Monday, May 8, 2017

Dummheit 6

A case in point: Wakefield — who is no longer a doctor, having been booted from the profession in his home country — met repeatedly with immigrant families in a Minnesota Somali community, where legitimate concern over autism diagnoses had taken root.

That community is now ground zero for the state's worst measles outbreak in three decades. More than 40 people — nearly all of them children — have been infected with the disease, which was previously, thanks to vaccines, eradicated in the U.S.

Before anybody pipes up with that whimsical scrap of unicorn lore that holds measles to be a minor, "natural" ailment, a childhood rite of passage, let us recall that science — actual doctors — know complications can include pneumonia, brain swelling, blindness and death. As of late last week, nearly a dozen of the Minnesota children had been hospitalized…

I wish somebody would remind those folks that this man is not a doctor, that he lost that privilege when British authorities revoked his license. Now, he spends his time spreading his made-up theories through films and books, by being the guest of honor at lucrative dinners and speaking gigs, and by filing costly nuisance lawsuits against anybody who tries to tell the truth about him…

In revoking Wakefield's medical license in 2010, the U.K. General Medical Council cited serious professional misconduct, including lying, faking results, having financial conflicts and disregarding "the clinical interests of vulnerable patients."

In a just world, he would be picking lint and dining on gruel in a Dickensian workhouse. He is not. ..

So tell me: What do you call somebody who gambles with their own child's well-being on a bucket of completely debunked baloney? What name do you use for people who prey on the desperation of parents of autistic children? How about somebody who, by refusing to vaccinate their own children, puts yours at risk — kids who are in the small percentage who do not respond to vaccines, or babies too young for inoculation?

Suckers? Charlatans? Parasites? In the interests of making nice, I'll let you decide.
Courtesy of a colleague


  1. Galen, thank you for this artcle. Your contribution to the pediatric neurology world is priceless.

    The answer to your question is way easier than assumed: the appropriate term is: criminal. In order to prevent us from Wakefield and alikes some ordinary jail would be the right place for them.

  2. Measles (Rubeola)
    Updated 5/26/17

    Confirmed cases as of May 26, 2017: 68
    (Updated Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. No update on Memorial Day.)

    2017 Outbreak Overview
    68 total cases:
    59 in Hennepin County
    3 in Ramsey County
    4 in Crow Wing County
    2 in Le Sueur County

    Vaccination status:
    64 confirmed to be unvaccinated
    1 had 1 dose of MMR
    3 had 2 doses of MMR

    65 in children (ages 0-17 years)
    3 cases in adults

    58 are Somali Minnesotan
    7 are White/Non-Hispanic
    3 are White/Hispanic

  3. As Oliver explained, many of these fears stem from a study that suggested a link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). The study has since been retracted and its author, Andrew Wakefield, has had his license revoked and been accused of distorting his findings.

    “He’s basically the Lance Armstrong of doctors,” said Oliver.

    And yet Wakefield still gives talks around the world, including in Minneapolis, where the plummeting vaccination rate among the Somali community has led to a major outbreak of measles, a disease Oliver described as “infectious as ‘Happy’ by Pharrell.” (He also cited an outbreak in France where 15,000 people became ill and six died.)

    Though numerous subsequent studies have failed to find a link between vaccines and autism, the fear persists, leading to lower vaccination and also taking away resources “from studying actual causes and treatments,” Oliver noted.

    The host also had some harsh words for Dr. Bob Sears, the Orange County physician who’s built an empire based on vaccine skepticism, while admitting that his alternative vaccination schedule is not based on any peer-reviewed studies.

    “Your job is to make sure children don’t get deadly diseases, not to make parents feel comfortable,” he said. “You’re a pediatrician, not a flask of whiskey tucked into a Baby Bjorn.”

    Oliver argued that Sears likes to have it both ways, seeming to support science-based medicine while once in a while saying things like “vaccines don’t cause autism except when they do.”

    The line inspired Oliver to fire back with this: “Don’t worry, opportunist quacks writing books that fan the flames of people’s unfounded fears don’t cause a legitimate public health hazard, except when they do.”...

    While Hollywood has a reputation as a bastion of "anti-vaxx" sentiment, Oliver seems to be among the majority in late-night TV in siding with the scientific community. Several other shows — including “The Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Conan" — have also mocked vaccine critics.