12 thoughts on “Vaccination

  1. I have a simple suggestion for those who advocate vaccines as the “magical silver bullet” for disease control – try this:

    (1) Go to http://www.abs.gov.au and find all the Australian Year Books that cover the years between 1884 and 2010.

    (2) Look up the number of deaths of children ages 0-5 due to measles for each year between 1884 and 2010.

    (3) Recognize while there are no morbidity figures, that you would expect you could roughly work out the infection rate based on mortality and population figures.

    (4) Graph the results.

    (5) Notice that that ( *gasp!!* ) measles deaths in Australia between 1884 and 1970 declined by over 95% *BEFORE the MEASLES VACCINES* were introduced. Oh dear…….

    (6) Notice that between 1970 and 2010 there was similar rate of decline in death rate. Notice the rate of decline before and after vaccines was near identical ( this means logically thy have had no affect ….)

    (7) Notice that logically – if the decline in death rate ( and clearly infection rate too by logical extension ) occurred WITHOUT VACCINES
    – well then what caused it? Could it be better sanitation, better nutrition, less crowded housing?

    Please realise these are official Australian govt figures. I haven’t done it for other diseases, but expect the results would be similar.


  2. By the same taken, Ms Dorey, what gives you the right to tell people to use homeopathy, or homeoprohpylaxis, over proven medical interventions? You are not a doctor, a nurse, or a scientist, so what gives you the right to speak in that arena? Your “20 years of research”? Your brain? Hypocrisy Meryl, utter hypocrisy on your part, to denounce medicine despite having no training in it yet whinge about others denouncing homeopathy without them being a homeopath.

    And what large Swiss study would you be referring to Meryl? Citation or a link please. ” Natural News said so” is not a reliable source.
    As far as the rest of us understand the situation, the Swiss Government withdrew funding for homeopathy, supporters complained so they had a referendum on it, and it has been reinstated on a limited basis to assess the efficacy. According to Swedish law it’s actually illegal to fund homeopathy because it is of unproven benefit, which is why the reinstatement is as a trial of efficacy (which skirts around the law). That’s a far cry from being supportive let alone finding it cost effective or efficacious.
    The so called “large Swiss Study” is actually an interim report, and written by two of the most rabid supporters of homeopathy with the most to lose if it is found to not be efficacious. You can cling to that one like you still cling to Andrew Wakefield, but I’m sure you’re going to look just as stupid five years from now when the final analysis is very different. Whatever.

    You have failed to cite a single quality study that supports homeopathy.
    I can cite you several articles that show homeopathy has no evidence basis, below are just a few:.

    1) Homeopathy for ADHD – surprise, surprise NO EVIDENCE of efficacy
    2) Homeopathy for dementia – only one study could be found by the researchers, and it didn’t have a measureable outcome so was too poor quality to review!
    3) Complementary and alternative medicine for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine [1472-6882] Alraek, Terje yr:2011 vol:11 pg:87 -87
    – I’ll direct you to this gem “Compared with placebo, homeopathy also had insufficient evidence of symptom improvement in CFS. ”
    4) Edzard Ernst’s meta-analysis of ALL the Cochrane data on homeopathy.

    Do yourself a favour Meryl, and make sure you read the whole text. Often you’ve wound up looking like a right tool because you’ve quoted a single line out of context to support your view, when the actual message of an article is vastly different. As someone who has read thousands of articles and written a number of literature reviews, I’ll give you some advice – read it at least twice, highlight the stuff you don’t understand, and do some research. Google is not sufficient, you need Google Scholar at the very minimun, and better yet an appropriate database of articles such as Medline, Web of Knowledge, Access Medicine or Scopus. Your local library can help – you will actually have to physically go there and use their computers because most libraries don’t give you access at home. Or you can use Cochrane, which I’ve noted in the past you’ve selectively misquoted from – it’s free access to anyone and is a source of collected and distilled knowledge.

    • Caroline, I have never told anyone to use any medical procedure so perhaps next time, before commenting in this way, you would make sure that what you are saying is correct.

