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COVID-19 vaccines and the Nuremberg Code, revisited

Antivaxxers love to claim that vaccine mandates (especially COVID-19 vaccine mandates) violate the Nuremberg Code and call for Nuremberg-style tribunals to hold public health and vaccine advocates “accountable”. As usual, they have no idea what they are talking about. This is also not a new antivax narrative, although what is unprecedented is that what was once fringe even among antivaxxers is now mainstream.

It has over a year since I last wrote about this particular topic, which is why I think it a good time to revisit it, particularly given that over the last month there seems to have been a large uptick in antivaccine rhetoric centered around portraying COVID-19 vaccines as a new Holocaust and the concomitant desire for Nuremberg-style trials—complete with hashtags on Twitter like #Nuremberg2#NurembergTribunal, the ominous-sounding #Nuremberg2TickTock, and related hashtags targeting Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, and other perceived “enemies”—for public health officials, with punishment meted out afterwards for their “crimes.” In these calls for “Nuremberg 2.0,” the proposed punishment can range from imprisonment (“lock them up!”) to truly bloodthirsty calls for the gallows. So I thought now was a good time for an update to the discussion of this particular longstanding antivax trope. What we are seeing is nothing new in terms of content. What is new is the volume and broad reach of the narrative. Basically, calls for retribution disguised as “justice” against public health and vaccine advocates have reached places that I never would have predicted before when I first started writing about them over a decade ago.

First, however, let’s provide a taste of what I mean from antivax websites and social media. I will list quite a few examples, just to give readers an idea of what I’m talking about. First, attorney and long-time antivaccine advocate Mary Holland published an article on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s website titled “Those Who Violated Nuremberg Code Must Be Prosecuted for Crimes Against Humanity” that was the “inspiration” (if you will) for me to write this post, which is a transcript of her speech given for a conference titled “75 Years of the Nuremberg Code — Never Again Forced Medical Procedures“, a public conference held on August 20 in Nuremberg to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Code. Unsurprisingly, it was hosted by Action Alliance, which appears to be a group of German antivaccine activists. Her speech was amplified by Mike Adams on Natural News, and one of the highlights that you might have seen being shared was a speech by a Holocaust survivor named Vera Sherav, in which she likened the COVID-19 response to the Final Solution and deemed it “the New Eugenics” in which this time “instead of Zyklon B gas, the weapons of mass destruction are genetically engineered injectable bioweapons masquerading as vaccines.” Meanwhile, antivaxxers are promoting narratives that COVID-19 vaccines are killing millions of people, an example being Steve Kirsch (whom I’ve written about before hereclaiming that as many as 12 million have been killed by them worldwide, and that “they” are “killing people worldwide at a rate at least 6X faster than the Germans did”. (I kid you not; if you don’t believe me, click on the link.) Unsurprisingly, Mike Adams is amplifying this claim as well, with headlines like “10,000 people A DAY being killed by covid vaccines; worldwide fatalities likely larger than the HOLOCAUST” and “The mass culling of the HUMAN HERD is now under way… here’s exactly how it’s being accomplished to achieve mass extermination“.

In particular, this narrative has resurfaced since COVID-19 vaccines were approved for children:

It is, of course, not limited to that at all:

I’ll discuss these principles in a moment, in particular how they do not apply to COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates. In the meantime, here are a few more examples:

Such calls are not limited to just vaccine advocates. Unfortunately, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists of all stripes have taken up the call, including those who think that COVID-19 originated in a “lab leak”. This particular example also shows how the narrative of a “Nuremberg 2.0” has reached beyond the antivaccine fringe and been taken up by a number of politicians:

Anecdotally, more and more vaccine advocates, myself included, are reporting to me that they are being targeted with threats, and here are some receipts:

Yes, I was referring to my post on the topic from last year.

And my favorite, here are threats that everything I Tweet is being “saved” to use as evidence against me:

Save away, anonymous antivaxxer.
Oooh. “Tweet saved”? I suppose that’s intended to terrify me. Let’s just say that I’ll take my chances when it comes to “Nuremberg 2.0.”

I note that, even though I now have over 72K followers on Twitter, the threats and abuse that I receive are nothing compared to what a number of other vaccine advocates receive, particularly as a result of the “Nuremberg 2” narrative. So let’s compare what the antivax narrative about the Nuremberg Code, which was promulgated as a result of the Nuremberg Medical Trials in 1947, with reality and discuss why antivaxxers have long abused them, to the point where I once coined the term “Nuremberg Code gambit,” much as I coined the term “pharma shill gambit,” to describe a common false narrative by antivaxxers and medical science deniers. If you understand what the Nuremberg Code actually says, its role in the history of bioethics and evolving protections for human subjects in medical research, and how it has now been largely supplanted by the Helsinki Declaration, you will be better equipped to understand why the antivax narrative is so harmful.

Mary Holland and Vera Sharav invoke the Nuremberg Code
Vera Sharav and Mary Holland appearing at an antivaccine, anti-public health event disguised as a 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Code.

Mary Holland and Vera Sharav invoke the Nuremberg Code

If you look at the lineup of the event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials, you’ll probably recognize a few names other than Mary Holland. For example, Tess Lawrie, one of the foremost promoters of ivermectin as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19, was a prominent figure at the event, as was Rolf Kron, an antivax homeopath (but I repeat myself) from a COVID-19 “resistance” group called Doctors Stand Up. There were also groups of Holocaust survivors included, which was particularly distressing to me given my online history of combatting Holocaust denial dating back to the 1990s. I didn’t watch the entire event, which is archived at RFK Jr.’s website, but I watched enough and read enough transcripts to get the gist of the overall theme, which was, predictably, that COVID-19 public health responses, particularly the “experimental” vaccines, violate the Nuremberg Code.

I note with some amusement how Mary Holland includes in her talk an expression of disappointment that representatives from the governments of the Allies (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia) declined to take part:

I am especially honored to be here because the authors of the Nuremberg Code were doctors and lawyers from the United States who sought to prevent future horrors. And they built on medical and legal ethics established here in Germany before the Nazi regime.

I deeply wish that U.S., British, Russian and German government representatives were here to stand with us, as well as representatives of the global mainstream media.

It is a sad commentary that they are absent.

I wonder why these nations didn’t send representatives. Could it be that they recognized this farce for what it was?

Let’s see what Holland’s narrative is, though. It’s pretty predictable if you know anything about the antivaccine movement:

Tragically, in the last two-and-a-half years, we have witnessed a global assault on the Nuremberg Code.

Governments, medical establishments, universities and the media have violated the very first principle and every other principle of the code’s 10 points.

They have coerced people into being human guinea pigs.

They have forced people on penalty of their livelihoods, their identities, their health, their friendships — and even their family relationships — to take inadequately tested, experimental, gene-altering injections as well as experimental tests and medical devices.

Those who have intentionally, knowingly and maliciously violated the principles of the Nuremberg Code must be punished.

They must be called out, prosecuted and punished for crimes against humanity. This is one of our key tasks.

We must stop this. And we must ensure this does not happen again.

See the narrative? Vaccine advocates have committed “crimes against humanity” in supporting vaccination against COVID-19 and vaccine mandates for certain jobs and activities. You can watch the whole thing at RFK Jr.’s website, but there’s no real need given that a complete transcript was published.

Throughout the rest of the talk, Holland portrayed the vaccines as “experimental” and deadly, stating at one point, “In the U.S. and here in Europe, no vaccine has ever remotely compared to these injections — the risk and death profile of these injections is unprecedented.” They are not experimental, and, contrary to the claims of mass death due to vaccines, they are not deadly; indeed, they are amazingly safe.

As I’ve said many times before, even when they were authorized under emergency use authorization (EUA) in the US, they had still undergone large phase 3 randomized clinical trials involving tens of thousands of subjects demonstrating safety and efficacy. Any pharmaceutical or vaccine that has cleared such a hurdle is, scientifically speaking, not “experimental” anymore. The term “investigational” is a legal term specific to the FDA and its mandate; all it means is that the drug or vaccine has not yet gone through the entire regulatory process in order to achieve full FDA approval. The mechanism of an EUA was designed to allow the FDA to act faster in the case of an urgent situation. If a global pandemic killing (then) hundreds of thousands of people didn’t qualify, I don’t know what does. Oddly enough, even after the mRNA-based vaccines achieved full FDA approval, antivaxxers continued to portray them as “experimental”. 

Moving on, I’ve been meaning to write about Vera Sharav for a long time. Indeed, she warrants her own post, and what I write about her here will be far briefer than is warranted. Before I go into her background as a Holocaust survivor and founder of a group ostensibly devoted to patient rights, informed consent, and, above all, the protection of human research subjects in medical research, let’s take a look at a bit of what she said in her speech, which can be viewed in its entirety, again, on RFK Jr.’s website, although the antivaccine blog Age of Autism helpfully provided a transcript.

To start out her speech, Sharav recounted her history:

In 1941, I was 31⁄2 when my family was forced from our home in Romania & deported to Ukraine.

We were herded into a concentration camp – essentially left to starve. Death was ever-present. My father died of typhus when I was five.

In 1944, as the Final Solution was being aggressively implemented, Romania retreated from its alliance with Nazi Germany. The government permitted several hundred Jewish orphans under the age of 12 to return to Romania. I was not an orphan; my mother lied to save my life.

I boarded a cattle car train – the same train that continued to transport Jews to the death camps – even as Germany was losing the war.

Four years elapsed before I was reunited with my mother.

Sharav (born Vera Roll) had fallen victim to a move by the fascist government that ruled Romania and was allied with Hitler at the time, in which some 145,000 Romanian and Hungarian Jews were moved to an area known as Transnistria along the Ukraine border, which became one of the most notorious killing fields of the war, with as many as 250,000 Jews were killed or allowed to die of disease and starvation. The Rolls were sent to a town called Mogilev, which had been turned into a concentration camp by the Romanians and Nazis. Her father died there of typhus within weeks of their arrival.

