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Are vaccinations bad? And homeopathy.

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arf
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Nov 27 2006 00:20
Are vaccinations bad? And homeopathy.

Split from AIDS/HIV thread

Thora wrote:
Talking of medical conspiracies, would this be a good time to share some stuff I've been reading about why vaccinations are bad?

There's masses of evidence against various vaccinations. Some may be useful, some are irrelevant, and some may be harmful. It would be naive to believe that they are all necessary, or that the medical industry itself is completely trustworthy or "scientific" or evidence based.

What have you been reading Thora?

arf
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Nov 26 2006 23:06

This comment has been moved here.

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pingtiao
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Nov 26 2006 23:15

There is evidence "against" pretty much anything that doesn't give a binary answer but deals with aggregate effects on populations. The media and untrained/non-statistically literate people pick up on some of these studies and give them much more attention than other studies that might show different conclusions.

What matters is to fund enough studies to be able to show via a meta-anysis a decent level of proof, and then make decisions based on that. If I am going to trust anyone to tell me what is and is not safe to put in my body (and the bodies of my kids- when I have them) it will be the evil medical community, who, whilst undoubtably flawed, are still infinitely more reliable and trustworthy than untrained activists and lefties.

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 00:15

Arf - can you recommend any links/reading regarding vaccination? I want to understand the issue better but the amount of information out there is a little overwhelming.

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Steven.
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Nov 27 2006 00:22
arf wrote:
There's masses of evidence against various vaccinations.

Also, if your beliefs are based on evidence rather than kneejerk anti-doctor, anti-science views then of course there is far more evidence on the side of vaccinations generally being very useful.

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Serge Forward
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Nov 27 2006 00:53

Most of the stuff I've seen against vaccinations has been based on, at best, very minimal scientific evidence.

petey
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Nov 27 2006 01:25

as i understand flu vaccinations: apparently, each flu is slightly different, and each fall the vaccine makers have to
guess what flu is coming, and prepare a vaccine that they hope will fight that flu. sometimes they miss, with the result that people have reactions to a shot which is doing nothing for them. but this obviously doesn't mean that vaccination is a bad idea.

arf
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Nov 27 2006 01:27

Have you made a serious effort to look?

John - that's simply not true. There are many very well qualified people who fall on opposing sides of this argument, but the great majority of doctors have done no real research of their own. It would be impossible for any doctor to be able to do that for every illness or for every drug or for every treatment, they rely on each other and they rely on specialists. Specialists contradict each other all the time, they also rely on each other for information and advice. They all rely on us as patients to give them adequate and correct information about our personal condition, circumstances, and symptoms - and that can be where most problems start.

The best any person can do when faced with illness of any sort - and that includes the decision of whether or not to vaccinate - is to collect as much information, from as many sources, as possible on their own particular circumstance.

Thora - It would all depend whether you want general critiques of the medical industry, or of a specific part of the industry, of vaccinations in general, of a specific vaccination and/or illness. I'd grab on to something specifically relevant to you (because that way you're curiosity and interest is at it's peak) and research the hell out of it, have a few different sources handy at the same time to go back and forth, cross examining them almost. You'd be surprised at the sort of information available online - don't just stick to articles or websites - join academic and support groups of academics and practitioners, for example if you were pregnant, there are a ton of groups where midwives and independent midwives and expectant mothers and people with an interest in childbirth and maternity care all come together to share information and experience. I find those sources just as valuable as any other type of information.

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JDMF
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Nov 27 2006 08:21

sure there are varying levels of support for different vaccines, but on the whole the issue can be compared to climate change denialists, harmfullness of tobacco and holocaust denialist in level of scientific consensus. It is worrying that vaccines and public health are something where many people are willing to side with the fringe whereas they would never side with similar kind of denialist fringe in other serious issues.

