Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten our Human Rights, our Health and our Children.
- Teaser: This review was originally written in 2010. Some of the references made are relevant for that time. The book is unique in that it focuses a lot on the legal frameworks that are used to justify vaccine policy and how this is part of the growing dominion of our health by the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and government. The issues being discussed are crucial now since Covid19 given the emphasis on a vaccine being needed and the attempts by governments to control the narrative on Covid19 by censoring any individual who questions this, including medical experts who may disagree with the conclusions being drawn.
Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten our Human Rights, our Health and our Children.
By Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland.
A Book Review
This review was originally written in 2010. Some of the references made are relevant for that time. The book is unique in that it focuses a lot on the legal frameworks that are used to justify vaccine policy and how this is part of the growing dominion of our health by the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and government. The issues being discussed are crucial now since Covid19 given the emphasis on a vaccine being needed and the attempts by governments to control the narrative on Covid19 by censoring any individual who questions this, including medical experts who may disagree with the conclusions being drawn.
The following is a detailed book review. It felt important to document in detail the issues raised, given their importance in today’s world and for the future of children’s health. Reading the book in detail oneself is important in being fully informed of the issues at hand but this review is done to hopefully bring these issues further to the light. Also, given the recent ruling in California that allows doctors to vaccinate 12 year old girls against the HPV vaccine, (and also the Hepatitis B and other possible STD vaccines) without their parent’s knowledge or consent, makes the issues here even more significant.
This review has been done in a more “extractive” approach where I have taken out quotes and pieces from the book which felt important to include. So more than a review it is rather like an extraction of salient parts of it. It may seem rather piecemeal but hopefully will explore the main points.
The book begins with the arguments made on both sides of the debate. They use the terms pro-vaccine and pro-choice to reflect the relative points of view. The title to the introduction is “Vaccine Choice is a Human Right.” “All medical interventions require free and informed consent. To abridge that right is to violate the essential human right to life, liberty and bodily integrity. By denying truly free and informed consent to vaccination, U.S. vaccine policy violates fundamental rights.”
70 doses of 16 vaccines are given from birth to age 18. All fifty states mandate from 30 to 45 doses of about a dozen different vaccines for admission to day care and school. Research shows that fewer than 10% of doctors report adverse vaccine effects. However, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has paid over $2 billion to 2,500 families since 1988.
The book outlines the basic questions about vaccination choice and the rights of people to question what is good for them and their families and the obligations of government to understand what they are mandating. The concept of utilitarianism is discussed, as it is part of the rationale used by governments to justify the greater good.
The book then begins with a discussion of the human, civil, and religious rights, looking at the science, history, ethics and philosophy around vaccine choice and the broader social and constitutional rights that free countries espouse to and that are also constituted into the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Modern bioethics began in 1947 at the criminal trial of Nazi doctors. As a result judges established 10 principles, on ethical standards for medical research. Foremost principle is that “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” In 1948, the UN Gen Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) directly picked up the issue of human experimentation. Article 7 dictates that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.” It also creates an individual right to informed consent for medical research. The emphasis given to specifically mentioning medical or scientific experimentation reflected the importance of this matter.
The Council of Europe’s 1997 Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. (The Oviedo Convention). The Oviedo Convention reflects the ethical requirements in a society where the research community has become more aggressive in pursuing scientific knowledge, the boundary between science and medicine has become blurred, medicine has become more complex and difficult for patients to comprehend and medical research is no longer confined to national or jurisdictional boundaries. The convention guarantees free and informed consent to ALL medical interventions, not limited only to human experimentation – it abolishes the distinction between research and therapy and addresses the need for individuals to have adequate information about all medical interventions. The Oveido Convention requires consent for any medical intervention, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and research.
In 2005, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights in the UNESCO Declaration. They made it clear that the interests of individuals cannot give way to the “sole interest of science or society.” Article 6 states that individuals must give “prior, free and informed consent” to any preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention” and “scientific research”.
Even though declarations are not formal treaties, they effectively set a standard for individual countries to be measured by, which is what the UDHR has become. These declarations have particular relevance for vaccine policy given the tendency to mandatory policies and that the vaccine industry is basically in charge of defining safety verification, a conflict of interest which significantly impacts the protection of both rights and the health of those being vaccinated.
