Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Make sure babies get enough Vitamin D

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement for all breast-fed babies and babies drinking less than 32 ounces of formula a day.

The point is to avoid rickets, a condition that causes brittle and deformed bones and retards growth, says Dr. Ronald Marino, associate chairman of pediatrics at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

"Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. It's made in the skin when we're exposed to sunlight," he says. "If you're formula feeding, your baby is getting plenty of vitamin D because it's added to the formula."

But if you are breast-feeding, you should give your newborn to 6-month-old the combined liquid vitamin A, C and D formulation because moms don't produce enough vitamin D through breast milk, Marino says. Vitamin D is sold in combination with A and C.

Don't interpret this as a suggestion babies be exposed to sunlight, Marino warns. Babies younger than 6 months old shouldn't be in the sun due to the risk of sunburn and future skin cancer. All children should wear sunscreen, and it blocks the rays needed for vitamin D production.

Don't go crazy with supplementation, Marino warns. Vitamin D can cause vitamin toxicity if you overdo it, he says. Once babies hit 6 months old, most pediatricians recommend multivitamin supplements for all, Marino says. Check with your pediatrician for further guidance.

-- from wire reports

Washout summer could lead to rickets epidemic in children not exposed to regular sunlight needed to produce vitamin D

  • Regular sunlight is needed for production of vitamin D, which keeps growing bones healthy and strong

  • Ethnic minorities are more susceptible to rickets, because darker skin doesn't absorb vitamin D as efficiently in cooler climates

  • But warning of an epidemic applies to all races

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2168264/Washout-summer-lead-rickets-epidemic-children-exposed-regular-sunlight-needed-produce-vitamin-D.html#ixzz22FsA4GCs

EBMSI Conference Schedule

EBMSI Conference Schedule

Rules For Dealing With The Bereaved Parent

Children NEED their true parents

Springfield father cleared of shaking infant daughter

Three-month-old recovered after apparent seizure


Richard Britts, center, spent more than two years in prison accused of violently shaking his then three-month-old daughter, Saniya, left. Britts was found not guilty last week. Shown at right is Natieanna, Britts� older daughter. - PHOTO PROVIDED BY RICHARD BRITTS

Richard Britts of Springfield told the police again and again that he never harmed his then three-month-old daughter, Saniya.

“Right now, I know all fingers are pointing at me, man, but I love my baby,” Britts told police in a January 2010 interview. “I would never hurt her like this, man.”

A jury last week found Britts not guilty on two counts of aggravated battery to a child, two years after he was arrested on suspicion of shaking his daughter. Britts found Saniya, now two years old, unresponsive and limp in her crib in 2010, and brain scans showed bleeding on Saniya’s brain, prompting charges against Britts.

It’s the latest case calling into question “shaken baby syndrome” – a triad of symptoms that some doctors say can only be caused by violent shaking. Other doctors, however, say existing medical problems can cause the same symptoms, casting doubt on a diagnosis that has landed several people nationwide behind bars.

The case began on Jan. 3, 2010, when Britts heard Saniya let out a “nerve-rattling gasp” in her crib. Britts picked up his young daughter, finding her body limp and unresponsive, with her eyes rolled back in her head. He called his wife, Shantell Britts, and then called 911.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Richard Britts told police in an interview. “I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking.”

Saniya underwent CAT scans at the hospital that showed bleeding around her brain, which led at least one doctor to conclude Saniya had been violently shaken. Being the last person to watch Saniya before she became unresponsive, Richard Britts was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated battery to a child. Britts told police he didn’t shake the child, and he explained that seizures run in his family, with his mother and brother both taking medication to control them.

At Britts’ trial, jurors heard testimony from doctors with opposing views about what caused Saniya’s medical condition. Dr. Channing Petrak, a pediatrician at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, testified that Saniya must have been shaken – and possibly hit – to explain the bleeding on her brain. But Dr. John Plunkett, a retired pathologist from Minnesota who studies cases involving allegations of baby shaking, testified that the child apparently suffered a seizure.

The jury last week acquitted Britt of both counts against him, and he was released from the Sangamon County Jail where he’d spent the past two years. Now, he’s trying to rebuild his life. One of his first acts was seeing his daughter, Saniya, who had no permanent medical damage from her apparent seizure.

“She’s perfect; she’s great,” Britt said in a phone interview. “She’s just peachy. It’s a blessing to be home and still standing. … It’s kind of hard to start over. I lost my job, lost my family. Some people might think I slipped through a gap, but they didn’t see all the evidence I had in my favor.”

Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at DePaul University in Chicago, says she may include Britt’s case in an upcoming book examining shaken baby syndrome in the legal system. Tuerkheimer says the case shows juries are beginning to question shaken baby diagnoses.

“It’s still pretty arbitrary how these cases are coming out,” Tuerkheimer said. “In general, we’re observing a trend toward greater skepticism.”

Lindsay Evans, an assistant public defender in the office of the Sangamon County Public Defender, represented Britts at trial. She contrasts Britts’ case with that of Jennifer Bernal, a Springfield woman convicted in January of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2008 death of 18-month-old Anthony Joseph Romanotto. Both Petrak and Plunkett testified in that case, too, Evans said, adding that Britts’ jury questioned the shaken baby theory more intensely.

“I think the tide is turning, and I think it’s turning slowly,” Evans said.

Britts says he’s pleased that his case can offer insight into an area of medicine and law that is still developing.

“If my case opens doors for them to understand that there can always be more than one thing that causes something,” he said, “I don’t mind being the one who informs the world of new knowledge.”

Contact Patrick Yeagle at pyeagle@illinoistimes.com.


Jury Frees Accused Father, and More

Jury Frees Accused Father, and More

An Illinois father has been cleared of shaking accusations, two years after his younger daughter, three months old at the time, suffered a seizure while in his care. Jurors acquitted him earlier this month after hearing testimony from both prosecution doctors and forensic pathologist Dr. John Plunkett. The child seems to have fully recovered from the incident.

Osteomalacia And Vitamin D, What Is The Link?

Dr. Michael Holick Speaks on Osteomalacia and its link to Vitamin D deficiency.

Nominate a Condition

Nominate a Condition

The Committee recommends a that every newborn screening program include a Uniform Screening Panel (PDF - 2 pages) that screens for 31 core disorders and 26 secondary disorders. Individuals and organizations can nominate new conditions for consideration by the Committee for inclusion in the panel.

Live EBMSI Conference

There is now made available another registration option for those who are unable to attend the EBMIS in person. We will be airing the conference to registrants via UStream at the following link. The password for the program will be forwarded to applicants. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ebmsi

Debra Rae -- Jimmying Justice: Shaken Baby Shakedown

Debra Rae -- Jimmying Justice: Shaken Baby Shakedown

An amusing scene in the Oscar-winning movie, Chicago, is when attorney-turned-puppet-master Billy Flynn uses his client, Roxie, as a ventriloquist's dummy, all the while he manipulates marionette strings leading to the press. The accused (and manifestly guilty) Roxie was assured she had nothing to worry about since, in the words of Billy, “It's all a three ring circus”; and she’s working with “a star.” To silence “the truth above the roar,” Star Billy gave the jury “the old razzle-dazzle” and “flimflam flummox,” as go the lyrics.

Parental Alienation

Monday, July 23, 2012

Former Department of Children and Families employee arrested for falsification of records

Jul 20, 2012
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Office of Executive Investigations today arrested Sheila Ann Choice, 55, of Greenville, Fla., for one count of falsifying records of an individual in the care and custody of a state agency, a third-degree felony.
FDLE was provided information by the Department of Children and Families’ Office of Inspector General that Choice had allegedly falsified visitation documents on five different occasions, claiming she had completed in-home visits.
FDLE agents verified these alleged falsifications and secured a warrant for Choice’s arrest.  The alleged false visitations occurred in May and June of 2011.
"We have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior from our employees," said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. "We took this very seriously and brought these actions to the attention of FDLE so that criminal charges could be pursued. We appreciate the hard work of our partners in law enforcement who worked with us to ensure that protecting children is our priority."
Choice will be booked into the Madison County Jail.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Keith Kameg or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Friday, July 13, 2012

Unexplained Fractures in Infants and Child Abuse: The Case for Requiring Bone-Density Testing Before Convicting Caretakers

Imagine that you are a young parent taking your four-month-old son to a routine checkup. During the examination, the pediatrician notices a bruise on his right leg. Her visage subtly changes as she closely examines the bruise. She informs you that she has reason to believe that your baby may have been physically abused and that you will have to immediately take him to the hospital for further testing. You are a bit insulted that the doctors would even think it was possible that you would hurt your baby, but you are confident that carefully researched, scientific tests that will be conducted at the hospital will quickly dispel this misunderstanding.

