AofA Q&A: Dr. Toni Bark Illinois MD on Pediatric Health and Vaccination Status
This Skype interview is our opportunity to hear from a physician who doesn't vaccinate her patients. Listen to her describe the health of the children she sees.
Evanston, IL physician Toni Bark has been an MD since 1986. Back then, she was "quite upset" when she saw a child that was unvaccinated. Of course she hadn't really been taught anything about the vaccine schedule or side effects. She had merely been told that kids have to be vaccinated. In the early 90's, Dr. Bark went back to school and studied "classical homeopathy." Since then, she sees medicine and especially vaccines, in a whole new light.
Dr. Bark has seen the damage that vaccines can cause because a number of the families she has in her practice come to her because their first child suffered a vaccine reaction and they didn't want to vaccinate their other children.
"What I notice is that children who come to me from other practices where they've been fully vaccinated often are--well they are the kids in my practice with asthma, panic disorder, OCD, pandas, autism, Asperger's. My kids who've never been vaccinated in my practice, I don't see those issues. I don't have one child who was not vaccinated who also has asthma, food allergies, or Asperger's or autism, or Crohn's or ulcerative colitis-none of these chronic, either chronic inflammatory or chronic autoimmune diseases.. I don't have that in my population that never was vaccinated-or even that was probably vaccinated very delayed and selectively. But often those kids are in families where the first child was vaccinated fully and there was a vaccine reaction, so the parents decided not to.
"I can only make comments about my own patient population. I can say in my patient population, the kids with chronic illness are the kids who were vaccinated. And the kids that weren't vaccinated, I don't have any of those children on medications. None of them have chronic illness. I can't think of one that has any kind of chronic illness. Not one.
"I hear very similar stories. I have to believe the parents when-in twenty years, I've probably had a few hundred families come to me and tell me a very similar story. Which is, their first child received vaccinations, whether it was at birth or whether it was two months in, or whether it was six months in-at some point they received a round of vaccinations where they had high pitched screaming, fever, arching the back, and they were never the same. ."
Dr. Bark noted that some parents even had videos showing the obvious behavior changes before and after vaccinations.
"I don't understand how people can say that's not true or it's coincidental when there are so many parents with the same story. And these are not parents who are anti-vaccine. These are parents who didn't even question the schedule or anything. They just let the doctors give the kids the vaccines on schedule."
Dr. Bark recounted how back when she was a resident in the emergency room, parents would bring in their children with febrile seizures and arching backs, and "they had been in the vaccine clinic that day or the day before."
Dr. Bark said, "A lot of physicians are really, really in the dark about policy, how vaccines are made, how the advisory committees work, the actually history on how small pox was eradicated, the actually history on the first several attempts on the polio vaccine. We kind of tend to rewrite history to make it look like pharmaceuticals saved the day and vaccines saved the day and when you take a closer look, that's actually not really the reality.
"That's kind of where I'm at now that I really look at things closely and question them because I know that you cannot believe the mantra coming from, I hate to say it, our regulatory agencies, because they have been captured. The mantra from the CDC, I always question because I know better now. They might be telling the truth, but they might not be,.
"In my practice, and that's all I can speak for, children with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis and asthma and Asperger's and autism and pandas, have all been vaccinated. And my unvaccinated population, which is several hundred, if not maybe a few thousand, I don't have one autistic kid in that group."
We often hear the call for a comparison study looking at health outcomes of fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children. We also need to talk to the doctors who either don't vaccinate their patients or don't vaccinate according to the ever-expanding vaccine schedule.
And the issue isn't just looking for autism in these patients. We need to examine their total health picture. We need to ask, is an unchecked, unsafe vaccine schedule making our kids sick?
Here is a discussion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQJ1XdA60dQ&feature=youtu.be between Dr. Sherri Tenpenny and Dr. Bark regarding the movie, Bought. http://boughtmovie.com/
Dr. Bark's background:
Rush Medical College Graduate 1986
Pediatric internship NYU 1986-87
Rehab residency NYU 1987-88
1990-1991 Pediatric residency University of Illinois
Director of Pediatric Emergency Room at Michael Reese Hospital
1993 began studying Homeopathy
1994 started private practice and continued working in emergency rooms, urgent care and psych nursing homes
2003 leadership in Environmental and Energy Design Accreditation
2010-2012 Masters in Healthcare Emergency Management
Toni Bark MD MHEM LEED AP
@Linda1, introducing any other kind of food to a breastfed baby tends to induce ovulation in the mother. If a mom feeds the baby absolutely nothing else but breastmilk for 2-3 years, then Kathleen Dettwyler is correct, she will not ovulate.
