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Marketing based medicine: how bad is it? – On Line Opinion – 7/7/2014

It should be the scandal of the century. It potentially affects the health of almost everyone. Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of Marketing Based Medicine, as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasnt as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

If you bought a new car and there was only a one in twelve chance that it would work properly, how would you feel? And what if there was a one in three chance that it was downright dangerous? Faced by these sorts of statistics, most consumers would be furious. And yet according to an articlein the ‘Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics’, entitled ‘Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs’ this may well be the state of affairs with pharmaceutical products.. The “…..proportion of new products with clinical advantages seems to have moved from about 1 in 8 down to 1 in 12, while the proportion with serious harms has gone up from 1 in 5 towards 1 in 3 .…..”

Strangely a public outcry seems slow coming.

via Marketing based medicine: how bad is it? – On Line Opinion – 7/7/2014.

Did NSW Fair Trading Illegally Leak Private AVN Information?

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In November 2013, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal affirmed that the NSW Office of Fair Trading (OFT) may lawfully order us to change our name. Then, in December, our attempt to process the new name was thwarted when that name was somehow leaked to outside parties. This happened within hours of our payment failing due to an unauthorized access on our credit card. This enabled them to ‘get in first’ and register the name for themselves.

(Note: individuals can register business names immediately, whereas incorporated associations have to wait for OFT to register an official name on their behalf.)

This was not the first time we suspected sensitive information had leaked from OFT. Just one month prior, members of ‘Stop the AVN’ publicised the decision regarding our forced name change (mentioned above) before we ourselves were aware of it. At the time, the only parties with access to this information were OFT and the Tribunal itself. The event in December galvanised our suspicions.

Our contact at the OFT undertook to investigate the alleged leak, but despite this promise, it appears that no investigation has taken place and all communication with our contact has been cut off by the OFT without explanation.

During the past six months, many of our members have asked about the progress of this investigation. Each time, we have had to reply that we were still waiting. To date, we have had no adequate response nor any indication that an investigation has or will take place.

On May 15th of this year (six weeks ago) we issued the Commissioner with a statement of events, and asked for confirmation of its accuracy. We indicated the statement would be used to brief our members about what had occurred thus far.

We have been asked to sit tight ever since while a response could be prepared. And we have, until now. Our final deadline to OFT passed five days ago. The Committee has now decided to go ahead and release the statement.

Below is the letter, complete with the statement and an outline of our concerns. In addition, you will find subsequent correspondence between OFT and AVN.

——————————————————–

May 15, 2014

The Commissioner,
NSW Fair Trading

Ref: Your correspondence of 14/3/2014
by email to commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au

Dear Commissioner,

Regarding the possible leakage from your office of sensitive information concerning our organisation.

Please read the following document and advise as to whether any of the information in the enclosure or the summary (below) is inaccurate. We request your response in writing no later than the close of business on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Should you require more time to respond, please contact us. In response to queries from our members regarding this issue, we intend to inform them using the information in the summary and full-text letter below. If we do not hear from you within this timeframe, we will presume that you agree with these statements and will proceed accordingly.

In summary:

1- No formal investigation took place. It is clear that sensitive information provided by the AVN, somehow flowed from NSW Fair Trading to third parties. Despite the disturbing nature of this situation, NSW Fair Trading has neglected to conduct an investigation.

2- Ms Lunney, our contact at the department, expressed deep concern about what had occurred. We were surprised then to be told that she was unavailable to speak with us subsequently.

3- It seems that someone within NSW Fair Trading did indeed release information to a third party. However, instead of treating this situation with the seriousness it deserved, a carefully-worded letter was sent to the AVN by Mr Stowe, the Commissioner of Fair Trading, giving us assurances of things we hadn’t alleged whilst avoiding those we had.

Kind regards,
Greg Beattie,
President
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc

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Is the NSW Office of Fair Trading leaking privileged information?

Members of Stop the AVN have obtained information that was not in the public arena at least twice in recent months.

The first instance occurred on the 25th of November. When the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) decision was handed down in the case of the AVN against NSW Fair Trading, members of Stop the AVN issued tweets about our loss before we ourselves were informed and before this information was public knowledge. We confirmed with the Registrar at the ADT that the only person who had knowledge of this decision at the time the tweets were issued was the solicitor for NSW Fair Trading.

The second instance occurred in December of 2013.

At 11:36 AM on the 20th of December, Meryl Dorey faxed and emailed a copy of a Form A1 (application to reserve a name) as well as a credit card payment form to the Department of NSW Fair Trading.

Unfortunately, due to an unauthorised access of the AVN’s credit card, the payment was rejected on December 24th.

1- Within hours of the payment failure, members of Stop the AVN had registered the exact same name we had tried to reserve as well as three variations of that name with ASIC.

2- On Boxing Day (December 26th), the AVN’s President, Mr Greg Beattie, received a call from Mr Rick Morton, a journalist with the Australian newspaper, who asked him why our name registration had failed. At this point, we ourselves were unaware of any problem with the payment and Mr Beattie told him as much.

3- On January 2nd, Mr Morton published an article (Appendix A) stating that the AVN had failed to register the name Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network. The only time that name (including the hyphen) had been written down was on the paperwork the AVN had submitted to the Department on the 20th of December.

4- That same day, January 2nd, the AVN was made aware of a blog post from Mr Dan Buzzard (the text of which was later posted to the AVN’s PO Box in Bangalow). (Appendix B). Mr Buzzard stated that on the 24th of December, his “investigators” notified him that we had attempted to register the name Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network.

5- Also on the 2nd of January, the following online comment was posted on the website of the Northern Star newspaper in response to their story about the AVN’s ‘failure’ to register our name.

Sandra_Harvey of Ocean Shores wrote:

“So to reserve a name without paying for it until their hand is forced once again by NSW Fair Trading has backfired. Dan Buzzard registered the name Australian Vaccination Sceptics Network with ASIC. If they had simply paid up like any sane person who wanted to register a name, they would have nothing to complain about”

All of these events took place well before we ourselves were aware of the failure of our payment and at a time when our name reservation should not have been public knowledge.