Read the FULL article

Child Protective Services Truth ( Shocking )

Seren Bernard


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Merck Accused of Lying about Vaccine Effectiveness

By Dr. Mercola
Things aren't going so well lately in the litigation department for Merck, which stands accused of lying according to not just one, but two class-action lawsuits.
In the first case, two former Merck virologists accuse their former employer of overstating the effectiveness of the mumps vaccine in Merck’s combination MMR shot, which may have cost the US government hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decadei.
Merck’s mumps vaccine was originally licensed 45 years ago. Since the 1970s, it’s been part of the trivalent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is part of the recommended childhood vaccination schedule.  The case, which was initially filed in 2010, was unsealed late last month. As reported by the Courthouse News Serviceii:
“... Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski were Merck virologists who claim in their unsealed complaint that they "witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine's efficacy findings."
... As the largest single purchaser of childhood vaccines (accounting for more than 50 percent of all vaccine purchases), the United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck's fraud," according to the 2010 False Claims Act complaint.”
According to Nasdaq.comiii:
“Merck--which stressed that none of these allegations relate to the safety of its product--said the lawsuit is "completely without merit", and that it plans to "vigorously defend itself."
It’s quite interesting to note the chosen language in Merck’s rebuttal. It in no way addresses the issue of the vaccine’s effectiveness, which is the core issue of the lawsuit and the allegation by the two former Merck employees that the drug company purposefully used improper testing methods and falsified data to make the mumps vaccine appear highly effective when the opposite was true. Instead, Merck responds by saying that none of the lawsuit’s allegations relate to the safety of its products. Such evasive maneuvering certainly gives the appearance of an admission of guilt.

Second Lawsuit Filed

A mere week after the first case was unsealed, a federal antitrust class action lawsuit was filed by Chatom Primary Care. According to Courthouse News Serviceiv:
“Merck has known for a decade that its mumps vaccine is "far less effective" than it tells the government, and it falsified test results and sold millions of doses of "questionable efficacy," flooding and monopolizing the market, a primary caregiver claims in a federal antitrust class action.
 ... Chatom says in its antitrust complaint that Merck falsely claims its mumps vaccine is 95 percent effective. That claim "deterred and excluded competing manufacturers," who would enter the risky and expensive vaccine market only if they believed they could craft a better product...  
Merck is the only manufacturer licensed by the FDA to sell the mumps vaccine in United States, and if it could not show that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, it risked losing its lucrative monopoly... That's why Merck found it critically important to keep claiming such a high efficacy rate, the complaint states. And, Chatom claims, that's why Merck went to great lengths, including "manipulating its test procedures and falsifying the test results," to prop up the bogus figure, though it knew that the attenuated virus from which it created the vaccine had been altered over the years during the manufacturing process, and that the quality of the vaccine had degraded as a result.”
According to these two lawsuits, Merck began a sham testing program in the late 1990’s to hide the declining efficacy of the vaccine. The objective of the fraudulent trials was to "report efficacy of 95 percent or higher regardless of the vaccine's true efficacy." This program was initially referred to as “Protocol 007,” the Chatom claim states, and instead of testing the vaccine’s efficacy against a wild mumps virus, as is the norm, Merck used its own attenuated strain of the virus—the identical strain with which the children were being vaccinated!  
That’s as brilliant as it is devious, and a perfect example of how medical research can be manipulated to achieve desired results. Suzanne Humphries recently wrote an excellent summary for GreenMedInfo.com, explaining in layman's terms how the tests were manipulated (see Sources).The two virologists bringing the lawsuit against Merck claim they witnessed firsthand this deception and were asked to directly participate in it.
As reported by the Courthouse News Servicev:
“That "subverted" the purpose of the testing regime, "which was to measure the vaccine's ability to provide protection against a disease-causing mumps virus that a child would actually face in real life. The end result of this deviation ... was that Merck's test overstated the vaccine's effectiveness," Chatom claims.     
Merck also added animal antibodies to blood samples to achieve more favorable test results, though it knew that the human immune system would never produce such antibodies, and that the antibodies created a laboratory testing scenario that "did not in any way correspond to, correlate with, or represent real life ... virus neutralization in vaccinated people," according to the complaint.
Chatom claims that the falsification of test results occurred "with the knowledge, authority and approval of Merck's senior management."

