McCain is anti-vaccine

Into the Fray Over the Cause of Autism – New York Times

“It’s indisputable that autism is on the rise among children,” Senator John McCain said while campaigning recently in Texas. “The question is, What’s causing it? And we go back and forth, and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.”

Not as if I need another reason not to vote for McCain… I’ve posted numerous refutations of the thimerosal-autism link here before, and this one‘s as good as any. You can also take a look here [NSFW] at what happens when you don’t immunize children, but I’ll warn you the pictures are pretty graphic. Here’s my favorite Metafilter comment from a now-deleted thread:

It’s mercury, a neurotoxin.

You know what else is a toxin? Chlorine. That’s right: it corrodes sensitive mucous membranes and can digest living cells. I therefore suggest you stay away from table salt — it contains chlorine, you know. Clearly toxic!

12 thoughts on “McCain is anti-vaccine

  1. I hope this is driven by poorly informed advisors and not driven by special-interest campaign contributors. At least there’s a chance he would discontinue their service for various reasons in the case of the former reason. If the latter, then he’s pitting self-gain against public health.

  2. i think it’s a terrible legal precedent, but we’ve seen many times before that the law takes time to catch up to science. besides that, this case is decided based on a preponderance of evidence – nowhere near scientific standards of evidence. the huffington post continues to disappoint me with some of the tripe that they print. i pretty much agree with orac’s smackdown of the article.

  3. You should read the full text of the decision. It’s not really a bad decision. The reason that whole vaccination fund is set up is to compensate folks whose kids got really sick from vaccines. The court determined that the kid developed autistic behaviors because of the vaccine. That doesn’t mean that vaccinations cause autism in kids – it just means it lead to autistic behaviors in this particular child’s case.

  4. the case that mister house referenced is a great example of a need to understand a situation where immunizations can exacerbate an existing cause. just like the administration of any medical treatments, proper baseline factor analysis should be taken into consideration before prescribing a treatment. blanket immunization laws should have exceptional rules. when considering the biochemical impact of vaccine preservatives, alternative vaccine options should be considered, rather than limiting the debate to the two polar options of requiring vaccinations or not.
    the biggest concern is that the proper granularity of solutions is not considered when politicians spout of aggregated conclusions.

  5. I didn’t (and don’t) really know much about it, I skimmed over it and thought it was interesting. I don’t think I have a problem with the case (as house described), but I can understand the confusion it causes. I’m not anti-vaccine, but I don’t think they should be mandatory. heh, you know me 🙂

  6. In Texas you have the right to refuse vaccinations on the grounds of religious belief or medical reasons. You’ll notice a lot of the cases most publicized occur in states where that right isn’t available.

    …its also worth noting two things here that aren’t obvious by reading some of the links here:
    -mercury is now only used in flu vaccines – it has been removed from all other vaccinations(someone please forward this to McCain)
    -children have a much more aggressive immunization schedule than what we had.

    Before the baby came I had read that there are a significant amount(something in the neighborhood of 3 times more) of vaccinations recommended for babies now than just twenty years ago. I can’t find the article now unfortunately. I can tell you 48 hours out of the hospital they gave my baby 4 shots of immunizations – each protecting against multiple diseases. I had to sign off on a 3 page listing of possible side effects for each shot. For a baby who’s body isn’t yet fully developed, that seems excessive. She just slept a lot and was fine.

    The set she got at 2 months however did make her very sick which terrified me since I had read quite a bit on the subject in the months leading up to it. She got better after a week and made a full recovery but now I only let the doctor give her one or two at a time – no more of these mega doses with several immunizations being injected at once. Technically she is behind on her immunization schedule but she is still getting immunized – just at a slower rate.

    …I guess my point is this – what would you do? There are countless opinions on the subject and everyone seems to take joy in pointing out how ridiculous the other’s argument is, but this isn’t just an argument – it’s a reality. My question to everyone who writes on the subject is knowing the possibilities that are being debated, what would you do that first time a doctor walks up to your fragile defenseless baby with five needles in hand and their nurse hands you a consent form with a list of frightening side effects? What do you do the first time your baby gets sick from a vaccination?

  7. what would you do if your baby contracted a severe case of pertussis – potentially fatal in small children? would it make you more or less likely to follow the immunization schedule for your next child? the advantage of following medical advice is that it allows us to make decisions not based on fear, but on sound science and probabilities. there is risk involved in anything a doctor does. his job – and the job of the medical community – is to weigh the risks against the risk of not doing anything at all. the benefits to your child and to curbing the spread of disease in general far outweigh the risks of side effects when it comes to vaccines.

  8. Well maybe if these drugs weren’t simply a means to make our brains more susceptible to government mind-control then I’d take them seriously.

    A vaccine for chickenpox? What the fuck? I thought every kid was supposed to get the goddamn chicken pox! A pox on you!

  9. …but you assume that the kind of “sound science” used in our medical practices is always the most effective. My opinion of Western Medicine is that although we mostly take it to be sound, it’s far from absolute. Western Medicine is after all a philosophy that doesn’t treat people – only symptoms. To that end, sometimes people’s symptoms get treated at the expense of their overall health. For instance, a child who is treated for various ear & sinus infections may be given antibiotics to treat the symptoms even though in the long term, it may hurt the child’s ability to fight off future infections causing more trips to doctor to be treated with more antibiotics.

    With that in mind, I don’t see what’s so ridiculous about questioning the recommended wisdom of the western medical community in general(which rarely includes a holistic approach to the body).

    It’s also worth noting here that different countries have their own recommended immunization schedules and even list different kinds of illnesses they protect against – even among geographically connected countries in Europe where Western Medicine is the predominate philosophy. This is just to point out that there is no clear consensus even among the western medical community.

  10. of course it’s not absolute, and i don’t mean to say you shouldn’t question it. but it’s the best thing we’ve got going as humans. i agree with you about overuse of antibiotics – and so do most docs nowadays. that’s one of the great things about western medicine – it learns from its mistakes. it tackles problems systematically. and i think a lot of docs do try to take a holistic approach as well; i think it’s something a lot of med schools have started teaching a little more. and it’s definitely part of an osteopath’s training (if you haven’t, maybe you should try looking up a d.o. for your family doc). science and medicine aren’t perfect, nor do they claim to be. but they help docs make the best choice given all available evidence. and i’m talking double-blind, controlled and dispassionate evidence, not anecdotal, as many other methods of healing rely upon.

  11. When I was a kid they gave me antibiotics all the time. I hadn’t talked about the health of my younger years with my Dad until recently. He said the doctor was constantly prescribing antibiotics (Amoxycillin) for me “prophylactically”. My Mom never questioned and just accepted it, and my Dad was kind of disassociated and didn’t have much input, but he always felt that overmedicated treatment I got was wrong. And fast forward 20 years and yep, it is wrong. Doctors don’t do that anymore unless you have some kind of immune deficiency.

    While I do agree that using simple anecdotal evidence to make a medical decision is stupid (which is why I’m not going to use my experience to determine what meds my kid will get) I do think it’s not a bad idea to do your own research and look at studies backed by sound science – even if they are in another country.

    When it comes down to it the doctor is the guy with the medical degree and I’m the guy who writes computer programs. So I’ll trust my doctor. I won’t be deliberately oppositional and “black helicopter” about things but that also doesn’t mean I won’t question what meds my kid gets.

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