931415?1244681111
David H Gorski, MD, PhD  
Male

All Journal Entries Journals
Previous | Next

The Oprah-fication Of Medicine

Jun 08, 2009 - 88 comments
Tags:

Oprah

,

oprah winfrey

,

alternative medicine

,

Autism

,

vaccines

,

vaccinations



95954?1333380108
Unfortunately, a frequent topic on SBM has been the anti-vaccine movement, personified these days by celebrity spokesmodel for Generation Rescue Jenny McCarthy and her  boyfriend comedian and actor Jim Carrey. Unfortunately, it is a topic that is unlikely to go away. We’ve all speculated why the anti-scientific emotion-based notion that vaccines somehow must cause autism persists in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, but I think the question goes much deeper than that because it’s not just about vaccines. The anti-vaccine movement is but one of the most visible components of a much deeper problem in our public discourse, a problem that values feelings and personal experience over evidence, compelling stories and anecdotes over science.

I’m referring to the Oprah-fication of medicine in America.

Why Oprah? you may ask. I’m happy to tell you. Oprah Winfrey has been the host of the highest rated syndicated talk show in television history, her self-named The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show has been running for nearly 23 years, with over 3,000 episodes. Winfrey is so famous that she is one of those rare celebrities who is known instantly by just her first name. Say “Oprah,” and virtually everyone will know to whom you’re referring, and her show is often colloquially known as simply Oprah. Given this unprecedented level of success, which has made Oprah a billionaire and a ubiquitous presence on TV, her own magazine, her own satellite radio station, and, soon, her own cable channel, Oprah has developed a media empire that few single individuals can match or beat. Indeed Rupert Murdoch is the only person that I can think of who likely has a wider reach than Oprah. Personally, I have no problem with Oprah’s level of success. Clearly, she is a very talented and savvy TV host and businesswoman.

Unfortunately, in marked contrast, Oprah has about as close to no critical thinking skills when it comes to science and medicine as I’ve ever seen, and she uses the vast power and influence her TV show and media empire give her in order to subject the world to her special brand of mystical New Age thinking and belief in various forms of what can only be characterized as dubious medical therapies at best and quackery at worst. Arguably there is no single person in the world with more influence pushing woo than Oprah. Indeed, she puts Prince Charles to shame, and Kevin Trudeau is a mere ant compared to the juggernaught that is Oprah Winfrey’s media empire. No one even comes close. No one, and I mean no one, brings pseudoscience, quackery, and antivaccine madness to more people than Oprah Winfrey does every week. (She doesn’t discuss such topics every day, but it seems that at least once a week she does.) Naturally, Oprah doesn’t see it that way and likely no one could ever convince her of the malign effect she has on the national zeitgeist with respect to science and medicine, but that’s exactly what she does. Consequently, whether fair or unfair, she represents the perfect face to put on the problem that we supporters of science-based medicine face when trying to get the message out to the average reader about unscientific medical practices, and that’s why I am referring to the pervasiveness of pseudoscience infiltrating medicine as the “Oprah-fication” of medicine.

How does Oprah do it? Easy (for her, at least). She makes stars of woo-meisters by featuring them on her show and giving them her stamp of approval, that’s how. Indeed, there was a documentary on the other night that I missed called The Oprah Effect (http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/chi-tc-tvcolumn-oprah-0527-0528may28,0,3962148.story). While not specifically about Oprah’s promotion of pseudoscience, happily it appears not to shy away from it, either. The basic structure of the documentary is to examine what happened to three business after they were mentioned on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Not surprisingly, their sales went through the roof, and apparently the documentary derives much of its interest and drama from how each company reacted to sudden fame and skyrocketing business. However, the Oprah Effect affects far more than companies she may feature on her show or books that she features on Oprah’s Book Club, a regular feature that can make a bestseller out of an obscure book by an even more obscure author. The Oprah Effect also includes her favorites and proteges, and, sadly, most of those people are not particularly science-based in their recommendations about medicine. Indeed, some of them are into dangerous medical practices and quackery, and Oprah gives them the stamp of approval.
The Oprah Winfrey Show and the promotion of pseudoscience

Over the years, Oprah has promoted a wide variety of dubious medical practices, pseudoscience, and mysticism on her show. Indeed, just this week, NEWSWEEK ran a long article (excerpts of which I will quote but which you should read in its entirety at http://www.newsweek.com/id/200025) entitled Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity! Live Your Best Life Ever! (Indeed, the article was a big part of my impetus to write about the Oprah-fication of America.) It reveals just how forcefully Oprah and her credulous belief in New Age nonsense are reflected in her show. It starts with the example of Suzanne Somers, whom I’ve mentioned before because of her belief that alternative medicine cured her of her breast cancer:

    "In January, Oprah Winfrey invited Suzanne Somers on her show to share her unusual secrets to staying young. Each morning, the 62-year-old actress and self-help author rubs a potent estrogen cream into the skin on her arm. She smears progesterone on her other arm two weeks a month. And once a day, she uses a syringe to inject estrogen directly into her vagina. The idea is to use these unregulated “bio-identical” hormones to restore her levels back to what they were when she was in her 30s, thus fooling her body into thinking she’s a younger woman. According to Somers, the hormones, which are synthesized from plants instead of the usual mare’s urine (disgusting but true), are all natural and, unlike conventional hormones, virtually risk-free (not even close to true, but we’ll get to that in a minute).

    Next come the pills. She swallows 60 vitamins and other preparations every day. “I take about 40 supplements in the morning,” she told Oprah, “and then, before I go to bed, I try to remember … to start taking the last 20.” She didn’t go into it on the show, but in her books she says that she also starts each day by giving herself injections of human growth hormone, vitamin B12 and vitamin B complex. In addition, she wears “nanotechnology patches” to help her sleep, lose weight and promote “overall detoxification.” If she drinks wine, she goes to her doctor to rejuvenate her liver with an intravenous drip of vitamin C. If she’s exposed to cigarette smoke, she has her blood chemically cleaned with chelation therapy. In the time that’s left over, she eats right and exercises, and relieves stress by standing on her head. Somers makes astounding claims about the ability of hormones to treat almost anything that ails the female body. She believes they block disease and will double her life span. “I know I look like some kind of freak and fanatic,” she said. “But I want to be there until I’m 110, and I’m going to do what I have to do to get there.”

    That was apparently good enough for Oprah. “Many people write Suzanne off as a quackadoo,” she said. “But she just might be a pioneer.” Oprah acknowledged that Somers’s claims “have been met with relentless criticism” from doctors. Several times during the show she gave physicians an opportunity to dispute what Somers was saying. But it wasn’t quite a fair fight. The doctors who raised these concerns were seated down in the audience and had to wait to be called on. Somers sat onstage next to Oprah, who defended her from attack. “Suzanne swears by bioidenticals and refuses to keep quiet. She’ll take on anyone, including any doctor who questions her.”

I was actually amazed to read this. I’ve known for a while that Suzanne Somers promotes so-called “bioidentical hormones,” which is the sort of nonsense quack-friendly journals like JPANDS publish. I’ve also realized that it is the height of stupidity for a woman who has survived breast cancer to pump herself full of estrogen in the futile and pathetic quest to reclaim her lost youth. It’s just begging for a recurrence of her breast cancer, and Ms Somers epitomizes the cliche of “I’d rather be lucky than good.” Either that, or her cancer was estrogen receptor-negative, but even in that case it’s definitely pushing her luck to be bathing in “bioidentical” estrogens. Be that as it may, “good” Somers is not with respect to science and medicine, but lucky she is. Although I was aware of Somers’ promotion of bioidentical hormones at doses designed to boost her estrogen levels to what they were in her 20s, but I had been unaware of all the other quackery she promotes, including the multiple supplements, the “nanotechnology patches,” the vitamin C drips, and the chelation therapy. More recently, she has been promoting stem cell quackery. (Yes, indeed, when I want to read about the latest stem cell science, Suzanne Somers is exactly the person to whom I’d look.) In any case, Suzanne Somers promotes medical advice and practices that could be dangerous to women, and Oprah is totally down with them. Moreover, it’s her show, and so her opinion is all that matters:

    "On Oprah’s show, there is one opinion more equal than others; and by the end of the program there was no doubt where Oprah herself stood on the issue. She told her audience that she found Somers’s bestselling books on bioidentical hormones “fascinating” and said “every woman should read” what she has to say. She didn’t stop there. Oprah said that although she has never had a hot flash, after reading Somers she decided to go on bioidenticals herself. “After one day on bioidentical estrogen, I felt the veil lift,” she wrote in O, The Oprah Magazine. “After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.” On the show, Oprah had her own word of warning for the medical establishment: “We have the right to demand a better quality of life for ourselves,” she said. “And that’s what doctors have got to learn to start respecting.”

That statement epitomizes the attitude that infuses The Oprah Winfrey Show when it comes to medical issues and science. Anecdotes trump science, and scientists should “respect” pseudoscience because of feelings and a desire for “quality of life.” Indeed, thees are exactly the attitudes that permeate the CAM movement and the antivaccine movement. It’s therefore not surprising that Oprah would be drawn to them, especially since she clearly does not have the critical thinking skills necessary to recognize that what Somers offers is a risky false promise. Here’s what also matters to Oprah:

    "Somers says it’s mainstream doctors who need to get their facts straight. “The problem is that our medical schools do not teach this,” she said in a February interview with NEWSWEEK. She believes doctors, scientists and the media are all in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry. “Billions are spent on marketing drugs, and these companies also support academic research.” Free from these entanglements, Somers can see things clearly. “I have spent thousands of hours on this. I’ve written 18 books on health. I know my stuff.”

No, Somers does not “know her stuff.” Writing books is no guarantee that she “knows her stuff,” particularly given that she clearly does not understand science and cherry picks references to support her viewpoint, ignoring those that do not. Like Jenny McCarthy (more on her later), Somers also suffers from the arrogance of ignorance (http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=140), in which she thinks her Google University and self-taught knowledge trump the understanding of scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying such questions deeply. Again, Oprah is drawn to this sort of thinking because it reinforces her message of “empowerment” and her apparent distrust of medical authorities. Truly, she is the perfect representative for the science-free attitudes that have allowed the rise of so much pseudoscience in medicine.

Speaking of bioidentical hormones, another favorite and frequent guest on Oprah is Dr. Christiane Northrup, a woo-friendly gynecologist who has some very strange views about the vagina and has advocated using qi gong to increase “energy flow” (i.e., qi) to the vagina and cure all manner of “female” ills, as well as providing fantastic orgasms. Our very own Dr. Harriet Hall has done a detailed examination of Dr. Northrup’s views (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=110). It turns out that Dr. Northrup is also very much “skeptical” of vaccination, in particular the HPV vaccine. She’s even gone so far as to parrot antivaccine propaganda about the VAERS database, as I’ve detailed earlier (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=98). Not only that, but she is a germ theory denialist, who has credulously also parroted the myth that Louis Pasteur “recanted” on his deathbed (same link). The NEWSWEEK article describes her thusly:

    "Northrup holds a special place in Oprah’s constellation of regular guests. A Dartmouth-educated ob-gyn, she stresses alternative therapies and unseen connections between the soul and the body that she believes conventional doctors overlook, but that she can see. She has written about how she has used Tarot cards to help diagnose her own illnesses. (On her Web site, she sells her own “Women’s Wisdom Healing Cards.”) In other words, she gets right to the center of Oprah’s search for hidden mystical meanings. Oprah says she reads Northrup’s menopause book “just like it’s the Bible. It’s the book next to my bed. I read the Bible. I read that book.”

Oprah found Dr. Northrup when she “blew out her thyroid,” and Dr. Northrup promotes a wide variety of pseudoscience with regard to thyroid disease:

    "But Northrup believes thyroid problems can also be the result of something else. As she explains in her book, “in many women, thyroid dysfunction develops because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of ’swallowing’ words one is aching to say.”

This is nothing more than prescientific mystical nonsense about the origins of disease, and Oprah believes it.

And, of course, let’s not forget David L. Katz, MD. You may recall Dr. Katz from Dr. Atwood’s discussion of him on SBM (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=167). Dr. Katz is probably best known around the skeptical blogosphere for saying that he thinks:

    "…we have to look beyond the results of RCTs [randomized clinical trials] in order to address patient needs today, and to do that I’ve arrived at the concept of a more fluid form of evidence than many of us have imbibed from our medical educations."

