I am a medical writer and medical historian who never went to medical
school. Sometimes this is held against me, but not having an M.D. degree can
also be an advantage in writing about medicine, since one does not have the
prejudices and blind spots that come with a medical education.
One of the most common of these prejudices is that the medical
profession never does anything systematically harmful to the patient.
But, after all, we all know that bloodletting was used for centuries
and, even in the United States, was only fully abandoned in the 20th
century.Although it was positively harmful to patients, physicians insisted on
using it. What is more, intelligent laymen understood -- long before the
medical profession itself -- that this procedure was damaging to the health.
Physicians had difficulty appreciating this fact because that's how
they were making their living, and it is hard, even for a physician, to take
an objective attitude toward how he earns his (or her) daily bread. The
asbestos and the tobacco companies, after all, were not the first to come
forward and say that asbestos and tobacco are bad for your health.
Another procedure which intelligent laypersons realize is actively
harmful to health, but which is still desperately defended by physicians, is
the childhood vaccination.
The first book I wrote on this subject (coauthored with Barbara Loe
Fisher) was DPT: A Shot in the Dark in 1985. The second was Vaccination,
Social Violence, and Criminality, in 1990. Barbara Fisher and I discovered
that these vaccines -- in particular, the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus)
shot and the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot -- are far more dangerous than had been suspected. In fact, the damage they are inflicting can only be
described as catastrophic.
To understand what is occurring it is advisable to divide reactions
into short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic).
We found the following acute reactions. First, there is a series of
short-term physical manifestations, such as swelling at the point of
injection, rash, fever of up to 104 or 105 degrees, and unconsolable crying by
the baby which may go on even for several days. The baby may turn blue and
have difficulty breathing; he may faint and remain unconscious for a period of
5 to 10 hours, and he may start a particular type of crying, called
"high-pitched screaming" in the literature and which seems to have an
encephalitic origin. Or he may have a convulsion or seizure.
This acute condition represents a type of encephalitis (also called
"encephalopathy" in the literature).
Sometimes it ends in sudden death. Within a few hours or a day of the
shot the baby is found dead in its cradle. These deaths are classified in our
medical statistics as "crib death" or "sudden infant death of unknown origin."
There are about 9000 cases of SIDS in the United States every year, of which
probably 6000 are vaccine-related.
Of course, most babies do not die but seemingly recover and may be
apparently normal for a month or two. But then the long-term effects of the
vaccine start to appear. These are, in fact, the typical long-term effects of
The child who had convulsions now has seizures or epilepsy.
There may be paralysis (often one-sided) or cerebral palsy.
There may be mental retardation or autism.