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Alarmist Pro Choice Bashing With Simon Hendel

simon-hendel_7BY SKEPTICBLAST

I urge you all to respond to the latest alarmist pro choice bashing article doing the rounds, in this instance by Simon Hendel. We have quietly given the media free reign of the direction of conversation in this vaccine issue and it has stooped to the level of “time bomb tots”, “anti vax nutters”, something about how the anti vax movement couldn’t get and stupider and now this clown Hendel staying we’ve got to be stopped.

What has to be stopped? The clear contrast between the health of our children and those that frequent and thus support the medical industry? Those results would no doubt be an embarrassment in need of cover up, distraction and the further pushing of the vaccine agenda to hide these annoying discrepancies in health outcomes.

What we believe has to be stopped are these alarmist, irrational, propaganda pieces that are concocted in an attempt to create hysteria around this issue in absence of all fact. I urge you all to respond to these articles. If you see them as ridiculous as do we, let the writer know, let the papers know, let the press council know that these forms of discriminatory fiction don’t qualify as journalism and that they’ll no longer be tolerated. Details for avenues of complaint will follow at the bottom of this post. Please get involved. It’s time to respond.

If you want to read this junk piece from @simonhendel see here:…/time-government-tackle-anti-vaxxers

The points of interest however:

“CAN you imagine a car today without a seatbelt? It’s so ingrained in us that it’s hard to picture. In 1970 Victoria led the world by introducing mandatory seatbelt legislation with enforceable penalties. The year following, the road toll fell by 13%. Soon after, other jurisdictions followed Victoria’s lead and made seatbelts compulsory.”

So there’s your argument. If X is a good idea then it logically follows that Y must also be a good idea. Let’s just hope that anaesthetics doesn’t require the use of logic otherwise I feel for the author’s patients.

“Seatbelts are not perfect but overall the Victorian government made a good call. That legislation has saved thousands of lives. And, aside from some outspoken criticism citing infringement of civil liberties and government paternalism, seatbelts are largely accepted as good policy.”

If we accept this statement as true then the author has just shot himself in the foot. If people are objecting to seatbelts *only* because of a desire to be free then there is no sensible comparison between seatbelts and vaccinations whereby people are objecting to them because they are not sufficiently safe. The freedom argument matters too of course. And it matters in a way that is more fundamental than seatbelts because forcing injections into people that will fundamentally alter their biology is – legally, scientifically and morally – a very different kind of restraint of freedom to, say, putting them in handcuffs for a couple of minutes. Nonetheless, the safety aspect makes the vaccine issue different in substance to the seatbelt issue.

Now, as I show above, the argument is a non-sequitur anyway. But let’s just have a bit of fun because the author needs some educating about topics that he doesn’t understand.

In this thing called economics there is a principle known as “risk compensation”.

Consider how you would drive if there was a spike emanating from the steering wheel placed directly at your heart. Obviously even the most minor of accidents would be fatal so it is safe to say that you would drive incredibly carefully (or probably not at all). So the net result would be a massive *decrease* in the total number of accidents.

So even though virtually all accidents would be fatal it is *conceivable* that the total number of deaths would actually fall.

This is important when evaluating all the claims about the number of lives saved due to seatbelts. These claims are based on tests done by researchers on those *who have actually been in an accident*. However, they cannot possibly test for the change in behaviour of the drivers which will lead to an increase in total accidents due to the feeling of safety that the seatbelts provide.

I have no doubt that seatbelts dramatically decrease the likelihood of being killed or injured in the event of an accident but because they are likely to lead to an increase in the number of accidents the net reduction in deaths is less than the studies would suggest. Of course, the occupants are typically better off with seatbelts (it is a Pareto welfare improvement to be able to drive faster and more carelessly with the same likelihood of death) but from a public health point of view they are not as clear cut as the author believes. Because the author is an anaesthetist rather than an economist it is likely that he simply has no idea about such things as risk compensation nor would he have the slightest clue about statistics.

edward_bernays11So I will provide some insight for him. A short while after Victoria introduced its seat belt laws there was an astonishingly large *confounder* that coincided with this introduction. You see it was just before the oil crisis where oil prices skyrocketed as a result of OPEC reducing supply (we won’t get into the details of the ‘closing of the gold window” etc that preceded it). Because petrol prices rose (or in those countries with price controls, people had to wait in long lines for fuel) people were forced into being far more judicious with the way and the amount they drove. And we can see that because those countries for which no seatbelt laws existed also saw a massive reduction in car fatalities.

All in all, it is a terrible analogy. Don’t get me wrong, seatbelts are indeed a very good idea just for the exact opposite reason that this guy is claiming.

