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Monday, June 7, 2010

Dr. Andrew Wakefield vs. the State Medical Cartel

Dr. Andrew Wakefield wrote a controversial paper saying "There might be a connection between vaccines and autism." It was published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Recently, the journal retracted the paper. The State medical cartel revoked Dr. Wakefield's license, as punishment for publishing a paper they didn't like.

One rule of State censorship is "If State thugs censor something, that means it's more likely to be true." The fact that Dr. Wakefield's license was revoked is an indication that vaccines may really have harmful side-effects!

This is a severe encroachment of academic freedom. It's one thing to say "We think this conclusion is wrong." It's another thing to say "We're revoking your license and ending your career, because you said something we don't like."

This illustrates the evil of State licensing cartels. If a license-holder says something that contradicts the cartel's propaganda, then his license is revoked. For another example, suppose a defense attorney explains "jury nullification" to a jury; as punishment, his license may be revoked.

This has a chilling effect on future research. Every medical researcher knows about what happened to Dr. Wakefield. They will adopt self-censorship, even if not consciously aware of it. Every medical researcher now knows "I'd better not conduct research that challenges the status quo, lest my career be ruined like Dr. Wakefield."

This interview with Dr. Wakefield was interesting. Dr. Wakefield said "I never claimed to be absolutely sure that vaccines cause autism. My paper merely said 'This looks suspicious. People should investigate further.' Even if I was wrong, it's never immoral to publish a paper that says 'This should be investigated more.'" The original autism paper was investigating the claims of parents who said "My child developed autism after getting vaccinated."

This quote was really interesting.

They did not look at the outcomes of the vaccine beyond the short-term. To put this in context, we are dealing with viruses that can cause disease many years later. Thus, you do not confine your safety studies to 3 – 6 weeks. As a result of this understanding, it became my clear conviction that parents deserved access to the option to access single vaccines – the way it was done before, which was perfectly effective.
Dr. Wakefield says that vaccine safety research is invalid, because patients are only tracked for 3-6 weeks after getting the vaccine. If a vaccine has long-term negative side-effects, then a 3-6 week study might not show the problem.

That is very interesting. It sounds exactly like my criticism of psychiatric drug research. The research is for 6-12 weeks, but patients/victims take the drugs for years or decades. I read some psychiatric drug research papers, and noticed obvious mistakes.

Dr. Wakefield also was suggesting that the MMR vaccine be given as 3 separate vaccines, rather than in one shot. Parents should have a choice; the State medical cartel currently only offers the combined MMR vaccine.

The State medical cartel said "Due to Dr. Wakefield's research, some parents are refusing to vaccinate their children. He is undermining the credibility of the State medical cartel." Silencing critics by revoking their license undermines your credibility!

The State medical cartel really does lack credibility! When "common knowledge of parents" contradicts "State propaganda", there's a good chance that State propaganda is wrong.

I have direct experience with corruption in the mental health industry. That makes me question other areas of medicine.

Regarding "Do vaccines cause autism?", my conclusion is "Not proven either way." Autism rates are approximately 1%. To be scientific, you'd need to vaccinate 100k+ children and not vaccinate 100k+ children, and then compare them.

This is ethically problematic. Some vaccines, like polio and measles, have a clear proven benefit. However, some children do develop polio or measles as a negative side-effect of the vaccine. Some people claim that factors other than viruses are the true cause of these diseases.

For example, the State medical cartel no longer vaccinates everyone for smallpox. Approximately 1 in 100,000 people get seriously ill as a side-effect of the smallpox vaccine. Smallpox is no longer present in the wild, so the smallpox vaccine is no longer given. For the smallpox vaccine, the negative side-effects of vaccination are more serious than the benefit of the vaccine.

I know that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is a mistake/fraud. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that "Vaccines prevent disease!" is also a mistake. I'm certainly disturbed by the modern trend of having a vaccine for non-serious illnesses, such as the "chicken pox vaccine".

There are other ways to test "vaccines cause autism" without having a vaccine-free control group. One group can be given fewer vaccines than the other, sticking to those with the most benefit. Vaccines like MMR could be split into three separate vaccines months apart. One group of children could be given mercury-preserved vaccines while the other group could be given non-mercury-preserved vaccines. There are lots of factors that could be investigated.

It is possible that "Vaccines cause autism!" is really "Correlation confused with causation." Children get vaccinated at the same age they start showing autism symptoms. Rising vaccination rates are correlated with a modern society. Amish families don't vaccinate their children and have low/zero autism rates; that doesn't prove that vaccines cause autism if autism is due to other lifestyle differences.

Are rising autism rates due to rising vaccination rates? Are rising autism rates caused by rising rates of working mothers? If you leave your child in a State daycare center, that might have a damaging effect.

