something I would want to get again (I grew up in the age where these diseases were prevalent) nor would I want my children to get. The risk factors of death from some of these diseases are high enough that even if there were a link between autism and the vaccines, I would consider the benefit of disease prevention to far outweigh autism risks. Since there is no link between the two diseases, the risk-benefit analysis is way over on the side of vaccinations.
Two major points are wrong with this. Number one, as Joseph mentioned, that study would be useless due to confounders and lack of blinding.
And number two, by the current generally accepted ethical guidelines, that is STILL unethical. One arm of the study would be getting less than the accepted standard of care. It doesn’t matter *why* they’re getting less – the study is still unethical. One can reasonably debate whether the current guidelines are appropriate, but the fact remains that they are the rules.
The only group which could support the unvaccinated arm with their numbers, at least for a retrospective study, would be those Steiner-Waldorf-anthroposophy groups in Germany etc. Unfortunately, their strong emphasis on individualized education might reduce the expected autism cases below any thresh hold needed for statistical significance; we call it behavioral therapy here, and it seems to lessen the symptoms. Plus, the kids would be more likely be “special individuals”, not suffering from a diagnosed illness. Enough confounding factors to give the PI fits, and provide hordes of grad students with interesting thesis material. But nothing to answer the big question of “do vaccines cause autism”, so most likely confirm the centuries old knowledge that unvaccinated kids tend to have massive outbreaks of childhood diseases, and give us an idea of potential risks under advanced medical care (as compared to mortality/disability data from the 50’s and earlier).
DavidM, in the hope that you will consider this post carefully (and respond if possible) I will list a few thoughts on the vax vs unvax “trial”. This has become a mantra, almost like “too many too soon”, without consideration being given to the details of what is proposed. Let’s totally ignore the ethical question for now (though it is valid and is not like you present) and just look at the study. Ethics would be the least of its problems.
First, what is the hypothesis? That certain vaccines cause autism? That all of them do? That those with preservatives do? That certain combinations of vaccines do? That certain vaccines do if given at one time frame, or too closely together (etc etc)? To cover these myriad of competing and possibly mutually exclusive possibilities, one would need dozens of arms in the trial.
Second, which vaccines are you going to select as being worthy of exclusion/inclusion in the trial? You might feel certain ones like meningo or HiB are just too important to leave out or give in placebo form. Can you come up with a more specific “vaccine schedule” and vaccine list for the trial and see if it makes any medical sense? I guarantee whatever you do will be subject to criticism and questioning, perhaps so much so as to invalidate the findings of the trial (should it show anything), and that would be a waste.
Thirdly, have you thought through the numbers? Let’s keep it simple. Say you propose to give an identical schedule to the current one, but just to use placebo MMR for your control group. Your hypothesis might be that MMR contibutes to autism, but by how much? Is the putative chance of getting autism from MMR is 1:100 recipients? 1:1000? How will you decide (since you need to be precise with this before you even plan your study so as to know what numbers you need)? So now you see we are getting pretty complicated already.
Suppose you wish to test a “too many too soon” schedule – comparing several possible schedules over differing time spans, to see if this makes a difference. That means even more arms to your trial and more cmplex methodology. Again you need to have an idea before you start as to what hypothetical autism rate differences you need to know about before the trial begins, so as to know the numbers required. Do you have a plausible idea of what the estimates are, in order to calculate the statistical power of the trial?
Then there are practical problems. How do you recruit children and get doctors/researchers on board? How do you counter the massive selection bias induced by having lots of eligible parents excluding their kids (mentioned above).
The trial would be a logistical nightmare and a statistical farce. And if any bits were not “compared”, then the antivaxers would come right back afterwards and say “Yes, but….. No, but….. You didn’t test this or that, so the trial is totally invalid” (They have previous form on this one, let me tell you).
Then consider that if you are looking at doing a trial like this with multiple variations and outcomes and with a pretty woolly statistical basis, you are going to be able to find, entirely by chance, some things that may appear to be statistically significant. How are you planning to respond to these errors (knowing that the statistically unsavvy and hungry-for-bad-news media and antivaccine groups are just circling like vultures to find anything they can blow out of proportion and use to generate unfounded scare stories)?
