Bob Sears’ personal attacks on Paul Offit – anti-vaccine evidence

On March 13, 2015 Dr. Bob Sears, a California antivaccine physician, wrote a post on Facebook attacking Dr. Paul Offit, pediatrician, vaccine inventor, scientist, vaccine advocate and educator.

Dr. Sears wrote:

A FAILED ATTEMPT TO CHANGE HIS NAME FROM DR. PROFIT TO DR. PROPHET

Everyone’s favorite infectious disease doctor tried to write a compelling argument as to why parents should not have religious freedom to decline vaccines, and the New York Times shot it down. Here’s a link to the Time’s review. So, sorry to help publicize this waste of trees, but the more people who know that this vaccine advocate doesn’t care about religious freedom in the United States the better. Enjoy!
Dr. Bob.

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The predictable result was a series of comments calling Dr. Paul Offit a variety of names and wishing a variety of harms on him. As of seven hours from the post going up, comments calling Dr. Offit “a self serving creep who gets a bully pulpit to promote his personal financial interest,” “jerk”, “downright evil”, “a disgusting psychopath”, and other outlandish comments were not moderated by Dr. Sears or anyone else.

Another comment asked people to post reviews about Dr. Offit’s book on Amazon. Two reviews were placed there showing clearly the commentators have not read the book, both including personal attacks. Those two comments were also left in place.

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Nine hours after the post went up, Dr. Bob commented on it on another issue:

sears-facebook-3

He did not, however, remove the attacking comments.

Attacks on Dr. Offit are a regular staple on other anti-vaccine sites. NVIC periodically puts up a picture of Dr. Offit – whether or not it has anything to do with the article accompanying it – and allows its followers to engage in substantial abuse with little moderation (in at least one case, death threats were left up until a request to remove them was sent to the central organization. Age of Autism regularly publishes articles attacking Dr. Offit and allows its members to launch vicious personal attacks against him.

If Dr. Bob really wants to claim he’s not anti-vaccine – as he did in previous posts – following in these footsteps is a bad idea. It is also unprofessional. Dr. Sears does not like the fact that Dr. Offit criticized his book (Dr. Offit and Ms. Moser’s criticism can be found here; Dr. Sears’ blog post written in response can be found here).

Indeed, Dr. Sears has accused Dr. Offit’s article of being writing lies about him in the past:

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But allowing his anger to lead him into childish name calling, and allowing his followers to post the kind of comments typical to extreme anti-vaccine sites does not fit his claims of not being anti-vaccine. It’s also extremely unprofessional. There are ways professionals criticize. This isn’t one of them.

Dr. Sears’ behavior in the past was problematic. In the middle of an outbreak, he misrepresented the risks of measles, downplaying them in ways that were simply misleading. His book, too, by playing into parents’ fears and providing inaccurate information, could mislead parents into not vaccinating, or at least skipping or delaying vaccines.

And in recent times, Dr. Bob Sears’ calls for action against the pending legislation in California (SB277) focused on directing people to anti-vaccine organizations like NVIC.

Update – a personal attack using an epithet coined and used by anti-vaccine activists against another pediatrician, unleashing and allowing a series of invective-filled, hostile comments left unmoderated – Bob Sears behavior fits comfortably with that of the anti-vaccine movement. The fact that he felt comfortable to engage in it also suggests he sees his frame of reference, and his support base, as belonging squarely in the anti-vaccine camp – and not its moderate edges.

Editor’s note – this article was first published in October 2015. It has been updated to fix broken links and update current information.

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss
This article is by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy and the law. 

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.
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  • HelpWithAluminum

    Hi. I guess you can call me a skeptic and a new dad. Can you please explain why Dr. Sears is mistaken about aluminum, or what information he has missed that shows that aluminum in vaccines is safe? Thank you.

    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/vaccines/vaccine-faqs

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  • Spencer James Smith

    and skeptical raptor didnt know the difference between aluminum in food and aluminum in vaccines. also the vaccines still contain mercury except at a lower dose and simply not as a preservative. but it is still there.