When ASIC reopened in January, the AVN enquired as to whether any of the above information might have been available to the public on their database. We were informed that name reservations do not appear on the database until they have been registered with the relevant state authorities. In fact, they themselves don’t have access to name reservations from the various states so nobody could have found out about this from them.

On Monday, January 6th, Mr Beattie spoke with Ms Robyne Lunney, our contact at Fair Trading, to inform her of Mr Buzzard’s claims and the article published in the Australian newspaper. Ms Lunney was disturbed by these events and said she would investigate and get back to Mr Beattie. She requested more details which were provided later that day by email. [Appendix C]

On trying to follow up with Ms Lunney, Mr Beattie was twice told by Fair Trading that she was not available and would no longer be available to speak with him.

On the 11th of February, Mr Beattie sent an email to Ms Lunney asking how the investigation was progressing. [Appendix D].

He received a response on the 13th of February, but not from Ms Lunney. Instead, Ms Christine Gowland was the correspondent.
Her only response to Mr Beattie’s question about the ‘investigation’ was:

“A response to the other issues raised in that email and your earlier email regarding events following your name reservation will be provided shortly under separate cover.”

After having no other contact with the Department regarding this matter, Mr Beattie sent the following request to Ms Gowland on March 3rd, 2014:

Dear Ms Gowland

I understand from the last sentence in your email (below) that the matter of sensitive information falling into the hands of a third party is still being investigated by your office. Can you please advise me of the name and contact details of the branch or person conducting this investigation so that [I] may ask further questions directly?

[It is our understanding that proper procedure for such an investigation is that it be conducted by a separate branch and that the party requesting the investigation (in this case, the AVN) be informed of these details.]

Ms Gowland did not respond to Mr Beattie’s request for further details about this investigation. Instead, the next correspondence from her was received by the AVN on the 12th of March 2014. It was a letter informing him that the AVN had 5 days in which to comply with the order to ensure that our name was changed on all documents and on our website.

On March 13th, Mr Beattie wrote to Ms Gowland acknowledging her advice regarding our name change and reminding her that he had yet to receive a response to his request from the 5th of March for details on the internal investigation.

Ms Gowland responded on the same day as follows:

“A formal response will soon be provided to you regarding issues raised in regards to information surrounding the new name.”

On March 14th, Mr Beattie sent the following email to Ms Gowland:

Dear Ms Gowland

Thank you for your email. I must ask why you have neglected to identify the party conducting the investigation. Surely we are entitled to make enquiries to this party regarding time-frames and other issues. Is it a formal investigation? I ask because these are the questions being asked of me by our members.

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards
Greg Beattie
President
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

On the 21st of March, the AVN received a letter by postal mail from Mr Rod Stowe, Commissioner of NSW Fair Trading. This letter [Appendix E], was signed on March 14th but not posted until March 19th. The letter simply stated that Mr Stowe assured the AVN that NSW Fair Trading had not disclosed any details regarding the name Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network to the media or in any public forum.

The use of this language is interesting. Whilst members of the media were clearly privy to this information, the AVN has never alleged that NSW Fair Trading had released it directly to them. Why then did Mr Stowe use these words? The fact is that information which was not in the public domain and was sent by us to NSW Fair Trading under current privacy legislation, somehow made it to these parties. The question is – how did this happen?

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From: <commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au>
Date: Wed, May 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM
Subject: Re: Correspondence from Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network     Inc.

Dear Mr Beattie

Thank you for your further correspondence on this issue, which is currently being considered. A formal reply will be forthcoming following careful consideration of the points raised.

I will shortly provide you with an updated reference number for this matter.

Regards,
XXXXXXXX
Office of the Commissioner | NSW Fair Trading

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From: <commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au>
Date: Mon, May 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Subject: Ref: FTMIN14/1376 – Correspondence from Australian     Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

Dear Mr Beattie

I write again to further acknowledge your latest correspondence.

The reference number for this matter is FTMIN14/1376.

Unfortunately, the Commissioner will not be able to meet your stated deadline for a response to the issues raised, especially due to the fact he has only just today returned from overseas leave. However, please be assured the matter is under consideration and a response will be forthcoming as soon as possible.

Regards,
XXXXXXXX
Office of the Commissioner | NSW Fair Trading

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From: Greg Beattie
Date: Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: Ref: FTMIN14/1376 – Correspondence from Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.
To: commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au

Dear XXXXXXXX

Your ref: FTMIN14/1376

Please be advised that our committee intends to commence preparing the information for our members after close of business next week (June 20). We request that the Commissioner notify us before that date if he feels that any of the information in the timeline we sent him is inaccurate or otherwise not in order. We presume the Commissioner is familiar with the issue, having previosly considered the allegations. If any substantial inaccuracies can be identified before the time mentioned above, we will be happy to delay informing our members to allow further time for investigation.

Please ensure a copy of this email is forwarded to the Commissioner.

Kind regards

Greg Beattie
President
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

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From: <commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au>
Date: Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: FTMIN14/1376 – Correspondence from Australian     Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

Dear Mr Beattie

Thank you for this latest e-mail, which will be considered in the preparation of the Commissioner’s response to your previous correspondence on this issue (FTMIN14/1376).

Regards,
Office of the Commissioner | NSW Fair Trading

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Date: Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 7:17 AM
Subject: Re: FTMIN14/1376 – Correspondence from Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.
To: commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au

Dear XXXXXXX,
Thank you for your email. It has now been more than five months since this matter was raised. Despite its concerning nature (something clearly acknowledged by your own representative) we still have not had an adequate response. I reiterate that our committee intends to prepare the information for members after close of business today (June 20, 2014). We will also consider whether further action is warranted.
Please ensure the Commissioner receives this email.
Thank you for your assistance.
Yours sincerely
Greg Beattie
President
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

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From: <commissioner@finance.nsw.gov.au>
Date: Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: FTMIN14/1376 – Correspondence from Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

Dear Mr Beattie

I acknowledge your email and have made the Commissioner aware of it.
We are expediting the Commissioner’s response and hope to send it to you today.
Regards,
XXXXXXXX
Office of the Commissioner | NSW Fair Trading

Timeline to a Tragedy:Part 3 – Lessons go Unlearned

Monday, April 19, 2010

PMH sends 23 more reaction reports to the TGA. TGA receives them on April 20, 2010.

