Many people have written before about what Orac calls The vilest antivaccine lie that won’t die: Shaken baby syndrome as “vaccine injury”. For a greater understanding of this particularly nasty anti-vaccine lie, I highly recommend reading the Orac post.
Another person who has been on top of the vaccines cause SBS lie, longer than anyone would care to be aware of, such is its repugnance, is Peter Bowditch.
Back in 1997 a thug by the name of Alan Yurko killed his girlfriend’s 10 week old son. After being acquitted of murder, due to sloppy morgue practices, Yurko went down for manslaughter. Peter Bowditch has a very thorough timeline of events on his site.
I want to note some of the injuries listed in the post-mortem of the slaughtered baby. From Peter’s site:
Note – the baby had been crying for a few days before the father held it by its feet and hit it.
Post-Mortem Findings included minor contusions of both temporal areas of the head, small ecchymosis of the right lower eyelid, fresh subdural hemorrhages of the right and left cerebral hemispheres and at base of brain and some areas of spinal cord, and retinal bleeding. The brain was grossly edematous. In addition there were several old, healing fractures of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th ribs, all posterior and on the left.
To cut a long story short, chiropractic organisations and anti-vaccine activists swung in behind Yurko, where they remain to this day. As Peter Bowditch notes, Yurko was labeled a “hero” by the International Chiropractors Association’s Pediatric Council. You read that right. And one of the main medical advocates for the baby slaughterer was one Harold Buttram (remember that bit).
So, take into account the injuries suffered by that 10 week old baby; remember that the injuries he sustained (some whilst being hung upside down by his feet, and struck) led him to be the subject of a post-mortem; and now remind yourselves of what Meryl Dorey and her husband Ken Dorey said on January 7 2001, on the AVN Yahoo! Group:
I just read this out to my husband who is great with catch phrases and he suggests – Shaken Maybe Syndrome. I like Shaken from the inside too – both are good. And a great thought – you are right – sound bites have it. And as my 16 year old niece would say – that bites!
You also read that right. In the Dorey household it is okay to sit around thinking up glib “catch phrases”, which have “bite”, to defend baby killers.
With all of this in mind I want you to read the following transcript, taken from Dorey’s appearance yesterday at the You Can Heal Yourself Expo, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The organisers defended Dorey’s right to be at the Expo, and staunchly defended Dorey’s right to give a presentation. Media also gave Dorey free plugs. The organisers led people to believe that the HCCC’s Public Health Warning against the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network would be on display. It wasn’t.
Read this astonishing transcript for yourself and then judge the actions of the organisers of the Expo:
Questioner: Yeah hi I was wondering with the SIDS I’ve heard that a lot of fathers and sometimes mothers have been jailed for I guess being said that they caused the deaths from shaking while their babies were sleeping or something, because the vaccinations actually cause bruises as well as the instant death. Do you have any statistics on that or something?
Meryl: I don’t have statistics but there is a book we carry it it’s called Sudden Infant Death I can never remember the whole name it’s quite long it’s written by Harold Buttram who’s an MD, a GP who has been studying this for a long time and he has actually engaged an engineer of some kind, a mechanical engineer I think to test what sort of force is needed to shake a baby in order to cause brain damage and bleeding behind the eyes which are basically the symptoms they look at in shaken baby, and it is impossible according to this expert, it is impossible to shake a baby hard enough to cause that sort of damage without breaking their neck. I mean even if you hold the baby’s head and body at the same time and shake them, the neck has to break. So shaken baby syndrome again like SIDS, is a waste basket. It is a way of blaming the family for what may have been caused by the medical community. And bleeding behind the eyes, retinal bleeding is something that has been known to follow vaccination, it has been known to follow hypoxia or lack of oxygen. There are so many things that can cause that symptom and um, in Australia there is a doctor by the name of Archie K who also put a lot of those symptoms they’re looking at with shaken baby down to lack of vitamin C, he even believed that vaccinations caused uh, ah a deficit of vitamin C and that those would cause the bruising and the broken bones that a lot of people were seeing in this babies as well. Uh yeah, shaken baby syndrome is being used, so is Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.
And she wonders why reasonable people will not debate her. Sometimes there are just no words.
Update 1 hour later:
This is precisely the problem with allowing someone to lie their face off at vulnerable parents:
I want to give a huge shout out to many people who contributed to this post: Of course, Peter Bowditch, who has been all over this for years; the two ninjas who politely attended the Expo and made it possible to see the above words; and the OTTER who transcribed like a now wounded sea mammal.
I think I am going to vomit. I have no reasonable words.
Thanks for, again, shining the light of reason and fact on this woman.
I’m sure you would of seen her mention, in the Courier Mail, of reporting a death threat to the authorities, If there was a death threat I’m sure the the police would/will follow it up. If they do not then what can be presumed?
Questions have been asked of the author of that article. Awaiting reply.
The only honest thing Meryl said in that entire reply was this:
“I don’t have statistics.”
Well if the HCCC want evidence that her advice/behaviour has directly impacted the health and wellbeing of an individual – there it is, in black and white. Someone who has stated outright that they will not vaccinate purely due to her (mis)information.
Meryl Dorey is a much bigger threat to people’s health than any real person has ever been a threat to her.
That is psychopathic behaviour.
She needs to be stopped. Exhibitors must stop giving her credence & validation by allowing her space to exhibit. They most certainly should not be allowing her to speak. She is clearly a danger to the health of the nation & should be treated as such.
In this case the organiser(s) accepted that she may spread dangerous advice, but didn’t apparently feel this mattered or that it would bring their event into disrepute. Which says a lot about the quality of advice and “information” that must have been on offer there.
