Something is beginning to smell…

5 Mar

As noted by Catherina in a previous thread, David Kirby went on US morning show Imus to talk about autism, vaccines and the recent so called ‘concession report’.

Here’s the snippet Catherina highlighted:

IMUS: Why haven’t we read about that in the NY Times or seen it on NBC nightly news?

DAVID: Well, the NY Times is not particularly interested in this story. There are reporters out there this week trying to cover it, but, *until the family gets permission from government to speak*, I’m not sure how much coverage it actually is going to get. You know, I love being on your show, but, I wish instead of me being here this morning, you have somebody from the HHS. Because what we basically have over there is a wall of silence. *Why is it not okay to talk about this? Why is this confidential? Exactly whose interests are being protected if the family says it’s perfectly okay to talk about this….and…the family wants to talk about it? Why is the government saying we can’t talk about it? Those rules are in place to protect the privacy of the family, which has already been waived.

This is eyebrow raising to say the least. The *fact* of the matter is that the Gvmt has *no* rights to stop the family talking about the case. The other *fact* of the matter is that it is the family who have ensured that the one person who can clear up most of the questions about this case – Dr Zimmerman – must remain silent on the issue. Once again, here is the KK statement:

Dr. Zimmerman…….is not able to publicly discuss this patient. As a participant in this case, the family provided consent for Dr. Zimmerman to share information with the court, but *we do not have parental consent to discuss the patient publicly* – as we are bound by HIPAA privacy regulations, as in any healthcare setting in the U.S.

I don’t want to say David Kirby is deliberately lying here but his statement on the Imus show is plain old wrong. I’m left with the feeling that a conspiracy theory is being generated here right before our eyes.

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28 Responses to “Something is beginning to smell…”

  1. Catherina March 5, 2008 at 20:14 #

    my thoughts exactly!

  2. Fiona Sacchetti March 5, 2008 at 20:15 #

    How can we possibly know what the facts are? You are just speculating and assuming. We have no idea what is really going on, trying to make out that we do know is irresponsible and disrespectful towards the family concerned.

  3. Rob43 March 5, 2008 at 20:39 #

    I wouldn’t go too far on the smelly conspiracy idea. The case is not concluded in that the government has not made its monetary award decision. Therefore it is not over, and anyone would be reluctant to come forward in that situation, don’t you think? Besides, it’s the government that needs to add clarity to the wording of its decision and what they meant by it, not the parents.

  4. Joseph March 5, 2008 at 20:55 #

    Giving Kirby the benefit of the doubt, he’s probably just ignorant of the facts at hand, which is not that uncommon for him.

  5. Ms. Clark March 5, 2008 at 22:03 #

    So if the big “ta da!” comes when the family gets the final dollar amount of their pay-off, then why didn’t they all wait until that day to stir the pot?

    Because they “love the smell” of children getting sick from vaccine preventable illnesses “in the morning”? I would bet that this suits the purposes of the amublance chasers to the greatest degree.

  6. Kev March 5, 2008 at 22:23 #

    Fiona – you are making my exact point. We don’t know the facts. But what we do know is that the one person who can reveal more about them – the doctor who worked with the child, is not allowed to speak due to the censure of the family.

    Rob – I’m not sure what – medically speaking – the gvmt can add. It seems obvious to me that the doctor who provided the medical background to the gvmt should be made free to discuss this case if the family are happy with the fact that David Kirby was handed a censured document.

    I am not suggesting a conspiracy theory should be made from these facts. I’m suggesting that there is a concerted and misleading effort by some to blame the gvmt for what it cannot possibly be held accountable for and in fact _has not done_ .

  7. Catherina March 5, 2008 at 23:53 #

    just in:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080305/ap_on_he_me/autism_vaccines

  8. Kev March 6, 2008 at 00:12 #

    Yep, there’s going to be a press conference tomorrow. I hear that the family will be there, including the child.

    No word on whether Dr Zimmerman is allowed to speak yet.

  9. Rob43 March 6, 2008 at 00:29 #

    Kev, I see your perspective about the release of the censured document, but the decision is convoluted and subject to interpretation, so that is the government’s fault. I don’t imagine Dr. Zimmerman is the person to decide what the government chose from the medical records it received to make its decision. It is, indeed, the government’s duty to make its thinking known. I don’t really believe you are questioning the professional judgment of Dr. Zimmerman to make his assessment, are you? or of the CARDs center of Kennedy-Kreiger to say she indeed does have ASD (autism).?

    It is not clear to me who released the report (this is a sideshow to the facts and meaning of this case anyway, unless you are interested in the entertainment value, go watch Law and Order if you need such entertainment). But the greatest motivaton to release publically lies with the groups of lawyers who all work together on the Omnibus case– selecting their best cases, sharing information, and managing their individual clients’ cases. That’s my suspicion– that one of the other lawyers somehow got a copy and released it to benefit their own cases and theories of causality, but I don’t know.