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PMH emails the CDCD to say that over the previous 3 days, a further 22 emergency department admissions had presented following vaccination, bringing the total from that one hospital to 111.

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CDCD emails PMH to say that there will be a meeting on Wednesday, April 21st in Canberra and they hoped to get more information then.

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481354-saba-buttonChild admitted to the emergency department at PMH in the evening with a severe reaction following flu vaccine. Later transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) (please note – this refers to Saba Button)

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Michael Rutherford from QLD Health, emailed Kerry White:

In response to your inquiry about the Ch 10 item of the death of a child the day after she had a swine flu vaccination, I am informed that there is no evidence to conclude the death was in any way related with the vaccination.

Kerry White responded:

 

Thanks Michael, what was the source of this information? What kind of evidence would prove that the child died from a vaccine adverse event.

 

To which, Michael Rutherford replied:

Dear Mr Swine Flu,

This lady, a member of the public who I would say anti-vaccine, asked me why QH [Queensland Health] had not issued a warning after the death of a 2-y-o from the vaccine. As you can see I responded to her that there was no evidence.

 

Kerry White, then responded with:

Michael, we have not referred specifically to this event – we have said only that there have been no deaths reported in Queensland or Australia associated with swine flu vaccination.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A paediatric nurse at Rockingham General Hospital (RGH) emailed PMH to say that they have been noticing adverse reactions being admitted to the emergency department. They asked if this was happening elsewhere.

PMH confirmed that they have been seeing admissions as well and asked for the number of patients presenting to RGH emergency department.

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CIC stops using both Fluvax and Fluvax Junior.

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The Microbiology Registrar calls the Paediatric Immunologist at PMH and the Director of the Vaccine Trials Group at the Telethon Institute to inform that that they had been notified of a very sick child following the seasonal flu vaccine who was now in intensive care.

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St John of God hospital at Murdoch emailed the CDCD to say that 10 people had presented to their emergency department with flu vaccine reactions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Triage nurses assigned to collect data on reactions at RGH.

Divider 1An expert teleconference takes place between various federal and state health officials. There are issues with the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) – the database that collects information on who is being vaccinated. 130 people have presented to emergency departments with seizures and fever following vaccination. Most are not admitted. SA has also reported reactions with ‘anecdotal’ reports coming in from Victoria and Sydney. Decided that there is no need to go to the media yet.

 

Divider 1The AVN received this email from a practitioner in WA:

… We are a surgery in WA and within the last 48 hours, have had 4 babies (all aged 1) that are patients of our clinic hospitalised for flu vaccine reactions. One has apparent permanent brain damage. We are ONE small clinic. There is no way, I believe, that the number is limited to just 45 cases of unwell children. (ed. note – at this point, WA had officially reported a total of 45 reactions to the vaccine)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

PMH sends reports of 8 reactions following flu vaccine to the TGA.

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The Executive Director of Public Health is informed of reactions and the child in ICU. A request is made to inform the Minister for Health regarding suspension of the vaccination program.

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During the teleconference, febrile reactions and the increase in emergency department visits are discussed. The rate is higher than in previous years. A full investigation is required which runs the risk of damaging the [vaccination] program.

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Director of public health recommends suspending the vaccination program with the possibility of finding an alternative vaccine.

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AVN receives report via a third party of a nineteen year old male who died within a few days of getting a flu vaccine.

I have just had word about a nineteen year old male (kids’ friend) who has died as a result of a flu vaccine he received last week. How do I find out more about the stats of this vaccine?  I would like to inform his grieving parents about the entire vaccine fraud currently going on….they have no idea and are probably believing the GP who dosed him.  I am still in shock that a healthy young male has died as a result.

In a follow-up email, after checking for further details, this person reported that:

I spoke to one of our son’s friends who visited the grieving parents today. The boy, 19 years old, received the flu vaccine on Monday (this week), was admitted to hospital Wednesday night with pneumonia and died last night. He was symptomless and well on Monday.

(Please note: This death has not been reported by the media)

AVN receives a telephone call from a nurse at PMH stating that every time an ambulance pulls up to the emergency department, all staff members look around and say – “I hope this isn’t another flu vaccine case.” The nurse told me that they had seen dozens of infants and children in just the last 2 weeks and that if the doctors did not ‘do something about it soon’ they were going to take matters into their own hands and go to the media.

Divider 1WA Health suspends flu vaccination program for children five years of age and younger and informs the Federal authorities.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The AVN received this email from one of our WA members:

… I also heard some very sad news about a family here in Perth today. They had their child vaccinated with their 1 year old injections last week. He is due to turn one on anzac day. 12 hours after his vaccination he had a severe reaction and is now brain dead. They are looking at turning off the life support in the next couple of days. I nearly cried when I heard this. Can you believe it? PMH is even admitting that it is a reaction to the vaccine.

(Please note that this death has never been discussed in the media.)

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PMH sends 5 more reaction reports to the TGA.

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Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Jim Bishop, suspends the national flu vaccination program for children.

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CSL, the vaccine manufacturer, stops distribution of paediatric flu vaccines nationally.

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Dr Jeannette Young, CHO for QLD, issues a media statement giving parents assurance that the ‘swine flu’ vaccine is safe and effective and that they should be giving it to their children over the age of six as well as taking it themselves.

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Samantha Keegan emails Christine Selvey, Kerry White and Greg Shaw from the Federal Health Department following the CHO’s press release mentioned above.

Heard this previewed on Mad King for 830 – said have been 44 kids admitted to hosp in WA after vac.

Could mean the fuss on dead 2 year old after swine flu injection flares up.

