Some random pieces of history
I've upset someone. Good. (5/1/2013)
Anti-vaccination liar "Dr" Sherri Tenpenny seems to have a streak of cowardice in her. She was the winner of Quote of the Year in the 2012 Millenium Awards, so I posted this Kind and Gentle notification to her Facebook page so that her 30,000+ followers could see that she was receiving the recognition she deserved.
Thirty minutes later it had been removed and I was blocked from commenting on the page. (The reason it says "about an hour ago" is that the screen shot was taken by a friend of mine who had not closed or gone away from the browser window.)
Then things got better. Various people kept posting copies of it or links to the awards page here until "Dr" Tenpenny finally could stand no more. Both her Facebook pages were closed (or made invisible to unapproved people). Gone. No presence on Facebook at all. More than 30,000 loyal fans dumped. All because someone said something she didn't like.
Or was it? Maybe Tenpenny took the pages down because they were not achieving the desired results. Simultaneously with all this it was announced that 2012 had been the worst year for whooping cough in the US since 1955. While this would normally be expected to have anti-vaccination liars wetting their pants with glee, the problem was that while infections were up, only 15 children under the age of twelve months died. This is fewer than what one lunatic let loose in a kindergarten with a gun can do so it probably didn't meet the Key Performance Indicators set at the Tenpenny organisation. Making money by lying about vaccination is one thing, but actual physical results on the ground are the real measure of success.
See everything that appeared in 2013 here.
Chiropractors. Such fun people. (8/8/2015)
Imagine the following scenarios:
- You are in a restaurant having a meal and someone gets up from one of the tables, goes into the kitchen, and starts cooking food
- You are waiting for your car to be serviced and to fill in the time you pick up a spanner and start doing things to the engine of another car in the workshop
- You get bored waiting for your prescription to be filled because the pharmacist is busy, so you go behind the counter and assist him by filling prescriptions yourself
- A visitor to a new mother in a hospital performs a medical procedure on the newborn baby, despite having no affiliation with the hospital, or even being a doctor.
"Outrageous!", you say. "Impossible!", you say. But the last one has happened. Several times.
The President-elect of the Chiropractors Association of Australia has been forced to resign from the position because it has been revealed that she had been going into hospitals and "adjusting" new-born babies. She admitted on her Facebook page that she had done it at least once, but since this was revealed several more stories of chiropractors doing the same thing have come to light. Ms Helen Alevaki (who likes to be called "Dr" even tough she is only a chiropractor) works out of a chiropractic business named "chiro4wellness" and apparently specialises in a particular kind of quackery known as "Webster Technique" which appears on the surface to be some sort of obstetric practice which pretends to make birth easier. (Ms Alevaki had her own children at home with a midwife. Of course.) The method of gaining access to hospital patients is to come as a visitor, draw the curtains around the bed, and get cracking on the baby's spine.
If a real doctor did this to someone who was not his patient, in a hospital to which he did not have visiting credentials as a doctor, he would face severe discipline and possibly even loss of his licence to practice. The punishment for a chiropractor is to do two hours of training on record-keeping and the use of social media. And to keep on chiropractising without any further impediment. Chiropractic is, after all, a self-regulated industry, and there is that old cliché about foxes and henhouses.
What is outrageous is that chiropractors are allowed to get anywhere near babies other than the usual interaction allowed to normal parents, friends and relatives. They are not doctors, they are not pediatricians, they have no qualifications to do anything related to babies. (Or anyone else, in my opinion.) That there is an International Chiropractic Pediatric Association should be an affront to all the real doctors who treat children without the need to resort to magic. Oh, did I mention that the ICPA urges caution about vaccinations and suggests that parents ask their doctors such questions as "Where is the scientific evidence showing vaccines are safer than the disease itself? Where is the scientific evidence showing vaccines prevent these diseases?" and "Where is the balance on the pro-vaccine web sites?". The organisation that Ms Alevaki heads is a member of ICPA.
You can read a media report of Ms Alevaki's resignation from her position at CAA here.
In that article you will see mention of a group known as Chiropractic Australia. This has been presenting itself to the world as an association of chiropractors who want to practice some form of evidence-based medicine, getting away from the innate energy and subluxations of traditional chiropractic. The founder of this group has recently said that further research needs to be done into pediatric chiropractic, but until that is done it is better to err on the safe side and keep fiddling with babies' backs. Or, put another way, keep doing the things which have no evidential backing. Just like all the other chiropractors. This is a "profession" which cannot be salvaged.
See everything that appeared in 2015 here.