      Also, your ignorance of how homeopathy is showing. You cannot test homeopathy in the same way that you test drugs – it is not administered in the same way. You don’t take X remedy for Y disease which is why a homeopath needs to administer the treatments – not someone who knows nothing about homeopathy as is the case in most of the ‘references’ you have cited.

      Read studies of homeopathy overseen by homeopaths and you will see a totally different story. Look at homeopathy when it is used on a country-wide basis such as in India, Brazil, Cuba and other countries where it has a long history of acceptance – even the UK until recently.

      Unlike you, I don’t denigrate the choices other people make because it truly is to each their own. Perhaps a bit of tolerance could be practiced by you in regards to other people’s health choices and that might make you seem less strident and overbearing? Also, don’t assume what other people have and have not read – you have no idea.

  3. 1- I believe that as responsible adults, it’s up to our society, and those of us that try to contribute to society rather than denying what is proven, and bolstering what is not, and then calling that “REAL” skepticism. Heck, that doesn’t even fit your fallacious approach of “Accept Nothing, Question Everything.” This is simply intellectual dishonesty, or perhaps the gullibility of a group when faced with charlatans versus real medical science.
    2- Unlike you, I am aware of what a placebo is called. I’ll throw that link in first. I should also mention that when a “REAL” skeptic seems so susceptible to such things, that would be strong. I’ll also see if I can find those links I have somewhere for placebo in animals and infants, which is a combination of parent/owner optimism and improved mood because they are already convinced that snake-oil is going to do the trick, as well as the much more common and straigh-forward factor of biased and borderline-delusional perceptions and evaluations on the effectiveness of the purified water that cures everything. If you are so emotionally attached to something, you will start to see what you WANT to see, rather than what’s truly there. I’m not talking about hallucinations, but bias and delusion. Which seems to be the theme of this entire site, so it’s not a far stretch.

    I don’t “like” scams, no. And I don’t use it. But you know what? You don’t seem to like vaccines, but instead of just not getting vaccinations you are devoted absurd amounts of time to fabricating more of your own little reality around the issues. So you seem to have made a blatantly hypocritical statement there, or I would not expect to see you trying to discredit scientifically based vaccinations, and then whining that while you don’t know anything about homeopathy except for your perception of it, you demand that no one criticize it or try to put a stop to the victimization of those that are lacking some serious critical thinking skills that I suppose are not the quality of “REAL” skeptics.

    I’m well aware that there are “studies” all over promoting the effect of homeopathy. Just as there are for any other kind of junk medicine an paranormal nonsense for those with out of control imaginations and a distaste for proven medicine or therapy. Oh look. Here’s a study that found some paranormal wishy-washy nonsense to be quite effective and real.

    And once again, your hypocrisy smacks me in the face, since there are an exponential number of studies to prove the effectiveness, let alone relative safety of vaccinations, but once again, with your “only apply the rules when they suit me, because I’m a REAL skeptic,” you don’t seem to much care. But hey, while vaccinations are not 100% without complications, of course purified water is going to be safer. That is, only when you’re treating illnesses and refusing to see a doctor with an actual education rather than some private entity’s “courses..” In those cases, harm is certainly done. And what gets me, is that the charlatans, and the REAL skeptics, are not only harming themselves with their REAL skepticism, but their children as well. But yeah, why would I care about that, right? Why care when parents are negligent to their children’s health? Why care if they break their arm, and they are not taken to a doctor?


    As promised, here is your introduction to what is called “a placebo.” It’s a bit of a read for just the basic definition of a crucial term to understand, so I’m hoping that it won’t be too much work for a REAL skeptic. Must be hard, with all that writing about how evil real medicines are….

    Animal placebo. It wasn’t hard to find, especially for you, being a REAL skeptic that is interested in citations…. Not that you would just be intellectually lazy when it comes to REAL skepticism, right?
    I would think that if it is demonstrated in an animals, the same placebo effect would be even strong for infants of the same species, in which non-verbal communication is even more effective…. But then again, I have no idea what a REAL skeptic might think.