But I don't know any mother who does that, not even those who breastfeed for several years. In the group I was in, we all exclusively breastfed; we did not use formula at all, and only added foods like soft avocado chunks at 6 months (the age at which most babies start to reach for their parents' food). We all found that within a month or two of that, our monthly periods returned, even though we continued to breastfeed on demand for at least 2 years.
I also know one mom who was exclusively breastfeeding, but somehow managed to get pregnant 1 month after her first baby was born.
Posted by: Researcher | December 22, 2015 at 07:47 PM
Linda1, thanks for your considerate info on breastfeeding for up to many years. From an expert dr. friend (and other sources), I'm told breastfeeding is "Nature's birth control" and nursing mothers mostly (not always) do not ovulate, thus cannot become pregnant.
Good grief! I admit to ignorance, as how have so many parents/mothers had 3-4 children, just 2 years apart? Perhaps these closely spaced siblings are not breastfed past 15 months? It seems this must be the answer.
Posted by: autism uncle | November 05, 2014 at 04:31 PM
In answer to your question about how long to breastfeed, this is excerpted from an article which the author states are her notes from a lecture by anthropologist Kathleen Dettwyler. FYI:
"Our late age at reproductive maturity predicts 3-6 years of breastfeeding (based on 12 to 20 years for reproductive maturity)
Primates that nurse for one year have their own offspring at the age of 4 years.
Most mammals, including primates, nurse from birth until the end of infancy, where infancy is defined as “birth to the eruption of the first permanent molars”
In humans, these are the teeth known as the 6-year molars; they erupt in the back of the mouth behind the deciduous (baby) teeth about the same time the first baby teeth (the ones in front) are falling out.
Facts About Human Weaning:
The instinct to suck/suckle persists until about the age of 6-7 years
The immune system reaches maturity around 6-7 years
The brain has completed most of its growth by 6-7 years
Children are much more independent by this age than they are at 1-2-3 years of age
Range of 2.5 years to 7.0 years as natural age of weaning in modern humans
Many cultures around the world where all children nurse 2-4 years or longer
Many children around the world, including the United States and Australia, who nurse 2-4 years or longer, including up to and beyond the predicted upper limit of around 7 years
Human children expect to be the primary parenting focus of their mother’s attention for many years before a younger sibling is born.
Average human birth spacing (without intervention) would be at least 4 years between births, with 6-7+ years being even more optimal.
It is normal and healthy for children to breastfeed for many years."
Above excerpted from: http://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/the-anthropological-breastfeeding-weaning/
Dr. Dettwyler's essay on the natural age of weaning from her site:
Posted by: Linda1 | November 04, 2014 at 05:50 AM
Bayareamom - just was saying I knew her also from babycenter and very challenging
Posted by: Sheri Nakken, former RN, MA, Hahnemannian Homeopath | November 04, 2014 at 12:40 AM
Here's the link to the Dr. Blaylock lecture I commented on:
One of Dr. Blaylock's best...
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 09:07 PM
I asked you the question I did because I really used to be over at the Babycenter.com vaccine debate boards A LOT in my past. I was an active debater (anti-vaccine) and not once did I see any mom over there professing to have an autistic and/or asthmatic child who had never been vaccinated.
Having said that, I DO KNOW that there are a few documented cases of autism in a previously unvaccinated child.
Have you viewed any of Dr. Russell Blaylock's videos at YouTube or read any of his research? He mentions in one particular lecture (I think its his 2008 lecture at Dr. Stan Monteith's conference) that one vaccinated generation can pass on genetic defects/neurological issues to another unvaccinated generation (if memory serves, I believe he said this occurs through the male).
I don't obviously know anything about you, but it's quite possible that any toxic burdens YOU may have carried during your pregnancy have somehow offset your own child's immune system and skewed the Th1/Th2 levels of your child, at birth.
Having said the above, I don't think I visited the autism/asthma forums back in those days at Babycenter. You say those forums were 'filled' with unvaccinated children. I realize you say you're supportive of 'our side' on this issue, but honestly, in all my years of research (and that of physicians/pediatricians who don't vaccinate their patients), what you've stated does not comport with the observations of these physicians. As the physician in the above skype interview states, in HER PRACTICE she has not seen any asthma or autism in any of her unvaccinated patients.
Dr. Mayer Eisenstein states the same thing re: his practice as well. So given the above, I'd love to know some of the history of these moms who stated their unvaccinated children were suffering with asthma and/or autism...strictly for research purposes, of course.
