Doug and Marsha's Law

Doug writes over at Huff a twisting of Orac's law: "Orac's statements are correct that starting an arguement with certain organizations or websites will automatically turn off some critics of vaccines."


Firstly, you get to call folks who offer evidence that vaccines are not responsible for autism pro-autism, but use the relatively neutral term of vaccine critic to represent those who range from wanting vaccines to be a safe as possible (like Craig) to people who have said the sorts of things that Hydra8, Mofmarrs333, Flavor, Abitcrunchy, and you have? I don't think so. I think there are not two groups or sides at all in the matter.

And I don't know that that I'd even call folks like Craig, OAB, DRPike and the like vaccine critics, but advocates of increased vaccine safety who do not necessarily believe vaccinations caused the autism. You occassionally appear to be in this camp.

Another camp are those who are certain that vaccines are responsible for the autism, but still want vaccinations, increased studies, but are factual in their presentation of information (except for the certainty concerning autism) -- they dont say vaccines contain things they don't. We can call them proponents of the vaccine autism theory.

And then, I would submit to you, is a larger group of people who rightly deserve the anti-vaccination proponents. They do not look at reputable sites (or when they do say these people are paid to lie), they provide inaccurate and often inflammatory information concerning vaccine ingredients. They want vaccines to stop. They blame vaccines for many of today's diseases and problems. They promote information from whale.to, vaclib.org, mercola, naturalnews and other sites than invoke Orac's Law.

"I hereby declare Orac's Law:
In any discussion involving science or medicine--and especially vaccines--citing any material published by Generation Rescue or Age of Autism as a credible source loses you the argument immediately ...and gets you laughed right out of the room. " So says Orac.

So say we all.

Not Orac's law, but a reversal, we can call it Doug and Marsha's law:

Anytime scientific evidence from a reputable and bonafide source is provided, people who range from proponents of the vaccine autism theory to outright anti-vaccination people will immediately cover their ears and go la-la-la-la and close their eyes and run to their conspiracy theory sites to find more comforting scary information that says everyone in the world is out to get them.


kathleen said...

HAHAHA...you hit the nail on the head..it is like dealing with a group of five year olds-if they cover their eyes, they don't see it-and if they don't see it-then, it is not real. The question is-how do we get them to take off their blind folds? Or should we just work to ensure that other people don't put them on?

KWombles said...

I think work to ensure others don't put the blindfolds on. the diehard woolies will never be convinced.

Connie said...

Does Craig W truly believe that vaccines are NOT responsible for autism? I wish he'd clarify, if that's the case. And if this is what he believes, I wish he'd say so forcefully on AoA -- if for no other reason than to stimulate some actual discussion there. Maybe not even in a comment -- maybe in a full-blown column. (Think it'd have a chance of getting published there?)

I'll bet the "regulars" would be surprised to see "one of their own" express doubt about the Established Truths . . . .

KWombles said...

I would hate to mischaracterize Craig's position and I hope that I haven't done so, so if I have I encourage him to post and chastise me justly.

I think he is one of the more reasonable individuals who are concerned about a potential autism and vaccine link. I don't think he believes all autism is caused by vaccines, but he has a compelling story in his son's seriously adverse reaction to a vaccination and subsequent diagnosis with autism. I have in the past suggested that perhaps the two coexist as my son's autism and stroke damage coexist.

I hope that as our communications with each other on Huff continue, that he will consider me a friend and not an opponent.

Craig, if you read this will you please correct me if I got your position wrong?

On another note, Connie, glad to "see" you again. I missed your comments. I hope you'll join the group at facebook, link at the top on the right.

How are your sister and brother-in-law and their family doing? How are you doing? You can always email me. :-)

Craig said...

Kim, you are indeed correct.

My position is that Autism does have a genetic component, i.e. some children are born with "genetic" autism. There are also children who appear perfectly normal at birth and throughout the first year or so of childhood, but then some "insult" to their system causes a regression. I'm pretty sure this has a genetic component that causes a subset of children to become susceptible to said "insult". Yes, this means that I am concerned about a link to vaccines.

Do I believe that all autism is because of vaccines? Absolutely not.

For those of you who haven't read what happened to my son, I will briefly reiterate here.