    The family is not preventing anyone from talking most likely; the suspect is the government holding the award judgment that has yet to be decided as a dagger over the family’s heads should they speak, release information, or allow those who cared for the child to speak before the case is completed when they might then hope to seal the records.

    And now that the government’s concession document is out there, it is subject to scrutiny as to its meaning. It clearly is worded by the HHS attorneys and their science advisors to be as vague, convoluted and as useless as possible for other’s children and their families now waiting four years for a hearing in their cases. Yes, they were very careful in their wording, but assessed that she had something she probably did not have, a significant mitochondrial disorder sufficient to cause all the damage she suffered, but that’s their theory as to why the vaccines did what they did to her. But I think we will find that not to be true, nor provable in that the child also got the Hep B injection with full load of thimerosol on the day of birth, which can, according to some studies on that additive, cause mitochondrial changes all by itself. She may have never had a chance after that first injection, but the government ignored that theory entirely.

    Besides those 5,000 families waiting with properly filed cases, there are tens of thousands who did not know that a statute of limitations was in effect, and you have to apply within three years of recognition or diagnosis. Thousands have been caught in this trap because accurate diagnosis takes years and great expense in a lot of cases. So this first case and any others first decided will be a clue as to whether those children might also have some hope for relief somewhere down the line.

  10. Leila March 6, 2008 at 01:36 #

    The story is now on CNN:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/03/05/autism.vaccines.ap/index.html

  11. bones March 6, 2008 at 02:13 #

    Is it safe to say the precocious puberty/hyperandrogenicity/poor Hg excretors is being abandoned? Or are the goal posts in a perpetual state of flux?

    I ask in all sincerity because it seemes to me there was a time when a certain faction of folk were 100% certain that this was indeed THE cause of autism.

  12. Schwartz March 6, 2008 at 03:00 #

    bones,

    From an excerpt of “A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN’S GUIDE” by Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, they say that “Lead, cyanide and Mercury Poisoning” are disorders sometimes associated with Mitochondrial dysfunction.

    I wouldn’t say anything has been ruled out yet. If we accept Dr. Zimmerman’s hypothesis that oxidative stress was part of the chain that led to Autistic Regression, then Mercury would not be ruled out because I believe that heavy metal poisoning (including mercury) also causes Oxidative stress.

    This is all the more interesting, because the government in it’s wording appears to be accepting the hypothesis of Dr. Zimmerman, which indeed puts oxidative stress in the chain of events leading to Autistic Regression.

  13. Schwartz March 6, 2008 at 03:12 #

    Kev,

    I agree that blocking the testimony of Zimmerman is curious. However, Dr. Zimmerman submitted the Case Study with Dr. Poling, the CHILD’s father (an MD) who apparently works in the Department of Neurology at John Hopkins University (the credentials don’t get much better than that). Given that they jointly submitted the paper (with Dr. Poling being the lead Author) one would expect Dr. Zimmerman agrees with everything written in the Case Study.

    However, Dr. Poling certainly has a conflict of interest in discussing the case, and I can easily understand wanting to get independent information. However, the case must have been strong enough for the government to accept it.

  14. Rob43 March 6, 2008 at 03:46 #

    Congrat’s on putting together the last names on the leaked documents and the journal article. You can also begin to see why it was in the government’s interest to concede this case and get it out of the Omnibus, as I previously suggested. The father of the young girl has a MD in neurology and was a resident at the best school for that specialty in the world-Johns Hopkins; he also has a PHD! in human biophysics. Mother has a Doctor of Laws and has an advanced nursing degree. You might think their observations of their child’s development and her reactions to various injections would have some credibility. So they are not simple liars grasping for money as was suggested by some on this Website! By the way, they are still pro-vaccine with caveats on frequency, necessity, and ingredients, expecially metals like aluminum and mercury which are unnecessary and save the drug companys a buck or two at most per twelve doses, at what cost to the rest of us. Shame is to come on them and those that allow them to continue unneeded ingredients and scheduling too many vaccinations, and trying to make them mandatory for all, AND it will be deserved.

  15. Brett March 6, 2008 at 05:18 #

    As much as I want to delve into the details on this, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Not because I don’t care, but because I think it is a lot of hub-bub about nothing. The US Gov’t didn’t concede anything – they saw a losing proposition and cut their losses, plain and simple.

    I hate to tell them, but the folks over at Age of Autism are getting their hopes up over nothing.

  16. HCN March 6, 2008 at 06:14 #

    Brett, I tend to agree, because it is about very little. The condition is rare, and the child would have had neurological impacts with either the vaccine or a disease.

