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Anyone know anything about the website "Science-Based Medicine?" Who is Steven P. Novella, MD? - Page 2

post #21 of 56
Thread Starter 

Well, originally I wanted to know about Dr. Novella because I hadn't heard of him or his website. 

My son has given me links to WHO and I am looking into it.

What am I looking for?  The truth, I'd say.  But I find it difficult to discern what is and isn't true anymore and it is stressing me out.  I don't want to give into fear mongering but I also find it difficult to just believe that vaccinations are safer than the diseases when I "hear" the opposite.  Also, one of my daughters has had some minor neurological issues, so I want to be  extra cautious.

When I saw the title "Science-Based Medicine" I was skeptical, because I didn't know who was behind it.  Anyone can make themselves sound credible.  I want to know if Dr. Novella really is credible or if he simply has an personal agenda.

I just want to make the right decision for my family at this point. 

post #22 of 56

http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/vaccines

post #23 of 56

I would second Kathymuggle's recommendation of Cochrane systematic reviews (the link she gave). They do systematic reviews of all the literature, to come up with as close as they can manage the best consensus evidence based view on a whole host of issues. 

 

I think that Science Based Medicine have an agenda of debunking what they see as minsinformation about alternative medicine choices online. I wish they would be more polite, as they host some really great information in my opinion, and in my opinion being mean just alienates people from reading their site (as we have clear evidence of on here). 

post #24 of 56
Quote:

Originally Posted by at-home View Post

I want to know if Dr. Novella really is credible or if he simply has an personal agenda.

 

Both?  Yes, he has an agenda.  He believes that not vaccinating is dangerous and foolish, and he's not shy about it.  But that doesn't make him in-credible.  His science is solid even if his rhetoric could be friendlier.

post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by at-home View Post

 

What am I looking for?  The truth, I'd say.  But I find it difficult to discern what is and isn't true anymore and it is stressing me out.  I don't want to give into fear mongering but I also find it difficult to just believe that vaccinations are safer than the diseases when I "hear" the opposite.  Also, one of my daughters has had some minor neurological issues, so I want to be  extra cautious.

 

I think part of the issue is that the "truth" is a moving target, right? I mean, isn't the search for truth a whole philosophical question in itself?

 

Have you got a good GP of family doctor who is respectful and you can work with? In our case, we've discussed vaccines a number of times, he listens and is supportive of concerns (not dismissive) and when we put forward what we would like to do and how we would like to proceed (which in our case is very delayed, fraction of what's on the schedule), he says, "That's fine and reasonable," (keeping in mind we're going from a family where the children have not been vaccinated to date, he's not about to berate us and slam the door shut--he sees working with us on our own proposed schedule as a positive from his point of view). 

 

Personally, I don't pay much attention to blogs from either "side." I've read the published papers, epidemiological data, government handbook, CDC Pink Book, and discussed the issue with our GP. There's a lot of claims to the truth out there. Those debates may not be resolved in my lifetime, so we're going to get on with our lives the best we can.

post #26 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the later a comments which have been very helpful.  I will check out the Cochrane link and also appreciate "Japnoica's" sentiments.  We do have a family physician who has always been supportive of our convictions which I am thankful for.  However, things seem to be becoming more confusing to me, thus my original inquiry.

Thank you to all who have posted, especially those of you who have been gentle.
 

post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

In doing initial research, I would steer clear of any obviously one-sided website. If the tone of the site is snarky then I would skip it. This goes for either side. What you want to find are facts, not opinions. A good way to gage this is to see if there are generalizations made about the "other side", such as calling people pro-vax and anti-vax.

I agree. When hearing about how parents make choices, I am usually put off slightly when folks seem to be developing their initial bias about a subject from resources gained at an obviously biased site. It's not that I don't think these polarized sites have value (though at the same time I agree with KM's assessment of their value, honestly) but it's just not a good place to start, IMO.  

 

If I really wanted to know about the value of a site that seemed really biased, I think I would pick an article at random and then do my own research. What you may find is that the really snarky, biased sites will conveniently leave out information that doesn't back-up what they want to say. I was on one skeptic site recently because I do use them sometimes to find source material and EVERY SINGLE citation went to the same article. They had like 50 sources cited but they were all linked wrong. Then, of course I couldn't find any way to contact the writer or manager of the site to let them know. Of course I was trying to "debunk" a NaturalNews article that I found irritating. It's like equal opportunity irritating at the really one-sided sites, IMO.  

post #28 of 56

J.B. Handley's take on Dr Novella

 

 

Quote:
Dr. Novella is a clinical neurologist and assistant professor at Yale’s school of medicine. His areas of specialization are neuromuscular disease and botulinum injections (see appendix below). He appears to have done both his undergrad and med school at Georgetown University. Looking at his biography on wikipedia (which he undoubtedly wrote himself), he became a doctor 11 years ago and turns 45 years old this July*. It doesn’t appear that autism, vaccines, immunology, toxicology, nutrition, or gastroenterology are part of his area of focus, expertise, or study.

Written in 2009

post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by at-home View Post

However, things seem to be becoming more confusing to me, thus my original inquiry. 

