Kevin Barry’s Ethics
Kevin Barry used to be deputy (or something) to Brad Handley’s Sherriff at Generation Rescue. He announced to the EoH Yahoo Group on 21st Nov 2006 that:
As of December 1st, I begin work as a consultant to Autism Speaks. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, I am resigning as President of Generation Rescue.
What a decent guy – wanting to avoid any conflict of interest.
End of story? Of course not. Never is with these goons.
Yesterday, it was noted that one Heidi Roger had made a post to the EoH group exhorting members to flood the Autism Speaks website who had asked for opinions on ‘Unstrange Minds‘ (which you may recall is skeptical regarding a vaccine initiated epidemic).
Except, Heidi had forgotten to strip out the message she had got from the person who had sent her this news. Good old conflict-of-interest avoider, Kevin Barry:
Hi Heidi, Confidential. I am not allowed to comment on the Boards. Would you post this to the EOH board as if you can upon it yourself? It is a page where people can comment on the epidemic “debate”. It would not hurt if Autism Speaks heard more feedback from EOH parents. Thanks, Kevin
So, here we have the moral and ethical finery of Generation Rescue and militia members on show. It seems that Barry is keen only not to get caught. I hope he gets fired. He should be.
Dumbing Down Science
Some fascinating legal developments in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). Firstly a quick recap:
A bunch of people decided thiomersal caused their kids autism and decided to sue various people. By doing this, they stepped out of the opportunity to go down the Vaccine Program route which would allow them to contest their beliefs in a very much less stringent legal environment. However, the vaccine makers would suffer no liability and the plaintiffs would gain only a set amount (I think US$100,000) should they win their case.
They eschewed this process and decided they wanted to go down the full, legal shenanigans route. I’ve read invective from various blowhards who talk about taking the vaccine makers to account publicly and making sure that they are vindicated in a proper court of law (and of course the unspoken promise of megabucks).
OK, so fast forward a couple of years and we come to the RhoGAM/autism/thiomersal case in which the vaccine causation hypothesis was utterly demolished under the (totally appropriate) legal principle of Daubert. The take home quote from that case was:
This Court must find more than the â€œhypothesis and speculation,â€ engaged in [by Dr. Geier] in this instanceâ€¦.
The science was so bad, the case never even made it to trial. It was dismissed as a total waste of time.
Now you can bet the legal team for the OAP petitioners (numbering some 4,700 claims by now) were watching this closely and on Jan 9th this year, a new document was submitted which detailed how the Petitioners thought the trial should be conducted.
First of all, they want to use a ‘test case’ i.e. a handpicked petitioner from the 4,700 who would:
…serve as a representative case for a significant number of children who claim that a combination of thimerosal exposure and the MMR vaccine caused injury.
and then followed by cases solely addressing thiomersal and cases solely addressing MMR.
Okaaay. Also in this document was a reminder in this document that:
they needed ‘more time for the science to crystallize.’
Heh – you can say that again. Has the ‘crystallisation’ occurred? Maybe the overall intent of this document will tell us.
On page six of the document I have linked to above, the petitioners start to argue that the same legal rules that govern the Vaccine Program (described above) should be used to ‘judge’ the OAP proceedings. They repeat the arguments that led to the setting up of the Vaccine Program originally touching on how vaccines were a national health priority and that supply should not be endangered. The purpose of this legislation therefore was to try and limit the number of civil cases against vaccine manufacturers so that the health of the nations children was never compromised (see pages 6 – 7) .
In order to do this, it was accepted that the burden of proof would be substantially less. It was also noted that from time to time, people who’s kids weren’t actually damaged by vaccines would be awarded compensation. As the petitioners define the statute it reads:
As enacted the vaccinate act has a unique evidentiary standard, a unique standard, one that facilitates resolution of cases in the Vaccine Program and discourages the diversion of cases to the civil arena. It does not require a petitioner to prove his or her case with scientific certainty. It does not require ‘truth’. It does not require a petitioner to show ’cause in fact’
So why is all this lead up to the vaccine program necessary? Because the petitioners – who eschewed their option to go down the vaccine program option if you recall – now want their cases to be tried under these same ‘relaxed’ standards. They want their _civil legal cases_ to be tried under conditions that do not require the truth.
Wow. Just wow. The bare faced, cowardly effrontery of it defies belief.
Let us recall that at the start of these proceedings, plaintiffs stated they required time for their science to crystallize. Now they want to their omnibus case to be tried under a standard that doesn’t require scientific certainty or indeed, truth. That tells its own story about how good the state of the ‘science’ is underpinning the OAP case.
But what really galls me is that here are these people who had their opportunity to go down the route of the vaccine program and follow the same set of rules as described above and refused. They wanted to make a big song and dance about it and parade their science. Now that its apparent that their science is crap, they want their cases to be tried under the same legalities as the vaccine program cases are. Talk about wanting your cake and eating it.
If it was up to me, I’d tell them to go away and accept the consequences of their actions.
UPDATE: Please scroll down and read Anne’s comments on the _actual_ status of the OAP. It seems a whole lot of people who are part of the Omnibus are badly mistaken as to the nature of it and I’ve duplicated their misunderstanding.