Dr. Katz has also defended homeopathy, promoted anecdotes above clinical trials and scientific evidence, and gone on to suggest that we need to think more “fluidly” about evidence. For this, he has been roundly criticized and even mocked in the blogosphere–and deservedly so. No wonder he’s a regular, along with Dr. Mehmet Oz, on Oprah. Indeed, one of the NEWSWEEK blogs even refers to him as one of the “resident heath experts” on Oprah and a columnist for Oprah’s magazine.

Until most recently, the low point of Oprah’s malign influence came when she fell under the spell of The Secret. Yes that Secret (http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/03/05/the_secret/index.html), New Age nonsense so flaky that even most New Age believers correctly view it as nonsense. Basically, The Secret postulates that there is a “law of attraction” that “always works” in which what you visualize can be yours. In other words, according to The Secret, well, let’s let Oprah describe it, as quoted in an article from Salon.com by Peter Birkenhead entitled Oprah’s Ugly Secret:

    "…the energy you put into the world — both good and bad — is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day."

While it is fairly obvious that attitude and motivation do affect one’s chances for success in this world and that a lack of motivation coupled with a bad attitude will usually lead to failure, The Secret takes this relatively easy to accept contention that your attitude and drive have a significant influence on how well you do in life and puts it on more steroids than Major League Baseball players have used over the last couple of decades, to the point of utter ridiculousness. As Birkenhead put it:

    “Venality,” because Oprah, in the age of AIDS, is advertising a book that says, “You cannot ‘catch’ anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought.” “Venality,” because Oprah, from a studio within walking distance of Chicago’s notorious Cabrini Green Projects, pitches a book that says, “The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.”

The truly despicable aspect of The Secret is that a consequence of its teachings is not that people bring good things to themselves with their thoughts but the flip side, too: That people bring evil to themselves with their own thoughts and that it is their fault. Tell that to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, or the millions killed by Stalin, or even the 3,000 who died on September 11, 2001. According to The Secret, they all brought that evil upon themselves with their “negative” thoughts. In other words, if you get cancer, AIDS, or other serious and possibly fatal diseases, it’s your fault for not being “positive” enough. If you’re not rich, it’s your fault for not being “positive” enough. If you are a failure in life, it’s your fault for not “believing” hard enough.

This sort of belief in magical thinking came to its toxic conclusion when people started actually listening Oprah’s advice about The Secret:

    "The message got through. In March 2007, the month after the first two shows on The Secret, Oprah invited a woman named Kim Tinkham on the program. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctors were urging surgery and chemotherapy. But Tinkham wrote Oprah to say that she had decided to forgo this treatment and instead use The Secret to cure herself. On the show, Oprah seemed genuinely alarmed that Tinkham had taken her endorsement of The Secret so seriously. “When my staff brought this letter to me, I wanted to talk to her,” Oprah told the audience. “I said, get her in here, OK?” On air, Oprah urged the woman to listen to her doctors. “I don’t think that you should ignore all of the advantages of medical science and try to, through your own mind now because you saw a Secret tape, heal yourself,” she said. A few weeks earlier, Oprah could not say enough in praise of The Secret as the guiding philosophy of her life. Now she said that people had somehow gotten the wrong idea. “I think that part of the mistake in translation of The Secret is that it’s used to now answer every question in the world. It is not the answer to all questions,” she instructed. “I just wanted to say it’s a tool. It is not the answer to everything.” The Law of Attraction was just one law of many that guide the universe. “Although I live my life that way,” Oprah said, “I think it has its flaws.”

Actually, it’s not quite accurate to say that Tinkham tried to use The Secret to heal her breast cancer, although she was clearly profoundly affected by The Secret. I’ve discussed Ms. Tinkham’s case in detail (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=10), and it turns out that she is under the care of a quack named Dr. Young who believes that tumors are all an “acid” and that “alkalinization” will cure all disease. On the other hand, it is clear that The Secret did have quite a bit to do with Tinkham’s rejection of conventional therapy, and Oprah’s promotion of The Secret was what sold Tinkham on it. Either Oprah doesn’t know her own power, or she does not want to take responsibility for her promotion of mysticism and quackery. Possibly it’s a little bit of both. Yet, promote quackery is what Oprah does. Moreover, she is now promoting it through her surrogates.
Oprah’s proteges go forth and spread anything but SBM

The first of Oprah’s proteges to get his own show was Dr. Phil, who is not so much a purveyor of pseudoscience as profoundly annoying, sensationalistic, and self-righteous. He’s also been known to flirt with dubious science, as when he promotes polygraph tests as though they were reliable. He’s also done some seriously questionable things from an ethical standpoint, for instance his sensationalistic visit to Britney Spears in the hospital and self-serving statement afterward. Personally, I find Dr. Phil to be not unlike Jerry Springer in that he brings usually lower economic class people suffering from difficulties onto his show and then takes the role of the father figure dishing out stern but simplistic “answers” to their problems.. His self-righteous lectures serve much the same purpose as the abuse heaped on the guests of The Jerry Springer Show, namely to let the crowd heap abuse upon the transgressors and thereby feel superior to them, only with pretensions of being more than that. Still, Dr. Phil is not the worst of Oprah’s proteges.

Neither is the other of Oprah’s most famous pseudoscience-loving proteges is Mehmet Oz, whom we at SBM and elsewhere (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/senator_tom_harkin.php) have castigated for his promotion of CAM as “prevention” and his advocacy for hijacking President Obama’s agenda for health care reform to get the government to pay for CAM. Dr. Oz has been a frequent guest on her show, inappropriate scrubs outside of the O.R. and all. His advice on Oprah tends to be mostly not unsound, but Oz, like Andrew Weil, frequently mixes science-based medicine with woo. He’s also a very famous advocate for CAM who has shown up with Dean Ornish, Mark Hyman, and Andrew Weil at the recent Institute of Medicine woo-fest designed to influence the Obama Administration’s health care policy. He also–surprise! surprise!–is a pitchman for a company that sells information from a dubious test its readers take to pharamceutical companies in order to allow them to send targeted ads to them.

He is also presently poised to get his own TV show in the fall, thanks to Oprah.

The absolute worst of Oprah’s proteges is the celebrity spokesmodel for the anti-vaccine movement, Jenny McCarthy. Beginning in the fall of 2007, Jenny McCarthy, characterized as having “warrior spirit” and as a “warrior mom,” has been a regular guest on Oprah, where she’s been given more or less free rein to spread her gospel of vaccines causing autism and her claims that biomedical quackery can “cure” or “recover” autistic children. Indeed, it may well be that McCarthy is, to paraphrase the title of an excellent book about Operation Market Garden during World War II by Cornelius Ryan (later made into a movie), a woo too far. For it was Oprah’s inking of a deal with Jenny McCarthy to develop a number of media efforts, including one of the most inane blogs I’ve ever seen (http://www.oprah.com/bi/jenny-mccarthy) and a television show, that has drawn the attention of the mainstream media to Oprah’s promotion of quackery. McCarthy’s promotion of antivaccine propaganda and pseudoscience is, quite simply, so egregious and such a threat to public health that even the Oprah-friendly (or Oprah-intimidated) media has become alarmed, given McCarthy’s statements that, if she ever had another child, she would not vaccinate that child. The NEWSWEEK article even notes McCarthy’s crude statement that

    "I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their ******* fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s ****. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism."

In both articles I’ve cited, reporters tried to get a statement from Oprah. This is what they got. First, from the article on the Oprah Effect:

    "Asked if Oprah or her show endorses McCarthy’s views, a representative for Oprah’s program said, “We don’t take positions on the opinions of our guests. Rather, we offer a platform for guests to share their first-person stories in an effort to inform the audience and put a human face on topics relevant to them.” When McCarthy’s views have been discussed on the air, statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics saying that there’s no scientific evidence of a vaccine-autism link have been read."

And from the NEWSWEEK story:

    "She declined to be interviewed for this article, but in a statement she said, “The guests we feature often share their first-person stories in an effort to inform the audience and put a human face on topics relevant to them. I’ve been saying for years that people are responsible for their actions and their own well-being. I believe my viewers understand the medical information presented on the show is just that—information—not an endorsement or prescription. Rather, my intention is for our viewers to take the information and engage in a dialogue with their medical practitioners about what may be right for them.

    The first-person story that, as Oprah says, puts “a human face on topics” is an important part of the show’s success. Perhaps Oprah’s most attractive quality, and one that sets her apart from other daytime hosts, is that she abhors the celebration of victimhood. She succeeded despite a childhood of abuse, and her own experience left her with very little tolerance for people who indulge in self-pity or blame cruel fate for their troubles. She often features regular people or, even better, celebrities, who have met challenges in their lives."

In other words, Oprah washes her hands of any responsibility for spreading misinformation under the guise of “trusting her audience” to be able to distinguish good advice from bad advice. She also values “self-empowerment” apparently above all else. That would be all well and good, except that Oprah mistakes the story of someone like Jenny McCarthy, who claims to have, through being a “warrior mother,” to have overcome her son’s autism and turned herself into an “autism advocate.” It matters not to Oprah that McCarthy’s claims are based on her belief in autism quackery and anti-vaccine pseudoscience. All that matters is that, by her own narrative, Jenny McCarthy has “triumphed” over the odds for the sake of her son. The compelling personal story of “empowerment” thus trumps science, and the only “balance” Oprah feels compelled to provide is a dry statement from the CDC and AAP.
What is Oprah’s responsibility?

As we have seen, Oprah doesn’t think she is responsible for what people do with the misinformation she promotes. Indeed, note how shocked she was that a breast cancer sufferer (a woman with Stage III disease, if I recall correctly) would take the nonsense she pushes on her show seriously and actually act on it by refusing surgical and medical care that could save her life. Philospher and ethicist (not to mention blogger) Janet Stemwedel asks (http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2009/05/ethics_and_the_oprah_effect.php):

    "I’m curious to hear what you all think about this. Is it acceptable to give any guest you please a soapbox without taking a position on the opinions they voice from that soapbox? Is reading official statements from the CDC and AAP enough “balance” to Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccines, or do you think the “Oprah Winfrey Show” needs to do more?

    And, if Oprah and her producers are aware of the Oprah effect (which, really, they have to be, right?), should that awareness of their reach lead them to try to meet a higher ethical standard as far as the foreseeable consequences for giving Jenny McCarthy a soapbox?"

I have two answers to Janet’s questions: my answers in an ideal world and my answer in the real world. In an ideal world, my answers would be:

   1. No, simply reading an official statement from the CDC and AAP as “balance” to Jenny McCarthy’s idiotic and dangerous views on vaccines, which have led her to a know-nothing activism based on the arrogance of ignorance that is already eroding faith in vaccines. Indeed, there is already a site called the Jenny McCarthy Body Count (http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html) to chronicle deaths from infectious disease that can be partially attributed to her antivaccine zealotry. She uses emotion and her son to argue falsely that vaccines cause autism and that various quackery “cured” him (and, by inference, can cure other children with autism, too). Reading a dry statement from the CDC is utterly useless in combatting this message. It is nothing more than what I like to call the “token skeptic” who trots out the skeptical viewpoint briefly in a formulaic method.
   2. Yes, the awareness of the Oprah Effect should make the producers of The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah herself realize that they have real power and, as the comic geek inside me can’t resist saying, with great power comes great responsibility. Indeed, adding more “balance” is not enough. If they were truly to hold themselves to a higher ethical standard, useful idiots to the antivaccine movement like Jenny McCarthy and the hucksters who barfed The Secret onto the world wouldn’t be allowed within ten miles of Harpo Studios. “Balance,” after all, implies that there is enough scientific validity to a view that it is somewhere on the same planet with science. There is no “balance” between Jenny McCarthy and scientists. Jenny McCarthy is, quite simply, completely wrong about vaccines and autism. There is no “balance” between promoters of The Secret and scientists; The Secret is nothing more than New Age nonsense based on prescientific beliefs that were prettied up for the 21st century. There is no validity to them. “Balance” is a sham used by promoters of pseudoscience and quackery to claim a legitimacy that they don’t deserve.

In the real world, unfortunately, my answer would be this: Oprah doesn’t care about science or accuracy. Rather, she cares about three things: ratings, “empowerment,” and entertainment. If it gets ratings, it interests her. If it fits into her apparent “spiritual” world view (like The Secret does), it’s all good to her. If it fits in with the “alternative” medical beliefs of her audience (as Jenny McCarthy, Mehmet Oz, and Christiane Northrup do), she likes it. If it provides a message of “empowerment” (whether real or not), it is good. Those scientists and nasty skeptics are such downers, too. They harsh the happy buzz of all that “positivity” and overcoming adversity to provide “inspirational” stories. None of this is new, either. After all, remember that Oprah sandbagged James Randi when he was the skeptic on a show about psychics. She was also extremely sarcastic and abusive to a woman named Laura McMahon (http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-03/030207harpo.html#i1) who had agreed in 2007 to be the token skeptic on another episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show about psychics.

