It’s clear that Meryl Dorey, founder of the Australian Vaccine Network, is the very symbol of vaccine denialism, using all sorts of pseudoscientific stupidity to support her unsupportable beliefs. Those beliefs have lead to the various whooping cough, measles, and other infectious disease outbreaks in Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK. Admittedly, she’s not the primary cause of this type of denialism (we can blame Mr. Andy Wakefield for his fraudulent research that lead to Dorey’s particular brand of denialism).
It gets worse. Or funny. Maybe both.
Graham Coghill’s blog, Science or Not (highly recommended for articles rooting out pseudoscience), had a great article about Meryl Dorey entitled, A Meryl Dorey story – or not? He found an interview with Dorey that takes her lunacy to a whole new level.
In any case, Dorey gives the impression whooping cough isn’t all that bad. she says it can be treated with alternative remedies. When her husband and all their children contracted it years ago, they treated it homeopathically. I am quietly appalled. Two years ago, I contracted whooping cough (even though I had been vaccinated as a child: immunity recedes as we age). For three months I suffered from an uncontrollable racking so intense I wept and almost vomited every night. Surely in babies, I suggest to Dorey, the disease is far more dangerous and warrants vaccination.
“If it were me,” she says, “I would use homeopathy.”
“What is in it exactly?” I ask.
“Nothing,” she says, a little mysteriously. “It’s energy medicine, like quantum medicine.” She pauses, then laughs. “I’m not a homeopath, so I’m probably not the best person to tell you exactly how this works.”
But because she is Meryl Dorey, and because she’s here to help, she proceeds to explain it to me anyway.
Just to be clear, homeopathy is just water. It is nothing else. Just water. And if water has some “energy medicine” or “quantum medicine” (invented words which is the hallmark of pseudoscience), then all of the laws of physics and chemistry would require rewriting. Then, all of the homeopaths are smarter than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and every Nobel Prize winning physicist on the planet. If you’re going to beat them on quantum mechanics, you better have some of the best evidence ever. I guess Dorey thinks she smarter than all of them.
Vaccines save lives. The Australian Vaccine Network harms children. Period.