Although it only appeared last month, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, written by Stephanie Messenger and published by Trafford Publishing, was raising hackles more than a year ago on the strength of the author’s promise to “[take] children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses, like measles and chicken pox. There are many health messages for parents to expand on about keeping healthy”.

A recent article by Tom Chivers of the Telegraph  mentions the book in the context of reports that “306 children died in Pakistan because of the infectious disease in 2012, a dramatic surge from the 64 children in 2011”. On Amazon the book got over 70 reviews in three days, every one condemning it.

But of those of you leaping to criticise, I have to wonder how many have actually read the book? I mean, are you not open to the possibility that it might actually contain valuable information that could protect our children’s health?

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A man in a white coat, smiles, offers an injection to an infant who is alone. “Innoculation is the perfect Medication” he tells the child after dancing and singing with a syringe. The nurse tells the children elsewhere that if they are vaccinated with the MMR they won’t get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Will it hurt asks the boy, well it might says DR Ranj, but you can cry if you want to. Without waiting for an OK, the doc injects the boy who says “I am not ready for my ‘jection”, but the doc marvels“I have already done it”. (sic)

Even if you didn’t see the TV show described above – and I didn’t – you probably sense the writer of that description didn’t approve of it and you probably won’t be surprised that the doctor and infant in question looked something like this:

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I would like to give this letter lifted from Stop the AVN some more publicity. I don’t imagine the anti-vax loon who, until I adjusted my spam filter, used to post hundreds of abusive and anti-vax comments on this blog, will have the brains to comprehend it but you never know.

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I’ve been off-line for a couple of weeks so this is a very belated response to Frank Swain’s gig at Westminster Skeptics at the beginning of August.

Frank Swain, aka SciencePunk, no longer calls himself a skeptic. This isn’t because he’s become less of one. On the contrary, he described himself as being “born of the skeptic movement” and “hugely enamoured” with it. But he has, in recent years, distanced himself from the “skeptic community” because he doesn’t want to be associated with its attitudes and behaviour.

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Dr Sarah Myhill is evidently a doctor who cares passionately about her work and about people’s health. She is highly motivated to help and empower us to keep ourselves well and to make us better if we are sick. For her pioneering work treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) aka myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), she has become a heroine to many of them.

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Didn’t we all feel horrible last week, on hearing the news that 14-year-old Natalie Morton died a matter of hours after receiving the HPV vaccine at school? How long would it be before we’d hear whether the vaccine actually caused her death or whether something else did? Not long, as it turned out. Three days later, an inquest was told that she’d died from a large and previously undetected tumour in her chest that could have killed her at any moment.

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A couple of days ago Dr Andrew Wakefield issued a press release from Thoughtful House, the Texas clinic he founded, stating that the Press Complaints Commission has ordered the Sunday Times newspaper to remove Brian Deer’s stories about him from the newspaper’s website. “The PCC decision today appears to indicate there are questions about the accuracy of the Deer stories,” it says.

Back in February, the Sunday Times published an article by Brian Deer alleging that Wakefield had “changed and misreported results in his research” for his notorious Lancet paper, which linked MMR to autism. Wakefield is currently being investigated by the General Medical Council on charges of professional misconduct in connection with this paper.

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Ever open-minded and keen to learn about the complexities of one of the most popular alternative therapies and unwilling to rely on the biased news media and sneering science blogs, I tried to find a trustworthy source of information about the homeopathic product, Malaria Officinalis 30c, which has been in the news a bit lately.

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American Jenny McCarthy is a self-appointed vaccine expert, having graduated from the University of Google after an earlier successful career as a slapper, the grotesque details of which are described on countless websites less concerned with maintaining high standards of taste and decorum than this one.

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No sooner had I completed my previous post about Dr Andrew Wakefield having falsified data for the notorious study that led to the recent measles epidemics and his subsequent complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), than I found on Brian Deer’s website the evidence to confirm Wakefield has totally lost his marbles.

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In my previous post I gave an account of all the other charges against Andrew Wakefield who is currently before the General Medical Council on charges of professional misconduct. The main ones are:

  • that he published inadequately founded research
  • that he failed to obtain ethical committee approval for the work
  • that he obtained funding for it improperly
  • that he subjected children to “unnecessary and invasive investigations”

Source.

In this post I’ll look at the latest allegations.

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When the MMR triple vaccine was launched in the UK in 1988, I had no hesitation in making sure both my children got it. I didn’t want them to go through what I’d been through in my own childhood: weeks off school, isolated, miserable and ill in my bedroom. I recovered fully from all the infectious diseases I got. Other children of my generation were left with permanent disabilities. Some died.

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