My son was born normally; he wasn't premature, normal birth weight. I was 29 at the time of his birth (my wife was 27). She, nor I, drink, smoke or do drugs. Neither of us has a history of autism in our families.

By the time he was 18 months old, my son was walking, had a respectible 30 word vocabulary, was bright, cheerful and engaging. On the day of his 18 month well-baby checkup, his last words to me (for almost 6 years) were "Go Bye Bye!"

That day, he received his DTaP and MMR. 6 hours later, he was screaming, arching his back, and running a 105 fever. We called his pediatrician who proceeded to tell us that what my son was experiencing was "normal" and not to worry, give him some Tylenol. Normal my ass!!!!

We decided to bring him to the ER because he began having seizures. They performed a CT scan and saw that his brain was swollen. The next day, he was listless and unresponsive. He lost all speech, lost a majority of his milestones, and lost the ability to walk until he was almost 3 years old. At 22 months he was diagnosed with Autistic Disorder.

Now, from all of the literature I've read, the CDC acknowledges that things like this happen with the MMR, but it is a one-in-a-million shot (no pun intended). However, how do we know this? Where did they get their data from? The Pharmaceutical companies? What data were they using?

If you have this information handy, let me know. I'll be happy to continue this conversation.

KWombles said...

Good morning, Craig,

I'm glad to see your post here this morning. :-)

Your pediatrician was completely remiss in telling you it was a normal reaction to give tylenol. A 105 fever isn't something anyone should be self-treating at home. I would agree that there are a fair proportion of physicians who need some additional training in how to address vaccine related adverse events. What happened to signing consent forms that deliniated the risks of vaccination before a child was given a shot and the mandatory fifteen minute sit after a shot to make sure there would be no immediate, serious event?

I'll wade through the university databases I have access to later and see what I can find as to where CDC gets the information on adverse reactions; is it the initial studies, is it VAERS data, is it a combination of the two? I don't know.

There is much that could be done to improve how the CDC and AAP address vaccinations and the real (but small, and I understand when it is your child who was the victim, small consolation it is to you) risks of adverse reaction.

For that matter, if all physicians and consumers took more seriously the potential adverse reactions from any medicines we put into our own or our children's bodies, that would be a good thing.

16,000 folks dying annually from NSAIDs doesn't draw nearly enough attention, in my opinion. The tens of thousands who simply have torn up stomachs are kidneys don't merit much attention, either, and what about the liver damage from tylenol?

As someone who deals with chronic pain, I want to minimize the side effects while minimizing my pain. Almost everyone has someone in his or her life managing chronic conditions that require this dance between benefit and cost; we need more attention on this, as well.

I'll get back to you, Craig, with anything I find.

I hope your wife is doing better. Here's to a good Monday for all of us! :-)

Craig said...

Kim, thanks for your response.

You went right along with my point. The VAERS database was what was used to give us the original 1-in-a-million figure. However, I hear doctors, scientists, and Kennys all laughing at how much of a joke the VAERS is. It is also known that fewer than 10% of all doctors and pediatricians report to the VAERS. So again, how do we know the number they are giving us are accurate? Which is why I say that vaccine safety studies are sadly lacking. In most cases, the just use epidemiological data. While epidemiology is useful to look at the big picture, in this case it is like using a telescope to look at a molecule. It is insufficient to find these susceptible subsets, especially when the data being used is faulty (like with the VAERS).

Anyway, I appreciate your comment about my wife. She is doing better, but it was a big scare she gave us.

Back in May, she had a cardiac arrest (at 34...and she isn't overweight). Turns out, she has HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy). They just did surgery on her to install an ICD (Difibrilator(sp)). So, dealing with that, my job and my 3 kids has been...tiring, to say the least.

Anyhow, talk to you soon.

KWombles said...


I'm glad she is doing better. Will your children be tested to see if they also have the condition?

Yes, I have no doubt you've experienced some high stress; I'll have to point out to my husband that by comparison, him dealing with our three when I had my hysterectomy in March was really no big deal. Think that will convince him?

I think the scientific community is going to have to do a better job of relating how they collect data, why the data is reliable, etc. Epi studies, if they're relying in only VAERS data is insufficient unless we get mandatory reporting.

I hope you have a good day.

KWombles said...


My day got away from me, but I will look into this tomorrow and post what I find as a main post.

You are welcome at our facebook group. :-)