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 09:03 PM
Bayareamom: How do you expect me to verify comments? I can't. I'm on your side. That was my mothering experience though. And personal experience. It's not that I don't think vaccinations are contributing, it's that I don't think they are the only cause. We want to think that just by not vaccinating (or doing xyz, depending on the topic) our kids will be safe. But there is so much outside of our control.
According to Dr Mayer Eisenstein of Homefirst Medical Services,
"40 years ago when I started my practice only 1 in 10,000 children had autism. Today it's 1 in 100. What is the only difference we have seen? The inordinate number of vaccines that are being given to children today. My partners and I have over 35,000 patients who have never been vaccinated. You know how many cases of autism we have seen? ZERO, ZERO. I have made this statement for over 40 years: "NO VACCINES NO AUTISM".
From what I can tell, the only thing that was avoided by these 35,000 or so children.… was vaccines. And yet they completely avoided autism.
Do you mind clarifying what else, exactly, is so out of control for us? That clearly wasn't so out of control for these completely unvaccinated children?
Posted by: Barry | November 03, 2014 at 07:48 PM
Here's a link you may be interested in:
"Myth 2: Smallpox Is Easily Spread By Casual Contact With An Infected Person
Smallpox will not rapidly disseminate throughout the community. Even after the development of the rash, the infection is slow to spread. "The infection is spread by droplet contamination and coughing or sneezing are not generally part of the infection. Smallpox will not spread like wildfire," said Orenstein. He stated that the spread of smallpox to casual contacts is the "exception to the rule." Only 8% of cases in Africa were contracted by accidental contact.
Transmission of smallpox occurs only after intense contact, defined as "constant exposure of a person that is within 6-7 feet for a minimum of 6-7 days." Dr. Orenstein reported that in Africa, 92% of all cases came from close associations and in India, all cases came from prolonged personal contact. Dr. Tom Mack from the University of Southern California stated that in Pakistan, 27% of cases demonstrated no transmission to close associates. Nearly 37% had a transmission of only one generation, meaning that the second person to contract smallpox did not pass it onto the third person. These statistics directly contradict models that predict an exponential spread to millions. Even without medical care, isolation was the best way to stop the spread of smallpox in Third World, population dense areas. With a slow transmission rate and an informed public, Mack estimated that the total number of smallpox cases in America would be less than 10, a far cry from the millions postulated by the press.
Dr. Kuritsky said at the CDC Public Forum on Smallpox on June 8 in St. Louis, "Given the slow transmission rate and that people need to be in close contact for nearly a week to spread the infection, the scenario in which a terrorist could infect himself with smallpox and contaminate an entire city by walking through the streets touching people is purely fiction."
Point to ponder: Mass vaccination was halted in Third World countries because it didn't work. In India, villages with an 88% vaccination rate still had outbreaks. After the World Health Organization began a surveillance and containment campaign, actively seeking cases of smallpox, isolating them in their homes, and vaccinating family members and close contacts, outbreaks were virtually eliminated within 2 years.
The CDC and the WHO organization attribute the eradication of smallpox to the ring vaccination of close contacts. However, since the infection runs its course in 3-6 weeks, perhaps ISOLATION ALONE would have effectively accomplished the same thing.
Myth #3: The Death Rate From Smallpox Is 30%
Nearly every newspaper and journal article quotes this statistic. However, as pointed out in the presentation by Dr. Tom Mack, it appears that the "30% fatality rate" has come from skewed data. Dr. Mack has worked with smallpox extensively and saw more than 120 outbreaks in Pakistan throughout the early 1970s..."
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Bayareamom: How do you expect me to verify comments? I can't. I'm on your side. That was my mothering experience though. And personal experience. It's not that I don't think vaccinations are contributing, it's that I don't think they are the only cause. We want to think that just by not vaccinating (or doing xyz, depending on the topic) our kids will be safe. But there is so much outside of our control. There are people who do their homework and 'do the right thing' and still lose. Why I'm reacting angrily and defensively, aside from personal reasons, is that I think it's broader than what the parent can do. I do feel like articles like this just put more on the parent. Many parents are doing all they can. On this topic, it's the responsibility of the medical professionals to do their job justly. And I think it won't make all the health problems go away, which will just make the folks doing as their drs. tell them think they were right all along. We need to acknowledge that this is just another burden on already burdened bodies.
Posted by: A. | November 03, 2014 at 06:52 PM
Why so long?? Because it's good for them. Goodness. I practiced child-led weaning.