In her speech, Sharav made an explicit parallel between the Final Solution and COVID-19 and more or less correctly blamed eugenics for the Holocaust. I say “more or less” because there was more to it than just eugenics, the belief that Jews were subhuman, and that German Aryans were the “master race”. Hitler also believed that the Jews were working to destroy Germany and had decided that he had to destroy them before they could succeed. In any event, she was correct that the Holocaust didn’t happen all at once, observing that it “did not begin in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka”, had been “preceded by nine years of incremental restrictions on personal freedom, and the suspension of legal rights and civil rights”, and that the stage had been “set by fear-mongering and hate-mongering propaganda”. While this description was correct, unfortunately Sharav then pivoted to liken the current climate to the escalating restrictions and persecutions of the Jews during the Holocaust:

By declaring a state of emergency—in 1933 and in 2020, constitutionally protected personal freedom, legal rights, and civil rights were swept aside. Repressive, discriminatory decrees followed. In 1933, the primary target for discrimination were Jews; today, the target is people who refuse to be injected with experimental, genetically engineered vaccines. Then and now, government dictates were crafted to eliminate segments of the population. In 2020, government dictates forbade hospitals from treating the elderly in nursing homes. The result was mass murder. Government decrees continue to forbid doctors to prescribe life-saving, FDA approved medicines; government-dictated protocols continue to kill.

The media is silent – as it was then. The media broadcasts a single, government-dictated narrative – just as it had under the Nazis. Strict censorship silences opposing views.
In Nazi Germany few individuals objected; those who did were imprisoned in concentration camps. Today, doctors & scientists who challenge the approved narrative are maligned; their reputations trashed. They risk losing their license to practice as well as having their homes and workplace raided by SWAT teams.

What Sharav meant when she mentioned “FDA-approved medicines” was clearly the repurposed and unproven drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, neither of which are actually effective in treating COVID-19. As for the rest, you can see the same narrative that many antivaxxers have promoted that likens pandemic restrictions to another Holocaust at worst or, at minimum, to incipient fascism. I do have to wonder: Who are these physicians arguing against COVID-19 vaccines and for alternative treatments like ivermectin who have had “their homes and workplace raided by SWAT teams”? I like to think that I’m up on all the latest COVID-19 news, particularly about “contrarian” doctors, and I don’t recall ever having encountered a news story in which any of these doctors had their home or office raided by a SWAT team. Is she referring to Dr. Simone Gold, who was sentenced to 60 days in prison for trespassing in the US Capitol Building during the January 6 insurrection? Help me out here.

Of course, Sharav concluded her speech by bringing it back to the Nuremberg Code, warning:

Those who declare that Holocaust analogies are “off limits”—are betraying the victims of the Holocaust by denying the relevance of the Holocaust.

The Nuremberg Code has served as the foundation for ethical clinical research since its publication 75 years ago.

The Covid pandemic is being exploited as an opportunity to overturn the moral and legal parameters laid down by the Nuremberg Code.

The Nuremberg Code is our defense against abusive experimentation.

While it is not incorrect to state that the Nuremberg Code is important as a foundation for ethical human subjects research and that it is a defense against abusive experimentation, it is not complete to say that either, as I will discuss in the next section. In the meantime, I’ll simply quote from near the end of Sharav’s speech:

Transhumanists despise human values, & deny the existence of a human soul. Harari declares that there are too many “useless people.” The Nazi term was “worthless eaters”

This is the New Eugenics.

It is embraced by the most powerful global billionaire technocrats who gather at Davos: Big Tech, Big Pharma, the financial oligarchs, academics, government leaders & the military industrial complex. These megalomaniacs have paved the road to another Holocaust.

This time, the threat of genocide is Global in scale.

This time instead of Zyklon B gas, the weapons of mass destruction are genetically engineered injectable bioweapons masquerading as vaccines.

This time, there will be no rescuers. Unless All of Us Resist, Never Again is Now.

That’s right. Vera Sharav directly compared COVID-19 vaccines to the Zyklon-B gas that Nazis used as one of their main tools of mass extermination of the Jews. She also repeated an old antivaccine claim, namely the portrayal of vaccines as a form of “transhumanism“.

I started this section by mentioning that I had long been meaning to write about Vera Sharav. The reason is that she had aligned herself with antivaxxers years before the pandemic. For example, in this STAT News story from 2016, she expressed her belief that Andrew Wakefield had been railroaded:

But her distrust of the drug industry and medical research institutions has also led her to embrace some dubious heroes, including discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield, who falsified data to imply a link between vaccines and autism.

Wakefield’s medical license was revoked for a series of ethics violations, and most in the mainstream medical community blame him for raising unjustified doubts about the safety of vaccines. Yet Sharav puts him on her “honor roll” of “exemplary professionals,” along with Florence Nightingale.

“My research and my gut tell me that Wakefield has been wronged,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned from early in my life is that if I don’t stay true to my gut feeling, then I’m lost. I don’t have any control.”

That same news story also described her better history, how she had been a force for protecting human subjects in medical experiments, founding the Alliance for Human Research Protection after the death of her son, who had suffered from schizophrenia, from neuroleptic malignant syndrome, an uncommon but frequently deadly side effect of antipsychotic drugs that causes muscle rigidity and fever and can ultimately lead to organ failure and death. I’ve perused that the AHRP website before, but let’s take a look at one of the two articles that greet visitors to its homepage:

AHRP vs. the Nuremberg Code
That illustration by David Dees on the right is a classic antivax conspiracy image that I’ve seen on quack websites going back at least a decade, if not longer.

Let’s just put it this way. If you use an image by David Dees to illustrate your article, you have gone far down the antivaccine road. Worse, the image is blatantly antisemitic. Notice how the “vaccine enforcement” officer has a badge of the Star of David with the word “Zion” in it. As for the article itself, it’s a typical antivaccine-style screed in which adverse events recorded in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database are represented as definitely having been caused by vaccines when, in fact, anyone who understands VAERS knows that you can’t do that. Seriously, both articles are nothing but standard antivax propaganda, and not even antivax propaganda chock full of conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that could plausibly be portrayed as “human subjects protection”. The same is true of the other article, in which vaccination is described in typical antivax language as a “medical assault”. Throughout the website, vaccines are frequently referred to as “child sacrifice” in articles dating back more than a decade. This “pivot” is not a pivot, and the antivax lean of AHRP is not new, nor is her demonization of COVID-19 vaccines new. She was doing it in 2020, an example of which comes from an interview from October 2020, as COVID-19 vaccines were making their way through the regulatory process. In the interview, titled “Nazism, COVID-19 and the destruction of modern medicine: An interview with Vera Sharav“, Sharav characterized the push for a vaccine as being all about the profit, saying at one point:

You don’t read about it in the media because the media is very much part of the business empire that’s ruling that.

Vaccines are an empire, and now they really want to do a vaccine globally.

Do you know what kind of a market that is? More than 7 billion people for a vaccine. Can you even count the kind of profits, no matter what they charge for it?

That’s what their goal is. That’s the whole allure of this COVID 19 vaccine. It’s that market.

You get the idea. What Vera Sharav was saying nearly two years ago was indistinguishable from the rhetoric I was seeing on hard core antivaccine sites, such as Natural News and, yes, RFK Jr.’s website, where the interview was published. Her antivax rhetoric remains indistinguishable from that of RFK Jr., Mike Adams, Del Bigtree, Andrew Wakefield, and basically all the major antivax “thought leaders” (if you can call it thought). Whatever her achievements in raising awareness of shoddy human subjects research practices, the dangers of certain pharmaceuticals, the frequency of nontherapeutic research, and the increasingly cozy relationship between medical academia and big pharma, Vera Sharav has clearly followed others down the road from skepticism of psychiatric drugs to extreme distrust of pharma to outright antivax.

But what about the Nuremberg Code?

Nuremberg doctors
Nazi doctors facing justice in Nuremberg in 1947.

COVID-19 vaccines and the Nuremberg Code

With the just completed discussion in mind, let’s circle back again to the Nuremberg Code, a set of principles for human subjects research that published in 1947 as part of USA vs. Brandt et al. (also often called the Doctors’ Trial) as one result of the Nuremberg Trials. The trial involved doctors who had been involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder disguised as euthanasia. Of the 23 defendants, seven were acquitted, while seven were sentenced to death. The rest received prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

There are ten points to the code, which was published in the section of the verdict entitled “Permissible medical experiments”:

  1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs, or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.
  2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
  3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
  4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
  5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
  6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
  7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
  8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
  9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
  10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

It is true that the Nuremberg Code remains one of the foundations of medical ethics governing human subjects research. It is, however, old and has been largely supplanted, for all practical purposes, by newer statements of human research ethics. While it is certainly true that these newer statements (which I’ll discuss in a moment) echo many of the points of the Nuremberg Code, it’s also true they go beyond them.

Before I do that, though, here’s the key deficiency in the arguments that antivaxxers have been using that invoke the Nuremberg Code is actually quite simple, as I once wrote over a year ago on Twitter:

To reiterate, the Nuremberg Code only applies to human experimentation. Notice how each of the ten points of the Nuremberg Code mentions “the experiment” or “experimental” treatments. The Code is not about medical treatment, only medical experimentation involving human subjects. I don’t know how it can be made much simpler than that. Of course, the desire to appeal to the Nuremberg Code is why antivaxxers try so desperately to misrepresent COVID-19 vaccines as being “experimental”. It’s also why I like to retort that no one was forced, coerced, or otherwise mandated to sign up to be a subject in any of the clinical trials of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (or any of the other currently approved vaccines) that led to their authorization under an EUA and ultimately to their full FDA approval. Again, vaccines that have passed phase 3 clinical trials and been shown to be safe and effective are not, from a scientific viewpoint, “experimental” anymore. They might still be considered “investigational” from a legal standpoint because all that means is that they haven’t gone through the full FDA process yet, but that’s it. Even while they were still being distributed under an EUA and before they were granted full FDA approval, from a scientific and medical standpoint COVID-19 vaccines being used have been legitimate medical preventative treatments, even when they did not yet have full FDA approval.

The second part of the Nuremberg Code gambit most commonly used is the deceptive appeal to “informed consent”. Of course, as I like to point out, while antivaxxers like to think they are really advocating for informed consent (and probably actually do think that), in practice, what they are advocating for is something that I like to refer to as “misinformed refusal”. (I used to call it “misinformed consent” before I realized that this term didn’t quite catch the essence of what antivaxxers do.) It’s an antivaccine trope that I’ve been dealing with at least 17 years, if not longer.

Here’s the idea. Antivaxxers vastly exaggerate the risks of vaccines and even attribute nonexistent risks to them (e.g., autism, autoimmune disease, sudden infant death syndrome) that are not at all supported by science. At the same time, they deny or downplay the benefits of vaccines, portraying them as largely ineffective and claiming that “natural” immunity from the disease is far superior to vaccine-induced immunity. Thus, if parents listen to the antivaccine narrative about the risk-benefit profile of vaccines, they will believe that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits. They might even believe that vaccines are not only ineffective, but dangerous, deadly even. That’s where my term “misinformed refusal” comes in. It’s the refusal of vaccines based on misinformation that portrays a falsely unfavorable (and even terrifying) risk-benefit ratio.

