Poling vs HHS – Something is definitely beginning to smell

30 Apr

Back in March I wrote a post highlighting my suspicion that we weren’t getting the whole story regarding the Poling’s. They had – at that time – failed to give permission to Dr Andrew Zimmerman to discuss the case, despite the fact that he was deply involved in the treatment abd diagnosis of Hannah Poling. He has still – to the best of my knowledge – not been given permission by the Poling’s to speak.

I also blogged Jon Poling’s own words on the subject of document release:

The HHS expert documents that led to this concession and accompanying court documents remain sealed, though our family has already permitted release of Hannah’s records to those representing the almost 5, 000 other autistic children awaiting their day in vaccine court.

and pointed out the strange incompatability with what the _court_ said:

in the case that is the subject of the media reports, if the parties who supplied documents and information in the case provide their written consent, we may then be able to appropriately disclose documents in the case.

where it is made crystal clear that the Poling’s had not in fact provided written consent to release their documents.

Further documentation from the courts has now been released which touches on this issue in more detail.

I want to thank M who can choose to name themselves further if they feel like it for helping explain these and for highlighting them in the first place.

The basic gist of this document is that *the Poling’s do not want all the information to be released* despite their oft-repeated claim to the contrary. What information do they not want released – and why?

Respondent points out in the filed Sur-Reply to Petitioners’ Motion for Complete Transparency of Proceedings (R’s Sur-Reply) that while petitioners “did undertake initial steps
necessary to permit discussion of their case before the Special Masters presiding in the Omnibus
Autism Proceeding and before representatives of the Petitioners’ Steering Committee[,] *[i]n fact,
it is respondent who first approached and asked for petitioners’ consent to permit the Secretary of
Health and Human Services to disclose medical information regarding this case* in order for the
Secretary to address inaccurate statements that were being made publicly concerning respondent’s position in this case.”

Now _this_ is a bombshell. It was _not_ the Poling’s who first wanted to release documents, it was HHS. They asked for the Poling’s consent to permit HHS to disclose medical information in order to ‘address innaccurate statements that were being made publicly’.

Well, well.

And there’s more. HHS had also heard aboout the press conference the Poling’s intended to hold:

Having received no response from petitioners, respondent contacted petitioners’ counsel to inquire about the proposed consent form and to “inquire whether press reports were true that petitioners were planning press conference for the following day.” Petitioners’ counsel replied to respondent, and represented during a status conference in this case, that the reports of a planned press conference were not true…….and two days later they held a press conference and appeared in
nationally televised and print interviews discussing the case.

So they lied about the press conference too. Petitioners Counsel is, of course, one Clifford Shoemaker.

What is going on here? Granted there are pre-conditions HHS also wanted placed upon the release of information but why won’t the Poling’s let key medical details that would ‘address innaccurate statements that were being made publicly’ be released right now? Why do they claim that they are asking for complete disclosure when it is clear they are not? Why did their counsel blatantly lie about the press conference?

This is very much an example to me of the ‘muddying of the waters’ that John Shoffner talked about recently.

53 Responses to “Poling vs HHS – Something is definitely beginning to smell”

  1. Kev May 4, 2008 at 11:35 #

    The only change was his “expert” opinion, not surprisingly after his first opinion was exposed as flawed.

    So, let me see if I understand you.

    You’re saying that when someone holds an opinion based on the data they’ve read that that opinion is immutable and unchangeable from point on? Regardless of any new evidence that comes along?

    That’s not science my friend. That’s dogma.

    I give the guy full marks for altering his opinion based on the available evidence. That’s what a scientist should do.

  2. Schwartz May 17, 2008 at 05:56 #

    Kev,

    The same evidence was there when he made his first comment — Dr. Poling discussed exactly the same logic on day 1.

    So I guess you give him full marks for ignoring the evidence the first time, and speaking definitively about things he wasn’t familiar with? Yeah, that’s quality science all right.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Autism Blog - A step closer to ‘transparancy’ in Hannah Poling v. HHS? | Left Brain/Right Brain - June 24, 2008

    […] Back in April, the court released a document detailing some of the discussions involving the release of information. You can read about it in the document and in Kev’s blog post about it. But, it seems to boil down to […]

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