Health versus Profits

Considering the extent of the allegations here, it is really shocking that the conventional media has not picked up on this story.  About the only major media source reporting on it was Forbes Magazinevi
Interestingly, Forbes stated that this case gives “vaccine foes” new ammunition for their argument that drug companies are more interested in money than protecting consumers’ health. And rightfully so. While I do not advocate indiscriminately abstaining from all vaccines—I  strongly advise and encourage exercising due diligence because vaccines can cause serious reactions that can have such devastating consequences. I believe in informed consent and the freedom to choose. There can be little doubt anymore that drug companies are in it for the profits, and virtually no price seems too high for them when it comes to protecting their profit-making.  
I’ve written extensively about the many criminal and ethical wrongdoings of Big Pharma, and this is certainly not the first shocking allegation of pharmaceutical product manufacturing fraud that involves launching or keeping an inferior and/or dangerous product on the market.
While vaccine makers often claim there’s not a lot of profit to be had in vaccines, you have to remember that vaccine patents do not expire like drugs do. Vaccines continue to make profits as long as they’re in use, so risk of future losses due to competition is virtually nonexistent. So of course there’s profit in vaccines—especially once it’s placed on the childhood vaccination schedule because that guarantees the vaccine will have a stable, guaranteed annual market as a new cohort of babies are born every year. And of course vaccine makers will protect those huge profits—even, apparently, when it means putting children’s health at risk.
There is also the issue of immunity from prosecution. Merck lost many billions when their drug, Vioxx, killed tens of thousands of people and was taken off the market in 2004.  If any of their vaccines killed similar numbers, or even more, they would not be held liable in damages for a single cent because Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have completely shielded big drug companies like Merck from civil liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.
Also you need to remember that IF a vaccine is indeed highly effective, and avoiding the disease in question is worth the risk of the potential side effects from the vaccine, then it could be said that the benefits outweigh the risks. However, if the vaccine is ineffective(and/or the disease doesn’t pose a great threat to begin with), then the vaccine may pose an unacceptable risk... At the very least, an ineffective vaccine will certainly skew the benefit to risk ratio toward greater risk, unless the vaccine is guaranteed harmless, and this, I’m afraid, cannot be said for the MMR.
This, I believe, is one of the most important points to remember in this discussion.
It’s not so much about determining whether or not the reduced effectiveness of this vaccine allowed the mumps outbreaks of 2006 and 2009 to occur, both of which occurred in highly vaccinated communities, but rather it’s a question of: “Have millions of children taken an unnecessary health risk by being injected with an ineffective vaccine?”

“Nothing Matters More than Safety,” Merck Says

“Nothing is more important to Merck than the safety and effectiveness of our vaccines and medicines and the people who use them,” Forbes quotes a Merck spokesmanvii.
Then WHY did they heavily promote Vioxx and keep it on the market until it had killed more than 60,000 people? I warned my readers that this pain killer might be a real killer for some people, five years before Merck made its $30 billion recall! Five years they let it go, and they undoubtedly would have kept it on the market longer had the lethal dangers not become so shockingly obvious to other scientists.
After Vioxx came the HPV vaccine Gardasil—perhaps the most unnecessary vaccine ever created, and likely one of the most dangerous to boot. Merck claims their main concern is safety... They must be speaking about some parallel Universe, because ever since Gardasil’s approval in 2006, reports of life-altering side effects and sudden deaths of otherwise healthy teenagers have stacked up into the thousands, yet Merck steadfastly refuses to acknowledge or address these health risks.
Gardasil appears to have one of the highest risk to benefit ratios of any vaccine on the market, and India even halted Merck’s post-licensing trials of the vaccine after four young participants died, yet Merck has the gall to claim that nothing is more important to them than safety. Give me a break... Actions speak louder than words, and Merck has a long paper trail of litigation highlighting the company’s questionable ethics.

Did Ineffective MMR Vaccine Promote Mumps Outbreaks?

In 2009, more than 1,000 people in New Jersey and New York came down with mumps. At the time, questions arose about the effectiveness of the vaccine as 77 percent of those sickened were vaccinated. No vaccine is ever 100 percent effective, of course, and according to the CDC, the MMR was estimated to be somewhere between 76-95 percent effective. In fact, the second MMR dose is necessary because up to 20 percent of individuals do not develop measles immunity after the first dose. The second dose is intended to provide a “second chance” for the vaccine to work, which is further evidence of this shot’s ineffectiveness.
A similar scenario occurred in 2006, when mumps infected more than 6,500 people in the US. Most of those cases also occurred among the vaccinated population, primarily among college students who had received two doses of MMR vaccine. About the only people who were truly immune to mumps were older Americans who had recovered from mumps as children, and therefore had received natural, lifelong immunity.
But just how and why did these outbreaks occur?
Typically, vaccine promoters will stress the importance of compliance with the vaccine schedule that requires multiple doses of a vaccine in order to create and maintain vaccine induced "herd immunity," because a vaccine is never 100 percent effective. However, they never quite seem to be able to explain why the majority of outbreaks occur in areas that are thought to HAVE herd immunity status, i.e. where the majority of people are vaccinated and "should" therefore never get the disease.

