Tag Archives: medicine

Truth in Media: Vaccine Court and Autism

The claims that autism is caused by vaccines have been completely disproven, right? We have all heard that claim, maybe most famously by actress and model Jenny McCarthy.

But is the claim untrue? What if I told you that while HHS says there is no link between autism and vaccinations, the federal government has quietly awarded families of autistic children damages as a result of vaccine injuries?

The first step toward truth is to be informed.

The story we are talking about today is something that just doesn’t get attention from the mainstream media, and on the rare occasion when it does, the story is predictable. Scandal surrounding a doctor who claims autism and vaccines are linked. The bizarre parents who believe that their child has autism because of a vaccine, a claim clearly not based in science.

But is there more to this story than what the media has told you?

The real story behind vaccines begins in 1986.

That is because it was in 1986 when the U.S. Congress created National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Now that alone is worthy of a story, because what most Americans don’t know is that a family who has child injured by a vaccine, cannot simply sue the vaccine maker. Under this 1986 law, Congress took that power away from families and instead created a “vaccine court” if you will.

So what is the vaccine court? It is a Federal Claim’s court that deals specifically with vaccine cases where families can go for injury compensation if their child is injured by a vaccine.
The official name, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“VICP”). Of course, this program is seen as necessary because virtually every child who attends a pre-school, daycare or public or private school is required to be vaccinated.

So what’s the problem?

In 1986 when the VICP was first created vaccine makers were protected from lawsuit by the public. The VICP insulates vaccine manufacturers from liability and requires that petitioners bring their petitions solely against HHS. They may not sue manufacturers or healthcare practitioners. The rationale for this industry and professional protection was to ensure a stable childhood vaccine supply and to keep prices affordable.

The 1986 Law also permits the vaccine makers the right to not disclose known risks
to parents or guardians of those being vaccinated. Based on something called the “learned intermediary” doctrine, manufacturers bear no liability for giving, or failing to give, accurate or complete information to those vaccinated.

In exchange for being subject to the vaccine court, families of those injured would be compensated through an administrative process based on a table of presumptive vaccine injuries.

At its outset, 90% of claims were “on table.” But almost 30 years later, things are very different. Today, the vaccine schedule, meaning the list of vaccines offered to children has tripled, but the table of injuries has become much more restrictive, forcing 90% of petitioners into “off-table” litigation. And it gets worse. Because for families who believe that their children have been injured by vaccines, there are enormous roadblocks to overcome when seeking compensation for those injuries.

Mark Blaxill is the father of an autistic child. A child who he says has been injured by vaccines. Blaxill is part of a group called the Canary Party, a coalition of parents who are pushing for changes to the system through political means.

Blaxill: The Canary Party is a social movement that’s created to stand up for the victims of medical injuries, environmental toxins, industrial foods, the things that care causing these new health crises and epidemics that we are seeing.

Swann: Let’s talk about this issue of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program because most Americans, I would guess have no idea that this even exists.

Blaxill: Well, the thing that people should know about the VICP is that it is unlike any other product liability circumstance that any of us deal with on a regular basis. In 1986, Congress passed a law that gave a blanket exemption to pharmaceutical companies from any liability at all for any injury that their products, in this case vaccines, may cause to consumers and especially to children and infants. And what that did, was that put in place a liability shield on the pharmaceutical industry unlike any other pharmaceutical product categories so that if anything wrong happens to any recipient of the vaccine, what the family has to do is to, instead of just going to regular civil court with all the normal checks and balances and procedures and protections we see in the American legal system, they are forced to petition of government to recognize the injury to their child and to decide on whether or not they deserve an compensation.

So for parents, like Blaxill, why does he believe the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has failed?

That goes back to 2002 when nearly five thousand families filed petitions with the VICP claiming that vaccines had caused their children’s neurological disorder called “autism.”

According to the Pace Law Review, in an unprecedented proceeding, the VICP created and conducted the Omnibus Autism Proceeding that concluded in 2010. That means instead of taking the cases one at at time, they consolidated hearings for all these families. in the end, the VICP dismissed all the “test case” claims of vaccine-induced autism.