The bottom line is that, whatever good Oprah may have done with her money, when it comes to medicine and science, she is a force for ill. Her intentions may be the best in the world, but that is only why she is the living embodiment of the cliche that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That’s especially true when that same road is also paved with no mental filter of critical thinking to keep out nonsense, and Oprah clearly has no mental filter when it comes to pseudoscience and quackery. With great power comes great responsibility, indeed. Too bad Oprah doesn’t seem to understand or accept that. The result is the Oprah-fication of the popular discourse about medicine in the media, as epitomized by the “tell both sides” imbalance seen on shows like The Doctors. Indeed, Oprah is one of the most potent forces in American for the undermining of critical thinking and science-based medicine in existence. The Huffington Post may promote a lot of quackery, but when it comes to influence in the media Oprah is the Queen of All Media.

Unfortunately, given the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine, I’m having a hard time determining if Oprah is a symptom or one of the causes of the rise of pseudoscience and quackery over science-based medicine.

Comments
Post a Comment
Avatar_n_tn
by AubreyJ, Jun 08, 2009
It's to bad that you are clearly so closed minded that you shoo away new clinical research as "woo." That you shoo away centuries of cultural medicine that have been in part proven to be successful. Than the Chinese for development of vaccination and thank the Egyptians for the first brain surgery.

You sound as if you are sitting on a pedestal somewhere living in fear that medicine could change right out from underneath you.

Well luckily it has without your help. Try opening your mind and read a few more journals sometime.  

745975_tn?1258964522
by JenB12, Jun 08, 2009
Aubrey,

I don't think he was saying that at all. I didn't get from the tone of his post that he was frowning upon all alternative medicine and treatments in the slightest.  I get the the feeling that Dr. Gorski is very well read (you kind of have to be to be a PHD, MD anyways), and i'm sure his readings cover a whole array of research. I think you missed the point entirely of his post. It's not that all alternative medicine has no value, just that people in power should not advocate it as being a substitution for real medical treatments.

I don't get the impression that the Dr. was totally naysaying alternative and spiritual healing, just that it is an individual choice and not a substitution for medical care. Don't underestimate the power of someone like Oprah for being able to spread a message, and not all of Oprah's viewers are able to understand the difference between the advice and opinions of Oprah and the reality of their medical problems and the need for real medical treatment. It is unfortunate that not all people can think critically enough to be able to listen to information and see it objectively, and that is the potential danger of Oprah's messages.

Dr. Gorski did not say that all her messages are wrong and i'm sure Oprah has provided much inspiration and hope for many people, but when you have as much power as Oprah, you need to be cautious of how your messages will be interpreted by the majority of the public.



Avatar_f_tn
by mammo, Jun 08, 2009
I agree with JenB12.  I think he has many valid points.  Because of medical negligence, I lost a son and recently a grandson, so I question everyone and everything as far as medical care goes.  But one day I found myself "believing" whatever anyone on the Oprah show was saying because they were on Oprah!  The guru of everything!  She is merely a talk show host, and just because she allows someone on her show does not make their "cause" right or valid!  She recommends a skin cream, and they fly off the shelves!  I was about to buy one that she recommended, and was even told by the salesgirl that they were unable to keep it on the shelves because Oprah recommended it.  But then I thought "Oprah's a black woman, I'm not, are our skin care needs the same?  I didn't buy it.  The same with books.  What makes people think they will like a book simply because she did?  We are all so different, how could we?  Do we claim or feel we liked it because Oprah did?  I get what Dr. Gorski is saying, we need to think for ourselves, and use good judgement
when it comes to who and why someone on TV is promoting something.  Well said Dr. Gorski!

193137_tn?1367883663
by sk123, Jun 08, 2009
I agree with Dr. Gorski. I would much prefer medical treatments that are based on science than best-selling books from Suzanne Somers. And don't get me started on Jenny McCarthy. If I were to follow a celebrity, it wouldn't be anyone as silly as these two.

If I have kids, they'll be vaccinated. Science has shown that there is no correlation between autism and vaccines. Oprah really should be more responsible with who she endorses.

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 08, 2009
I agree with Dr Gorski I have seen this for many years and wont watch the show for this reason,she has an almost cult following and this is the reason so many believe every thing her show depicts some of the things she espouses are interesting .

143952_tn?1237868141
by sk2006a, Jun 08, 2009
Sorry, I have to agree with the Doctor, too.  Googling information and making up your own plan as you go along isn't exactly the same thing as true research and experience.

As for all the estrogen Somers is putting in/on her body, she's taking a big chance.  Hopefully she had her tumor tested to see if it's estrogen receptive.  If it is, she's been lucky .... so far.  My sister had breast cancer and her tumor WAS estrogen receptive, and she cannot take HRT as a result.  It would only feed the cancer.  And there is a woman on the OVCA forum who had a slide of her tumor sent for testing and found that her ovarian tumor was estrogen receptive.  She had been taking HRT after her surgery and chemo, and was recurrent for OVCA within six months.  Needless to say, she had to stop HRT and does not try to take any "natural" estrogen supplement.  It's still estrogen!  Why would anyone take that chance?  I hope no one watching Somers ends up risking her life by dosing up on estrogen when she shouldn't.  Everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible, but there is something to be said about aging gracefully!

I have really lost respect for Oprah, especially after reading the Newsweek article.  The correlation between vaccines and autism has been repeatedly debunked.  Are vaccines 100% safe?  Of course not, it's hard to find anything 100% safe.  But it's not safe foregonig vaccines.  Some schools have more than 10% of their children showing up with waivers from their parents, influenced by people like McCarty who have been allowed a soapbox from which to spread their views.  Now there is a resurgence in HiB, whooping cough and measles!  Oprah has a responsibility to her viewers, and she's derelict when she lets people like Somers pontificate without any training or education in medicine.

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 08, 2009

"In leaked documents from the settlement of an autism claim, federal health officials have concede for the first time that a 9-year-old Georgia girl was damaged by childhood vaccines."

source: http://www.injuryboard.com/national-news/autism-settlement-precedent-blames-vaccines.aspx?googleid=29954



207091_tn?1337713093
by auntiejessi, Jun 08, 2009
I think that's overstating it.

I found this -

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/health/stories/2008/03/06/autism_0306.html  "The language in the document does not establish a clear-cut vaccine-autism link. But it does say the government concluded that vaccines aggravated a rare underlying metabolic condition that resulted in a brain disorder “with features of autism spectrum disorder.” "

and this -

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-03-07-3676631517_x.htm - "For those convinced that vaccines can cause autism, the sad case of a Georgia girl, daughter of a doctor and lawyer, seems like clear-cut evidence. The government has agreed to pay the girl's family for injury caused by vaccines. But it turns out it's not that simple -- and maybe not even a first. The 9-year-old girl, Hannah Poling, had an underlying condition that may have been worsened, triggering her autism-like symptoms.

Her parents believe it was the five simultaneous vaccines she got as a toddler in one day eight years ago that did it. Government scientists say something like a fever or infection could have set off the problem -- but they didn't rule out the vaccines either."

And let's remember that even Jenny McCarthy says that vaccines aren't bad, in and of themselves.  She questions the schedule of them, and perhaps some of the ingredients, but she never advocates not vaccinating.   Whether she's right or wrong, who knows, but let's not overstate things.  And this is about Oprah, not about specific issues.

Aj

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 08, 2009
"The 9-year-old girl, Hannah Poling, had an underlying condition that may have been worsened, triggering her autism-like symptoms."

The way I understand it is that if you give multiple vaccinations in certain individuals, then the vaccinations are likely to trigger autism.

"And this is about Oprah, not about specific issues."

I know and I really think it is a shame.


Avatar_f_tn
by mamashu6boys, Jun 09, 2009
I mostly agree with the first poster AubreyJ. I would also add that Its a shame Dr. Gorski thinks we are all so mindless and can't think for ourselves. OK, yes The Oprah show does have lots of guests that promote different and sometimes ridiculous points of view, but before Oprah I think the average person followed the advice of there family doctor without question. I'm sure many doctors still wish that was so. I think it's for the best that people are getting empowered to learn more about their health and question things before blindly accepting them. The Oprah show has changed the kind of information we are being given from the media, and thats a good thing, her show assumes that we can think for ourselves. I don't agree with everything on the show or any show for that matter but I do credit her guests good and bad for getting us all to start talking and thinking about things past neglected.

745975_tn?1258964522
by JenB12, Jun 09, 2009
mamashu6boys,

I think *most* people can think critically well enough not to just accept everything they see and hear on TV, but MANY cannot.

I agree with you that it is important to learn as much as you can about your health and empower yourself and quite frankly I think that is why many of us are on this board; but sometimes Oprah's message IS a bit over the top. It's not like she says "you should research alternatives and then have open discourse with your Doctor about what it right for you."  

I think those of us who are looking to empower ourselves are doing so because we decided to on our own, not because we were watching Oprah the other day and she enlightened us. The people who are going to think critically are going to do so with out Oprah's suggestions.

Again, I don't think that her views and opinions harm ALL viewers, just that there are some that take her opinions as facts which they are not. Oprah has sooo much power I think we forget that in Oprah's world the power of suggestion goes a long long way, and some times too far.

ALSO please consider who Oprah's target audience is. The show is syndicated but is usually on at 3, or 4 PM, and the issues are mostly geared towards women. So I would imagine that the most influenced by the Oprah show would be middle aged stay at home Mom's, many of which who are probably not reading the most updated medical journals, and would probably trust the Dr's and guests on the Oprah show particularly surrounding issues of women's health and health of children.  If you have a celebrety on a show like Susan Sommers who is giving her secret to looking good, people will most likely be interested in, if not, follow that advice, with out knowing the medical risks because they trust "the experts" they see on the Oprah show and they want to look good too!

No one is saying that Oprah doens't have good messages sometimes.... But her power in the medical world is of some concern.

Out of the 6 billion people on this planet, Forbes rated Oprah in the top 10 most powerful women. That is quite a bit of power she has. For Oprah, the products she endorses sell, the books she endorse become best sellers, and I have every reason to think that the medical advise she endorses is followed!

Avatar_f_tn
by palo_alto_mom, Jun 09, 2009
I like Oprah alot.  I've been watching her for years and enjoy many of her guests.
When Suzanne Sommers was on the show and later on Larry King, I was surprised they let her publicize her program of pills and hormones.  I still watch because I enjoy most of her shows.  I think this backlash will force her to think about the ramifications of some of her guests views.

Avatar_f_tn
by JackieCalifornia, Jun 09, 2009
Dr Gorski perceives correctly the gap between Oprah's appeal and the way in which mainstream medicine is generally practiced in the US.  What he misses, however, is the reason that gap exists and what he and mainstream medicine should do about it in order to protect people from quackery:  don't talk down to patients; don't scoff at their questions and ideas; and don't act like you have all the answers, because you don't.

I recently read a serious suggestion by an MD posted on a physician-oriented website that the current vaccine schedule be tightened up even more, reducing the time between vaccinations.  Why?  Because it would fool all the ignorant and lazy parents into showing up somewhere close to the right time for vaccinations.  How's that for 'informed consent'?  

I have yet to see a serious discussion about how wise it really is to load up tiny immune systems with so many vaccinations so early in a baby's life -- this has never been done before, and it is done without any scientific basis as to its likelihood of harm.  If a double blind experiment were conducted with a bunch of babies and children getting the current vaccination schedule versus another bunch getting a relaxed and unbundled schedule, I rather doubt you would get too many parents agreeing to put their children in the current plan -- yet that is where medicine wants ALL our children, with no proof or even investigation of the possible ill effects.  Fifty and even 25 years ago there were few vaccines, so there is nothing to compare from then against the results of the onslaught of multiple new vaccines which are started so early in a child's life now.  

The medical profession believes but does not know that the current schedule does not cause harm, and therein lies the problem.  "First, do no harm" has been lost as a guiding principle, and the arrogance of the medical profession in this regard does it no honor.

401095_tn?1351395370
by worried878, Jun 09, 2009
Interesting...and agree with many of the Dr's points...it is scary how people are swayed by the media and television in general...also scary because the nation's media does not preset the news in a pro United States manner...it is almost as if our own media is against our country

Avatar_f_tn
by mamashu6boys, Jun 09, 2009
Hi Jackiecalifornia,
My second son reacted negatively to his vaccinations so we stopped most of them. For my other children we do have them on a very spaced out schedule that works for us. I think many individual doctors already believe in what your suggesting. To bad we as parents have to push for it instead of all offices giving us a choice! I think many more of my friends that do not vaccinate at all would consider it if more doters seemed flexible instead of so "all or nothing" rigid.