What You Need to Know about "Herd Immunity"

The problem is that there is in fact such a thing as natural herd immunity. But what they've done is they've taken this natural phenomenon and assume that vaccines will work the same way. However, they do not, and the science clearly shows that there's a big difference between naturally arising herd immunity and vaccine-induced herd immunity. To learn more, I urge you to listen to the following video, in which Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), discusses the concept of herd immunity.

Barbara explains:
"The original concept of herd immunity is that when a population experiences the natural disease… natural immunity would be achieved – a robust, qualitatively superior natural herd immunity within the population, which would then protect other people from getting the disease in other age groups. It's the way infectious diseases work…" Barbara explains. "But the vaccinologists have adopted this idea of vaccine induced herd immunity.
The problem with it is that all vaccines only confer temporary protection… Pertussis vaccine is one the best examples… Pertussis vaccines have been used for about 50 to 60 years, and the organism has started to evolve to become vaccine resistant. I think this is not something that's really understood generally by the public: Vaccines do not confer the same type of immunity that natural exposure to the disease does."
Vaccine professionals would like you to believe they are the same, but they're qualitatively two entirely different types of immune responses.
"In most cases natural exposure to disease would give you a longer lasting, more robust, qualitatively superior immunity because it gives you both cell mediated immunity and humoral immunity," Barbara explains. "Humoral is the antibody production. The way you measure vaccine-induced immunity is by how high the antibody titers are. (How many antibodies you have, basically.)
But the problem is, the cell mediated immunity is very important as well. Most vaccines evade cell mediated immunity and go straight for the antibodies, which is only one part of immunity. That's been the big problem with the production of vaccines."
Vaccines are designed to trick your body's immune system into producing the antibodies needed to resist any future infection. However, your body is smarter than that. The artificial stimulation of your immune system produced by an attenuated or dead virus simply is not the same as your body engaging with and overcoming the real live virus.
According to Barbara:
"The fact that manmade vaccines cannot replicate the body's natural experience with the disease is one of the key points of contention between those who insist that mankind cannot live without mass use of multiple vaccines and those who believe that mankind's biological integrity will be severely compromised by their continued use.
... [I]s it better to protect children against infectious disease early in life through temporary immunity from a vaccine, or are they better off contracting certain contagious infections in childhood and attaining permanent immunity? Do vaccine complications ultimately cause more chronic illness and death than infectious diseases do? These questions essentially pit trust in human intervention against trust in nature and the natural order, which existed long before vaccines were created by man."

More Censored News: MMR Vaccine Caused Autism, Italian Court Rules

These two lawsuits couldn’t come at a more precarious time for Merck, as the Italian Health Ministry has conceded the MMR vaccine caused autism in a now nine-year old boy. As a result, a court in Rimini, Italy recently awarded the family a 15-year annuity totaling 174,000 Euros (just under $220,000), plus reimbursement for court costs, ruling that the boy "has been damaged by irreversible complications due to vaccination (prophylaxis trivalent MMR)."
According to The Daily Mail, a British paperviii:  
"Judge Lucio Ardigo, awarding compensation to the family... said it was ‘conclusively established’ that Valentino had suffered from an ‘autistic disorder associated with medium cognitive delay’ and his illness, as Dr Barboni stated, was linked to receiving the jab.   Lawyer Mr Ventaloro explained yesterday: ‘This is very significant for Britain which uses, and has used, an MMR vaccine with the same components as the one given to Valentino. ‘It is wrong for governments and their health authorities to exert strong pressure on parents to take children for the MMR jab while ignoring that this vaccine can cause autism and linked conditions.’
Claudio Simion, a leading member of the lobby group Association for Freedom of Choice in Vaccination (Comilva), adds: ‘The Rimini judgment is vitally important for children everywhere. The numbers with autism are growing. It is a terrible thing that the authorities turn a blind eye to the connection between the MMR vaccination and this illness.’”
The UK newspaper, The Independentix, also reported on this groundbreaking case, stating that about 100 similar cases are now being examined by Italian lawyers, and more may be brought to court.
"Luca Ventaloro the family lawyer, said yesterday: "This is very significant for Britain which uses, and has used, an MMR vaccine with the same components as the one given to Valentino. It is wrong for governments and their health authorities to exert strong pressure on parents to take children for the MMR jab while ignoring that this vaccine can cause autism and linked conditions." The number of autism cases has risen sharply since the 1970s, with one in 64 British children affected," The Independent reported.
One can speculate about the reason why this news story was not picked up by a single US media outlet when it happened, but if I was a gambling man, I’d place my bet on protecting the vaccination program—not because it’s a marvelous panacea that promotes optimal health and longevity and can be defended with raw facts and first-class science, but because it’s a major profit center, both for the vaccine makers and for those whose pockets are lined with Big Pharma greenbacks in return for promoting and protecting the industry’s golden goose.