The Nuremberg Code, as important as it has been in the history and development of human subjects protections during medical research, has largely been supplanted by the Belmont Report (published in 1976) and the Declaration of Helsinki. The Belmont Report, for instance, goes beyond the Nuremberg Code by delineating the boundaries between medical practice and research. It also rests on basic ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice, while emphasizing the importance of voluntariness (as the Nuremberg Code), a detailed discussion of benefits and risks (informed consent), and the selection of subjects. The Declaration of Helsinki, last updated in 2013, is similar, but goes into much more detail about informed consent. It also addresses the ethics of the use of placebos, post-trial provisions, and the dissemination of results. It even addresses the use of unproven interventions in clinical practice outside of clinical trials.

Finally, in the US, the federal regulations governing human subjects research are enshrined under the Common Rule, which was originally instituted in 1981 and was last significantly revised in 2018. Basically, the Common Rule is the operationalization of the principles of the Belmont Report and the Declaration of Helsinki into regulations governing human subjects research carried out by the federal government, institutions that receive federal funding, and pharmaceutical and device companies seeking FDA approval for their products. It requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and oversight of human subjects research, among other requirements for ethical human research and lays out the requirements for informed consent, as well as for research compliance by institutions. In effect, the Common Rule lays out the standard of ethics that govern not just human subjects research funded by the federal government or subject to FDA regulation for FDA approval, but in essence nearly all human subjects research. Almost all US academic institutions require their researchers to adhere to the Common Rule regardless of funding sources.

So why do antivaxxers always mention the Nuremberg Code and almost never the Belmont Report, Declaration of Helsinki, or the Common Rule when claiming that vaccine mandates somehow violate human subjects research protections and/or informed consent? The reason is simple. Neither the Belmont Report, the Declaration of Helsinki, nor the Common Rule were written or promulgated in response to Nazi war crimes. The Nuremberg Code, on the other hand, was written as part of the verdict of the Doctors Trial at Nuremberg as a first attempt to codify what principles that should govern ethical human subjects research.

In other words, the simple reason that antivaxxers point to “informed consent” for (or, as I like to call it, misinformed refusal of) vaccines along with the Nuremberg Code is because it’s a Godwin. It not-so-subtly compares physicians, public health officials, and vaccine advocates to Nazis. That’s the one and only purpose of the Nuremberg gambit. If it weren’t, in order to try to portray vaccines as “experimental” or “unproven,” antivaxxers would instead refer to the Helsinki Declaration, which is the most recent and most applicable set of ethical principals governing human subjects research. They don’t. That should tell you all you need to know about the Nuremberg gambit other than that COVID-19 vaccine mandates do not violate the Nuremberg Code anyway.

The Nuremberg gambit: Beyond antivaxxers

Unfortunately, the Nuremberg Code gambit is a Godwin that has permeated not just hard core antivaccine messaging. Indeed, it’s spread to pretty much every corner of COVID-19 contrarianism, minimization, and resistance to any sort of pandemic-related mandate, be it “lockdowns”, vaccines, or masks. (Nuremberg has even infiltrated “gender critical” narrative about gender-affirming care for transgender youths, with one group likening doctors practicing gender-affirming care to Josef Mengele, the infamously cruel Nazi doctor at Auschwitz.) I’ll start by invoking a Tweet that has been cited on this blog before, mainly by Jonathan Howard:

It’s interesting to note that Jeffery Tucker of the Brownstone Institute could have chosen pretty much any other image for his article, but he chose that of a guillotine, the symbol of the Reign of Terror, a series of executions and massacres after the French Revolution, with the guillotine being the favored method of individual executions. In the article, shared by Martin Kulldorff, one of the three writers of the Great Barrington Declaration, that propaganda piece of anti-lockdown hysteria that basically advocated letting COVID-19 rip through the young and healthy population, the better to achieve “natural herd immunity” as fast as possible, while somehow—it’s never really specified how—using “focused protection” to keep safe the elderly and those with chronic health conditions at high risk for serious disease and death due to COVID-19.

The first time that I first saw this image, I couldn’t help but ask: If Tucker wasn’t calling for executions, why did he and the Brownstone Institute choose a very menacing image of a guillotine? They could have chosen literally any other image, but they didn’t. They chose a view of a guillotine that emphasizes the blade ready to fall, a very ominous and threatening image. (It very much looks like the view of a guillotine that someone near the front of the crowd baying for blood during the Reign of Terror might have had—or the view that someone walking up the steps to be executed might have had.) If Tucker and the Brownstone Institute were really interested in portraying justice, instead of retribution, wouldn’t an image of a courtroom or a jury—or of virtually anything other than a guillotine—have been more appropriate? Did Dr. Kulldorff not even see the not-so-subtle message that such an image paired with an article like Tucker’s broadcasts? As an aside, I’ll also ask this question: Does anyone know who else used the guillotine as a method of execution besides le tribunal révolutionnaire during the Reign of Terror? The Nazi regime in Germany! No, seriously, look it up if you don’t believe me. Members of the White Rose resistance, for example, were executed by guillotine after show trials.

Reign of Terror or Nuremberg 2? Does it matter? The idea is vengeance against enemies of antivaxxers disguised as “justice”. This fantasy of retribution is not new, either, as I pointed out, referencing a 2017 post by an antivaxxer named Kent Heckenlively:

Note the same sort of imagery from a man who has in the past demanded the “complete surrender” of vaccine advocates, promising them—maybe—mercy if they recant and confess their “crimes”. These “crimes”? Given that at the time the predominant misinformation believed by antivaxxers was that vaccines cause autism, the “crimes” were advocating policies that make children autistic.

As I often say (admittedly sometimes ad nauseam) in the age of the pandemic, everything old is new again, and the same thing applies to the Nuremberg Code gambit. The difference is not the antivax fantasy of retribution against their perceived enemies, but rather that the language and rhetoric that was, until relatively recently, only associated with the hardest of hardcore antivaxxers, has started to wend its way into the mainstream, with right wing pundits like Tucker Carlson taking up the narrative, likening COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the cruel and grossly unethical experiments that Nazis and Japanese carried out using prisoners during World War II, while mangling what Nuremberg is about by describing such mandates as “forced treatment” rather than abuse of human experimentation. Misunderstanding aside, this gave his interviewee, Robert “inventor of mRNA vaccines” Malone, the opportunity to thank Carlson for bringing up the Nuremberg Code:

Perhaps the most frightening thing about the pandemic is how antivaccine narratives once viewed as fringe even my most antivaxxers, the province of only the hardest of the hardcore, are now being amplified by mainstream pundits with millions of viewers and used by “think tanks” like the Brownstone Institute to stoke fear of vaccines and potential violence against vaccine advocates. That’s always been the purpose of the Nuremberg Code gambit. Unfortunately, today the chance of the Nuremberg Code gambit resulting in actual violence is higher than it’s ever been.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

81 replies on “COVID-19 vaccines and the Nuremberg Code, revisited”

Looks like a lot of potential candidates for a Herman Cain Award or to be profiled at sorryantivaxxer.com. Both sites have highlighted lots of less-than-educated people who reposted the distortion of Nuremberg, calling for summary executions and then wound up hypoxic at their local hospital.

But I don’t think the French Revolution is a great analogy – an even better one is Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, which targeted anyone seen as educated. Wearing eyeglasses was sufficient to get one killed. It’s a crazy reaction to modernity.

” targeted anyone seen as educated..”

we see similar reactions NOW from alties/woo-meisters like those I follow, rightwing politicians and entertainers like Maher.
” No one needs a college degree”. ” Degrees are a waste of money”, “Kids should take up a trade or traditional roles”. ” Be a farmer”. ” Universities teach worthless values”. ” Home schooling is best”

One major result of degrees though- recipients don’t vote the way these people would like.

Today, Mike Adams, NN:
Obedience is a killer ( written article/ the audio doesn’t play**) outlines how liberals, especially college educated women, are the least “educated” and most indoctrinated, about vaccines.

** it’s interesting that tech-savvy Mike’s NN and tech heavy, state-of-the-art PRN are both hardly functioning for prolonged periods

“College educated women†” is just Mikey-speak for “my most profitable marks”. I’m sure he rakes in quite a few too, higher education itself being no real guarantor of critical thought.

I suspect that Mikey, like other abusers, is just butthurt at how many other college women do have their heads screwed on, and thus have zero qualms about kicking his abusive ass to the grass. Depriving Mikey of what’s rightfully his!

Plus Mikey, the inveterate dealer, is never one to miss on a two-for-one deal. In this case, pumping the vanity of all his other customers who (for whatever reasons) only made it through high school and who, while they might not bring the disposable income that college grads can, are at least as happy to dispose of the lot all into Mikey’s insatiable coffers.

Mikey’s entire empire is built on successfully telling his enthusiastic victims what to think and what to do, all the while solemnly informing them that it is the rest of the world that seeks to control them, but don’t worry yourselves: Mikey stands up for you.

Full credit where due: Mikey is a salesman, genuinely talented and very successful. Just not a human, is all.

See also: enmeshment/codependency, isolation, Jim Jones.

† Plenty college educated men too, being just as dumb and at least as vainglorious. A gender imbalance is most likely the product of science being grabbed too often as “toys for the boys”—SOP wherever men decide something just became cool. Alas, punching down is for everyone, not just for quacks.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”—Isaac Asimov

@ has:

I’m always surprised that Mike’s and Gary’s fans don’t recognise their thinly veiled contempt because they seethe with arrogance and disdain for “regular people” who are not ” enlightened”. Only a few percent of humanity can do the right thing, i.e. do as they command. Their diets are all wrong, their lifestyle is wrong, the mindlessly believe everything MSM tells them. ” All media are wrong”, one says.

Of course, the most loyal imagine that they are different from the common person but how smart are they if they pay greatly inflated prices for standard supplements and food products? Mikey sells out thousands of “Ranger Buckets” in a few hours ( @ 300+ USD per) which consist of 17 lbs of dried beans, rice and grains. Gary’s supplements and foods are available from other companies at much lower prices at health food store/ drug stores.

There’s also quiet misogyny whilst probably most buyers are women although this is counterbalanced with faint praise.

@Denice: “Only a few percent of humanity can do the right thing, i.e. do as they command.”

A professional psychopath like Mikey rides them all the way to the bank, and they love him for it too. I’m not saying it’s the n-word. But you know it’s the n-word. They may have all the reasoning power of an apoplectic toddler but they’re still the smartest person in every single room.

“Of course, the most loyal imagine that they are different from the common person but how smart are they if they pay greatly inflated prices for standard supplements and food products?”