    So yeah. That didn’t take long at all, but I too have other things to do in my life than try to educate those that have a distaste for rational evaluation and understanding, but a love for “REAL” skepticism of course.

    I too believe in having an open mind, but not one that is so open that my critical thinking abilities fall out. Which again, is ironic since you refuse to have an open mind toward actual medicine and vaccinations. You reject what is backed up, but accept what is on shaky ground, with often poor quality and almost as often dishonest “studies.”

    It’s odd that none of these revolutionary researchers have not claimed the one million dollar prize for their proofs. Some have tried, sure… But even *they* were confused by their own results, expecting to see an above-placebo effect, but instead seeing nothing. And these were based on standards and parameters/procedures that was *agreed* upon by *all* parties. Somehow, these amazing studies seem to produce different results when some one is willing to reward them with substantial cash prizes, even when under the same conditions and requirements as when they are shown to treat, cure, and prevent all these diseases…. Too bad there isn’t one for gullibility, and self-contradicting statements, depending on the context. Questioning everything also means questioning you OWN assumptions and perceptions. I do it, but maybe REAL skeptics have no use for that, I agree.

    I decided to respond to your first statement, as my last.
    I would agree that you are far from any kind of expert on homeopathy for sure. This is more than evident in how you conduct yourself, and make fallacious demands of those that criticize what you accept with very little question. I just wish you were so gullible by those things that *are* so very demonstrable….. But then again, where’s the excitement and adventure in that, right? Life is boring, which is why we don’t watch movies that are simply a retelling of real-world events, without altering much of the content for captivating suspense and emotional response.

    So no, you aren’t an expert, we seem to agree. And while others may be experts on the claims and established tale of how it works, they do not understand how it works either. Vibrations, ether, energy, spirit, and so forth. I wouldn’t call myself an expert either, but I seem to be a bit more knowledgeable on these things than yourself, if I may be so bold. Then again, the theme seems to be self-inflation of how REAL a skeptic you are…. So I guess this one time, I’ll do it too, with justification.

    And to steal your phrase, “the difference is that:”
    1. I seem to have an ability to evaluate the validity of studies, since studies can be fallacious with bad results. Peer review is one of the most important foundations of credible studies. Not just for appeal to majority, but to catch mistakes and collaborate on improving data.
    2. I don’t defend things that I don’t understand.
    3. I don’t subject my children to potentially harmful, or in this case not effective and harmful in that real doctors and medicine, vaccinations, are withheld from them. If I can’t bother to be intellectually responsible enough to justify it, I’m not going to subject my children to it. I’m not a negligent parent.
    4. I seem to understand what a placebo effect is, while you are carlessly unconcerned about it. Particularly in that you seem unaware, and in denial, that to a point, we can cause a placebo effect in our interactions with animals and infants… We have an improved attitude, feel relieved, and so on. They can pick up on that. But more importantly, when some one is as biased as you seem to be, it is likely that you are experiencing what is called a confirmation bias (look it up, I’m sick of doing your legwork for you), which is a very plausible thing, since, um…. How does your infant or dog tell you that “yes, my pain level has gone from a 7/10 to a 5/10, it worked,” or are they just not whimpering because after giving them your “remedy,” you sat and comforted your dog or rocked your sick infant for a while, calming them down and making it seem as though your magical water had an effect. Those are just a couple examples out of hundreds, perhaps more than hundreds, that could affect both your direct impact on how they feel, let alone how you alter their behavior that is separate from their affliction, and lastly, jump to conclusions based on either or both of those two previous. In fact, the confirmation bias (seriously, google it.. It would take you 1 minute of you time) doesn’t even require those impacts to the infant or animal’s behaviour. Bias, and in this case confirmation bias is very powerful. It is part of us all throughout our lives, and we should be aware of that. Murphy’s law (google it) is a good example, in that it’s all about the *perception* that you are the victim of some kind of supernaturally universal law that affects your luck for the worse. How many people believe in lucky objects, rituals, and so on? Many. How many people fall victim to confirmation bias to believe in all sorts of things that are actually mutually exclusive?? Lots.

