Monday, June 21, 2010

Reading "Callous Disregard"

Reading "Callous Disregard" by Andrew Wakefield I come away with disdain for the medical establishment who condemned him. I come away with much greater admiration than I had wanted to bestow him. I had known of Andrew Wakefield for quite a while. I had nearly come to believe that he and his assertion that the MMR vaccine might be of interest as a cause for autism could easily be dismissed as a footnote in medical history.

But as is so often the case, certain people become larger than life through the accusations of others. Dr. Wakefield might have become a tragic figure left boiled in the churning cauldron of the science world and serve as a feast for the medical establishment.

Strangely Dr. Wakefield's forthright, caring demeanor through his ordeal of being accused and then condemned by the GMC, losing his licence to practice medicine because of a "perceived conflict of interest" for authoring a case study of 12 autistic children in The Lancet, makes him a person of integrity and strength.

In his book Wakefield describes a scenario that can only come from a nightmare he himself experienced and worked through to become an enlightened persona for the families and the children wracked with autism. He displays the forthrightness of someone who has gone through the trial by fire and is emerging as a hero to those who needed a caring voice.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

False paradigm

The worst false paradigm was the assumption that mercury was effective as a medicine. This paradigm lasted for thousands of years. Mercury was used as an antibiotic. It was used as a diuretic. It was used as an antiseptic in the form of gray ointment. It was even used as a pain killer in the form of a teething powder. Many of these uses were still listed in medical textbooks when I was a child, i.e. in 1940s. The notion that mercury was the greatest miracle drug is not easily dispelled.

How did this false paradigm evolve? The false assumption that mercury worked was due to the fact that it alleviated pain. It also seemed to work as an antibiotic, at least when it came to syphilis. The question now arises: Is it true that mercury is an antibiotic? Or is mercury, in fact, not an antibiotic at all? Is it a pain killer? Or does it in reality simply kill the nerves so they don't feel pain? Mercury is known to disassemble nerves and to rob them of their ability keep on growing. It is known that the deadly nature of mercury is even potentiated by certain antibiotics like neomycin as well as other heavy metals such as lead and aluminum.

The first substance that was quietly taken off the shelves was teething powder because it caused acrodynia or pink disease. It is mercury(I) chloride, a chemical compound with the formula Hg2Cl2, also called calomel. It took much sleuthing before doctors discovered its ill effects. Merthiolate and Mercurochrome were also taken off the market without much fanfare after a number of babies died. I guess the medical profession didn't want to alarm patients by telling them that what they had been given as a healing medicine was actually a sometimes deadly poison. The use of mercury as a diuretic was also discontinued very quietly.

The paradigm shift occurred without public awareness, and it is not complete. Doctors are still injecting vaccines with mercury preservatives, and dentists are still filling teeth with mercury amalgams. When will the false paradigm become public knowledge?