> Meryl Dorey
Ms Dorey is the President of the Australian Vaccination Network and works tirelessly to rid the world of the scourge of vaccines and the benefits they bring. It seems that the AVN is coordinating the campaign against the Anti-quackery Committee, or at least offering a large amount of help.
Here are some of her efforts. My comments are interspersed.
12 November, 2002
This is a genuine threat. Please forward this information to every health practitioner you know and everyone who uses complimentary medicine. If we are no longer able to use supplements and complimentary therapies, we will be left with no option but to use Western Medicine which has a record of causing 1 in 5 deaths every year. Please get involved. Please give generously. Please contact us at the AVN (http://www.avn.org.au - info@a...) or Prose@h... without delay!
<The first rant from Pauline Rose followed>
15 November, 2002
Please everyone, print out a copy of the following petition, bring
it around to your local health food shops and/or on-side doctor's offices
and ask them to return filled-in petitions to the following address:
383 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 20007 _____
Freedom of Choice in Health Care
We the undersigned vigorously protest and oppose the appointment of Professor John Dwyer and Cheryl Freeman, President of the Sceptic Society, to a "review" committee of Complementary and Wholistic medical procedures and health products. Both have repeatedly displayed blatant bias and hostility against any and all aspects of Complementary and Wholistic medical procedures and health care. This makes both unfit for the position so appointed.
We call for any such committee of review to be constituted by truly impartial and independent experts with actual expert knowledge and experience in both Complementary and Orthodox medicine.
We believe that an unfairly constituted committee will remove freedom of choice in alternate health care options from the Australian public.
Ms Dorey posted a draft of this message to the SAVN mailing list and was informed almost immediately that there was no such thing as the "Sceptic Society" and even if there was, Cheryl Freeman was not the President. Despite this warning, these words were posted to the AVN web site more than 48 hours later. It was another three days before the following correction was loaded up to the site.
We the undersigned vigorously protest and oppose the appointment of Professor John Dwyer as Chair and Cheryl Freeman as an advisor, to a "review" committee of Complementary and Holistic medical procedures and health products. Both have repeatedly displayed blatant bias and hostility against any and all aspects of Complementary and Wholistic medical procedures and health care. This makes both unfit for the position so appointed.
23 November, 2002
We in NSW will sorely miss both Richard Jones and Alan Corbett who will be retiring from NSW Parliament shortly. I urge everyone who is eligible to vote in this upcoming NSW election to seriously look at the independent parties and to question everyone who is running in your area about their opinion on the right to health choice. Let's all make our votes count - if they don't support our rights - we won't support their candidacy!
Please read carefully about Dwyer - this is the 'genius' who would tell us what remedies we can and cannot use. If this whole situation were not dangerous, it would be almost too funny! Please, please, please - get involved - write letters and don't remain silent about why you will or will not support a candidate.
<Speech by Richard Jones MLC to the Legislative Council (21 November) followed>
The following information is from the AVN web site. (The page has been removed from the AVN site but a copy was obtained from The Wayback Machine archive. There was a petition associated with this and you can see it here.)
Hello all, This is one of the most important alerts we have ever issued. Please take the time to read the following information and to take action by writing to NSW Parliamentarians to voice your opinions.
If you go to the following website - http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/web/phweb.nsf/frames/members - you will find an up-to-date list of all NSW members of parliament. Copy all of their email addresses into a list in your address book and send one letter to all of them at the same time.
This is a very real threat. We will soon lose the right to choose to use complementary treatments and our doctors will lose the right to use them. This is only the beginning. If you would like to circulate a petition to try and stop this legislation, please click here, print this out and bring it to all health food shops, practitioners, etc.
<snip copyrighted article from Australian Doctor magazine>
One other member of this committee (the others are as yet unknown - the committee was formed in secret) is a woman by the name of Cheryl Freeman who is very active with the Australian Sceptics - the group which calls us the Anti-Vaccination Liars and insists that we celebrate the deaths of children. Ms Freeman has used lies and false names to try and entrap complementary practitioners. Is this an appropriate person for a committee that is supposed to look at this issue openly and honestly?
Actually, I was the one who coined and uses the term "Anti-vaccination liars". I am not the Australian Skeptics (which is how it is spelled), although I am the Vice President. Others on the committee have acknowledged that they wish they had thought of the expression first, but they cede publishing priority to me. I assume the reference to "celebrate the deaths of children" refers to a case where someone did just that, describing a story about a dead child as "invaluable". Ms Freeman used a false name (which is quite legal to do) to buy fraudulently described homeopathic vaccines against threats such as meningococcal disease and hepatitis B. The criminal act was in the selling, not in the using a false name to buy.
The following press release will be issued by the Australian Vaccination Network. Please feel free to use this information in your letters to Parliament.
15 November 2002 - For Immediate Release
Prof. John Dwyer, in an attempt to create a smoke-screen covering up Australia's shocking record of medical safety, has called for the deregistration of doctors who use complimentary medical procedures.
In an article published in Australian Doctor (8 November 2002, Page 3), Prof. Dwyer states that "There are some doctors who regrettably are practising a deplorable standard of medicine...If a doctor is actively advising their patients not to be immunised, then should they be allowed to continue practising?"
Calling anything that is not part of Western medicine "unscientific", Professor Dwyer demonstrates the worst of medicine's excesses. By trying to draw attention to these procedures, he is obviously trying to deflect public condemnation of the mounting evidence that Western medical procedures are harming more people than it ever helps.