Seatbelts greatly enhance welfare *for the individual* but not that great as a public health tool (and absolutely terrible for insurance companies if you care about that sort of thing). So my *advice* is that you should put a seatbelt on *for your own good* but without deluding yourself that yours is some sort of a selfless act.

The author of course wants us to believe that we should all vaccinate for the benefit of the greater good with seatbelts as precedent but nobody should wear seatbelts for any reason other than because it makes them better off.

There is no reason – individual or collective – to vaccinate.

Well there is one reason. The medical industry would be in deep strife if the truth about these vile concoctions was widely accepted.

“This issue is not about choice – it’s about safety. And the longer we frame the vaccine debate as about individual choice the longer we lend legitimacy to the paranoid pseudoscience of the anti-vaccination movement.”

I actually agree with this. I am libertarian and it horrifies me that the government can forcibly inject various substances into people, nonetheless, in recognition of the fact that most people would inject crushed up angels into themselves if they thought it would prevent them from dying of smallpox or being crippled by polio I wouldn’t bother making such an argument.

Vaccines are completely useless and extremely dangerous. And even though I believe that adults should be free to inject whatever they like into themselves, given that vaccines are useless and dangerous the liberty question should scarcely come into it. They simply have no right to a place in a public health program of any kind.

“This last fortnight has seen the re-emergence – pardon the pun – of anti-vaxxers in the general media. The Age has reported results from Edith Cowan University showing that many parents who do not vaccinate their children are hiding this information out of inherent mistrust of medical science. Similarly, various outlets reported the University of Wollongong’s controversial decision to award a social sciences PhD to a candidate whose thesis attacked Australian vaccine policy despite demonstrating a glaring lack of understanding of immunology and vaccine science. It was accepted nonetheless. “

Isn’t it funny how anything that disagrees with our prejudices could only have done so because they “demonstrated a glaring lack of understanding” of that thing.

“Without changes in the approach to the anti-vaccination movement we are ushering in a dangerous time. If the anti-vaccination movement succeeds in propagating its fictional narrative to concerned parents who simply don’t know what to do, we risk a time where there is significantly less scope for honest dialogue between doctor and parent.”

Yes. The truth will come out on this eventually. Credit though to the vaccine industry. They have assembled possibly the greatest propaganda machine in all of history.

But it won’t be enough. Parents are absolutely sick of seeing their kids have reactions practically every time they get their injections. They rationalise it to themselves by saying such things as “at least they won’t get polio”.

Luckily for the propaganda machine us anti-vaxxers have, hitherto, focused on vaccine safety and human rights. But that is changing. More and more of us are coming to realise that absolutely none of these vile concoctions actually work and the only thing that happened is that the diseases have been renamed due to doctor prejudice against diagnosing the condition if the patient is vaccinated. . Right now this explanation for what truly happened is a fringe view (albeit a very obvious one).

But it won’t be forever.

Once this idea is out in the public consciousness the collapse of the paradigm will be staggeringly quick.

“In this debate, the jury is not out. There are many things in medicine that are not clear, but the standard schedule of childhood vaccines is not one of them.”

Yes. Isn’t it convenient that the one thing doctors are most sure is the one thing that will completely ruin them if it turns out they are wrong.

“We know they save lives. Like the mid-face fractures seen before seatbelts, the more debilitating consequences of diseases like polio and diphtheria have long been relegated to medical folklore because of vaccination.”

Really? The most debilitating consequences of polio is being in a ventilator with paralysis. If this author thinks there is no paralysis or ventilator use anymore then he should give up medicine. And the same goes for the debilitating consequences of diphtheria. These are the sorts of people we trust with our lives. But they are completely blind.

And if they save lives, then why is it that deaths due to these so-called vaccine preventable diseases had all but disappeared before the vaccines came along?

“Without maintaining vaccination rates above 95% these diseases will come back. Some, like measles, chickenpox and pertussis, already have. Despite what the anti-vaccination movement would have us believe, the rare side effects and potential complications of these vaccines are known and understood. The same cannot be said of the side effects and complications of the diseases themselves.”

They never left. And if their side effects were so significant and the diseases had been so drastically reduced by vaccination, why is it that healthcare expenditure and reliance – all throughout the Western world have risen so dramatically in the past 6 decades?

“As recently as last December, over 80 children at a Brunswick primary school contracted chickenpox in an outbreak that swept through the school, reported to have an immunisation rate of only 72%. With no herd immunity, all of that population was more susceptible to a disease that is universally uncomfortable, often disfiguring and potentially fatal. The kids in that community who couldn’t be vaccinated on medical grounds needed protection by the herd, but with immunisation rates that low, no such protection existed.”