I have my theory why this is happening: vaccines are a classic case of individual risk vs public health. In todays increasingly individualised world collective thinking is dying. Vaccines get a hit as well, they are undoubtedly useful for public health, but carry a small individual risk for side effects etc. In this case the best scenario for an individual is that you refuse to take it (for yourself or for your children) but most other people will take them so you will reap the benefits anyway.

This is not a blanket approval for each and every vaccination - or sometimes cost cuttings may effect the quality and type of the vaccination as well.

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Khawaga
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Nov 27 2006 08:25

Homeopathy has a major issue with vaccination, lots of articles, studies and research about that in the homeopathic literature.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 08:31

i have a major issue with homeopathy, but i won't derail wink

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Steven.
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Nov 27 2006 10:19
atlemk wrote:
Homeopathy has a major issue with vaccination, lots of articles, studies and research about that in the homeopathic literature.

Homeopathy is made-up voodoo bullshit that rips off the money from desperate, gullible and ill people.

arf - yes I agree with JDMF. Of course some experts contradict each other, but over time as evidence mounts up one way or another a consensus is built as it becomes obvious one way is actually correct. So vaccinations are generally useful, HIV causes AIDS, climate change is happening, evolution happened, etc.

"Progressives" who claim things like homeopathy work or vaccinations are some dastardly plot can't do so without having to acknowledge that they can't then argue that climate change is happening, because they've thrown out the principle of evidence.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 11:16
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Homeopathy is made-up voodoo bullshit that rips off the money from desperate, gullible and ill people.

Not always, it has helped some close family members of mine very much. For these people they were taking drugs for their symptoms of a disease/illness, then a few months later needed more drugs to combat the side effects of the first set of drugs. My nan is on 6 diff pills a day, 4 to combat side effects of the other 2. When they went to a homopathic practiciner they worked on the causes of the illness, something their GPs didnt give two hoots about.

The best is a mix of both 'scientific' and 'non-scientific' (wrong words I think because the basis of some homopathy has been shown time and time again by scientific tests). To deny that some scientific practices/methods will never work is stupid, as is to deny homopathy can work, which is also stupid.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 11:42
powertotheimagination wrote:
The best is a mix of both 'scientific' and 'non-scientific' (wrong words I think because the basis of some homopathy has been shown time and time again by scientific tests). To deny that some scientific practices/methods will never work is stupid, as is to deny homopathy can work, which is also stupid.

iirc there was a thread on this a while back, with scant (non-anecdotal) evidence that homeopathy is anything but medieval superstition ...

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 11:53
powertotheimagination wrote:
The best is a mix of both 'scientific' and 'non-scientific' (wrong words I think because the basis of some homeopathy has been shown time and time again by scientific tests). To deny that some scientific practices/methods will never work is stupid, as is to deny homeopathy can work, which is also stupid.

I'd mostly go with this. I used to never go to the doctor, only to a homeopath, and certainly within my family it has in many cases proven effective where doctors have failed - an example being my sister suffering from the after-effects of food poisoning for several years and being basically ignored by doctors, taken to a homeopath and treated immediately with the result of a rapid, drastic improvement in health. Whether this is a placebo effect or not is certainly debateable, I'm not sure where I stand on it really but the fact is that the result is, certainly in my experience, that it will make you not ill any more, which is surely the point of any medical (in the broadest sense) treatment.

I think one of the main things is that homeopaths approach you as a person and get to know you and your medical history (as in actually know, not just have it on a piece of paper somewhere - my homeopath probably knows my medical history better than I do and remembers virtually everything she's ever prescribed me before) before they'll even think about prescribing anything, many are also trained counsellors, and certainly in my experience will supply a phone number, postal address and email address so that you can contact them at any time after the appointment. After a visit to my homeopath, which usually will last at least an hour talking about not only what the specific problem and symptoms are but also what's been troubling me in life, how my family is, how my diet's been and so on, I'll feel emotionally better and more clear-headed; I've no doubt that this contributes significantly to getting better.