 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Email from Naomi Ford, A/Media Manager (South), Queensland Health to Dr Jeannette Young:

I have just received a call from Suellen Hinde from the Sunday Mail. She says she’s been told that a set of twins from Browns Plains received the seasonal flu vax (some time ago – she’s not sure of the exact date) but word is they both had an adverse reaction and one twin died. Is this true?

I assume that from the info yesterday that this is incorrect but can you please advise.

Dr Young replied to Naomi Ford as follows:

There has not been any notification to the relevant national body or to QH of any death in qld as a result of receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. If she has names and permission of the parents I am very happy to look into whether there has been any specific information about the two children.

Naomi Ford provided Dr Young with the following information:

The journo advises that the child’s name was ASHLEY EPAPARA who died unexpectedly at home on 9/4/2010 at age 2 years 4 mths. I’m told this patient had the seasonal flu shot on the afternoon of 8/4/2010.

Are you aware of this? Please advise.

Dr Jeannette Young then authorised a media response to Suellen Hinde, a reporter with the Sunday Mail. In that response, she claimed that:

Neither Queensland Health nor the relevant national body have been advised of, or are aware of any death allegedly related to a 2010 seasonal flu vaccination or Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (human swine flu) vaccination in Queensland.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In an email from Dr Young to Naomi Ford – please note: The subject line of the email is ADVICE re: CH10 story on child death vaccination link – dropped at this stage:

Perhaps in hindsight (such a wonderful thing) I should have asked the coroner about whether a child had died in mt gravatt after receiving a flu vaccine. We certainly were not told until Saturday and I have again checked yesterday with the hospitals around mt gravatt if they had heard anything. I note that was done at the tim

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Email from Alisha Lucas, Southside Area Health to Dr Russell Schedlich:

Further info from Friday. Has this all settled now? We have the scripts all in place.

I heard only through my family that a 2 yr old died on the weekend after having swine injections and now all docs have been told to cease giving the vac. Is this true?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

QLD Health issues a press statement to the effect that Dr Amir Mohammad Eskandari has been reported to the QLD Medical Board for failing to report the death of Ashley Jade Epapara less than 12 hours after the seasonal flu vaccine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Email from Naomi Ford to Dr Jeannette Young:

Ch 10 has phoned wanting comment saying the phoned the dept on 9 April telling them about the little girl who allegedly died after having flu shot. She’s wanting to know how we can say we weren’t aware when they called and advised us. Please advise.

Timeline to a Tragedy: Did incompetence, lies and a government cover-up lead to deaths?

The AVN has created a timeline of events surrounding the ill-fated flu vaccination campaign, from its launch in WA on the 19th of March, 2010 up to the 18th of May, 2010. It paints a disturbing picture of government incompetence; bureaucrats whose only aim seems to be avoiding having their policies questioned; lies from those responsible for protecting the health of the community; and a group of caring parents kept in the dark about the real risks of a medical procedure that caused hundreds of hospitalisations and an unknown number of deaths.George Orwell1

We have merged 3 sets of data to bring you this information:

1-    The timeline included in the Stokes Report, commissioned by the WA government to examine what went wrong with the flu vaccination campaign and make suggestions as to how to prevent the same happening again.

2-    The Right to Information (RTI) request revealing how Ashley Epapara’s death was covered up to prevent criticism of the vaccine. The correspondence in this RTI also proves that both the Chief Health Officer (Jeannette Young) and the Minister for Health were alerted within hours of Ashley dying, despite their claims to the contrary.

3-    Phone calls and emails from parents and health practitioners received by the AVN during the worst of the reactions in WA and elsewhere. Most concerning is the fact that the AVN’s information includes two reports of deaths following flu vaccine – one an infant in Perth and another a 19-year old young man near Newcastle. Neither of these has ever been reported in the media nor, to the best of our knowledge, have they been included on Australia’s national database of vaccine reactions.

The recommendations of the Stokes report have, for the most part, been ignored. What happened four years ago, can happen again. Protecting vaccination policy still appears to take precedence over alerting consumers to warning signs of an unfolding tragedy.

Our health officials are claiming there is no vaccination debate; minimising the known risks and exaggerating the unproven benefits to declare vaccines beyond question. They follow this up with an agenda of vilification against those who have the greatest stake in the issue – the parents of Australia’s children.

Timeline of WA Flu Vaccine Disaster

(Please note – all emphasis has been added by the AVN and this blog will be uploaded in 3 sections due to the large amount of information included.)

Official studiesFriday, March 19, 2010

Flu vaccination campaign launches in WA with letters being sent to all families whose children are in the target age group, urging them to be vaccinated against influenza. No information is provided to alert them to the fact that this is an experimental, untested vaccine.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A local health service in WA contacted public health to report reactions in six out of nine children who had received the flu vaccine the day before. One child was hospitalised.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A public health nurse contacted the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD, WA), telling them of flu vaccine reactions and one child who was hospitalised. Authorities reassured this nurse that “reactions are common” and asked her to report to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An immunologist working at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) contacted the Telethon Institute (the organisation being paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers to conduct a trial on flu vaccination in children) with concerns that their own child was experiencing a reaction to the Fluvax vaccine.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A senior nurse emailed CDCD to inform them of a number of calls from parents reporting vomiting and fever after receipt of flu vaccines.

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Ashley Jade Epapara, her twin sister and her older brother received their flu shots from a local doctor. That night, all three became ill.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reports received from the nursing staff at PMH that children were presenting to the emergency department “unwell” after receiving the flu vaccine.

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Bunbury hospital called the CDCD to report that an adult had presented to their emergency department suffering a suspected reaction to the flu vaccine.

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CDCD emailed the Central Immunisation Clinic (CIC) at the WA Department of Health to confirm that they had heard of some children who were experiencing high fevers, pain and vomiting leading to hospitalisation after flu vaccinations.

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Ashley Jade
Ashley Epapara and her family

Ashley Jade Epapara was found dead in her bed at 6.30 on the morning after receiving the vaccine. Her twin sister and older brother who also received the shot are ill.

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Channel 10 News runs the following report at 5:00 PM:

Possible swine flu vaccination death – toddler dies in Brisbane

The Brisbane 5pm  Channel 10  TV News  – Friday 9th April 2010 reported  Mt Gravatt police are investigating the sudden death of  a 2 year old toddler .