Avatar_f_tn
by mamashu6boys, Jun 09, 2009
Hello JenB12, I don't think you and I are very far from agreeing, we seem to be on different ends of the same page. Dr. Gorski's article turned me off because of his repeated use of terms like "quackery"; I might have been able to "hear" his message better if he was writing in a more respectable tone. I get that he does not respect Oprah's choices in guest, but he could respect his readers a little more then he did. Also I disagree with you saying

"sometimes Oprah's message IS a bit over the top. It's not like she says "you should research alternatives and then have open discourse with your Doctor about what it right for you."

I have frequently heard her say things EXACTLY like that. Oprah as a single person IS mega powerful, but it hardly counter balances all the individual doctors out there that put together have had almost omnipotent power over the world. The middle aged stay at home moms you also speak of as Operas target audience, are just as likely to blindly follow their doctors advice as they would hers, I say they got a 50/ 50 chance either way. I was harmed quite a bit over the years by not questioning the authority and knowledge of a few of my past doctors. I would also dare say that many doctors do not read and keep up with all the current medical journals either. I've also been told by a doctor of mine that many of the medical journals are loaded with research paid for by the drug companies that hope to profit from it. Who knows who to trust these days? I try to learn what I can for myself and my family especially my handicapped son. Almost weekly I face "specialists” at my sons children’s hospital that don't want to tell me everything, I only know as much as I do because I get the hospital test reports and read them for myself. I believe in science, I hope for more research and more medical breakthroughs, but I have a hard time respecting doctors that says their way is the only way. That can also be proven wrong by science. I maintain the belief that shows like the Oprah show do more to empower people then to harm them. This is not the dark ages, we should all have access to ideas and information so we can make our individual choices, and live with the consequences if need be. Without choice there is only opration. I’m just another mom out there, and this is my opinion. I’m not an expert, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. I just thought I could lend support to those that feel as I do.
You are all free to completely disagree with me, but as intelligent, thinking people, you already know that!


Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 09, 2009
"Of historical interest, the first use of the name "Quack" when referring to a questionable doctor was used to label these dentists using mercury, since mercury was then known as "Quacksilver".

pg. 259 - Beating Lyme Disease


745975_tn?1258964522
by JenB12, Jun 09, 2009
I actually do not disagree with you on any of your points. I also think that a lot of us would not be looking at these forums if were were not questioning our own Doctors, or looking for more answers then what we got in the Doctors offices. On the other hand i've met some Doctors that I find are true inspirations, it was an amazing surgeon that cured my chronic back pain after many other Doctors said that surgery was unnecessary. Many Doctors just are eager to treat symptoms and send you home so the next patient can come along.  And it's scary that you cannot know which to trust. And yes, some times you just have to trust, and put your faith in a professional even if other professionals have let you down in the past.  But this discussion is not about Doctors and if they cause harm or good or not... this is about Oprah and some of her guests.

I actually don't know enough about the validity of what the guests on the Oprah show are saying to know if i would go as far to call all of it "quackery" either; though certainly *some* of the things i've read and seen from some of Oprah's  favorite guests that she repeatedly has on the show, strike me as ridiculous and that is just a personal opinion. This is not to dismiss alternative medicines which i DO believe have a lot of value for many people. I don't know, i jsut think that Oprah is always out there showing off the "best new product", or the "latest new craze" and these fad health and beauty products and routines sell with no warnings from Oprah to research the product throughly first. I don't blame most of the viewers for taking what she says at face value she always has Doctors and "experts" and "the best" on the show. so why would the average viewer think to question it?...after all "if it works for Oprah..."

Furthermore, you are probably right when you say that you have heard her give verbal disclaimers. She's has almost 4000 shows, and many issues of her magazine, and I don't know what messages she has or had not relayed in all of them. I know some of her messages are wonderful and positive and have helped many people. But i also know that she didn't say it during or after the Jenny McCarthy episode that I saw, and she didn't give one during the Suzanne Sommers episode... and if she did, it wasn't very clear and it didn't trump the fact that it appeared as though she was agreeing or endorsing!

I'm not defending Dr. Gorski's wording perse... but the average PHD/MD student is in school for 13- 16 years after undergrad before they are practicing (that includes residency and post doctoral fellowship). And most of them are instrumental in medical and scientific research and if i went though all of that rigorous training, I'd probably be pretty salty seeing Oprah more or less stand by Suzanne Sommers while she preaches to millions about her self-invented hormone replacement treatments.

If you can tell me that Oprah brought Suzanne Sommers on her show to tell the world about her daily hormone routine in order to empower her menopausal viewers.... then maybe. But you'd have to convince me it was not for ratings first. It's not medicine or health advice, it's entertainment.

Oprah is a media superstar. Maybe she's done some good things... but taking talk show entertainment into the "medical" field i think CAN cause negative impacts on people, and i think regardless of how the Dr. worded his post... that was all his point was. :)

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 09, 2009
"Many Doctors just are eager to treat symptoms and send you home so the next patient can come along.  And it's scary that you cannot know which to trust."

Well said. What scares me is that many of these same physicians are dependent on pharamaceutical companies and rely on them for their information. Remember the days when physicians ran the drug companies ? And now it is the CEO's, who would probably throw their own mother under the bus to make a fortune.

You know I'm waiting for Newsweek to criticize Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil's wife). She had an entire show on bio-identical hormones and shared her own success stories and viewers success stories.



168348_tn?1379360675
by ChitChatNine, Jun 10, 2009

Oprah and her thyroid.  Trust me.    You don't want me to start typing.

C~
Co-CL Thyroid Disorders

Avatar_n_tn
by oprahtic_fluid, Jun 10, 2009
Very interesting and detailed article.  I absolutely agree that Oprah is in this for her ratings and more importantly her wealth.  What is so dangerous is that her viewers or followers are so easily mislead by someone who latches on to the latest fad.  I've often referred to her as the "Vince McMahon" of talk show hosts.  She has a keen eye for targeting individuals that would engage the audience.  She then markets and promotes them, with the intent of capitalizing on their effect on the audience.  

If you recall the episode years ago when she had lost those fifty pounds and came on the show with a red wagon of fat, she was promoting a book to live well through diet and exercise.  Well I remember watching a news program a few years ago (not sure if it was 20/20), but in that program she states that she was so nervous about the show and losing all those pounds that she literally starved herself beforehand.  She then goes on to say that once that show was over, she pigged out and put on like four or five pounds in a day,

That for me was just a prime example of how this woman does not practice what she preaches, but instead profits from the mindless drones that fall for everything she says.   First it's the new star to promote, then the marketing (books, videos, magazines),, the spin-off show owned by her production company and all the royalties generated from them.  

Here is an individual that has become so gluttonous and more rich over all the crap and bs that she promotes.  Think of it, if she had truly believed all the media that she marketed and followed through with every teaching, process, and recommendation they make, then why don't we have a thinner, 100% healthy Oprah and millions of fans?  It's time people start waking up.

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 10, 2009
I am new here, so I hope I don't offend anyone.  

When my grandson was born 16 mo ago, my daughter in law was seriously questioning the validity of vaccinations.  She didn't want to "put chemicals" into him. However, at 4 mo, he contracted Mumps. Was in ICU for almost a month.  This changed her mind.  

My son -22-  (grandsons father) has had all his vaccinations, and he did very well growing up.  My daughter on the other hand is just starting some of her vaccinations. She is 15. She was born with IGg, and abnormal immune system. She was sick constantly for the first 4 yrs of her life and even worse after a few vaccines were introduced. She is now stable enough to receive certain vaccinations, although there are some that she will never be able to receive.

On the whole, I believe that every child should be vaccinated. Many parents do not schedule the regular appts to have their children vaccinated, so when they do finally go in, the child receives large doses of vaccines.  This is most likely not the healthiest way to handle vaccinating children.

There is also one vital fact that has not yet been touched up, in this list or in public....  sometimes there is just a bad batch of vaccines.  

As the population grows, the need for more quantities of vaccines grow.  If anyone has worked in a mass marketing area, you know that sometimes Quality Control becomes the "last priority" because the product must get out to the public.  This is what happened with the Flu vaccine a few years ago.

Also, there has been no real link between Autism and Vaccinations. Nor has there been a link between Autism and pesticides on the food we eat, or the additives and preservatives in the food we eat.

The fact that there is no correlation between Autism and any of the above mentioned item allows me to believe that the disorder is more genetic or caused by some other environmental element.  We also have to remember that as the population grows, we will also see a greater number of children born with ailments rarely seen even 10 yrs ago.

As far as Oprah is concerned....  when she has these "experts" on her show, we are not told their qualifications, only that they wrote this book or that book, or studied this or that.  A great example is Mr."Dr." Phil...who really isn't a doctor. His license was revoked in Texas years ago because of inappropriate contact with patient(s).  And then there is her book club.... remember the controversy over the author "1,000,000 Little Pieces"?   She did a lot of research on that one didn't she....  makes you think how much she really researches anything. And then of course there is her school in Africa where the girls were being molested...hmmmmm

I agree that she is probably more in it for wealth and status...she has talked several times about growing up poor...but how much does she give back to those who are in the same situation as she was growing up?

Maybe I am too cynical about too many things, but trust in so-called experts has gone out the window in my life.

I have been ill for the last 12 years.... I have seen this dr. and that dr.  and nobody can figure it out.  I am not hypochondriac...I had going to the dr.  And I usually wait until things are really bad.  But, the so-called "experts" still can't figure out what it is that is tearing apart my body.

hmm.. maybe i should call oprah

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 10, 2009
Oh, I forgot to comment on "The Secret"....here is another way in which someone who has access to mass media predefined anyone with a personal problem as a slacker and not caring about their own 'life issues.'  What crap.  I was so offended after watching that 'thing'  I was ready to explode!!!   BTW....was it just me? or was it very misogynistic?

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 10, 2009
"Implementing vaccine policies that are safe for all children should become our first priority."

~ Dr. Mary Megson (board-certified pediatrician, trained in child development, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Virginia.)

http://www.westonaprice.org/children/autism.html

__________________________________________________________

"The conference call referred to in this article came in response to the government’s recent concession that childhood vaccines contributed to symptoms of autism in 9-year-old Hannah Poling.

It was found that vaccines "significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder" and resulted in a brain disorder "with features of autism spectrum disorder."

Now, government officials have no choice but to address this potential link between mitochondrial dysfunction and autism."

~ Dr. Joseph Mercola

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/19/mitochondrial-dysfunction-vaccines-and-autism-are-1-in-50-children-at-risk.aspx

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 10, 2009
Wecome to MH... kaydey and thanks for your post totally agree with you..and oprahtic-fluid..  thank you for the intelligent input .

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 10, 2009
Oh and thanks to DR Gorski

606078_tn?1247268153
by kiddthekatt, Jun 10, 2009
  You know, if Gorski spent more time working toward a cure or at least a better treatment for Fibro/Chronic Fatigue, and less time leading the "let's tar and feather Oprah" squad, a whole lot of us wouldn't even be here. We would be enjoying life with less pain, maybe even taking less medication.

  I don't hold any doctor in high esteem when said doctor stands up and calls his peers quacks. There is seriously something amiss here. We, all of us need these doctors to work together and find a cure for diseases that take our lives and destroy what we once had. I have chronic pain 24/7 and the last thing I want to hear is how badly some doctor dislikes Oprah. This is my own personal opinion.

Avatar_f_tn
by slenderthread, Jun 11, 2009
Well before I was born, my mother worked in a childrens polio ward.  She spoke about it only once with me - even after all those years - what she recalled still had the impact to make her cry ... something quite rare for her. As a child I recall visiting friends of my grandmothers and looking at a photograph of a remarkably beautiful child, probably no more than three years old. I was told that incredibly healthy, lovely child had been stricken by polio shortly after the picture was taken and   the same 'child' which her mother cared for at home. She was then a full grown woman, so profoundly mentally retarded it was almost beyond my belief that this could be the same person. I never doubted that my own children would be vaccinated. I have never forgotten Judy .. all the promise of a life that would never be realized. That sweet, precious face in the picture is still clear in my mind all these many years later.

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 11, 2009
As I state before, I am new  and do not wish to offend any person, however; Kiddthekatt and Platelet..I think you both need to review the importance of this thread.  

