A Mother’s Choice, Fear and Confusion

In April and May 2009 channel Seven’s Sunday Night programme looked at the activities of The Australian Vaccination Network.

Following the first programme – A Mother’s Choice – the producers held a live audience forum entitled Fear and Confusion.

Both episodes are below, with a final credit scroll examining the activity of anti-vaccine GP, Giselle Cooke, which led to a NSW Medical Tribunal hearing.


Hepatitis B Vaccination: A Chinese Success Story

The vaccination effort against Hepatitis B, especially to protect newborns, will not stop

– Dr Yang Wei Zhong, Deputy Director General of the China CDC –

Australians are unfamiliar with the impact of large scale infection from Hepatitis B virus [HBV].

Ways of controlling the spread of infection include vaccination of health care workers against HBV, that infection with HBV is a notifiable disease, the quarantine of patients suspected of having HBV, ongoing quarantine procedures for patients diagnosed with HBV, extensive education and follow up of patients upon discharge and Harm Reduction initiatives.

So successful have these measures been that many Aussies erroneously believe HBV is exclusively a problem for high risk demographics such as IV drug users or sex workers. This misconception itself is as dangerous as high risk behaviour because it leads to the belief that protection from infection is linked to how one identifies oneself.

Indeed, IV drug users and sex workers are often highly educated about the risk of HBV infection and implement safe injecting and safe sex practices. Many seek out or are offered the HBV vaccine by their own or any GP. The fact is everyone is susceptible to infection with HBV or any blood borne virus.

Tragically the antivaccination lobby has done much to mislead some Aussies into what could almost be termed lethal complacency. By both dehumanising high risk demographics and falsely linking the HBV vaccine to injury and death, they have propagated ignorance and fear, condemning many to premature death from liver failure. In some cases the virus will be cleared over time, but there is no way to manufacture this outcome.

HBV positive individuals who would not exist but for antivaccination propaganda, can transmit the virus for many years post infection, completely free of symptoms.

The WHO observe:

HBV may be the cause of up to 80% of all cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) worldwide, second only to tobacco among known human carcinogens. […]

One should not judge by appearance: most infected people look perfectly healthy and have no symptoms of disease, yet may be highly infectious.

As Australia’s population changes rapidly through immigration and we travel more readily our risk of HBV infection steadily increases. At no time in our history has vaccination against HBV been more important. This will be true tomorrow, next week, next year and next decade. For this reason HBV vaccination is available to newborns.

It’s safe to say that everyday in Australia new lives not only begin, but are in many cases saved and protected from infection through this initiative. In the USA at least eight people per day die from HBV related complications. 25% of carriers world wide – over one million people – die each year from chronic hepatic insufficiency, cirrhosis and liver cancer brought on by HBV infection.

The protective effect of vaccination rolls on for newborns, toddlers and children. Children not born to a HBV positive mother are still protected from the many modes of infection as they grow and go about their lives. There are more concerns than sexual behaviour or the sterility of drug administration. Blood borne is invisible. Only a tiny scratch or cut to the skin or oral mucosa is enough to allow the HBV virus to infect.

It can remain viable for up to a week in blood stains on razor blades, nail clippers, nail files, table tops and can be transferred to a tiny wound by moistening dried, viable blood stains on bedding. We can extrapolate from that to see potential risk comes from any sharp surface or object or textile that children play with and chew on.

It would appear that if complacency was to be justified it is in the parents whose children are vaccinated at birth.

Fortunately antivaccination lobbying and planned fear mongering is not the global norm. At the same time we can celebrate the truly life changing roll out of Hepatitis B vaccination in China.

In 2004 The Association for Asia Research reported 690 million people in China were infected with HBV:

According to the Xinhua News Agency, April 25 is Children’s Immunization Day in China. China’s health department has named this day with the theme of “vaccination prevents hepatitis B” this year. They want to draw the public’s attention to the importance of vaccinating children for hepatitis B vaccination to stop further spread of the disease in China.

A recent study showed that about 2 billion people in the world are infected with hepatitis B; 690 million of them live in China. The chronic hepatitis B carriers in China number about 20 million. An average of 280,000 deaths annually are caused by hepatitis B and related liver diseases.

Still today in China HBV infection carries stigma much like HIV which, in what should be a wake up to Australian and USA antivaccination mobs, prevents middle and upper class individuals from seeking blood tests. Despite HIV awareness being much greater, as recently as 2007 the HIV to HBV infection ratio in China was 1 to 200.