    Your use of anecdotal evidence even on its own, is a red flag when it comes to your “REAL” skepticism, and how I suppose that our personal bias, of which yours is quite out of control, I might say, is apparently not to be considered. Not sure that I’m liking this REAL skepticism….. Question everything, except for your human fallibility. Accept nothing, except for what your emotions, bias, and perceptions tell you.

    I’d say you are “not an expert” in far more than just homeopathy……

    Lastly, just to be clear and get this point across to you, I could find many times more references and academic material for you. But seeing as how this is not my responsibility, or anyone else’s to spoon-feed you this information, I’ll just leave you with that suggestion that you do some research. And please do look into the quality of those studies….. “Study” is not a magical word, such as homeopathy is. It’s of this reality, and as such, is not infallible. It’s up to others to use their reasoning abilities and critical thinking skills to evaluate their correct approaches and controls, procedures, and so on. The information is out there, and it’s not up to that person you replied to. If you are so interested in being a REAL skeptic, well sorry to inform you that this takes work, rather than just poking around at things and following emotions.

    • My apologies for the delay in approving this post, Jason. It went to my spam folder (I’m thinking it might be because of the number of links but that’s just a guess. I will have a better read through it later and respond.

    • “But hey, while vaccinations are not 100% without complications, of course purified water is going to be safer.”

      Sorry but you just destroyed your entire point there. It doesn’t matter if homeopathy is useless because a) as you say it doesn’t cause any harm; and b) nobody is forced/subsidised/pressured to get it.

      “But yeah, why would I care about that, right? Why care when parents are negligent to their children’s health?”

      And why should we believe that your ramblings on this are motivated more by a concern for people you’ve never met than a desire to fulfil some totalitarian’s dream? I’m sorry but I fail to observe all this compassion and milk of human kindness apparently coming from most vaccine defenders. So one would think that the explanation fits somewhere more towards the totalitarian dream than the genuine caring.

      As for your bit about placebos. Sorry, but the wiki article says that placebos are inert (in the context being studied). Vaccines almost never use inert placebos in their tests they use poisons (or at the very least non-inert substances). So inasmuch as your link is to be believed we would have to conclude that vaccine tests are a fraud. Do you agree with this?

      Just like Caroline your obsession with homeopathy is really quite extraordinary. Why does it scare you so? You guys believe it is just water so other than some money being transferred from one willing participant to another the whole exercise must be meaningless. And it isn’t your money so why obsess over it?

      “2. I don’t defend things that I don’t understand.”

      Sure you do. You don’t understand how vaccines work and yet here you are defending them. Do you know how I know you don’t understand this? Because nobody does. We know virtually nothing about the immune system. Vaccines are – as far as immunologists are concerned – every bit as ‘magical’ as homeopathy.

      “3. I don’t subject my children to potentially harmful, or in this case not effective and harmful in that real doctors and medicine, vaccinations, are withheld from them. If I can’t bother to be intellectually responsible enough to justify it, I’m not going to subject my children to it. I’m not a negligent parent.”

      Ummm, you just admitted that vaccines were potentially harmful and yet here you are saying that it is right to subject children to them. Let me repeat in case you forgot what you said (seems to be a common trait amongst the skeptics) “But hey, while vaccinations are not 100% without complications, of course purified water is going to be safer.” So you admit that vaccines are potentially harmful but you then turn around and say you would never subject your children to potentially harmful treatments. So does that mean you don’t vaccinate? Or does it mean you have never given this any sort of independent thought and are simply making this all up as you go along and in the process trying to clutch at any available straw?

      “But more importantly, when someone is as biased as you seem to be, it is likely that you are experiencing what is called a confirmation bias.”

