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Age of Autism Reader Asks Brian Deer Questions at Johns Hopkins Event

Speak up Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to an AofA reader who sent us this report from  the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health endorsement of/invitation to Brian Deer.  Katie Wright tried her best (see HERE) to convince the school to allow the "other side" to participate -- to no avail. "MotherofPossibility" did a fine job though, see below.

***
 
I attended the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health April 19th, 2011 Brian Deer Lecture "An Elaborate Fraud: Vaccines and Autism" in Sommer Hall, Baltimore, Maryland.

The lecture was what I expected, Brian Deer describing his spin on Andrew Wakefield as an elaborate hoax to connect vaccines to Autism so that Andy could win a "jackpot of money". He showed pictures of Andrew Wakefield and described Wakefield as a charlatan with poker cards at the bottom of his power point presentation. Brian Deer was very proud of his investigative reporting in cracking the code that no one in the medical establishment could ever conceive. Today's fawning crowd at JHU enjoyed his arrogance and cheered and laughed as he made inappropriate comments about Andrew Wakefield's research. No issues were really discussed today at the lecture.

I was pleased that Brian Deer took comments and questions and I was able to say the following before I was interrupted. (And actually I was concerned for the Hopkins sponsor who was jumping up and down waving his arms for me to stop speaking. I did not want to see him have a heart attack.)

"Brian, your work points out that there is a lot of work to be done. I don’t know if you had a chance to catch PBS’s renowned and respected journalist Robert MacNeil who aired a report yesterday titled: Autism Now: Robert MacNeil Shares Grandson Nick's Story. In this story MacNeil talks about his grandson’s developmental regression following vaccination and his grandson’s underlying health problems that include seizures, loss of eye contact & social connection, lack of speech, and gastrointestinal problems. He describes his grandson’s  illness as systemic. Dr. Timothy Buie, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital  found issues in the lower GI tract he called lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia -- inflammation and damage in his small intestine. One percent of our population is now diagnosed with Autism. Dr. Buie, from Mass General, estimates that perhaps 50% of those with Autism suffer systemic intestinal inflammation issues.

I hope there will be more reflective journalism coverage of this type which will lead to more scientific research to find the causes and a cure for this life altering condition. I deeply admire all of the families, especially the parents, whose lives are affected by having a child with autism. They deserve our support and understanding.

I am not here to argue the efficacy of vaccines. But there has been a cost in the adverse reactions experienced resulting in a rising number of incidence of chronic lifelong diseases.

Many doctors here in the United States agree that there are intestinal disorders associated with Autism, and the IOM, IACC -- including the CDC, HHS, NIH and HRSA -- will all be studying whether there is a connection between vaccines and autism. Americans want the studies to be done."

(This is where Brian Deer stopped me and said he would be willing to talk to me at the reception, which I could not stay for because I had to get home to my son with Autism. I asked to continue and I did continue with one more paragraph.)

"I stand for the well being of all children everywhere.  I challenge our medical outlook to create a world where it all works…. One where we are protected from infectious diseases and do no harm to our bodies to cause chronic health issues. One that can identify which children may suffer from adverse events and reactions to environmental concerns including vaccines."

After I spoke, Brian Deer went on to talk about the PBS story. Then he took a few more questions. One person asked what were they going to do about all these parents who believe this information even though it has been proven to be discredited. Brian Deer said that was for this public health audience to work out. He also pointed out the poor parents who suffer because they believe they caused their child's autism by giving them a vaccine.

I have always felt a duty to speak about "what is so" regarding what happened to my child. If I blame anyone, I blame the medical establishment for not figuring out which children might be at risk and react to vaccines and test them ahead like we do for PKU. It is not a question of whether I was wrong in believing that vaccines caused his autism. That is not a question in my mind because my child reacted immediately and regressed into autism before my own eyes. No one had to explain to me what happened, and I did not ask Andrew Wakefield his opinion on what happened. However, it did feel like a dream when it happened because it was so surreal to watch. Most doctors did not want to discuss it at all. My pediatrician apologized to me and sent us home. The specialist who did his colon scope said that I should go home and pray.

I was compelled to speak up today, however, I have little hope that I inspired any of those who were in attendance to discuss the issues. The room was rather squirmy while I spoke, no doubt uncomfortable that I had somehow gotten into the room as one of "those" people. The lecture was all about discussing things around the issues, but not talking directly to what is happening to our children. That, to me is the elaborate hoax, not Andrew Wakefield publishing a report that says we need to research this further. I am committed, like Gandhi, to speak of a transformed world, and like his statement that Britain would leave India, I say we can have a world where all our health concerns are handled so let's get on with research and treatments and supports that will have it all handled. Not, who is right and wrong, but a third option where it all works. We are too intelligent not to head down that path for humanity.