Scholars at the Harvard School of Public Health developed a Public Health-Human Rights Impact Assessment Instrument to evaluate possible human rights violations that occur when governments take actions in the name of public health that limit individual rights. They argue that such actions must be taken as a last resort and must only occur when they meet (the following), a number of stringent human rights conditions which they outline, ones that conform to existing United Nations Charter.
When looking at these criteria, it becomes apparent that they are not being conformed to in the current climate of mandatory vaccine policies and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the legislative process.
A case is made that mandatory vaccine policy for children is discriminatory as the same criteria is not applied for adults, even though vaccines wear off. Mandatory vaccine policies do not conform with international human rights.
The argument of herd immunity undergirds all compulsory vaccine policies. It argues that a majority of people need vaccination to sustain its effect and protect the minority who cannot be vaccinated for whatever reason. However, the book argues that herd immunity theory is questionable and that the figures of 70-80% is not proven. It is more an article of faith. The idea developed from the immunity conferred to a community after naturally catching a disease, which normally confers lifelong immunity. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, health officials began using “techniques of mass persuasion” and “aggressive salesmanship” to increasing compliance in vaccine goals. However, the argument is made that vaccine induced immunity is different to natural immunity, which mostly confers lifelong immunity whereas the former does not and ideally needs reviewing to ensure immunity is still active. Outbreaks of certain diseases, especially childhood diseases occur in fully vaccinated people. (This alone makes one question the whole logic of both the efficacy and mandatory nature of vaccines).
Over the past two decades, the U.S. government has paid over $2 billion to families of children who died or who have been permanently harmed by vaccinations. “A government that requires individuals – particularly children – to be vaccinated, knowing that some will die and others will be permanently disabled as a result, risks losing all moral authority.” So writes James Turner JD, one of the contributors to the book. He talks about when he was called up in 1970, by John Gardner, President Lyndon Johnson’s secretary of health, Education and Welfare (HEW) from 1965-1968, who told him about “unfortunate, indeed dangerous activities involving vaccines that had been going on while he was secretary.” At that time it was the National Institutes of Health (NIH), not the FDA that was regulating vaccines. Turner then discusses his interviews with government officials working in the vaccine arena, quoting their concerns about the vaccines used. The DPT vaccine was the “dirtiest material put into humans” quoted one. A cholera reviewer said “A glass of proper mineral water would work better than the shot.” The quality control officer worried about the amount of mercury in vaccines – in 1971!! The key scientific advocate for the creation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said he had been fired in the early 1960’s for refusing to make the annual announcement urging Americans to get the flu shot. The attorney General found that NIH vaccine regulators were illegally exempting vaccines from drug regulation.
As a result of these findings, vaccine regulation was moved to the FDA from the NIH. Turner describes the development of vaccine regulation from the 1950’s when it was found that the Salk polio vaccine paralyzed over 200 people and killed 10, even though its side effects had been known to some researchers, who were overruled by other scientists connected to Salk and the vaccine’s manufacturer. It was soon discovered what the problem was once people had died. Also, there was concern then about the side effects of the flu vaccine, which even then was showing connections with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Then in 1963, Dr. Smadel worked to study vaccine safety and efficacy, having discovered that polio vaccines grown in live monkey’s kidney cell structure contained simian virus 40 (SV-40), a cancer-causing agent. Turner describes the fight within the NIH and then the FDA over vaccine safety and the suppression of data that challenged the government’s position on vaccines. Then came the 1976 swine flu debacle when the government decided to offer the whole country swine flu vaccine, only to see it create many side effects. This led to the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which authorized cash payments for vaccine damaged children, but limited the liability of government or vaccine manufacturers. Dr Morris, one of the long term vaccine researchers, eventually sacked for his research revealing possible damage from vaccines, fought against this act, saying it would end any possibility of ensuring no harm from vaccines.