Compare this with GPs who have very little time to talk about anything, often have no clue about your medical history, who have often never met you before (this is invariably my experience being registered at the university practise where I've never been able to see the same doctor twice, and at my home health centre where I now have to register for temporary residence and also often have to see a different doctor each time), often have medical students sitting in on appointments (which ain't nice if you've got cystitis and the student's just sitting there staring[/anecdote]), generally seem like they're just impatient to get you out of their office, will usually fob you off with "bed rest and paracetamol", and wouldn't have a clue who you were if you needed to contact them again after treatment.

Perhaps I've just happened to have encountered a brilliant homeopath and awful doctors, but to me there seems to be a clear difference. The overall experience of visiting a homeopath should serve as an ideal for how conventional doctors work, in my opinion, no doubt this is a question of funding and need for better management in the health service. Does anyone have experience of private conventional treatment?

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Nov 27 2006 12:00
powertotheimagination wrote:
Not always, it has helped some close family members of mine very much.

Chance and placebo effect.

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something their GPs didnt give two hoots about.

Conjecture. And of course looking at the causes of a problem is not "homeopathy", it's just common sense.

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The best is a mix of both 'scientific' and 'non-scientific'(wrong words I think because the basis of some homopathy has been shown time and time again by scientific tests).

No it hasn't. The basis of it has no evidence whatsoever (that giving someone basically poison which is diluted so much you're left with water is going to cure them roll eyes ). And there's no evidence that it's clinically effective either.

If something is "non-scientific" meaning there's no evidence of it working, then it shouldn't be used except in trials.

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To deny that some scientific practices/methods will never work is stupid, as is to deny homopathy can work, which is also stupid.

well not it's not, because lots of studies have been done into homeopathy show that it doesn't really work any better than a placebo.

Speaking in favour of companies selling diluted nothing which is not medically beneficial in any way to sick people, is stupid.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:03
John. wrote:
And of course looking at the causes of a problem is not "homeopathy", it's just common sense.

Which a hell of a lot of doctors appear not to have.

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Nov 27 2006 12:03
Grace wrote:
Does anyone have experience of private conventional treatment?

This is a good question. The stuff you say above about your homeopath is good. The bad thing appears to be just the homeopathy. It's not really the fault of conventional medicine or science that the NHS is shit.

Was this homeopath you saw paid for/private?

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:08
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Chance and placebo effect.

Nah, believe me it was something more than that.

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Conjecture. And of course looking at the causes of a problem is not "homeopathy", it's just common sense.

You must have a really nice GP, or be private, as most public GPs couldnt give two hoots about any 'root' causes of problems. It was only through going to a homopathic practiciner that my cousin was found to be highly allergic to common household cleaning products, before this they were given a selection of pills to treat their symptoms. I also was helped alot with back problems through a homopathic practiciner, when my GP vhermently denied they would be any good. My aunt has also been helped with her psorisis through homopathic treatments, after he skin grew used to the cream the GP gave. If you want I can give you many more practical, physical examples of homopathic medicine helping people.

Quote:
Speaking in favour of companies selling diluted nothing which is not medically beneficial in any way to sick people, is stupid.

Your missing the point here, I could of easily have said 'speaking up in favour of multinational corperations selling legal drugs that treat diseases that are very easily cured by basic lifestyle elimination, is stupid', but I didnt, as the issue isnt about who sells what, its about the basic validity of homopathy, and the base idea is that some homopathic practiciners are very good, some are crap, same with GPs, surgeons and other 'scientific' practiciners.

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Nov 27 2006 12:08
John. wrote:
The stuff you say above about your homeopath is good. The bad thing appears to be just the homeopathy.

nail, head, hit.

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Nov 27 2006 12:10
powertotheimagination wrote:
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Chance and placebo effect.

Nah, believe me it was something more than that.

comedy gold. ok, chance, placebo effect, AND anecdotal conjecture grin

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:11
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comedy gold. ok, chance, placebo effect, AND anecdotal conjecture

Why is it comedy gold?

Joseph whats your thing about homopathy, you havent really explained much in this thread except some querky comments.