Comments

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Thank you for being there and speaking up. Had we not just moved from Baltimore I would certainly have been standing there with you!

fearofeverythng

An interesting speculation perhaps supported by the presence of Harvey Marcovitch's autograph above the BMJ editorial which launched Deer's latest raft of allegations.

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452.full

Why did the head of GMC panels commit this apparent indiscretion? Could it simply be to intimidate people?

I suspect that Deer is being used as the bogeyman to keep (future) doctors in the straight and narrow. They mustn't forget that their loyalty goes first to the pharma companies, then to the government (in the pocket of pharma anyway), never mind about the patients. Should they forget this, they will get the Wakefield treatment by a nasty totally unqualified little hack in the pay of their masters. This is then another way of instilling fear in these people. Dr Mendelsohn noted that once in medical school, students are driven by fear.

"Fear of failure, fear of missing a diagnosis, fear of malpractice, fear of remarks by their peers, fear that they’ll have to find honest work.

To hide their fear, they are taught to adopt the authoritarian attitude and demeanor of their professors. Doctors, then, develop two major attributes: fear and arrogance."

The more the medical community tries to hide this horrible truth, the more tangled their web of lies becomes.

On one hand you have an expert doctor being discredited by an unknown reporter, who somehow challenged the content of his study that found lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia in the intestines of autistic children.

Yet on the other hand, you have an expert reporter discussing the case of his autistic grandson Nick, and how the efforts of a “new thinking” pediatric gastroenterologist led to improvements in Nicks condition... by treating the lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia in Nicks small intestine

It’s hardly a surprise that Brian Deer tried to move this conversation to “the reception”. Because this comment absolutely nails the lie that he’s been telling.

Considering Johns Hopkins past, inviting Deer is one the nicer things they've done. Ask Henrietta Lacks' family.

I think someone needs to tell those people that the public health sucks and maybe they should close up shop.

Following Mary Maxwell's fine response to the revealing account of Deer's JHU lecture, I would like to draw out a further implication of Mary's quote from the 1998 Lancet paper. The GMC, which delicensed John Walker-Smith and Andrew Wakefield following the evidence Deer gave them, argued that ethics approval and research protocol 172-96 applied to the Lancet research. Read the extract again and then go to 172-96 (http://www.circare.org/autism/wakefield_proforma_19960608.pdf) and ask yourself how could the protocol apply to the paper. Protocol 172-96 focuses overwhelmingly on only one of four hypotheses described in the paper, namely vitamin B12 metabolism. So where in the Lancet paper was the researched laid out in great detail in 172-96? The Lancet paper devotes one penultimate paragraph to B12 deficiency, whilst the protocol devotes 11 of 18 paragraphs comprising its scientific discussion to B12. There is no report whatsoever in the Lancet paper on findings from the research described in 172-96. If protocol 172-96 had outlined the research programme for the Lancet case series, as Deer and the GMC contend, the Lancet paper would have discussed B12 malabsorption at far greater length than one paragraph. This is proof that 172-96 was the wrong approval and protocol for the Lancet case series. The GMC, with all the scientific expertise at its disposal, should have known this, but turned a blind eye.

Thank you Dr Maxwell, but there is one error in your statement:-

'Three excellent doctors were struck off the register by the British Medical Council for wholly political reasons'

Professor Simon Murch was fully exonerated of all charges by the GMC. His colleague Dr John Walker-Smith was 'struck off' along with research scientist Dr Andrew Wakefield. My autistic grandson was one of those children diagnosed and treated by Profs Murch and Walker Smith at the Royal Free Hospital and I can testify to these two clinicians' excellence, professionalism and compassion. They were only doing their jobs.

Dr Wakefield, as a research scientist was based in his laboratory and had NO clinical contact with the Lancet 12 children at all.