    “1. Contrary to the assertions of Oz, Hyman, and Kennedy, thimerosal has not been removed from childhood vaccinations; it’s still there. The FDA changed the rules so vaccine manufacturers do not have to include thimerosal on the label as an ingredient unless it is used as a preservative. According to the FDA, if thimerosal is used in the manufacturing process but it is not used as a preservative, the vaccine can be labeled “thimerosal-free” when that is not the case. You can read more about this semantic trickery and what it really means for your child here. The point is, several vaccines given to infants and children still contain thimerosal, including the DTaP vaccine, DT vaccine, Hib (ACTHib, TriHIBit) and Meningococcal vaccine.Click this link and scroll down in the vaccine excipients list until you get to thimerosal. (On your way to “thimerosal,” you might want to also notice all the other toxic ingredients and the vaccines that contain them.)

    2. In addition to the problems with the FDA rule change, which allows vaccine-manufacturers to lie about the fact that their vaccines still contain thimerosal, Dr. Oz and his guests missed the fact that the meningococcal vaccine given to children age two years and older contains the same amount of thimerosal (50 mcg.) as the multi-dose flu shots they are so concerned about. Click this link and go to section 11, on page 17 of the Menomune manufacturer’s insert.”

    here is the link – http://vaxtruth.org/2014/09/dr-oz-flu-shots/

  • Spencer James Smith

    http://www.omsj.org/corruption/cfrmap . infant death mortality rate and vaccine correlation and also “Those countries where vaccines are given routinely or forced upon children and their parents, often under threat of law, experience the lion’s share of communicable diseases. Why? What’s happened with “herd immunity”?” http://www.omsj.org/corruption/cfrmap

  • Spencer James Smith

    possibly one day all you people will realize you have been deceived.

  • Karrie Delaney

    Well he obviously didn’t read the book, as it really wasn’t about vaccines. But as I pointed out on his FB page, it’s actually the likes of Dr Bob and his followers who will cause compulsory vaccination.
    Having actually read Dr. Offit’s book, I know that the only time parents had to vax against their will was during an outbreak. Perhaps the irony is lost on the peddlers of misinformation, but at this rate it won’t be the vaccine / science advocates who tear down this privileged concept of “health freedom”. But, promoting pseudoscience and persuading parents to not vax on schedule will destroy herd immunity, and at some point “enough” children will die and the government will be forced to intervene for the protection of the greater community.

  • Kathy

    One wonders how someone with such a tendency to act like an immature 12 year old juvenile delinquent could get through medical school.

    • Apparently you haven’t met med students. Heh.

      Bob Sears has to protect his income stream.

      • Kathy

        Geez, his dad managed to make a lot of money off his books without being a crazy asshole. I actually love his dad’s books! Helped me a ton when my girls were babes.

      • lilady R.N.

        That’s Sears’ “business plan”. His vaccine book is replete with misinformation about childhood vaccines and the serious, oftentimes deadly, vaccine-preventable-diseases. He, and the other hundreds of other practitioners who are listed on Dr. Bob’s “Vaccine Friendly Doctors” list, pander to vaccine-phobic parents and then provide those same parents with faulty information about vaccines.

        http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/vaccines/find-vaccine-friendly-doctor-near-you

        I “don’t do Facebook” and I “don’t do Twitter”…but I did nail Dr. Sears on the Ho-Po about his deliberately non-vaccinated patient who was the index case responsible for the 2008 San Diego measles outbreak:

        http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/27/dr-bob-sears-vs-seth-mnookin-measles-out/

      • gardenweasel

        Really. Please, tell us how much money Dr. pr-Offitt has made off of vaccines (I’m sure he is totally unbiased by the $100,000,000 or so he’s made), and we can compare it to Dr. Sears “income stream”. You people are unbelieveable. Don’t sprain anything patting each other on the back.

        • lilady R.N.

          Why is the payment Dr. Offit received (along with two co-inventors), for the development of one vaccine, any of your business weasel?