 

I agree that it seems to be more confusing out there for certain things. There are so many websites with their own stake in the game. Many of the biased sites, IMO, are using snark to gain popularity and fame...and money.  Then they pretend that it's all in the name of science or health and concern for others. Yea, right!  

post #30 of 56
I have to confess that when I first hears the name Science-Based Medicine, I got naively excited. I imagined some site where doctors were holding other doctors accountable, perhaps discouraging routine electronic fetal monitoring or reminding them that pap smears should happen not annually but every 3 years. Boy, was I ever wrong. All I found was a refection pool for those wishing to defend their turf, spread the gospel of medical machismo, and fan the flames of the latest culture war.

Good on you, OP, for keeping such a critical eye on your sources. Like IdentityCrisisMama, I also avoid sites like Natural News . Others I avoid in my decision-making research: "Skeptic" blogs (everyone's skeptical of *something,* for heaven's sake!), Gaia Health, Mercola, Immunization Action Coalition, Shot of Prevention, and Health Impact News. There are more, but I can't think of them all.
post #31 of 56
I can't STAND NaturalNews!!!!!! LOL.

I will probably get ripped to shreds bones n' all for this, but I really liked Dr. Sear's Vaccine book. I found it to be very informative regarding the ingredients of each vaccine, and also the risk of the diseases. I haven't looked at it for a long time but I think the only one he doesn't recommend is the Chicken Pox vax, which isn't surprising. He also offers a delayed schedule which I think is great.

I also spent a lot of time looking at the info available from the companies that actually manufacture the vaccines. That was a big part of my decision.

It's a tough decision either way. I admire anyone who chooses to do their own research! Good luck. :-)
post #32 of 56
Welcome aboard, at-home!

I find Novella and the Science-Based Medicine movement extremely disturbing in the way they gleefully vilify anyone who criticizes or even questions vaccines.

It reminds me of a cult.

They categorize as "anti-vaccine" anyone who criticizes anything about vaccines, including scientists who have published peer-reviewed articles that call into question vaccine safety/efficacy (including the Cochrane Review's Dr. Tom Jefferson). And "anti-vaccine" is about the nicest term they use. They called Jenny McCarthy a "mass murderer." Her crime: she reported her son's seizure reaction to vaccines, subsequent autism diagnosis, and subsequent improvement after being treated for vaccine reaction, and called for safer vaccines ("Green our Vaccines").

Yes, there is science on both sides of the issue--and on both sides, it's flawed. In general, though, the science defending vaccine safety is what many call "tobacco science." It's funded by, set up by, directed by, controlled by, interpreted by, ghost-written by, and marketed by the industry that profits from the product studied.

Take a close look at some of these studies, and you'll find that there is no true control group. Vaccine safety studies compare a group of vaccinated children with...another group of vaccinated children. Studies supposedly looking at a vaccine-autism link compare age oil of vaccinated children with official autism diagnoses with...a group of vaccinated children with symptoms of autism but no official diagnosis. They conclude that they didn't see a link (surprise!), which then translates into article headlines like "Link debunked!" Or "proof there IS NO link!"

You've probably already seen this, but you might compare SBM's approach with that of fourteenstudies.org. Especially the pages pointing out the flaws in the studies that supposedly debunk a vaccine/autism link, and the pages providing studies that indicate a vaccine/autism link.

I found it very helpful to contact epidemiologists at local universities and ask for their opinions (and boy, did they have opinions!). Not one of them agreed that the link was debunked, and they all expressed frustration that the media presents conclusions that are different than those reached by the researchers.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by at-home View Post

My daughters are about to enter first grade and, again, I am forced into the vaccination decision.  I have read, and believed, numerous books and articles regarding the dangers of vaccinations.  In discussing this with my college-aged son, I was surprised to be severely questioned about my beliefs on the subject, which has sent me searching once again.  I came across "Science-Based Medicine" which debunks my current understanding of the vaccination dangers  along with sources I have believed (as well as apparently debunking homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc.).  I cannot find any information about this website or the founder (Steven P. Novella, MD) except articles written by the editors of their own website.  Has anyone researched this?  Who is Dr. Novella and should I listen to him?

Any site that craps all over ALL alternative medicine should be suspect IMO. There is plenty of research supporting the benefits of varies alternative practices particularly chiropractic and acupuncture. 

post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post

 

That's not a snippet from a writer of Science Based Medicine.  That is a snippet from a man named Brian Dunning's podcast which was linked on SBM.  

 

You can find things that are worse than that on Anti Vaccine websites.  Here's a nice little gem 

 

"Court orders rape of a child. Think this is an exaggeration? Think again. This is assault without consent and will full penetration too. If we as a society allow this crime to take place, we are every bit as guilty as the judge who made the order and the doctor who carries it out..."

Source: Meryl Dorey - AVN Facebook page, 15 January 2011

 

Now if that isn't BARF I don't know what is.  Comparing a life saving vaccine to rape? Wow I guess over 90 percent of parents in the US have "raped" their children by her definition.  Absolutely disgusting.