So, DavidM, care to give some thought to these points and let us know exactly what you would test, how you would do it, how many kids you need (hint, it will be hundreds of thousands) and how you will analyse the results, and how you will ensure they genuinely mean something?
Wow, dt–excellent response. That totally made my day.
Prediction: David M will completely ignore the responses of dt and the others. He will then post some variation of “Hah! Yer chicken! No ballz!!!!one!!”
Then he will tell us to “stay classy”
Although just to keep things explicit, what dt’s outlined is unequivocally NOT necessary to draw solid conclusions as to the risk/benefit ratio of vaccination. There’s already more than adequate data for that, and the conclusion is that the benefits overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.
Those requirements are specifically about what the study type advocated would have to do in order to be able to add anything new to the mountain of evidence we already have.
Actually, the “too many, too soon” and “green our vaccines” groups had best pray that nobody does the study suggested above. Why? Let me tell you why.
Autism – as has been shown innumerable times – is genetic. As a result, it tends to run in families, with siblings of an autistic child having an increased risk of developing autism.
Parents who have an autistic child are more likely – thanks to Wakefield, Jenny and others – to not vaccinate subsequent children. In the general population – according to a study done a few years ago – only 0.3% of children are completely unvaccinated. I wonder how many of those are siblings of autistic children? (see above)
As a result, a study looking at unvaccinated children today (especially young children) would most likely find that they are at a higher risk of developing autism than the general population.
This finding probably wouldn’t convince Jenny or Andrew or JB or even Jerry (Kartzinel), but it wouldn’t make their day, either. And, it would be completely spurious.
However, I’ve reached the point where I’m offering my services to any group willing to fund a truly scientific study of the “autism-vaccine connection”. I promise to be completely ojective and let the chips fall where they may, as long as I am given autonomy on how to run the study.
I expect that a small pilot study (with low sensitivity) could be run for about $250,000. A more complete study would probably run several millions of dollars.
Not sure if this has been mentioned here previously but it appears to be recently published –
Spotted from a link on http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/autism-and-vinyl-flooring; 72 kids out of 4800 with autism being flagged as possibly linking to vinyl off-gassing. Is this a properly done study or more woomongering?
Can’t get at the article, but I would be quite suspicious of lack of proper control for multiple comparisons. The abstract sounds like classic data mining – “gather information on lots of variables and see if any of them are correlated with the measure of interest”. That has to be done *very* carefully if the results are to be meaningful, and even then I tend to consider it highly questionable except for hypothesis generation.
*Maybe* it suggests something worth looking into. But I’m skeptical.
The vinyl story HAS to be woo, after all, it finds 1.5% autism prevalence in a country with the desirable safer vaccination schedule which we (well, JBH and Co) know precludes autism.
Exactly what I was going to say. JB Handley doesn’t need more data from Sweden showing that he’s full of crap.
Prometheus said: I expect that a small pilot study (with low sensitivity) could be run for about $250,000. A more complete study would probably run several millions of dollars.
That would cut into Generation Rescue’s ad budget, and they can’t be having that.
Not to mention that JB would never fund research without a pre-defined “vaccines are bad” conclusion.
I did find it rather interesting that the transcript ends with him being shown to have misrepresented a study. It’s a nice send off for viewers. I still wish someone would have been able to ask him where all of their donation money goes.
Since autism runs in families, maybe the vinyl flooring study shows that autistic adults prefer vinyl flooring, and thus more autistic children end up raised in households with vinyl flooring? 😉
Actually, other factors they found affecting rates were smoking parents and houses with poor ventilation. Combined with the vinyl flooring, it sounds to me like inhabitants of housing projects, aka a social component, not a single chemical influence.
Hmm, if I ran the zoo…
Well, I would have the CDC focus on studies that matter…so no more studies about pets tripping their owners. That would be a good start.
(Watch out Orac, I read you have a new puppy. Better be careful. If you haven’t named him yet, you could call him T. Bruce. “Sit T. Bruce. Stay. Now roll over and play dead. Good boy. Here is a treat that is full of corn syrup. Here have another.”)