In 2005 the GAVI Alliance began to work with Chinese officials in combating HBV through the vaccination of newborns. GAVI had already made significant inroads in developing nations. In 2004, 22 years after HBV vaccination was introduced to Italy, 50% of low income nations had included the vaccine in immunisation schedules.

What’s truly impressive about GAVI’s impact, is that this was only six years after the 50% mark was reached for high income countries. Over 75% of that catch up followed the launch of GAVI.

In 2001 10% of China’s population were chronic carriers of HBV, which was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer annually. In 2004 this was estimated to be 280,000 deaths. Less than 40% of children in poor areas were being immunised.

In 2002 the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, the Chinese Government and GAVI formed a partnership to co-fund HBV vaccines. This lasted until the end of 2010 and produced a concerted effort to fight infection. Over 25 million newborns in remote and poor regions of western and central China were given free HBV vaccines.

As many women traditionally gave birth at home, raising awareness as to the value of immunisation and encouraging mothers to give birth in hospital became a crucial part of the programme.

In 2005 the Chinese government added HBV vaccines to the national immunisation schedule. At the beginning of the project 64% of children were immunised with the first dose at birth. Now this level is over 90% in the majority of these remote regions. Today, less than 1% of children aged under 5 are carriers of HBV.

Dr Mark Kane, a GAVI Alliance founding Board member states:

The success of the introduction of hepatitis B vaccine is a model, showing us what we need to do and what can happen as we embark on efforts to introduce important new vaccines against pneumonia, diarrhoea and cervical cancer.

China remains a country where vaccines are not a victim of their success. 25 million newborns have been given a start in life that many of their parents could only dream of. Australia’s most vocal antivaccination identity claims Chinese herbal medicine has been shown “to clear Hep B from the system… there are peer reviewed studies on this”.

It appears the Chinese themselves would, and can, disagree without saying a word. There is no cure. The virus can and does clear of it’s own accord in some cases, which might easily be the subject of poorly controlled studies.

However the ravages of Hepatitis B infection in China is a matter of recorded history. I wish them all the best for the future.

Because after all as we can see yet again, vaccination saves lives.

Meryl Dorey’s Great “Compulsory Vaccination” Swindle

Your donation to the AVN will help support freedom of vaccination choice and oppose compulsory vaccination in Australia!

Meryl Dorey 30th April 2012

Only 12 days after the AVN had its Charitable Fundraising Authority reinstated we found the very same old scams waiting to greet us.

We can trace this trick right back to early editions of the AVN’s “Doing The Rounds” newsletter. This screenshot from February 2007, hassling members for money could have been lifted from Meryl’s most recent Facebook plea.

The next month Dorey had been “meeting with our barrister in Lismore” about how to “approach this huge injustice”. Oh… and send more money!

Don’t you just love the manufactured urgency. “Frantically busy… phone calls… nursing students, medical students and hospital workers who are all up in arms because of the mandatory vaccinations….”. 

Before you could say, “Mandatory Donation”, it’s May 2007 and we read, “Mandatory vaccination for all is on our doorstep”, and “Urgent Funds” are needed (min. $2,000) to stop mandatory vaccination of girls with HPV vaccine. Meryl breathlessly tells us:

Yesterday I was told by a trusted media contact that NSW health is considering taking away the right for parents to refuse this vaccine (HPV). As many of you would know, this is exactly what we predicted would happen once vaccination became mandatory for health care workers.

Arguably, in 5 years the only constant in Meryl Dorey’s noble quest to slay the Demon-spawn policy that threatens health workers and patients with protection from vaccine preventable disease has been the flow of cash into the AVN Black Hole. More to the point Meryl takes this message on the road to her “seminars” at which psyched up Earth Mother Moonbeam types throw cash into the AVN donation tin. In the past what happened to this money? It vanished. March 2008:

From Inverell Forum March 2008

Of course we don’t need to get overheated. Surely Meryl is sticking to the facts here. It’s only about health workers facing a requirement to be vaccinated if employed in certain areas, right? Besides we can check a recent newspaper article that just happens to deal with those who argue Meryl is committing fraud.

The AVN is appealing for donations to help oppose compulsory vaccination in Australia.