      Oh I see. You mean like if a doctor sees an unvaccinated child with a cough and they immediately think “oh it must be pertussis!”. On the other hand the same doctor sees a vaccinated child with the same sounding cough and thinks “oh it can’t be pertussis because the kid is vaccinated.” Is it that sort of bias? Tell me oh great one who understands all there is to know about bias and would never under any circumstances fall prey to a belief which was predicated on such – just how exactly has all the notification data so beloved of the I heart vaccines crowd controlled for or quantified this bias? I assume that it has after all a true skeptic such as you wouldn’t believe in it if it had not done so right? So could you please tell me exactly which piece of evidence for the efficacy of vaccines has controlled for this bias? That would be fantastic.

      It seems to me that use of such biased data seems to me to be “out of control” but maybe you are aware of where it has been controlled for and the data still demonstrates a beneficial effect for vaccines (any vaccine).

  4. How is supporting unproven therapies like homeopathy “scepticism”? You need to apply a little of your claimed “sceptic mindset” to your magic water cures.
    You scream and whine about the need for randomised double blind placebo control studies for vaccines (which you very well know would be unethical) yet where is the same for homeopathy?
    You think anecdotal reports, poorly designed and obviously biased studies in homeopathic “medicine” with ambiguous results are better than well designed and implemented studies by research professionals with clear and repeated results?
    We wont even go in to bias, since you seem to think all scientists, simply by being scientists, are somehow associated with “Big Pharma”. Which I find offensive by the way because I’ve never received these supposed big handouts you claim we all get, no study grants or seminar tickets, not even a free pen, and I’ve been either at this game for almost a decade now.

    • Are you an expert in homeopathy, Caroline Shipley? I don’t think you are. Neither am I. The difference is that:

      1- I believe that it’s not up to me to determine what other people use for their health and the health of their families.
      2- I have used homeopathy myself and it worked for me, my children (even as infants) and my animals.

      If you don’t like it, don’t use it. But what gives you the right to tell other people what they can and cannot do?

      And how can it be sceptical to say that homeopathy doesn’t work without citing one piece of evidence where I can cite many references – including a large study just published by the Swiss government – saying that it does work and works very well. Be a sceptic. Ask real questions – and have your mind open enough to accept the answers – even if that means throwing away so much that you have thought was true.

    • So Caroline, are you saying that the reason that pharma companies put aluminium or other vaccines or miniature atom bombs in lieu of saline in their placebos isn’t in order to rig the results in their favour but because the pharma companies are so incredibly scrupulous and ethical?

      I made this point in my article and not one of the skeptics touched it so perhaps you would like to provide a rationale for it.

      Sorry but I have a very hard time following the skeptic view of ethics. Could you explain it to me? You can be as brief or verbose as you like but I would just love it if there was an explanation from one of the skeptics as to what constitutes ‘ethical’ action. Presumably telling people what they can and can’t do or say and hurling abuse at anybody who doesn’t fall into line is considered ethical – but perhaps that is just my spurious perception.

      In addition, could you tell me what – if not a RDBPCT – constitutes a well designed study for vaccines?

      But I’m sorry if by calling into question your beliefs we are offending you. Is that another part of ethical behaviour? Recoiling in righteous indignation if anybody criticizes any of your beliefs, actions or arguments?

      The fact is if doctors and others involved in this paradigm didn’t make a cent from vaccination it would still involve the single greatest vested interest that any group had ever had in any belief in history. It is the difference between vaccine proponents being heroes or criminals – and from where I’m sitting the behaviour of vaccine defenders doesn’t lead one to conclude the former.

      Why do you care so much about homeopathy? Don’t you realise how desperate it makes you sound? You know that any evidence you provide for your own beliefs will be obliterated by those of us who aren’t brainwashed fools so you try and obfuscate the issue by concentrating on a completely peripheral issue.

