By John Stone
Ahead of tonight’s prestigious Dimbleby lecture by Bill Gates the BBC has been forced to acknowledge that there are serious concerns about the safety and usefulness of Gates’s polio project. In an apparently upbeat article ‘The world can defeat polio’ the BBC’s Medical Correspondent, Fergus Walsh, slips in a reference to the work of Jacob Puliyel quote in AoA last week. The abstract to the paper by Vashisht and Puliyel in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics states:
It was hoped that following polio eradication, immunisation could be stopped. However the synthesis of polio virus in 2002, made eradication impossible. It is argued that getting poor countries to expend their scarce resources on an impossible dream over the last 10 years was unethical. Furthermore, while India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received. Though this data was collected within the polio surveillance system, it was not investigated. The principle of primum-non-nocere was violated. The authors suggest that the huge bill of US$ 8 billion spent on the programme, is a small sum to pay if the world learns to be wary of such vertical programmes in the future.
Clearly, what should occur is an open public debate about these issues rather than just taking the word of the world’s most successful salesperson. Last week Gates told the Daily Telegraph: “The golden rule that all lives have equal value and we should treat people as we would like to be treated.” But the reality is that the golden rule applies neither at the level of open debate (the opposition is shouted down) or the children horrifically injured in pursuit of alleged greater good. There is no indication that he is doing anything but continuing to act high handedly, and his words should be treated with as much suspicion as before.
See also: ‘Bill Gates Buying Immortality In
History - By Beating An Already Beaten Disease - And Killing Kids’
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.
Hi, Dr. Kalichman.