Note: We are running a contest to win a copy of Dr. Moskowitz's book Vaccines A Reappraisal from Skyhorse Publishing here at AofA. You can leave a comment on this post to enter. Richard Moskowitz, MD, is a family physician who received his BA from Harvard, Phi Beta Kappa, his MD from New York University, and a US Steel Fellowship in Philosophy at the University of Colorado. He has been in private practice since 1967. After studying herbs, Japanese acupuncture, and other holistic modalities, he has specialized in homeopathic medicine since 1974, and has written four previous books and over a hundred articles on homeopathy, midwifery, natural healing, and the philosophy of medicine. He resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
By Anne Dachel
It was my privilege to question Dr. Moskowitz, author of Vaccines: A Reappraisal about his position on the vaccine debate, the health of children, and where this is all headed.
His answers are fascinating. Moskowitz is a wise and courageous doctor who has spent decades opposing the dictates of the pharma-controlled mainstream medical community. His view of what makes us healthy is a refreshing change from what officials tell us.
In your fifty years of practice, how have your views on modern medicine changed?
For me, the big change was in medical school and during internship. It's hard to boil it down to a phrase or two, but by the time I graduated from medical school I knew I couldn't bring myself to practice in the way I'd been taught, and I left medicine entirely for 3 years, doing graduate work in philosophy to try to understand what I'd just lived through, and finally interning because I needed to earn a living and support my family.
When I started practicing, I was already determined not to give pharmaceutical drugs for long-term maintenance and to avoid elective surgery as long as possible; but I had no idea how to do that. The medical system was all I knew. There was no such thing as "alternative medicine" in those days; if anybody had suggested anything as outlandish as acupuncture or homeopathy, I doubt I would have taken it seriously. I did begin dabbling in and eventually studying things like herbs, nutrition, lifestyle modification, and psychotherapy.
What really turned my head around was a home birth that I got talked into because I had a reputation for being a little weird and none of the OB's in town would touch it with a 10-foot pole. It was a revelation for me, because I was no longer telling the woman what to do or how to live her life, but rather being a midwife, helping her to do what her body was already trying to do. So I just sat down and paid attention like everybody else, and thank God, nothing went wrong; she taught me the whole course that day, without saying a word. That was the first time I had a vision of how I could practice medicine in a way I could be proud of.
That was how I became open to things like acupuncture and homeopathy. So to answer your question, what changed wasn't the medical system or my views of it, but simply how I could relate to it, to the point that I've also learned to appreciate the many good things it has to offer.
As a doctor of natural medicine, you have a different view of healthcare. What are doctors doing wrong today regarding children’s health?
The medical system is based on achieving technical mastery over every aspect of the life process, on developing medical and surgical technologies to force the body to behave in the ways we've decided that it should, to raise or lower the blood pressure, for example, more or less at will, or to repair parts that are broken, and to remove organs and tissues that are diseased or already dead. In themselves, some of these are magnificent achievements, and capable of much good or even saving life in situations of extreme or desperate need.
But using heavy artillery to force the body to behave itself, often by robbing Peter to pay Paul, is a lousy model for helping people to recover from their sicknesses; in most cases, it's very likely to stand in the way, or even substitute a worse sickness of its own. If all healing is ultimately self-healing, as I believe, and the symptoms of illness are precisely the unsuccessful attempt of the body to make that happen, it makes much better sense to try help people to heal themselves wherever possible, before forcing their bodies to behave in the absence of any natural inclination to do so.
Vaccination is a perfect example. I still fondly remember coming down with the measles as a child and enjoying a week off from school, lovingly nursed and fussed over by my mother. Mounting a vigorous, acute response to infection is a crucial function of a healthy immune system; its main purpose and end result is to expel the measles virus or any other offending organism from the blood. Real natural immunity like that is usually absolute and lifelong. It means, first of all, that I'll never get the measles again, no matter how many epidemics are raging all around me. But it also means that my entire immune system has been mobilized and thus primed to respond with equal vigor and efficiency to whatever else may come down the pike in the future. This is a huge net gain for me, for the community, and indeed for the human race as a whole.
This is shown very clearly by research that proves that kids who come down with and recover from these common febrile diseases, like measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and "the flu," for example, are much less likely to come down with various chronic diseases later in life than those who were vaccinated against them instead.
So the measles vaccine "succeeded" in the sense that we went from 400,000 cases a year to less than 10,000; yes, that's very impressive. But instead of expelling the virus from the blood, the vaccinated kids now carry it within their immune systems for life. That's a very high price to pay for those precious antibodies that we tend to lose sight of, because the so-called "immunity" that they substitute for the real thing is phony, is indeed the polar opposite of good health. When you multiply that vaccine by 75, that's what we're giving to every 18-year-old who plays by the rules; by age 65, the figure is closer to 150. And that's a good example of what is likely to happen whenever you try to force the issue, to force the body to do what it has no natural inclination to do.