What would be a good study (thinking hard)…maybe something that has never been done before. One that would take on an important health issue that every parent is concerned with. (Nothing coming to mind. I think I will look on Google and see what health issue is really important.) Wait, people shouldn’t use Google to research topics they are not familiar with. That is not scientific. That’s what Jenny does. There was also a blogger who did something on Farrah using Google. Name escapes me.
Anyway, maybe have a study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Perfect. Of course it would have to be objective and totally run by someone who knows everything and can be fully trusted by the medical and scientific community as well as the everyday people, you know the kind of people who live in housing projects and have vinyl flooring. And since I arm running the zoo, I nominate Prometheus. I will talk to President Obama tomorrow. The check is in the mail, Prometheus.
Aside from the potty mouths on this chain, I have noticed that whenever someone mentions concerns over science, everyone brings up ethics. Then whenever someone brings up concerns over ethics, everyone brings up science. Lots of mis-direction then ensues, kinda like a cheesy magician. Then after a while, you all just jump on them dropping F-bombs and other logical phrases. Not sure if you are trying to convince new readers (like me) or just preaching to the choir – kinda like the Rush Limbaugh show.
Anyway, keep up the great work and the hate, Ditto heads.
Like many others, I will come back to check out the new blog entries. The last two dealt with Jenny McCarthy and Farrah. Are you doing something on Sharon Stone next. Man, I can’t wait.
“so no more studies about pets tripping their owners. That would be a good start.”
The falls clinic I’m involved in definetly recognises pets as a tripping hazard, so I’m concerned as to why you think investigating the risk factors offered to clients with dementia, parkinsons, NOF fractures, hip replacements, visual impairments, body scheme disorders, co-ordination disorders and other mobility disorders is a worthless endevour, especially given the pain, cost and embarressment offered to falls victims even when they don’t suffer a fractue.
I’m beginning to suspect it’s becuase you actually don’t know what you’re talking about.
“There was also a blogger who did something on Farrah using Google.”
An experienced person with a relevant background using Google because it’s the only place where the pertinent inofrmation is collated, is radically different to a person with only a familial background using Google and considering themselves to thusly be equal to, or above, people with relevant background and experience using national and international resources that have been contributed to by relevantly qualified and experienced experts who have undergone review.
I’m amazed you actually thought you could get away with the one on here. You were even sarcastic about it, almost as if you truly believed it was a good ‘Gotcha’.
“Lots of mis-direction then ensues, kinda like a cheesy magician.”
Not really. The ethics stand as they are because of the science, and science needs ethics.
The fact that you cannot synthesise the information you are being given to see how the two overlap is your fault, not anyone else’s.
…and here he is as predicted, completely ignoring everything that that has been said about his stupid idea for a “study”.
Hi David M.,
I see that I am irritating you.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the amazing David M.! Watch as he completely misses the point before your very eyes! Marvel at his uncanny ability to parrot talking points and reuse outdated arguments without a moment’s pause! You won’t believe your eyes as he ignores everything written to counter his previous failure!
Will your heart be able to take the spectacle that is David M., Anti-Vaccine Machine?!?
Quoth David, “Not sure if you are trying to convince new readers (like me) or just preaching to the choir – kinda like the Rush Limbaugh show.”– Ironic that you mention a blowhard whose’debate style’ requires constantly repeating bombastic nonsense that has no basis in reality and never actually refuting anything logically; same old style, eh? Toss enough crap against a wall something eventually sticks.
“Then after a while, you all just jump on them dropping F-bombs and other logical phrases. Not sure if you are trying to convince new readers (like me) or just preaching to the choir – kinda like the Rush Limbaugh show.”
The common thread that I see throughout this blog is that cited research is required when making a statements about efficacy or fact. Yes lots of opinion statements are made, but this is a blog, and for the most part a past time or hobby for many, including the moderator (forgive me if I am incorrect here).
The primary discussions within this forum here is that of breaking down the misrepresentation of research by groups that have predisposed conclusions about disease or a conspiracy theory about “main stream” medical research or just simply refuse to believe in the critical peer review process of legitimate scientific research.