          What price would you put on each child’s life who have benefited by receiving rotavirus vaccines?

          http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_rota.asp

          “Before rotavirus vaccines were available, rotavirus was the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and young children in the United States and worldwide. Almost all children were infected by age 5 years. Before vaccine was introduced in the United States, rotavirus was responsible each year for about 3 million episodes of gastroenteritis, 410,000 physician visits, 205,000–272,000 emergency department visits, 55,000–70,000 hospitalizations, and between 20 and 60 deaths among children younger than age 5 years….”

          Where did you hear that Dr. Offit has made $100,000,000 off vaccine(s)?

          • gardenweasel

            When I was a child there was no rotavirus vaccine and no one in my world died from it. (I’m 62) Over 70 children per year die choking on hot dogs. 108 people have died from the measles vaccine in the last 10 years. What is your point? Where should your outrage be directed??? I can’t believe the ignorance of younger people. We had 5 vaccines when I was a child. Please show me the data showing that children were dropping dead from disaease in the 50s and 60s. I’d love to see it. 60 deaths per year as opposed to the number of permanent brain injuries and autism and potentially fatal food allergies?? Really??? Welcome to life. some children are always going to die. Deliberately injecting ALL children witih potentially fatal and permanently damaging crap for the sake of pharmaceutical company profits is hardly a noble crusade. I know better. I lived in a different world. As for the $100,000,000, I may be a little high, but if Dr. Offit would tell us his stake in the rotavirus vaccine there would be no doubt, would there? We do know this — “Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia earned millions of dollars as part of a $182-million sale by the hospital of its worldwide royalty interest in the Merck Rotateq vaccine. The amount of income distributed to Offit could be as high as $46 million. Offit has refused to say how much he made from the vaccine.
            The high price placed on the patents raises concerns over Offit’s use of his former position on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to help create the market for rotavirus vaccine — effectively, to vote himself rich.

            Offit’s claim to a share of the profits from Rotateq revenues is based on his role as a listed inventor on the cluster of patents that protect Merck’s vaccine. Paul Offit had a great personal interest in Rotateq’s commercial success, and more than any other individual in the world he found himself in a position to directly influence that success.

            Unlike most other patented products, the market for mandated childhood vaccines is created by the recommendation of an appointed body, ACIP. From 1998 to 2003, Offit served as a member of ACIP.”

            His hands are hardly clean in the matter. Hey, knock yourself out. Vaccinate yourself, vaccinate your kids, vaccinate your freaking houseplants if it makes you feel better. Just don’t tell me I need to inject my family with this toxic crap. I know from personal experience that it isn’t necessary. If there is any choice between rotavirus, or measles, or chickenpox, pertussis, whatever, or autism, food allergies, permanent brain damage — I’ll take the freaking measles or any of the others any day of the week. I had the chickenpox, mumps, and measles as a kid. Oh, the horror!! I had to stay home from school for a week and watch television. I don’t know how I survived. Gad, do you people ever question the word of people that are making billions of dollars off of your ignorance?? I pity you fools.

            • lilady R.N.

              You’re getting your data about MMR vaccine deaths from the VAERS database…which is a passive reporting system that is contaminated with reports from all sorts of “reporters”, including those individuals like you, who read anti-vaccine “stuff” on the internet. Every serious adverse event reported to VAERS is fully investigated; there have been no reported deaths from MMR vaccine during the past ten years…or ever

              http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/properly-evaluating-vaccine-mortality/

              The Vaccine Court was set up to award damages for injuries caused by vaccines and in spite of the far lower burden of proof than exists in every States’ civil courts, no award for autism, for “fatal food allergies” (?) for autoimmune diseases…or any other childhood disorders or disabilities…in spite of the pseudoscience you read on Age of Autism, the NVIC, rense.com, or the pig farmer’s website (whale.to).

              “As for the $100,000,000, I may be a little high, but if Dr. Offit would tell us his stake in the rotavirus vaccine there would be no doubt, would there? We do know this — “Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia earned millions of dollars as part of a $182-million sale by the hospital of its worldwide royalty interest in the Merck Rotateq vaccine. The amount of income distributed to Offit could be as high as $46 million. Offit has refused to say how much he made from the vaccine.”