Business 101 question: What is the product worth? Answer: Whatever the market is willing to pay for it.

Sure, you see it as overpriced milk processing runoff, and on a purely physiological level you are correct. But you miss what they are really buying: validation of their grasping belief that they are Most Special. Mikey sells them exactly what they want and they bend themselves over his barrel for the next fix.

I don’t know if there’s any research on it but it honestly would not surprise me if Mikey’s most faithful repeat customers had a psychology similar to an addict. The problem with such people is they become abusers too. This is why I counsel damage containment. There is nothing anyone can say or do to save someone who does not wish to be saved from himself. Let them have at it: their funeral. Preventing self-abuse expanding to abuse of others should be everyone’s duty—but all too often the rest of us turn a blind eye or make excuses or whatever, because we don’t want to deal with the painful and unpleasant ourselves.

And now we’ve got fascists at the gate, just waiting on each other to perform the first lynching, and so grant permission to them all. Cheered on by the likes of Mikey, because creating pain and the delusion of power is all good for their business.

#whereweretheyradicalized? Chez Mikey, and a thousand others. We tend to fixate on the grift, because we’re good at recognizing that and may even find it wryly amusing. But the grift, as I say, is a legal transaction done between themselves. Meanwhile we (moderate society) miss the larger problem, or at least minimize or try to ignore, which is the extreme becomes everyday, the unthinkable a salacious prospect. Facing that monster is deeply disturbing, so we tend to shoot for the comfortable and trivial targets, and think that we’re being productive. It’s not; it’s a dodge.

Normalization of extremism is what should get Mikey, Tucker & Tucker, and all the rest staked out on anthills. Not their comical shakedown of consenting adults. And when we are done with the nails and the honey, we need to kick ourselves hard too for not holding all their asshole fans to absolute account the moment they started their permission seeking to hurt other people. And every “moderate” idiot who says “don’t rock the boat” tipped out first, ’cos that’s not moderation but complicity; which is 100% abuse too.

A. Mary Holland, when speaking in 2015 in the legislative hearing a little SB277, the bill to remove California’s non-medical exemption to school vaccines mandates, compared school vaccines mandates to rape. She was that extreme then. It did not go over well.

B. Vera Sharav came to my attention when she supported RFK jr, Bigtree er Al. during the measles outbreak in New York in 2019. She was working then to have more children in the hospital from measles, supporting the antivaccine movement. She used Nuremberg language and Holocaust comparisons then, too.

C. Your post implies it, but let’s make it explicit: there is a second reason for using the Nuremberg Code over other things, besides the Godwin, and that’s to threaten opponents. The code was part of the trial, and as your first part demonstrates, they want that allusion. Other document about human subjects won’t carry the threat.

I wonder, isn’t letting Covid just rip and keep people unprotected, or trying to cure them with stuff that has been proven not to work, really some giant health experiment?

The Crystal Clear Film Foundation with Andrew Wakefield listed as “manager” in 2017 and 2018 provided $81,666 and $71,334 respectively to a “Vera Shara” for the following purpose ……………….

“VIDEO DOCUMENTATION, FOR GENERAL RELEASE, OF A CRITICAL, INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS BY ETHICIST VERA SHARA, OF THE TRUTH BEHIND THE UK’S MMR VACCINE CONTROVERSY.”

Is this a typo and it’s one and the same person or is this someone else entirely?

2017
https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/view_990/821346850/4932c2ce63c1f2629dc800dd7370f8ab

2018
https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/view_990/821346850/af65cbd1b55d98e4b6dbc25863323281

I’ll venture that anti-vax rhetoric becomes more strident as Covid vaccination rates increase:
I reviewed sites which examine how many people are vaccinated – at least one dose, fully, boosters- by country ( world in data, etc), or by states ( USAFacts, etc).
Many places report over 90% for at least one dose.

So who exactly is their audience? Those already enraptured by anti-vax? How can they spread myths about “vaccine injury” including death and “crimes” to people who are mostly already vaccinated?**
Do they suppose that the vaccinated are dense enough to attribute every ache and pain they have or serious illnesses their relatives and friends develop as being caused by vaccines? People who believe this probably have already avoided Covid vaccination. They’ve painted themselves into a corner – and a rather tight corner at that!

I notice that there is a geographical/ political bent to those numbers.

** vilification of Dr Fauci often includes how he “killed” many hiv+ people with meds in the 1990s. These days, most people accept that hiv/ aids is treatable with meds.

The second part of the Nuremberg Code gambit most commonly used is the deceptive appeal to “informed consent”. Of course, as I like to point out, while antivaxxers like to think they are really advocating for informed consent (and probably actually do think that), in practice, what they are advocating for is something that I like to refer to as “misinformed refusal”. (I used to call it “misinformed consent” before I realized that this term didn’t quite catch the essence of what antivaxxers do.) It’s an antivaccine trope that I’ve been dealing with at least 17 years, if not longer.

So, what is Orac really getting at here? He is actually insinuating that forcing or coercing people that are refusing vaccines out of ‘bad reasons’ or uninformed consent into getting vaccines is not really a violation of informed consent. No doubt, Orac would also have us believe that there are no good reasons to refuse vaccines so informed consent can never be breached. No doubt Orac is suggesting consent is conditional.

As usual, they have no idea what they are talking about.

Oh, my dear sweet summer child. Every single one of them knows exactly what they are talking about. They are building their legitimate case for murdering all of you.

When a well-mannered tyrannical state does it, it calls it “yellowcake uranium” and “WMD”. This is just the independent fash mob version of that.

Either way, the goal is the same: to kill a bunch of people who they don’t like—you—on the pretext that you represent a clear and imminent danger to the lives of them and their children, then spend the rest of their years cruising the pundit circle telling everyone just how much they hated to do it, that they never wanted to be the one forced to act, but you left them no other option. While everyone who was complicit by enabling them nods in solemn but necessary regret that ever came to that—and you rot safely in the ground.

That’s it. That’s their whole deal. To act with impunity, immunity, and do what they want. To profit themselves by using the lives of others. This is the entire Abuser playbook.

Everything on top of that is, frankly, overanalysis. There is no logic, there is no consistency, there is no evidence to find in their words; there is nothing except the goal. Truth is the thing which they say it is, in the moment that they say it; and if in the next moment they say something exactly the opposite, then that is Truth too. There is no reason to refute. There is only the dissection of the psychopathology that powers it, to teach everybody how these people work.

I keep saying it: everyone needs to read up on abuse dynamics, and narcissistic abuse in particular. These people are made. In turn, what they make of other people needs to be spoken about out loud, precisely because so much of what they do is unspeakable—and goes unspoken about—and it is everyone else’s failure to hang those abusive behaviors in full public view that enables it all to continue.

There’s so much hand-waving in this blog post, it’s hard to know where to start. “They are not experimental, and, contrary to the claims of mass death due to vaccines, they are not deadly; indeed, they are amazingly safe.” How about walking us step-by-step through the thorough safety metrics Pfizer, Moderna, the FDA, and the CDC (or better still, an independent review board with no conflicts of interest) are collecting and publishing in order to ensure that assumptions made in order to justify the EUA are correct? Arguing that the Nuremberg Code doesn’t apply because we are dealing with “treatments” and not “experiments” is just semantics. Let’s be generous and accept this deflection through dubious manipulation of language. The ethical principle of informed consent applies regardless of how you want to label the forced injections. Consent is not possible if recipients are not informed, and deliberate suppression of evidence that challenges the “amazingly safe” assertion does not inspire confidence. In fact it directly undermines the ability of injection recipients to become informed before consenting to a procedure that can’t be undone. The same goes for making unsupported “efficacy” claims while simultaneously rejecting all evidence to the contrary.

Well, if what they want (all pro vaxxers jailed, executed etc). Who’s going to be left to treat the sick?, umm, all in jail or graves.

chaos infusion…talking rubbish again…WHERE ARE THE BODIES.

Semantics can be a problem, and Words are important. For example, I read your words, but what I hear is ‘I don’t trust the system’. Did I understand you correctly?

Funny, the only thing I hear from CI these days is “Pay attention to meeeeeee!”
Whatever point or argument they may have had in the past is worn beyond reading now and it’s all sound and fury.

Nuremberg applies to human experiments. Law is all semantics (definition of te issue),
Vaccinees are actually told actuak side effects, not antivax stories.
About vaccine afety surveillance:
Lee GM, Romero JR, Bell BP. Postapproval Vaccine Safety Surveillance for COVID-19 Vaccines in the US. JAMA. 2020;324(19):1937–1938. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19692
You can walk trough systeem mentioned

Credit is due for another fine example of projection – notably the complaint about “dubious manipulation of language”, which Mr./Ms. Chaos is heavily indulging in.

An honest antivaxer (an oxymoron, I know) would concede that the Nuremberg Code doesn’t apply to vaccination in general or Covid-19 vaccination in particular, and would instead make feeble arguments in reference to the Common Rule or Declaration of Helsinki. That’s not a lot of fun, however, since there’s no prospect of hanging or guillotining anyone who’s alleged to have run afoul of those precepts.

Chaos and his/her/its partner in misinforming us about informed consent, Wendy Stephen, would do well to read and re-read this passage from Orac’s article:

“The second part of the Nuremberg Code gambit most commonly used is the deceptive appeal to “informed consent”. Of course, as I like to point out, while antivaxxers like to think they are really advocating for informed consent (and probably actually do think that), in practice, what they are advocating for is something that I like to refer to as “misinformed refusal”.”

Still waiting for Wendy to tell us what vaccines she supports beyond a particular type of MMR (Covid-19? Polio? Hepatitis B? Any?). Being antivaccine and having a grudge against Andrew Wakefield is unusual, but not an oxymoron.

@ Dangerous Bacon

You and /or Joel Harrison must be dreadfully insecure given your propensity to revisit (and revisit) old, unproven, unsubstantiated accusations you have levied against me time and time again.

Once more, I am “anti vaccine” despite repeated requests for one single shred of evidence/examples to support the accusation which you have consistently failed to supply.

So what’s your real problem? Are you so concerned that someone might start investing in my posts that you have to rely on and revert to thread bare, ancient, dishonest accusations to darken my character?

The similarities between you and Joel Harrison in making unsubstantiated accusations as to my character and motives and then passing them off as fact, really is quite marked but also pathetic.

Your reliance on repetition despite being proven wrong / corrected speaks volumes as to your character and underlying motives. You buy into your interpretations of my actions and then seek to pass that off as fact on here.

Why is it absolutely crucial that you convince everyone, by any means at your disposal that I am anti vax?

