“Let the researchers do the research,” explained a friend whom I consider to be both educated and intelligent. This was in response to all the “soccer moms” doing their own research about vaccines. I vehemently disagree because I’ve learned a thing or two about how research gets reported and applied. Still, it got me to thinking about how critically important research, and our ability to trust research is.
After all, parents research everything from prenatal vitamins to strollers to find the option that best suits their needs. Why not vaccines? If you truly believe that the case for vaccines has been settled, then how do you explain the sheer volume of people not accepting the vaccine story? Most of these people tend to be intelligent, well-educated, and wealthy, and their ranks include doctors, pediatricians, PhD’s, and immunologists, not to mention folks with enough study under their belts to qualify for a degree. I mean, even asking the question is enough to get you publicly hammered. Right, Katie Couric?
Among the many, many reasons to carefully research before you choose to force a cocktail of potent poisons into your child’s flesh is the fact that you cannot unvaccinate a child. Also, you the parents, and no one else, will be responsible for whatever the outcome is. Those two things alone are motivation enough to research. All that is required of researchers is the ability to read and critically think. And maybe Google. That’s it.
It’s important to research, because you find very interesting things. For example, Hooker, et al., released a review article in Biomed Research International titled, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines Is Safe.”
Basically, this paper refutes the SIX studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to calm people’s fears about thimerosal as bad science and using 165 studies to demonstrate a link between Mercury and Autism. The CDC can’t find a link, but Hooker finds 165 of them.
If the CDC, your State Health Department, and your doctor all tell you that vaccines are safe and that they have not been shown to cause autism (which is not exactly the same as “do not cause autism”) but 165 studies show the opposite, what’s a parent/researcher to think? Who can you trust? The charge of “malfeasance” should be more than troubling. And it certainly isn’t going to make people like me less inclined to question.
At the heart of this matter is not whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. And frankly, getting distracted in a senseless debate is destructive, no matter what side you find yourself on. The heart of the matter is informed consent. People without accurate information cannot render informed consent. Informed consent is necessary, whether convenient or not, and speaks to the core of individual liberty.
The science of vaccine safety isn’t settled. Neither is the science of vaccine effectiveness. Not when vaccine researchers, the ones paid to do the primary research, lie and fake data. Not when vaccines like the DTaP fail to protect. Not when the concept of “herd immunity” or “cocooning” is bastardized and falsely attributed to a vaccinated state.
Misinforming people and then performing procedures isn’t just fraud; it doesn’t just damage the public trust; it is assault. To assault masses of people is to declare war on them. The Nuremberg Trials punished war criminals and the Nuremberg Code was established to protect free peoples from War Crimes.
Am I reaching here? Overblowing it just a bit? This is bigger than vaccines. Parents are having their children confiscated, based on conflicting medical opinions. An otherwise healthy baby was taken from its mother because she questioned a vaccine.
Not all of this is happening based on science and research, but there is a clear trend of assault and bullying of the individual by hospital staff, Child Protection authorities, the news media and federal agencies, like the CDC and the FDA. Scientific studies are used as the common link of evidence-based practice, as they should be. But if we can’t trust the science, what then?
Ben Goldacre has a popular video on TedTalks that highlights some additional failings, faults, and fixes of our current research and publish model.
The more emphasis we put on science, especially in healthcare, the more we need real assurance that the science is impeccable. Currently, profitable science is promoted, and even “doctored” to make it more profitable. Science should never be for sale.