In Which I Am Indignant.
There are no words. You win the crazy SIL award! Perhaps they'll take care of Mr. Dr. Scientist's parents and cure their old-age ailments, too.
She's a really nice person but TRAGICALLY MISGUIDED.
Lord. I guess being tragically misguided is one way of exerting control over a terrible, heartbreaking situation. A common approach, come to think of it.I bet your SIL thinks she can cure your ailments, too. Do you ever get desperate enough that you feel like trying?
It is a very common approach- much like not vaccinating, eh? Scents make me wheeze and most essential oils make me break out in hives (literal hives) (as well as figurative ones) so that puts a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm for them!
nononoBless her SOUL.
Long-time reader, occasional commenter here! Hello! So, I got into a discussion with a couple of (minor) acquaintances about vaccination/ anti-vaccination. I usually see such discussions as a lost cause and avoid at all costs but somehow I got drawn in - maybe because at least one of the vacc-questioning people really ought to know better and, you never know, maybe I can change some minds (yeah, right). Anyway, they (reasonably) asked me for studies on the benefits of vaccines (eg proper risk/benefit analyses, taking into account the possibility of adverse side effects). I'm sure there's a ton out there and I'm planning on getting my teeth into the literature properly next week. But in the mean time I wondered if you had any particular favourites that you remember off the top of your head - the literature is so overwhelming it's hard to know where to start and which studies are particularly good etc. If you're feeling crappy or just don't remember, then no worries. But I thought I would ask. Thanks!
The CDC's Pink Book is extensively referenced, and a good starting point. It gives pre-vaccine incidences and mortality rates, along with reported complication rates for vaccine administration. Of note: 'rare' means 'we don't have enough reports to give a good number, like one in a fucking literal million.'I also recommend Paul Offit's books, to start (Vaccinated, Deadly Choices, Vaccines and Your Child). Most of the data on bad outcomes and their incidences are pre-vaccine, except a few pretty bad outbreaks of pertussis and measles, so also before a lot of modern intervention, so it's possible the outcomes would be better now, but measles encephalitis is more or less 100% preventable, right? As is stillbirth due to rubella infection. It's also worth pointing out to these people - many of whom are also libertarian advocates of less FDA regulation! - that no vaccine, drug, or treatment is approved unless it has more benefit than harm. EVERY vaccine has a lower complication rate than the disease. That's just how it works. I've read a lot of vaccine studies but they generally assume that scientists & doctors are reading them and therefore don't go into a lot of background. Like... of COURSE vaccines are beneficial.
I guess what I'm saying is there are no 'studies' on risk/benefit because we have a century of outcomes data, and then fifty years of adverse effects data, and hey! disease-outcomes are waaaaay worse than vaccine adverse effects! I recommend you tell them to go read the Pink Book. The whole damn thing. And Vaccinated.
Okay, I'm still distressed about your friend. (I know YOU know better.) To me this is the equivalent of asking "Are there current STUDIES on whether the adverse effects of antibiotics are outweighed by the benefits?" Well! How about Victorian child mortality? Know anyone who's died of a tooth abscess after years of pain, or strep throat? How about pneumonia at age 10? Syphilis? Tuberculosis? Black plague? No? And there aren't STUDIES, what a SCANDAL. And yet! If you look up the number of children who have a reaction to antibiotics (diarrhea, rash, allergic reaction) it's something like 5-10% for rash and maybe 1% for true allergy. Wow, that's really dangerous! To say nothing of antibiotic resistance! That wouldn't happen at all if we just let infections happen naturally! Better go back to elderberry juice and prayer then! (Maybe what she meant was DATA.)
Thanks :-) Yeah, I guess she meant data. Here's what she said actually said "could you share some of this scientific literature you've mentioned, as well as some concrete support for your claim that refusing innoculation is riskier than vaccinating? i'm curious because its widely recognized that most vaccinable diseases are non-lethal, and most pass virtually without incident, so long as malnutrition is not a factor. you have a heavy burden of proof to meet by making those statements, and i don't think you can show it has been met." The "burden of proof" bit just made my blood boil...!! Of course the benefits outweigh the risks, they'd never get approved otherwise - duh! Sadly, she doesn't seem to think much of the CDC - I think I am getting tangled up with someone who thinks "western medicine" is a big conspiracy and is unlikely to believe anything funded by "big pharma" or any kind of government money. Maybe I should go back to basics and explain how science research actually works?! I ought to disengage, but, but... Anyway, thanks.
I just.... where do you start with someone like that? Aaaaargh. (I've met several people who have worked for the CDC and they mainly seemed like hard working public minded scientists, but what do we know? Conspiracy! Shouldn't conspiracies pay better?)
PS I like your antibiotic example. Can I steal that?
MY NEW TAGLINE: Shouldn't conspiracies pay better?
When I was in college, one spring break I went down to DC to do one of those 'follow someone around at work' things. The person I was following around was a MyCollege alum who had worked for the CDC, and then went to do ID at Walter Reed. He drove a 10-year-old toyota and lived in a ranch house an hour away in suburban Maryland (I went over for dinner one night). I *stayed* with the parents of a current student. The father was the VP of an investment bank. They lived in a four-story stone mansion one block away from Embassy Row in downtown DC, complete with housekeeper, conservatory, and guest *floor*.But sure, tell me about how scientists are in a conspiracy again.
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