Given that the UK doesn’t even have routine chicken pox vaccination one would hate to think just how disfigured the average Englishman or woman must be. Indeed, it was only recently that the chicken pox was used in Australia so one would assume then that the average older Australian must be the equivalent of the Elephant Man.

At any rate, readers should be aware that this guy is in charge of making sure you wake up after you have had surgery.

television_war_posterThat thought is one million times more frightening than a bunch of kids with chicken pox.

At any rate, clearly in that instance a large number of fully vaccinated kids got chicken pox proving that the vaccine – even if there were 100 per cent compliance – couldn’t possibly provide enough protection to achieve herd immunity. That is assuming it works at all.

And there is no valid evidence that the chicken pox has achieved anything other than doctors simply differentially diagnosing when they see the rashes in vaccinated patients.

And before anybody says “but chicken pox couldn’t possibly get mistaken for anything else could it?” go and have a look at medical texts (or even the dreaded google) for differential diagnoses of varicella. There are plenty.

“How many more events like this should be accepted in the interests of tolerance?”

They should be accepted because a) they are no big deal; and b) vaccination is clearly useless at preventing them anyway.

But if you want to do it because of tolerance then kudos.

“Now is the time for true leadership in mandating childhood vaccination together with parental penalties for non-compliance – just like if a parent failed to restrain their child in a car.”

Funny how “true leaderhip” now equates to “a totalitarian nightmare where the government is free to inject whatever it likes into whomever it likes”.

“So if there is any choice in this issue it is a choice that now, as in 1970, needs to be made by government.”

There is another choice. We can stop obsessing over germs because they are ubiquitous and instead just accept that they and disease (regardless of whether they are related) are a part of life.

“We owe it to parents who want the best for their kids but don’t know who to believe. More than anyone, we owe it to the children who are not, or cannot, be vaccinated and who have no voice in this discussion. It is these children who will ultimately suffer and potentially die from preventable disease.”

This is nothing more than an appeal to emotion. I can’t believe I had to waste time refuting this drivel. But as I say above, what is far more disconcerting is that this guy has one of the riskiest jobs (for his clients) in Australia.

“In 1970, the Victorian Government made a good call introducing legislation to save lives. It’s time for them to do it again.”

Yes they should. As doctors are – by their own generous estimates – the third leading cause of deaths in the Western world, governments should throw them all in prison without any legal recourse.

It saves lives you know.

So in response to this muck, you can direct complaints to:

Editor Kate Swannell (not sure how to spell her first name sorry)

Simple Simon himself on twitter @simonhendel

Media Watch on ABC:

Australian Press Council (APC):

Please have your say, if left unchecked, this rubbish will continue to brainwash the gullible contingent of society. Extremist pro vaccine idiocy must be stopped

5 thoughts on “Alarmist Pro Choice Bashing With Simon Hendel

    What is it with everyone that you do not tell the likes of him – “see you in court mate and we’ll see just how well you should be gabbing away with such confidence’ – does this idiot intimidate you – WHY ?

  2. Oh Mr R. Davis you really are a belter of the highest order.
    Do you know how many 3rd world country’s Dr Hendel has practiced in?
    Are you aware of the pharmacological training a Consultant Anaesthetist has to complete?
    Do you know Dr Hendels field of expertise within anaesthetics?
    Are you even a medical professional?
    I’m guessing not.
    As soon as you find a court willing to hear your drivel please let me know. I will ensure I’m sat in the public gallery having a good old chuckle to myself, for no court in the land is going to uphold your objections to an article written by trained medical professional and find against him. Oh wait, that already happened to Mr Andrew Wakefield (A surgeon by the way) who is known for his fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of the now discredited claim that there was a link between the administration of the MMR vaccine, and the appearance of autism and bowel disease.

    Unless you have forgotten most country’s live by the law of free speech. Just like Dr Hendel used in his article and you have used to shout his opinion down.
    And because I have the right to free speech I feel Iike calling both you and the person who wasted time on the poorly written above article a pair of complete muppets.

  3. I’m not psychic but I get a strange vibe looking at Simons mug.
    It sort of projects a homosexual image that kept coming back each time I tried to make sense outa my impression.
    If Simon is a homosexual then it is a problem for him to reproduce children normally via Natures realm so it seems logical to me that it could be possible that he harbours a type of psychosis against children. I could be wrong but to inject innocent babies and children with heavy metals and poisons seems to me…… psychotic!…….. Gus

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