Since then, that act has been used by the government to deny compensation to many parents of vaccine damaged children. Barbara Loe Fisher, the founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is quoted when she testified before the California State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in 2002. The bill had been supported by the vaccine industry precisely because it protected them from legal responsibility. Even though the act stipulated that vaccine effects needed to be documented clearly and every vaccine given to be put into a record, with the lot number etc., this procedure is barely working. The Act basically moved accountability from manufacturers to the tax payer. And then, once the law was passed, against the wishes of even the U.S. government Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, criteria for evaluating vaccine damage was rewritten and every case brought before them was fought over, leaving over $1 billion in the vaccine injury trust fund untouched as 3 out of 4 cases are refused compensation.
Is Mandatory Vaccination Constitutional? Only 20 states have philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccination. The Fifth Amendment of the constitution says, “No person shall….be deprived of life, liberty of property without due process of law.” The 14th amendment extends this, saying, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall….deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Mandatory vaccines fail to provide due process to individuals.
Case law contains limitations on mandatory vaccination, e.g., a threatened or actual epidemic. It gives people the chance to opt out and/or conscientious objection. Today, even though these programs recognize these elements, in practice, they do not meet the requirements necessary to protect life.
Comparison can be made with the questionable constitutionality of Capital Punishment in the USA. In 1972, the US Supreme Court declared that current moral and medical exemptions to C P were lacking effectiveness, leading to a 4 year moratorium on capital punishment until states adopted procedures for implementing the death penalty that satisfied the Supreme Court’s reading of due process.
Current mandatory vaccine policy does not make clear exemption options and people’s rights. Every state should have the right to philosophical exemption. Any mandatory vaccine must require the government to prove that those vaccinated may be harmed by those who are not and to prove the danger of the epidemic threat vis a vis the dangers of the vaccine. The 14th amendment protects an individual against unwanted medical interventions. Parents have the right to decide what is in the best interests of the child.
Today, a child is given 30-45 separate vaccines, in comparison to 5 in the 1950’s. The government has provided no effective procedural framework with public participation to adjust the compensation scheme to cover todays’ expanded vaccine mandates.
The Supreme Court’s seminal case in defining states authority over compulsory vaccine policy was Jacobson v. Massachusetts. The court was clear in defining that the state of Massachusetts had to verify that it was necessary for public safety or public health, but was careful to warn that, even during an epidemic, the police power of the state might be exercised in particular circumstances in an arbitrary unreasonable manner, or may go beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public. “The Supreme Court did not contemplate that compulsory vaccination would be imposed outside of a clear public health emergency.”
In the early 20th century, courts invalidated vaccination mandates when there was no imminent danger from a disease. However, today, in courts, children harmed or killed by vaccines have very little due process. In fact, they have even less than in death penalty cases, in which this issue has been discussed in various courts in the land, including in 2002, when District Judge Jed S. Rafkoff found the Federal Death Penalty Act unconstitutional as there was too great a risk of innocent people being executed. Even though the Appeals Court overturned Judge Rakoff’s opinion, based on the notion that the accused do receive jury trials and due process, which children damaged or killed by vaccines do not even receive.
Therefore, the death of an innocent child in the wake of mandatory vaccination policy is shocking and violates the U.S. constitution.
The law considers vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe.” Congress passed the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in part to compensate families for “vaccine-related injury or death.” Essentially the act was a bailout to the pharmaceutical industry, forcing the public – rather than industry – to pay for damage from “unavoidably unsafe” products. Even though Congress intended for society to take responsibility for vaccine damaged children, the reality has not lived up this ideal. The government mainly denies accountability and refuses to give out payments for damage. Parents seeking accountability are forced to endure the full weight of government denial, who have all the legal and financial muscle to get their way. The vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) which is part of the Act passed simply does not work in favor of children and parents. The VICP is in fact a tribunal. There is no judge or jury or formal rules.
The following problems are outlined for the VICP.
- Lack of judicial independence.
- Lack of equality between government and petitioner. The VICP often compensates petitioner’s lawyers years later and can cut petitioners legal fees.
- The lack of adequate access to existing science. Absence of essential science. The lack of basic science in recognizing side effects and when they could occur after a vaccine leaves a great onus on the petitioner to prove cause and effect, which can then be easily refuted.