Interesting that no one suggests that playing in the NFL is really not that big of a deal, or that really anyone could be a professional basketball player. Likely because it would be immediately be evident that that was a rediculas statement on its face. However suggesting that for the most part medical science is completely out of whack in their understanding of vaccines and epidemiology and that they have completely overlooked something so obvious a child could see it, is for some reason a plausible topic of discussion?
Coupled with the fact that every time something like this is suggested it is based on a misrepresentation of research.
If there is any conspiracy in this country it is to dilute critical thinking into a 5 minute PopTart level of discussion.
David M should serve as an example of what scientists are up against: willful and blissful ignorance mixed with just the right amount of arrogance. People like him will not learn, simply because they don’t want their unfounded beliefs challenged. It’s a security thing. You get skanks like Sue M and this child David M, put them in front of a computer, and all the sudden they’re tough and smart… in their own eyes.
Providing these people with thoughtful and accurate answers as many have done in this thread will not educate them, but one can hope that the lurking masses will learn a thing or two about desperate, crazed, and scientifically illiterate antivaccinationists (GR and AOA supporters).
David M – when dealing with people, and all living organisms for that matter, ethics and science are intertwined. Go to a DAN! quack if you desire to break that relationship.
Wait, wait, wait. David M. thinks that Jenny McCarthy “came off well”, and yet complains about other people swearing? Jenny McCarthy of “I’ll stand in line for the fucking measles”, screaming “bullshit!” on national television, and so on? Rich.
Of course McCarthy and Carrey “came off well” – they’re actors; it’s what they do for a living. Their career is to get people to listen and pay attention to them. Guess what, they prettiest people aren’t always the ones who are right. Being nice and pretty says nothing about the validity of a person’s opinions. (She’s not nice anyway if she’s suggesting that we just let a bunch of kids die for no reason.) Plenty of people can tell outright lies and still “come off well”. That’s a ridiculous reason to judge the validity of someone’s opinion. These particular celebrities are experts in being celebrities, and not much else.
If we are thinking honestly about this mantra, I’m not sure we can discount this concern. Unless we are prepared to say that human infants do not undergo critical stages of development during the first two years of life.
Valid observation. To those trying to understand the claim that safety has been demonstrated, the fact that these questions *could* in fact be tested scientifically, and have not, is rather difficult to process. If we are to be fair, ethics aside, we can say that the current recommended schedule has not been tested against a true control to assess possible injury. Confounders don’t really matter yet.
I wouldn’t propose this kind of study in humans. Ever. Animals? Sure. I wouldn’t leave any of them out, and I’d have a bona-fide control. Most autistic symptoms are neuro in nature, and it’s worthwhile to see if the inflammatory component in vaccine delivery either disrupts the blood brain barrier or if it alters the person’s drug handling capacity. Extrapolation from other studies *seem* to make this a biological plausibility. I’m not keen on overinterpreting data, and I see it regularly on both sides of this issue.
Indeed. It’s kind of hard to formulate a cohesive question without more case studies of children that actually regressed. While this kind of review will certainly lend itself to bias, what does it matter? As Prometheus said, let the chips fall where they may. Scientifically literate people can see bias, and it’s a mistake to think that every parent is a knee-jerk reacting parent is unable to spot it or realize it through the efforts of others.
All told, I agree that there are those within the anti vaccine camp that behave unethically.
As for the vax versus unvaxxed study many are advocating, they are asking for an epidemiological study of both populations. Would there be obstacles relating to methodology? Sure… always are, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile to do.
Thank you Jen, (and Jim), for speakin up/out.
Not mentioning the nostalgic documentary “The final Inch” was a strategic “gotcha” for these idiots. Obviously, this docu=drama was funded “buy”???
No autism there; and really, who cares?! NOT representative of our growing demographic. I am so thankful to you.
Can’t wait to see the realization of our heart-felt work. Can’t argue with old-fashioned, grass-roots education.
P.S. Thanks to Jim too. He is obviously a good communicator; and surprisingly, a free-thinker. What an asset!!! Take that ORx.
It goes without saying he’s a great physical comic to boot! Can any of these whiners, (unlike me), even remember Buster Keaton? Too bad Jim got vaccinated. I really would have liked to have met him…when he was young.
The trolls aren’t even trying hard anymore. At least make an effort to pretend like you believe that, Paul. That post is nothing more than obvious flamebait.