SAVN claims that appealing for and collecting donations for a government policy which does not exist constitutes fraud.

In response Ms Dorey accused SAVN of libel, claiming vaccination in Australia was compulsory.

“There is compulsory vaccination in Australia. It exists for health professionals,” Ms Dorey said.

Hmmm. Fair point. It is only for health workers. On the other hand there’s not much to draw the eye of the donor to “health professionals”, in the tweet above or the slide used in her “seminars”. One could conceivably be misled. Particularly with the overarching urgency that YOU must do something. Perhaps Meryl clears this up in subsequent slides?

Ooops. That was 4 years and 3 months ago. Let’s tally up shall we?

Total correct: Zero.

It appears that an excessive amount of time is spent scaring the public about non-existent policies. Sure, Meryl can plead it’s only existing vaccination mandates in her sights. Yet the premises upon which an inducement to donate is made are what’s important here. Stop The AVN seem to have a very strong case.

Meryl also argues that vaccination of health workers places patients at risk of infection from the vaccinated staff. No evidence is ever provided to qualify or quantify these statements. Meryl also ignores that the health of nurses, doctors, assistants and other staff who qualify for vaccination is also of the highest importance to Occupational Health and Safety.

Let’s examine this notion of vaccinated staff spreading “infection”. Cases in which immunity wanes, such as influenza and pertussis, conceivably qualify for Meryl’s shocking third point above. Staff fully vaccinated against influenza may still contract another virus or a strain not present in a seasonal vaccine. Here also we can point to the doomsday scenario in red above. But quantify these rare events and they have no measurable impact. More so the word “infection” is generic.

So let’s say a health worker receives the influenza shot yet catches another viral infection or a rare influenza strain not in the vaccine. If passed on to a patient it’s likely this will be identified in short time. Or pertussis. A health worker boosted with acellular pertussis varieties may contract and pass on a weakened “strain” not present in the vaccine, producing mild symptoms in a patient. This would also be identified.

Has the vaccine caused this transfer? No. Is it in any way responsible for the transfer? No. But Meryl wants her audience to believe vaccinated staff will make unvaccinated patients sick. Vaccinating staff against influenza has been shown to halve patient mortality, according to studies well before Dorey drew up these slides. Clearly Dorey is misleading her audience to create a fallacious impression of a life saving policy.

Unvaccinated staff are required to wear masks, refrain from situations of potential infection and strictly adhere to international standards of infection control. I doubt sincerely there are no cases of unvaccinated staff spreading disease. Exactly how Dorey can make this claim remains a mystery.

One of the most sickening scams I’ve seen Meryl pull – and there have been many – is in the slide below. No NSW nurses are threatened with job loss. There is no record of this incident (or anything like it), and when challenged for source material Ms. Dorey could produce none. It does seem to be an entire fabrication.

Why didn’t Meryl cite this tragedy to the Northern Star 19 days ago? A good question indeed.

An even better question however is what would Meryl like to say about her comment during the proposed American Airlines audio-visual Executive Report? Meryl appears to be strongly denying she is seeking donations to prevent compulsory vaccination for anyone other than health workers. So, this audio transcript is seemingly out of synch’ [bold mine]:

Interviewer: The debate over vaccinations has received an increasing amount of attention in recent years as questions have been raised regarding the safety of compulsory vaccines. And joining us now to give her view is Meryl Dorey. […]

Meryl: Well, vaccination is a medical procedure and it carries with it risks and benefits. So parents need to be aware of all of the information. We need to have real access to information and vaccination should never be compulsory because it is not 100% safe, and no government has the right to say “you have to put your child’s health at risk because we have made this procedure compulsory”.

Ooops. Not much ambiguity there. Not so much as a nurses roster sheet floating on the breeze. That firms Stop The AVN’s argument that Meryl is seeking donations for non-existent policies or imminent policy changes. In fact the clincher here is what Meryl doesn’t say when placed on the spot. The above out-take is quite clear and the interview finishes with a referral to the AVN website.

Let’s tie a couple of loose threads together by hopping around a bit. Up above Dorey warns fictionally of “exactly what we predicted would happen once vaccination became mandatory for health care workers”, suggesting the same is about to happen to schoolgirls with HPV vaccine. Interestingly enough these predictions about mandatory vaccination pop up here and there. Here’s one from July 2009 at the height of the H1N1 vaccination is a plot to cull humanity hysteria, that could rightly be said to instill great unease in the gullible.

