Is This The Real Reason Paul Offit Is Going After Dr. Oz During Autism Awareness Month?
It's bad enough when we naughty, histrionic Mommies buck the vaccination system and claim a mere diet has helped our kids, but when "Americas Most Trusted Doctor" (Dr. Oz) who is backed by America's wealthiest woman and media empire owner (Oprah) says that he also bucks the system, well, that simply won't do. Dr. Oz admitted to Joy Behar that not all children have to follow the AAP vaccination schedule, his wife did not vaccinate his children for H1N1, and he has promoted dietary interventions as treatment for autism. That's when a doctor like Paul Offit, infectious disease specialist and vaccine patent holder might call on friends to print an article like the one that ran yesterday in a faltering metropolitan daily, knocking America's most trusted doctor down a few notches in the hopes of obfuscating the fact that your message is failing. If you can pour salt in the wound of families and children facing autism during autism awareness month at the same time, that's just an added bonus I suppose. We ran three posts recently featuring Dr. Oz:
If Dr. Oz Spreads out the Vaccine Schedule for His Kids, Why Can't We?
Dr. Oz Talks Vaccination, Cautiously, On The View
Dr. Oz Promotes DAN! Style Dietary Intervention to Treat Inflammation in Autism
Yesterday, I was in a Barnes & Noble in Connecticut and found an autism awareness month display. Three of the seven books were about autism treatment, healing, recovery and prevention. (Did I mention a failing message?)
Tony Lyons and Ken Siri's Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism
Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel's Healing and Preventing Autism
Dr. Bob Sears The Autism Book: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Early Detection, Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention
Here's the transcript from Dr. Oz's conversation with Joy Behar:
BEHAR: We`re back with Dr. Oz. I have some questions on Twitter.
OZ: Fire away.
BEHAR: Well first of all, someone want to know there`s a rumor that your kids did not get flu shots or swine flu shots is that right?
OZ: That`s true, they did not.
BEHAR: Do you not believe in them for the kids or what?
OZ: No, I would have vaccinated my kids but you know I - I`m in a happy marriage and my wife who makes most of the important decisions as most couples have in their lives.
OZ: Who absolutely refuses. And listen the kids are pretty healthy. We actually think two of them caught swine flu very early on anyway. So there`s no point vaccinating them again. And you know -
BEHAR: What do you, on that same subject, what do you think about this controversy that`s going around about vaccinations and autism and other little things that happens to kids?
OZ: I think kids like the canary and the coal mine. That they are more susceptible to some of the toxins maybe our generation was able to overcome. That`s why we have a lot more allergies now. Perhaps one of the reason why we have more autism. But I don`t think it`s just the vaccine.
OZ: Although, I don`t want to ignore the potential role they have. So what we do with our kids is we spread the vaccine out.
BEHAR: Right, so why don`t the doctors just do that?
OZ: It`s a lot more expensive and kids fall through the cracks.
OZ: It`s hard enough to get in there once a year for the shots and imagine if you have to bring them in every other month. And those two factors are a big issue.
BEHAR: I see.
OZ: Plus, we have no evidence at all, Joy, none, that they actually cause autism.
OZ: And a lot of doctors very reasonably say, listen, why you want to spend more money, cause more hardship for the kids and their families, if we don`t think it`s really a problem. But you know if you want to be cautious, you can do what we did.
BEHAR: Well, I don`t remember getting this many shots when I was a kid. Or my daughter getting as many shots.
OZ: We did Joy. When you and I were -
BEHAR: She got the measles on her own. She got chicken pox on her on, so what?
OZ: We got exposed to ten vaccines when we were kids. Children today are now getting closer to 30. So there`s a big difference between the exposure amounts and, plus, we have a much purer environment that we grew up in and compared to what kids are exposed to today.
See the full transcript HERE.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.
Judith took the words right out of my mouth. I live in RI and just learned about exemption forms. My son regressed after the MMR vaccine. I no longer allow my children to get vaccinated. My children rarely see the pediatrician and are almost never sick. It was so difficult to get the forms because they can only be ordered by the school nurse and it took a while for RI Dept. of Health to send them. No other school in my town had any. And the nurse had never seen one. I guess we'll be the first.