Blaxill: The original intent of the VICP was to provide a no fault, generous, rapid program of compensating victims. Now what we have a is a cover up. And a situation in which the government is trying to say, these things which people think they have observed, not only are we going to discount it, we are going to treat it with prejudice. We are going to say…

Swann: That this person is trying to get over on the system, that they are gaming the system.

Blaxill: That they are gaming the system, they are trying to blame, they are trying to get money from the government and that’s just wrong.

But there is more… A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury finds that The VICP has compensated approximately 2,500 claims of vaccine injury since the inception of the program in 1986.

Since that time, despite the official ruling that there is no link between vaccines and autism, there have been at least 83 cases of autism among those compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage.

Swann: The last thing that I would ask you is that in terms of outcomes what are you all hoping for? Because this is really a fight for other families, a fight for an entire generation of Americans, is it not?

Blaxill: We are asking for justice because you have many, many injured children and families that are struggling and they deserve support. We’re asking for awareness of this crisis in this health system. We have the worst outcomes in the entire industrial world here in America. We have the highest cost healthcare system, the most interventionist healthcare system in terms of medication and vaccination. We have a dramatic disfunction and we need awareness of that, that we have a problem and we need to shine a light on that. And then we need change. We need fundamental renovation of our way of dealing with parental choice, with the rights of consumers, authority in the healthcare system. Who gets to choose and then we need to find ways to treat and heal all those injured children and now adults who are suffering from this system.

What you need to know

Is that on the Department of Health and Human services website is this statement:

“HHS has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination.”

Parents point out that while number and use of vaccines is skyrocketing, the number of autism cases is skyrocketing as well. But remember, correlation does not equal causation. Agencies like HHS will say that doctors and medical professionals are just better at recognizing autism than they used to be and that may be true. But as one parent told me, while public statements have been made that there is no research supporting the assertion that vaccines can cause autism, families point to dozens of studies that do find a link between vaccines and autism that public health officials do not share with the public. And that families would like to present in a civil court, before a jury, which believe is their right under the Constitution.

“Mr. President, I’m Leaving The Medical Field”: Hanging Up The White Coat: A Letter To President Obama

Barack Hussein Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Mr. President,

I was born at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. My mother would later take a job delivering babies in that same operating room only a couple of years later. My parents got a divorce when I was young. There were many times during the summers when she would be forced to take my sister and me to work with her. I vividly remember the child version of myself walking the halls of the same floor I was born on in fascination as the years passed. The anesthesiologists used to bring us candy and watch movies with us.

I'm Hanging Up The White Coat Because Of Obamacare To Pursue My Doctorate In Economics And Head To Wall Street
I’m Hanging Up The White Coat Because Of Obamacare To Pursue My Doctorate In Economics And Head To Wall Street

When the holidays came, a nurse by the name of Patty Vaughn (we called her Granny), would have bags of presents for my sister and me. Donna Smith, a surgical first assistant who came to America from Canada to work in a free-market healthcare system, used to babysit us.

Donna’s two-story townhome became a 3rd home (2nd was the hospital). We spent countless nights at her house. Patty passed away when I was ten. I still remember the last box of moon pies she gave me for Halloween that year. To this day, every time I see a moon pie I think of her. Donna helped me through my undergrad at Belmont University. With tuition at $30k/year, money was tight. Donna never let me go without a meal.

You see, Mr. President, the smell of sterile operating rooms, horrible coffee, crisp white coats, and cold metal was my destiny. The first time someone ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I responded, “Anesthesiologist.” I had no idea what they even did, but it was the first big word I learned to pronounce as a 6-year-old. The hospital is my family. It’s all I’ve ever known.

Twenty-one years after my birth, in the same hospital, I listened to a fetal heartbeat through my very own stethoscope as a student. You know, it’s quite magical. As the cool, metallic bell lies upon the tight skin of a young mother’s stomach, anxiety, fear and joy are all present in her face. A week before my birthday, I stood at the side of the laboring mother. There’s no other way to explain childbirth than witnessing the face of God. The emotion is enveloping. You can only try (unsuccessfully) to hold the tears back. I knew at that moment what a gift God had given me. To be allowed the involvement in such a beautiful, pure moment was not to be unappreciated.

When I started college, I knew where I was going. You had just won the election. I remember the cameras focusing in on Oprah Winfrey’s face. Tears streamed down. At the time, I knew nothing about politics. My biggest concern was a girl in my Anatomy & Physiology class I had a crush on. I paid little attention to Washington, DC.