Now, lets nick back to May 2007 again. In this case a nurse decides to donate her NSW Nurses Association membership fee to the AVN because, as Meryl says:

After all, we are the ones who are helping nurses (and doctors, and physiotherapists, and everyone else who works in hospitals and is going to school to train in one of these areas) so she felt that we deserved her support as well. Thank you for that and if anyone else out there would like to do the same, that would be wonderful!

My favourite piece is actually the second paragraph. Meryl claims to have lobbied Federal Government to ensure vaccine objectors continue to receive certain allowances including the Maternity Immunisation Allowance. It’s a bogus claim of course, but Meryl seizes the moment to argue that kind donors have given their allowance to The AVN because without the AVN they wouldn’t get this or the Childcare Benefit.

Then 2 1/2 years later, in October 2009, we get a very similar combination. Meryl has been overrun with nurses suffering the horror of vaccination, cruelly ignored by colleagues. She recounts this, then presents the option of Pain Free Fundraising. Once again, some kind donor suggested handing over to Meryl their Maternity Immunisation Allowance which, without the AVN lobbying away in Canberra, they wouldn’t have. And nor would they have the Childcare Benefit either. Amazing how history repeats is it not?

I’d say it’s a safe bet the AVN will continue to maintain the momentum on imminent sabotage of civil and health rights as a means to make money. Just the right amount of fear, calculated misinformation and restrictions on the truth should work out to be a nice little earner.

They are after all, rather good at it.

The Real Australian Sceptics

A short time ago the Skeptic community received a delightful tickle on the collective ribcage.

A rather intellectually dishonest blog appeared with the title The Real Australian Sceptics under the pretence of “critiquing” articles. It was, predictably, Meryl Wynn Dorey’s latest shot at the ontology of her assumed foes. Those worshippers of evidence and scientific consensus: The Skeptics. It’s an old tactic. If you can’t sustain an argument attack the party that holds an opposing viewpoint.

This isn’t the post to dissect the intellectual absurdity of Ms. Dorey’s attack on Skeptics. Suffice to to say – again – this game of provocation wherein Ms. Dorey futilely seeks to alienate and besmirch skeptics has it’s genesis within stratospheric errors she has made in the wake of being held to account.

The blog itself is monumental dreck. To date it’s emerging as a rehash of all the disproved antivaccination creeds and attacks on accepted evidence. Magically, everything old is new again. The usual rules of ultra-strict comment censorship apply.

If you’re keen for your daily dose of Merylisms, The Real Australian Sceptics doesn’t disappoint, opening with an attempt at selective deception in the first sentence.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a sceptic is defined as, “a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions”.

Actually the Oxford English Dictionary entry reads:

1 a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions.

  • a person who doubts the truth of Christianity and other religions; an atheist.

2 Philosophy: an ancient or modern philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief, in some sphere.

Meryl appears to take advantage of the phrase “accepted opinion”, by omission of the widely accepted opinion of theistic persuasion as a working example. Furthermore the second entry refers to philosophical denial of the possibility of knowledge or even rational belief. Having falsely defined “sceptic”, this then leaves the door open for Meryl to potter about on the very fringes of rationality and knowledge, wearing the guise of evidence whilst ranting about science.

Surely even with limited use of “accepted opinions”, we must include Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Home Birth, Vaccines causing Autism, Vaccine Dangers, Pharmaceutical bias, etc, etc. These are all irrefutably on the scale of accepted opinions. An opinion moves toward fact or mere belief based upon the amount of evidence that sustains it. The subtitle of Dorey’s blog is Accept Nothing. Question Everything. Apparently then, this is applied only to suit the author.

I think we can see, straight out of the blocks as it were, problems with her method of attack. Like two Meryls in a particle accelerator one is shooting off counter-clockwise at the speed of light confident those Wascally Skeptics will finally get theirs. Another Meryl is shooting clockwise questioning everything, accepting nothing… including the existence of the other Meryl. Eventually they collide head on in a great splattering mess.

Meryl also takes a shot at “the American spelling”: Skeptic. Wrong again. In doing this she’s really having a go at the Skeptic movement. Nothing new here, and as we’ll see her tactics are also copied and pasted from others whose beliefs have failed to endure scientific scrutiny. Skepticism is not cynicism or denial as we might associate these concepts with climate science denial, vaccine denial, HIV/AIDS denial and the steadily growing denial of conventional medicine.