The death occurred a day after the girl and most of her family had been immunised with the  Swine Flu vaccination.

The Queensland  Health Minister (Paul Lucas) said that no-one should avoid Swine Flu vaccinations.

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Samantha Keegan, A/Manager (Corporate) QLD Health, sent the following email to other QLD Health Officials:

Channel 10 have rung saying they have been informed by a very reliable source a 2-year old has died following some kind of flu vaccination.

Sounds a bit suspect as they said QPS is ‘aware’ – Police media know nothing.

Kerry White, Senior Public Affairs Advisor to QLD Health sent the following email to the Commonwealth Health Media Unit as well as to various officials with QLD Health:

 

Gday all, just to let you know (UNOFFICIAL) a two year old had died at Mt Gravatt, a Brisbane suburb, with “no suspicious circumstances”, we have had a TV inquiry already who says police suggested the only thing different in their lives recently was swine flu vaccination. Police seem to have left this as a possibility for post mortem investigation.

That is all we have at the moment, nothing official yet. Awaiting more detail.

Please advise total number of vaccinations in Australia, adverse events, any deaths attributed? And global?

 

Samantha Keegan, A/Manager (Corporate) with QLD Health wrote the following email:

Had a call from Channel 10 about a story they wanted to do on a two-year-old girl who died at Mt Gravatt this morning.

The QAS was called and police attended. There were no suspicious circumstances.

However, someone involved (think it was a police officer) told the journalise the death may have been linked with a flu vaccination given to the child 24 hours before its death, and an autopsy will be performed Monday to rule it out.

I have spoken to police media who followed up with the area to make sure no further statements of the nature were made and spoke to CH 10 News Editor about the unlikeliness of a link and the possible panic such a story could cause.

He has agreed to drop the story at this stage. No other media have called.

 

Email from Kerry White to Neil, Media Unit, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

Gday Neil, a police office apparently made some comment to a Channel 10 reporter abt a possible vacc connection. Samantha has spoken to police media and got them to put a stopper on that talk, and to Channel 10 who have agreed to go no further, not run anything.

 

Email from Neil to Kerry White:

Thanks Kerry, and thanks Samantha for setting the coppers straight.

The irony is that I provided a one-hour briefing to reps of all State and Territory Premiers and Police media units about pandemic flu in Adelaide only last week. Part of that presentation included my thoughts on how people in authority (ie. Doctors in my case) can totally undermine health programs by making silly comments about perceived safety issues.

 

Email from Neil to Kerry White:

Much appreciate the heads up. Please keep me posted on this one.

I’m keen to hear if this blows up. Certainly has the potential to seriously undermine the confidence in the program and I’d like to jump on it before it does blow up (if possible).

 

Email from Kerry White to Dr Russ Schedlich, State Health Incident Controller, Pandemic H1N1 2009:

…In QLD it seems on the latest info I can find that we have had 199 adverse events (33 hospitalised) reported from 717,167 immunisations administered. (AVN note: 717,167 vaccines may have been distributed but there is no information on how many of those were actually administered.).

To be continued tomorrow, May 23, 2014…

Apparently “…there’s nothing to debate”

by Greg Beattie

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, has refused to participate in a panel discussion on vaccination at this weekend’s Healthy Lifestyles expo on the Sunshine Coast, saying “there’s nothing to debate”. In the wake of this, disturbing details have now emerged of a cover up by her office regarding the death of a child following vaccination.

sopa-censorship-billBrisbane two-year-old, Ashley Jade Epapara, died shortly after a flu vaccination on April 9, 2010, just two weeks before the vaccine was withdrawn nationally in a blaze of publicity due to severe reactions. Police attending the scene of the death told reporters there were no suspicious circumstances apart from the vaccine. But Queensland Health staff acted quickly to quash that suggestion, instructing police to “ensure no further statements of the nature were made”, and securing agreement from media outlets to not pursue the story.

With the story suppressed, the vaccine continued on a path of destruction, particularly in Western Australia where an aggressive campaign was underway to vaccinate every child in the state.

It was not until April 22 that the vaccine was withdrawn from use in children. During and immediately following this period, many children endured severe reactions including Saba Button, who remains profoundly disabled. One wonders whether Saba’s parents, or those of the many other children affected, would have taken their child for the shot had they known about the tragedy in Brisbane. Unfortunately few knew about the vaccine connection in the Brisbane tragedy because of the cover up.

The following email excerpts were recently forwarded to us by a concerned third party. They are part of a Right to Information (RTI) release. They demonstrate clearly that health department staff deliberately and successfully prevented Australian parents from being warned about the potential for danger with this vaccine. (You can read the entire RTI by clicking this link for part 1 and this link for part 2.)Government Censorship

APRIL 9
“…someone involved (think it was a police officer) told the journalist the death may have been linked with a flu vaccination given to the child 24-hours before its death, and an autopsy will be performed Monday to rule it out.

“I have spoken to police media, who followed up with the area to make sure no further statements of the nature were made and spoke to the CH 10 News Editor about the unlikeliness of a link, and the possible panic such a story could cause.”
– Samantha Keegan, A/Manager, Corporate, Queensland Health.

————————————-

“I’m keen to hear if this blows up. Certainly has the potential to seriously undermine the confidence in the program and I’d like to jump on it before it does blow up (if possible).

“…and thanks Samantha for setting the coppers straight.
Neil, Media Unit, Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.

————————————

APRIL 13
“Channel 9 is asking about a link between the Sudden Unexpected Death of a 2-yr-old girl on Friday and the child’s vaccination against swine flu 24 hours before her death.

“Channel 10’s editor gave me his word he would not run anything on Fri – then ran a short 3 par ‘live read’ (no vision or interviews).

“ABC and Courier Mail agreed not to run anything after I discussed the public health ramifications of children not being vaccinated with them.”
– Samantha Keegan, A/Manager, Corporate, Queensland Health.