I worked hard. Multiple all-nighters, falling asleep behind the wheel of my car countless times, thousands of shots of espresso (I actually took a job at Starbucks to support the habit) and 15k note-cards later I had graduated in the top 5% of the country. However, during those last few years, something changed.

We studied medical legislation for an entire semester. It’s no secret that the federal government has overburdened the healthcare market, which has manifested astronomical costs to consumers. However, in 2010, Democrats forced through the partisan Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which was later funded by both Democrats and Republicans.

Since the passage of Obamacare, everything has changed. When I started college I never intended to work for the government. I never thought I’d have a government bureaucrat dictate what I was worth to the market, and I certainly never imagined those same bureaucrats (who have absolutely no medical training) telling me how to treat my patients.

I remember the day Obamacare became law. I was sitting in the hospital working in the anesthesia department part-time to cover the costs of tuition. Dr. Alfery, a mentor of mine, looked over at me and said, “Run – it’s not too late to change majors.”

Your legislation has caused countless doctors to go into retirement early, opt for cash-only practices, and has discouraged bright, young minds from entering the field.

With student loans reaching $300k, incalculable opportunity costs and 8 years lost to school, students seeking medical degrees give their lives to the practice. Starting our careers at 30 while dictating to us how much money we can make is nothing short of destroying all incentive to enter the field.

Since that day, I’ve yet to find a doctor who recommends the field. People respond to my complaints, “It’s still going to be a good job.” I don’t want a “good job.” I have not fought for a government entitlement of a “good job.” I want an incredible career. That’s what I have fought tirelessly for.

I have been on a path to enter the Air Force and continue my education in medicine. I have been dreaming of specializing in pediatric neurosurgery for half of a decade.

After quite literally losing my hair from the internal conflict, considering the sunk costs and evaluating different avenues, I have decided.

I have decided that I believe in the principles of a truly free-market, and I trust the free-market. Because of this deep, internal value system I cannot, with clear conscience, continue on this path. My life has value. Such value cannot be calculated by Washington bureaucrats. I won’t allow it. Only a true free-market can accurately assess the value I am capable of.

Mr. President, I’m leaving the medical field. I’m hanging up the white coat. However, let me be clear. You have not won. Unless something “changes,” you’ve lost and will continue to lose. You will fail because you lack principle. Meanwhile, we will succeed because we are born of principle.

Regards,

Michael Gordon Lotfi

 

Obamacare Forces Its Way Into Your Private Sex Life

“Pro-choicers” often hold signs at rallies that say things like, “Stay Out Of My Uterus.” Now conservatives might be sporting similar signs to protest Obamacare.

Under Obamacare, all doctors – from dermatologists, to podiatrists, to neurologists – will be asking very personal questions about your sex life. Questions like, “Are you sexually active?”, “With whom?” and “How many sexual partners do you have?”

Doctors will be financially punished if they fail to ask such questions.

Here is how it will work: under Obamacare, all doctors who do not use electronic methods by 2015 will face heavy fines from Medicare and Medicaid.

In those records, the government has mandated that doctors include details pertaining to patients’ sex life.

Some doctors say the regulations could harm the patient-doctor relationship. Dr. Richard Amerling, a nephrologist and professor at Albert Einstein Medical College, said the requirements make your medical record “into an interrogation, and the data will not be confidential.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union is concerned about privacy (or lack thereof). In a 2012 report, the group pointed out that almost all information on a patient’s medical record can be found with one click of a mouse.

As Betsy McCaughey of the New York Post argued that should be assertive and defend their personal privacy. She wrote, “WikiLeaker Bradley Manning showed how incompetent the government is at keeping its own secrets; incidents where various agencies accidentally disclose personal data like Social Security numbers are legion. And that’s not to mention the ways in which commercial databases are prone to hacking and/or exploitation.”

In the 1980s and 1990s, women’s rights activists vehemently protested the federal government’s ability to access a woman’s health records.

Ironically, women’s rights groups have not made a peep about the intrusive Obamacare mandates.

Obamacare is arguably an intrusive vehicle for the federal government to push its way into our private business and bodies.

Are you concerned? Let us know your thoughts below.