Colloquially, Skeptics can be said to seek the evidence, consider existing evidence or ask for evidence when presented with certain claims. Skepticism is the rejection of predetermined ideas that aren’t supported by evidence. Skeptical activism may be described as where evidence, science and consumer and/or human rights overlap. Under What Is Skepticism? Brian Dunning writes in part:

The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion… The scientific method is central to skepticism. The scientific method requires evidence, preferably derived from validated testing. Anecdotal evidence and personal testimonies generally don’t meet the qualifications for scientific evidence, and thus won’t often be accepted by a responsible skeptic; which often explains why skeptics get such a bad rap for being negative or disbelieving people. They’re simply following the scientific method.

Okay. So Skepticism is not Accept Nothing, Question Everything. It revolves around the scientific method and evidence. Yet in attacking science Dorey clumsily raises the notion of “true scepticism”.

There are those in Australian society today who call themselves sceptics (or skeptics – which is the American spelling of that word). Yet by their actions and stated beliefs, they are far removed from true scepticism.

Now we can see the purpose of the second definition in the Oxford Dictionary. I doubt Meryl is aware of the metaphilosophy of True Scepticism, most commonly associated with David Hume, the 18th Century Scottish Philosopher. Nonetheless in a roundabout sort of way Meryl has painted herself into a very tight corner wherein she is seemingly defending denial of knowledge and rational belief, as a means to critiquing scientific arguments and articles.

Oh my.

We need a term for these traitors of true scepticism of course. Some time back on her Facebook page Meryl spotted the term pseudo-skeptic. She decided there and then it was “a keeper”. Unfortunately it was already being kept and here is where it all gets a little more silly.

RationalWiki has an entry on Pseudoskepticism. Interestingly is does not describe anything like Meryl’s contention. There is Legitimate use. The use by those who deny climate change science, vaccine success, etc. In fact it does a good job of describing Meryl Wynn Dorey. The description includes:

In this case the word is simply a synonym of denialism, as there is a vast amount of real evidence which is simply willfully ignored by these pseudoskeptics. The use of the phrasing “I am skeptical of X” is to sound more rhetorically reasonable that “I don’t accept X and never will regardless of the evidence”, even if the latter is more accurate.

Then there’s the delightfully headed paragraph on Usage By Woo Promoters, which also describes Meryl Wynn Dorey:

It is perhaps more often used as a loaded term by promoters of woo to dismiss skeptical criticism of their beliefs as unfounded… Given the difficulty of absolutely disproving even the most absurd hypothesis they then go on to maintain that all those who ask for evidence are “pseudoskeptics”.

Oh, snap!

We seem to have established Meryl’s hijacking of terms for the purpose of provocation and revenge. With the greatest of respect to Meryl is must truly be the nadir of her two decade assault upon scientific knowledge. The world is full of those who despise the notion of skepticism because it quite simply requires evidence for ones claims. Dorey has no evidence. She deals in falsehoods. Very lucrative falsehoods. Scams.

The abuse of authority or the demanding of privilege based upon certain claims crumbles before skepticism’s quiet and calm request for evidence. Meryl’s fraudulent donation campaigns, subscriptions for a non existent magazine, promised vaccine tests and boasts of phoney “protection” from mandatory vaccination evaporate in the presence of just one skeptic.

In some strange anger driven fever, Ms. Dorey seeks to discredit the Skeptic movement by making absurd claims about the nature of reality and science. Suddenly claiming something isn’t true does not make one a skeptic. Nor does it remotely undermine the accepted notion of Skepticism. Accepting nothing cannot be any further removed from the outcome of scientific research. Science, as skeptics understand and accept it, is not about belief. It is about conclusion. The weight of evidence.

There is nothing wrong with doubting and questioning. Far from it. Yet at some point we need a method from which to exploit our knowledge – not a mangled pseudoskepticism that denies knowledge exists in the first place. That method is the scientific method. Proper doubt and proper questions are what give us scientific consensus.

Because of doubt, questions and the demands for evidence that skeptics and scientists continually entertain, scientific consensus can and does change. Because it can change it is arguably fragile and unfairly criticised by opponents of skepticism. Yet because of what is required to change scientific consensus, it makes for an incredibly robust source of evidence. Thus “accept nothing” is naught but a position of intellectual paucity.