There were many more emails exchanged, as can be seen in the RTI release, and Dr Young was kept informed the whole way. Within two weeks, a disaster had evolved forcing an urgent national withdrawal of the vaccine. When Dr Young was again approached by the media she issued a press release, feigning ignorance:

APRIL 25
“Until now, neither Queensland Health, nor the relevant national body had been advised of, or were aware of, any death allegedly related to a 2010 seasonal  flu vaccine in Queensland”.
Jeanette Young, Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health – April 25, 2010

The problem with the current approach
In the following days, we will be publishing a detailed series of articles regarding a more in-depth account of these events. One thing is clear: the current approach of our health authorities sometimes involves withholding, or suppressing vital information. In this case, the approach had clearly devastating consequences for some families.

Free SpeechWhat’s not immediately apparent is that this is actually the general ‘modus operandi’ of health authorities when dealing with vaccination. Whenever possible, they avoid discussing concerns raised by the media or consumer groups. Even worse, they openly state that these concerns are unjustified or dangerous in and of themselves. In short, “there’s nothing to debate”.

The refusal by Dr Young to provide a spokesperson for this weekend’s Healthy Lifestyles Expo is an example of this modus operandi. Her comments that the organisers should have exercised due diligence and not allowed anyone from the AVN to speak is another. Accusing the AVN of spreading ‘misinformation’ and ‘debunked theories’ is something Dr Young should be prepared to defend publicly. Her reluctance to do so is simply in keeping with this approach.

Parents are entitled to all information that may matter to them. If the police, or the media, or any other group feel the information is important, then it is. The AVN speaker at the expo, Ms Meryl Dorey, will be raising issues that are of concern to all potential consumers of vaccines. The public deserves to have these issues addressed at the forum and they rightly request the presence of a representative from their taxpayer-funded health department to explain why such concerns should not be considered important.

Suppression of vital information when parents are faced with making informed decisions about their children’s health is clearly not the answer. Responsible health officials tend to prefer education over coercion when it comes to health choices. It is essential that any information which matters to consumers is never actively withheld from them, and that any discussion this prompts is welcomed by our publicly funded health officials.

Please read the attached Right to Information documents (part 1 and part 2) to follow the trail of suppression by health officials in both the Queensland and the Commonwealth governments.

Further analysis will be available on this blog in coming days.

Timeline to a Tragedy: Part 1 – Did Incompetence, Lies and a Government Cover-up Lead to Deaths?

Timeline to a Tragedy: Part 2 – The Cover-Up Deepens

Timeline to a Tragedy: Part 3 – Lessons Go Unlearned

Why isn’t the Health Care Complaints Committee’s inquiry transparent?

by Meryl Dorey

11074700_sIf you have been following this blog for any length of time at all, you would remember that we have been covering an issue of vital importance to everyone living in NSW specifically and Australia as a whole. That is the issue of an attempt by the NSW Health Care Complaints committee to grant yet more unprecedented powers to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).

Many of our members and supporters have sent written submissions to this committee explaining their objections to these proposals.You can see the page on the NSW Parliament website which will provide you with information on this inquiry – The Promotion of False or Misleading Health-Related Information or Practices.

Originally, the time period for submissions was supposed to end in December, 2013. It was then extended until the 7th of February 2014.

I personally know of more than 50 submissions to this inquiry made by AVN members. There would be many more.

In my experience, whenever a parliamentary inquiry has called for submissions, those submissions are published on the website as they are received or within a matter of days of receipt. In this instance, however, no submissions have been made publicly available and in fact, most people who submitted to this inquiry have not even received a confirmation that their submission was received.

At the end of February, 2014, I contacted Mr Jason Arditi, the Committee Manager, to ask why none of the submissions had been uploaded to the committee website even though submissions had been closed by, at that point in time, a couple of weeks.

I was told that the committee had not yet considered any of the submissions but that they would be meeting in mid-March and would consider them at that time and they would be published by the end of March.

The end of March came and went and again, no submissions were uploaded.

I contacted Mr Arditi in early April and at that time, I was told that the Committee had indeed met in March but had not considered any of the submissions. They were due to be considered at the meeting being held in mid-April and the submissions would be uploaded by the end of that month.

I asked if it was normal procedure to not publish submissions until they had been considered and Mr Arditi informed me that it was neither normal nor abnormal to proceed in this way. Whilst most committees do publish on receipt, this particular committee had chosen to do things differently.

The end of April came and went with no submissions on the committee website.

I contacted Mr Arditi on May 1st to ask why, once again, no submissions had been uploaded to the website. He told me that the committee had, in fact, considered the submissions during their April meeting and that they would be uploaded. It’s just that some of them were defamatory in nature so they would need to have sections blacked out before they were made public. He assured me that this would be done and they would be there by Friday, May 9th. Today, in fact.

I  asked for a firm publication date during my last conversation with Mr Arditi and he gave me his assurance that these submissions would be online by today but disappointingly, they are not there. Won’t they make the slightest attempt to appear transparent by abiding by their promise to publish these submissions?

A less trusting person than myself would be starting to wonder if the committee was trying to hide something? Why this ongoing failure to inform the public of the reasons why those in the community oppose their intended power grab?

Maybe one of you will have better luck getting an answer than I have? If you’d like to contact Mr Arditi, his details are below. Please let me know if you do get a result. We have a right to see this information and to consider what the committee has considered.

Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the AVN National Committee. The AVN is a forum, support and information organisation and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.

Peter Bowditch-Running Scared

johann_wolfgang_von_goethe_courage_3368The Bowditch non-debate saga continues.
by Meryl Dorey

For those who haven’t yet read about this issue, you can do so on the following blog posts: The Great Vaccination Non-Debate and Are You Brave Enough to Follow Through, Peter Bowditch?

Apparently, Mr Bowditch is well aware of his lack of knowledge on the issue of vaccination because he is using every tactic at his disposal to try and worm out of fulfilling his promise to debate me. One can only assume that his two letters of acceptance – one made to the organisers of the You Can Heal Yourself Expo and the other to me personally via this blog – were made under the incorrect assumption that I would not accept his offer.