Maybe autism develops in children who are resistant to their pro-State brainwashing. If a child notices that his parents and all other adults are insane, then the child gives up and develops autism. I wonder if autistic children who aren't taking drugs would have a favorable reaction to me, because I've mostly cracked my pro-State brainwashing? Most severely autistic children wind up crippled by psychiatric drugs.

Why doesn't some researcher perform an experiment saying "Are psychiatric drugs really better than placebos?" The answer is that any such researcher risks being Wakefield-ed. The State would not approve such an experiment; experiments involving humans must be approved by a State bureaucrat. The State would not give such a scientist a research grant. Via "peer review", other researchers would object to the proposed experiment. If a clever grad student or postdoc proposed such an experiment, his peers and advisers would say "Don't waste your time on such nonsense. Everyone knows that psychiatric drugs are beneficial. Don't throw away your career pursuing foolishness." Besides, the State PhD licensing process weeds out true independent thinkers.

Thus, most psychiatry researchers try to say "I invented drug X, which is slightly better than drug Y." The fundamental corruption goes unnoticed by State-licensed experts. Nobody bothers re-verifying "Drug X is better than placebo over a 5+ year period.", because that's considered to be a proven fact.

The State science monopoly follows a corrupt "stare decisis" principle, just like the legal system. Once X is considered to be a scientifically proven fact, then research that questions X is forbidden. There would be no funding for a scientist who conducts an experiment re-verifying X. It would be viewed as a waste of time. From a career management perspective, it's safer for a scientist to do marginal research. It's best to do research that's a tiny improvements of other things. There's no opportunity for a State scientist to tackle a big topic, because he'll be Wakefield-ed even if he's right.

Here's another example of State manipulation of research. If a scientist says "Carbon dioxide causes global warming", then he gets lots of research grants. A scientist who says that hypothesis is false does not get a research grant. Via "peer review", a scientist who questions his colleagues will have a hard time finding a job or getting a State research grant.

The State medical cartel says "It's irresponsible to suggest that children should not be vaccinated." The State medical cartel says "It's irresponsible to give placebos to a mentally ill person." I know the second statement is false. What about the first statement?

Suppose I were invited as a guest on a mainstream media program and told the truth. Suppose I said "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is a mistake and a fraud. If you are taking psychiatric drugs, the best thing you could do is to quit taking them cold-turkey and manage the withdrawal as best as you can. Don't consult with your State-licensed psychiatrist, because he is a fraud." What would happen if a mainstream media corporation aired such an interview?

I might be accused of a crime, "Practicing psychiatry without a license." The pharmaceutical industry would organize an astroturf protest campaign; people would write to the host of the show and complain. The lesson would be that it was a mistake, to let me express my viewpoint.

Mandatory vaccination laws are a type of tax, with the profits going to the vaccine manufacturer. The law says "Your child must go to a State-licensed school. All children attending State-licensed schools must be vaccinated." Patents further protect the vaccine manufacturer from competition.

State propaganda says "Vaccines are safe and effective and risk-free." There's a special exemption in Federal liability law for vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers are absolutely immune from liability, if their State-approved vaccine is later proven harmful.

If vaccines are so safe, then why was this exemption necessary? The State passed a law limiting the liability of oil drillers, encouraging negligent behavior by BP executives. Similarly, the liability waiver for vaccines encourages negligent behavior.

The advice I'd give a parent is "Only get vaccines with a clear proven benefit. Try to get mercury-free vaccines, if you can." Unfortunately, State laws require an ever-increasing amount of vaccines. I never understood the chicken pox vaccine or swine flu vaccine, because those are not serious diseases. When I read about the cervical cancer vaccine and the breast cancer vaccine, my reaction was "WTF?" The modern trend to vaccinate for everything is disturbing. It's probably the result of lobbying and propaganda by vaccine manufacturers.

The censorship of Dr. Wakefield has a chilling effect for all medical research. It's wrong to revoke someone's license and end his career, just because he says something you don't like. Even if "Vaccines cause autism!" is false, it wasn't immoral for him to suggest the possibility. My analysis of "Vaccines have harmful long-term side effects!" is "Not proven either way!"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for producing this good article.

Maybe you could queue a request to write an article on Amanda Knox and why it is not a good idea to imprison people for life on no physical evidence and a cock-and-bull story even a 5-year old child would not believe.

Anonymous said...

A quote from The Times about Amanda Knox.

"As for intervention from the Obama Administration, such a prospect seems unlikely. Asked for her opinion on the verdict, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, said she was too busy dealing with the Afghanistan war."

Hmmn! Yes, the war. The war is rather convenient. The war neatly distracts from real issues, such as why some many American jobs have been shipped offshore.

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