Accept Nothing, Question Everything is sheer, utter denial. It demands to be seen for the intellectual cowardice it really is: Shirk Certainty.

Meryl Dorey is happy to quote Hippocrates when it suits her. I hope she is aware of this quote:

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.

The Real Australian Skeptics is an emerging cornucopia of contrary, provocative nonsense based upon grossly misunderstood notions of evidence, opinion and philosophy. Whatever it is intended to be, it is certainly not a place for truth.

It is presently the very home of Ignorance.

Would you like Hepatitis B with that?

Hepatitis B vaccination elicits a unique type of hysteria in the antivaccination community.

The story of the brand new baby born to a hepatitis B positive mum and an Australian Vaccination Network member dad, who was snatched from a large Sydney hospital and hidden from community services and police to avoid the hepatitis B immunoglobulin comes to mind. Thanks to Meryl Dorey this poor couple erroneously believed that aluminium in the hepatitis vaccine would do more damage than the disease itself.

Many of you may remember this story wherein Dorey published gripping accounts of this couple on the run (“it could be you next”), raising money for their welfare via a Fighting Fund. She made $12,000 but the family saw none of it. Their reward was to be left to face a Supreme Court judge alone and find that DOCS, not Auntie Meryl, would keep dad from prison.

There was no point getting their child vaccinated by the time this occurred. Doctors said “the child runs a high risk of contracting it unless he is immunised within days“. What else may have happened to impact on this newborn? Whilst between 1 – 10% of acutely infected adults remain chronically infected carriers of HBV a disproportionate 90% of neonates will remain chronically infected for years after.

Age of infection vs likelihood of becomming a carrier

Thus the vaccine that’s “good for newborn prostitutes and drug users, but who else?” according to some, apparently has a crucial role to play for this one individual, his siblings, other family members, playmates, day care attendees… indeed potentially everyone he comes into prolonged contact with. The mind boggles about pox parties full of the children of rusted on conscientious objectors.

However the big scare pushed about Hepatitis B vaccination is still autism “caused by” thimerosal (thiomersal). Although antivaxxers will find any excuse to blame vaccines, the fact that many still attack thimerosal was picked up by New Scientist in the wake of a recent CDC report:

CLAIMS that autism is caused by vaccines containing thiomersal have been floored by increasing rates of autism in children not exposed to the chemical.

No link has been found between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and a mercury-containing compound known as thiomersal that is used in some vaccines. Nevertheless, since 2000, thiomersal has been phased out of most paediatric vaccines in the US. Now a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, despite this, the prevalence of ASD has continued to grow. […]

“Increases are likely to reflect better awareness of the condition,” says Simon Baron-Cohen , director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.

In fact reasons for increased diagnoses are well documented.

  • The actual frequency of autism may have increased, meaning more children have it
  • There is increased case reporting, leading to greater findings, better use of funding and heightened awareness
  • Changes in the DSM-III-R and DSM-IV diagnostic criteria may account for more cases
  • Parents are more conscious of autism, more likely to seek expert help and more cases are being diagnosed as a result
  • Earlier diagnoses have essentially added a new younger demographic to the the existing demographic of children – ie; it spans more years
  • When we examine rising autism figures we find a corresponding drop in other types of mental disability and retardation, meaning they are now within the autism spectrum
  • There is an increase in misdiagnoses of autism which may partly explain the misconception of “autism cures”

Meryl Dorey is a champion for the Hepatitis B vaccine causing autism and even death in the case of health care workers. In fact scarcely had Meryl ripped off the poor family who ran away from hospital than she was scamming her members for more money to save the world from HBV vaccination. Meryl claimed to have heard from nurses “forced” by their cruel work colleagues to have the HBV vaccine. They turned to Dorey for help. She turned to Google for help. She diagnosed Lupus Panniculitis. It was decided Meryl was so awesome that members would give her their Maternity Immunisation Allowance.

Believe it or not about 14 months later in October 2009 another poor Hepatitis B positive expectant mother was “threatened” with the killer vaccine. Meryl alerted her email group. Urgent help needed in Sydney for mother being threatened with DOCS. Meryl relayed the story of the woman being “bullied” and likely to lose her baby. Dorey wrote:

The head midwife at the hospital has told her that if she refuses the Hep B vaccine for her baby, DOCS will be called in and the baby will be vaccinated against her wishes. She will also lose custody of the child and she may not be allowed to leave the hospital.