Hi Anon –
Unless we are prepared to say that human infants do not undergo critical stages of development during the first two years of life.
Indeed. We seem to have some animal studies that indicate an immune response, and an immune response alone during certain timeframes is able to generate some physiological and behavioral characteristics of autism. For examples, see:
Long-term disorders of behavior in rats induced by administration of tumor necrosis factor during early postnatal ontogenesis.
Postnatal Inflammation Increases Seizure Susceptibility in Adult Rats
Glial activation links early-life seizures and long-term neurologic dysfunction: evidence using a small molecule inhibitor of proinflammatory cytokine upregulation
There are others. It just so happens, children with autism have been observed to generate much more robust immune responses than their non diagnosed peers to a variety of stimulants. I’m not claiming proof by any stretch, but it’s a lot different than seeing the opposite, which is what most people would have expected until the past few years.
Most autistic symptoms are neuro in nature, and it’s worthwhile to see if the inflammatory component in vaccine delivery either disrupts the blood brain barrier or if it alters the person’s drug handling capacity.
I believe that MTHFR polymorphisms have been shown to adversely affect drug metabolism, and are also associated with a slight risk of autism diagnosis. Other components associated with autism, such as indicators of a chronic state of stress, have also been shown to alter the permiability of the bbb. Endothial junctions are also of interest to some autism researchers.
Sure… always are, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile to do.
Perfect is the enemy of very good.
The big problem, to my mind, is the complexity of the disorder; if vaccines were only causative of some components of physiological change, in some narrow subset of children who go on to receive a diagnosis of autism, crafting a study with the necessary elegance to detect relatively small changes would be very daunting.
I, for one, welcome your thoughts and writing style.
The message from “Paul E. O’Virus” is meant as pro-vaccination. It is written as love note to Jenny (and Jim)from the perspective of the virus.
Contrary to “Paul’s” opinion, please do take a look at “The final Inch” it is a very well done documentary on the difficulties in eradicating polio in India.
Looking at the documentary gives a look at what “Paul” would call the good ol’ days.
David M. comments:
I appreciate the vote of confidence, even if it is delivered in a snarky manner.
The fact is that I’ve made this same offer to Autism Speaks and all I ever heard back was “Thank you for your submission”. I suspect they don’t want to fund such a study because they – like me – know that the results would not only be spurious (which doesn’t appear to bother them) but would also undercut one of their main themes – “Vaccines cause autism”.
This is like what happened to the VAERS database. Ten or more years ago, the DAN! movement and trial lawyers encouraged people to file reports on their autistic children, autistic children in their family and autistic children in their schools or neighborhoods (anyone can file a report). Now, the VAERS database is stuffed full of spurious reports about vaccine-caused autism and is worse than useless. The DANnites and lawyers have “salted the mine”.
Now that so many families with autistic children are refusing to vaccinate subsequent children, the “mine” has been “salted” again. But this time, the effect is to show that not vaccinating “causes” autism. There is a delicious irony here – too bad it has to be at the cost of putting so many children at risk.
I’m still willing to do the study, but none of the leaders of the “We need a study!” groups really want it done.
While I don’t recall any times when ethical concerns were trumped by science, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to bring up the one when one is concerned about the other — especially when discussing medicine. That is because the two driving forces behind medical decisions really should be science and ethics. So you should not be surprised when people see concerns about one and then express concern that the other is being neglected.
Chris said “Contrary to “Paul’s” opinion, please do take a look at “The final Inch” it is a very well done documentary on the difficulties in eradicating polio in India.”
Check out its website:
Thank you, Other Chris for clearing this up. I saw “Paul’s” message and did not have the time to follow it up.
We are confusing two issues:
Prevention of vaccine preventable disease is ESSENTIAL.
But so too is the ABOLITION of autism.
1.7 million cases of autism in USA CHILDREN. Thats just the Government/CDC admitted numbers. A condition that lasts for LIFE.
Adults over the age of 37 suffering from autism are almost ZERO.
Its not good enough to say we don’t know why 1.7 million cases of children are occurring when its blatantly obvious why they are happening.
Add up the numbers in all countries and we have a HEALTH crisis as never seen before in most of our LIFETIMES.