I am an alumna of Johns Hopkins, and the widow of a professor of pediatrics. To any doctors reading this, I just want to say: “Please get a grip.” Three excellent doctors were struck off the register by the British Medical Council for wholly political reasons -- it could happen to you! Do not be afraid to say what you really think. Today you may be afraid to ‘stick out’ by defending Andrew Wakefield, but tomorrow you’ll be very embarrassed about having supported this outrage.
One of those three doctors is John Walker-Smith, who graduated in 1954 from Sydney. He asks, in his autobiography “What do I think now of the quality of the education we received? It was remarkably broad and comprehensive, with a very strong scientific base. Much time was spent studying physiology, biochemistry, and so on. But all this made me realize so clearly that medicine is rooted in science.”
Having witnessed the scientific strictness of my spouse, George Maxwell (who also got his MD in 1954), I can assure you that a man like that would never -- could never -- lose his disciplined habits of careful research. And what did the 'infamous' Lancet article of Feb 28. 1998 (p 637) actually say, as opposed to what reporters think it said? I quote:
If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this [bowel] syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is a change in incidence[ 22] or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.[ 23] A genetic predisposition to autistic-spectrum disorders is suggested by over-representation in boys and a greater concordance rate in monozygotic than in dizygotic twins.[ 15]….Urinary methylmalonic-acid concentrations were raised in most of the children, a finding indicative of a functional vitamin B12 deficiency.. B12 deficiency may, therefore, be a contributory factor in the developmental regression.[ 26] [Concluding paragraph:] We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine. [end of quote]
I ask you, O men of Hopkins, to note that a decade later a brainwashed editor “retracted it” -- and Blackwell followed with a ‘retraction’ of “Enterocolitis in Children with Developmental Disorders,” a 2000 piece from Am.J. Gastoenterology. This is very serious business. Please jump on the case a.s.a.p..
-- Mary W Maxwell, PhD (Politics), author of Prosecution for Treason.

THANK YOU Katie for being the White Elephant in the Room!!! :)

Thank you! This statement is so very well composed.

I wonder if the squirming may have been in part due to sudden consciousness of the earlier laughter, but neither the laughter nor the desire to keep the message in comfortable channels no matter how incongruent with the reality of the non-health of our children bodes well for the safety of future pediatric "care."

Australia

I wonder if Brian Deer will ever visit Australia (especially Melbourne)?

If he does visit "downunder" I would like to take Brian Deer out for a beer or two or more.

Then let's see if he still denies a connection between the gut and the brain!!


I wonder which pharmaceutical company funded Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Health's little talk given by Mr. Deer....

Thank you for all the beautiful comments and support. I wanted to make a difference for all of us. Today was a moment to create a new world. So many people are being cause in the matter of what is important for our children. We are going to get this figured out. There are too many people vested in this, passionate for that which will alter the outcome. I am grateful to Age of Autism for publishing my notes from the meeting. I had no idea that all this was going to happen today. I was just reflecting each of you today, a mirror of you really. Standing for our future. We get to create it. Live passionately. Lots of love! MotherofPossibility

Yeah for you, you are like the child pointing out that the Emperor was naked in The Emperor's New Clothes!! Thank you for being there to speak on behalf of the parents who have a child with autism. I too thought Johns Hopkins was to be respected for their research into autism, but not any more. How could they allow this person who is not a competent investigative reporter much less possessing any true understanding of autism. Who will they invite to speak on the subject of autism next? Perhaps Charlie Sheen.

I believe they were laughing at agony and tragedy of autistic children, because they KNOW that vaccines injured them and they participated in this. They protect their own children by NOT vaccinating them, they know too much. Their laugh is the laugh of evil.

OHHH You brave wee thing, and sneaky too.

And yes in deedie what will they do with us parents that (think) know it was the vaccine?

Now once again what background does Brian Deer have?
He has something more than just a journalist degree or job surely?

Very courageous of you to stand before that crowd and Deer and say your comments. Thank you. Sometimes I think I should just do my part with my son, because it burns me out to think of all of the kids who are so sick. But you reminded me and inspired me to press ahead and we must all speak our stories. I bet you touched at least one person in that auditorium. One at a time.

Thank you so much for being there and speaking up. You have so much courage!
The self satisfied smugness of JH astonishes me.
They sound like such heartless tone deaf bureaucrats happy to dismiss the stories of severely disabled kids.

I hope this was worth it to them because they have made scores of families extremely angry. Until one of our parents is afforded equal time to lecture this crowd preventing JH from receiving ASD grant money is a high priority for me. Maybe they dont care about the public they are supposed to be serving but they certainly want our $.

Talk about a hostile audience! That took guts, MotherofPossibility. I have done the same thing, to Paul Offit at a medical lecture. I asked one pointed question and EVERYONE turned around to stare at who was asking that. But you held forth and hopefully sucked the air out of that fake journalist. Good for you, and thank you for the report.

Sounds like you spoke quite eloquently. Geez, I can't believe they got upset about it. What would then do if someone was more direct? I am very upset about the school official wanting you to stop speaking. Sounds like a pre-planned thing.

Julie isn't it crazy that the crowd is laughing, it just goes to show that they are nowhere near to having a clue, and the help for the vaccine injured children that we are desperately looking for will not come from an institution such as Johns Hopkins, its like they are all taking crazy pills there.