      You want to defend vaccinations then do so. Show us all how notification data should be trusted. Show us all that the mortality data actually proves that they made a difference. Show us why using non-inert substances as placebos constitutes something other than fraud. But you can’t. Nobody can. All you can do is drone on endlessly about how Meryl is naughty or that homeopathy is stupid or that anybody who doesn’t believe everything the government tells us is a deranged conspiracy theorist. That is all you’ve got.


      • “Miniature atom bombs” in vaccines? Wow, you really ARE delusional. We don’t have that sort of technology….. and even if we did, what is your supposed reason for putting nuclear weapons in everyone?

        I suppose that really is all I need to say with respect to HPS, whoever you are. (a Meryl sockpuppet I presume).

        But I’ll bite anyway:
        “I’m sorry if by calling into question your beliefs we are offending you”

        No “beliefs” have been offended, unless you think the plain fact that I am NOT a “Big Pharma Shill” is actually a “belief”. I tend to deal in plain facts, not “beliefs”, and the plain fact is I am not now, nor have I ever been, the recipient of any benefits (monetary or otherwise) from any pharmaceutical company. So yes, I find the constant accusation that I support vaccination because I am “paid to do so” extremely offensive. I don’t like pharma companies – their drugs may be useful but the tactics used to sell them in the past have in part lead to the misconception doctors are in league with them.

        When you can provide some hard evidence to say that I receive benefits from pharma for my support on vaccination, then you can make that claim – until then I suggest you and your like refrain from such libellous statements. In the interests of not having anyone else sue your arse off, I suggest you refrain from statements like that about anyone, without some proof to back it up.

        On ethics of placebos, and ethics in general:
        Now, as for the ethics of placebo…. whilst it is true that in a proper trial we do not tell the participants what they are getting (the real drug or the placebo) we do tell them, up front at the beginning, that there is a chance the drug they are receiving will be a placebo. Everyone that signs on to a clinical trial is well aware that they may not be receiving the active treatment, which is why it IS ethical for us to give them a placebo (you may need to do some homework research on the principles of “informed consent”).

        Of course, there are instances where even if a participant would be willing to take a chance that they might get a placebo, to give one would be unethical anyway…. say a new treatment for cancer versus no therapy at all. Not ethical, because it’s a serious and likely lethal illness and we have current proven therapy for it. At the most you could compare new therapy to old, but at the ethics committee you might be told you can only compare the new therapy as an adjunct to the old, which might be less informative but is the better option because it is safer for the participants.

        I do so enjoy the crazies down your end of the interwebz and the way they all scream “ethics” without stopping to think about what it actually means. At the end of the day, I always have to think about what could happen to the participants in a trial. If I do something to them that is life altering (in a bad way) I have to live with it. I don’t take that lightly. Responsibility for the welfare of another person is a heavy thing – some people look at ethics along the lines of “what can I be sued for” but for me ethics is more than that.

        How I post about you and your nutter friends is not a matter of ethics, that’s one of professionalism and manners, and I’ve often been accused of playing poorly with others. What can I say – I don’t suffer fools gladly. I’m pleased that some of your mental faculties are intact, because you are obviously picking up on my distaste for your vile behaviour.

        Oh, and methinks you should actually read the author of some of the posts – I do believe some of your jibes may have been meant for Jason.

        • Some pretty amazing comprehenshion skills on display there.

          The ‘miniature atom bombs’ was a pointedly absurd extrapolation in order to make a rhetorical point. Of course I don’t think such things a) exist (not sure how you would get critical mass); and much less b) should be used as a placebo in vaccine trials. What I was alluding to (which was blatantly obvious to all and sundry) was that what gets put in as a placebo in vaccine trials is not actually a placebo. And hence all the trials – at least as they relate to safety – are fraudulent.

          But as much as I doubt your comprehension skills I have a sneaking suspicion you knew exactly the point I was making you just wanted to obfuscate the issue – at least I hope so for your sake.

          “I don’t like pharma companies – their drugs may be useful but the tactics used to sell them in the past have in part lead to the misconception doctors are in league with them.”