My own child born in 1971 faced a world with no MEASLES, no AIDs and no AUTISM.
Yes, measles in 1971 was zero. Today it is reaching epidemic proportions after 40 years of vaccine misuse.
Today a child in the womb has a good chance of dying in the womb.
If born those that survive have a good chance of neurological harm and other illness conditions which will make that child drug dependent for LIFE.
Today a child will have a reasonable chance of living the last twenty years of its life in a critical condition of bad health.
What a change from the UTOPIA that faced my daughter in a 1971 world.
Today she too must take here chances with AIDS and conditions we had never heard of in our time.
And her children must now run the gauntlet of AUTISM an illness unheard of to the general public and a very rare illness which most doctors never encountered until 20 years ago.
@ Legendary John Fryer
when you sit down to the computer and begin typing stuff in, do you actually take any time to ask yourself ‘what is it that I’m actually typing here?’
“My own child born in 1971 faced a world with no MEASLES, no AIDs and no AUTISM.”
If you ever need to talk to someone about stuff, help is never far away: 1-800-help-me
“Adults over the age of 37 suffering from autism are almost ZERO.”
Really? Try contacting some autism services (NOT Generation Rescue or Age of Autism – some proper ones) they will have adults who are older than that, who may have received diagnosis older than that, and who may have had their diagnosis for longer than that.
John Fryer do you just make it up as you go along, look at this statement: “Yes, measles in 1971 was zero. Today it is reaching epidemic proportions after 40 years of vaccine misuse.”
First, there was an actual measles vaccine before 1971, it was introduced in 1963. Then there was a rubella vaccine, followed by a mumps vaccine in 1968.
Plus there are places, lots of places to see where your statement that “measles was zero in 1971” is so very very wrong: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/G/cases&deaths.pdf
Now look at that table, look for measles and then look for 1971. The numbers in the boxes are not zero. Actually for cases the numbers of measles 75290, and the number of deaths is 90.
Now ask yourself (or someone who can read better than you can write) why the those numbers are going down starting in 1972 (like about half).
@John Fryer: I already corrected you about this in the other thread, but if you have a link to where the CDC says this, show me. I’ll call them on their mistake myself.
This is absolutely false, and you are basically putting autistic adults who depend on disability services in harms way by saying stuff like this.
My family experienced two major medical errors in 2005. The first was my
newborn daughter Olivia. A nurse at Ottumwa Regional Health Center asked my
wife and I if we wanted our newborn daughter to receive the Hepatitis B
Vaccine. We both replied “NO” and signed a refusal document. Two hours
after Olivia was born the nurse gave our daughter the vaccine. We were told by Dr. Bittner
that there was “Zero” risk to our daughter. Two weeks later Olivia stopped
breathing and was taken to the ER. She was in respiratory acidosis which is
caused from bronchial spasms. These spasms can be caused from asthma; she
is not asthmatic. Also, these spasms can occur within weeks of vaccines
caused by serium sickness. Our daughter had a severe reaction to the
Hepatitis B vaccine and almost died. The hospital fought the case and we
were unable to get legal help due to the small nature of the “payoff”.
Since Olivia lived and has no indication of damage it is difficult to get
law firms interested.
Seven months after Olivia’s experience my 36 year old sister (Heather) died
from Fentanyl Toxicity. Fentanyl is a pain medicine that was reported
months before my sister died to be killing people due to doctors misusing
it. The FDA warned doctors and hospitals in July of 2005 that it was
killing patients. She was given the highest dose of the medication and died
20 hours after a minor surgery. As of March 2008 the drug has been
I am asking that families who have experienced medical errors to please
contact me and share your stories. We have to fight back because it is only
GOD HELP US!!!
Dr. Charles Coram
P.S. This information has been sent to the Ottumwa Courier many times, but they are refusing to publish it. The couriers efforts to protect the local medical community is at the heart of the problem. The truth should be shared and allow the American people to evaluated the facts.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
There is no way to know that a vaccine given two week prior can cause a reaction that may have happened anyway if the vaccine was not given.
(though it is interesting you brought up fentanyl, because I believe that is the drug that has been touted in some spam messages here)