The truth of the matter is that we are all stupid. After all, they are all in med school. At jhu no less. How could we possibly not imagine what we witnessed with our own eyes when we are not even worthy of even applying to the esteemed jhu medical school?
M

Thank you so much for being the courgeous voice for our community and our children. I'm utterly disgusted by the fact that Mr. Deer is profiting off the issue of denying the real damage of what big pharma has done to our innocent children. I hope I live to see the day when Deer, (pr)Offit and their partners in crime are brought to justice.

I am to cheered to hear that Brian Deer was challenged at John's Hopkins. But, when I saw that Nick was mentioned from the NewsHour segment - ELATED! Do you know how many times I have wanted to tell this man how sick my son is? You just made one of my bucket list come true. THANK YOU!!!!

My son Nick is a serious gut kid. More than three years of heavy duty interventions, help from Dr. Buie, a great DAN, diets, you name it and his gut is maybe 60% healed (believe me I'm grateful for every speck of improvement).

Deer's relentless attacks on Wakefield aside, hard to do given how rabid and thus far successful, to tell a mother that her child's incredible suffering isn't real is despicable.

The author of this piece is now one of my personal hero's.

Wow, I am blown away by your courage and confidence to speak out on such an important issue in a crowd like that! Thank you; I'm sure things like that make a difference. They can't pretend things are all "lollipops and rainbows" where childrens' health and development are concerned when people like you are around.

What a brave thing to do and you have no idea how many in the audience would have been influenced by your information to look further into this issue and keep their minds open. The lies of Brian Deer are powerless against the truth of a parent so keep on speaking your truth - it will win out in the end!
Meryl Dorey
Australian Vaccination Network
http://www.avn.org.au

From above:-
"Many doctors here in the United States agree that there are intestinal disorders associated with Autism, and the IOM, IACC -- including the CDC, HHS, NIH and HRSA -- will all be studying whether there is a connection between vaccines and autism. Americans want the studies to be done."

(This is where Brian Deer stopped me and said he would be willing to talk to me at the reception, which I could not stay for because I had to get home to my son with Autism. I asked to continue and I did continue with one more paragraph.)"

Well done. Your measured and dignified response to Brian Deer will have shamed them all. Those persons who laughed at Deer's cheap and nasty jibes about Andrew Wakefield involving poker games and 'jackpots of money' will have been reminded this issue was REALLY about large numbers of suffering children and worried mothers.

I pray that soon the world will wake up to the REAL gambles by vaccine manufacturers and policy makers, THEIR obscene 'pots of money' profits made by gambling with our precious childrens' health and well being.


All these fools hoping for a career in "public health" what a joke. They deserve to go down in flames, and ultimately will.

I understand why the crowd laughed. Autism is hilarious. Every time I think about the little boy who staggered around the school library moaning and drooling, I almost bust a gut.

Did Andrew Wakefield play it for laughs at Brandeis?

Thank you so much for being there and speaking on behalf of injured children and their families everywhere! Each time the truth is spoken and the children's stories told - there will more people who will hear it for the first time, or there will even be some who will actually finally "hear" it after not listening before.

My letter to the JHU Gazette, not published:-

It is deeply troubling that Mr Deer, who is not universally respected, should be welcomed at Johns Hopkins which boasts a Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. Mr Deer was heavily criticised last year by leading experts writing in the BMJ for his article ‘Wakefield’s autistic enterocolitis under the microscope’.

http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1127/reply

and Johns Hopkins own Dr Maria Oliva-Hemker warned last month:

“Inflammatory bowel disease is still considered an adult condition and is rarely on pediatricians’ radars,” says Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D., chief of the Gastroenterology & Nutrition division at Hopkins Children’s and director of the comprehensive IBD center there. “Fifty years ago, IBD was almost exclusively diagnosed in adults. These days, treating children with IBD is business as usual in our clinics.”

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Doctors-See-More-Children-with-Inflammatory-Bowel-Disease.aspx

Because of the witch-hunt against Wakefield many autistic children and adults are being denied adequate treatment for inflammatory bowel conditions irrespective of whether the condition is exclusively connected with autism or not, or whether or not vaccines are implicated. The children in the controversial Lancet paper were referred to the UK’s leading paediatic gastro-enterology department in the mid-nineties primarily because they had bowel disease, and were seen only on the basis of clinical need. The GMC on the advice of Mr Deer seem to have confused this early small case series report with a proposed Legal Aid Board protocol for a study which was never executed.

http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c644.full/reply#bmj_el_231147

I note that when I pointed this out in BMJ last, neither Mr Deer or anyone else came back to answer.

I hope that Mr Deer will be asked some probing questions on his visit.

I appreciate your comment, although I would have liked it more if you had challenged Deer on his fraud or ethics charges he's peddled so furiously.

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