A doctor writes about wanting vaccines free of toxic agents and you would think he was a mass murderer by the way other doctors and the media are beating him up. This firestorm should convince everyone that something is terribly wrong with conventional medicine and the media.
Are we not allowed to question the wisdom and safety of any medical therapy? Shouldn’t all medical therapies be held to a high standard of care?
Dr. Daniel Neides, a family doctor and the director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute wrote a blog post on the news site his concerns with childhood vaccines. He wrote, “Does the vaccine burden – as has been debated for years – cause autism? I don’t know and will not debate that here. What I will stand up and scream is that newborns without intact immune systems and detoxification systems are being over-burdened with PRESERVATIVES AND ADJUVANTS IN THE VACCINES.” (Note: Dr. Neides’ post was removed shortly after the firestorm began and put back up a few hours later.)
Adjuvants are items added to a vaccine to stimulate the immune system. Aluminum, a known neurotoxin, is one such adjuvant commonly added to many childhood and adult vaccines. Mercury, one of the most toxic substances known to mankind is a preservative for many vaccines.
Dr. Neides continued his line of thought by writing, “Some of the vaccines have helped reduce the incidence of childhood communicable diseases, like meningitis and pneumonia. That is great news. But not at the expense of neurologic diseases like autism and ADHD increasing at alarming rates.”
When I read Dr. Neides comments, I was shocked that a physician employed by a large hospital organization would write something like that. I knew what would come next and it did. Physicians chastised him and the Cleveland Clinic immediately distanced itself from Dr. Neides and his post. “He wrote this opinion piece on his own and it does not reflect the position of the Cleveland Clinic whatsoever, and we strongly support vaccinations and the protection of patients and employees,” said Eileen Sheil, executive director of corporate communications for the medical center.
Here are some comments that appeared after Dr. Neides’ post:
Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, expressed disbelief on Twitter:
Wow, this quack is the head of an institute of an actual medical center? Entire article empty rhetoric & harmful jenny McCarthy myths
In an email to STAT, Prasad added, “That article … contains many of the tired, unsupported, irrational concerns about pediatric vaccines, as well as generally unsupported thoughts on ‘toxin’ exposure. Frankly, it is a little surprising it is written by a doctor, and not someone on the fringe, who lacks basic science and medical training.”
Dr. Jeffrey Matthews, chair of the University of Chicago’s Department of Surgery, tweeted:
Scientists and doctors were horrified about the misinformation contained in the article, especially given that the source is affiliated with a such a prestigious medical institution. A spokesperson for Cleveland Clinic told STAT on Saturday that Neides “will not be doing an interview.”
Dr. Benjamin Mazer, a resident physician in pathology at Yale-New Haven Hospital who tweeted that the article was “one of the most vile, false things I have ever read by a doctor,” said in an interview that it wasn’t an isolated event.
“This is really part of a larger movement that distrusts mainstream medicine, distrusts mainstream public health, and really trades in conspiracy theories,” he told STAT. “This article is a really prime example of that. It’s just a shame that it’s a physician spreading these conspiracy theories because people naturally trust physicians.”
He was especially appalled at the misinformation that Neides was spreading about hepatitis B vaccines, which, Mazer said, “have prevented thousands of deaths.”
Wow. Maybe doctors should never question the prevailing opinions in medicine. Perhaps doctors should not have questioned whether cigarettes caused lung cancer because it took a massive campaign for the cigarette-lung cancer connection to come out.
Perhaps the above doctors need to recall the story of Dr. Semmelweis, who is probably rolling in his grave right now. In the 1800’s, before the germ theory was discovered, a Hungarian phsycian1 questioned whether the lack of handwashing by doctors while delivering babies was responsible for transmitting something to the mothers that resulted in a higher mortality rate than women delivered by midwives. You see, back then, midwives washed their hands before delivering a baby while a doctor did not.