The Infectious Myth On “The Infectious Myth” host David Crowe will examine the questionable or outright false paradigms that infect our society.

November 25, 2014  

In episode 38 David interviews Lori Frasier, MD, who was “pretty concerned by your interview with Professor Tuerkheimer on November 4th. She presented a highly inaccurate picture of the medical approach to these cases."

 

While Tuerkheimer limited the discussion to “Shaken Baby Syndrome”, which she defined as cases prosecuted solely on internal medical evidence (the so-called ‘triad’ of symptoms), Dr. Frasier wanted to talk about “Abusive Head Trauma”, of which about half the cases she sees also have external signs of abuse (such as bruises, scratches, burn marks).

 

Frasier also claimed that there are very few cases prosecuted solely on the triad, that if you look closely there are often signs of abuse, and that sometimes judges exclude the evidence of abuse, but allow the triad to be entered as evidence, and convict solely on that basis. She feels that the defence experts are often highly irresponsible, inventing mythical diseases to help get the accused off. Although she agreed that some vaccines can cause internal brain damage (such as encephalitis), she did not agree that they ever caused internal bleeding.

 

One of the major problems for Shaken Baby Syndrome is that there is still no unambiguous evidence that a human being can generate the forces necessary to cause internal brain damage in an infant without external signs of injury. Frasier conceded this point, but did not see that this should lead to a review of all convictions made based on the assumption that this is possible.

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November 19, 2014  

In Episode 37 of “The Infectious Myth” David delves deeper into the flawed science of Ebola with molecular biologist Dr. David Rasnick. Dr. Rasnick has a PhD from Georgia Tech and worked in drug development for years.

 

Rasnick claims that there is no proof that Ebola has been isolated from humans, that tests when used on the general population have a huge false positive rate and that there is no known host for Ebola (although a lot of speculation) which is essentially for an infectious disease that is only rarely found in humans. He notes an association with Ebola outbreaks and illegal gold mining, indicating that there might be environmental factors at work, factors that are ignored by infectious disease specialists who have managed to completely capture this epidemic.

 

The two Davids touch on some of the external factors that may be at work increasing the hype over Ebola. Money is always one of these, the CDC and WHO budgets and the possibility for big Pharma to get vaccines or drugs approved. But Ebola is also of interest as a bioweapon, so studying this virus gives governments a cover for studying germ warfare. Another military factor is that the US wants to increase its presence in Africa, and would love to have a large military base in West Africa, so getting troops on the ground to help with Ebola may result in them staying there.

 

To find out more see David Rasnick’s website at http://davidrasnick.com, podcasts on Ebola at http://howpositiveareyou.com, and Jon Rapoport’s blog athttp://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/category/ebola/.

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November 11, 2014  

Drug companies have several methods to make drugs look better, but these organizations do not act alone. Drug researchers are also more interested in trials that show a positive effect with a new drug, and journals want to publish studies that change clinical practice. The mainstream media pick only a few studies as newsworthy, generally those that claim something earthshatteringly positive (or occasionally negative).

Dr. Erick Turner of the Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health and Science University and also the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland describes how these forces combine to reduce the likelihood that non-positive results (either showing no effect of a drug, or a negative effect) are ever published. Dr. Turner also describes how statistical tricks can be used to find an effect after the trial is completed. He also describes how the FDA is putting much more information about clinical trials on its website, but it is not easy to find. 

The consequence of hiding neutral or negative data, known as publication bias, is that when a researcher does a meta-analysis that combines together all the published data, they may document a false benefit, because of the data that has hidden from them. Since this process helps drug companies, researchers and journals, it continues, even though it does great harm to drug consumers.

Another technique is known as outcome reporting bias or HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known) which involves changing the primary outcome measure to another type of measurement that gave more favorable results, such as switching from one scale of measuring depression to another. This can be planned ahead by collecting more data than you plan to use, and then picking and choosing based on the results each measurement produces.

One of the ways to find out what has been hidden is to work with all the data. The FDA, for example, has virtually all the data on relevant studies, because clinical trials have to be registered. This data has been publicly available for many years, but is difficult to find. A newer development is clinicaltrials.gov, which also includes clinical trials that occur after drug approval and that are therefore inaccessible to the FDA. Since Dr. Turner once worked at the FDA he knows his way around the system.

To see more information about the work of Dr. Turner, and some useful figures, see: http://archive.sciencewatch.com/inter/aut/2009/09-may/09mayTurner/. A presentation that describes some of his findings, entitled “Truth Telling and Suppressed Drug Research Data”, can be found at: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/continuing-education/center-for-ethics/ethics-education/continuing-education/upload/Kinsman-Turner-talk-2.pdf

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November 4, 2014  

David interviews Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University, about the invalidity of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), which is sometimes known as AHT (Abusive Head Trauma). Cases based on a ‘triad’ of bleeding in the brain, bleeding in the retina, and swelling of the brain, with no other evidence of abuse (such as bruises, grip marks, cuts, scratches or broken bones) have resulted in thousands of convictions, and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people still behind bars.

 

Recently there has been a shift and obtaining an SBS conviction has become more difficult. Some of the convicted have been released from prison. But this shameful medico-legal episode is not yet over. 

 

Deborah lucidly explains both the legal and medical context of SBS, and the negative interactions that occurred to produce the SBS medical dogma.

 

Deborah’s book is available from the publisher at: http://global.oup.com/academic/product/flawed-convictions-9780199913633;jsessionid=2B339D42F99785A4A57DCA39EFB2111B?cc=ca&lang=en& or through other book sellers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

For a link to a database of more than 3,000 Shaken Baby Syndrome legal cases, see: http://www.medilljusticeproject.org/visualization/

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