Once more for the record…………..

I support vaccination and I am not anti vax. (it matters little anyhow since you and /or Joel will ignore that and make the same old accusations anyway).

I support the ability to make personal choices re vaccination.

I support and lobby for compensation for every proven case of vaccine induced injury.

I support the doctrine of Informed Consent and lobby for that also.

I collate and have written up historical background facts on both the Urabe AM9 story and the MMR litigation in the UK.

I concede I got many things wrong, I own my mistakes and errors, I own my folly and stupidity, I own my inadequacies and regrets but I also stand to my own conduct in my own name!

Suck it up, buttercup, you think you know better than scientists and you’ve been caught lying multiple times about various vaccines, but mostly the COVID vaccine and the risk from MMR.

Ah, Jay, I didn’t think it would be long till you showed up!

The marked similarities between, Joel Harrison, Dangerous Bacon and yourself are really, really overwhelming.

“you think you know better than scientists”

Nope, and I have never said that I do…………………that’s yet another example of your unsubstantiated throw away comments designed to influence others into thinking that I do!

“ you’ve been caught lying multiple times about various vaccines, but mostly the COVID vaccine and the risk from MMR”.

Yet more unsubstantiated accusations in the absence of a single shred of evidence in a frenzied, and desperate attempt to get others to buy into your projection. Not that I’ve got a realistic expectation of ever receiving any, but could you provide examples please? Joel’s been trying unsuccessfully for years but who knows, if all three of you pool your resources you might just find something!!. (In fact, your comment is very similar to many made by Joel previously!!)

In your attempts to undermine my credibility you are seriously undermining your own by accusing me of all manner of unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations. If you had evidence of the accusations you continuously levy against me you’d have produced it long ago and you wouldn’t be relying on your own fabricated version to influence others.

By repeatedly failing to provide facts/ examples/ proof/evidence to back up your accusations and interpretations of my conduct you have only served to undermine your own credibility. The fact that you have to resort to the tactics you employ suggests that your angst with me has less to do with the factual accuracy and credibility of my posts and more to do with the level of panic and insecurity they cause within you.

I support and lobby for compensation for every proven case of vaccine induced injury.

That’s quite funny, because Ms Stephens is demanding here a far higher standard than NVICP itself follows, where a claimant need only show that an injury could have been the consequence of vaccination (table injuries) for the court to find in their favor.

What I suspect Ms Stephens really means by “every proven case” is that she wants to label every awarded case as proof it was definitely caused by teh vaccines. Sophistry, by any other name.

Which, since we’re only talking about civil 50%-and-a-feather and not criminal beyond-all-reasonable-doubt burden of proof, is probably sufficient for us to pop her into the “yup, that’s just another antivaxxer” circular file and move swiftly along.

If Ms Stephens genuinely wants to be acknowledged as not-an-antivaxxer by anyone except her fellow antivaxxers, perhaps she should look to her own game first?

@has
Firstly, as you know, it’s Stephen…………..no “s” on the end!!

Here in the UK we have to “prove” to the medical assessors/experts at the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme that a named vaccine has caused the disability/injury suffered by the claimant. The threshold of proof is that on the balance of probability the vaccine “x” caused the disability “y”

Then, in addition, the UK has a second hurdle in that the claimant must also show that their level of disablement is 60% or above to get an award.

That means that for 40 years and more claimants in the UK can prove causation in respect of a vaccine but fail to prove 60% disablement and be refused an award.

The statement I made is 100% accurate ie I campaign for EVERY proven case of vaccine damage to receive an award NOT just those who in the opinion of the assessors, are deemed to be 60% disabled or above.

To be clear, here in the UK, proven cases of vaccine injury go home empty handed if they can’t prove that they are more than 60% disabled under the VDPS.

Yet another example of someone placing an interpretation on one of my statements which is unfounded and easily discredited with understanding of the UK awards system in an attempt to discredit me.

Why is it so very, very crucial to some posters that they convince others that I am an antivaxxer??

Sorry to disappoint but there’s no sophistry on my part but there is on yours in placing your own interpretation on my statement, getting your facts wrong and seeking to influence others into believing them!

@Wendy Stephen: Apologies for the careless typo.

The threshold of proof is that on the balance of probability the vaccine “x” caused the disability “y”

Yeah, that would be the aforementioned 50%-and-a-feather: 51% it did vs 49% it did not. That’s civil law bending over backwards to be humane and helpful. Not arguing “Did a vaccine definitely do it beyond all reasonable doubt?” Just: “OK, that’s credible enough; here you go.”†

(In return for which, antivaxxers fling their shit at this compensatory system. Because it is not what they actually want.)

Yeah, it sucks donkey balls that maybe 1 child in every 100,000 to a million gets genuinely injured by a vaccine, same as it sucks that some children get injured by seat belts. Nothing is perfectly safe; everything is relative risks. What sucks a thousand times more is certain… people eliding the only alternative—scraping a lot more dead childen off the roads!—to advance their own malignant agenda. You can observe the constant low-level abuse @Orac and minions endure from just a handful of antivax regulars… it makes them extra nippy (which is the response those abusers want). Even minions are [mostly] human too.

Is this you? If so, this may explain a false-positive detection by over-sensitized minions: a one-time antivax activist who turned on that movement after realizing the scam might unfortunately carry a slight lingering smell. (e.g. If your name periodically pops up in their company.) Our past mistakes do tend to follow us around.

Perhaps if you can back up and reintroduce yourself, the minions can stop nipping long enough to reconsider their own past [mis]assumptions and apologize as necessary. HTH

† Which, btw, is 100% the appropriate and ethical answer. I can’t debate the “minimum % of disablement” threshold thing, because I am not an expert on UK disability law. Although it wouldn’t surprise me as “government targets” shitting on disability claimants is virtually a national industry, so you’ll be far from alone in that regard.

What evidently didn’t occur to has is that having turned against a particular figure in the antivax movement (Wakefield) doesn’t mean that one has abandoned the movement altogether.

Years after collaborating with Brian Deer, Wendy has resorted here to typical antivax tactics like denying that people are given informed consent to vaccination, declaring that parents are right to be suspicious of immunization and refusing to acknowledge support for specific vaccines (while claiming she’s pro-vaccination). Did she feel she was getting insufficient attention and praise from vaccination supporters after working with Brian Deer, and changed sides again?* We never got an answer to that.

That link suggesting Wendy was in the good graces of antivaxers as recently as 2019 is interesting. Perhaps her refusal to name vaccines that she endorses is out of fear that she’ll lose standing with her colleagues who might run across her comments here.

In any event, trying to play both sides of the street is seldom rewarding. One winds up being exposed. And no, positioning oneself as occupying a reasonable middle ground between good science and deceptive fearmongering won’t fly.

*the story of Norma McCorvey (the “Roe” in Roe v. Wade) is interesting in this context. The New Republic’s story on McCorvey’s “conversion” is worthwhile reading.

@DB: “That link suggesting Wendy was in the good graces of antivaxers as recently as 2019 is interesting.”

Not really, as Deer didn’t name his source until 2020. But it was one of the URLs that came up when I did a search. And, yes, being anti-Wakefield does not automatically track as being anti-antivax as well.

If Ms Stephen has a muddy messaging problem then it’s really for her to take notes and clean it up, so she doesn’t Semmelweis herself amongst those who might be allies. Alternatively, if she does still harbor antivax sentiments, she should declare those tendencies clearly and not conflate them with any legitimate concerns regarding how legitimate vaccine injury claims are assessed and compensated. (Or, far more appropriately: recuse herself entirely from the latter cause so she does not damn it by association to the other.)

At any rate, being an instrumental part of blowing the lid off one of the great conspiracies and corruptions of our time is no small credit. On that I’d extend a little more positive reinforcement and counseling of missteps to someone who is legitimate hurting and (hopefully) working to reform, compared to the automatic “light them up like a Roman candle” correctly awarded to our frequent-flier abusers whose entire existence is to hurt others. But, that’s a better me—mostly I’m just here for blood sports, knee deep in troll guts, and won’t pretend otherwise—so return you now to your scheduled programming.

I can agree with seeking compensation for every possible case of vaccine harm (and note, I would go with possible – I think 50% and a feather is the right standard – over any higher standard).

I also agree with informed consent, which requires full, accurate information – something the anti-vaccine movement undermines by misleading people.

I don’t think public health policies that impose consequences on not vaccinating are in direct tension with informed consent: the consequences are part of the picture.

And I think being able to learn from mistakes is a very good thing.

Honestly, I think arguing whether you specifically are anti-vaccine is a useful line of discussion right now. I’d like to focus on specific points you make on specific posts. I will admit that I’ve stopped reading that discussion because it seems to tread water.

@Dorit Reiss

“I don’t think public health policies that impose consequences on not vaccinating are in direct tension with informed consent: the consequences are part of the picture.”

Since the US system re vaccination differs significantly to that in the UK could you please clarify which you are referring to?

“I can agree with seeking compensation for every possible case of vaccine harm (and note, I would go with possible – I think 50% and a feather is the right standard – over any higher standard)”.

I don’t advocate in respect of “possible” cases of vaccine harm (which is what every single application is), I advocate for the cases who prove to the satisfaction of the medical assessors and experts that on the balance of probability the vaccine caused the injury alleged, to be provided with an award irrespective of percentage of disability.

(To prove something on the balance of probabilities is to prove that it is ‘more likely than not’).

Proving something on the balance of probability test implies nothing more but it is nevertheless evidence of a level of proof defined in law as opposed to the the mere ‘possibility’ of vaccine induced injury.

“Honestly, I think arguing whether you specifically are anti-vaccine is a useful line of discussion right now. I’d like to focus on specific points you make on specific posts”.

Feel free to elaborate.

“I support vaccination and I am not anti vax.”

Lots of well-known antivaxers* insist they are not antivaccine. When pressed, such folk generally have enormous difficulty naming any vaccines they recommend (it turns out that their “support” is for a perfect vaccine that does not exist). They misinform people about informed consent.

Despite her protestations, Wendy seems to have a lot in common with them.

If that’s not so, then it should be easy to endorse particular vaccines. For example, should parents make sure that their children are protected from re-emerging polio? How about Covid-19 vaccination?

*RFK Jr. and James Lyons-Weiler for example.

“They are not experimental, and, contrary to the claims of mass death due to vaccines, they are not deadly; indeed, they are amazingly safe.”