 

Meryl Dorey owns the Australian Vaccine Network and says things like this fairly often and then tries to deny she is anti vaccine. 

Actually that comparison makes sense to me. It is comparing Rape which is NON CONSENSUAL ie forced upon you to being forced to inject something into your body (or that of your child) AGAINST  your will.  She is not saying parents that willingly choose to vaccinate their child (ie consenting) are "raping" them. She is saying that a court that forces a parent to do inject something they feel is harmful into their child's body WITHOUT CONSENT is akin to rape. makes sense to me as it is a totaly violation. So not really Barf at all. 

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

Actually that comparison makes sense to me. It is comparing Rape which is NON CONSENSUAL ie forced upon you to being forced to inject something into your body (or that of your child) AGAINST  your will.  She is not saying parents that willingly choose to vaccinate their child (ie consenting) are "raping" them. She is saying that a court that forces a parent to do inject something they feel is harmful into their child's body WITHOUT CONSENT is akin to rape. makes sense to me as it is a totaly violation. So not really Barf at all. 

 

It doesn't make sense to me.  Since the vaccine is not being forced into the parent then whether or not the parent wants it is irrelevant in the analogy.

 

I don't know any child that *wants* shots. Most kids cry and scream. So as long as a child doesn't want it it's rape if she is using that as an analogy. Therefore the majority of parents have raped their child by forcing them to have a vaccine, which is abhorrent and offensive. 

 

Comparing a potentially life saving vaccine "with full penetration" to a child being sexually assaulted is disgusting. 

post #36 of 56

nm

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post

 

It doesn't make sense to me.  Since the vaccine is not being forced into the parent then whether or not the parent wants it is irrelevant in the analogy.

 

I don't know any child that *wants* shots. Most kids cry and scream. So as long as a child doesn't want it it's rape if she is using that as an analogy. Therefore the majority of parents have raped their child by forcing them to have a vaccine, which is abhorrent and offensive. 

 

Comparing a potentially life saving vaccine "with full penetration" to a child being sexually assaulted is disgusting. 

whatever - you are splitting hairs. Since an infant cannot make an informed choice about what to put in their body - its the job of it's parent to make that choice for them which is why I put or that of your child in parentheses. Wanting something has nothing to do with the point - which is informed CONSENT. I don't WANT to do or take certain things because they may physically hurt or whatever, but I can make an informed choice to do or take that thing that causes me pain because I feel it's in my best interest, but it's still my choice. The issue is being forced to do something against one's will. I think you are looking at the analogy a bit to literally - but to each his own I suppose.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

whatever - you are splitting hairs. Since an infant cannot make an informed choice about what to put in their body - its the job of it's parent to make that choice for them which is why I put or that of your child in parentheses. Wanting something has nothing to do with the point - which is informed CONSENT. I don't WANT to do or take certain things because they may physically hurt or whatever, but I can make an informed choice to do or take that thing that causes me pain because I feel it's in my best interest, but it's still my choice. The issue is being forced to do something against one's will. I think you are looking at the analogy a bit to literally - but to each his own I suppose.

 

She is the one who used the word rape. She could have just said assault, but she didn't.  She even used the words "full penetration". 

 

Even an administrator at the AVN page said "“I disagree with the rape analogy, but the forcible administration of a vaccine? Vaccines are not compulsory – yet.” 

 

Many people, including people that are anti vaccine were offended by her comments.  

 

She even had to offer an apology later on in the comments “Guys, I apologize if anyone was offended with the rape analogy. I take the issue of rape VERY seriously as two very close family members were raped…”

 

Definition of rape "– noun
; 1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse;
 2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person; 
3. statutory rape: 
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside; 5. Archaic: the act of seizing and carrying off by force." 

 

For instance, if someone held an adult down and stabbed them with a needle it would not be considered rape.  It would be assault. 

 

In any case, the father wanted his child to be vaccinated.  Why should the mother's opinion hold more weight than the fathers? They are both the child's parents. 

 

It wasn't just a simple case of a court coming into a home and vaccinating against both parent's will. 

post #39 of 56
Using rape as an analogy is abhorrent regardless of what you are comparing. Being sexually violated is not remotely equivilent to being poked with a needle against your will. The original author used it for shock value and it is shocking because of the poor taste of employing a rape analogy. It could be an assault but the author didn't use that word because it isn't as shocking as comparing it to rape. I mean if someone stabs me with a knife (hereby penetrating my body with a knife, I wasn't raped I was assaulted. BIG DIFFERENCE. I agree rape analagy is BARF.

In addition it does the movement she is trying to advance a GREAT disservice. By comparing vaccination to rape the author make themselves look like a tone deaf extermist who is completely out of touch with reality.It makes questioning vaccines easier to dismiss when you can say "yeah they comparing vaccinations to rape" and everyone rolls their eyes and the ridiculousnesst. It is compounded when a rape analogy is defended.
post #40 of 56
My child and future DS are and will not be vaccinated and I think the rape analogy is BARF worthy. It doesn't help the movement and halts communication between the two sides, both of whom care about the welfare of their children. All it does is serve to inflame. Dislike big time!!
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