Anti-vaccine folks like to use the fallacy that they don’t vaccinate their kids because sometimes science and doctors have been wrong in the past.
They instead turn to alternative medicine when their kids get sick and for their preventative care.
Those Times Alternative Medicine Got It Wrong
While it is true that science gets it wrong sometimes, these people seem to fail to consider that alternative medicine does too.
“…there’s no such thing as conventional or alternative or complementary or integrative or holistic medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t. And the best way to sort it out is by carefully evaluating scientific studies – not by visiting Internet chat rooms, reading magazine articles, or talking to friends.”
Paul Offit, MD on Do You Believe in Magic
More than that, they hardly ever get it right.
Need some examples?
- Ayurvedic treatments can be contaminated with toxic metals
- biomed treatments for autism – from restrictive diets and chelation to coffee and bleach enemas, these “cures” and treatments have not been shown to be safe, are sometimes known to be dangerous, and don’t even work
- Cannabis Oil for kids with cancer – while marijuana-derived products might help some medical conditions, it doesn’t cure cancer
- chiropractic neck manipulation of newborns and infants has no benefits and has caused deaths
- chronic Lyme disease is not a recognized condition in modern medicine, but that doesn’t keep some ‘Lyme literate’ practitioners from recommending and charging patients for all sorts of unnecessary and sometimes harmful “treatments”
- faith healing is still allowing children to die of very treatable conditions, from diabetes and appendicitis to common infections and premature babies
- Gerson protocol – often discussed with other forms of cancer quackery this “radical nutritional program combined with purges (particularly coffee enemas)” is believed by some to cure cancer – it doesn’t
- HIV denialism – yes, this is a thing, and tragically took the life of Christine Maggiore, her daughter, and many others who eventually died of AIDS
- homemade baby formula – notorious for leaving out important nutrients, from iron vitamin D to enough calories for a growing baby
- Hoxsey treatment – a natural treatment for cancer that has been around since the 1950s and has never been shown to work, except in people who never actually had cancer
- laetrile for cancer – in the late-1970s, kids with treatable forms of cancer had parents who were convinced that this latest fad cure was better. It wasn’t.
- naturopathy – although mostly looked at as a holistic alternative to other providers, some of these treatments include vitamin injections, hydrogen peroxide injections, and alternative cancer therapies
- shark cartilage – this was the fad cancer cure in the 1990s that was killing kids who’s parents sought alternative cancer treatments. It didn’t work.
What’s the harm with these treatments?
Many, like Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Reiki, and Reflexology, etc., aren’t necessarily dangerous on their own. In fact, most don’t do anything at all, but they can lead people away from real treatments. And that essentially leaves people untreated.
Getting a fake treatment might not be a big deal when it is a condition that can go away on its own, like when Angelina Jolie talked about getting acupuncture when she had Bell’s Palsy, but it often leads to disastrous consequences when a life-threatening condition goes untreated.
Those Times Anti-Vaccine Experts Got It Wrong
It shouldn’t be surprising that many of the folks who think that vaccines are dangerous, aren’t necessary, or that they don’t even work also believe in holistic or alternative treatments.
It also shouldn’t be surprising that they are also wrong a lot:
- Meryl Dorey – equates vaccination with rape, something many of her followers aren’t even comfortable with
- Mark and David Geier – this father and son pair are infamous for pushing a chemical castration treatment (Lupron) for autistic children, a treatment that led to Mark Geier losing his medical license (he’s a geneticist) in several states.
- Jay Gordon, MD – once made the comment that “Heaven help us if we have a generation of kids who get a hepatitis B vaccine and a HPV vaccine and they think that now unprotected sex is okay…” Not surprisingly, studies have found that this doesn’t happen. In fact, teen pregnancy rates are at their lowest levels ever.
- Suzanne Humphries, MD – a nephrologist who became a homeopath and now pushes anti-vaccine talking points, believes that vaccines don’t work and that polio never really disappeared, and that we don’t “see it anymore” because we changed its name to acute flaccid paralysis.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr – continues to push the idea that thimerosal in vaccines is causing an autism epidemic.