- The lack of transparency and the perception of arbitrariness. The government can keep secret certain cases and the compensation given from petitioners seeking address for a similar situation. There is no consistency
- The lack of discovery. The court is not obligated to make documents available or witnesses available as part of the argument.
- The lack of adequate procedural safeguards.
- The government’s lack of burden to prove causation. The government is not required to prove the safety of a vaccine. Therefore, the petitioner must prove the harmfulness of a vaccine.
- The lack of a jury of peers.
- The inappropriately short Statute of Limitations. Petitioners only have three years from the time a vaccine-induced injury occurs to file a claim. The Vaccine Injury Table was set up in a time when it was thought that all vaccine-induced injuries happened immediately. This does not reflect many of the complications of vaccines seen today, including autism, seizure disorders, learning disabilities, arthritis etc.
The US Supreme Court heard a case in October 2010, relating to a vaccine damaged child, who developed convulsions after a DPT vaccine. After losing her claim in a VICP hearing, the mother sued in the Pennsylvania civil court, arguing that the DPT design was defective and unreasonably dangerous. The Pennsylvania Federal District Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the plaintiff had no right to bring the claim to civil court. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether the mother has this right. This may be a very important decision for the court. As Justice Sotomayor asked during the hearing, “What is the inducement for them (the vaccine industry) to do it (fix defective vaccine designs) voluntarily.”
The author of this chapter states that the VICP is not working and only is now used to insulate the medical industry from liability for vaccine-induced injuries.
In Chapter 6, William Wagner, JD, makes the case that the rights of the parent to choose what is best for their child is an inalienable and fundamental right, embedded in “deeply rooted divine, natural, and common law traditions.” He traces these rights back to both biblical and philosophical traditions, quoting John Locke warning of the threat to liberty from the state usurping parental authority. He then quotes from the U.S. Declaration of Independence to confirm this position. He makes the argument that when these fundamental moral principles are compromised, the government can rationalize the right to do things to citizens based on a utilitarian notion, like forced sterilization of women, scientific experimentation on African Americans without their consent and even the institution of slavery. He questions whether even the current Supreme Court will recognize parental rights as a fundamental liberty protected by the Constitution. “Replacing the sacred parental right to responsibly determine a child’s medical treatment with dictatorial government mandates inevitably erodes a country’s essential foundations.”
Chapter 7 is headed, An Urgent Call for More Research by Carol Stott, PhD, and Andrew Wakefield MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath. They state that the National Academy of Sciences chartered the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1970 to serve as advisor to the federal government on issues affecting public health. Excerpts from many reports of the IOM over 15 years illustrate the continued lack of progress in addressing the paucity of research on vaccine safety. They then quote parts of many reports which again and again bring up concerns about vaccine safety and lack of scientific research and funds to do studies of possible vaccine harm. However, in the last IOM report in 2004, it denies a causal link between Autism and MMR vaccine or thimerosal, despite a lack of scientific research into the topic. The authors then make a case for the type of research that would need to be done to prove one way or the other whether a connection in fact does exist. A New York congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill in 2007 to do just that but it never became law and even though the bill was reintroduced in 2009, the bill has not yet been passed. Why the necessary epidemiological research has not already been carried out was described by the former chief of the National Institutes of Health and current member of the IOM. “There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people.” “I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the vaccine-autism hypothesis as irrational.” However, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), in a press release in the fall of 2010, blamed non-vaccinated children for the outbreak of “deadly diseases making a comeback.” “The anti-vaccine movement threatens America’s children.”
However, the authors cite evidence from peer-reviewed studies that show increasing evidence of vaccine damage, especially in neurodevelopmental and immune disorders, including experiments on monkeys that were given the same vaccine schedule as for children in the years 1994-1999. Monkeys given a single dose of thimerosal containing hepatitis B vaccine (containing 2 micrograms of ethylmercury – human children get 12.5 micrograms) “exhibited significant delays in the development of major survival reflexes – root, snout, and suck. The exposed animals took more than twice as long as the control group to acquire these reflexes, which are typically used to measure infants’ brain development and are vital to primate infants’ survival in the wild.” The authors discuss the evidence linking Hepatitis B vaccine with developmental disability, the DPT vaccine with Asthma, and the relationship between autism and environmental toxins.