Posted by: Sherry | April 12, 2010 at 02:27 PM
"...and nurses have NO power"
I recall overhearing a nurse in a local hospital commenting on the rise in childhood disabilities - talking to her peers - "it's something in the shots".
That was almost 10 years ago.
It may not be political clout, but you have more power than you know...
Posted by: Randy | April 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM
This is why I have a family doctor, not a pediatrician, for my family. And he no longer gives childhood immunizations. He did vaccinate my ASD son, and I am not sure why he stopped vaccinations in his office. He knows that my daughter is completely free of vaccines. I said I was delaying...which is true...I'm delaying them until she is 18 and then she can make her own decision.
I recommend dropping any pediatrician who makes you sign forms, etc in regards to refusal of vaccines. And if you can't find a supportive pediatrician, find a family doctor. Mine is great, and he will sign orders on pretty much anything. He knows that I read and research, and he just asks for copies of the information/tests/progress notes from the other practitioners who treat my son.
It is interesting. I am also a pedi RN. People know that I am against vaccines. Before my son, I was really indifferent to vaccines. I had cared for children who were vaccine injured, and I did worry about them. I had parents tell me of their child's regression post vaccines, and I believed them, but I figured that they must have a family history involved, and that something like this could never happen to my child. Wrong!
I have told people that I don't vaccinate my children because of my son and they look at me in shock. Usually the first thing they ask is how my child is allowed into school/preschool. And that is when I inform them about exemption forms, which is always a HUGE shock to them as well!
I know most people I discuss this with won't research and find out for themselves how dangerous and useless vaccines are, but they can't say they weren't warned!
Posted by: Judith | April 11, 2010 at 11:42 PM
@PhillyLisa, We too are from Philly, go to a CHOP pediatrician, I would love to chat about your experiences as I have had similar. I just was emailed this site by a friend, so happy to have found it!
Posted by: Sophiesmom | April 11, 2010 at 09:54 PM
I'm new here, but Willoughby and his lovely wife are my two oldest and dearest friends. I love The Boy as though he were my very own poop painting ball of joy.
I was wondering if anyone else caught the following (emphasis my own):
"BEHAR: What do you, on that same subject, what do you think about this controversy that`s going around about vaccinations and ---> autism and other little things <--- that happens to kids?"
Did Joy Behar REALLY liken autism to a LITTLE thing? What the F*CK?
A broken arm is a little thing. (Can you tell I'm a dude?)
Autism does not equate to a broken arm.
Posted by: Hellbilly | April 11, 2010 at 01:45 PM
What about Offit's other disease?
Posted by: Kerbob1 | April 11, 2010 at 11:47 AM
M, you read this site more closely than my mother, I'm quite certain. The subtle point, which you are missing, is that Trine went after Dr. Oz for his "undermining" the vacine schedule, specifically Dr. Offit's pet shot. We have praised and cajoled and prodded Dr. Oz in the past.
Posted by: K | April 11, 2010 at 07:38 AM
After floundering for years on the cupcake circuit, Trine Tsouderos has really found her gig. She just needs to call up the Offit-Singer-Gorski crowd and take their temperature: which medical figure has wandered off the reservation this month, or dared to question the manufactured public health consensus? Then she can just regurgitate their one-sided, paper thin talking points verbatim, perhaps get griping quotes from a couple of academic hacks who believe important health decisions should be left up to experts like them, and sit back and collect her awards for excellence in journalism. Nice work if you can get it.
Posted by: Schoolteacher in NYC | April 11, 2010 at 12:37 AM
Don't you guys remember a few months ago when you condemned Oz for the very same interview you're now praising him for? Jeez, it's not even my website and even I remember that.
Posted by: M | April 10, 2010 at 11:52 PM
OZ: Perhaps one of the reason why we have more autism. But I don`t think it`s just the vaccine.
OZ: Although, I don`t want to ignore the potential role they have. So what we do with our kids is we spread the vaccine out.