It seems to me that "throwing crap" (Kidd) is not useful at all.   and Platel:   i can find so many sites to refute your sites.  

The Question becomes...(not right or wrong)  .. but truth.

As far as vaccines are concerned, there are so many truths and falsities that some of us just have to do our own research for the health of our children.  

Stating or posting links to "whatever" is not going to do any good.  They do not always tell the entire truth.

As far as a phycisian opening up about other physicians and their lack of knowledge...KUDOOOS  

We need more of them!  Even the AMA won't give you a run-down on MD's.   I am learning it is up to us to find out if they are actually knowledgeable or just those who are  "congenial C"S  ."     I am sure most of you know what that is.

So, Kidd (especially you) and Platelet, if you know more than please say so.  

No, I don't put all my stock into what a physician states.. but I can surely guarantee you that the discussion about vaccines in all but put to a stop... and if you still have questions....just ask me.

If you are objecting to this thread because of Oprah..... bless you... may you rest in peace in ignorance.


Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 11, 2009
Slender, your story is just another reason why vaccinations are soooo very important. Polio, like Mumps, is not wiped out.  Even though most stats say they are.  Polio is an extremely debating disease, and once it hits there is no cure.

Ppl seem to think there is a cure for all the diseases that our children are vaccinated for.  There isn't....    that is WHY they need to be vaccinated!

393685_tn?1325870933
by stella5349, Jun 11, 2009
I got through 4 paragraphs of the good doctors post and said "whatever" -

"quackery" etc etc - is just words thrown in. Couldn't you come up with more "scientific" words yourself?

Look, Oprah's attempt to bring Intergrative medicine was honorable - but she did it in ignorance.

Take her thyroid for example, anyone that has been left almost dead - in hypothyroidism because of shotty medical care, knows soy is bad. Her Hawaiian sabatcle did not "cure" her thyroid and if she'd wake up about her Hashi Dx - she would lose her fat - she is digusted with. Her whole appearance screams hormonal insanity - but her treatment is poor.

Strike #1 - Oprah.

BUT - ( a big but here doc) - Medicine now is full of quackery too. You have been trained to offer "drugs" as the cure all for many aliments that need to be reviewed. Very few doctors look at a patient suffering from depression or anxiety and think it has anything to do with a real health issue and will cram an antidepressant down their throat - before really understanding the issues. Weight is looked at a "laziness" and not anything else.

Strike #1 for you.

Also Intergrative medicine will look at labs that are not done in other offices. Do you know what the difference of a general magnesium test is - vs- a RBC mag?? Why are those test not being done? It tells alot more than your reference range testing and you as doctors, do know that. There are many tests like this where you don't order.

Vitamins and minerals like iodine for example are relooked at as a tool for better health. You know about that too - but it's not within any realm of thinking anymore.


Strike #2 for you again.


Now - if you haven't realized it. You - the "doctors" have opened the door to patients looking and other ways of making themselves feel better. You, actually are responsible for Suzanne Sommers getting up on stage and discussing this stuff and again, you are responsbile for Oprah promoting these things... Why?

because so many patients are not feeling well and after inadequent care from their doctors they are pushed to limits of looking for ways to feel better - mostly on their own. Underground internet searches - when you know what reading "could" make sense.

We are pushed through our doctors office like cattle and get the same Dx for everything. You're stressed - fat - or depressed... take this ( med) and get out!

Strike #3 - you're out!

Reedeem the medical practices and start looking at patients like "people". Instead of having 10 minute office visits with them-  between pharmacutical sales reps, pushing the lastest "fad" -- Spend time with the ones who want to be helped, as you went into this line of work to do. take a step back into older medicine and see where success was and how you could bring both modern science AND Intergrative med together.

Healthly living is staring you right in the face - but the pharms are keeping you're pocket books loaded!

Stop the backlashing with your pompass attitude and see that millions need better care.






393685_tn?1325870933
by stella5349, Jun 11, 2009
one more thing. You quote -

On Oprah’s show, there is one opinion more equal than others; and by the end of the program there was no doubt where Oprah herself stood on the issue. She told her audience that she found Somers’s bestselling books on bioidentical hormones “fascinating” and said “every woman should read” what she has to say. She didn’t stop there. Oprah said that although she has never had a hot flash, after reading Somers she decided to go on bioidenticals herself. “After one day on bioidentical estrogen, I felt the veil lift,” she wrote in O, The Oprah Magazine. “After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.” On the show, Oprah had her own word of warning for the medical establishment: “We have the right to demand a better quality of life for ourselves,” she said. “And that’s what doctors have got to learn to start respecting.”

Sorry - wrong ! she said her symptoms of  (I felt the veil lift,” she wrote in O, The Oprah Magazine. “After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.” )

was regarding her discontinued failed success with Synthroid for her thyroid - NOT bioidentical estrogen...

If you're quoting her - do it accurately.

AND we do have the right to get better care as I said above!

135691_tn?1271100723
by Tybear, Jun 11, 2009
I'll be the first to say I don't whole heartedly believe in natropathic medicine. I went to see a natropathic doctor when I was diagnosed with cancer and told her, flat out "unless you can back up all your claims with science based evidence, I just won't believe it". I'm a sceptic and that's my choice.
I cannot believe, for one second, that so many people would hear the words of someone and take it as truth, whether it be Oprah or the doctor who wrote this article. We are all responsible for the choices we make - it's our duty to question the medical establishment. If your going to be niave enough to listen to something someone has to say and just believe it, simply because you like them, well, that's your choice.
I appreciate what this article was saying...that unfortunatley there are millions of people who will hear the words of Oprah and take it as truth - I find it sad that they can't seem to think for themselves.
I will touch on the issue of bio-identical hormones. The reason I went to see that natropathic doctor was to get started on them. I was taking premarin (preganant mares urine = GROSS) and it made me feel awful. I know several women who are on Bio's and feel great, my mother being one of them. I did my research and, to the best of MY knowledge, I felt that they were much safer than Premarin. Unfortunatley, AGAINST the advice of my well respected oncologist, I decided to have my ovarian tumors tested for estrogen receptors and, low and behold, they came back diffusely estrogen receptive. I trusted my doctor to know better, and he failed me...miserably. I'd been feeding my tumors with the highest dose of Premarin there was for 9 months after surgery and my cancer came raging back.
The point of my story is this - don't trust anyone 100%. Question them all and do your research - you are your own best advocate. The same goes for all those guests on Oprah - it's fine to hear what they have to say, but do your own research and make your own conclusions. Don't go ahead and make a choice about your health or your life just because Oprah did it. (I would think that would be common sense for most people but obviously not...)
Becky

606078_tn?1247268153
by kiddthekatt, Jun 11, 2009
Kaydey said " So, Kidd (especially you) and Platelet, if you know more than please say so."  

  I went back and re-read what I had posted and I couldn't find any place where I was throwing more c r a p than anyone else that had replied. Evidently you took an instant dislike to me for some reason, which doesn't bother me one way or the other. I stand behind what I said. Some doctors spend valuable time on making a case about something that has been over said too many times. I do my own research and unlike so many people in this forum I was fortunate that my internist believed in Fibromyalgia and sent me to a Rheumy who also believes that this disease is real.

  As for throwing said c r a p, anyone on this forum who knows me, also knows that I don't throw c r a p at anyone. I am not a fan of Oprah, and I agree with Tybear, people need to use their own common sense instead of relying on the words of someone on a television show.

  And, as far as saying that I have little or no respect for a doctor who belittles his peers by calling them " Quacks" I still feel the same, and as I said before, this is my own personal opinion. Dis-like me if you want, but please don't use this forum to challenge me to throw words to and fro. because if you knew me at all, you would know that I don't bite at every challenge that comes along.

745975_tn?1258964522
by JenB12, Jun 11, 2009
Stella,

I think you missed the point of the article as well. It's not Dr. Gorski versus Oprah. It's just questioning if someone as powerful as her should be giving medical advice. Maybe a bunch of Doctors are wrong... but we have to remember, Oprah is entertainment, not a nutritionist or health advocate. If jerry Springer were discussing "health" on his show, would it be any different? Oprah is a marketing genius, and that is why she has 2.7 billion dollars..... not because she really cares about being a health advocate.

I think as long as people keep that in mind it's fine. but unfortunately,  there are just too many people who take what they see on the show at face value. And if you want examples I certainly can supply them to you. Like her dangerous advice on thyroid treatment (as you already know), her endorsement of the feather lift procedure, her endoresement of  "Thermage" (which smooths wrinkles by using radio waves to tighten skin)... the company said that "The show drove so much interest that our sales reps were selling machines over the phone," and the scary part is that even the company was uncomfortable with the fact that Oprah never gave any disclosure because, as they will admit, "the procedure is actually downright painful with out sedation" plus it can cause burns and damage and guess what? the machines are $30,000. If you think people don't listen to the face value of what Oprah says.... then explain to my why people would buy a machine over the phone with out knowing the side effects for 30 grand??!!  This is just a couple of examples of the dozons I could give you.

It's pretty amazing because it seems like most of the people who don't like Dr. Gorski's article, actually just don't like Doctors. Believe me, I was as annoyed as you when I heard that Oprah said she was drinking soy as her part of her thyroid treatment, since i'm a Hashimoto's suffer. I understand that when you are living with a chronic illness that you can get frustrated with Doctors not being able to cure you and your symptoms.... but Doctors are professionals and not miracle workers. We cannot dwell on all of the things that they are unable to solve for us and have to look at the wonderful they HAVE done for medicine. If you read my posts above, you will see that i agree that many if not most, doctors will just treat a symptom and shoo you out the door. But then there are other Doctors who have dedicated their lives to making other people feel better and to finding solutions to the very problem that we, with chronic illness, face. So lets just not be SOOO ignorant and clump all Doctors together, I admire anyone willing to spend a great percentage of their life in school to help other people, even if they are not sharp enough to solve my medical mysteries.

I'm not a Doctor, so you can feel free to argue with me about this if you want: I think Suzanne Sommers advocation for taking 60 pills daily and injecting bio-identical estrogen in the vagina is quackery. If it works for her, great..... but it's dangerous advise for most women. Read the post above me by Tybear..... she if had done something like follow Suzanne Sommers advise it would have been detrimental to her health!!!!!!

Lastly and probably most importantly, YOU are wrong regarding the Oprah quote and Doctor Gorski was correct... She was saying that quote in realationship to bio-identical hormones NOT regarding stopping synthroid if you don't believe me you can read it here on the Oprah magazine website:
http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200902_omag_oprah_for_sure

I'm really sorry that you seem to hate Doctors so much and can't even stand to read what they wrote, not sure how you will help yourself with your illness with that attitude.

745975_tn?1258964522
by JenB12, Jun 11, 2009
addendum: I don't mean to sound harsh.. i re-read my post and it sounded harsher then it was intended...  don't think you have an "attitude" what i meant was we have to try an maintain a positive attitude or we'll just continue to suffer in our illnesses. AND i doubt you hate all doctors, it just comes off that way in the tone of your post. :)

765070_tn?1384873394
by Melissa0116, Jun 11, 2009
I believe vaccinations definitely help children against many different diseases.  I also believe that some of the new vaccines and some others do not really help and can actually hurt children and can cause autism.  But I feel that the vaccine is not the only issue in causing autism.  There also is probably an issue or underlying medical condition that may not have been found or discussed before the vaccines were given.  I do not get the Flu vaccine and neither does my family.  I get very sick from the flu vaccine.  

Now, as far as the overkill on the supplements;  I feel that it is your choice if you want to put all those pills in your body.  But, I used to clean for a woman that went to a new age doctor that had given her over 40 or 50 supplements to help her with her health problems.  She took this every day and also gave 13 supplements to her children.  We'll that problem was that she never was getting better and could not even barely function since she was always sick.  Her children got sick constantly and of course their house was filthy since noone in the family had the energy to actually clean the house.  We'll I eventually ended up stopping cleaning for them but 2 years later received a call from my mother in law and she told me that this woman and her family were doing wonderful and feel better than ever.  The reason that the family was doing great and feeling good was because she decided to get to a traditional natural meds Dr. that took her off of 40 of the supplements and cut down to 10 which he had given her to use and see how she feels.  We'll as you can see if did wonders for her and her family.  She said that she wished that she would have listened to many of her friends and family that told her that she was taking too many supplements and they were making me sick.  Her and her family have been doing so many things that they have not ever done and are so happy and have a wonderful amount of energy.  

I think that all those supplements are too much.  And, that supplements are great but in moderation not overkill.  So, they may work for Oprah but I really do not like her show to begin with and really do not ever watch her.  Sorry if that offends anyone.  The only talk show that I occasionally watch is ELLEN and that is because she is so funny and entertaining.