              Heh. You “may be a little high about Dr. Offit’s $100,000,000 share of the Rotateq vaccine which he developed along with the two other vaccine researchers”…you said a mouthful and are parroting the crank journalists at Age of Autism.

              Your accusation that Dr. Offit voted for the approval of his Rotateq rotavirus vaccine while he was a member of the ACIP is a patent lie…promulgated by Dan Olmsted. During his tenure on the ACIP, Dr. Offit recused himself from casting a vote for or against the original rotavirus vaccine (Rotashield)…yet another lying lie from Mr. Olmsted which he posted on his crank anti-vaccine blog, Age of Autism:

              http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2009/09/14/paul-offit-explains-the-money-side-of-the-rotavirus-vaccine-he-worked-on/

              If I am wrong about your sources for your defamatory, libelous statement about Dr. Paul Offit, show me the sources you used to defame and libel Dr. Offit. I’m always willing to listen to other opinions…and I’ll be awaiting those sources.

            • lilady R.N.

              One more think for you to digest, weasel.

              This chart shows the decrease in disease incidence (mortality) of children who suffered through, and who died from serious vaccine-preventable diseases…before effective and safe vaccines were developed and licensed to prevent those diseases:

              https://www.behance.net/gallery/2878481/Vaccine-Infographic

              P.S. A new medical school graduate could have a long illustrious career and never see a child who is fully vaccinated following the CDC/AAP Recommended Childhood Vaccine, who is infected with those serious vaccine-preventable diseases, which you casually dismiss as “benign”… during his/her 40 year career.

              I despise you know-nothing crank anti-vaxxers/conspiracists who regurgitate the junk science you read about on the internet.

            • Because when you were young rotavirus wasn’t clearly identified for the gastrointestinal diseases of children. In the United States, every year, before initiation of the rotavirus vaccination programme, the virus caused about 2.7 million cases of severe gastroenteritis in children, almost 60,000 hospitalizations, and around 37 deaths each year. That counts as serious.

              Worldwide, more than 450,000 children under five years of age still die from rotavirus infection each year, see a real peer reviewed paper that refutes your “beliefs.” In the United States, before initiation of the rotavirus vaccination recommendation, rotavirus caused about 2.7 million cases of severe gastroenteritis in children, almost 60,000 hospitalizations, and around 37 deaths each year. That’s a lot.

              So, unless you want to go back to a world where children die, continue to make up lies about Paul Offit, American Hero, and Hero to all children of the world.

              And if his vaccine was developed by the university, then they own the patent. He may receive a portion of the proceeds, depending on his agreement with them.

              Your logical fallacy that people are easily bought out is laughable and implies how seriously ridiculous your own morality is. So are we to imply that if you had any ambition and intellect, which seems to be lacking, the proceeds would make you into an immoral, unethical, sociopathic evil person. Just because you’re bought out for trinkets doesn’t mean the rest of us more moral, ethical, lacking borderline personality disorders may not sell our minds and bodies for such a cheap price.

              Bring one piece of evidence that Paul Offit, American Hero, EVER used his wealth to harm children. It better be really good evidence, and not your crap you push, like all the lies above.

            • Spencer James Smith

              and skeptical raptor didnt know the difference between aluminum in food and aluminum in vaccines. also the vaccines still contain mercury except at a lower dose and simply not as a preservative. but it is still there. his argument on a comment i saw was “you get aluminum from breast milk and food”. yet there is a difference between that, and aluminum being injected into your blood in the form of an adjuvant. so keep listening to your holy expert.

            • Niegol

              What is according to you this difference between aluminium in food and in vaccines? Ive seen you post that a few times, but no reasoning or evidence for it yet.

            • mola2alex

              You inject vaccines into your blood? I don’t think anyone does that!

