Science for Sale?


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“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.Mercury

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.arm-wrestling

 

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The Specific vs. the General


“In the dim ages of the past when man lived in rude huts and rocky caves, even up to the present time, he resorted to charms, necromancy and witchcraft for the relief of mental and physical suffering. His whole object was to find an antidote, a specific for each and every ailment which could and would drive out the intruder, as though the intruder was a creature of intelligence.” D.D. Palmer 1910

We are now 100 years more advanced. Are we still looking for a “specific” to drive out every ailment? Can you tailor your cold medicine to the specific list of symptoms you have? Do we still treat disease as if it is an entity that is an intelligent enemy? Are we any healthier because of specific, targeted attempts at victory? Or is there another, more subtle cause for the improvement in our lives?

The Specific vs. the General

Healthcare choices boil down to two essential perspectives, a chance to avoid death or a choice to pursue life.

Healthcare choices boil down to two essential perspectives, a chance to avoid death or a choice to pursue life.

On the left is the Specific strategy. The Specific is great in an emergency. The Specific, by its nature, relies on a solid foundation from which to tax, much like a withdrawal from a savings account. It is also our healthcare model of choice: wait until sufficiently motivated, usually a crisis, and then act in the shortest term possible, as strongly as possible to restore a comfortable distance from death. It utilizes specific solutions to specific problems, with an eye on collateral damage (tax) caused by the solutions. It has no effective way to deal with long term concerns. It would be like trying to use a hammer to remove a screw.

On the right is the General. The General is not great in an emergency. However, the General is what builds up the foundation, day by day, brick by brick, slowly over time. The foundation is built by excess capacity, just like a savings account balance is built. The reality is, you must have capacity over and above what is required to get through a given day, to build a reserve. Every day, the choices we make either add to, or subtract from our reserve. There is more to it though. As we have excess capacity it means that maintenance and repair are happening as well. This is vitally important as not only are our stores for a rainy day being increased, but every part is being maintained. It is like the tide that lifts all boats.

We have made improvements in our society in both of these areas. Advances in specific medical science help sustain vital functions during periods when the body might otherwise be overwhelmed. Advances in general sanitation and conservation help to make our immediate environment more habitable. How we use, abuse, and ignore these advances tailors their impact on us.  The good news is we all have a little help with all of that:

Hogan

Health is the normal condition of Life. Life is from God.

Chiropractic is different from all other modes and methods of healthcare. It focuses on the General, on the “tide that lifts all boats”. This is why people who see a chiropractor initially for aches and pains, often see results in other areas like increased energy, or improved function in other, seemingly unrelated areas such as digestion, fertility, or immunity. And it’s why athletes who get their subluxation corrected observe both improved performance and injury prevention.

It also honors what happens beyond the simple mechanics of the system. You are more than blood, flesh and bone. Our body is a tool through which we interact with everything: physical, mental and spiritual. Chiropractic is an important instrument to keep that tool sharp.

Be Well