Unfortunately for him, however, I threw a spanner in the works by stating that I would accept his challenge and debate him at the Expo at the end of May. The deadline for him to confirm with the organisers is just 2 days away – on Friday, the 9th of May.

So far, he has used every possible excuse for why he would be unable to follow through on his promise to attend and debate me.

  • He suddenly realised that he needs to be back in Sydney by 11 am on Sunday and for some reason, airplanes aren’t working on Saturday night to allow him to do that.
  • Debating me would legitimise my arguments and this is something he was unaware of when he made his challenge in early April and repeated it again at the end of the month.
  • The You Can Heal Yourself Expo is a “Festival of Batshittery” (eg one where both sides of this debate are welcome and wanted) – something he didn’t realise until just now.

Bowditch Debate

And now, he is twisting his offer to debate by trying to turn it into something completely different – an essay competition where he will have the assistance of his friends at Stop the AVN to do his research and write his ‘homework’, showing the internet world how brave and knowledgeable he is about vaccination.

Yesterday, I received the following letter from Mr Bowditch and wrote back to him (below) immediately. I haven’t yet heard back from him. Neither have the Expo organisers.

One has to wonder how far he is prepared to take this charade of having been genuinely willing to expose his knowledge of vaccination (or lack of thereof) to public scrutiny. It is telling, however, that he is so brave in front of the SAVN hordes yet turns tail and runs when faced with the prospect of having to support his vitriolic opposition to informed choice in a public venue. As have ALL of the other SAVNers, not one of whom had the courage of their convictions to honestly present the pro-vaccine-safety and effectiveness point of view at this expo.

My response to Peter Bowditch’s ‘challenge’:

Dear Mr Bowditch,

You accepted the public debate at the You Can Heal Yourself Expo. Neither I nor anyone else forced you to accept this. And you accepted it twice – once via the organiser’s website – once via the AVN’s website.

To quote you directly:

“Please notify the organisers of the Healthy Lifestyles Expo that I was serious when I offered to debate you. Now that you are aware of this you can no longer claim that nobody from the sanity side of the non-debate is prepared to step up to the plate.”

So, are you “prepared to step up to the plate” and debate me at this forum or not? An answer would be appreciated.

If you are not going to attend this debate after stating quite clearly that you would do so, could you please have the courtesy to inform both myself and the organisers of that fact?

I will not enter into any other discussion with you.

Kind regards,
Meryl Dorey

Peter Bowditch’s letter to me:

Dear Ms Dorey,

The following challenge has been posted on various Facebook pages and my
personal blog. I would appreciate an acceptance by Thursday.

Thank you.

================================

Challenge to Meryl Dorey.

Here are the three questions to be “debated” at the Expo in Caloundra on
May 24:

1) Does herd Immunity apply to the use of vaccinations

2) The ingredients in Vaccines are Toxic and Small Babies cannot tolerate
even small amounts

3) Can it really be proven that it is vaccination that is controlling
disease rates or do diseases die out naturally and recur in cycles.

And here are the rules:

1) No discussion of the AVN or Meryl Dorey at all, as this is about
Vaccination not personalities

2) All information and debate to be kept on topic

3) All discussion and debate is to be kept informative, educational and
scientifically grounded

4) At all times a civil and respectful attitude is to be kept in tone,
word and deed

These questions and rules have been set by the event organisers. With one
change (that Rule 1 also prohibit discussion of Australian Skeptics, SAVN,
or me) I propose a written debate.

At or before 9pm on Sunday, May 11, I will produce three essays, each
approximately 1000 words, addressing the three questions. Ms Dorey is
invited to do the same. To avoid either of us gaining an advantage neither
will get to see the other’s submissions before they are published. Both of
us will email our submissions to nominated administrators of both the SAVN
and AVsN Facebook pages, and all six will be published simultaneously (as
closely as possible) on both sites.

Ms Dorey says that I am afraid to debate her. I am giving her the
opportunity to make her arguments in front of audiences which are divided
on their opinions on vaccines and I am prepared to do the same.

Bring it on.

The saga continues…the clock is counting down. Peter Bowditch has 48 hours to prove that he is brave enough and honest enough to follow through on his offer to debate me. Only time will tell.

Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the AVN National Committee. The AVN is a forum, support and information organisation and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.

Are you brave enough to follow through, Peter Bowditch?

BowditchAs you have read on this page, the deadline for someone to come forward and debate me is coming up. It is this Friday, the 9th of May.

After writing my blog article, The Great Vaccination Non-Debate, Peter Bowditch of the NSW Skeptics and a very active ‘contributor’ to their splinter group, Stop the AVN, posted the following comment to the AVN’s blog:

“Please notify the organisers of the Healthy Lifestyles Expo that I was serious when I offered to debate you. Now that you are aware of this you can no longer claim that nobody from the sanity side of the non-debate is prepared to step up to the plate.

“In case this comment doesn’t manage to get through moderation, a screen shot will be published on Twitter and Facebook.”

I instantly wrote back to Mr Bowditch, informing him that, as it said in the blog post, anyone who wanted to be involved in the debate should contact the organisers and let them know.

I did inform the organisers about Mr Bowditch’s offer to debate me and they sent him 2 invitations without getting any response. Let me repeat – as of this weekend, despite 2 written invitations in response to his offer to debate me at the You Can Heal Yourself Expo at the end of this month, Peter Bowditch, who made the offer of his own free will, has not responded.

What’s worse, he now appears to be trying to blame me for his failure to follow through on his promise to debate me. Yesterday, he sent the following tweet out to his followers:

Bowditch Debate

Apparently, he wants to make it appear that he was unaware of the venue of this debate and, now knowing it, he will no longer debate me.

But the truth is that the venue and all debate details were freely advertised and Mr Bowditch is the one who contacted me to say he wanted to debate.

Come on, Peter! I’m calling on you to either accept the invitation (which was sent at your request) or admit that you are too scared to debate me on this issue. You can’t have it both ways.

You are the one who accepted the challenge – and you are the one who has to follow through or admit that you are afraid to debate.