Her magical word was “offered”. The Hepatitis B Vaccination Policy for NSW does indeed state the vaccine is to be offered. I managed to have a chat and email exchange with the chap at NSW Health responsible for the design, authorship and implementation of vaccination policies for patients and staff. Scarcely wavering on his professional tightrope (smart bloke) he was able to confirm that Dorey’s account was nonsense and that patient consent must be obtained. I was also told the policy was under review and changes were likely.

For the record here’s the two pointy bits of the policy.

  • All pregnant women are to be offered screening for hepatitis B, surface antigen (HBsAg) and should be provided with verbal and written information about hepatitis B and the hepatitis B immunisation program. The health interpreter service is to be used whenever necessary.
  •  Neonates born to HBsAg positive mothers are to be offered, hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth and a total of four doses of hepatitis B vaccine to be administered at birth, two, four and six months of age.

I also spoke to a representative from DOCS who likewise confirmed Dorey’s tale about losing custody was virtually impossible because it was, in effect, hypothetical. About a fortnight later Dorey posted A great victory for informed choice and proceeded to relay how she had actually contacted the Minister for Health (then) Carmel Tebbutt and laid down the law. Part of her account included the false claim that:

The hospital did call DOCS and the mother was greatly concerned that steps were already in place to take her child away – before it had even been born. She was told by the hospital that they were in the process of preparing a court order to make this baby a ward of the state immediately after birth! Imagine how terrifying that would be!

The moral of the story is that Dorey supposedly persuaded the Health Minister to personally intervene in this individual case, based upon her own false account. Amongst urging members to annoy the Minister with thanks, she claimed “the hospital” was rewriting it’s policy as a result of her intervention. Firstly NSW Health provide all policies for all hospitals. Secondly as I noted it was already under review. Thirdly, it still hasn’t been altered since 2005 – 7 years ago.

I wrote to the Health Minister’s office to express my disgust with Dorey’s manipulation of the situation and false claims about the conduct of hospital staff. The reply I received was fairly non committal, referring to the policy in question and reinforcing that patient consent is required. It did not deny Dorey had made the contact she claimed to have. Apparently Dorey had indeed interfered in another child’s health and manufactured a daring tale to spoon feed her members.

The next Living Wisdom newsletter carried the “victory” and a sickening reference to “the rights of our children”.

Interestingly in response to criticism Dorey managed this stunner of a reply, absolutely irrelevant to the case specifics:

Are you aware that the Association of American Physicians and  Surgeons has stated that a child is 100 times more likely to have a reaction to the vaccine than to suffer from Hep B?

Apart from that, there are other ways to clear Hep B from the system including chinese (sic) herbal medicine – there are peer reviewed studies on this. So if the virus itself or its antibodies are suspected of causing problems, vaccination is not the only answer – nor is it necessarily even ONE of the answers since it does not appear to be effective in newborns who can’t seem to develop antibodies for months anyway… It’s all about informed choice and informed choice is always right.

When the person did not reply Dorey accused him of being a “bully” and “a coward”. Either way the below graph shows how the Hep. B vaccine and not “peer reviewed” Chinese herbs have contributed to improved health in low income countries. One of these is China itself (where Dorey suggests HBV is “natural”), which has now begun to turn around it’s liver cancer epidemic.

Amongst the nine or more “vaccines cause autism” themed products in the AVN online shop is the specific When Your Doctor Is Wrong: Hepatitis B Vaccine and Autism. Add to that all the other items which attempt to link vaccines in general to every imaginable ill and the Hepatitis B vaccine has a rather poor time of it. All in all, it’s a disgrace.

On page one of the Australian Vaccination Network‘s new constitution we read:

The purposes of the association are:
(a) the advancement and promotion of education and learning amongst the public about all matters concerning human health and human physical and social well-being;
(b) the propagation, publication, dissemination and diffusion of knowledge and information to the public about all matters concerning human health and human physical and social well-being;
(c) the encouragement and promotion of the widest possible dissemination to the public of all information concerning human health and human physical and social well-being.

It appears that scams, made up stories, misleading information and dangerous advice are the real “purposes of the association”.

The AVN remains a clear and present danger to human well-being.