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Mother Jones' Kiera Butler Interviews Pediatrician Who Promotes Vaccination Safety

Thinker femaleManaging Editor's Note: Dr. Stacia Kenet Lansman is a Tufts University Medical School graduate - the same college Dr. Paul Offit attended.  As an aside, I too attended Tufts Undergrad, (although my degree is from Boston College) my father, sister, uncle and cousin are Tufts graduates.  This video and the body copy below are from Senior Editor Kiera Butler.  It's an informative interview, and offers a thoughtful dialog on vaccine safety. Slate.com has already tried to label, bully and denigrate Dr. Kenet Lansman  for her point of view: Meet the Anti-Vaccination Pediatrician Catering to California’s Rich, New Age-y Parents.  As you can see in the video, she is NOT against vaccination.  In fact, some of our own readers will disagree with her vaccination schedules. What she is doing is personalizing medicine for children. Hardly anti-vaccine. Thank you to Ms. Butler and Dr. Kenet Lansman.

Read the full post at Mother Jones.

The waiting room at Pediatric Alternatives in Mill Valley, a town in the affluent hippie enclave of Marin County, California, is a far cry from the drab doctors' offices I remember from childhood. Instead of old copies of Highlights magazine and a few sticky Legos, there's a veritable Montessori classroom's worth of appealing toys: wholesome-looking wooden blocks, stacks of picture books, and even a ride-on Radio Flyer fire engine. For parents, there are bookshelves stocked with Moosewood cookbooks and herbal remedies and tomes about how French people get their children to eat. Black-and-white portraits of grinning kids line the walls. Even the patients and their parents look great: trim moms in yoga pants, a giggling, pigtailed preschooler playing with a sticker, an elementary-school girl holding an American Girl book. No one seems to have so much as a runny nose.

This scene isn't the only impressive thing about Pediatric Alternatives. The practice's five physicians have impeccable credentials, having trained and completed residencies at some of the nation's top medical schools and institutions. Several are fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Given all this, it might surprise you to learn that one of Pediatric Alternatives' policies is extremely unorthodox: It suggests that families delay certain childhood immunizations—in some cases for years past the age recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and forego others entirely. A little less than 20 percent of the families the practice treats choose not to vaccinate at all. The rest use a modified vaccine schedule.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages alternative vaccine schedules, it doesn't forbid them for its members. And the insurers that contract with Pediatric Alternatives—which include Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, and Cigna—haven't raised any protest. As Aetna puts it, "We don't dictate care." The California Department of Health simply requests that "parents ensure their children are immunized according to the schedule recommended by their physician." The state of California, meanwhile, makes it relatively easy to opt out of vaccines: Parents are not required to follow the federally recommended schedule, and those who wish to skip shots entirely need only obtain the signature of their child's pediatrician. (Rules vary in other states. See our map.)

Comments

Jen

Lara, Donald Trump is a powerful man, used to attacks by people. He's got lots of healthy kids and grandkids and he seems to care about this issue which is amazing. I noticed he just summed up those people as "haters and losers" and I think he's got it right, so take heart.

Lara Ocasio

Last week, I commented on a tweet by Donald Trump in which he recommended an alternate, updated vaccine schedule. Donald Trump must have liked my words because he retweeted my tweet. Ever since this happened, I have received hate mail and nasty tweets from every bottom feeder on the planet. I guess I know what it feels like to be Jenny McCarthy for a day now. One day, I can only hope that every state will be a "my child, my choice" state.

Cassandra

Give Kiera Butler some credit. She chose an important and controversial topic. We don't know how much of the final piece was the result of her editor's .

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Dr. Lansman, for speaking out.

"But there is no research supporting the notion that vaccines contribute to autoimmune disorders or autism—and plenty of evidence showing that diseases like measles can be deadly. By deviating from the scientifically proven vaccine schedule, Kenet Lansman is playing a dangerous game. No matter what she believes about children in her practice being exceptionally healthy, the threat of catastrophic infectious diseases is real—and outbreaks are very hard to predict."

I wonder if it occurred to Butler to investigate whether Dr. Lansman's patients exhibit the same level of autoimmune disorders or autism seen in the highly vaccinated U.S. populations?

"Even the patients and their parents look great: trim moms in yoga pants, a giggling, pigtailed preschooler playing with a sticker, an elementary-school girl holding an American Girl book. No one seems to have so much as a runny nose."

Ironic beginning. We may have evidence of an important truth here, but I'm not sure this part was intended to inform...

nhokkanen

Also note how Kiera Butler manipulates language:
- failing to consistently refer to her subject by her title of "Doctor";
- referring to vaccine effect observation as "dangerous";
- infantilizing an educated, experienced physician by claiming she's playing a "game."

Today's journalism involves manipulation of strategic semantics, too often from the financial sponsor's perspective. Old school newspaper reporting provided the facts so readers could form their own opinions. Butler's piece is advertorial posing as op-ed, carefully concluded with a heavy-handed admonition ringing with doom.

As parents of vaccine-injured children predicted years ago, letting adverse reactions continue has created an ever-increasing of firsthand witnesses. No amount of frantic corporate-speak can erase that miserable reality.

nhokkanen

Butler (who looks 14) reveals her journalistic limitations by parroting the CDC party line: "But there is no research supporting the notion that vaccines contribute to autoimmune disorders or autism — and plenty of evidence showing that diseases like measles can be deadly. By deviating from the scientifically proven vaccine schedule, Kenet Lansman is playing a dangerous game."