            • Katia

              That’s what I love about you pro-disease people. Deaths from disease are nothing to your crew. Yet a complication rate from vaccine so low it can’t be calculated is unacceptable! Gimme a break!

            • Dorit Reiss

              I’m glad no one you know died from rotavirus, though since most deaths appear to be in young infants, chances are you wouldn’t know. The fact that other things can be harmful is not a reason not to prevent preventable deaths and harms.

              The evidence is, in fact, that thousands of children were dying each year from Hib disease, pneumonococcal, and others from measles, mumps and chicken pox. See: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=209448 tables 1 &2. I’m glad you survived. Of course, those that didn’t can’t speak up, but that’s a poor reason to dismiss them.

              As mentioned already, your measles vaccines numbers have no basis. https://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/vaccine-injuries-from-the-mmr-a-review-of-vaers/

              Again, you seem, for some reason, to oppose someone being paid for his life work on a life-saving product. I hope you extend your hostility to capitalism to alternative practitioners as well.

            • annie

              A couple of comments:
              At age 62, you are blessed to have never had someone close to you who died from rotavirus. You are blessed to never have someone close t you die from polio, or have permanent physical disabilities. You are blessed to not have anyone in your family who is blind or deaf from measles or chicken pox.

              Just because it did not happen in your small circle, doesn’t mean that it did not ravage hundreds of thousands, even millions of others.

              You completely discount those who are injured, or who died from those illnesses as “oh well, such is life.”

              Yet, you have allowed yourself to be suckered in by pseudo-science and misinformation, peddled by the likes of Bob Sears (I refuse to call him doctor), and anti-vax gurus like Mercola, Tenpenny, and Humphries, and out and out nut jobs like Blaylock, Adams and Ji.

              Sadly, I could show you pages of studies, which you won’t believe.
              But, I prefer to believe the thousands of scientists over decades or study, in hundreds of countries, who studied millions of people, over your personal anecdote.

              And as for big pharma? I am darn glad they do what they do!
              What you never take into account, is the millions and billions of dollars spent in research, administration, infrastructure, insurance, and all those other costs. Why do you think all that money is profit? It is not!

              If we waited for the snake oil purveyors mentioned above (Mercola, Tenpenny, Humphries, et all) to actually make a positive medical difference in the world, we would still be starting fire with a rock and a stick and treating illness by snake dancing.

            • kellymbray

              1. “When I was a child there was no rotavirus vaccine and no one in my world died from it.”

              You lived in a small world. “In the United States alone—before initiation of the rotavirus vaccination program—over
              2.7 million cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis occurred annually,
              60,000 children were hospitalised and around 37 died from the results of
              the infection.”

              “During the epidemic in the U.S. between 1962–1965, rubella virus
              infections during pregnancy were estimated to have caused 30,000 still
              births and 20,000 children to be born impaired or disabled as a result
              of CRS”

              The list goes on.

              2. “108 people have died from the measles vaccine in the last 10 years.”

              No they have not. You do not understand how VAERS works.

              3. ” We had 5 vaccines when I was a child. Please show me the data showing
              that children were dropping dead from disaease in the 50s and 60s. ”

              See above.

              4. ” permanent brain injuries and autism and potentially fatal food allergies??”

              Not associated by any reproducible peer reviewed study.

              5. “Welcome to life. some children are always going to die.”

              You are a sick, cynical bastard. The less children that die the better.

              6. ” potentially fatal and permanently damaging crap for the sake of pharmaceutical company profits ”

              There has not been a vaccine related death in the last 20 years. Nor do they cause and real damage except in one in a million cases. vaccines do not make very much money.

              7. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

              Dr. Offit spent the better part of his life working on it with no guarantee of success. He deserves to be paid well for that work. It will save the lives of millions of children around the world. Far more than an ignorant bitter old crank like you will have ever done.

              8. ” I know from personal experience ”

              Science does not work from anecdote. You uneducated personal experience does not mean squat.