          That would have to be the one of the most pathetic weasel statements I have ever read in my life. You don’t like pharma companies because they make l’il ol’ you look bad? Give me a break. Physicians use pharmaceuticals. It is kind of a large part of what you guys do (I’m assuming you are a physician (but please don’t sue me for libel if I am wrong)). Indeed it is essentially the sum total of what differentiates you from any other health practitioner. In case you haven’t noticed physicians are granted legal permission to dispense what is known as “prescription only medicine”. Does that term ring a bell? Obviously not. You see if I spruiked them (not that I would) then I would be punished by law, but various types of physician are allowed to recommend them because – apparently – they are experts in them. But according to you, physicians and pharmaceuticals (and the companies that make them) are completely at arms length.


          Given you believe physicians have no relationship with pharmaceutical companies and their wares do you think then that their privileges vis-a-vis prescribing medicine should be revoked?

          You know that in the battle of hearts and minds fighting for pharma companies is a lost cause so you just make up nonsense about how doctors have absolutely no relationship with them. Frankly, you would get some respect from me if you actually did stand up for pharma companies. Then at least I would know that you genuinely believed that vaccines were little miracles rather than this being all about you and your precious reputation.

          You see your histrionics about how butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth only serves to prove my point. Doctors may not have a great financial stake in vaccines (although in many cases they do), but the reputational stake that they have is enormous. All doctors who inject these concoctions into babies have a massive vested interest in persuading a) the general public; and b) themselves that their actions are heroic rather than dangerous.

          And by the way, this is what you posted:
          “We wont even go in to bias, since you seem to think all scientists, simply by being scientists, are somehow associated with “Big Pharma”. Which I find offensive by the way because I’ve never received these supposed big handouts you claim we all get, no study grants or seminar tickets, not even a free pen, and I’ve been either at this game for almost a decade now.”

          You see you were coming up with a strawman and having a sook about how unfair it is on you. As if we think all scientists are associated with “Big Pharma”. I doubt I would describe many people at all associated with pharmaceutical companies as actual scientists nor would I put that label on too many physicians. And I most assuredly – beyond a shadow of a doubt – would never call a self-described “skeptic” an actual scientist. As it happens plenty of physicians do get handouts from pharma companies but like I said, the money is but one relatively small (but not insignificant) part of the vested interest that doctors have in vaccinations. You don’t like to recognise this bias so you make up a strawman and then pretend to get offended by it. It is incredibly transparent.

          Not entirely sure what your 3 paragraph rant about the ethics of placebo usage was trying to answer. I never questioned whether placebos should be used in trials I questioned the content of these placebos. This should have been remarkably obvious, alas, it seems very little is with some people. Luckily for you I suffer fools all the time.

        • “Of course, there are instances where even if a participant would be willing to take a chance that they might get a placebo, to give one would be unethical anyway…. say a new treatment for cancer versus no therapy at all. Not ethical, because it’s a serious and likely lethal illness and we have current proven therapy for it.”

          I love the begging the question that goes in so-called medical science. You can’t test certain drugs to determine their effectiveness because that would be witholding drugs from people that need it. Of course how do you know the drugs work? Well you don’t. You just assume it. The drug is assumed to work and from that point on every part of the story is just shoehorned in to fit this view of the world.

          All chemo is tested against other chemos. If the new chemo kills people slower than the old chemo then the new one is deemed to be effective. Because medical practitioners know absolutely nothing about science whatsoever they actually deem this to be a sound method of proving efficacy.

          Sorry Caroline, but there is no treatment for cancer that has been “proven”. They are assumed to work. Because the drugs have lots of syllables in their names they can be patented and so it is in everybody’s (read the medical practitioners) best interests that patients take them instead of something with only a few syllables in its name and which therefore can’t be patented. But there is no more “science” behind chemo than behind any of the alternative treatments you guys have so much scorn for. Difference being of course that none of the alternative treatments do anything like the damage that chemo does. The difference is purely in the economics of it. One is very expensive and can only be administered by a select few the other is cheap and can be provided by people who haven’t been granted a monopoly by the government.

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