The problem is the quackery is tolerated. If homeopathy is legitimate enough that you can openly advertise your homeopathic services in newspapers without being done for fraud, and if magnetic bracelets are genuinely therapeutic devices, such that they can be freely advertised on prime-time TV, and while out federal regulator of therapeutic goods includes such things on its register, then there’s little official basis on which to declare the AVSN’s information wrong.
It’s only wrong according to science, but science is dismissed on every second street corner without any action being taken by authorities (until, perhaps, someone dies, and even then the official response is often weak and ineffective (eg: Penelope Dingle)).
So, if local, state and federal governments can’t be bothered protecting the community from charlatans and frauds, why should festival organisers care?
Is media watch still running? They’d love it.
They already have re: the WIN TV incident.
Sooooo….who’s going to email Zaiga with some good references?
Personally, I wouldn’t contact her. They will claim harassment and threats.
Which media outlets plugged Dorey’s appearance?
The Sunday Mail did one in which Dorey was allowed to lie about death threats, and allowed to lie about vaccines, unrebutted.
There was also a Sunshine Coast newspaper which gave her and the Expo space to lie about bullying etc.
This is appalling – the extent of this person’s hubris astounds me. As someone who has been trained to look for the signs of trauma by shaking (as part of non-accidental injury), including the multiple fractures of different ages, bruises of different ages and on atypical areas, and injuries indicative of shearing forces, I won’t be relying on some random engineer to judge whether this is feasible.
If anyone wondered whether this extent of hubris and lack of insight were possible, here is the evidence. Despite her assertion of “twenty years of research”, this woman’s grasp of vaccine science is as tenuous as her grasp of basic physics and chemistry. Dangerously small.
This woman is a dangerous lunatic.
Dorey is the mother of an autistic child (grown up) She believes not only that this was caused by vaccination but that pretty much every bad thing is caused by anything ‘unnatural’. She had a great deal of support from many of my collegues (Chiropractors) and while I’m unsure if they are still officially members they will not have changed their opinions. Unfortunately most Chiropractors prefer not to think too deeply about the topic probably because we like the ‘natural healing’ bullshit label coupled with no longer living in a society like my grandparents where diptheria, polio, scarlett fever, etc seemed to do a pretty good job of killing and disabling us like they still can in places like Afganistan. Here most deaths are sanitary issues (diarrhea is the biggest killer of children under 5) followed by measles which is vaccine preventable (35 to 50000 deaths annually in children under 5 btn 2000-8). There are many vaccines and some work better than others but Dorey is dangerous because she now (probably ignorantly) advocates blind stupidity as a way of navigating our way through lifes complex issues. But hey, if it works for you it must be true and we should respect that logic just as much as we should respect those devoted to pedophillia because to them ‘it’s natural’.
Dorey has no autistic children. All of her oldest son’s ailments are self diagnosed as vaccine injury. None of them have vaccine injuries. Her son is happy and healthy and working in Queensland as a disability worker.
Good to know.
This is an interesting subject Hank.
Putting aside the palpable nonsense of self diagnosed vaccine injuries MD has mentioned her son having an illness/injury many times in many fora. I wonder how her son feels about constantly being describe thus? I wonder if MD realises the risks she is taking by repeatedly dragging her son’s apocryphal ailments into the debate. As a loving mother surely she has considered how this may affect her son? As a loving mother she must realise that at some stage some one or some, perhaps media, organisation less scrupulous than you or I may track him down and invite his comments on quite a broad range of topics.
One of the sad things about this is that Dorey’s nonsense actually harms twice:
* once – by persuading people not to vaccinate their children
* twice – by leading people to dismiss valid criticism of “shaken baby” diagnoses because they expect it all to be as nonsensical as hers.
Yurko was a violent thug who hit his child. The evidence in his case included damage to his child’s neck and spinal chord and evidence of earlier incidents of violent abuse (the rib injuries). His child’s death had nothing to do with either shaking or vaccines.
Thousands of people in Australia and elsewhere have, however, been imprisoned because of “shaken baby” diagnoses when there was no evidence of abuse, no evidence of neck trauma, and when there was evidence that suggested an alternative and non-abusive cause for the observed symptoms (typically some form of respiratory failure).
There are real problems with doctors using deductive logic to diagnose crimes (e.g. “there was evidence of retinal bleeding, sub-dural hemorrhage & cerebral edema, there was no evidence of external trauma or of meningitis, therefore the child must have been abusively shaken by its most recent caregiver”) especially as to date, to my knowledge, no one has ever seen this set of symptoms (often referred to as the triad) develop following the witnessed shaking of a previously healthy child (Squier’s paper, cited below, discusses this issue).
Unfortunately, however, such diagnoses still happen and, as a result, innocent parents and babysitters are still being sent to jail.
The current scientific consensus on “shaken baby” is, as expressed by the UK Royal College of Surgeons, RCS, in 2009:
” in the current state of knowledge the presence of ‘the triad’, even in its ‘characteristic’ form, should not be regarded as absolute proof of traumatic head injury in the absence of any other corroborative evidence.”
If you are interested in learning more about this issue, I recommend:
* The full RCS report: http://www.rcpath.org/resources/sbs_meeting_report_final.pdf)
* the US District Court ruling in Minnesota v Hansen (2011) 2011 Minn. Dist. LEXIS 197
* The following peer-reviewed medical publications:
– Squier W. (2011) The shaken baby syndrome: pathology and mechanisms. Acta Neurologica 122: 519-542
– Gabaeff S.C. (2012) Challenging the pathophysiologic connection between subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage and shaken baby syndrome. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 12(2): 144-158.
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