Posted by: A. | November 03, 2014 at 06:41 PM
You say your son had "3.5 years of breastfeeding" - I'm curious why so prolonged? Also, at what age did your son have the "few vaccines" and what were the specific vaccines?
thanks! Autism Uncle
Posted by: autism uncle | November 03, 2014 at 06:19 PM
You stated: "And to the other poster - Eve Switzer also very active on babycenter ridiculing those of us who do not vaccinate."
Not sure why the above comment from you. I stated that I used to debate her, meaning I was on the anti-vaccine side of the debate. I believe her moniker in those days was "kidoctr.'
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 05:29 PM
only 10% of the world had smallpox vaccine and it went away even where there was no vaccine. And smallpox followed the vaccine wherever it was given
And to the other poster - Eve Switzer also very active on babycenter ridiculing those of us who do not vaccinate. And I also don't recall many unvaxed with autism on Mothering. The ONLY unvaxed with autism I know of are those who had antibiotics in pregnancy, labor/delivery or post delivery, either directly or via breastmilk.
Posted by: Sheri Nakken, former RN, MA, Hahnemannian Homeopath | November 03, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Re smallpox, my understanding is they made aggressive efforts to quarantine the infected and those around them that were also exposed in the eradication efforts. They then also vaccinated those they quarantined, if I understand events correctly, and since "correlation does not equal causation" only seems to apply to adverse vaccine events... many credit the vaccine with eradication of smallpox. As the vaccine had been seen to increase the risk of smallpox mortality and maybe transmission in some populations in the past, I'm not sure the vaccine was a protection for those they quarantined.
Incidentally, I was vaccinated against smallpox in the mid 80s (maybe they had a few extra vials sitting around they wanted to use up?) so I guess I have to hope that if the virus "accidentally" escapes a lab and/or "falls" into the hands of "terrorists" that my body didn't develop and retain any perverse immune memory from the vaccine.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | November 03, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Dr. Bark is very careful to state that this is what SHE SEES in her practice - that she does not see these ailments in unvaccinated children - that this does not necessarily mean that these ailments aren't possible in unvaccinated children.
Posted by: Linda1 | November 03, 2014 at 01:34 PM
She mentioned small pox - but she did not go into detail of what she had learned about that???
What is she talking about. Vaccines did do away with that disease -- the only one by the way???
Posted by: Benedetta | November 03, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Just an observation (at least suspicion) from what I see in my family and maybe a couple of others, an "unvaccinated" child may still be suffering the effects of a vaccine given in an earlier generation. Not that similar injuries can't be generated by other routes of exposure and other pollutants.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | November 03, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Listening to the few exceptional doctors & nurses who've gotten their vaccine education after medical school has me certain, at the very least, parents need to be aware that pediatricians are not, via their pharma engineered training, qualified to inform on vaccine risk/benefit ratios. They come out of medical school highly pumped up to promote vaccines and often just as energetically closed to looking for problems. And they are not really very health smart it seems if they don't have personal initiative to be.
So IMO we shouldn't consider then qualified to vaccinate. Period. And maybe they are not really qualified to do much of anything for our children in general.
The "doctor is always" right dogma promoted in various old media and taken up by some has as almost familial tradition has led to a situation where "the doctor" gets away with being nearly always wrong. They can produce huge numbers of future pharmaceutical "customers" in fact and get thanked and paid for it by the same customers. A huge percentage of first diagnoses are incorrect, multiple costly tests are run before you might get a helpful answer, drugs with side effects that do nothing in the long run to reverse health problems are the first, middle, and final resort if the patient doesn't decide to take their health into their own hands. Why are we allowing the "profession" to make one feel irresponsible for taking personal health responsibility?
Parents and grandparents and society by and large needs to take responsibility for the climate that has allowed the pollution/vaccination injury epidemics our children suffer with and start questioning and demanding better answers and qualifications and protecting personal rights to then decide what is best.
Maybe something like parents of the vaccine injured setting up or even providing vaccine adverse events training that young parents hopefully would demand their selected "pediatricians" (if that title isn't soon abandoned because it scares parents away) have completed before considering them qualified to "care" for their children ...
Medical boards, peer review, FDA approval requirements... all these need to be held suspect...they really function as guild/corporate protectors, not consumer protectors.
Maybe the idea of "well-baby" care needs to be reworked to mainly emergency care, if that?
Maybe we need to start undergoing more routine visits to toxicologists in today's environment?
