|Physician Organization Responds to NBC's ER
Forwarded by PROVE
Your show concerning the unvaccinated child who died of measles, which was highly insulting to concerned parents who have done their homework and are rightly concerned about vaccine reactions, could do much harm.
It is true that measles can be fatal. Perhaps 1 in 1,000 children who gets measles has complications, occasionally resulting in death. Measles is very rare these days, but vaccinated children can get it too. Of cases reported in Colorado between 1987 and 1998 (time interval probably chosen to include the epidemic of 1989-90), 45 were in "exemptors," but 137 were in vaccinated children (see JAMA of 12/27/00.) In most cases, the source of the infection was not known or stated, but it was probably not indigenous to the U.S.
However, vaccine reactions can be fatal or seriously disabling too. The safety standards for vaccines are unacceptably low. Testing involves a limited number of subjects, who are generally followed for a very short time.
All medical treatments carry some risk, and the risk:benefit ratio is different for different individuals. Therefore, we believe that no one should be forced to undergo a medical treatment, even if a physician recommends it. Physicians have a duty to present the risks and benefits as accurately as they can, including an honest appraisal of gaps in our knowledge. Glibly assuming that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence"--when in fact studies of sufficient power have simply not been done--is a profound disservice to patients.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgens passed unanimously a resolution condemning mandatory vaccines at its annual meeting in October, 2000. AAPS was founded in 1943 to preserve the traditional patient-physician relationship. We are not against vaccines per se.
I am sure you are getting positive email from a group of self-styled "quackwatchers," who call anybody who questions any vaccine mandate a "chiro anti-vax quack." They do not represent very many physicians. I have spoken, for example, at hospital grand rounds on this subject, and not one physician has objected to or refuted my concerns about certain vaccines.
Stories that should be of interest to NBC include:
1. Serious adverse reactions to vaccines (I have a Microsoft Excel data base of 25,000 adverse reactions to hepatitis B vaccine from the FDA and CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS, available on request.)
2. The money trail: state agencies or school districts that get money for forcing children to receive vaccines, and conflicts of interest that compromise the "experts" who testify for mandates.
3. CDC stonewalling on requests for safety data on hepatitis B and other vaccines.
4. Parents or other caregivers jailed for murder when their babies die, possibly from a vaccine reaction, when there is no direct evidence that they ever abused the child in any way. (Was a vaccine history taken in the English nanny case, by the way?)
5. Parents whose children are excluded from school and reported to Child Protective Services because they have exercised a legal and conscientious objection to a mandated vaccine (even against a disease such as hepatitis B that is very rare in children and not ordinarily transmitted in a school setting.)
You could be missing the story of the decade, even the century, while being complicit in forcing children to risk harm from inadequately tested vaccines. (And remember, we're not talking about smallpox or other diseases that are common, highly lethal, and very easily transmitted.) Firestone, asbestos, and even tobacco might seem like minor escapades in comparison, in
retrospect. Investigative reporters are needed, but must be prepared for a lot of flak from powerful special interest groups.
You are cordially invited to examine material on vaccines posted on our web site, www.aapsonline.org.
Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director, AAPS.