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 11, 2009
Hey I like Ellen aswell she is hillarious makes fun of herself, I dont like the Oprah show either or Doctor Phil her protigee...I take supplements as opposed to the drugs,. I was given for ailments I didnt have and misdiagnosis but I dont take many.. only ones I feel are neccesary ...I see personal opinions here and the attacking of personal opinions thats a shame ...Free Speech.. guys.. free speech

329994_tn?1301666848
by lvfrogs, Jun 11, 2009
I just have to say that, first, don't believe everything you hear on Oprah.  Like the good doctor says, she is just a talk show host but has risen to heights of superstardom and what she says must be true. Obviously not. I think you have to do your own research, listen to your doctors, (but some are not that great, so you might have to find new ones),and be open to different ideas. I think that Jenny McCarthy has done an excellent job with her own son; however, she cannot speak about ALL children as if they are ALL the same. They are not. I had five children, all were vaccinated and none of them have Autism. What she has done is treat her son after the fact and apparently been successful. But each case of autism is different.  Suzanne Sommers - what can you say? Do I take anything she says for fact? No, but she is free to do whatever she wants with her body. I think the point the doctor was making was truly, don't believe everything that Oprah says as fact and don't believe everything her guests say as fact. Isn't that just common sense?
Colleen
PS: Those are just my own opinions, no one elses.

Avatar_m_tn
by friggy, Jun 11, 2009
Dr. Gorski

Excellent, valid essay from medical school graduate.  My lesser degree in telecommunications informs a different take.  Viewers who are watching Oprah at 4:00 aren't working the day shift, and it's too late to start the evening shift, so it can be assumed that much of the audience is doing difficult work at home, such as childcare, but not pulling down a regular paycheck.  In these times, that often means they are uninsured, or underinsured.

I don't think "Unicorn Healthcare" thrives so much in scientific ignorance, stupidity, or celebrity, but rather where the funded medical options are limited.  

The body is an endlessly complicated organism that is still a medical frontier.  Jeez, just look at the ENT forum here on Medhelp.  It is full of uninsured people looking for alternate treatments, and other patients who have been examined, scanned, and diagnosed by several excellent doctors with no resolutions of their ills.  Something seemingly as simple as a clogged ear, known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, has little effective treatment besides some pills and lots of time.

I agree that most alternative treatment is quackery.  But there's a lot of babies in that bathwater.  Nettle leaf cured my lifelong severe allergy in the height of chinese elm pollen season (thank you Dr. Andrew Weil), the Chinese miracle powder Yunnan Paiyao will heal a cut twice as fast as Neosporin (even on bleeding skeptics), chiropractors now appear to be equally effective as doctors in treating back problems, and a properly administered saline flush can cure chronic sinusitis cases that resist all medical treatment (see my journal).

In fairness, Oprah also brings some legitimate medical subjects to her show, like how to make it safely through the hazards of a hospital stay.

The cure for the Oprah Oz Phil Syndrome (OOPS) is better insurance, but I don't have the answer, and have little faith in a govt. program.  My departed father, a physician, had a book called "Socialized Medicine".  When you opened it, you found it had a bottle of whiskey in a hollowed-out space.

The vaccine/autism debate can be quelled with a simply designed study.  Compare the rates of schoolkids with autism in the population of Mexican-American children who were born in this country, with our vaccines, compared to the rates in Mexican children who arrived in this country after receiving a less rigorous vaccination schedule.  Of course, that would take money that a pharmaceutical company wouldn't want to risk, and our government is bankrupt.  That would leave only some interested do-gooder benefactor with loads of cash to throw around.  You know, someone like...

friggy

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 11, 2009
"It seems to me that "throwing crap" (Kidd) is not useful at all.   and Platel:   i can find so many sites to refute your sites."

Kaydey,

I would like to see you show me a source that claims that an estimated 5% of vaccinations are NOT contaminated with mycoplasma.  ;  ^)

We actually have a physician here in MedHelp who has studied many vaccinations, especially for the military and is an expert in this field. I tend to agree with Prof. Nicolson's research and know that for myself, I cannot tolerate vaccinations.... even allergy injections !  If vaccinations can (and they frequently do) cause Guillain Barre Syndrome, then why wouldn't we believe that multiple vaccinations can trigger autism and/or other illnesses in certain individuals ? To me... is just common sense and there is research backing up my statements. The new gardasil vaccination has apparently killed 29 young women and is suspected in injuring 9,000 more young women. An expert claimed that, just like autism, certain individuals cannot tolerate this injection and that there are biomarkers that could be checked before deciding whether or not to let your daughter have this vaccination. Yet, people aren't aware of this.... until the lawsuits hit and even then, politics are going to confuse the public. They always do.



Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 11, 2009

P.S. ~ For the record... I am not anti-vaccinations. I support safer vaccinations and informed consent (with all of the facts).

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 11, 2009
I was thinking last night about the insight that my illness has given me. I have learned so many things, thanks to my illness and to be honest with you.... I am grateful for that. I think my illness has also made me a better person.

My hope is that physicians won't judge Oprah because she chooses to interview people who are also sharing their insights and personal stories. We all have a story to tell and I think it is shameful that some people want to censor others. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect some of this anger towards Oprah is not because she interviewed Jenny McCarthy but because of her religious beliefs and/or political beliefs.

Avatar_n_tn
by babydollll00, Jun 11, 2009
I think people should make choices, ecspecially medical ones, based on a doctor's information, tests, knowledge and education, not a person's celebrity.  Oprah is just another example of people buying into celebrity. For some reason, there are people who think just b/c a famous person promotes something, then its well founded. This is ridiculous.

389974_tn?1331018842
by swampcritter, Jun 11, 2009
The GB situation is not clear cut, because the numbers are really very low. See, as an example:

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/ucm154937.htm

You can find the discussion here of adverse affects from vaccination, note that the database they analysed are temporal, not causal, events.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5201a1.htm

"During 1991--2001, VAERS received 128,717 reports, whereas >1.9 billion net doses of human vaccines were distributed."

If you believe you have suffered an vaccine adverse event, you can report it to VAERS:
http://vaers.hhs.gov



Avatar_f_tn
by cindy903, Jun 11, 2009
I'm in support of science-based medicine.

It's just that with all this technology sometimes, we still know nothing! Or not enough to shut down the quacks.

Until more is known about various diseases, quacks will continue to have lucrative businesses.

Avatar_n_tn
by La_Vie_en_Teal, Jun 11, 2009
Back to the original "thread" of the thread: I've been warning people about Oprah for years. Although she is an enormous media success, she does not value that which is not flashy, silly, controversial or just bizarre. In short, her life is her show, and she values things that promote it and draw attention to herself. She does not have nor need to have a basis in reality, or the the real lives of everyday individuals.

Her success has elevated her beyond our average lives--and the very things that makes her successful (energy, business savvy, enthusiastic fervor) make her frankly unstable and untrustworthy. The wild-eyed picture of her on the cover of Newsweek is the most accurate portrayal of her that I've seen in years.

Since she is so detached from the everyday, mundane world, and only cares about attention to herself and promotion of her show, we probably should not listen to her "medical" advice. She does not have our best interests at heart, nor should she. If she should happen to make a medical mistake, she has the funds to try to repair it. Most of us don't.

She probably would not be willing to acknowledge how little she cares for us, especially when she promotes something called "empowerment." If she knew anything about it, she would also know that she cannot promote it because it comes from within.

Her increasingly frantic efforts to empower herself (even more) have resulted in hysterical pseudo-science, aliterate promotion of lousy books (including one faux-memoir) and frenetic shilling of human and manufactured products. Some find her desperate desire to fill the gaping hole in herself entertaining--and sometimes it is. But never take medical (or spiritual, or literary, or cooking, or shopping) advice from a wretched billionaire who just wishes she could fix herself.A wealthy, powerful bottomless pit of need, Oprah is not really a good source of advice on anything--especially our precious health and well being.

She has every right to be noisy, miserable and wild-eyed with desperation. and we have every right to watch her.

393685_tn?1325870933
by stella5349, Jun 12, 2009
Jen B

You have some correct information about my - not - so - great - love affairs, with doctors. I probably should read the article in more openess.

But - what bothers me is most people whether doctors and some patients, will look to a "quick fix" with Rx's and nuclear med first before really knowing what's wrong with a person. The antidepressants and " Dx lables" seem to grow daily and that's the "Tell all" for a true issue going on with a person. And no one is catching it. I don't know how many time I personally, walked into an office and walked out with a handful of scripts. Then to be calling back days later saying I felt worse.

What bothers me more, is after several attempts to seek help, I had to find out so much on the internet on my own and almost use myself as a testing animal to see if I felt better doing something "they knew" exsisted, but ignored.

That's just not right. Then to go in for a checkup, tell them what I was doing and now they acknowledge that it probably was right ( like they thought of it) and say "Keep doing what you're doing."

What did I pay them for"?

I have a deep sadness over how most doctors treat their patients now - then how they did 20years ago.


Avatar_f_tn
by beakbeak, Jun 12, 2009
A friend of mines son didn't speak for 3 weeks straight after his MMR vaccine and now has autism, another friends son went a delirious after his MMR aged 4, thought his wardrobe was on fire and was screaming because he thought spiderman was climbing in his window. Another friends child could not be woken after MMR, he was 18 months old.  These are not stories I have read or heard, these are people I know personally.  My sister is a swimming teacher and has had a lot of contact with kids with autism, all the parents say they know it was the vaccines.  These people are not lying.  I used to vaccinate my kids until I really studied it but I would never tell anyone else what to do, I just ask them to look into it properly and do some research don't just listen to the doctors/nurses.  its personal responsibility for your own decisions and yes that is a bit scary.  Investigate before you vaccinate.  

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 12, 2009
swampcritter,

You are correct.  Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder. But there have been outbreaks of GBS after the Swine flu vaccinations and now 29 deaths, following the Garasil vaccination. The National Vaccine Information Center  found that there are three to 30 times more serious health problems and deaths reported to VAERS after Gardasil vaccination.


http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.NVIC.org&esh

On the National Vaccine Information Center's website, click on "Gardasil: The Damage Continues" and look at the young women on there and read their stories.

http://www.gardasilandunexplaineddeaths.com/


If vaccinations can cause an abnormal immune response, which the government admits that they have, then why wouldn't multiple vaccinations do the same ? All of these conditions (Guillain Barre Syndrome, CFS, lyme and autism) affect the central nervous system.



  



,

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 12, 2009
A member above (can't find the post now) also mentioned that children in Mexico didn't have as many allergy problems as children in the U.S. And that the children in Mexico don't get as many vaccinations as the children in the U.S. Well there have been studies about this in New Zealand. It would certainly explain why 60% of Americans now have allergies.

http://www.vaccines.net/Asthma/allergie.htm

715930_tn?1338726036
by lmc2132, Jun 12, 2009
What can we say to seemingly intelligent people in our communities refusing to vaccinate their children based on pseudoscience?  There is a rift building between parents and it's putting children at risk.

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 12, 2009

lmc2132,

Who is refusing to vaccinate their child ? I think a couple of members have mentioned spreading out vaccinations, but I didn't see anyone here say that they are anti-vaccinations. I know I've stated that I support SAFER vaccinations and informed consent for all vaccinations.


Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 12, 2009
The link I posted above didn't work..... let's try this again:

On the National Vaccine Information Center's website, click on "Gardasil: The Damage Continues" and look at the young women on there and read their stories.

http://www.nvic.org/


458072_tn?1291418786
by peggy64, Jun 12, 2009
If I could find a dr that would treat me as a person, not just the "next one to see," I might not have such a poor opinion of drs. With this illness that I have had, for almost 20 years, (hypothyroidism) drs did not even do any blood tests to rule out ANYTHING. Just listened to my complaints of being tired, no interest in anything and BAM! "you are depressed, take this anti-depressant."  Which made the REAL problem so much worse.

That is why people are grasping at what they see and hear on the TV, internet, what have you. WE are so tired of being passed around like cattle, and have to try to figure out our own problems. The dr did not find out my problem. I was telling a relative about my sleep problem and feeling like I was losing my mind. SHE told me that sounds just like hypothyroidism. I tell the dr to check for it and low and behold I have hypoT. and now 20 years later, several other ailments that go along with untreated hypoT.

So having said that, make the drs start really searching for a diagnosis, not just write it off as something easy for him to hand out a Rx and send the poor pt off STILL ill, and maybe we won't have to be grasping at whatever to get ourselves well.