Wrong on three counts. They are experimental. These were not vaccines released for use in a specific demographic (ie: travelers to a certain location or routine infant immunizations). There was zero post market surveillance before they were utilized in an aggressive, coercive, worldwide mass immunization campaign with no evidence based precautions or contraindications being advised. The precautions & contraindications will not be standardized for several years, based on the data from the post market surveillance that is being collected today. If you were a young athlete, a pregnant woman, or a cancer survivor who has recently died or will die in the near future; thank you for your service to the database but I know you didn’t give consent for THIS.

“Contrary to the claims of mass death due to vaccines …” Is a paradoxical statement. No commentary needed.

They are not amazingly safe. They are so incredibly unsafe, that I’d be surprised if an oncological surgeon didn’t notice this very soon, as well as funeral home directors & Cardiac Electrophysiologist’s, etc …

I just hope to see justice in my lifetime. I know karma doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t play out on our terms. But I hope I’m still here when it happens, because it will happen.

Reminders:
A. The vaccines were tested in clinical trials with tens of thousands of people before release, as big as or larger than most routine vaccines are tested on.

Here is one: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33301246/

B. The vaccines have since been given to literally billions, and that has been done with extensive monitoring and scrutiny.

C. The results of that monitoring and scrutiny do not support the claims of anti-vaccine activists, do not show the mRNA vaccines connected to deaths, and though they have risks, those risks are small and much smaller than the disease.

D. It’s bad enough that anti-vaccine activists thinks children don’t deserve protecting from COVID-19. Wanting pregnant women and people with cancer to get the disease unprotected – two populations at high risk from it – is worse.

Trying to take the moral high ground while advocating for pregnant women and cancer patients to face COVID-19 without vaccines is not convincing.

Yay! A new anti-vaxxer with all sorts of new lies!

“They are experimental.”

No. They ceased being experimental when they passed phase III trials (blind and controlled) and the control group was vaccinated as per ethical requirements.

There are no active experiments on the target groups that have received authorization.

“There was zero post market surveillance before they were utilized in an aggressive, coercive, worldwide mass immunization campaign with no evidence based precautions or contraindications being advised.”

Whoops! Another lie. The VIS sheets given to every recipient listed contraindications and adverse events identified in the massive Phase III trials.

You can’t have “post market surveillance” without the vaccine going to market.

“The precautions & contraindications will not be standardized for several years, based on the data from the post market surveillance that is being collected today.”

Wrong and not based in any scientific knowledge or identifiable evidence. The VAST majority of identifiable adverse events occur within 48-96 hours after vaccination.

“They are not amazingly safe. They are so incredibly unsafe, that I’d be surprised if an oncological surgeon didn’t notice this very soon, as well as funeral home directors & Cardiac Electrophysiologist’s, etc …”

Oh! You made a claim! Why didn’t you back it up with credible evidence?

And no, VAERS is not evidence of anything but a person’s ability to self-submit a report.

Please go get an education in science before making a fool of yourself again, anti-vaxxer.

@ Jay;

Yeah I’m not new. You are. Yes, I’m anti-vaccine. People who are not new here know this.

Where are you getting that “The VAST majority of identifiable adverse events occur within 48-96 hours after vaccination.”? The deaths are peaking on average 5 months post vaccine. Another study showed two peaks, at 2 weeks & 27 weeks. Covid vaccine spike protein induced inhibited DNA damage repair, while capable of contributing to very aggressive cancers, would still need more than 96 hours to do so. Fatal weakening of blood vessels & lethal “clot” formations can take weeks, if not months to actually kill.

This would not be captured on VAERS. I’m not sure why you would bring VAERS into the conversation.

Your attempt at a correction fails to even identify where this data is coming from. I think you’re just another lying anti-vaxxer making up nonsense you can’t support with scientific studies.

It’s what your kind do, it’s all your kind do.

You’re the one in foreign territory here, and until you bring evidence, I’m not going to waste any more time giving you some. You need to bring evidence or learn to shut up.

@Christine Kinkaid: Try settling on ONE screen name and, preferably, ONE profile image only, and STICK TO IT.

Yes, I realize this is a terrible, terrible ask, squeezing your giant narc ego into such tight and modest constraint. But most of your fellow abusers here seem to manage it so I’m sure you can too, and it will make it easier for everyone else to reliably track your lying dismal shithole and thus ensure that all confusion is yours, and yours alone.

Also, our gracious host has a firm policy of bashing errant socks with his banstick, and we all sure would hate† to see your mutating babbling ass likewise soundly smacked.

† This, of course, is a steaming fib, as I don’t see why Ms Kinkaid and chums should enjoy all the lying fun.

@ has,

I have the same profile pic assigned to both email accounts. I’m frustrated with the sign in here too. It differs based on whether or not I’m signed into WordPress. I don’t have separate “sock” identities. If I type it in I usually use “Christine K”, have used my full name in the past but WordPress signs me in as “coschristi”.

And that website is what you get when you don’t know how to analyze data.

I’d use that as evidence of what NOT to do with raw data, especially when that data isn’t valid for any kind of comparison to other vaccines.

Site does report reported deaths by days after vaccinqtion. They go down exponentially from the first day. there is no peak at seven weeks

@ Aarno,

I’m not going to undermine the ongoing analysis of the excess deaths correlated with the covid vaccines by posting links here. Orac’s too high profile.

Ridicule me instead. I just want people to be careful if they are planning on getting any more boosters. I’m tired of witnessing all the Super Nova events.

@Christine Kincaid So data i even not published ? If it would,people will criticize it anyway.

Institute of Medicine (US). Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines, Stratton, K. R., & Clayton, E. W. (2012). Adverse effects of vaccines: evidence and causality.

I have no reason to believe mRNA COVID vaccines are any different and you’ll never bring credible research establishing I should change my mine.

I know karma doesn’t work that way.

Indeed. That which you are complaining about is all your fault, as is what you are complaining about in the first place. Good luck with that contacting Brahman routine.

@ Narad,

Unsurprisingly, I’m not following you. Brahma, as in father of Narad(a)? At any rate, no, karma doesn’t operate on my terms. I shouldn’t even tempt fate by bringing it up. I guess.

“And I; the RN who was so indoctrinated in pro-vaccine propoganda, continued to vaccinate my children & refused to believe what my own two eyes had seen.”

Full on lying anti-vax troll that’s fully engaged with the anti-vax cult.

Gentle readers:

Although Jay Kanta, Dorit, Narad, Aarno and has address the issue admirably, let me expand for newer readers-
CK has a history at opposing most SBM on vaccines, especially about causation of autism and SIDS. She and another scoffer dominated these pages for protracted periods 2-3 years ago and learned nothing despite great efforts by Orac and many well informed regulars correcting their grievous mistakes. In addition, she tries to “teach” naive, young parents about vaccine “injury” at anti-vax adjacent sites and was often insulting to regulars here.

Most of Orac’s readers do not comment so basically the larger audience is being taught well and may actually benefit from these SB commenters’ input although the instigator of the exchange will not.

I personally do not engage with long time trolls unless they either amuse me ( rarely) or directly counter my specific area of expertise ( also quite rare) but I appreciate that other regulars may have different aims and goals than I do. So fire away.
Remember though, certain types of personality desire engagement at all costs in order to gain attention and spread their brand of misinformation/ in-expertise/ BS because they know that Orac is very well-known, rather tolerant and has a large audience.

So you want me to die of COVID, Christine?
You want my baby to die of COVID or die of me dying of COVID?

I haven’t agreed with any of your positions in the years that you have been commenting here, but I have tried really, really hard to be compassionate to you and your situation. And then you turn around and wish death on me?

Why would you say such an awful thing? Why would you be so cruel?

Why would an anti-vaxxer care about you? You’re only some living person who might suffer…

their world view and MO have led to
diseases like polio making a comeback: NY’s governor has just declared a state of emergency because the virus has been found in wastewater in NYC and several counties..
which is fine with anti-vaxxers who continue to disparage vaccination for any reason

Omg Denice. If I didn’t care about all people I wouldn’t post HERE at all. I’d stay in some social media echo chamber with a bunch of flat earthers who’d agree with literally anything I said & shower me with a bunch of “likes”.

Instead, I keep coming back HERE, just to get kicked in the teeth & come back up for more. There might be narc antivaxxers but this is the last place they’d post.

And btw; the polio strain is NY is vaccine derived. It’s from the OPV. It is not the wild polio strain that is circulating in Afghanistan & Pakistan. The OPV strain is also capable now of causing paralysis & death.

@JustaTech: “you turn around and wish death on me?”

Yeah. Pretty confident Kinkaid’s a covert narcissist. That’s their MO: say something vicious and disgusting to provoke an angry response, so they can be poor persecuted victim. Not her first rodeo.

All your human empathy is wasted on these chucklefucks who have none. Kinkaid is no more human than Gerg, labilge, and West. Notice their narratives have the same thing in common: they are always about themselves. The only way you can win against that is not to engage at all.

@ JustaTech,

I’m not sure what you are talking about. Me “wishing death” on anybody, much less you personally? Can you please clarify this?

My comment about Karma applies to those that are covering up the transmission that occurred from the WIV, probably via vaccine challenge trial subjects going to the market & then home along train line #2 in Wuhan.

My comment about Karma applies to the authorities who are lying to people like you & so many others who trusted them, who trusted “the science” that the vaccines are safe. They are not safe.

You are in danger, JustaTech. Your whole family is in danger from these vaccines, including the new bivalent that people are rushing to line up for. I know nobody here listens to me (other than to attack me) but I want you to be saved; not to die.

Yes, I hope Karma visits those responsible for committing these crimes against humanity in my lifetime.

Speaking of being in danger: it’s known that influenza infection significantly increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events (M.I. and stroke). Influenza vaccination lessens the risk of such events.There’s a parallel in the Covid-19 pandemic era.

““COVID-19 also increases the risk of ischemic stroke and acute myocardial infarct,” (study author Kyungmin) Huh said in an email. “Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been proven effective in the prevention of COVID-19 and its progression to severe disease. However, it was yet unclear if the COVID-19 vaccines also reduce the risk of ischemic stroke and acute MI after COVID-19. Our study suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines do reduce such risk.”

http://tctmd.com/news/vaccinated-patients-have-lower-acute-mi-stroke-risks-after-covid-19

Sounds like good karma. 🙂

Yes, I hope Karma visits those responsible for committing these crimes against humanity in my lifetime.

That’s even dumber than your previous attempt. Was it you who had the crazy “thunderbird” story, or was that Polly “Indie Rebel” Chase?

Christine, I am at very elevated risk of DYING of COVID.
You say that I should not get the vaccines (that I have already gotten) that would protect me from a severe case of COVID.

Therefore the only conclusion I can draw is that you want me to catch COVID and die.