What can you say about the health of unvaccinated children in your practice?
It's a little hard to say, because most of the kids I see carry a much lighter vaccine load than most; a lot of them still get the DT and the polio, and they don't get them from me. I haven't given any vaccines for at least 45 years. But the research on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is finally beginning to be done; and I can say from my own experience that the kids I see are much less prone to chronic diseases of every kind than the national average, and perhaps also more likely to get the usual acute diseases with fever, which reassure me that their immune systems are developing normally, as they should. I worry much more about the kids who don't develop fevers, which I take to be a possible early warning sign of some chronic disease cooking on the back burner.
Why do doctors not recognize the growing population of chronically ill and disabled children that simply weren’t there 25 years ago? What are they telling themselves when a child suffers a reaction after vaccination?
I think the reason is a subconscious fear that that elephant in the room would require them to seriously rethink their ingrained article of quasi-religious faith that our medical system is the best in the world, that our kids are the healthiest, and that the exceptions are either from poor or immigrant families who already have too many strikes against them, or else those with some weird genetic abnormality that at present nothing can be done about.
Our present vaccination policy, for example, makes no sense from the viewpoint of science, ethics, politics, or simple common sense. We believe that vaccines are safe and effective, yet we require them of everyone with or without their consent, with no public health emergency anywhere in sight, even though the Supreme Court says they're "unavoidably unsafe," so the manufacturers can't be held liable for their deaths and disabilities, as they are for every other drug. The only way this makes sense is as a baptismal sacrament of our essentially religious faith in the medical enterprise.
So we've limited our definition of what counts as an adverse reaction to something really drastic that happens within a few hours or days after the shot; by definition that excludes the entire chronic dimension, of things happening slowly and beneath the surface for weeks, months, or years. Even when the child dies within a few hours or days, we still tend to dismiss it as a rare genetic hypersensitivity reaction, or in any case a "coincidence," with the implication that parents who link it to the vaccine or vaccines are either lying, or ignorant, or simply deluded by their misfortune.
How are your views treated by doctors in mainstream medicine?
Very few things I've written have ever been published in mainstream media or scientific journals, both of which generally tend to censor themselves from airing or taking seriously almost anything that overtly or by implication criticizes or casts doubt on the view that vaccines are safe and effective. In short, I've been preaching to the choir almost the whole time.
But slowly and still mostly under the radar, with the addition of more and more vaccines and the increasing pressure to make them compulsory, that smugness is unraveling, and the faith on which it rests is coming apart. So now, beginning with Andy Wakefield, and continuing with well-meaning pediatricians like Bob Sears, those who dissent from the increasingly rigid orthodoxy are being attacked as heretics, and the battle lines are being drawn. If my new book succeeds in blurring those boundaries, I'll probably be in for it as well.
What do you hope your book will do for parents faced with questions about vaccinating their child?
Parents have always been my main audience, just as helping them sort through their questions and doubts and make their own decisions have always been an important part of my regular pediatric practice. I'm primarily a clinician, not a research scientist; and ultimately my book is an attempt to make sense of what I've actually witnessed. What I'm offering is not final answers, but a way to ask the right questions, and hopefully to stimulate debate and encourage some of the further research that still needs to be done. So my hope is that it will help parents to make the choice that best suits them. A lot of the parents I see eventually give their kids the tetanus and polio, for example, even though I've certainly made the case that even these are unnecessary. My position is and has always been simply pro-choice, pro informed consent, that is, to reaffirm the parents' moral and legal authority to make health-care decisions for their kids, as enshrined in the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declaration, adopted by almost all nations after the Nazi atrocities of World War II, including the US, universal human rights which we still profess to hold dear.
Where is all this headed? How long can we just accommodate a growing population of disabled children as normal and acceptable?
I believe that we're headed down a slippery slope towards an even greater crisis of death, brain damage, and serious autoimmune disease that in the not-distant future will precipitate a major political, scientific, legal, and moral meltdown and, just possibly, a basic rethinking of our entire medical and scientific enterprise, which will hopefully reaffirm health care as a human right rather than a commodity for sale to the few who can afford it, and a more humane, wholesome, and restrained application of technology as a result. I guess I'm still a guarded optimist in that sense, in the face of the death-throes of runaway, Robber Baron-style capitalism at this point.
More on Dr. Moskowitz
Age of Autism:
Sept 19, 2017, Debut Day For Vaccines: A Reappraisal by Dr. Richard Moskowitz from Skyhorse Publishing Oct 4, 2017, Win a Copy of Vaccines A Reappraisal By Dr. Richard Moskowitz, MD
2015, Health Impact News: The Case Against Immunizations, By Richard Moskowitz, M. D.
YouTube interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9S9R4DrZ58