Avatar_n_tn
by babysgirl, Jun 12, 2009
I have personally lost faith in Oprah and the medical profession!!! No one is right, no one is wrong. Everyone is right, everyone is wrong. People just want to fight over everything. We're all just fellow earthlings trying to learn. Lets love each other and help each other and basically try to listen and then make our own personal judgements. I used to have hope for world peace. Every candle I ever blew out, my wish was for world peace! At age 55 I don't make any more wishes,but I do still hope and dream.           PEACE AND LOVE

458072_tn?1291418786
by peggy64, Jun 12, 2009
well, I never did care to much for Oprah. My opinion of her was she thought mighty highly of herself.  So I say we have to be our own advocate. I wish my veteranarian could see me. He is more thourough with my dog, than my dr is with me.

I say, they come in the room backing out. They don't even listen to what you say, they just make up their minds in the first 2-3 minutes and end of discussion. That is why we have to go out onto the internet to try to solve our problem. We need relief.
I am my own best advocate.

376739_tn?1317669990
by JoyRenee, Jun 12, 2009
I find it interesting that the majority of people against Dr. Gorski's article are major, major Oprah fans. He wasn't dissing Oprah (someone I personally detest). You need to re-read the article if you think so.

Very well-said, Doctor. I think you are very correct and it is scary to think of how many babies/children are not getting vaccines at all. Certain vaccines have ELIMINATED diseases in our country but we're finding that they're coming back now that there are many children not being vaccinated. That is very, very scary to me.

The diseases that we have vaccinations for are so incredibly dangerous... that is WHY we have vaccines for them. People in 3rd world countries who do not have access to vaccines watch their children die in their arms from the very diseases we have vaccines against (and obviously take for granted).

Put your child on an extended vaccine schedule and spread out the vaccines. You could save their life.  

470024_tn?1242512706
by Sheilathatsme, Jun 13, 2009
stella5349, I've had much the same experiences with doctors and still have no definitive DX of my medical problems. Oh yes, and using Lugol's Iodine has improved my depression, skin, and energy far better than any antidepressant prescribed to me over the last 20 years. Sometimes the old ways are good to revisit for improved health. I firmly believe in vaccines. Although the Flu vaccine makes me sick for two or three days after, the feeling bad is better than catching it and possibly developing pneumonia and dying. I do believe that it's time for all of us to stand up and demand to be treated properly by our doctors and not viewed as crazy Hypochondriacs. As far as Oprah-I find her entertaining but like most that I see on the TV, especially the news, I don't believe everything I hear and I know how to research on the internet and the library to find out what I need to know and I'm mature enough to know that a movie star is not the be all, know all of medical solutions..





Avatar_n_tn
by babysgirl, Jun 13, 2009
Peggy64, You are exactly right on. I have never gone to my doc that I didn't feel like I completely waisted my time. At least all of the 8 minutes he spends with me. He never even touches my husband and I. His nurses do. That is why we are here looking for medical info. For the most part the medical profession is a joke and so is Oprah. I came to this forum looking answers and I've concluded there is no answer. How sad!. If you went to 10 different docs you'd get 10 different diagnoses. We just have to do our own research and hope for the best. Good luck to all xoxoxo.
     PS. Our doc doesn't even make eye contact, he just looks down at his paper work and as far as a second or third opinion, insurance wouldn't even cover it and WHO has any extra money to waist. Every time Oprah says,"If you are not hearing what you want from your doc seek a second opinion", I think sure you have the money to.

Avatar_n_tn
by leesuh1970, Jun 13, 2009
I never watch Oprah but applaud and am thrilled by her personal success, despite her childhood,  and her decision to stop the Jerry Springer-type subjects on her show and in her magazine.  And her school in Africa is fabulous, despite the staffing issues.  However, this doctor has many valid points, and I personally DESPISE Dr. Phil, his wife and other self-appointed gurus (quacks) and their feeble banter. I see where this doctor is coming from, but unfortunately, sheep-like minds will just find someone else to tell them something that is anti-medical establishment.  If Oprah doesn't do it, someone else (Suzanne Somers in another medium) will.  I don't think the medical profession can fight her, and in some respects, the medical industry deserves some doubt. For example, home births are still shunned; women are meant to feel that they couldn't possibly have a healthy baby and birth without the help of doctors, drugs, supplements, endless tests. Well, women have been giving birth for thousands of years without the help of doctors.   Just a small example, but I can see where someone may be swayed by an overencompassing, optimistic force that is Oprah.

139792_tn?1299416777
by Dalubaba, Jun 13, 2009
One month after the injection of triple vaccine my wife had cerebral stroke.She was a heart patient (since 18 yrs.) I also had taken the vaccine.She died after 2 years.Can tripple vaccine trigger a stroke. I did ask doctors and read the literature provided by the company.A question pop's  up many times whther it was coincident or the cause of stroke?

Avatar_n_tn
by New_Door, Jun 13, 2009
I will first preface what I am going to say with the fact that I don't think either Oprah or Dr. Gorski is infallible.  A little more humility in both would be respected.

I agree that with power comes responsibility, but I don't get how stating that is "comic".  Dr. Gorski has both with the MD and PhD next to his name.  Speaking of unbiased science, where in his "missive" does he state the scientific reasons the vaccine concerns are "woo"?  I just read paragraph after angry paragraph of name-calling through adjectives (idiotic, etc.).

Isn't it interesting that last week the FIRST EVER lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, has been been allowed to continue by the Georgia Supreme Court? The plaintiffs are the Ferrari's, parents of a child who had a vaccine.  Of course, Wyeth is taking it to the US Supreme Court, but is there or is there not a mercury-containing preservative in some or all vaccines?  And is mercury good for the brain or human body?  I would have much rather read scientific statements on matters like these.

But since a doctor I recently saw stated, simply, that "those people are idiots" when I asked about some information I read from patients on a message board before he asked who was posting or where, may I deduce that Dr. Gorski didn't read the "woo" on mercury-containing preservatives in vaccines but is more than happy to give us his "educated opinion"?

Yeah, there's a gap here and it's not going to close while MD's and other hardline medical professionals continue to dismiss the experiences of patients.  

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 13, 2009
That is an interesting question you put Dalubaba let us know if you get an answer, have you put it into the search engine to see if others have had the same happen.I am sorry you lost your wife.

867582_tn?1311630997
by MsWobbles, Jun 13, 2009
Wrong you are, Gorski!!  I don't watch Oprah, but I've been against forced vaccination ever my father-in-law died from the Swine flu vaccine and I watched the medical community sweep it under the rug.  In other words his death was not listed as a Swine flu vaccine death.  

Then I watched as a little boy, slightly underage for the MMR, was forced to undergo the MMR vaccine against his mother's wishes simply because in his daycare another child had been found to have measles.  The mother had protested that her son seemed to be coming down with something and he was underage for the vaccine, but the medical people told her that the MMR vaccine would save her son's life, would keep him safe.  Soon after receiving the MMR vaccine the little boy died.  A big brouhaha was made in the newspapers about his death:  However, they used his death to PROMOTE the MMR vaccine rather than discourage it.  They falsely reported that the little boy had died of measles and never mentioned that he had just been forced to have the MMR vaccine!!!  The MMR has harmed/killed countless other children in the past.  It's a risky vaccine.

Don't think you can get accurate information from either the pharmaceutical industry or our medical community.  There is a lot of hype and distortion of the truth because there is a TON of money to be made from forced vaccination and apparently no conscience present!!

I come from the time when virtually all kids got measles, mumps, and chicken pox without any concern whatsoever about those diseases.  They were an expected part of childhood.  The vaccine-pushers (with dollar signs in their eyes) will tell you that these diseases KILL children yet I never ever heard of anyone I knew dying from any of those normal and typical childhood diseases.  What the vaccine pushers will never tell you is the number of children whose lives are ruined or who are killed by the mandatory vaccines!  You'll never get that number - or at least you will never get an accurate number of deaths from them.  Just try to get a copy of the book entitled:  PTT A Shot In The Dark.  Our libraries most likely don't carry it.  Yet it is a well-documented book on the horrors of forced vaccination and the harm done to children by the vaccines.  There is also a National Vaccine Information Center you can Google and read all about the great harm vaccines have done to children.  That group is a citizen vaccine watchdog group most of whom have children who were killed or greatly disabled by mandatory vaccines they had to undergo "for their protection."

One of the Scandinavian countries,(perhaps it was Sweden?), actually did a thorough, objective study of the benefits of vaccines versus the risks of vaccines. Their conclusion was that it is safer to risk just getting the disease than to undergo the risk of vaccination.  Therefore, their highly evolved country does not have a mandatory vaccination law, unlike our more primitive United States!  Vaccines should be a matter of individual choice!!!  And this conclusion has been reached without the help of Oprah!!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Gorski!!!  


867582_tn?1311630997
by MsWobbles, Jun 13, 2009
CORRECTION:  Please note: I earlier stated the name of the book was PTT A Shot In The Dark but the real title of the book is:   DPT:  A Shot In The Dark.    The DPT stands for diphtheria, pertussis, and another disease - possibly tetanus.
The Japanese were using the much safer acellular DPT vaccine for a decade before our country began using it instead of the whole-cell DPT vaccine that we were using which caused so much harm to children.  Knowing how harmful the whole-cell DPT vaccine was to children, our government and medical community allowed doctors and governmental agencies to "use up their existing supplies of whole-cell DPT" so they would not incur any financial losses.

535822_tn?1413656274
by margypops, Jun 13, 2009
This is for Dr Gorski . the members here have given some good and interesting responses to your article /thread,which I feel is important to a lot of parents facing having to choose to give their children vacinations,  would you respond in return to what they have posted here I am sure we all would be interested to hear from you, Thank you.

Avatar_f_tn
by swizzlestick4, Jun 13, 2009
Before saying NO to vaccinations, do some research on the history of polio, diptheria, measles, etc. What were the mortality rates 50 years ago compared to today?  

If I need a hug, I'll call Oprah.  If I need medical advise, I'll call my doctor.

Avatar_m_tn
by SeriousSam, Jun 15, 2009
Is there any chance that in a country where people with insurance are more likely to see a physician assistant than a doctor, I think more people are just starting to distrust people in the medical field.

Don't agree or disagree with it but the days of unquestioning trust are over.

Avatar_f_tn
by teko, Jun 15, 2009
I agree with Sam as usual.

I like Oprah, for what she is, a talk show host that has interesting guests, with interesting topics.
I do not think vaccines cause autism, as I have an autistic grchd, and things were noticed immediately after birth. He is not a severe case either. Nor do I think it is as widespread as they would have us believe, but they use the code to get government funding whether the child actually has it or not. The parent can get more treatment paid by the state using that icd 9 code. So the statistics are warped! IMO
I believe what is right for Somers and Oprah and Ellen for that matter, are not right for me necessarily, it is interesting tho, and there may even be something to it.
I believe medicine is a business for profit and the business is getting real nervous that their livlihood is threatened because America is slowly but surely waking up to what is going on, and once they do Bamm! Bankruptcy for the medical field! Cause we will find another way, a better way eventually. Government has a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. IMO
I am not against Natural Medicine, as there are many options that were put in place in the past that have been virtually shut up because if you find out they work, you will not use the doctor or regular physician and h$ll, you might even be cured! No money in that now is there? They also treat the whole body. Regular doctors (for lack of a better word), part you out somethin terrible, thereby raising the cost of everything from duplicate testing etc. (sharing the wealth) so to speak. IMO
I feel like the latest scam is on our children. They have become the newest and most profitable market for so called medical field. When I was young, you were either normal or not, well behaved or in need of being taught how to act. Now it is add, adhd, depression, and drugs to go with diagnosis! Think its bad now! Give it 20 and come back and talk to me! IMO

Avatar_f_tn
by jo929, Jun 15, 2009
I do not care for the Oprah Show, I beleive that she like most host shows are in it for the money and the power that it gives them, Also I feel the same about the Dr Phil Show and i agree it is very like the jerry springer show, getting someone to bare their soul,in public, he reminds me of what they used to call an ambulance chaser that was years ago when someone would follow ambulance after an accident just to see if they could get the case to sue, When he went to Brittany Spears, he wanted her on Tv big time for lots of bucks .If someone likes and wants to watch oprah fine, also Dr Phil, this is just my own personal opinion. and i did find the Dr opinion on Oprah very interesting.  jo

228936_tn?1249097848
by mr.lucky66, Jun 15, 2009
Your editorial was good if even a bit long. I think Oprah is a Quack and a big o and has no real talent and doesn't even have anything interesting to say, she's just a media mogel made by TV. You raise some valid concerns about people like her and Suzane Summers giving people medical advise and it is scarry and dangerous. I can't see how anyone with brains would even seriously consider this new age mumbo jumbo-junk science Oprah talks about to be anything of value.