Do you not think conventional medicine is also often down to chance and placebo effect?, or does it always work based on pure biological evidence?

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 12:12

If something helps someone, I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 12:13

i know, i'm going to lunch in a bit so i'm pushed for time and i feel like being dismissively flippant wink

my point is that simply you asserting something doesn't make it so.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:14
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I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

The issue here is the whole field of homopathy is dismissed by some as irrelevant and best, stupid at worst.

Maybe they are afraid of recognising the benefits it can bring to some, for being linked to any weird 'back to nature' types...

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 12:14
Thora wrote:
If something helps someone, I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

sure, but how come radical anti-capitalists suddenly lose their critical faculties when we're dealing with the snake-oil industry?

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:15
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my point is that simply you asserting something doesn't make it so.

Well it made it so for them, very much so.

Joseph I take it you dont have much practical experience with homopathy, or you did and went to a pretty crappy practicioner. You arn't coming across any better than a person who totally dismisses conventional medicine due to a bad drug reaction or dodgy GP.

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Nov 27 2006 12:17
Joseph K. wrote:
powertotheimagination wrote:
Quote:
Chance and placebo effect.

Nah, believe me it was something more than that.

comedy gold. ok, chance, placebo effect, AND anecdotal conjecture grin

Too right.

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...my cousin ... I also ... My aunt ... I can give you many more practical, physical examples of homopathic medicine helping people.

Power, you ever heard the saying "The plural of anecdote is not data"?

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its about the basic validity of homopathy, and the base idea is that some homopathic practiciners are very good, some are crap, same with GPs, surgeons and other 'scientific' practiciners.

No, because evidence-based medicine is proved to work. Ok often it's not applied well due to capital's contraints, we know that. At its root though homopathy [sic ;)] is not valid, it does not work. Some if its practitioners may do other good things but that's irrelevant.

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Nov 27 2006 12:17
powertotheimagination wrote:
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my point is that simply you asserting something doesn't make it so.

Well it made it so for them, very much so.

which has a name. the placebo effect. i mean thats fine, the brain-body can do all sorts of fancy self-healing tricks if properly prompted. doesn't make it "something more than that."

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:18
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Power, you ever heard the saying "The plural of anecdote is not data"?

No, but I work on what I have close experience of.

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At its root though homopathy [sic ] is not valid, it does not work

Can you show some evidence to show that all of homopathy dosent work, dismissing a very large field out of hand is, well as you would say, stupid.
We all know there are dodgy homopathic practiciners, dodgy 'miracle' cures and such, but why should this be the tester for the whole homopathic field? You wouldnt dismiss the whole conventional medical field by a few dodgy drug reactions or dead surgery patients, or would you?

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:20
John. wrote:
The bad thing appears to be just the homeopathy. It's not really the fault of conventional medicine or science that the NHS is shit.

I don't think this is a generalisation that should be made, it varies from case to case. If you don't want to read about cunts, scroll down... I had pretty severe thrush and vaginosis (simultaneously, not pleasant) for roughly 7-8 months, during which time I went regularly to the doctor (influenced actually by anti-homeopathy arguments on here, I thought I'd give it a go), had to have a nasty metal clamp thing shoved in my cunt and get swabbed out each time, would be prescribed the same medication each time, feel better for a couple of days and then itch again until it got too unbearable to not go back to the doctor. Eventually I despaired, had a session with my homeopath, didn't even drop trou let alone get metal stuck in me, addressed the underlying problem, was prescribed a series of treatments as well as advised of non-drug-related methods, and I haven't itched since. Dismiss that as sensationalist balls if you like but, while I wouldn't dismiss it entirely, I don't think conventional medicine is by any means infallible.

John. wrote:
Was this homeopath you saw paid for/private?

Yes, she's an independent practitioner. I know the NHS have started using complementary therapies in some cases but I wouldn't trust them to know what to do given the deficiencies in care and approach that I outlined in my previous post.