When you first arrived I tried very hard to be kind. I even offered to connect you with services to help you care for your son! And yet here you are, saying that I should get sick and die for your baseless “ideas”.

The mRNA vaccines are safe. COVID kills. Period.

@JustaTech: There is a high likelihood that Kinkaid is a covert narcissist. That being true, assume everything she says to you is a calculated manipulation to bait you into an angry response. Because that is what the covert narc craves: you feeding her “woe is me” persecution/martyr complex.

To obtain that reaction, she will identify your weakest spots—health, family, whatever—and attack them mercilessly all the while maintaining her big-eyed innocence against being called out. That is not what she meant; she is only expressing her deepest sincere concern for your wellbeing.

In a pig’s eye.

One time Kinkaid pulled the same act on me, I gave her the response I knew she was fishing for† …then immediately salted that tasty, tasty narc food by publicly outing her manipulation for what it was, dissecting her covert abuse tactics, thanking her for confirming my hypothesis as to her true pathological nature, and cutting off her supply for good.

Understand, the #DoNotFeed advisory is not for their benefit: it is 100% for yours. Keep engaging these abusers long enough, it will turn you toxic too. They’re just not human. Accept that; don’t sink to it.

† Being an evil shit myself, I enjoy nothing more than crafting exquisite abuse to hurl at other even more toxic fcuks than me. But, that’s just me; it is not a lifestyle choice I recommend.

@ has

(Taking two of your posts together)

“Yeah, that would be the aforementioned 50%-and-a-feather: 51% it did vs 49% it did not. That’s civil law bending over backwards to be humane and helpful. Not arguing “Did a vaccine definitely do it beyond all reasonable doubt?” Just: “OK, that’s credible enough; here you go.”

Absolutely right! Awards are made on the balance of probability that the injury was caused by a vaccine which is a lower threshold of proof. Nothing more can be read into it.

“Is this you? If so, this may explain a false-positive detection by over-sensitized minions: a one-time antivax activist who turned on that movement after realizing the scam might unfortunately carry a slight lingering smell. (e.g. If your name periodically pops up in their company.)”

Yes, that’s me.

The fact that my name crops up in a BMJ article authored by a third party who chooses to lump me together with other named individuals has nothing to do with me and is indicative of nothing. I write representing myself and only myself. I have never co authored anything with anyone else or on behalf of anyone else.

This is reminiscent of the time Joel Harrison erroneously accused me of posting material on a website which according to him, implied that I had certain characteristic traits and sympathies when the material was posted by a third party who was entirely unknown to me. Unfortunately, I have no control or ownership over my material to prevent a third party from re using it and placing their own interpretation/spin on it to suit their own needs. It doesn’t follow that they have my support in doing so.

“Not really, as Deer didn’t name his source until 2020. But it was one of the URLs that came up when I did a search. And, yes, being anti-Wakefield does not automatically track as being anti-antivax as well.”

Once again you are absolutely right! It is also correct that being anti Wakefield doesn’t make one anti vax but yet again I would ask everyone to identify one episode, comment, deed, or statement that makes me an anti vaxxer. (other than what is disclosed in the article).

“Alternatively, if she does still harbor antivax sentiments, she should declare those tendencies clearly and not conflate them with any legitimate concerns regarding how legitimate vaccine injury claims are assessed and compensated.”

I have declared my support for vaccination over and over, but I also support reform of the VDPS to financially assist ALL those who prove that on the balance of probability they were injured by a vaccine. One does not invalidate the other and there is no confusion unless you view my actions in pursuing reform of the VDPS to be the work of an anti vaxxer. If in advocating for Informed Consent you view me to be an anti vaxxer then so be it, though I would be very interested to know which aspect of that campaigning would make anyone an antivaxxer?

“If in advocating for Informed Consent you view me to be an anti vaxxer then so be it, though I would be very interested to know which aspect of that campaigning would make anyone an antivaxxer?”

Lest anyone forget, Ms. Stephen has declared an entire country’s informed consent policy re vaccination as illegitimate, because it doesn’t mandate giving out the manufacturer’s patient insert. That’s much like what antivaxers do when they demand that patients be privy to vaccine package inserts detailing every last possible side effect observed in clinical trials, whether or not they’ve ever been shown to be connected to vaccines.

As Orac has said, antivaxers’ goal is not informed consent, but misinformed refusal.

Despite their repetitive efforts at deception, most of our resident antivaxers at RI at least tend to be open about where they’re coming from. It’s the few who pose and preen as Just Asking Questions who are truly nauseating.*

Do you recommend that older people get vaccinated to protect themselves from shingles and pneumonia, Wendy?

*haven’t heard from Beth Clarkson for awhile.

“Lest anyone forget, Ms. Stephen has declared an entire country’s informed consent policy re vaccination as illegitimate, because it doesn’t mandate giving out the manufacturer’s patient insert. That’s much like what antivaxers do when they demand that patients be privy to vaccine package inserts detailing every last possible side effect observed in clinical trials, whether or not they’ve ever been shown to be connected to vaccines”

Yet again DB in your frenzied, unfathomable haste to discredit me you have made another major mistake. I spoke of the Scottish School’s Vaccination Campaign not “an entire country’s informed consent policy”. Incidentally, it isn’t the anti vaxxers who write along the top of PIL’s that potential vaccinees should to read the entire document (listing all relevant and up to date information re adverse events etc) PRIOR to vaccination, it’s the product manufacturer!! It appears that vaccine manufacturers and anti vaxxers according to you, advocate the same thing ie the PIL should be disclosed and read before anyone has a vaccine.

And you may want to give some consideration to your use of “support”, “endorse” and “recommend” which you switch back and forth between in the questions you pose to me as they have entirely different meanings.

Yes, that’s me.

This bears acknowledgement. That is a really hard thing you did: admit to yourself that you were in error, especially an erroneous belief upon which it is very easy to build one’s entire ego, lifestyle, social status, and even earnings. Had you walked away at that point you’d be +1. That you chose to stay and work from the inside for years to put right is a helluva thing. Thank you for that.

As to the minions being extra bitey: well I have been telling them they should stop feeding RI’s resident antivaxxers so much. Toxic people seek two things: victims, and more toxicity. Constantly engaging those giant assholes does not bring out the best in anyone.

I believe you sincere in your declaration you are not an antivaxxer: which is to say, you reject their claims, motivations, and movements (and have likely paid a personal price for doing so).

Therefore if the minions take issue with something you say, they should approach that disagreement as they would disagreements between themselves: start from an assumption of good faith; that it’s some miscommunication, honest error, flawed thinking, dumb oversight, etc, etc and work to find a common understanding and resolution from there.

(Starting from the assumption of bad faith should be for fly-by/resident trolls only, who have already proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they deserve nothing else.)

Therefore, if the minions are telling you have a messaging problem—whether in so many words or by not responding as you’d anticipated—then you should assume you have a messaging problem. (Easily done and common as mud; nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. (I am a master of the “self-Semmelweis” myself, which does not help me i advocating my own passionate causes.)

Talking at other people (which is what y’all appear to be doing RN) is very easy; conversing with them is really hard. Lots of ideas get lost or distorted in transmission; misconceptions arise; and once folk make their own assumptions those assumptions are much harder to change.

Me, I would counsel minions here to be a tad less adversarial when engaging with you. I am sure there is good firm common ground to be discovered between yourselves.

As for when minions tell you you are wrong about something, I realize the instinctive response is to snap back with equal vigor. However, by showing you their ass first they also present you a gift: you are now free to pump them for information as to exactly how and why they think you are wrong, and what they think will rectify the error. Information, insights, perspectives; all free for taking. So why not fill your boots? They’re writing the cheque.

Figuring out what went wrong and where is the first step to discovering that common ground, regardless of whether it’s a factual error, flawed opinion, or simple miscommunication at your end; a mirage inbetween that dissolves under close examination; or even an error at their end after all. Being scientifically-minded minions, it is a point both of principle and of pride that they must pony up the goods upon a polite, no-nonsense request. They cannot weasel out of that work as an altie or antivaxxer would: that would embarrass themselves and everything they stand for. So make best use of their carelessly volunteering to assist you in improving your own thinking and messaging (and theirs) going forward.

Good science is a bloody knife fight, but it is a scrupulously fair knife fight or else it’s not science at all.

Best of luck. Oh, and p.s. Do feel free to give our Scottish Parliament a good hard kicking in the pants whenever you fancy, as those wastrel buggers can always use it.

“People are complicated. And messy. Seems too convenient that we’d all fit inside some multiple-choice question.”—Riley Cavanaugh (Symptoms of Being Human)

@ Dangerous Bacon

“Wendy has resorted here to typical antivax tactics like denying that people are given informed consent to vaccination, declaring that parents are right to be suspicious of immunization and refusing to acknowledge support for specific vaccines (while claiming she’s pro-vaccination).”

A gross misrepresentation again (and similar to what Joel harrison wrote)!

I pointed out that (a) here in Scotland the Doctrine of Informed Consent has been clarified in the case Montgomery vs Lanarkshire Health Board (b) that the patient Information Leaflet (PIL) compiled by the manufacturer needs to be read by the patient PRIOR to the commencement of any treatment/intervention and (c) that the Scottish School’s vaccination campaign didn’t always comply with either in their current practices.

That is a factual and accurate account of how it is over here which you can check out for yourself. Please do explain (I’m all ears) what bit of that is indicative of anti vax tactics or sentiments?
Advocating for the law to be upheld isn’t the actions of an anti vaxxer.
Like it or not, failing to meet what is lawfully required to secure informed consent when vaccination forms state it to be a requirement, means that it hasn’t been obtained irrespective of anyone’s stance on vaccination.

“ declaring that parents are right to be suspicious of immunization”

Come on DB, having a different opinion on things is normal, using untrue, unsubstantiated statements like that is not and indicative of some irrational fear within you that drives you (and others) to fabricate all manner of misinformation about me for some inexplicable reason. Examples please! Anyone else noticing how many times and to how many posters I have posed that, only for silence to ensue? Does that not tell you anything?

“and refusing to acknowledge support for specific vaccines (while claiming she’s pro-vaccination).”

So it’s an anti vaxxer “tactic” if someone doesn’t acknowledge support “for specific vaccines”……………..declaring a dozen times over one’s support for vaccination isn’t enough??? Who wrote these specifications, Joel?

“That link suggesting Wendy was in the good graces of antivaxers as recently as 2019 is interesting.”

As “has” pointed out the article was 2020 ie AFTER the 2109 article which as I already said was not a collaboration whereby my name was linked with others (or that any of the others linked my name with theirs) but the actions of a totally unrelated third party posting a comment on the BMJ. If you folks don’t see that you’ve got a serious problem.