Tamiflu drug ‘largely ineffective’ in reducing hospitalisation: study

TamifluAntiviral drugs are largely ineffective for reducing hospital admissions and complications from influenza, and come with serious side-effects, according to a research review published by the Cochrane Collaboration today.

The drugs were stockpiled by governments across the world, including Australia’s, in response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Cochrane, along with the British Medical Journal, is asking governments to consider whether they would choose to stockpile well-known antiviral Tamiflu in light of these findings, arguing the original evidence leading to the stockpiling was incomplete.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Health said antivirals were part of the National Medical Stockpile currently valued at A$192 million, but refused to provide further details “due to security and commercial sensitivities”.

Tamiflu drug ‘largely ineffective’ in reducing hospitalisation: study.

The Great Vaccination Non-Debate?

by Meryl Dorey

One sided debateThere is one side of the vaccination issue supported by those who believe parents should be able to access a broad range of information from many different sources. This side is not afraid of scrutiny and in fact, has been asking for better, more transparent research for decades. That side is represented by the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN) and the other pro-information, pro-choice groups in Australia and overseas.

In opposition to this open and democratic viewpoint on scientific issues, there are organisations and individuals whose raison d’étre seems to be to prevent parents from accessing information freely and to threaten, harass and abuse anyone whose viewpoint on medical issues is not in accord with their own beliefs. That side is represented by the pro-vaccine lobby: the Australian Skeptics, Stop the AVN, certain members of both State and Federal Parliaments and some sections of the medical community.

Healthy Lifestyles Expo

In May of this year, I am going to be speaking at an event on the Sunshine Coast called the Healthy Lifestyles Expo.

The organisers originally contacted me in October last year to see if I would be interested in participating in a live debate on the subject of vaccination. Both sides would be presented and the moderator would ensure that equal time was given to each speaker with ample time allowed for questions from the audience.

Since this is something that both the AVN and I have been wanting to facilitate for some time, I was quick to agree.

The organisers were having a very hard time finding someone from the medical community to debate me, however.

They contacted Queensland Health, their Medical Local, a large number of doctors and even Stop the AVN and the Australian Skeptics. None of them would agree to defend vaccinations publicly.

The reasons given for the refusal to participate in a debate were:

a. There is no debate – there is only one side to this issue.
b. If people have questions, they should see their GP.
c. Fliers would be provided so a debate was unnecessary.

After a few weeks of trying, the debate was called off and instead, the AVN booked a stall at the Expo. As stall-holders, we were entitled to present a seminar which we were happy to do though we still would have preferred a debate.

At this point, the organisers posted an advertisement for my talk on their website at this page.

Almost immediately after this information was posted, the Expo’s website was attacked – twice. The organiser’s were signed up for many pornographic email lists (something that regularly happens to my own email address) and they found themselves targeted by a stream of hate messages on social media from people using the tag #stopavn.

They also received an angry post from Matthew Berryman, an SAVN member who works at the University of Wollongong.

Here is what one of the organisers of this event stated on their blog about Mr Berryman and the whole campaign to stop this debate from taking place:

“…the first comment by Matthew Berryman who has [a] PhD in complex systems modelling and analysis, yet tends to resort to name calling if he is rebutted, a very grown up response.

Mr Berryman sent the organisers of this event a letter accusing them of paying me to speak (in 20 years of public speaking on this issue, I have never taken payment for any of my talks though that is usually offered) and saying that the event was ‘unbalanced’ because they didn’t have a speaker from the anti-choice side!

The organisers offered Mr Berryman the opportunity to either debate me or, if he preferred, to get a stall and speak on the stage himself, just as the AVN was doing. He declined, stating that he was not qualified to speak on this issue.

Where we stand today

At this point in time, there is a possibility that Dr Rachael Dunlop from Stop the AVN and the NSW Skeptics may be debating me (please note – I have just heard from the organisers this morning. Dr Dunlop has said she will not debate me). For those who don’t know her, here is one of the Twitter posts she wrote about myself and others who have made an informed choice not to vaccinate:

Rachie Twitter

The organisers have stated that, regretfully, if someone from the other side does not come forward by the 9th of May, the debate will be cancelled and we will go back to just me speaking on the issue with no opposing viewpoint which would be a shame.

We need a conversation and a debate

The AVN wants parents everywhere to be able to hear both sides of this issue. We want them to be able to ask questions, discuss this subject openly without fear or favour and, in the end, to make the choices they think are best for their family. Without the participation of the pro-vaccine lobbyists – those same people who have been trying for years to make vaccination compulsory – it becomes almost impossible to provide parents with that balance.

We ask anyone who is reading this – whether they be a medical doctor, specialist, health official or from another area of the field of science – who would like to debate the subject in a respectful manner, to contact the Expo organisers via their website contact page.

We also ask that those who believe in free choice on health issues write a quick note to Wayne and Annie, the Expo organisers, to thank them for their strength and commitment to freedom of speech and scientific debate.

I’d love to see you at the Expo!

If you are going to be on the Sunshine Coast on the 24th to the 25th of May, 2014, I would love to see you at the Expo. Please do drop by the AVN’s stand and say hi.

ExhibitorBadge250

One last note:

QLD Health has been given a free table next to the AVN stand on which to display flyers and other information about vaccination. When asked if they would also be sending someone who would be able to answer questions or discuss this issue with the parents in attendance, they said they would not and that anyone who had questions should be contacting their GP.

It is this sort of unresponsive behaviour; this running away from those whom they are supposed to be serving, that has many QLD parents questioning the commitment of their health authorities to the protection of the children of that State.

The AVN will always be there to support our members and to answer their questions. We will always be there to help members who are being discriminated against or harassed in some way because of their vaccination decision. We believe strongly in everyone’s right to make informed choices and wish that our elected representatives would take their responsibility seriously in regards to this issue as well. Citizens and residents of a democratic nation should not be living in fear that their government will take away their inalienable rights to read, discuss and decide about health issues as they see best.

Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the AVN National Committee. The AVN is a forum, support and information organisation and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.