By now anyone who has been following the campaign against the anti-vaccination organisation, the Australian Vaccination Network, and its leader Meryl Dorey, would be aware of the sheer callousness she displays towards grieving families. Only two days ago Dorey’s callousness found its way on to the front page of the Sunday Telegraph.
As outlined in my Sunday post, “I never have and never will harass or hurt a grieving parent” – Meryl Dorey, in 2009 Dorey had called the Director of the then North Coast Area Health Service to contend that baby Dana McCaffery did not die from Whooping Cough. Dorey denied she said this, and accused the Director of harassing the McCaffery family, by providing the McCafferys with information they had requested from him.
As outlined in my post, “Supposedly”, we see Dorey continue the callous denial of the real cause of a baby’s death, all in the name of Dorey’s anti-vaccination ideology. Other AVN supporters joined in the attack using, as a basis, Dorey’s horrid denialism.
A friend has just sent me an AVN Press Release, from January 1997. Unfortunately, it shows that Dorey’s callousness, in the pursuit of her beliefs, and the attendant raging narcissism, has a long history. In this release Dorey offers a precursor to her whole career as a public health menace [bold mine]:
There has been a lot of publicity about the four alleged whooping cough deaths which the government has been using to whip up mass hysteria. The health authorities refuse to release the names of the so-called pertussis victims. Until they do, one must be sceptical, particularly in light of the authority’s dubious past in disseminating incorrect information about such matters.
For instance, Dr. Margaret Burgess, a spokesperson for the New Children’s Hospital, had claimed several weeks ago on the ABC radio’s show “The World Today”, that there had been several deaths from whooping cough in the last few weeks in Sydney. The AVN had contacted every hospital in Sydney and was unable to find one in which a child had died from whooping cough. The journalist who had presented the show checked back with Dr. Burgess only to be told that there had been two deaths – one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Did even these deaths take place? It’s hard to say.
You read that correctly.
This display of hubris is well-known to those who have been unfortunate enough to follow the proclamations of Meryl Dorey. But, I’m not sure of a time when the revulsion has reared up again so quickly.
Meryl Dorey: just who in the hell do you think you are?
Remember Dorey said this:
I never have and never will harass or hurt a grieving parent and anyone who knows me – or knows anyone in my family – would say that without question.
To quote a friend: anti-vaccinationists are terrible people.
Join the campaign against these vicious public health threats, at Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network.
Reasonable Hank. I’ve casually observed the silliness for a while now. I don’t have kids, but they would certainly get vaccinated as a friend of mine did not vaccinate her first child, and the boy had whooping cough. As an 12 year old, an odd cough persists as well as shortness of breathe.
Anyway, I wanted to point out that the PhD candidate, Judy Wilyman, has a website I would consider cause for concern as well. My thoughts are it would be good for StopAVN to publish a list of the websites with seemingly casual, if not parent supportive names, but are distinctly spreading mis-information.
I’ve also emailed the UOW with my concerns.
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Personally, my opinion is that, quite possibly, the names were not being released because of the possibility of harassment by the Anti Vaccination crowd. After all, they are, to this day, still harassing the grieving McCaffrey family, repeatedly bringing the name of their baby girl into memes and posts, without seeming to care about the pain and suffering caused. God forbid that they should be allowed to grieve for their child with some peace, after all. The Anti Vax members, are very good at attacking and ridiculing, anyone who loses an infant for any reason, telling the parents that it must have been a vaccine injury, despite plentiful evidence to the contrary. And yes, I have been on the receiving end of one of their attacks.
Quite possibly, the Anti Vax crowd should be permanently banned from internet use, en masse. Just my opinion. 🙂 I’m all for freedom of information, but when that freedom is repeatedly abused, as is the case with the AVN and similar groups, then that freedom needs to be removed. 🙂
“In the 20 years from 1976 to 1995 there were 21 deaths from pertussis (whooping cough) in Australia. In contrast, from October 1996 to November 1997, there have been nine deaths; six in New South Wales, and one each in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. All were
children aged between two weeks and four months of age (too young to have completed the primary course of vaccination against pertussis), and none had received more than one dose of a pertussis vaccine (personal communication, Communicable Disease Network Australia
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