Even More Bad News: U.S. Varicella Vaccination Program a Total Flop

In related news, a recent review of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccination program in the U.S. concluded that the vaccine has:
  • Not proven to be cost-effective
  • Increased the incidence of shingles
  • Failed to provide long-term protection from the disease it targets?chicken pox?and
  • Is less effective than the natural immunity that existed in the general population before the vaccine
Here, vaccine efficacy was found to have declined well below 80 percent by of 2002. This damning news was published in May in the journal Vaccinex.
The information was gathered from a review of chicken pox and shingles statistics in the years since the vaccine was introduced. The researchers point out that although statistics showed shingles rates increased after the vaccine, “CDC authorities still claimed” that no increase had occurred. The authors also state that the CDC not only ignored the natural boost in immunity to the community that occurred with wild chickenpox, as opposed to the vaccine, but also ignored the “rare serious events following varicella vaccination” as well as the increasing rates of shingles among adults:
“In the prelicensure era, 95% of adults experienced natural chickenpox (usually as children)—these cases were usually benign and resulted in long-term immunity. Varicella vaccination is less effective than the natural immunity that existed in prevaccine communities. Universal varicella vaccination has not proven to be cost-effective as increased herpes zoster [shingles] morbidity has disproportionately offset cost savings associated with reductions in varicella disease. Universal varicella vaccination has failed to provide long-term protection from VZV disease.”

Get Informed Before You Vaccinate

Stories such as these underscore the importance to take control of your own health, and that of your children. It’s simply not wise to blindly depend on the information coming directly from the vaccine makers’ PR departments, or from federal health officials and agencies that are mired in conflicts of interest with industry...
No matter what vaccination choices you make for yourself or your family, there is a basic human right to be fully informed about all risks of medical interventions and pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, and have the freedom to refuse if you conclude the benefits do not outweigh the risks for you or your child.
Unfortunately, the business partnership between government health agencies and vaccine manufacturers is too close and is getting out of hand. There is a lot of discrimination against Americans, who want to be free to exercise their human right to informed consent when it comes to making voluntary decisions about which vaccines they and their children use.
We cannot allow that to continue.
It's vitally important to know and exercise your legal rights and to understand your options when it comes to using vaccines and prescription drugs. For example, your doctor is legally obligated to provide you with the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet and discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination(s) you or your child receive BEFORE vaccination takes place. If someone giving a vaccine does not do this, it is a violation of federal law. Furthermore, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 also requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:
  • Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer's name and lot number
  • Write down serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient's permanent medical record
  • File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law. It's important to get all the facts before making your decision about vaccination; and to understand that you have the legal right to opt out of using a vaccine that you do not want you or your child to receive. At present, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 18 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination.
However, vaccine exemptions are under attack in a number of states, and it's in everyone's best interest to protect the right to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions.

What You Can Do to Make a Difference

While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand your rights under the law to make voluntary vaccine choices, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact.
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen you will be put in touch with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Right now, in California, the personal belief exemption is under attack by Pharma-funded medical trade organizations and public health officials trying to get a bill (AB 2109) passed that would require parents to get a medical doctor's signature to file an exemption for personal religious and conscientious beliefs. Watch NVIC's 90-second public service message and learn more about what you can do if you are a California resident.

Internet Resources

To learn more about vaccines, I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or state officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Ingredient Calculator (VIC): Find out just how much aluminum, mercury and other ingredients are in the vaccines your doctor is recommending for you or your child.
  • Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) on MedAlerts. Search the government's VAERS database to find out what kinds of vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths have been reported by patients and heath care workers giving vaccines.

Find a Doctor Who will Listen to Your Concerns

Last but not least, if your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to punish those patients and parents, who become truly educated about health and vaccination and want to make vaccine choices instead of being forced to follow risky one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.
If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media, if you or your child are threatened.
That said, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate and connect with a doctor who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child, and isn't just competing for government incentives designed to increase vaccination rates at any cost.
i United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No: 10 4374, August 27, 2010 ii Courthouse News Service June 27, 2012 iii Nasdaq.com June 22, 2012 iv See ref 2 v See ref 2 vi Forbes Magazine June 27, 2012 vii See ref 6 viii The Daily Mail June 16, 2012 ix The Independent June 17, 2012 x Vaccine May 31, 2012 [Epub ahead of print]


Friday, July 6, 2012

Records: Wife killed in murder-suicide feared dad would hurt kids

Published: Jul 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM PDT Last Updated: Jul 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM PDT

Records: Wife killed in murder-suicide feared dad would hurt kids»PLAY VIDEO
Randall Engels
DUNDEE, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man shot and killed his estranged wife and their two children at his home on the Fourth of July before killing himself, police said Thursday.Court records show the woman had sought to keep her husband away from the kids because she considered him dangerous.