    I went to PubMed and plugged “mitochondrial autism” and a total of 37 papers popped up (including one from Medical Hypothesis, which should be ignored). If you read through the titles on the first page you get interesting results like “xyz confirmed to be associated with autism” and “Lack of association with autism and xyz”:

    SLC25A12 expression is associated with neurite outgrowth and is upregulated in the prefrontal cortex of autistic subjects.

    Autism-related routines and rituals associated with a mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier SLC25A12 polymorphism.

    Brief report: High frequency of biochemical markers for mitochondrial dysfunction in autism: no association with the mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier SLC25A12 gene.

    Lack of association between autism and SLC25A12.

    Confirmation of association between autism and the mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier SLC25A12 gene on chromosome 2q31.

    SLC25A12 and CMYA3 gene variants are not associated with autism in the IMGSAC multiplex family sample.

    (as an aside, one report claimed that a Portugese study reported 7% of autistic children had mitochondrial disorder… the abstract of that study is on the list of 37. The 7% came from 5 out of 69, which were a subset of a total of 120 autistic kids, it is a limited study and play on ratios)

  17. Fiona Sacchetti March 6, 2008 at 11:00 #

    Kev where are you getting your information that confirms that it is the FAMILY that is stopping Dr Zimmerman from commenting on this case? You seem determined that there are dodgy dealings going on but on what basis exactly?

    Also to those who seem determined that this child regressed mainly due to a mitochondrial disorder, do you have information that rules out vaccination in the onset of that disorder? As far as I can make out, the info available clearly states that the origin of the mito problem is unknown. Considering that the child in question was injected with Hep B vaccine at birth it is impossible for the likes of us to discuss her disorder with any accuracy. We can speculate all we like, but the only fact I can see here is that most of us don’t really know what we are talking about.

    This is an important issue, we should attempt to discuss it responsibly IMO.

    Ms Clark what on earth are you trying to say with this sort of comment;

    “Because they “love the smell” of children getting sick from vaccine preventable illnesses “in the morning”? I would bet that this suits the purposes of the amublance chasers to the greatest degree.”

    ??????????????????????

  18. Kev March 6, 2008 at 12:59 #

    _”Kev where are you getting your information that confirms that it is the FAMILY that is stopping Dr Zimmerman from commenting on this case? You seem determined that there are dodgy dealings going on but on what basis exactly?”_

    Because it is _only_ the family that can prevent Dr Zimmerman from speaking publicly about the case.

    I’m not sure there are dodgy dealings going on exactly, more like a concerted media manipulation event. The family are free to speak, the court is not. They are bound under oath to not speak. The family are free to speak and are in fact holding a press conference. Dr Zimmerman isn’t.

    It could well be that Dr Zimmerman confirms absolutely the Polings opinions. At this point I don’t really care so much about that possibility as the fact that there is a campaign of obstruction going on here.

  19. Kev March 6, 2008 at 13:00 #

    _”Also to those who seem determined that this child regressed mainly due to a mitochondrial disorder, do you have information that rules out vaccination in the onset of that disorder? As far as I can make out, the info available clearly states that the origin of the mito problem is unknown.”_

    Thats the point. The burden of proof falls on those making the claim, not on those defending it. If the Poling’s want to claim that vaccines did this, they need to prove it.

  20. bones March 6, 2008 at 15:10 #

    Schwartz, et al…

    Can we all just back up a sec? This case is getting twisted beyond recognition. People are reading waaaaayyyyyy to much into this case. Hell, Kim Stagliano is over at EoH proudly asserting that her child doesn’t have autism afterall. Oh, no! You see he/she was misdiagnosed, and merely has autistic-like features…I mean come on, people!

    Headlines read: “MMR and Autism: US court says there’s a link, and awards compensation”; “Ga. girl helps link autism to childhood vaccines”; and “US Government Concedes Vaccines Cause Autism”.

    Schwartz says ““Lead, cyanide and Mercury Poisoning” are disorders sometimes associated with Mitochondrial dysfunction.”

    Great..(1)”sometimes associated with..” is nowhere near causal. In fact, it’s not even close to correlated to; (2) Mitochondrail dysfunction is not equivalent to a disorder (we’ve been through this before); (3) Hannah Poling was diagnosed with regressive encephalopathy, not autism; and (4) unless you believe there is a sub-subset of autistics with both mito & precocious puberty then I would say, yes, indeed, that issue is dead. In fact, I’m so sure, I’ll bet a year’s pay that Sykes is on the phone right now with Geier demanding her money back unless he produce a study conclusively demonstrating that 99.9% of autistics have mito.

    Kent “Attorney at Large” Heckenlively says:

    ” her [Hannah Poling] “mitochondrial disorder” did not appear until after her vaccination” – maybe, but this in no way means that the vaccines caused the disorder nor does it mean it did not already exist unnoticed. One thousand to 4,000 children per year in the United Sates are born with a type of mitochondrial disease. Mito disorders have been known to go undiagnosed for up to 10 years, but the disorder exists pre-diagnosis.

    He then says:

    “It is well-known that approximately 75% of mitochondrial disorders are caused by medications such as the drug AZT (for AIDS) or toxins”

    Not true. An uncertain percentage of patients acquire symptoms due to other factors, including mitochondrial toxins. That’s “mitochondrail toxins” (ie, toxins built up and formed by the the mitochondria’s inability to process food into needed energy).

    I could go on…but back to my original point.

    What the govt conceded, if anything, was the child’s pre-existing mito disorder was aggravated by vaccines resulting in regressive encephalopathy. That’s it.

    Stop trying to hammer the square peg into the round hole.

  21. Joseph March 6, 2008 at 15:28 #

    do you have information that rules out vaccination in the onset of that disorder

    Unfortunately we don’t have information that rules out the tooth fairy either.

    The claim that vaccines cause mitochondrial disorder is a very extraordinary one. Guess who has the burden of proof on that one.

    The claim that a fever can cause regressive encephalopathy in Mito disorder is plausible as I understand it, on the other hand, and that’s why I’m inclined to believe it.

  22. S.L. March 6, 2008 at 16:27 #

    Bones: exactly!!!

    Hannah & her family will be on Larry King Live tonight…I’ve got my popcorn ready. Should be interesting, perhaps.

    I am still sick to my stomach thinking of the ramifications of some of the media reporters and the bloggers on Age of Autism: how many autistic children will undergo the painful (& risky–you are put under, skin/muscle biopsy, spinal tap…need I go on?) testing, sure to bring on sensory and possibly psychological issues in these children. Again, read the facts, learn about mito, Hannah doesn’t have “autism with a side of mito,” SHE HAS MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE THAT CAN AFFECT EVERY ORGAN & FUNCTION IN HER BODY, PART OF HER DISEASE INCLUDES AUTISTIC FEATURES AND/OR PDD.

    Yes, I’m still fuming, thanks for asking! :) Keep up the good work, Kev!

  23. Matt March 6, 2008 at 21:57 #

    From a recent press release–by the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/03-06-2008/0004769343&EDATE=

    There are no scientific studies documenting that childhood vaccinations cause or worsen mitochondrial diseases, but there is very little scientific research in this area.

  24. Ms. Clark March 6, 2008 at 23:23 #

    Rob wrote:
    “You might think their observations of their child’s development and her reactions to various injections would have some credibility. So they are not simple liars grasping for money as was suggested by some on this Website!”

    Just because a person is educated doesn’t mean that they can’t also be a liar and greedy. I mean really. Lawyers lie. Is this news? Doctors lie and parents lie. Anyone can be a liar and anyone can be greedy, not all people are liars and are greedy and I have no idea if the Polings are. But it’s way weird the way Terry Poling yelled at the owner of that Yahoo! group she was on.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RecoveredKids/message/15469

    Weirdness. Especially since she always had the ability to take herself of the “list”.

    I took it to mean that she didn’t want people to know about her previous comments there.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RecoveredKids/message/14758

    I think they were sucked into the world of DAN! where everything is autism and all autism is caused by vaccines or by toxins, depending on at what point you asked a DAN! quack and where he thinks the money is coming from (parents who think vaccines made their kid autistic or parents who think more generic toxins did it).

    That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been compensated.

    It means that they might be trying to use their daughter as an example of autism when she might not have autism, and they might be trying to help their friends in DAN! out by pushing the idea that for sure it must have been the vaccines, when the child was sickly since she was 7 months old. I don’t know any kids from among my friends or relatives who have had tubes in their ears for constant ear infections, though I know it’s not exactly rare. Hannah had 5 such surgeries, if I recall. The comments from the mom on that board seemed to indicate that she was against vaccines at that point, but maybe I read her wrong. From what I have seen antivaxers will refuse to admit that they are 100% antivaccine, because they know it looks bad.

  25. MJ March 7, 2008 at 03:39 #

    “Something is beginning to smell…”

    I think that is the smell of your blog as you desperately try and make up a controversy where one does not exist. From the story on CNN :

    “Though the family would be willing to make public the facts of the case, the rules of the court do not allow that, Shoemaker said.”

    Read the full story yourself :

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/06/vaccines.autism/

    If in doubt contact the court directly and find out the facts of the matter instead of trying to make up facts that don’t exist.

  26. Schwartz March 7, 2008 at 03:59 #

    Bones,

    Please quote where I implied Causation anywhere?

    Did you forget your question?

    “Is it safe to say the precocious puberty/hyperandrogenicity/poor Hg excretors is being abandoned? Or are the goal posts in a perpetual state of flux?”

    I answered very clearly with a quote that mercury should not be ruled out because it is associated with MD in some cases.

    It’s pretty simple — and accurate. You seem to be reading a lot more into what’s not there.

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