OZ: Plus, we have no evidence at all, Joy, none, that they actually cause autism.
These three statements are totally CONTRADICTORY so all I can figure out is that this guy is walking up there on a tightrope.
Posted by: Autism Grandma | April 10, 2010 at 10:56 PM
I have been kicked out of 3 pediatricians offices in the past 5 years for refusing to vaccinate my already vaccine injured children. I guess 2 children with vaccine induced autism is just not enough for them. It kills me how those arrogant, pompus, AMA butt kissing doctors want you to sign a waiver stating you will NOT hold them responsible if your child is injured from vaccinations, but will kick you out if you refuse to vaccinate. Heres a novel idea: Let's start SUING THE DOCTOR and I bet those practices stop real fast!
Posted by: Rachel L. | April 10, 2010 at 10:48 PM
For Sorsha: Yes, the pediatric practice we go to really does make parents sign that form saying we are endangering the lives of other children. I know it for a fact because it happened to my friend. She showed me a copy of the form. She had been caught off guard and regrettably signed it. It hasn't happened to us yet because the last time my daughter was supposedly due for vaccinations, I was still dutifully allowing it, with some misgivings. I only really educated myself on the issue over the past couple of years. Our DAN doctor is a plane ride away, and we really need a doctor within our insurance network so that we can get these tests done, but the insurance company demands that the doctors vaccinate, so it's going to be really difficult to find one locally.
Posted by: PhillyLisa | April 10, 2010 at 07:27 PM
For those of you who are interested, I live in Germany. We just took our 4 month old (no vaccines) to the doctor yesterday. It wasn't our normal doctor and he mentioned "You are behind in your shots". We said we were delaying them. He smiled, patted the baby on the head and said, "Well, I guess that's how it is then." and said nothing else. Our regular doctor said it was fine to delay but we should think of giving a few select shots to our 3 year old who is starting pre-school IF WE WANTED TO.
When I was in the hospital having the 4 month old it was the middle of swine flu hysteria. My OBGYN said not to get the shot plain and simple due to lack of research, so I asked the doctor at the hospital what she thought. She (someone who worked with newborns) said it was up to me but she didn't get it and plenty of her coworkers didn't have it either.
So things are different everywhere.
Posted by: anonymous | April 10, 2010 at 06:31 PM
Jake Crosby, I second that!
Regarding rotavirus, I have never ever in my entire life known anyone who had a problem with rotavirus. People come down with diarrhea and then get over it. May have been rotavirus, or maybe not. I hear that people in third world country have more problems with this virus. I'd rather have a temporary case of rotavirus than the chronic GI problems which can arise from over-vaccination.
Posted by: Twyla | April 10, 2010 at 06:19 PM
I thought it was too perfect a coincidence:
Dr. Oz calls rotavirus vax optional...
crusading Chicago Tribune reporter Trine Tsouderos sounds the alarm. And she even has a quote from RotaTeq doc Paul Offit: "Science is not a democracy where people's votes decide what is right, said infectious disease specialist Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 'Look at the data, look at science and make a decision based on science that has been published,' he said."
Offit slammed Oz saying, 'It shows you that he is a cardiologist and not an immunologist.'
Offit misses the point that he himself is not a toxicologist, yet he talks like he's an expert when he says the injecting mercury into babies won't hurt them.
I noticed that Dr. Sherri Tenpenny's book is mentioned,
"But it also recommends Saying No To Vaccines,by an activist who compares immunizations to playing with a loaded gun."
The "activist" isn't cited as a medical expert nor does her name appear.
Obviously, Tsouderos and the Trib have their own agenda and it doesn't involve fair and balanced coverage of this issue.
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | April 10, 2010 at 05:43 PM
one thing nurses can do, and they can do it anonymously, is to go on pregnancy forums and warn mothers to be...
I've had moms approach me too who were worried about vaccines and knew about my son.. people are getting it.
