Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Increase in autism due to change in definition, not MMR vaccine

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 13 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:112

Rapid Response:

In reply to Tony Floyd.

Dear Sir,

Tony Floyd said:

>>>> The bulk of anti-vaccine arguments just don't hold
water and smack of fringe-element quackery."<<<<

Could Tony Floyd please go through all my contributions on BMJ, and,
using references and verifiable data, prove to me that ANY of my "anti-
vaccine" arguments don't hold water, or "smack of fringe-element

I am no exactly sure what pun Tony Floyd was intending by using
pathguy as some shining knight in armour.

The messages are mixed here.

Can't Mr FLoyd do his own reading and assessments himself?

Why does he seemingly appear so keen to tar everyone here, with
pathguy's sweep of the brush?

The comments above are offensive, coming from a profession which
acknowledges this.

"Many treatments 'unproven'... Dr Tane Taylor said the term
"unproven" was used to describle alternative and complementary medicines,
but the same term could apply to more than 50 percent of what was commonly
known as mainstream medicine... in general practice, 53 percent of what
doctors did, had not be substantiated by randomised controlled trials....
it would seem to be acceptble for doctors to continue practising without
scientific rigour, but not for others....... because one wears a white
coat and a stethoscope and places Dr in front and MBChB behind their name,
it gives them the right to practices unproven therapies without further
study and qualifications ... Dr Taylor said there was no place in modern
medicine for patronising attitudes. "It's pretty preminent unfortunately"
(New Zealand Herald, Thu4rsday, February 21, 2002, page A 7.)

Also from BMJ:

>>> ...only about 15% of medical interventions are supported
by solid scientific evidence...<<<<

>>>Medical ignorance rife"<<< Professor Ann

and try putting Dr Marlys Witte in a search engine and see what comes

Again, BMJ: "These results suggest that adverse events are a serious
source of harm to patients and a large drain on NHS resources. Mome are
major events; others are frequent, minor events that go unnoticed in
routine clinical care, but together have massive economic consequences."

Re preventable medical error: "the cost of the extra days in hospital
needed is running to at least 1 billion pounds a year, said the research
team from University College London..."

"They conclude that the ability ( of physicians) to assess whether
the infectious etiology of RTI is "viral or bacteria" is low and is no
more reliable than tossing a coin." (Brit J Gen Pract. 2001; 51:999-1000 )

Related : "103,000 deaths (in US hospitals) linked to hospital
infections".., along side at least two medical studies that show that
medical profession stil doesn't take either Semelweiss or Lister seriously
when it comes to simple things like washing hands, cleanliness and
sterility. Seems that the old adage of "if you can't see it, its not
there" still runs rampant.

That list could be extensively added to.

Doesn't it seem logical that before a pot points one accusatory
finger at a kettle using statements like "quackery" or "arguments don't
hold water", there should be no fingers pointing right back at them first?


Hilary Butler.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 March 2005
Hilary Butler
freelance journalist
home 1892, New Zealand.