“fear that she’ll lose standing with her colleagues who might run across her comments here.”
You must be absolutely desperate to write this……………if there’s any “fear” involved I think it’s yours otherwise why you would embarrass yourself by writing this.

“I pointed out that (a) here in Scotland the Doctrine of Informed Consent has been clarified in the case Montgomery vs Lanarkshire Health Board (b) that the patient Information Leaflet (PIL) compiled by the manufacturer needs to be read by the patient PRIOR to the commencement of any treatment/intervention and (c) that the Scottish School’s vaccination campaign didn’t always comply with either in their current practices.”

The case you cited had to do with whether a physician should have informed a small-statured diabetic woman of the risk of infant shoulder dystocia if she underwent vaginal delivery. It had nothing to do with vaccination and did not mention patient information leaflets. (summary of the court decision is provided below)*. You’ve provided zero evidence that any court or law has demanded presentation of drug company leaflets to patients as part of informed consent for vaccination. Why you’re so insistent on vaccine manufacturers briefing patients instead of their physicians is a mystery – unless there’s some CYA legalese in those info leaflets that you think will scare patients away from protecting themselves and their children with vaccination.

“So it’s an anti vaxxer “tactic” if someone doesn’t acknowledge support “for specific vaccines”……………..declaring a dozen times over one’s support for vaccination isn’t enough???”

We’ve seen many examples of antivaxers (well-known ones and the bottom feeders who post here) who pretend they’re pro-vaccination, but are unable/unwilling to name vaccines they support. Orac has noted this dodge on multiple occasions.

*”An adult person of sound mind is entitled to decide which, if any, of the available forms of treatment to undergo, and her consent must be obtained before treatment interfering with her bodily integrity is undertaken. The doctor is therefore under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments.” (per Wikipedia).

“here in Scotland the Doctrine of Informed Consent has been clarified in the case Montgomery vs Lanarkshire Health Board”

Can find any mention that this connects to having to read the PIL. In fact it specifically states that the information supplied should be tailored to the patient which is clearly impossible for vaccination, since the person doing the vaccination is likely to be a nurse who’s never seen you before in their life. It also does not require every risk, whether connected or not, to be communicated.

Quoted:

“It asserts a new patient-centred standard by which disclosure of information to the patient is judged. A clinician must take reasonable care to ensure that a patient is aware of any ‘material’ (relevant) risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments.

The test of materiality is whether, in the circumstances, a reasonable person in the patient’s position would be likely to attach significance to the risk, or the clinician is’ or should reasonably be aware’ that the particular patient would be likely to attach significance to it.”

@NumberWang

Here in the UK, informed consent is required for vaccination.

I have chosen one example ie. the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Importance of consent
All patients who possess the capacity to give informed consent are required to do so in order to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The process of granting consent is of paramount importance, as to do so without would be technically classified as an assault “

https://www.the-pda.org/pda-guidance-on-informed-consent-during-the-covid-19-vaccination-programme/

Just to be clear, I also provide the definition of “informed consent”.

“permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with knowledge of the possible risks and benefits”

All Patient Information Leaflets (PIL) for medicines and vaccines contain similar instruction……………….examples below.

“Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.”
[CO-CODAMOL 30/500 EFFERVESCENT TABLETS]

“Read all of this leaflet carefully before you receive this vaccine because it contains important information for you.”

[Priorix, powder and solvent for solution for injection in a pre-filled syringe Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (live)]

“Read all of this leaflet carefully before you or your child is vaccinated because it contains important information for you.”

[M-M-RvaxPro]

The PIL is regulated in the UK under the Medicines Act 1968 as part of the licensing process for the product. It is the most comprehensive, up to date (and given that it is created by the manufacturer) the most accurate information available……………probably the reason why IT IS part of the vaccination process. My issue is and always has been that it is given AFTER vaccination, not before and on occasions, not at all.

In what was described as the “crucial passage of the final judgment” from Montgomery vs Lanarkshire Health Board 11th March 2015 – paragraph 87, we read……………
‘An adult person of sound mind is entitled to decide which, if any, of the available forms of treatment to undergo, and her consent must be obtained before treatment interfering with her bodily integrity is undertaken.
Note the use of the word “before”!

Informed consent is required for treatment which interferes with bodily integrity, are you arguing that vaccination does not interfere with bodily integrity and ergo does not require Informed Consent?

Vaccination requires Informed Consent, the law defined what is legally required to secure that. It is not product, treatment, condition or patient specific, it is the legal process in respect of all interventions which interfere with an individual’s bodily integrity.

Bear in mind that Montgomery clarified that it is not the right of the person advocating or administering a treatment to determine what is a material risk to the patient, that is the right of the patient.

“The judgment also states that it cannot be left to the doctor to determine what is reasonable to disclose; the move is to what a patient would attach importance to. In addition, the Courts have the final say in “determining the nature and extent of a person’s rights….not the medical professions.”
http://www.mddus.com/risk-management/risk-blogs/2015/march/landmark-case-makes-it-clear-that-informed-consent-is-firmly-part-of-english-and-scots-law/

Tailored vaccine campaign leaflets do not contain all known relevant information, the PIL does. It is the patient’s right to be able to read and digest that information in it’s entirety before consenting to a treatment to be able to make an informed choice.

That’s an awful lot of blather that evades the point: Wendy’s false contention that physicians and nurses are evading the law on informed consent if they don’t give patients a drug company handout.

Despite her claims, there’s nothing in the law or legal precedent that requires that. The implication that health care providers are concealing vaccine hazards that are only revealed in a manufacturer’s insert, is straight out of the antivax playbook.

Wendy can stop clutching her pearls at the ghastly thought of having to mention vaccines she supports (despite styling herself as pro-vaccination). How about this: do you agree with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendations for vaccinating children and adults? Or even concur with most of them (feel free to discuss your exceptions)? How about the U.K.’s vaccine schedule – do you agree?

https://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/vk/uk-schedule

Personally, I have no problem endorsing the use of these vaccines as recommended by health professionals.

“That’s an awful lot of blather that evades the point: Wendy’s false contention that physicians and nurses are evading the law on informed consent if they don’t give patients a drug company handout”

What a perfect example of avoidance. Try to quell your desperation and respond to the points I made with legitimate, credible arguments. Again your accusation is wrong. I contend that any party seeking to carry out a treatment/ intervention which impacts on the bodily integrity of a patient is required in law to ensure that all available information is made known to them before any intervention takes place. The most comprehensive, time sensitive source of information is the PIL.

You disagree with that? Are you saying that potential vaccinees should only be given certain cherry picked information and not the PIL? Remember the issue is not whether it SHOULD be given (because it is), it’s about WHEN.

“The implication that health care providers are concealing vaccine hazards that are only revealed in a manufacturer’s insert, is straight out of the antivax playbook.”

Please indulge me and explain what is anti vax about the following FACTS.

(a) an adervtising pamphlet for a vaccine (distributed in the schools campaign) does not contain anywhere close to the comprehensive information contained in the PIL

(b) The patient has a right to all the relevant time specific information to include the advantages and disadvantages of any treatment which will impact on their bodily integrity.

(c) Vaccination (at least here in the UK) requires Informed Consent

Now what bit of that is indicative of anti vaxxer sentiments………….it’s all fact.

“How about this: do you agree with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendations for vaccinating children and adults? Or even concur with most of them (feel free to discuss your exceptions)?”

I live in the UK and I’ve never had reason or cause to examine the ACIP recommendations. I’m completely ignorant of it.

“How about the U.K.’s vaccine schedule – do you agree?”

Yes.

Now here’s one for you. The PIL has lots more information than pre formatted advertising pamphlets.(surely even you cannot argue with that) If someone has the misfortune to suffer a lasting ADR which is not in the pamphlet but is in the PIL which was only provided after the treatment was administered, do you consider that a breach of what is required re Informed Consent?

Ah, the goalposts have shifted.

First, Wendy insisted (repeatedly) that the law on informed consent in Scotland mandated that a vaccine manufacturer’s pamphlet be given to patients/parents.

Now Wendy has retreated to the claim that the manufacturer’s insert is the only complete and proper way to obtain patients/parents’ informed consent.

That’s Wendy’s contention, backed by nothing but her say-so.

Do tell us what hidden harms are being concealed by those nasty, devious health care providers and health agencies, which are only revealed by Pharma?

Kudos though for finally conceding approval of the U.K. vaccine schedule (it took long enough to drag that out of you). Though it’s odd to see you recommending those vaccines, after having previously told us it’s reasonable for parents to be suspicious of them.

Speaking of one that isn’t listed on the linked U.K. schedule, do you recommend people get vaccinated against Covid-19? Yes or no?

@Dangerous Bacon

“First, Wendy insisted (repeatedly) that the law on informed consent in Scotland mandated that a vaccine manufacturer’s pamphlet be given to patients/parents.”
Once again DB, this is your interpretation of what I wrote with zero evidence that I said it.

Desperate!

“Kudos though for finally conceding approval of the U.K. vaccine schedule……….”
Ahhhhh, your use of the word “kudos” is a total give away!!! However I’ll play along.

“Do tell us what hidden harms are being concealed by those nasty, devious health care providers and health agencies, which are only revealed by Pharma?”

Once more for good measure, I never said that. Only you and you alone have raised the possibility of “devious health care providers and health agencies” (your description, not mine) hiding “harms”. I have repeatedly reminded you that the PIL IS given (ie the information IS disclosed) but AFTER a vaccine is administered when the instruction from pharma was for it to be provided before BEFORE. The issue is timing and the question……………why it is not routinely given beforehand.?

I have answered your question so how about you answering mine ….which I copy again for your convenience below.

Now here’s one for you. The PIL has lots more information than pre formatted advertising pamphlets.(surely even you cannot argue with that) If someone has the misfortune to suffer a lasting ADR which is not in the pamphlet but is in the PIL which was only provided after the treatment was administered, do you consider that a breach of what is required re Informed Consent?

Bye.

“Goodbye” apparently means we’ll never get to learn what horrifying revelations are contained in a pharma vaccine insert, that health care providers and government agencies are supposedly concealing from patients.

Too bad.

At least Wendy reluctantly conceded that there are specific vaccines that she recommends.

Wait – no, she didn’t. She “agrees” with the U.K. vaccine schedule, but can’t bring herself to actually suggest to anyone that getting vaccinated is in their and their families’ best interest. Because in some bizarrely convoluted way, that would be infringing on their rights.

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

Humpty Stevens

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