Posted by: sarah | April 10, 2010 at 03:16 PM
PhillyLisa: wow does your post rile me up! Did you really say your doc makes you sign a form saying you are endangering other children's lives for refusing the second dose of chicken pox vaccine? You know, does your doc make parents who get the chicken pox vaccine sign a form promising to keep their children away from immunocompromised children for 6 weeks or risk endangering their lives? Yes, the vaccine insert says keep away for 6 weeks because the varicella virus sheds for at least that long. I am so tired of the 'unvaccinated are dangerous' line when the vaccinated bring their own risks; viral shedding (flumist, varicella, shingles, measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus) and carrying higher concentrations of more harmful virus and/or bacteria due to serotype replacement (Gardasil, Prevnar, etc) The dialog is woefully incomplete.
Posted by: Sorsha | April 10, 2010 at 03:04 PM
I was so proud to hear that my niece (my son with autism's cousin) is requiring her nursing students to research "vaccines and autism". She accepts whatever conclusion they come to and doesn't impose her point of view, but is teaching them to think for themselves and do some research. Nearly all of her students are young women of childbearing age.
My haircutter spreads out her babies' vaccines, everywhere I go when I mention autism, people ask about vaccines and volunteer their opinions that there MUST be a connection. MANY more people with no direct connection are questioning and taking control of their children's health.
Celebs like this do make a difference.
Posted by: Ben's mom | April 10, 2010 at 01:33 PM
I find it interesting that prior to vaccination pediatricians give parents a waiver to sign that says essentially, "I understand that this rare side effect can happens (seizures, death, etc.) and I will not hold the doctor responsible". Then if the parent refuses to consent to the vaccination the child is kicked out of the practice. Medical Mafia strong-arming for sure.
Because of these medical mafia strong arm tactics, I know a growing number of parents who use the urgent treatment centers for emergencies and have their children go to Naturopaths for primary care. And you know what? They say their children have never been healthier.
I understand their situation (the docs) - they are afraid of getting in trouble if some gets a vaccine preventable disease. But the answer is not medical mafia tactics. The answer is not putting some children at risk because it is most expedient to your practice and professional reputation. The answer is not to ignore eye witness testimony from parents.
Perhaps a start is community forums between local pediatricians and concerned parents, where each can voice their concerns and be heard. Clearing the strategy of taking everything that is handed down from AAP in Chicago as gospel clearly is not working. Medicine is such a top down profession and believe me, it shows.
Posted by: AnaB | April 10, 2010 at 12:54 PM
RE: Nurse who couldn't speak up...
I'm a pediatric RN as well. We really CAN'T speak up, at least not very openly. We will lose our jobs. The best that I can do is be mildly subversive (and I'm pretty good at that.)
First of all, when a mother questions or wants to delay, I give her my 100% support.
Then, for other moms, I make sure they get the full info on the vaccine BEFORE they sign to get it and I point out the contraindications and the side effects. I can justify that under "informed consent". It's hard being in the medical field... and nurses have NO power.
Posted by: Elisabeth Halligan | April 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM
More toilet journalism from Latrine Tsouderos!
Posted by: Jake Crosby | April 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM
Our local pediatricians office just called asking if our kids were going to schedule their physicals or not, since they haven't had one since age two. The gist being that if they didn't schedule the physicals, they'd have to be taken off the books and we'd lose our nearby emergency ped (our holistic ped is two hours away). I said they had mitochondrial disorders and wouldn't be vaccinating but we still needed an emergency resource, so did they still want to schedule the physicals? The nurse sounded sorry and alarmed, said, oh, dear, well, in that case, let's just leave them on the books for now, okay?
It was an interesting exchange. I hadn't realized that pediatricians are penalized if they have less than a 95% vaccination rate. Is that even in the case of medical contraindication? What a racket.
Posted by: Thanks but no thanks | April 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM
I have to take my daughter to the pediatrician next week. Since she's the only doctor we have who is in our insurance network, we need her to fill out a form to get our insurance to pay for some tests. In this practice, doctors aren't even allowed to fill out a form for camp if you're one day late for a "well visit." I know they she is going to insist on certain shots that are required for entering fifth grade. Of course I am going to refuse them. I'm hoping she'll still fill out the forms I need, especially when I'll refuse to sign the now-required form saying I am endangering the life of other children by refusing the vaccines. This happened to my friend when she refused a chicken pox booster for her son (same doctor). This is a pediatric practice that is affiliated with CHOP. I know it's time to go elsewhere, but we have always really liked this pediatrician despite the affiliation with CHOP. She has always made referrals and fought with my insurance company to get what my daughter needs. Many doctors won't do what she does, including the DAN doctors.