The bodies of Randall and Amy Engels and the two children were found Wednesday at the home in Dundee, about 25 miles south of Portland in the heart of Oregon's wine country.

Amy Engels had filed for divorce from Randall Engels on May 29, and she moved with their children from their home in Dundee to nearby Newberg nearly five weeks earlier, court records show. They had been married 14 years.

Police have not given a motive for the shooting or said why Amy Engels and the children were back at the house on July Fourth.

When Amy Engels filed for divorce, she asked a Yamhill County judge to issue an emergency temporary custody and parenting order, citing an "immediate danger" to her children.

"My husband has threatened to steal them and not return them," she said in an affidavit. "He has threatened to hurt them. He yells at them and makes them feel nervous and upset."

A handwritten decision read, "Denied — danger not established." It was signed by Circuit Judge Cal Tichenor.

In the divorce filing, Amy Engels wrote that she and her husband had decided he will have parenting time at least once per week — prearranged with at least two hours' notice. But it's unknown what type of arrangement the pair worked out before the killings.

The files don't contain the name of a lawyer or show that Randall Engels had participated in the divorce filing.

The court records identify the children as a daughter, Bailey, about 13, and a son, Jackson, about 11. The papers say they had lived with their parents in Dundee from birth until late April, when Amy Engels and the children moved to Newberg.

State records show Amy Engels is a licensed cosmetologist. It was unclear what Randall Engels did for a living, but he previously served on the Dundee Budget Committee and ran unsuccessfully for city council. The Newberg Graphic newspaper reported he was a former owner of the Dundee Pizza Co., which is no longer in business.

The bodies were found at the Dundee home in a working-class neighborhood after a caller told police about an alarming post on a social network.

A post Wednesday on the Facebook page for a person identifying himself as Randall Engels ofDundee reads: "If she's gone i can't go on."

A March 1 post on the same Facebook page reads: "Well Amy, tomorrow will mark 16 years together and our 14th wedding anniversary. I love you more now than ever. You are the only life decision that I never second guess. How did it go by so quickly? I'm easily in for another 16. Thank you for all you do for me."

It could not be immediately confirmed that the writer of the posts was the man police say killed his wife and children. The Facebook page shows that Randall Engels is originally from Puyallup, Wash.

The family had lived for several years in Dundee, a Willamette Valley town known for weekend and holiday traffic bound for the vineyards and tasting rooms of the region.

Neighbors who would speak to journalists knew little about the family.

Outside the Engels home Thursday sat two vehicles — the husband's pickup and the wife's SUV, according to the divorce filing.

Neighbor Kelley Wood said there was little chance that gunfire would have been noticed Wednesday, given the presence of a nearby gun club, the percussive devices used in the vineyards to scare off deer, and the holiday fireworks. On Thursday morning, the remains of fireworks littered an intersection near the family's home.

"There were a lot of noises that could have sounded like gunshots," Wood said.

Joe Endicott, an 18-year resident, didn't know how many years the Engelses had lived there, but he said their tenure was longer than most residents there. Court record states show the children had lived in the house from birth until April 23.

"It's sad, very sad, something that shouldn't have happened," Endicott said. "If you got a problem, you don't take it out on your family. That's stupid."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Agency Accused Of Failing Foster Kids

Published: July 05, 2012
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A new report accuses Mississippi’s department of human services of failing to do its job of protecting children.

The cases involve kids placed in foster care who may be abused.

According to the recently released findings, DHS is not complying with guidelines to quickly respond to reports and problems of abuse in cases involving children in foster care.

A federally appointed court monitor released the findings. Their job is to oversee the guidelines laid out from a settlement reached in a class action lawsuit filed against DHS in 2004.

The New York-based group Children's Rights accused the state of knowing about problems in the system for over a decade, yet failing to protect abused and neglected children. According to the group, there is no set deadline for the state to comply with the terms of the settlement. We made several attempts to contact DHS to hear what they have to say. We haven’t yet heard back.

Panel studies DHS child abuse, deaths

BY GINNIE GRAHAM - Tulsa World | Published: June 25, 2012 0

Twenty-one Oklahomans get together for eight hours once a month to understand why children are dying from abuse and neglect in the state.