            • mola2alex

              Unfortunately, your anecdotal evidence isn’t very convincing. Try harder

        • Dorit Reiss

          Dr. Offit worked for 25 years developing his vaccine, a vaccine that can save hundreds of thousands of lives. I’d say devoting his life to working on a vaccine – with no guarantee of a return – shows commitment. I am glad that he got paid for it, and since he no longer gets royalties, don’t see how anyone can claim it’s a conflict of interests.

          And as justification for Dr. Sears’ unprofessional behavior, Dr. Offit’s payment for his vaccine just doesn’t work.

      • Spencer James Smith

        and skeptical raptor has to protect his pride.

  • Lorraine Murphy

    Sears has really stooped to a new low here, He is a public menace, Dr offit is one of my heroes as are you Dorit and of course Skeptical Raptor, That’s the best he can do in his defence, the exemption will just pave the way for more people not vaccinating, Im in Ireland and Antivax groups or pages were never an issue here until the last couple of months and I have set up a provaccine page, Most of the Antivax profiles in Ireland have bob sears in likes so as well as the others he is doing damage globally. He is completely deluded, This post he has done about Paul Offit has just just shown him for what he is, Maybe some will start to see that now, But I doubt it, He is no better than a cult leader!! Keep up the good work guys x

    • I think Paul Offit’s vaccine that saves 250,000 lives a year puts Offit in the moral high ground. Sears obviously has taken the low ground.

      • Lorraine Murphy

        Very much so!

      • annie

        Well, you know….. we could wait for those AV gurus (Mercola, Tenpenny, Humphries, Adams, Blaylock, Ji) to come up with some amazing new preventative medication instead of selling their snake oil.
        Oh who am I kidding – if it was up to them to advance medical technology, we would still be using whiskey as antiseptic and anesthetic.

  • Craig Payne

    I guess it says a lot when anti-vaxx psychopaths have a ‘call to arms’ to post negative book reviews when they have not even read the book. Is that all they got left?

    • I keep saying this over and over. If you don’t have evidence supporting your ignorance and stupidity, then go for the personal attack. Next up, attacks on Paul Offit’s ethnicity.

  • Elsmarmo

    I am almost ashamed to admit that I check his FB page every day to see what new nonsense he has to dish out. I am actually shocked at what I read and how he fails to moderate the most vile and obviously false claims by his many supporters. He is clearly anti-vaccine. Is there no basis at all for his license to be revoked or at least some action to be taken against him? He clearly has many followers and the things he says he says for nothing other than personal gain. His frequent calls to action for his supporters to lobby legislators against CA SB 277 are appalling. He once said that if you don’t have a full time job, make this your full time job. Unreal.

  • I do not understand the level of hatred and scorn heaped upon a man who has dedicated his life to helping children. Dr. Offit is a bloody hero along the likes of Jonas Salk and Louis Pasteur.

    • Kathy

      As mum to one baby who had rotavirus and one who got to avoid it thanks to Offit’s vaccine, I concur!

    • Spencer James Smith

      dr. offit is none of those things. unless he actually believes you can inject yourself with 10 000 vaccines at once and be fine.

      • Wait. You think he’d be a hero if he really thought you could inject 10,000 vaccines and be fine? Is this because you know this isn’t really what he said?

        • Spencer James Smith

          Well I guess what I said didn’t make much sense. Or maybe what I’m saying is I really don’t believe you can safely inject yourself with 10 000 vaccines at once. So if he really believes that then well I don’t think I would be as angry toward him. But if he knows that you can’t safely do that (In my opinion) and is just exaggerating and or flat out lying, then it pisses me off.

          And if he believes you can do that, maybe he should prove it on an infant relative of his.

          • Sweet, tap-dancing, Baby Jesus. What is with you anti-science types loving to harm children? If it’s not wanting to pump bleach into their butts to “cure” autism, it’s wanting to give them pureed almonds instead of their mother’s milk or formula.

            Dr. Offit never said anything about giving anyone 10,000 vaccines at once. That is a cherry-picked line from on of his books where he talks about someone else conducting a study. Click this link: http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2011/09/did-paul-offit-md-publish-a-study-proving-the-100000-vaccines-at-once-claim.html and look at the big picture in the middle. Those are the good doctor’s actual words.