I have to think parents become better qualified to raise a healthy child if they are not stuck in a paradigm of just going through the motions, take the baby in for every prescribed visit and just take every vaccine and everything else prescribed, take them in for every infection, get an anti-biotic or something to be able to say you are "doing something" and assuming it must be the best something because you got the advice of someone who paid a lot of money to someone to "train" them (not that all parents are stuck there now).
Maybe professionals should aim for helping parents achieve a measure of educated independence in caring for their children instead of creating dependence?
At the very least, I think there needs to be a general recognition that things can go very wrong, and are going wrong now, when some societal construct or other is allowed to undermine and/or assume the parental responsibility.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | November 03, 2014 at 12:17 PM
The Vax / unvax comparison that the PTB are refusing to do is already being done- by parents who have a vaccine damaged child and don't vax / or selectively vax subsequent siblings.
In almost every case the health of the un/under-vaxxed children is dramatically superior to their vaxxed siblings.
But I agree with A. that vaccines aren't the only causes of these problems. A friend's son was diagnosed with asthma 9 years ago as a seven year old. He underwent standard treatment for a couple of years, and would miss a cumulative 2 -4 weeks of school every year. After a great deal of persuading- first the parents, then their asthma specialist- he was tested and found to be critically Vit D deficient. Supplementing D eliminated all of his asthma symptoms. Then his mother was tested and she too was critically and chronically Vit D deficient, and probably had been during gestation. So was this boy an asthmatic or just D deficient?
Posted by: Professional Educator | November 03, 2014 at 12:11 PM
"...there is a moral distinction between .. "not knowing" .. and .. "not wanting to know" .. which is the only explanation that I can conceive for why the cartel "refuses" to do that study."
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 12:04 PM
You stated, ""The asthma/autism forums on the Mothering Magazine site used to be filled with parents of unvaxxed kids."
Really? I used to post there OFTEN; I used to debate a pediatrician over there by the name of Eve Switzer and funnily enough, I never recall seeing any Moms over there complaining of autism and/or asthma that did NOT vaccinate their children.
Care to elaborate? Or validate your statement with some sort of verifiable proof?
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 03, 2014 at 12:02 PM
"The asthma/autism forums on the Mothering Magazine site used to be filled with parents of unvaxxed kids."
Posted by: Linda1 | November 03, 2014 at 10:40 AM
The asthma/autism forums on the Mothering Magazine site used to be filled with parents of unvaxxed kids. I think it goes far deeper than vaccinations and I don't think simplifying it will help the cause. Our children are born with toxins already in their system. I wish we would all acknowledge that more.
Incidentally my son has asthma despite 3.5 years of breastfeeding and receiving only a few vaccines. I say this not because I don't agree with what you are getting at, but I can say from my own defensiveness rising within my chest at this article, I think it feels frustrating to parents who resisted them many years ago but were bullied into it by the very profession you represent. (and in Evanston, IL I was bullied into it). It was not as easy to resist 10 years ago. Your colleagues need to hear this. Not parents.
Posted by: A. | November 03, 2014 at 10:19 AM
The hour long "you-tube" discussion between Dr. Tenpenny and Dr. Bark regarding the movie "Bought" is well worth hearing if time allows.
The bottom line regarding the link between vaccines and the widespread and growing numbers of children who suffer life-long .. as well as .. life-threatening .. chronic autoimmune disorders .. is beyond question to anyone having the professional courage to investigate it.
Unfortunately, as discussed in this video .. vaccines are the economic cost driver of the entire health care in the United States .. by causing chronic inflammation in children that leads to all kinds of auto-immune diseases/disorders ..most of which will require an entire life-time of medical care.
Not surprisingly .. both doctors dismiss as ludicrous .. arguments that a study of vaccinated v. unvaccinated populations cannot be conducted because it would require children be denied vaccines in order to produce the numbers of unvaccinated children such a study would require.
And so .. we are left with the pharmaceutical/public health/medical professions acting as a cartel .. devising various "strategies" to justify recommendation of vaccines .. such as .. HEP B within hours of birth or flu vaccines containing mercury for pregnant women and children .. rather than making those recommendations based purely upon "science" that is well-known to the cartel.
It is shameful .. and .. as mentioned in this video .. the entire cartel marches in "goose-step" as they continue to avoid doing that single study that would prove vaccines are as safe and efficient as the cartel insists they are.
In my humble opinion .. there is a moral distinction between .. "not knowing" .. and .. "not wanting to know" .. which is the only explanation that I can conceive for why the cartel "refuses" to do that study.
Posted by: BoB Moffitt | November 03, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Great reporting. Just tweeted it.
Posted by: David Taylor | November 03, 2014 at 08:48 AM