- Neil Z. Miller – a psychologist who has written many anti-vax books, gives lectures at chiropractic associations, and published his daughter’s book, Ambassadors Between Worlds, Intergalactic Gateway to a New Earth, which describes how they are both able to talk to intergalatic beings because she has been doing it for multiple lifetimes. No word yet if folks from the Pleiadians vaccinate their kids…
- Tetyana Obukhanych, MD – the Harvard trained immunologist who believes that Immunology has no theoretical or evidence-based explanation for immunity.
- Viera Scheibner – the micropaleontologist who thinks that getting a vaccine-preventable disease is good for kids, that vaccines are contaminated with amoebas, and that they cause SIDS and shaken baby syndrome
- Bob Sears, MD – infamous for his alternative vaccine schedule that was never tested for safety or efficacy, he and now rallies folks against California’s new vaccine law
- Stephanie Seneff – the MIT doctor (she has a doctorate in electrical engineering) who thinks that half of kids will have autism in eight years and that glyphosate causes everything from autism to school shootings and terrorist bombings.
- Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD – an immunologist who heads the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases and is on the scientific advisory board for the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute. He is the latest to blame adjuvants for causing disease – his Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), which is often described as being a “basically a made-up syndrome that isn’t generally accepted.”
- Sherri Tenpenny, DO – described as an anti-vax “expert” whose advise is “chock full of vaccine pseudoscience.” Once board certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Tenpenny now sells DVDs and supplements on her website, speaks at chiropractic health events, and provides holistic medical care. In a rant about freedom of choice in vaccination, she talks about General Robert E. Lee, Southern war hero and postwar icon of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy,” the extinction of humanity, and about slavery and eight veils that must be pierced if you want to see what is really going on in the world – that the Illuninati and other secret organizations control us and that they are being controlled by time traveling dragons, lizards, and aliens.
- Tim O’Shea, DC – a chiropractor, he speaks at anti-vax conferences and wrote an anti-vaccination book called The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is not Immunization. Dr. O’Shea does not believe that germs make us sick (germ theory denialism), thinks that vaccines cause peanut allergies, and he sells supplements and seminars.
- Kelly Brogan, MD – a holistic psychiatric who recommends that patients wean off their prescribed medications and has talked about HIV denialism.
- Erin Elizabeth – is pushing the idea that holistic practitioners are being murdered
Are these folks ever right?
Only if you buy into their anti-vaccine talking points.
What to Know About When Alternative Medicine Was Wrong
Alternative medicine is rarely right, and that can have life-threatening consequences when it leads folks to reject traditional treatments when they are really sick.
More on When Alternative Medicine Was Wrong
- Scientific skepticism about vaccine safety: you’re doing it wrong
- Heavy metal poisoning as a result of using Ayurvedic remedies
- Naturopathic Diaries
- NDs for Vaccines
- Tyrell Dueck loses battle against cancer
- Another “Chronic Lyme” VIP disciplined by NY medical authorities: Bernard Raxlen
- Neil Z. Miller & Gary S. Goldman
- Pleiadian Channeling
- Reiki is Nonsense
- Reflexology: A Close Look
- Reflexology for Babies?
- Be Wary of Acupuncture, Qigong, and “Chinese Medicine”
- Research Casts Doubt on the Value of Acupuncture
- Innate intelligence: its origins and problems
- When alternative medicine cancer cures fail, it’s always the patient’s fault. Always.
- The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru
- Anti-vaccine doctors – naming names and listing lists
- Revisiting adverse reactions to vaccines: A critical appraisal of Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA)
- Essential reading: A comprehensive takedown of Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book
- Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears
- Robert Kennedy’s Dangerous Anti-Vaccine Activism
- Why Does This Immunologist Reject Vaccinations?
- Tim O’Shea
- Why Dr Suzanne Humphries, an anti-vaccine activist, is lying to you about measles
- Research, you’re doing it wrong: A look at Tenpenny’s “Vaccine Research Library”
- Book – Do You Believe in Magic?