Posted by: PhillyLisa | April 10, 2010 at 11:36 AM
Great that the alternative treatment books are featured at Barnes & Noble. Please, everyone who can manage the time, go and ask for these books at your local public library. Libraries will buy books that are requested and they will keep books that circulate. Because of the economic downturn, libraries are very busy, so every book that gets in will reach people.
Posted by: MinorityView | April 10, 2010 at 11:21 AM
Hey Kim and AoA friends,
Completely off topic, but I wanted to share this with all of you as it is most assuredly in the awesome category.
Morgan's Wonderland has opened in San Antonio Texas.
It's an amusement park created specifically for Special Needs children and their families. Special needs kids get in free, and caregivers and family members get in for $5 a piece.
Posted by: Craig Willoughby | April 10, 2010 at 10:49 AM
When i first heard an Autism Mom say that her 2nd child hadn't seen the Ped it struck me funny at first. But then, like a bult of lightening I (once again) realized my own brainwashing. My 2nd sons last Ped visit was 6 wks old and that was only to make it official that he was seen. He's 22 mos, and what do ya know, has not been there since. Of course, he's not had a single needle in his life and never will.
Posted by: Peds training is not good enough for my kids | April 10, 2010 at 10:13 AM
I'm lucky to have a ped who is tolerant of our family's decision to spread out and delay vaccinations for our second son. We had to leave our first ped, after our first son was born, received all of the vaccinations and was diagnosed with autism at 20 months of age. She refused to spread out vacs for our second son. I was told by our current ped that he can afford to spread out vacs with patients who request it, b/c he has such a large practice. However, I was shocked to learn from him that the insurance companies will withhold payment and potentially drop doctors who do not follow the CDC vac schedule with more than 5% of their patients. It's amazing to me how much politics, money, and insurance bullying impacts our kids health.
Posted by: JessicaC | April 10, 2010 at 09:36 AM
"no evidence at all"??????? excuse me, but aren't doctors allowed access to VAERS and court cases, etc. etc., it's a little more than anecdotal here...grrrr.
Posted by: Janet Sheehan | April 10, 2010 at 08:52 AM
Re: Ana B comment.
My friend is a nurse at a ped's office. She very much believes in a vaccine/autism connection and spreads out and selectively vaccinates her own child. Yet, she says that there is nothing that she can do about her situation... (ie can't talk to parents, can't make suggestions, etc.). While I appreciated her honesty in telling me that... I almost wanted to sock her in the face (figuratively, of course). Just to know that if all the people like her actually spoke up about what is going on ... things may actually change... but instead she's part of the problem. :(
I give Dr. Oz kudos for at least being honest about the fact that his own children weren't vaccinated against the phony "Swine Flu"... Also, about his concerns about too many vaccinations, etc...
As for Dr. (Pr)Offit... What a tool!
Posted by: A Friend | April 10, 2010 at 08:29 AM
Great article Kim.
I still believe peds are more worried about liability than they are their patients. There is no little-to-no-liability for vaccines but there's a great deal of potential liability for so-called "infectious disease."
There is very much a mafia-esque mentality, i.e., "don't go against the 'family'" (the pharma/insurance gravy train).
Dr. Oz is paying the price for his small break with "the family." How dare he?
Posted by: Parent | April 10, 2010 at 08:25 AM
My son's pediatrician told me that he told his own son to spread out his child's vaccines. Yet, at that same doctor's practice, if a parent refused to vaccinate her child on the schedule CDC recommends (And this includes annual flu shot & Gardasil) that family gets kicked out of the practice. This is blatant hypocracy. I can't believe he even had the balls to tell me that. Medical mafia-ism prevails.
Posted by: AnaB | April 10, 2010 at 07:33 AM