            • mola2alex

              Spencer has clearly only spent time on anti-vaxx sites vs actually understanding the lies and misinformation he is spreading.

  • Sara Lucy

    Dr. Bob infuriates me. I left this comment on his page:
    “It’s much easier to write a non evidence-based book about an alternative vaccine schedule under the guise of improving safety than it is to spend decades actually working on a safe vaccine. Dr. Offit wrote about dangerous rejection of medicine *after* having made a huge contribution to the field of pediatric medicine. That’s significant.

    Even if his book is personal opinion and isn’t universally well-received, he has still made a huge positive impact for children in his career. He gives some poignant examples of faith-based medical neglect in the book that anyone would be wise to pay attention to. I don’t think he suggests anywhere that we go to him for theological guidance. Rather, as an outsider, he finds it baffling that people of faith can sit and watch children die in serious pain from preventable and treatable illnesses.

    Whereas cranial surgery for a preventable ear infection that spreads to the bones is A-ok in your book (literally!) as long as the parents are ok with it.”

    • Sara Lucy

      This is the quote from Dr. Bob Sears’s The Vaccine Book: “A six-month old unvaccinated infant had a pneumococcal ear infection that spread to the bones behind the ear. She required surgery and IV antibiotics. Afterward, I asked the parents if they regretted their decision not to vaccinate. They said no. They were both well-educated professionals, had done a lot of reading on this issue, and still felt comfortable with their decision.”

      Dr. Offit also compassionately tells a story about a pair of well-educated Christian Scientist parents who made a decision that led to suffering (and in that case, death) of their child. He doesn’t pat them on the back for being so well-educated and stubborn. Instead he uses it to show how belief systems can trump education, and there needs to be some rational basis for protecting children besides deference to their parent’s irrational beliefs. A point well-made, in my opinion.

      • lilady R.N.

        Sara Lucy, that ear infection you refer to, which affects the mastoid bone, was very common before the development of antibiotics; it was a major cause of death back then. Treatment involves prompt diagnosis and IV antibiotics, to prevent hearing loss, meningitis and/or brains abscess.

        http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments

        I’ve noticed many parents who reject vaccines also reject antibiotics in favor of “alternative medicines” prescribed by quack practitioners.

        • Sara Lucy

          That is just awful. I don’t see how this child’s DOCTOR can dismiss the serious errors in the parent’s decisions. For all we know he actively encouraged 1) not vaccinating and 2) avoiding early abx treatment. He sure seems to embrace the decision, even after the fact.

          And now puts down other doctors who speak out against that kind of neglect.

    • Dorit Reiss

      I think you’ve captured the heart of Dr. Offit’s bookend what he’s trying to do. It’s a problem that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and I hope the book raises awareness. But regardless of what people think of the book (and I admit I think it’s very, very good so far), a personal attack like this is not justified.

  • Katia

    We have a name for people like that in Pittsburgh, but it probably won’t make it through the filters, so I’ll say, “what a jerk Sears is”.

    • Few filters here. Say what you want. No personal information or misogynist words allowed. 🙂

      • Katia

        Here’s the Pittsburghese word:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagoff

        • Tony Snark

          That one’s pretty tame. I was thinking more like

          ASSHAT

        • Too mellow. I used to hear it when I lived in New York, and wondered what it meant. LOL

          • Katia

            Some other boards I’ve posted on don’t like it!

        • Jeliwobble

          That’s quite pleasant in comparison with some British ones. My favourites at the moment are Cockwomble and Twatbadger. Both sum up Bob Sear’s particular brand of pro-disease shyster.

  • Linda Tock

    Dr. Bob is finally letting his true colors show through – an anti-vaccine crank who should have his license pulled.

  • It is ironic that he would call him Dr. Prophet. Since he uses propaganda and misinformation to scare parents into following non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules and his followers ignore all evidence that vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary, it is almost starting to look like he is leading a little anti-vaccine cult.

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