"Scientifically proven" -- by what entity, Ms. Butler? And just what is the rate in Dr. Kenet Lansman's practice of autism, asthma, ADHD, and autoimmunity? Probably as low as the Amish, Dr. Mayer Eisenstein's practice, and the near nonexistent rate during my 1960s-1970s childhood.

In 2002 Mother Jones' investigative reporting gave us "Toxic Tipping Point" on health damage caused by mercury in vaccines.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/toxic-tipping-point

However since that damaging article MJ has been not just neutralized, but transformed into a revisionist apologist for government and industry, where vaccines are concerned. The Thimerosal article now begins with a boilerplate disclaimer promoting, rather than investigating, the manufactured fixes of the vaccine/autism coverup.

Linda

Dr. Lansman suggests that parents skip the rotavirus vaccine? That ought to make rotavirus vaccine inventor millionaire Offit's eyes open wide and his head do several 360 degree spins.

Thank you to Kiera Butler, Mother Jones and to Dr. Lansman. Now we need more doctors to step forward, please.

Anne J.

We need more open-minded pediatricians like this!
All three of my kids regressed significantly after their first MMR, and suffered even more serious consequences after their 2nd MMR (2 of our 3 kids ended up on the spectrum, and I blame my many amalgam fillings and their vaccines). I wish we had delayed or skipped the MMR vaccine, and a number of others that are not for truly life-threatening illnesses.
We've had ZERO help with adverse vaccine reactions from our mainstream pediatrician, so parents are definitely totally on their own if their child is injured by a vaccine. Please, parents DO YOUR OWN REVIEW OF THE AVAILABLE VACCINE RESEARCH! Your child is NOT "acceptable collateral damage!" Too many kids have been injured, and it's long past time for those in the medical community to address this properly, so we can save future children from vaccine injury. There is NO EXCUSE for this continual damage! It's criminal, really. As a licensed healthcare professional, I am completely disgusted with the current views/practices of the mainstream pediatric medical establishment.
However, we have seen AMAZING results using complimentary alternative biomedical treatments. 2 of our 3 kids are now "typical". We are still working to recover the third. While we are making progress, she will likely need "forever care" and is severely impaired. Unfortunately, the most successful biomedical treatments were not covered by insurance (though that is changing somewhat). It's been a very long, expensive road to recovery. Best to avoid the damage in the first place!

 Bob Moffitt

Dr. Stacia Kenet Lansman is a Tufts University Medical School graduate" .. with whom Senior Editor Kiera Butler conducted .."an informative interview, and offers a thoughtful dialog on vaccine safety."

Editor Kiera Butler's interview with a "pediatrician who thinks vaccines are .. messing with nature" .. raised some serious questions that too many in the media are outright fearful of asking. Such as ..

Is it possible that .. five physicians with impeccable credentials .. having trained and completed residencies at some of the nation's top medical schools and institutions .. who "customize immunization plans for each patient .. are .. onto something? Could it be that much of what we've heard about the importance of timely vaccines is wrong?

Is it possible .. as Dr. Lansman suspects .. "that vaccines have contributed to the recent uptick in autoimmune disorders and other chronic conditions? Dr. Lansman says .. "we've reduced or largely eliminated many infectious diseases. But in their place, we have an epidemic of chronic illnesses in children. The incidence of asthma, allergies, and autism spectrum disorders has dramatically increased since the 1990's. And the reason for this we don't know. But my concern is that vaccines played a role".

Is it possible .. as Dr. Lansman believes .. "that detoxification pathways in the body can be overwhelmed by too many vaccines in a given day?"

Is it possible .. as Dr. Lansman believes .. "there are some diseases that are of extremely low risk for babies" .. such as .. "HEP B, which is generally only transmitted through sex and intravenous drug use" .. and parents .. "ought to forego that vaccine altogether""

Is it unreasonable for Dr. Lansman to suggest that parents "skip the varicella (chicken pox) and rotavirus vaccines, because those diseases are not life-threatening for the vast majority of children?

Is it unreasonable for Dr. Lansman to hold a belief "their could be a link between vaccines and autism" .. because she has seen children in her own practice who begin to show signs of autism shortly after being vaccinated" .. even though she acknowledges "the scientific community has rejected this theory?"

Editor Butler asks: "I have to admit she has a point. Where the risk of catching measles or mumps is practically zero, if there's any possibility at all that vaccines could contribute to chronic health problems, then why not use them judiciously?"

These are hardly inconsequential questions and they deserve a better review and response than was published by Amanda Marcotte's article "Meet the Anti-Vaccination Pediatrician Catering to California's Rich, New Age-y Parents" .. aptly described by AoA column as an effort by "Slate.com" to "label, bully and denigrate Dr. Kenet Lansman for her point of view".

However, we should not be surprised that Slate resorted to ""bullying, denigrating or labeling" Dr. Lansman and the informed parents of California ..

after all ..

who is better qualified to challenge the "five physicians with impeccable credentials .. having trained and completed residencies at some of the nation's top medical schools and institutions " .. than the medical experts toiling for Slate.com.?

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