The authors make the point that while there is still more research necessary to prove a clear level of cause and effect, the position of the IOM to deny any such effect cannot be backed up by existing scientific evidence. However, existing evidence reveals the level of misrepresentation by those whose “priority is not vaccine safety.” The authors discuss one piece of research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), when looking into a possible increase in Autism in Brick Township, New Jersey, revealing how the CDC deliberately tried to obfuscate the facts and data.
Chapter 8 by Robert Johnston, PhD, discusses the historical resistance to mandatory vaccinations from all walks of society, going back to the 1720’s and continuing until the 20th century, “when by the 1930’s, only nine states (plus the District of Columbia) had laws on the books that mandated vaccination.” He states that popular skepticism about vaccines reignited in the 1970’s and 1980’s, inspired by, among others, Chicago Pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn, Mothering Magazine and the 1982 formation of Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT).
Chapter 9 is entitled “Medical Ethics and Contemporary Medicine,” discusses the historical factors that lead doctors and society to ignore the Hippocratic Oath, “First Do No Harm”, and how before the 2nd World War, German doctors and society began to rationalize eugenic practices and the institutionalization of such philosophies. This is used to example what can happen when the State and its utilitarian ethics compromises the right to life and the interest of the individual. German doctors argued that the health of the State is of “higher civil morality”. American medicine has its own history where in the name of the greater good, human rights abuses were justified and where the eugenics movement wielded serious influence for a number of years. “The U.S. was the first country to carry out eugenics-driven compulsory sterilization programs under state statutes. Indiana enacted the first law in 1907 and the last forced sterilization was performed in Oregon in 1981.” “The Model Eugenic Sterilization Law published in 1914 served as the template for most state statutes and included an indemnification clause to protect physicians who performed surgical sterilizations from legal action…”, similar to the legal immunity for physicians giving state-mandated vaccines. The author quotes from the Supreme Court decision that upheld the legality of Virginia’s compulsory eugenic sterilization policy in 1926. “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”, the majority quoted. “By 1944, thirty states had sterilization laws and more than forty thousand sterilizations had been performed.”
The author then cites the various times in which the U.S. government has embarked on medical experiments on U.S. citizens and others, including the famous Tuskagee syphilis experiment in which physicians denied treatment to African-American men, which went on for over 30 years. Another example was when doctors deliberately infected “mentally retarded” children in a state school in New York with hepatitis in an experiment to track the development of this disease, which later led to an ethical debate of such actions. Another such debate and legal case developed when children of poor families were deliberately exposed to lead between 1993-1995 in order to assess a “cost-effective lead abatement level.” Parents were not informed of the dangers involved and two families sued, saying that their children had suffered brain damage. Judges found in favor of the parents, even though the experiment had passed through John Hopkins’ ethic review board. Even more extraordinary, the author cites cases in which thousands of children in foster care were used as human subjects in HIV/AIDS drug and vaccine trials sponsored by corporations and the government. In 1997, the FDA Modernization Act was passed (FDAMA), which the author says “encourages the use of children to test patented drugs and even provides manufacturers huge financial incentives, including six additional months of marketing for testing drugs on children.”
Other drug trials using children were then cited, which makes extraordinary reading, but then again, as the author points out, mandatory vaccination policies also lead to the deaths of many children, with precious little accountability or compensation for most.
Children, by the age of 15 months are exposed to over 33 doses of over one dozen vaccines. (That was nearly 15 years ago. It is more now)
Chapter 10 explores the concept of the greater good, the utilitarian philosophy that justifies actions and policies ostensibly for the wider benefit of society, but often at the expense of individual choice and freedom. Compulsory vaccination is based on this utilitarian argument, with the notion that it serves the greater good of the whole community. The author then makes the case that all the vaccines given have not been tested adequately for safety, including the mixing of many vaccines together in a short period after birth. The case is made that utilitarian philosophy cannot justify mandatory vaccination based on the lack of evidence to support its efficacy and the lack of research into the harm done by vaccines.