Tag Archives: anti-vaccination

A Week Of Small Victories

This week has seen some small victories in the fight against the anti-vaccination element and their tirade of misinformation.

Yesterday, the UK medical journal The Lancet printed a retraction of the 1998 study lead by Andrew Wakefield which stated (incorrectly I might add) that there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.   This was after the UK’s General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel found that Wakefield engaged in unethical and irresponsible behaviour during the research of the paper.  This paper provides the foundation for the anti-vaccination movement and it is very satisfying to see it discredited so publicly.

Then today, the spearhead of the anti-vaccination movement in Australia Meryl Dorey, announced that she is stepping down from the presidency of the anti-vaccination organisation the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).  The reason she gave was that tired old excuse that all disgraced politicians seem to give, that she wants to spend more time with her family.  The fact that Dorey is facing potential charges of distributing medical advice without a licence, I’m sure has nothing to do with it (yeah, right).   It is unknown at this time if the AVN is going to continue without Dorey, but it would be naive to believe that it won’t in some form.  Still, we can hope that the AVN will have a much weaker public profile in the future.

It is very nice to see a small victory for scientific knowledge over misinformation.

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Anti-vaxers launch a defamation case against Offit, Wallace and Wired

In November 2009, Amy Wallace wrote a pro-vaccination article focusing on Paul Offit for Wired Magazine.  It was a fantastic and well-researched article which highlighted the unscientific claims that anti-vaxers use to instil fear in parents.  When it went live the anti-vaxers were not impressed and “fought” back by trying to discredit Wallace.

Now, one of these anti-vaxers, Barbara Loe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),  is so offended by how she and her views were portrayed in this article that on December 23rd she filed a defamation case against Offit, Wallace and Wired magazine.  Read about this case over at The Sceptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh.

Now if the quote by Offit is correct then Fisher may have a case against him for defaming her by saying that she lies, but I think Fisher is really grasping at straws by trying to also sue Wallace and Wired as well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the US courts and if the judge decides to throw any of it out due to lack of evidence.

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