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 15, 2009
Kidd, I didn't take any mis-like to anyone, nor have I after reading posts posted AFTER I posted.  I apologize if you feel that way.

Platel...  I state "There is also one vital fact that has not yet been touched up, in this list or in public....  sometimes there is just a bad batch of vaccines."

And, "As the population grows, the need for more quantities of vaccines grow.  If anyone has worked in a mass marketing area, you know that sometimes Quality Control becomes the "last priority" because the product must get out to the public.  This is what happened with the Flu vaccine a few years ago."

It is a true fact that as a population grows there WILL be an increase in diseases just as there is in crime.  The greater the population, the greater the opportunity to see the negatives within that population.  Any person who studies Sociology will tell you that..  and yes - stats do prove it.  

I also stated, "No, I don't put all my stock into what a physician states." And I do as much research as possible, which is almost TOO MUCH!

Mycoplasma, again, do YOUR research...  99% of contamination of mycoplasma comes from HUMAN ERROR (human contamination)..  again.. a mass production problems.  And I did state that with a larger demand for mass production, comes a drop in quality control. If that is what your worry is, the contamination, get on board  and start pushing for more regulation in the production industry for medicine.  Take a look at how many bills for this have been rejected in the last 3 years alone....which is minuscule compared to attempts in the 80's and 90's ..  and who has wanted these regulations???   The Medical Society.  Wow...that is a surprise


Now onto other posts.

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 15, 2009
Ok, everyone LISTEN UP!!!!!    There IS NO SWINE FLU VACCINE YET!!!!    The only identification as been the three viruses that make up the Swine flu (H1N1).  It takes months to develop a vaccine.

There are many reports that some pharmaceutical companies are getting very close to developing a vaccine, but it has not yet been tested on humans.

Either way, vaccines work in this fashion..   for every disease that has a vaccine, live...  YES, LIVE... Antigens.  That means that the vaccine carries the illness, but just enough for the body to react and mobilize the immune system to fight that antigen.  When the body then encounters a large dose of the disease (exposure to polio) the body knows that it much get in gear and fight off those intrusive little bugs to keep the body from becoming sick.

Yes, there are people who have adverse affects,  my daughter is one of them (but she was born with an immune system disorder... told you this in my first post).  Sometime ppl get the flu from the yearly flu vaccine, or pneumonia from the pnuemovax..

The fact is, vaccines contain live organism of the disease they are suppose to help prevent. How else is our body going to recognize a foreign germ if it does not know what it is when it is blasted in large doses with the germ.  Vaccines do not have enough antigen to create a pandemic, but some ppl do get sick.

I think one thing missing in all this talk about vaccines is that we are human....each of our systems work differently, that is why we all have different medical problems and/or needs.  

I know that sounds simple, but it is that simple.  If we were all the same, and everything was perfect.. nobody would get sick from anything....

TO SWIZZLESTICK4...  EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TO DALUBABA:  If your Dr. gave you a triple dose of a vaccine then you need to change Dr.  Doses are regulated for a purpose... because anymore then the recommended dosage can and probably will harm.  And, if your Dr knew your wife had a heart problem, he should have been more careful in even giving her a vaccine.

TO BEAKBEAK: That is a handful of children in a small area....again... it maybe something environmental also. Clusters of children supposedly harmed by vaccines are common, which is why I more on the side of environmental than vaccine.


Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 17, 2009
"Mycoplasma, again, do YOUR research...  "

I already have. I think it was not only one, but two independent labs that discovered mycoplasma (L-form bacteria) in approximately 5% of vaccinations.


393685_tn?1325870933
by stella5349, Jun 18, 2009
I have pondered this blog for over a week now. Read the Newsweek article Gorski talks about and googled up many articles on Oprah - Suzanne and others that Dr. Gorski so openly debunks.

I have to agree... Movie Stars and talk show hosts should not be at the forefront of medical information, but after seeing how the medical community ignores so many things that can possible help people, who will inform us then?

It shocking and very scarey for anyone ill.

I don't think Oprah should be discussing these things. I don't believe in Dr. Northup's ideas on thyroid disease, but I do believe there is proof that modern medicine is missing things and the FDA endorsements mean very little down the road. Recall after recall is happening on "safe" medicine - and we are hearing that more often.

I just saw an artcle on lowering cholestrol with an herb Red Yeast Rice. They talked about how "satins" were being recalled by the FDA ( who approved them with high honors previously) Now medical doctors are looking at "the herb" for healing. This herb has been around for centuries and known for it ability. Doctors and scientists have known about it for years....  Why now, is it the forefront of medical information and featured on TV?

I think the Newsweek article damaged many helpful things for healing alternatively. I could care less what they say about Oprah, Dr. Gorski, but I do care about being a patient that seeks help and wants to work with a doctor that is open to all forms of treatment to give me the best possible outcome for my health.  

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 18, 2009
Way to go, Dr. Mercola !!!!


Media Blasts Oprah for Supporting Alternative Medicine
The drug companies are actually seeking to make an example of Oprah, and show that you can’t cross the line and oppose their agenda.


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/18/Media-Blast-Oprah-for-Supporting-Alternative-Medicine.aspx

393685_tn?1325870933
by stella5349, Jun 18, 2009
Nice artical Plateletgal :)

very interesting .



Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jun 18, 2009
Hi stella,

Dr. Mercola's article speaks volumes, doesn't it ? I had no idea that Newsweek is heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies, but I'm not surprised. I remember when 60 Minutes had a show about the power and influence that pharamaceutical companies had over certain medical journals.

I remember a friend of mine had sent me a link about what was happening to a small, local compounding pharmacy in her city. The owners of this small pharmacy were on the locals news saying that the FDA was pressuring them and that a pharmaceutical ($$$) company was behind it all. Of course this had to do with bio-identical hormones. Only months later, I remember this article was published:


A new study strengthens the link between hormone replacement therapy and a higher risk of heart attacks and breast cancer in women.

link to entire article:

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/health/2008/December/Link-Between-Postmenopausal-Hormones-Cancer-Risk-Strengthened.html



Of course I thought to myself : well no wonder why this pharamaceutical company was so threatened by this tiny compounding pharmacy !


There is NOTHING wrong with Oprah giving people options by interviewing people with different opinions and points of views. It is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the good news is: WE HAVE CHOICES when it comes to our healthcare and our bodies. At least for now, anyway. We always deserve and need OPTIONS.

Options = better health

Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jun 21, 2009
I choose not to use replacement hormone for the simple fact that for years the medical community has known about its link with breast cancer.  My family has a long history of breast cancer.

I do, however, use some herbs in keeping my early menopause in check (the symptoms)...  but...  I grow them myself, so I don't have to worry about the manufacturing, and they do help me.  I do not buy herbal supplements because they are packed with preservatives, even though they are not listed. But then again, they are not required by the FDA to list them.

There are many herbs that you can grow yourself that do help with common illness such as a cold, the flu (minor), infected cuts and bruises.  I am sure most of you have heard of Aloe and burns. It is good, unless it is a second degree or more serious burn...then you should get to the ER!

For many years Native Americans have been using herbs for various ailments, and they work.  There is a reason they work, they are natural. If grown correctly, or harvest from the wild and processed correctly they can be a great help.

Please understand I am NOT advocating going out to Wal-Mart and buying up the whole isle of herbal supplements.  That is just ridiculous!

I am just commenting on what has worked for me for certain ailments.

Prevention is the best cure. If you know your family history there are things you can do to reduce your chances..  most of which include diet and exercise.

One other thing we have to remember, even vitamins can have an adverse affect on the body.  It is possible to overdose on certain vitamins, especially those that are stored in fat, like Vit. A.  Others, such as Vit C our body just rids itself if there is too much through our urine.  Point is, know your Vitamins and minerals, and try to get them through your diet instead of from manufacturers.

As far as Gardasil is concerned, the HPV vaccine.  My doctor pushed me to get my daughter vaccinated and was actually offended when I refused.  Again, research, research and more research.  Too many side affects, and I don't believe it has been tested enough to make my daughter guinea pig for a vaccine that might or might not protect her.

This does not go against my stance on vaccines that have been well tested and researched and have shown to save lives and prevent debilitating diseases.  But this vaccine, in lab tests, has shown no real proof that it works. Again, this is my own opinion and you need to make your based on your knowledge and how comfortable you with it.

PlateletGal, You said a mouthful when you said  FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We need to be thankful that we have that freedom.  Most of the world does not have that Freedom and having such a freedom inspires conversation, ideas and creativity. Without that Freedom we would all be subjected to a Forcing of Will from those in power.  Eww.. that is a scary thought!

168348_tn?1379360675
by ChitChatNine, Jun 30, 2009

There's lots of great info on our Complementery Medicine Community!  For anybody reading this and has an interest in alternative meds, definitely stop by and say hi .... The CL over there is awesome -- she knows so much.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Complementary-Medicine/show/86

C~

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jul 01, 2009
Vaccination history and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A population-based, case-control study - Source: Cancer Causes & Control, Jul 2009

by Heather A Lankes, Brian CH Chiu, et al.
June 26, 2009


[Note: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sometimes called just lymphoma, is a large group of cancers that start in cells of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune system. They represent 90% of all lymphomas.]

Objective: As factors that alter the immune system have been implicated in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) etiology, it is of interest to explore the association between vaccination and risk of NHL.

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showArticle.cfm?libid=14669&B1=EG070109

168348_tn?1379360675
by ChitChatNine, Jul 02, 2009
Hi,

Laura1967, who is the CL of the Complementary Medicine Community has been on leave-of-absence for a few weeks but will be back on the community very soon.  

Here's the link to this great community --- stop by and say hi soon if you'd like ---- the community will love to hear from you I'm sure ----

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE COMMUNITY:
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Complementary-Medicine/show/86

c~

Avatar_f_tn
by PlateletGal, Jul 02, 2009

Hi ChitChatNine,

I really enjoy the complementary medicine forum, but I don't believe this discussion is in regards to alternative medicine really. I know that many regular OB/GYN physicians prescribe bio-identical hormones and of course the autism/vaccination debate is something that every physician is involved in.



168348_tn?1379360675
by ChitChatNine, Jul 02, 2009
Hi Platelet,

I was tossing it out there for our members, so anybody reading the latter part of this blog who doesn't know we have a complementary medicine community would be aware of it.  

It was general info -- posted as a sidenote, after reading a post about herbs -- ooops perhaps a bit off topic :(  

C~


Avatar_f_tn
by Kaydey, Jul 07, 2009
Platlet....  I tried to access that link, but i was taken to a 404.   do you have an updated link?


Avatar_f_tn
by pigthyroid, Jun 05, 2010
Everyone is just looking for answers in life.  And why a doctor would be so threatened by the Oprah show is beyond me.


Avatar_m_tn
by ana1979rita, Apr 02, 2012
Hello Dr. David. I'm actually going to comment first your post at http://getbetterhealth.com/how-low-can-oprah-winfrey-go-promoting-faith-healer-john-of-god-to-the-masses/2010.11.23, since I did not find a comment box active there.

So just some points I'd like to make about your observations. Sure the town makes money by the faith healing tourism but is that morally wrong for town people to profit with tourism? I don't see why that is a problem or how this lessens the merit of John of God. Something you probably don't know is that you don't have to go to John of God if you can't afford the trip, if you send a picture to him of the person that needs help, the spirits will reach that person. John of God is a very simple man, if you ever got to know him. If you think he is in it for the fame you are wrong, because he did not ask for it. He is only doing his work.

Yes, most tourists can't stay 40 days in Abadiânia, but if that is the problem in collecting data, why not focus the study on the Brazilians who live there then? I'm from Brasília and I've go to the faith healer whenever I have the will to do so, for instance, and it has been a wonderful experience for me.  

The physical healing is actually what is least important. You overlook the fact that although many go there are not physically healed, they are in some way touched by the loving energy of the place. People can be healed of malicious thoughts and addictions, let go and forgive and feel closer to God (healing of the soul). If you understood the nature of spirits, you would understand better why some are physically healed while others aren't.

I don't see the shame in advocating for faith healing. It is a principle faith healers always say: that FAITH HEALING SHOULD BE USED ALONG SIDE MEDICAL ORIENTATION AND SUPERVISION, not discarding it unless doctors say there is no medical cure to the illness. So it is not harmful at all. It is another principle that they do not charge.

Post a Comment