Each has a different perspective, experience and expertise in the development, education, health and safety of children.

Each has been frustrated by public apathy, inaction and missteps by agencies and officials in child abuse and neglect cases.

But it’s different now, they say, pointing to pending reforms in the state’s child-welfare system and involvement by elected and appointed leaders.

“I’ve seen a change in culture. People are listening, and we have to take advantage of that now,” said Kathryn Brewer, assistant district attorney in Canadian County.

Brewer, who has 12 years’ experience in deprivation and delinquency cases, is part of the special review committee created as a subcommittee of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services in October.

Members either sought to be on the committee or were asked by Commissioner Wes Lane, a former Oklahoma County district attorney who was appointed to the commission by Gov. Mary Fallin in September.

The group was formed to examine the deaths of children who had some involvement with the Department of Human Services since 2010. The purpose is to find common threads for strengthening policies and practices.

“We are not a judge or jury looking at indictments of these cases,” Lane said. “We are looking at patterns of conduct, not aberrations, but for patterns of (DHS) policies and issues involved.”

The committee will make a report with policy recommendations to the commission, which oversees DHS, in the fall.

“What none of us wants to be is a blue-ribbon task force or panel wasting our time on things no one will pay attention to,” Lane said. “We want to see if there are common-sense things these citizens can bring to the table for possible implementation into policy. We want to present some effective, real policy-change opportunities.”

The panel is the model lawmakers used when crafting DHS governance-reform measures, which include asking voters in November to abolish the oversight commission.

If State Question 765 passes, a director hired by the governor with Senate approval would lead DHS, and four citizen advisory panels would be created to make recommendations to the director.

Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, led a House work group that examined DHS programs and led to the reform measures. He said the size and scope of the agency is beyond what a nine-member volunteer commission can effectively oversee.

“Our House working group, and a lot of other people, realized you could never create a governing commission that is a manageable size that could do for the whole department what Wes’ special review committee was doing in the area of child welfare,” Nelson said. “So we finally decided we needed to recommend some rather significant changes.”

Nelson said the committee is effective because it provides a forum for diverse experts to express opinions and discuss trends.

He noted that the members are volunteers and do not have decision-making power.

“That means the committee does not exercise authority over the department operations, and their (the members’) interests are much more narrow and focused,” Nelson said. “They were specifically selected because their expertise or perspective was needed for this specific task.”

The committee members started with a training session in January to understand the goals and perimeters of their work. They received presentations on the basic data regarding Oklahoma’s child abuse and neglect cases.

Members then reviewed a single case to determine how best to approach the analysis. The committee is beginning to tackle the 129 identified cases that could fit into its review.

Ira Schlezinger, a retired executive from Integris Health, said he is participating to understand the complexities of the problem and help identify best practices to prevent child deaths.

“Part of the dynamic, education and reward has been the opportunity for the exchange of very different points of view,” Schlezinger said. “There is an incredible diversity here.”

For some members, it has created stronger ties to other agencies.

“Many of us know each other, but we had not met each other,” said psychologist Barbara Bonner. “It’s been an interesting study in group dynamics.”

Sandra Park, Oklahoma City Public Schools deputy superintendent, said changes in enrollment practices are being considered in ways to help students in fragile families.

She and fellow committee member Oklahoma City police Lt. Paco Balderrama have started talking about coordinating efforts among their agencies’ programs for children.

After the first round of case analysis, Oklahoma County District Judge Roger Stuart wrote a note to suggest a different framework.

“In addition to asking what DHS could have done differently, we ask, ‘What could the rest of the family, the community, including other public and private agencies have done to prevent the situation?’” Stuart said. “It is a call to the rest of government and the public for help in protecting our children.”

The committee posts its meetings and keeps minutes but closes the doors to the public when confidential records from the cases are being reviewed. These documents are protected by federal and state laws.

Read more: http://newsok.com/panel-studies-dhs-child-abuse-deaths/article/3687419#ixzz1zr3rsK8d

Reports: DHS response to child abuse too slow

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A new report finds Mississippi is failing to investigate most child abuse complaints from children in its care within the required 24 hours or complete most investigations within 30 days.
That is one of the findings released by the independent monitor appointed by a federal court to oversee the state's progress in meeting requirements of a 2008 settlement. The settlement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit filed by a child's advocacy group in 2004 regarding the state's care of children.
Court-appointed monitor Grace Lopes of Washington, D.C. says the state has made some progress, but not enough.
Mark Smith, deputy director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, tells The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/PcKahD ) the state is working diligently to satisfy the agreement.