Tags: Mercury | Linked | Autism

Mercury Linked to Autism

Thursday, 09 September 2004 12:00 AM

"Clinical judgment" is the standard for advising patients and making decisions in everyday medical practice, based on what would be called a "preponderance of evidence" in civil legal cases.

"Scientific proof" is typically "beyond a reasonable doubt," the standard of proof required for a guilty verdict in criminal cases.

In our clinical judgment, there's enough evidence to convict these doses of thimerosal and find them guilty of causing significant toxicity in many children, leading to a spectrum of childhood diseases including autism.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have failed in their responsibility to protect Americans against unsafe medical and dental procedures, according to Boyd Haley, Ph.D., a biochemist and chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Haley spoke at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness meeting in July 2004.

Officials often ignore research implicating mercury toxicity; at the same time, the only research considered acceptable is rife with conflicts of interest.

In this controversy, most government agencies seem to be demanding a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard of proof for research showing harm from mercury – while accepting a "preponderance of evidence" standard for research exonerating mercury.

Let's review some of the evidence that has largely been ignored:

This "peculiar neurosis of the vegetative nervous system in young children" occurred in babies between the ages of 6 months and 2.5 years in the English-speaking world but between the ages of 2 and 5 on the continent. Popular theories included viral infection, nutritional deficiency and "over-nutrition" in more affluent families. Most physicians did not consider poisoning, nor did they investigate "the customs of mothers or the activities of the advertising and patent medicine industries."

By 1950, considerable evidence had implicated mercury, widely used in remedies such as teething powders. The disease disappeared when mercury was voluntary withdrawn by the manufacturers from most teething powders after 1954.

We find that the preponderance of evidence implicates mercury as a guilty party in a wide spectrum of childhood conditions, including autism, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrest in children, pink disease and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

We're not saying that mercury causes all cases of all these conditions; we do say that the form of mercury and the dose are all-important and that the same medical condition can be caused by different agents or different combinations of factors.

For example, the dose of mercury from the environment probably does not contribute a significant dose to humans. For one thing, the metal element mercury has to be converted to more toxic chemical forms before it causes harm.

In parting, we offer a simple solution to the problem. In the past, vaccines contained thimerosal because it helped prevent bacterial contamination in bottles containing dozens or hundreds of doses. We suggest packaging vaccines in individual doses, thereby obviating the need for any preservative. A bit more expensive, perhaps – but your children and grandchildren are worth it!

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Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Senior Fellow and Board Member of the Discovery Institute and a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple-award-winning writer who comments on medical-legal issues.


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"Clinical judgment" is the standard for advising patients and making decisions in everyday medical practice, based on what would be called a "preponderance of evidence" in civil legal cases. "Scientific proof" is typically "beyond a reasonable doubt," the standard...
Thursday, 09 September 2004 12:00 AM
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