If deaths from properly researched, properly registered, properly prescribed and properly used drugs were added to those preventable deaths which occur in private practice, it would add up to a staggering 19% or almost 1 in every 5 deaths in Australia! 1,2
Doctors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, causing 250,000 deaths every year. 3
More than 5 million people have been killed by Western medical practices in the past decade in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with more than 20 million permanently maimed.
Western medicine's record has never been good. Therapies which one year are touted as the safest and most effective around, are later shown to be dangerous and ineffective and quietly withdrawn. Just a few examples are Thalidomide for morning sickness, Relenza for Diabetes, cigarettes for the treatment of Asthma, Hormone Replacement Therapy for the symptoms of Menopause, Rotavirus Vaccine for the prevention of Rotavirus. The list can go on and on for far longer than we have space to write here.
Ms Dorey might like to point out that it was real medical science which discovered the above problems and fixed them. In the cases of HRT and Rotavirus vaccine, action was taken to cancel trials and vaccine programs even though the identified risk was quite small (in the case of the Rotavirus vaccine, the risk of problems in children given the vaccine was minuscule compared to the risk of the disease itself, and only a tiny number of children had experienced any problems).
"Before Professor Dwyer starts out pointing the bone at doctors who practise medicine according to their own experience of what is best for patients, he should first look at the misery that drug-based medicine is causing in Australia in particular and the Western world in general," says Meryl Dorey, AVN National President.
"In a press release which was accidentally leaked from the office of the NSW Minister for Health, dated October 31, 2002, it is stated that the aim of this committee is to tighten up legislation, enabling practitioners who are involved in dodgy medical practices (dodgy according to whom?) to be struck off. This is a witch-hunt, plain and simple. A way for the powers that control medicine to ensure that all doctors think, act and prescribe alike with no dissent in the ranks allowed. The NSW Government has instituted a bureau of medical "Thought Police" and John Dwyer is the Head Inquisitor." Ms Dorey continued.
I love the concept of an "accidentally leaked" press release. I can just imagine the Minister's Press Secretary feeding the document into the fax machine and then saying "Damn, I didn't mean to press that button and send it to anyone. I thought I was putting it in the shredder". In fact, it was so secret that they had to hide it on an obscure web site. I have since been informed by an apologist for Ms Dorey that the press release she was referring to was "the draft press release which was sent to someone - there are differences between the draft and released version". Right! Even if this were true, quoting from a draft version which was modified before general distribution is deceitful.
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), a national, non-profit charitable organisation has asked all of its members, thousands across Australia, to write to NSW representatives to urge them to vote against these draconian changes. Medical freedom is everyone's right in a democratic country. Nobody, least of all John Dwyer who represents a philosophy which has proven so deadly to Australians, has the right to tell healers how they can and cannot practice medicine.
"I would just like to remind everyone of another maverick doctor who, like the doctors of today, was threatened with deregistration and worse by the Inquisitors of his day. His name was Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis. In 1847, he had the audacity to claim that women were dying after childbirth because doctors were not washing their hands when they went from cadaver to patient. This was taking a terrible toll on both mothers and their infants who were dying of Puerperal fever. Because Dr. Semmelweis instituted the procedure of washing his hands before delivering babies, the mortality rate sank from 18 percent to 2.45 percent. Semmelweis was called mad and persecuted unmercifully by the John Dwyers of that time. Do we see history repeating itself today?"
The difference between Ignaz Semmelweis and fringe medical practitioners today is that today we know that germs exist so we can offer a scientific explanation of why washing hands is important. Medicine eventually adopts things that work and discards things which don't work or which can be done better. Many of Ms Dorey's friends claim that there are no such things as germs or viruses, so they are hardly in a position to stand up for Dr Semmelweis. Also, Semmelweis was not persecuted by the doctors of his time, but by his boss and mentor who disliked Semmelweis's attitude and background. He was a victim of snobbery and his own bad manners and attitude as much as he was of medical orthodoxy.
Attached to this Media Release are questions which were asked about this committee in NSW Parliament. To date, there have been no answers forthcoming.
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Meryl Dorey Phone: 02 6687 1699 - FAX: 02 6687 2032 - Mobile: 0414 872 032 - email: email@example.com
1. Iatrogenic Injury in Australia - This is the executive summary
of a 150 page official report revealing 14,000 preventable medical error
deaths (only in hospitals - not private practice). (Full report on file).
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics - Australian 1994 total deaths (1994) = 126,692
3. JAMA; Mon, 12 Feb 2001 15:32:38 -0800
The first reference here appears in many places on the web, even down to the exact words at the end ("Full report on file"). None of these sites has a link to the actual document in question. The owner of one of the sites citing it promised to send it to me about a year ago, but I guess the email must be slow between New Zealand and Australia.
I have located both documents and, surprise, surprise, the "14,000 preventable medical error deaths" is derived from a statement which says "that such adverse events are associated with as many as ... 10,000 deaths each year in Australia". "As many as" - an upper bound, which includes patients who would have died of whatever they were admitted to hospital for anyway. "Are associated with" - association is not causality. You should also note that the figure for total deaths given at Reference 2 is for 1994, but the report at Reference 1 was published in 2001 from data originally gathered in 1998-1999.
Somehow, I am not surprised that people who specialise in deceit are deceitful when it comes to citing material which they claim supports their positions.
You can see more information about this lie here.
Attached to the media release will be the following questions from Parliament: